What I Got For X-Mas

Well, Christmas is over and done with and I couldn't be happier. I've never worked so hard on a Christmas vacation. Over the four days I got off, I had to shovel the driveway each day, mop the floor, vacuum all three floors of our house, spent four hours putting together a kitchen playset, set up a weather station, cook a 16 pound turkey with delicious White Castle dressing that was meant to be for 14 people, but only three showed up because of the weather, so no one got to taste how awesome the stuffing was (nor appreciated any of the other stuff we did, plus having to take care of a toddler that's getting sneakier and louder every day, and a baby who hasn't learned that the night is not the time to practice aerobics.

But I did get some nice stuff. I got two Scott Westerfeld books - Extras and Leviathan. Extras is the coda to the Uglies trilogy and involves more reputation-based economy stuff. I didn't expect to get this and I didn't expect to read it, I kinda stopped caring about Westerfeld after I read Peeps. Leviathan is his newest novel -- a steampunk take on WWI where the Axis fights with bio-engineered monsters and the Allies fight with giant mechs (or maybe I have that reversed, I don't remember). It sounds awesome.

And it occurred to me that I've been reading a lot of teen fiction lately, and I've got a bit to go. It started with The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl and then Midnight Girl, now I'm reading How to Ditch Your Fairy, and later I'll be reading Extras and Zoe's Tale. I'm not sure if Leviathan is YA or not, but it involves teens and Westerfeld, so probably.

I'm not doing this on purpose. In fact, I'm getting a little annoyed with all these teenage voices. Here's the thing about teenagers, and it's the thing I'll remember if I ever do a YA novel--teens are conceited. They only think about themselves, their own corner of the universe. What they can get, what people think about them, how they stand to benefit or suffer from the ongoing events. They never act selflessly, they never think about how somebody else might feel about their acts. I understand this is how teens act, and that's fine, but it's annoying. Especially if you keep reading it. The only adult novel I've got in my shortlist queue is The Eyre Affair and that's a female-centric book. I feel like I need to read something about manly men here at some point, or I'm going to have a period.

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