Smugglivus Smugglivus Guest Blogger

Smugglivus 2010 Guest Blogger: Carla of The Crooked Shelf

Welcome to Smugglivus 2010: Day 32

Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors, bloggers and publishers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2010, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2011.

Who: The lovely Carla, who runs the UK-based YA book blog (with the occasional Urban Fantasy/adult title) The Crooked Shelf.

Please give a warm welcome to Carla, everyone!


Soooooo, this is the first year that i’ve had the honour to take part in Smugglivus. To be frank I still feel a little fan girly that The Book Smugglers actually even know who I am, let alone the fact that i’ve met Ana in real life and we bonded over our mutual love of Mr Alan Ryves (from the Demons Lexicon trilogy by the equally fantastic Sarah Rees Brennan) and Strawberry Bellini’s. 2010 has probably been my best year for reading since, well, FOREVAH, for this was the year that I really got my claws into YA and started to take this whole blogging palaver seriously (I promise I have!). One of the bad things about being severely disorganised? lists make me itch. But lists about books I can so totally get onboard with, so without further ado (and maybe less babbling) I give you the most amazingly fantastically scrumdiddlyumptious books I read in 2010.

1. Freak Magnet by Andrew Auseon

I think I actually love this book more than a person should love words on paper. I mean, I even admitted to wanting to eat some of the pages just to see if they tasted as good as it read, because if this book was food then SURELY it would be the best food ever? See, I may be irrational but thats a logical conclusion to how this book made me feel. Who knew such a random, weird and kinda freaky boy could wiggle his way into my heart and stay there for the long haul, because that’s what Charlie Whyatt has done. Such an unassuming book, full of poignant and witty moments, I fell in love with every single word. Plus, that scene on the roof in the rain? HAWT!

2. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

I actually want Natalie Standiford to be my best friend. We could sit in cafe’s eating decadent cakes, and I would listen to her fingers hit the keyboard as she typed out another masterpiece of literature. Then she would regale me with tales of what the Sullivan girls have gotten themselves into now, because friends share these kind of details. OH! maybe Jane could join us and we would laugh SO hard at her latest post on and plot ways to bring her mother Ginger down with ginormous jars of mayonnaise. Though, in all seriousness, crazy families make me feel happy and you can’t get much crazier than the Sullivan family, they even called their grandmother Almighty. I KNOW! Such a beautifully written book that propels into my All Time Favourites list by the very much character driven story and writing you can’t help but revel in.

3. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

I just laugh even thinking about this book. Like full body giggles and maybe even the kind where you have to cross your legs to stop from peeing your pants. Sales has managed to write a book that really gets and understands true friendship. Thats what this book is all about. How fantastic and hysterical and awful and annoying it can be to have a best friend that just *gets* you. A book that combines hysterical honesty with mundane observations that are laced through with The Funny, I will be the first in line doing whatever I have to do (I am not beyond shoving and pushing people when it comes to this author and her writing) to get my hands on a copy of her next novel. Oh and check out her Leila Texts blog, you will not be sorry.

4. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

I don’t know where this book has been all my life. Okay, it was probably stored up in Siobhan’s head waiting to be written, but OMG this book is The Shizz. When I first started reading this book all I could think was “Natalie you are SUCH a Debbie Downer, cheer up and go make out with a football star or the hot arty kids that brood and listen to music all day” because the stereotypical part of my mind was still majorly suspicious. BUT, that’s so not what I got. This book leaked out so much feminism my eyes hurt from the AWESOME of it all. It covers how not just how girls, but how boys can be objectified and judged by their behaviour. A book that shows non-conformity is something to be proud of and all in a well rounded, fully formed teenage voice that made me weep because it was just SO DAMN GOOD.

5. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Well, what can I say about this book that you probably haven’t already heard? I probably can’t, so I will say this; how Jandy managed to put such overwhelming and life shattering grief into words is seriously beyond me. Every character in this book is still as real to me as they were when I read the book earlier this year. From the wonderfully weird, to the quietly understated to the overpowering and bizarre, I love them all. Lennie I LOVE you, so please send Joe over to my house just to bat his great big eyelashes at me, and then you can have him back. Utterly absorbing.

SO, whilst I think 2010 was rock your socks right off amazing, then maybe 2011 will go one step further and be blow ALL your clothes off fantastic. Most specifically, I am looking forward to these books, so much so, I would quite happily commit crimes for them (I wish I were joking).

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

My list would never be complete without a book from the lovely lady herself. I don’t think i’ve loved an author as much as I love this girl. Seriously, she is SO nice she makes me look quite dastardly, and I can be quite a nice girl (HEY! I can!). I have had the pleasure of reading this already, and OMG, this is dystopia at it’s absolute best. A book that ponders if love is really a disease, if love is something that can drive you insane, and that maybe a world where everyone is cured of love is a world that is maybe would be best for us all. It discusses a LOT of important issues and the world building is simply divine. I canNOT wait to be able to discuss this book with everyone, because YOU too will be infected. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. February 2011.

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

I discovered the amazingness that is the Kate Daniels series this year, and I have to say it’s possibly the best discovery I have ever made and I still have bruises where I kicked myself for not having read it sooner. I have even attempted to start a number of other UF series, trying to fill the dark black void this series has left in my heart, but it’s no damn good. I am addicted and in the words of the fabulous Steph Su, I am also RUINED. This addition to the Kate and Curran roller coaster could not come some enough. May 2011.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

This book is dominating the YA blogosphere with squeals of delight and pledges of undying love. Sometimes I give in to the hype and this would be one of those times. The world building is supposed to be so atmospheric that it will bring you to your knees. I don’t know if thats supposed to be a good thing per se but oh my gosh I want it so bad. In March 2011 Wither, we duel!

Things that I also wish would happen this year:

Suzanne Collins will release the REAL and ACTUAL version of Mockingjay because surely that book she released was some kind of sick joke. Right? RIGHT? She’s going to release a podcast or something where she’s all PSHYCE!!

John Green will release another book. A book that will be dedicated to me. Because y’know we’re tight. I mean, yeah, I realise that I dropped a great big F-Bomb when I met him and called him a liar but STILL, that’s BFF material if I ever saw it.

People will petition against Breaking Dawn being made into a movie. This has got to happen. Otherwise the world as we know it is doomed. Nobody wants to see that. Nobody.

Supernatural will continue being amazing, and not go down that Angel and Demon The World Is Ending And We Must Stop The Apocalypse route again, because Sam and Dean are at their best when they are hunting demons to kill them and not to eat their blood and or have sex with them.

Authors will realise that Carla is a good name. A name they want to use in their next bestseller. A name that will live in infamy.


Thanks so much Carla!


  • Niveau
    January 5, 2011 at 2:35 am

    This book leaked out so much feminism my eyes hurt from the AWESOME of it all.

    Thanks to this sentence, said book is now in my Chapters shopping cart. My brain is thrilled, but my eyes aren’t too happy with me right now.

  • Kat
    January 5, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Carla, you make me happy.

    I now have my eyes on Not That Kind Of Girl – and Wither was already on my to do list…

    Agree totally about The Sky Is Everywhere. Man alive, that book broke me and fixed me all at once. x

  • RK Charron
    January 5, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for introducing me to Carla & thank you to Carla for guesting here.
    I’ve Followed her blog now.
    All the best,

  • Adrienne
    January 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I have to agree…Breaking Dawn was a shittastic piece of lit & I’m pretty sure the movie will be ample in stating how badly the direction of the story went… Seriously did any editor read that novel before published??? I felt like i took crazy pills after reading it. Here’s to vampire babies with crappy names in 2011!!!!

  • Angie
    January 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

    *grin* Great post, Carla. I am itching for more Kate & Curran, too. Come on, May. Get here!

  • Christine
    January 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Great post, Carla. I, too, was utterly swept away in both tears and joy reading The Sky is Everywhere. Such impressive and expressive writing.

    I still haven’t brought myself around to read MockingJay yet. 😐

  • shabbygeek
    January 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Hooray for Carla – which I wholeheartedly agree, is a fabulous name and should be included in more novels. (preferably for awesome characters!)

  • Becky
    January 6, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I am glad to see that I am not the only one who doesn’t want to see Breaking Dawn as a movie. I think that book is kinda creepy.

  • Michelle
    January 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    So much to love about this list! And can I say, I’m not in love with this season of Supernatural. They’ve ruined those beautiful boys. 🙁

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