Tag Archives: Maureen Johnson

Review Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier

https://i0.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/_nhteQqUzS9M/THHEBAtywmI/AAAAAAAAAYE/iD0GRlULW88/s1600/Zombies+Vs.+Unicorns.png In 2007 an intense debate heated up on the blogs of young adult authors Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. The main topic of consideration was centered on a simple question, a choice between two supernatural creatures and their merits in connection with the writing of fiction.  Who makes for a better story: zombies or unicorns? What had begun as a friendly little blog chat and voting poll soon turned to all out social media war and the troops began to rally. The time has come for the ultimate literary showdown; the time has come for Zombies vs. Unicorns.

Zombies vs. Unicorns is an anthology of short stories from some of the most popular young adult authors of today showing their support for either “Team Zombie” or “Team Uniciorn”. Black and Larbalestier edit the anthology itself with hilarious commentary throughout the entire book and short introductions by both before each short story is presented.  Every story provides its own unique twist on the creature the author has chosen as their subject and each story is completely strange and unexpected in its own delightful way. While some writers stay true to their form others take on different settings or time periods, giving readers a glimpse into their writing in new territory.

Readers will find themselves saving chocolate milk loving baby unicorns in Manhattan with author Naomi Novak, fighting the mudo off and living on a solitary island after “The Return” with Carrie Ryan or maybe even hanging out with Meg Cabot to watch one teenager get a pretty amazing birthday present with a horn (No not that kind of horn.). No matter the time, no matter the place, you can be sure a zombie or unicorn will make an entrance.

While each story is different in every way, a few of the stories are quite mature and should be viewed by parents possibly before turning the book over to younger teens.  Since the authors in the book are popular young adult authors one might think the book would be appropriate for reader’s of those author’s same books but that may not be the case with every story and each teen should be judged by their own level of maturity for certain subject material in the anthology.

Whether the reader is more pro-zombie or pro-unicorn oriented in the end really doesn’t matter. The anthology has proven the point that both make great subjects for fiction especially in the form of short stories as in Zombies vs. Unicorns.  Throw in some detailed background and mythology on the stars of the book and you also become a more educated scholar on the subject of both the un-dead and the unicorn. A hilarious, absurdly quirky book that takes readers somewhere no reader has gone before with terrific young adult writers as their guides.

Team Unicorn

Holly Black
Meg Cabot, Kathleen Duey, Margo Lanagan,
Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Diana Peterfreund

Team Zombie

Justine Larbalestier

Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Alaya Dawn Johnson,
Maureen Johnson, Carrie Ryan, Scott Westerfeld

In the end well I have to say I am….how can I not be?


Zombies…one word…yuck!


Filed under Anthology, Meg Cabot, New Books, Paranormal, Young Adult Books

Book Blogger Convention 2010

Imagine you’ve been isolated from your species, unable to communicate except by means of technology. Twitter, blog comments, e-mail…it’s all we’ve had.  And then all the sudden you are all in a room together. People you have built professional relationships or even friendships with over the years suddenly have faces and personalities.  What a wonderful thing…that in essence was the very first Book Blogger Convention. A time to get together and share, learn and grow as a group of individuals who are all very different and yet still the same in our love of books. We are a community and the biggest message I got from our day is that…it’s up to us what we can do as a group. The sky is the limit. Things are changing and book bloggers are on the cusp of a new world where we have a very integral part in the publishing industry. What a fantastic feeling!

It’s all about community. The more we work together and support one another…the more we can accomplish. As Maureen Johnson so accurately said “Book bloggers are activists for books.” How true that is, it’s why I became one and also why I became a librarian. We are experts….as Ron Hogan classified us: we are the ultimate experts in the subject of “Books I Love.” No one knows that better or ever could.

Fabulous Panel on "Writing and Building Content"

(Panel: Rebecca [Book Lady’s Blog] – moderator, Kim [Sophisticated Dorkiness], Christina [Stacked], Betsy Bird [A Fuse 8 Production], Amanda [The Zen Leaf])

So what was Book Blogger Convention like? Meetings of people who felt they already knew one another, meetings with people you have wished to know for some time, stimulating conversation about books and the industry, hilarious keynote speaker Maureen Johnson, the monster of convention center making himself known, panels and lectures on meaningful topics of interest to us…to sum it up…it was pretty GREAT. I cannot wait until next year. My only regret is that I did not get to meet as many people as I had wished. It was often hard to find one another in the sea of name tags…next year I think we should make t-shirts! T-shirts about our blog with our name is giant letters…we may look like the high school seniors on the last day of school entering the convention center…but who cares…we’re book bloggers and we are cool! (Side note: Bedazzlers and puff paint encouraged!)

Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com speaking about "Ethics in Blogging"

Keynote Speak: Young Adult Author Maureen Johnson

A Writer's Inspiration Can Come in Many Forms


Filed under Book Blogs, Events