(Except I don't really have a nightstand....I have a computer desk that is ridiculously high next to my floor-level bed)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis: Shauna, I sing your praises. I am clutching my ARC gleefully and have dived right into the first chapter. Consensus so far? Very delicious. I can tell I'm going to enjoy this one.
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: The instant the main character pulled out a rhinestone-studded pink taser to take down a vampire, I knew this one was a must-have. So far, not disappointed!
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: Recommended to me by a good friend. I actually just finished this and have to say it's one of the most thought-provoking YAs I've encountered in a long time. It's made me go back to my manuscript and (in between fits of "Why can't I write a story like that!") figure out ways to put in more subtle emotions and interactions in both of my main characters. Whether or not I'm successful, we'll have to see....
Matched by Ally Condie: Also recently finished this one. As The Giver is one of my favorite YAs, this one was an excellent return to a similar world. I have to admit I'm on Team Xavier, though. Cassia, how can you resist his charms!
Whenever I feel stuck in a rut with my own writing, I always find it helpful to pick up an anticipated book and devour it from beginning to end. By the time I'm done, I'm almost always itching to dive right back into whatever chapter I was stuck on. Today was no different. I couldn't seem to start off a chapter about 3/4 of the way through Legend 2. So I stopped torturing myself, stepped away from the laptop for a while, and started reading Across the Universe. After a chapter and a half, I was ready to go back to my manuscript. And got 2,000+ words in 2 hours. The stimulating power of others' creativity at work! A good tip for any writer, I think.