Top Ten Tuesday: #SYTYCD Routines that Could (and Should) Inspire Books (@DANCEonFOX)

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week is a FREEBIE topic, which is good because I’ve been cheating the last few weeks anyway. Best let me get it all out of my system at once so I can go back to playing by the rules ASAP.

I’ve been a little like a kid in a candy store trying to come up with a topic, but I kept coming back to the same thought after I saw Victoria Schwab mention on Twitter that her upcoming book The Archived was inspired by this dance from one of my favorite TV shows, So You Think You Can Dance. Then Myra McEntire threw more fuel onto the fire by letting me know that several characters in the Hourglass series are based on dancers and choreographers from the show.

And I started to think, what if more authors used this show as inspiration for their books? There’s certainly enough inspiration to choose from.

And thus I bring you my Top Ten list this week, in which I let my imagination run wild. I even pitch a plot for each book and pick an author that I think has the chops to pull it off (disclaimer: that doesn’t mean that the author has ever written anything like these pitches; I just think their their voices and strengths would lend themselves well to these stories).

Authors, feel free to take me up on any of these. My world would be a happy, happy place if you did.

My Top Ten Book Pitches Inspired by So You Think You Can Dance

(additional disclaimer: I could either have picked 10 dances, or done 10 book pitches. I did the latter, because that lets me use more dances)

1. Collide/How it Ends/My First Kiss, Season 7

Premise: After having his heart broken when his high school sweetheart is stolen by his best friend, an introverted teen begins an awkward and ill-fated relationship with his teacher.

Suggested Author: Lauren Oliver

2. Are You the One? (Two Princes), Season 3

Premise: Two childhood friends grow up to find themselves the reluctant heirs of warring kingdoms.

Suggested Author: Kristin Cashore

3. Comanche, Season 6

Premise: A retelling of the classic Romeo & Juliet story, set among the organized crime families in 1930s Chicago.

Suggested Author: Myra McEntire

4. The GardenSeason 4

Premise: Renegade wood nymphs decide to leave their forest home to live among the humans, but their mischievous ways and mysterious powers make them a target for dark forces that would harness their powers for evil.

Suggested Author: Victoria Schwab

5. Heaven is a Place on Earth/Battlefield/Coming HomeSeason 7/Season 5/Season 8 (yes, I know the gender of the soldier changes throughout these dances, but that’s why they’re inspiration and not a literal representation)

Premise: A young couple’s relationship struggles after one of them enlists to serve overseas, has an affair with a fellow soldier, and finally returns home to battle PTSD.

Suggested Author: John Green

6. Ramalama (Bang Bang)/Paris is BurningSeason 2 (this is actually the 100th episode version, which has the S2 dancers + choreographer Wade Robson)/Season 7

Premise: In an alternate Victorian London ruled by the undead, a small group of young aristocrats struggles to hide a dangerous secret: They’re still alive.

Suggested Author: Julie Kagawa

7. Ra, Season 7

Premise: In a post-apocalyptic future where intelligent robots have won the war against humanity, a small group of rebels fights back.

Suggested Author: Veronica Roth

8. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic/The DanceSeason 7 (sorry, I couldn’t find a higher quality video that allowed embedding, but if you want to go to YouTube, there’s a high quality version here)/Season 4

Premise: A teenaged Alice returns to Wonderland and joins forces with the Mad Hatter to raise an army and overthrow the Red Queen’s reign of terror.

Suggested Author: Marissa Meyer

9. Ordinary Day, Season 6

Premise: After being dumped by her boyfriend and shunned by her classmates following a vicious rumor, the most popular girl in school finds the only person that she can truly be herself around is her neighbor, a boy she has ignored since elementary school.

Suggested Author: Meg Cabot

10. Bleeding Love/Mad World, Season 4/Season 7 (This is the tour version of the performance, because I couldn’t find a version of the original that I could embed)

Premise: After his relationship with his wife falls apart because of his workaholic ways, a successful businessman re-examines his life when he discovers the beggar outside his office is his college roommate.

Suggested Author: Markus Zusak

If you liked this topic, I told my friend Shannon over at Stalking the Bookshelves that I was going to do this topic this week, and she asked if she could join on the SYTYCD fun. And of course, my thoughts were the more the merrier! We didn’t tell each other which dances we were picking, so head on over to her post and see if we picked any of the same ones!

Also, if you’ve never watched SYTYCD but now you want to (and you SHOULD want to), now is a great time to start! The first performance episode airs tomorrow (7/11) on FOX at 8 EST.

Sorry for the commercial.

Top Ten Tuesday (July 3): TV for Bookish People

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the fabulous people over at The Broke and the Bookish! It’s a day for us to all make lists and read lists and just generally celebrate lists.

Okay, so I know this may be slightly irritating, and I apologize. Especially since I totally cheated last week and next week is a freebie.


Anyway, the assigned topic for this week is:

 Top Ten Books For People Who Like X Author (pick an author and give recommendations)

And I wracked my brain trying to come up with 10 books that are all in the style of a certain author, but I couldn’t do it. I even picked big genre-defining authors like J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins. But just because you liked Harry Potter doesn’t mean you’re going to like all fantasy, just like enjoying Hunger Games doesn’t mean all dystopians will be for you.

Plus, using books like that is more about a genre than an author, and I can’t think of another author who writes like J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins or any of the other amazing authors I love. They each have their own unique voice, and that’s part of the reason I love them.

So. Since I wanted to do a Top Ten list anyway, and I was coming up with a total blank on the topic, I tried to think of what I was into at the moment.

And guys, I’m going to be honest. I’m in a reading slump. I’ve seriously tapered off in my reading (and it’s reflected in my blog. Again, sorry). I know I’ll jump back in soon with both feet, and I’ve actually got a stack of books checked out from the library and sitting on my shelf and my iPad right now that I’m really anxious to read. I just need some time off to regroup.

And you know how I regroup?

I’d like to say exercise, but the answer is TV.

So without any further ado, I give you:

The Top Ten T.V. Shows for When You’re in a Reading Slump

(a.k.a. Shows Bookish People Like)

[p.s. I feel the need to make a disclaimer here that I’m not currently watching all of these shows, nor are all the shows I’m currently watching on this list. Confused yet?]

Where possible, I linked to the show on Netflix, so you can watch it right now if you have Netflix. Otherwise I linked to the Amazon page. (Or, in the case of one show, you can catch up pretty well on YouTube).

These are in no particular order, because I love them  all. With great giant disgusting heaps of love.

1. Friday Night Lights

I maintain that this show has the best character development I’ve ever seen in any TV show, ever.

But I don’t really like football. Or Texas.

You know what? Neither do I. It doesn’t matter.

2. The West Wing

Do you love fast-paced, intelligent dialogue? Smart characters and complex plots? Then this is the show for you.

But I don’t like politics.

Neither do I. It doesn’t matter.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It was a high school vampire show before high school vampire stories were all the rage. Again, excellent character development, intricate plots, quippy dialogue, and some pretty awesome action. One of the smartest teen shows on TV, ever.

4. Firefly

This one’s only 14 episodes long, so you can easily tear through it in a week on Netflix (if you can make it last that long). Amazing world-building, an original concept, and of course the fabulous characters and dialogue that are a staple for Joss Whedon shows.

5. Gilmore Girls

Rory is going to be a book blogger when she grows up, she just doesn’t know it yet. She is smart and shy and sassy and sweet, and the cast of characters is quirky and lovable. The best part of this show is the close and loving relationship between Rory and her mother Lorelai. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the best mother-daughter depictions on TV (or that used to be on TV, anyway).

6. Battlestar Galactica

I’ll be the first to admit, this show went downhill towards the end. It’s like Ronald. D. Moore had a great concept and absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with it (actually, that is what happened. I’ve listened to the commentaries. He pretty much admits it). But the first couple season are out-of-this-world (literally) fantastic. And the acting is absolutely stellar (another space pun! I’m unstoppable!)

7. Veronica Mars

I know I keep harping on dialogue and character development, but really, name one great show that doesn’t have great dialogue and character development.


I’ll admit, I waited a few years on Veronica Mars. I didn’t think I’d be into a show about a teen detective with no superpowers. But the thing that finally made me pull the trigger was when I read it was Joss Whedon’s favorite show (including his own shows). That kind of clinched it for me.

And this show is incredible. The only bad thing is that it got canceled after the 3rd season wrapped, so there’s not a satisfying conclusion. But I promise, the rest of the show is worth the disappointment at the end.

8. So You Think You Can Dance

I know, this is a (gasp!) reality show! But it’s amazing and inspiring, and I happen to know for a fact that there are real books floating out there in the world — books that you’ve probably heard of and maybe even read and enjoyed — that take ideas and characters from this show. For example, the above routine inspired Victoria Schwab to write her upcoming novel The Archived. (No, I don’t know how it inspired her to write it, but she promises a post later on how the dance turned into a book).

[Warning: (and this isn’t a joke) This dance is about addiction and has been known to provoke strong emotional reactions]

9. How I Met Your Mother

Say what you will about this show, but I think the overarching plot device of the mysterious titular “mother” appeals to my bookish side. I like the tiny clues and the “future” narration that ties it all together. Plus, I think this is one of the best comedies currently on TV.

10. Dr. Who

I have a confession to make, and that is that I am nowhere close to having finished this series. But the quirky sci-fi plots, the witty banter, and the smart writing leaves no question in my mind as to why so many writers and readers adore this show.

So I’m sorry for cheating, really I am, but maybe if you’re like me and are totally in a rut right now, I’ve given you something to fill the lonely book-less hours.

I’ll start reading again soon. In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go watch some more Dr. Who.