Howdy YAL is the screen name you’ll find me using in the blogosphere. I, however, also go by the name MJ. A native Texan I enjoy reading, writing, yet sadly not arithmetic.
I started blogging originally on Blogger under the name YAL Book Briefs as stress relief in law school. Yes, law school. I am a lawyer officially now. It’s strange to say after all these years, but somehow I did pass the bar. I changed my handle name though, in part because I got bored with the “brief” style of review and I also got tired of some of the bizzaro search terms I’d get that people would use when they stumbled upon my blog. The new handle was coined by author Nenia Campbell. I was close to dropping the L for awhile there, but I kept it mainly because…well, it reminds me of the days where my librarians called our YA section in the library the YAL section.
If I were to describe my ideal book to a person it would be a book that had proper grammar and didn’t rely too much on tropes. Or if the book did use tropes, it uses them in a clever sort of way. My all time favorite will still probably go to the first YA book I ever read, Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries. There’s odd sentimental value there for me, and the out of date pop culture references are sort of fun.
As for books that annoy me….well, lots of things annoy me. From abusive boyfriends, to crazy old women that wear their wedding dresses for forty plus years, I have read my fair share of bad books. And I’m not afraid to talk about why I didn’t like a book. I think it makes for a constructive review.
In my spare time when I’m not reading or writing I can be found probably jogging with my Beagle (the only dog I have that actually likes to exercise) or watching a really bad Lifetime movie. Or maybe eating truffles.
All the reviews that were on YAL Book Briefs and the Blogspot version of Howdy YAL have been transferred over here for the most part. Same goes with the features (a lot of them are grouped random so if you’re looking for a particular essay or something it’s probably there).
As for my review policy, I review primarily YA and NA titles, emphasis on YA. I might occasionally read a romance novel or something else, but generally I want it to have its roots in the genre. Because I know have a Kindle, I am willing to read self pub though I still have the same standards for self pub work as I do traditional pub work. Requests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m also on Twitter, Booklikes, and GoodReads if you want to follow me here. But this site is the MJ mothership.