Young Adult Literature

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Cynara on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:04 am

Just finished Out of My Mind.  I haven't had this many feels about an elementary school book since I read Bridge to Terabithia in fifth grade.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Paris, Texas on Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:18 am

So I ended up buying my nieces each an age-appropriate book journal to go with the first two of Valente's Fairylands and Out of My Mind (great minds, Cynara!) for the 13-year-old, the first two Anastasia Krupniks and the first two Percy Jacksons for the 9-year-old and the Frozen and Princess and the Frog Golden Books plus a Gruffalo activity pack.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  ulkis on Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:15 pm

I'm probably never gonna read them, so can someone tell me why the third book of the Divergent series sucks so much? I'm curious. Thanks!

ETA: I went and looked it up. But if anyone wants to snark on them still, feel free!

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Cynara on Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:48 pm

The ending:
Spoiler:
I skipped to the end just to see what happened because that is how little of a crap I gave at that point.  Tris dies. She sacrifices herself to save Tobias and the others or the world or something. It's all very meaningful. (Actually, I thought it was a pretty ballsy ending. I appreciated that Roth didn't try to magically HEA everything.) Then Tobias mopes around for a couple of years (in fast-forward, not actual time) and then jumps off the high thing he was scared to jump off before as he and the other Superfriends scatter Tris's ashes.  He decides to live again because that's what Tris would want for him, and Christina's all "Hey dude, call me in ten years, I think we can make this work" and he's all "...I'll take it under advisement." (I may be inferring that last part.)

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  ulkis on Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:23 am

thanks!

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Evil Lincoln on Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:44 pm

Cynara wrote:The ending:
Spoiler:
I skipped to the end just to see what happened because that is how little of a crap I gave at that point.  Tris dies. She sacrifices herself to save Tobias and the others or the world or something. It's all very meaningful. (Actually, I thought it was a pretty ballsy ending. I appreciated that Roth didn't try to magically HEA everything.) Then Tobias mopes around for a couple of years (in fast-forward, not actual time) and then jumps off the high thing he was scared to jump off before as he and the other Superfriends scatter Tris's ashes.  He decides to live again because that's what Tris would want for him, and Christina's all "Hey dude, call me in ten years, I think we can make this work" and he's all "...I'll take it under advisement." (I may be inferring that last part.)

I thought it was ballsy too, but I also read them all together so I didn't have the time to get all that invested in it. What I thought was bad was the lack of research and poor planning.
Spoiler:
How does a woman from Chicago not know how long it takes to get from The Loop (the area of downtown where most of the series happens) to O'Hare Airport? Tris says they're in the car "for hours" yet they're speeding down an empty highway. They drove 18 miles, not to the moon. The stuff with the genetics felt really half-baked to me and like Roth wanted to Say Something but couldn't decide what, because it was a confusing mess of pro-/anti-science and progressive/conservative talking points.

Truthfully, though, the level of hysteria online had me convinced that Tris and Tobias were going to turn out to be related and thus unable to continue dating/have sex and that that was why everyone was angry. So Tris martyring herself was both disappointing and kind of hilarious for me after imagining something much more insane for 2.5 books.

I also don't get the hype over Roth being an "amazing young talent!" I thought her prose was incredibly stilted and it was obvious that she was a rookie. It's been a very long time since I read Twilight, but as bad as Meyer's writing was there, my recollection of it is that it was more polished than this and improved a little as the series went on, whereas Roth's got worse. Tris and Tobias may as well have been the same person for as much as their voices differentiated in Allegiant.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Paris, Texas on Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:49 pm

Yeah. I think Roth received praise for her writing because the pacing was very cinematic and crisp. I guess that makes it readable - and hell, that quality is why Dan Brown is such a success. If she veered away from the Dystopian trend* and went into, say, crime maybe she could challenge herself.

She also received got a lot of praise for not having a love triangle. Considering she wrote typical teenage turgid love story to begin with, and that the solo male love interest was the young girl fantasy of a mysterious, brutal and brutalized hunk (and a virgin to boot!), I hardly think the lack of a love triangle makes Roth the genre busting revolutionary of her generation.

* Actually, is there a new YA trend? Is there a wealth of recent literature about horses or Celtic fairytales that I have missed? Maybe after the success of John Green, E&P and the Wallflower movie, is it a general theme overcoming the trappings of trauma via inter-personal connections?

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  inversed on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:00 pm

I finished The Fault in Our Stars last night. For most of the book I wasn't super into it, and then I realized the problem was that I was actually resenting the book for being so good. And now I wish I could go back and read it again and really appreciate it but alas it's due back at the library. I didn't cry because I knew what was coming pretty early on, but it really was a fantastic book. Even if the teenagers were a little too precocious.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Kiran on Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:44 pm

I really liked that book, though I think my favorite John Greene is still Looking For Alaska. Which is a book I appreciated because I thought it ended up deconstructing the manic pixie dream girl type tropes really well, in that
Spoiler:
Alaska is in fact deeply troubled and not going to rescue anyone.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  inversed on Wed May 28, 2014 10:05 am

Just finished Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia, which I enjoyed much more than the title lead me to believe I would. It's not groundbreaking or anything, but the characters felt real, and teenage me identified with Frenchie quite a bit.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  inversed on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:13 pm

So I happen to live in the same city as the National Center for Children's Books, which I finally went to today* for an author talk by Leigh Bardugo and Sara Maas. I haven't read either of their series but the talk was on Worldbuilding in Fantasy Literature so I was stoked to go. It turned out to be a little more informal and less focused on worldbuilding but a pretty good experience. Maas seemed a little too into herself (seriously we don't need a 10-minute story about your high-school livejournal being found out, this isn't the Moth Radio Hour) but I liked Bardugo a lot. I picked up the first of her series, "Smoke and Bone," which has been on my to-read list for awhile. I hope I enjoy it!

*Despite being downtown, the place is in some weird public transit vacuum and it's a huge pain in the ass to get there, otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd be there every day.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  mokey75 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:46 pm

Over the weekend, I read the new Stephanie Perkins Isla and the Happily Ever After. I ... didn't love it. I wanted to, but it just seemed super formulaic, and the characters (and setting) didn't pop for me the way they did with Anna and Lola. I don't know if I just wasn't in the right headspace or what. It wasn't awful by any means, and I read it in like a day, but I did find myself starting to skim
Spoiler:
during the inevitable break-up/spend time apart sequence because I knew it was just killing time until they'd get back together.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  QueenSix on Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:58 pm

inversed, I read Smoke & Bone in June and loved it. I'm halfway throught the third book in the trilogy and yeah, things are happening! Leigh Bardugo is going to be in Dublin on Friday evening for an author talk and I would love to go but it's Friday evening and I'm already overnight in Dublin tomorrow (Wednesday night) for a guide committee thing and coming home Thursday and I can't stay up there until Saturday. Bah! Glad you enjoyed her talk though.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  inversed on Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:05 am

I've just finished John Green's Looking for Alaska. I was worried that Alaska was going to be just another Manic Pixie Dream Girl and that her big secret past was going to be some kind of victimization so I was pleased that neither of those came to fruition. But I've read some kind of creepy stuff about John Green's cultivation of young female fans and it's kind of tainting my enjoyment of his work - can anyone more in-the-know enlighten me on whether or not there's really a reason to side-eye John Green or if it's just Tumblr making up stuff to get upset about?

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  mandalaya on Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:57 pm

inversed, I can't speak directly to your question because I have nothing to do with his online fandom, but my mom is friendly neighbors with Green's parents and all impressions my family has of him is that he's lovely. That's in person, which can be very different from online, of course, but you can add it to the mix of info.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  whatthedeuce on Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:21 pm

I've never heard about that either, inversed. As far as I know, he's just all about being a proud geek and encouraging others to embrace their inner nerd as well.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Carrie Ann on Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:09 pm

inversed, I think you're probably referring to this dustup. My impression of him is that, no, he does not cultivate a fandom of teen girls in a predatory or creepy way. But I do think that he handled this situation poorly, and the way all these other authors leapt to his defense against a teen girl--who simply stated that she personally finds him creepy in the same way she would find a "cool dad" who wants to hang out with his daughter's friends creepy--was shitty. I see criticism of JG on Tumblr occasionally (sometimes along the same "creepster" lines, or with feelings that he can be paternalistic), so I know that he must generally ignore it. He should have done that in this case too. There were no direct accusations, he was not tagged in her post, there was no reason to respond and let loose the attack dogs on this girl.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  RiverThames on Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:58 pm

That article is missing the part where many, many other people tagged that post and tagged JG in it saying, literally, "lets get this enough notes so he has to address it and try to defend himself lmao". THAT was what he responded to. His response was still heavy-handed, but given that, it wasn't entirely unwarranted.

I'm a little put off by this because a whole mess of people dogpiled on Chuck Wendig for having the temerity to retweet someone else's message on this.
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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  Arabella on Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:58 pm

Yes, the Buzzfeed take on the controversy leads with that part of the story.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  inversed on Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:25 am

That is the controversy I was referring to. I saw it on Buzzfeed. Thanks for your thoughts yall!

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  ulkis on Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:09 pm

I wonder if the Queen's Thief series is going to have another book? I thought so but maybe not. Megan Whalen Turner may be worse than GRRM, heh.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  big chicken on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:15 pm

Stephenie Meyers has a new Twilight book! It is a gender swapped version of the original book. I'm starting to suspect Meyers likes to watch the Internet burn.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  ulkis on Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:47 pm

big chicken wrote:Stephenie Meyers has a new Twilight book!  It is a gender swapped version of the original book.  I'm starting to suspect Meyers likes to watch the Internet burn.

For real? Okey dokey then.

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Re: Young Adult Literature

Post  killershrew on Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:49 pm

I'm not 100% sure this goes here, but it was the best fit I could identify: I'm looking for some interesting book options for my 12-year-old daughter. I'm specifically wondering if "The Rookie Yearbook" series is appropriate for a girl her age or if she should be a little older to read it. I've seen mixed reviews on this issue. Thoughts?
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Re: Young Adult Literature

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