ya dystopias

  • Person: what's so great about YA dystopian novels anyway
  • Me: *clears throat*
  • Me: *shifts scene into meeting room*
  • Me: *hands out excepts from books as well as copies of books*
  • Me: *cues powerpoint presentation with laser pointer*
  • Me: *rips off sweatshirt to reveal a dauntless tshirt*
  • Me: *rolls up pants to reveal peeta mellark socks*
  • Me: *shuffles notecards*
  • Me: Well,

Can you imagine a Dystopian YA novel where there is no pre-existing totalitarian government. Where there is no nuclear war that wiped everything out and the descendants are forced to live in a dangerous urban radiation filled landscape. Where there is no class system based government that separates people based on personality traits.  

Instead, imagine a novel that starts off with the world slowly descending into madness. Where governments across the world are collapsing and pure anarchy is running wild. Where there is no laws or structures at all, and its pretty much a free for all. 

And instead of a plucky main character who is the ultimate chosen one and is destined to overthrow the system, there is just a bunch of street kids. 

Street kids who grew up in this lawless world and witnessed countless atrocities. Street kids who are becoming fed up with this survival of the fittest bullshit and set off on a journey to change everything. 

Street kids, who everybody thought would amount to nothing, begin to plan and establish a new government.  A tougher, militarized government, one that restricts people because at this point people are acting more like feral savages. The street kids gain followers and establish their version of a proper society, one with laws and harsh punishment. The street kids mold their chaotic and violent world into a neater and ordered one. And throughout the years, the government seems to be working. And if people are protesting about their lack of rights, well hey what can you do about it? After all it is for the greater good. And the street kids rule with a iron fist, until years later a plucky brunette heroine dares to challenge them and leads a revolution that sends their hard work crashing down.  

And as they stand in the rubble of their established society, with nooses around their necks, and the shouts of relief and happiness from the people who are elated to see the brutal dictators executed for all their crimes against humanity. The street kids make eye contact with the elated heroine who is basking in the glow of the rebellion. And the street kids are no longer kids but adults who only wanted to make a better world. And they tell the heroine to enjoy the praise and the power for now because it won’t be too long before some one else comes along and destroys everything with one touch. 

Can you imagine a Dystopian YA novel that fully reveals the origins of a government and it’s founders.  

ibookbuddies  asked:

hi can you please explain the drama going on in the booklr community? with the white cis male author that got a movie deal? I haven't heard abut anything about this???

Yesterday, Publisher’s Weekly (a huge book news site) posted an article written by Sue Corbett about Scott Bergstrom‘s book called The CrueltyLink.

The headline reads: “YA Debut Gets Six-Figure Deal, Sold to 16 Territories and Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean)” and you think, oh my goodness, good for him, his book took off after being picked up and it’s a huge deal.

The articles writer, Sue Corbett, descibes the books as “Bergstrom’s heroine is Gwendolyn Bloom, a Jewish, slightly overweight 17-year-old, who is transformed into a “lean warrior with hair dyed fire-engine red,” during her mission to rescue her father, a kidnapped diplomat. Her search takes her into Europe’s most dangerous slums, and into contact with gangsters, spies, and arms dealers.”

You can probably already hear several alarm bells. For one it sounds like the plot of all three Taken movies -  plus several other people pointed out it sounds exactly like The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. For some reason, Ms. Corbett makes a giant negative connotation on both overweight (and some people say Jewish as well) to a positive “lean warrior” and for some reason red hair is also an important part of the heroines development. Because of course overweight girls can’t rescue their fathers - they have to completely physically transform themselves in order to become truly kick-ass.

Then it gets worse when Scott Begstrom says “The morality of the book is more complicated than a lot of YA so I wanted to try doing it on my own,” Bergstrom said. “In a lot of YA, the conflict takes place inside a walled garden, set up by outside adult forces. If you think of those stories as a metaphor for high school, they start to make a lot more sense, but that was one thing I wanted to depart from.” 

Bergstrom disses both the YA genre writers and his primary audience - which is primarily women and girls. Not only that, but he sounds like he’s literally never read a YA book in his life, let alone have any business writing one. This was I think the primary spark that caused the firestorm on twitter.

Then the article praises the story as being revolutionary and outstanding, basically the next best thing that happened to YA. So when white man writes a YA book about a hyper-violent teenage heroine people say it’s morally ambiguous instead of being a high-school metaphor– he’s revolutionizing the genre, gets a six figure book deal, sells to 16 countries, and a movie deal with the Pirates of Caribbean director.  Meanwhile, all the female authors who’ve literally created and up-kept YA for decades are still dismissed and side-lined and deemed unimportant and are constantly forced to defend their work and prove it’s worth simply because they are women.

The article finishes with Scott’s agent Tracy Adams  “thought that Gwen would get a lot of leeway from readers because of her mission’s goal. “She’s going to do whatever it takes to save her dad and that was good enough for me,” Adams said. “Kicking butt to save your dad is actually a lot easier for me to swallow than kids killing kids in The Hunger Games.”

Can you believe that this woman basically dismisses one of the most important YA novels of our decade by trivializing it? Literally what she’s saying is “the violence is our book is more palatable that the violence you’ll see in that one really popular YA… you might have heard of it”

So as you can tell, this got a lot of people - authors, readers, and bloggers very angry. Not even because of this instant, but because this shit happens all the time, and women writers are tired of being side-lined every single time a white man decides that he’s better at doing what women have been doing their entire lives while he haven’t even bothered to learn anything about the subject.

Kayla Whaley @PunkinOnWheels on twitter created the #MorallyComplicatedYA hastag on twitter in response so that people could not only respond to this but also give recommendations about morally complicated YA novels that already exist. 

I’ve also heard that people have read excerpts from the book ( @buttermybooks and @ladybookmad and @cresdarnels) have told me that this guy basically created a “I’m better than those other females” character and basically bashes the YA dystopias that already exist and their readers.

At this point, I’m not really angry with Bergstrom but with the publishers, who clearly decided that this guy - a debut author- is worth a six figure deal, rights in 16 territories, and a movie deal with a basic plot like “fat Jewish girl gets lean and red-haired when her diplomat father goes missing and she has to go to Europe to rescue him while beating up and meeting up bad guys”.

They’re showing us what they think they find valuable while ignoring the fact that this guy is literally insulting not only to the genre but the readers who love it as well.

Every YA Trilogy Ever
  • <p> <b><p></b> <b><p></b> <b>Book 1:</b> I am different. I am special. I am the rebellion's secret weapon.<p/><b>Book 2:</b> ooo I am such a rEbeL I'm going to rebel AGAINST the rebellion<p/><b>Book 3:</b> a couple good people died but we still saved the world nbd <p/></p><p/></p><p/></p>
5

So I’m re-reading the matched trilogy and in my mind while reading the books I never imagine Ky as a white teenage boy to me he was either black or an ambiguous person of color, so to have that confirmed (again for others and first time for me) that he is in fact a mixed man of color was a pleasant surprise. If they ever adapt the books into film I hope casting directors take that into account.