• Me: You’re so cute. Just so cute. *cup fictional character’s face with my hands* You must be protected at all costs.
  • Fictional character: ...I’m a trained assassin.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

  • <p> <b>Adult Fiction:</b> "I'm a Sad Woman who can't remember the last time I was happy. My husband doesn't satisfy me and I'm constantly searching for something Else™ to give my life meaning."<p/><b>YA Fiction:</b> "I'm an Angsty Teen with a Mission I didn't ask for, but I will find a way to survive it and givE MY OWN LIFE MEANING."<p/><b>Adult Fiction:</b> "Sad: It's 'happy' for deep people."<p/><b>YA Fiction:</b> "Somehow she managed to smile and laugh, despite all that had been done to her."<p/><b>Adult Fiction:</b> 300 pages long - dragging, how can there be that much left?<p/><b>YA Fiction:</b> 750 pages long - YES, good, no wait... EVEN MORE PLEASE!<p/><b>Adult Fiction:</b> Welp, our audience is basically halfway to death anyway, so the moral is: Just try to stay alive until it's time to die.<p/><b>YA Fiction:</b> Hey there, we know everything sucks, but you're not the only one feeling that way. Find your people, keep your fire going, fight your way out! Make a better world!<p/></p>

Why is it that when we’re complaining about the homogeneity of the YA adventure genre, it’s always framed in terms of stories about A Very Special White Girl And Her Mysterious Brooding Boyfriend? I mean, yeah, that’s a thing, but it’s vastly outnumbered by stories about A Very Special White Boy And His Nonthreateningly Quirky Girlfriend. Like, why are we singling out the girl as emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the genre?

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?
—  J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • me: FUCK THIS STUPID FUCKING BOOK FUCK THESE CHARACTERS MAKING ME FEEL THESE FUCKING EMOTIONS WITH THEIR NONEXISTENT ASSES THEY KEEP DYING OR GETTING KIDNAPPED OR BREAKING DOWN AND THEN THE FUCKING BOOK ENDS ON A FUCKING CLIFFHANGER AND I HAVE TO WAIT A FUCKING YEAR TO GET WRAPPED UP IN THIS SHIT AGAIN MOTHERFUCK
  • also me: *pre orders next book*

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book”

I think one of my favorite aspects of the Six of Crows duology is the fact that Kaz and Inej do not end up together.

And that’s not because I don’t ship them.

It’s because Inej, unlike so many YA heroines, isn’t what “heals” Kaz. Her love doesn’t magically fix him or make him a better person. He wants to change for her– he wants to get over his phobia of human touch. He wants her to love him. But it isn’t some overnight happening. He doesn’t suddenly overcome his affliction because of his love for her.

In the end, Kaz is still morally ambiguous, sometimes outright corrupt, and still has severe PTSD trauma.

And while Inej might love Kaz despite those things, she is not willing to lower her worth to accept them in a relationship. “I will have you without your armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

That was one of the most powerful YA heroine lines to her love interest that I’ve ever read. So many fictional girls (and real girls, for that matter) stay in the hopes of fixing a man, of healing his brokenness. Inej wants to heal him, but she understands that she cannot. Only Kaz can heal himself. Only he can want it enough to change. And it won’t be some overnight affair. Wanting to change and actually changing are two entirely different things. Kaz will have to go through agonizing changes if he ever wants to grow.

So far, he has accepted that he is the “demon of the barrel”. He still wants to burn the world down. He is still angry and hurting. He talks about wondering why over the years, with every violent turn his life takes, why his phobia has only gotten worse. It’s because he’s let himself rot in it. He’s stripped any and all goodness in the world down to the barest threads.

That’s why he is not ready for Inej. Inej, who might have her own issues and flaws, but who still has hope for a better world. Who is still willing to fight for it.

It’s not Kaz’s inability to touch her that she wants him to work on. It’s his mindset. His finality in the evil in his heart and his acceptance of it. He will never get over his phobia until he can understand goodness, the goodness of touch, the goodness of man.

And Inej will not accept him while he still holds on to that armor of hatred. And I think that is beautiful. It is healthy. It shows a level of self-respect that is often sadly absent from our fiction today.