ya-literature

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?

reasons to read the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue:

  • it’s the queer historical road trip novel you never realised you needed
  • the friends-to-lovers trope! the sharing-a-bed trope!! the mutual pining trope!!! the everyone-knows-their-feelings-are-reciprocated-except-for-them trope!!!!
  • basically monty and percy are the cutest and i can 100% guarantee they’re going to be everyone’s new otp
  • a super smart, no-nonsense girl who is basically the embodiment of a slytherclaw (and also seems very aroace after deciding that kissing isn’t really her thing)
  • main characters with disabilities! incl. a disabled love interest who adamantly doesn’t want a cure-all, and whose disability doesn’t make him any less desirable
  • comically inept and lovable pirates
  • tl;dr: a historical novel that acknowledges that queer people, disabled people and people of colour have always existed and puts them front and centre, while acknowledging the hardships they faced
  • also ALL YOUR FAVES LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Today is the book birthday of an amazing book that I’ve been waiting for for a long time. 

Angie Thomas’s Black Lives Matter-inspired novel The Hate U Give came out in the US today. Look, this book was so amazing that at least THIRTEEN different publishing houses fought to get their hands on it and it was optioned before it was published (the film, starring problematic young’n Amandla Stenberg, will be out at some point within the next year or so). 

I bought two copies of this book: one for me and one for my 13 year old niece who is trying to be active in talking about social justice in the things she loves and literally begged for a copy of T.H.U.G. when I read her the summary. 

I follow Angie on twitter and I am a HUGE fan! She’s amazing and badass. I just can’t wait to read the book that has everyone in the publishing world talking. T.H.U.G. already has high accolades from multiple major review platforms on top of hitting the top of best seller charts. Oh my gosh!

Now, to get you excited, here’s the summary from Amazon:

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

If you’re interested in this AMAZING book, you can head over to Amazon to pick up a copy right now! 

2

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I had a feeling the Summoning wasn’t really meant to be cast alone: as if truth didn’t mean anything without someone to share it with; you could shout truth into the air forever, and spend your life doing it, if someone didn’t come and listen.

Motion to tone down the “I am the heroine of this YA Fantasy Novel and therefore I hate / do not understand makeup and will only wear a dress when forced” thing. Like excuse me but you can bet that if I’m trying to take down a corrupt monarchy alongside a bunch of elves I will be wearing my maroon lipstick because it takes 4 seconds to apply and if I were an evil goblin king and someone came at me with maroon lipstick and two swords I wouldn’t be running I would just be gone.

2

top ten books i read in 2016

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

“A marriage is a private thing. It has its own wild laws, and secret histories, and savage acts, and what passes between married people is incomprehensible to outsiders. We look terrible to you, and severe, and you see our blood flying, but what we carry between us is hard-won, and we made it just as we wished it to be, just the color, just the shape.”

Reasons to read Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
  • gay
  • awesome plot
  • robots
  • badass old lady in a wheelchair
  • boys obsessed with Shakespeare
  • POC main characters
  • literally starts with a cliffhanger??
  • gAY
  • shakespearian pickup lines
  • main character is the closeted son of an ultra-conservative president and it’s just rlly emotional
  • but lots of cutesy feel-good stuff
  • pining dorks
  • the secret service are p cool
  • GAY ROBOTS
  • the statue of liberty got blown up?
  • the main character is just a huge nerd
  • more ravens
  • why is ya literature so obsessed with ravens????
  • feminism
  • main character’s best friend is just rlly passionate about social justice
  • she may also be kinda emo
  • there’s a plot-twist about the principle at the end and it’s not what u think
  • there’s robots
  • and gays
  • *whispers* gay robots
  • “Hamlet was pretty much the poster boy for clinical depression, right?”
  • GAY BOYS RECITING SHAKESPEARE END ME
  • really realistic look on depression and suicidal thoughts like fuck bro
  • but lots of fluff so that’s good
  • I’m like 83% sure Singh is a lesbian
  • this book will make you question the very concept of free will and i’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not but i couldn’t sleep for like 4 days so
  • did i mention gay boys quoting shakespeare as pick-up lines?
  • cuz that happens

I made a post yesterday that was just like “why are YA titles Like That“ bc holy shit and @owlphallacies left a comment to this effect so like…………….. I had to make this. FIND YOUR YA NOVEL NAME, MINE IS MOONWITCH god this name trend is so dumb (disclaimer: I love YA literature, I select YA books for my library, this is all entirely in jest) and it is hilarious to see how common these edgy mishmash nonexistent compound words are when it comes to book titles.

(so many thanks to @silentunder5mph for brainstorming with me oh my god we came up with some quality fucking titles)

I was on goodreads looking up 2017 ya releases when I saw a book called Wintersong. I read the summary and I feel like everyone in the Labyrinth fandom should read this because HOLY SHIT.

“All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.”

I’m not saying this sounds like a labyrinth fanfiction, but it totally sounds like a labyrinth fanfiction and I am so fucking excited to read this.

YA LIT MEME: Favorite Books/Series [2/10] → The A Court of Thorns And Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

↳“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

9

Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? Why do we feel alone? Why are we sad and confused? Why do we read poetry? Why do we cry when we see a painting? Why is there a riot in the heart when we love? Why do we feel shame? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe    

If you’re in need of a good book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas needs to be in your hands. I’m not even half way though and I’m smitten.

This book is in response to all of the shootings of unarmed black people, the protests and the frustration with our judicial system. This challenges your thinking and puts so many things into perspective.

I wish I could get my parents to read this because the message is well articulated and delivered and it needs to be heard.