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Appropriate Responses To Give Someone When They Tell You That You’re Too Old To Read YA (and yes, I probably should have picked a shorter title)

Okay folks, buckle down (or is it buckle up?) because we’re going down snarky lane. Today I will arm you all with a variety of appropriate responses to give someone when they tell you that you’re too old* to read YA (and yes, I probably should have picked a shorter title).

Don’t you think you’re a little old…

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Shouldn’t you read more adult…

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I really think…

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YA doesn’t even have any smut…

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I think you should really read books meant for your own age…

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How can you even relate…

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Well, I don’t read YA…

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I just can’t believe that you read…

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Wow, you’re kind of rude…

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Have you ever been told that you’re too old to read YA? If so, what are some of your favorite responses to give them?

 

*You are never too old to read YA or to read middle grade or to read children’s books. You’re never too old to read what you want.

BOOK OR MOVIE: Gone Girl

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This is a new segment in which I discuss which version I liked better: the book or the movie’s adaptation of that book. This week I will examine Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

GONE GIRL The Theatrical Trailer (x)

GONE GIRL Synopsis:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

WINNER:

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WHY:

Okay, I can’t decide. The book is great. The movie is great. It is one of the most accurate book to film adaptations I’ve seen (and at 422 pages, that’s hard to do!). So…both?

VERDICT: 

I read the book and then saw the film and I am so glad that I did that. The book makes you wait in suspense longer than the film does, so depending on your taste that could be a good or bad thing. If you prefer reading, then the book is for you. If you prefer movies, then film all the way. If you love both then read the book before you see the movie!

 

*I apologize for my C-grade shitty clipart images on this post. I will (hopefully) be getting some real photo editing software rather than using word *insert laugh/crying emoji here*

**Did you prefer the book or the movie?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

Book Review: Winter

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Book: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 824
Rating: ★★★★ (4.5/5)
Synopsis:

     Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

     The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite young adult series. Now I know that you’re probably wondering how a series with consistent 4 star ratings can be one of my favorites. The thing is, 4 stars is a good rating from me. It is hard to keep me super excited about a series of books, and Marissa Meyer was able to keep me interested the whole time.

      Winter is action packed and high risked. For a quick refresher of what happened in Cress, Scarlet (after being tortured for weeks by a demon child and being forced to chop off her own finger) is being kept captive by Levana and is now one of Winter’s “pets.” Winter tells Scarlet that she doesn’t use her gift and therefore is going crazy. Speaking of crazy, Wolf is going insane with tension wanting to be reunited with his alpha-mate, Scarlet. Thorne lost his eyesight, but Dr. Eland gave him some drops to help cure it. Dr. Eland contracted letumosis and died shortly after admitting that he was Cress’ father. Cress joined the crew and they all kidnapped Kai. Also, Jacin kind of turned the crew into Sybil who Cinder tortured to insanity. And those are just the highlights from Cress.

     Winter is packed with even more insanity and characters. Loosely based on the story of Snow White, Meyer created a captivating tale about friendship, survival, and trust. I loved all the new characters as well as the old characters we’ve come to know and love.

     Meyer is able to write a series with a diverse cast who aren’t all cookie-cutter images of each other. Each has a distinct personality with various hopes, dreams, ambitions, and fears. And Thorne is still sarcastic and flirtatious as ever.

     I’m not going to lie, I saw a lot of parallels to Fairest in this book. Which makes Levana’s rule so terrible. Other characters have experienced similar things (burning alive, hopeless infatuation, falling for their guard), but yet they didn’t turn out quite so evil.

     Overall, it was a nice conclusion to the series and I’m sad to let these characters go. I’m not ready yet for this series to end!

Some of my favorite quotes:

Page 55:

  • Cress: Is there anything else you need?
  • Wolf: For time to move faster.
  • Cress: I meant more like…food, or something.

Pages 78-79:

  • Wolf: She shot me in the arm once.
  • Narrator: This confession was said with as much tenderness as if Scarlet had given him a bouquet of wildflowers rather than s bullet wound.

Page 80:

  • Kai: They’re incredibly rare. What is it doing here?
  • Cinder: I’m pretty sure Thorne stole it.
  • Kai: Ah. Of course.

 

***TRIGGER WARNINGS: mind control, forced suicide, war, mentions of R, death, murder, imprisonment

I Wish YA Had More Of…

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I love YA. I love the fast-pacing, the quick banter, the important messages, the self-discovery, the adventure. But with no much to love about YA, there are some things I wish YA had more of…

People with food allergies/intolerances

I’ve had friends with severe food allergies. I myself have a large list of foods I can’t eat without breaking out in hives. I’m tired of seeing characters who can eat whatever the hell they want. Or even worse, seeing a the one lone character with a food allergy who then dies because of it. No. JUST NO. I love the diversity kick everyone has been on lately, but it needs to extend even further.

People with STIs

1 in 4 teens contract an STI EVERY YEAR. And no one is talking about it (besides the super anti-premarital sex people). I’ve only ever read one book where a character got an STI and that was from r*pe. Most teens get these from consensual sex. YA books should discuss safe sex and  STIs. Television shows like How To Get Away With Murder show the severity of STIs, the stigma that goes along with it, and still treats is characters with respect. That’s what I want in YA books. Talk about it. Most people don’t hear about these things outside of health class because it’s taboo to talk about. YA can open the floor for all teens to feel accepted.

People who fail. Repeatedly.

I want to read a book where the MC constantly makes mistakes and doubts themselves. I don’t want to read about the same mistake the MC makes over and over again. I want them to fail and then learn from it. Failure is apart of life, it’s who you are after you make a mistake that defines you.

People with disabilities portrayed correctly.

Basically, if it’s not #ownvoices then do your research. Harmful rep is worse than no rep. People want to see themselves represented, but not if it’s harmful. Don’t make things worse. Hire sensitivity readers, but do your research before hand. These people are risking their own mental health to try to prevent harmful material from reaching others. Treat these readers with respect.

POCs in fantasy/science fiction.

Sabaa Tahir, Malinda Lo, and Marie Lu do a great job of this, but I WANT MORE. I love fantasy, and I’m tired of seeing only white/ambiguously described MCs. There is no reason to have so many white people in fantasy books. Even worse, I keep seeing people described as tanchestnut, etc. skin as the slaves in these books and the lighter skins tones as the masters. Yuck.

Healthy relationships.

People start reading YA books at a variety of ages. I know I started reading YA books around the age of eight. They were my first exposure to mature topics including drinking, sex, dating etc. YA books were my first exposure to non-familial relationships. So even though my parents have a healthy relationship, I thought that guys treating girls like dirt, no meaning yes, stalking, etc. was all normal in a teen relationship. My eight year old brain though that stuff was normal. It’s not. YA needs more healthy relationships.

LGBTQ folks. Especially minorities within these groups.

This is something I’ve been seeing more and more lately and it’s great. But I want to see the minority LGBTQ folks too. I want to see nonbinary folks and asexual and aromantic folks too. I want them to be cannon. I want it to be explicit. Don’t queerbait. Don’t make me guess. Don’t come out after the book was released and say Oh, well [insert character’s name here] was actually [insert sexuality/gender identity here] the whole timeUm, bitch please. So many teens need to see that their feelings are valid. Don’t make them guess. Give them representation.

Periods.

WHY DOES NO ONE WORRY ABOUT TAMPONS!?!?! Oh, it’s the apocalypse and I’m on the run, let me grab my cellphone even though there is NO CELL SERVICE and a can of tuna but leave behind my tampons AND toilet paper. Uh, yeah, no. I can count on one hand the amount of times periods are mentioned in YA books. Or, actually, just books in general. I’ll read about teens leave to go trek a few months in the forest and not mention tampons, pads, rags, leaves, etc. Normalize this shit. People bleed.

Less Parties.

Seriously. Where the fuck were these parties when I was in school!?!?! Okay, lots of teens had small gatherings with friends and smoked weed and/or broke into their parents’ liquor cabinet, but I never heard nor saw any wild ragers that are always in teen books. Literally. Where!?! Even my friends from other Unis are all like Uh, no. We didn’t have those either… Like, there are other things to do in high school than party. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being picky.

 

What are some things you wish YA had more of?

 

Book Review: Fairest

Book: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 220
Rating: ★★ (2/5)
Synopsis:

     In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
     Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told … until now.
     Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

     I was really excited to start reading Fairest. I love what I’ve read of The Lunar Chronicles so far and I was really looking forward to reading Queen Levana’s origin story. Fairest spans over ten years in a book that is barely over 200 pages. This left a lot of gaps in the plot.

Fairest is my least favorite story in The Lunar Chronicles. Although it does a nice job of showing how completely crazy Levana and her sister are, the overall storyline and writing are weak. But it is interesting to read about how the other characters we know of in the series are mentioned subtly throughout the book.

This novella isn’t necessary to The Lunar Chronicles, so if you can’t obtain or afford Fairest you won’t miss out on much.

***TRIGGER WARNINGS: burning alive, abuse, mind control (general and sexual), R

BOOK OR MOVIE: The Great Gatsby

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This is a new segment in which I discuss which version I liked better: the book or the movie’s adaptation of that book. This week I will examine The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

THE GREAT GATSBY The Theatrical Trailer (x)

 

THE GREAT GATSBY Synopsis:

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

WINNER:

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WHY:

The Great Gatsby movie might just be the most accurate book to film adaption I’ve seen (and seeing as the book is less than 200 pages it should). Okay, um, well first, there is LEO. Second watch the freaking trailer. Third, GREAT soundtrack. Fourth, I wasn’t bored to death watching the film like I was reading the book. Also, the film is great for in case you forgot to read the book for your quiz tomorrow.

VERDICT: 

The film is a more entertaining version of the book. So read the book then watch the film or vice versa, it doesn’t really matter to me. But the film is a must if you want to get ANY Gatsby in your life.

 

*I apologize for my C-grade shitty clipart images on this post. I will (hopefully) be getting some real photo editing software rather than using word *insert laugh/crying emoji here*

**Did you prefer the book or the movie?

Leave your answers in the comments below!

Book Review: Cress

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Book: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 560
Rating: ★★★★ (4.5/5)
Synopsis:

    In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has. 

    Hands down this is the best book of the series so far. Whereas Cinder and Scarlet were merely just pleasurable reads, Cress blew the two previous books out of the water. Although, if I’m being honest, Cress is my least favorite character of the series thus far. However, she was held captive in a satellite for 7 years, so her social awkwardness and whininess isn’t entirely her fault.

There are a lot of characters in this book and a lot of various plots occurring at the same time. And yet, Meyer is able to keep the book organized and give appropriate attention to each subplot and main character. In this book, readers get to see a variety of points of view from characters including Cress, Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, Kai, Dr. Erland, Iko, Queen Levana, and Sybil.

In this book, there were plot twists that actually surprised me. Granted, I still predicted a lot of the twists, but Meyer managed to shock me this time. This book also manages to be the darkest of the three books. You may ask yourself, “How can it get any darker than wolf-men tearing people apart in Scarlet?” Well, I’ll refrain from spoilers, but let’s just say Queen Levana is still an evil bitch.

This book definitely had a bit more action that the previous two and I would say that it strayed the furthest from its original fairytale (called Rapunzel), but in doing so, it helped The Lunar Chronicles take its shortest detour from the series main plot. Let me just say that I loved Thorne’s banter in this book. He had me laughing so hard that my sides were hurting at times.

I also enjoyed the hints about Winter at the end of Cress and am excited to read more about her in the book titled (you guessed it) Winter.

***TRIGGER WARNINGS: mind control, human trafficking, forced suicide, forced servitude, kidnapping, torture, death, murder

If You Like Mistborn: The Final Empire then try…

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Mistborn: The Final Empire

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a ghost that walks through walls. Half the city believes him to be a legendary champion of the poor. The other half believe him to be a foolish myth. Nobody has it quite right.

Slightly built, unlucky in love, and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. He certainly didn’t invite the rumors that swirl around his exploits, which are actually confidence games of the most intricate sort. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else, pray tell, would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny of it. All of Locke’s gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves, the Gentlemen Bastards.

Locke and company are con artists in an age where con artistry, as we understand it, is a new and unknown style of crime. The less attention anyone pays to them, the better! But a deadly mystery has begun to haunt the ancient city of Camorr, and a clandestine war is threatening to tear the city’s underworld, the only home the Gentlemen Bastards have ever known, to bloody shreds. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends will find both their loyalty and their ingenuity tested to the breaking point as they struggle to stay alive…

Book Review: Scarlet

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Book: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 464
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
Synopsis:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

     I am so mad at myself. Why didn’t I decide to read The Lunar Chronicles sooner!?!?! THE BOOKS ARE SO GOOD!!!!! Seriously.

     Cinder left off with Cinder being arrested for treason, resisting arrest, unlawful use of bioelectricity, and illegal immigration. Oh, and then there was the little bombshell that Cinder is actually Princess Selene. Scarlet picks up with another main character whose name is, you guessed it, Scarlet! Scarlet is on the hunt for her missing grandmother who, according to police, either ran away or killed herself whereas Scarlet believes she was kidnapped. Scarlet follows the story of Scarlet teaming up with Wolf (a street fighter), Cinder trying to escape from prison (and her funny companions), and Emperor Kai in his conflicted battle of catching Cinder. Loosely based on the infamous tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Meyer puts a refreshing spin on the popular children’s story.

     Similar to Cinder the plot twists in Scarlet weren’t really much of a “twist.” I was able to guess nearly every twist and turn in the book. But yet, Meyer writes in such a way that left me eager and intrigued the whole time. Meyer writes compelling characters who have great chemistry between each other. I enjoyed reading playful banter and liked Thorne’s flirtatious yet platonic jests with the other characters in the book.

     Although Scarlet fell into some popular tropes (MC running recklessly into danger trying to save day but causing more trouble than if MC just stayed on the sidelines, some instant love, and other MC does everything in MC’s power to not become royalty), I am still very eager to read the next book in the series.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Page 55:

Thorne: I don’t like to think of it as ‘stolen.’ They have no proof that I didn’t plan on giving it back.
Cinder: You’re kidding right?
Thorne: You have no proof either.
Cinder: Were you planning on giving it back?
Thorne: Maybe.

Page 56:

Cinder: *removes Thorne’s tracking chip*
Thorne: Is it just me, or is this a big moment in our relationship?

Page 89:

Thorne: A captain always knows where his ship is. It’s like a psychic bond.
Cinder: If only we had a captain here.

Page 107:

Thorne: We’re having another moment, aren’t we?
Cinder: If by a moment, you men me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.

***TRIGGER WARNINGS: mind control, kidnapping, forced kissing, imprisonment, dog attack (sort of), attempted drowning, torture, murder, death

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