Saturday, December 27, 2014

Most Anticipated Books of 2015

It's almost 2015 already. You know what that means... tons of new books to come! I haven't been watching for new releases too much, but here are a few I've heard about that I can't wait to read.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (March 10, 2015)--A girl goes missing and her sister goes looking for her. The disappearance happened on the girl's birthday, though, and it coincided with some other strange disappearance... I'm not quite sure what's going on there, but it's Lauren Oliver (Delirium, Before I Fall, Panic), so I'm excited.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oh, Gender Norms.

Yay for girl characters in YA. I love this trend of fantastic females on the shelves of the young adult sections of bookstores and libraries. But I think I'd love it more if it was a trend of fantastic characters, period.

Okay, fine, maybe male characters aren't getting all this hype because they already had their chance to shine, but share the spotlight, Katniss.

I mean, the problem I have with this is that everyone seems to be so scared that we'll set bad examples for girls if they can't read about a girl who manages to form a revolution, save the world, and still have perfect hair, but no one seems scared that this also sends a message to boys. It says: Girls are powerful and they'll run the world (thanks, Beyoncé), and you won't.

(Not to mention that this picture of females is extremely hard to live up to. We can't all be superwomen. But that's another topic.)

Shouldn't we be going for equality, not just girl-power? Sure, having Prince Charming save Cinderella doesn't help girls' self-esteem. But having Tris save virtually every male character in Divergent can't be good for boys' self-esteem, either.

I've found that stories told from dual perspectives (a la Legend or Dash and Lily's Book of Dares) can help this issue. There's a greater chance of giving each character a fair chance at being powerful. But can books written from one character's perspective ever do the same? There are some fine examples, of course, but I'm hoping for more. What do you think? Is this even an issue, and will it be resolved?

(Sorry for the late and then short post. It's the holidays, though. Have a fantastic holiday and a wonderful New Year.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Best of 2014, Part Two

Last week, I started my "Best of 2014" list (Just a note: the books on that list were not necessarily published in 2014. They were the "Best of My 2014". This installment of the list is going to be all 2014 books). This week, I'm continuing it with the Best Realistic Fiction from 2014.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson--Hayley and her dad, Andy, move from town to town, trying to settle down as he struggles with PTSD from his time in Iraq. This book was really tough to read at times, because it made me ache for Hayley and Andy. But the emotional moments were interspersed with cute, funny moments between Hayley and her friends. I could not put this book down.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Best of 2014, Part One

I was going to just make one "Best of 2014" list, but I couldn't narrow it down. So during the month of December, I'll be breaking down my favorite books into different categories. Let's start with Best New Author--my favorite books I read by an author I'd never read before (In no particular order).

The Originals by Cat Patrick
Three clones try to live their own lives. My introduction to the science-fiction young adult wonder that is Cat Patrick.