Discussion: “Contemporary YA is dead.” Really?

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Some of you might have heard of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. You know, that book that’s been on the NYT Bestsellers list for 10 weeks now. Which got a movie deal before the book was even released. Or, what about Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited which debuted on the IndieBound Besteller’s list. Now take a look at the rest of the Young Adult NYT Bestsellers list. Yeah, that’s right. Contemporary YA dominate. Continue reading “Discussion: “Contemporary YA is dead.” Really?”

Discussion: Feminism, YA, and the ‘strong female character’

katniss-everdeen-catching-fire-wallpaper-1050x656Everyone in the YA community has heard the phrase, and probably even used it at some point, ‘strong female character’. Typically used more often when describing female characters from the fantasy or dystopia genre. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with using this phrase, but I’ve grown to dislike it somewhat. To me, people often use it to describe female characters that are physically strong, who kick-ass, and often have more ‘masculine traits’, rather than ‘soft’ or ‘feminine traits’. I know many women around me who are physically strong, but who are also kind, compassionate, and affectionate. I know women who are not physically strong but are still brilliant women. Why is it only female characters who have ‘masculine’ traits – who are warriors or assassins – gain the title of being strong and admired for it? Continue reading “Discussion: Feminism, YA, and the ‘strong female character’”

Discussion: Twins in Literature

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What do you think of when someone mentions twins in fiction? Is it something creepy and sinister? Is it twins impersonating one another? Is it the twins from The Shining by Stephen King, or is it Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter?

Well, as twins ourselves, these two books fall into two different categories that we dislike in books that feature twins (books that feature twins tend to fall into these obvious stereotypes). Namely, twin’s being featured as something creepy or supernatural in order to scare the reader, or one twin dies for shock value (do not get me started on how many books feature one twin dying).  Continue reading “Discussion: Twins in Literature”