Bookish News

2019 Locus Award Winners and Other Bookish News

Missed this series? Don’t worry, I’ve got lots of bookish news to share this week!

-The 2019 Locus Award Winners have been announced! Click here to see the list.

9 New Books coming out in July.

Elizabeth Acevedo wins the Carnegie Medal, becomes the first writer of color to win the award. Acevedo is Dominican-American and won for her children’s book, The Poet X.

-Fresh off the rave reviews for Good Omens, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman stories are also set to become a TV series. Here are all the details.

Joy Harjo named Poet Laureate, becomes first Native American to hold the title.

-Something to look forward to in 2020: we’re getting a Hunger Games prequel novel. Check out the details here.

-And just for fun: what your favorite beach read says about you.

Fiction, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is top ten favorite kick-ass heroines. This one was super fun.

1. Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

-“She hates men who hate women”.

2. Gemma Doyle  (A Great and Terrible Beauty)

-I loved this entire series, but Gemma made it awesome.

3. Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter)

-Being smart never looked so awesome.

4. Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)

-My favorite female GOT character.

5. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)

-An obvious choice.

6. Susan Fletcher (Digital Fortress)

-Superhot and supersmart heroine who saves herself.

7. Lyra Belacqua (Golden Compass)

-Lyra starts out kind of annoying, but grows into an awesome character.

8. Reed Brennan (Privilege)

-Reed can’t ever catch a break, but she keeps on truckin’.

9. Tally Youngblood (Uglies)

-Tally really made this series for me.

10. Astrid (Gone)

-Astrid doesn’t take shit from anybody.

Dystopian, Fiction, Reviews, Young Adult

Matched

Matched by Allie Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I finally got around to reading this book.

Why the hell did I wait so long?!

This was on my spring break TBR list.

It’s now October.

*sigh*

Anyway.

Matched was fantastic. It’s been awhile since I’ve been so taken with a YA book. Some people hate that the Hunger Games have made dystopia novels an “in” thing. But I love it. I love dystopias. I’m glad there are now so many for me to read. I remember when all I really had was 1984 and Brave New World. Somehow, I’ve still never gotten around to reading Utopia by Thomas More. But now, I have so many books to read!

Condie’s novel is the true successor to 1984 and Brave New World. This is a straight dystopia, born of a society that dictates every instance of its citizens lives. As in Orwell’s novel, the trappings of culture (art, music, poetry) are virtually outlawed, except for One Hundred of each that were selected to be saved. In an effort to promote equality, the citizens routinely find that the rules shift and new things become outlawed. The heroine, Cassia, seems to find these things arbitrary. In the least spoiler detail, the Society one day decides to cut down all the Cottonwood trees.

One theme of the novel that comes up in different ways, explicitly and not so explicitly is this: “You don’t mess with other people’s lives”. Which is exactly what the Society does. To everyone, but especially to Ky and Cassia. This theme, while very evident in this society, is as pertinent in their world as in ours. People aren’t just things for you to play with. You can’t just mess with their lives because you feel like it.

Matched is the first in a series. While I’m interested in seeing where it goes, I hope that Condie remains true to an idea that really shaped Matched for me. That the love between people can be strong enough to bring down a society. Or at least, I think that’s where she’s going. I loved that the relationship between Ky and Cassia, while a small thing in the grand scheme of their world, is everything. This isn’t Katniss, the leader of a rebellion. These are just two kid who were never supposed to fall in love.

It’s beautiful.

Dystopian, Fiction, Reviews, Series Spotlight, Young Adult

Series Spotlight: The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

At the risk of sounding redundant, I’m going to discuss The Hunger Games. Everyone on Earth is discussing these books. When they’re not discussing Twilight. Not that I’m categorizing, just that the same crowd seems pretty down with both series. But then they like Harry Potter too, so maybe they have more good judgment than bad. (I sense that one day I may have to do a post about Twilight. It’s kind of de rigeuer for a blog about books. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them.)

But we’re talking about Katniss and Gale and Peeta. Let’s just start with the perfection of names- odd enough in their own right, unique amongst literary characters, inappropriate for dogs, and still pronounceable in English. Suzanne Collins, 1.

This is a pretty violent series for young adults. But I’m glad. If there’s anything children need, it’s toughening. Especially the group these books are aimed for. Not all parents may approve (the blood! the gore! the murder! the implied sex!), but then their children are always more grown-up than they want to admit. These books land solidly in the category of dystopian futures. That means the Hunger Games is sharing shelf space with 1984 and Brave New World. Not bad for a contemporary series of young adult novels. Suzanne Collins, 2.

As main characters go, Katniss Everdeen is pretty likeable. I’m not a huge fan of central characters myself. I always find myself drawn to the side characters who steal the show (*cough* Haymitch *cough*). But Katniss is very much aware of her own shortcomings as a human beings. At times, a little too aware. But not like she has much else to contemplate. Her life fairly sucks all around. I particularly enjoyed Katniss in the third book. Her demons, frailties, and guilt all contribute to making her tough as Tungsten. Suzanne Collins, 3.

I have high hopes for the upcoming films. It has to be better than the Twilight films. It has to. If it’s not, I’m going to stand back and let my writing major and film studies minor work it out in a cage fight.