Much like how books can inspire and change people, books can inspire and even change other books, which can very well be indicated solely based on the newer ones’ titles, as if cuing us in on what the new book would be about from this little literary Easter egg!
Oh the Hunger Games. Truly the best of the pack from the dystopian craze, at least in my opinion. It had everything. Fire, social commentary, death, crazy outfits. More movies than you can count. It’s been a while, but I know we’re still hype, and the second Mockingjay movie came out four years ago today, so let’s open some old wounds and have some laughs.
I’m Just Saying
Image via BeFunky
Look. If we were married, we would live in the same place, and therefore we’d have tons of time to work on the project. Just smart thinking, right? The only group project anyone ever wants to do. Yeah, this part of the story was insanely depressing, but don’t we all sometimes feel like we’re tap dancing just a few inches ahead of death? Just me? And if you’re asking someone to marry you in literally any other situation, you need to look happier about it. Just a tip.
Image via iStalker
The Hunger Games didn’t invent killing all your characters and breaking everyone’s hearts. If anything, The Hunger Games was more metal about it, because those books were directed at a younger audience. I mean, maybe younger people thank I think watch GOT, but the audience for this was potentially young. I was a teenager when the last book came out, probably, but imagine reading it and being Prue’s age, younger. Rooting for her. Too soon?
Advice vs. Execution
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If it ain’t me. He’s just lucky he didn’t fall over. I know the act natural trope is crazy overused, but I just can’t be mad when it’s always so funny. As someone who’s never succeeded at seeming unbothered in my life, I can just relate on a really deep level. Sure, I’ve never gotten to the point of wearing a white suit about it, but I did once back into a table and fall over trying to act calm and professional. That might just be a me thing. Peeta does look awkward, though. Maybe because that collar’s clearly stabbing him.
Image via Instagyou
Look, I like to think I’d say to hell with the capital too, but at the same time, cushy job, probably some crazy hats, literally more food than you can eat… Sure, it worked out for him, but he really rolled the dice, didn’t he? For most of the rebellion it was like, hmm, do we fight or do we accept death? They could only profit. Maybe he saw an opportunity, maybe he was just a really good dude deep down, but his character really shows you the limits of first person narrative.
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*air horn sound* Alright, it’s probably not that funny. I just love it when people laugh really hard and I don’t get it like that. Look at the reaction image! Is it that funny to someone? Is it ironic laughter? Either way I’m amused. I also have a bunch of questions about snow. He was basically omnipotent, and he couldn’t make that work for him. For all he seemed clever in the books, I really don’t know how he let himself get killed by an excited crowd. What a fall from grace.
Featured image via QuickMeme
On October 19th, the Boston Book Festival commenced in Copley Square. Rows of tents housing local authors, publishers, and bookstores lined the square, bringing book lovers together on the beautiful Saturday afternoon. Right next door, at the Boston Public Library, several panels from authors and publishers were held all day. In one panel in particular, which they called Warrior Girls, held in the Teen Central section of the library, several authors tackled topics such as what makes their characters warriors, and the challenges they faced in regard to diversity in their books and making sure those stories are told. The panelists were Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy, authors of Once and Future; Charlotte Nicole Davis, author of Good Luck Girls; Rory Power, author of Wilder Girls; and Brittney Morris, author of Slay. The moderator was Monique Harris, a local special education teacher.
The main aspect of the characters that the authors gave to describe them as warriors was the fact that they are, indeed, fighting for something. Whether it be for survival, or to overcome racism in their respective worlds, there is something at stake for all the characters that they have to fight for. In Davis’ debut novel Good Luck Girls, which is inspired by the old west, her two main characters are on the run after one of them accidentally kills a man.
“I guess they’re warrior girls in that this is a world that doesn’t really want them to be free but they’re fighting for that freedom anyway,” Davis said.
The concept of “warrior girls” is one that has grown in popularity in young adult fiction over recent years, seen in titles such as Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and Sarah J. Maas’ two series A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass. However, the inspiration for these authors began way before these titles were even a thought.
“I feel like when I was growing up when YA was blowing up for the first time Harry Potter was just coming to a close, Twilight was right at its peak, and The Hunger Games had just come out, and it’s very interesting to me how those are three very different female protagonists,” Davis said. “Katniss really is a strong, female protagonist in the very literal sense in that she’s a fighter, and you’ve got Hermione who’s really brainy and clever.”
“Ella Enchanted was the very first time I read a book in which the protagonist saves herself and that wasn’t even a concept until I read that,” Morris said. “It was really empowering and I was wanting that in whatever else I read.”
With the concept of “warrior girls” and feminism in these authors’ books comes diversity, not only in terms of race but of sexuality as well. Even though diverse representation is getting better in the publishing world, authors are still faced with some challenges, even within themselves.
“When I was trying to find a book about people who looked like me they were always very heavy suffering books, and those are important, I kind of describe it as eating your vegetables, but it didn’t feel fair that I never had any cake,” Davis said. “So, in writing [Good Luck Girls], I want the characters who don’t usually get to have fun, I want them to have the most fun possible.”
“When I was seventeen, my feeling was ‘I don’t know, not straight, though.’ So, I put that in the book and I realized as I was writing it that queer readers knew exactly what I was talking about, but straight readers did not,” Power said. “I had to learn how to put in these big, neon arrows for the straight reader who was like ‘help me understand’ without feeling like I was pausing the book to give a PowerPoint presentation.”
At the end of the day, young adult fiction is a genre that has a lot of impact on the minds of the readers, especially since they are young and malleable. In addition to writing entertaining, diverse books about warrior girls, these authors also wanted to leave their readers with a newfound message at the end of it all.
“Slay is actually dedicated to everyone who has ever had to minimize who you are to be acknowledgeable to those who aren’t like you. And I chose that dedication very deliberately,” Morris said. “I hope that by the time you get to the end of the book you are sure of who you are, or at least confident in taking the time to decide what that is.”
“If a book is a story about a character it’s for everybody. A book about queer people is for every reader, a book about girls is for every reader,” Capetta said. “I think there’s still that message that is not spoken out loud anymore but is reinforced in a lot of subtle ways that a book about a girl or about a marginalized person is only for that reader, and that’s the person that needs that book.”
In writing these books about warrior girls, it seems that these authors are embodying warriors themselves, combatting racism and genderism through their characters. They have hope for these types of books in the coming years and will continue to write their own stories in order to contribute to the changing dynamics of the young adult genre.
Charlotte’s Web, one of the most iconic works in children’s fiction, is getting a new audiobook! Each beloved character is voiced by a different actor, but perhaps even more exciting than this is the fact that the role of narrator is read by Meryl Streep.
Image via People
Streep is one of the Hollywood’s most revered actresses. Over the course of her career she has been nominated for 21 academy awards, has played titular characters in iconic films like The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia, and has spent the past two years starring in HBO’s Big Little Lies.
Streep certainly doesn’t need the extra work (especially so soon after the premiere of Netflix’s The Laundromat, which has already received 8 award nominations), but we should all be grateful that she decided to put in for the time.
Streep in the late 70’s/Image via Vulture
On top of the privilege of getting to hear Streep’s iconically dulcet tones read one of your favorite childhood stories, this new audiobook will also feature an appreciation written and read by Melissa Sweet. Sweet, a Caldecott Honor winner, is the author and illustrator behind works like A River of Words and You Nest Here With Me.
Plus, fans of the original story can look forward to having their favorite characters brought to life by a full cast. The roles of Charlotte and Wilbur will be played by voice actors January LaVoy and Kirby Heyborne, respectively.
This new audio rendition of Charlotte’s Web will be available for listening this Tuesday, though it’s available for preorder now!
Featured images via People and Variety