Alright, so I don’t really think there’s stuff we’re not meant to know – vive la science! – but a lot of people were talking about aliens (and Monty Python – Twitter, never change), so here are some books about aliens to start knowing some things. Maybe. The truth is out there!
This is a great start for anyone who likes their sci-fi light and lush, with enough cyborgs, psychics, and space travel to satisfy more die-hard fans. Set in futuristic Beijing, this well wrought fairy tale retelling features plague, sisterhood, and a robot who’ll be your favorite character. What more could you want? Crime? Formal wear? A lost foot? All that and more, plus, your book hangover will be delayed for quite a while, because there are several excellent sequels and a delightful graphic novel companion series. And did I mention Cinder is a mechanic? She’s a mechanic. Heart eyes.
Quick question – are you ready to suffer? This is a good book, maybe even a great one, but it’s going to break your entire heart and not even be sorry. Two strangers, the only survivors of a massive spaceliner crash, try to find their way across an alien landscape to the ship’s wreckage and hope of rescue. An unlikely pair, an heiress and a former soldier must work together not only to survive harsh conditions on dwindling hope, but to discover the secrets of this planet, long hidden, and more lovely and terrible than they could have imagined. Like I said, this one’ll hurt, but read it anyway. It’s earned.
Confession; this one’s from my TBR. But it’s at the top of the list! Brutal, large scale war against terrifying aliens, an intergalactic university, and the terrible pull of leaving the Earth behind. Clocking in at under a hundred pages, this is definitely a quick read, but don’t worry about being abandoned – it’s the first of three novellas. Plus, we always, always stan a heroine who’s good at math. Isn’t that the dream? Be good at math, and risk death to go to space school? Don’t boo me, I’m right.
For another spooky article this spooky season, I wanted to share some thoughts on one of my favorite horror novels of all time Carrie by Stephen King. She deserved so much more and Carrie is an example of villains who should get more sympathy.
Image Via Go Into The Story – The Black List
Her mother was extremely religious, and abusive towards her daughter. She punishes Carrie for getting her period. Her period turned her into a woman which tainted her in some way to her mom. We can look at these points of exaggeration for Catholicism or Christianity as a critique and how it can be damaging to those who follow it and those who are forced to learn it and not being able to discover religion for themselves.
Then at her high school her peers constantly pick on her for different and who her mom is. She has no one in her corner until the gym teacher steps in and tries to help. But by the end the damage is done. The weight of her mother, the laughing prom goers as they stare at her covered in pig blood is too much, so she snaps. Carrie gives into her power and gets revenge.
Image Via DeviantArt
What I am very proud of Carrie, as a character is how her powers can be linked to her growth as woman and as her own person. Much like Matilda and Harry Potter, her powers come as an aid to her and make her special. But unlike Matilda and harry she doesn’t get a redemption arch or any type of happy ending and she truly deserves one.
You can read anywhere. You can read in your house, on the bus, in a train, on a plane, you can read with the sunset behind you or with a sword fight in front of you.
Image Via NPR
But, using high tech sciencey things, we now know for sure, beyond any reasonable doubt, that these are the top five definite worst places to read.
5-In a burning building
Image Via Practical Eschatology
The building is on fire. Well, time for a good book!
Don’t be that dude. The flames will destroy the pages and it’ll be too hot to properly read. You’ll get light headed. You will burn alive.
Image Via The Guardian
And worst case, the book will burn into ash, and books shouldn’t be burned.
4-On Train Tracks
Don’t do this.
Image Via Time Magazine
There are two problems with this. For one, if you sit down normally then you could be sitting in a dark tunnel. Not good if you want to see what you’re reading without the assistance of a flashlight.
Image Via Aliexpress
But let’s say the tunnel is lit up, like the picture above, or you’re outside, like the picture above that. Well, either way you’re sitting down on a terrain meant for a train that wasn’t meant for you to sit on. Sounds like your bum could be in a lot of pain. And if you lie down, that could hurt your spin. Not good.
ALSO A TRAIN COULD SMASH INTO YOUR FACE!
Picture this: You’re reading a good book. Completely engrossed. Eyes on the book, you don’t see that light coming for you at the end of the tunnel. But you hear it. You try to stand up, but you fall. It’s not so bad, you think, that could be something good. But here’s the thing…
Image Via Decider
“THAT’S NOT HEAVEN, THAT’S THE C TRAIN!”
And now instead of reading, you got hit by a train. Now that just sounds like a pain in the neck…
3-In the ocean
Image Via Video Blocks
You’re underwater with a good book. Pacific ocean, let’s say? Yes, let’s say that.
The ocean is sparkling, glittering. Above you, colorful fish swim around you, dancing about like angels. You look down, but guess what? You can’t read. The water has washed the pages and smeared the ink.
Image Via Tony Evans
Now you have nothing to read while you drown. Life sucks sometimes, don’t it?
Image Via Wired
This seems romantic. Hurdling through the cosmos, a book in your hands, flying with the cosmos to the stars beyond the stars. Your eyes go to that first line and-
Image Via Guardians of the Galaxy
You’re dead now. Wanna know why? Because you can’t breathe in space.
Image Via Skydive Mossel Bay
So you have your favorite book with you, but then a strange man in a red costume tells you to get ready. You put your trust bookmark in (don’t dogtail the page, you monster) and you put it at your side. There’s a parachute on your back. The plane opens up. You’re about to go skydiving.
With the wind whipping your face, you look below and see the ground. It looks like a painting. You take a breath and fall.
This is you, but you have a book in your hand / Image Via Skydive Oz
As you tumble to the ground, you realize this might not ever happen again. You could die. Your blood is drumming through your veins. Your heart is going fast. With adrenaline pumping through you, you could just speed through the lines. When are you going to get another opportunity like this?
You open up your book and start to read. You’re reading fast, so fast, and you read both pages at breakneck speed. You flip the page, but you’re fighting against the wind. This is going to be harder than you think.
With all your might, you flip the page and readjust your hand, but the wind is too much. Not only is the wind literally shredding pages out of the book, but it feels like it could tear the skin off your hand.
The book flies out of your hand. That book cost a lot of money and you need to finish it before you give it back to mother earth. You look to where it’s gone, and you maneuver your body after it.
Image Via Fatherly
The light is harsh against your eyes. You squint, reaching out. But, Ghosh, what is that light? It’s yellow and it’s orange and it’s-!
Image Via Dissolve
A burning building. You can manage this. Reaching down, you grab the book. Yes, you have the book, and you will make this work. See that burning building? What a perfect place to read, you think, having not read this list.
Image Via BBC
You pull the parachute and gently glide into the burning building. But guess what?
Image Via The Guardian
The book will burn into ash, and books shouldn’t be burned.
Featured Image Via INC
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I was a massive fan of Twilight; the books and movies still holds a place in my heart. I thought it be best to talk about this because the very first book was published on October 5, 2005.
Image Via IMDb
When I was younger I was obsessed with these books and I felt they could do nothing wrong but as I got older, I realized Twilight might not have been as good as I remember. My aunt had all of the books and she let me borrow them to read. I finished them so quickly, it kinda felt like a fever dream. I knew what the story was about, I fell in love (however very misguided) with Edward and liked how different the books felt to me.
From a young age I was into pretty macabre things. Like anything Tim Burton or Tim Burton-esque; basically anything considered to be weird. And that bleed into my reading. Anything that involved, vampires, werewolves, witches, I read and Twilight felt more adult in a sense. I suppose it felt that way because I was entering high school and consumed every piece of Twilight media throughout that time.
As an actual adult now, looking back at it, Twilight is pretty problematic. And a lot of the problems come from the characters themselves.
Edward Cullen, as we all know is Bella’s main love interest. He’s brooding, aloof, a hundred and something year old handsome vampire. So of course, he immediately is interesting to Bella. But he’s so closed off because of what he is and her blood calls to him so they can’t be friends. But he throws that away and wants to be with her because she’s not like other girls and he can’t read her mind.
His “over-protectiveness” comes across as completely controlling. And the excuse that he just wanted to protect her, takes away Bella’s agency as a character. Like she needed to be baby sat just because she was clumsy. Even before they started dating, Edward sneaks into her room and watches her sleep. One, that is very stalkerish behavior and he’s a commenting a crime, breaking into her house every night. How I found that romantic I can’t even tell you.
Jacob Black, the werewolf and her best friend, forcibly kisses her even though she has blatantly said that she wants Edward, NOT him. She punches him and because of his werewolf strength she hurts her hand on his face, which in a way punishes Bella for standing up for herself. And her father who is the chief of the police does nothing when he finds out this situation.
Jake like, Edward is horribly overbearing and tries to tell Bella what she should be doing or who she should be with. It’s extremely childish and again gives Bella, no character of her own.
And speaking of Bella’s character, she is so boring. Yes she was just a human in between vampires and werewolves but she could have had a hobby or something. She has a job which is great but we don’t get to see her do a lot outside of the love triangle. When Edward leaves, Bella is basically a zombie then when Jake rejects her friendship after changing into a full fledged werewolf, again for her own protection, nothing happens.
In a way to give her character what she wants more than anything is to get Edward to change her so she could stay with him forever and then to have their first time together. Okay? There’s nothing wrong with that but those are the biggest wants she has when the story is supposed to be centered around her. Up until she gets pregnant and her husband wants to get rid of their child. There is nothing that she wants for herself.
After she gets out of her depressed state, her goals should shift into figuring out how to navigate the world single again. She shouldn’t rebound with Jacob. She should try her best at school and try to hang out with her human friends. We needed more instances of her trying but instead she throws herself head first into her friendship with Jake which then starts to define her like her relationship with Edward did. It’s like once she learns about vampires and werewolves she becomes above her humanity. Her life isn’t horrible, far from it. And is she really ready to leave behind her family and friends? Because it seemed so easy to do so. She’s always ready to throw her humanity away for him.
Jacob stands as an opposition to that, he wants Bella to live a normal human life but with him, that’s the catch. She can still be human, go to college, live normally but with him. Do you see why picking either Team Edward or Team Jacob is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place? And Jacob is supposed to imprint which was basically him finding his soulmate but Bella isn’t that. So just be together until you eventually break her heart? Great plan.
This has been a sad trend in literature pushed to teens and young adults even to younger girls. The likes of The Kissing Booth and Afterwhich are much more recent, show how the main female character lets their relationship define them. After is a little better, I will admit but it still falls victim. They put up with unexceptable behavior and just because their love interest might be bad but has a heart of gold underneath and only the main characters love can change them, its fine.
Image Via Amazon.com
Image Via Cosmopolitan
It’s as if all of these stories are trying to recreate Beauty and The Beast but completely misses the point. Belle, doesn’t change the Beast. He grows and changes on his own. When she makes it clear that she isn’t down with his behavior, he has to learn how to be human again. Sure at first it’s just to woo her because she can possibly be the one to break the spell, but he genuinely learns to respect her space, who she is and wants to gain her friendship and eventually doesn’t care of she is romantically interested in him. He enjoys her company and Belle sees all of his progress and falls for him because of it. Not because of PLOT but because you can see them organically develop feelings for each other.
Bella, Elle (The Kissing Booth) and Tessa (After) have magical ‘you’re not like other girls’ powers and put up with Edward, Noah and Hardin respectively even though they aren’t even close to being good boyfriends or husband. Again, Edward is controlling and can be violent. Noah is controlling, a womanizer and literally starts like three fights. Hardin starts dating Tessa because of a bet, lacks any type of emotional control and smooths everything with a dumb class assignment.
Now, I know that all of these characters are teenagers and in Tessa’s case a freshman in college, so they are young women. Not every choice made to stay in a relationship or things they have let slide in said relationship is the smartest choice. Because as young people we are still learning and growing but it inexcusable to keep getting books like this marketed to women. Not men but women. It trains young women into thinking this way, that it’s okay to put up with this behavior and that it is completely on the women to do the emotional work in the relationship while the men can do what ever they want.
And its kind of a shame because all of these books were written by women.
I know this started about Twilight but I got on a roll and had to get this off of my chest. But Happy Birthday, Twilight, you will always be remembered whether for good or bad.
Matilda was written by Roald Dahl and published in 1998, twenty one years ago today. It’s a pretty depressing book with an evil principle and mean parents but it’s very sweet as well and has some great moments. So here are some sweet quotes to help restore your faith in humanity even if it’s for a little while.
Image Via Quentin Blake
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”
“All the reading she has done had given her a view of life they had never seen.”
“If you are good, life is good.”
“And don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”
“Sometimes Matilda longed for a friend, someone like the kind, courageous people in her books.”