This year’s Independent Bookstore Day was moved to August 29th, and even though the majority of this year’s events were virtual, the upside of this was being able to “visit” them from the couch.
Now, if you’re at all like me, then you already know that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the greatest series to ever grace modern television. This layered, genre-bending series about a cheerleader-turned-heroine helped pave the way for a generation of girls who believed that they, themselves, could fight the monsters under the bed; a generation of girls who knew exactly how powerful they were.
Even without the very clear feminist foundation, Buffy had such intense, powerful messages hidden beneath the plot lines of monsters, demons, and vampires. Almost everything was a metaphor for something far more profound. Like when Buffy awakes the morning after finally sleeping with her first love only to discover that he’s not the same kind, loving, soulful person he was just hours before (of course, this has more to do with an ancient gypsy curse than anything else). Then there’s the way Buffy’s own mother kicks her out of the house after she “comes out” as a slayer and her mother fails to understand that it’s just the way she was born and isn’t something she can control. This is the clear sexuality and teenage rebellion embodied within each of the sadistic, wild vampires (like Spike and Drusilla).
Even the different ways mourning is expressed through each character as they cope with the heartbreaking (and ultimately shocking) deaths that occur throughout the series shows something so vulnerable and human. One would say it feels as though you’re mourning alongside them. Buffy was also progressively ahead of it’s time for how openly and realistically it portrayed the lesbian relationship between Buffy’s best friend and sidekick, Willow Rosenberg, and her girlfriend (and fellow Wiccan) Tara Maclay.
Buffy was a show that felt like a part of you. The characters were each so flawed, lovable, and developed. They matured in such a concrete, authentic way it felt like you knew them as more than just fictional characters on some television series; the heart of this show felt real. It was a seven season show that was nearly impossible to say goodbye to. This is true even though saying hello to the incredibly dark and insanely well done spinoff series Angel definitely helped to ease some of that pain.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a series that helped me grow; it influenced teenage me in more ways than I’m sure I even realize. It still continues to be something I turn to when life feels too intense and I need a quick escape route. And now, thanks to bestselling author Kiersten White (Paranormalcy), the world of Buffy has been raised from the dead with Slayer; a new young adult novel taking place within the Buffy universe.
Image Via Entertainment Weekly
When Buffy began, as stated in the famed opening theme, there was only ever one slayer existing at a time:
In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.
Then, once the slayer inevitably passed away, another slayer would come into her powers and meet her “watcher”. They would be a mentor/teacher meant to help her understand her new place in this world and help her to hone in on all of her newfound skills and then begin training. But, during the finale, a spell was cast allowing every would-be slayer to come into her powers at once; the world was suddenly filled with young, powerful girls who had the agility and strength needed to keep the monsters at bay.
And now, it appears that Slayer is taking place where that world left off:
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
Did you get goosebumps? I got goosebumps. This sounds so perfectly Buffy-esque, I can’t wait to see where Nina’s journey as a slayer takes her!
Slayer is set to release January 8, 2019. You can read an exclusive excerpt from it here on EW.
Image Via GIPHY
Featured Image via Screen Rant
Synopsis Via Amazon
Matthew Lewis, the twenty-eight-year-old actor known for his role as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series, tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend, Angela Jones, in Italy last weekend.
The wedding appears to have been just as dreamy, ethereal, and magical as you’d imagine the wedding of anyone who practically grew up in the Wizarding World to be.
Lewis announced the marriage the only way marriages should ever be announced; via a joke on Twitter.
— Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) May 28, 2018
And, as if this all wasn’t ridiculously cute enough, it turns out the couple met while Jones was working at the Harry Potter Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida. Just months later, Lewis proposed in front of the Eiffel Tower (could this story possibly get any more adorable?).
Congratulations to Matthew Lewis and Angela Jones (otherwise known as our new favorite celebrity couple)!
Featured Image via NewsX IND
If you’re a fan of the Dark Towers series, or a fan of Stephen King in general, then you may already know about this children’s book:
The book, which was published November 11, 2016, is titled Charlie the Choo-Choo and, at just a glance, may come across as your seemingly average, run-of-the-mill children’s story about a talking tank engine and his engineering friend (well, despite the deeply chilling and creepy smile of said tank engine; Thomas the Tank Engine never looked at me that way) but, you can trust me when I say it is oh, so much more.
According to the cover of the book, the author is stated to be Beryl Evans. The cover also contains one very positive review from the master of novels himself, Stephen King:
“If I were ever to write a children’s book, it would be just like this!”
King has proven his intense commitment to the fictional worlds he creates once more, seeing as Beryl Evans is actually a character from the Dark Towers series, and King, in fact, is the true author of Charlie the Choo-Choo.
The eerily haunting children’s book is purchased by Jake Chambers in Dark Towers III: The Wastelands:
“On the bright green cover was an anthropomorphic locomotive puffing its way up a hill … its headlight was a cheerful eye which seemed to invite Jake Chambers to come inside and read all about it…As he looked down at the cover, Jake found that he did not trust the smile on Charlie the Choo-Choo’s face. ‘You look happy, but I think that’s just the mask you wear,’ he thought. ‘I don’t think you’re happy at all. And I don’t think Charlie’s your real name, either.’”
The book existing at all is an elaborate part of King’s expansion of the story; he’s taking a world he created and building it past the covers and pages, making it all the more real.
King even went as far as to hire an actress to play the role of Beryl Evans and sign copies of Charlie at Comic-Con.
via Lilja’s Library
This entanglement between the fiction and the real is so complex and interesting; it’s not at all surprising that none other than Stephen King would be behind all of it!
Featured Image via Bustle
Trying to choose which new releases to dive into in a world swimming with incredible books published weekly can sometimes feel overwhelming. But have no fear, there’s no need to fret; I am here to save the day. The last thing you need is one more stressful decision to make so feel free to take a respite. I’ve rounded up the three new releases you should get your hands on this week!
All The Answers: A Graphic Memoir by Michael Kupperman
In this moving graphic memoir, Eisner Award-winning writer and artist Michael Kupperman traces the life of his reclusive father—the once-world-famous Joel Kupperman, Quiz Kid. That his father is slipping into dementia—seems to embrace it, really—means that the past he would never talk about might be erased forever.
Joel Kupperman became one of the most famous children in America during World War II as one of the young geniuses on the series Quiz Kids. With the uncanny ability to perform complex math problems in his head, Joel endeared himself to audiences across the country and became a national obsession. Following a childhood spent in the public eye, only to then fall victim to the same public’s derision, Joel deliberately spent the remainder of his life removed from the world at large.
With wit and heart, Michael Kupperman presents a fascinating account of mid-century radio and early television history, the pro-Jewish propaganda entertainment used to counteract anti-Semitism, and the early age of modern celebrity culture.
All the Answers is both a powerful father-son story and an engaging portrayal of what identity came to mean at this turning point in American history, and shows how the biggest stages in the world can overcome even the greatest of players. (via Amazon)
Why read this one?
This memoir is an introspective look at someone trying to understand his father’s history before dementia steals his mind further and everything is lost. You watch the author grasp to understand how his father could go from being the most famous child celebrity during WWII to being a quiet, small-mannered teacher, without ever sharing the slightest detail of his glory days with his son. You also watch his father as he continues to struggle with the weight his children being removed from the normalcy of childhood and thrust into the spotlight are forced to carry. The cruelties of celebrity, fame, and the corrupt Game Show industry from the 40’s and 50’s left Michael Kupperman’s father, Joel Kupperman, with scars he still yearns to heal.
This memoir is captivating, informative, and heartbreaking all at once. Admittedly, I’m not someone who has really delved into the world of graphic works, but this book has awoken that part of me. The artwork is unique, interesting, beautifully detailed, and really helps the reader to feel they are truly a part of something incredible.
Last Stories by William Trevor
With a career that spanned more than half a century, William Trevor is regarded as one of the best writers of short stories in the English language. Now, in Last Stories, the master storyteller delivers ten exquisitely rendered tales—nine of which have never been published in book form–that illuminate the human condition and will surely linger in the reader’s mind long after closing the book. Subtle yet powerful, Trevor gives us insights into the lives of ordinary people. We encounter a tutor and his pupil, whose lives are thrown into turmoil when they meet again years later; a young girl who discovers the mother she believed dead is alive and well; and a piano-teacher who accepts her pupil’s theft in exchange for his beautiful music. This final and special collection is a gift to lovers of literature and Trevor’s many admirers, and affirms his place as one of the world’s greatest storytellers. (via Amazon)
Why read this one?
William Trevor is one of the most prolific authors in history and in his final collection he gifts us with stories of honesty, vulnerability, and hope. These stories outline what it is to be human. As Publisher’s Weekly stated, “The stories are sharp and concise, containing whole lives in the span of just a few pages . . . Readers familiar with Trevor, who died in 2016, will find satisfying closure, and those new to his work will find reason to go back and explore his previous books.”
This collection is well written with sharp-yet-prophetic lyrical prose; the language itself is addicting enough to keep any reader hooked. I would recommend this one last look at the insights of William Trevor’s mind to any and everyone.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion.
In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value “diversity” in their mission statements, I’m Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’m Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness–if we let it–can save us all. (via Amazon)
Why read this one?
The power behind this book has left me speechless: I’m not really sure what words I can use to do Austin Channing Brown the justice she deserves. This will captivate you, leave you shaking with anger and tears, and make you want to stand up and fight for resistance and revolution against the blatant racial inequality still ruling over America today.
Brown is brutally vulnerable and honest. Her words blaze on with a trail of smoke. This book is a necessity. This book should be taught in classrooms. Her strength, intelligence, bravery, and power make this a must-read.
Featured Image via Community Wiki