Sometimes the best lover is not made out of flesh and bones, but out of nouns, verbs, and punctuation. Take a look and comment on who is your modern lover.
So it may be that ‘all’s well that ends well,’ but some of these books nearly didn’t! The secret alternate endings of these five popular novels are different from the endings that made it to our bookshelves. (That’s ‘different’ as a synonym for completely bizarre.) Some endings changed the tone of the story in ways the author decided against. Some endings changed other important things, like whether or not anyone would buy the book.
1. The Fault in Our Stars
It’s hard to imagine John Green changing one thing about his devastating hit The Fault in our Stars (besides the title, which would work just as well as Buckets of Our Tears). Actually, Augustus’ death was almost the second most tragic thing about the novel. In a twist that Green himself describes as “epically terrible,” the novel initially ended with Hazel Grace and author Van Houten attempting to murder a drug dealer in order to honor Augustus’ life… knowing that they will likely die (just relatable teenager things). This ending supposedly lasted only forty pages, which begs the question—what? It gets worse. Green also considered using the ending of the novel to explore the Trolley Problem—which, to sum it up, asks whether it’s more morally heinous to let a trolley crush five people or to personally divert the train to crush only one person. His editor admitted later that she “[couldn’t] tell whether or not it [was] a joke.” It wasn’t.
2. The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater‘s Raven Cycle series stands as one of the most positively critically reviewed YA series of all time. Its second book, The Dream Thieves, is particularly rife with the dark (best friends replaced with subservient clones) and the delightful (every possible use of ‘Dick’ as a nickname for Richard). In one earlier draft, troubled protagonist Ronan enters into a magical drag race with distinctly-more-troubled antagonist Kavinsky—which, contextually, is not as strange as it sounds. The two subsequently have their magic race up the side of a mountain, and in a reckless but astoundingly unsurprising move, Kavinsky drives his car off the edge of a cliff. Stiefvater herself summarizes the whole plot as: “Fireball! Death!” This is also an excellent description of the novel’s actual ending. However, this earlier draft lacks the redemptive elements and positive LGBT representation of the rewrite—especially since the rewrite is also full of cars and danger.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
One of the most chilling lines in the Harry Potter universe reads: neither can live while the other survives. It would then logically follow that… to use J.K.’s own words… neither can live while the other survives. So it doesn’t exactly add up that J.K. Rowling almost concluded her series with Voldemort AND Harry surviving. In one strange version of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ending, the spirits of Voldemort’s dead parents appear during their showdown to comfort Harry and turn Voldemort into a child. When Voldy tries to zap Harry with his final curse, it rebounds, freezing him as a living statue. If you’re wondering how the rebounded spell doesn’t kill him, you can keep on wondering—there is no real explanation. Fortunately, we have the original standoff between Harry and Voldemort, as well as all the powerful scenes and lines that come with it.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why
Especially after its TV debut, Thirteen Reasons Why is almost universally recognizable as a story of the tragic suicide of a high school student and the following series of upsetting confessional tapes detailing fellow students’ contributions to her death. But what if Hannah didn’t die? According to author Jay Asher, that’s exactly what almost happened. As the near-suicide of a close relative inspired Asher’s work, he considered that Hannah might also live. In the end, he decided against it. He felt that Hannah’s survival meant fewer consequences for the students who tormented her, as well as lower stakes surrounding the issue. Asher explained: “it felt false for this particular story and for the seriousness of the issue. If someone goes through with a suicide, there are no second chances for anyone involved.”
We all recognize George Orwell‘s 1984 as the classic behind the phrase “Big Brother is watching.” Fewer people know that this grim tale once had an alternate ending—one that made the ending tonally more optimistic (not an easy feat, given how depressing this story gets). Free-thinking Winston undergoes torture in order to destroy any part of him that might rebel against the novel’s totalitarian government. But just before the end, he has a brief nervous break and thinks to himself: 2 + 2 = 5. This signifies the extent to which Winston, wholly indoctrinated, now accepts Big Brother’s lies. However, Orwell’s first edition tells a different story. There, the sentence ends with 2 +2 = (without the number 5), implying that Winston manages to hold onto some sense of self and that resistance is real. One letter subtly but unmistakably changes the meaning of the entire novel… and makes it a whole lot sadder.
Featured Image Via The-toast.com. All In-Text Images Via Amazon.com
This week commemorates the 60th anniversary of National Library Week, allowing bookworms everywhere to proudly celebrate their love of books and the libraries that offer them.
In the midst of celebration, The American Library Association, or ALA, has announced the most challenged books of 2017 in order to remind readers that a major threat that gets in the way of celebrating books is the act of book banning, or censorship.
Here are the top ten most challenged books of 2017:
1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Reason(s): Discussion of suicide
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reason(s): Profanity, sexually explicit imagery
3. Drama by Raina Telfemeier
Reason(s): Includes LGBT characters, considered “confusing”
4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
Reason(s): Depicts sexual violence, allegedly promotes Islam, allegedly “[can] lead to terrorism”
5. George by Alex Gino
Reason(s): Depicts a trangender youth
6. Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
Reason(s): Teaches sex-ed, will allegedly persuade children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex”
7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reason(s): Depicts violence, use of N-word
8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reason(s): Depicts drug use, profanity, offensive language, considered “pervasively vulgar”
9. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
Reason(s): Depicts a same-sex relationship
10. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Reason(s): Addresses gender identity
Were you surprised by this list? Let us know!
Featured Image Via ‘The Atlantic’
Asher has been expelled from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators over allegations of sexual harassment, however the Selena Gomez-produced TV show will continue into its second series. Executive director of SCBWI Lin Oliver has said:
We felt that terminating [Asher’s] membership was the proper course of action. We have always been really sensitive to sexual harassment issues and have a zero tolerance policy, but clearly our policies haven’t prevented violations, so we’re taking this opportunity to take another look at our guidelines.
Asher was not involved in the production of the upcoming second season of Thirteen Reasons Why, Netflix confirmed, and therefore the series will not be affected. The novel, and first series of the TV show, focuses on the suicide of teenager Hannah Baker, and the tapes she leaves behind, detailing the thirteen reasons for her death. The story deals with a number of serious themes including sexual assault.
Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette in Thirteen Reasons Why. | Via Digital Spy
Asher has denied the allegations and has stated that he voluntarily left the Society. In his statement he says:
It’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth. I feel very conflicted about it just because of what’s going on in the culture and who’s supposed to be believed and who’s not.
The second series will follow many of the characters from the previous thirteen episodes, moving past the story of the book and into unexplored territory. It is due to air later this year.
Featured Image Via Marin Independent Journal