Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagrammer, blogger, and book lover: Beth, or as you would know her on Instagram, @booksnest.
Beth, a Bookstagrammer from Berkshire in the South of England, joined the Bookstagram community purely for her love of books and as a personal goal for herself.
I loved following other book accounts so I started my own in 2013 as a New Year’s resolution. I took photos I loved and have continued to do so ever since. I wanted to feel part of this community and that is exactly what I have achieved.
She can describe her Bookstagram aesthetic in one word:
Beth adjusts her schedule to her followers’ activity in order to determine what times she should post. She rightfully takes pride in the followers she has.
I always post around 8pm GMT during the week and sometimes in the morning around 10am GMT at the weekends. I either post daily or every other day, I base this on how well my last post did and if I want to give it more time to grow. I get these times by looking at my Instagram insights and seeing when my followers are more online.
When I hit 10k in May of 2019 I felt a real sense of pride and accomplishment and I felt really happy. That was a big day for me and really hit home that my hard work had paid off.
Beth’s Bookstagram page is a beautiful representation of her favorite reads, but what does it mean to her personally, and what does she hope it means to other people?
Bookstagram is living proof of my dedication and motivation to grow and develop a space to create my content. It shows my love of reading and photography, but also somewhere for me to fuel my creativity and that means an awful lot to me!
I want to offer a cosy and happy space for people to come to enjoy both the photos and the books I feature. I also love being able to offer help and advice to other Bookstagrammers.
She also has some advice to offer aspiring Bookstagrammers.
Building up an audience takes time, but as long as you’re doing what you love and learning and developing each day, you will grow. Don’t take it too seriously, have fun with it and keep putting in the effort. With persistence, you will see growth, but it does take time.
Featured image via @booksnest
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A truly expert worldbuilder is hard to come by in fiction. Many try their hand, but few rise through the ranks. Of course when we think of worldbuilding, we think of Tolkien’s extensive maps of Middle-earth, of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, of Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea. But they are not the only ones. Among fiction’s contemporary novelists are some of the greatest worldbuilders this particular world has ever produced. They are authors who draw us in to their richly imagined, vibrant, alive new worlds; worlds into which we are privileged to slip through the secret passageway of their pages. Here are five of contemporary fiction’s most exciting worldbuilders.
1. Clark Thomas Carlton
An expert builder of worlds on a micro level, Clark T. Carlton explores the intricate world of insects in his series. The Prophet of the Termite God is the sequel to Prophets of the Ghost Ants, celebrated as “exciting, visionary” and “a tour de force” by Lawrence Bender, producer of Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Good Willing Hunting and An Inconvenient Truth.
According to his FantasticFiction profile, Clark was “inspired to begin writing the seriesduring a trip to the Yucatan when he witnessed a battle for a Spanish peanut between two different kinds of ants. That night he dreamed of armies of tiny men on the backs of red and black ants. After doing years of research on insects and human social systems, Clark says that “the plot was revealed to me like a streaming, technicolor prophecy on the sixth night of Burning Man when the effigy goes up in flames.”
Carlton’s latest novel tells the story of Pleckoo, once an outcast, who has risen to Prophet-Commander of the Hulkrish army. But a million warriors and their ghost ants were not enough to defeat his cousin, Anand the Roach Boy, the tamer of night wasps and founder of Bee-Jor. Now Pleckoo is hunted by the army that once revered him. Yet in all his despair, Pleckoo receives prophecies from his termite god, assuring him he will kill Anand to rule the Sand, and establish the One True Religion. Can Anand, the roach boy who worked in the dung heap, rise above the turmoil, survive his assassins, and prevent the massacre of millions?
Writing is not the only way in which Clark T. Carlton explores the worlds he creates—he is also a painter, describing his work as “Grandma Moses on acid”. You can check out his art here.
The Prophet of the Termite God is published by Harper Voyager Impulse; Paperback; June 2019; $7.99 & e-book; $2.99).).
2. V.E. Schwab
V.E. Schwab is a number one New York Times bestselling author. She has written over a dozen novels, but is best known for her Shades of Magic series, a masterful feat of worldbuilding.
Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned a number of times for television and film. The Independent praises her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”
Her Shades of Magic series is set in a number of parallel versions of London—Red London, Grey London, White London and Black London, each different, dangerous and thrilling in their own right. The series follows Kell, one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between the Londons.
Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy says the series bears “all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy.”
“I write primarily about outsiders and in order to understand outsiders you need to understand insiders and in order to understand insiders you have to understand the world that they are inside, and so worldbuilding and setting is actually the very first thing I come up with… Understanding the rules of the world is the very, very first thing that I do. Then, in addition to figuring out the construct and the rules, I start figuring out the culture. And a lot of authors have very different ways that they do that. Some of them focus on the food, and some of them focus on the agriculture, and the geography. I focus mainly on language, and so I will include everything from fictionalized languages like in the Shades of Magic series to folkloric elements and idiomatic expressions.”
George R.R. Martin: A man who needs little introduction given the current climate (and by climate I mean the inescapable hurricane of GoT-fuelled rage that greets us every time we go online). But while the speed at which he is completing (or, indeed, not completing) the Song of Ice and Fire series has his name gracing the pages of many fans’ bad books, it cannot be denied that, whether we like it or not, we have a lot to thank him for. Martin is a master of worldbuilding, not only in the fantasy genre for which he is best known, but sci-fi too with countless Hugo and Nebula Awards under his belt for works such as Nightflyers.
Hailed by Lev Grossman (who, incidentally, appears on this list and therefore is clearly an expert on the subject) as the “American Tolkien,” Martin is one of the most popular and influential writers alive today, due in no small part to the vibrant worlds in which his stories are set. Every aspect of Westeros, based on ancient Britain and Europe, is richly imagined from its landscape and people to its climate and history.
He accomplishes this through close attention to detail. For instance, consider his depictions of the Great Houses. You may have read fantasy books where nations are defined as “the people who build ships,” or the “folks who smoke the good tobacco.” Not so in Game of Thrones. The world of the Starks is very different from the world of the Lannisters, which is very different again from the worlds of the Targaryens or the Greyjoys. Local attitudes, ways of speech, tools of war, sexual mores—they all change radically from country to country.
4. Lev Grossman
Upon the publication of Grossman’s most famous novel The Magicians, The A.V. Club called it “the best urban fantasy in years.” Writing for The New York Times, Grossman stated, “I wrote fiction for seventeen years before I found out I was a fantasy novelist. Up till then I always thought I was going to write literary fiction, like Jonathan Franzen or Zadie Smith or Jhumpa Lahiri. But I thought wrong… Fantasy is sometimes dismissed as childish, or escapist, but I take what I am doing very, very seriously.” The book follows Quentin Coldwater, “A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. Unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory…”
While The Magicians is set in a magic school of sorts, it is not to be confused with Harry Potter. George R.R. Martin notes “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.” No, this is quite a different world.
As soon as you mention that maybe, say, there’s elves and dwarves in a world, people know a lot about that world. They know that there are deep, sylvan forests with skinny, tall good looking people in them. And there are mountains, with deep mines, with sturdy, bearded dwarves chipping away at them. Those worlds are already in our heads. They’re completely built. You can do new things with them, but you’re renovating. You’re not building from scratch. There is a pre-existing structure there.
So when I approached Fillory, in a way what I was doing was, really kind of updating Narnia. [C.S.] Lewis was a great world builder, but he was incredibly sloppy by modern standards. Narnia was not up to code. [Laughs.] He’d just slap things in there. If he wanted fauns, he’d put in fauns from Greek mythology, and then here comes Santa Claus! We’ve got Santa Claus in there too. Most people have feudal technology in Narnia. They’re fighting with swords. But Mrs. Beaver has a sewing machine, which is a nice piece of Victorian era industrial technology. It doesn’t all add up and fit together.
5. Tomi Adeyemi
Nigerian-American author Adeyemi blew minds with her West African-inspired fantasy debut, Children of Blood and Bone, which became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. The first in a planned trilogy follows Zélie Adebola tasked with restoring magic to the fictional West African kingdom of Orïsha, magic that was wiped out by King Saran along with all those who possessed it. Together with her brother and a rogue princess, they embark on a terrifying quest that New York Times-bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton assures will inspire you—“You will be changed. You will be ready to rise up and reclaim your own magic!”
Refinery29 called Children of Blood and Bone “a masterpiece in world-building and story, [and] also an exploration of extremely pertinent issues,” as the book is notably an allegory for many real world issues, while still being undeniably a fantasy world of its own. Orïsha has its own clans, its own sports, languages and richly wrought landscape, and no doubt Adeyemi’s expert worldbuilding is why Ebony is calling Children of Blood and Bone “the next big thing in literature and film.”
Spring is here, the time of new life, so it’s time to spring-clean your must-watch and must-read lists before summertime! We’ve got five enchanting book series for you to read, each of which you can expect to see coming to your screens. Some will show up sooner than others (like A Discovery of Witches which premieres April 7 9/8c on AMC), but as for those adaptations without official release dates—we’re sure you’ll have fun looking forward to them!
So, without further ado, here are five magical series that are certain to enchant you.
1. Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Series / AMC’s A Discovery of Witches
Based on Deborah Harkness‘ bestselling All Soulstrilogy, AMC’s upcoming TV adaptation A Discovery of Witches follows Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch who accidentally calls up a bewitched manuscript. This mistake will propel her into a world of dark magic and forbidden love… thereby introducing her to the intriguing, mysterious geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont.
Upcoming film Chaos Walking is based on Patrick Ness‘ The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first in his bestselling YA Chaos Walking trilogy. The story is set in a dystopian future where children are raised to believe that a virus killed off all the women in their colony, which caused a mass unleashing of psychological “noise,” the ability to hear the minds of people and animals. When Todd happens upon an unknown person who is two remarkable things—silent and a girl—he realizes that the stories about the virus may not be what they seem.
The film adaptation, on its way in 2020, stars Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, and Nick Jonas.
3. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl Series
The Artemis Fowl franchise currently boasts no less than eight instalments in addition to a collection of graphic novels and a spin-off, The FowlTwins, in the works. The beloved and long-running series follows the adventures of a boy genius who, in the first novel, kidnaps a fairy in the hopes of extorting ransom from the Fairy People and restoring the Fowl family fortune. It gets weirder—and even more awesome—from there.
A film adaptation was first announced all the way back in 2001, but it wasn’t until Disney took over the project in 2016 that things really got moving. Starring newcomer Ferdia Shaw in the titular role, Artemis Fowlcomes out August 9th, and is sure to be worth the long wait!
4. Victoria Aveyard’s The Red Queen Series
Victoria Aveyard is only twenty-eight-years-old, but she’s the bestselling author of Red Queen, the first instalment of an amazing (and amazingly popular) fantasy series. Mare Barrow lives in a profoundly stratified society, a seemingly irreparable schism between the upper-class people with silver blood and the poorer people who have red blood. The catch? Silver blooded people have magical abilities. Poor people have nothing. That is, except for Mare, who has red blood and a superhuman power…
Universal Studios purchased the rights, and The Hunger Games‘ Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct the movie adaptation!
5. V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic Series
A Darker Shade of Magic, the first in V.E. Schwab‘s Shades of Magicseries follows Kell as he travels through four different Londons, each of them distinct in their levels of magic. Kell is from Red London, an extremely magical city that may not be quite as safe as its residents seem to believe. When Kell, the only remaining magician who can move between these worlds, meets a human woman from our own ordinary London, they’ll have some universe-saving to do. NPR says the hit series is compulsively readable, “with the ease of a young-adult novel, with short paragraphs, quick-moving prose, and plenty of action;” at the same time, “it’s grimmer even than the current bout of post-Hunger Games YA.” We can’t wait to get our hearts crushed!
We don’t yet have a cast or official dates for the Sony Pictures adaptation, which will be produced by Gerard Butler. But hey, that just means you’ll have more time to get reading!
Surely we’ve all gone to see a profoundly boring film with bleak comments about the nature of being, interspersed with eclectic yet disjointed scenes and the occasional shaky-cam. If the point of the movie was to reiterate the pointlessness of existence, we think upon leaving, it certainly achieved its goal. Critics, inevitably, will find the film just as meaningful as the filmmaker did. This isn’t to say that critics are always or even frequently wrong—instead, it’s to note that critical approval is not the only measure of quality. Since it matters what we readers love, let’s take a look at some of our favorite titles with this years’ Goodreads Choice Award winners!
Best of the Best
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
A timely commentary on police brutality and the way it impacts individuals, Angie Thomas‘ The Hate U Give tells the story of a high school girl whose best friend is shot by the police… which is also a story of race, class, and an adolescence where everything feels tumultuous- mostly because it is. The Hate U Give (THUG) was the winner of the 2017 award for Young Adult Fiction, and Thomas herself won the award for Goodreads Debut Author. The Best of the Best indicates the most popular book of all previous recipients.
Readers say: “Angie Thomas picks you up from whatever world you’re living in, and she drops you right smack in the middle of a new one. Events unfold rapidly, and things you’re used to seeing on TV and walking away from are given a voice. You feel as though you’re right in the middle of the plot with the other characters. You can’t just look away.”
“Books are what teach you about life. Books teach you empathy.”
Still Me by Jojo Moyes is the third book in Moyes’ trilogy, which begins with Me Before You. The third installation follows the exploits of Louisa Clark, who has moved overseas for one of the two reasons people tend to do that (1. career, 2. love). The problem is that although she’s moved towards one, she’s moved further away from the other. Her boyfriend waits for her back home—but is it home anymore? And is she still the person she expected to be?
Readers say: “Is it possible to read and finish a Jojo Moyes novel without tears streaming down your face?”
Mystery & Thriller
“I believe there’s another dozen thoughts lined up behind each one I’m aware of.”
It’s difficult to summarize a Stephen King novel. Usually, it goes like this: something horrible happens. Then, something really horrible happens. Possibly, you assume things cannot get more horrible. That’s exactly when they do. The Outsider is like that—only even more grim. After the shocking discovery of a child’s violated corpse, a town finds evidence pointing to one of the city’s most popular figures—a beloved coach, loving husband and father. Is he as kind a man as he seems? Probably not. Are any of the other characters? Also probably not.
Readers say: “Stephen King amazes me. Here, he has managed to turn a 300-page story into a 560-page story by leading us on a long-winded wild goose chase while waffling on about almost everything, but somehow, though it seems hard to fathom, I could not put this cracktastic shit down.”
“Such a thin veil separated the past from the present; they existed simultaneously in the human heart.”
Kristin Hannah‘s The Great Alone, depicts 1970s Alaska with all the wildness of a frontier that is as geographic as it is emotional. When her Vietnam POW father moves his family North after losing yet another job, young Leni hopes that this will be the start of their new life. And that’s exactly the problem—it will be. As Alaska plunges headlong into winter, into night, Leni learns that the wildness outside their home is nothing when compared to the wildness within.
Readers say: “There is such a poignancy in this book, and I’m not ashamed to say it wrecked me emotionally at times, but I kept reading and reading and just couldn’t stop. The Great Alone is the story of survival, not just in the harsh Alaskan wilderness, but within your own lives.”
“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.”
Less a reimagining of Homer’s classic The Odyssey, Madeline Miller‘s Circe perhaps imagines the nymph and sorceress the way she truly might have been. Circe—originally little more than a waypoint, a powerful woman and threat to be overcome—stands alone against man and gods. A child of the divine living among mortals, Circe has to make a choice—which world to choose, which version of herself to be. But as she incurs the wrath of the most dangerous Olympians, the question changes: will she be able to choose either one?
Readers say: “This is the pièce de résistance I’ve been searching for my entire life… This book is about love; the love between lovers, the love of a mother, and the love you must find in yourself. This book proves why family of choice will always be greater than family of origin. This book is about magic.”
“All the things that make you different make you perfect.”
Introducing a bold new voice in fiction, Helen Hoang‘s The Kiss Quotient gives us a protagonist on the autism spectrum, a mathematics fanatic for whom romance—especially physical intimacy—doesn’t really add up. The solution is at once whimsical yet deeply rational: Stella hires a prostitute to teach her all the things that don’t come naturally (and to make sure that both parties do). But when love follows its own sort of logic, Stella has some new problems to solve. As an autistic writer herself, Hoang tells parts of her own story with authenticity and impact.
Readers say: “I devoured this in a single sitting. And it was fucking delicious. For me, this book has everything going for it. It’s dramatic, emotional, educational, complex, diverse, and hotter than sin.”
“Knowledge may be power, but money buys both.”
The sequel to genre giant V.E. Schwab‘s Vicious(five years in the making), Vengefulwas an uncertain prospect when Schwab herself was unsure whether or not there might be one. When the news dropped of its confirmed release, fans knew what to do—buy it immediately. After reading it, fans didn’t know what to do with themselves. A subversion of your typical superhero story, the saga is a story of two rivals—a battle between good and evil. Except that it’s hard to tell which is which. Except that sometimes our heroes are neither… or both at the same time. Except that these two are not necessarily rivals, but instead are former friends, caught in the same misfortune and headed towards what could easily be the same ruin.
Readers say: “Me, having absolutely no concept of liking things in moderation: I WOULD DIE A THOUSAND FIERY DEATHS FOR THIS BOOK.”
“Everyone should have this, he thought, and perhaps, at the end, everyone does. Perhaps in their time of dying, everyone rises.”
Stephen King is at it again with Elevation, another impossibly good book rife with impossibly awful things. This time, though, it’s a little more possible than you might suspect. In this case, the awful thing is something more recognizable than a sewer clown, or rather, something we are more likely to encounter: illness and prejudice. I’ll leave this one alone except to say that it’s (1) uplifting and (2) not a horror novel AT ALL. It’s pretty clear why the novel won in the horror category—Stephen King is the author. It’s pretty clear why it’s award-winningly good—Stephen King is the author.
Readers say: “Instead of feeling scared, I cried my eyes out. It was not what I expected, but it was so much much better.”
“What is the lasting damage when you believe the warm spot you were just sleeping in will be your grave?”
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is the final achievement and master work of now-deceased journalist Michelle McNamara, completed by her closest research colleague. The book details McNamara’s investigation into the infamous Golden State Killer, a serial rapist and murderer who shone a flashlight on his victims’ faces to blind to them—and to make certain that they were awake for the carnage. Survivors remember only the grim rasp of his voice as he left them for dead: “you’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”
Readers say: “My mouth continually fell open and my head was shaking NO as I listened to this moving account from one woman with an enormous investigation to relate to the public. It is simply a magnificent piece of work.”
Memoir & Autobiography
“We are all of us more complicated than the roles we are assigned in the stories other people tell.”
Tara Westover‘s Educatedis the story of a girl who wasn’t. Until she was 17, Tara had never been in a classroom—or a hospital. Born in her family’s remote Idaho home, she didn’t legally exist, with no birth records to help her get an education and no school records to help her get a birth certificate. Her plan for the future was the apocalypse bug-out bag she shared a bed with. Given that she ended up with a PhD from Cambridge University, calling this a book feels almost like an understatement—it’s a story, and it’s as challenging and important as the word implies.
Readers say: “Educated: A Memoir scalded the very edges of my soul. It took me through a whole gamut of my own emotions from belief to disbelief, from hesitation to doubt to wariness, and most importantly, from the weightiness of compassion and empathy to the restrictions of frustration and anger.”
“I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”
Tomi Adeyemi‘s Children of Blood and Bone is impressive for every possible reason: it was written by a twenty-four year old author. It earned an astonishing seven figures, unheard of for a debut author. More importantly, it’s a mainstream YA interpretation of Nigerian mythology, written by a Nigerian author. And most importantly, it’s (according to over 70,000 people who VOTED, which is more readers than most books ever have) astonishingly good.
Readers say: “All you need to know from this review is…. Read the book.”
While these aren’t all of the winning titles, these are the smash hits of 2018-the books that, were they songs, would be blasting 24/7 in cars and supermarkets. (The difference is that these are so good you still might like them after.) Check out Goodreads for more information on the other winners.
All Images Via Goodreads.com Featured Image Via Bustle.com
We love Halloween- it’s scary, campy, and you can be whatever you want to be (which you can mostly do all the time, unless what you want to be is a ghoul or a sexier version of something decidedly unsexy). Unfortunately, getting down to the last episode of your favorite show is not the fun kind of scary. But if your show is on this list, here are some spooky, whacky, and genuinely frightening reads to tide you over.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Those of us with Buffy nostalgia face a challenge that can be scarier than the show itself- the fact that the show’s been finished since 2003. But if you can’t live without the misadventures of the teens quietly (and sometimes NOT so quietly) defending Sunnydale from monsters, why not explore an untold part of that story?
Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Hereexplores the lives of background characters in a nondescript town like Sunnydale for those of us who have never fought a vampire with our bare hands (or, you know, with anything else). Teenagers beset with their own slew of issues try to exist as the Chosen Ones deal with their zombie cops and spooky blue lights from outer space. This genre-bending book merges fantasy with reality as Ness explores how ordinary human lives fit in with the high stakes of genre fiction.
Unlike with Buffy, anyone who watches Supernatural knows there’s no shortage of content. Now entering its fourteenth season, the cult classic has thrilled viewers since 2005 with its story of two inseparable brothers who save lives, hunt monsters, make questionable choices, and fight with each other nonstop.
V.E. Schwab’s Viciousis a twist on the typical superhero story, following two former classmates who were once as close as brothers. When a string of bad decisions puts the friends in uncomfortably close contact with the world of the supernatural, some lives are saved- and others are lost. The mercurial relationship between Schwab’s protagonists may remind you of Supernatural‘s infamous brothers, and the hunting definitely will.
This hit TV show taps into 80s nostalgia in a serious way, and so modern books just won’t always sate your craving. You can take the edge off this with a book with the story that inspired last fall’s pop culture phenomenon: Stephen King’s IT.
Written in 1990 and set in the mid 80s, the story also focuses on a gang of kids taking on a threat that adults in town don’t understand. Featuring a familiar camaraderie, the Losers try to stop the entity that they have discovered, attempting to save both their town and themselves. And is there collateral damage? Well, isn’t there always?
The Walking Dead
Zombies might seem to be the territory of genre fiction and pop culture, but that isn’t always the case. Literary superstar Colson Whitehead’sZone Oneblends genre and literary fiction as it explores not the zombie apocalypse exactly, but what happens after.
With the mixture of tenderness and violence that viewers expect from The Walking Dead, Whitehead explicitly wanders into the thematic landscape of zombies, discussing at length the kind of moral and existential questions that many zombie stories only hint at.
American Horror Story
It might be hard to decide what will get you your AHS fix, given the wide range of premises the show offers. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circusshares a similar versatility, blending elements of magic and witchcraft (like AHS season 3) with the creepy aesthetic of a sinister traveling circus (season 4). With a flair for the strange, cruel, and dramatic, The Night Circus’ range of amoral characters and tragically doomed human connections are reminiscent of all seasons of AHS.
While not explicitly a horror show, Black Mirror’s one-off dystopian plot lines terrify audiences with their creativity… and plausibility. Often focusing on motifs of alienation and technology, the show provides us with a horrifying reality that we both can and cannot imagine. A YA classic, Scott Westerfeld’s Ugliesdepicts a dystopian world in which, on their sixteenth birthday, teenagers undergo surgery to become Pretties- artificially enhanced beautiful people with equally beautiful lives (sounds exactly like being sixteen, right?). Unfortunately, life is not quite as beautiful as it appears. And unfortunately, that’s not all the surgery does.
Featured Image Via 2glory.de. All in-text images via Amazon.