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Tag: alternatives to classics

Wilde Reads

Happy 160th birthday, Oscar Wilde! In honor of this most fascinating and talented writer, I’ve rounded up some great YA that definitely owes a debt to Wilde’s work – or his life.

darkerReadalike for The Picture of Dorian Gray
It shouldn’t be surprising that Wilde’s novel would resonate with teens – who doesn’t think from time to time about youth and beauty and the fear of growing old? While Wilde’s novel itself is already great for teens, this book may also resonate with them, and it fits into the popular paranormal genre by making what is clearly a supernatural occurrence in the original Wilde work more blatant:

  • Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber
    Natalie is mute, but she is observant and sensitive, which is why she is the one who notices that a new portrait of Lord Denbury has a bit too much life to it. It turns out that the young, handsome man’s soul is actually trapped behind the painting, and Natalie is the only one who can access it and help him escape the magic that binds him there.

 

Try these alternatives to the “classics”

School will be starting in less than a month & that means English class and those literature “classics”  you’re forced to read. To this day, I’ve never been able to get through Moby Dick. I think that’s why I love the current commercial so much for Microsoft I heard on a radio station about the girl doing to book report using initialisms. Part of it goes something like this, the girl says it’s about LFW (looking for whales) and “OMGROTDC“ (Oh my God, rolling on the deck crying)  – is, of course, the captain’s response to losing his leg.

I do love Jane Austen so I don’t think it’s so bad having to read her, although I understand that guys don’t feel the same way. But, if you’re not into reading Austen’s books set in the Regency Period, try this recently published contemporary tribute to her Sense and Sensibility called Sass and  Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler. Gabby Rivera’s almost 18, and a senior in high school. She’s very sensible, responsible  and grouchy all the time – completely unlike her younger sister Daphne, 15, who’s always dreaming about the perfect guy. Daphne’s popular, upbeat and isn’t afraid to feel things – and is head over heals over a new guy at school. Gabby’s the opposite. She doesn’t have any friends except guy pal Mule (why he’s named that is a story in itself).  She once had feelings for a boy but he tragically died and she ended up completely debilitated. She never wants to feel that way again. Their parents have divorced and their rent’s gone up so much they’re forced to move. Unable to find a decent place, they end up in the carriage house of a wealthy family. Gabby hates their son, Prentiss, without really knowing him because she believes he caused the death of his cousin Sonny, the guy she once loved. Like Sense and Sensibility, misunderstandings ensue and Daphne has a extremely humiliating experience before it ends happily. I have to admit that after reading it, I prefer the original because I thought both girls in Ziegler’s version were a lot less sympathetic than Austen’s and their heartbreak unnecessarily drawn-out (the review in Kirkus says it reads like “sisters on the verge of a nervous breakdown”). Despite that, their problems are compelling in a car crash kind-of-way and readers who have sisters will relate to their love-hate relationship.