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Tag: jenna black

A New Year, A New You? Cloning in YA Fiction

Whenever I read about cloning I think about my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, the one about the Duplicator.

Watterson, Bill. Calvin and Hobbes.
Watterson, Bill. Calvin and Hobbes.

For those of you not familiar, Calvin–a bit of a stinker even on his best behavior–decides to create a cloning machine so that his clone can do all the work Calvin doesn’t want to do. Things backfire a bit and Calvin ends up with multiple clones just as  naughty as him.

The story of Calvin’s duplicator machine simplifies ethical and logistical questions of human cloning such as: What purpose does cloning serve and who or what entity gets to control it? Where does the clone end and the human begin? Is a clone the “same” as the original?

Here are some YA books about cloning and genetic engineering to help you ponder:

replicaReplica by Jenna Black (#1 in the Replica Trilogy)

This one is for you sci-fi/dystopian/murder mystery fans. Nadia and Nathaniel have it all figured out: he’s the heir to the only human cloning corporation in the Corporate States, very rich, and a bit of a spoiled brat; Nadia is Nate’s best friend and also his betrothed, and happy to sacrifice any romantic notions of love to satisfy her family’s financial and social needs. But their perfect world is shattered when Nate is murdered and replaced by his cloned replica, and Nadia and the new Nate are determined to discover the mystery behind Nate’s murder.  Lots of plot twists, folks.

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Genre Guide: Urban Fantasy for Teens

Urban FantasyDefinition
Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy. For a novel to be an urban fantasy, fantastical elements exist in an urban setting. However, this can be a broad interpretation. Really, an urban fantasy is such where fantastical elements are in play in a real-world setting and not in a fantastical world. Urban fantasies occur in the present day, and can go back in history to around the start of the Victorian Era. When urban fantasies are written for teens, the protagonist or protagonists are often inexperienced when it comes to dealing with the fantastical forces at play. They are also usually drawn into a struggle, find romance, and/or develop their own fantastical abilities.

Authors to Know


Copycat Covers: YA Book Covers That Make You Look Twice

DoppelgangersOkay, I admit it. I’m getting older and having more trouble remembering things like the names of YA books I’ve read. I can sometimes remember them by their distinctive covers, but lately, that’s gotten harder because of the trend to make all the books look similar to one another. I don’t know if that’s deliberate by the publishers or just because there are so many YA books being published now (particularly paranormal books), and there are an finite number of covers artists can come up with. I know that the topic of covers is one that we never get tired of writing about, judging by the number of recent posts on the topic.

I could go on and on about how the covers of these books, mainly paranormals, objectify the female body, or parts of the female body, and portray the female characters in a passive role without giving the reader any hint about what the female character is actually doing in the books, but I’m going to leave that for a future post.