Hub readers, you told us you missed the polls, and we heard you! Reinstated by popular demand, we will be publishing a new poll the first Monday of every month.
This month, we want to hear which upcoming series installment you are most excited for. Several bestselling series have new volumes out in the next few months. If your favorite YA series with a new volume due out in April or May is missing from this list, let us know in the comments!
After a slight break to feature various spooky monsters, I’m heading back to the ship “Serenity” to finish off a few more characters. I promised you all I would not leave you hanging. Back in September I told you all about the crew of “Serenity.” The comments section hit on an obvious title that I overlooked so I wanted to make sure that it was added. Blog reader Shari said that Kaylee would also love Cinder by Marissa Meyer. After I read that comment, I mentally kicked myself and I’m not ashamed to say it hurt a bit. Of course Kaylee would love the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! Not only is it futuristic, it’s set in a world where Chinese influences run abundantly…just like Kaylee’s world. Also, with as much as she likes to take apart and fix “Serenity,” she would love a story where cyborgs run freely. Great suggestion! I just wish I thought of it first. :P
Ok, back to the ship.
Inara Serra – Inara is a very proper lady by those viewing her merely for her profession. A companion is basically a fancy prostitute and Inara holds her head up high at the prestige she gains. However, we witness every episode a subconscious, or sometimes very conscious, desire for real love. Her schoolyard relationship with Mal makes the audience cheer for their snarky exteriors to melt away and their true romantic feelings to take the lead. That is why I believe that Inara would love books that regard strong female characters in a positive light, but still has a bit of romance. I would recommend The Selection by Kiera Cass to Inara particularly because America stands tall with her convictions instead of following the crowd of wannabee princesses. The romance is there, but it’s America who decides to whom those romantic tendencies will flourish. In a similar vein, I would slip Inara Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund. This title is a bit more romance, but the secrets kept by the main characters definitely taking center stage over the romance from time to time. And I believe that Inara’s secrets are fairly unmatched.
October is an exciting month for any YA lit fan, because it includes Teen Read Week! In honor of this annual celebration of young adult literature, YALSA invited book-loving teens all over the world to apply to share their enthusiasm for reading in a guest post for The Hub. Thirty-one talented young writers were chosen, and we’ll be featuring posts from these unique voices all month long. Here’s Saraya Flaig from Idaho.
I was nervous a few months ago when I tackled the popular series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the “What Would They Read” series here on The Hub, where we pair up favorite TV characters with YA lit recommendations– but I’m even more apprehensive with this blog entry. Joss Whedon’s Firefly found its end far too soon and yet has been kept alive by extremely passionate fans. This is a massive undertaking in the vast world of fandoms. Feel free to comment on my selections below.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Firefly, here is a brief synopsis: Firefly takes place in a future world with new star systems with moons and planets that have been terraformed to replicate life on Earth. Although the technology of the future is far more advanced that technology today, the new settlements on the moons most resemble the Old West. The Alliance is the central government, comprised of the only two superpowers left; America and China. Because of China’s power, Chinese influences in fashion and language and dispersed throughout everyday life. The show follows a specific ship that resembles a firefly named Serenity. Captain Malcom Reynolds and his crew live on the shady side of the law, delivering stolen government goods to planets in need and making deals with some unpleasant people. In an attempt to appear more respectable and make a little extra money, Mal decides to take on a few passengers. Instead situations because even more complicated.
It is true that a majority of Serenity’s crew would no sooner read a book than play professional football, I would like to believe my statement that there is a book for every reader. With no further ado, here are my reading recommendations.
Mal Reynolds – Initially, Mal has a stern, no-nonsense personality. Although, as the show progresses, we see a bit of a sense of humor emerging for time to time. There’s no question that Mal would prefer a book with a strong action-packed plot with a slight hint of a romance. Mal may think he’s kidding everyone with his love/hate relationship with Inara, but we know it’s there. Also, Mal was on the losing side of the civil war against the Alliance and thus does not respect government authority. For Mal, I would definitely recommend Legend by Marie Lu (2012 Teens’ Top Ten) as well as the other two books in the series, Prodigy and Champion. Mal and Day have similar personality traits, the main one being their need to help out the little guy from being trampled by the oppressive government.
As you probably know, the television reboot of the My Little Pony franchise (Friendship Is Magic) has managed to find an older audience than the elementary school-aged girls one would have expected. As a regular viewer of the show and frequent YA reader, I thought it would be fun to take a look at what titles the ponies would read in their free time.
One thing I really like about the show is that it has a strong pro-female message. The show presents female characters who routinely solve problems by conducting research, reaching out to friends, and finding strength within themselves. In addition to encountering magical Big Bads, the ponies encounter real world problems such as bullying, low self-esteem, over-committing, and being too proud to ask for help. Because of this theme, I have selected books with female protagonists for all of the characters.
Today, I am focusing on three of the main six ponies: Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity.
When Friendship Is Magic began, Twilight Sparkle was sent to Ponyville to learn the value of having friends. She was the best student studying under the Princess, but she missing a social component in her education. Twilight lives in a tree-house library, surrounded by books and often encourages research when faced with trouble. However, Twilight is also a unicorn and, therefore, magical. She must find balance between magic, research, and friendship to ultimate solve her problems.
I think that Twilight Sparkle would enjoy The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (2012 Morris Award Finalist, 2012 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) which is the story of Elisa, a princess and the Chosen One. Married off to a king whose people need her to save them, Elisa lives in a world of magic. She must fight to live long enough to save the people who need her, while avoiding those who hunt her for her power. Twilight has recently become a princess herself and has been forced to save all of Equestria on more than one occasion.
While not necessarily a well-known holiday, Thesaurus Day is celebrated on January 18, the birthday of Peter Mark Roget, creator of Roget’s Thesaurus.
The original version of Roget’s thesaurus, created in 1805 and released in 1852, contained 15,000 words. Over the years, the thesaurus has grown, adding thousands of additional words and synonyms. These days, in addition to print versions of the thesaurus, wordsmiths are able to access the Roget’s thesaurus online through Thesaurus.com. If you are interested in a historical perspective, a 1911 version has been cataloged as part of the ARTFL Project through the University of Chicago.
We’re celebrating a day early here on The Hub by using the thesaurus to swap words in some popular YA titles. See if you can figure out the original titles and then scroll down to check!
The Tome Bandit
The Bonus of Being a Loner
An Excellent and Dreadful Virtue
The Insanity Below
A Chain of Ill-fated Happenings.
The Commander of the Loops
Thirteen Rationales of Cause
The Categorically Bona Fide Journal of a Part-Time Native American
Trilogies have been an undeniable trend in YA literature recently. This topic has been addressed here on The Hub before, both with enthusiasm (Good Books Come in Threes) and frustration (Too Many Trilogies). This past year saw the conclusion of a number of trilogies including the Divergent (Veronica Roth), Legend (Marie Lu), and Chemical Garden (Lauren DeStefano) series. A look at upcoming releases shows that many more trilogies will be wrapping up in 2014.
I have compiled a list of eight trilogies with finales scheduled for release in 2014. I am also throwing in two bonus conclusions that are not quite trilogies, but I think they are related enough to warrant mention.
The fall lineup on The CW has been running for a couple of months now, and we are finally getting used to some familiar faces while we get accustomed to lots of new ones as well. Century-old intrigue, new secret facilities, fallen angels and some old-fashioned family drama are surprising us at every turn. Even if you don’t watch every show on the Network of Beautiful People, we all feel a little connection to the network for the plethora of stories it’s told over the years. If you’re a fan, there are a certain group of “types” you might have in regards to your kind of fiction. You might love the supernatural, or have an affinity for people who kick a little ass. So let’s take the time to check out a few pages–new and old–that can act as alternative entertainment as we approach that time: holiday hiatus.
Hollyweird by Terri Clark. In this lighthearted comedy, a blue-eyed fallen angel must protect a young girl who has just won a trip to meet a TV star. This Hollywood heartthrob, who on his show drives around in a classic car killing monsters in every state, is actually the son of the devil! Written by a Supernatural fan, this novel has all the in-jokes you could ever want, on top of a funny and adorable story in its own right. (I’ll be honest: it was actually this book that spurred me to watch Supernatural, as I’d been afraid by that point that I would never catch up–then after reading it I decided to do what I could to make it so!)
I hear people talking about reality TV all the time. More and more, when I hear someone describe why they like a certain reality TV show, I want to tell them, “Well, if you like that show, then I have the perfect novel to recommend!” There is a strong connection between reality TV and teen literature; we have seen how authors use the premise of reality TV taking over the world in their works. However, I think there is also a connection between reality TV and teen lit because the subjects expressed in both are very similar — subjects like love, family, survival, and undiscovered talent.
Below you’ll find some of my pairings of teen novels and reality TV shows. Check them out and then recommend some of your own!
“The Bachelor” / The Selection by Kiera Cass
Perhaps one of the most obvious pairings, The Selection is Kiera Cass’s dystopian novel that takes the competitive reality dating we see on one of ABC’s most popular reality TV shows, “The Bachelor,” and sets it in a futuristic world where a strict caste system exists. America is one of thirty-five girls chosen to compete to marry Prince Maxon. She has already found love with her neighbor, but he is a caste below her and they both know there is no way they could have a future together. Though she does not want to be the next queen, America cannot deny the opportunity for a better life for her and her family.