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Oscars Best Picture Nominees: Readalikes

Credit Flickr user Rachel Jackson
Credit Flickr user Rachel Jackson

We are in the midst of Hollywood’s award show season with what seems to be an endless variety of shows every weekend. Each show bringing new red carpet styles, Youtube-able acceptance speeches and a new list of what films to watch. In the spirit of this flurry of film festivities and movie lists, we thought a readalikes post would be the best way for us at the Hub to partake in all of this fun. So in preparation for the quintessential award show, the Oscars, we’ve come up with a list of a YA readalikes for some of this year’s most talked about films – The Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees.

Special thanks goes to Hannah Gomez, Jennifer Rummel, Erin Daly, Tara Kehoe, Sharon Rawlins, Jessica Lind and Wendy Daughdrill for helping to create these booklists.  

Is This Just Fantasy?: LGBTQ+ Speculative Fiction

Just Fantasy LGBTQ+ spec ficAs this recurring feature on The Hub clearly indicates, I love fantasy fiction.  But even a fan like myself must acknowledge that the genre has limitations, especially in terms of diversity.  Speculative fiction has remained a fairly white, cis-gendered, & straight world for a long time.  The fact that there seem to be more dragons and robots than LGBTQ+ characters in fantasy & sci-fi novels is shameful and disheartening, especially to the genres’ LGBTQ+ fans.  So in celebration of LGBT Pride Month, I set out to overview the current status of LGBTQ+ representation in young adult fantasy and science fiction.

High Fantasy

ash_malindalo_500For readers interested in issues of diversity & representation in speculative fiction, Malinda Lo is one of the most exciting authors and insightful bloggers out there.  Her work is also the perfect introduction to high fantasy featuring LGBTQ+ characters.  For readers favoring fairy tale retellings, Malinda Lo’s Ash (2010 Morris Award Finalist, 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults) is an ideal romantic read. In this delicate Cinderella story, an orphaned young woman seeks escape from pain in the promises of a dark fairy but begins to question her choice when she falls in love with the king’s huntress.  Meanwhile, readers looking for quest narratives featuring complex heroines should pick up Lo’s Huntress (2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012 Rainbow List, 2012 Amelia Bloomer List), which follows the journey of two very different young women as they attempt to restore balance to the world–and understand their intense connection. 

Books for Superman and Clark Kent

Man-of-steel-movie-posterIt’s a bird, it’s a plane — no, it’s Superman! Or is it Clark Kent? It’s kind of hard to tell, right? I mean, one is a mild-mannered journalist who has a odd habit of disappearing just when danger strikes. The other is a spandex-wearing alien superhero who is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Okay, so I guess they are not exactly alike, although they do look oddly similar. In any case, here are two booklists to help celebrate the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, opening this weekend: one for Clark Kent and another for Superman. I’ll try to keep them straight.

Books for Clark Kent

Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

It’s a classic battle of the sexes with a side of romance when two school newspaper columnist go head-to-head over a popular school fundraiser that pits girls against boys.

Teddy Roosevelt, Alien Exterminator, or The Joy of Mashups

by flickr user elmira college
On June 19, the world as we know it changed forever. On that day we all woke up in a world where the film Ambraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is a thing that exists. What bizarre alchemy created the world of mashups, a world in which we can watch Honest Abe decapitate a vampire in digital 3D? Perhaps mashup literature is the natural evolution of maker culture, with its DIY spirit and zest for hacking, jailbreaking, and repurposing technological accessories. Why shouldn’t this impulse extend into the world of literature? I bless whatever combination of circumstances made mashup literature possible, and in honor of its spirit and zany glee, I propose:

A List of Actual Mashups for Your Enjoyment

Plus Three Mashups the World Must See

  1. T. S. Eliot and Time Travellers