Book to Movie: Soundtracks that Rock

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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 Dessi Gomez from California.

fault in our stars the giver if i stayMovie soundtracks can potentially make or break a movie. It’s great when they complement the movie, and they are even more poignant when they connect to the book off of which the movie is based. I compared the soundtracks of three popular books that have been recently transformed into movies: The Giver by Lois Lowry, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. These soundtracks chosen to help tell each of these stories have different tones that create unique vibes for each and every reader and viewer. The Giver is suspenseful and liberating. If I Stay is indie and quietly heartbreaking. The Fault in Our Stars is modern and mainstream. I wanted to talk about four songs from each soundtrack that I personally think really topped off the movie. [Note: time stamps for specific lyrical references are given at the end of some descriptions.]

fault-our-stars-movie-posterThe Fault in Our Stars

  • “All of These Stars” by Ed Sheeran

This song does a fine job of closing up the movie as the credits song. I thought of the title of the story when I heard the words, “I saw a shooting star and I thought of you.” Many of the songs in the soundtrack contain references to the stars. The lyric “I can see the stars from America/Amsterdam” connects the two countries in which Hazel and Augustus spend time together. The combination of “the way our horizons meet” and “skyline splits in two” speaks of how Hazel and Augustus are meant to be together, but are cruelly torn apart. “I looked across and fell in love” reminds me of how Augustus couldn’t take his eyes off of Hazel once he saw her in support group.  [Times: beginning-1:37; 2:17-2:35; 3:15 to end]

Continue reading Book to Movie: Soundtracks that Rock

Life, Love, and the Young Adult Novel

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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 Ryan Goodlett from Kentucky.

PaperTownsCover

Do you ever look back at your life and remember it in segments defined by the relationship you were in at that time? For me, it would be like “the Hayden* phase” or “the Elliott phase” and then “pre-Weston” and now currently “the Weston phase.” (Although I’m one billion times sure I’m gonna marry this one… we’re going on 10 months strong). This is my longest relationship, and I’ve never felt better. I strut through those cold high school hallways like it’s my red carpet, seeing everything through new eyes. I like to think I am very independent. I’m fine on my own or trying to fix the broken, and I won’t be with someone just because I think it’s “the thing to do.” But I didn’t realize that trying to fix the broken can be very painful; after all, broken things have sharp edges.

I met Weston in the midst of my endeavor to repair, and was already covered in cuts, waist-deep in someone else’s pain. I mean, I’ve read so many books about teenage love, where one character goes to the ends of the Earth for another, but the other character will just never be satisfied, but I could not recognize this in my own life.

Most recently, I witnessed this scenario unfold while curled up with John Green’s Paper Towns, an exhilarating mystery/romance novel which features Quentin Jacobson and Margo Roth Spiegelman of Orlando, Florida. As I tapped into Quentin’s thoughts and feelings about Margo, and learned of all the crazy things she did, I found myself feeling so very sorry for Quentin because it was so obvious that Margo Roth Spiegelman was not quite on the same planet (or at least had a very different view of the planet) as him. Such a simple yet intricate storyline, I could compare this story metaphorically to not only my own, but to the stories of many others I knew. Young love, the loss of love and the search for love are all captured beautifully in this novel, giving readers plenty of reason to both laugh and cry. Continue reading Life, Love, and the Young Adult Novel

Diversify Your YA Contemporary Reads: A Flowchart

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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 Summer Khaleq from California.

Most of us can attest to the fact that the ever-growing Young Adult genre is one of the most boundless and honest genres in modern-day literature. In terms of innovation, YA wins the gold.

Yet despite the ever-expanding horizons of YA, diversity in general seems to be a taboo topic. There aren’t nearly as many books featuring POC, LGBTQ, and/or disabled characters as there should be, with authors taking the safe route and opting for white heterosexual leads.

I’m certainly not the first to notice this, though. Campaigns supporting and advocating for diversity have been popping up all over the internet (such as the popular #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign), and if you aren’t familiar with any then you’ve either been a) living under a rock or b) hiding under a rock while reading a book. (Really, isn’t it sad the amount of campaigning that must be done in order to implement something that should be expected in this day in age?)

For those who are new to the movement, I’ve created a nifty little flowchart, since it can be cumbersome to look for potential diverse reads (insert expression of disappointment and irritation here). Even for those who have been following the campaigns for years, there are quite a few lesser-known books here that you should definitely give a try. Continue reading Diversify Your YA Contemporary Reads: A Flowchart

How You Can Make Change Good: Digging Through the Book Box

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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 Sharlena Luyen, age 17.

 

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

A book about love: how cliche. Pre-teen Sharlena didn’t think so. Love was a wonder full of lust, magic, and mystery. Hot, steamy scenes of two people caring for one another: such an overly fantasized situation for the world. At age 12, I was stuck on how Becca Fitzpatrick played me for a fool, for she had me believing that the badass, feisty Patch was out to save Nora Grey’s life, for he was falling in love, “inevitably.” Drawn in closer as the pattern of Patch neglecting Nora was becoming increasingly more common in Hush, Hush, I wanted someone to care for me like they did for each other—no matter what happened, he would always hover over her, ever-so-slightly, to make sure nothing bad would happen to her. In fact, it happened so often that she eventually depended on him to save her life. How great would that be? I’m sure all of our parents could go to bed safe and sound at night, knowing that we would always be alright in the morning. With protection 100% of the time, I think I would live my life a little more on the edge…which is exactly what Nora did.

Not only did she start becoming more dangerous, but she found a new disregard for rules. Perfectly fit, eh? He protects her, she cares about life less. She’s the ying to his yang. And then you guess it, she’s kidnapped. (In a dark shed in the middle of the night at a broken-down amusement park, I might add.) Continue reading How You Can Make Change Good: Digging Through the Book Box

The Effect of YA on My Generation

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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 Abby Brunn from Georgia.

photo by flickr user chillmimi
photo by flickr user chillmimi

Teenage years. Arguably the most pivotal time in a person’s life. Full of confusion, expectations, excitement, love, friendship, anger, sadness, happiness, success, discipline, adventure, craziness, and wonder.

A time of so many emotions and experiences. A time of vulnerability.

A time in which any wisdom and understanding on the purpose of life and its trials is welcomed with open arms.

Young-adult (YA) literature, especially in recent years, has been a shelter for its readers, especially those at a growing adolescent age. It has become a source of wisdom and a source of light, giving teenage (as well as adult) readers advice on how to handle the confusing yet beautiful moments that life throws at you. Call it cliche, but it’s true.

Life is horribly difficult and blissfully wonderful at the same time. YA literature allows its readers to experience both sides and helps them cope with the good and bad while also giving them a sense of comfort, showing them that they are not alone. It serves as a teacher; a mentor that introduces morals and advice disguised by plots and characters.

And it teaches willing students. Around the globe, YA has been on the rise. Need proof? You need only go to the nearest bookstore to find that many YA books have graced the front shelves alongside the bestsellers. Oh wait… that’s because they are some of the best sellers.

But why? Continue reading The Effect of YA on My Generation

Getting Over a Fictional Death

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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 Zeinab Hussen from Minnesota.

You pick up a book, then read the book. Spend hours upon hours flipping through pages and finishing chapters, while divulging yourself into the story. You end up getting emotionally invested and attached to a character…only to find out that the author kills them off.

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Paired along with your shocking discovery, an intense emotion of despair soon follows.

You may look like this:shock

 

Or like this:shock2

Or even this: gabriel_gonzaga

Don’t worry, all of those reactions are normal. But, I’ll be the first to admit that it can be hard to move on and come to terms with the actuality of the event.

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So, here are five tips to getting over a fictional death:

Tip #1: Dealing with Denial

Sometimes death in young adult literature can come out of nowhere*cough cough* The Fault in Our Stars. As you begin to reread the paragraphs that ensued to their death, you skip a few pages ahead convinced that the author has played some cruel trick on you.

Then, it hits you like a wrecking ball. They’re not coming back. Well, at least it’s not half dressed.

Realistically, if a character dies they tend to not magically be revived. And I say, good. Why? Because it allows you the chance to reflect upon the meaning of their role. You get the opportunity to see how significant that character was by witnessing them mold the other characters in the book as the story continues to enfold. But, their not the only ones that are molded. Their existence is amplified due to the emotional conflict they create and leaves a huge impact on the reader as well. Often times, fans reminisce about the character, by paying homage to them, making them memorable in pop culture.

Continue reading Getting Over a Fictional Death

The Fault in Our Novels

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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 Alyssa Finfer from New Jersey.

 

Let’s play a game. I’ll list some books, and you tell me which one doesn’t belong.Alyssa Graphic

  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Jane Eyre
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Hunger Games

I bet most of you picked the last one. Why? These books are all well written and powerful, and I bet many of you have read most or all of them, some even multiple times (I admit I have). Because of their popularity, Hollywood has made movie versions of all of them, though some are admittedly better than others. Despite this, people traditionally study the first four in English class at some point in high school or college, but rarely the last one. Also, even though all these books fit the definition of young adult literature, “literature for and about the young adult,”[1] you won’t find the first four in the YA section in Barnes and Noble. What’s up with that? Continue reading The Fault in Our Novels

The Beauty of the Short Story

teen_blogging_contest_winnerOctober 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. Our first post comes from Timber Mabes in Oklahoma.

photo by flickr use wiertz
photo by flickr use wiertz

Is your love for literature being strained by large amounts of homework? Can you no longer find time to re-read your favorite novel? Have you been seeing movies before reading their books because you “just don’t have the time?”

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I certainly have a solution for you: Short Stories!

These short and sweet tales started off as spoken fables. Some of them are still told today, but less widely believed true. Old fables would often explain how the earth came to be or why a certain animal has its name, or looks the way it does.

Another ancient form of a short story is the anecdote.  These were made popular in Roman and Greek culture and functioned as a sort of parable. These classical works of fiction would mark the onset of the world’s first published short stories.

 Today, these “mini novels” are read, and loved by many.

Because short stories naturally range from 1,500 to 30,000 words, you can complete them in an afternoon. 

Just like one of your favorite novels, short stories can:

  • Take you to another time period or transport you to a different generation.
  • Fly you all around the globe, into different countries and incredibly cities.
  • Create strong emotional bonds and attachments to their characters.
  • Surprise you with gut wrenching plot twists. And,
  • Make you anxious for a movie modeled after them. Continue reading The Beauty of the Short Story