What Would They Read?: Firefly

firefly-title-card-logoI 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, legendwe 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. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Firefly

Reading the Book before the Movie or Show: Pros, Cons, & Bragging Rights

by flickr user o5com
by flickr user o5com

Young adult and adult novels make it to the big (and little) screen fairly often these days.  So, just how smug should you feel when you have already read the book? There is no easy answer – so to tackle this issue I have broken down the movie/show tie-ins into categories.

The Book Series Made into a Show

You can feel superior, but do tread lightly as you enter this murky zone.   When translating a series of novels into a series of shows major plot elements are likely to be changed to allow for the continuity of the show.  Examples of the book series made into a show include Pretty Little Liars (based on the series by Sara Shepard), Gossip Girl (based on the series by Cecily Von Ziegesar; a 2003 Quick Pick & 2009 Popular Paperback for Young Adults), The Walking Dead (based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn and Tony Moore), and Game of Thrones (Based on the “Song of Fire and Ice” books by George R.R. Martin.)

walking dead
walking dead
  • Pros of pre-reading the book series made into a show:

1) You read the books, you loved them…you watch the show and get more!  You can translate your book reading experience into an on-going show and keep the story alive after the series is over and/or whilst you await (impatiently) for the next book.

2) Deviations from the book make for some fun and unexpected surprises.  You thought you knew all there was to know about white walkers in George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series… but after watching the HBO show– what?!

  • Cons of pre-reading the book series made into a show:

1) Deviations from the book make for some shocking unexpected surprises.  Yes, this is both a pro and a con.  These changes may call into question your precognitive skills.  For example AMC’s Walking Dead’s many plot changes as compared to the graphic novel series.

  • Bragging rights earned from pre-reading the book series made into a show:

Monday morning talk when there was a Sunday night cliffhanger: does <insert character name> die?  Then they look your way: do you know?  Oh, yeah.  Continue reading Reading the Book before the Movie or Show: Pros, Cons, & Bragging Rights

Books for Boys that Aren’t “Books for Boys”

Recently I was sitting in my library’s teen space with a few teens (three guys; two girls) chatting about movies, books, friends, and the Spongebob Squarepants version of the Game of Life when I had a bit of a revelation. This wasn’t really a new revelation but rather a confirmation of what seems like such an obvious fact: there are no such things as “books for boys.”

See!? Sometimes guys read Danielle Steele! (Photo by Flickr user Wei Tchou)
See!? Sometimes guys read Danielle Steele! (Photo by Flickr user Wei Tchou)

During this hanging out time, some boys insisting on showing me multiple trailers for YA movie adaptations: first, Divergent; then The Maze Runner; and finally, The Fault in Our Stars. They talked about how excited they were for these movies and how they couldn’t wait to see how the movies were different from the books. One of the boys said he watched the TFiOS trailer five (!) times in a row after it was released recently. This got me to thinking about the books and media these boys were interested in. They featured both guy and girl protagonists, they were cross a couple of different genres, and were written by both male and female authors.

I realized it doesn’t matter if a book is “for” a guy or a girl; the gender of the intended audience tends to get all mixed up when you factor in the power of a good story. Boys like stories; girls like stories. Readers in general like stories. We need to forget what we think about boys and reading and find them the stories they want. Continue reading Books for Boys that Aren’t “Books for Boys”