Our thoughts on teens in YA

Hey everyone! As you might recall, if you’ve been around my blog a bit, I did a discussion post last month (it was actually a collaboration with April @Booked Till Midnight!). I had a whole lot of fun writing that post and so I decided to write another discussion!
Unfortunately I decided to procrastinate on writing this post until just about the last minute and now I’m tired and rushing and this post is nowhere near as good as that other one (which you can find here). Sooooo I’m super sorry about that and hopefully you still enjoy the topic. I promise that the post coming next week will be better. It’ll be one of my famous* wrap-ups so, yeah, there’s that to look forwards to if you enjoy those anyways (and I’m sorry if you don’t?)
*This is self-proclaimed fame. I honestly feel like my crazy wrap ups are the thing I’m most known for at this point (but especially my absurdly long January wrap-up).
This is a really interesting topic that I’m sort of conflicted on, and I’m wondering what all of you think. I really hope you enjoy since I’ve been thinking about this for a while and can’t wait to hear your own opinions on this topic!

In YA books, teens or people in their young twenties are almost always the main characters, the heros of the story. They’re books that really show how young people can be strong, can be the heros, in a world where oftentimes it’s older people who take the helm, from parents to government officials, etc. But how well do authors, who are oftentimes adults themselves, portray teens? Where is it okay that they make the character act a little older/younger than they are and where is it just weird? What books write teens well and what don’t?
(I know people have addressed the wordpress editor font weirdness before but for some reason it just changed for me and I do not like this times new roman font size twelve or whatever)
I just want to start off by saying that all opinions are my own and not everyone might agree with me!

First of all, I wanted to discuss younger teens in YA books, maybe teens who are thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old, ages that I don’t see portrayed that often in YA. I, personally, don’t enjoy how books portray characters these ages a lot of times and I’m going to cite a book that is loved by a LOT of people for this: Eliza and her Monsters. In Eliza and her Monsters, the main character, Eliza, is 17/18 years old. Now, in this book she has two online friends who she talks with a lot, one of whom is 14/15 years. And throughout the book, Eliza and her other friend who I believe is a little older than her (honestly, I’m shocked I remember even this much, I read this in September and info from books slips through my brain like water through fingers.) constantly talk about how young this character is and just make her seem a lot younger than 3 years. Guys, fourteen year olds aren’t actually that young. At all. I promise. They’re teenagers, they act like teenagers, three years isn’t that big an age gap at all. Also, I listened to the audiobook for part of this (it’s a terrible book to listen to on audiobook because there are some pictures) and whenever Eliza was talking to this 14 year old, Em, Em’s voice was so high like she’s a first grader not a fourteen year old.
This isn’t the only instance when this happens in books, it’s just the one I remember most (because Em’s voice was so high and it was in my ears aaack) but the verdict: I believe that younger teens are portrayed as much younger as they are in real life in YA books and I’d love to see some more books with characters who are on the younger age range of the teen-spectrum (not sure if that’s a thing but sure, I just made it up). Oftentimes, teens these ages are the main characters in middle grade books or supporting characters in YA and I think we need more main characters these ages. What do you think?

Next up: Do authors write teens in books too old, sometimes?
Well, in my opinion, yes there are definitely times when teens are written much too old (looking at you, Six of Crows). These are seventeen or eighteen year olds who act like they’re nearly thirty. Does this dampen the enjoyment of reading? It depends what you read for. If you’re reading these books specifically to find characters your age who act like you but who do these super heroic things, yeah, it might. If you spend the entire book telling yourself ‘a teen couldn’t do that. This is super unrealistic,’ and contemplating how un-teen-like this entire thing is, then that will definitely not be a fun read. But I’ve found, at least in my case, that it’s possible to enjoy a book even if the teens aren’t realistic. I pay more attention to the plot than I do to the characters, most of the time and that means that even if these eighteen year olds are acting like thirty year olds, they’re still doing awesome things to help the plot forwards so I still enjoy the book. How does the way characters act affect your enjoyment of a book?

What makes a good teenage protagonist in a YA book?
Well, I think this varies depending on the genre of the book. If you’re reading a YA realistic fiction/contemporary, you probably want a relatable protagonist. Contemporary/realistic fiction is about growing up, learning new things, so the protagonist you’re reading should be relatable. Someone who you can connect with. If not relatable, at least realistic. You want real problems, real emotions, not some sort of barbie-doll plastic mold of a teenager.
(disclaimer: I don’t read many realistic fiction/contemporary books and I also do not analyze the characters a whole bunch so I’m sorry that that part was super short)

In a fantasy or adventure or basically anything that isn’t a realistic fiction book, I think that it’s a little different. Of course, you want a teenager who acts like a teenager, once again a thirty year old-acting teen is prooooobably not the best character, but I feel like there’s also certain ways you want a teen to act. You know, you don’t want a damsel-in-distress teen (unless it’s the beginning of the book and they get an arc) because you don’t want to read about other people helping the protagonist. They’re the protagonist, you want to read about them doing their own things! Usually, in a book you’re looking for a strong, determined, loyal* character who can hold their own and who is the star of the story, not some sort of side character while the action is taking place somewhere else.
*this is something I see in a lot of characters in books but obviously not all of them. Keep reading, more on this below.

But then, there’s a type of character we haven’t talked about. A type of character that a lot of people seem to love (I actually don’t fit into that category, something I’ve discovered recently). Morally grey characters are not really your typical YA protagonists.
Why?
Here’s the thing. There’s one trait that sets them apart from characters I discussed above: loyalty. Oh, also things like a moral compass…okay there are several things. Man, that sentence sounded dramatic and now I have to go add things to it.
Anyways. People love these ruthless, grey characters because they’re different. I think. I’m not one of these people so maybe I shouldn’t be speaking on this. But I had to add this in here! So onwards I go. Morally grey characters are different and oftentimes these really strong characters who are willing to do anything to get what they want which can be an admirable trait. And they can just be plain, downright fun.
Gosh, I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore.

Well, that’s a wrap on this post! Again, sorry for the content, it definitely wasn’t up to my usual level of chaos over here on my blog and wow maybe I should stop apologizing and actually just write something I’m proud of but nope I’ve been busy (and yet if you asked me to name a single thing I did this week I’d probably sit there staring at you (or my computer screen) blankly.).

Just a reminder to everyone that there is one week left to enter the giveaway for ‘A Bite of Revenge’ by Setayesh Kazempoor. Check out my post where I interviewed Setayesh, and then head on over to enter the giveaway! You can also find the giveaway here and the goodreads page for this book here.

What do you think of this post? Do you agree with me or have some different opinions? What sorts of things do you enjoy seeing in your protagonists?
As always, thank you so much for stopping by–it means the world! Everyone, please, stay safe and keep on reading!

Four Popular Authors and Series That I Have Yet to Read

I have seen a post like this on a few other blogs and thought I’d try it out! There’s a lot of authors and serieses out there that I have yet to read but I thought I’d make a list of four of them that are very popular whose books I have never read! Get ready to be shocked because Phoenix is very behind on reading all of the authors that everyone else has.

1) Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass, ACOTAR, Crescent City)

No, your eyes hath not decievethed thou (bow down to my stellar Shakespearean English. I know, top notch). I have never read a book by Sarah J Maas.
I’m also a great liar 🙂
Okay so I did read the very first book in the Throne of Glass series several years ago (smol me actually read through this book, yes). But I never tried to read the rest of the series. I think both the size of the books and the size of the series intimidated me–and from what I’ve heard goes on later in the series, I am very thankful for young me putting down those books after reading the first one.
I do not remember much of what happens in that first book and it was several years ago so I’m barely counting that. I’ve never read another book by SJM. I’ve also heard many many mixed reviews about these books and given some of the things I’ve heard…I will probably not pick them up for a while longer. There are just so many books that sound better to me that I want to read first.

2) Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, Dark Artifices)

Yet another absurdly popular YA author whose books I have never read. And I’m not lying this time, I have never touched a Cassandra Clare book except maybe that time that my friend asked me to hold the book for her while she tied her shoe.
There was one time when I was interested in maybe reading them. I’d seen a lot about them and they were these giant books and a long series–just so much to read! But there are a lot of books out there and, like the SJM books, these just don’t seem like they should be my top priority of books to read. They are still giant fantasy books and there are a lot of them but…they just seem like sort of the same. The same thing that a lot of fantasy books are. More and more books are being written today that are different, that are diverse, that are just more interesting.

3) VE Schwab (Shades of Magic, Villains, Addie La Rue)

I LITERALLY CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVEN’T READ A VE SCHWAB BOOK YET.
I have heard SO, SO MUCH about VE Schwab and her books and I just NEED to read them. I cannot count the number of reviews I have read of The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue and every single one of them are glowing. I actually haven’t heard as much of her other books–I think because Addie La Rue was just published and there’s a lot of hype surrounding it. But really, I’m excited to read any of Schwab’s books and will hopefully have done so by the end of the month.

4) Alice Oseman (Heartstopper, 4 individual books)

Alice Oseman is another author whose books I really need to read. Another author who I CANNOT BELIEVE I’ve never read. I have heard SO MUCH about her books. They sound awesome and adorable and SO DIVERSE and I just–I need them! I was really looking to read Loveless this year because there aren’t many books about ace/aro characters and I thought this story especially sounded really interesting since it’s sort of a self discovery story…but it’s not out in the US yet!!!!
I’ve also heard a lot about Heartstopper. So many people love it and want to read it. It sounds interesting. It sounds cute. But (*cue the gasp of everyone reading*) due to recent experiences with graphic novels that include adorable mlm ships (*cough* Fence* *cough*) I’m probably not going to pick it up.
*My recent experience with Fence was that I got so obsessed that I couldn’t really do anything else. And I really don’t want that to happen to me again because last week was not a fun week to be around Phoenix unless you ONLY wanted to talk about Fence EVER.

I was debating whether to make this a post of well known serieses* that I haven’t read but decided against it because it was mostly, well, SJM and CC. Schwab and Oseman’s books don’t really have serieses or if they do they’re not, in my opinion, as well known as the authors themselves. There are, however, a few serieses that I thought I would tell you I haven’t read just because.
*I am convinced that serieses is the plural of series and it makes sense if you think about it. The word bus, plural, is buses. The word mess, plural, is messes. For a singular noun ending in s, to make it plural you add es. You’re welcome for the grammar lesson. Maybe one day I’ll do a post on the word series. But probably not because that sounds weird.

1) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I’ve seen a lot about Shatter Me around, some people hate it and some people love it. I’ll probably never read it because it seems kind of big on the romance and sort of just…not the kind of book that I’d like. I’ve seen VERY mixed reviews on this, with a lot of different opinions but really, it just seems like a regular YA dystopian romance and I’ve found, especially in the recent weeks (read: after reading Fence, when my reading preferences went wack) that I don’t enjoy dystopian much any more.

2) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Well, I’ve heard a lot about this book as well. Including the fact that this is, like Shatter Me, a typical YA dystopian romance.
From reading reviews of this book, I’m going to admit that this sounds a little better than Shatter Me. Possibly, it’s because there’s a little more action? And maybe less romance? I don’t know, I’ve never read it and most of my opinions come from this review from Sofia on goodreads. (do check it out, it’s hilarious)
But also I’ve seen a lot of reviews that say it’s just typical YA which…I’m not exactly looking for.
Also, the tropes. Not like other girls and a love triangle? No, thank you.

3) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Raise your hand if you are surprised that I’ve never read Twilight. After having read my thoughts on the last two books, how could you be surprised? Twilight is literally the definition of a typical YA book. In fact, this book might be the book that created the definition of a typical YA book. Which might have made it atypical when it was one of a kind. But not anymore.
Sorry, I’m not big on straight romance. Vampires sound cool but not ones in love. And just…I don’t want to read four books (five now, right?) on a girl in love.
(I will say one thing: I’ve read the first two pages of Twilight and Bella is right about the fact that Forks, Washington is in fact in the middle of nowhere. There’s nothing to do there, but the beaches are nice. And now, after Twilight is based there? Their only claim to fame is Twilight. It was EVERYWHERE.
No offense to anyone living in Forks, I’m sure that there’s plenty to do there if you live there. I mean, you cannot fall in love with a vampire around where I’m from.)

4) Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

This one I actually want to read, mostly. I’ve seen a few good reviews of it and it sounds interesting. I very recently read April Lee’s review of it on her blog and it seems like she enjoyed it! Unfortunately, it’s not very high on my tbr (I gotta get past all the VE Schwab and Alice Oseman books first!). So hopefully I’ll read it eventually. We’ll see when that happens. (*adds to long list of books to read in 2021)

Well. That was a long post that people might get angry at me for! Because these are a lot of popular authors/serieses that I know people really enjoy! If you have opinions for what I should read first of these or want to try to convince me to read one of the authors/serieses that I said I didn’t want to read, I look forwards to your arguments. I’m hard to sway.

I hope you all enjoyed this post! I always love to hear your opinion on my opinion as long as it’s respectful, so please leave a comment or two! As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

The Liebster Award (#1 and #2)

Aaaand I meant to publish this yesterday but forgot to click the publish button. Go me.

I wrote the below and then was tagged by Alex @The Scribe Owl for the Liebster award as well. However, I like my old intro even though it is no longer accurate so I’m keeping it. Enjoy me from two weeks ago. 😁😁😁

Okay. So teeeeechnically, I wasn’t tagged for this.
However.
Sunny @Revolution Reading tagged ‘Anyone who is interested in doing this tag who hasn’t yet, or anyone who has read at least one book this month.’ Given that I haven’t done this tag/award yet…here goes.

Honestly, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been nominated for the Liebster Award. In fact, so many people have been nominated that everyone just assumed that I had already been nominated and therefore no one tagged me. (Wow, that was some crazy reasoning)

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions asked of you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers
  • Ask your 11 nominees 11 questions

(Just wondering, does anyone know what’s up with the number 11?)

Sunny’s questions:

Have you ever spilled anything on a book?

The answer is yes, probably. How could I not have spilled something on a book once in my life? But it was also probably a very long time ago because I’m very careful with my books. Most of the books I read are from the library so you REALLY don’t want to spill anything on those, and nowadays I usually read on my kindle. Not a physical book. But sometimes I get a few crumbs on my kindle because reading while eating. I honestly have no idea what people who don’t read do while they’re eating, like do they just focus on the food? Preposterous!!!

Which book gives you the most holiday vibes?

Oh, wow. I don’t usually read books for the holidays, I just read normal books. I actually do not like reading books specifically about/for the holidays…I’m not sure why. It’s just not something I enjoy doing. But we’re talking about vibes here. So.

For some reason the book ‘Four Dead Queens’ by Astrid Scholte gives me holiday vibes. Why? I have no idea. It’s literally about queens getting murdered. And it’s a mystery. But maybe because I read this in early January or the fact that I feel like I remember one very short scene where it’s snowing, I get holiday vibes from it. Also the COVER. It’s absolutely beautiful. And…not exactly holiday-y? But to me I feel like it is. I do not know why.
Anyways, I cannot stop talking about this book (I mentioned it in my 2020 book tag as well), you guys NEED to pick it up. It’s amazing.

Which is better, cake or pie?

Um, cake. OBVIOUSLY. With cake, you get the, well, cake, so it’s ALL sweet. And then there’s frosting. Meanwhile, with pie it’s usually fruit-based which, I mean, is fine. Good. But in a dessert I’m sort of looking for something sweeter (I actually don’t usually like frosting much, however. It’s almost TOO sweet). Pie for breakfast, however? Yummmm.

What’s next on your tbr?

Hmm, I don’t usually plan a tbr just because, well, I think I’m a mood reader? Sort of? I just go with what I’m reading right now and usually I don’t not have something to read because of what I request from the library or something someone else in the family gets that I want to read…I don’t really think about what I want to read next.
However, I would really enjoy to read King of Scars next. I suffered through the Shadow and Bone series just to get to this one so I would really like to read it soon. We’ll see, though. I expect I’m getting a lot of books for Christmas, given that…that’s one of the only things I asked for.

When’s the last time you bought a book? What was it?

Aaah I really don’t buy books often! At all! I literally can’t remember the last time I bought a book aside from that time in early January when I bought 4 books with a gift card I got from Christmas. Though technically that’s a Christmas present? But if we are counting that, I bought these four books:

List a few books that you want people to read!

I have, in a great struggle, managed to narrow this list down to four books that I loved and that I think don’t have a lot of hype.

  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte. I’ve already talked about this book several times so I think you know how much I love this one!
  • Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian. This is such a creepy and fascinating book. I really enjoyed it because it’s very different than anything I’ve ever read before and I really like reading spooky stories that aren’t absolutely terrifying but are slightly freaky.
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen. I really enjoyed the unique caste system and magic system in this book! Plus the story and characters were awesome.
  • Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. This was a really interesting story and it was about phoenixes, so that’s a plus. The world building was fascinating and I loved how the history of the world was interwoven with the story, so beautifully created.

Would you rather trade places with your least favorite character from your favorite book or have your favorite character die in your least favorite book?

Definitely have my favorite character die in my least favorite book. My least favorite book is…well I’m not entirely sure but it’s probably something I had to read for school. No offense to all the English teachers out there, but I’m not very attached to any of the characters in books we read for class and so for a favorite to die…not that sad. Plus, a favorite character in a least favorite book probably isn’t a character I like very much anyways.

Paperbacks or hardcovers?

The answer is probably paperbacks. I like paperbacks because they’re smaller and you can bring them on trips and such as well. Hardcovers are more durable but they can be annoying since they’re heavier. Honestly though, I prefer ebooks above all, I know I’m crazy that way.

What’s your least favorite genre?

Aaah I mean it’s probably nonfiction. I mean, nonfiction can be fine in some cases, like when you’re doing a research paper or when it’s actually a story, and an interesting one, but most times…I just don’t pick it up. I don’t know what it is about it. Honestly, if there were a book that was like, ‘The story of…a memoir,’ even if it sounded really interesting, I’d be less likely to pick it up. You could just take out the ‘a memoir’ part and I’d probably pick it up, ha ha.

Would you rather spend the day in your favorite book, but be a character that was only mentioned a few times, or spend the day in your second favorite book and be with the main character(s) the entire time?

Oh, second favorite all the way. I mean saying ‘favorite book’ and ‘second favorite book’ for me doesn’t really make sense….I just love so many books that it’s impossible to choose!
Hmm but if you think about it if you’re with the main characters the entire time, it might get super dangerous…unless we’re talking about this is before/after the book takes place, just a normal day.
But like…being in the favorite book and not even meeting the main character? Barely even being there? That would be sad. It would feel like a missed chance to me.

Night owl or early bird?

Oh, early bird all the way. I used to wake up SUPER early but quarantine has spoiled me so now I only wake up like a half hour before the average person. I go to bed much earlier than the usual teenager. I think I get more sleep than everyone else in my class 😂. But I also don’t absolutely love sleep, like when asked what I’m going to do it’s not going to be sleep.
Hmmmm I wonder if those two things are *gasp* related???

Alex’s questions:

What is your favorite decade for music?

Oh man. Much to everyone’s chagrin, I don’t listen to much music. I mean, the only music I really listen to is musicals. Aaaand I currently have the piece I’m playing on the violin stuck in my head (yes, I have violin music stuck in my head) but that doesn’t count. Anyways, I think that all these musicals are from different times? Hamilton is very recent and I think that Six the musical came out last year but I have no idea when Les Miserables came out.
Hang on, looking it up…
O-oh. Um well. 1903. Okay then.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Fantasy, easily. I think that I like fantasy because it lets you get away from the real world. It lets you go to a world where there’s magic and, while the worlds often still have problems, there just aren’t the same problems that our world has. I love seeing all the world building and the different magic systems and just how characters interact with a world that is not the one I know already.

Are there any books you have a love hate relationship with?

Ah ha ha ha ha ha.
You’re lucky you didn’t tag me for this two weeks ago.
Yes, I do have a love hate relationship with a graphic novel series…Fence by CS Pacat. On one hand, it’s like my favorite series of all time, I love the characters, I love the ships, I LOVE the fencing (for those who didn’t know, I fenced for approximately 5 months last year). But then…my obsession got too much. So I still absolutely loved the book but I began to hate it–I uttered the words ‘I wish it had never been written’ several times–because it was the only thing I could think about.
But I still love love love it even though last week was NOT pretty (you can ask any of my IRL friends).
I think that my obsession has toned down now and I don’t want this to scare you away from reading this book because it’s awesome and the obsession only happens to me. ⬅ This is a proven fact, my friends have read it.

Are you also a book hoarder collector?

In the sense that I get books whenever I can and then don’t read them for a long time because I own them and can read them whenever but that is not the case with the books at the library, yes, I suppose you can say that I am.
In the sense that if I get money I will immediately go buy books, no because I’m cheap.

What is at the top of your Christmas list?

Well. The broad answer is…books (I know, shocking, right?). But as for what books, well, I have two books that I really really want to get. Cemetery Boys has been one of my most anticipated releases of the whole year and I know it came out in like September or October but I still haven’t read it because it’s on my Christmas list. So I better get it.
The other book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I’ve read so many reviews of it and seen so many awesome things that I can’t wait to read it! If I get it it will also be my first VE Schwab book so that’ll be exciting!

What is your favorite holiday?

Don’t make me choose! I like all the holidays. But if I were to choose one…probably Christmas because I enjoy spending time with my family (not this year, though) and we always get lots of cookies. Plus, having the house all decorated is really nice, it makes everything warm and peaceful (I hate decorating though). And the presents books are also a nice bonus 😁

If you had to attend a dinner party with your three favorite authors and only one of you got to walk out of the room alive, who would it be?

Congrats, I am officially concerned for your sanity.
Okay but seriously, WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THIS? And why why why do I have to choose?
Anyways, what even are my three favorite authors? Just like books, I don’t have three favorite, there are just multitudes of amazing books.
Also I just don’t want to say I’d kill anybody? Because that’s cruel? And these are real people?

If your two favorite book characters had to duel, who would win?

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy must you hurt me with these ‘favorite’ questionsssss??? Aaaah who are my favorite characters? I can never choose! I’m sorry for being so indecisive! I just–I love all the smol children who suffer many traumatic instances that their creators put them through.
But you know what since you asked I’ll just choose two characters that I enjoy reading because whatever. If….Harvard Lee from Fence and Fie from The Merciful Crow dueled…well Harvard knows how to fence but I think Fie has an unfair advantage given that she can burn some teeth to get magic (that probably sounds very confusing to someone who hasn’t read TMC). So I’d say that Fie wins. (sorry Harvard. Don’t worry, you can still beat Nicholas…for now)

Do you have any pets?

I do in fact have a dog. She’s just over three years old and is a mutt. Her name is Luna Bear Schuyler Rutabaga and she’s 1/8 lab, 1/8 huskie, 1/8 terrier, 1/8 bulldog and 50% unknown. So yes, very much a mutt. She’s also absolutely crazy and will probably kill herself by eating something she isn’t supposed to one day.
Sorry, no pictures.

Do you play any musical instruments?

I, like approximately half the population, play the violin (I’m joking, way less than half the population plays the violin, it just seems like so many people I know play violin). I have been playing for 5 and a half years.

Which are better, squids or octopi?

Octopi, 100%. They’re awesome, they’re so sweet. Squids just live in the deep dark depths freaking me out. Oh yeah also I recently watched the documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’ and that octopus was the sweetest thing.

Well there’s the award!
Here are the people that I nominate:

Em @Tea for Teens
Turquoise and Amethyst @Act Your Page
Sibella @YA Book Reviews
Shine @Haunting Ghosttown
Kirsten @The Novel Existence
Vic @Books and Mate
Tess @Unbound Library
Emilie @Emilie the Bibliomaniac
Urmom @Urmom Reads Books
Madeline @The Bookish Mutant
Booktastically @Booktastically Amazing

And here are my questions:

  1. Have you ever had a book hangover?
  2. How often do you cry when reading books?
  3. What are some of your most anticipated 2021 releases?
  4. What was the most surprising thing you read in 2020?
  5. If your name weren’t your name what would your name be? (that was trippy…)
  6. When you think ‘fantasy’ what are the first four words that come to mind? Why?
  7. Write a summary of a book where you place characters of a book you’re currently reading in the world of the book you just finished reading (how do the characters react to the new world, how does the story change)
  8. What book that you’ve read do you think would make the best musical adaption?
  9. If you were trapped in a room for the rest of your life and could only bring three books, which would they be?
  10. What’s the most embarrassing book-related thing that has ever happened to you? (ex: three times now I have shipped people who ended up being related)
  11. What’s the weirdest food combination that you’ve ever eaten?

I can’t believe I’ve finally done a Liebster award! I really hope you enjoyed this post! Have you ever spilled something on a book? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are your opinions on all of Alex’s ‘extremely cruel favorite character/author choose one’ questions? I’d love to hear what you think below!
Thank you all so much for reading–it means the world. As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

World-building in YA Feminist Fantasy Fiction

Two days ago, Saturday, August 29, was independent bookstore day. On this day, I got the excellent opportunity to attend a webinar in which three authors, Kat Cho (Wicked Fox), Rena Barron (Kingdom of Souls) and Rebecca Kim Wells (Shatter the Sky) spoke about their YA feminist fantasy novels!

I got to hear these authors talk about the strong female characters in their books, how these characters became who they are, why it was so important to have strong female characters who are challenging society’s rules in books.

Now I, unfortunately, have never read any of these three books, though I hope to very soon. Still, this was an amazing chance to see authors talk about their books and all the amazing things that they’ve written. Now, let’s dive deeper into what they were actually talking about.

One of the most interesting things that these authors spoke about, I believe, was their characters’ anger. Kat Cho’s answer especially stood out to me. Her book, Wicked Fox, is about a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who has to eat the energy of men to stay alive. Cho talks about how in Korean myths, where the story of the gumiho exists, all gumihos are women and they are all wicked. They were something to fear, because they literally fed off of men and they were strong women. Cho talked about how men were the ones who wrote these stories – men were, generally, the ones who wrote all of history – so it was men who made the women ‘wicked’ – who needed to be punished for their ‘wickedness’. Therefore, women had a reason to be angry. Another one of the three authors spoke on how women were, throughout history in a typical man’s opinion, supposed to be quiet, timid, out of the way. They aren’t supposed to get angry. Usually, and sometimes because of this, though, the anger is justified.

Near the end of the webinar, the authors spoke on giving advice to aspiring authors. Their advice was quite simple and something that anyone wanting to be an author should take! The first piece of advice is that WRITING IS HARD. No one thinks that it is easy, it is even hard for published authors. But you just have to keep at it. Also, you cannot compare your book to anyone else’s. What you are writing is your own project and it is unique from anyone else.

Have you read any of these three books? What did you think of the characters and the books in general? Talk about these books and this webinar in the comments!