Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Looking for Alaska – A “Bad” Novel

My middle school had the novel Detour for Emmy, about a girl who winds up pregnant her freshman year of high school.  It was a book checked out back to back. It never stayed on the shelves. We read this in middle school.

Looking for Alaska is no different. Adults freak out about one scene in the book. If analyzed closely, the scene is a paradoxically juxtaposed with another scene in which what Alaska taught Pudge doesn’t end up working out very well at all. And that’s the end of it. It died right there. This is a book written about high school students doing high school-age things.

Vampires and Werewolves – OOO LA LA! 

Vampires and werewolves do not make books better. In fact, that’s just a bandwagon trend to sell books. It’s its own form of trashy novels. I can’t even with them. Get out.

Annotating Your Books is BAD! 

UHM. The greatest minds of all annotate things from legal briefs and contracts to their own works. What is the issue here, people? Responding and interacting with your text is the sign of a sophisticated reader. It’s your book. It’s their book. Why are you all bent out of shape about what someone else does with their own property? Go press your pages or something.

Hype Hype Hype 

I am so over the “popular” series that roll out. They all look the same to me with such similar or synonymous titles and covers. Sadly, not one single one of them piqued my curiosity enough to want to read.

Who are some characters you identify with? 

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Book Blogger Hop ~ Author Interview

book-blogger-hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week poses a book-related question. The hop starts on Friday and ends on Thursday. The purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers.


Which author would you most like to interview, and why? (submitted by Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea)

If I could interview an author, I would choose John Green. I want to know all about how he developed the idea for his book Looking for Alaska, which is not a very supported book among parents or schools, despite the heartfelt message behind it. This book and its contents inspired my Famous Last Words posts.

I have talked about this book and it’s ties to my life numerous times on my blog over the years. It is a book that is emblazoned upon my soul, and that will never change. You can read all about my relationship with this book here, here, here and here. And here.

Famous Last Words #42

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

A Devil in Scotland

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Today’s topic is about books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, what you were feeling, what you were seeing, etc.

I feel like I’ve talked about most of these several times throughout the last 5 years…

I read these two when I was in 6th grade. I knew they were so taboo for me to read at that age, so I first read them and I’d stay up late at night until I heard my mom come home around midnight or 1 am. A few times I almost got caught! When I’d hear her pull up, I’d shove the book under my mattress, turn out the reading light, and roll over and pretend to be asleep. She never actually caught me, except there was one time I wasn’t fast enough to get the light out and back in bed. I feigned something or other as to why I was still up. Then I’d re-read them in the summer because I didn’t have books because school was out. I’d spend all of the hot Texas summer morning curled up on my bunk bed reading and I was left alone for the most part, which surprises me now in hindsight.

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I read Looking for Alaska for a required adolescent literature class. It was a spring semester course. I read the book about six months before my cousin committed suicide. I have inexplicable ties to this book because of that. If I had picked up this book AFTER, I never would have finished it. In the days and weeks after we laid him to rest, I scavenged this book so hard for passages I thought would give me the answers, just like Pudge did in the book to seek out his answers. For the longest time I kept this book on my headboard (it is like a little bookcase with two compartments and the top shelf). I have now put it back on the bookcase.

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I fell in love with a little guttersnape named Jacky Faber in high school. My school library had the first two books, if I remember correctly. I discovered them my junior or senior year and re-read them again before graduating, The books in this series were the first books I ever sought out to buy when I went to college. Up until then, I didn’t really have any of my own books (except my baby books boxed up in storage). I’d always checked out books from the library. I was fascinated with the story of Jacky – Bloody Jack – and all of her adventures and scrapes. I still am. 🙂

HARRY POTTER LATEST BOOK COVERS

I didn’t read Harry Potter until I graduated college. I used my new-fangled Kindle Lending Library to read the series. I didn’t know how it worked, so I was pissed when I finished the first book in January 2013 and I couldn’t immediately go on to the next book. It was a long seven months. At this time I was living with my fiance in his crappy apartment with his rude ass roommate who trained dogs and left them to bark all hours of the day and night. I spent most of my time sitting on the floor in front of the couch reading my books and figuring out how all this blog stuff worked.

Which books do you have a sensory memory with?

Famous Last Words #41

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


Ever since she was a little girl learning to make decadent truffles in her family’s chocolate shop, Juliet Arabella has been aware of the bitter feud between the Arabellas and the Mezzanottes. With their rival chocolate boutiques on the same street in Napa Valley, these families never mix. Until one night, when Juliet anonymously attends the annual masquerade ball. In a moonlit vineyard, she finds herself falling for a gorgeous stranger, a man who reminds her what passion is like outside of the kitchen. But her bliss is short-lived when she discovers her masked prince is actually Leo Mezzanotte, newly returned from Paris and the heir to her archenemy’s confection dynasty.

With her mind in a whirl, Juliet leaves for Italy to represent the Arabellas in a prestigious chocolate competition. The prize money will help her family’s struggling business, and Juliet figures it’s a perfect opportunity to forget Leo…only to find him already there and gunning for victory. As they compete head-to-head, Leo and Juliet’s fervent attraction boils over. But Juliet’s not sure whether to trust her adversary, or give up on the sweetest love she’s ever tasted…

Unmasking Juliet

Discussion: Sexuality in YA

Sexuality in YA 

Recently I read a post complaining about the blurred lines between YA and NA, and the mix of sexual content now cropping up in YA. I agreed with the blogger, who entirely disagreed with any sexual content in YA. Afterward, I started thinking on it. There are a couple of YA books that I thought of that do blur that line. It wasn’t meant to be shock value in either book. Rather, it was part of the natural progression of growth into young adulthood.

Bildungsroman is the term used to classify what I would consider the wide range of books that fall into YA literature. Bildungsroman focuses on the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist, commonly referred to as coming of age. The ultimate goal is maturity, and it is achieved gradually and with difficulty but is extremely important. Often the main conflict is between the protagonist and society. This covers every book YA book I know.

The first novel I thought of for this post was a book I read in middle school. I remember the book’s title and premise spreading like wildfire through our school. It was the whispered talk of the town. And I had to get my hands on it. Walking into that library up to Mrs. Almquist to ask if Detour for Emmy was in was one of the scariest moments of my life. I was sure I was going to be struck down or she would deny me to have it. Even better, she knew the book and what it was about – she had to buy it – and her facial expression didn’t change whatsoever. She was most helpful in getting me the book. What is more of a moral and social lesson than becoming pregnant as a teen? Being ostracized and criticized was a great learning lesson for me. It opened my eyes beyond the friendships, loyalty, and back-stabbings I’d already experienced.

Sometimes maturity, growth, and morals comes in direct conflict with what a character has been taught or raised to believe, including sex and sexuality. In Luna by Julie Andrew Peters, Liam is a teenage boy who transforms into Luna in his basement bedroom at night. It is a coming of age that is solely focused on sexuality, gender, and identity.

Another YA novel that hones in on morals and loyalty, identity and maturity is John Green’s Looking for Alaska. Pudge is sent to a boarding school with Alaska and the Colonel, along with a small cast of supporting characters. The novel caused an uproar in many school districts since it was available in their high school libraries and had a scene about oral sex. I didn’t read this book until I was halfway through college, but it had a great impact about being your true self. The educational sex scene was not designed to be subversively teaching teens how to perform oral sex. In fact, the entire lesson ruined that sexual exploit for the character.

The last YA novel that comes to mind that contains a sexual element is a beloved series, Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. In this series, young Mary Faber goes through adolescence. She learns what it means to have her monthly cycle while at sea with a bunch of men. She grows up at sea and learns all she needs to about the birds and the bees there, while experiencing some compromising situations and exploring her own identity as a budding woman. For me, the story of Jacky’s notorious fame as a pirate was a stronger pull than the sexual identity and content.

These are not books that establish intimate or sexual relationships for the point of sexual content. In these books, the sexual content is a part of adolescence, exploration, and maturity. It is a natural element of the teenage years. These books are far from erotica and for most of them the sexual content is only a blip in the book.

So, I disagree that there should be absolutely zero sexual content in YA. I believe that it should fit the stage of life for which it is written for, primarily the 15-18 year range. There is a line, and in my mind explicit content crosses that line into NA and not YA.

How do you feel about sexuality in YA? Some? None? Doesn’t matter?

Famous Last Words #40

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


Leah Santelli always knew that Zach Harper, son of a rock legend and her best friend’s brother, was painfully out of reach. Then, on the night of her eighteenth birthday, Leah shocked herself by asking for–and receiving–the gift she wanted: one night of passion with Zach before he left town to pursue his rock star dreams. Now, years later, Zach is back in Cloud Bay to record his first solo album. His return could also be Leah’s big chance to step up her own music career. But getting the producing credit she needs means spending long hours with Zach in the recording studio…and falling back into the habit of longing for him, for better or worse.

Zach used to believe that a man must put his past behind him. But coming back home for Cloud Bay’s famed music festival has allowed him to finally make amends with his family and, much to his surprise, reunite with Leah. He might have left her once but now it seems he can’t stay away. Trouble is, even though the heat between them burns hotter than ever, Leah has old wounds in need of healing before she can give Zach a real chance. Can he find a way to convince her that they can make more than just great music together–and that she’s the one that he wants for all time?

No Place Like You

Famous Last Words #39

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


 

It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season…Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . . Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas–and forever–is Will?

A Season of You

Famous Last Words #38

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


 

In the last year, George’s life has drastically changed. The formerly homeless veteran now has a job he likes, a family in the residents of Darling, VT, and for the first time in years, a home. But while his presence is good, he’s still haunted by the past, a past that appears shortly before Christmas when the older sister of his brother-in-arms hunts him down and finds him in Darling, working at the Ladybug Garden Center.

Amy’s looking for closure for her family after her brother’s death in the Middle East, but the serious man she finds working in Vermont doesn’t resemble the soldier she remembers from years before. This man is hardened and yet somehow fragile, too, and in her desire to find out what really happened to her brother, she learns more about George than she ever expected.

With a little Christmas magic and the whole town supporting them, can these two bruised hearts make a future together?

Deck the Halls

Famous Last Words #37

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words is a new monthly feature here in Land of 1000 Wonders. I wanted to find a new way to share some fabulous quotations from reads old and new. The inspiration for this feature came from the character Pudge in John Green’s Looking for Alaska.


From the moment he strode through the iron gate and into the offices of Two Love Lane on a crisp December day, it was obvious that Deacon Banks was something different. He wasn’t a Charleston native, not with that adorable Yankee accent. And unlike the usual client at the elegant matchmaking agency, he had no interest in finding a woman to marry–just a few no-strings dates while he was in town.

Macy Frost takes her professional services very seriously–how could she not, when she’s rumored to be a direct descendant of Cupid? Tech entrepreneur Deacon says he’s just trying to make his social-climbing aunt happy by being seen out and about with a few prominent beauties, but Macy insists she can make her client fall in love…for real. And Deacon can’t help but think she might be right. As charming as the palmetto trees and magnificent harbor may be, it’s the beautiful, breath-of-fresh-air Macy who’s become Deacon’s favorite part of the scenery. But can the hopelessly romantic Southern belle stop trying to fix him up and just let Cupid do his work on her own heart?

Christmas at Two Love Lane