Hello, and welcome to another installment of YA Book club, the place where Emily and Mary talk all things YA! This month, we’re talking about Warcross by Marie Lu. This novel follows Emika Chen, a young woman on the brink of financial disaster, unable to pay her rent and in debt. When Emika hacks into a Warcross tournament, she unintentionally catches the eye of Hideo Tanaka, the founder of the Warcross games and a tech billionaire. As Emika and Hideo grow closer, Emikia is tasked with finding a dangerous hacker who threatens to jeopardize Hideo’s business--and his life. This novel has been compared to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, but is notably different because it features a female protagonist and a less sweeping (though perhaps more personal and dangerous) plot. Join us, as we discuss Warcross!Read More
YA Book Club is back! And this month, we’re presenting to you (with the help of Mary’s sweet kitty Edward) The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Read on to see what we thought, and yes, there will be spoilers.
Mary: Hello! This month, we read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. The basic premise is that a girl named Alice comes from a long tradition of fairy tales--her grandmother Althea Prosperine wrote a famous collection of stories called Tales from the Hinterland. But Alice never met Althea, and figured that Althea wanted nothing to do with her or her mother, Ella. After Ella receives a letter that Althea has died, Alice thinks she can finally stop wondering about her grandmother. But that's when weird things start to happen. Ella goes missing, and Alice must discover what happened to her mother, and discover who she is along the way! Spoilers to follow, of course!
Emily: All the spoilers.Read More
This month Emily and Mary read Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, a novel full of twists, turns, demons, and powerful girls.
Emily: Hello, I am here.
Mary: We are BACK after a hiatus with more YA content for you! We recently read Claire Legrand's Sawkill Girls, a story about a strange town, a family bound to a demon (?), and the young girls who try to save everyone.
The book follows Marion, a girl who moves to Sawkill Rock with her family, Val, a girl who is part of a matrilineal line bound to servitude of a weird evil entity, and Zoey, the daughter of the sheriff who has strange powers and wants to avenge the death of her best friend. Together, Zoey and Marion try to figure out what's up on the island, why so many girls go missing, and they eventually have to team up with Val to solve the mystery!
How would you categorize this book? What genre is it? Supernatural? Mystery?
Emily: It's not really a mystery. Because we know who's doing it from the beginning.
Supernatural thriller maybe.
Mary: That's true. I think supernatural thriller is a good description. There are definitely a lot of thrills.
I read this book really fast, and the entire time I found it kind of predictable. There were some nice twists and turns, but it wasn't necessarily...surprising. Predictability isn't a bad thing, though. This felt like a comfort read to me. What were your general thoughts?
Emily: So I don't think the "what happens next" is the main point here. I think this is a parable about the patriarchy and the way women are controlled in our society.
Mary: Yes, yes! Say more about that. I totally agree.
Emily: It's a lot to unpack, and I think that's what the real reveal is as the story goes on. Because at first, we're introduced to this family that seems to be controlled by powerful women.
Mary: I guess we should say HEY, THERE ARE SPOILERS!Read More
Mary and Kelli saw Booksmart, a new film by Olivia Wilde and had some FEELINGS about it! Spoilers for Booksmart to follow!
Mary: Hiiiiii! Today, we are very excited to talk about Booksmart, the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde!! Do you want to introduce us a little?
Kelli: Sure! So, before I saw Booksmart, I heard it described as a cross between Lady Bird and Superbad, and I think that is a fairly accurate description - though it's probably more on the Superbad end of the spectrum. The film stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as Molly and Amy, two "booksmart" best friends who realize, on the last day of their senior year, that while they were studying hard to get into good schools, all of the other kids who were partying and acting like typical teenagers... also got into good schools. Horrified by this knowledge and determined to prove to her peers that she is "fun," Molly (Feldstein) drags Amy (Dever) along with her to have one night of debauchery before they graduate.
Mary: And boy, is it a wild night.Read More
Earlier this month, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell released their graphic novel Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me with First Second. Mariko Tamaki might sound familiar; she’s written graphic novels that have helped shape the landscape of young adult comics in general, like This One Summer and Skim (both illustrated by Jillian Tamaki).
Emily and I wrote about This One Summer--we both enjoyed it, and I felt particularly attracted to Jillian Tamaki’s art style. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me has a different tone than This One Summer, though, and follows a different sort of story. Instead of following children on the verge of figuring out their sexuality through puberty, Laura Dean depicts teenagers who have already been in relationships and feel more secure in their identity (though we know teenagers are rarely too sure of anything!).
The novel focuses on Freddy, a young woman who keeps finding herself in and out of a relationship with Laura Dean, the smooth, fast talking, charming young titular character of the comic. Freddy doesn’t want to love Laura, but she can’t help herself. Instead of breaking things off and making it final, Freddy finds herself susceptible to Laura’s false promises.
(Spoilers for the graphic novel to follow)
WELCOME BACK to YA Book Club. This month, Mary and Emily discuss Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, a YA fantasy novel with a huge scope—and maybe even a movie in the works. Read on for our chat-style conversation!Read More
This stock image model with cute socks and a cat is living her best book-reading life, but did Kelli, Susan, Mary, and Emily live their best book-reading lives in 2018? Read on to find out our opinions (good, bad, and everywhere in between) on all the books we read in 2018 and the books we’re looking forward to in 2019.
Thanks to Jame over at Perpetual Page-Turner for the end-of-year survey questions. if you end up posting this on your own blog, be sure to send us the link to check it out, and of course, credit Jamie for all her hard work putting this together! Oh, and happy 2019, everyone.Read More
Every year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe spits out a couple of movies of various quality. For the most part, these films are roughly the same: big budget, lots of CGI, a famous cast. This year, Marvel (albeit a different arm of the Marvel machine) released a different sort of movie. Enter Spider-Man. Enter THE SPIDERVERSE.Read More
Thanksgiving can be a hard time. Stuck with family and friends and forced to be social, many of us retreat to the comforts of literature. This Thanksgiving, pair your favorite foods with 8 captivating young adult books to get you through the holidays!
Othersode #20: Daddy Skarsgård / Castle Rock / Interview with Gabrielle Moss
Enter the spoooooky world of Stephen King with The Squad as we discuss the Hulu show
Castle Rock. Together, we’ll tackle the tough questions, such as: What does it mean to be “evil”? Does this show have too many balls in the air? Is Bill Skarsgård hot or just tall? Why did Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson break up? Plus, stick around for an interview with the amazing Gabrielle Moss, Bustle columnist and author of Paperback Crush. Do you have opinions about Castle Rock? Theories about what the ending meant? A love letter for your favorite paperback series from when you were a teen? E-mail us and let us know at email@example.com! And don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe! Why? Because we love you.
Click through for table of contents and show notes!Read More