Thursday, August 19, 2010

YA is for Lovers


I am not a romance reader. Never have been. There's nothing WRONG with romance, it's just not my thing. Until I started reading YA Fiction, that is. Now I can't stop myself from splitting up into Teams. (Team Edward, Team Ash, Team Rob... Wait, that's not a team... *wink*)

A good female heroine with a charming suitor is half of the draw for me. And it occurred to me that as an adult I long for that excitement of a first love or the fantasy of a bad boy. Grown women know better than the run after the sexy miscreant (usually), and we realize that passion doesn't always mean a lasting love. I love young love.

But then I started to wonder... while this escapism is great for those of us who've already survived high school, what about the intended readers? Does my love perpetuate the allure of the bad boy and encourage young girls? Or does it give them a chance to explore that in a safe environment? What do you think?

I agree with you on the draw of the "First Love" aspect of YA romance, because who doesn't want to relive those moments of falling in love? I think the other great thing about a lot of YA romance books is the whole Forbidden Love, Star-Crossed Lovers thing. When you're finally settle down for marriage and kids, it's usually with someone safe. Or at least someone who doesn't turn out to be a vampire or a werewolf. I think the star-crossed lovers theme is fun to read as an adult, since we've already settled into our relatively safe lives.

It's being kind of presumptuous of us oldies to think that these books will influence young girls to the point that they will run out looking for Edward. (Okay, well maybe we all have a little bit.) It's like Marilyn Manson back in the day (I'm dating myself)...People blamed his music for things that couldn't possibly be the music's fault (imo). Books can't make girls fall in love with the wrong boy. Right?

Okay, first of all, I don't know who you're calling an "oldie". Secondly, I agree that books don't MAKE people do things. I think that YA literature tends to romanticize the "bad boy" because this is the only period in life where falling in love with him seems acceptable. We all have that "but only I can see the good in him" fantasy, and YA loves to let us live that.

My only point was that I think we should be careful, as adults who can see the futility in that exercise, to not over-glorify it. I think for every Jace we put on a pedestal, there should be a Simon that we express similar love for.

Agreed. Because I think we've all dated the Potential in a Boy, rather than the actual Boy. I think that was part of the draw of Twilight. Edward was already perfect - he wasn't the Bad Boy at all, and he offered Bella complete safety. But, he offered it within the context of danger - being a vampire. So, basically, the best of both worlds. Let's face it, we all want to feel safe, but we don't want boring. A lot of YA books give us exactly that by placing them in a fantasy setting. I think the supernatural romance books are best for the "exploration" because the things that occur (falling in love with a vampire, werewolf, shadowhunter, etc.) could never truly happen. Well, so far as I know.

*stunned look* Wait, you mean Edward isn't real?

So, readers, do you agree? Are we over-thinking the whole "bad-boy" allure? Tell us what draws YOU in to a good YA Romance.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Leigh and I thought it would be fun to join other book blogs with Waiting on Wednesday posts. Now, you know us - we're whimsical (read- lazy) so we'll undoubtedly miss some weeks, but every now and then we'll be posting about books that we cannot wait to read.

This week is a gimme in a way because EVERYONE is waiting for the release of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Even my friends who have not started the series yet. *cough*LEIGH*cough*

Scholastic has kept Mockingjay under lock & key. I'm pretty sure no ARCs were given, so the anticipation couldn't be higher. I'm kind of excited that I haven't heard ANYTHING about this book (other than the "I can't wait until..." comments), and I'm also excited to fall right back into the world of Katniss, Peeta, and Gale.

Since I read both Hunger Games and Catching Fire in one day, I'm blocking out the 24th for reading. So, ummm, does anyone want to watch two adorable little kids that day? *wink* I've also decided to get it first on the iPad, because I think that means I can get it at midnight on the 24th. Which means I'll be up all night. So, I'll still need that babysitter (or my Manny!).

What about you all? Have you waited until now to start the series? Or have you been counting down the days like I have? (And seriously, if you haven't read and don't plan on it, CHANGE YOUR MIND. This series is AMAZING.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

I think we've made it pretty clear that we are in love with the Iron Fae series by Julie Kagawa. Leigh and I both loved The Iron King, so we were more than happy to read advance copies of The Iron Daughter. (And when I say 'more than happy,' I mean 'we danced happy dances and squeed aloud.') We wanted to wait until the book was available to tell you all about it, so you wouldn't have to wait one minute to go order your copy.

Once again Julie Kagawa delivers an exciting, fun, and of course swoon-filled story with The Iron Daughter. I think the reason I'm so drawn to The Iron Fae series is the basic idea that the fae are conjured by our imagination. I know, that's an old tale, but the way Julie weaves it with the modern-day is just about perfect.

The fact that I'm so invested in this series is proof of Julie's talent, because (and don't hate me) I'm actually not a fan of most fairy stories. They're mean, selfish, and aloof. I usually end up just wanting to slap or squash them, depending on how large the author makes them. *grin*

Well I LOVE fairy stories, but I especially love these fairy stories. And I have really grown to love Meghan. In the first book, The Iron King, Meghan was discovering herself and growing as a character. In this book she is forced look outside of herself, and make some difficult decisions. Her relationship with both Ash and Puck are explored (#TeamPuck), and I found Meghan's inner turmoil to be spot on. Even I was a little confused (clearly since I am finding myself on the "wrong" team... maybe).

Now, I have to be honest here, I was all sorts of irritated with Meghan in the beginning of this book. I wanted to shake her because of her insecurities, but then she goes through a very obvious transformation of spirit and I loved it. It was gratifying to watch her mature. So, if you're not quite sure about her in the beginning, just trust me on this and keep reading. (I'm looking at you, Picksee77.)

I think my favorite part of this book is when Meghan is forced to confront her past. I won't give anything away, but Meghan has to return to her school (back in the human realm) and has the chance to show off a bit to her peers who think of her only as the Swamp Girl. I'm a big fan of the whole "I'll show them," thing happening in books, and although Meghan wasn't exactly thinking that way, it was quite a moment for her.

And one last thing - the characters get even better in The Iron Daughter. You learn more about the Winter Fae and Ash's family, which was fun because his mother is a perfect Ice Queen. And, my new favorite fae character, Iron Horse was fabulous. I think he stole the show, personally.

Oh, Iron Horse, how I love his character. And Julie Kagawa was nice enough during a recent chat to give us the PERFECT voice to imagine while reading his part: Michael Clarke Duncan. Can you see it??

He is Iron Horse to me now! He really is perfect!

So, if you haven't rushed out to get your copy of The Iron Daughter - GO! And if you haven't read the series, get to reading! We have it on good authority that even more amazing things are in the works for Meghan, Ash, and Puck, so you don't want to miss out!

PS - Don't forget you can get a free download of Winter's Passage - the short novella that takes place in between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter - at Julie's website!

AND, since Stacie had to throw in a #TeamPuck, I feel the need to shout out #TeamAsh. If you've read, who are you rooting for?