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10 Things I Love About This Character: Ellie Linton, The Tomorrow Series

Last year I wrote an article about the “strong female character” which was very well received. (It was even featured by WordPress in their “Freshly Pressed” section.) Since then, I’ve been thinking about doing a series devoted to individual characters that I consider “strong.”

This series will not be limited to female characters–I will include male characters–and may even decide to write about a few that aren’t human.

As I said, I’ve been toying with the idea for a while, but really got excited about starting it a few weeks ago. Because I encountered a character that I believe is perfect to kick off this series.

I had heard many good things about Australian writer John Marsden’s young adult Tomorrow series. The first book, Tomorrow, When the War Began, first came out over 20 years ago, in 1993. There are seven books in the series, and a sequel series called “The Ellie Chronicles.” I finally downloaded the first book from Audible and was immediately blown away by the characters and the story.

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My Review of the Movie Divergent, Where I Don’t Compare it to That OTHER Franchise

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MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR THE MOVIE DIVERGENT:

There was once an episode of All in the Family where Edith was recounting the story of how she hit a car with a can of cling peaches (in heavy syrup). Archie got so sick of hearing her say cling peaches, Edith began replacing the words with “Mmm-Mmm.”

I am so darn sick of reading reviews about Divergent comparing it to The Hunger Games (and alleged “think pieces,” like this especially jerky one by Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman) that any time I feel compelled to do the same, I’m going use “Mmm-Mmm” instead.

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Why Allegiant by Veronica Roth Didn’t Work For Me—It’s Not The Reason You Think

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK ALLEGIANT BY VERONICA ROTH—PLEASE STOP HERE IF YOU PLAN TO READ IT. Another week, another fandom meltdown. In some ways it’s justified. In others, not so much. The biggest controversy over Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the final book in the young adult dystopian series that started with the novel Divergent, is not the worst thing about it. It’s not good, but not for the reasons most fans are flipping out over it. Some fans are already writing up PETITIONS (groan!) to demand Roth rewrite the ending. Some are actually tracking her down at … Continue reading Why Allegiant by Veronica Roth Didn’t Work For Me—It’s Not The Reason You Think

Are Young Adult Movie Franchises Dead in the Water?

This past week Publisher’s Weekly linked to an article by Tara Aquino on the web site Complex.com about the failure of three YA movie adaptations this year: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Beautiful Creatures and The Host. While she doesn’t exactly come to the conclusion that young adult franchises are a dead commodity, she does seem to be dismissing the YA movie franchise trend as a passing one. It’s true the movies she cites have all underperformed at the box office. Yes, it was recently announced that The Mortal Instruments sequel has been put on hold indefinitely—which may be … Continue reading Are Young Adult Movie Franchises Dead in the Water?

Fan Films: Filling In The Gaps Left By Hollywood

Recently, Mainstay Productions released on YouTube a fan-made short film entitled The Hanging Tree. Under twelve minutes long, it dramatizes a brief vignette from the childhood of the character Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. The crew that shot the film is made up of several people with professional film credits, though mostly with independent films. The script was written by Shylah Addante, a staff member of one of the most popular Hunger Games online fan sites, Down With The Capitol. The films by Mainstay are produced on an almost zero-dollar budget. According to interviews with director John Lyde, they … Continue reading Fan Films: Filling In The Gaps Left By Hollywood

Six Things That Bug Me About Modern Young Adult Fiction

I love modern young adult fiction. I read it more now than I did when I was a young adult. I’m constantly stunned by the variety in genre, the talent of many of the writers, and the pure inventiveness of many YA books. But there are a few things that annoy me that pop up more frequently than I would like. (Books and authors will remain nameless as these are issues that appear in more than one book and often in books I really like otherwise.) 1. Too much power and authority handed over to teens. I’ve read a few … Continue reading Six Things That Bug Me About Modern Young Adult Fiction

5 Great Books Left Off NPR’s Top 100 Teen Novels List

Last week NPR published the results of their poll for the 100 best young adult novels of all time. Yes, moi participated and voted. To say I’m a little perplexed by some of the books that weren’t included is an understatement. (Even more perplexing is some of the books left out of the original list voters could choose from.) Yes, lists are always problematic and no one is ever completely happy with what is chosen. But here are five that strike me as glaring omissions from the list: 1. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, by Judy Blume: I … Continue reading 5 Great Books Left Off NPR’s Top 100 Teen Novels List