Stories are teachers that entertain and inspire. We are storytellers all of us.
Feeling some feminist fiction in my future.
"When I was creating the futuristic world of Zeroboxer, I thought about what kind of future I wanted to portray. More accurately—what kind of future would be plausible. Because any plausible future that extrapolates from our society today would be a diverse one." –Fonda Lee
I'm digging all of this author's points about diversity in science fiction. Check it --> Envisioning a Diverse Science Fiction Future
This guest piece on Book Riot is great food for thought on challenging the girl book/boy book binary.
Smith's process for selecting his Top 8 is somewhat similar to how I base my Goodreads ratings. 5 stars are very few and far between, but worth the journey finding them.
Author Jefferson Smith had a great idea, and of that idea was born the Immerse or Die Bundle.
Every morning, I get on my treadmill, open a new indie fantasy or science fiction ebook, and start my morning walk. Any book that can hold my attention for the duration of that forty minute stroll gets labeled a survivor. But getting there is not easy. Every time I read something that breaks my immersion in the story—bad grammar, inconsistent worldbuilding, illogical character behaviors, etc.—the book earns a red flag, called a WTF. If I find three WTFs before I finish my walk, the clock stops, the book closes, and I ruminate on what went wrong.
After surviving the first round, those thirteen survivors were then run through a second gauntlet as well. To survive that round, they had to do more than simply avoid WTF triggers. They had to grab my attention and hold it, and then deliver a complete and satisfying story. Not just clean production, but an entertaining read. And not just for forty minutes either, but for the entire book. What I was left with at the end of that second round was the collection of eight books you see here today, snatched right out of the fury of that indie firehose. – Jefferson Smith
He read a total of 114 books in order to find the eight very best to feature in this bundle
I've only read two of the Top 10. Better up my game!
Rest in peace, Eduardo Galeano, an Uruguayan writer of poetic resistance. Looking forward to reading his "Book of Embraces" that I just put on hold at the library.
From hating each other to wedding bells, Ty and Zane have had quite the emotional journey and this book is a toast to that. As a standalone, it doesn't have the best storytelling or pacing. Much of the plot feels like it's on fast forward mode while the touching character moments are on slow-mo. But that's what this book's purpose is, no? To see cameos of all the series characters amidst what is truly an homage to how incredibly far our two heroes have come in their relationship. There's no hiding their love in this book. That in itself is a real win.
"How do you feel about helicopters?"
There was a long pause. "How do you mean? Ethically?"
"As a mode of transportation."
"Faster than camels, but less sustainable."
–The Raven Boys
Still more than five months until the final installment of The Raven Cycle series. My patience is getting a good workout!
Typically I'm a chronological snob and must do things in order rather than race to the good parts. You can't enjoy the meat (err..entree, I'm a vegetarian) without the savory slow cook. You know those people who read the last sentence of a chapter/book before beginning? Or start a TV series in the middle? Blasphemy!
Well...I've recently discovered a very worthy exception to that self-designated chronology rule: Courtney Milan. I read the final book of both her Turner series (#3 Unraveled) and Brothers Sinister series (#4 The Suffragette Scandal) without having read any of the previous books...and without regret! They were stand alones, the only books in the series with a 4+ rating, and had consistently convincing reviews. That plus my demand for a smart romance was my basis for selection and I was not disappointed in the least.
When I'm less picky, I may go back and read the rest of the series. But honestly, I already know they will pale in comparison. I've found a solid formula for discovering a good read and I'm sticking to it! Now if only Milan could start another series and hurry up and get to book four...
– Meg Medina, Author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass and one of CNN's Top 10 Visionary Women
THESE are characters to root for. The kids from high school whose story is rarely told with such grace and stunning depth.
Just how invested am I in the characters Eleanor and Park in Eleanor & Park? It's been a few days and a couple books since I finished Rainbow Rowell's story about two high school misfits who fall in love (no spoiler there, see title), and I still can't help but smile at the thought of Park's first seriously contented grin on the bus – a major change from his usual stony glares and general everyone-is-annoying-imma-pretend-they-don't-exist mentality. And I just wanna give Eleanor, who is the reason for that grin, a giant hug! She too gets her moments of rest from her stress-filled teenage angst (and unsettling home environment) thanks to Park's humble and wordless yet incredibly meaningful gestures.
This story isn't just about romance or the hellishness of high school, but the resilience of young people amidst feelings of powerlessness and alienation. With amusing, brilliant insight into the inner workings of the teenage mind, Eleanor & Park is a truly touching underdog coming-of-age story if I've ever seen one.
Drawing by slureads
The premise of A Mad, Wicked Folly is something I can get behind – a young woman trying to find her voice at a time when such a notion was unconscionable. I discovered immediately that the writing wasn't as strong as I'd prefer (frequently pulling me out of the story, which was jarring), but its insight into the women's suffrage movement in the UK was worthwhile.
It's normal to feel detached from that time period, but with this story I could feel the crushing censorship of women in every corner of society (from Parliament to the dinner table), and it became real to me how much women struggled and sacrificed to be truly heard. A century later, women still face a culture that routinely disempowers and undervalues them, but the fact that I can even have that opinion and verbalize it is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. At least I can voice my truth and follow my dreams without risking everything (my family, reputation, etc.). That was the reality for many.
I also wanted to point out that the use of art as a medium for rebellion added a great dimension to the story. First, as the main character's personal rebellion against her father and societal norms that kept her from her passion, and then as a political tool to sway opinion in favor of women's rights. Historically, art has continued to serve as an alternative means for marginalized voices to be heard, and this was subtly portrayed in A Mad, Wicked Folly.
Now I'm curious to seek out more in-depth, non-YA novels on the topic of women's suffrage. I welcome any recommendations!