Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Storify: Who are the real GoodReads bullies?

At first, I didn't think I had anything to say about the StopGRBullies website, because there's already a lot being said, and I barely use my GoodReads account, nor do I know any of the people involved. 

However, as a librarian, I am interested in how this story has been documented. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin of Adarlan.  The Queen of the Underworld.  A woman who killed her overseer and 23 sentries when she attempted to escape from the salt mines of Endovier.

And she's worried about how she looks?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rape Culture in YA Fiction: Survivors can be Heroes too

Last week, on the Stacked blog, Kimberly posted an interesting discussion about rape in the Chemical Garden trilogy.  The commenters help refine her argument, so I encourage you to read the comments as well as the post.  I am always interested in what other people have to say about rape in young adult literature, because I'm often not sure what I think about it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

What if you worst insecurities were revealed--not just with words but with physical manifestations, like a rash on your skin or an angry monster that followed you around?  That's the nightmare scenario that plays out in Nalo Hopkinson's The Chaos, the freakiest YA novel I've read since Libba Bray's Printz-winning Going Bovine.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Booklists: What Would Suzy Bishop Read?

That headline (<<) made me smile, because although there are many meaningless phrases we use to describe categories of books (middle grade, young adult, what do they mean?), "fantastical picture-book preteen romance" is not one of them.

Nevermind, though: Moonrise Kingdom is a consciously literary movie. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

"I ain't never been one to trust beautiful people, and Tarrin of the Hariri was the most beautiful man I ever saw."
I had a good feeling about Annana, the pirate heroine of this novel, when I read that first line.  Sure enough, she was a loveable rascal of a narrator who made the pages fly by.  But when I got to the end of The Assasin's Curse, I didn't feel like I knew Annana or the other characters any better than I did on page one. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Booklist: Beyond Eurofantasy

Until recently, when I thought about diversity in speculative fiction, I thought about people.  Characters, authors, and readers. 

Then I discovered Martha Wells' list of fantasy books by women with settings that aren't vaguely medieval Europe-y (via Book Smugglers).  Or as she calls it "Fantasy by Women who Broke Away from Europe." And that has me thinking about place. 

Certainly, thanks partly to Tolkein and partly to Dungeons and Dragons, the majority of fantasy novels take place in quasi-Nordic, Celtic, or Medieval European settings.  The fact that science fiction and fantasy books are largely populated by white people is obviously related.  However, focusing on setting rather than character opens up new critical approaches.