Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Response To Critics On Everything Young Adult

Hey all. I know I haven’t been very active on the blog for quite some time but I’m so busy with university stuff that I can’t even read. I am completely swamped and it sucks, but I am taking some time out to address something that has been irritating me for a while.

I haven’t seen City of Bones yet since it only gets released in my country in September but I saw a lot of hate from the critics. I am not going to comment on the movie since I haven’t seen it yet but this post rather, is about all Young Adult stories, whether they are being made into movies or if it’s just books.

The first thing I want to talk about is how critics or people who don’t read the genre seem to refer to it as tweeny-bopper nonsense and how these stories/movies will only be enjoyable by tweens/teens and that literature has been dumbed down for them and there is no more quality writing.

 I am sorry but this very insulting to me. I am almost 23 years old and I know a lot of people in their 40s and even my grandmother who is 70 who enjoy these stories. We are quite far away from being teens. So i want the critics/general public to do some research into the fandoms before using insulting terminology and why insult tweens or teens saying that they are dumb and that's why they like this? Secondly the fact that it has been dumbed down? That is so rude to say. I have university degree and I’m busy adding to it and will probably do my Honours next year. I alone probably have more qualifications than somebody who writes hate for a blog, let alone all the other people out there who have degrees and jobs.

 The literature has not been dumbed down. They don’t know what the stories contain, they don’t know the issues that get addressed in it. Whether it’s being gay in a society that doesn’t accept or acknowledge it or a society who decides what you need to conform to or racial/species that are forbidden to be together because it is frowned upon, these Young Adult novels are rich with issues and different perspectives that helps us look at things from a different angle if we didn’t think that way in the beginning. It helps us, especially teenagers, to grow as a person and to not be so damn judgemental of everyone around us. I am reading ‘actual literature’ in English class at the moment and I couldn’t be more bored. The characters are boring and mostly annoying and have no real depth to me, also these books deal with issues of that specific time, how am I supposed to relate? Now these critics/general population would say, oh yes but these books are so much more relatable because they vividly remember finding out they were half angel or they remember when the world was plunged into a post-apocalyptic era. 

That is when I will call you childish. Just because these novels gives us a different sort of world to deal with, it doesn’t let go of the issues that we face today.

The second thing that I would like to rant over is the fact that they dare say that they are tired of ‘strong’ female protagonists in stories and that because it has a female protagonist that the story would automatically suck. Excuse you, but you don’t see me complaining that all these dumbass superhero movies get redone over and over again. I swear to God, Superman has probably been done since Hollywood existed, then we get the numerous Batmans and Spidermans(only superhero I actually like), but no of course this doesn’t get criticized as being redundant because it is a big strong man saving the day with his superior awesomeness.

 Good for you, but why can’t girls be strong and awesome as well? Why are girls not allowed to be heroes? Why do we have to be saved by guys all the time? It’s unfair and yes I will find you sexist if you think this way.  Just because a girl is the hero does not mean everything about the story/movie will be horrible. You are being prejudicial and your opinion then becomes invalid. You have no knowledge of the story/movie (that you have watched or isn’t even out yet) and now you want to try and have an opinion? I’m sorry but this is unprofessional, shoddy and immature work.

The third thing that irritates me immensely is the opinion going about that every Young Adult story out there is exactly the same.  Everything with a “love triangle” is seen as Twilight. Everything with love in, in general is seen as Twilight. Anything that consists of vampires or werewolves are obviously Twilight rip-offs or wannabe’s. Anything that has a supernatural character in it is seen as Twilight. Anything with a magical element in it is obviously Harry Potter. Mythology? Oh this is a copy of Percy Jackson because Greek mythology is the only mythology to exist in the entire world. Dystopian world? Yes this will be exactly the same as The Hunger Games. I swear that they will probably compare The Fault In Our Stars to Twilight in some way calling it a sadder version of Twilight without the paranormal elements. 

For the love of God, none of these books invented any of these elements, they do not own the rights. These elements have been around for centuries. People need to stop comparing everything to these four books, because in all honesty in all the times the stuff has been compared it could not be further from the truth.  You are proving to me the limits of the information you possess.

People need to stop hating on things other people love, calling us stupid for liking Young Adult and that we do not know good literature is insulting and not professional. If you do not enjoy the genre STOP WATCHING THE MOVIES!!!!!!! I find people incredibly sad who make their living on hating everything that is enjoyable and fun. If you want to critique the story/movie then do so professionally. DO NOT attack the author. DO NOT attack the fans. DO NOT attack the actors on their physical appearance and DO NOT attack a genre you know nothing about.

So this was my little rant, I’m sorry but I just had to say something. This can’t go on. We need to stand together as a Young Adult fandom and go watch every Young Adult movie that gets released just to shove it in their faces.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

{Movie Review} The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Wowza! I just got back from seeing "City of Bones" and I'm still thinking about that last scene. I want more. Now. Seriously.

First of all, for all you guys who read my blog (laughs hysterically), the movie is 90% action and 10% love story... if that much. Now girls, don't worry, you still get the greenhouse scene, but guess what, you're boyfriends will love the movie too, so get them up away from the X-box or whatever other video game they're playing and make them take you to the movies. (Hey, girls are taking a lot of flack for being interested in YA literature and their movie adaptations, isn't it fair that we generalize guys in the same way? NO? You're right, so girls, get your guys from whatever they may be doing... reading, watching TV, playing football, studying, or relaxing with their friends and get them to take you to the movies.)

Now, this isn't going to just simply be a review, because there's a ton of controversy flaring around this movie and I'm going to address them from an adults perspective and tell you, that if you even remotely believe the poppycock about "City of Bones" being comparable to "Twilight" you've neither read the books or done any fact checking whatsoever, and you probably shouldn't be critiquing something without any facts to back up your opinion, because at that point, it becomes exactly that... AN OPINION.

I think it's important to note, first and foremost, "City of Bones" is about way more than a girl falling for a boy. In fact, I'd say that's the least important factor in the movie.

Those of you who have read the book know that the true importance lies with what Clary's mom has been hiding from her, from others around her, and especially from Valentine. Clary's not spending her time fawning over any guy, she's much too busy trying to save her mom and understand her newly found abilities. She's kicking ass, and taking names. Lily Collins does an excellent job of bringing Clary's super strong heroine to life.

Jocelyn, Clary's mother, has been taken by Valentine who needs something valuable from her, only she's not talking. Literally. She put herself in a coma to hide the Mortal Cup from her ex-husband. With both sides so desperate to conceal or find this Mortal Instrument, the thing must be pretty darned special. Only one other person might have a clue where the cup is, but her mother has made sure her childhood memories were blocked. Every supernatural thing Clary sees, slips past her as if she saw nothing. Her true identity, hidden. But the memory block is wearing off and Clary begins to draw designs she's never seen before and she sees invisible people fighting and killing others. And all sorts of foul demons are coming out to play. Fortunately, she runs across Jace who has some answers and is willing to share. But Clary's secrets bring danger, and even injury, to the other Shadowhunters, making her less than desirable to, oh... let's say Alec. But since Valentine won't be stopped, he's going to just have to deal.

Jace, AKA Jamie Campbell Bower, I suppose, could be the quintessential bad boy, though I give little credence to that theory since he's not out drinking, doing drugs, and womanizing. He does dress in all black, because as the saying goes, "'Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of our Enemies Since 1234," but I'm not sure that makes him bad, especially since he's hunting down demons and protecting humanity from the things that lurk the streets at night. He's a Shadowhunter after all, half-angel, half-human - it's his responsibility. And NO, by demons, I'm not talking about vampires and werewolves, can't we all just move on? Sure there are some of both in the movie, but we're not talking "Twilight" or "Vampire Diaries" here people. It's a whole new ballgame, and we're talking weapons and magic, not fangs.

***Side note - While I had my reservations about Jamie being cast in the role of Jace, I left the theater pleasantly surprised. The trailers had been bringing me around, but the movie made up my mind, Jamie is the perfect Jace for the movie.***

Simon, played by Robbie Sheehan, is Clary's best friend, and though many will say there's a love triangle here, I'm going to disagree, specifically for "City of Bones." For there to be a love triangle, the heroine has to be pulled toward both men, and Clary's never thought of Simon as anything other than a friend. So, yes, he has romantic feelings for her, but they are unrequited, so one side of the triangle is broken. So again, enough of the comparison nonsense. The movie overall is very intense, keeping your neck muscles strained and your fingers gripping into the armrests, so Simon's comedic lines give you a couple of seconds to collect yourself, relax, and then... think WTH just happened. Robbie Sheehan does and excellent job of playing both sarcastic and witty scenes, as well as the serious and strenuous ones.

Alec was everything Kevin Zegers described him to be in several interviews. I swear the temperature dropped 30 degrees every time he came within ten feet of Clary. He's protective of his family, almost overly so, but I won't be the one to tell him so. He's arrogant and rude, and so much fun to hate.

Magnus, while my favorite character in either The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices, plays a relatively small role in the movie. I liked what I saw of Godfrey Gao, but I look forward to seeing more of him. I will say that I wish there had been more to his party, a little more of what we got in the book, but I understand things have to be shortened and some of the fluff removed, but I thought his party sort of set the tone for his character.

Jemima West rocked as the take charge Isabelle. Her entrance into the club scene entranced me. Each step she took demanded attention and reeked of danger. She fought alongside the guys with fierce beauty and deadly accuracy, then nursed wounds when the battles were finished. I really want her whip!!! All ladies should have one. She's domineering and demanding, and I loved her all the more for it. No stepping around the truth, she said what she thought and made no excuses.

Okay, I saved the best for last, and of course this is my opinion. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Valentine. Un-freaking-believable. I swooned at his entrance, because come on - he is the ultimate bad guy. Honestly, there's nothing redeemable about his character, not in the books, not in the movie. His mind is set on creating a "perfect breed" and he'll lie and manipulate everyone to do it. His whole life has been building for THIS moment, and you could be his daughter, his son, or neither. He really doesn't care, YOU ARE SIMPLY HIS PAWN. And Jonathan was brilliant. I found myself shrinking back into my seat during a couple of his scenes, afraid he'd jump right out of the screen and make us all his evil minions.

To say I simply loved the movie would be an understatement. Changes and all, because we all knew there would be changes, I thought the movie rocked. So much so that I'll see it a couple or three more times before it's out of the theater.

Now... as I wrote this, I thought about all the ways I could compare "City of Bones" to "Twilight" as many others have found numerous ways to do so, but other than saying it's a movie adaptation of a Young Adult, paranormal novel, I just can't find a way. The main characters aren't vampires, werewolves, or mere human girls hunting for romance. They're Nephilim on a mission to protect the human world, and their own world. None of their characteristics match up to those of the "Twilight" characters. OH... I forgot, Jamie Campbell Bower played in both series. Yep, that totally makes them exactly the same. NOT!

I have no problem with pure romance stories, but "City of Bones" is about more than romance. Everyone will take from it what they will, but hey, these guys are protecting those who can't protect themselves. They're fighting evil. We're all tired of the young adult female population being belittled and more or less told they're stupid for being drawn to YA literature.

And ladies, if you're feeling bullied, stop. Make a stand. Go see "City of Bones" as many times as possible, drag your parents, your friends, anybody who will go. Many of these men writing nasty, hateful things about your beloved characters and books haven't picked the darn thing up to read it. And most likely if they do, they'll be too dense to understand the many coming of age themes buried in the pages. Keep reading, keep going to see the movies, and most of all... spread the word. Because in order to change the world, whether it be Hollywood or Washington DC, your voices MUST be heard. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook... tools of a new generation. There's NO reason not to be heard, the technology is at your fingertips, as the saying goes. Use it.

Also, this comes from another post I saw on Twitter, though I don't know the original source, the username is PRINCEVERMIN, and it's not a Twitter account, but I think it speaks a good amount of truth and I wanted to include it... if you know who wrote this, please let me know so I can link to their article. I have searched and searched... and I want to give the proper person credit.

"Our books did not teach us to wait in a tower for our prince to come or to commit suicide when things didn't work out between us and our boyfriend. Our books taught us to stand up and fight no matter how scary something is. No matter that someone told us it's too dangerous - like Clary, we've learned to pick up whatever weapons are available to us and fight the hordes of monsters in front of us until the bitter end.

We were not taught to lay down and die when a boy did not like us back. Like Simon, we were taught to look for the best in every situation - even when things were at their worst." PRINCEVERMIN via BreathesWords on Twitter.

***While I didn't make direct references between "Twilight" and "City of Bones" to PROVE my point, I can. So feel free to start a CIVILIZED discussion in the comments section below. All hateful, tasteless comments WILL be deleted.***

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bout of Books Update Post

I'm sad to announce that I signed up for Bout of Books wrong and am not eligible for any of the great prizes, but I will be participating in all the fun anyway and updating this page with the days reading goals and some of the challenges. They're all really creative, so I thought, heck, I'll do them and just post them here. Just because I can't win a prize doesn't mean I shouldn't indulge in the festivities, right?

Bout of Books

Welcome to my Bout of Books update post. I'm going to list my goals here, then check them off as I go each day. It'll be a good place to put my mini-challenges and such.

Complete all mini-challenges
Visit at least 5 blogs a day
Meet all my goals with the Book BFF Girls
Read, Read, Read

Total Pages Read - 553

August 19th
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - 119 pages
Cutters vs. Jocks by Elizabeth Marx (Novella) - 65 pages

Goals Met:
Completed both mini-challenges
Read my Novella for the Book BFF Girls
Pages Read - 184


August 19th

Sarah Says Read
Question: What is one bookish thing you want to do before you die? OR what is one thing you want to do before you die that was inspired by a book you read?

Answer: There are so many things I’d love to do that are totally bookish, but the top thing on my list is to write a novel or two and have them published. Lofty goals, I know.

Next on my list would be to attend BEA or any other book festival and meet all my favorite authors as well as some of the great blogger friends I’ve met online.

Basically this one was to show what we were eating/drinking/and reading through a picture or just a simple comment. Well, a picture speaks a million words, right?

August 20:

Reading Goals:
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - 127 (Page 246)
Immortals by Ednah Walters - 242
(Total for day - 369)

All you have to do is rename the book you're currently reading or more if you'd like. If you've haven't started a book, you can judge it by the cover. For all you bothered people, if this is too easy, don't worry! You can remake the whole cover if you'd like as well.

I'd rename it:
Cougars Running Wild.

August 21

Reading Goals:

1.  Which 5 books are at the top of your TBR pile at this moment?

2.  If I gave you a wad of cash and sent you into a bookshop right now, which 5 books would you buy to add to the stack?

Okay, now I'm going to be lazy and just list the books I'd buy to add to this stack!
THE CALLING -  Kelley Armstrong
THE RISING - Kelley Armstrong
SHADOW OF NIGHT - Deborah Harkness
DOCTOR SLEEP - Stephen King
ALLEGIANT - Veronica Roth (Yes, I know... I'd preorder)

Mini-Challenge 2

This one was so fun, now I want to go around and make poetry out of all my book spines!

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm Joining The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Yay! Thanks to some great ladies I met, I'm joining  Bout of Books Read-a-Thon this year! I plan on getting lots of reading done. Too bad it wasn't this past weekend, I finished 4 BOOKS! Ah well, I finished The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong and want to move right on to The Darkness Rising series so I'll do that, amongst other things!!!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team!

{A Kelly Coffee Review} Foreverland is Dead by Tony Bertauski

Title: Foreverland is Dead
Author: Tony Bertauski
Series: Foreverland #2
Genre: YA Sci-fi


Six teenage girls wake with no memories. One of them is in a brick mansion, her blonde hair as shiny as her shoes. The others are in a cabin, their names tagged to the inside of their pants. Their heads, shaved. Slashes mark the cabin wall like someone has been counting.

Hundreds of them.

There’s wilderness all around and one dead adult. The girls discover her body rotting somewhere in the trees. As the weeks pass, they band together to survive the cold, wondering where they are and how they got there. And why.

When an old man arrives with a teenage boy, the girls learn of a faraway island called Foreverland where dreams come true and anything is possible. But Foreverland is dead. In order to escape the wilderness, they’ll have to understand where they are.

More importantly, who they are.

Foreverland is Dead is the sequel to Annihilation of Foreverland and you don't necessarily need to read it to understand this follow-up. This one actually has me a little torn as I read them with significant time between them, it took me a bit to remember and put pieces together. I think this book could be read either way--I feel the suspension and the mystery would be far more intense if you hadn't read Annihilation of Foreverland, but I also think that what happens at the end of the book is much clearer if you read the first. So with that pseudo disclaimer, onto the rest of the review.

First let me start by saying that everything I've read from this author has been excellent. At this point, if he wrote it, I pretty much recommend it. Annihilation blew me away (you can read my review here) and I was excited to learn about the other half of Foreverland. The pacing is perfect. Despite being 300 pages, I got through it in 5 or so good hours. Bertauski has a tendency to be very straightforward in his writing that makes it for fast reading. He's fantastic at building atmosphere and certainly demonstrated that in Foreverland. His characters are real, you can latch onto them, understand them, relate to them. You care about them and what happens to them. 

So, the writing is excellent, great pacing, great atmosphere, great characters. Why the four stars? It sure sounds like a five.

The four is a personal reaction. While I raced through Annihilation, which left me feeling exhilarated and grinning for hours with the rush of a great mystery and an ending of just deserts, I felt more compelled through Foreverland. The overall tones of the two books is very different, and there's a looming sense of desperation and hopelessness almost omnipresent in Foreverland. Even at the end, something told me not all was quite right in the world. And Bertauski reminded me he likes twists with one right at the end of Foreverland that left me feeling strangely brokenhearted. I almost got my happy ending, or at least one that I could live with, and then then twist that sort of twisted my heart. There is a third in the works that I'm sure will answer the twist, but the overall feeling of sadness I was left with just keeps me from 5 on this one. I'm old fashioned and like my happy endings. 

Still, the craftsmanship of this book leaves no doubt that it's a highly recommended read and I'm eagerly awaiting #3. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

{Words of Wisdom} Ashton Kutcher at Teen Awards

I'm not going to lie, I'm not a huge fan of Ashton Kutcher's, never have been. BUT, what I am a huge fan of are these words he spoke at the 2013 Teen Awards last night. Since my blog caters mostly to YA readers, I thought I'd stick this YouTube video here and hope some of you stop by and listen to what he has to say. I'm older than most of you, older than him, but his words hit home and inspired me to get my @$$ in gear and get some things done. So take a minute or five and listen. 

The video isn't the best quality, but it's all that's up now, when a better one appears, I'll trade them out, but watch his face, his hands, his body and see his passion.

Video Credit goes to:  halamadridviscabarca2

Saturday, August 3, 2013

{Blog Tour & Giveaway} Even in Darkness by Cyndi Tefft - Bookshelf VLOG

I'd like to welcome Cyndi to Better Read Than Dead and share her awesome Bookshelf VLOG! She's got some outstanding books here, some I've been dying to read for quite a while. Have a look and let me know which are your favorites or which you've been waiting to read. See bottom of post for giveaway link!

Barnes & Noble


It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.


Aiden MacRae has been given a new life after being stuck transporting souls to heaven for the last three hundred years. He doesn't know the culture, the times or the slang, but there is one thing he does know: he didn't come forward alone. 

The master of hell has other plans for the Scottish Highlander and has sent a transporter of his own to get the deed done. Will Lindsey be able to save him or get caught in the crossfire?


I thought it was over, that all our troubles were behind us.

We had a fairytale castle wedding surrounded by family and friends. Aiden wore a dress kilt, looking so handsome it made my heart squeeze, and I floated on air in a white version of the ball gown he’d cast for me in Versailles. Flower girl, ring bearer, Scottish ceilidh afterward—check, check, and check. It was perfect.

We were supposed to live happily ever after.

But that was before I walked in to find another woman in his bed, a demon with blood red eyes who’d disguised herself as me in order to get what she wanted most: a child from a heaven transporter.

And it was in that moment—watching my entire world crumble to the ground—that I knew.

This was not over. Not by a long shot.

Author Bio:

Cyndi Tefft lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is overcast and rainy, much like the Highlands of Scotland. So she was right at home when she got the chance to visit Eilean Donan Castle.

A self-proclaimed Scot freak, she loved every bit about the trip to Scotland: the people, the kilts, the accents, the fish & chips, the haggis...well okay, not the haggis.

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