THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
I saw Divergent on Sunday, along with a whole lot of other people. It grossed $56 million this weekend, but in case you weren't one of the many who flocked to see it and you need a primer, here's an excellent one on Hypable. (Prepare to laugh.)
My verdict? I LOVED it. LOVED. Then I read some reviews on Wired and elsewhere that made me want to scream. Do you feel like that? I am so sad when I see a book I love turned into a bad film. And when I see a book I loved turn into a GREAT film? I want to hug the world. GoGoGo YALit! In case you missed my point, Divergent is fabulous! Terrific acting, lots of action, true to the book in most ways, fears, factions, plot. Oh, and a great Four. I also really liked Shailene Woodley. I loved that she wasn't like every other Dauntless. She wasn't supposed to be.
I left the theater talking about fears and which faction we would have belonged to with my husband, so the movie not only entertained, it also got us reflecting about ourselves and each other. But hopefully, it did more than that. Hopefully, it finally opens the door for a real discussion on rape-culture and permits girls to feel a real sense of empowerment over themselves and their bodies. Hopefully, it finally sends a very public signal to boys that when a girl says 'no' it's 'cool' to back off. It reinforces the message that girls have a right to say 'no,' for whatever reason, real or imagined, and shows that a strong and loving relationship can still have limits.
The film hits the theme of gender empowerment over and over, not just in the scene where Tris faces her greatest fears. At the beginning, Four tells her that she is weak, but that she can compensate by hitting a stronger (male) opponent first. He tells her how to hit, and he tells her she can win. Not to mention that from the very premise to every facet of the film, we see gender equality in action. Women are not only in top leadership positions, it's not even a question. Boys and girls sleep in the same room and use the same bathroom facilities without that devolving into sexual tension. Self-control and sexual equality are simply a fact of life.
There's a great post below in the BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS section that talks about why the sexual assault scene in Divergent is important, so I won't get into that. READ IT! But I do want to say that one of the brilliant things about Divergent is that the theme of sexual and gender equality is not an add on. It's not thrown it. It's integral to the film without being in-your-face. The Divergent movie deserves a standing ovation for that alone. And yet, and yet, both as a film and a book, Divergent contains enough action and other strong themes and ideas that some dismiss the book and the film as social commentary for simpletons, ignoring the fact that by virtue of its enormous platform, one that appeals equally to a wide-cross section of the public, it serves as a launch medium for a variety of important social conversations.
I'm seeing that people are appalled by the sexual assault scene, asking why Tris should fear being assaulted by Four, why that's her greatest fear. I admit there's a bit of disconnect between the film's message of gender equality and that being her greatest fear. But I'll forgive it because it is a fear--the fear--for so many girls and women. We do live in a culture where a sexual assault occurs every two minutes, and where two-thirds of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Forty percent of victims are under age eighteen.
Want to know why this is important? Watch this video about one teen's reactions and the current sexual abuse scandal on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uc5eNNG60o. It's a must-see.
The Divergent movie shows an example of a girl saying 'no' and a boy backing off. Bravo.
Go Divergent, that's all I can say. Go YA Lit. Go girls and the boys who respect them.
Have you seen the movie? Read the book? What do you think?
YA GIVEAWAY OF THE WEEKAlong with this weeks book, which I'm providing, I've got a NoVA Teen Festival t-shirt courtesy of One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. What is the NoVA Teen Festival you ask? I volunteered there the day before I left for vacation, and it was fabulous. I'm hoping BIG things for this brand new festival put on by the Arlington Public Library and One More Page Books, as in YALLFEST-sized things. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
The festival was attended by a glittering array of authors, including Marie Lu, Victoria Schwab, Claudia Gray, Jessica Spotswood, Diane Peterfreund, and many, many more. Here's a round-up from Andye at ReadingTeen.com, who I loved meeting in person at the event! And here's a photoessay from Publishers Weekly!
The T-shirt is one of the red ones like Patricia Riley from Spencer Hill Contemporary is wearing in the PW photo. :)
by Sally Green
A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.
In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?
In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.
Purchase Half Bad at Amazon
Purchase Half Bad at IndieBound
View Half Bad on Goodreads
As always, there are lots more giveaways going on at Adventures. You can find the full list here. And if you haven't entered all of my Compulsion cover reveal giveaways, including books and full series signed by Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Claudia Gray, Kat Zhang, Megan Shepherd, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Stephanie Kuehn, Meagan Spooner & Amie Kaufman, Kendare Blake, Veronica Roth and more, get the full list here. There's just one week left!
RECENT YA GIVEAWAY WINNERS
by Lauren Oliver
WINNER: Lisa Basso
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
What is your favourite thing about PANIC?
That's a difficult question to answer. Of course, I love the characters and the way that their stories intersect, and I'm particularly proud of the dual narrative perspective, particularly because it gave me the chance to write from a male point of view. I also like the way that the town of Carp itself becomes a kind of character; it was fun to really conceive of the town as a whole and think about what growing up there would have felt like. But my absolute FAVORITE thing about PANIC? One word, man: tigers!
Purchase Panic at Amazon
Purchase Panic at IndieBound
View Panic on Goodreads
* * * *
The Winner's Curse
by Marie Rutkoski
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
Purchase The Winner's Curse at Amazon
Purchase The Winner's Curse at IndieBound
View The Winner's Curse on Goodreads
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
First, before I get into the news, let me give a shout out to the delightful Carol Riggs, whose THE BODY INSTITUTE was just picked up by Strange Chemistry. Congrats, Carol! I'm SO thrilled. And I have to say, the book sounds a-ma-zing!
- Giving power back to girls and giving the middle finger to rape culture: The Divergent "Rape Scene" and Why It Matters
- So why is Jane Austen Ravenclaw, Charlotte Bronte Gryffindor, and Charles Dickens Slyterin? Sorting 19th Century Novelists into Hogwarts
- Cuddlebuggery did a survey of non-blogging readers that every blogger needs to read.
- You can get more Harry Potter delight via this post on J.K.Rowling's history of Quiddich.
- How closely will The Fault In Our Stars movie follow the book? "The attention to detail is thrilling." The Daily Quirk has some opinions.
- Rick Yancey's INFINITE SEA has a cover! USA TODAY Cover Reveal
- And so does Delilah S. Dawson's HIT -- designed by Regina Flath who also designed my Compulsion. Hint: It's absolutely freaking AWESOME. And completely different from everything else. Check it out:
- Also Jennifer L. Armentrout has ANOTHER cover reveal. Check it out here at Mundie Moms.
- Need some glam photos with YA Lit front and center? Here are some pictures from the Divergent premiere on the Epic Reads Blog!
- There are also two more hot YA-books-to-movies trailers to check out: The Maze Runner and The Giver.
- And here's the new book trailer for Melissa de la Cruz's The Ring & Crown:
Thanks to Alyssa Hamilton for helping me compile these links. Check out her reviews at Swept Away By Books.
WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK
|Great Post via Next Steps Editing|