Am I Growing Out of YA?

The YA genre is what reignited my love for reading when I was in middle school. Realizing that I could suddenly read about people my age was an amazing discovery for me at that age. I had grown out of kids books like Junie B. Jones and Charlotte’s Web and entered the world of teenagers with their complicated lives of first loves,  friendship drama, and high school. I fell in love with the genre because I found some part of me in them whether it was those pesky butterflies in my stomach or feeling like an outcast, I didn’t feel completely alone.

As a 22 year old, things have changed, I have changed, my interests have changed. When I go to a bookstore, or when I browse for new reads, YA isn’t a huge part of my browsing history anymore. This is weird for me because for the vast majority of my life I’ve read YA books, and now I see myself paying attention to books outside that genre. Not only that, but I’m annoyed by some of these books!

I’ve tried branching out to the New Adult genre because it caters to people in their early 20s, i.e. me, but I can’t stand it either save Colleen Hoover and Sarah J. Maas. Most of my annoyance with this genre comes from how all the books are the same and full of sex. Honestly, I think NA was created by YA authors who wanted to writer steamier romance scenes. It’s not what I’m looking for or what I was hoping for.

I know it’s not a bad thing, but I’m not sure where this leaves me. Because I was so invested in the YA genre, I knew what to look for, what authors to read, what books to read, and so on. But, now I’m in some sort of reading limbo. I don’t know where to start, what books to read, what authors to look out for, or even what book to movie adaptations to keep an eye out for.

So what does this mean? I’m not sure at all. I do know, this has been bugging me lately, and I needed to let it out in some way.

Please let me know what are your thoughts? What books should I read next to help me through this limbo? Have you experienced the same thing?

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October 2017 Update

For October I tried my best to read books and watch shows in the horror or fantasy genre for Halloween. I did the best that I could between school readings, essays, and work. My list makes it look like I read a lot but considering how half of it came from school, and another portion audiobooks, I didn’t really read much. Most of my personal reading came from short stories from the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales.

So, no, I didn’t do much personal reading and strangely (or not) my favorite reads from October came school assigned books. One was Nat Turner, a biographical graphic novel about Nat Turner and his slave rebellion in 1831. It has been the easiest and fastest read so far this semester because it’s just pictures without much text. I’m amazed from the way Baker was able to tell his story through his art.

My second favorite book was Wicked Weeds: A Zombie Novel by Pedro Cabiya. The book is amazing because it’s not like your typical zombie novel. The zombies in this story are not flesh eating scary beings, they appear mostly normal. The best thing about this book? It’s really a story about immigration and mental illness. So if you ever see this book, please go ahead and read it!

Books Read

  • “It’s a Good Life” by Jerome Bixby (4/5)
  • Sweet Posession by Maya Banks (2/5)
  • The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (4/5)
  • The One by Keira Cass (2/5)
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (4.5/5)
  • Nat Turner by Kyle Baker (5/5)
  • Wicked Weeds: A Zombie Novel by Pedro Cabiya (4/5)
  • Malcolm X: A Graphic Novel by Andrew Helfer (3/5)
  • Losing It by Cora Carmack (2.5/5)
  • Latin@ Rising
    • “Sin Embargo” by Sabrina Vourvoulias (4/5)
    • “Accursed Lineage” by Daina Chaviano (4/5)
    • “Coconauts in Space” by ADAL (3/5)
    • “Cowboy Medium” by Ana Castillo (2/5)

What did you read in October? Any new favorites or recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.

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Popular Characters I Don’t Like

There are a lot of things in pop culture I don’t care for or I just don’t understand the hype surrounding it. That includes some characters from popular shows and books. Before I continue, I want to say these are just my opinions. If you think differently, please let me know, I’d love to know why you do love these characters, maybe you’ll help me change my mind about them.

Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door

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I’ve never heard any one say something bad about this book or its characters, and I for the most part loved this book… except for Lola. In the book she spends the majority of her time making outrageous outfits to wear every day. I have no problem with that, but it always felt like she was hiding something and she was. I never felt like I knew who was the real Lola, and that really bugged me. In some ways it felt like she never once let her guard down, and from a reader’s standpoint, I would have liked to see some vulnerability from her. No make-up no big outfit, just her.

 

Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

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I’m sure I’m going to get crucified for this but, it’s true I don’t like Rory Gilmore. Why? She’s too perfect in an annoying sort of way. Even when she makes mistakes it’s not the type of mistake that is fun to watch on screen. She is beautiful, very smart, mostly rich, and everyone she ever meets loves her. Doesn’t that sound annoying? Maybe I am wrong, after all it feels like the entire world is in love with Rory and the show, but me. If you like Rory (or don’t) please let me know. I honestly don’t know why I’ve kept watching the show if I keep cringing all the way through.

 

Mako from Legend of Korra

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I’ll be honest, I once liked Mako in the beginning of the show. I especially loved him in the later seasons, but I did not like him in the first two seasons. Why? Because he was a horrible boyfriend to Asami and later again with Korra. He never officially broke up with Asami before he started seeing Korra. He then lied to Korra about ever breaking up after he had kissed Asami during their break! That love triangle was just one big clusterf&*@, and clearly Mako didn’t handle it well. I much prefer his awkward self in books 3 and 4 than his complicated relationship self from books 1 and 2.

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Jane the Virgin and the Original TV Show

For many of you Jane the Virgin the CW’s latest drama that revolves around Jane, a virgin, who became pregnant after being artificially inseminated. What an outlandish and original premise, huh? Well, while it’s still outlandish, the premise is not completely original. Jane the Virgin is an american remake of the original Venezuelan telenovela, Juana la Virgen.

Both shows share the same premise, but just about everything else that happens to the Janes is completely different. As someone who has watched both shows I thought it would be fun to point out some of the differences.

To clarify I will be using the original name, Juana to refer to the Venezuelan show, and Jane for the American one. I also haven’t seen past season 2 of Jane the Virgin, so please don’t spoil anything for me. Continue reading

7 Reasons to Love Hamilton

Last November was the first time I heard about Hamilton. You know, that amazingly popular hip-hop musical on Broadway about one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton? It sounds ridiculous and yet, it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever been obsessed about. So amazing in fact, that I’ve been meaning to write a post about it since I started this blog, however, I can’t put my feelings and it’s awesomeness into coherent sentences for you. So far this is the best I can do.

Diversity! The instant I started listening to the album I was shocked because it was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. First, it’s hip-hop and rap and R&B, which is not what you expect from a Broadway musical. Then, I saw the cast and was even more happily surprised to see people of color portraying our very white founding fathers. Lin Manuel Miranda, the genius behind it all, said he wanted the story to be told by the people who make up America today, which happens to be not white people.  Which brings me to my next point…

It’s The Story of the American Dream Told by Today’s America: People always say America was built on immigration and it has been that way ever since the Pilgrims decided to cross the pond. So why not reflect that with today with the immigrant, Alexander Hamilton. It’s a story that hits close to home because as an immigrant I know the sacrificed my parents have made for my sake and my sister’. I know Hamilton’s struggles of becoming someone. I may not aspire to be on the ten dollar bill but I would be content with just receiving my BA in English (for now anyways) and making my parents proud. Which again brings me to my next point…

It’s Still Relevant: One of my favorite parts of the musical is that a lot of the issues our founding fathers faced back in the late 1700s are still relevant. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s true. They mention immigration when Lafayette and Hamilton sing “Immigrants, we get the job done.” I freaked, in a OMG-no-they-didn’t-but-I’m-so-glad-that-they-did way. Which brings me to…

They Don’t Shy Away From Shit: They still mention slavery and the injustice of it all. They mentioned the lack of women’s rights. I find this amazing because why should we hide any of this? It happened there’s no doubt about it and it’s impossible to not acknowledge these things when you have a black man playing Thomas Jefferson. Which reminds me…

The Women Still Kick Ass: In a musical about the 1700s I was afraid the women would be shoved to the background, but I was very wrong. The women in the musical play an important role in Hamilton’s lives as they are his rise and downfall. They come in as strong as the men and come out even stronger through amazing storytelling. Which of course reminds me of…

The Lyrics Are Genius! There’s a reason why this musical won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The lyrics are a genius combination of today’s words with late 18th century slang. For example in “Ten Duel Commandments” Miranda rhymes the word “ruinous” (such an 18th century word) with the phrase “we’re doin’ this” (which is very common in today’s way of speaking). Not to mention all the witty and punny remarks seen in every single song. Which brings me to my next point…

You Will See Certain Words in a New Light: I think this differs from person to person, but I can’t help but feel the feels whenever I see or hear the word “helpless” or “satisfied.” No matter the context or out of context I see it. Sometimes I even confuse the word hopeless for helpless! Yes, I realize I have a problem, but I blame it on this amazing musical you should ALL at least listen to!

There are a million reasons I can keep listing here, but I think you should watch or listen to the play and find out for yourself.

In Hamilton related news, my awesome sister surprised me with the “Hamiltome” aka Hamilton: The Revolution, a book all about how this amazing production came to be with notes, pictures, and interviews with the cast. Expect a review coming soon, assuming I can write it intelligibly.

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