Wednesday, October 31, 2012

why I'm frustrated with young adult literature

As someone who was once an avid reader, I no longer feel compelled to call myself thus.

And it really makes me sad.

You see, there was once a time when the best punishment my mother could, well, punish me with was to take away my reading books.

Nowadays it's rare that I'm actually reading a book.

No, I haven't given up reading all together. There will forever be books that I hold dear.

But with the state of "literature" in this day and age is kind of depressing.

A good example is a series that I just finished. The Tigers Curse series by Colleen Houck.
While I would have to say that the series is a favorite it still falls prey to being much like the majority of other young adult books.

Originally I started the series with the first book of the same title, Tigers Curse. It intrigued me for a few reasons. At the time, it was extremely hard to find a newer book that didn't involve vampires and werewolves. While such is still true the plot took a more original twist.

It's about two Indian princes who are cursed to live immortally as tigers.
And of course the seemingly normal girl who, while working her new summer job, finds herself caught up in the adventure of a lifetime to break the curse binding them in tiger-form.
I mean, she's from Oregon, I'm from Oregon.
I could connect right off with that.

Sounds kind of awesome, right?

Well the first book really was. I enjoyed it immensely.

Basically Kelsey (the main character) gets a summer job working for the circus that is in town for those few, warmer months. It's manual labor, cleaning things, selling tickets, helping feed animals; all that fun stuff.
But along the way she befriends the circus' white tiger. And during her breaks spends her time reading out loud in the solace of the tent that holds the cage of the white tiger.
This white tiger, of course, is one of the aforementioned Indian princes.

While I would warn of spoilers, trust me, all this becomes rather apparent a short ways into the book...most of it can be found in the description on the book anyway.

Kelsey of course is more special than she knows because there is something about her that sets in motion the breaking of the curse. And the tiger she knows as Ren is able - for the first time in hundreds of years - to change back into a man.

But only for an hour.

And so the story begins.
As you would imagine, he is incredibly handsome and thank goodness, Kelsey doesn't really trust that and there's a lot of pretty good arguments and banter along the way.
But we all know where it's headed. Destiny and them being meant to be together...all that jazz.

So it was pretty cool.

But then...along the way (at this point it may be book two, though I could very well be mistaken) they have to find Ren's brother; Kishan to help in the quest to break the curse.

Kishan of course is something of Ren's opposite, literally a black tiger to his elder brothers white, however also incredibly handsome.

Then it kind of get's cliche in this awkward, heart wrenching, love triangle kind of way.

Over the course of the next three books (there are four total in the series) there's all this "which brother do I choose" and "who am I meant to be with" and "there's these two gorgeous, perfect guys who both love me" stuff going on.

And it's kind of sickening.
And it kind of made me hate Kelsey a lot.
A lot.

I really liked her in the first book. kind of went downhill.

The basis of the stories is really cool. The writing isn't half bad. Sure there's some false Hindi gods and legends stuff going on but it's a really interesting plot line in the light of current franchises *cough*Twilight*cough*.

But I just was having serious difficulty stomaching this girl who has two guys completely in love with her and all this "coincidence" and asdfghjkl.sdfghjkl;

Yes, I just died on my keyboard. Because it frustrates me. Love triangles, while a common occurrence and a valid part of writing, are so used and abused that I just want a good quest story that maybe doesn't involve so much romantical blah.

I know I sound like some spinster or something, and I know that it's just fiction, I just hate when characters (especially main-girl-potentially-awesome-powerful-heroine characters) are just crazy stupid.
I know the insecurities and guy issues are a real thing, but the portrayal of how all this stuff works in next to every book I lay my hands is starting to frustrate me to the point of...well, to the point of writing this post.

I feel like I should have a disclaimer at this point. I did finish the series. I cried several times during the course of all the books. Especially at the ending of the final one. I'll probably end up reading them again at some point. In fact there's a good chance that I'd recommend it as a whole.

It's just that this series frustrated me and it's on the better end of the spectrum of young adult literature.

Why aren't there any awesome books (that I haven't already read) that...well...don't involve a girl who has completely invested her life into the lives (if they can be called lives) of guys that may-or-may-not be hundreds of years old and/or even worth it.

It seems to be a theme these days.

Guys get movies and stories about epic adventures where it's just a buddy thang.
Why don't girls get those?

While this post probably doesn't make much sense, hopefully to someone, it will.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

goodbye October

oh October, where have you gone?

My favorite month is almost gone in a flash of brilliant orange and the freeze of the mountains above.

Fall is my favorite season you see.

And October is the epitome of autumn.

Seated between the end-of-summer September and the holiday-beginnings of November, October is the very-fall-fall-ness of autumn.

Like I said more eloquently, it's the epitome of fall.

It's writing and magic and changing.

The 2013 Fine Art's theme is "Finished".

Fall is a time of finishing. It's an ending.
But endings are just beginnings wrapped in strange packages.

Fall is like a phoenix, going out in a blaze of brilliant orange and leaves the shades of fire. And from this "death" comes the rebirth of spring after the time of freeze.

Autumn is the time of birth, for me, beyond my philosophical ramblings.
October first marks my birth.

I love temperate, chilly weather.
I'm not a tropical, hot weather type of person.
Sure, I like summer, but it's far from my favorite.

I'm sad to see the passing of October. It's ending coming on Wednesday.
But such ending breaks way for the beginning of winter.
Snow boots and frozen earth. Snow and frosty trees.

So here's to October, raise a glass of tea with me.
I'm going to drink it, wearing my Avengers t-shirt and my Elmo pajama pants; in celebration and toast to the wonderfulness of this ever passing October.

Popular Posts