Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Polarizing Books

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:

January 18th: Favorite Polarizing Books
–These are books that people either tend to love or hate, with no in between. Pick some of your favorites that fall into this category.

Another great topic because I have a lot of books that I really like, but a lot of people hate.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

This book is sort of like Lost in terms of divisiveness. But the reason why like this series is because of the characters. All of the characters had great development and good arcs and you wanted to see what would happen to them as the series went. While I did feel that the series got weaker as it went on, I still enjoyed reading the series.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

While Mockingjay isn’t my favorite of the Hunger Games trilogy and it kinda does suffer from Return of the Jedi syndrome especially following a great book like Catching Fire. A lot of people didn’t like how dark the ending came but I like the fact that it had a bitter sweet ending.

The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

This book came out around the time of the Twilight series and vampires were everywhere. Thinking about the series I actually fairly enjoyed the series more than I thought. A lot of people don’t really like the series, mainly because of the comparison to the Twilight series.

The Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar

A lot of people know Gossip Girl mainly because of the TV show, and yes the TV show takes a lot of liberties from the books, but I actually really like the books, and it maybe cliche for me to say that the book is better. But at least the TV show actually did a good job with the character of Serena and making her not to perfect.

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

Surprised! So am I. Even after my discussion of Twilight: Good or Bad, I can’t help but say that I actually like the series. I know the millions of problems that the books has, but this book did get me back into reading again especially after the ending of Harry Potter. Even as a an adult I can still look back at the series as more of a nostalgia trip.

Those are my favorite polarizing books. What are your favorite polarizing books? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Twilight: Good or Bad-Discussion Post

Hello everyone,

As I said, one of my 2017 goals for the blog is to have more discussion posts. It will most likely every other week depending on my schedule.

For my first discussion post I want to discuss something that I feel divided a lot of the YA bookish community is Twilight.

Twilight, the book series by Stephanie Meyer is always the subject of controversy when it comes to YA books. Some people love it and think it is the best thing ever, and arguing over Team Edward or Team Jacob. Some people think it is the worst thing ever, set the women movement back several years and should be burned in the fire pits of Mordor.

So now I will be giving my thoughts of the Twilight series. I think it is just okay. Its not terrible but it is not that great either. This post will most likely discuss why the Twilight series is so divisive.

My history of the Twilight series, started when my sister was reading the series. I always wanted to know about that giant book she was reading was all about, so I decided to read the first book and thought it was okay, it seemed like a very different take on vampire lore, but since vampires have been around for a long time it was nice to see some changes to it.

It got a new generation of young people into reading: This is very important . During my time of the Twilight seines, after the series was over I looked in the YA section and saw another series which happened to be The Hunger Games, and the rest is history. For a lot of other readers Twilight marked the beginning of their reading journey and how they love YA today. For most its a nostalgic trip to their beginnings.

The soundtrack: Say what you will about the movies, but the soundtrack is amazing I love all the songs from “Eyes on Fire” “Flightless Bird” “Turning page” and many more. I really does a good job at incorporating the music with the movie. It’s also on rotation on my Spotify.

VAMPIRE”S DON’T SPARKLE!!!: Yeah this is a controversial one. One of the main complaints about the Twilight series is the portrayal of vampires and mainly how they sparkle in in sunlight instead of usual melting. I don’t really have a problem with that because in the many years that vampire stories have been around there have always been loopholes to get vampires out in daylight like with the Vampire Diaries/The Originals and the use of daylight rings. But for a lot this was the line crosser. I could see why that would be a problems because it “retcons” the vampire lore. But vampire lore has always been rewritten and many different authors have always made changes to how they see vampires.

The Character of Bella: In an age in which YA is full of bad ass heroines like, Celeana, June, Katniss, Tris, Hermione, and tons of others, Bella is always seen as very weak and mostly a damsel. Bella is a black slate character who doesn’t really have any real personality and most of her story arc deals with her boyfriend Edward and her best friend Jacob. The problem is that it is main story arc. While I don’t have a problem with romance novels, but the problem here is that her characteristics are defined by who she is with rather than who she is as an individual. If anything the character of Jacob gets actual character development especially in Breaking Dawn. I feel Bella got some development in Breaking Dawn as well dealing with trying to protect her daughter. I didn’t feel like she truly grew as a character and didn’t go through any challenges.

Popularity Backlash: I first read Twilight around the time I started college in 2006, before the movie was even announced. Like I said I thought is a okay and I finished the series. Once the first movie came out, it was everywhere. This is the term I like to use is popularity backlash, when something becomes so popular that is has to be hated upon. With each movie being released the more resentment it got from the general public. You were suppose to “hate” Twilight, or it become cool to hate it.

The Ending: The ending to Breaking Dawn, I think was a very anti climatic ending I have ever read. It was just a lot of build up and than nothing really happened. The movie tried to fix it with a pretty descent action sequence but than it was all a vision in Alice’s mind, which made it look worse. That is where a lot of people even the die-hard Twilight fans really hated that ending.

In the end the Twilight series was a huge phenomenon that got a whole generation of teens and young adults into reading. Also to answer the question is it good or bad? I think its a bit of both. I will always remember Twilight as one of the series that me into YA, while yes I know it has problems but its still an enjoyable series.

So what do you think of the Twilight? What do you like or dislike about the series? What other discussion topics would you like me to do? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Fix YA-Adaptations

Hello everyone,

This is a discussion post about YA adaptations, their success and failures and how to fix them so that we could actually get excited about our favorite books being adapted for the big screen.

This is something I was thinking about for quite sometime now ever since the fact that Allegiant part 2 is going to be a Made-for-TV movie. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Allegiant both the book and the movie, it would have been nice to at least see it finish on the big screen. Also with the recent failings of The 5th Wave. While I didn’t read the book I did however watch the movie. I thought it was okay, it did seem a bit generic but I still enjoyed the movie, the movie however bombed and the sequels were most likely canceled.

There maybe a glimmer of hope with Ready Player One, set to come out in 2018 and it has Steven Spielberg directing. If that movie turns out really well and I hope it does it could put us back to having good YA adaptations.

So here is my opinion on how to fix the YA adaptations genre:

Stop splitting the final movie in two.

Ever since the final Harry Potter movie came out; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were split in two, having part one released in November and part 2 in July. This of course led to the series making more money. Other series began following this with Breaking Dawn, Mockingjay and Allegiant, splitting the final movie into two parts. Harry Potter, kinda had a reason being that the book was so big that it couldn’t fit everything into one movie. I still enjoyed the both movies, but I felt the need to watch the movies back to back to fully enjoy the movies.

By splitting the movie into two parts it feels that the movie is a little disjointed. In one movie you have all build up and no payoff and the next movie is all payoff but no build up. You have to see the movies back-to-back. The problem is waiting a year to see the next half of the movie.

As a lover of film trilogies; Back to the Future, Star Wars original trilogy and Lord of the Rings, part of me would be a little peeved if I had to see a Return of the King part 1 and 2 instead of seeing Return of the King as an epic finally to a trilogy. The fact that Allegiant part 1 didn’t perform well in the box office and now part 2 being shown on TV, is an example of splitting the final book going horribly wrong. I just hope that in the future adaptations stop trying to split the final book into two movies.

Don’t make bad changes to adaptations

I know making an adaptation is very hard, unlike books where the length can be however long you want it, movies usually need at least a 2 hr run-time, so most likely a lot of stuff will be cut for time. It’s not just the changes but it’s the bad changes that ruin the adaptation. An example I could give is when Eragon first came out, I didn’t read the book but a few friends of mine did. After the movie, while I thought the movie was very generic, my friends hated it. They basically said they made way to many changes that it would make adapting the next book impossible.

You say this a lot with Percy Jackson as well. Cutting characters and main plot details just ruined the movie in its entirety. While a lot of the adaptations that I did really like such as; Harry Potter and the Hunger Games also made several changes to the movie, but some were small or cut because the book was already very big i.e Goblet of Fire. When those movies made changes it didn’t take out what made the book great in the first place and didn’t piss off the fans of the book.

A possible solution is to have the writing at least have a say in working on the adaptation. The author can task the writers with what to cut and what the keep and make sure that the adaptation is run smoothly. A good example is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. She actually wrote the adaptation of the movie and while changes were made it still was a good movie regardless. Even JK Rowling had a say in the adaptation of the Harry Potter series.

Stop trying to “follow the leader”

This is a term in which when a specific genre within the YA books are adapted than there is several movies also in that genre also being adapted. An example started back when Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings had their movies. Both of those franchises made money so other studios wanted to adapt other fantasy novels as well. We ended up with Eragon, Spiderwick Chronicles, Narnia and so much others that ended up failing. When Twilight came out the focus was vampires and the supernatural. We ended up with Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, Cirque du Freak and Beautiful creatures which all also bombed. The same thing happened with Hunger Games and dystopian novels being adapted like Maze Runner and Divergent. While both did well in the beginning they did seem to dip in profits and quality as well.

In the opinion, the reason why we loved The Hunger Games movies was because it wasn’t another Twilight, or it didn’t deal with anything supernatural, it was different and that’s why people came in droves to see the Hunger Games.

Maybe try adapting into television.

When the Song of Ice and Fire books were first published, there was talk about it being a movie for years before the idea of a TV series was going to happen. A TV show was best thing that could of happened. While changes were made to the story , it did keep with the spirit of the books. The show is of course a huge hit and even yesterday winning Outstanding Drama Series for the second year in a row at the Emmys.

Other books are also making the movie into television. After the Mortal Instruments movie failed at the box office canceling any hope for a sequel, the book was adapted into a TV show called Shadow hunters which is a hit on Freeform. The same is said about the 100 on the CW, most people who hated the book love the TV show because it can expand the world of the book without the 2 hr run time that a movie will most likely ruin.

The news of Sarah J Maas series, Throne of Glass being a TV series is actually much better than making a movie. With a series, characters can be expanded and TV show could do a better  job with world building than a movie can.

Those are my opinions on YA adapations and how to fix them. How do you think YA adaptations can be better? Let me know in the comments below.

Top 5 Wednesday: Mothers/Maternal Figures

Happy Wednesday everyone, for this weeks Top 5 Wednesday it is Top 5 Mothers/Maternal figures. This was a little hard for me because most mothers are usually dead, or evil. But I managed to find five who are the best mothers.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series

I know, too obvious. But she is the definitive mother in most of the books I read. A mother of seven, who also accept Harry and Hermione as her own. Also is one of the members of the new Order of Phoenix. Also how can you not feel good during her fight of Bellatrix “NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH”.

Catelynn Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire

She, like Molly Weasley also cares very much about her family, and is also willing to do anything to protect them. She even made some tough choices in order to do so either for better or worse.

Alana from Saga

She is the definition of badass. She gives birth and than has to fight her way across the galaxy with a baby. I don’t think I know any women in literature who can do that.

Frannie Lancaster from The Fault in our Stars

While she is a minor character in the book, so I am judging mostly on the movie. She is a very caring mother dealing with the fact that her daughter as cancer. She is also very supportive of her daughter in her relationship with Gus.

Esme Cullen from the Twilight series

Like Molly Weasley she really does care for her family and accepts Bella as her own. Even in the later books she protects her family from either the werewolves or other vampires out to kill  Bella.

There’s my Top 5 Mothers/Maternal figures. Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Star Wars Book Tag

Here is another tag, that I found online. The creator is Elisabeth Paige and Joana Sousa

Links to their videos:

Elisabeth Paige

Joana Sousa

I always wanted to do a Star Wars Book Tag and I looked it up and discover it. I wasn’t tagged but I decided to do it anyway because I love Star Wars and in honor of both the Rogue One trailer being released and Star Wars The Force Awakens coming out on Blu-Ray in marks the perfect opportunity to do it.

R2D2: A book that made you laugh at loud

Tina Fey is one of my favorite comedians. She created one of my favorite shows 30 Rock and wrote Mean Girls, one of my favorite movies. Her humor translated well into this book. While it is an autobiography it is still very funny.

Padme Amidala: A Kickbutt female character.

Before Katniss, Celeana, Arya, Tris and June, there was Hermione Granger. A muggleborn who wasn’t afraid to be smart, and assisted Harry and Ron in their adventures.

Leia Organa: best or worst love triangle 

Since I couldn’t really think of any good love triangles I choose the worst love triangle and the Bella, Edward, Jacob love triangle was the love triangle that started it all. I am not against love triangles but it doesn’t help if the characters are not fully developed, and instead of focusing on plot and conflict it focuses on who Bella chooses.

Luke Skywalker: A rising star author or a new author you discovered and love

Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes. She is fairly new to the YA scene and what a knock out for a debut author. An Ember in the Ashes was seriously one of the best books I read last year and I really look forward to what the series and the author has in store.

Anakin Skywalker: a book or series that started out well and then became bad.

This was a book series that was set to be the next The Hunger Games, and it started off so well. Then Allegiant happened. It wasn’t the ending (I think it was a worthy risk) but the story took a turn that really didn’t make sense.

Qui Gon Jin: Worst Character Death

Any one who gave their lives in the Battle of Hogwarts, and who died in the entire book.

Han Solo: A book with a lot of sass

While the book does have a lot of dark moments, I think the sass, especially coming from Patrick helped the book find a great balance.

Emperor Palpatine: Best World Building

A song of Ice and Fire book series, or Game of Thrones, sets up its world perfectly and gives us backstory of all of the characters, settings and conflict without resorting to flashbacks. I always hold a Song of Ice and Fire as how high fantasy series should use world building.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: a book you went in with low expectations and that blew you away

I went into Cinder not really expecting anything. It was recommend based on my purchase history, and I gave it a shot. I really didn’t expect it to be that good. It really did a good job mixing Fairy Tale elements and Sci Fi perfectly.

Yoda: a book that taught you something or made you grow

I read it back in sixth grade, and I felt that it helped through tough times. It also was a gateway book through other book series I grew up with.

Darth Vader: favorite villain

I know Voldemort would be the go-to villain in the Harry Potter series. But Umbridge puts a new meaning to villain, she didn’t really need spells, she ruled with an iron first and managed to take over Hogwarts.

That’s my book tag. If you are reading than you have been tagged.