Here’s Kelly Jensen’s analysis of this year’s crop of Best of 2013 YA book lists (compiled from those “Best Books of the Year” lists at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, etc.). Fascinating reading!
Some interesting things from my perspective, as someone who tracks LGBT representation in YA:
There were 55 books on these lists, and among those 55 books only 5 had LGBT characters:
More Than This by Patrick Ness
The Sin-Eater’s Confession by Ilsa J. Bick
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Winger by Andrew Smith (minor character)
Zero Fade by Chris L. Terry
Three of these books are not about LGBT main characters: The Sin-Eater’s Confession is about a hate crime; Winger has a straight main character with a gay best friend and also involves a hate crime; and Zero Fade is about a character whose uncle comes out as gay (I don’t know how big of a part of the story it is).
In all five books, the gay content is about gay boys. (And actually, there is some hate crime-ish stuff in Two Boys Kissing also, but at least there’s a gay-positive context for that.)
There are no queer girls represented in this year’s best-of lists.
I don’t know what’s more disappointing: The fact that this year’s “best books” about LGBT characters often involve violent hate crimes, or the fact that none of them involve queer girls or transgender characters.
Mildy spoilery, but the outing and subsequent isolation/bullying in MORE THAN THIS leads to a suicide. I’m not saying anything bad about the book, but it isn’t a positive counter-balance.
You know, I’d really been hopeful that I wouldn’t have to write about Big Bang Press again. I said my piece last time and I stand by it, and in a perfect world that would’ve been that.
Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and, over the last few days, I’ve come to doubt my last post’s basic assumption. Specifically, that the people involved in Big Bang were well-meaning but naive.
I don’t think that any more. Now, I think they’re intentionally misleading and exploiting fandom—and, more importantly, fan authors—in order to turn themselves a profit. And that I do have a problem with. Not the “turning a profit” part, mind; Big Bang is setting up a business, businesses (hopefully) make money. I myself live a comfortable upper-middle-class lifestyle thanks to the proceeds of business, so it would be hypocritical for me to deny anyone else the same. But the way Big Bang is going about it, by outright lying to fandom, is objectionable.
Hence this post. And no, I’m not the only person saying these things (check the reblogs on the original post). So think of this as a signal boost, if you will.
Listen up, ye denizens of the YA world! We’re about to spice up your Monday with TWO singular covers and TWO exquisite ARCs. The common denominator….is you. #badjokes #reallybadjokes #jokesyouwillgetinasecond
The Fourteenery proudly presents THE CHANCE YOU WON’T RETURN by Annie Cardi and FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe.
I know you’re dying to learn what these are all about. And I’m going to tell you….
THE CHANCE YOU WON’T RETURN, by Annie Cardi
When your mom thinks she’s Amelia Earhart, navigating high school, first love, and family secrets is like flying solo without a map.
Driver’s ed and a first crush should be what Alex Winchester is stressed out about in high school — and she is. But what’s really on her mind is her mother. Why is she dressing in Dad’s baggy khaki pants with a silk scarf around her neck? What is she planning when she pores over maps in the middle of the night? When did she stop being Mom and start being Amelia Earhart? Alex tries to keep her budding love life apart from the growing disaster at home as her mother sinks further into her delusions. But there are those nights, when everyone else is asleep, when it’s easier to confide in Amelia than it ever was to Mom. Now, as Amelia’s flight plans become more intense, Alex is increasingly worried that Amelia is planning her final flight — the flight from which she never returns. What could possibly be driving Mom’s delusions, and how far will they take her?
FAR FROM YOU, by Tess Sharpe
Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.
The first time, she’s fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that’ll take years to kick.
The second time, she’s seventeen, and it’s no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina’s murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.
After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina’s brother won’t speak to her, her parents fear she’ll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina’s murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.
Okay, back to business!
These books share more than witty authors, covers with creative uses of light, and titles about ‘you,’ they are also replete with heart, hardship, and heroism. (And other words that start with ‘h’ like hairplanes and hkissing and hmurder). These are books that will gut you in the best-worst ways and the Ladies of the Fourteenery are thrilled to share them with you.
Winning is simple. All you have to do is reblog this post. Reblogs, and only reblogs, will count as an entry. Likes are appreciated but will not be counted as entries
Winners (for there will be one for each) will be posted Friday, December 13th at noon CST. Ready, set, REBLOG!
EDIT: We’re sorry to say this is a US/Canada only contest. We can’t foot the international shipping at the moment.
“Some of you misspelled Garver three different ways in your essay, which is an impressive feat but not an admirable one. Do you want the world to think you’re mediocre? Stop giving them a reason to think you are. They would love a reason to write you off. Just edit your damn essay.”—Dr. Scott-Morgan Straker, my Viking Literature professor (via corgiwhisperer)
Your comment is really insightful, but the REAL Osgood took the inhaler back from the Zygon when she tripped it on her scarf. So it was the real Osgood, and that was the point. Because Osgood knew who she was after that moment, and she didn't care. :)
My mistake! (In my defense, I’ve only seen the episode once.)
But at that point, Zygon!Osgood still could’ve spoken up. I think it is very important (especially since Doctor Who can have a human/protagonist-centered morality) that at that moment a human and Zygon made a decision for peace together, without being mind whammied.
Not that I think them working together takes away at all from the gesture of using the audience surrogate character.
You know, we all joke about how when we were all young our parents told us that everyone online was out to molest us, and we joke about it because we know that it’s far from true. That doesn’t, however, change the fact that there ARE people like that, and you should always be wary.
I’m not going to tell you to never meet people from online because in this day and age the internet is so prevalent that saying distrust everyone would be like saying distrust every stranger on the street, but I am going to tell you a few things, and they all boil down to being alert, smart, safe, and cautious. There are people out there who wish to do good people harm, and the internet is the perfect place for them to find victims.
Every person you are meeting online has just as equal a chance of being your murderer as they are your soulmate.
Never, EVER meet someone alone.
If you do choose to meet with someone, always bring a parent or trusted adult with you, tbh preferably male. Even if they don’t hang out with you and your new friend, they should be no farther than a table away at any time. Always have a parent or adult pick you up and drop you off, never get into a car with the person you’re meeting.
If you’re a bit older (like me, i’m in my 20s) while you don’t need an adult because you are one, it’s best to have a large group of friends with you, again, preferably with some males (if you yourself aren’t male).
Never agree to go to a hotel room, home, apartment or secluded location with someone who you have just met. First meetings should always be in an incredibly public place with lots of people around.
Always carry with you one of the following: a taser, pepper spray, a defense stick, a knife, a whistle, or if you have a conceal carry permit, a weapon. They should be someplace both safe and hidden, like a purse or bag, but also be easily accessible.
Be wary of large age differences. I’m sorry, but it’s true. This mainly applies when one party is under 18, especially under 16, and the other party is above 20.
If the person you are meeting has a problem with any of this (you don’t really have to tell them about the weapon, but for the other things) that is a giant red flag and you should NOT go to see them. A TRUE friend or good person will say “I completely understand” and even then, just because you’ve known someone for a month doesn’t mean you know who they are or what their intentions are. No matter how well you think you know them, a relationship formed online should be treated differently than a relationship formed in person. Never let your guard down easily.
Currently, we don’t know how these two met, but small bits of information going around suggest it was through an online cosplay community. Always, ALWAYS, be safe, wary, cautious, and most of all alert when talking with people online. This is especially for my younger followers, you don’t want your mother to have to go through what this poor girl’s has gone through in the past week.
The internet is a place that we’ve all come to feel safe at, but that safety is exactly what the evil people of this world search for when looking for victims like this poor girl, gone too soon. I would rather you look like an overcautious, untrusting person than a corpse, and remember that.
This applies to photographers too!!
If you are meeting a photographer for the first time to do a cosplay shoot, and they ask to go to an offshoot site from the con, ALWAYS bring a friend with you!! Never go alone with a photographer you’ve just met!!
Stay safe everyone
(I have removed the photo from my reblog.)
I would like to have: always have an out. Never go with an internet friend somewhere that you can’t get yourself home. If you don’t have a car, don’t go somewhere you can’t by public transportation, and don’t go if you don’t have money/tickets for the way home.
Set up communication. Have your phone with you. Have someone call/text you regularly, and make sure that your internet friend knows someone is checking up on you.
Look, I’ve stayed, in a foreign country, with someone I met over the internet. I’m not saying never do it. But keep yourself safe.
i can’t stress enough how language is defined by its use
you’re not really misusing a word if you’re using it in its most popular definition because there’s no way i could tell anyone that something is “terrific” and have EVERYONE KNOW THAT I MEAN IT INSPIRES TERROR GOD YOU’RE ALL SOOOOO STUPID
clinging to archaic definitions and being a language purist in general is so dumb for real like 50% of our language now is butchered latin mixed with shakespearean chatspeak
The Borowitz Report: Hubble Telescope Sends Back Annoying Stream of Selfies
HOUSTON (The Borowitz Report)—NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, whose mission is to capture images that help scientists better understand the universe, has instead spent much of the past several weeks transmitting an annoying series of self-portraits, NASA scientists confirmed today.
“We need to stop pitting girls against each other. We need to stop giving validation to novels and films that fetishize girls who say they “aren’t like other girls” as if there’s something inherently wrong with being a girl. We need to stop perpetuating the fallacy of the mythical “other girls” who all fit some made up stereotype that we teach our girls to be afraid of because “the right guys” don’t actually like “that kind of girl”. “That kind of girl” doesn’t exist, because girls are people and not objects that come in bulk.”—Megan Emanuel (via mjwatson)
Most artists dream about being discovered by a celebrity, instantly catapulting them to success and stardom. Few actually experience it. But believe it or not, it happened to a young, unsuspecting photographer who was sought out on Flickr by one of the most popular bands on the planet.