Thursday, October 30, 2014

Impressions of Oryx and Crake

Snowman and all his confusion lies here.

Margaret Atwood’s writing is inspirational, witty, and progressive, and I am in no position to critique or review her work; therefore, an impression as well as a brief analysis of the novel will suffice. Oryx and Crake tells the story of Jimmy/Snowman and his life in an utopia, a dystopia, and the aftermath of civilization’s destruction. Divided into fifteen parts, the novel alternates space and time between the vacillating viewpoints of the protagonist, either as defeated Snowman or clueless Jimmy. Because the novel cannot be reviewed by my meager wisdom, I have decided to give my impression and a brief analysis of the ideas brought up.

Creation of an Utopia

The most prominent plot point is Crake’s dream of eliminating all human characteristics and replacing them with animal traits in an effort to create the ideal person. This idea establishes the utopia of the novel.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why the YA Dystopian Novel is Maintaining its Relevance

A recent blog entry on Huffington Post’s website narrowed down the four hottest YA trends that will take readers by storm in 2015. The opening line of the blog is, “Tired of dystopia?” While I can understand some readers’ annoyance with a mainstream genre (I could never stand vampires), I find it hard to believe that the idea that the dystopian novel is losing ground in popularity. If anything, this is one of the recent mainstream genres that young adults need to realize is based on the possible future of their world.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga is a fictional tale of an Indian servant destined to live in a low caste (and is not considered dystopian in any way). The novel focuses on the corrupt financial and political nature in India and how even those who have undergone abuse or neglect will forget about their past and rise to the top in any gruesome way it requires. Balram, the protagonist, writes the story through letters to the Premier of China, explaining his murderous past and how he became one of the richest men in Bangalore. While The White Tiger describes a real world in fictional conflicts and characters, its corrupt and greedy core is why the YA dystopian novel is gaining relevance with young adults and why it needs to maintain its influence, and the novel illustrates the validity of this in the way the characters challenge the government.

The hilarious novel that is White Tiger.

They Refuse to Challenge

The first matter of White Tiger follows the characters’ resistance to change or their disbelief in the possibility through the Rooster Coop hypothesis.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review - The Uglies

I think she's pretty, but hey, I'm an Ugly too.

Everything’s so bubbly!

Let’s kick things off: I thought I hated Scott Westerfeld’s writing style. I couldn’t get past sixty pages in Peeps and the thought of reading another novel nearly terrified me. Luckily for me, Tally of The Uglies was a thousand times better, smarter, and more believable narrator than Cal. In this latest novel that I’m years behind on discovering, Tally Youngblood is fifteen and wants to become a Pretty. Becoming Pretty is an operation the city doctor and officials approve so everyone looks like a childhood supermodel to eliminate divisions based on appearances. When Tally meets Shay and her determination to stay Ugly, or normal, she weighs the consequences of looking Pretty for the first time.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why I Write: Origins

Growing up, everyone dreams of the ultimate fantasy career that he or she believes will make life perfect: police officer, firefighter, actress, singer, athlete, professional gamer, you name it. I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian before I learned I had a phobia of needles and fainted at the sight of blood. For many years I dreamed of becoming an astronomer and studying the planets, possibly discovering a new one and naming it after myself, but after five weeks in high school physics I laughed at the idea and dropped the course. Combining so much math with science was like listening to Spanglish: I could never keep up with which subject we were focusing on. Fortunately, writing pulled me in and whacked me over the head a few times to let me know that I was born to work with words. I may be a young writer, but my writing origins spanned eight years, starting with the preparation for the Writing TAAS Test, meeting the Texas Poet Laureate, and hearing the greatest advice I’ve ever been given.

Exit Exam

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Book Review – Delirium

I'm still getting chills!~ GoodReads


Delirium by Lauren Oliver focused on a futuristic Portland, Maine, where the citizens were surrounded by electric fences and injected at 18 with the cure for love, affectionately called amor deliria nervosa. The protagonist Lena, nicknamed from Magdalena, plays the role of a young 17 year-old woman who is anxiously awaiting the day she can be injected with the love cure, be paired up with a cured man, and live her life free from the pain of heartbreak, misunderstanding, and originality. The arrival of Alex, a charming young man, and the sudden mood-swings from her best friend Hana alter Lena's perception of the world.

Friday, October 10, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 - Preparing for NaNoWriMo

Maybe it’s because I never know what I’m going to write before November 1st strikes, but I never prepare for NaNoWriMo. This year, I plan on changing that and writing an outline for a dystopian novel. I’m terrified for two reasons. One, I’m worried I’ll get hung up on writing it perfectly and not finish, and two, the last two novels I’ve written without planning ended up being mystery and YA thriller.

Is YA thriller even a thing?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why I Write: Young Adult

As a teenager, life is arguably the most dramatic it will ever be (without considering raising children and your spouse). For that reason a young adult is receptive and likely to change his or her beliefs or perspectives before the permanent transition into adulthood. Writing for young adults is crucial and should be given more seriousness by authors and readers. I may have been in high school daydreaming about boys more often than not, but the novels that stuck with me were the ones where self-discovery was more important than a high school crush. Novels like The Ranger’s Apprentice, His Dark Materials, and Stravaganza illustrate the necessity of understanding and trusting ourselves before we focus on friends, family, and romance.

The Ranger’s Apprentice

John Flanagan’s character goals for Will in The Ranger’s Apprentice included finding a purpose or career in life before giving himself to others, either in friendship or romance. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Reader’s Obsession with Dystopian Novels

Books I've just read vs. Books I'm going to finish this month

While many genres have blown up in recent years in mainstream fiction (I’m looking at you, zombies and vampires), the dystopian novel offers something much more tangible than fantasy or science fiction: possibility. Could we, as the human race, one day live in spaceships or on the moon? We will probably need to if we destroy Earth any faster. Could vampires, dragons, or hobbits exist in the future since they’ve survived hundreds of years worth of stories? Possibly, although with the spread of Ebola and bath salts zombies may come to life soonest. Our hopes and fears aside, dystopian novels place the reader in a society that resembles the modern world but without free will, decision-making, or emotional connections. If all it takes is a drastic war or one evil man getting into power to create a dystopian novel, then Hitler may be the greatest source of motivation readers need to understand why living within a dystopian novel is something that is not only a possibility, but something humans have already lived through.

What is a Dystopia?