Young Adult Novels Adhere to the Unconventional

Young adult novels…they’ve seem to have gotten repetitive. Fascinating worlds and wonderful tales fill them but many of the main characters across the book have a common shared theme:  they’re socially awkward hipsters who take off beaten paths.


I’m not saying that all young adult books are like this. There are several books to choose from that do not take this well-worn path: The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Divergent. It is worth pointing out why many young adult books are diving in this theme of embracing the unconventional individual. Several young adult books with nerdy/awkward protagonists have become bestsellers. Young adult author John Green’s books including Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska all include having a main protagonist who isn’t very outgoing and believes in staying quiet.

Two young adult genre breakout hits of 2013 were Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Both books (written by the same author: Rainbow Rowell) deal with introverted characters who surround themselves in their own world. This Song Will Save Your Life, a novel by Leila Sales, deals with a quiet teen girl who has trouble making friends. Notice a similar theme/trend with the other books mentioned?

Perhaps this is just a trend that in the coming years will start to slow down. It’s good that many young adult authors are helping teens embrace their quirky traits and awkwardness in a world of weight pressure, body image critics, and bullying. There is room for change however. Sometimes it needs to be known when to move on and describe other types of characters. Embrace the person who likes to speak up, make things, and/or is overly vain. It would be a welcomed change.

Finished Netflix List? Summer Books to Check Out

Making a list of book recommendations can be pesky task to do. Thinking about books so subjective. Although film reviews are also subjective and I post those on this blog. Books are different. People get really defensive and think highly about what makes for a good read.

I try to read books with a wide perspective to see who would like them. Below I give a list of books to check out this summer. Happy reading!

PicMonkey Collage

Young Adult

parkEleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell): Set in 1986, the book is about two teens from vastly different upbringings that connect over a love of comic books and 80’s alternative music. Eleanor, age 15, is the new kid at school who is bullied for wearing “weird” clothes and being overweight. She has a bad homelife and stays quiet. Park is a boy who, despite coming from a loving household, feels like an outsider in the world.


Reason for its acclaim? The themes of not fitting in and finding oneself are universal. The story is about teens but can be enjoyed by anyone with less-than-stellar high school memories. Even John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars) loved the book!

att Looking for Alaska (John Green): Everyone has read The Fault in Our Stars by now. Looking for more Green in your life? (sorry, I couldn’t resist saying that). Looking for Alaska was John Green’s debut novel. It follows 16-year-old Miles Halter as he attends a preparatory high school for his junior year. He is going to seek “a great perhaps.” Starting his classes, he meets a unique group of friends who go by a variety of nicknames: The Colonel, Takumi. Alaska Young is the pretty but emotionally unstable girl he meets after being introduced by The Colonel.

Alaska is smart, adventurous and attracts all the boys at the school with her looks. Through a series of late night conversations, Alaska’s story of sadness, depression and unhappiness start to come to light.

Reason to read: The book is unique in that it’s told in a series of “before” and “after” intervals rather than the traditional chapters. The book goes through the struggles of growing up, dealing with painful memories and figuring out ways to move foward even in the wake of sadness. Even with its sad nature, it somehow is able to have bits of humor and leave the reader with a rediscovered sense of dealing with painful circumstances.

Other books

Attachments (Rainbow Rowell): Rowell does dialogue between characters very well. Hence the reason for giving out recommendations of two books by her.

attt Attachments is about love in the workplace. Lincoln O’Neill gets a job as an “internet security officer.” His job? To read people’s emails at the company and write up a report if he see anything bad/suspicious in nature. He comes across two workers emails, Beth and Jennifer. Reading the emails, he know he should turn them in but the emails are just so entertaining to him. He is drawn to the stories they tell in the emails.

Lincoln falls in love with Beth from the emails he reads that are hers. He knows so much about her. It’s a little late to introduce himself to her without coming off as a creep for knowing so much about her.

Reason to read: This is one of the few books about love in the workplace that heartfelt and touching to read. Most books about love in the workplace usually have a bunch of sex in them and have a soap-opera-ish vibe to them. Attachments is different. The characters are fully carved out and realistic to read. It’s one of those books (for girls and guys) that will have you biting your lip and waiting to turn to the next page.

Gone_Girl_(Flynn_novel)Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn): Read it before the movie comes out in October! If you want a novel full of suspense that will keep you wondering as you read, Gone Girl is the book to read. Flynn is a genius with her words and crafting of a great suspense story.

The novel centers on the uncertainty surrounding main character, Nick Dunne, and whether he killed his wife, Amy Dunne.

Reason to read: To read something new and refreshing. Are you tired of reading young adult/new adult novels about cliche romances and/or the typical quirky hipster? Gone Girl is a novel that will keep your eyes wide and wondering throughout the chapters. Great thriller novel full of twists and turns.





Anticipated Movies of 2014

I just finished reading the book The Giver by Lois Lowry. The book follows a boy who is selected to be the ‘Receiver of Memory’ in the utopia-esque community he lives in. The film adaption, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift, comes out this August.

I wanted to take a moment to look at some of the great films coming out this year. Not being a huge fan of movies with mindless explosions, most of the films on the list are not from adapted comics.

The Monuments Men

Image via Collider
Image via Slate

George Clooney’s latest directorial effort deals with the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program, a group that saved art and important cultural items before their destruction by Hitler in World War II.  It is scheduled for a February 7, 2014 release.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Image via Screenrant
Image via Screenrant

Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to his smash hit directorial debut Ted, deals with a sheep farmer (MacFarlane) who lacks courage. With the help of a lady (Charlize Theron) he develops a sense of confidence. The film includes a top notch supporting cast consisting of Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris and Amanda Seyfried. It will be one of the first movies released during the summer season,  settling in on May 30, 2014.

The Fault in Our Stars

Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

John Green’s beloved book dealing with a cancer-stricken 17-year-old named Hazel is coming to the big screen. The film follows Hazel as she deals with the trials and tribulations of cancer while making a friend, Augustus Waters, along the way. Scheduled to release on June 6, 2014, it is sure to welcome book lovers and anyone wanting to go against seeing an action blockbuster in favor of a smaller more personal story.

The Giver

Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia

Jonas is a 12-year-old living in a society where jobs are assigned based on evaluation of skills and couples are matched according to their personalities. The community is seemingly perfect as the citizens take pills to suppress “stirrings.” Jonas is selected to be the new ‘Receiver of Memory’ where he discovers the power of knowledge. He starts to see the faults in the community he lives in.

The film adaption stars Brenton Thwaites in the main role of Jonas. Jeff Bridges plays the giver, the one who trains Jonas. Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes round out the cast a film that will cause the viewer to think about the world they live in. Hunger Games trilogy and dystopian world fans would like. It comes out August 15, 2014.