Top Ten Tuesdays Freebie: Elements to a YA Novel

TTT

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke And The Bookish.

My list is about the top ten things that make me want to pick up a book and read it! Though it is not a Tuesday anymore, especially in the Philippines… well here ya go anyway!

1. Strong Heroines

I honestly have no preference in terms of the gender of the main protagonist. Hero or heroine works well with me, but I like my heroines strong, rational, and likable, above all. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when the heroine resolves her issues by whining or holing up in her room, crying her problems away (which, last I checked, is awfully ineffective). C’mon, girls. We don’t have to depend on our knights in shining armor all the time, especially when they’re not feeling very knightly at the moment. Books with heroines who can kick ass? Insta-love. Most of the time.

Example: Katsa in Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling

2. Epic Love Triangles

With obvious emphasis on the “epic”. I know, I know. I’m heartless, cause love triangles usually end up in heart break one way or another. Additionally, love triangles are everywhere, and I should definitely be sick and tired of them right now. I don’t know about you though, but I think the resolve to this particular denouement is one of the most exciting and vexatious outcomes to look forward to in any young adult book. It must be because I’m a romantic by default (or not), but either way, I’m still really impressed by how authors manage to pull these off.

Example: Jem, Will and Tessa in Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess

3. Characters for Comic Relief

I don’t know why, but I can’t really appreciate novels with overly maudlin story lines. I know that some of them are really meant to pull at your heart strings, depress you, and open your eyes to the harsh realities of life, but it really bothers me when there is little else. Characters that provide comic relief definitely lighten the load, and more often than not, they evolve to becoming my favorites. I have this thing for funny guys who can come up with witty comebacks- a great sense of humor is, to me, a plus point to a character’s appeal.

Example: Leo in The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero

4. Dystopian Societies

I know this has become a huge trend for authors who want to create a world that doesn’t exactly abide by the laws of man and nature present in a contemporary setting. It’s kind of funny that I love dystopian novels because I usually end up scorning anything that has been in the loop for too long (creating a train as opposed to a bandwagon). However, I’m really fascinated by the different types of environment in the various novels, the significant problems they pose as well as the opportunities they provide for the characters to grow and develop.

Example: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games

5. Great Covers

Unless you happen to live like Patrick Star (you’d be practically out of reach because one, you’re underwater, and two, there is a huge slab of rock wedged in between you and the real world), you should know by know that there is a saying that goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But I can’t help it! The urge is just so strong, to pick up a book simply because the cover is stunning. And I’m not sure if the same goes for most, but the best books I’ve read have amazing ones.

Example: Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Across The universe

6. Multiple POVs

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the book has to be written in first person. I’m a sucker for books that give me various points of view to a single scenario, because they increase my comprehension of the story, and I love how i can better understand the characters and connect with them if I see things the way they do. Though there are some amazing books that focus on specific characters to preserve the mystique of the others, I do have a knack for he said/she said books that alternate view points.

Example: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

Dash and Lily

7. Supernatural Beings 

This is mainly because I am obsessed with fantasy books. This isn’t to say that I can’t appreciate realistic fiction, but I just love books that are creative and can stir the imagination. These types of books usually include supernatural beings- vampires, werewolves, warlocks, angels, demons, fairies, the like. I usually find myself fascinated with the way they are incorporated into the story line, the powers they possess, and the way they communicate (and even breed, haha) with humans. As long as they don’t sparkle like certain vampires, or have names that start with E and end in Dward Cullen, I think I’m good.

Example: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy

8. Forbidden Love

Yes I’m cheesy. I don’t know why, but William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet moved me in such a way that I didn’t care for the tragic conclusion. I’m not a huge fan of sad endings that leave me in a pool of tears, especially ones involving ritual suicide, but after reading that classic, I had a newfound appreciation for books that find ways to make relationships work even when they shouldn’t.

Example: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden

9. Gorgeous Love Interests

I know that perfect guys with beautiful hair, blinding smiles, ripped physiques and adorable intellect are probably the least relatable characters in the world, but I still have a weakness for them. It’s probably because I can picture myself as the main character meeting the particular hunk, and more often than not, they’re not half bad.

Example: Patch in Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush Hush

10. Happy [Enough] Endings

Except in special cases wherein the author is so great (and most likely dead) that he or she for example, has a statue erected in his memory, I really can’t seem to appreciate novels with sad endings. In my opinion, the ending is the most important element, because all events in between lead up to that particular moment. And if the characters are doomed to live miserable, hopeless lives, then why must we even go through the journey with them just to get there in the first place? If the ending is gonna leave me in tears, at least give the main character compensation for the loss. Or please just make it happy.

Don’t wanna spoil the ending to any book, so maybe you can fill out your own example! Leave a comment for any opinions.

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Sunday Post: A License For Fan Fiction

Just a while ago I read this post on Telegraph UK, stating that Amazon just recently announced securing licenses for fan fiction to sell on their market. This was a way to monetize the franchise popular now with a lot of people who don’t quite get what they want from TV shows or books in the flesh. Some authors have criticized this decision, saying that it’s an invasion of their work and ideas. Others are completely for it- and as for me? Well it does leave me thinking. 

 

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve never tried my hand at fan fiction writing before, and I’m not exactly an aspiring book author so much as I am an aspiring blogger. But the whole concept of the business, as in taking a story you like and making it your own- it hasn’t really bothered me much, despite the fact that it gets too wish-fulfilling, and characters tend to get hooked up with one another in crazy scenarios by hardcore shippers. However, I’ve read some of them myself, and there really are some great writers out there capable of creating quality content, and I think it’s only fair that they be given a chance to showcase their talent when they can’t do it without an effective partner in actually promoting their work.

I’m happy for all the fan fiction writers interested- there’s honestly some crazy good stuff out there. But the idea of Amazon’s involvement scares me. Of course the driving force behind that super-company isn’t exactly a bunch of selfless, sincere employees who only want to help amateur writers make a name for themselves. Of course they’re going to manipulate the circumstances such that it aligns with their own interests. And of course we can’t expect that the situation is as simple as that- we don’t know for sure if all these writers with huge potential are just being played into the web of a greedy predator. That horrible metaphor aside, I wonder if, in the end, it’s going to be a win-win or a win-lose situation. And you and I both know which end of the bargain is getting the win side on both accounts.

Additionally, a lot of issues may potentially arise from Amazon’s decision. There could be copyright issues between the authors and the fans, both of which now have their takes on the same series selling out. And if they don’t work against each other, then Amazon could work against them by granting themselves access to the content of their work and exploiting their ideas by making money out of it. And the money is obviously not going to find itself inside the pockets of the one who actually deserves the credit. But of course, who can blame fan fiction writers for completely buying the whole license idea? After all, they get paid, and their work gets labeled as a little less illegitimate. As for the authors, they profit as well from fan fiction based on their original creations, and a little extra credit with no extra work hardly sounds like a bad idea at all. Those are some perks even I would not pass up. I guess we can only really know what effects this marketing strategy will have on the writing industry after it’s been in effect for some time. I’m hoping for some good coming outta this, but sometimes we have to expect the unexpected.

It’s your turn! If you have thoughts regarding this issue, please leave a reply!

Here’s the link to the article I read:

Blog Launch Review: Clockwork Angel

source at goodreads.com Title: Clockwork Angel

 Author: Cassandra Clare

 Release Date: August 31, 2010

 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

 Description: 467 pages, Young Adult Fiction

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Magic is dangerous- but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gas lit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length… everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world… and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

MY THOUGHTS

Introduction To The Shadowhunters

     I have to admit that I see the reason why I should have scoured all book stores nearby for the City of Bones (which is currently out of stock like, everywhere) before I started on this one. The prologue was my main beef, because the first few pages were Greek to me. I didn’t understand the business with the shax, the issues with the downworld, and why they were even in the slums in the first place. But then again, prologues are supposed to be explained as the story progresses in the succeeding chapters. It was just that the intro didn’t exactly make me sit up and superglue my eyes to the pages (metaphorically, of course). It could also have been that I was simply expecting more from my first Cassandra Clare book, considering all the hype. I gave up about three times on the entire book before I decided to read past that blasted prologue. Honestly, I should’ve asked for the nearest cliff if I didn’t continue on after that (because the last book was remarkable).

Design A

Blood Brothers

Will, to me, is a strong, believable character. And though to many others, his disposition is as flawed as his appearance is flawless, I do think he didn’t want, but had to keep his true and better nature hidden- and that is hardly something I can judge or resent him for. The love he showed for Jem told me that his sense of compassion, not pity, was what set him apart from the others. I admire how strong he was for Jem and how much courage it took for him to constantly immerse himself in a dangerous environment for someone he cared for, as long as it was necessary ( as opposed to Tessa, who threw herself into danger idiotically). His chemistry with Jem was amazing in this book, even more so than his with Tessa, which was amazing only because it was ridiculous. Jem was my great sin. He is a walking, talking reminder of suffering, and yet he remained calm in the face of danger, reasonable in the face of mockery. I don’t know if I can believe anyone is capable of nobility quite like Jem’s, which should be a problem, but I adore him so much that I realized it isn’t.

“Whatever you are physically, Male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy- all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”                                                        

Design A

Resident (not) Shadowhunter

     I loved Tessa no more than I did Jem and Will. But apart from her bothersome need to get herself into constant trouble, I think that she was strong and smart enough to keep herself alive, in the least. I understand what it must have meant to have to give herself up for her brother, and I’m glad that wasn’t enough to cloud her rationality. On the note of her supposed love for both Jem and Will, I think its perfectly normal to want one hot guy as well as the other, but when they feel the same for you (and more) at the same time, well that just makes you ridiculously lucky, doesn’t it? The development of character in terms of the romance in this triangle didn’t transition smoothly for me. You’re not supposed to meet a stranger and fight a few mediocre battles together one day, then call it love the next. Will and Tessa’s back and forth motion from love to hate then back to love again didn’t work well with me, and only served to deplete my brain cells and make me question their relationship. But honestly, I appreciate how Tessa took Will’s flaws and used them to see the innate good in him. Overall, Tessa to me was just a hormonal teenager who did risky things- though she protected her loved ones well. I think she’s perfectly capable of saving a lot of lives, if only she uses her powers wisely.

“One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”                                                                                                                    

Design A

The Rest Of The Downworld

     The Downworld concept was new and interesting to me. Vampires and lycanthropes are horribly overused, and warlocks are nothing short of cliche, but I think their relationships with each other in this book definitely heightened my appreciation for the various downworlders. In this book, they feel very human emotions and act in very human ways, and I think that’s a good thing because then I can relate to them and really get why they do what they’re doing. On a side note, I am in love with Magnus Bane. I think though that the plot progressed really slowly, and there were lots of unnecessary arguments and disagreements between the Shadowhunters in the Institute. It suddenly became a chore instead of an anticipation to wait for them to come to a consensus. More was done in words rather than in action, and it became a drag, but there were some essential arguments and quotes that helped me to understand the story and the characters better. The book was definitely interesting the first time around. I think it’s still a pretty worthy read, and kudos to Cassandra Clare for this one.

Design A

MY RATING 

B Thanks for reading! Tell me what you think about the book in the comments below 🙂