Sarah

Sarah

Sarah loves to read, believing in books there is magic. She likes to think she’s witty. (She is not witty.) Sarah likes many thing—except for vegetables.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

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Published

Young Adult Literature: The Escape

What is it about YAL that makes the genre so popular. Despite its name and set ‘age range’ young adult books are making waves and gathering attention to those of many ages allowing us to escape into the words created. Is it simply because we find the characters, situations, or world relatable? Are we living vicariously through the lives of characters we wish we could have been or been? What is it about YAL that is so captivating? Don’t believe me? Just look at all the book to screen adaptations chosen to live on the big screen. How do you Escape into the fantasy world of dystopian or YAL. Young adults and teens alike choose to lose themselves in the words living and learning vicariously through the characters.

  • Something that would be interesting would be to compare YA lit to other kinds of niche/'genre' fiction like mystery or sci-fi/fantasy-- both YA and traditional genre fiction are extraordinarily popular, but don't get the kind of respect that more traditional "literary" fiction gets. – Sadie 10 months ago
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  • I've found that, often, classes on YA argue that the reason people read so much YA is the "reliability" factor, though I don't know if that's necessarily all of it. I also think that there is an aspect of YA that lets topics that may not necessarily be as accessible in other genres come through in subtle interesting ways. But that may just be my own thoughts on the thing. Interesting topic! I'd love to see it written! – Mariel Tishma 10 months ago
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  • I think part of the pull toward YA novels is that they are generally easy to read and fun. For the most part, I know what I'm going to get with a YA book, hence the appeal (for me, at least). – itsverity 9 months ago
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  • While YAL may rule the sales charts, it is important to remember that they are not exactly 'masterpiece-materials'. They mostly have very short shelf-lives and poor re-read value. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 months ago
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  • Perhaps the appeal for readers of dystopian YA novels is being able to favourably compare their realities to the situations that characters are facing. – India 4 months ago
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  • YAL is an easy escape, that's why it's read in my opinion. It is not necessarily about going into the worlds or lives of the characters, it's more about just being able to escape from the real world. – Tamieka 4 months ago
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Latest Comments

Sarah

Dystopian worlds or societies are more fantasy than reality. Trilogies such as The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Matched, Crossed and Reached by Ally Condie, and Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant by Veronica Roth are all good examples of “the idea that human nature, rather than nurture, determines how we act and live. Each trilogy has a character that has a lot of obstacles to overcome, not just physically but mentally as well. They have to make unique decisions that typically conflict their societies leaders, an example of individual freedom rather than conforming to society pressures. Even though these novels may be solely based on fantasy, the issues of peer pressure from society are very real; yet another reason why young adults can relate to the fictional characters present in the dystopian world. No matter the setting, YA characters tend to develop emotionally as we the readers turn the page, an emotional journey to find themselves.

The Rising Popularity of Dystopian Literature
Sarah

In both, male or female characters there’s always going to be an element of sexuality present in their costumes. The article on Radiotimes.com pointed light on the fact that Male costumes always seem designed to emphasize his power and strength. Often choosing to show off the hero’s oversized biceps (like with Thor), or going so far as adding precisely placed padding to accentuate a set of killer abs. Female costumes, on the other hand, are often designed to emphasize sexuality. Typically only covering the bare minimum (her lady parts) but leaving substantial amounts of bare skin, including large breast, a slim stomach, and long legs.
For example, Psylocke from the film X-men Apocalypse–– at first glance, she looks like an empowered, kick-butt, super-villainess but how does her costume (or lack thereof) improve her powers of telekinesis? I admit the sexualization of heroes and heroines alike does entice the eyes but is it necessary to ’empower’ the heroine by stripping her down to a leathered version of undergarments? But then there’s the point made in this article about She-hulk, she wears an onsie because it is fitting to her ‘superpower’. Her skin is resilient unneeding of armor but she does need a full range of motion and a more flexible take on attire material. (we can’t judge too much, her male equalivant of the Hulk only wears pants.)
Overall, I enjoyed this article and found it very enlightening on both arguments.

Female Superhero Representation in Comics
Sarah

I love this article for three reasons. One, because HELLO who doesn’t love J.R.R. Tolkien and the world of Middle Earth. Two, because this article was your ordinary take on ‘routing for the underdog. And three, because I felt like Parshall was passionate on her take of hobbits, her options were both emotional and informational since she backed her claims with cited quote sand tidbits from Tolkien’s, Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit. I agree with her wholeheartedly that most readers seem to take the true essence of a hobbit for granted. She states early on that “Hobbits enjoy nothing quite as well as they do the comforts of their home: they love naught more than the camaraderie of good food, beer, and pipeweed. Hobbits do not like change and do not know much of the world outside the borders of the Shire” (Parshall). It is this that makes a hobbit such as Bilbo, Frodo, Samwise, Pippen, Merry such remarkable creatures. The Fellowships journeys failures and victories so not break their spirit but rather gives them to the courage to overcome the most trying of perils. “The hobbits arise from relatively nothing legendary to make themselves into heroes despite dear and unreasonable odds, and it is this destruction of their innocence that becomes so relatable. They show the full trajectory of what courage means. Starting from a place of innocent fear, acknowledging the fear and its limitations, and them harnessing those fear to do what must be done for the greater good” (Parshall). The smallest most peaceful of Middle Earths creatures have the biggest transformation. Though naïve to the dangers surrounding them, at first anyways, their heart and resilience win out. Combined with the loyalty of and to their companions, they are able to take on great responsible in the face of death and destruction effectively earning the heroic title.

Hobbits: Tolkien's Unlikely Heroes