Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam. You basically get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. Head over to the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of Wednesday-ers if you’re interested in participating!
Today’s topic is “Favorite Posts I’ve Written,” and it’s a wonderful little doze of narcissism. You know when you write a post you’re really proud of, and you remain proud of it, but after a few days, it gets buried beneath your other content, never to come up for air again? I think today’s topic is a great way to spotlight some of these posts. I’ll have to go digging around my blog to find something worthy of calling a “favorite.” 🙂
In descending order
5. Top Ten Tuesday | 8 Books to Read if You Like The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
This Top Ten Tuesday post is arguably my most popular post, to date. It has constantly received views, referred from all over the Internet. I’ve seen it shared on forums talking about The Raven Cycle, on Tumblr, on Goodreads, on Twitter. I never expected it to get the reception that it has, but I guess it’s understandable. The Raven Cycle is a wonderful, unique series with beautiful writing, distinct characters and an atmosphere that is almost tangible. You can reach out and run your hands through the very feel of the novel. And because it’s so unique, it can be difficult to find similar content, so I get why my post is popular. I hope people have picked up a book they hadn’t read because of that post, and were satisfied with it.
4. Book Review | Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tcholke
During my second semester of sophomore year, I took an Advanced College Essay class that was obviously very writing-heavy, and was divided into three components. The second component required me to write a movie review. The essay I wrote took an immense amount of effort and time, but the final draft ended up being a contender for a student publication. Because it was a review, I thought I’d utilize the general format to my book reviews as well. Wink, Poppy, Midnight was my first review that followed this format: a representation of the content, what worked and what didn’t, and how it fits in a larger cultural context. I was quite proud of the result- I think it’s one of my best reviews, even though I didn’t much enjoy the book.
I’m studying to be a psychologist in the future, and while my career will not focus on it, adolescent psychology is one of the most fascinating aspects of the field. As a young adult myself who has recently gotten out of her teenage years, I find it ridiculously interesting to look back on my behavior and life as a teen and see how psychology explains my past self. Because I’m so invested in adolescent psychology, I take a special interest in the psychological effects YA books may have on younger audiences, which is why I find it so disturbing that some of the most popular series in YA support abusive relationships. If they do not support them, they build the foundations of a romantic relationship on the basis of abuse, violence and humiliation: Rowan, Rhysand, Daemon Black, Edward Cullen, Warner, and many, many others.
2. Review in the form of a Fairytale | A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
This book left me angry, because I gave Sarah J. Maas a second chance and her work left me more disappointed than even Queen of Shadows. It’s just that she is such a great writer when it comes to the technicalities. She has everything, but she is not a good storyteller. At least, that’s what I think, and I know I am in the minority here. When I was thinking of writing a review for ACOMAF, I knew I wanted to tell my audience why I didn’t like this book. It’s not the book itself- it’s the book, in the larger context of the series and the story. And because I wanted to focus on the storytelling aspect of it, I thought I’d write a review in the form of a story itself- a review in the form of a fairytale. I was glad with the final outcome, and I thought it depicted my feelings as a reader better than if I’d just written a traditional review.
1. Discussion | The warped portrayal of femininity in YA literature
This is another topic I feel passionately about, and this post was brought on by the cover changes of The Winner’s Curse series by Marie Rutkoski. Context: the publisher changed the covers right before the third book was supposed to come out- the previous covers portrayed a girl in beautiful dresses, with a knife – of varying sizes – in her hand. This was an apt portrayal of who the main character was. The new covers depicted a girl in traditionally male clothing who looked more like a pirate than a noble lady. I was horrified that the new covers advertised a character completely different from the one in the pages. Which led to me discussing why YA has a certain notion of bad-ass female characters. Why can’t women be just as awesome in dresses? Does a woman need to abandon her biological and evolutionary ‘feminine’ whims and resort to traditionally male ‘qualities’ (clothing, fighting, being non-romantic) to be considered bad-ass? I understand that YA is trying to be progressive here, but the lack of representation in the types of women seems to be the opposite of progressive. And how are authors supposed to write such characters when their publishers seem to think they aren’t bad-ass enough?