Bloggin’ Recap: February 23rd-March 1st

bloggin'recap

It’s Sunday, the beginning of a new week so that means it’s time for a Bloggin’ Recap. A feature inspired by A Bookish Heart. Every Sunday I’ll get the chance to tell you what’s going on in my life, what I’ve posted for the week, what to expect in the upcoming week and posts I enjoyed from other bloggers.

In Real Life

Well, Cinder and Coraline finally arrived in the mail. I read Coraline out loud to my little sister and it was so good! Creepy, but good. I’m really impressed with Neal Gaiman’s creativity and imagination. The story was so unique. I do have to admit, I tried to scare my sister a couple of times with the picture in the book and I ended up giving myself nightmares. That’s karma for ya.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls CoverNovel Facts:

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Bloggin’ Recap: February 16th-22nd

bloggin'recap

It’s Sunday, the beginning of a new week so that means it’s time for a Bloggin’ Recap. A feature inspired by A Bookish Heart. Every Sunday I’ll get the chance to tell you what’s going on in my life, what I’ve posted for the week, what to expect in the upcoming week and posts I enjoyed from other bloggers.

In Real Life

Well it’s been a long week with theater stuff. I’m on the board for my local community theater and I’ve been trying to increase our season ticket sales. We want to add more perks and so far we’ve come up with: an exclusive newsletter, champagne events, special raffle prizes and no box office line wait. I’ve also taken over the social media side of it but it’s exhausting. Does anyone else have any ideas about perks? What would you want if you were a season ticket holder for a community theater?

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Bookish News: Young Adult Novels and Swearing

bookishnews.jpgBookish News is a feature in which I scour the farthest corners in the virtual land known as the internet in hopes of learning what’s happening in the book world.

A new young adult novel has been quite a hit but has also caused some controversy.

When Mr. Dog Bites

Dylan Mint has Tourette’s. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in – the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard. 

But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he’s going to die next March. 

So he grants himself three parting wishes: three ‘Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It’.

It isn’t a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn’t have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing – and no-one – is quite as he had previously supposed.

A story about life, death, love, sex and swearing, When Mr Dog Bites will take you on one *#@! of a journey . . 

Apparently, this novel includes more than a few curse words throughout the story and some people say it should not be marketed to young adults as such.

The book’s language first drew media attention on February 4, when Telegraph culture editor Martin Chilton wrote an opinion piece addressing the language issue. Chilton wasn’t so much taken back by the obscenities – although his profanity list for a 16-page stretch of text is sizable – but rather he expressed concern that the publisher is using the fact of the strong language to publicize the book. “It is not as though publishers, Bloomsbury, are unaware of the novel’s content, which they have issued simultaneously on their YA and adult list… because they are using the swearing to publicise the book,” Chilton wrote. “Charlie Higson’ verdict (that the book is “funny and foul-mouthed”) is included on the press release along with two ostensibly humorous promotional slogans: “Welcome to the world of Dylan Mint. He’s going to take you on one *#@! of a journey” and “When Mr Dog Bites is controversial, hilarious and #@!Δing brilliant! (Source)

Martin Chilton, raises a point: should we be marketing profanity for young people? Is it the same as glamorizing it? Because of the controversy two versions of the novel have been made, one for adults and one for young adults. The only different between the two is that on the cover of the young adult novel there is a warning label that claims EXPLICIT CONTENT.

So now the question is at hand, should we start assigning age classifications like they do in films? The author of the controversial novel has something to say about that,

Conaghan said he considers a young reader anyone up to age 14 and argues against putting age labels on books. “We have to be careful,” he said, “because I have taught many younger teenagers over the years with a level of maturity and intelligence that belies their years. It may be inaccurate to simply measure ability, emotional maturity and erudition through age range alone. That being said, I fully understand why the warning label is on the jacket of my book and I have not rallied against having it on there.” (Source)

He makes good points here, we can not judge on age alone. Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls, also had some input on the issue.

Author Patrick Ness who has written for adults as well as for teens, weighed in on Twitter. He said such classifications are tricky because reading ability doesn’t always match age. Young readers, he added, are also exposed to what he sees as more problematic content, such as “a naked Miley Cyrus licking a sledgehammer.” (Source)

There’s also the issue of putting readers off novels with age classifications. The younger age is going to want to read the books designated for older ages and the older age isn’t going to want to touch books designated for the younger age.

Personally, I think we need to rely on the old fashioned system: word of mouth. If the language adds to the story and enhances the character then that’s fine. Its honest and like Ness said, kids these days are exposed to much worse. But if there seems to be cursing just for the sake of cursing and distracts from the story write a bad review, don’t recommend the novel.

What is your opinion? Should we add age classifications to novels? Share below and happy reading!

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist WednesdayIn the famous words of Snow White, “I’m wishing (I’m wishing) for the one I love, to find me (to find me) today.” In this case (actually in most cases) the one that I love is a book.

I came about Wishlist Wednesday hosted by the ever so lovely Pen to Paper. (Please check out their blog, it’s awesome).

Wishlist Wednesday is a meme that allows you to turn the spotlight on a few books that have been sitting on your get-to-eventually list for a while. Books that you dream of claiming their rightful spots on your bookshelf.

This week while browsing Goodreads I stumbled upon The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

knifeofneverlettinggo

 

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

 

Patrick Ness is steadily rising on my radar. I first heard talk of him over at A Bookish Heart, where Atsi swore by him. Then last month I read his novel, A Monster Calls and knew from just that novel that this man would be one of my favorite authors.

He has a way of explaining the feelings inside of us that can’t be explained. A way of digesting our fears and dreams. Quite simply, he shows instead of tells and to me that’s the mark of a brilliant author.

This novel is apparently a science fiction sort and you all know that I’ve been on the hunt for a good alien story! (I’m much more open to the genre after watching Dr. Who). It’s also a series, which compels me even more as there’s nothing better than a good book EXCEPT more good books.

Also, the concept of the story fascinates me. It also strikes me eerily similar to today’s society. These days we are constantly surrounded by streaming noise, tapping into our minds in the hopes of adding another consumer to the market. Think about it, when we’re not out in society we are home plugged in either to the T.V., computer or Ipod. Silence has become a rare concept in modern times and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

I’ve read some of the reviews and there are a few points that give me pause. First of all violence. Now, I’ve read books with violence and have never been bothered before but the amount of reviews that warn about it makes me think that violence might run more than amok in this novel. Also, the narrative voice. Apparently the story is told through first person consciousness, note– not first person. So the grammar and sentence structure takes getting use too, but all reviews say that if you can get past it, it actually further connects you to the character.

Even with the hazards, I’ll be taking a chance on this novel. Patrick Ness is an author who deserves it.

Have you ever read this novel? What did you think? What are you wishing for this Wednesday? Comment below and happy reading!