Top Ten Tuesday

This is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke and The Bookish please check out their blog for details

This week’s question Most Inspirational Characters

*I’m sorry that several of these are not from YA but I adore them so much I can’t not include them.

  • Richard Rahl from Wizard’s First Rule (Not YA): he was a kind, curious, humble woodsguide who was thrust into a life of violence, magic, and politics. I’m less inspired by the multiple times he saved the world and more impressed by the little things. That he sees good in everyone (including his enemies like Denna), insists on treating animals well, and respects hard work more than rank or wealth are what make me love him. He makes so many choices for the good of others at cost to himself, and risks loving a woman who’s magic would undo him. He fights for the rights of minorities and women, always literally seeking the truth.
  • Rachel fromWizard’s First Rule: the poor, abused little girl who proves to be a survivor. Her courage and determination make a difference.
  • Peeta from The Hunger Games: I fell for the boy with the bread right away, he was sweet and generation and open. He makes this list because of his speech on the roof about not letting the Capitol change him.
  • Chuck Mitford from Freedom’s Landing (Not YA): he took a ragtag group of refugees and helped them survive incredible odds. He’s an amazing leader because he recognizes ANYONE with skills in a very racist , hateful situation,  and he listens to all opinions and takes them into consideration for big decisions. He protects Zanal even though he’s jealous of him, and does everything he can to make an egalitarian society.
  • Claire from Outlander (not YA): isn’t afraid to use her knowledge of medicine to save everyone she can even though it repeatedly ends up getting her accused of being a witch. She takes risks to save the man she loves and gives up daily luxuries like toilet paper, electricity and antibiotics to stay with him. She bloody demands to be heard in a time when women were treated like property.
  • Tommy from Generation Dead: he stands up for the rights of his people. Through seemingly small acts of rebellion, like dating a living girl and playing football he makes a statement that zombies have the right to live. He always sets a good example, resisting retaliation against those murdering his people because becoming violent would make him the monster he is thought to be. Tommy’s blog brings together zombies across North America, and he starts a civil right movement that could protect thousands.
  • Cinna from The Hunger Games: although he was raised in the Capitol (I think) he recognizes the faults of his society and uses his art (fashion design) as a form of rebellion. Art is my favourite kind of protest, and I find his creations inspiring. Even when Snow dictates a certain dress for Katniss, Cinna makes it into a masterpiece and a political statement that he knows he will pay for.
  • Peter from The Resistance: resists the temptation of eternal life because he believes that new generations are necessary and deserve a chance to live.
  • Melanie Stryder from The Host: Very few people would be strong-willed enough to not only survive the ordeal of having an alien take over her body, but end up becoming friends with that alien. Melanie is a fighter, but is also amazingly compassionate.
  • Jessica from Wonder: I actually don’t remember much about this anymore but when I was in Gr.7-8 this book had a huge impact on me. I do remember being so influenced by Jessica. I’m really sad this is out of print.  

What characters have inspired you?

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End of 2010 Survey!

The Perpetual Page Turner is hosting this survey. Go to her blog to link to the responses by tons of bloggers.

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)1. Best book of 2010? This is hard! Since there are so many great books I’m going to interpret this as: best YA book published in 2010 to narrow it down. Holly Black’s White Cat was pretty incredible. It has action, mystery and suspense, not to mention character depth and all around awesomeness. I’m picking this book because it’s not just something I loved myself, it’s one that I confidently recommended to my younger brother, my mother and my friends. It is very rare that I think a book would appeal to all of them but Holly Black’s writing will be appreciated by a variety of audiences.

Dateable Rules, The: A Guide to the Sexes2. Worst book of 2010? I’m not usually a book basher, but there was this really terrible book I picked up at work. Dateable Rules, The: A Guide to the Sexes was really awful. At first I thought it looked pretty cool, but um no on closer inspection it’s incredibly sexist and makes me angry. According to this book men need to “conquer” and be in power in the relationship, and women need to “learn to shut up”. The fact that I disagreed with the religious nonsense just added to my general dislike of the book.

linger cover art3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?  I was most disappointed with Linger by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved Shiver so much that I over-anticipated the sequel. It’s not that it was terrible, it just didn’t live up to the hype in my mind. I’ll still read the next book in the series but my expectations have gone down a few notches.

Generation Dead (Generation Dead, #1)4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? I was most surprised by Generation Dead. I forced myself to read a zombie book (I’m quite squeamish) because I was TRYING to have a zombie night at the library for teens (no one showed up but that’s a different story). I was pleasantly surprised by Daniel Waters! His book is a beautiful social commentary about discrimination, and I found myself loving the zombies and their friends. The book I was dreading turned out to my one of my favourites, and I’ve been recommending it a lot.

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? I have a hard time answering this because I recommend things every day, at work, to friends, on the blog…I’be probably promoted Scaredy Squirrel the most but that’s not YA. My recommendations really depend on how I’m recommending it to.

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset
6. Best series you discovered in 2010? The Hunger Games trilogy! I can’t believe I resisted reading it for so long. Everyone kept telling me to read it and I was like “kids killing each other? Ick!”  because I thought it was just violence for violence’s sake. Once I realized that Collins is critiquing violence, reality tv, and oppressive governments, I was all in. I love dystopia and social commentary. Plus there’s tons of suspenseful action, Katniss kicks butt and Peeta is a sweetie, how could you not love the series?

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? Suzanne Collins, Daniel Waters, Gemma Malley, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Kim Harrison, Simone Elkeles….

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?  The Feegles in The Wintersmith had me laughing pretty hard.

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?  The Hunger Games trilogy. I read it in 4 days and it would have been less if I didn’t have to wait to get the next book.

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010? I think it was Linger but I mentioned earlier how that worked out.

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?


nightshade cover links to reviewRules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2)Sisters Red cover art

12. Most memorable character in 2010?  I was most struck by Cassel from White Cat, Chloe from the Summoning and Haymitch from Hunger Games but so many more characters touched me this year

 13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? I love the Scottish and formal language of The Forest Laird. Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch Three Times was pretty poetic.

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? Most books have a pretty big impact on me, I don’t think I can choose.

 
15. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?  The Hunger GamesI’ve already explained why

 Book Blogging in 2010 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2010? To be honest I just started really following any blogs in 2010. Jan 2010 my friend Erin opened my eyes to book blogs and I’ve been eating them up ever since. Some of my favourites are The Green Bean Teen Queen, Forever Young Adult, The Story Siren, Pure Imagination, and YA Bliss. I’ve also been reading Mark Reads  every day and he’s a good one to follow for a specific book but he has less variety.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?  I liked reviewing The Resistance, Generation Dead, and Sisters Red (I have a lot of trouble deciding)

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?  I wrote a post about why sometimes reading formulaic books is reassuring. I unfortunately haven’t had enough people commenting to work up a good discussion between people. It’s something I’d like to have next year.

 4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog? I really enjoy the discussions on the Forever Young Adult blog. They manage to be hilarious but bring up serious issues at the same time. For example their post about resolutions that makes some good points about changes I’d like to see in YA writing/publishing but is laugh out loud funny.

 

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? The Ontario Library Association Super Conference was amazing. It was my first conference and I was thrilled just to be on the expo floor getting autographed books, fighting stormtroopers and learning about new technology. That I got to go to informative sessions beyond that blew my mind. I can’t wait for more conferences.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2010? This is all really new to me and I’m pretty easily excited, so I have trouble picking a specific moment.

7. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Um I’m gonna go with book trailers, I don’t think I knew about them in 2009 and they are a great way to promote books. I also love my new Kobo.

Dystopia at its best

cover art of the resistanceGemma Malley’s The Resistance is an incredible piece of literature. I think this should be studied in school, it has the potential to be the next Brave New World or 1984. The novel deals with a lot of social issues, and critiques society in a way that will have young people thinking. I have several ideas for essays I could write about this book, and it would not be difficult for a high school English teacher to create lesson plans for it.

This is the second book in the series, but I read this one first since my library doesn’t have The Declaration.  The book is successful as a stand-alone but I imagine it is even stronger if you have read the first book.

The Setting

In 2140 the world has an aging population, who are  living forever with the assistance of medication. Drastically extended life spans have resulted in overpopulation and a lack of natural resources. In response to these issues laws are made regarding procreation, which quickly becomes illegal and standard of living is reduced as they make room for progress by giving up homes for small apartments. Illegal children (called Surpluses) are kept in prisons and taught that their existence is a sin.

Plot

Peter and Anna grew up as Surpluses but they have been given legal status (this adventure was presumably the plot of the Declaration) and now they are trying to fit in among the general population. They are mistrusted and mistreated because of their youth and begin to question why they wanted to become legal. Peter takes a job at Pincent Pharma

The company is responsible for Longevity+ – a drug rumoured to reverse the ageing process. But there is more to the drug than Peter and Anna could have ever imagined

He takes the job with the intention of spying on the pharmaceutical company for the rebels, but his co-workers are persuasive about the benefits of eternal life and he loses track of his goals.

The Issues

  • Technology artificially lengthening lives
  • The importance of the circle of life, the fresh ideas of a new generation
  • Greed
  • Pharmaceutical conspiracies

Why It’s Awesome

…a few hundred years ago, many countries in the world considered slavery to be a perfectly sound way to run businesses and households. A bit like the attitude towards Surpluses now…Many people lost their lives fighting for these rights – to vote, to be free, to work, to be able to get on the same bus as someone considered their superior. And it was the next generations who embedded these changes, who came to view women as equals to men, who came to understand that skin colour his of no relevance. Young people are the future. Without them, the world stands still. ( Malley 117)

  • It recognizes that young people have potential, and encourages young readers to make the most of their lives
  • It combines the issues of dependency on technology and an aging population seamlessly
  • It is a fast-paced, action-filled novel
  • Well written
  • Compelling characters who are naive, gullible, or cocky
  • I love a book that examines human nature

Who It Will Appeal To

  • People who like dystopian science fiction
  • Young people who feel oppressed because of their age
  • Religious people (Even though I’m essentially an atheist) because it leans towards religions being right
  • Conspiracy theorists

Overall

I was fascinated! I was interested in the ideas, I thought the plot flowed nicely, I cared about the characters…basically awesome.