Picking the right book has a massive impact on everything. Okay, that’s incredibly melodramatic but this weeks selection has left me in a bit of a reading slump because I’m just not inspired. In fact, it’s making me quite angry about how much lost potential there is. It makes me want to pick up a pen and write the book it should have been. As much as I don’t want to look down on YA fiction I find that I just can’t help it. It’s obviously an age thing or a literature student thing. I’ve been reading great works of fiction for a long time now and I just find YA so childish. I admire anything that gets young people (and older I guess) reading but I just wish they didn’t speaking down to their readers so much. Unless, YA now means anyone under the age of 10? Adding a few swears into a childish book does not making it more adult. It just changes it from a U certificate to a PG. Young people aren’t idiots so can YA writers please give them some fucking credit? Surely they want what all readers want. Well written/developed characters. YA ignores depth in favour of plot twists and it’s fucking stupid. But this is fast turning into a mini-rant so I’ll leave it there.
- The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Had this one on my shelf for a while and only started reading it because my twin threatened to steal it from me. It’s just the same old issue with me and YA. I don’t get it. The characters seems so unrealistic and the issues raised are just inconsequential. I mean, I get that young people worry about romance and stuff but when I was a 16 year old I’m certain I wasn’t anywhere near as whiny and ridiculous as the characters on the pages of these books. For The Rest of Us, Patrick Ness has decided to focus on the ‘normal’ people that are living on the outskirts of a major apocalypse. It’s like that Buffy episode “The Zeppo” that followed Xander on his coffee run instead of the battle to close the Hellmouth. It’s an interesting idea except for the fact that these supposedly “normal” people really aren’t. It sounds like a silly point to criticise but this feels very much like fiction. Plus, because it’s a parody, it’s sort of silly fiction. Everything is tongue-in-cheek and Ness is regularly stopping the narrative to give a massive wink to his audience that I can’t get to immersed with the story. It feels like a wasted opportunity to do something clever. I wish it had been done in a more serious manner and not in such a YA way.
- The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Another find thanks to Instagram. Saw a picture of this on Penguin Books page and fell in love with it. It’s so bright and beautiful that I almost didn’t care what it was about. Luckily, it sounds like a pretty good read. Two elderly widows, one white and one black, live next door to each other but don’t get along. One day the two women find themselves brought together and, amidst all the bickering, they soon find themselves softening towards the other. Can the octogenarians become friends or are they too long in the tooth? I can’t wait to find out.
- Captain America: Civil War
Oh my god, I finally saw it and I’m still getting my head around it. Was the source of great debtate between me and a coworker yesterday. My thoughts on this will fill a Tuesday review and a Monday mini-rant. So that’s something to look forward to.
- Eurovision song contest
As a proud Eurovision fan I happily watched last night but, with every passing year, I find that the entries aren’t exciting me too much. I miss the old days when people weren’t afraid of having fun and being a bit camp and fun. Now, for some reason, the contest is seen as a way to make a genuine presence in the music industry. It just doesn’t do it for me I’m afraid. Plus, Australia? I mean it was getting to be a massive stretch of the Euro bit anyway but this is insane.