Rant: Leave YA Alone

The other day I was watching a show on Netflix called “Friends from College”. I don’t have a lot to say about the show because I made it 3/4 of the way through before I gave it the boot. Straight up I hated the characters, it was unfunny and about fake friends which I have had enough of in my life thank you. But you know what really got me pissed? The bagging out of the Young Adult (YA) genre.

In that tiny portion I watched, the characters (who were talking to an aspiring YA author) said that the genre is “not real literature”, it is “for adults who don’t want to grow up” and is “literally ruining society”. Look, I know that these are supposed to be funny, however because the show itself wasn’t funny, these comments had me really fucking pissed off.

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I’ve seen people say Harry Potter isn’t real literature! Yep, a book series that inspired and continues to inspire young and old alike, a series that opened us up to a whole new magical world and allowed us to broaden our minds and our imaginations. I believe this series falls under superior or lasting merit. So, why do people continually go on about YA not being “real literature”? Here is what I think:

a) They have never actually read YA, and therefore think that these books could be compared to kids books such as “Spot goes to school” or “Wombat Stew”.

b) They have a superiority complex. Like, “look at me, I’m a big kid and read big books with big words”. Umm yeah, do you realise that it is mostly adults who write these books? YA books aren’t written by freaking toddlers.

c) They are embarrassed because they actually want to read YA but don’t have the guts to do it, and therefore to save face they need to bring up the “not real literature”…we can’t have people being suspicious!!

d) All of the above

I can completely understand if people don’t like reading YA. There is nothing wrong with that! I hate crime novels but I would never say that these aren’t real literature or condemn people who love to read this genre. Read whatever the fuck you like, but there is no need to make people feel “lesser” for reading a particular genre.

My next argument is against “adults who don’t really want to grow up”. Well ok, it may actually be a “for”. Honestly, who cares if adults don’t want to grow up and therefore read YA? There is nothing wrong with that!! I sure as hell don’t want to grow up, I want to be a sparkly unicorn forever!! I love reading books about young love, young adults finding themselves and learning from their mistakes. For me, I find that I can relate to the YA books because I feel like a part of me is still trying to find my self and I am learning from my mistakes. I also wish that I was discovering my magic like they do in YA books…this part makes me sad. But why on earth would you think lesser of someone who doesn’t want to fully grow up?

And lastly, “ruining society”. This is absolutely stupid, and it’s funny because I have seen it mentioned on twitter. How exactly is YA ruining society? Young adults have a place in the book community and they deserve that place. Of all people, they need our support and guidance. They do not need people telling them that a genre which is most relevant to them is ruining society. You know what kind of reading material ruins society? Anything anti-semetic, white-supremesist, homophobic, anti-islam, sexist, ableist…the list goes on. THAT is the sort of stuff that ruins society, and it is stuff that we are seeing on what seems to be a day-by-day basis. Focus on the things that really truly are making a negative impact on society rather than a YA book about a girl or boy discovering magic and going on an adventure.

Like I said, if you don’t like YA that is absolutely fine. You don’t have to! Just like I don’t have to like certain genres that you may be into. I can also understand people having a bit of a laugh…but when it comes to some of the things I mention above, it becomes personal to many readers. So before you feel like telling all us YA readers again how unintelligent we are for reading books that aren’t real literature, really, really think about it. Is your argument based on fact, or because you really actually think you are better than us.

If you think you are better than us, good for you…I hope you continue to enjoy the view from up on your high horse.

Steff xx

My Story About Being Bullied

Hello friends. This post has taken me a while to write as it is another one of those “confessional” type posts. In a way I still feel uneasy about it and it still makes me angry, however I think I am in a place where I can tell this story.

About 6 years ago, I worked in a really horrible job. It was emotionally exhausting because of the large amount of responsibility, I received abuse on a daily basis and regularly came across rather distressing stories because quite frankly, people can be really horrible to people they know or apparently love. I won’t say what the name of this place is, let’s just call it “FS” – short for f***ing s*** (because that is exactly what this place was).

Not only was the job itself horrible, but it had a very horrible bullying culture. My manager was a MASSIVE bully, and I remember going to her office to explain things and I would literally run out of breath. I found her hard to speak to. She was loud, obnoxious and generally really freaking horrible. She stoked a lot of the bullying in the office and formed “alliances” with some of her employees.

My work colleagues were the real life version of the movie “Mean Girls”. A lot of them were around the same age as me. While I am someone who will just try and fly under the radar and get my work done, others wanted to be the boss from day one. They were EXTREMELY clique-y. I remember one day in particular, one of the girls standing up saying “ok we are going to have our princess lunch…who should come?” and then she picked out certain people to go with her (all the popular kids of course, never ever me).

At morning and afternoon tea, the very same girls would go out for “smoke” breaks where they bitched about everyone in the office – me being one of their victims. No matter how hard I tried to be nice to these girls, I could never win with them. Sure, they were nice to my face, but holy crap some of the things that got back to me were nothing short of upsetting.

I would go home nearly every day in tears. I would cry to my extremely supportive husband, saying I didn’t understand how they could be so horrible. I swore I was nice to them, as my motto in life is to be kind to people always. I questioned whether I was a horrible person, whether I was a boring person. I questioned whether I was likeable, and if I should change myself to be more likeable. I was extremely anxious going to work, pretty much every day feeling like I wanted to cry. I remember my sister coming to visit me on a morning tea break and I broke down crying to her because I absolutely hated the way I felt being at work. I was scared of not only my manager but because of my work colleagues.

I was put up a level at my work because I worked really, really hard. I put head down, trying to keep out of notice of anyone. I made it my ambition to go to work and get the work done, and focus on life outside of work. Unfortunately my being put up a level made me the target of more bitching and snide comments. I felt horrible for being put up a level because it made me more of a target. I remember my manager distinctly telling me that “I put you up a level because I thought you would fail”.

One day I went out to visit a client in the middle of nowhere. On the way back I stopped at lunch with my manager and I was eating a cake. She took a picture of me eating (it was good natured at the time) and sent it back to the girls at the office. When I got back to my desk, there was a printed picture of me sticky-taped to the computer with “piggy girl” written on it. I remember laughing (because everyone else was) but feeling really hollow in the inside. I didn’t want to be the girl who took offence to everything so I let it fly, but deep down it made me upset and angry. I still have the picture somewhere…I have no idea why I kept it. I will never know if it was actually just supposed to be a light-hearted joke or if it was something more sinister than that.

When my husband got a job out of town I was so, so, so happy to hand in my resignation letter. I felt the biggest sense of relief, however I was still feeling so broken from my experience there. On my last day we had a morning tea, and one of the other more popular girls was leaving on the same day. We were both given gift card – I was given a JB HiFi card (for those who don’t know, it is a store where you buy dvd’s, cd’s, other electronic goods) and the popular girl was given a card for Myer (an upper market department store). The explanation I got from the girl who bought the cards was “I got you a JB HiFi card because you don’t look like someone who shops at Myer”.

Look, I have depression and anxiety as I have posted about before. So I still don’t know if a part of me felt victimised because of my mental illness or if I was just making a big deal about nothing. All I know is that it has taken me a long, long time to feel comfortable with myself again and regain my confidence. I am now luckily at a point in my life where I don’t really care too much what people think of me, and if they don’t have time for me then I don’t have time for them.

I also just want to say, that in the midst of the really shitty work colleagues, there were a few really good eggs who were going through the same thing as I was. So I was always terribly grateful for their support, and their presence in what was one of the worst places I ever worked.

I also now work in a really supportive workplace, and have made some wonderful friends. Working where I work now has given me confidence that not every place is a shit-hole like the one I worked at 6 years ago.

So, why did I write this post??

Because I wanted to share my experience, but also because I wanted to let you know that if you are going through the same thing, or have gone through the same thing, you are not alone. You are a wonderful, unique individual and you deserve happiness. It is true when they say that bullies are generally just jealous or very insecure (of course knowing this doesn’t make you feel any better). Surround yourself with supportive people. Seek counselling. If you feel you are able to, find a way to deal with the bully through the correct channels (grievance procedure etc.). Don’t let the bullies win.

Peace and love,

Steff xx

 

Books That Would Make Great Movies…If They Are Done PERFECTLY!

Pretty much every book these days is being turned into a film or a television show. I don’t really know how I feel about it, considering that a lot of the time the movie/tv version ends up being underwhelming. Outlander is an exception of course, what they have done with that show has been wonderful…they truly brought the book series to life.

Today I have a list of books that I would LOVE to see turned into movies however ONLY if they are going to be done PERFECTLY. I don’t want another Vampire Academy or Maximum Ride on our hands. I want something that fits the book and doesn’t go off on it’s own tangents (True Blood….ugh!!). In other words, if they can’t be done PROPERLY then don’t do them at all!!!!

P.s – A few of these probably are already in the works to become movies

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

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This movie would be AWESOME if done properly. It not done properly I fear it could look like Seth Rogen and James Franco’s home video of Pineapple Express in This Is The End. If this was to become a movie, NOTHING can be left out, otherwise it just wouldn’t work. Every intricate little twist and turn needs to be portrayed otherwise it won’t make sense…or it will just be stupid.

 

 

Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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When I was reading this book the whole way through it I was thinking of what it would be like as a movie. I think that this book would make a freaking awesome action/sci-fi movie and could be a MASSIVE hit.

 

 

 

 

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E.Schwab

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I want to see my love Delilah in the flesh. I don’t know who would play her, just not Scarlett Johanson (though it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they chose her, they choose her for everything even if she isn’t suitable). I think these could be absolutely EPIC if done well.

 

 

 

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

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Can you imagine how seriously awesome this book would be as a movie?!? It fits across a lot of genres so I think it would be really popular. My only hope would be is that they don’t just white-wash the shit out of it…I have seen fanart with Inej and Jesper as white…just NO.

 

 

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

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This is another book that sits very close to my heart and if it wasn’t done properly I would need to unleash my stabbiness…ok that sounds very psychotic. Just know, that I would write a VERY strongly worded letter to the writers, producers, cameramen…THEY WILL COME TO KNOW MY WRATH!!!

 

 

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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So, this one could go very “Twilight” if one wasn’t careful. Kind of like what happened with Fallen (I haven’t seen the movie but I have seen the trailers and you can tell they are aiming at the Twilight fanbase…if there still is one??). The DOSAB movie would need to be artistic and poetic, because that is exactly what the book is like and Laini Taylor is a word Goddess.

 

 

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

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I would definitely love to see this one as a movie. Once again – NO WHITEWASHING!!! I am looking at YOU Hollywood!!!! I think this series would seriously be super awesome and action packed, and once again it would definitely appeal to a lot of people as it crosses a few genres as well.

 

 

 

Sabriel – Garth Nix

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Why hasn’t this one been done already? To be honest it is probably a good thing, because I fear that they just wouldn’t get it right. This would be such a goth movie, nobody tell Tim Burton!!!

 

 

 

 

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

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This is another one I am surprised hasn’t been turned into a movie yet, seeing as it was really popular. Again, I am glad it hasn’t been turned into a move because it would need to be done by someone who has read the book and truly envisions the Night Circus the way it is portrayed in the book.

 

 

 

Burial Rites – Hannah Kent

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It would be amazing to see this book portrayed in film and it would be a massive tear-jerker!! I also think that this would be an important movie, as the book delved into discrimination and perception of women.

 

 

 

 

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I hope you liked my list of potential movies/television shows! Do you agree with my list? Or do you wholly believe that books SHOULD NOT be turned it to movies/tv shows at all? Let me know in the comments section below!!

Steff xx

 

 

 

Rant: About How My Favourite Superhero Was Put In The Corner

Ok so this is the second post in a row where it isn’t about books. But I guess you could say it technically KIND OF is because it started off as a comic book.

I am a massive X-Men fan. I grew up watching the cartoon and that was how my love started. My favourite character is Rogue. Like, she is pretty much freaking amazing!!! If you have only watched the X-Men movies though, you would not know this. So, for those of you who aren’t aware, here is just how awesome Rogue is.

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Marvel’s description:

Rogue is a mutant who formerly possessed the ability to absorb the memories, abilities, personality, and outward physical characteristics of other beings through skin-to-skin contact. Such transfers lasted for 60 times longer than the contact time, with less with extended contact resulting in the possibility of permanent absorption.

Soooo, pretty much she is one of the most USEFUL characters there are. Along with her powers, she is sassy and pretty much kicks ass. And also on a side note, her relationship with Gambit **swoons**.

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Which then brings me to the X-Men trilogy (X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand).

I remember when I first heard about the movies and I was so ridiculously excited about seeing my favourite character coming to life. It started off promising, but Rogue’s character became shittier and shittier, until The Last Stand where she is hardly in it and when she is it isn’t even worth it.

WHAT THE HELL 20TH CENTURY FOX?!?! I have been so annoyed about this whole situation ever since I saw the first movie back in 2000. Rogue was utterly RIPPED OFF. Like, yes Anna Paquin was following orders but there was NO pizzazz. Apart from her skills being used in the first movie by Magneto, no-one really gets to see the full extent of what she can actually do.

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Rogue can take one’s powers AND USE THEM HERSELF. Did I see this in the movies? Umm, like, once or twice…other than that, no!! We see her whine and cry about it a lot, and use Logan’s healing powers, but other than that she turns out to be one of the most annoying characters. By the last movie in the trilogy you can tell that the writers and producers had absolutely no idea on what to do with her character, so she got hardly any screen time. Even in the newer movies (Apocalypse), her character was cut from a lot of the scenes and she once again plays a minor character.

Yes, I may be biased because like I said Rogue is my favourite super hero of all time. But come on!! This awesome, vivacious character was turned into an absolute bore and I DEMAND JUSTICE!!!! Rogue was really put in the corner while other characters were allowed to shine. (By the way, I am happy with the amount of screen time Logan got because, well, he is also freaking awesome).

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Anyway, this has been a bit of a rant so I’m sorry about that. Even if no-one reads this, I feel this has been a little bit of healing for me. I am obviously still quite upset, after all of these years, that my lovely Rogue was not given justice. Here is hoping that maybe future X-Men films will be better for her…and they include Gambit!!!!

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Steff xx