Showing posts with label the darkest minds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the darkest minds. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Do You Watch Movie Adaptations of Books You Didn't Like? | YA Talk

So this has happened quite a lot lately. I've seen many books that I've read and not necessarily liked get movie deals. 

While I'm super happy for the authors, I always end up with the question: Do I watch the movie?

See, I really love seeing fictional characters come to life. It's one of the most fantastic things that can happen to a reader, to see the people you imagined on the big screen. I love that, even if it's with characters that I didn't like or books that I didn't Granted this hypothetical movie adaptation I'm talking about isn't a problematic adaptation of an also non-problematic book, should I go watch it just for that effect alone? Or should I support movies and adaptations of books I know I'm much more inclined to enjoy instead?

That One Time It Worked Out

I actually have an example for you guys where doing just that lead to something wonderful. If you've been on my blog for a while you know that I've been trying to work my way through the The Mortal Instruments series and the entire Shadowhunters universe by Cassandra Clare quite reluctantly. Yes, before you mention it, I'm aware of all the drama and schebang surrounding her. If you aren't - google.

I did watch the first movie adaptation long before I read the books and found it quite intriguing, but when I actually read them? Yikes. I hated them. Like, really deeply found them problematic and unenjoyable. But then the TV adaptation came along. Shadowhunters, race-bending (if you can even call it that) major characters into people of color, giving more love and attention to the single gay couple in the series that the author ever did in their books. Also very attractive actors. 

And boy, I grew obsessed with that series. It's mediocre at best but the diversity really hooked me because TV shows are just -so white- these days. It's also a plus that I've heard rumors that the author receives minimal profit from the series because of some rights issues.

If It's Diverse I'm In

In that case it worked out great. I found something super worth my time and great to support by giving books I really dislike another chance. I'm not sure if I would do this again, it really would probably depend on the book series and if there is anything in them that I deeply dislike or not. But what I'm trying to say is - it really depends on who's adapting it. There are so many failed book adaptations out there, and there are so many ridiculously white adaptations out there, and just as many that do their damn best to white-wash anything and everything in the books even if there was great representation in the first place. 

If I see a diverse adaptation of a book I didn't like, I'm definitely more inclined to supporting it. See, I didn't care much for THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken but when I heard that they cast a black girl as the lead role for a character that's white in the books (or, not specified, which usually means white in our world), I made a mental note to go watch these books. Because representation matters. 


Is this a one in a million thing? Has this happened to you before? 


Let's talk YA.


More:
Should We Separate Authors from Their Problematic Work? On False Representation and Whether Authors Deserve Call-Outs
Do We Owe it to Authors to Call Out Problematic Books Nicely?
What is POC rep to you? "Olive Skin", On the Page, and Non-#Ownvoices Authors 
Once You Go Diverse... Diverse Books are Better Than Non-Diverse Books


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Thursday, August 11, 2016

[Review] The Darkest Minds (#1) - Alexandra Bracken: Dystopian Concentration Camps and Road Trips





In THE DARKEST MINDS an illness epidemic is causing children to either die or develop supernatural abilities. The government's reaction to that is to stick all survivors into correctional facilities. After five years, Ruby Daly manages to escape.
What intrigued me: Recommended by a friend. I had no idea what this is about.

Concentration camps in dystopian YA? Yikes.

THE DARKEST MINDS starts off with pages and pages of backstory from the protagonist Ruby's childhood to establish the world. 
The concept is nothing that I haven't seen before (similar to SHATTER ME or THE PROGRAM), and it just didn't knock my socks off. Thurmond, the facility that Ruby is imprisoned in for the first 100 or so pages, is a very sloppy and uncanny version of this world's concentration camps. It's there for nothing but shock value and it doesn't even do a great job at that. 

I was simply bored and contemplated quitting multiple times because there was just nothing interesting about this because Bracken does her best to withhold as much information as she can get away with. Ruby's experiences at Thurmond are nothing but a plot device, and this book would do so much better if it had just started right at Ruby's escape instead of torturing the reader with a whopping 80 pages of info dump world building backstory that's absolutely unnecessary to understand what's going on.

Your average road trip story

I didn't find the world of THE DARKEST MINDS extensive enough to really get to me - superhero-like abilities in dystopia are very difficult to pull off and require a lot of world building to get me really into it. I crave explanations, especially in dystopian novels and the lack thereof didn't really make this more enjoyable for me. 

Essentially this is a "rebels on the road" kind of story. It really reads like an elongated road trip, and as charming as the characters are, the weak premise just can't carry this. It reminds me a lot of UNDER THE NEVER SKY, which in my opinion had the same problem - too much pointless running around instead of actual story. I found it really boring and not really living up to the promising start at Thurmond. 

Rating:

★★

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

You aren't really missing out if you skip this one. I did like the characters, but found the whole concept not groundbreaking enough to want to read the sequels.



Additional Info

Published: December 18th 2012
Pages: 488
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA / Dystopia
ISBN: 9781423157373

Synopsis:
"When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.' to
 "(Source: Goodreads)


What's your favorite Dystopian read?

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

10 Books I Picked Up Because They Were Recommended (Some Still on my TBR!) | Top Ten Tuesday






Sometimes I pick up books without really being interested in them. Sometimes this works out and I end up loving them. Sometimes not so much.



10. TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE - Jenny Han
I've been urged to read this so often, it's time.

9. TALON - Julie Kagawa
I had no idea that this was about dragons and this is moving up quite a bit on my TBR now! Probably will read this next, I'm trying to read lots of high fantasy books right now anyway.

8. DREAMLAND - Sarah Dessen
I am just not ready to stop reading Dessen books. I probably won't like this either, let's face it. But so many people have told me that this is her best work. I really want to like this.





7. CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS (TMI #4) - Cassandra Clare
I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I don't like this series. I'm currently rereading (or torturing myself) through the third novel and very likely will read this one, too. *sighs*

6. CRUEL BEAUTY - Rosamund Hodge
Everyone and their moms gushed about this last year. Well.

5. THE DARKEST MINDS - Alexandra Bracken
I think Bracken is such a talented writer but this book is horrible. It's just such a typical debut novel and I'm so disappointed and sad that I didn't like it.






4. A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC - V.E. Schwab
Schwab has been on my list for so long, her books all have fantastic premises. And because a dear friend of mind loved this to bits, I decided that I have to read this.

3. MOSQUITOLAND - David Arnold
I keep seeing people mention this all the time and I'm very weak on my contemporary game right now, so yeah, bring it on!

2. UPROOTED - Naomi Novik
This is such a good book. Happy I listened to my friend and read this!





1. THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL - Soman Chainani

I am pretty sure this a middle grade book. Regardless, I think the premise is just too interesting to give this one up. Good/Evil binaries are my kryptonite.




Have you read some of these?



Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

10 Books on my Spring 2016 TBR



10. MAGONIA - Maria Dahvana Headley
Love the concept!
9. ANGELFALL - Susan Ee
This is 100% Tracy's fault.
8. THE RAVEN BOYS - Maggie Stiefvater
Seriously, it's so annoying that everyone on tumblr but me has read this. UGH


7. FROSTFIRE - Amanda Hocking
I won the second book in that series in a giveaway. I really have to read the first.
6. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE - Laini Taylor
Again, tumblr is annoying me
5. A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES - Sarah J. Maas
Again, Tracy's fault.



4. THE DARKEST MINDS - Alexandra Bracken
Friends have been going on about this. I heard there's a really cute boy in this.
3. TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE - Jenny Han
I read one of Han's novels before and found it a little to Middle Grade for me. Let's give her another try.
2. THESE BROKEN STARS - Meagan Spooner & Amie Kaufman
I love space.


1. OF POSEIDON - Anna Banks

Okay but I've been wanting to read a decent book about mermaids for a while and couldn't find anything and then I found out about this fabulous series and I can't believe I haven't read it yet! 



What's on your spring TBR?


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.

Continue Reading...
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