Which Stereotypical YA Character Are You?

YA can be so full of tropes, right? I could probably list more books that have love triangles in them or series with hate-to-love than the birthdays of my closest friends. Oops.

But have you ever wondered which stereotypical YA character you’d be? I’ve listed five of the most common YA character tropes below, and I’m sure you’ll be able to see a bit of yourself in at least one of them. It’s time for YA fiction to be #exposed.

There’s also a quiz to determine which type of character you really are!

 

Damsel in Distress

You’re a little helpless sometimes, but only in the Elizabeth Schuyler sense. While people might feel the need to save you from setting your house on fire when you attempt to cook pasta or when you’re putting your health at risk by buying another coffee, you’re an independent person who don’t need no man to protect you. You’re tougher than you look and while you’re not confrontational, you won’t hesitate to stand up for yourself and those closest to you. You might be underestimated, but you’ll go on to rule the world. Just you wait.Read More »

The Shock Value of Stories

The line between shock value and portraying the often unsettling or shocking in a raw yet sensitive way is often hard to distinguish. In the past year or so especially, I’ve read more books and watched more shows that dance between addressing the tougher topics candidly and emotively, and portraying things graphically for shock value. But what I’ve come to start questioning is where that line actually lies, and whether portraying potentially triggering content, such as self-harm, sexual assault, and suicide, should always be portrayed in such graphic detail.

The most common example of this occurrence is in 13 Reasons Why, which received a lot of backlash after it aired about the way it showed the suicide of a character in the way that it did. Not only did mental health professionals write about how being exposed to such graphic portrayals of suicide and self-harm is harmful for people, there was also a drastic rise in numbers of Google searches relating to suicide and suicide hotlines according to this article in CNN. Given that there was a deliberate change by the filmmakers of this show to the method of suicide of the character to one that was potentially only used for shock value (even though suicide of any kind is triggering for some), it raises the question of whether portraying such tough issues much always be shown in such a confronting way or whether creators have a duty to protect their audience from possible triggers.Read More »

How to Name Your Characters

Naming characters is probably the most difficult and most important part of writing a book. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but once I spent three hours trying to find the right name for a bird. I’m not even kidding. But to me, a character’s name is what makes a person. It can give you insight into who they are before they even open their mouth, or draw their sword. A name has power.

So that’s why I often feel like there’s so much pressure to find the right name for your character before you start writing a novel. I know some authors don’t feel the need to have the right name for their character from the get-go and aren’t attached to the name when they eventually change it. But I’m just not one of those people. If I don’t have an instant connection to the name I’m going to use, I can’t start. It just won’t be the same.

If that means going through page after page of baby name searches online, looking up their definitions and trying to find something that hasn’t been used abundantly before and something that fits the personality of the character, so be it. If I have to sit at a cafe for six hours straight with far too much coffee in my system until I think of the perfect name, I’ll do it. Because a name is never just a name to me—it’s so much more than just a string of letters. Just like a book is so much more than a bunch of words on a page.

So in today’s post, I’m going to write a bit about the various ways you can find the perfect name for your character…

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The Best and the Worst Series Endings

Have you ever been so invested in a series, but then felt let down by the way it ended? Have you ever felt personally victimised by the characters killed off by your favourite authors? Do you ever feel like there’s no happy medium between endings that are TOO PERFECT or where EVERYONE DIES? Well, I certainly have. And I’m angry.

Today I’m going to discuss some of the different types of endings I’ve come across, and why I don’t like them! It’s rare that series end EXACTLY THE WAY I WANT THEM TO, but some ‘classic endings’ infuriate me more than others. And then I’m going to tell you all about the most memorable endings to series in my reading history! TIME TO RELIVE ALL THE FEELS.

Everybody Dies

I’m not talking about, like, one main character and a few minor characters. I’m talking about LITERALLY EVERYONE. Especially the characters you loved most. It’s like the author was undecided on how to end the series, so they just killed EVERYONE. And that’s not okay, especially when it feels more like a cop-out and less like a planned decision. I’m a fan of death and destruction, but only in small doses. I’m not COMPLETELY evil.


Overly Happy

Maybe I’m just a soulless Slytherin, but I just HATE it when epic series have overly happy endings. Like, there might be scenes and scenes of battles and deaths, civilians dropping like flies, but the main characters will remain untouched. I know it’s always hard to see your favourite characters die, but it also feels like I’ve been robbed when I’ve been taken on such an emotional journey. Give me death! Give me suffering! Give me heartbreak! Make me hate the author but love them at the same time, leaving me with an ending I’ll never forget.Read More »

BookAdvisor: Rating Your Reading Locations

Do you ever find yourself reading in weird places? Are you someone who carefully decides where they like to read, or someone who will just read at every opportunity? Well, today I’m going to introduce you to BookAdvisor – a place where you can rate your reading locations and provide feedback for other book lovers!  How exciting! How revolutionary!

JUST KIDDING. This isn’t a real thing… yet. But I totally think it should be! Share your reading places. Rate your favourites. Leave comments and feedback to better the bookish community. Check it out!

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Bedroom

book 2_5

“Highly overrated!”

I went to my bedroom to read a book I just bought and was shocked to find it wasn’t as pretty as Pinterest had led me to believe. Where were all the fairy lights? Where was a hot cup of tea waiting for me? I don’t know how I’m expected to curl up on my bed and read a book when my room is so MESSY. Pinterest is a LIAR, I tell you. ALL THE PROMISES OF PRETTY BEDROOMS ARE LIES. Read More »

Self-Care & Refuelling Creatively

It’s a well-known fact that I’m a chronic overachiever. I’m a collector of jobs and internships, as well as hobbies and passion projects. But between going from uni, to work, to book launches, all the while trying to squeeze in a few writing sessions a day and keep up with blogging, it’s easy to become creatively drained. We’re living in a world where there’s an expectation that we should be constantly creating. Creating content. Creating a brand. Creating a community. With all that pressure that’s placed on us (and that we place on ourselves), it’s easy to feel like we’re not doing enough with our lives.

I’ve definitely experienced periods when I’m creatively drained and unmotivated. When I’m feeling that way, I’m less inclined to create—but herein lies the dangerous cyclical nature of that. When I don’t create, I feel bad about not creating, so then I continue to wallow in that sadness of not creating, feeling even less motivated about writing that blog post or making that video or plotting that scene. But over the past couple of years, I’ve realised the importance of creator self-care and refuelling creatively.

Today I’d like to share five ways I try to make sure I don’t feel like I’m burning out or become disillusioned with what I’m trying to create. So if you’re feeling stressed or like you need to refuel your creative juices, I hope these tips and suggestions will help you a little!

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Would You Survive As Your Favourite Character?

Have you ever wished you could be a bit more like one of your favourite characters? Adopt their magical abilities, or their wit, or maybe just their look? Although I’ve always dreamt of being best friends with the characters I read about, I’ve never wished I could fully transform into them. I mean, being a character in one of your favourite novels is a big gig. Rarely are characters flawless and their lives easy—you’re either expected to fight off the evil powers of the world, sell your soul for humanity, or even have your best friends killed. I mean… I’d love to be a witch, but just how much am I willing to sacrifice to be Hermione?

Today I’m going to be sharing which characters I wouldn’t mind becoming, and what likelihood of survival percentage I think I’d have in their world and their assigned narrative. But in my rumination of this opportunity—the opportunity to become a character from a book I’ve read—I think I’ve realised my life isn’t that bad. Sure, I’m in dire need of a nap and my coffee addiction is almost debilitating, but I’d take that any day over fighting off demons. But then again, trying to function without my daily coffee feels as difficult as battling a Greater Demon.

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Books That Found Me

Have you ever felt like you were meant to read certain books at a particular point in your life? Like you found these books at just the right time to make an impact? Or do you even feel like sometimes, certain books find you?

For me, I’ve always been under the belief that certain things happen sometimes for a reason. I’m not sure if I believe in fate, or the powers of the universe or whatever, but sometimes things are too much of a coincidence to simply be left up to chance. Like how I could have picked up literally any other book at that time in my life, but for one reason or another, these particular titles jumped out at me, begging to be read. And I’ve been forever changed because of that.

So buckle in, because I’m going to get personal with you about five of the books that have changed my life. They all came to me in a time I really needed them, and for that reason, they’ll forever have a special place in my heart.

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Should Gifs Replace Star Ratings?

Due to an unknown error, I’ve had to repost this post! Apologies!

If you’re anything like me, choosing how to rate a book is almost as hard as overcoming the traumatic death of your favourite character. Okay, maybe it’s just a little easier than that. It can be so hard to decide how to rate a book. I mean, what if you loved it, but not as much as some of the other books you’ve rated five stars, but there wasn’t anything you could fault about it in order to rate it four stars? What if you found a book pretty meh, but you’re not sure whether three stars is too generous or two stars is too critical? What if you’d just rather curl up into the foetal position and try not to think about how tough your life is as a book lover?

But today, I think I’ve found the solution. Instead of using stars, I suggest that we all commit to using a gif to summarise our feelings. I mean, there are endless gifs—surely there’d be one to fit your every need. Gifs are a way of sharing our feelings in one succinct moving picture that can convey more than an entire paragraph of gushing or ranting. So here are the pros and cons of using a star rating, compared to a gif, to rate the books you read.Read More »

ARC = Actually Reviewers Crying

ARCs are often referred to as “unicorns” – a title which conjures up images of magical things that are capable of solving all the world’s problems (yes, the world would 100% be fixed by the existence of these mythical creatures). But as much as unicorns seem like glorious creatures that could do no evil, sometimes they just can’t help it. What’s that horn used for, if it’s not for stabbing its enemies – and our feels? I don’t know where exactly I’m going with this metaphor but the point is – ARCS AREN’T ALWAYS ALL RAINBOWS AND SUNSHINE.

Don’t even get me started on the way some people are willing to sell their souls for ARCs of particular books (Exhibit A: a strange girl from Melbourne that relies too heavily on coffee and bad jokes). I’ve “sold my soul” so many times I’m not sure how I’m still alive and functioning. Wait… emotions are actual THINGS? Things that I should have? OOPS. Guess those got taken away along with my soul sometime in the past ten years.

So today I’m going to share all the reasons why ARCs don’t really stand for “Advance Reading Copy” – instead, it stands for “Actually Reviewers Crying”. AND HERE’S WHY…

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