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Great Stories/Horrible Characters: The Sky is Yours and Yesterday

26 Dec

Two of my recent speculative fiction reads both focused on people I found myself disliking despite enjoying the books.  Check them out and see what you think!

The Sky is Yours
by Chandler Klang Smith
Fans of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian post-apocalyptic works such as Oryx and Crake and The Heart Goes Last should enjoy The Sky is Yours.  The Sky is Yours is a very creative and beautiful written story with characters that I found myself disliking intensely.  Interestingly the author seems to have written them purposefully that way, comparing them in an interview to the characters in The Magicians series, which we had noted in the book discussion group here at the library are quite a contemptible bunch.  The Sky is Yours focuses on a former reality star, Duncan Humphrey Ripple V and his new wife Baroness Swan Lenore Dahlberg and Abby, a wild girl who Duncan met after he crashed in a garbage dump.  Duncan and Swan are wealthy and spoiled, but the city they live in is crumbling around them burned by the twin flames of dragons that ceaselessly circle the sky.  I thought it was interesting that Smith chose to focus on the characters she did.  Sometimes I found myself wishing I was following the exploits of more likeable individuals, but I thought it was an interesting change not to be focusing on people who are innately good and deserving as so often happens in speculative fiction especially those that feature the fairy tale like quality that The Sky is Yours sometimes has.  It made me wonder how I would feel about a story like say Harry Potter if it had focused on the Slytherins instead of Harry and his friends.

by Felicia Yap
In the alternate universe of Yesterday people are divided by how much they remember: monos remember one day and duos remember two.  The main characters of the novel are a mixed marriage of mono and duo couple, the husband’s mistress, and a detective attempting to solve the mistress’s murder.  Only the detective truly came across as sympathetic to me; he is a mono pretending to be a duo so that he can keep his job.  The vindictive mistress especially was unlikable, but she was one of those villains you love to hate.  I enjoyed the twists the mystery took and I thought the fact that the detective was trying to solve the case in one day so he would remember all the details he learned vividly added an interesting dimension.  I also always think it is interesting to see how society can be divided in ways that we currently do not such as with memory since it provides another lens to look at the divisions we have in our own society; another example of this would be Jasper’s FForde’s Shades of Grey series which divides people by the colors they see, which I had written about in a previous post.  When I was discussing the novel with one of the library’s staff, she recommended the movie Memento for those who are fascinated by the concept of memory.

What are some fictional characters you love to hate?  Recommend their books in the comments.

Twilight’s 10 Year Anniversary: Reimagine How the Lion Fell in Love with the Lamb

21 Nov

Twilight Reimagined

“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb… What a stupid lamb. What a sick, masochistic lion.”

As we come to the month of November and the 21st approaches, I am hit with the truth that it’s been ten years that the fangirl in us all has freaked out about the first Twilight movie.

As a teenage high schooler whom loved going against trends and getting sucked into the world that was fangirling – I didn’t even know what Twilight, the book, was until the first movie trailer came out. I of course having no knowledge whatsoever on the series was super confused while others squealed with joyous anticipation.  Hadn’t even noticed that almost everyone around me was reading the books. It wasn’t until my best friend told me about the series – while spoiling everything she could on the way up to book three, that I thought I’d give it a shot. That was when I got sucked into a world I wasn’t ready for.

Now, ten years later it’s a franchise that still moves hearts and imaginations everywhere. So much so that you can now tour these iconic spots in Forks and Portland, Oregon and reenact the most iconic moments in the movies.

This series was such a hit that it caused other phenomenon novels to follow after it. Everyone knows of the adult novel Fifty Shades of Grey when it took the world by storm. But what most people don’t know is that E L James was inspired by Twilight and in fact the Grey Series is entirely based off of it and is considered fanfiction.

With rumors of Meyer creating a book through the perspective of Edward himself it’s no surprise that James went along and created a whole new spin off through the eyes of Christian Grey himself.

Unfortunately, as eager fans such as myself anticipated the beauty that would’ve been Edward’s mind, Meyer did not go through with her idea of what was to be called Midnight Sun and instead created a whole different spin off told as if the Vampire was a woman. Twilight Reimagined: Life and Death I dare say is just as good as the first. Taking you into this whole new but yet familiar world again, we are brought on this journey of what would’ve happened if Edward was a woman. Of course because of the whole twist on gender roles, the story only goes as far as one book but it is good enough to satisfy the craving for a new vampire love story. It is quite fun juxtaposing Twilight against Twilight Reimagined: Life and Death.

You can check out the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey series as ebooks and digital audiobooks from eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS.  Also check out our previous blog post where we discussed Twilight Reimagined and other books/shows that were inspired by Fan fiction.  Don’t like Twilight, check out parodies of the novels written by Stephfordy Mayo on Hoopla; you can also read a parody of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Written by:
Sherissa Hernandez
Adult Programming Assistant

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