Hello and welcome to the annual "best YA books" roundup covering 2014 releases! An important disclaimer: As voracious a reader as I am, I cannot possibly read all the YA books released in a year, so I'm probably missing out on some good ones. Also, obviously, this is all my personal opinion.
Now for the best YA books of 2014! Thanks for reading, guys, and come back Saturday for a January humor post with New Year's resolutions!
Contemporary and Thriller
Next time, I'll be doing my annual roundup of the best YA books released in 2014. In alignment with that, I thought I'd also do a review of the YA book-to-movie adaptations of 2014! There were so many this year. If this influx continues, this may also become an annual post. For right now: here are my thoughts on the movies adapted from YA books this year.
The first YA book-movie of 2014, Divergent is the first in a planned four-movie set based off of the dystopian series by Veronica Roth, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James.
Before this year, YA book-movies were a hit-or-miss thing for me, so I was very wary about them. It seemed like only the major blockbusters (Harry Potter, Hunger Games) were any good as movies and the rest fell flat. The adaptation of Ender's Game last year surprised me by actually being quite good, but I'd thought that was probably a fluke.
So I decided to see Divergent this year kind of reluctantly, mostly doing it because a) everyone else I knew was and b) my mom had also read it and was coming to pick me up from BYU-I at the same time the movie was out. So we saw it together, and I was actually floored. The movie does a fantastic job of adapting the book (at least, as I know it), and Shailene Woodley, who I'd been sort of worried about, absolutely portrays Tris in an honest and emotional way. The scene where (spoiler, highlight to see)Tris's mother dies just killed me.
Today I'm doing a holiday-themed day in the life post! I'm posting it here at the end of the day after having taken pictures approximately every hour throughout this Christmas Eve. All of them are POV shots--no selfies today! Merry Christmas (and/or whatever else you celebrate) to you!
Today, as I prepare to return home, this time in a much better place mentally than I've been in years, I'm going to tell you the story of my OCD. This will follow the arc I've been through thus far with my OCD, similar to my post on being a fibromyalgic.
Because this is about a mental illness, it's a lot harder to talk about than the fibro was, but I'm hopeful that this will be meaningful for a lot of people. For those of you who have similar issues, I hope this helps you to understand yourself, to know you're not alone, to find help. For those of you who don't suffer from mental illness, I hope this broadens your world view and gives you some idea of what it's like. Thank you for reading!
*A kind of continuation of this story, written 13 October 2018, can be found here.*
*Contains discussion of suicide, self-injury, and body image issues*
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce fear or worry (obsessions) and by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety (compulsions).
-- via Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Though it can be hard to pin down where and when mental illness originates, I've had the hallmarks of an anxious personality since I was young. I recall not instances so much as feelings, mostly a desperate need for reassurance from others. Adults often described me as "high-strung" or "moody." My first ballet teacher said that I was "the only three-year-old she knew who PMSed."
I've had a fair amount of experience with counselors, especially recently in regards to my OCD. Because of this, I've noticed how in YA lit, when a teen goes to see a counselor, it's usually not a very good counselor. Often referred to as "a shrink," the counselor usually takes lots of notes and says things like "How does that make you feel?" instead of being helpful. They usually have the character lie on a couch while talking to them, which is a weird stereotype that doesn't fit my experience.
As someone with a mental illness, I can confirm that counseling is very important. It's the primary form of treatment for most mental illnesses, with medication as a supplement to it. I could not have made it through the past year without counseling. The way YA books portray counseling is dangerous because it makes it harder for people to face up to a very serious issue. How are you supposed to get help when every book you read tells you that counselors are useless?
I've worked with five different counselors long-term, and there are both good and bad ones out there. It's important, when you seek help, to find a good one. They do exist, despite their lack of representation in YA lit. So today I thought I'd talk a bit about finding a good counselor, based off of my experience.
Hi guys! Before we get to today's post, a bit of business: the Ch1Con Indiegogo campaign ends tomorrow. Please donate ASAP to support our endeavors and get some awesome perks (including critiques by me)!
Today I'm once again participating in the TCWT blog chain for the month. (Check out last month's blog chain here!) The prompt for December is "What works of fiction have taught you by example and what did they teach you?"
*Contains discussion of abusive behavior*
This one is a difficult topic for me, to be honest. Stories and the way they've affected me has always been very personal and, though I'm open about my life and the challenges I face, some things are just not easy to share. But for this, I'll tell you that I have been a victim of abuse. I'm not going to say in what context, but for the purposes of this topic, it's important to disclose.
See, the first thing I think of when I look at this TCWT prompt is the book that made me realize what situation I was in. I can't remember the title anymore, but it was a middle grade novel, or possibly young YA, in which a girl uncovers a cycle of abuse through her family that explains so much about why her family is the way it is. (If someone can find what book this is, that would be great, because I've been Googling with no success.)
Today, I present to you a compilation of some funny posts around the web for all book lovers! I'm trying to keep it relatively clean so ones with potential issues for sensitive readers are marked as such. Enjoy!
You Know You're in a YA Novel When...
Barnes and Noble: 9 Signs You Might Be Living in a YA Novel
Tara Sparling Writes: How To Know If You're in a YA Novel
Writers Write Real Good
The Toast: Flaws Only a Protagonist Could Have
Writer Unboxed: The Aspiring Writer's Dictionary
More Hacks for Hacks like the above
Go Teen Writers: Types of Writers
SlushPile Hell on Tumblr *Language warning*
Barnes and Noble: 99 Book Nerd Problems
Hellooooo and welcome to our December humor post! I go home in a couple of weeks, after finals, and will be there til Spring semester, which starts in April! In the meantime, I am struggling through the end-of-the-semester crunch. Eugh.
Please enjoy this post! I'll see you next time for some more funny posts for readers and writers.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. More than anything, stories are my life.
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