Saturday, December 16, 2017

INTRODUCING......Our New YouTube Coordinator!



Hello dear fellow Rebels!

We at Rebellious Writing have been anxiously waiting for this day for a long time. Today, we *officially* welcome a new member to our team!

A few reminders before the big event:

1. RW is taking a blogging hiatus from December 17 - January 6 for the holidays and for housekeeping stuff.

2. For those of you who submitted guest posts, please keep an eye out for an email from Catherine Hawthorn in the next two months. This email will ask for confirmation and/or a request for material, and will tell what date the post will be published on. 



And now, it is Rebellious Writing's pleasure, 

to introduce to you, 

our new YouTube Coordinator......



Keturah Lamb

Keturah Lamb is a young woman learning how to both live in and embrace God's reality. The written and verbal words help this process. She likes to call herself a realistic idealist. She has many passions in life, the first being her ideas concerning friendship {love}, the second being laughter {smiles}.You can learn more about her and her passions at her blog, Keturah's Korner.


Keturah offered to guest post for us some months ago before the position was open, so the team thought it was a good idea if she posted it now. Without further ado, here is Keturah!!


Readers read.
Writers write.

But why? Everything has purpose backed by motivation. But how often do we stop to examine what
that just might be? Do we truly understand the words that control our very own thoughts?

This has always been one of my favorite topics—reading, writing, anything to do with words. I love
words, both written and verbal. There's just something about them… a beautiful pull toward something beyond wonderful.

Words are powerful though, I've come to realize. 
We can do so much with them. 
We read them and our minds and hearts are influenced, often molded toward some sort of change.
We say them and affect others. 
We hear them and we ourselves are affected.

And still few know this.
Why? Because the power of words is subtle. Good and bad, its presence is hard to feel at first.
But if we choose to think about it, we all admit we feel the way words pull at us all, even those of us
who neither read nor write. Words determine much of humanity's destinations… love, war, family,
friends, enemies—all are controlled by the words one chose to release.

And so we are forced to think why.
Why do I write? All of us have different answers, but mine is this: to edify, to encourage, to entertain.
Why do I read? To be edified, to be encouraged, to be entertained.

And to me all three of these are equally important. In all honesty, we read and write because we enjoy
it. Entertainment is not bad… but void entertainment is. And that's why we seek to be inspired
(encouraged) and to be taught (edified), and as we learn and grow it's only natural that we would want to spread more of these things, to continue the path of good words.

Once we realize this it is time to throw in another E—Evaluate… how is this affecting me, those
around me, and my relationship with God? And that's when we can honestly determine which words
are worth reading and writing.

And that's why I'm excited to be joining the team! Because together we are all rising up and choosing
to ask the hard questions, “Is this worthy of being read/ written? Why?”

We are all choosing to think.

Together we are rebelling against conforming with the flow of “whatever they do” to “this is why I do
this”.

Together we are choosing to righteously resist that which is not good, clinging to what is perfect and
worthy.

- Keturah Lamb -



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Book Scout Bulletin #2




Hello fellow rebels!!!

First things first, we must apologize for our sudden and rather unannounced hiatus these past two weeks. Technical issues, the holidays and personal lives have been wrecking havoc here in the RW ranks.

This month will be extremely short for RW - we are only posting twice this month. Our next post will announce our YouTube Coordinator, so please keep an eye out for that.

Rebellious Writing will then go on an official holiday hiatus from December 17 - January 6. We will be using this time doing some major housekeeping stuff (as well as keeping our sanity during the busy holiday season). 

In the time between this bulletin and our last one, we have made several improvements to our "Let's Contribute" form and added a few new policies. Several conservative readers asked us to add in discretionary notices for magical content, and we've also tightened our book suggestions to just YA. This particular bundle was stuffed with some false intelligence, and we definitely wanted to curb that.

Another thing that is new is that we've changed from using a Goodreads button to linking the book title to it's respective Goodreads page. So, if you want to learn more about the book, just click the title!  

These reviews were placed at the drop-off point between September 1 - November 14, 2017.

Without further ado, let's check them out!!


https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1475505963l/29939048.jpgRoar

Author: Cora Carmack
Language: ✩✩
Abuse: ✩
Lust: ✩✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩

Roar is a fairly new release in the fantasy genre. It takes place in a world of dangerous storms where gifted people called "stormlings" can fight and control them. It follows an ungifted princess named Aurora. I rated this book at three stars because of romance author Carmark's tendency to write an unsettling kind of lustful relationship between her characters. Little to no verbal consent is given throughout the story and her male characters come off as aggressive more often than not. I enjoyed the universe and the unique worldbuilding, but the romance gave me red flags throughout.


Review provided by: Christy

Hello! My name is Christy and I am a writer/graphic designer from TX. I was formally homeschooled and writing was a big hobby of mine. I write mostly YA fantasy fiction and read as many books as I can get my hands on. I saw your recent article on Pinterest and found this site. I am very inspired by what you do and how you encourage Christian values. I love your work, and would very much enjoy being involved! My website is www.christywriting.com and I also post book reviews on theoddwriters.wordpress.com with other collaborators.



The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
Language: ✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩


"The Hunger Games" is an intriguing story set in a dystopian future where the government, in order to ensure complete control, forces all twelve Districts to send two of their children to compete in a vicious Game where there is only one survivor. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 with her mother and beloved sister. On Reaping Day, the unthinkable occurs. Her sister, Prim, is chosen to compete in the Hunger Games. Katniss instantly volunteers to go in her sister's place, and, with the second tribute, Peeta Mellark, they travel to the Capitol. In a deadly battle for survival, Katniss must decide who to trust, and, more importantly, how to emerge alive. Negative elements: the Hunger Games forces children to fight to the death. It is a dark concept, and certain parts are quite violent. Also, in order to gain crucial items from sponsors, Katniss feigns a romantic interest in her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark. While there is nothing explicit, there is a good amount of kissing.



See the source imageMoriarty

Author: Andrew Horowitz

Language: ✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩✩


Days after Holmes and Moriarty disappear into the waterfall's churning depths, Frederick Chase, a senior investigator at New York's infamous Pinkerton Detective Agency, arrives in Switzerland. Chase brings with him a dire warning: Moriarty's death has left a convenient vacancy in London's criminal underworld. Chase is assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones, a Scotland Yard detective and devoted student of Holmes's methods of deduction. The two men join forces and fight their way through the sinuous streets of Victorian London in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty's successor. Riveting and deeply atmospheric, Moriarty is the first Sherlock Holmes novel sanctioned by the author's estate since Horowitz's House of Silk. This tale of murder and menace breathes life into Holmes's fascinating world, again proving that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. (abbreviated from Goodreads) My thoughts: this book is amazing. :) Very little language (only a couple instances of d--n), and no romance at all (except for some indirect references, which is why I gave lust four stars). There is violence, but handled very well. All in all, "Moriarty" is perfect for all Sherlock Holmes fans. It is written in a style very similar to Sir Arthur Cohan Doyle, and is definitely one of my new favorite books.


Review provided by: Allison

Hi, I'm Allison. I am very excited to write for Rebellious Writing, as I feel that in today's society, the concept of "good" literature for teens and young adults has become twisted. I hope that my reviews will help others find great books to read, and I look forward to seeing other recommendations!



Author: Maureen Johnson
Language: ✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩


I loved the crazy adventures of the book. There were a lot of laughs with Ginny and the strange people that she met on her travels and a few tears at the thought that Ginny's aunt had died. The only thing that I wasn't so keen on was the brief making out scene and one of the very, very minor characters being mentioned as a homosexual. But these moments were not graphic and were very, very briefly mentioned. Overall, a good read.



Review provided by: Medomfo. 

Medomfo is a teen girl who loves sharing her faith in any way she can, especially through her writings. When she isn’t writing, she’s either composing music, helping children with their classwork, doing a lot of research on her interests or studying for school.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Author: J.K. Rowling

Language: ✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩


This was probably the last time I'll read this satisfying but dark conclusion to the Harry Potter series. I was honestly shocked by how adult it was--I can't believe my ten-year-old self read it!

Content Warning from RW Team: This book, as well as all the rest of the Harry Potter books, has magical content in them that conservative readers may be disturbed by. Specifically, the use of witchcraft (a practice viewed by the Catholic Church and Protestant churches as an offense against the First Commandment, and therefore evil) is viewed as a positive good. Though, it does say that love and good are better than evil.


Review provided by: Raevyn O.


She's a teenage author who wants to improve the world, one content rating at a time. You can find her on Goodreads HERE.


Author: Katie Schuermann

Language: ✩✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩✩


This is a sweet, fun, sometimes thought-provoking look at life in a small town. I laughed many times while reading this, and got tears in my eyes a couple times too.

Emily Duke arrives in the small Illinois town of Bradbury looking for a fresh start. She's got a new job at the university there, and Zion Lutheran Church hires her as their choir director. At Zion, she encounters a staggering number of odd, eccentric, quirky, or troubled individuals. She finds herself attracted to Zion's bachelor pastor. The organist decides to feud with her for reasons Emily can't fathom. One of her fellow professors keeps asking her out for coffee. She gets a pet rabbit. It's non-stop excitement, I tell you!

Okay, not really ;-)

I've seen this book compared to the Mitford books by Jan Karon, and that description is fairly apt, though I feel like this is a bit edgier than the Mitford books I've read. By "edgier" I just mean there's a character that others suspect of being gay (he isn't), and there is a lot of gossip about many different people and subjects. So much gossip. Which is portrayed as being bad and wrong, at least.





Song of the Ean

Author: Emily Nordberg

Language: ✩✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩

"Song of the Ëan" is the story of a bored, spoiled young prince who goes on what should be a routine trip to collect tribute from an island province, only to become embroiled in its people's fight against an oppressive governor. Over the course of the story, we see him change from a shallow, self-centered youth to a mature, brave, and generous man. It's a remarkably believable character arc, and by the end of the book, I had grown very fond of him, even though at the beginning, I didn't like him much at all.

The ëan are the rebel forces, named for the eagles that assist them occasionally. Their leader, called Auria, is a fierce young woman with a keen understanding of strategy, a compassionate heart, and a peerless mastery of hand-to-hand combat. She gets her own beautiful character arc, and of the two main characters, she was by far my favorite.

This is technically fantasy, in that many characters can communicate with animals, but there is no magic involved. The people worship Aiael, also called El, the One True God, who is clearly meant to be the God of the Old Testament called by another name. Their faith infuses all they do with love and courage, and this is definitely one of the best intertwinings of Christianity and fantasy writing I have read in a long while.

Reviews provided by: Rachel Kovaciny


Rachel Kovaciny lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. She has independently published her book "Cloaked" this fall, a western re-imagining of "Little Red Riding Hood." In her free time, Rachel writes for the online magazine Femnista, reads, bakes, blogs, watches movies, and daydreams. You can check out Rachel's blog HERE.




The Goose Girl

Author: Shannon Hale

Language: ✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩✩✩


The Goose Girl is based off the identically-titled Grimms brothers fairy-tale (which is one of my personal favorites), and very well-based as far as being true to the original goes. The book is a rare fairy-tale retelling that does NOT twist the story until it's unrecognizable, does NOT include sensual themes or feministic viewpoints (the most reference to body or bodily lust you hear of are a couple of select jokes or insults from one of two villains and a brief reference to the slightly immodest dress of performers at a fair - both of which are viewed as crude) , and does NOT include any actual swearing, but does have a couple of side characters who use unrefined language: no swearing, but along the lines of referring to unpleasant or gross things in their conversation. No abuse or drugs and such in it; there is a reference to a child-marriage, but this is because it's in medieval times. The descriptive style of it is splendid, and the hero (who, unfortunately, you don't meet until later) is an ideal Prince Charming who is striving to do his very best. The only criticism I might have is that the villains can be rather crude occasionally; they are, however, not present in a majority of the book. Overall an amazing book, and I would definitely recommend it.


248482
Enna Burning

Author: Shannon Hale

Language: ✩✩✩✩
Abuse: ✩✩✩✩
Lust: ✩✩
Review of the Book: ✩✩


Enna Burning, being the sequel to the outstanding book, The Goose Girl, was picked up by me with high expectations. Those expectations, however, were dashed to pieces like surf over a cliff. The language was, as in The Goose Girl, free of swearing, but rather more unrefined. I had expected as much, though, since it was starring a side-character, Enna, who had a sometimes rude sense of humor in the first book. Then there was the lust-level. After the innocence of The Goose Girl, where the worst thing was one of a random crude joke from a villain, this was an electric shock. Not only were innuendos scattered throughout, but cohabitation was viewed as very casual and normal in it and there were two scenes of extremely sensual and even explicit content. Not only this, but while there was no abuse of any kind in The Goose Girl, Enna Burning featured a temporary love-interest character who gets rather close to abuse in his dealings with Enna (though she allowed such behavior at least until a later point). And this was letting alone the writing, which changed profoundly in Enna Burning. I couldn't believe that they were even written by the same author. Ani, a character who in The Goose Girl showed a good deal of common sense, stability and humility in character became erratic, hard-headed, occasionally sarcastic, and very feministic in Enna Burning suddenly. And Geric, the main attraction of the first book was featured so sparsely in the second book that I had trouble even remembering if he was in it at all. Not to mention the changing of the characters of Finn and Razo - both originally mostly innocent boys were changed rather into edgy characters in this book. Enna herself irritated me in the first book, I'll grant, but in the second one she was almost intolerable. I would not for any reward recommend this book, especially if you enjoyed the first one.



Reviews provided by: Belle Anne

I am Belle Anne, a Catholic homeschooled highschooler who is in the midst or writing novels, short stories, poetry, and even a musical and two operas. I want to help the cause of clean writing as much as I can - I have even for the most part foregone reading YA because I want to boycott it. But, if we might be able to get clean YA out there, I want to do all to help. Thank you for making this move for real literature!
You can check out her blog HERE.


And that concludes the report!

And now, a quick announcement for our readers that are on Goodreads: 

Most of the books that has been reviewed here and in our other book bulletin have been put on a shelf on the Rebellious Writing Goodreads page. Please feel free to give your own Rebellious Writing reviews for these and other books that you come across!

For those that have submitted guest posts, we will be emailing you within the next couple of months for final scheduling and edits that we may need.

Would you like to be a book scout? Check out the Collaborate page under the Mission header! We look forward to receiving more intelligence from y'all!


 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

GUEST POST FEATURING KAT N LIA - Clean YA for All Genres





Hi guys!!

Lia and Kat here :)

Have you ever looked at the YA genre and thought

"There isn't anything clean for me to read!!!!!"

Well fear not!!! We are here to save you!! (and possibly ruin your life with these books #sorry)


Lia's Picks

 The Gallagher Girls Series

I don't think we can stress this enough!! Read this series!!!!!!!!! It's so good!! Teenage! Girl! Spies!
There is no language, the content is clean and its just such a feel good series. 

(And if you're a weirdo who likes somewhat accurate Spy details, then it works. And dark (sweet) boys...-K)



The Ascendance Trilogy

I actually didn't realize until after finished this that is is actually a children's series. But it feels just like a YA book. I love this series so much!! So clean and great for families!

(The sass. So much sass. This is the kind of book that you could read to your little brothers or sisters and still enjoy yourself.-K)


The Lunar Chronicles
Fairy-tale retellings are so amazing when they are done right and this one certainly takes the cake. (Yum, food) 
Not only is this a fairy tale retelling, it's a futuristic retelling with cyborgs, and people who live on the moon! 
It's so great, your goldfish would enjoy it!!

(I am actually re-reading Winter right now. Because I am by no means swamped with work...-K)


The Little Women Series
Louisa May Alcott writes so amazingly. These are my favorite of her books and I would recommend it to everyone! 



A Girl Of The Limberlost
This book!!! It has such an Anne of Green Gables/The Blue Castle feel to it. I felt like I was reading a book by L.M. Montgomery. But this book is by Gene Stratton-Porter. I love this book and I know you will too!

Kat's Picks 
(Three of which are by the same person.) 

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

 Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1)
DRAGONS!!!! And you know that trend...Peasant girl bumps into prince in market (and possibly his annoying fiance...) and then they fall in love blah de blah? 

Well, I thought that was where this was going. But it didn't and I am so happy! And dragons!

The Two Princess of Barmarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Two Princesses of Bamarre
When a sickness spreading across the land strikes a member of the royal family, it is the adventurous princess who is in danger of dying and the shy princess who must journey beyond the castle and face dragon, ogres and other mythical beasts to try and save her sister. To save them all.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

 P.S. I Like You
I have this problem with contemporary novels about teen romance. All the drama comes from the main character fighting with her friends. They end up not speaking to each other, often over a boy. 

This book is not like that. Granted, it was fairly cheesy and predictable. But if you want an adorable fluffy book to read...this is the one.



Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

I really like fairy tale rewrites...But it is kind of annoying when they stories are ONLY the handful or really well known stories. And whether you know the two Norse fairy tales that this story is based off or not (I did) you will still love this story. 
(Seriously. Read it so that we may fangirl)


Tuesdays at The Castle by Jessica Day George 

Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower, #1)

This book is really cute and amazing and IT HAS A MAGIC CASTLE!!! And the castle has this amazing personality. 
And there is almost zero romance, but lots of sibling love? And all the siblings are different and sometimes get on each others nerves/disagree? And it is really really funny? 


Hope you enjoy this!! 
Talk to us in the comments!
Will you check out any of these?

-Kat And Lia-

http://catholicgirlstuff.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness




An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting - he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd - whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself - Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Language:


A few usages of minor cuss words: a couple of h-words, a couple a-words, maybe one d-word.

Abuse:


Conor's mother has cancer or some similar illness, and takes medication and powerful drugs for it. This includes chemo (which makes her throw up and barely able to get out of bed) and a powerful experimental drug, but it's all in that medical context and NEVER glamorized. 

Lust: 





None.  (Conor is friends with a girl he's known since preschool, and used to be teased about being in love with her, but he isn't.) His parents are also divorced and his dad is remarried, but that is portrayed as destroying Conor's heart and thus negatively. 

Book Review:





This book.

Every time I read it, I'm overcome by the sheer amount of symbolism. The metaphors in everything. The brokenness of the characters; the mess Conor, our protagonist, gets himself into.

This is an example of a book that allows its story to carry its own weight without the unnecessary smut that Rebellious Writing is opposed to. The story is deep. While on the surface it may seem simplistic (boy's mother is terminally ill; boy doesn't want her to die) it's so much more.

The setting is all over the place: While it all technically takes place in Conor's world, his house and his grandmother's prim and proper house and his school, it doesn't stay there. The monster's stories enact new kingdoms and realms around Conor while he's still in his yard; a dreamscape is visited at one point (although what happens there is less than dreamlike); things flicker in and out of a hospital in a way that blurs into the confusion of real life when a loved one is in a bad way.

Patrick Ness is a good writer. While I haven't loved the other books of his that I've read, I bought this one without thinking twice. It's that good. While the cover initially makes it look like a horror novel, believe me, it isn't. It's a gorgeous, emotional, heart-shredding story of a boy and his mother, a boy whose dreams are threatening to destroy him, who's bottled up his grief up and refused to let it out. It resonates with me.

"Stories have power, Conor O'Malley." 

In all honesty, can I really recommend this book? Well, in terms of cleanliness, I certainly can. But I do so with a warning: It will rip your heart out. It will make you think twice about the stories you believe. And it will do so with lovely, lyrical, gorgeous writing that takes you in and doesn't allow you to realize that it's destroyed you until it has.

Read at your own risk. But read knowing that you don't have to cringe away from the page. This book, with the exception of those three or four milder curse words, is clean.

And I, for one, am incredibly glad it is. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Blazing A Trail



Following an established trail is really easy to do.

I’m a mountain biker. My favorite rides are on smooth, established single tracks. The excitement and the adrenaline rush I get from peddling such trails cannot be compared (except to writing, of course 😉). It’s incredible that there are people who create these trails. How do they do it? With shovels and rakes and repeatedly riding the new trail—it takes work. A lot of work, with little chance of success.





Think about it. When these people had set out to build a trail, initially they didn’t even know if it was going to be popular or not. They just thought they would enjoy it, but they had no idea if anyone else would. The experience would be the same for any sort of pioneer. And truly, creating a niche in writing is much the same. It’s kinda scary to blaze a new trail—whether on a mountain or on paper.

------

People tend to go with the crowd. They’re like a river—and the water isn’t going to randomly shoot off in a new direction and create a stream. Wherever the river goes, the rest of the water will go. And people, like the water, are more inclined to follow other people rather than go a new way.

There’s nothing wrong with that. But we shouldn’t be following something just because everyone else is. We need to think, critically think about what we’re doing and what we’re supporting.

Consider dark, gritty YA literature. It seems perhaps that many people have forgotten why they read it. Is it just because that’s what other people like? So they have to like it too?

And what about the authors writing this? Are they writing it just because it sells? While the readers are buying it just because it’s all there is on the shelves?

Either way, I believe it’s time to move away from the crowd in this regard and step out in a new direction, a direction toward clean YA literature. 

-----

Granted, it won’t be easy. As a reader of YA, I spend hours going through reviews looking for good novels, and am usually disappointed by what I see in bookstores. Clean YA novels are few and far between. 

As a writer of YA, I understand what it must be like for the authors: writing is how they make money. If they keep writing novels that publishers reject…no money. No publication. Time to give in and change over to that gritty content so you can get published, right?

I hope not. Because if no one stands up to change YA, the cycle is going to keep going around and around, with readers settling for dark content, and writers only writing dark content. The blame isn’t on the publishers, either; some of them may want clean YA, but the writers are only writing dark YA, and that’s what sells, so…. I think you get the picture. The readers, the writers, the publishers—no one group is driving the process, but it still goes on because we’re all part of it.
 
And that is why readers, writers, and publishers can all stand up to break the cycle.  

Just like making that new mountain bike path, it’s going to take planning and a bit of muscle and a lot of courage to blaze a new trail. We need to see what our goal is, gain momentum, and keep the momentum going until we have a new trail. We then need people to begin going over it until—bam, the trail is used so often and no one thinks twice about using it. 

We want reading and writing clean YA to be like that. Easy to find, easy to get published, something that’s going to be around for a long time. 

Accomplishing this doesn’t involve demolishing the dark YA niche; this goal is not to destroy, but to build something else which we stand for: clean content in YA. Yes, blazing a trail is hard—whether it’s on dirt or in literature—but it will be well worth it as we create a new, smooth track, something teen readers in the future can enjoy.


~ audrey caylin ~