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 ~

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tricks & Treats: October's Monthly Update


This month I want to thank everyone for helping #RW's web to spread into every empty nook and cranny. Our sticky spider web of good is spreading! Our follower count is growing and encouraging posts are being released every week. Despite the busy webs that entangle each of our teams' lives: writing, school, work and all the other life responsibilities...we are keeping on to our cause and ever growing.

This month I want to take some time to thank a particularly faithful member of RW and one this movement could not be here without...that is *drum roll*

CATHERINE HAWTHORNE!!!!
Thank you so much for your ceaseless work and support, your leadership is vital to us and I want to thank you for managing so much behind the scenes for us. You are totally incredible! 
A round of applause for her?

This month I have a special writerly goody pack for you as National Novel Writing Month grows eerily near. But first let's sum up the little goldmines of the month...


http://www.rebelliouswriting.com/2017/10/is-it-okay-to-give-up_7.html 
Is it Ok to Give Up? by Melissa Gravitis
Long time writer Melissa Gravitis talks about those trouble WIP's and shares encouraging heart to heart advice that every writer needs to hear.



The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
http://www.rebelliouswriting.com/2017/10/book-review-false-prince-by-jennifer.html
Lila Kims delivers an exciting book review packed with reasons to read this incredible first of a trilogy. Looking for some sword clashing adventures? Read the review and add this neatly written piece to your TBR!



http://www.rebelliouswriting.com/2017/10/drugs-alcohol-in-ya-when-is-it-okay.html
Drugs and Alcohol in YA: When is it ok?
Guest blogger Elena Vines presents an interesting view on a controversial subject. How do we handle the issue of drugs and alcohol in our writing?





http://www.rebelliouswriting.com/2017/10/help-wanted-youtube-coordinator.html Help Wanted: Youtube Coordinator
And last but not least...we need a new Youtube Coordinator! RW has a gap in their team and if you are qualified we are much in need of you! Check out the guidelines in the post and email us for more info.




And now for the treats!
Image result for candy drawing tumblr 

Sweetly Sour Skittles // The Most Dangerous Writing App
Dangerous is an understatement. The point is here is to write a set amount of words or write for a certain time, the twist? If you stop typing...you lose your work. This is great for speed writing, getting ideas out, writer's block, or typing up pieces of your novel.
  





Chocolaty Heaven // Go Teen Writers
Go Teen Writers is the BEST resource out there for both new and old time writers. They have a
handy dandy index updated with articles on everything from how to build theme to character development and dialogue.



                                                      
Image result for lollipop drawing tumblr 
A Myriad of Colors and Tastes, Lollipop // Pinterest
 Pinterest is a great place to find other writers, nifty tips and visual inspiration. If you enjoy seeing things and building a story visually...Pinterest is a great place to get inspired. The link above is a bank of inspiration to me...a board where I dump all kinds of intriguing pictures and concepts.




 Nothing is complete without a few tricks either!


1. Carry a notebook
2. Know when to listen to writerly advice and when to follow your gut feelings
3. You are writing your book, no one else is...remember that.
4. That being said DO take advice, chat & brainstorm with other writers
5. Try new and different things! Visit some places that could be relevant to your writing...even if it's just a laundromat or a park garden!



I close with this thought.
 We are all gifted with talents and abilities that no one else has. However minor or seemingly meaningless our differentiating characteristics are...never underestimate them to give your writing a personal twist. Also remember that you are not writing for others, you are writing for yourself.
Stay true to who you are and write Rebellious!


- Anna C. S. -

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Help Wanted: YouTube Coordinator





Calling all Rebels!

We are in desperate need of a coordinator for the Rebellious Writing YouTube channel.

Currently, the YouTube channel is being coordinated by Catherine Hawthorn with some help from Anna C.S. While they both enjoy creating videos, Catherine's and Anna's responsibilities both inside and outside Rebellious Writing are increasingly demanding their attention. As a result, Catherine is requesting to step down from her temporary position as YouTube coordinator.

The Requirements for the Candidates are: 

1. Must be a supporter of clean YA reads. 
2. Must be willing to use uncopyrighted or CC licensed images, music, sounds or own work in videos. Under no circumstances will copyrighted material be allowed in our videos. 
3. Previous YouTube experience is highly recommended. Applicants will be asked to provide their personal channel link if possible. 


The Responsibilities of the YouTube Coordinator are: 

1. Create and/or edit videos to be placed on the channel. These can be announcements, book reviews and/or vlogs about topics relating to Rebellious Writing. 
2. Moderate all comments. Remove comments with swearing or other inappropriate content. 
3. Grow the platform by subscribing to channels and commenting on videos that support clean reads, particularly clean YA reads. These can be Christian or secular. Comment on videos supporting clean reads.
4. If needed, please share YouTube analytics data with team members. 

Further responsibilities may be added in the future. In terms of time commitment, that is up to the applicant (how much they want/are able to).

We will announce when the position is filled with a post here on the Rebellious Writing blog, introducing the new coordinator. 

If interested in this position or if you would like to know more, please email us (therebelliouswriting@gmail.com) and and put "YouTube Coordinator Position" in the subject line. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

Drugs & Alcohol in YA: When Is it Okay? - Guest Post by Elena


             




 I’ll get right to the point. Drugs and alcohol in young adult fiction are controversial topics. Should they be there at all? Are there exceptions? As a conservative Christian, I obviously don’t support the use of drugs or alcohol- but I believe there are exceptions to this rule.
                There are a few basic ways drugs and alcohol are portrayed in fiction.

                1: They are shamed. A character who drinks or uses drugs has dealt with their problems the wrong way. They have turned to alcohol/drugs as a solution to depression or some other problem, and may realize their mistake later… or not. One example of this that I have read is in The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years series. One character, a middle-aged man who had just lost his job, turned to alcohol to cope with his depression. The story placed emphasis on his unfortunate decline from a skilled warrior to a decrepit old man drinking away his depression. This is an acceptable way to include drug or alcohol use in teen fiction- by showing their destructive power.

                2: They are glorified. They are shown in a good light, they are used as a ‘coping mechanism’ or a way to rebel. The author, while not necessarily praising their use, may joke about it or show it as being harmless. For example, in one romance novel I read, some of the characters attended a party where alcohol was served. A few attendees got drunk and it was repeatedly joked about. The tone of the story was almost offensive in the way that it glorified the use of drugs as just a fun thing to do. This method of including drugs and alcohol in fiction is clearly wrong. It goes against many things that I and many others believe.

3: They are used passively. They contribute nothing to the plot and aren’t shown to have negative or positive effects. They might be joked about though. It might be included in a coming-of-age story as an example of a bad decision, or it might be used to demonstrate the personality or flaws of a character.

If an author shows the destructive power of drugs, they are an acceptable element in the story. If drugs/alcohol are glorified or joked about with little point, they don’t belong.

                The editors of Crosscurrents of Children’s Literature compare negative elements in Children’s literature to ‘a vaccination, preventing worse diseases by allowing the recipient to experience a mild and ultimately protective version of the illness’ (Stahl, Hanlon & Lennox Keyser 2007: 129). Basically, a mild version of real-life issues can be beneficial to teens- introducing them to the world and its problems without destroying their innocence. It just shouldn’t be overdone.

               

-Elena Vines


 
Elena is a teenage girl from Texas, homeschooled throughout her life and a die-hard fan of stories of courage and valor. She plays guitar, piano, and bass guitar, and has been known to dabble in all styles of music, including rock, country, and rap. She has written more than twenty songs and is part of the praise team at an amazing inner city kids' ministry in her hometown. She is also the author of numerous stories, poetry, and a few novels. You can visit her at her blog A Homeschool Nerd's Tale

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen


Back in September, Clare A. reviewed a novel entitled Silent to the Bone and gave it a low rating, suggesting that some of the content was, to say the least, questionable. In contrast, my book review today will wave a tantalizingly clean and irresistibly wonderful book under your nose. Or rather, under your TBR.

The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Medieval Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 342

add to goodreads
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.


As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.



Language:

(There are a few references to "the devils," but otherwise there is no objectionable language.)


Abuse:

(Ill-treatment of one of the characters is mentioned, but it is put in a bad light. The main character is also whipped for "discipline," but I'm going to come right out and say that his defiance is the funniest part of the book - and would you look at that? I'm getting ahead of myself.)

Lust:

(The book has some romance, but it's completely clean!)


Book Review:

(To put it in words, The False Prince is amazing and you should read it. But I should probably elaborate a little more, so...)


The prince of Carthya died years ago, and the nobleman Bevin Conner is now using that to his advantage. He collects a few boys from various orphanages and takes them to his estate, where he explains that they each bear physical resemblance to Prince Jaron and will spend two weeks learning to be princely. At the end of their training, one boy will be chosen for a plot of deceit and treason. Conner claims, however, that it is all for the good of Carthya.

It's a race for survival, because while the winner enters into a life of wealth and renown, the losers will most likely be killed.

One of the boys, Sage, is our main character and the star of the show. His recklessness, defiance, and arrogance is illustrated clearly from the very beginning, but although those are generally undesirable characteristics, Sage is no undesirable character. He has a heart of compassion behind that rebellious mask, and I find him extremely likeable primarily because of that. Also, his sarcastic sense of humor is perfect and I can't get enough of it.

Make no mistake - Sage does not lack flaws. There were times when I wanted to put my head in my hands because he was building so many hate relationships with his sassy remarks.

The setting is well-thought-out and described in a way that is easy to understand and picture. The plot is slow-burning but never sluggish, filled with incredibly witty dialogue and captivatingly intense character conflict. The twists and turns are clever and sometimes shocking.

As aforementioned, this book is also 100% clean. There's a bare wisp of potential romance, a few mentions of characters cursing - for example, "he cursed loudly" - and one of Conner's servants is implied to be ill-treated by other servants. But the main character is extremely concerned by this and even gets angry, which puts it in a bad light.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend The False Prince. I've read it three times already and will most likely pick it up again for a fourth. It's also the first book in a trilogy, and the following two installments by no means disappoint!

The Lord's Truly,
Lila Kims <3


"I dumped his body into the cellar to get better or not, I didn't care. Next time I checked on him, he'd got over the fever on his own and was a good deal more humble."

Conner looked at me again. "He doesn't look so humble now."

"I got over that too," I said.

-- The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen