Is Abbi Glines Pushing the Boundaries of YA Fiction?

For those of you who don’t know, Abbi Glines is a self-publisher who has been appearing all over different bestseller lists in the last few months. I will admit that I’ve read a few of her books – when something is priced under a dollar its hard to not check it out. Her books make 50 Shades look well written, but I understand the appeal. They include interesting characters, abrupt cliffhanger endings, and plenty of scenes that would make Nora Roberts blush. It is those scenes that have made me pretty surprised this week to see her name on the YA Bestseller list for her book While It Lasts. I considered her solidly a Romance (and not light romance), even though her characters are often between ages 17 and 21. Which makes me wonder – should something so sexually explicit and so obviously designed to titillate be considered young adult fiction?

abbi glines replacement pic

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Marry, Date or Dump: Odysseus, Achilles & Hector

This week we are going to travel back to Homer’s Greece. Let me know which hero from the Odyssey or the Iliad you would marry, date and dump in the comments below. I’m pretty excited to find out who choose! Also as a side note, given the option to provide pictures of the characters from the film Troy or pictures of statues … I choose Troy, not the serious choice but I think Brad Pitt more than makes up for it.

hector

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Cinder: A Cyborg Cinderella Story

cinderI totally understand why so many people loved Cinder, by Marissa Meyer. I didn’t love it, but I did find my self engaged and interested in the story. It kept me reading because I wanted to find out what would happen next. I wanted to know how Meyer would wrap up the book. Surprise. Surprise. It didn’t wrap up. As with most YA books that come out, it is the first in a series.  While I thought the concept was innovative – a cyborg Cinderella with a robotic foot – Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine will always be my Cinderella retelling of choice. Continue reading

Cups

People often ask me what I do with my new amount of free time. The answer I usually give is that I spend most of my time writing or reading. This is true. What I haven’t told anyone is that my third most frequent activity has been learning/practicing cups. This became popular after Anna Kendrick did the song in Pitch Perfect. I have pretty terrible coordination and rhythm, but Alison L taught me the song about a month ago. While practice certainly doesn’t make perfect (as you will see if you watch the video) whenever I listen to a song I think could I do this to cups? The answer is often yes. So even though this is pretty embarrassing, and I’m a little hoarse and the lighting is terrible – here is my cups video. I had a lot of fun making it yesterday!

Marry, Date or Dump: Robin Hood

robin hood main photoHi everyone. Sorry Marry, Date or Dump is a little late this week. There have been hundreds of versions of Robin Hood. This is unsurprising because it is a great story. Steal from the rich and give to the poor! It’s a great mixture of adventure and social commentary. I chose three of my favorite Robin Hoods, Errol Flynn from the 1938 film, the fox from the Walt Disney version, and Cary Elwes from Robin Hood Men in Tights. You know what to do – tell me in the comments which Robin Hood you would marry, which you would date, and which you would dump. Feel free to substitute my choices with different Robin Hoods, or different characters from the story. If Little John or Friar Tuck are more in line with your romantic taste then more power to you!  Continue reading

Advice from Commencement Speeches

In honor of Smith’s graduation this weekend, and the very large amount of free time on my hands, I’ve spent the last week watching various commencement addresses on Youtube. This might sound strange and in some ways it is. Many are filled with trite advice, pleasantries, and inside jokes about the school. However, many are filled with universal jokes about emerging adulthood, affirmations, inspiring stories of success, and people who are earnestly searching for wisdom to pass on.

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