blogging, reading

Mini-Reviews: The Pre-NaNo Edition

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Okay, so here I am, for one of the few posts I will be doing in the next few weeks! I am doubling down to finish Volume 2 on the original timetable (time apparently hates me, what have I ever done to it?!), AND somehow start NaNoWriMo on schedule. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Rather, it means I am venturing forth on continuing my authorly dreams, and spending more of my brain power and calendar on writing fiction than writing stuff like blog posts. We’ll see if I feel the urge to write a review on Goodreads, on a book that I simply must share my thoughts now (before they slip out of my head, and because I do love to share with my friends).

Anyway, here are some summaries of my feelings about some stuff I recently finished…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling:

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White Fang and I are both reading this textbook/field guide/lovely supplemental material to the world of Harry Potter. The handwritten notes are so cute. And I love getting a little more insight into this utterly amazing realm Rowling created.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry:

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I have to say, this was a disappointment. It has a really interesting premise — set in Puerto Rico (sadly relevant right now), it follows the tale of a teenage boy who gets caught up in a possible legend-come-to-life. But I only gave it 1 star, because the plot was all over the place; we’re never given a concrete reason for the affliction Isabel suffers from; nor is that affliction itself ever firmly defined. Too much of the story wandered back and forth, between teenage crushes and the serious business of missing persons, and I didn’t feel that enough of the premise became grounded in the very realistic setting.

And I Darken by Kiersten White:

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I didn’t finish this (with about 75 pages to go), because I had very conflicted emotions on it. The writing style is superbly dark and intriguing, true to the atmosphere and feelings of the time period, and I’ve read all the fictional and historical accounts of Vlad Dracul, and agree with the author that so, so much about this man is simply conjecture and the truth is probably lost to the winds of time. But what really got to me is the quite straightforward fact that her portrayal of homosexuality in the Ottoman Empire/Middle Ages Eastern Europe was just a grab at pushing a modern viewpoint. How both those cultures felt about such a lifestyle in that century would’ve resulted in heads literally rolling (or even worse), full stop. No closet gays would’ve been protected by the palace of the city. And I am not sorry in the slightest that this may offend the sensibilities of modern readers — I don’t concur with that, I don’t sanction it, but I know it is how it was, and I don’t think covering up the outdated and barbaric views of cultures long dead and gone is beneficial.

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin:

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I didn’t finish this, either, and won’t be continuing with the series. The reason is that I simply am not one for the explicit content. It’s a personal choice. That aside, I honestly am so impressed by Martin’s skills with plotting and character depiction, and I wish him all the best in releasing the long-awaited conclusion to this epic!

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg:

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I just posted a long and gushing review on Goodreads about this little gem. It has the best rep of panic attacks I’ve read in a while, and the family is BEYOND AWESOME, and I am sooooo grateful to the author for developing such a supportive and nice cast. It also covers the very real and very important topics of being careful what you share on the internet, and whether connecting too much to people online versus your close friends in real life is healthy. Since all of us are reading this post online, we can verify that sometimes we come across other screen names/commenters who are just wonderful to interact with — but is it okay to base our self-esteem on our online success, or do we need to first keep in mind how our IRL people think of us? The narrator learns some hard lessons, and never once does the writing feel preachy or like the author is trying to sway our mindsets one way or another. Her narrator has to decide what works best for her, and that is vital for teenagers growing up in a culture of conformity to figure out. I highly recommend this one!

And there we are! I’ll catch up with you all for the book club meeting on the 30th! Take care, moths!

Autism, television

Thoughts on The Good Doctor

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So, remember the post I wrote a couple months ago, stating that I had pretty much stopped watching TV? Well, this is not a done deal just yet — thanks to the premiere of The Good Doctor.

The Good Doctor is an American version of a Korean program, and the premise is that a medical student with autism gets to train at a hospital on a surgical residency. To say that this alone would suck me in is a huge understatement. I almost cried every time the ad came on the whole week before fall season premieres. It was torture, I tell you, Spock.

Anyway (for a refreshing change), this show did not disappoint. Dr. Shaun Murphy is utterly real and precious (and yes, I know it’s an actor portrayal — shush, I’m getting there), and he is so beautiful to watch.

Freddie Highmore (an NT British actor) has done an absolutely excellent job of learning how to depict autism realistically and not patronizingly. This is the first time I’ve seen stimming portrayed, as well as accurately not making eye contact and not knowing what to say or what tone to use. There are moments of long pauses, or simply not answering questions, and Murphy focuses so much more on a corner of the ceiling or the fly on the window rather than on someone’s face. I literally have BEEN there so many times, I am SOOOO grateful to know other people recognize this in ASD-ers, and some of them even ACCEPT it.

Pass the tissues through the opening in the blanket fort, if you would, please.

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Of course, for there to be a plot, there has to be conflict, and some of the doctors at the hospital think that hiring an intern with autism is ridiculous, even dangerous. While Murphy often gets stuck with doing triage and reading x-rays, he also saves lives — by spotting a minor blip on a scan that actually denotes a serious medical problem, or listening to his instincts and refusing to follow protocol.

Murphy doesn’t think for a minute that everyone is like him — he perfectly understands that he has a condition that much of the world finds unusual or strange. When he can (when he’s not stressed, or when he can find the words through practice or conditioning), he explains to others why he doesn’t respond to a social custom or NT emotional process. Yet, while he is quite aware that he’s learning how a majority of humanity operates, he never for once sees the need to apologize for how/who he is.


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There are scenes in which Murphy says out loud things that I have thought my entire life and always been encouraged to keep to myself. For example, the episode where he says, “On the day the rain smelled like ice cream, my bunny went to heaven,” my eyes were wet for the next 10 minutes. (And remember, I am half Vulcan, so that’s a LONG time, folks.) He processes memories and sensory information so differently from any other doctor (or most non-doctor people), and yet this is exactly what makes him special, brilliant, valuable in his field. The fact he has such a strong and encouraging mentor (Dr. Glassman) completely makes my heart sing.

While we’re only a few episodes into season 1 of this show, and there will doubtlessly be some things I take issue with (why are the other doctors so mean to him, give him a chance and quit being so narrow-minded, you nitwits), I hold out hope that this depiction will help raise not only autism awareness but autism ACCEPTANCE. Just being different does NOT mean there’s something wrong with us. We are still important to the world — and guess what, since we were born this way, God knew just how we’d be, and He let it be so.

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Historically it’s been proven that those who change the world the most — for the better — think differently than the masses. You know the guy who came up with E=MC squared? Yup, historians believe he had Asperger’s syndrome. The guy who wrote those adventures of a little Victorian girl in Wonderland that we all love so much was also suspected of being on the spectrum. And then there are the big ones — the man who signed the paper ending slavery in America, and the man who led England through World War II, are both thought to have had either some minor form of ADHD or spectrum disorder.

So, why can’t I be a bestselling author? Even though I have to take several months to finish a book, and stim while I write, and literally bust my butt to make sure my NT characters are behaving like real people? Why not?

Seriously, I’m The Good Author.

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reading, Young Adult fiction

Coming Up On The TBR


Good morning, all! Today I’ll be waxing a bit nostalgic about what will happen when NaNo is finished and I have more free time to read again. Also, I’ll be complaining a little about how I cannot afford new books very often. Okay, I just did. There, we can comiserate. I feel a bit better.

So, fall has been a big deal for new YA releases. And as usual, this is a time of year when I am not doing so hot on the wallet part of life (you know, back to school expenses and getting ready for the holidays). (So everybody go buy a copy of my short story collection, just released on Barnes & Wait, did I say that out loud?)

An-y-way… I am very lucky in that I live in an area with a really good public library system, and therefore I do not have to wait approximately 7.8 years to acquire titles that I am currently drooling over. Here are some of my major recent anticipated releases:

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater:

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I honestly am game for trying absolutely anything Maggie Stiefvater publishes. While she just misses my list of top favorite authors, I do love the hibiscus out of The Scorpio Races and Shiver, and hence All The Crooked Saints makes this post, without a doubt.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green:

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Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of John Green (maybe I haven’t hit the right one yet?), but White Fang has expressed an interest in trying his books, so I figure this would be a good way to get him started.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao:

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See this cover? With the lovely flower being molested by the snake? I *hate* snakes. I want to defend the flower. I will just manage to read this (despite needing to turn it facedown every time I’m not actively tackling the content), because I want to know if the flower makes it. (Hush, I know Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is about Asian-mythology-inspired fantasy, and this is a subject I am very interested in. So I *do* want to read it, although I will genuinely hope and pray for a cover change, quite soon.)

Warriors: A Vision of Shadows: Darkest Night by Erin Hunter

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The latest installment in the Warriors: A Vision of Shadows series we’ll absolutely be buying. White Fang already owns most of these books, so we’re trying to complete his collection. Pre-orders are so easy for this series, and I am very grateful for that.

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore:

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I was extremely on the fence about this author’s previous works (I did try them both and was not a fan). But the premise of this one sounds very much up my alley, and I totally cover judge, and THIS COVER alone is worth swooning over and grabbing ASAP.

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic:

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I haven’t a single clue what this book is about. Yup, you read that right. Do I want to? Eh, kind of? I am 100% cover judging, and sincerely crossing my fingers that my impulse pays off with a great story.

So, what new releases are you looking forward to, moths? Any of these on your TBR this season? Can we all survive until they arrive in our libraries/bookstores/on our Christmas lists?

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books, The Invisible Moth

Dreamings and Muses Now On Sale!

Dreamings and Muses

Well, it took a little while (don’t we all love formatting issues?!), but my complete short story collection is now available!

If you click on the link below, you’ll find the information towards obtaining your own copy!

Massive thanks to Alea Harper for the wonderful cover (and putting up with all the re-formatting we had to do)!

This is a nice little collection of 4 stories that I penned a while back, and now have compiled for print. I also included author’s notes on my influences and writing process.

The contents are “Just Pretend,” “Me and You,” “Primitive,” and “Tad Fallows and the Quarter Pints.” The first and second are basically romance, with elements of speculative fiction; the third is my only attempt at sci-fi; and for those of you who think the title of the fourth sounds familiar, yes, you’re right. This short story actually sparked one of the clever little plot points in Masters and Beginners.

The sale price is $6.55 (USD), plus shipping in most cases. (Remember, Barnes and Noble has free shipping options sometimes!)

(Okay, awkward self-promotion moving onwards… Still hoping it encourages some of you to place an order — your support is always the best, moths!)

I’m afraid I can’t offer any free review copies this time. I do plan to add this anthology (cool word, huh?) to Goodreads, and if anyone wishes to post a review in the future, that would be lovely!


The New 5-Star Rating System


How many of us have been frustrated by the fact that Goodreads and other book review sites do not include the option of half stars in their rating systems? Yup, I see those hands, and I’m raising my own. It’s a constant source of grating on my nerves, because I very rarely have a straightforward, solid number-star view of a book. There are so many factors at play when we review! In the interest of bookdragons everywhere, I have decided to create my own system, which takes half-stars into complete account.

(By the way, if you don’t agree with my new system, Toby will stare at you in his ultimate cuteness until you collapse from the overload of adorbs.)

Half-star: Yes, I actually think less than one star is important to include. Sometimes a book just wrangles you in such a wrong way, and you’d like to express that in your opinion. For example, how many of us had to read a textbook for school/college that was so one-sided, or under-researched, or condescending, and you felt it was necessary to inform the professors of what a bad choice they made? (Not that they’d listen, but that’s a topic for another time.) The half-star can represent the fact you appreciate the proofreaders/editors/printers had to make a living somehow, and you support their struggle.

One star: This would be pretty much what it says on the tin — you thought the book was just so poorly written (either for typos or content, bad characters or lack of plot, or lack of research, or a combination of all these elements) that you just can’t give it a good rating. But, again, you want to recognize the sacrifice made by those who stay employed by publishing.

One-and-a-half stars: It’s not so horrific that you just totally abandon it. Maybe there was a particular character that you actually liked, or the premise was really promising, and you’re hoping the author can learn to grow their creative skills.


Two stars: It’s pretty bad. You’re not even sure you’d recommend it to others. But there was some redeeming feature. For example, when I tried to read Allegiant (I got through part of it, skipping major chunks until the end), there was so much about the “science” behind the factions that really didn’t make sense and didn’t sit well with me. But the ability of Veronica Roth to imagine intricate worlds and a conspiracy theory that didn’t simply boil down to “the aliens did it” or something so trite made me hopeful that her later novels would/will be more enjoyable and cohesive.

Two-and-a-half stars: It’s definitely not your cup of tea, but you may recommend it to other readers who like the genre/style. (I automatically think of authors like Stephen King and HP Lovecraft, who I cannot touch with a ten-foot pole — even a 10-mile pole — but I have been encouraged to try something by an author whose typical genre, in this case, literally scares the hisbiscus out of me, in order to appreciate the writing style and insights. I did complete “The Eyes of the Dragon” by King, because it’s not his usual fare. While I enjoyed it more than I expected, I still am avoiding pretty much everything else on the man’s bibliography.)

Three stars: It’s fun, there are some minor niggles, you’d suggest it to friends, you might not re-read it, but you don’t feel like, “Good grief, what did I just waste my evening doing?” I think of the first Jackaby novel by William Ritter, which had an easygoing style and fun characters and lots of humor. The historical content was inaccurate in so many ways, but I could put that (mostly) aside for the duration of the (blessedly not too long) novel.

Three-and-a-half stars: It was definitely fun, you really liked most of the characters, the plot generally made sense, and you enjoyed yourself while reading. Maybe there were some flaws in the research, the setting, or the dialogue (like a little too much swearing or flirting, for your taste). (By the way, in this blog, it usually means my taste.) You’d certainly tell fans of the genre, “Try this one!” Maybe you’ll even purchase your own copy. (Remember, I get almost everything from the library.)


Four stars: It’s just about perfect. You fell in love with the characters. You didn’t think the action was too violent. The setting made you want to be there. You proceed to log onto Barnes & and order your copy, because you know you’ll be re-visiting it in the future. The next time somebody puts on Twitter, “What do I read next?”, you type in this title in all caps. (My prime examples are the first Warriors series, the Beaumont and Beasley fantasies by Kyle Shultz, several of the Discworld books, and a few of Neil Gaiman’s short stories and children’s tales.)

Four-and-a-half stars: You believe the only flaw in these selections is that they may not appeal to everybody, yet you shamelessly push them on anybody you encounter. (Some of mine are The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Mort, Thud!, and Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett.)

Five stars: Pretty much you feel the world will end if not every living soul on the planet read these immediately. You know you’ll not only re-read them several times before you die, but your own copies are like priceless, sacred artifacts. (There are very few titles I reserve this designation for, because I am picky. By the way, for those of you who gave Masters and Beginners 4.5-5 stars, you have my everlasting gratitude.)


blogging, books, tags

The Totally Should’ve Tag

Hello, all! What, another tag, you may say? Well, yes, it is — I’ve been tagged by the lovely The Orangutan Librarian — and, truth be told, I am pouring all my creative energy into Volume 2 and 3, so here’s to having no ideas left over for blog posts!

Totally Should’ve…Gotten a Sequel:

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I’m so going with The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater here. It’s interesting, because on the one hand, I appreciate a YA author actually determining to write a standalone and stick to it. However, since I also honestly feel that The Raven Cycle could have been condensed into a duology (no one hurt me!), and that The Wolves of Mercy Falls seriously could’ve been a standalone (just Shiver), it shows that while I like this author, I don’t always agree with her choices. Whereas in her other series I thought she got too long-winded, in The Scorpio Races there was SUCH a rich and vivid worldbuilding that I wanted to know more about. I think a sequel, say, in 10 years or something, maybe with an adult Kate/Puck or with her kids, would be great. It could explore things like, do the Races continue indefinitely or will they eventually get shut down? Did Kate and Sean stay together? Did anybody who intended to leave the island ever come back? All the good stuff.

Totally Should’ve…Had a Spinoff Series:

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Definitely Harry Potter! I would happily read anything about Hogwarts, more about secondary characters like the Weasleys, the history of Voldemort’s war on other wizards and the start of the Deatheaters, what happened to people like Neville and Luna after school… (Sorry, Ms. Rowling. I do actually respect her decision to write about other subjects. I know that if I felt ready to wrap up a series, I wouldn’t want folks bugging me for more.)

Totally Should’ve…Ended Differently:

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All right, John Green fans, don’t throw stuff at me. These are the only two novels of his I’ve read, and I think it’ll stay that way, because I take issue with how he chose to end them. This author apparently has a real talent for twisting the last 50 pages, so that what I anticipate will happen so does not, and not in a good way (in my view).

I know this will be a bit controversial, but I seriously thought it would be Hazel who died in The Fault in Our Stars, and in Paper Towns I really wanted Quentin to tell Margot to go bleep herself after he went through all this stuff to find her and she was just like, “Oh, hey, what the heck are you doing here, go away.” I’m very aware that most people who read John Green think he can do no wrong; but this is just my opinion, so, there you go.

Totally Should’ve…Had a TV Show:

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Given alllll the information about the Faction System that’s only hinted at in this trilogy — especially the massive twist on its origins — I think a TV series could’ve done better justice to explaining all the complexities of this than squeezing an action-based plot into 2-hour movies.

Totally Should’ve…Had a Film Franchise:

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White Fang and I are of one mind on this — a set of Warriors movies would be awesome.

Totally Should’ve…Had One Point of View:

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This is a novel I really struggled with, anyway; the multiple POV did not make it any easier. I don’t think Auggie’s POV should even have been focused on; I would’ve liked to read the whole thing from, say, his sister’s perspective, or one of his classmates.

Totally Should’ve…Had a Cover Change:

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Yes, I know I am The Invisible Moth. But the little flitty things on the U.S. cover for Strange the Dreamer just made my skin crawl. Why can’t we have the more elegant and mechanical drawing-ish UK version here, too? That I wouldn’t have felt the need to hide every time I tried to read more of this title.

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Totally Should’ve…Stopped Reading:

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Yup, this is me, bashing the Shadowhunters series. I simply felt it’s gone on too long. I finished City of Glass and loved the resolution — Jocelyn was awake, she and Luke were finally getting together, Clary and Jace were free to be a couple, Valentine was dead, Simon would’ve been a great nerdy vampire and Izzy was fantastic with him, Alec and Magnus were established — BOOM, perfect, wrap it up. The 4th, 5th and 6th books weren’t necessary at all, in my view, nor the spinoffs. Sorry, fans.

Totally Should’ve…Kept the Cover:

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Okay, this is an old book, that I don’t know if it’s even still in print in the USA *sobs*, but this is the original cover on the copy I first read from a library *cough, cough* a long time ago. I like the almost art deco look to it, because it perfectly fits the 1950s setting of the story. But when I tried to order a paperback from Amazon a few years back, this is what arrived:

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In my opinion, too cheesy, too modern, too trying to make it a YA Mills and Boone (which this story is not). Big sigh.

Totally Shouldn’t…Have Pre-judged:

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After getting about 75 pages into this and returning it to the library (twice!), finally I finished it, and was super glad I did. The first few chapters of this novel are kind of plodding, and a bit depressing, and I really wasn’t hooked. But when I embarked on the re-read-to-the-completion, the style got me going enough to continue (personally, I love Holly Black’s style, even if most of her subject matter isn’t to my taste), and in fact that the dark and dreary setting serves well to set up all the twist-to-positive-character-growth by the end. I’m really glad that I went back to The Darkest Part of the Forest in spite of my earlier misgivings.

And there we have it! As usual, I won’t be tagging anybody specific, but if you’d like to tackle this, go for it!



books, Young Adult fiction

Discussion: Presenting What We See Versus What We Hope For In YA Fiction


So, last night we watched the movie version of “Everything, Everything,” and while I haven’t read the book (and realistically, I wouldn’t, because it’s a contemporary and a romance and I don’t read those), I’m certainly capable of reading reviews and finding out if the book was different from the movie.

Now, after doing some research, I have a bunch of “interesting” thoughts to share. (Cue a big rant.)

Alert: Massive spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, I will ruin it all for you. Hey, at least I warned you.

Okay, here is the premise of the story: Meet Maddy, nearly 18 and stuck in her house, because she has an autoimmune disorder, meaning that she’s allergic to the world (and, yes, this is a real, complex condition). Her mom is a doctor, she gets all her treatments at home, via a visiting nurse, and she takes online classes. Then one day a lovely young lad moves in next door, and attraction happens, and of course they try to find ways to have a relationship in spite of Maddy’s situation.

(My first thoughts as we watched the early scenes of the film were comparisons to an episode of the TV show “Scorpion,” but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

Maddy’s mom is super overprotective — yet, can you blame her? The mere fact that her daughter will probably get pneumonia just by going outside and being exposed to germs would be enough to make most parents in those circumstances overprotective. However… This is where the spoilers start. As the movie progresses, you begin to get the idea that something is up.

You never see any of the medicines Maddy must have to take. You never see a list of her food restrictions, which there must be. She doesn’t have an oxygen tank or an epi-pen or protective medical gear anywhere in her house. All the nurse has to do, apparently, before examining Maddy, is wash her hands. This does not seem to make much sense.

The episode of “Scorpion” I mentioned earlier had a girl “in a bubble” — the poor thing was so autoimmune that she wasn’t allowed human contact (they had to wear those CDC suits to get close to her), her room had to be temperature controlled, she couldn’t be in direct sunlight, etc. From the criticisms I’ve read of “Everything, Everything” it sounds to me like “Scorpion” has the more accurate portrayal.


Well, there is a very good reason for this — SPOILERS DON’T GET BIGGER THAN THIS — it turns out Maddy isn’t actually sick at all. Her mother is a complete whacko who has been keeping her daughter trapped in a clean house, because after Maddy’s dad and brother died suddenly, she couldn’t stand the thought of something happening to Maddy.

Now, from a writer’s point of view, this is an incredible twist, and as a viewer/reader, I thought it was such an impactful choice for plotting. And I thought that the ending — Maddy abandoning her mother after she learns the truth, to go live the life she’d never had and deserved — was perfect.

But on the other side of the coin, I was also furious. To say that what Maddy’s mother did was unethical is merely the tip of the iceberg. Not only should she lose her medical license and go to jail, but it would also be fitting for Maddy to never speak to her again. And for someone to start a foundation for kids who really do have the autoimmune condition that crazy witch faked for Maddy. (If I was the author, that’s what would’ve happened.)

I can see why this novel has garnered extreme criticism from people who actually are ill with what Maddy is supposed to have. It’s like this story is trivializing such a serious medical issue because, surprise!, Maddy’s in fact healthy and can just run out of her house to go live a normal life. Although I imagine this was not the author’s intention, I can totally understand how this perspective could be misconstrued. And I get why it would make people mad.

As White Fang and I watched the movie, we kept expecting something to happen to Maddy, basically that she’d quickly pass away, and we were ready for that to be the ending. And the point would be, “Hey, she took a chance and died with no regrets, and hopefully her mother would see that.” (And for anyone who has issues with that, yeah, I get you, too.) But for the big reveal to be what it actually was…

Well, that makes me bring up this: Why is it that the parents in YA fiction always have to be such complete !@#$%^&*. (You can mentally fill in your impolite word of choice there.) This story is a MESS on steroids when it comes to the adults. Maddy’s mother is certified mentally unstable. Olly’s father is drunk and a wife-beater, and his mom is too afraid to leave, so she stays in a situation that threatens her own kids’ safety. Maddy’s nurse — well, the movie didn’t make it clear whether she knew the truth or not, but if she did, OH MY GOD, why didn’t she tell Maddy and turn in Maddy’s mother to the authorities?!?! As a parent myself, I simply cannot imagine what the point is of having such horrific role models presented to the very impressionable audience of teenagers.

Yes, there are some adults in the world who are piss-poor examples of adults. I know that, but I don’t accept it. If we’re really going to teach our kids how to be decent adults, we have to give them good role models to follow.


When did it become totally okay for fictional parents to be everything from low-key neglectful to downright vile, sub-humans, with none of the other characters calling the police, contacting Social Services, going to teachers or ministers for help? In real life, we tell kids all the time that if they’re being abused to go to a trusted adult. Well, how are they going to do that if they think there are no trustworthy adults?

When did it become the gold standard in publishing for 16-year-olds to have to save the entire world? I’m specifically thinking of dystopias like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, in which anyone over the age of 20 is a complete schmuck (or gets killed if they’re not). Compare this to Harry Potter, where the kids are indeed going forth to battle evil — but their parents and teachers are right there beside them.

There are major reasons I don’t read contemporary YA romances — this is one of them.

This is also why I write parents who care, who can be trusted, who make sure the kids finish their chores and homework and eat their greens.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. We need MORE adults like this in YA. Period.

Okay, rant over. Any thoughts, fellow readers and writers?