I didn’t realize Victor Hugo was buried in the Panthéon when I walked by the magnificent building in Paris, which is strange for me because I’m absolutely obsessed with that city and have been trying to learn everything about it since I got back from my study abroad. His impact on literature is immeasurable and was often thought of as radical.
Major Spoilers for all of the Grishaverse, including, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars, and Rule of Wolves. Seriously, if you haven’t read the books, read this article at your own risk, or unless you love spoilers.
I was pretty late to the party as far as the Grishaverse is concerned. I started reading at the end of April and have just recently finished Rule Of Wolves, Leigh Bardugo’s seventh installment in the Grishaverse as a whole, and the second book in the King of Scars duology. I was kind of worried going into this series, as some of my friends who’d read it before me reported massive amounts of emotional damage, but I couldn’t put it off any longer, and I really just wanted to know what happened.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Hadestown the musical.
You could say I was a musical theater nerd in high school. My phase started with Hamilton and lasted a good few years before I just didn’t have time for musicals anymore. I enrolled in college, I found new things to enjoy. I found it hard to get into new musicals, until Hadestown came along.
Hadestown is a retelling of the Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice. Other notable characters are Hermes, Hades, and Persephone. The musical's sound is folk and jazzy, and its tone swings high to low as the story unfolds. Located in the Walter Kerr Theater, one of the most memorable things about the musical is its custom stage. The actors stand on a round stage with three concentric rings, the centric one able to be raised and lowered far below the stage. This function is first revealed when Hades comes to take Persephone to the Underworld, or Hadestown.
I was given an early digital edition of The Annual Migration of Clouds from ECW Press in exchange for an honest review. This book will be officially released on September 28, 2021. The following response is spoiler-free.
I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into with this story. This novella, just shy of 200 pages, introduces a very strange world that honestly left me with so many questions. The story is somewhat post-apocalyptic, with a nearly desecrated human population fighting a weird, mind-altering parasitic fungi called Cad. Our main character, a teen girl named Reid, is at the center of it all when she gets a letter in the mail admitting her to a university thousands of kilometers away: an institution which may or may not exist.
Major spoilers for Dead Poets Society & trigger warning near the end for suicide.
Before I dissect the many issues I have with the movie itself, I want to shed light on why this is important. Being a cult classic starring the legend Robin Williams, the movie is integral to this save the arts idea, the reminder that poetry is worth studying and enriching. And yet, there is no studying poetry in this movie.
And people today love it — with the Dead Poet’s Society tag on Tumblr having 14k followers and over 403k posts on Instagram. There are iconic dark academia accounts such as @deadpoets tribe on Instagram and at least 4 large and active ship blogs on Tumblr.
Young people love this movie as much as the millennials did when it came out. I think the movie is misguided and maybe and even a little dangerous due to the pedestal it’s put upon. Not only is it full of intense themes taken to terrible extents, but it also portrays poetry as this passion over intellectual art as well as something to be loved rather than understood in the classroom.
There are plenty of how-to articles, books, and resources available for writers at every stage of the writing process — so many that it can seem overwhelming. One of the most common pieces of advice from any experienced writer is this: read, read, read. And that includes reading books on how to write.
While you can’t learn everything about writing from a book — especially since every writer is different with their own style that doesn’t always have to follow the rules — there are a few titles that will be helpful if you’re struggling to get that scene just right.
Casey McQuiston broke the literary world in 2019 with top of the charts Red, White, and Royal Blue — a novel that needs little introduction, with two Goodreads Choice Awards and a constantly-growing fandom. Following a relationship between rivals Alex, the First Son of the United States and Henry, a Prince of England, the book had witty writing, one of the best supporting casts in fiction, and (multiple!) swoon-worthy romances.
Two years later, the author is back with their sophomore novel, One Last Stop, and it lives up to Red, White, and Royal Blue in a positively startling, completely different way.
Content warning: This novel contains mature themes of abuse, death, rape, and sex, none of which are described in explicit detail. Some schools banned this book but others have it in their curriculum. Read at your own discretion.
And of course, spoiler warnings for the whole book.
Como agua para chocolate, translated as like water for chocolate, is a Spanish metaphor meaning intense feelings are boiling over, like boiling water for making hot chocolate. This is the title of Laura Esquivel’s novel, it explores themes of intense emotions and food to tell the story of the main protagonist, Tita. This novel was my first dive into Latin American literature, and it was something to get adjusted to. I personally don’t care for romance, so reading a romance novel was new to me. Nonetheless, I did try my best to be as open-minded as possible, and I’m very glad I had the chance to read it. It is also labeled under magical realism so It gets very bizarre, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The word sapphic, as opposed to lesbian or WLW (women loving women), is inclusive of more gender identities including non-binary people. For a great resource about the word “sapphic”, click here.
The sapphic relationships in these YA books span the scale of plot importance — not all are centered around romance — but it’s valuable to read books with casual representation of these relationships. Here are six candidates for your next great read — dive right in!