"Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it."
The above quote by Llyod Alexander sums up a perfect response to any literary snob who looks down upon the sci-fi or fantasy genre by claiming these genres do not have any literary merit or lack depth and are simply a means to escape reality.
The fantasy and sci-fi genres have always had an ambiguous place in the world of literature. They have always been on the receiving end of morbid and unnecessary criticism by literary critics and English professors who insist these genres are "not real literature" simply because they are not grounded in reality.
For a long time, I wasn’t interested in the Young Adult genre. After a lifetime of reading Stephen King and short horror story collections, it just never really suited my taste. It was only after the recent Covid-19 Pandemic that I found myself unable to really enjoy YA anymore. Sure, before I could occasionally enjoy an average YA novel every now and then, but it started to get… well painful for me. The romance, the heroes, and the momentous tasks and achievements completed by teenagers all seemed cool and fun when I was 12, but once I became the same age as these characters, the more it made me feel less than.
Teenagers aren’t known for being easy. Yet, the genre that focuses on the lives of teenagers is highly popular and relatable--even for those outside the age-range. The reason boils down to two important, game-changing words: internal conflict.
It’s 2015 and you, a high schooler, reach onto the YA fantasy shelf of your library and pull down the newly published A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) by Sarah J. Maas. You check it out, crack the spine, and start to read. You quickly realize that this book is more than you bargained for and contains explicit sexual content, the f-bomb, and violence. But how did ACOTAR get shelved in Young Adult in the first place?
“This is not a love story” is a claim made by Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), at the start of Alice Wu’s 2020 film The Half of It. This is only partially true.
The movie is about high school senior Ellie Chu, who writes essays for other students for money, which she uses to support her and her father. The two of them live in Squahamish, your classic boring smalltown. She has a crush on Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire), local popular girl. Everything changes when Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer), a jock with a hopeless crush on Aster enlists Ellie’s help in writing love letters to Aster. Ellie soon becomes Paul’s dating coach, all the while hiding her own feelings. She and Paul become friends, and together they take on all the challenges presented by their families, their futures, and love.
If you’re nearing the end of high school or are just starting college, you’ve probably heard at least one of your teachers talk about the importance of internships. Doing a summer internship right before your senior year of high school can look great on college applications. If you’re studying English, Journalism, Communications, or anything similar at university, an internship might be required to graduate. And if you’ve never done anything remotely similar to an internship before, just applying can be daunting. But as someone who’s been lucky to do a few internships now, I feel like I can offer a little bit of help.
Continued from last week’s article. If you don’t feel like scrolling back, just see this as a “pick a quote and get a tragedy” game. Or free therapy. Or the opposite of that.
Spoiler Warning for Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
Content Warning: This article discusses murder and sexual assault, but not explicitly. The novel does not describe the assault in detail but uses vague flashbacks, however other themes are described explicitly like murder, blood, transphobic bullying(not excused by the narrative), and a suicide attempt.
“We’re magic. I can feel it right now in the dark. We’re invisible when we need to be and then so firework-bright no one can look away. We’re patience and brilliance. We never forget. We never forgive.”
— Jade Khanjara, Foul is Fair
Remember when as a kid, you looked out at the world, it seemed to be filled with wonders, and magic was always lurking somewhere around the corner. You were able to find joy in the simplest of things but not anymore. Now, as an adult, life seems so boring, and you barely even have time to slow down and enjoy life. And this is often reflected in the media we consume which is packed with grandiose and flashy elements to help us escape our boring lives.
“Do not use semicolons,” Kurt Vonnegut once said, “They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they show is that you’ve been to college.”
Vonnegut is not the only one with this hatred for semicolons. Throughout the years, several famous authors, writers, and readers, have expressed their feelings about this mark. In Semicolon, Cecilia Watson takes all that hate people have collected, and crafts a brilliant narrative about the semicolon — and why it should be loved.