Myth and Symbols essay: Wintergirls

Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for her haunting young adult novels that explore the dark tumult of adolescence. Although her books focus on issues of rape, suicide and anorexia, she weaves classical mythology throughout her work, adding a new dimension to young adult realism.

Wintergirls has been said to be Anderson’s most powerful work, alongside her debut novel Speak. Scratching the surface of Wintergirls we uncover a plethora of metaphorical and lyrical writing. The novel includes two epigrams. One is taken from Sleeping Beauty, the other from Homeric Hymn to Demeter. The latter is an extract talking about Persephone’s fall into the Underworld. The following quote, taken from Anderson’s website, explains Anderson’s approach to writing Wintergirls:

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I’m a featured writer on Booksie

Back in 2009-2010 I was pretty active on Booksie. For those of you who don’t know, Booksie is a website for people to post novels, poetry, short stories and articles – pretty much, it’s the writers’ equivalent of DeviantART.

I posted a lot of poetry (which, even though I hated, received positive feedback), attempted a novella, and posted the EPIC first draft of my novel. The latter ended up having a cute little following, and by my last chapter (which was in the 90s), a good 30 people were still reading and commenting.

But the pieces that received the most attention, were my anti-Twilight pieces. One was a short story (now posted on this blog), and the other was a list aptly titled “101 Reasons Why the Twilight Saga SUCKS”.

These two pieces were the catalyst for A LOT of onsite drama. There was cyber bullying – not just aimed at me, but to my followers; and my followers fought back – and an influx of PRO-Twilight pieces. In the end, the site was just too negative, so myself and a group of friends ended up leaving. We joined DA instead, but I soon lost interest in that, too.

The thing is, no matter how many “Booksie Fan Awards” I won, or how many hits my Twilight pieces made, I never acheived the dream of being a FEATURED WRITER.

That is, until now. Five days ago, I logged back into Booksie and posted two pieces, completely on a whim. My main goal was to try and generate some traffic back to this blog.

Today, I woke up to several comments, new “fans” and… the surprise of seeing my work on the main page.

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So, there you have it folks. Sometimes dreams do come true. They just happen when you stop holding on to them 🙂

The Hunger Games: revealing the problem with YA fiction

The Hunger Games is a great book series; truly, it is well written, intelligent, deep, observational and thought provoking. But when I read the books (about 5 years ago), I was left disappointed and pissed off. Why?

Peeta/Katniss/Gale.

Love triangles have become a prerequisite for YA novels. Originally, author Suzanne Collins planned for Gale to be Katniss’s cousin, but her editor encouraged her to change this to a “romantic interest” to appeal to the drones of YA readers, solely interested in hot guys and bad romance.

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