Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Da Vinci Debacle

I have other blog posts ready to published, but I felt so strongly, that I just had to talk about what I will now refer to as ‘The Da Vinci Debacle.’ I have spent the last few days gathering my thoughts about this subject, so here goes; A week ago it was announced that Random House are re-releasing The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, but this time, as a YA novel. Basically this means that the book will be abridged, and “aimed at making The Da Vinci Code more appropriate for readers in their early teens” but reportedly will “maintain Brown’s original plot.” This news sparked a lot of controversy and discussion online. It caught my attention on Twitter and needless to say, people didn’t react well. I think there are various reasons why many people (myself included), don’t think The Da Vinci should get or needs a so called ‘YA Adaptation.’

The first and most important reason, at least for me and many people on Twitter – Teenagers do not need texts dumbed down or simplified for them. Say what you like but that is what the book will be. I feel that releasing an abridged version of the book is telling teenagers that they aren’t capable of simply reading the original text, when they most certainly are. I read The Da Vinci Code when I was 14/15 and I absolutely loved it, it became one of my favourite books. I had no trouble understanding the book, it enthralled me. So yeah, the idea of teenagers needing a simplified book is insulting to today’s teenagers, to my 15-year-old self, and to teenagers who have enjoyed the book in the past. I feel this is just another example of the common societal conceptions of today’s teens, the idea that they’re immature, too lost in technology, less intelligent, and this is just unfair and not true. Teenagers are diverse and smart, and we should not talk down to them.
Something I also don’t understand is; we expect children as young as 11 to understand Shakespeare, Dickens, and other challenging texts, yet, The Da Vinci Code is supposedly too much for teens? I don’t think so. Yes, there are plenty of abridged versions of more complex texts for younger people to read, but those are not the texts taught in schools. There is nothing in The Da Vinci Code that teenagers wouldn’t understand. Yes the plot has a lot of heavy themes, and the plot can be a bit convoluted, but to tell teens it’s too complicated for them is insulting. We need to stop telling teenagers they’re stupid
I am going to leave you with a few sources I found interesting and useful –
An Article from Publishers Weekly - -  Dan Brown tweeted this article to announce the release of the new book.
An Article from The Guardian - - Explains my thoughts better than I can! Though seemingly not a big fan of the book, Jordison does make some good points.

A YouTube Video by baldbookgeek - Discusses why maybe a YA version might actually work.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Blog Lovin'

So yeah, I have Blog Lovin’ now! I can’t believe I haven’t made one before, it’s wonderful! You can browse and follow blogs with such ease. I have literally spent ages going through book blogs, and found new people to follow, it’s awesome!

Every blogger should have one!

If you want to, check it out!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Review - The Next Together by Lauren James


Synopsis (From Goodreads) - How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

My Review - You like history? You like science? You like time travel? You like romance? You like YA? Then I implore you to read this book!

      I am a huge fan of historical fiction so this book was an absolute dream! To begin with I did find it hard to keep up with all of the different timelines, but it didn’t take long before I was well and truly engrossed in each story.

      Firstly, I loved Katherine so much! Every incarnation of her. She was relatable, funny, like laugh out loud funny. In particular the 2019 version of her. Matthew was also wonderfully shy and dedicated. Both of them were adorably nerdy and I couldn’t help getting invested in their romance. I would like to stress, however, that this novel is far more than an epic love story, (though it is that too!). The book has a very interesting scientific aspect, which I admit I didn’t always understand, but I did find interesting.

My favourite version of the couple has to be from 2019. We only get to read notes, texts, and emails between her and Matthew from that time but I really enjoyed reading what their relationship was like when they had been together for a few years. Despite not hearing as much about them, I feel they were the most relatable and the most fleshed version of the relationship. I would say this was probably because the others were showing the couple meet and then falling for each other, whereas the 2019 Matthew and Katherine already had an established relationship. I also felt that the 1745 and 1854 version were fairly similar. I loved them both, but I don’t think both storylines were wholly necessary and I would have preferred if we were just presented with one modern version, and a one past version.  This would have made more room in story to flesh out the characters and Matthew and Katherine’s relationship.

      James is a superb writer with great natural talent. She balances humour and drama. I found The Next Together very readable and highly enjoyable, it has a bit of everything, romance, sci-fi, mystery, comedy, as well as the historical element - so there really is something for everyone!

(Images not mine)