Category Archive – Must-Read Fiction

Week of Geek Breaking News: The title of the next Fantastic Beasts movie revealed!

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Rejoice Wizarding World fans!  The next film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series has a title and release date!  AND a cast photo!

Click here to learn more details about each character, and here for more about the movie.  And while The Crimes of Grindelwald won’t be out until next November, go ahead and sign out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to catch up (find the textbook here and the screenplay here).  Stay tuned for more, until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: YA Books that started in NaNoWriMo

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Hi again Geeklings!  How we doing?  Experiencing the November blah’s yet?  I may have something that’ll distract you…

As I mentioned on this site before, I’ve been trying something new this month.  Yay, new things!  I’m giving NaNoWriMo a shot.  For those who aren’t familiar yet, it’s a challenge to write 50 000 words of a novel in one month.  I’ve just passed the halfway point, both in November and in word count, so I like to think I’m giving it a solid effort.

To clarify, no one is expecting the participant to have a completely edited, polished and ready to publish novel in a month.  And you don’t have to write the entirety of it all in November either; if you had some things written before it all counts as long as it’s the same project.  It’s all on the honor system and it’s all for the personal challenge.  NaNoWriMo just wants you to get the words out, just to get them finally written down in a first or second draft, and then in January and February they host online help for editing and publishing.  It’s a great system.

So far I’ve found it interesting, challenging, stressful and so rewarding all at the same time.  This is the most I’ve written on a single project, and I’m a little worried at how the next 24 000-ish words are going to go.  Will I think of enough to write about?  Will all the placeholders I’ve put in the work so far have to be fleshed out?  So many ‘what if’s, but I’m determined.

And one of the best things about it is that they have a Young Writer’s Program.  Busy?  Overloaded with school and extracurriculars?  Wanna give this a try but feel like 50 000 words is WAY too much?  The Young Writer’s Program let’s you set your own word count and helps you through it.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve got some YA novels that started as NaNoWriMo projects.

CinderCinder, Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer

From Cinder: “Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”

The Lunar Chronicles feature a mix of fairy tale characters and a lot of sci fi.  Creating the first book during NaNoWriMo worked well enough for Meyer that she used the challenge to create some of the follow-ups.  That’s commitment.

Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

“Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?”

For those looking for a little romance in an exotic locale, give this one a try.

RampantRampant by Diana Peterfreund

“Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns…

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they’ve been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student … an attraction that could jeopardize everything.”

Deadly unicorns.  What more could you ask for?

CrewelCrewel by Gennifer Albin

“Incapable. Awkward. Artless. That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, wherethey live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because tonight, they’ll come for her.”

Token of DarknessToken of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

“Cooper Blake has everything going for him–until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.

No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible.”

The Forest of Hands and TeethThe Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

“In Mary’s world there are simple truths.
   The Sisterhood always knows best.
   The Guardians will protect and serve.
   The Unconsecrated will never relent.
   And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the villa≥ the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
   But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
   Now, she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?”

Side Effects May VarySide Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

“When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend, Harvey, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge as it is about hope.

But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission, and now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done.”

Now THAT is a twist if ever I heard one.  What the heck do you do if you act like your actions won’t have any consequences and suddenly they do?  We’ll have to read to find out how Alice deals.

AlienatedAlienated by Melissa Landers

“Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet..”

The first book in a whole series.

Livvie Owen Lived HereLivvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley

“Olivia ‘Livvie’ Owen feels things differently than her parents and two sisters. Livvie is autistic. Her family has had to move repeatedly because of her outbursts. When they again face eviction, Livvie is convinced she has a way to get back to a house where they were all happy, once.

The problem is, Livvie burned down that house.

But she’s not giving up. Here is her story.”

Books featuring autistic characters are on the rise but still few and far between.  Author Sarah Dooley was a special education teacher who worked with autistic children, so she does come from a somewhat knowledgeable background on the subject.

And, gotta give a special shout out to one of my favorite books of all time…

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

“Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?”

That’s really a small snippet of what this book is all about.  Cath is a fan.  Cath is an introvert.  Cath is a writer.  And Cath is going through a seismic life change.  As a fan, introvert and kind-of writer myself, Cath resonated with me in a way that few literary characters have, before or since.  It’s a great book.  Read!

So there you have it.  Quite an eclectic mix of subjects but all are proof that the system can work as long as you want it.

And if you’re looking for a place to write, or meet other writers, or get some ideas, we’ve got you covered too.

Good luck Geeklings!  Hope to see you at the club, and until next time, End of Line.

Ready Player One שחקן מספר אחת

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Hebrew to follow עברית בהמשך…

Hello friends!

I do this on For Your Leisure sometimes, but haven’t here yet. So welcome to the Teen Vortex’s first ever English-Hebrew post!

One of my responsibilities at VPL is the library’s Hebrew collection. The collection is housed at Bathurst Clark Resource Library, Dufferin Clark Library, and Pleasant Ridge Library (our three east area libraries). It’s an awesome collection and we are constantly adding to it, which is to say that if you want to read a book in Hebrew look no further than this link to find it. And if it’s not there, send out a request here and we will try to get it for you.

Okay. Enough shop talk. What I really came here to talk about is Ready Player One.

As you might know, this book by Ernest Cline has been adapted into a major motion picture that will be in theatres soon. Yay! I am so excited about this! Can you tell?

For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is the trailer for the film:

I highly recommend reading this book before the movie comes out (and also just in general because it’s great!). And now, if you wish, you can read it in Hebrew.

And that was basically the point of this post…

So, without further ado, the Hebrew portion of our day.

שלום חברים/ות!

אני כותבת פוסטים כאילו לפעמים בבלוג הראשי, אבל פה עדיין לא יצא לי. אז ברוכים/ות הבאים/ות לפוסט האנגלי-עברי הראשון של בלוג הנוער שלנו.

דבר ראשון, קצת קונטקסט: אחד התפקידים שלי בספרייה הוא האוסף העברי של הספרייה. האוסף נמצא בספריית בת’רסט קלארק, ספריית דפרין קלארק וספריית פלסנט רידג’ (שלושת הספריות באיזור מזרח). יש לנו אוסף מעולה ואנחנו מוסיפים ומעדכנים אותו כל הזמן, משמע אם יש משהו בעברית שאתם רוצים לקרוא או לראות כל שעליכם לעשות זה ללחוץ על הלינק הזה ולהתחיל לחפש. בנוסף, אם אתם/ן לא מוצאים/ות משהו שאתם/ן רוצים/ות תלחצו פה, תמלאו את טופס בקשה ואנחנו ננסה להוסיף אותו.

אוקיי, אז מספיק ענייני עבודה. מה שבאמת רציתי לדבר עליו זה שחקן מספר אחת.

ייתכן שכבר שמעתם/ן את השם הזה. מדובר בספר של ארנסט קליין שבקרוב מאוד הגרסה הקולנועית שלו יצא לאקרנים. יאיי!! אני ממש מתרגשת מזה!! שמתם/ן לב?

אם לא ראיתם/ן או אם בא לכם/ן לראות שוב, הטריילר לסרט נמצא למעלה.

אני ממש ממש ממש ממליצה על הספר הזה. גם אם אין לכם/ן רצון לראות את הסרט, כדאי לכם/ן לקרוא אותו. הוא מרגש, כיף וסחוף ומליון דברים אחרים!! ועכשיו אפשר לקרוא אותו גם בעברית.

וזהו… בעקרון זה כל מה שהיה לי לומר.

Week of Geek: VFC Fandom Countdown Part 4, our own British Invasion…

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Hi again Geeklings!  It’s week four of our Fandom Countdown.  We’re getting psyched for Vaughan Fan Con, which is just over 2 weeks away!  Click here, here and here to see parts 1, 2 and 3.

For this week we’re heading back to the UK (after our look at Harry Potter a couple weeks back).  For fandoms we sometimes have to do a little globetrotting, like with Japan last week.  But since two massive fandoms are from the UK I figured it’d be good to put them together and mention a few other favorite British exports while we’re at it.

First, let’s talk about one of the longest-running Sci Fi franchises of the modern era.  It predates Star Wars, Star Trek, and just about every other Sci Fi series you can name.  It had a bumpy start, premiering just the day after the Kennedy Assassination, and was often held back a bit by its low budget.  But, 54 years later, we still long for the time and space adventures of our favorite madman (and now madwoman) with a box.

Yup, the Doctor is in!

First airing on November 23rd, 1963, Doctor Who was meant to be a family-friendly educational program, mixing Sci Fi with history for younger viewers.  But over the last few decades it has grown into so much more.  With several doctors giving it a fresh look every few years, the show’s been able to reinvent itself while still keeping to it’s tried and true tropes; an alien travels through time and space defeating evils and setting things right while taking a few companions along for the ride.

Who has always had it’s fans, but when the show was rebooted in 2005 for a new generation it acquired quite the following.  The new series’ mix of drama, comedy, big ideas, action, adventure and much cooler special effects hit the marks for many viewers.  And even this late in the game, the show is about to hit another first, by making the 14th incarnation (if you count the War Doctor) of the Doctor a woman.

So check out our Doctor Who DVDs, Blu Rays and Books (including Graphic Novels).  All of time and space… where will you go?

Now let’s switch gears a bit to one of the other big geeky British exports, one that, in some ways, helped to define fandom as we know it and is one of the oldest examples of such a thing.  Let’s stop by Baker Street for our favorite consulting detective.

First appearing in the novel A Study in Scarlet all the way back in 1886, Sherlock Holmes has become one of the most well-known characters in history… so much so that some people don’t realize that he is a work of fiction and just assume he’s a real person.  Regardless, for most people if you ask them ‘Name a detective’ odds are they’ll say ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

He was popular back in the 19th century as well, so much so that when author Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill him off in “The Adventure of the Final Problem”, a short story published in The Strand Magazine in 1893, there was a public outcry.  Had that happened today the outcry would likely form on the internet.  Back then fans made their disappointment known by writing letters and cancelling their subscriptions (that may seem almost quaint by our standards but it did get the message across).  Doyle would bring the character back a few years later with “The Adventure of the Empty House” but would marvel at how upset people got over a fictional character.  Clearly the power of fan outrage was still a new thing to the Victorians.  Also a new thing?  Some of the earliest examples of what we now know as fanfiction was written about Holmes.

Holmes has appeared in so many movies, TV shows and books (not all written by Doyle, some by many authors) he could have his own library.  But some would argue that what helped got modern fans back into the die-hard love was the show Sherlock.  First airing in July of 2010, this modern, smart and powerful update of the Sherlock Holmes story has earned a huge following worldwide.  And fans have had to learn to be patient, because the show only has four seasons and a special, and each season is only 3 EPISODES LONG!  Some seasons also aired up to a couple of years apart!

As much as I love shorter TV seasons, that’s a little low even for me.  Why?!

Fans have been split on how good the fourth season was, little bit on the third season too, but all agree the first two seasons are great!  Check em’ out.  And I’ve got a list of recommended reads for Sherlock and mystery fans in general.

I’ve noticed, and I’m sure other fans have noticed too, that there’s some common elements between Sherlock and Doctor Who.  Though Sherlock tends to steer clear of fantastical elements, both shows feature a hero (or sort-of-hero in Sherlock’s case) who value intellect over a lot of other things.  Both praise loyalty, friendship, curiosity and the idea that the world (or galaxy) is much bigger than one would suspect at first glance.  And both shows have delightfully bonkers villains (Moriarty and The Master).  And they share writers and show-runners too, so there’s that.  Good times.

And to wrap up, here’s a couple of other BBC or English-produced shows you may want to take a look at; Merlin, Downton Abbey (not Sci Fi or Fantasy, but man, does it have its fans), Orphan Black and Being Human (there’s an English and an American version of that show).  Anything I’ve missed?  Post in the comments!

I’ll leave you guys with this fan-made video of The Doctor and Sherlock finally meeting!  Be sure to check out our other teen programs, including Unleash Your Story and the Teen Writer’s Club, as well as our new photo contest.  Stay tuned for more Fan Con news, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: VFC Fandom Countdown Part 3, From the Land of the Rising Sun…

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Hello again Geeklings!

It’s week 3 of our countdown to Vaughan Fan Con (YAY!).  And this week I thought we’d cover a pretty intense and, at times, maybe kind of weird fandom that has SO MANY devoted followers.

Yep, it’s Anime and Manga time!

my life

So, when most people think of Anime they think of big eyes, lots of hair colors and they may think it’s a little… strange.  I know I did.  Most know that it comes from Japan, but while in Japan ‘anime’ can mean any type of animation, over here when we talk about anime we usually mean that one specific style from Japan.  And Anime as we know it is much older than people realize.  There’s an article here that’ll give you the rundown but many agree the first anime film was from all the way back in 1917, so a whole century ago.

And like any format, anime and manga covers a whole range of topics, settings and characters.  It can be violent.  It can be sexual.  It can be plain weird…

Believe me, I was right on the fence about this particular format for a long time.  But if you’re able to overlook the occasional weirdness (or heck, you might even be a fan of it), and you find the right story with the right characters… ugh, it can be downright magical.  MAGICAL!

And it’s fanbase is as strong as ever.  With Studio Ghibli films still beloved, Pokemon still crazy popular, new manga series being published all the time, shows like Yuri on Ice!!! becoming a global phenomenon and Sailor Moon celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, there’s no slowing down.  And I discovered, it doesn’t hurt at all to give it a try.

And as a final note, this week is Banned Books Week, and some of our favorite fandoms are not above facing challenges from various readers.  Last week’s featured fandom, Harry Potter, has certainly seen it’s fair share of challenges, but comics, manga and anime are certainly not immune, especially by people who object to violence, LGBTQ themes, etc.  Even something like Dragonball has been under fireCertain episodes of Pokemon have been banned over the years.  The idea of censorship can still rear it’s ugly head, and it’s good to take stock of that and continue to promote intellectual freedom.

Having said that, check out our anime and manga collections.

Try that Otaku hat on and see if it fits.  Besides, the food’s mighty fine.

Stay tuned for more news, check out our programs, and until next time, End of Line.

Yup I'm fucking Lucifer bitches (XD I HAVE NO CLUE WHERE THAT CAME FROM! Obviously my friends are a bad influence on me. Just kidding they're a wonderful influence)>>>lucifer from tdiapt right