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My name is S. Jae-Jones. I am a writer, an artist, and an adrenaline junkie. And she abandons her mind to obscure arts.

Archive | Reviews

My opinions on the media I consume.

Best Reads of 2011

Posted on 16 Dec 2011 in   Books by JJ
Imaginary Girls

It’s that time of year again, as 2011 draws to a close, when JJ picks her Best Reads books. This year’s been a bit of a mixed bag for me, and despite the spate of new and shiny YA titles with attendant romances and cool dystopian/fantasy/sci-fi settings that came out in 2011, the books that have stayed with me have been adult, YA contemporary (with literary bent), or even a bit of non-fiction. What does this all mean? I have absolutely no idea. Am I getting a little fatigued with high-concept YA? I might be. There’s a lot of flash and pizzazz out there that’s pretty neat and awesome, but perhaps I’m more in the mood for something smaller in scope, something pure in its emotional simplicity. (This rather echoes my feelings about current Doctor Who, actually, but my thoughts about New New Who I will table for another day. […]

High Fantasy for Young Adults

Posted on 28 Nov 2011 in   Books by JJ

Books win their audiences for a reason. Most popular books wear their artlessness on their sleeve: Stephenie Meyer, the author of the “Twilight” series, is an awkward writer with little feeling for construction, but the intensity of emotion with which she imbues her characters is enviable. You never doubt her commitment to the material, which is half the battle won. So to say that Paolini is an unskilled narrator and a derivative mythmaker is more or less beside the point. What is it, then, that makes the books enter kids’ consciousness? First, kids experience them as mythologies more than as stories—the narrative sweep is, curiously, the least significant part of their appeal. […] The sheer invocation of a mythology casts a deeper spell than putting the mythology on its feet and making it dance. If you talk to an Eragon reader, you will see why the introductory seven-page synopsis of […]

A Plague of Perfect Boys

Posted on 9 Nov 2011 in   Books by JJ
Because nobody's perfect. Unless he's David Tennant. (Obligatory image of Sexy Person included in post to drive up traffic. I am transparently shallow that way.)

So. Hello, blog. We haven’t spoken in a while. How are you? How are things? How’s life in your corner of the internet? I’m so sorry for treating you like that friend I speak to once every six months only when I have something exciting I want to share, but it’s a little hard to maintain close friendships when you’re so far away, you know? Besides, I’m been keeping busy in my internet life with Tumblr, and yeah, things are going really well between us. Anyway, I wanted to come and talk to you about a problem I’ve been having. All around the internets you’ll find discussions about Mary Sues and while I certainly agree with many of the points various authors bring up, I have a problem of a different sort. You see, the term “Mary Sue” is something given to a female character by an audience, and I […]

Oh John Green

Posted on 2 Nov 2011 in   Books by JJ

I won’t lie; I was a teeny bit worried when I heard that John Green’s next novel was going to have a female narrator, mostly because he does the boy narrator so well, but also because the female narrator of his Zombiecorns novella didn’t sound like a girl to me. However, my fears have been allayed. Bravo, John Green!

Slightly Hapless Detective Inspector and His Much More On-The-Nose (And Put Upon) Sergeant

Posted on 30 Sep 2011 in   Books by JJ
Slightly Hapless Detective Inspector

At the moment, I am utterly glutted on commercial YA fiction. I don’t want something high concept (and ultimately soulless), I don’t want some epic, steamy romance (I especially don’t want that), and I don’t want a first-person narrator. I have read so many of these in the past 8 months that I’m about to explode. So right now, I want the antithesis of all that. I want something small in scope, British, adult, and delightful and charming. Right now I want a series with a slightly hapless detective inspector (with a moustache and a trenchcoat, and possibly a pipe) who goes around solving crimes with his much more on-the-nose (and put-upon) sergeant. I want it to possibly take place in the 1970s, and for there to be lots of sly and arch commentary on the class system. Perhaps said slightly hapless detective inspector has a very sharp and intelligent […]

Resist the Urge to Be Pretty

Posted on 22 Aug 2011 in   Books by JJ
What is this I don't even

I am slowly but surely making my way back to fiction, after a somewhat self-imposed absence from reading. I’ve been indulging myself with a glut of nonfiction in order to escape what I was beginning to see as a surfeit of tropes in fiction. It’s a bit like being unable to see the forest for the trees; I couldn’t find the merit in what I was reading because every little thing was tripping my WTF WHY wire. It’s always a bad thing when you open up a manuscript or a book and go: I am finding my faith in books again, thankfully, mostly because I was rediscovering my love of adult literary fiction. I’m usually of two minds when it comes to adult literary fiction: oh god, not another 20-something white male writer masturbating all over the page (which is a corollary to the oh god, not another 40-something white […]