I am the thirty-year-old woman who walks into the library or bookstore and heads straight for the YA section and I have absolutely no shame in that. Anyone else with me? Sometimes the teens will look at me, but I just smile and keep browsing the awesome adventures before me. There is just something about YA authors and their writing styles that I love. It also helps that the content is cleaner in YA, not always, but most of the time.
So if I had to choose my favorite genre within YA it would be the dystopian category. Writers who dare to share their views, thoughts, and themes on the end of the world intrigue me. Needless to say, I LOVE the popular ones such as The Hunger Games series, Divergent Series, and The 5th Wave series (I know, I know a little cliché but I can’t help it). I devour Rick Yancey’s writing but one pet peeve of mine is cursing. I hate it. I do not cuss, so to me, cursing is not normal and adds nothing to the story. And it seems Yancey loves to add it in, which I have to say, does hinder my overall reading experience. I mean, when you can use any word or even make up your own words there is no need for the ridiculousness of curse words. Okay, rant over.
And since it seems the majority of these books are being made into movies I ask:
Movie or Book for these Dystopias?
My answer: Book…always the book. I read Maze Runner and then watched the movie, the book wins for sure, then I watched Scorch Trials without reading the book and was so surprised. I mean, where did the zombies come from? I must read the book. Another example is The Giver. I actually watched the movie first then read the book and still liked the book better. Dystopian books make good movies but can never compare to the original writing.
I have also recently found incredible Christian YA authors. Nadine Brandes’ Out of Time series is amazing. Angie Brashear is a fantasy author whose series Legend of the Woodlands is incredible. The Anomaly series by Krista McGee is a must read for Christian dystopia readers. And I really want to read books from Tricia Mingerink and Jaye L. Knight, I hear great things about their books! There are so many more Christian writers than I realized. My horizons are being broadened in the Christian market and these are the books that I will pass along to my daughter who loves to read! I am so thankful for Christian publishers and writers!
At the end of the day, I am really all over the place with my reading because I also love biographies and books based on true stories. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand remains one of my favorites. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers also holds a special place in my heart, so really if the story has meaning to me I am going to cherish it. I am looking at you, C.S. Lewis. I love his work and his heart to share the gospel through it. Works that live on show the power within the written word. It’s simply wondrous.
Books give life to something within me that I can’t quite explain. It opens my imagination and makes me want to create, write, and inspire. As a writer, I understand the hard work that goes into creating an entire world where characters must reach an audience beyond the surface. I like characters who are real and raw, who grow within the story.
Writing isn’t easy but reading a good book is. When my writing stresses me out, I turn to reading because it reminds me it is possible to create something beautiful, you just have to be patient and put in the work.
Keep reading and keep writing!
--> Mandy Fender lives in the great state of Texas with her family and mean-mugging bulldog, Ziggy Zoo. She has authored two Christian non-fiction books, Beautifully Broken, and Pretty Little Truths. Her debut novel Defier: The Girl Who Stood is a Christian Dystopian and is the first book in a trilogy. Book two, Sparrow, will be released July 2016. Mandy’s short story Samara of Shalocke was picked up and published by Epifiction. She also writes for the Broken, Beautiful, and Bold Blog, and has a monthly inspirational article in the Westside Sol, a local newspaper.
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Defier | The Girl Who Stood
by Mandy Fender
A YA novel inspired by Christian bravery.
When her faith makes her a target, Lennox Winters must leave everything she knows behind and face the harsh truth of what her world has become. The raised scar on her chest reminds her she still has a purpose, but is her purpose worth the sacrifice? With a new Regime taking over America and imprisoning Christians, she must decide what is worth fighting for.
They said her faith would be the death of her, but her faith made her alive.
Seventeen-year-old Lennox Winters is no stranger to loss. She’s lost her parents, her home, and is in constant danger of losing herself. As she struggles with what to believe, she encounters Christ in a way that she cannot ignore. Kept alive by her newfound faith and accompanied by her loyal best friend, Lennox bravely emerges into a world at war on a quest for the truth. Only after Lennox has journeyed through perilous territory, eluded biologically altered predators, and overcomes the most intense of challenges does the real work begin.
What's worth standing for?
Last week's winner for Delores Liesner's book Be The Miracle! is...
Congrats Rachel! I'll be sending you an email :)