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Currently reading

Bearing an Hourglass
Piers Anthony
Peter the Great: His Life and World
Robert K. Massie
A Curse Dark As Gold - Audio Library Edition
Elizabeth C. Bunce
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
Neil Gaiman
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Isabel Florence Hapgood
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Erik Larson
Healing Trauma
Peter A. Levine
Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles 8 Book Bundle: The Surgeon, The Apprentice, The Sinner, Body Double, Vanish, The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake, Ice Cold
Tess Gerritsen
Promised - Caragh M. O'Brien Another series bites the dust. Promised suffered from the now common YA series problem of a muddled ending. I think it's because a lot of things that authors use in earlier books (new scenarios, characters, travel) just don't work in a series capstone. That leaves them relying on internal tension which without anything external to back it up just makes the character whiny. I hope that as YA fantasy matures it will leave some of this behind. The problem with a genre glutted with debut authors is that a lot of people are having to invent the wheel.
The bigger thing that concerned me about Promised, and has been concerning me for a long time, is the level of violence in YA. I'm not talking about PG-13 or R rated violence. I'd be a pretty intense hypocrite to do that since I grew up on military SF. Its the personal violence against these girls. In this book Gaia and Leon are tortured multiple times and Gaia has her ovaries removed sort of by force/sort of by deal to save her people. Four out of the five most recent YA books have had something similar. Scent of Magic had the heroine being decked by the love interest and chained to a tree every night to change her mind about something she felt morally obligated not to do. Witch World has the MC brutally murdered by her lover. Even Boundless, a book I'm loving, is based on a task that the MC is destined to complete but has also lead her to be lied to by those she trusted and eventually lose her only remaining parent. A lot of this violence is directed at the girls reproductive organs with dystopians about forced marraiges/pregnancies being common. These are the books teens and twenty something are flocking too. What is so wrong in our culture that women identify with characters who are brutally raped, murdered, and otherwise abused? Where there is no one to trust but the love interest? Where anyone in power will force you to live a life against your will? I'm not asking for a return to Nancy Drew and The Campfire Girls, I'm just concerned. In my real life I work with teens and I want whats best for them. Is there every day life so bad that they escape into stuff like this?