Sunday, June 7, 2015

Originality Rant

Hey, guys! Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo it’s summer, finally, and we thought we’d do something interesting to kick off this amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing season of freeness! So we’re doing a rant on, basically, the lack of originality in books and movies. Hope you enjoy! (And I hope we make sense because I am very confused on what we are doing) :) :) :)

Kalee: I swear we will try to make this non-complainy sounding, but more like constructive criticism.
JC: TRY. But we’re master complainers.
Kalee: To start this rant off, I would like to first clearly state my problem with young adult books today. I personally dislike how young adult books nowadays kind of use the same storyline. There is a strong female character and some sort of love interest or possibly love triangle. What do you think JC?
JC: I, personally, don’t have much of a problem with lack of originality. I like strong female characters. I like love interests. I . . . don’t like love triangles, but that's beside the point. I think that the reason why people don’t write completely new storylines is because the stuff that everyone else uses is working.
Kalee: It is kind of like those big box office video games. Sorry, JC I’m going into nerdy gamer stuff haha. Companies continue to create games that are very similar: a shooter game with hyper realistic graphics. It is what works, but we don’t seem to be getting anything new out of it.
JC: But seriously, try and name a book with a completely, completely new storyline that you actually liked. Books that are different aren’t good. You said you didn’t like it when the main character dies at the end. But that’s different, isn’t it?
Kalee: At first when I read a popular book where the main character died, it was kind of upsetting. I thought about it later though and read an interview with the author and the reason why she chose to make the decision to kill of the main character. But I think a lack of originality and exposure to books with different plot lines is the problem. There are not enough of them out there and the ones that are not out there don’t get a lot of love. … Sorry JC I kind of starting talking a lot there.
JC: Do you remember my review of Chain Letter? That book was . . . totally different. The love story was different, the ending was different, and the characters were different. But I didn’t like it. Happy endings aren’t an original concept. But I love happy endings, and sad endings are just . . . sad. It’s not like I hate original stories with different plots (Hate List is still my favorite book, and it has a totally different kind of love story), but I don’t mind unoriginal stories, either. I’m trying to be lengthy because Kalee has just spilled some kind of drink and is running around, trying to save her computer, so she can’t respond to me right now. Buuut anywayyy . . . lack of originality doesn’t seem like a huge deal to me. As long as the specifics are different, it’s alright with me. Kalee, you good yet? No? Okay, I’ll keep going . . . ummmm . . . oh, yay, she’s done! And she has a Pop-Tart!
Kalee: I was just thinking (and cleaning up the juice I just dropped). I’m fine with a love interest, but I kind of want one where it’s teased at more. I dislike it how as soon as a male character is introduced everyone is screaming, “Love interest. I ship it like FedEx.” I kind of want it to be introduced in a different way. It’s a little obvious who the love interest is going to be.
JC: Sometimes, if you can’t tell who the love interest is supposed to be, it’s harder to really get into the relationship. Sometimes it works; I loved who Scarlet ended up with in the Archers of Avalon series. But there has to be something special about that character that makes you think that he/she is the only one for the main character. That’s when people get really excited about a book relationship.
Kalee: I know you hate love triangles, but why do you hate them? I like love triangles that are unpredictable.
JC: I hate love triangles because nobody really wins. So say the main character’s name is . . . Kalee. And she’s stuck between two guys: Bob and Sam. So, she likes Bob because he’s nice, but Sam is exciting and dangerous and all that. So she hangs out with Bob, being all flirty and jokey and making him think she likes him, and then whenever she comes across Sam, she’s all wow and you’re so exciting. And then when she goes home at night, she lies in her room and is all conflicted about oh-I-like-Bob-but-Sam-is-soo-dreamy, while Bob is like ohh-Kalee-is-so-sweet-and-amazing, and Sam is like ooh-I-like-Kalee-because-she’s-innocent-or-whatever. And then say she picks Sam (because, let’s face it, the bad boy always wins in books and movies), and Bob is all mopey and sad, while Kalee is all oh-poor-Bob-it’s-all-my-fault-I-hurt-him-blah-blah-blah, and Sam is like ooh-I’m-never-letting-Kalee-talk-to-Bob-again, and he’s completely unaware that Kalee was pretty much stringing them both along with all this flirting before she finally chose him!
Kalee: I do not like being the example in this story. (Now JC went off to lunch… Bye, JC!) But wouldn’t it be cool if there was a story where the main character was not the center of the love triangle? Like if JC (payback) liked this Rick, but Alisa also liked Rick. In the end, Rick would choose JC, because, duh, she’s awesomer than Alisa. Then it would be interesting, but I guess readers read to get transported to another world. They wouldn’t exactly want to feel not as good as so and so while reading a book…
JC: Hey, I’m back from lunch :) and BTW, I hate reading about jealousy. I know that that’s dumb because jealousy is an actual thing . . . but I just think that it’s annoying when a character you like is all you-can’t-have-my-dude. It’s petty, superficial, and just plain pathetic. No offense to all those jealous people out there . . . it’s just that I like it better when the book characters are those hearts-of-gold types of people, even if it’s not exactly realistic.
Kalee: Hmmm... I would like to try to read one of those books though... Readers, any suggestions? What about ... Hmmm... I think the authors now do a good job of creating new worlds for their characters to live in. Sometimes some are better than others, but still... But I think what I want is a character that lives and breathes their life... If that makes sense. I kind of want it to seem like the character can't be taken out of their setting without taking out part of themselves. Like for example, you could probably put any of the strong female characters into another book and they'd do just fine. Most of the characters are just... "strong females."
JC: So you like it when the character is kind of dependent on their setting? Like . . . they use something in their world to their advantage, and they can’t imagine life without it?
Kalee: No, more like that character is the only character that can survive their story, because of their skills or personality. I want there to be something special that you can't take away. Like.... Um... I can't think of an example that doesn't involve anime, haha.
JC: I’m kind of confused . . . because first you said that you want it to seem like the character can’t be taken out of their setting without losing a part of themselves, and then you’re saying that you want it to seem like they thrive in their setting for a certain reason. But just because they have special abilities or skills or traits that help them to survive in their own setting, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be able to use those abilities or skills or whatever to help them survive in another world. So I guess I’m just a little lost . . . haha, sorry.
Kalee: hmmm... What makes one character more adapted to their setting than another? I just want a character to belong to their world... Like you can't have the character without having their world along with it. They have to go together like pieces in a puzzle. Like how Katniss can't be Katniss without living in District 12. If she didn't live in District 12, she wouldn't be the character we see today. But I think if we took Katniss and put her into say ... The mazes in the Maze Runner she would be a different character. I think that's good. But if you put Thomas into the Hunger Games he would be exactly the same, which is bad. Hmm... Like.... Ugh, anime, haha.
JC: Ah. So I get now that you want the setting to kind of shape the character, but I thought you meant that they wouldn’t be able to survive in another world. Like . . . put Katniss in Dauntless, and she’d kick everyone’s butt. She’s definitely strong enough to do it (mentally and probably physically). So I was confused. But I get it now, so everything’s swell. :)
Kalee: I think we are good haha. All pau. Any recommendations for what we should do next?
JC: And what do you guys think about the topics we covered? Any thoughts?

Thanks for reading,
Kalee and JC :)


  1. i kind of agree with you both. when i'm looking for something to read i find a book that i like and go through the "similar to" list so i'm sort of expecting it to be a "thrilling crazed zombie story " or "romance in a dystopian world", etc. i definitely don't expect it to have the same storyline or characters with the same personalities but with a different name. as long as a story gets me involved and takes me to another world or makes me feel something...i like. kapish?

    1. That's a great point! Thanks so much for your input :) Hope to hear more from you about some of the other stuff we talk about!