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Considered a classic of Latinx literature, Cisneros' book is a series of vignettes set on a street in Chicago. Brenna selected this book to complement our regularsode next week, so we tackle the novel's class and feminist themes. Plus: an ode to lyrical, poetry-like texts! Wanna connect with the show? Follow us at our new Twitter handle @HKHSPod or…
 
Who's ready for an abusive relationship? What about "storytelling" as opposed to good writing? Do you like your FX dodgy and your vampires sparkly? The truth is...we didn't like Twilight. But we do try to be fair about how it became a cultural juggernaut and with whom, in addition to dissecting why it is harmful, problematic and filled with bad rep…
 
We felt a responsibility to address the breaking news from the holidays surrounding Trickster and Inconvenient Indian director Michelle Latimer. We also offer some context and include statements from writer Eden Robinson and film director Jeff Barnaby. Wanna connect with the show? Follow us at our new Twitter handle @HKHSPod or use the hashtag #HKH…
 
Saved By The Bell mega-fan Brenna introduces Joe to the wonders of Pacific Palisades as we tackle the very self-aware new version, who is surprisingly smart, class-oriented and progressive. It's also very funny! We also follow-up on our holiday activities. Brenna: Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan Darius the Great Is Not Oka…
 
We're staying gold through the end of 2020 with arguably one of the most significant YA texts in history! This is ultimate "YA for boys" (although it is written by a woman); it's also deeply nostalgic and kinda terrifying. Expect comparisons to our previous discussion on Stephen King's The Body/Stand By Me, talk about whose story this really is and…
 
In the final minisode of 2020, we each selected a news item to capture a trend in YA for the year. Brenna looks at an evidence-based study out of the UK that has found improvements in the percentage of published authors of colour Flood, Allison. "Number of young adult writers of colour doubles to almost 20%" The Guardian. Sept 29, 2020 Joe , meanwh…
 
This week on the pod, we're getting literary with a deep dive into Selvadurai's acclaimed queer coming of age novel (or is it a collection of short stories?) and the long-delayed, highly controversial film adaptation (now available on CBC Gem in Canada and on Netflix in the US). Up for discussion: how the book seamlessly interweaves history and com…
 
We're on the edge of great courtesy ofJulie and the Phantoms, the candy coloured confection of a Netflix trifle that isn't good per se, but is incredibly enjoyable. Up for discussion: the surprisingly heartfelt exploration of grief and music (shocking no one, both of us cried watching!); the very Vancouver production, Brenna's bemusement at Julie's…
 
It's the most wonderful time of the year...for a scavenger hunt across NY city! Brenna and Joe are feeling nostalgia for Big Apple circa Dec 2019 (when the series was filmed), though there's a bit less passion for stars Austin Abrams and Midori Francis, who are well-cast and also mildly aggravating. Plus: we speculate who writes who in the book, ta…
 
Happy 2 years listeners! We're celebrating this milestone with 10 essential texts (ok 11, but who's counting?) that we've covered on the show. Care to wager what makes the list? Plus: Our six least fave texts Our top ten episodes Our "Wish List" of books & comics that we want to see adapted so that we can cover them! Wanna connect with the show? Us…
 
The time has come to cover the fall season's buzziest YA adaptation, in which high school seniors are mysteriously popping! And the verdict is: both texts are fine. Lol. For this episode, we're asking the hard hitting questions: -What happens when a book about friendship becomes a movie about romance? (Bye Tess!) -Why do so many wealthy, successful…
 
Brenna: Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins (Nov. 10) A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey (Nov 10) The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley (Dec 1) Honourable Mentions: Captain Marvel YA Novel by Shannon and Dean Hale (Dec 31) Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Nov 13 - Netflix) The Prom (Dec 11 - Netflix) Joe:…
 
As we head into the last two months of the year, we're in need of some guaranteed enjoyment. Enter The Princess Diaries, wherein 15 year old Mia finds out - and detests - that she's the princess of a fictional European nation called Genovia. Now, we have questions (would the world really be interested in such a small country? Also: why does it have…
 
We're heading to the East Coast of Canada to discuss class, isolation and abortion. The recently released on VOD film is anchored by an amazing performance by Kelly Van der Burg as a small town Newfoundland teen who falls in love with a much older man, Joel Thomas Hynes' Danny Sharpe. Topics include: how appreciative we are that Oates doesn't attem…
 
Just in time for spooky season, we go hunting for bodies in King's novella (or is it a novel?), as well as Rob Reiner's seminal 80s film, which boasts an all-star cast of young male actors (RIP River Phoenix) Up for discussion: the meanness of Castle Rock and the tragic backstories (and future lives) of these protagonists; the purpose of that infam…
 
On the advice of Max (and liberally stealing a page from Joe's friends' podcast - thanks Talk Movie To Me) we're putting the careers of Kevin Williamson and Judy Blume under the microscope to consider how and why they've made an impact in YA. Homework: Brenna: Lucky Penny by Anath Hirsch & Yuko Ota Giant Days by John Allison A History of My Brief B…
 
Someone has finally sunk some money into a new Indigenous YA adaptation and we couldn't be more excited! After attempting to tackle the sprawling, slow burn narrative of Robinson's book (don't call it magical realism), Brenna and Joe discuss why this tale needed to be adapted by an Indigenous creative. Expect lots of gushing praise for break out Jo…
 
After a fortuitous series of social media connections, Meredith Russo joins us for a chat that encompasses a little bit of class politics, a little bit of video gaming and a little bit of punning. In addition to giving us an overview of her career, Meredith tells us about the ways that fiction is always already autobiography, how her work addresses…
 
As requested by listeners, we're kicking off a new season of the pod with a book that combines manic pixie dream people with healthy doses of ableism! Strap yourselves in for a mixed episode from Brenna and a downright hostile episode from Joe, who finds both texts "baffling." Up for discussion: Haley's many blandly titled projects, Niven's confoun…
 
Ready for a 40 year run down of Degrassi? Well Brenna has you covered as she walks Joe through the cultural importance of the series, its evolution across multiple broadcasters (public and private), how it handled sensitive topics in non-patronizing, but still teen-friendly ways and why suddenly we may need to consider a future episode on Road to A…
 
We're finally getting around to a listener request. Poor Kadija requested Holes ages ago, but we're finally ready to tackle the story of poor Stanley Yelnats. Up for discussion: how femininity is used as a weapon, as well as the absence of mothers and maternal figures. We're very impressed at the readability of Sachar's book considering it's basica…
 
Right off the top, we're super excited for Michelle Latimer's Trickster (click for the trailer), an adaptation of Eden Robinson's Son of a Trickster. Brenna: Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, Exonerated Five (Sept 1) Charming as a Verb by Ben Phillipe (Sept 8) Thoughts and Prayers by Bryan Bliss (Sept 29) Honourable mentions: bookstor…
 
After hearing so much about what this book means to fans - particularly young girls - Brenna and Joe are surprised to discover that it has not aged with. Blame the current pandemic, but a story that prioritizes individuality above all else doesn't quite the same way in a society that refuses to even wear a mask for the greater good. There's also th…
 
To celebrate the great Kirsten Dunst/Gabrielle Union showdown of 2000, Joe makes Brenna watch Bring It On ! While some of the racial politics and its approach to queerness haven't aged particularly well, we appreciate the white girls coming in second, a competitive approach to female rivalry and a bounty of sassy dialogue. Faring less well is direc…
 
When we said we wanted more female stories in YA, this isn't *exactly* what we meant. Sadly Gloeckner's autobiographical comic/memoir is a misfire for us from both a storytelling and content perspective. Heller's film is a stronger, more streamlined approach but it features a distractingly beautiful Alexander Skarsgård in what is meant to be a frum…
 
After bringing this bizarre oddity to our attention, we invite returning guest Lucia Lorenzi to chat with us about just what creators Keetgi Kogan and David H. Steinberg are trying to do with the series (spoiler: they think they're making ground breaking television). Nothing about this makes sense, and yet the series is compulsively watchable thank…
 
Perhaps the second time is the charm? After a *not great* experience with Yoon's first book Everything, Everything (see previous episode), Brenna and Joe tackle her most recent text, which balances a timely discussion and racism, immigration and deportation with a falling-in-love-in-one-day perfect date. Brenna is much more in favour of the book, e…
 
In addition to checking out the New YA film, which apparently has no idea how universities work, Brenna forgets our most covered actress Theresa Palmer, but did read a German poem (all 14 stanzas). In other news, we address some more reader mail, address our plans to include an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement (coming in two weeks) and review some h…
 
Are you a Claudia, a Kristy, a Mary Anne, a Stacey, or a Dawn? Brenna certainly has her dream answer (and her reality) as we nostalgically revisit one of the most enduring YA series of the 90s. As a novice to the series, Brenna walks Joe through the format of each book, why these characters played such a significant role in her life and why Logan i…
 
Thanks to Covid, the typically hopping summer book release schedule has shifted to September, but we've still come up with some great picks to occupy your time. After some feedback on racial stereotypes in Never Have I Ever, we tackle Indigenous and lesbian book recommendations: Indigenous: Rhymes for Young Ghouls (dir: Jeff Barnaby, 2013) #NotYour…
 
In a freewheeling discussion that can't help but address J.K. Rowling's recent transphobic comments, we also tackle the need for critical fandom, as well as Chamber of Secrets’ fat phobia and obsession with blood purity. Also on the table: Why Gilderoy Lockhart is an obvious villain in the Rowling tradition and speculation about his real reason for…
 
Brenna and Joe - with special returning guest star Terry Mesnard (of Gayly Dreadful) - check out the first season of Disney+...er...Hulu's Love, Victor. We're primarily discussing the first five episodes (with helpful hints from Brenna, who watched the whole series) which follows new transfer student Victor (cutie Michael Cimino) who immediately fa…
 
Oh for the love of Judi Dench, what is going on here?! Brenna and Joe tackle the character-lite, action-heavy world of villainous child genius Artemis Fowl as he kidnaps, blackmails and holds for ransom the Fairies. It's a tale as old as time...but one we struggle to connect to. Of course, our *shrug* for the book pales in comparison to the WOOF of…
 
At the behest of critics (and a few listeners), we dive into Never Have I Ever, which has a great lead performance by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as a grief-stricken teen who directs her energy into becoming popular and having sex. We discuss the cultural comedy, the show's nuanced treatment of female agency, and debate the mother/daughter relationship. …
 
We're so ready to discuss the most flattering pair of shared jeans you've ever owned! After a few weeks in the arena, a gentle realist YA is just what we need, so let's dive into the shared adventures of Lena, Tibby, Carmen and Bee. Up for discussion: Joe's flip flop appreciation for two stories in the book and the other two in the film, the antiqu…
 
For a second week in row, Brenna and Joe dive into The Hunger Games, but this time we're venturing back to its 10th iteration, when Coriolanus Snow was but a mere 18 years ago. Little did he know he was about to create literally Every.Single.Component that defines the Games 64 years later! We joke because we're tired. Reading this 528 page tome in …
 
Prepare your fire retardant costumes and choose your allies carefully because we are headed back into the dystopian wilds of The Hunger Games. For our second episode on a podcast namesake, we break out the big topics: Why is the love triangle so exhausting? Logistical questions about the need to return to the arena Peeta (once again) getting short …
 
While Joe refuses to read a Victorian-era play, he's more than happy to watch film adaptations of them! This week we're checking out a plethora of YA tropes: the collaboration between suitors in an impersonation ruse, a "tricky kiss" and an epistolary romance. On one side of the ring is Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, one of our few remaining Noah Centi…
 
No one is more surprised than us to discover that the escapism we need and want could be found in the tale of three teenage girls from different backgrounds who meet at Shoplifters Anonymous. But here we are! Brenna and Joe find the novel, filled with as many innovations as it has YA tropes, is an absolute delight. Alas the TV show, which has been …
 
It's time for another YA Forecast as we run down our top picks for May & June 2020. First up we discuss homework: Brenna lauds Tiffany D Jackson's fall release, Grown, as well as Nic Sheff's Tweak, while Joe praises Liz Lawson's The Lucky Ones. Then it's time for our interview with former The Hunger Games guest, Alex Heeney. She stops by to discuss…
 
Grab your magical item and prepare for a road trip across America because Brenna and Joe are embarking on a quest fit for a (Demi) God as we dive into Rick Riordan's 2005 YA franchise starter, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as well as Chris Columbus' 2010 adaptation of the same name. We discuss how the genesis of Riordan's epic…
 
Now we're talking! After a provocative minisode, listeners reached out to share their thoughts and stories on Sex in YA. Clearly it's a topic that resonated because we got a wide variety of fascinating insights! In homework: Brenna highlights Julie Murphy's Faith: Taking Flight (due in July) while Joe circles back to Catherine Linka's What I Want Y…
 
DUFFs unite! Brenna and Joe are diving back into YA written by teenagers and it's another rocky property as we struggle with Kody Keplinger's 2011 book, The DUFF, as well as its 2015 film adaptation by feature novices Ari Sandel (director) and Josh A. Cagan (screenwriter). Part of the problem? That title! Despite the book's best attempts to reduce …
 
Under threat of duress, Joe manages to wrangle Brenna into recording a minisode and, given the current state of the world, what better subject to tackle than S-E-X in young adult literature. Prompted by Joe's polarizing reactions to books that are graphic (Lev AC Rosen's Jack Of Hearts), pre-occupied (Camryn Garrett's Full Disclosure) or tepid "fad…
 
Brenna and Joe are joined by Terry Mesnard to discuss Charles Forsman's stark and nihilistic 2017 comic I Am Not Okay With This and Jonathan Entwistle's 2020 Netflix adaptation, starring Sophia Lillis. Up for discussion: Forsman's depiction of young women, why the bleak ending is unearned and one thing the comic actually does well (if we're being c…
 
Brenna and Joe check out a new Netflix YA series, The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia, using its under-the-radar status to pose some questions about Netflix's changing priorities and the relevancy of its algorithms. Broad discussion: how Netflix Originals have altered the streamer's original niche programming angle (the "made for Brenna" channe…
 
Ugh. Brenna and Joe jump back into sick lit for Jesse Andrews' atrocious 2012 novel Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and its (better) 2015 Sundance award winning film adaptation by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, starring Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke and a stunt cast of adults. We dedicate A LOT of time up front addressing our issues with the book, which…
 
With so little precious podcast time to spare, Brenna and Joe are scaling back the forecasts. Presented for your enjoyment is a double dose for March and April, along with two important pieces of correspondence about our recent episode on Sex Education, which demanded we dig in (and problematize) both our reactions and word choice a little more dee…
 
In a Uni miracle, Brenna and Joe are joined by their YA Lit classmate and bestie Jen Crocker to discuss Jenny Han's super cute 2015 realist romance sequel, PS I Still Love You and its (awkwardly titled) 2020 Netflix film, which reunites Lana Condor and Noah Centineo and introduces Jordan Fisher as fan favourite John Ambrose McClaren. The changes be…
 
Minisode or regularsode? You be the judge as Brenna and Joe check back in on the British Netflix series Sex Education, which released its second season back in January. How does the series avoid traditional (read: North American) depictions of trauma and abuse? How are new (potentially tokenistic) characters introduced? What aspect does Brenna thin…
 
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