Friday, June 26, 2015

I Swear...

Friday, June 26, 2015 with 17 comments
I curse like a sailor. What? It's fun! I mean, I tone it down considerably when I'm around the little one, but when she's not around, all bets are off. I'm all "F@$% this!" and "You've got to be sh!tting me" that. I also like to combine obscenities to make up new ones. But you'll never catch me making up cuss words to sugar-coat what I mean. I feel like the intention is there no matter what, that the same connotation is implied, so what's the point?

April and I posted about cursing in reviews and a little about the use of fake swear words in YA novels awhile back, but I don't actually think I've come across the made-up cuss word in a good while. But I'm reading Illuminae right now, co-written by the amazing Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and in this brick of a novel, they've employed the most ingenious way to get around using profanities while still having the intended affect. No "frex" or "shucking" or "bleeps" here.

This novel, which is told through a series of reports, emails, IM chats, data logs, etc., is prefaced with a letter explaining what follows (shown to the left). At the very bottom, it mentions the fact that the documents in the report are censored and then makes light of the fact. I didn't really think anything of it when I first read it, but all throughout the book, anytime a profanity is used, a black censor bar appears over the text. It's not hard to guess the word beneath in most instances, and the fact that the word is blocked from the text at all is kind of ridiculous, considering the circumstances and what other information the documents include.

You can see an example of a very censored conversation between one of the main characters and his companion aboard the Alexander. This IM chat is profanity-laden and one of the funnier exchanges witnessed in the book because of it. Striking out the obscenities does nothing to hinder what the characters are trying to express, but it also doesn't make it seem as juvenile as using less vulgar language by way of invented curse words.

I also love that the "censorship" of the documents, of the book itself, is fitting for the type of story this is. Like in Kaufman's other collaboration with Meagan Spooner, this is a sci-fi full of conspiracy and cover-up, and the omission of the derogatory words only serves to further that purpose.

I am a huge fan of epistolary novels, and I think the use of so much other media to tell this story just adds to the intrigue. Especially when all of the mixed media contains those little black bars. There is a ton of sh!t going down in this book, and yeah, the subjects of this investigation, or whatever, are dropping F-bombs left and right. I don't think I'd be any less inclined to do so were I in the same situation. Also...the main characters in this novel are recently broken up and they have a lot to hash out.  ;-)

Whoa, I really went off on a tangent with that, but basically, I love everything about this novel and I wanted to share that with you. Especially the "censorship" bit, though, because seriously, getting around the use of profanity in this manner is sheer genius. And in case you were wondering, THIS is the book I've been blathering on and on about. And the one you're likely to see me blathering about for months to come:

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, book #1
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015

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This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
I'm a huge fan of Amie's collaboration with Meagan Spooner on the Starbound series, but I've read nothing of Jay Kristoff's yet. I was hoping to remedy that before this book released, but that's neither here nor there, since I started reading Illuminae the second the ARC was in my hands. Also, I've heard nothing but amazing things about Kristoff's own series. Must. Make. Priority.

Guys, put simply, you need this book in your life. I don't think I've ever read a book like this, that struck me in such a way. I'll review the book in full closer to release, but I just wanted you guys to know that this book should be on your radar if it isn't already. TBR. Yours. Put it on there.


  1. I can't waaaaait to read this. IT SOUNDS SO INCREDIBLE. I read a Jay Kristoff book in preparation but, erm, I didn't like it. I think it was too hardcore fantasy for me, and I read too fast and missed too much? (I need it on audio!!) Buuut, anyway. I need Illumanae like I need air basically. xD
    I feel like this is a clever way to go about censorship! Using the "fecks" and all that usually frustrates me. If you're going to swear: swear. I'm full of GAWSH and DANGIT and things because I just want to keep, eh? Inoffensive on the internet? But I kind of feel stupid for doing it a lot. XD heheh.

  2. Haha, LOVE this post! And I do enjoy cursing. (But I filter a lot in real life, so social media gets the brunt of it). I also don't really care for made-up swear words in books, especially if they sound ridiculous or are just plain annoying to read. I'm happy to hear that Illuminae isn't like that! I cannot wait to read this book, and all of these positive thoughts on it are making me want to start it NOW. I can't yet, BUT SOONISH FOR SURE.

  3. This book looks amazing and the hype is totally getting to me! Can't wait til it's published and I can get my hands on it! Meanwhile, I'll prep myself by reading the authors' previous books.

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