Memes are no longer just silly videos you send to your friends—or images your great Aunt Gladys posts all over Facebook—internet culture has officially taken over the mainstream with PR firms, advertising, and marketing professionals using them as forms of viral marketing and some even claiming that political memes are a new form of propaganda. It only makes sense that the next world for memes to conquer is literature. #Famous is a brand new young adult novel by Jilly Gagnon about a girl who has a crush on a boy, so she takes a photo of him without his knowledge and posts it online. To her surprise, the photo of the boy goes viral and he becomes internet famous. If that sounds familiar, it may be because of a little thing called #AlexFromTarget, the real-life inspiration behind the book. A teen named Alex got #famous after a girl who thought he was cute tweeted a photo of him. Long story short, the picture spread like wildfire and the kid ended up The Ellen show!
If #AlexFromTarget‘s story could inspire a book, what other memes could stand to be novelized? Here’s a list of possibilities:
1. Evil Kermit
Kermit McLear is a teen boy with an unfortunate name. Called “Kermit” because of his mother’s love for Muppets Take Manhattan, he’s had to live his whole life being mocked for being named after a puppet. Growing up, he was constantly isolated, his only real friend being an old Kermit stuffed doll his mom gave to him when he was a baby—however it’s not just a friend, Kermit acts as the personification of his conscience. Or should I say the personification of the “devil-on-his-shoulder” part of the conscience? It’s not Kermit that’s doing bad things, it’s Kermit… but how can he explain that to his family, his teachers and, eventually, the proper authorities?
Arthur is a rebel, a lone wolf, attending a boarding school where pack mentalities are dominant, and everyone is forced to wear a markedly un-chic uniform of yellow sweaters and blue pants (or skirts). All of his peers follow closely to the rules their authority figures set before them, no matter how insane or downright crazy they may seem. Arthur doesn’t understand why no one asks any questions or challenges authority, so he sets out to take matters into his own hand—er, fist. He’s not going to sit by quietly, he’s going to fight back for himself and all of his peers.
3. Pizza Rat
Ricky is a little rat with big dreams. Tired of living under the subway tracks with his family, he sets his sights on exploring all that the Big Apple has to offer, in an attempt to achieve his dream. But how can one of the most maligned creatures in New York City survive and make his mark on Broadway? Join Ricky during his harrowing, but rewarding journey, taking it one day—and one delicious NYC-pizza slice—at a time.
Lee has spent his young life training to become the ultimate warrior in his land. But no matter how hard he trains, he never can beat his number one competitor—his father, Lee, Sr. For over thirty years no one has been able to take Lee, Sr.’s title from him, not even his own flesh and blood. But a new competitor has entered the ring and he’s willing to take on both members of the family, no matter what that may entail. For once Lee, Sr., may be ousted from his warrior title, unless he and his son can finally team up and take on this evil nemesis together.
5. Ken Bone
Amanda’s life was pretty average—some might even say boring. She lived in a typical suburban house in a small town. Her mother was a teacher and her father worked at a power plant. Amanda wants nothing more than to be noticed, but popularity always eluded the quiet teen. Then, one day, attention came right to her doorstep, but not for her. After accidentally gaining fame at a major, televised political debate, her father is the new hero of the internet. Amanda now has to navigate her dad’s unexpected popularity while still trying to find her own place in high school.
A group of high school friends stumbled into a mysterious new shop in their town. While there, the esoteric shop owner offers the teens a chance to try a new sports drink that promises to boost their energy, increase their speed and maintain their stamina. They all refuse except for one of their friends, Mark, who tries it and… nothing happens. The teens leave the shop with Mark feeling a little weird and the rest of them feeling a whole lot creeped out. While walking through town, Mark notices that something within him is changing, but he can’t figure out what. When he notices a baby’s stroller escape from its owner and roll into the busy street he leaps into action—but instead of just running to stop the carriage, he freezes everyone around him in time. How will Mark harness these newfound powers? Will he continue to use them for good or will he use them for his own benefit?
Harambe is the story of an ape with a heart of gold who forms and unlikely bond with a young boy. How will anyone understand that a fearsome, protective animal and a small, fragile child can be friends? Spoiler alert: This version of the tale has a happy ending.
8. Damn Daniel
Daniel is a teen heartthrob who gets constant attention and acclaim for his dashing good looks and impeccable sense of style. Ever humble, Daniel takes his praise in stride, but he would really rather people get to know the real him: a charitable young man who spends his weekends in soup kitchens and does all that he can to help provide for his family. Everything seems to be pretty perfect in Daniel’s life except for his one deep, dark secret. A family member he’d rather not talk about.
The sequel to Damn Daniel, this is a story about a troubled young woman named Danielle—the twin sister of the affable ne’er-do-well Daniel. While Daniel is a model citizen, Danielle is his total opposite—constantly at odds with her mom and in trouble with the law. In addition to her own problems, she has to constantly live in the shadow of her well-liked twin brother. Her mother tries to curb her actions by bringing to her a TV doctor for help, but that only makes her famous. Danielle desperately wants to be better and fix up her life, but she has to keep up the character associated with her if she wants to remain famous and keep her family stable thanks to their new influx of cash.
Julie has spent her entire life dreaming of becoming a famous actress. Over time, she realized that acting wasn’t her passion, directing was. Her directorial debut garnered success even she didn’t think was possible, landing her movie the coveted nomination for Best Picture of the Year at the Academy Awards. She had no expectations of winning, as she was up against movies who had won tons of awards before hers. When the winner was announced as the chosen favorite of the night, Julie was sad but a bit relieved, she wasn’t sure she could handle the success that the honor would bring. However, in a twist of fate the wrong movie was announced—Julie’s movie was the real winner! Julie has to deal with her newfound fame, while also being overshadowed by the night’s guffaw. Will she be able to handle the pressure?
What popular meme would you like to see re-imagined as a novel?
YouTube Channel: Epic Reads
Featured image via YA Highway