Top Ten Tuesday: Characters who make me rage

TTT_HEADER

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week.

This week’s pick was a fill in the blank, so Anne and I decided to write about our top characters who make us rage. Oh, let me count the ways…

TTT_ASHLEY

1. Nils Bjurman from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth-Salander-Nils-Bjurman-the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-12946014-2560-1529
I don’t think I really need to elaborate on this one. Nils, you got what you deserved.

2. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby


Let me preface this by saying I’m not a fan of The Great Gatsby. I think Daisy Buchanan is a deplorable character who only thinks of her own well-being. Daisy rebuffs Jay when she learns of his nonexistent financial means, and then marries the next rich guy that comes along. Only once she discovers Gatsby is loaded does she become interested. Even after Gatsby proves there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her (aka take the blame for killing Myrtle) she still runs off with Tom. Sure, Gatsby might be a bit delusional as well, but I still feel sorry for the guy. Daisy Buchanan, you are just a common gold-digger.

3. Bella Swan from Twilight


Bella is such a weak character, blinded by her obsessive love with Edward. Some might say she’s selfless, but I don’t buy it. I think Edward and Bella have a textbook abusive relationship. They might think they love each other, but Bella is constantly getting hurt (both physically or emotionally), but like a dog returns to its vomit, in Bella’s eyes, Edward can do no wrong. Okay. Maybe my rage is more aimed at K-Stew’s horrible performance, but still, Bella you need to talk to a therapist. I know there are similar fated couples in YA, but for some reason they don’t bother me as much. Ugh!

4. King Henry VIII from The Other Boleyn Girl


I think we can all agree King Henry VIII wins the award for biggest douche bag. I mean, the guy condemns Anne to die simply because he has the hots for some other woman and she can’t produce an heir. He doesn’t stop there, oh no. Not only does he start an entirely new religion because the Pope won’t grant his annulment, but also murders two of his wives: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. You might even say Henry is wifesbane. They even made up a little nursery rhyme to keep all his nuptial bliss straight:

King Henry the Eighth,
to six wives he was wedded.
One died, one survived,
two divorced, two beheaded.

5. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl


I’m ashamed that I have so many women on this list, but there are a lot of crazy female literary characters. Amy Dunne, you girl are the craziest of them all. I won’t go into too much detail, because it’ll ruin the book if you haven’t read it. Just trust me, Amy is certifiable.

TTT_ANNE

Since Ashley threw some serious heat on female characters, I am going to refrain from adding further fuel to the fire. I can think of plenty of female characters that made me mad, but I’d rather keep this fair and talk about male characters that deserve my scorn. And, my picks are apparently less cool because I don’t have any images to surface for them. Conjure these characters’ faces in your own mind!

6. Jacob from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Yes, this selfish, spoiled rich child pissed me off. I just read this book, and don’t think I will do a full review on it because I skimmed the second half. One of Jacob’s first actions we see is trying to get fired from his job at one of the grocery stores his family owns by being a dick and knocking over a display he made incorrectly on purpose, product spilling all over the floor. He admits he doesn’t want to work there and will do anything he can to get fired. And I am supposed to like you why? He also doesn’t have any friends, or he had one friend and then he makes a crass joke and that friendship is over. I was just so aggravated listening to him.

7. Mal from Shadow and Bone
I had a serious bone to pick (harhar) with this story’s blatant focus on beauty. And one of the things that really made me seethe was the MC’s supposed love interest Mal. Alina is just his friend until she is gone, and then he realizes she was important to him. And then he gets there, when she is much better looking, and throws this gem at her:

I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.

Yes, conveniently you see her now that she is a hottie. Go eff off now Mal. I know that this opinion will not be popular, but meh. I do not ship them. (My review is here.)

8. Denny from Art of Racing in the Rain
I don’t take kindly to animal abusers. This produced a lot of rage in me, which you can see in glorious rant form here. I don’t want to talk more about this or I will go off.

9. Christian Grey from 50 Shades of Grey
I hope he appears on every rage list. The penultimate abusive partner, and I don’t mean the kinky sex. His abuse lies outside the bedroom, in a way that isn’t rationalized by BDSM. This guy is a tool. And, he selects his partners so that they look like his mother. That’s just… eww. Why women enjoyed him and raved about him, I’ll never know.

10. Simon Wolfgard from Written in Red
I hated this book. We did not get along and it is because of two things. 1) the MC is a Mary Sue, and 2) Simon Wolfgard is an awful character. Oh, its all about being the alpha, you might say. Alpha dog doesn’t mean you are the biggest asshole all the time. It means you are the leader. There was no need for all of his rudeness to the MC. (And another rage-filled review here.)

BONUS! This little screen cap just shows how much fun Ashley and I have co-blogging. I don’t know why, but I thought it would be cool to show the method to our madness, a lot of which revolves around Skype chat. So, that in mind, don’t judge our typos.

book chat

Do you agree with our picks? Which characters make you rage?

Monday Movie Magic: These Broken Stars

kushiel's dart movie casting

I just reviewed These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and I was ecstatic to learn it’s been optioned for a television series. Given this is for a televisions series as opposed to film, I’m acknowledging my picks probably fall in the “never gonna happen” category. Regardless, if any of these actors were interested, I think they’d more than live up to my expectations. Also, apparently I’ve decided to go with an all-English cast. Works for me!

TBS

1. Jason Isaacs as Mr. LaRoux

Sorry, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what his actual name was. However, Isaacs just has a reputation for playing horrible and cruel characters. He’s probably the nicest guy in real life, but he sure knows how to play a scary, sadistic character. While Mr. LaRoux isn’t overly present in the novel and is primarily shown through Lilac’s memories, it’s clear he comes across as a menacing and controlling character. Isaacs has proven time and time again he can play mean without breaking a sweat. I think he’d be a shoe-in for this role.

2. Bonnie Wright as Lilac

I have conflicting emotions over Wright. While I wasn’t blown away by her portrayal as Ginnie in the Harry Potter films, I don’t think she was given the opportunity to shine. Now that she’s been separated from the series, I’m quite intrigued to see her in a new role. Obviously she has Lilac’s looks; I mean, that picture is gorgeous!

3. Jeremy Irvine as Tarver

I first saw Irvine in War Horse and I completely forgot about him. However, I recently saw The Railway Man and I was very impressed by his performance. Irvine definitely made me think twice about him. He looks a little rough around the edges, which Tarver is, and I honestly think Wright and Irvine would have great chemistry together.

And that concludes this week’s Monday Movie Magic. I haven’t heard any rumors about the cast as of yet, but here’s hoping the show is a success!

What do you think of my picks? Do you agree?

a character polygamist_lc

Stay-in-Bed Sampler: Office transformations: Part one

SIBS_HEADER

I recently transformed an unused spare bedroom into my own personal sanctuary. It’s my very own grown-up office space and I LOVE it! A few things you should know about me: 1) I am obsessed with the color turquoise 2) I live for vintage Parisian decor and 3) my photography is still a work in progress. I hope you enjoy my office transformation!

Before

beige
I’m really embarrassed to show this picture, but it’s a necessary evil in order to show the complete transformation. This room was used to house my leftover college junk, and I couldn’t take the clutter and mess anymore. So, I took a day off from work and purged it. Most of it went to Goodwill, but I organized and stored the remainder. It felt good!

After

full turn

Here’s a full 360 view of my room. I think it turned out pretty well!

DIY Madness

turquoise delight

I went a little Pinterest crazy and decided I could make my own push pin board.
I found a unique frame, spray painted it black and found the perfect toile pattern to match my office theme. And a few blood, sweat and tears later I had a complete board!
Another project was finding the right lighting fixture. I originally wanted a chandelier, but soon realized they are crazy expensive or way too big for a bedroom.
I couldn’t quite find my happy medium, but thanks to a certain someone at Southern Lights, I found the perfect modern chandelier for my office!
Thanks, Dad, for installing the light!

T2bookcase

Here’s another success DIY project. I purchased this bookshelf at Nadeau and it was an ugly salmon color. I painted this black and attached damask wallpaper to run down the back of the shelf. It was a lot of work, but I think it really turned out! I’m proudly displaying more of my antique sale finds and the Penguin Classic Hardcover Jane Austen complete series!

Eye Candy

wall hangings

I’m proud (and somewhat embarrassed) to display my peacock I painted at a Wine & Canvas night with Anne. I keep changing his name, but for now I’m calling him Herbie. No matter how hard I tried to capture my gorgeous curtains in full, the lighting just wasn’t working with me. So, here’s a snapshot of the fun rod (notice the diamond at the end) and part of my modern fleur de lis pattern. The last picture is an original work of art by my boyfriend, Tim. I believe this was done using different kinds of art pens and watercolors. Surprisingly, this matches perfectly with my room!

Accessories

silver wall

Some trinkets I picked up at occasional and antique sales. Apparently I’ve grown quite fond of birds.

THANK YOU to my Mom, Dad, Anne, and Tim for helping me complete my office transformation! I spent countless hours trolling Pinterest for ideas, picking treasures at antique sales and, oh yeah, cleaning, painting and assembling my furniture. In some way, shape or form you all helped and my room wouldn’t be where it is without your efforts. Thanks! If I don’t say so myself, I think it’s absolutely beautiful and can’t wait to see how it keeps evolving! Thanks again, and I hope you enjoyed the reveal!

Literary news:

Since my transformation post was so long, I’ll only leave you with a few fun literary links.

  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner has been optioned for a television series. Cast, release date and network are still TBD. I for one can’t wait to see this!
  • I just recently discovered that Stieg Larsson was working on a fourth novel in the “Dragon” series. It was just announced the Swedish publishers have hired a new author, David Lagercrantz, to write the fourth installment. To me, it felt like the series was complete with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, but maybe in Larsson’s eyes, Lisbeth had more ass-kicking to do. My only request for Lagercrantz, please don’t name your characters with similar sounding names and try to avoid having all your excursions happen in S–towns.
  • The more news I hear about J.K. Rowling lately makes me roll my eyes. We all know she wrote a fantastic series, but I had to pronounce The Casual Vacancy a DNF. Apparently Rowling is writing another novel under a different pseudonym. Is it really worth it at this point? Why keep announcing it?

So, there you have it! I consider my office a work in progress, but it’s nice to have a dedicated space where I can escape and write. Have you gone through an office transformation? What would you have in your dream office? Next week Anne will be showcasing her office transformation. Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

a character polygamist_lc

Review: These Broken Stars

I’ll admit I was first drawn to this book by its cover. I mean, a girl with red hair floating in space in a gorgeous green dress, who wouldn’t be intrigued? I’m excited to announce that not only did this live up to my book cover first impression but also surpassed it by a mile! These Broken Stars  by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is unique in several ways. Firstly, it’s co-authored! How cool is that? And what’s better – it works! I honestly couldn’t tell you where one author’s work ends and the other begins. I have no idea how they did it, but keep it up! Secondly, the narrator changes each chapter, so you have equal insight into Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen’s thoughts. Yay! Thirdly, the story primarily involves only these two characters almost the entire time. No, really, it’s not a bad thing.

If you couldn’t already tell by the cover, TBS is a YA sci-fi novel set some years in the future. Colonists have discovered other inhabitable planets and the galactical industry giant, LaRoux Industries has produced technology to help the colonization process (e.g. oxygenating the atmosphere, enhancing the rate of vegetation growth and establishing scientific research labs). Some reviewers have likened this story to the galactic version of Titanic, but I guess I never really saw this correlation while reading. Sure there are similarities, the ship crashes and there’s a love story, but the plot is significantly different (possible discovery of new life form and other paranormal anomalies).

“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.

Until all that’s left is us”

The story begins with Tarver’s perspective (rightly so). He presents this new world to the reader with a level-head and surprising wisdom for someone so young. At only 18, Tarver is a war hero. However, the details regarding his bravery and courage are somewhat vague and never fully explained. Major Merendsen is an honored guest aboard the Icarus, doing his war hero victory tour. At first impression, one might write his character off as the typical masculine meat-head, but you’d be wrong. Tarver is a wonderfully complex character capable of passionate emotions. You’d think most war heroes would be cocky and welcome the spotlight, but Tarver is a reluctant poster boy. Tarver’s older brother was killed in action, which prompted his desire to join in order to honor his brother. However, being a war hero further separates Tarver from his grieving family. Coming from a poor family on a remote planet, Tarver is literally from the wrong side of the stars. Tarver reveals his mother is a well-recognized poet and his father is a humble school teacher. We learn he shares his mother’s appreciation of poetry and literature. This might seem quaint or trivial, but I really liked that he kept a journal. It shows his depth as a character and how intelligent he really is.

Lilac is the heiress to the LaRoux Industries empire. She is literally the wealthiest person in the galaxy. Upon first impression you want to roll your eyes, hard, at Lilac. She appears to be the vapid, spoiled daddy’s girl we all love to hate. However, this is where Kaufman and Spooner shine as authors. They are excellent at crafting characters and continue to develop them throughout the story. For the richest girl in the galaxy you’d think there’s not much Lilac can want. Well, that’s not the case. Even though Lilac is surrounded by a herd of friends, bodyguards and social climbers, she doesn’t really have a real relationship with anyone. Her father is pretty intense and sadistic. No man is good enough to be with his daughter and he makes would be suitors disappear for looking at Lilac wrong. I’ll admit, I didn’t really have much sympathy or respect for Lilac during the first third of the novel. It wasn’t until the crash did she reveal a hidden layer of herself. Lilac is somewhat of an amateur electrician/communications specialist. Lilac’s technological know how spares their escape pod from crashing with the rest of the ship, ultimately saving their lives. I love this about her! While she might not know anything about survival, she’s doesn’t turn into the typical worthless damsel in distress. True, there are a few damsel in distress moments, but Lilac can hold her own.

I really appreciated the fact that there was no insta love between Lilac and Tarver. Their relationship does go through the ringer: attraction, rejection, repulsion, trust, friendship and eventually love. Given they are the sole survivors on a foreign planet, I think they go through the appropriate struggles in their relationship before we see the fireworks. The progression felt natural and believable. And Kaufman and Spooner aren’t afraid to show some sex. If I was in a life threatening situation and I felt like I would die at weeks end, you bet I’d be seeking some pleasure. But just like everything with their relationship, the physical aspect isn’t rushed.

“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”

Even though Lilac and Tarver are the only characters for 80% of the novel, I wasn’t bothered by this at all. Some reviewers have criticized this decision, but there’s plenty of action and plot development to eradicate any doubts. Also, switching narrators every chapter breaks up any stagnant plot points and constantly increases the reader’s worldview. What I found really interesting about the story was after each chapter there was a continuous interrogation happening. I’ve never seen a similar literary device in young adult, and I felt like it really added to the sci-fi/paranormal storyline. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m not going to speak about the paranormal aspects of the novel. However, it’s definitely unique!

In conclusion, I was delightfully surprised by These Broken Stars and give major props to the authors for a successful co-authored novel. The writing is brilliant, the characters are well developed and the storyline is unique and pure pleasure to read. I can’t wait to continue the “Starbound” series!

4

Would I read it again: Yes!
Will I read the next book: Absolutely!

a character polygamist_lc

 

Lit Lover Logic: Books as a reward

lit lover logicSo I’ve done it. I figured out a way to get my husband on board with me buying physical books. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but he has this kind of prejudice against hard copies.  He does not read, so he doesn’t really get it, but on the other hand, he doesn’t care if I buy e-books. That is actually preferred since it is typically cheaper.

So far, my method for getting my hands on a book is to check the library, and if it isn’t there, I try to wait it out until it is available or is for sale via Kindle on Amazon. I’ve started getting books from Netgalley and Edelweiss now, but that aside, I’ve never been one to really buy physical books. But I have always wanted pretty lined shelves.

Like I said before, I have discovered a way to get my books without the guilt-sneak-it-into-the-house purchase thing (I don’t want to be that person). I am using books as a reward for exercise.

That might sound lame, and oh it is, but I think it will work. I need to get my buns in gear and start getting fit again. Let’s just say the end of my college years were not kind to me (hello, beer. I like you now), and I never really bounced back.

So how will my mad plan work? I proposed that if I clocked four workouts at the gym per week, that I could buy a physical book. Some of you may be all psshhh, I do seven workouts a week, but I literally do one every three weeks, so motivation is huge for me. I just don’t enjoy going (I think others can sympathize with that) because I can think of a million other things I want to do (writing, reading, blogging). AND, I cannot read while on the elliptical or treadmill, too much movement makes it impossible. I’ve tried in vain many times because I am so jealous of people who can multitask like that.

The books are the little carrot in front of my nose that will get me in gear. I mean, if I stick to it,  I get four shiny books a month, in addition to becoming healthier. Four books?! I haven’t bought an actual book for myself in a loooong time (and the last time I did it was a writing guide, which is not the same).

I’m really pumped to challenge myself. Tonight I already made plans to do a spin class with a good friend who excels at regularly working out. Eek, I don’t know what I’m in for. Wish me luck!

book reviews by anne engelhart

So many questions I have for you! Do you buy books regularly? Can you read while working out? Do you use books as a reward for anything? Let me know what you think of my crazy endeavor!

Review: Burn Out and coining a new literary trope

Burn Out by Kristi Helvig review I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. In no way did I receive compensation for my review.

So, Burn Out. I had conflicting feelings for this YA scifi/thriller from Kristi Helvig. The first in a planned series, Burn Out is also Helvig’s debut book and came out on April 8. It has action, it has pseudo-science, and predominantly, it has a horny teenage protagonist at its core. While reading this I thought we’d get an installment of insta-love, and though that wasn’t exactly the case, there was instant sizzle-can’t-keep-our-hands-away-from-each-other attraction.  Despite the constant danger and treachery, our MC cannot focus because a boy looks so appealing. I’ve coined a new term to reflect this:

Distrattraction: noun \di-ˈstrə-ˈtrak-shən\
When a character(s) is so caught up in the physical and immediate appearance of another character that he/she is unable to use common sense while making decisions or trying to survive.

Example of Distrattraction in a sentence:
Tora should have watched out for herself while amongst a group of strangers who previously tried to kill her, but severe distrattraction was brought on by James’ fine abs.

Tora is Burn Out’s heroine, she is possibly the last girl on a dying Earth. The sun has been creeping closer and closer to the planet, drying everything out and burning anyone who steps foot on the surface without a special suit. Tora lives underground on a strictly reduced water supply, recycling her pee to stay alive (yes, seriously). Her father, before his death, invented a large quantity of weapons that work only when Tora touches them. Tora is given the opportunity to leave the planet by a gun-dealer named Markus, but she refuses due to principle, because these guns are really powerful and she does not want them to end up in the wrong hands. So, surprise surprise, Markus comes back with a gun-toting entourage that means to take Tora’s stash, with or without her. What follows is a confusing, but action-packed sequence of events on a dead planet.

I have to say right away that I gave this book a three, as in it was just okay. Partially because it amused me in one of those bad ways (eye-rolling commenced), but also because it was a super quick read. Honestly, you could never make a movie out of this book, because all it really amounts to is enough action for a TV episode. And a pilot at that, where the actors are not really filling in their characters fully. But it didn’t feel like a complete waste of my time. I enjoyed it despite myself.

I read in an interview that the author did do research for this book, and not just with Google. She actually worked with researchers on her story. Kudos for her, but I am not convinced the science all makes sense. Maybe it had something to do with the narrator being completely useless about how it worked:

“The space drive technology, something to do with the eleventh dimension, M-theory, and other crap I didn’t understand, could bend the space-time continuum.”

Riiight, that aside, I liked Tora up until she meets James, one of the rag-tag shooting buddies of Markus that has a deeper side. We are then also introduced to Britta, the only other female in this novel, who Tora completely hates and singles out as the worst. She gives her nicknames like, “Britta the bitch” and “Britta the twit,” yet has no ill words for the men who also shot at her. This senseless girl-hate determined that I would not be able to sympathize with Tora.

I believe a lesson in this story is supposed to be about trust and letting others in, but Tora, just don’t. She gets so sucked in by dream-boat James’ looks and general boy-ness that she let’s her guard way too far down. I’d like to think better on my sex than that we all turn to complete mush when we see slick muscles.

Overall, although it had a lot of faults in its main character, I did finish this book without being mad about it. The writing was good, and the story paced well. I kept reading without pause and that’s a true test of enjoyment for me. If you just gloss over the reasoning, the science and the fact that Tora needs to learn how to prioritize a hell of a lot better, there is action and suspense to enjoy. Plus an appearance from the last dog on earth, and you know I’m a sucker for canines. However, we are left on a total cliffhanger at the point when the story feels like it is really going somewhere. I think some added length would have been good this time around. Just less time focusing on James’ man flesh.

man flesh lotr

Looks like someone forgot to wear his sun suit outside

3
Would I read it again: Probably not
Will I read the next book: Quite possibly.

book review for Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

So, what do you think about my new term? Have you seen cases of distrattraction in books where characters become useless?

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish things I’d like to own

TTT_HEADER

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week.

I am super excited for this week because we get the chance to gush over all the awesome bookish things we would like to own. Let’s face it, this list could go on forever! We hope you enjoy our picks and we can’t wait to read about yours!

TTT_ASHLEY

1. Anne of Green Gables Infinity Scarf

I absolutely love Anne of Green Gables. It was something my aunts and I bonded over when I was younger, so every time I see the film I’m always reminded of them. I received the Pride & Prejudice scarf by Storiarts for my birthday last year and it was probably one of the best gifts ever! I get compliments on it all the time, and it really is a unique gift for the true Austen aficionado. Actually, Anne and I have the same scarf and were complete nerds and wore them to see a production of “Pride and Prejudice” at The Guthrie last summer.

2. Remington Typewriter

I’ve always wanted a vintage typewriter. And thanks to my lovely friend, Anne, I’m now learning about vintage typewriters with my monthly calendar! I admit I’m partial to the Remington design, but I haven’t quite landed on an era I like the best. This picture is of a 1920s Remington, and it looks awfully beautiful!

3. Book Nook

As long as there’s sun, a kitty, puppy, cozy bed, and plenty of books I’ll be happy!

4. Chaise lounge

I will have the most comfortable chaise lounge chair in my reading room one day. This isn’t the exact one I want, but when I find it, I don’t think I’ll leave that room for a week!

5. Feather pen set

I saw this at Barnes & Noble and thought it was super fun.

TTT_ANNE

6. Jane Austen First Editions

Jane Austen First Editions Sense and Sensibility

7. Outdoor hammock bed
Hammock bed outdoor by polyvore

8. Literary embosser — personalized

literary embosser by horchow

9. Dachshund bookends

Daschund bookends

10. Book silhouette necklace

book stack silhouette

 

What do you think of our picks? What bookish items do you want in your life?

Stay-in-Bed Sampler: The quest for a new Kindle cover

stay in bed sampler kindle cover

This is our first Stay-in-Bed Sampler, where once each weekend Ashley or I will bring you a mixture of items we’ve been eyeing, or links we’ve been loving on the interwebs. This edition I’m talking about Kindle covers and some random links to love.

Earlier this week, the most horrific thing happened to me. My long-loved original Kindle with keyboard went and cracked itself up. I picked it up from the shelf where it was resting, and flipped the switch only to discover that its inner screen had shattered. I had used it a couple days before and it was fine. Googling the issue told me that this was not the first case of Kindle spontaneous combustion. So, of course I ordered a new Paperwhite right away. I have important reading to get to!

Here’s a look at some of the covers I thought were pretty neat to go along with my new eReader. All are from Etsy. I do believe I have a thing for gray.

kindle_coverskindle_covers2

1. Gray case by NUACA

2. Dr. Seuss by eKover

3. Read by SewitGirl

4. Lucky Cat by beesocks

5. Peacock feather by dobeeubags

6. Octopus by StudioPapilio

Interwebs links to love

Here’s a sampling of some of the stories and news I was reading this week!

  • Eleanor & Park to hit the big screen. It was announced that DreamWorks recently bought the rights to Rainbow Rowell’s YA novel. I haven’t read this one yet, but here’s hoping this adaption isn’t one of those unspeakable YA-books-to-movies failures.
  • In a decision that will shock no one, Lionsgate/Summit has decided to split Allegiant into two parts, bringing the total Divergent series movies to four. Well, more Theo James. I’m on board.
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton Only Lovers Left Alive

Image from io9

  • Yes, you are looking at that image right. It’s Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton and they are playing swanky hipster vampires in the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. I’m going to find a way to watch this. Tom Hiddleston!
  • Onwards to the silver screen. Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? I’ve read all the books, and haven’t started watching this season for two reasons. 1) I know what is going to happen already – Purple Wedding – and 2) I don’t have HBO any more. Oh well. Here’s a wicked “graphic tribute” to Game of Thrones that you should totally check out. It is quite amazing.
  • Charmed is coming back, although not to TV, which I totally would have watched. Instead, the Halliwell sisters are coming back comic book style and will pick up from where the series left off.
  • And deeper into comic book news, Amazon has purchased comiXology, a digital comic-book distributor. I’m still waiting for the day when I will become property of Amazon.

So, that’s where I leave you. I know this is kind of late, and you may or may not be still in bed. But, what did you think of our first Stay-in-Bed Sampler? Did you find it interesting? Regardless, have an awesome weekend, and get all the reading done you want!!

 

Epic Recs: March Madness

epic-recssgifIt’s now month two of our Epic Recs (by Amber from Books of Amber and Judith from Paper Riot) journey and we haven’t cried uncle yet! You can find my review of Memoirs of a Geisha here, and Anne’s review of Anne of Green Gables here. While most people were obsessing over their basketball brackets, Anne and I were catching up on some popular literature we missed out on reading.

Ashley’s questions for Anne

So, what did you think of the infamous character Anne Shirley? Do you think you’re kindred spirits?

Well, honestly no. I mean, I liked her, but I think if we ever hung out I would cut her off mid-ramble. She did have admirable qualities though, like her intelligence and willingness to make amends for her mistakes. So, she’s still a good role model for young girls who would read this book growing up.

Which scenes were your favorite and why? Least favorite?

I mentioned this in my review, but I liked when Matthew goes to try and buy Anne a dress. It was sweet. Least favorite was any time that Marilla blamed her for something that was actually her mistake. Like telling her to use a bottle of vanilla that was actually filled with something called liniment. Poor Anne.

Since this was originally published in 1908, what did you think of the writing style?

I could tell I was in trouble when the first sentence of the book was also the first paragraph. Overall though, the prose is good. I think clearly it has stood the test of time, so fundamentally the writing is solid.

Anne’s questions for Ashley

Who was your favorite character from Memoirs of a Geisha, and why?

Honestly? Even though I ranted about her, I have to say Hatsumomo. She’s the kind of character you love to hate. And while most of her motivations were driven by jealousy and fear, in the end we learn Sayuri and Hatsumomo aren’t that different after all. I can’t condone her horrible actions towards Sayuri, but I did end up feeling sorry for her. Sayuri gets a happy ending but Hatsumomo just fades away.

I know you like historical romance novels, what was it about this particular romance made you dislike it?

I feel like the romance was ruined for me since I saw the film before reading the novel. Because I knew what was going to happen, it didn’t really feel special. In reality, the Chairman is hardly involved in the story.  Plus, his motivations are veiled, so when the big reveal happens, I didn’t quite buy it. I understand he was trying to help Sayuri, but if he really loved her, he wouldn’t have made her suffer the geisha lifestyle. Now, it would’ve been interesting if we were able to follow the story through his perspective.

Putting yourself in Sayuri’s shoes, if you had the choice of becoming a geisha or remaining a servant, which would you have picked?

This is a tough question. If Sayuri knew what being a geisha meant, I have a hard time believing she would’ve continued with the process. Either way you’ll be owned by someone, but as a servant, at least you wouldn’t have to be subjected to rape/prostitution. Would I want to scrub floors the rest of my life? No, but I don’t think I could live with myself if I were a geisha.

Writing Workshop Wednesday: A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.

Writing Workshop Wednesday

Here at Lovely Literature, we always try to keep things interesting. So, we’re proud to introduce a new series, where each Wednesday we’ll provide writing inspiration in the form of prompts, tips or quotes. Our goal is to become published authors, and the only way to do that is to write! We hope you enjoy our latest series!

From 642 Things to Write About by San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

“A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.”

You have to know I never meant to hurt you. I just wanted something beautiful. Everybody does. When I first saw you, I knew we’d be great together. You were small, luscious and not high maintenance like some of your friends. Do you remember when I first took you home? How I doted on you? I made sure you were the center of attention, and never neglected you. I realized, too late, it was slowly killing you.

I’m so sorry! Can you ever forgive me? Even now, as you’re slowly wrinkling, you’re still beautiful to me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. You’re special. You were my first, and you never forget your first.

So don’t you dare give up on me!  Can’t you see I need you? We need each other!  You need someone to appreciate you just how you are and I need something to love. Please. I’m begging you. Don’t leave me.

a character polygamist_lc

 

 

Feel free to contribute your own reasons in the comments, below!