Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reading ... The Good and the Bad

Good and bad news! 

The good: I've been reading tons lately!
The bad: ...which means, I've been writing nil.

Though I don't know many writers who can boast sharing equal portions of their attention to both... I am certainly not that talented!

I read the Giver in two sittings. Yes, I'll admit, the recent movie release had something to do with my sudden interest in it. I'm one of those annoying dorks that has to read the book first so I can compare. :) (No, I've not watched the movie yet). I thought it was very thought provoking, but the characters were a little colorless (pun intended). Perhaps that was necessary to the plot/settings, but it makes me indifferent about ever reading Lowis Lowery again. Also, I know I'm not the first one to complain, but that ending though... Seemed like an easy out.

 John Flanagan's formula is becoming a bit predictable, as tends to happen after such a long series. I didn't really care for the fact that this felt more like a "set up" book, and as such, had some portions that felt like filler in order to round out the book. I was also hoping he would reveal more of Lydia's character to us in this book, but he seems to be keeping her more mysterious, again, setting up for something. Still, I have this thing for Hal and I did read this in 24 hours so that's saying something...

 This was an unnecessary addition to the Divergent series and I'm almost embarrassed to admit I fell for it. I found Roth's forward in the beginning the most interesting aspect of the whole book. She explained that she originally started her series with a male lead: Four, and then decided it needed to be a girl. This was kind of a no-brainer, because Four has no personality. At least none that any one can relate to. I'd hoped I'd get to know him more in Allegiance when Roth takes us inside his head, but it was glaringly akin to Tris's perspective, and ....boys typically think differently. No offense Roth, but I just don't think you can write from the male's perspective.

Random right? But that's what a thrift store finds are usually like. :)
For my first sci-fi exposure, I would say this book was just 'okay'. The lead character was surprisingly good, not a damsel in distress, but wrought with emotions at the right times. The romance was good in parts and a little much other times, but that can be okay depending on your taste. My biggest complaints were the amount of swear words (this is a teen book and yeah, maybe some teens talk like that, but certainly not all teens and this book is for teens, so why be excessively crude in the language? It wasn't necessary), and the sci-fi violence was graphic at parts, but I'm a little sensitive that way. If teen/sci-fi are your thing, this may be a good book to check out. I did request the second book from the library right away, which counts for something.

 Before I give you my thoughts, you might be more interested to hear Rowling's:
"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met."--Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling
I whole heartedly agree Ms. Rowling! I am currently in the middle of this right now and really enjoying the narrative voice. It's by far the most unique and personal 1st person narrative I have ever read. It's written like a diary, which sets the page up well for drawing out the character's deepest secrets, but it's actually this young girl's thoughts that are so endearing. We've all had them, so they're strangely relatable, but we've probably forgotten that we ever had them and would never be able to phrase them so eloquently. I honestly have forgotten that Doddie Smith actually penned these words instead of Cassandra.

Next on hold on my library card are these bad boys:
 I can't see the movie until I read the book! ;) 
I'll letcha know my thoughts on these when they've been all processed through my head.

Dang it, I was so proud of myself after I'd replotted the kinks out of my current WIP manuscript and started getting my daily word count in again. Why do I keep dividing my imaginary attention between all these worlds? I know I'm terrible with that.... :-/ Maybe I can use NaNo month to fast from other books and finally get my own finished! 

...though that sounds like work.

The life of a writer wannabe.

Friday, September 5, 2014

That looser, Quincey Adams, again...

   "Awah don't cry."
"Why shouldn't I? I'm sitting in the mouth of a giant stone lion in the middle of nowhere, freezing my butt off, while it's storming like the freaking end of the world. Not even mentioning the part where we're hopelessly lost." I rubbed my palms at the dampness in my eyes, suddenly feeling more angry at my situation than sorry for myself.
There was a pause while a crack of thunder died away to a distant rumble like an unfinished thought.

Quincey scooted over, putting his arm around my shaking shoulders. His hoodie was damp, but it still held some warmth. It smelled like him. I studied the tops of our solid sneakers in the nonstop flashes of lightening, their original colors now indiscernible after days of trekking through mud.
"At least you have me, right?" His arm rubbed up and down my back. I would have rolled my eyes if it had been light out.
"You mean the boy I was once stupid enough to crush on, until he betrayed me and broke my heart and got us into this mess?"
His arm stopped rubbing.
"That boy broke your heart?" He sounded surprised. I was too miserable to be embarrassed.
"Add it to the list," I muttered.
"Man, he sounds like a looser." Quincey dipped his head towards me. "Is that boy ever going to be able to make up for everything on that list?"
"I doubt it," I said, staring blindly out through the lion's teeth, the dizzying flashes of lighting momentarily illuminating the saturated woods around us.
"Would it help if you knew that boy was sorry?" I could barely hear him over the rumble of thunder.
"Like, real sorry."
He started rubbing his arm on my freezing back again. "Well, what if that boy made a fire for you?"
That made me laugh out loud--the odds of his pathetic survival skills against the torrents of rain falling outside positively ridiculous.
"Hey, could be worse," he said. "We could still be out there looking for shelter instead of this comfy Lion's mouth."
"It could be worse," I agreed, "I could be alone."
I turned into the warmth of his body, never feeling so grateful to be sitting close to someone, even that someone was a heartthrob looser like Quincey Adams.

 ©Mary Lund

This scene was inspired by a weird picture I saw on pinterest involving a stone lion's mouth. It's a bit long for a Snippet Saturday, but it seemed like it could be a continuation of the plot started on my first ever Snippet Saturday with that heartthrob looser, Quincey Adams, so I decided to use his character again, although my sister thinks I just recycled the name because I liked it--Quincey Adams--and she may be right. :) 
 What do you think? Does Quincey deserve his own story to clear up his name?