My Favorite Fictional Couples Tropes – IN WHICH I RANT ABOUT MY INSANE SHIPS

Hello, lovelies! It’s practically spring. :D

I finally got my act together and got back to posting this after half a month of inactivity… so yeahhh. Hi.

Today’s post is pretty self-explanatory. I personally am a crazy shipper… I think it gets on my family’s nerves sometimes actually (it gets on my nerves too)… but I’ve developed valuable skills and can sense a romance coming from a mile away, sooo. In the end, it’s all been worth it. XD And today I go over a few tropes in fictional romance that are my favorites. Enjoy.

 

The “Childhood Love” Couple

Obviously the ones that have been best friends since they were small. This one makes me ridiculously happy. It’s just so perfect and pure. *squee*

My favorite examples:

  • Esperanza + Miguel (Esperanza Rising, Pam Muñoz Ryan) – This is still one of my favorite books. It’s such a happy book. You know what I mean, it just gives you this amazing nostalgic-y, uplifted feeling. Plus Esperanza and Miguel’s bond is so wholesome and strong. I like.
  • Anne + Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables series, L.M. Montgomery) – CLASSIC. These two are a 100% excellent excellent example and I love them. The movies don’t do the books justice, but I still think their relationship is deliciously done in film as well.

 

 

 

Shy Girl + Charming Guy

This one seems pretty popular. The bashful protagonist with a kind, precious heart (we all love her), and the sweet, engaging guy who comes into her life with adorable smiles and kindness and takes her breath away (we just might love him even more). The best thing ever is to watch the girl get all awkward and even cuter because the guy is so captivating without even meaning to be… it’s super ultra sweet. Very enjoyable.

My favorite examples:

  • Aza + Ijori (Fairest, Gail Carson Levine) – I loved watching Aza fall for him, little bit by little bit. The way she tries to resist his irresistibleness, and the fact that he finds her beautiful when no one else does. All the heart eyes.
  • Ella + Kit (Disney’s Cinderella, 2015) – A lot of things about this movie were a little cheesy to me… sweetly cheesy, but cheesy nonetheless. But! But. Kit and Ella’s romance was precious. This much I will admit.
  • Catherine + Henry (Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen) – In my opinion, one of the best examples. Especially in the movie (:P it’s truuue).

 

I mean pfft they share a love of books. #goals

 

 

Fiesty Gal + Stable, Quieter Guy

Here we have the fireball who has everything under control. She’s independent and spirited, and perhaps a little bit impetuous… And then we have this guy, this perfect character to balance her. Level-headed, with a determined but equable approach and a knack of calming her down and keeping her steady. THEY FIT TOGETHER LIKE A PUZZLE.

My favorite examples:

  • Enna + Finn (The Books of Bayern, Shannon Hale) – These two have, quite possibly, the best relationship in The Books of Bayern. They are each exactly what the other needs. Finn’s so good at calming Enna’s flinty temper, and she stimulates him in the best way, drawing out the strengths of his character and making us smile.
  • Scarlet + Wolf (The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer) – Yass. I loved how their romance developed over the course of the series; it started out meh and seriously improved. Amaright??

 

 

The Bantering Couple

When they have chemistry and sass together. This is one of the most enjoyable ships, in my humble opinion. Watching their mutual snappy dislike morph into true care for each other (though usually/hopefully they still continue the hilarious banter). It’s great.

My favorite examples:

  • Leo + Calypso (Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan) – I didn’t get to see as much of them together as I would have liked, but what I got… <3 <3 We have sassy Leo, who is probably my favorite character in the entire series just so everybody’s aware. And then we have Calypso, who challenges him with her perfect sassy comebacks. They’re perfect for each other.
  • René + Sophia (Rook, Shannon Cameron) – Yesss muahaha. I’m going to apologize in advance here because I have no idea how many spheres of the internet I’ve roared about René’s perfection on now… if you’re following me anywhere else odds are you’ve heard all this before. But seriously, words fail me. They just – fail me. Tbh, a couple aspects of his and Sophia’s romance got on my nerves… but only a couple. The great majority of it was witty, hilarious perfection.
  • Declan O’Callaghan + Anna (Leap Year, 2010) – …Need I say more?? (I can’t believe I only saw this movie for the first time last month.)

 

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Cocky, Intrepid Guy + Shy/Quiet Girl 

This one is so satisfying. Sophisticated, dashing dude meets vulnerable sweet roll with a big, compassionate heart, and romance happens. It’s really fun to watch the affection unfold between them; when the girl is able to bring out the guy’s flawed, broken side, and when he gives her courage. Much applause.

My favorite examples:

  • Cress + Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer) – Do we all agree that they were just perfect for each other? Absolutely perfect. I liked that Cress’s blind crush on Thorne developed into such a true love, and that she seemed to soften and make him a better person.
  • Luka + Yael (Wolf by Wolf, Ryan Graudin) – I feel like they fit more loosely into this category. But they fit nonetheless.* Yael is a lot more damaged than shy and vulnerable, given her past, but she does have that element of tenderheartedness. And then Luka is the ultimate in cocky jerkism… until of course she encourages him into becoming a better person.
*Do not question me. I have my own superior logic. Obvs.
  • Rapunzel + Flynn (Disney’s Tangled, 2010) – One of my favorite Disney couples. Despite having a very limited falling-in-love time frame, I feel like the attraction arc and overall chemistry between them was very realistically (and cutely?) done.

 

Related imageAlso Flynn.

 

 

The Adorable Best-Friends Couple 

This one makes me soooo happy. The two that just have this playful, chummy, and close relationship, and absolutely, honestly adore each other.

  • Ella + Char (Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine) – I cannot express how much I love love love these two. They are my favorite and my best. ;) I love that their ship is so middle-grade worthy and pure, but also romantic too?!? And how Ella is the one who stimulates Char and makes him laugh, but he’s the one who encourages her and admires her and gives her strength.
  • Valancy + Barney Snaith (The Blue Castle, L.M. Montgomery) – The bond they have melts my heart. L.M. Montgomery did a master’s job building the affection slowly but surely between them, from cozy companionship to real longing for each other.

 

 

Mutually Shy Beans

The couple that are both so shy that they won’t admit they love each other, so you’re dyinggg because 52% of you ships them so hard it physically hurts, and the other 48% wants to knock their heads together for being such adorable idiots. Like YOU LOVE EACH OTHER JUST ADMIT IT ALREADY. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

Examples:

  • Edward + Elinor (Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen) – Though can I just add, they were sooo much lovelier in both the movie adaptations than in the book.
  • Jane Bennett + Charles Bingley (Pride and Prejudice, also Jane Austen) – So these two were okay in the book, but sort of even more background characters. I didn’t really get to see their romance like I did in the movie. And I’m talking the 2005 version here. I know; go ahead and attack me for loving it, outraged book fans. I should be ashamed. BUT. HOW can you not love Jane and Bingley in it?? They are SO PRECIOUS. I CAN’T.

 

Image result for jane and bingley gifToo. Much. Cuteness.

 

 

Tough Girl + Awkward Guy With Hidden Depths

This girl is a hyper cannonball of courage and high spirits. She has grit and wit and she will fight you… she’s also possibly quite attractive as well?? The guy in question here is a little bit less demonstrative, a little bit undeveloped. To be honest, he’s quite awkward. But then it turns out (surprise!) this girl also has a softer, more vulnerable side. He brings it out, exposes her hidden sweetness. And she draws forth his strong points.

  • Aud + Halli (Heroes of the Valley, Jonathan Stroud) – Though it’s never outright stated that these two become a couple, it’s implied. Which I like. Because I ship them. :P Aud made some slightly coarse jokes here and there (I shouldn’t have laughed at her….. I did), but I thought her breezy bravery and overall good humor was an excellent match for Halli’s quieter personality.
  • Hiccup + Astrid (How to Train Your Dragon, 2010) I think these two are the ultimate example. I LOVVVVE their chemistry. The movie as a whole had its flaws (it was still pretty darn good tho), but the romance between them was one thing perfectly achieved. I mean. They’re adorable.

 

I know this is from HTTYD 2, but whatever. In my opinion it’s the best gif of them.

 

 

Mutually Protective, Save-the-World-Together Couple

The ones that always have each other’s back, throughout danger and adventures alike. There for each other, strengthening each other, protecting each other… otherwise being sweet.

  • Percy + Annabeth (Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan) I think Percabeth are a pretty common example for literary dream couples. But. They’re awesome. A couple who battle mythological beasts and trek through Tartarus together, stay together. ;P Their relationship is my favorite; it makes me smile [and sometimes crack up laughing].
  • Elizabeth + Will (Pirates of the Caribbean, 2003) – They’re just lovely together. That is all.
  • Calvin + Meg (A Wrinkle in Time series, Madeleine L’Engle) – These two also fit well into the Childhood Love category, which makes me happy. But I think they fulfill this one too. They were honestly my favorite bookish couple ever when I was younger (part of the reason may or may not have been that I had a massive literary crush on Calvin) (“had”, ahahaha).

 

 

 Gruff/Socially Repressed Guy + The Girl He Can’t Resist

Here’s Dark and Withdrawn Guy who pushes people away and yet has a secret lonely side… then one particular girl appears, intrudes on his life, and rocks the foundations of his antisocial world. She draws him out of his shell. She makes him have feelings. WHY IS SHE MAKING HIM SMILE? WHY CAN’T HE RESIST HER PRECIOUSNESS?

  • Jane + Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë) – Their romance makes me want to cry. :’)
  • Elizabeth + Darcy (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen) – They’ve become a pretty much stereotypical couple, but I don’t care. They fit into this trope so well. Darcy is completely standoffish in the beginning, also a teensy bit arrogant (though not as much so as Elizabeth perceives him to be, of course). And she hates him. :) A good foundation for any romance. And then it turns out each of them completely captivates the other (over the course of a lot of humbling and self-sacrifice), and bang, Jane Austen has a classic.
  • Beauty + the Beast (the movie or the fairytale) – Ah yes.
  • Molly Hooper + Sherlock (BBC’s Sherlock) – These two are a difficult subject for me because…[spoilerish content ahead woop] they didn’t. end. up together. And I SHIPPED THEM. I NEEDED THEM TOGETHER. I – I can’t. My feels are broken. But I think they fit into this category pretty well, because Molly so uniquely brought out his emotions and his stifled compassionate half… (nope, i’m fine. i’m okay). Most people couldn’t do that. And don’t try to tell me he didn’t love her, really truly love her, because I will not listen to you.

 

Image result for sherlock and molly gif

 

I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

 

Thank you for reading, and for your support! It really means a lot. :) Comment below with some examples that I’ve forgotten (or just left out, because I didn’t want to overwhelm you all and have a yard-long post ahaha). Or just your favorite ships. I will rant over them with you. I sympathize.

 

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I Do The Nameless Book Tag (and it’s the new year whaaat)

Can you believe it’s 2018?!?!

WELL NEITHER CAN I.

Life has been pretty wonderful lately. 2017’s had its ups and downs like every year, but altogether God has amazingly blessed us. Looking back over the year I can see so many times He was answering prayer, building me up, strengthening my faith, and I never noticed before. It’s enough to blow your tiny human mind. And the prospect of a full new year ahead is thrilling. There are sunsets to watch. People to meet. Books to read. Words to write. Adventures to take. Friends to spend time with. Dogs to pet. Potatoes to eat. Every day is a beautiful new chance. There are a thousand exciting things I’m looking forward to. What about you??

Lisa @ Inkwell tagged me for The Nameless Book Tag. I had another post idea scheduled, but I think I’ll save it for next month because I’m feeling lazy and this looks like fun. xD Thanks, Lisa!

I present

The Nameless Book Tag

 

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Island of the Blue Dolphins, Anne of Green Gables, and A Wrinkle in Time are all about tied. They’re, understandably, old favorites.

 

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Well to start with, my currently reading list is usually like five books st a time. But I’ll focus on one and pretend I’m a responsible person. So, I’m currently reading All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)…

Image result for all the light we cannot see

 

Just finished reading Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship (Joshua Harris)…

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And the next one I really [REALLY REALLY] want to read is Blood for Blood (Ryan Graudin). I am much hyped for this book.

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What book did everyone like, but you hated?

I’m gonna go ahead and use Eliza and her Monsters here, even though I’m not going to go so far as to say I HATED it. But there was just so much disappointment. I kept hearing a ton of positive stuff about this book, and though I don’t usually read a lot of trending YA books, I thought what the heck. I’ll give it a try. Pfft noooo.

Some reasons I was disappointed:

  • Firstly, Eliza is a jerk. She’s your archtypical teenager: moody, antisocial, angsty, face-in-a-screen-at-all-times,* joy-to-be-around, joy-to-read-about. She does change a lot by the end of the book, but I was annoyed enough by her already that she wasn’t really redeemed in my eyes.
  • Language.
  • The fact that her parents were not only condoning, but quite seriously ENCOURAGING Eliza to take her relationship with Wallace to a COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE LEVEL. What?? (???)
  • I’m not going to go into details but that was lovely.
  • Pretty sure they DIDN’T, for those of you wondering.
  • But idk.
  • The time that Eliza almost commits suicide. Um. Just so you know, she decides not to… but.
  • There were LOTS of other problems I had with the book that I’m not going to mention because spoilers.

Overall, it was nicely written and the characters (except for possibly Eliza) were fabulously done. I adored her brothers… and Walt was a precious awkward hedgehog. But in the end I had too many objections, dear.

*I’m serious. AT ALL TIMES.

 

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Great Expectations. I actually started it a few months ago, and then life caught up with me and that didn’t happen. I haven’t touched it since. :P

 

What book are you saving for retirement?

I guess Mere Christianity. I have it and I need to read it but I keep putting it off.

 

Last page: read it first, or wait till the end?

What. What is this. NEVERRR. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life read the last page first. It ruins the book, guys?!?

 

Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Meh. I don’t mind the acknowledgements, but I usually don’t read them unless I’m in a specific type of mood. Leaning towards a waste of paper and ink.

 

Which book character would you switch places with?

Ahh, challenging. Let’s go ahead and establish this: I pretty much like my life and would be reluctant to switch places with anybody. But that aside, I have heaps of ideas here. :P I’ll limit myself to three.

  • Hattie, from Hattie Big Sky. Because she has her own little house on the prairie and I love her time period and world.
  • Sam, from My Side of the Mountain. Since I was eight I’ve always wanted to run away and live in the wild for a week or two.
  • Aravis, from The Horse and His Boy. I sort of have a thing for the independent/adventurous characters. Plus the book’s a favorite of mine.

 

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (place, time, person)?

Little House in the Big Woods (really the whole Little House series) reminds me of the period in life that I’d just started reading. I started the series when I was four or five, and I’ve loved it ever since.

 

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

My copy of The Midwife’s Apprentice was originally a library book. Yep. Hang on, I want to emphasize here that I usually take wonderful care of the books I borrow – I am not an irresponsible monster. But it so happened that on our way to return books to the library, my dog got ahold of The Midwife’s Apprentice, and we didn’t realize she was chewing the cover up until we were halfway to the library. Only a corner was ruined, but it was enough. :/ $$$

 

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Hmm. I don’t give my books away often… I hoard them like a small angry dragon instead I actually can’t remember the last time I gave one away.

 

Which book has been with you most places?

My bible’s been more places than any other book has.

 

Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad later?

Hittite Warrior (Joanne Williamson). Again, I didn’t technically hate it, just was a little bored at the beginning. And then it got really good. I didn’t read this one in high school either; more like when I was twelve. I’m breaking all the rules here.

 

Used or brand new?

Image result for both both is good gifBOTH. BOTH IS GOOD.

I love the crisp good smell and flawless cover of a brand new book. But then used ones are wonderful, with the cover well-worn and the pages creased… you can tell other people have enjoyed it.

 

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope. Never heard of them.

 

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Yes, The Princess Bride. In the grand scheme of things it was much, much better.

 

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry (cookbooks included)?

Pie (Sarah Weeks), and Heartless (Marissa Meyer). Lots of baking in these ones.

 

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I have quite a lot of bookish friends whose recommendations I’ll always listen to. Whether or not I’ll like the book is another matter entirely.

 

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I’d probably say the entire Percy Jackson series. They’re not the kind of books I read a ton of, but I absolutely loved them. The characters. The good writing and plot twists. The humor. PERCY. Basically everything.

I tag Jem @ Jem Jones, Writer. Enjoy! :)

 

Here’s to a fabulous 2018!!

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Do you have high hopes for the new year? Resolutions? What has God been doing in your life?? I’d love to hear from you!

The Interrogation Tag

New blog theme!! *applause*

How was everyone’s month? June was a WONDERFUL month for me. Friends, scribblings, lots of coffee… some amateur photography attempts…

Anyway. I was tagged by Emma at Real and Official Matters, a happy little blog that’s just taking off. Thanks for the tag, friend!

I present The Interrogation Tag.

 

Get To Know Me:

1. What are 3-5 little known facts about yourself?

  • I really, REALLY want a wolf. Like, for a companion. And it would be the coolest thing EVER if we could talk to each other. So basically a telepathic, weirdly intelligent wolf friend (don’t tell my dog I said any of this).
  • I’m still adjusting to being a young adult and acting like one… often I’m caught breaking into spontaneous running or jumping.
  • I LOVE singing, but I’m not a fan of my singing voice. So if you get to hear me singing I like/trust you REALLY well… or else I didn’t know you were standing there.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Oh my. Probably either England or Australia. The accents both places are great, and the Australian animals are really cool. Also, English food. Can’t forget the English food. It’s a toss-up.

3. What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

Ugh, this is hard. Because I’m kind of crazy about most food… I guess five basic foods I really love would be:

  • All things potato. Baked, mashed, boiled, fried. They’re the best.
  • Pizza!!!
  • Cheesecake. Just. Cheesecake.
  • Strawberries (thanks to an obscure allergy I have, they’re – for some inexplicable reason – one of the only two raw fruits I’m able to eat. love these loyal guys).
  • I’m also an insane fan of my mom’s macaroni and cheese
  • You can tell I’m all about the healthy foods, right??

Three basic foods I detest:

  • Blueberry pie/cobbler (i know that is the weirdest thing ever. i give no explanations or excuses).
  • Pork. Ugh.
  • And coleslaw is beyond disgusting.

4.What are some of your hobbies?

Well, I guess writing doesn’t count since I’d like to consider that more of a lifework than a hobby. I enjoy reading, occasional baking, photography, the infrequent arranging of flowers, and Pinterest (yes, pinterest totally counts as a hobby).

5. Tea or Coffee?

COFFEE! Swirled with hazelnut creamer, sometimes cinnamon. But (for the benefit of you outraged tea-lovers out there) several teas I’ve tried have been amazing as well.

 

Bookish Questions:

1. Do you like books or movies better? 

Definitely books, but movies are wonderful as well. Especially movies based on my favorite books. So long as they don’t butcher the storyline too brutally, that is. The 2006 version of Jane Eyre did a pretty great job of adhering to the story… it’s one of my favorite movies.

2. What is your favorite genre to read?

I enjoy a lot of speculative fiction subgenres… fantasy and dystopian, that kind of thing. Ooh, and historical fiction.

3. What are some of your favorite books? 

Ohhh, I have an overwhelming number of favorites. But these are some I never get tired of, in all the times I re-read them:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Rilla of Ingleside
  • Magic for Marigold (i first read that one when i was about ten, and have loved it wildly ever since)
  • Little Women
  • Persuasion
  • The Hobbit

And there are so many, many more.

4. A fictional character (or maybe 3) you’d like to be friends with?

Okay. Sorry folks, but I am going to have to make this five. Rilla, from Rilla of Ingleside. Dashti, from Book of a Thousand Days. Calvin O’Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. Maude, from The Misadventures of Maude March. And Ella, from Ella Enchanted.

5. Prettiest book cover that you own.

Probably L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. The font and cover illustration are lovely.

Image result for the blue castle

 

Writing Questions:

1. What is your favorite writing snack? 

Umm, I’ll eat ANYTHING when I’m hungry and writing.

2. When did you start writing?

At about six or seven. For the first few years of this I thought I wanted to be a poet, and I still have notebooks filled with my less-than-extraordinary efforts. There were a few that I’ve saved fondly, but I’m DEFINITELY more prose-inclined now.

3.Why do you write?

Ummm. (What am I supposed to say here?) I guess just overall to glorify the Lord, and because I love it. LOVE it. There, that wasn’t so bad. XD

4. What is your favorite genre to write?

I like trying my hand at a lot of styles and genres, but my favorite is probably fantasy. The research is so easy in comparison to historical fiction and other real-world genres. There’s some research that has to be done, but when you’re really and truly not sure about something you can just MAKE IT UP.

And the tag goes to Zane, who helped create these questions and I can tell is going to have a really good time with this. :D

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How was June for you? If you’d like to take this tag and do it yourself, feel free (also comment below to make my day fantabulous).

 

 

 

The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder and Scarlet

Good afternoon, all! Blogging’s back on track.

Today’s book review is a double feature: The Lunar Chronicles, books #1 and #2.

 

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Cinder, #1 of The Lunar Chronicles

   “Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time…

   Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

   Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalectic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something others would kill for.”

   This was an amazing retelling of the beloved fairytale. It was so cool to see how Meyer took events and people and twisted it all into something new. The writing was beautiful. The world was beautiful. The characters were beautiful. I was highly impressed. Here are some things I liked.

   First of all, Cinder. She is an amazing character. I just love everything about her. Her personality, her complexity, her sarcasm. All this good stuff is squashed into a lovable character with strengths and weaknesses and… realness.

   Secondly: The retelling. It was awesome. So creative. Adri was an excellent evil stepmother, just maddening enough that you’re gnashing your teeth but can’t stop reading. And Pearl… Heh heh. I guess she was really well done, since most of her part in the story was me wanting Cinder to throw a wrench at her head. I also thought it was neat how the ball worked in with everything else, and that rather than the traditional shoe flying off in Cinderella’s escape, it was in fact her metal foot.

   Okay. And can I just say… Iko. She is THE BEST. Her obsession with girly things and her hilarious attitude made her pop right out of the book to me. Cinder aside, she’s my favorite character.

   A dislike: The villainy. I mean, y’know, I was supposed to dislike the villainy. Queen Levana was very nicely (or nastily) done. But what I got so tired of was all the bribing and conditions and diplomacy and sloooowness. So annoying. I wanted ACTION.

   Oh, and then of course I also have to criticize the actual action. I’m not really this hard to please, trust me. The whole part where (SPOILER) Cinder grabs the gun and fires at Queen Levana was confusing. Maybe it’s just me. I’m kinda slow.

This book’s rating: 4.5 stars

(I really, really liked it!)

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Scarlet, #2 of The Lunar Chronicles

   “Even in the future, beware of the big, bad wolf…

  Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She is trying to break out of prison – even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

   Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter, who may have information about her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.”

   There were many things I liked about this one, but also quite a few I didn’t.

   The first problem: Scarlet Benoit was not my favorite character. I didn’t hate her, she just had some annoying qualities. Her tendency to be something of a manipulative flirt reared its ugly head several times throughout the book. She’s hot-tempered and stubborn, which was sometimes endearing and sometimes just exasperating. And then she’s impulsive. So darn impulsive. All in all, I have to admit I like Cinder as a character much better. But Scar did have her good points. And she’ll do anything, absolutely anything for her loved ones.

   Another problem: (SLIGHT SPOILER) The whole brainwashed-savage-wolf-men thing. Running wild though the streets and killing people. Creepy, much? There weren’t many graphic descriptions, but I just felt kind of ugh about the whole concept.

   Problem number three: (SPOILERS) When Wolf kills Ran. I didn’t like that at all. I get that this guy needed to be killed off by somebody. I wouldn’t have even minded so much that it was Wolf. But it was the way he went savage and killed him, IN A SOMEWHAT GRAPHICALLY UNPLEASANT WAY. It threw me off, because hasn’t Wolf been fighting against this, the inner animal? It was almost like a break in his character arc.

Anyway, here are some things I did like.

   The well-done characters. Oh my. While I’ve poked holes in Scarlet and been disappointed by Wolf, they – all the characters – were undeniably three-dimensional and real. And don’t get me wrong, I liked Wolf. He was a darling character, so fiercely protective yet so sweetly shy and a little inept. And Thorne. He made me laugh with his witticisms and ridiculous bravado.

   Another like: Scarlet and Wolf’s romance. (FOR THE MOST PART.) There were a couple things about their relationship I didn’t like. But the way it grew throughout the course of the story was sweet. And I did think they went well together.

This book’s rating: three stars

(I would rate this one two and a half stars, but the writing and characters really were beautiful. And I’m in a nice mood.)

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Tell me your opinion! What did you think of Cinder and Scarlet? Do you agree with my criticism/ramblings? Is there anything significant you disagree with? I’d love to hear from you!

Happenings: a life update

Hello everyone, this is just a brief mini-post. Happy 4th of May! I’ve been taking something of a break anyway, but here’s the official announcement: I’m taking an unofficial break from blogging for the rest of this month. Now, let’s just pretend I’ve done a consistent job of posting lately, and deserve this vacation. XD

And here’s a small update.

April was an overall fantastic month for us. There was one bad day we thought our puppy got out the fence… cue a lot of ensuing panic. We ran around the neighborhood calling her for half an hour only to find when we got back that she was STILL IN THE YARD. Of course, by that time I was already in a state of completely exhausted stress. Good times.

Homeschool’s been going as well as it usually does… though we’re not taking a summer break since we’ve taken so many other small breaks this year. :( (It tends to wind up better that way, though – after a longish break I typically find I’ve forgotten everything.)

My writing for the past month or two has consisted mostly of pulling my hair out – and drinking coffee while staring into space. I’ve cranked out a little bit of plot/outline ramblings, but it isn’t much.

Books I’ve been reading:

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Only six for April. [Insert plausible excuse other than the same old “I’ve been busy” here.] And, of course, The False Prince and Book of a Thousand Days technically might not even count, since they’re re-reads. Oh well. Westmark and Halt’s Peril were both great, and I’m currently reading The Emperor of Nihon-Ja. But then The Frog Princess was just… ew. I had my doubts when I came across it (the kinda cheesy girly-pink cover, ya know?)… and, yeah. Was not at all impressed. As a side note, it also happens to be the book Disney’s The Princess and the Frog was [loosely] based upon.

Anyhow, new things to come! In future I’ll be implementing a heading picture for each new post –  in hopes that it will really boost the attractiveness of my little blog. :) And real efforts will be made to post more constructive (and just… more, period) writing posts. Not saying they’ll be more frequent… we’ll have to wait and see.

I’ll be looking forward to June. Till then!

Yes, that sounded a lot cheesier than it did in my head.

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What books have you been reading? Did April go well for everyone else? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Blogger Book Tag

I have not made posting a priority… and see where that leaves us.

Anyway. I was tagged a couple weeks ago by Zane over at Simple Impossibilities, a fabulous little nook of the internet. Thanks, Zane! This is going to be fun.

1. Name a book you’re embarrassed you haven’t read.

Sense and Sensibility. Which I have started. But I got… 1/4 through?… And I have not picked it up in months.

2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

I’m thinking probably an oven mitt. I was reading in the kitchen, and it was right on hand. ;D I have also used pens, rulers, other books… I kind of take the cake for strange bookmarks.

3. Look at your bookshelf. What is the first yellow-spined book you see?

The Moorchild, by Eloise McGraw. This book is good. The mood to the whole story is great, sort of primitive medieval fantasy with a Celtic-like twist.

4. If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?

This question IS cheating. Possibly Henry Winterfeld. I know of only four books by him, three of which I read when I was about eleven. They were all really funny and enjoyable.

5. Name an author who deserves more readership.

L. M. Montgomery. Her books and stories are all wonderful!! Especially the Anne of Green Gables series (there are eight fantastic books in all).

6. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Random piece of paper. Always.

7. Can you stop anywhere in a book, or do you have to finish the chapter?

I prefer not to stop till the chapter’s finished, but I’ve been forced to grow used to slapping a book down in the middle with how swamped by responsibilities I tend to be…

8. One book at a time OR several?

Neither. Usually LOTS.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

*blushes* Oh, yes. If there’s an especially boring scene I’ll flip a page or two.

10. Breaking the spine, or keeping it like new?

As if!! Like new, always.

11. What books do you regret reading?

The Princess Diaries. Last year I read the first one and it completely turned me off. There was, first and foremost, the whole public-school high school vibe to it: (“Above all let me be popular, or else I die”), which annoyed me. Also there was something highly inappropriate implied in one scene, and one or two inappropriate conversations. Overall I got the impression that the author could have done a WAY better job. I don’t recommend it at all.

12. On average, how many books do you read per year?

Probably 100-150. This might be way off; it’s just an estimate. And I’ve never been good with estimations. It really depends on the year. I also re-read favorite books a LOT, so are we counting those?

13. What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine. READ THIS. <3

14. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

Phew. I have learned so many countless lessons and have so benefited and grown from so many books it’s hard for me to select the biggest. I invoke made-up rule #604: I’m allowed to skip one question.

(Yes. Yes, that was totally cheating.)

15. What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

The Betrayal, by Douglas Bond.

16. Name a book quote you’ll never forget.

I must include two, at the very least.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

-Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Sometimes people are beautiful not in looks, not in what they say, just in what they are.

-Markus Zusak

(This is from his book I am the Messenger, which I have not read. I just love the quote.)

17. How many books do you own?

I’d say somewhere around 350-400.

18. In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

Seriously?! Agh! This year isn’t even very far along! Well, so far I would have to say The Dragon’s Tooth, #1 of The Ashtown Burials. :D I think.

And then I am going to go above and beyond lazy with the whole tagging-thing. I hereby tag whoever is reading this. There. Glad that’s over.

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What are your favorite book quotes? Literary regrets? And has anyone else EVER used an oven mitt as a bookmark. Please tell me I’m not alone. I’d love to hear from you!

 

A Load of Books

  This past weekend we made a trip to the library (always thrilling) and I thought I’d share some of the books I brought home. With commentary and ramblings on each. Of course. *beams* Your lives made much better. 

 

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The Chestnut King, by N.D. Wilson. I’m super excited about this one. I have a bad habit of getting really thrilled about my library books and going crazy and starting them all at the same time… so I think I’m about two chapters into this one as well as in the middle of several others. :P

 

 

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 Paper Things, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Can’t say I was over-the-top impressed with this one. It’s just that there was this floatiness (is that a word?) that honestly reminded me of Everything on a Waffle. I will forever mentally pair the two. Not that the protagonists in both books don’t experience emotion. But as a reader you need to be plunged violently into the main character’s sticky problems and feel their emotion and their pain. Didn’t happen for me. To be quite frank, I got kinda bored. But I did love Gage. He was a fantastic character.

 

 

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 The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Cushman. An old favorite. This isn’t the exact copy I have, but it’s somewhat prettier. This is a book about a little nameless nobody who becomes apprentice to a midwife (pretty obviously, from the title). It’s no sweet, dreamy story, however. It’s a bit gritty and realistic. And funny. Even in the midst of protagonist (called Beetle’s) troubles, Karen Cushman’s roguish sense of humor makes for an entertaining read.

 

 

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 Be Light Like a Bird, by Monika Schroeder. I’ve read only a few chapters of this one, so no judgement or recommendations yet. Stay tuned! *winks* The cover and font are so cute, though!! Fine, I admit it. I am really, really attracted to a book by its cover.

 

 

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 The Dragon’s Tooth, by N.D. Wilson. About halfway through this one, and I’m actually liking it better than the 100 Cupboards series so far (or at least the 2/3 of the 100 Cupboards series I’ve read). I think it’s that I’m drawn more to Cyrus’ personality than I have been to Henry’s. Which is weird, because Cy is kind of impetuous and sarcastic. Me, impetuous? No. Me, sarcastic? Hmm.

 

 

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 The Kings of Clonmel, by John Flanagan. Yayyy!! Book #8 of The Ranger’s Apprentice! Haven’t gotten around to this one yet, but I’m looking forward to it. When I first started reading this series something inexplicable about the author’s writing style threw me off… I can’t remember what bothered me. I really enjoy his books now, they just took some getting used to.

 

I took out twelve books in all. Among those not mentioned were:

  • The Book Thief (and you really don’t want me enthusing about that one again)
  • Two books I was VERY unimpressed by… which shall remain nameless. >:D
  • Three for writing research. One book of historical costumes, and two… *sighs* all about goats. Don’t ask.

 

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What are your opinions on some of these books? (What I really want to know is, did anyone else get the same frustration for Everything on a Waffle, or was it just me?) I’d love to hear from you!