Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why I Love...Katniss Everdeen

Today's topic for "Why I Love Wednesday" is one that I can write about forever...Favorite Character.  There are so many characters that I've fallen in love with in all of my reading adventures.  Of course the majority of them come from Harry Potter (naturally), but I have loved others:  Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief, Charlotte Doyle from The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Bertie from 44 Scotland Street, Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum series, Minnie from The Help, Edgar Sawtelle from The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, John Thornton from North and South, and on and on and on...honestly.

But for this post, I'm going with Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy.  Katniss is, for lack of a better word, a badass!  She shows what a true heroine should be.  While she starts in a place that some might consider a little selfish and contained, her character develops in such a beautiful way that she becomes something to be admired.  She loses a lot of her tough, though warranted, exterior and learns to adapt in unexpected situations.  Something that people should strive to emulate.  Without adaption, there is a lack of evolution (both personal and societal) and Katniss' character shows how change is possible.
Especially in a market of YA books that revolves around and relies heavily on vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural loves/aspects, Katniss presents teen girls, specifically, with a character they can look up to and learn something from.  Instead of presenting readers with a girl whose life soon revolves around her often controlling love interest, Collins has given the world a true female heroine.  Someone who knows about sacrifice and perserverance.  Someone who alters her approach to life as the story progresses.  Someone who is brave, independent, admirable, courageous, and incredibly resourceful.  This is the type of character that young people should rally around.  Not a weak girl who is mesmerized by amber eyes and cold skin.*  Bravo and thank you, Suzanne Collins, for giving the world this character. 

*Though I must admit that I do enjoy the Twilight series and the like :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Awards and Random Creativity

Thanks to Nick from Scattergun Scribblings for this Kreativ Blogger Award (my first blogging award)!  I encourage everyone to check out his blog.

And now for the rules to the Kreativ Blogger:
1.  Thank and link back to the person who presented you with the award.
2.  Answer the ten questions below.
3.  Share ten random facts/thoughts about yourself.
4.  Nominate seven worthy blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award!

It's that simple!  So...here goes...

What is your favorite song?--It's incredibly difficult for me to choose one specific favorite song because I have such an eclectic taste in music (seriously).  But if I had to choose one (and someone was holding a gun to my head), I would probably choose...um...ugh...sigh..."The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" by Brand New...or..."Who's Cryin' Now" by Journey.  See, I can't even choose one with a gun pointed at me!  Pathetic.

What is your favorite dessert?--Mmmmm dessert!  I love love love love love pumpkin pie and cheesecake.  So, when you put them together, what do you get?  Pumpkin Cheesecake!  The greatest invention on the planet.  If you've never had pumpkin cheesecake, I highly recommend getting a slice...or an entire pie.  Yeah, it's that good.  Yum.


What ticks you off?--People who don't close doors or cupboards or closets.  When people don't put the caps back on shampoo/conditioner bottles or toothpaste.  When the lid to the toilet is left up (not the seat...the lid).  Bad drivers.  Inconsiderate people.  I'm going to stop now :)

When you're upset what do you do?
--I read or listen to music or drink coffee.  Ideally, I go to a coffee shop and get a coffee while listening to some music and reading.

Which is/was your favorite pet?
--My favorite pet was definitely my cat, Callie.  She was a beautiful calico (not a tortouise calico) and was nuts.  She liked to lay in the bathtub after someone took a shower.  She liked to lick lotion off your legs.  She had crazy eyes at night and would tear through the house like her tail was on fire.  She was a great cat.

Which do you prefer to wear, black or white?
--Black, hands down.  I tend to wear it all the time.

What is your biggest fear?
--Losing family members too soon.  My dearest and longest friendship (going on 20 years so far) just lost her dad at the end of April.  It was unexpected and it's been really rough.

What is your attitude mostly?
--Done.  I am ready for the week to be over and I'm ready to go home for the day.  Luckily it pretty much is and I can :)

What is perfection?
--A warm gun.  No, wait.  That's happiness.  Perfection is being with family and friends, laughter, good food, good drinks, exploration, travel, books, and an amazing cup of coffee!

What is your guilty pleasure?
--Romance novels.  They're predicatable and they're always going to end happily.  Sometimes you need something like that.  I also have an irrational love for shoes.

And now on to ten random things...hmm...
1.  I am convinced that ghosts exist.  Aliens, too, for that matter.  I've never been abducted by aliens (that I know of) and I've never actually seen a ghost, but that doesn't mean they're not there!!!
2.  Clowns are the most terrifying thing in the world.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, smiles all the time like that.  Plus, have you ever seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space?  Well, I have and I was way too young.  Fear instilled.
3.  I have every intention of exercising regularly, but I rarely capitalize on it.
4.  When I was eleven and going into the sixth grade, I decided to shave the bottom half of my head.  Haha.  Yeah, I had long hair on the top half and a buzz cut underneath (about 4 inches all the way around).  I thought I was so cool.  Also, I think I wore shorts every single day that year.  I live in Oregon.  It rains a lot.  It's cold 8-10 months out of the year.  How I didn't die of hypothermia is beyond me.
5.  I dislike large dogs, but if I ever got a dog it would be a large one.  Explain that!
6.  I still listen to and love New Kids on the Block.  I cherished my NKOTB sheets and lunch box when I was younger.  They were uh-mazing :)
7.  I love the rain.  The smell.  The taste.  The feel.  The sound.  Everything about it.  I would prefer it to be raining than sunny.
8.  If I could afford to be a student for the rest of my life, I would go back to college in a heartbeat.  I love that atmosphere and, honestly, I really enjoy writing research papers.  I'm strange like that.
9.  I had every intention of starting a neighborhood library in my playroom when I was younger.  I was convinced that the kids in my neighborhood (mainly boys, mind you) would love to read my Babysitters Club  and Sweet Valley High collections.
10.  I used to play school with my sister when we were kids (I'm two years older) and make her do the same things I was doing for my grade level.  I think that's why she did so well in school.  You're welcome, Sarah!

And now I will pass this award on to:
1.  Bianca
2.  Kelly
3.  Daft Lass
4.  Mandy
5.  Alexis
6.  Pish Posh
7.  Kori

Have a lovely weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday...Fifty Shades of a Little More Whoa!

So last week I posted a teaser for E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey and I quickly plowed through that book.  I'm nearly 300 pages into the second one, but here's a teaser anyway!

"He smirks.  He's trying to put me off my game, the bastard.  He pulls his cream sweater over his head, tosses it onto the back of a chair, and grins at me, as he saunters over to take his first shot" (238).

Hot damn...that's probably the sexiest game of pool I've ever read.  I'd play a game of pool with this guy!  Happy Tuesday everyone :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teaser Tuesday...Fifty Shades of Whoa!

Needless to say, I have been a big time slacker in posting my reviews and whatnot.  I have three books that I've finished and need to write reviews for and I'm about finished with another book.  It's that time of the term (damn you midterms and essays that have to be graded in a "timely" manner), and it's been a busy one.  However, despite those necessary distractions, I've still been able to keep up on my reading.  Because of that, I give you today's teaser from E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey:

"'Ana, there's something about him.'  Her tone is full of warning.  'He's gorgeous, I agree, but I think he's dangerous.  Especially for someone like you.'
'What do you mean, someone like me?' I demand, affronted.
'An innocent like you, Ana.  You know what I mean,' she says a little irritated.  I flush" (39).

Oh man oh man, I've been hearing a lot about this book.  A lot of racy stuff and a lot of good stuff!  In fact, one of my dearest friends, who has never been a huge reader, called me last week and asked if I had read it yet...then proceeded to DEMAND that I read it immediately so she could talk to someone closer to her age about it (her co-worker is in her 40s and is the only other person who's read it in her circle).  I've got about fifty pages left of the book I'm working on and then it's time to dive in to another trilogy.  Happy Tuesday everyone :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why I Love...the Anti-Hero

Today's topic for Why I Love Wednesday is Favorite Heroes...well, I'm taking this in a different way and declaring my love for the Anti-Hero.  Anti-Heroes are generally the underdog of the story or the "hero-in-hiding" and seeing them triumph in one way or another is always one of my favorite aspects in a story.  So, here's to the Anti-Heroes!

My most loved anti-hero is, hands down, Severus Snape.  Many would argue that he is not worthy of being considered a hero, but I would beg to differ...heatedly.  He's loyal to a fault and completely constant in his treatment toward others.  These aspects alone garner him hero status in my book.  But if someone needs more convicing, simply look at how he sacrifices himself on countless occassions: with Draco, with Harry, with Dumbledore, and, ultimately, with his own life.  Here's your medal, Professor!
Another hero who falls under the anti status would be Death from The Book Thief.  Death being considered a hero?  Huh?!  That's right people.  Death's role in this book is, fittingly, to bear souls to the next realm.  But what makes him a hero is the way in which he does that.  He's a champion of order and progression, a direct reverse to the action of the story and its WWII setting.  He's caring and concerned.  Ultimately, Death is the gentlest "soul" in the entire story.
Two other heroes in my world would be Minny and Aibileen from The Help.  While they may be a more typical hero, they are subtle about their triumph and that makes it even more gorgeous.  In addition, their triumph comes at a significant price.  Beautiful.
Whatever way you define the term hero, there are always deviations from the rule.  These are a few of my takes on what it means to be a hero.  It's a fitting topic for my week, that's for sure.  Enjoy this Wednesday everyone :-)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teaser Tuesday...Love's Got a Back Story

It's Tuesday...and that means it's teaser time.  This week's excerpt comes from Nicole Krauss' The History of Love.  This book was the one I received to distribute as a book giver for World Book Night US, a great organization to promote literacy and a love of reading.  I thought it sounded like a wonderful story, so I picked up a copy for myself.

"The moment had passed, the door between the lives we could have led and the lives we led had shut in our faces.  Or better to say, in my face.  Grammar of my life:  as a rule of thumb, wherever there appears to be a plural, correct for singular.  Should I ever let slip a royal We, put me out of my misery with a swift blow to the head" (86).
This book sounds promising and I'm looking forward to reading it.  Hopefully it will be the light at the end of an otherwise dark and incredibly sad week...