Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Word on Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet

If you know me personally... I'm sure you read the title of the post and rolled your eyes. I am an English major and so I've read my fair share of Shakespeare. I love pretty much everything I've ever read that The Bard penned. (Except the Histories... not a fan) However, I have a love hate relationship with Romeo and Juliet, and like I said, if you know me personally you are very much aware of why I have such an attitude toward the play. I will try to give you the sparksnotes version without standing too tall on my soapbox.

Why Romeo and Juliet bothers me so much:
When I actually sat down and read Romeo and Juliet for the first time my freshman year of high school, I totally loved it! Mainly because I was one of the 3 people in class who could actually understand it. Then I read it again when I as a senior in high school and started to notice a variety of things that made me think that it really isn't the love story that history has painted it to be. If you really want to know specific examples of why I think this totally feel free to leave a comment below, but if I went into it in this post it would seriously go on for 20 pages. No Joke I've written it before. (in essay form mind you) I adore Romeo and Juliet for what it is: A tragedy brought on by feuding parents who are too blinded by their hate making their own children terrified to tell them that they are in love with a member of the opposing family. The families end their feud only after the unthinkable happens. Now I will tell you what Romeo and Juliet it NOT: It is NOT a romantic story in which two star-crossed lovers give their lives for love. Juliet was 14 people, and the biggest argument I hear is that it was a different time and 14 year olds got married all the time. My response to that is that the original story of Romeo and Juliet is an old Italian story that follows the lovers romantic deaths (no adults in this one) and in that story, Juliet was about 17. Ok... I'm starting to get sudsy. I'll stop. :) But I think you get my point. I love Romeo and Juliet, hate its reputation as Epic Love Story.

Everyone has a story that they don't really like touched. Because I am so very opinionated on this particular play, I look a little harsher on literature that parodys/ borrows the story. It really is impossible for me to think of Romeo as anything but a teenage boy who wants what he can't have and is more in love the idea of being in love than any girl. There are three YA books that I can think of off the top of my head that are solely based on the characters in Romeo and Juliet. They are:

I have read Saving Juliet and Juliet Immortal and they were both good books. I didn't hate them, but especially with Juliet Immortal; I had a hard time actually getting into it because the characters themselves were just too different from the story that they are based on. Saving Juliet wasn't as difficult for me because it was a different character that just stepped into Juliet's shoes. As far as When You Were Mine goes, I haven't really heard anything bad. It's either been really good, or "different." I just don't know if I should pick it up. I know that it is a modern day take on Romeo (Rob) and his relationship with Rosaline. Who is Juliet's cousin in both this book and the original play. I actually am interested in the premise mainly because Rosaline was older than Juliet and was able to see through Romeo's childish advances and so she straight up dissed him. That being said, I'm really interested in seeing how she spins that into a love story. Keeping in mind that I don't really enjoy books that change the characters of Romeo and Juliet I think I might have a really hard time appreciating this book. Have any of you read it? What did you think?

Do any of you have stories that you love and have a hard time reading the books when authors borrow from them?

Shelf Candy

It's Saturday at 10 in the morning!! and I'm at work shhhhh.... I'm not blogging at work... what?! ;) I've FINALLY finished that Stephen King book, The Dark Half, that my boyfriend dared me I wouldn't read before he finished the entire Hex Hall series. He had this theory that I would wait FOREVER to read it... well I won said bet. Muhaha. I suddenly feel more cultured; being able to say that I've read some Stephen King and all, and hey now I'm even reading my first Jodi Picoult book. (A young adult mind you, but who cares it's still Jodi Picoult) Anyway, now that I'm done with that lovely Thriller of a Stephen King book, I can move on to happier things... like pretty covers that make me happy when I see them. Today I'm going with a book that comes out next January, and when I saw the cover... I wanted it like yesterday. :) Shelf Candy is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.

This week I'm lovin': Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Isn't it Pretty!!! I love the black dress turning into smoke. AND Nikki has big, curly hair! LIKE ME!! Overall, I just think that this cover is perfect. It captures the dark elegance of the series so well. (At least the first books dark elegance, I haven't actually read this one yet considering it's released in January, but I imagine it also possesses said elegance.)

Which covers are you oooing and awwing right now?
Anyone know if ARCs of this book are floating around bloggerspace yet?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review'd: Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Book Review: 
Title: Dark Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Published: May 29th by Kensington

Goodreads Summary: 
I've seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I'm supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I'm just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me again. Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me and I'm in for the fight of my life.

DeLibrarie Review: 
I love that this series is just so light and fresh. There are so many EPIC stories coming out lately in the YA genre. They are all so urgent, and life or death. This series is just super quick and while, yes, they are a tad predictable, they just always seem to be exactly what I need. And pretty sure Logan is one of the hottest Fictional Boys I've read about. He's super underrated. :) If you haven't read this series, you are truly missing out. They really are awesome... and what else... she comes out with a new one every six months or so!! We don't have to wait a full year to find out what happens!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Kids Who Ruined Trivia

When I was in 9th grade, my chemistry teacher used to start each class period with a variety of trivia questions. If you raised your hand, were called on, and answered the question correctly, you were given a piece of candy, and a few extra credit questions. We would also come into class with trivia questions for our teacher, and if we could stump him, we got a treat. It was always a super enjoyable time because everyone tried and who doesn't love a nice Reeses peanut butter cup?! After a few weeks of enjoying trivia time, certain classmates of mine would not take their seats, or they would just continue talking and ignore the bell. When this would happen, Mr. Bowman would skip trivia time and go straight to teacher. This happened so many days in a row that all of a sudden he stopped doing it all together, and when we asked him about it he said, "It seemed that a few kids would have rather spent that time talking." That group of 3-4 students ruined it for all of us.

There are not a lot of events that truly bond us YA book bloggers together, but The YA Sisterhood managed to create a variety of tournaments (Crush,Heroine and the yet to be had Villian) that brought us all together. It was truly a remarkable community. Friendly armies fighting for their crush to win a battle and ultimately the war. I know that I always look forward to the tournaments, and judging by the amount of tweets about the tournaments... it is apparent that you all are too. To understand my comparison, you might want to click on that YA Sisterhood link above and read their post. It is really unfortunate that something that is so much fun, and that loads of bloggers really enjoy doing is ruined because people go to such great lengths to ruin it for the rest of us. I was actually appalled when I read that people had sent Cassandra Clare hate mail for her characters' winning the last two tournaments, or that the YA Sisters are personally getting attacked for what other people are voting. Do you not realize that Cassandra Clare built up such a solid fan base that they teamed up and voted their favorite characters to become champion? Cassandra Clare did not send the sisters any sort of compensation, or bribe. The tournament was designed to be a fun event for bloggers, a way for us to gush over our favorite men, or ladies.

This also brings me to the negativity and bullying that certain people think is appropriate on the internet. It the ladies of The YA Sisterhood where standing in front of you... would you still call them "sick," or would you still say nasty things to Ms. Clare if you were at one of her book signings. I notice that a lot of people, especially on goodreads, tend to blatantly bash authors writing or characters.  When I see those reviews, they make me both angry and sad. I do not understand how people can be so mean, and rude to people who clearly have access to their reviews. Saying you are planning on burning their book, or that you could write a better book... is not only egotistical but also incredibly insensitive. I love being a part of the blogger/goodreads community, but sometimes... like today... it reminds me of those kids in high school. Those kids who ruined trivia time. Because that is was these negative people did they ruined the tournaments for the rest of the community. Call me over dramatic, but frankly, you should be ashamed of yourselves if you go to such great lengths to express your negativity in such a rude and disrespectful way.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shelf Candy

I had a wonderful mother/daughter day today. :) We went to BN and she bought me two new books! I'll fill you in on those in an In My Mailbox post. I'm really excited to read both of them. Thanks Momma!! My bookshelf is starting to look more complete with all of these book 2,3 and 4s coming out. I love it. As I was organizing, I realized that lately they've been coming out with some really beautiful covers. I hopped on goodreads to see which cover I wanted to feature for this weeks Shelf Candy post, and honestly it was a no brainer for me. All the covers are super awesome but they honestly are mostly the same... a girl in a dress. Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight just stands out from the rest of the little book covers lined up in a row on my goodreads page. I love the colors and the pretty flower. It's just so eye catching.

SOOO... this weeks shelf candy is: Embers & Echoes by Karsten Knight

Isn't it lovely, it will look so pretty next to Wildefire on my shelf. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Can't They Last Forever?!

I just finished Until I Die and haven't started my next read yet... so I don't really have the ability to do a Teaser Tuesday today (Unless you want to hear about the awesome adult fantasy book I've also been reading about a man who buys a fantasy land). :) Since I don't have a Teen Teaser Tuesday to write I figure I would talk to you all about something I know is probably dear to all of us.... the last book in a favorite series. We all go through it... the anxiety of waiting for the final book to come out... and the hesitance to start it because we know that it's the end. I went through it for the first time with Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle Trilogy, I went through it twice already this year with Hex Hall and Wings and now i'm on my third. Rapture by Lauren Kate came out today. I raced to Target after work today and sped walked to the book section to grab my copy. I have this weird habit of picking the back copy in the stack of books (I have this strange theory that it has been touched less), and I saw this beautiful sticker on the cover that said "autographed copy." None of the other copies had that sticker so apparently my habit brought me good luck. I haven't even opened it yet... mostly because I hadn't finished Until I Die yet and I was so close to being done that I didn't want to start Rapture, but also because this is it. This next 400 some pages is all I'm going to get with that story... you know how heartbreaking that is?! SUPER HEARTBREAKING!!! I was fully aware at the start of this year that I'd have to say goodbye to my favorite characters pretty consistently. Most of my favorite series end/ended this year... Hex Hall, Wings, Fallen, Hush Hush, and Matched... it's a sad sad year, but on the flip side I read so many flippin' series that i'm always waiting for something.  Oh the life of a reader!

Do any of you have any series that you are dreading the end of?

Review'd: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Book Review: 
Title: Until I Die
Author: Amy Plum
Published: May 8th 2012 by HarperCollins

Jacket Summary:
It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris, Peel back a thin layer of reality and under the city's glamorous surface is a battleground for immortal enemies. Because with Vincent, reality is an illusion. Handsome, chivalrous, and witty, he's got everything I've ever wanted in a boyfriend... except mortality. But when I chose Vincent, I chose love over reason and sagety. Vincent swore to avoid death- to resist his very nature so that we can be together. But I refuse to stand by and watch him suffer. I know I'll do whatever it takes- even if it means lying to the people I love- to fight against a fate that is trying to tear us apart.

DeLibrarie Summary:
I really liked Die for Me, but honestly I loved Until I Die. There was a lot more information on Revenants so it got a little info-heavy but I feel like it was necessary info for the final book and I was never bored, so no complaints here. I like what Amy Plum is doing with the relationships in this book. There are obviously new ones forming, and it is clear that Jules has feelings for Kate (which I am really interested in seeing how that is portrayed in the next book). I just felt like she was straying from the "How To Write A Paranormal Teen Love Triangle" which was awesome! How many different ways can you write the same story, the girl ALWAYS ends up with the person that you think she's gonna end up with. The Edwards always win and the Jacobs always get the creepy vampire babies. (Ok maybe not so much on the blood sucking infant thing but you get my point.) It was nice to read a book where I really don't know where she's going to take it. I would also like to add, after reading a lot of negative reviews, a common complaint is that Kate and Vincent's relationship is really boring. To that I say: their relationship is super believable (minus the whole zombie thing). I feel like Plum is writing a real relationship, just because Amy and Vincent don't have major problem after major problem doesn't mean that they are a boring couple... it means they're believable. Because I've already used Twilight once in this post... I will use it again because it's an easy reference... we've all read it. Edward and Bella in an entire 4 book saga never once have a normal moment where they can just enjoy a normal day of being in a loving relationship. It is one evil villain or psycho monarch of vamps after another... and when it does finally start to get normal... the books end. SO... mad props to Plum for taking a believable couple and putting them in regular situations where we can see them exactly how they should be... normal. (once again minus the zombie thing... they can't ever be totally normal ;) )

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