Written in Red

Fanfiction of fairy tales is the “it” thing right now, and I am loving it! For some reason Red Riding Hood especially seems to be popular. She was never my favorite character growing up, but I do love the modern day remixes.

Book Club Fiction is reading Written in Red this month, and while it’s been awhile since I’ve participated in one of their readalongs–I was able to get this one from my library in time. I am so glad I did!

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I will say that at first, I wasn’t too sure about it. The prologue really doesn’t explain what the Others are very well, and so the whole time I was thinking “Oooook….so you’re saying if Native Americans just would have been evil cannibals, the white men wouldn’t have come in and taken over?” It just seemed a little…off. Once I got into the story and realized the author wasn’t talking about people at all, it made perfect sense, but at first, I was more than a little concerned.

Don’t let the prologue scare you like it did me. The Others are actually ancient earth natives. Terra Indigene. Their basic form is a pumped up form of animal (Wolf, Crow, Coyote, Bear, even Vampire), but they have adapted to be able to shift into human shape as necessary. However, they hate humans, and see them as just another form of meat that they somehow have to live with.

Meg, however, doesn’t smell like prey for some reason. She’s different, and they don’t know why. But she is scared and needs shelter, so they hire her on. Suddenly things get super complicated.

I loved this story. It was both scary and also gentle. There was friendship, but not exactly romance. I kept expecting it to break off into romance, because, you know, that’s what always happens in books like this. But it never came, and it was a nice change.

I do want to give you a trigger warning. There is quite a bit of discussion and a couple of scenes with cutting. Meg was in a cult type culture before she came to The Others where the girls were cut to induce prophecies. If that will trigger you, please don’t read this book, or proceed with caution, as it is a big part of the story. Please take care of yourself!

Two books in a row that I couldn’t put down? Maybe my slump is finally over! *fingers crossed*

 

Fulfills Popsugar #37:  A book with a color in the title

 

April Trees of Reverie Readathon Wrap Up

This readathon was a little bit of a letdown for me. I haven’t been feeling well, so any time I hit my couch, I fall asleep, so there were no long marathon reading sessions this time. That means I did not get very far in my reading list.

But that’s ok. There’s a reason I didn’t set any page goals.

Here’s what I did read:

 

Emma by Jane Austen

The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit

Atonement by Ian McEwan

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

Plus I worked through more from Henry James and the Short Story collection.

 

 

In total I read 1316 pages this week. Not great, but not bad either.

There will always be more readathons!

House of Echoes

Good thrillers are hard to find. That genre seems to be overrun with cop dramas and murder mysteries, and to me, that isn’t really what a thriller is. A great thriller should be psychologically complicated–something that tweeks that part of your brain to keep you guessing. A thriller should keep you up at night, wondering what exactly the “monster” is–human?not human?

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Brendan Duffy’s first novel is a fantastic example of the thriller pedigree. The characters have their own psychological issues to begin with, so you don’t know if they are imagining things or if there really is all this strife going on. The book has freakin’ creepy kids. *shudder* And the combination of giant old house and tiny isolated town is something right out of The Shining and The Village. You even have a “monster” in the forest, lurking around causing trouble.

I couldn’t put this one down, and it definitely interrupted my sleep patterns. House of Echoes comes out next week, April 14, and if you like being on the edge of your seat as much as I do, this is a must read for late nights!

 

NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

Atonement

Ever read a book and have serious dejavu? That happened to me with Atonement. I didn’t know it, but I have apparently watched at least part of the movie. When I got to the library scene, all of my senses started going off like “That’s Kiera Knightley and (SPOILER ALERT) the little girl is going to walk in on them…now!”

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I am not sure I’ve watched much more than that scene though, and without looking it up, I couldn’t tell you who any of the other actors are. So, apparently I need to rewatch!

This is maybe not the most exciting book in the world, but it has that quality literature factor. That “whatever it is” that makes teachers put it on lists for future progeny to read for generations. The writing was smooth and the characters were strong. I liked that we got multiple viewpoints since there was so much conflict going on. We saw the war from not only multiple perspectives, but also multiple timeframes–preparation, during the battles, and towards the end.

Atonement is one of those books that will live on for a long time. Love it or hate it, it is our generation’s literature.

 

Fulfill’s Boxall #81

WWW Wednesday 4/8/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Atonement by Ian McEwan

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit

Emma by Jane Austen

The Iron King by Maurice Druon

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

 

This list may change. I’m picking up a stack of library books from my hold requests tonight, so who knows what I’ll actually read next!

The Book of Dragons

Long before Smaug, there were fairy tale princesses, locked up in dragon proof towers. There were princes to save them, and then dragons were always mean and scary.

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E. Nesbitt’s versions of these tales were fun to read. They were the same prince and princess and dragon motifs, but the stories were not quite so predictable. First and foremost, the princess was not always helpless. Often she was smart, and while she may not beat the dragon all on her own…she does help quite a bit. Also, the dragon is not always completely bad–more of a misunderstood creature. Sure, it has an appetite for whole towns, but it’s a HUGE animal! I can see how that could make it feared among humans, but in one of the stories it just thinks that is normal behavior. But, it is a loving mother, and also extremely gullible.

Overall these were very sweet stories that any elementary aged kid would like. I could imagine reading these as bedtime stories to any little adventurer.

Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Four: Monday, April 6

Daily Bookish Challenges
Trees of Reverie April Read-A-Thon
Day Four: Monday, April 6:

Create some book spine poetry!

These are getting harder to come up with each time! Even though I’m adding more books, it seems that I keep using the same ones every time. Not many of my books have verbs for a title, and so many start with A or The. It’s frustrating!

Somehow I came up with a very mysterious sinner’s lament type poem.

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Fear nothing.

Quiet.

Angels & Demons,

A perfect union:

Deliver us from evil.

The confession

Without remorse.

Run

Chasers of the light!

Red Dragon,

A time to kill.

The Iron King

Right about the time I was asking for recommendations regarding French history, someone posted on Tumblr asked about The Accursed Kings series by Maurice Duron. I hadn’t heard of it, but when I looked it up, the reviews all toted it as The Original Game of Thrones! Well of course, I had to jump right on it, so I ordered the first book from my library. Little did I realize that not only did George RR Martin love the series and do the introduction, but it was also about the 100 year war between England and France!

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Well, you can imagine my excitement. When I read Martin’s introduction, I was stoked. Martin is pretty grumpy, but to hear him rave about Druon left me with high expectations. I was even debating if I should start learning French so I could read the last two books (which haven’t been translated into English). I thought, “Yes! This will give me more of a foundation into medieval French history that I’ve been looking for.” At least the early years.

But, with high expectations come big disappointments. The subject matter was interesting, but the writing was lackluster. Sorry, George, I just could not get into this at all. I can definitely see the Game of Thrones type storyline. The history certainly the potential for drama, but the prose lacks all emotion whatsoever. It is a complete yawn that left me scanning just to get to the end of the chapter so I could do something else. And that means I retained nothing and gained nothing.

I can tell you the king is Philip the Fair, and there were three princesses that had simultaneous affairs. That’s about it. Oh and there was a poisonous candle somewhere in the mix. I’m going to have to find another version to figure out what actually happened. Something that can hold my attention. This one did not do it.

Sigh. On to the next!

WWW Wednesday 4/1/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Emma by Jane Austen

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Iron King by Maurice Druon (Review will be up later today)

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

Quidditch Through the Ages by JK Rowling (I’m doing the review for this one as a set with the other two Hogwarts Library books, so it’ll be a little while.)

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit

Atonement by Ian McEwan

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

Unbearable Lightness

Sometimes you pick up a book and learn something you absolutely did not expect. When I saw Portia de Rossi had a book out, I thought “Oh, neat! I don’t know much about her, except that she’s married to Ellen.” And I love Ellen! So of course I want to read her wife’s memoirs!

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However, Ellen does not appear in the book until the Epilogue. If that is the only reason you are reading this…you’ll be disappointed. This is not about their relationship.

What I did not know about Portia is that she battled anorexia and bulimia from the time she was a teenager. She was a model and actress since she was 12, and she was constantly worried about her weight. I’ve heard about anorexia and bulimia in school and on TV, but I’ve never heard it described in such detail and through the mind of someone going through it. Portia does not hold back here, and this book is not for the lighthearted. I was all but in tears when she talked about being 37 kilos (81 pounds) and hardly being able to walk.

The Epilogue is encouraging. The good news is she did get better, and we’ve all seen her now. She’s gorgeous, and come on, she’s married to the most sunshiney person on earth. At least in their public persona (because no one knows what goes on behind closed doors), they are the happiest celebrity couple ever to be a celebrity couple. I wish them both the very best.