dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I am going to try to do periodic reading posts because I do read a lot so it might be fun to blab about it.

Part of the reason there haven't been so many posts in the last couple of days is that I've been obsessed with Jilly Cooper's Wicked! and just finished it. Now I am reading Jump! (no, I have no idea why there are exclamation marks in the titles).

I've posted about her before, but in case you missed it, Jilly Cooper is the grande dame of those super-thick, deliciously snarky, melodramatic British novels which aren't really chick lit but are a somewhat trashy, R-rated delight. She's been writing forever and is still active.

I love some of her Rutshire Chronicles books more than others but they are all great fun:

A really long list of her books with summaries and non-spoilery thoughts )

OK, this is long enough for a dissertation. Anyone read this?
dangermousie: (Default)
I am reading Jilly Cooper's Wicked (short version - fancy prep school merges with worst school in the county, chaos ensues) and I have decided that Dora Belvedon pretty much wins the 'ballsiest 15-yr-old ever' award.

Consider:

She gets taken away by Mommy's creeptastic, child-molesting, rapist boyfriend (yeah, Mommy knows how to pick 'em). He tries to rape her and she manages to fight him off, so (because he's not the sharpest tool in the shed and an utter psycho), he tries to convince her to cooperate by showing her a video of her boyfriend being raped by a bunch of his pedo friends at a party a few years earlier (I am not sure if it's some sort of demented 'he's gay so you should get on with me' or 'it's futile to resist, girl, we've been doing it for ages' - I think both), so Dora manages to sic her dog on him and then after some more fighting gets her hands on a gun, holds him at gunpoint, finds his secret stash of coke and calls the cops. And she busts him AND his pedo friends, and as he's being led away in handcuffs, she tells him something to the effect of "and that's what you get for raping my boyfriend."

OMFG, she is so fucking awesome. I bet she's going to be a superhero when she grows up.

Seriously. DORA = MORE AWESOME THAN THE WORLD CAN CONTAIN.
dangermousie: (Default)
I am reading Jilly Cooper's Wicked (short version - fancy prep school merges with worst school in the county, chaos ensues) and I have decided that Dora Belvedon pretty much wins the 'ballsiest 15-yr-old ever' award.

Consider:

She gets taken away by Mommy's creeptastic, child-molesting, rapist boyfriend (yeah, Mommy knows how to pick 'em). He tries to rape her and she manages to fight him off, so (because he's not the sharpest tool in the shed and an utter psycho), he tries to convince her to cooperate by showing her a video of her boyfriend being raped by a bunch of his pedo friends at a party a few years earlier (I am not sure if it's some sort of demented 'he's gay so you should get on with me' or 'it's futile to resist, girl, we've been doing it for ages' - I think both), so Dora manages to sic her dog on him and then after some more fighting gets her hands on a gun, holds him at gunpoint, finds his secret stash of coke and calls the cops. And she busts him AND his pedo friends, and as he's being led away in handcuffs, she tells him something to the effect of "and that's what you get for raping my boyfriend."

OMFG, she is so fucking awesome. I bet she's going to be a superhero when she grows up.

Seriously. DORA = MORE AWESOME THAN THE WORLD CAN CONTAIN.
dangermousie: (Default)
I am reading Jilly Cooper's Wicked (short version - fancy prep school merges with worst school in the county, chaos ensues) and I have decided that Dora Belvedon pretty much wins the 'ballsiest 15-yr-old ever' award.

Consider:

She gets taken away by Mommy's creeptastic, child-molesting, rapist boyfriend (yeah, Mommy knows how to pick 'em). He tries to rape her and she manages to fight him off, so (because he's not the sharpest tool in the shed and an utter psycho), he tries to convince her to cooperate by showing her a video of her boyfriend being raped by a bunch of his pedo friends at a party a few years earlier (I am not sure if it's some sort of demented 'he's gay so you should get on with me' or 'it's futile to resist, girl, we've been doing it for ages' - I think both), so Dora manages to sic her dog on him and then after some more fighting gets her hands on a gun, holds him at gunpoint, finds his secret stash of coke and calls the cops. And she busts him AND his pedo friends, and as he's being led away in handcuffs, she tells him something to the effect of "and that's what you get for raping my boyfriend."

OMFG, she is so fucking awesome. I bet she's going to be a superhero when she grows up.

Seriously. DORA = MORE AWESOME THAN THE WORLD CAN CONTAIN.
dangermousie: (BSG: Kara/Sam by cmack_icons)
1. Respond to everyone...

2. Catch up on The King 2 Hearts eps 13-14, Love Rain 11-14 (bliss!!!) and Queen In Hyun's Man eps 5-6. I am putting aside The Equator Man to binge when it's done.

3. Clear up and post caps of eps 3-4 of QIHM - such a perfect, shippy, gorgeous drama. And Bung Do is such an amazing hero - smart, good, laid-back. Yoo Inna's heroine is wonderful and loveable too.

4. Read Cassandra Clare's latest in Mortal Instruments series, "City of Lost Souls." I eat up that series and the angsty angsty lurve between Clary and Jace with a big spoon. Though I think the premise of CoLS, in which Clary's used-to-think-he-was-her-brother-but-he-wasn't boyfriend gets possessed by her demonic-real-life-brother and there might be make-outs, reaches the levels of insanity not seen since CLAMP or Vampire Knight. Bring it on, people!

4. Start Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Born of Night," the first one in her League series. Love me some space opera, love me some romance, loved the other book in the series I read, and also met the protagonists of this one in the other book and thought they were awesome. The super-tall, super-strong invincible half-human former assassin and tiny dancer gal/daughter of a president that he rescues and who can wind him around her finger is a scenario made for me. Plus, I know Kenyon, h/c is going to be out of this world.

5. Finish Lauren Kate's "Fallen" quartet, at least the three books that are out. I am a sucker for paranormal romance YA (ummm, paranormal romance in general) and got 2/3 through this on my plane ride. Addiction! In Fallen, Luce, our teenage, sent-to-reform-school, seeing creepy visions heroine, finds out that she is one half of a super-doomed, super-punished couple - she keeps reincarnating over and over and over through the centuries only to die at the moment she and her equally punished OTP get together (he is a powerful sort-of-fallen angel and his punishment is to stay alive and remember everything only for it to happen over and over again no matter what he does). They are in their own cdrama! Only this time, she's not been baptized or brought up in any religion, so if she dies, that is the end, no reincarnation or anything. And a lot of supernatural bad guys are interested in that. On plus side, she also didn't die when they got together. Now, if she can only keep staying alive! Anyway, I love it to bits and ship the OTP. The whole thing would make a fun CW show but I am glad it's been left alone because you just know the makers would stick her with bad-boy Cam and not her OTP (see Vampire Diaries, adaptation of...).

6. Sleep. I am so jetlagged.
dangermousie: (BSG: Kara/Sam by cmack_icons)
1. Respond to everyone...

2. Catch up on The King 2 Hearts eps 13-14, Love Rain 11-14 (bliss!!!) and Queen In Hyun's Man eps 5-6. I am putting aside The Equator Man to binge when it's done.

3. Clear up and post caps of eps 3-4 of QIHM - such a perfect, shippy, gorgeous drama. And Bung Do is such an amazing hero - smart, good, laid-back. Yoo Inna's heroine is wonderful and loveable too.

4. Read Cassandra Clare's latest in Mortal Instruments series, "City of Lost Souls." I eat up that series and the angsty angsty lurve between Clary and Jace with a big spoon. Though I think the premise of CoLS, in which Clary's used-to-think-he-was-her-brother-but-he-wasn't boyfriend gets possessed by her demonic-real-life-brother and there might be make-outs, reaches the levels of insanity not seen since CLAMP or Vampire Knight. Bring it on, people!

4. Start Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Born of Night," the first one in her League series. Love me some space opera, love me some romance, loved the other book in the series I read, and also met the protagonists of this one in the other book and thought they were awesome. The super-tall, super-strong invincible half-human former assassin and tiny dancer gal/daughter of a president that he rescues and who can wind him around her finger is a scenario made for me. Plus, I know Kenyon, h/c is going to be out of this world.

5. Finish Lauren Kate's "Fallen" quartet, at least the three books that are out. I am a sucker for paranormal romance YA (ummm, paranormal romance in general) and got 2/3 through this on my plane ride. Addiction! In Fallen, Luce, our teenage, sent-to-reform-school, seeing creepy visions heroine, finds out that she is one half of a super-doomed, super-punished couple - she keeps reincarnating over and over and over through the centuries only to die at the moment she and her equally punished OTP get together (he is a powerful sort-of-fallen angel and his punishment is to stay alive and remember everything only for it to happen over and over again no matter what he does). They are in their own cdrama! Only this time, she's not been baptized or brought up in any religion, so if she dies, that is the end, no reincarnation or anything. And a lot of supernatural bad guys are interested in that. On plus side, she also didn't die when they got together. Now, if she can only keep staying alive! Anyway, I love it to bits and ship the OTP. The whole thing would make a fun CW show but I am glad it's been left alone because you just know the makers would stick her with bad-boy Cam and not her OTP (see Vampire Diaries, adaptation of...).

6. Sleep. I am so jetlagged.
dangermousie: (BSG: Kara/Sam by cmack_icons)
1. Respond to everyone...

2. Catch up on The King 2 Hearts eps 13-14, Love Rain 11-14 (bliss!!!) and Queen In Hyun's Man eps 5-6. I am putting aside The Equator Man to binge when it's done.

3. Clear up and post caps of eps 3-4 of QIHM - such a perfect, shippy, gorgeous drama. And Bung Do is such an amazing hero - smart, good, laid-back. Yoo Inna's heroine is wonderful and loveable too.

4. Read Cassandra Clare's latest in Mortal Instruments series, "City of Lost Souls." I eat up that series and the angsty angsty lurve between Clary and Jace with a big spoon. Though I think the premise of CoLS, in which Clary's used-to-think-he-was-her-brother-but-he-wasn't boyfriend gets possessed by her demonic-real-life-brother and there might be make-outs, reaches the levels of insanity not seen since CLAMP or Vampire Knight. Bring it on, people!

4. Start Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Born of Night," the first one in her League series. Love me some space opera, love me some romance, loved the other book in the series I read, and also met the protagonists of this one in the other book and thought they were awesome. The super-tall, super-strong invincible half-human former assassin and tiny dancer gal/daughter of a president that he rescues and who can wind him around her finger is a scenario made for me. Plus, I know Kenyon, h/c is going to be out of this world.

5. Finish Lauren Kate's "Fallen" quartet, at least the three books that are out. I am a sucker for paranormal romance YA (ummm, paranormal romance in general) and got 2/3 through this on my plane ride. Addiction! In Fallen, Luce, our teenage, sent-to-reform-school, seeing creepy visions heroine, finds out that she is one half of a super-doomed, super-punished couple - she keeps reincarnating over and over and over through the centuries only to die at the moment she and her equally punished OTP get together (he is a powerful sort-of-fallen angel and his punishment is to stay alive and remember everything only for it to happen over and over again no matter what he does). They are in their own cdrama! Only this time, she's not been baptized or brought up in any religion, so if she dies, that is the end, no reincarnation or anything. And a lot of supernatural bad guys are interested in that. On plus side, she also didn't die when they got together. Now, if she can only keep staying alive! Anyway, I love it to bits and ship the OTP. The whole thing would make a fun CW show but I am glad it's been left alone because you just know the makers would stick her with bad-boy Cam and not her OTP (see Vampire Diaries, adaptation of...).

6. Sleep. I am so jetlagged.
dangermousie: (CH: YS in pain by meganbmoore)
(Yes, I am finally back and posts and replies to come).

And the name is...taDAHHH...Darling Cruel. Yes. Let's all savor this for a second. The hero of Sherrilyn Kenyon's space opera romance Born of Silence is named Darling. Cruel. Which might be a great stage name for a fetish club performer but anyone else? Wha....? Has Ms. Kenyon been hanging out with JR Ward?

I suppose that's an effective marketing technique though because that is the sole reason I picked up the book - Kenyon's books are hit-or-miss for me - when I love them, I really love them, but often they leave me blah. Yet there was a preview for this book in another one of hers I picked up idly in the airport, an earlier one in the series called "Born of Shadows" (short verdict on BoS: meh. Shockingly light on angst and trauma for Kenyon, hero and heroine nice people who will have solid marriage but interest me little). And I knew I must have it. And here we are.

The story is as follows - in a galaxy far far away, Darling Cruel (I can't even type this with a straight face) is a useless despised prince by day and a Resistance hero by night. As a member of the resistance to his evil psychotic uncle who is ruling in his name, he goes by Kere (thank God!) and doesn't let anyone see his face. Not even Zarya Starska, the leader of the Resistance cell, with whom he's having a passionate love affair. Until it all goes horribly wrong and Darling is captured and horrifically (and I do mean horrifically - it is Kenyon we are talking about. Except for Acheron, this is the only so-called romance novel which maxed out my h/c levels and went straight into 'this is freaking the bleep out of me' territory) tortured by the very people he fought to defend. And now he's finally slipped the leash on his sanity and ready for blood...

I am 2/3 through Born of Silence now and, shockingly, insane name of hero aside (Kenyon tries to explain it, to do her credit, but nope, not buying), I am really really obsessed with this book! It's probably going into my faves. My first thought on getting into it was "Someone is trying to redo Acheron!" The unfortunately named Darling has a background as bad as Acheron's (only his, thankfully, started a bit later) and thus wins the honor of being in the only one of two romance books that freak me the fuck out. Tbh, when he finally loses it and goes psycho on all his enemies, I was only surprised that it didn't happen sooner (also, the tower of skulls was a nice artistic touch on his part :P) He is also a genuinely good, defender-of-the-innocent type so I eat it all up like chocolate.

I actually like it better than Acheron's story because Kenyon got rid of everything that bugged me and kept everything I like. Thankfully, since everyone is (mostly) human, this doesn't take millenia for things to straighten out. Also, unlike Acheron, the hero here does have a friend who cares what happens to him and goes through hell and high water to protect him when necessary. And last but not least - the heroine. The heroine of Acheron was pretty milquetoast who never really got all his baggage (IMO) and I was OK with her because she made him happy but for no other reason. But I love Zarya who's tough and awesome in her own right and knows every bit about her OTP and his trauma and strengths. I ship them pretty hard actually.

Even though in RL, the main character would be pretty much permanently on psych meds to even function, I am OK here with him being fixed by the power of love. Well, love and a tower of skulls.
dangermousie: (CH: YS in pain by meganbmoore)
(Yes, I am finally back and posts and replies to come).

And the name is...taDAHHH...Darling Cruel. Yes. Let's all savor this for a second. The hero of Sherrilyn Kenyon's space opera romance Born of Silence is named Darling. Cruel. Which might be a great stage name for a fetish club performer but anyone else? Wha....? Has Ms. Kenyon been hanging out with JR Ward?

I suppose that's an effective marketing technique though because that is the sole reason I picked up the book - Kenyon's books are hit-or-miss for me - when I love them, I really love them, but often they leave me blah. Yet there was a preview for this book in another one of hers I picked up idly in the airport, an earlier one in the series called "Born of Shadows" (short verdict on BoS: meh. Shockingly light on angst and trauma for Kenyon, hero and heroine nice people who will have solid marriage but interest me little). And I knew I must have it. And here we are.

The story is as follows - in a galaxy far far away, Darling Cruel (I can't even type this with a straight face) is a useless despised prince by day and a Resistance hero by night. As a member of the resistance to his evil psychotic uncle who is ruling in his name, he goes by Kere (thank God!) and doesn't let anyone see his face. Not even Zarya Starska, the leader of the Resistance cell, with whom he's having a passionate love affair. Until it all goes horribly wrong and Darling is captured and horrifically (and I do mean horrifically - it is Kenyon we are talking about. Except for Acheron, this is the only so-called romance novel which maxed out my h/c levels and went straight into 'this is freaking the bleep out of me' territory) tortured by the very people he fought to defend. And now he's finally slipped the leash on his sanity and ready for blood...

I am 2/3 through Born of Silence now and, shockingly, insane name of hero aside (Kenyon tries to explain it, to do her credit, but nope, not buying), I am really really obsessed with this book! It's probably going into my faves. My first thought on getting into it was "Someone is trying to redo Acheron!" The unfortunately named Darling has a background as bad as Acheron's (only his, thankfully, started a bit later) and thus wins the honor of being in the only one of two romance books that freak me the fuck out. Tbh, when he finally loses it and goes psycho on all his enemies, I was only surprised that it didn't happen sooner (also, the tower of skulls was a nice artistic touch on his part :P) He is also a genuinely good, defender-of-the-innocent type so I eat it all up like chocolate.

I actually like it better than Acheron's story because Kenyon got rid of everything that bugged me and kept everything I like. Thankfully, since everyone is (mostly) human, this doesn't take millenia for things to straighten out. Also, unlike Acheron, the hero here does have a friend who cares what happens to him and goes through hell and high water to protect him when necessary. And last but not least - the heroine. The heroine of Acheron was pretty milquetoast who never really got all his baggage (IMO) and I was OK with her because she made him happy but for no other reason. But I love Zarya who's tough and awesome in her own right and knows every bit about her OTP and his trauma and strengths. I ship them pretty hard actually.

Even though in RL, the main character would be pretty much permanently on psych meds to even function, I am OK here with him being fixed by the power of love. Well, love and a tower of skulls.
dangermousie: (CH: YS in pain by meganbmoore)
(Yes, I am finally back and posts and replies to come).

And the name is...taDAHHH...Darling Cruel. Yes. Let's all savor this for a second. The hero of Sherrilyn Kenyon's space opera romance Born of Silence is named Darling. Cruel. Which might be a great stage name for a fetish club performer but anyone else? Wha....? Has Ms. Kenyon been hanging out with JR Ward?

I suppose that's an effective marketing technique though because that is the sole reason I picked up the book - Kenyon's books are hit-or-miss for me - when I love them, I really love them, but often they leave me blah. Yet there was a preview for this book in another one of hers I picked up idly in the airport, an earlier one in the series called "Born of Shadows" (short verdict on BoS: meh. Shockingly light on angst and trauma for Kenyon, hero and heroine nice people who will have solid marriage but interest me little). And I knew I must have it. And here we are.

The story is as follows - in a galaxy far far away, Darling Cruel (I can't even type this with a straight face) is a useless despised prince by day and a Resistance hero by night. As a member of the resistance to his evil psychotic uncle who is ruling in his name, he goes by Kere (thank God!) and doesn't let anyone see his face. Not even Zarya Starska, the leader of the Resistance cell, with whom he's having a passionate love affair. Until it all goes horribly wrong and Darling is captured and horrifically (and I do mean horrifically - it is Kenyon we are talking about. Except for Acheron, this is the only so-called romance novel which maxed out my h/c levels and went straight into 'this is freaking the bleep out of me' territory) tortured by the very people he fought to defend. And now he's finally slipped the leash on his sanity and ready for blood...

I am 2/3 through Born of Silence now and, shockingly, insane name of hero aside (Kenyon tries to explain it, to do her credit, but nope, not buying), I am really really obsessed with this book! It's probably going into my faves. My first thought on getting into it was "Someone is trying to redo Acheron!" The unfortunately named Darling has a background as bad as Acheron's (only his, thankfully, started a bit later) and thus wins the honor of being in the only one of two romance books that freak me the fuck out. Tbh, when he finally loses it and goes psycho on all his enemies, I was only surprised that it didn't happen sooner (also, the tower of skulls was a nice artistic touch on his part :P) He is also a genuinely good, defender-of-the-innocent type so I eat it all up like chocolate.

I actually like it better than Acheron's story because Kenyon got rid of everything that bugged me and kept everything I like. Thankfully, since everyone is (mostly) human, this doesn't take millenia for things to straighten out. Also, unlike Acheron, the hero here does have a friend who cares what happens to him and goes through hell and high water to protect him when necessary. And last but not least - the heroine. The heroine of Acheron was pretty milquetoast who never really got all his baggage (IMO) and I was OK with her because she made him happy but for no other reason. But I love Zarya who's tough and awesome in her own right and knows every bit about her OTP and his trauma and strengths. I ship them pretty hard actually.

Even though in RL, the main character would be pretty much permanently on psych meds to even function, I am OK here with him being fixed by the power of love. Well, love and a tower of skulls.
dangermousie: (Default)
So, apparently Paullina Simons is writing a book about Alexander's parents (it's kinda cool she seems to find leaving the Tatiana and Alexander world as much as I do).

Hmmmm.

Now, I am sure it will be excellently-written. Anything of hers is. I am not sure how excited I am by this, however. It's not even about the fact that we already know the outcome - they both get executed. It's more that I truly dislike them. Whatever they were when they were younger, by the end they barely have a marriage, she's an utter alcoholic and he's worse. And even more importantly, perhaps this is the result of my Soviet childhood speaking, but any man who chooses, in the 1920s, to uproot his family from America where he has a comfortable middle-class existence, to Stalin's USSR, is a lunatic that deserves whatever he gets, except for the fact that his lunacy dooms the innocents he dragged with him. Every horrible, awful thing that happened to Alexander is his father's fault. (Though I suppose if he wasn't around, Tatiana would have died in the bombings or starved during the siege, so there is that...)

Plus, I lose interest when the story veers from our couple. The lat third of The Summer Garden, after they had a bunch of kids, I totally lost interest when the story got into their kids and things. I mean, I am happy they have a large family to replace being utterly alone in the world, but I don't really care about the details of the kids' lives or Anthony's tour of Vietnam or whatever.

So we'll see.
dangermousie: (Default)
So, apparently Paullina Simons is writing a book about Alexander's parents (it's kinda cool she seems to find leaving the Tatiana and Alexander world as much as I do).

Hmmmm.

Now, I am sure it will be excellently-written. Anything of hers is. I am not sure how excited I am by this, however. It's not even about the fact that we already know the outcome - they both get executed. It's more that I truly dislike them. Whatever they were when they were younger, by the end they barely have a marriage, she's an utter alcoholic and he's worse. And even more importantly, perhaps this is the result of my Soviet childhood speaking, but any man who chooses, in the 1920s, to uproot his family from America where he has a comfortable middle-class existence, to Stalin's USSR, is a lunatic that deserves whatever he gets, except for the fact that his lunacy dooms the innocents he dragged with him. Every horrible, awful thing that happened to Alexander is his father's fault. (Though I suppose if he wasn't around, Tatiana would have died in the bombings or starved during the siege, so there is that...)

Plus, I lose interest when the story veers from our couple. The lat third of The Summer Garden, after they had a bunch of kids, I totally lost interest when the story got into their kids and things. I mean, I am happy they have a large family to replace being utterly alone in the world, but I don't really care about the details of the kids' lives or Anthony's tour of Vietnam or whatever.

So we'll see.
dangermousie: (Default)
So, apparently Paullina Simons is writing a book about Alexander's parents (it's kinda cool she seems to find leaving the Tatiana and Alexander world as much as I do).

Hmmmm.

Now, I am sure it will be excellently-written. Anything of hers is. I am not sure how excited I am by this, however. It's not even about the fact that we already know the outcome - they both get executed. It's more that I truly dislike them. Whatever they were when they were younger, by the end they barely have a marriage, she's an utter alcoholic and he's worse. And even more importantly, perhaps this is the result of my Soviet childhood speaking, but any man who chooses, in the 1920s, to uproot his family from America where he has a comfortable middle-class existence, to Stalin's USSR, is a lunatic that deserves whatever he gets, except for the fact that his lunacy dooms the innocents he dragged with him. Every horrible, awful thing that happened to Alexander is his father's fault. (Though I suppose if he wasn't around, Tatiana would have died in the bombings or starved during the siege, so there is that...)

Plus, I lose interest when the story veers from our couple. The lat third of The Summer Garden, after they had a bunch of kids, I totally lost interest when the story got into their kids and things. I mean, I am happy they have a large family to replace being utterly alone in the world, but I don't really care about the details of the kids' lives or Anthony's tour of Vietnam or whatever.

So we'll see.
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I have been obsessively rereading Paullina Simons' Tatiana and Alexander trilogy (The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross (also known as Tatiana & Alexander), and The Summer Garden). If I make a list of my top 10 books, this trilogy would definitely be on it (hmmm, perhaps I should make a list). I am a coward so on reread I skip all the starvation during the siege of Leningrad scenes and Tatiana's family dying as well as most of the scenes with Alexander in the penal batallion/prison.

I own these books in paper copy (for permanence) and on kindle (for easy access). Addiction!

Ahhh, how can I not love it? It's pretty much the ultimate in epic love story. Have a passage (stolen from a tumblr):

Quote here )

Also, apparently people make vids for it. Not sure how one can make a vid for a book but people do, with various actors, all of which confirms my belief that I don't want to see these books as a movie because it will never match what's in my head.

I am also reading Gayle Forman's Where She Went, which is sort of a Before Sunrise (one of my favorite movies, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) set in New York. It's supposed to be YA but I honestly don't think it should be. Adam is a young but burned-out rocker and Mia is a rising classical musician. They used to date but have not seen each other in three years, their relationship disintegrating in the aftermath of a horrific car crash that injured Mia and killed the rest of her family (this is a sequel to If I Stay, which deals with the crash, but I am staying away from that one because I have my depressing book threshold. Said the girl that is rereading a trilogy large chunk of which deals with starvation and prison camps. WSW can be read alone).

When the story opens, Adam should be on top of the world, but instead he is barely holding on - permanently one step away from a panic attack, bitter, locked down. He can barely get through the day. Mia's leaving seems to have damaged an essential part of him that never got fixed. And then he walks by the hall where she is giving a concert and, on impulse, buys a ticket. Mia invites him backstage and, somehow, they decide to spend an evening together, before they have to fly to their different destination. They spend all of it talking and the book goes back and forth between the present and three years ago, and the events that led to her leaving him.

It's a gorgeous gorgeous book and I love it. I wallowed in the emo and the hope and (no spoiler, I assume, for anyone who knows how books work) the happy ending. So good! Go read!
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I have been obsessively rereading Paullina Simons' Tatiana and Alexander trilogy (The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross (also known as Tatiana & Alexander), and The Summer Garden). If I make a list of my top 10 books, this trilogy would definitely be on it (hmmm, perhaps I should make a list). I am a coward so on reread I skip all the starvation during the siege of Leningrad scenes and Tatiana's family dying as well as most of the scenes with Alexander in the penal batallion/prison.

I own these books in paper copy (for permanence) and on kindle (for easy access). Addiction!

Ahhh, how can I not love it? It's pretty much the ultimate in epic love story. Have a passage (stolen from a tumblr):

Quote here )

Also, apparently people make vids for it. Not sure how one can make a vid for a book but people do, with various actors, all of which confirms my belief that I don't want to see these books as a movie because it will never match what's in my head.

I am also reading Gayle Forman's Where She Went, which is sort of a Before Sunrise (one of my favorite movies, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) set in New York. It's supposed to be YA but I honestly don't think it should be. Adam is a young but burned-out rocker and Mia is a rising classical musician. They used to date but have not seen each other in three years, their relationship disintegrating in the aftermath of a horrific car crash that injured Mia and killed the rest of her family (this is a sequel to If I Stay, which deals with the crash, but I am staying away from that one because I have my depressing book threshold. Said the girl that is rereading a trilogy large chunk of which deals with starvation and prison camps. WSW can be read alone).

When the story opens, Adam should be on top of the world, but instead he is barely holding on - permanently one step away from a panic attack, bitter, locked down. He can barely get through the day. Mia's leaving seems to have damaged an essential part of him that never got fixed. And then he walks by the hall where she is giving a concert and, on impulse, buys a ticket. Mia invites him backstage and, somehow, they decide to spend an evening together, before they have to fly to their different destination. They spend all of it talking and the book goes back and forth between the present and three years ago, and the events that led to her leaving him.

It's a gorgeous gorgeous book and I love it. I wallowed in the emo and the hope and (no spoiler, I assume, for anyone who knows how books work) the happy ending. So good! Go read!
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I have been obsessively rereading Paullina Simons' Tatiana and Alexander trilogy (The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross (also known as Tatiana & Alexander), and The Summer Garden). If I make a list of my top 10 books, this trilogy would definitely be on it (hmmm, perhaps I should make a list). I am a coward so on reread I skip all the starvation during the siege of Leningrad scenes and Tatiana's family dying as well as most of the scenes with Alexander in the penal batallion/prison.

I own these books in paper copy (for permanence) and on kindle (for easy access). Addiction!

Ahhh, how can I not love it? It's pretty much the ultimate in epic love story. Have a passage (stolen from a tumblr):

Quote here )

Also, apparently people make vids for it. Not sure how one can make a vid for a book but people do, with various actors, all of which confirms my belief that I don't want to see these books as a movie because it will never match what's in my head.

I am also reading Gayle Forman's Where She Went, which is sort of a Before Sunrise (one of my favorite movies, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) set in New York. It's supposed to be YA but I honestly don't think it should be. Adam is a young but burned-out rocker and Mia is a rising classical musician. They used to date but have not seen each other in three years, their relationship disintegrating in the aftermath of a horrific car crash that injured Mia and killed the rest of her family (this is a sequel to If I Stay, which deals with the crash, but I am staying away from that one because I have my depressing book threshold. Said the girl that is rereading a trilogy large chunk of which deals with starvation and prison camps. WSW can be read alone).

When the story opens, Adam should be on top of the world, but instead he is barely holding on - permanently one step away from a panic attack, bitter, locked down. He can barely get through the day. Mia's leaving seems to have damaged an essential part of him that never got fixed. And then he walks by the hall where she is giving a concert and, on impulse, buys a ticket. Mia invites him backstage and, somehow, they decide to spend an evening together, before they have to fly to their different destination. They spend all of it talking and the book goes back and forth between the present and three years ago, and the events that led to her leaving him.

It's a gorgeous gorgeous book and I love it. I wallowed in the emo and the hope and (no spoiler, I assume, for anyone who knows how books work) the happy ending. So good! Go read!
dangermousie: (Legend: Kiha Ho Gae hands by alexandral)
While I am a big fan of scifi, space opera and urban fantasy, to say that I am generally allergic to quasi-medieval fantasy would be a huge understatement. I can count the number of 'medieval' fantasy books I liked on one hand. Possibly a mutilated one with half the fingers missing.

Well, now another novel has been added to that tiny list - The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow (who apparently writes urban fantasy. I think I have a new author I need to check out). THQ is set in what is essentially a fantasy version of southern France during the High Middle Ages. Our protagonist and narrator is Viviane, a lady-in-waiting to the princess and distantly related to the royal line. When the novel opens, Viviane is a consummate court lady and the biggest problems facing her are keeping court intrigues from harming her princess and practicing her hedgewitch skills in peace (hedgewitching is viewed as peasant magic, as opposed to court sorcery). But within hours of the opening, Viviane's world is in ruins - the king, the princess and all the ladies-in-waiting except for her are assassinated and the King's brother, the leader of the coup, declares himself the new King.

Viviane goes on the run with Tristan d'Arcenne, the captain of the King's guard and his men, who are determined to declare her the new Queen. In the process, she develops strength, confidence and pragmatism, decides what it is she really wants and is capable of, gets to be the owner (or is it the ownee?) of the magical amulet that activates in the presence of the true heir, deals with death, illness and nightmares. Oh, and finds out that there are dark secrets everywhere, some of which may destroy what is left of her world.

So, why did I love it so, when most medieval fantasy books annoy me like the plague?

a. I like the writing style. It's first person narrative, which can be a hit or miss, but here the almost-claustrophobic feeling being only in Viviane's head gives us, is oddly fitting. Viviane's world has been destroyed and narrowed to (for most of the book) escape and survival and a very small group of people. Plus, I think the main thread here is how Viviane grows into her role and, seeing how self-possessed she is, if we were looking at her from the outside, a lot of this struggle and inner growth would be lost to the readers.

b. It's not high fantasy. Sure, there is magic and some interference by Gods in the world, but there aren't dragons, multiple races of elves or whatever. It really is very close to High Middle Ages, an area of particular interest to me. In a lot of ways, it's like a darker, denser version of one of those Lais of Marie de France, which had magic of their own. (Caution - for worldbuilding purists, there might be things that bug you here - this is supposed to be a society with matrilineal descent but some things don't seem to fit what that would do to the society. It doesn't bug me, but MMV. Also some names for things are fake-medieval which might also be a drawback. I liked the rest of it enough to overlook).

c. The characters. There aren't any characters in this I love but all main characters are uniformly interesting and complicated (OK, maybe not the villain, who is just plain bad. I am mildly surprised we didn't see him eating a puppy).

d. The main relationship. If you guys like intense and really dysfunctional, come right in. Viviane/Tristan is pretty much a goldmine for a therapist, except I don't think they have them even in a fantasy version of High Middle Ages. It's a rare book where I ended it convinced both that (a) they really love each other (b) I don't think of a way they can stay together, and not due to outside forces, but due to their own stuff. (Trying to be unspoilery here). I suppose we'll find out in The Bandit King, the second part of the duology, coming out this summer.

e. I really like the plot - there is a lot of adventure, twists etc. Nor is every twist predictable, though unlike a lot of people (if amazon is anything to go by), Spoiler for the ending twist )

Rather random, but when I read the book, I kept seeing this famous pre-Raphaelite painting. It's freakishly appropriate:



Tbh, I was perhaps wrong when I thought of Marie de France. It's more like a verbal pre-Raphaelite paintings - intense colors and beauty and middle ages through a very misty mirror.

I've seen some reviewers mention faint shadows of Jacqueline Carey's famous "Kushiel" series, but since I loathed that so much I not only stopped a quarter in, I actually threw out my copy, I am in no position to speak to that. (Yes, I know everyone loves it. The s&m is not my bag, to put it mildly).

So, go read. It's dark and smart and intense and wonderful.
dangermousie: (Legend: Kiha Ho Gae hands by alexandral)
While I am a big fan of scifi, space opera and urban fantasy, to say that I am generally allergic to quasi-medieval fantasy would be a huge understatement. I can count the number of 'medieval' fantasy books I liked on one hand. Possibly a mutilated one with half the fingers missing.

Well, now another novel has been added to that tiny list - The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow (who apparently writes urban fantasy. I think I have a new author I need to check out). THQ is set in what is essentially a fantasy version of southern France during the High Middle Ages. Our protagonist and narrator is Viviane, a lady-in-waiting to the princess and distantly related to the royal line. When the novel opens, Viviane is a consummate court lady and the biggest problems facing her are keeping court intrigues from harming her princess and practicing her hedgewitch skills in peace (hedgewitching is viewed as peasant magic, as opposed to court sorcery). But within hours of the opening, Viviane's world is in ruins - the king, the princess and all the ladies-in-waiting except for her are assassinated and the King's brother, the leader of the coup, declares himself the new King.

Viviane goes on the run with Tristan d'Arcenne, the captain of the King's guard and his men, who are determined to declare her the new Queen. In the process, she develops strength, confidence and pragmatism, decides what it is she really wants and is capable of, gets to be the owner (or is it the ownee?) of the magical amulet that activates in the presence of the true heir, deals with death, illness and nightmares. Oh, and finds out that there are dark secrets everywhere, some of which may destroy what is left of her world.

So, why did I love it so, when most medieval fantasy books annoy me like the plague?

a. I like the writing style. It's first person narrative, which can be a hit or miss, but here the almost-claustrophobic feeling being only in Viviane's head gives us, is oddly fitting. Viviane's world has been destroyed and narrowed to (for most of the book) escape and survival and a very small group of people. Plus, I think the main thread here is how Viviane grows into her role and, seeing how self-possessed she is, if we were looking at her from the outside, a lot of this struggle and inner growth would be lost to the readers.

b. It's not high fantasy. Sure, there is magic and some interference by Gods in the world, but there aren't dragons, multiple races of elves or whatever. It really is very close to High Middle Ages, an area of particular interest to me. In a lot of ways, it's like a darker, denser version of one of those Lais of Marie de France, which had magic of their own. (Caution - for worldbuilding purists, there might be things that bug you here - this is supposed to be a society with matrilineal descent but some things don't seem to fit what that would do to the society. It doesn't bug me, but MMV. Also some names for things are fake-medieval which might also be a drawback. I liked the rest of it enough to overlook).

c. The characters. There aren't any characters in this I love but all main characters are uniformly interesting and complicated (OK, maybe not the villain, who is just plain bad. I am mildly surprised we didn't see him eating a puppy).

d. The main relationship. If you guys like intense and really dysfunctional, come right in. Viviane/Tristan is pretty much a goldmine for a therapist, except I don't think they have them even in a fantasy version of High Middle Ages. It's a rare book where I ended it convinced both that (a) they really love each other (b) I don't think of a way they can stay together, and not due to outside forces, but due to their own stuff. (Trying to be unspoilery here). I suppose we'll find out in The Bandit King, the second part of the duology, coming out this summer.

e. I really like the plot - there is a lot of adventure, twists etc. Nor is every twist predictable, though unlike a lot of people (if amazon is anything to go by), Spoiler for the ending twist )

Rather random, but when I read the book, I kept seeing this famous pre-Raphaelite painting. It's freakishly appropriate:



Tbh, I was perhaps wrong when I thought of Marie de France. It's more like a verbal pre-Raphaelite paintings - intense colors and beauty and middle ages through a very misty mirror.

I've seen some reviewers mention faint shadows of Jacqueline Carey's famous "Kushiel" series, but since I loathed that so much I not only stopped a quarter in, I actually threw out my copy, I am in no position to speak to that. (Yes, I know everyone loves it. The s&m is not my bag, to put it mildly).

So, go read. It's dark and smart and intense and wonderful.
dangermousie: (Legend: Kiha Ho Gae hands by alexandral)
While I am a big fan of scifi, space opera and urban fantasy, to say that I am generally allergic to quasi-medieval fantasy would be a huge understatement. I can count the number of 'medieval' fantasy books I liked on one hand. Possibly a mutilated one with half the fingers missing.

Well, now another novel has been added to that tiny list - The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow (who apparently writes urban fantasy. I think I have a new author I need to check out). THQ is set in what is essentially a fantasy version of southern France during the High Middle Ages. Our protagonist and narrator is Viviane, a lady-in-waiting to the princess and distantly related to the royal line. When the novel opens, Viviane is a consummate court lady and the biggest problems facing her are keeping court intrigues from harming her princess and practicing her hedgewitch skills in peace (hedgewitching is viewed as peasant magic, as opposed to court sorcery). But within hours of the opening, Viviane's world is in ruins - the king, the princess and all the ladies-in-waiting except for her are assassinated and the King's brother, the leader of the coup, declares himself the new King.

Viviane goes on the run with Tristan d'Arcenne, the captain of the King's guard and his men, who are determined to declare her the new Queen. In the process, she develops strength, confidence and pragmatism, decides what it is she really wants and is capable of, gets to be the owner (or is it the ownee?) of the magical amulet that activates in the presence of the true heir, deals with death, illness and nightmares. Oh, and finds out that there are dark secrets everywhere, some of which may destroy what is left of her world.

So, why did I love it so, when most medieval fantasy books annoy me like the plague?

a. I like the writing style. It's first person narrative, which can be a hit or miss, but here the almost-claustrophobic feeling being only in Viviane's head gives us, is oddly fitting. Viviane's world has been destroyed and narrowed to (for most of the book) escape and survival and a very small group of people. Plus, I think the main thread here is how Viviane grows into her role and, seeing how self-possessed she is, if we were looking at her from the outside, a lot of this struggle and inner growth would be lost to the readers.

b. It's not high fantasy. Sure, there is magic and some interference by Gods in the world, but there aren't dragons, multiple races of elves or whatever. It really is very close to High Middle Ages, an area of particular interest to me. In a lot of ways, it's like a darker, denser version of one of those Lais of Marie de France, which had magic of their own. (Caution - for worldbuilding purists, there might be things that bug you here - this is supposed to be a society with matrilineal descent but some things don't seem to fit what that would do to the society. It doesn't bug me, but MMV. Also some names for things are fake-medieval which might also be a drawback. I liked the rest of it enough to overlook).

c. The characters. There aren't any characters in this I love but all main characters are uniformly interesting and complicated (OK, maybe not the villain, who is just plain bad. I am mildly surprised we didn't see him eating a puppy).

d. The main relationship. If you guys like intense and really dysfunctional, come right in. Viviane/Tristan is pretty much a goldmine for a therapist, except I don't think they have them even in a fantasy version of High Middle Ages. It's a rare book where I ended it convinced both that (a) they really love each other (b) I don't think of a way they can stay together, and not due to outside forces, but due to their own stuff. (Trying to be unspoilery here). I suppose we'll find out in The Bandit King, the second part of the duology, coming out this summer.

e. I really like the plot - there is a lot of adventure, twists etc. Nor is every twist predictable, though unlike a lot of people (if amazon is anything to go by), Spoiler for the ending twist )

Rather random, but when I read the book, I kept seeing this famous pre-Raphaelite painting. It's freakishly appropriate:



Tbh, I was perhaps wrong when I thought of Marie de France. It's more like a verbal pre-Raphaelite paintings - intense colors and beauty and middle ages through a very misty mirror.

I've seen some reviewers mention faint shadows of Jacqueline Carey's famous "Kushiel" series, but since I loathed that so much I not only stopped a quarter in, I actually threw out my copy, I am in no position to speak to that. (Yes, I know everyone loves it. The s&m is not my bag, to put it mildly).

So, go read. It's dark and smart and intense and wonderful.
dangermousie: (Default)
So, I am reading Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed, which is actually a very entertaining YA supernatural novel (short take on plot - demigod clans live and fight among us, and heroine discovers she is member of one, when a different clan shows up and her imperative to murder them all acts up. In the middle of high school.)

I actually even like the heroine and the rest of the characters, including the heroine's love interest, who seems a decent guy. For a decent chunk of the book, heroine and her hunky dude have a problem - they can't be together or WW3 will start and the world will end. Cue emo! OK, fair enough, WW3 would suck.

Then, it turns out, they were wrong and WW3 will not start. Crisis averted and initiate make-outs? Not so fast! For an evil more impenetrable, deadly, scary obstacle faces them and they can never be together - they are first cousins.

How I laughed and laughed and laughed. I get that Cassandra Clare's City series might be giving Ms. Angelini's no peace, or that she just tried to find a general bad taboo but City series involved people who believed they were full siblings and, as far as taboos go, first cousins isn't really one!

I mean, sure, people will think it's slightly icky, on the par with marrying your teacher or someone who's too young/too old for you, but you know what it has in common with the latter examples? It's legal and only slightly gross! First cousin marriage is legal in 1/3 of the states (the book takes place in the US and the characters are Americans) which means, due to full faith and credit clause, it's legal in every state. Recent studies have also indicated that there is no harm to the putative kids, either, unless you've been doing cousin marriage for generations.

So, basically - ahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Instead of buying it as this big doomed and angsty thing, I ended the book laughing my head off. Really? Really? This is your big obstacle? Oh my God, how more idiotic could you get? Just get together, idiotic OTP, before I consider you are utterly mentally deficient.

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