Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten TV Heroines

 Hosted by The Broke and Bookish

It's been a while since I've done one of these!  But I get to talk about tv, so I couldn't resist. I kept my list to heroines who only appear in one medium (or rather the medium they first appeared in), so no anime characters today.

Abby Mills from Sleepy Hollow

Season 2 has been pretty shaky for me, but it's starting to pick up again, and I LOVED season 1.  Abby Mills is a huge part of that. She's smart, she's badass, and best of all - despite being totally badass, she's also very emotional. She cries when she's upset, she gets ragey when she's pissed, and she's not afraid to show it.

Olivia Benson from Law & Order SVU

If there was ever a heroine on tv who was a complete role model for me, Olivia Benson would be it.  Even when SVU swings and misses (which it does more frequently than not lately), Olivia keeps me watching the show.  She's shaped a lot of my beliefs and has made me aware of issues I wouldn't have know about otherwise.

Donna Noble from Doctor Who


I don't care what anyone else says, Donna is my favourite companion. (Although Rory comes close. Followed by Amy. Clearly I have a thing for redheads)  She's funny and goofy and I think as far as character arcs go, her growth as a character is the best.  And she's the Doctor's best pal - I can't say that any of the other companions. Sadly, she's the only one without romantic undertones (or jealousy at said romantic undertones with other companions).

Jo Lupo from Eureka

Ah, Jo. Unafraid to embrace both the sexy and be assertive in pretty much any situation, she's a definite favourite of mine.  Added bonus, Jo/Zane is one of my most passionate OTPs ever.  EVER.

Olivia Dunham from Fringe

Olivia is actually in many ways the opposite of everyone I have described so far.  She's very closed off, and a true introvert.  I feel like you don't see many leading ladies as introverted characters, and it's refreshing to have Olivia. 

Gil Ra-Im from Secret Garden


She's a stunt actress, so obviously she's crazy good at action stuff which is...well, again, super badass.  But she's also incredibly straight-forward and sincere, focused and career oriented. Despite that, she's not afraid to fall in love.  In fact, if Kim Joo-won stopped being such a jerk earlier, I honestly don't think she would have put up a fight about it.

Eun-chan from Coffee Prince
...ok so there's a reason why Secret Garden and Coffee Prince are two of my favourite K-Dramas.  Eun-chan is very similar to Gil Ra-Im (and in many ways have a similar set up story wise), but I'd say shyer in general.  And of course she's part of probably my biggest OTP ever, so I'm pretty biased on this one.

Willow Rosenburg from Buffy

Geek girls are always going to be my favourite, and having a geek girl move from cute and innocent to basically one of the most powerful people in the world is pretty amazing. Really I'm a fan of all of Whedon's women (I even really love Faith!) and I actually had a hard time choosing only one (couldn't I have picked say..the entire cast of Firefly?), but Willow's been a favourite for the longest, so she wins.

Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time

Ok, first can I just say that I want her evil queen wardrobe? Like seriously, I would hardcore wear the crap out everything she wears. As evil queen. Mayor wardrobe is significantly blander.  Until recently Rumple has been my favourite character, but this last season has significantly dampened my enjoyment of him as a grey character (he feels more like a charicature of himself and without a lot of the complexity I've loved).  Unsurprisingly Regina has always been a close second (If I'm not being swayed by Hook's good looks) so she's definitely taken the lead this season.  Even if she is good these days and therefore lacking that fabulous wardrobe.  But really she has everything in her character that I loved about Rumple's character - so I'm always happy to see evil or good Regina.

Felicia Day in everything she's ever been in

I mentioned how I loved geek girls? Well Felicia Day is the QUEEN of geek girls.  The Guild is one of the most original shows I've come across, and she is delightfully awkward as Codex.  Or Charlie in Supernatural. Or Holly on Eureka.  She always plays quirky, socially awkward girls that I've seen so far, and it's funny because from what I've seen on her other media platforms she's actually pretty outgoing.  But yeah. Felicia Day love forever!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

High Five (Mini Challenge #5)

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 This challenge is all about what's making us bookishly happy these days!  Originally it was supposed to be broken into 5 categories - books, genres, authors, bloggers, and bookish merch...but I was having a hard time coming up with 5 of each. (And then I realized she probably meant 1 of each, but I didn't feel like redoing everything).  So here are 5 generally bookish/bloggy things that are making me happy!

106265941. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Shannon recommended the audiobook version of this, and I absolutely fell in love.  If you're a fan of Stiefvater, love audiobooks, or are looking to try an audiobook I definitely recommend this one.

2. Everyone who's been commenting on the blog (or returning comments).  Seriously, there's been a comment on almost every post I've written in 2015, and it's totally making my whole year awesome!  Shannon, Stephanie, LaLa, Kirstie, and Wattle get uber brownie points since ya'll comment like every post!  This is the whole reason I got into blogging in the first place, so it's been pretty much amazing that I get to chat with bookish friends regularly!


 3. Lindsey did an awesome Daughter of the Forest readalong. It was my first readalong ever, and it was super laid back and a lot of fun.  She did a really fantastic wrap up post on the whole thing too!

4. LaLa has a really fun meme called Tell Me Tuesday where you basically just talk about whatever bookish thing is going on in your life, and I've just started joining in.  It's a lot of fun and you should totally do it too!

5. I'm actually in the process of getting this engraved lengthwise down the back of a wooden phone case:

Want to customize one of your own? Here's where I got it done!

Book Shelfie! (Mini Challenge #4)

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This is the fourth mini challenge in the whole weekend event that Alexa Loves Books has put together. If you guys are late to Love-A-Thon, head over to her blog because you can still join in all the fun!

So...I have quite a few bookshelves. Unfortunately, two of my big bookshelves are in my closet behind all my boyfriend's clothes, so I couldn't really photograph them.  The one that's hardest to get through mostly consists of cookbooks (...I don't know why I still have cookbooks. I NEVER remember to use them!) or books I haven't read yet.  The bookshelf closer to the entrance of the closet (I have a GLORIOUSLY giant closet!!) is full of childhood favourites that I definitely want to hold on to, but am unlikely to reread regulary.

Aka:...all but like 3 of the Redwall books.

The shelf above this one is chock full of Enid Blyton's Famous Five series.  I've kept the Redwall series over pure sentimentality, but I'm pretty sure you can't find the Famous Five series (easily) in America. Although in the age of internet, I could always buy them overseas I suppose, but I am attached to the actual physical copies of the books I read as a child.

In living room, I have an antique ladder that I've converted to a bookshelf that's for books I haven't read yet, but plan to soon.  Of course...I ran out of space for some of the books I'd sort elsewhere, so they got stuffed in here too.

I try to keep my nonfiction/philosophy books all in one place...but...well that wasn't possible.  And I have a giant pile of books underneath the tv which you can't see haha.  I thought I'd be able to start moving books out of the suitcases soon but...I'd forgotten about that pile.

In my room I keep my picture books, really, really special books, and books that I reread pretty much on a yearly basis.  

This bookshelf has all of my grandmother's leather bound copies of the Jane Austen novels, poetry by Keats, and Jane Eyre (or possibly Wuthering Heights, I can't remember at the moment). It's also got leather bound copies given to me by my grandfather, as well as all the Middle-Earth Tolkien books (...that I may have appropriated from my brother).  The books on the middle two shelves house my most frequently reread books. (The Alanna books are with a friend currently...I'll have to rearrange when I get them back).

This bookshelf is actually right underneath the previous one.  I keep my records here (despite the fact that my record player is missing its cord so I can't even listen to them ARGH) and I keep all my fairy tale-related books. Some of those were my mom's when she was a kid!

This is the shelf where I keep my few manga novels, picture books, and the rest of my frequently reread books. (Although slightly less reread. Except for Harry Potter which would just take WAY too much shelf space up on the other book shelf). It's also where I keep my non-music/fairy tale nonfiction books and photo albums.

And last but not least, I have a designated Jane Austen/non-fiction music/philosophy mini bookshelf on my window sill. (I'd have it be entirely Jane Austen, but since it's next to the window I'm terrified something terrible might happen to my grandmother's copies of the books).

So what's on your bookshelves? How do you organize them?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Favourite Love Confession: (Love-a-thon 2015)

This is mini-challenge #3 from Alexa Loves Books for the 2015 Book Blogger Love-a-thon! This challenge is for us to share a favorite quote (or even more than one) about love or friendship.

I'm not much for quotes that have to do with love or friendship. 

I tend more towards absurd banter:  'My body is a gift from God,' Jared said gravely. 'Except for my hips, which are clearly a gift from the devil.”  

Or self power: She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

With a smattering of bookish love for good measure “She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”

 That being said, I have one quote about love that I feel very strongly about. 

“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W."

In my completely objective opinion, I can tell you that this is the best love confession. Of all time. Ever. Always. There will never be a love confession that will make me swoon harder than this one.  It's no surprise it comes from the Queen of love stories - Jane Austen. (I'm just pretending Mansfield Park never happened.)  While Pride & Prejudice might be the bread and butter of my romance tastes (I love a good hate-to-love story), Persuasion will forever reign as the majesty of all love confessions ever.

2015 Loveathon

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Alexa Loves Books is hosting this AWESOME event, where all of us book bloggers get to spread some of the love!  I'm super excited to be a part of it (...although I'm going to be at appointments a lot of tomorrow, and working with the kids on Sunday, so we'll see how much I get to be around. Boooo!)  In any case, let's get to it!

1. What’s your name?

For those of you who are new to the blog, I'm Elizabeth! 

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?

I currently live on the East Coast of the US, although that's somewhat recent. (I lived in Chicago for two years before that). I've lived pretty much everywhere in the US except the Northwest at this point haha!

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?

I don't have many reading friends in real life, and of them only one reads a lot of the same books I do (i.e. young adult).  And as I'm sure most of you will agree, there's SO MANY FEELS in YA books and I needed to have people to fangirl with.

And lo and behold, here I am!

4. How did you come up with your blog name?


so long and thanks for all the fish is both a quote from the first Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the title of the fourth book in the series.  I originally used it because of the quote and felt like a bit of an idiot because I don't actually like the later Hitchhiker books very much haha!  The first two are in my favourites hall of fame list though.

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?

Really I read everything. Almost everything I read is young adult, but I do read all audiences (if you're a goodreads friend, you'll have noticed the influx of picture books lately) and all genres. I'm particularly fond of fantasy though...probably 75% of what I read is fantasy haha. I do at least try to be well rounded...

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?

I actually stay away from reviews for the most part - I totally got burned out on them.  (Although I've been catching up on....embarrassingly old Netgalley reviews...) I do a lot of discussion posts, and on Sundays (whatever Sundays I have time for it) I do a personal post on what's been going on in my life and a round up of all sorts of blog posts and articles I found around the web that I like.  I've also started doing LaLa's Tell Me Tuesday meme where you talk about what books you've been reading/looking forward to. It's super low key, which makes it perfect for me!

7. Best blogging experience so far?

Definitely meeting all the awesome people!  I actually got to meet one of my blogging bffs, Shannon from Rex Robot Reviews, in real life this summer.  We forgot to snap a picture (I WILL remember next time!), but I was SO excited to meet her!  Also we ate delicious dim sum which I am always excited about haha!

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?

Did I mention that I basically love talking with all you book bloggers?  Comments are my favourite part of the community - whether they're on my blog or whether I'm talking to someone on their blog or on Goodreads, talking to you guys is the whole reason I started blogging in the first place!

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015!

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - Because, HELLO it's Sara J. Maas. AND a fairy tale retelling.
2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas - This series is basically the best thing. Ever.
3. Soulbroken by Heather Brewer - I'm so excited she's getting to complete the series! It'll be ebook only, but since originally it was going to put off entirely, I'm not complaining!
4. Hello I Love You by Katie M. Stout - I don't usually pay attention to debuts, but as an avid K-Drama watching, K-Pop listening person, I am SUPER freaking excited about this book.
5. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson - Shannon actually gave me a copy of this book to read on my flight home after I met with her, and I was immediately hooked.

10. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

Abarat (Abarat, #1)

I've talked about Abarat at length on the blog - it's always my go to answer for this question!

11. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?

See, ordinarily I'd say Hermione or Celaena, but I honestly think we'd butt heads a lot.  I do, however, think that Kami Glass from The Lynburn Legacy would be the best friend EVER. She's witty and loyal and tenacious.  All good friend things!

12. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

Well, I'm a musician so most of my free time is eaten up by practicing and making reeds (I play the oboe), so it doesn't leave much time for any hobbies outside of this one!

13. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

Shoes. Definitely shoes.

14.At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?

I am completely unashamed by my love for line dances, and this one happens to be my favourite of the lot.

15.Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.

There have been rumors for a while now about a Kushiel series in the works as an HBO show, and I've never wanted something to be adapted SO BADLY before.  In fact, if I didn't have Abarat as a go to answer for an unappreciated series, this would be next on my list of series I really, really wish more people knew about. Do you like Game of Thrones? Are you down with sex positivity?  Go read this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tell Me Tuesday #2


Wow, this is a long time in coming so there are SO MANY BOOKS to talk about!  Let's see....

First and foremost you should check out the blog post that Lindsey compiled out of our #DOTFReadAlong thoughts, because she did an AWESOME job!  It's a work of art, I swear.  And I can at least say that Daughter of the Forest was 75% of the reason I got out of my reading slump. (Who knew that reading like 15 picture books a day saps out any willpower to read books of your own?) The other 25% goes to:


I have officially FINALLY finished my very first graphic novel!  Much thanks to the girls over at The Book Wars  as they're the ones who sent the book my way.  I was at work when this came in and I immediately put down Daughter of the Forest, ripped the package open and devoured it in like an hour. And then continued reading Daughter of the Forest.  Have I mentioned having the most boring job in existence has some great perks?  In any case Zita the Spacegirl was pretty much everything I could have ever wanted.  The artwork was like if you mushed Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, etc.) with Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), and it's basically like someone went down a checklist of all the things I really, really want in my stories.

1. Adventure
2. Sci-fi/fantasy world
3. Friendship as a focal point
4. Lovable genius/rogue
5. Diversity
6. Robots
7. Aliens
8. Giant Mice

Yes this is exactly what I would have on my list. Like word for word.  I kind of REALLY want to bring it for the kids, but I think there are parts that might be too scary for the four-year old. So it looks like I'll be waiting on that. Speaking of, we're almost done with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe!  I've decided on From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler for the next book as it's perfect for a much needed break from potential emotional minefields AND it has the added benefit that I'm pretty sure the seven-year old won't have read it. Which means he won't spoil things (I'm not sure we've ever made it a week before he loses all his spoiler points) and I'll have the satisfaction of making HIM be the one who doesn't know things! Mwahahaha! 


In other news, Jacqueline Carey remains queen of everything. I read Dark Currents immediately after ending my slump and god she's so amazing!! Can someone else please read her?!  (Actually Stephanie if you read this I think this series of hers is up your alley)  Style-wise this series is reminiscent of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, so expect lots of supernatural fun.  Which makes it even more impressive. The Kushiel series, which I've mentioned many, many times (SOMEONE READ THIS PLEASE SO I CAN FANGIRL WITH YOU) is most often compared with Game of Thrones. (Except, you know, way better.)  How is it possible that both of these stories came from the same woman?!  Part of what I love about Carey is what you can expect from her: diversity in pretty much any way possible.  Trans, cis, gay, BI!!!, straight, races of all sorts.  And it's so effortless! It's not like she spends pages hammering it in, it's just a quick mention here or there and it makes a WORLD of difference.  Plus she's got a great relationship with her mom, and her bff plays an active part in her life. So. You know. Hitting all the things on my check list quota once again.

And I finished off the week with Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men.  Guys...HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE?!  My best friend from high school gave me this....actually I think I may still have been in high school when he gave me this. I have moved it with me from state to state...and still never read it.  I don't know why it took me so long to read it...(I think it may have been his attempt to get me to love R.A. Salvatore which was just never happening. But by the time he introduced me to Harry Dresden, I should have started trusting him more by now!)  It's everything I never knew I needed in my life.  It's like Diana Wynne Jones meets Douglas Adams, and HELLO THAT IS LIKE MY CORNER OF BOOKISH THINGS.  It's like my reason for being. Or at least blogging. But you know, same difference.  Anyway, I feel like an idiot for putting it off so long.  Luckily I know he gave me another Terry Pratchett novel I just have to find it (...it might be in a suit case since I haven't seen it as of yet), and I am going to remedy this until-now-undiscovered hole in my life.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mini Reviews: Dark Spell, The Here and Now, and External Forces

Man, I can not tell you how cathartic it is to be writing these!  I can feel the angry book ghost dissolving as I put these out. And after this, I'll only have 3 more books and I will have reviewed all the books I was supposed to on Netgalley! Yay! I'm a decent human being again!

Dark Spell (Winterbringers #2) - Gill Arbuthnott

Rating: 3.5 stars

I didn't even realize this book was the second book in a series until I started this review. So if you want to read this but haven't read the first book, have no fear! This reads just fine as a standalone.  This is a fun read if you're looking for a ghost story. The writing is a bit clunky, especially in the dialogue, but the plot is fun. It feels like the book is aimed at the younger end of YA, particularly with the refreshing lack of romance, so I'd recommend this for middle schoolers or people just getting into the young adult reading age.  It's perfect for middle grade kids who are looking for some paranormal thrills without being too terrifying or bogged down with cuddly demons or sparkly vampires as love interests.

The Here and Now - Ann Brashares 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Well, I have to say this wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting! Maybe it's because unlike most of the reviewers I've read, I'm coming from a place of low expectations instead of straight out of The Sisterhood with really high expectations.  I didn't think this book measured up to Sisterhood, but it was a fun story, lots of action, and a quick read. Did it bring anything new to the table? No. Except the part about the mosquitos which I had never considered before and am now going to be paranoid about. I didn't hate the romance, but I also wasn't hugely invested in it either (probably because of how it was originally presented in the prologue. Yergh!)...so SPOILERS I wasn't really upset by the ending/star crossed lovers aspect of things. It was more of a ...meh, that sucks, you'll get over it sort of feeling.  END SPOILERS Anyway, basically this book was a good read and I didn't ask any more of it than that, so I enjoyed it

18915929 External Forces (The Laws of Motion #1) - Deborah Rix

Rating: 3 stars

I feel a bit bad for this book. I think it suffered a bit in my enjoyment and rating because I read it directly after finishing The Here and Now, and it wasn't the best decision I could have made. That being said, I'm not certain I would have rated it more than a half star up, so maybe it doesn't matter.  It has a lot of easily seen parallels to Divergent, which also wasn't my sort of book. And unfortunately, it doesn't bring anything new to the table on that front. Deviant even looks like Divergent. Trainer/MC love, transition from a religious, modest community to one where you wear scandalous clothing/tattoos...it all felt a little too familiar.  It is satisfyingly brutal when it wants to be which perked me up considerably, and the plot here is just as action packed as Divergent, so if that's your sort of thing you'll like it. Unfortunately for me, it's not as I'm a character based person.  The ending felt like it was trying to end on a cliffhanger, but mostly just felt unfinished to me, so it's left me interested enough  to want to know what happens next...but probably not interested enough to search out the next book.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mini Reviews: The Vault of Dreamers and The Truth About Alice

Sooo...once upon a time I used to request ARCs.  Then I discovered I am THE WORST at reading and reviewing books on time. Lo and behold I still have 9 books I was supposed to have reviewed...almost a year ago.  These books have been HAUNTING me. So I figured late is better than never and maybe I should get these reviews out...and maybe the book ghosts will be exorcised.


The Vault of Dreamers - Caragh M. O'Brien

I really wish I had reviewed both of these books on time because they really deserved it.  Having just read The Vault of Dreamers, I can tell you it was basically a recipe of everything I love in a book: big on action, low on romance (although there is some); MC has a good relationship with her mom and sister, and a good platonic relationship with both a girl and a boy; conspiracies galore, a narrator who may or may not be progressively getting crazier. I mean it's got it all!  That being said, the prose tries a little too hard, particularly in the beginning, and I don't have a CLUE what happened at the end. Like not even a little.  Either way I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.

The Truth About Alice - Jennifer Mathieu

I actually read this one last year, but just didn't have the time to write the review. So it should tell you just how important this book is that I still remember the impact it had on me clearly.  There were so many times I would come across a line in this book and think...oh my god. Whether I was 14 or now, at some point I have thought these words - almost exactly.  This book paints a fairly realistic portrayal of how something innocent can be turned into something dark and ugly and spread like wildfire, particularly in a small town. This book is powerful. If you like contemporary reads of the nonfluffy type - this is a book for you.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise (Book Blogging Test Day 5)

Today, we're going to travel to the magical land of:



(For those of you not in the know, this gif is from a funfilled anime/manga known as Ouran High School Host Club. I prefer the anime, but either one is LOADS of fun!)

Shoujo manga is defined as: manga marketed towards females between the ages of 10 and 18.  So basically it's like manga equivalent of YA books. (Except you're less likely to encounter dystopias or robots in shoujo. Not impossible though?)

Now before I get started, let me add this disclaimer: there is some GREAT shoujo manga out there. It's definitely the largest type of manga I consume.  That being said...there's definitely a lot of issues that pop with the genre, frequently.  Like my biggest pet peeve.

Anyone who has read pretty much any shoujo manga ever has encountered the dreaded amnesia arc.  Usually it happens towards the end of a manga when the couple has finally gotten together, there's no external or internal drama, so clearly SOMETHING needs to happen. So the mangaka thinks...EUREKA. I have it!  Love interest will have a car crash/get mugged/hit their head in the swimming pool/fall off a cliff/any dumb crazy reason ever, and BAM. The love interest will lose their memory...but ONLY of the main character.  Because they can't remember the other person they will revert to being a total asshat/a new love interest will be introduced (usually a total mean girl who knows the guy is in a relationship, BUT SO WHAT WHO CARES.)  This also happens dramas ALL. THE. TIME. And it makes me want to punch people.

It's just such a lazy plot device, and it's way, way, WAY overused.  And it incorporates basically all of my least favourite things ever.

1. Significant other being a jerkfaced LOSER.
2. Mean girls who have nothing else to them other than being total horse butts and their entire purpose in life is to ruin the significant other's life. Cue lots of mean girl attacking significant other, particularly in front of the main character.
3. Girl fights over boys.

It's basically a plot device that wraps all of my other least favourite plot devices inside of it.  It's like a plot device bomb.  And it's ruined otherwise good series for me.  That being said...the only manga I could remember off the top of my head (despite looking at a very long list of manga with amnesia) with this problem was Hana Yori Dango, also known as Boys Over Flowers.  This manga WOULD not be included in my otherwise good series - there's waaaaaay too many other problems with it to qualify, but it's the best example I could have come up with for this trope anyway.  (I've talked about my Hana Yori Dango issues before. It's hard for me to admit my addiction to this story despite it standing against like everything I believe in.  And it IS important to the genre - there's a reason it's still one of the most popular mangas twenty years after the fact. So it's not a manga I actively steer people away from...but I don't go herding them towards it either.  For a GREAT shoujo manga, I steer you towards Cat Street)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

30. A Day in the Life (In which Elizabeth still doesn't understand Bellarke. Can Jonty be a thing?)

Not much has been going on in the past two weeks.  My best friend/manager is taking a cross country trip, AND the mom I nanny for is traveling, so I'm working extra shifts at BOTH my jobs. So life has mostly been work, work, work and otherwise I've been vegging.  I FINALLY got out of my reading slump (I think) thanks to Lindsey's Daughter of the Forest Readalong (yes I KNOW I only reread it 8 months ago. So what!). She's going to do a wrap up post on the whole thing (I think) so I'll probably add that to my next weekly round up/Tell Me Tuesday - whichever happens first. But I think I'm going to hold off on the bookish talk since I'm pretty sure I'll be doing a TMT post this Tuesday, so I'll save it for that. So let's talk about what else I've been doing a lot of:  watching TV.

The title screen, featuring a sofa in front of a fountain in a park

I forgot JUST HOW MUCH I get sick of the whole Ross/Rachel thing.  The first 2 seasons of this show are awesome. Season 3 and 4 are fun but start wearing on my patience on that front....but now I've hit season 5. And it makes me want to punch my head through a wall. But I love everything else about the show!  Too bad they make Ross/Rachel the focal point.

And speaking of love hate relationships...

I want so badly to love Sword Art Online! I mean it's had the potential to be everything I love! It's about full immersion gameplay, but the creator traps all the players in the game, so if they die in the game...they die in real life.  There's so much here to focus on! The dynamics between gamers, the awesome game play, strategy...and it does that. Sometimes. But despite the fact that we've got women (like the one above who is basically the second best player in the game) who are clearly capable at what they do...they're written extremely moe, suddenly become helpless and need to be saved (EVEN THOUGH ASUNA IS THE SECOND BEST PLAYER I MEAN COME ON), and there are a LOT of gratuitous shots and fanservice. And it KILLS ME. I'm over half way through now because anytime I've been like...ok I'm quitting this series, it'll come back and be freaking badass...but it never lasts for more than an episode.  And SPOILERS once they leave the game there's so much they could have focused on! Like the consequences of having lived over 2 years in a game, how that affected relationships, PTSD, recovery of body mass, survivor's guilt, the gamers finding each other in real life...and it doesn't really do ANY of that. Ughhhhhhh END SPOILERS.  But I'm watching this with a friend and at this point we're like 2/3 of the way there, so I guess I'll see this season through.

I'm also watching The Glades and Crossing Lines, and I don't even know why because they bring nothing new to the procedural world.  I guess I'm just watching them to have something on while I'm cleaning that I don't need to pay attention to.  So thank GOD for this show:

Yep. I finally caved and watched it. The book bloggers loved it, and then The Mary Sue even said it was awesom...so I decided to get off my high horse and watch it. TOTALLY. WORTH IT.  The first few episodes are straight up a mess. They're throwing instalove at you left and right and it's just all over the place. But once it hits its stride? Totally absorbing.  I'm not really shipping much of anything though...my only ship right now is Monty/Jasper because they are THE BEST together and I don't even really care that neither of them appears gay. (Or at least Jasper doesn't so far) I just want them to be together forever in any way at all. Oh and I do like Lincoln/Octavia - the only instalove I approve of. I like my strong silent man!  But really so far I just like the characters (without feeling like I need to mash their faces together and go KISS KISS). They have done such a good job of just making all the characters really, really well rounded. Even the characters that seem evil at first have reasons (that aren't just powerplays/sadistic).  They might rub you the wrong way...but they're not always entirely or even mostly wrong about things.  And I LOVE that! I mean, don't get me wrong I love shows like Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow too, where there's a big bad and it's straightforward (HA...Supernatural...straightforward?) but I lurrrrve when they're all shades of grey.  I've just started the second season, so I'll be catching up fairly soon.  And then maybe I will understand all this Bellarke madness, because I am suuuuuuuper not getting that at all right now.

Bookish News


The Advantages of Being Bullheaded - Shannon Lee Alexander (author of Love and Other Unknown Variables) talks about learning disabilities in school and determination.
YOU’RE JUST MY TYPE | TITLE FONT SLEUTHING - This is so cool! I never paid attention to fonts until I worked with some artists who actually DO that like...all the time. That is literally
Bookish Memories (or, how my love of books started) - I wish I remembered how book stuff happened for me! This is really cute :)
WHAT MADE ME THE READER I AM TODAY -  This is such a heartbreaking and really, really brave post.  I can't imagine what Pixie went through, but I'm so glad books have made such a positive difference.
Spreading Kindness - I LOVE these Blogging Acts of Kindness, and I'll be doing my best to spread these along!
What's happening in children's books in 2015? A literary calendar - You're definitely going to want to
bookmark this page!
I have a confession to make… - I'm not alone!! There are others out there, like me, who look up the endings to a book before they finish it!
No Guilt In My Pleasures: How to Critique and Still Enjoy - I have this problem A LOT. How can I love a medium/certain show/movie/book...if it has a lot of the stuff that really bothers me (i.e. romance novels, catchy pop songs, and currently Sword Art Online which I'm having a SUPER love/hate relationship with).


The Thing About Romance - God YES! It's not surprise that while I DO love romance...I think that in a lot (if not most) YA books, it definitely takes importance over other things I'd prefer featured - like friendship (and not ending up with the first boy you set eyes on. Or girl.)
Why Authors Write Insta-Love (No, Really – I Think I Know) - I think this is REALLY interesting, and probably right in a lot of ways!
All About Fan Fic - YES!! This is the best pro-fanfic post I've come across yet! I WILL FORCE EVERYONE TO BOW DOWN TO THE GREATNESS THAT IS FANFICTION.
Hey, Book, Don’t Do That - I'm sure almost all of these are on our bookish pet peeves list too!
Do you think the current marketing around YA books is beneficial or no? - Maggie Stiefvater on YA marketing. (Hint: The answer is no...but it's not YA specific. Definitely very interesting!)

Specific Authors/Books

An Analysis in Grief: 10 Harry PotterDeaths We Did Not Get Over - Clearly. I legit cried through this post. THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME.
Be Suspicious of the New Harper Lee Novel - It is so hard to tell what is going on with this.  I'm not sure what to believe (although I think the article has a LOT of good points.)
21 Famous Writers Reimagined As Puns - Oh my god these are HILARIOUS!! I think my favourite is either Flames Joyce or Denis Prawnston hahaha

THIS IS SO FREAKING BADASS!!! (And yet very informational at the same time.)

Nonbookish News

Are You Still an Artist If You Can't Make a Living? - Obviously this is like...the story of my life right now. This was a HUGE revelation to me, and it helped ease some of my ego issues on the matter.
I Feel Like a Fake Adult - Yep, this also pretty much describes me at the moment haha!
This is Why Obi-Wan Lied to Luke Skywalker About His Father - Definitely a very well thought out and interesting theory. I personally am totally on board with this reasoning!
The "Prince" of K Dramas? Coffee Prince - I DID IT!!! I converted someone to K-Dramas and the amazingness that is Gong Yoo!! Stephanie even does a much more coherent post on Coffee Prince that I did that really nails both everything I love about the show, and the few problems I did have with it.

If any of you are into music technology, or really just new technology at all, you will immediately understand why this is SO. COOL.