For Darkness Shows The StarsAuthor: Diana PeterfreundPublication Date: 6/12/12Publisher: Balzer & BrayBlurb(GR): Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.
Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.
But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.
Inspired by Jane Austen’s persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.Review:
In the realm of music, this post-apocalyptic reboot of Jane Austen’s Persuasion
would be what’s referred to as a cover song
. As a massive music fan, I’ve developed two major criteria for what I think makes a successful cover song (aspiring musicians take note – a YA book blogger is giving you advice!):
1) The source material has to be pretty mediocre and possibly annoying. It’s begging to be redone. Exhibit A: Ryan Adams’ cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall (sorry Oasis lovers but I grew up in the nineties. I lived through the five year period when this song was played at least twice per hour, every hour.) Exhibit B: Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness I didn’t even realize this was a cover. That’s how good his version is. It’s eclipsed all others. OR
2) If the source material is brilliant,
it must be re-done in such a way that it is completely unrecognizable from the original. Exhibit A: Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah Exhibit B: Jimi Hendrix’ cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower Exhibit C: Nirvana’s cover of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World
I’ve been pretty vocal about my absolute love for Jane Austen’s Persuasion
, so obviously to me it’s a work of brilliance. For me to enjoy this book, it would have to employ strategy #2: it would have to be pretty innovative and different than its source material.
And the first half of this book appears to be exactly that. I think Diana Peterfreund has a really interesting idea here. This story takes place in a post-apocalyptic England (I think – it’s never explicitly stated) where ambitious human tinkering with genetics has resulted in the majority of the human population becoming “Reduced” – essentially mentally limited and unable to speak or care for themselves. The lone survivors are the “Luddites” – a group of people opposed to all genetic manipulation who hid out in caves while the rest of the world imploded. Upon emerging from the caves, the Luddites discovered the Reduced and decided that it was their God-given duty to care for these leftover people. So of course, they decided to round them up and install them as slave labor on plantations and farms. Naturally. The twisted relationship between these two groups becomes even more charged when the Reduced start producing normal offspring, or “Posts” (which is an abbreviation of “post-reductionist”). These children are born into a slave role but begin to chafe at the injustice of their situation.
Isn’t that just deliciously dark? I know it intrigued me. There’s so much potential there for a very complex world. Plus, I think it’s an interesting spin on the relationship between the nobility and the working class in Georgian England (not to mention, it’s obvious that a great deal of inspiration was taken from American slavery).
Unfortunately though, I think this is yet another case of an (admittedly ambitious) post-apocalyptic setting being reduced to a simple backdrop for fraught young love. Kai is a Post, Elliot is a Luddite. They are in love,
yet this crazy crazy world won’t let them be together. Woe, woe, woe times infinity.
The slavery itself feels a bit oversimplified and even sanitized in parts. The life of a slave is hard and slaves are often abused… Elliot mentions this several times but then always assures the reader that these things don’t happen on her
plantation (even though in every other case her father is a merciless tyrant). It’s mentioned in one scene that the Reduced/Posts work ten hour days and in another scene that they don’t get paid, but Elliot never seems to consider these details wrong. Several Posts are incredibly loyal to her, but they are never shown to have any conflict, any deeper feelings about staying on the plantation. One of her Post friends is sent to a birthing house – a terrible place where pregnant Reduced have to go – but then seems to just smile and accept it, assuring Elliot that “it’s not so bad.” Even at the end, Elliot doesn’t free them, offer to pay them a wage, or offer them any option other than working on her farm. It’s just glossed over like it’s no big deal. Slavery is never
not a big deal!
My other major problem with this book is that I just couldn’t ever stop comparing it to its source material. This book is very similar to Persuasion
in its basic storyline and in its characters, which was a major problem for me because it was so obviously less
than the original. I love Anne Elliot because she is mature, quiet, introspective, and she has understandable regret.
When Captain Wentworth reappears in her life, it is the most heartbreaking and awkward situation she has ever endured, but she gets through it stoically and with grace, even as she’s shattering on the inside. Captain Wentworth is an enigma: he appears to have moved on, but has he? We aren’t allowed to know until the very end and his final epistolary reveal is one of the most beautiful, cathartic letters ever written. EVER.
Whereas, in this book Elliot is a young woman who had to
refuse Kai. She had to, or everyone on her plantation would starve. She’s allowed to have a righteous certainty in her decision that Anne never had. Kai is vocal about his anger from the get-go, turning Elliot into even more of the victim. His true feelings are blatantly revealed in several scenes before the letter
, thus rendering its cathartic potential completely inert. And the letter itself is like a poorly paraphrased version of the original. It would be better to just omit that famous letter rather than “re-write” it in a completely unoriginal way. All of these elements together make this book feel like a much less nuanced, much less mature, much less powerful version of the original.
The ending feels hasty and clumsy, with conflicts magically resolving (or being left to hang without a thought), villains disappearing off the page into thin air, and several characters making abrupt one-eighties that feel convenient but not realistic. In the world of cover songs, this book is neither original nor innovative. Perfect Musical Pairing
Cee Lo Green – No One’s Gonna Love You
This book is like Cee Lo Green’s recent version of Band of Horses’ No One’s Gonna Love You. Sure, it’s not horrible. I can listen to it. But after a while all I can hear is the annoying back beat, the corny string section, and the fact that his robotic singing bleeds every ounce of emotion out of this rather desperate song. Listening to this just makes me want to put on the much more brilliant original
.A note about the cover:
This cover has got to go! Elliot is repeatedly described as having brown skin, almond-shaped eyes, and long black hair. She’s clearly not a white person! And there's a reason why everyone saw this cover and assumed this was "Persuasion
in space."2.5/5 Stars
Honestly, we’ve been nervous about this particular edition of Odds & Ends, because there was a big story this week. HUGE. Of course we are speaking of the plagiarism allegations made against The Story Siren which blew up all over Goodreads, Twitter, and many of our own home pages.
But was it really that huge? If we’ve learned one thing this week, it’s just how small and insulated our community here in the young adult book blogging realm really is. This story was apparently reported almost four months
ago on two fashion blogs: Grit and Glamour
and Beautifully Invisible
(they’ve also further summarized their rather comprehensive evidence and responded to the breaking news here
). The amount of time it took for this story to make its way through the internet (aka – the fastest diffuser of gossip ever created) is pretty eye-opening.
With that in mind, we think it’s time for our small community to collectively take a deep breath and try to approach this with a cool head. This isn’t the end of the world as we know it. We can move forward from this. We agree wholeheartedly with Kelly from Stacked, who suggests that we have a frank and open discussion about plagiarism and our role as bloggers
. We are looking forward to the future posts that are sure to appear on Stacked about this topic. We also loved Kat’s post on Cuddlebuggery: Book Bloggers Plagiarizing – What Happens Now?
in which she discusses how we might move forward.
No amount of camouflage is going to hide this elephant.
Let’s show the rest of the blogging community how mature, respectful, and intelligent we can be. Let’s take this “scandal” and use it to make ourselves better. Let’s not let this become the proverbial elephant in the room – let’s talk about it in a level-headed way. But at the same time, let’s not let this kerfuffle take over our community. Let’s get back to discussing highly intelligent
things, like this commentary on the sexist portrayal of women in book covers (as compared to men), as illustrated by the semi-nude photos fantasy author Jim C. Hines and his wife Amy so hilariously put together
. Hey, if there were ever a time when we needed a good laugh, it's now.
Anna Minard (The Stranger), Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, and Gayle Forman
Welcome poster outside the library. (the glare was from the industrial lighting, sorry!)
This evening, I had the pleasure of attending the last stop of the YA or Bust! author tour
across the lake at Roosevelt High School. Having gone to several crowded author events in the past, I showed up an hour early. The benefit of doing something so awkward is that I got to sit in the front row but the downside is that a few of us were hanging around while the janitor vacuumed the library and while the event was set up. But really, at this point I know to just embrace my awkward self and move on. Plus I met some adorable nerdfighters who were also there early.
The authors on the YA or Bust! tour are Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss
, Lola and the Boy Next Door
), Gayle Forman (If I Stay
, Where She Went
) and Nina LaCour (Hold Still
, The Disenchantments
). Their camaraderie was evident from the minute they walked up to the table, quickly transitioning from the seats to sitting on top of the tables so they could see and interact more with the audience. The discussion was moderated by Anna Minard
from The Stranger
. I had a bit of a laugh over the signage outside the school. Here it is:
Kind of Funny.
The exclamation point, period, capitalization and commas in the signs prove that they are available for use, but I think the writer got to the last one and tried to fit it all in. I like to read it like this: "Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, and Nina LaCour talking with the strangers. Anna Minard. Event is FREE!" Technically, we ARE all strangers and I quite like Anna Minard just getting one random statement of her name, but this paragraph is neither here nor there and I'll stop boring you to death with the lame things that entertain me.
Minard was a rather entertaining moderator, and it was clear she is herself a huge YA fan. As she introduced each author, she included an anecdotal story about an experience she'd had with one of their books. (e.g. She started reading an ARC of Hold Still
after work and forgot to drive home.) Her first question right off the bat was to ask Gayle Forman whether she owned stock in Kleenex tissues, which got a laugh from the audience. Surprisingly, Forman said that If I Stay
was actually a joy to write and she found Where She Went
to be a much harder experience. Later in the evening, when asked how she felt about writing a sequel to If I Stay
that was essentially a spoiler for the first book, Forman said that generally, sequels suck. She never intended to write a sequel but she kept waking up at four in the morning. Her characters seemed to be saying, "think about where you left us" and that was an exercise she wasn't entirely prepared to partake in. Forman spoke a bit about what it is like to be in Adam's head--what it feels like to experience grief one step removed from tragedy, and what it is like to feel like you have no right to the grief you are feeling. I loved that. She also said that she found lyric-writing to be one of the hardest things about writing WSW.
Forman mentioned a blog, The Page 69 Test
, wherein author's read and discuss page 69 of one of their novels. All three authors then did so, and here is what they had to say:
When asked about "that" article
from the Wall Street Journal
about darkness in young adult literature, the authors were of the opinion that the article was meant to elicit outrage and opinion and it did its job. LaCour spoke eloquently about the importance of including all of these "dark" bits--suicide, drug use, death, etc.-- because it would be dishonest to exclude these real-life occurrences from books.
To lighten the mood, Minard asked Perkins about fashion. Perkins admitted that she sees Lola as a braver version of herself and then somehow the topic changed quickly to The Babysitter's Club (a transition I NEVER have a problem with). In Perkins' opinion, Claudia is the best character, Stacey comes second, and basically everyone else sucks. Aaaaand scene. Everyone was laughing because really, does ANYONE have something amazing to say about Mallory? Yeah, I thought not. Forman jokingly said she was far too sophisticated to read the BSC books--she was reading Jackie Collins instead.
Nina LaCour, when prompted, spoke about how much she enjoys road trips and how they are such a great vehicle (heh) to indicate transition. (going towards the future, leaving everything from the past in the rear-view mirror) She said that she only wants to do fun research for her books so she was happy to do the compulsory road trip and research on girl rock groups for The Disenchantments
. LaCour talked about the importance of writing groups and having people to support you, read your work, and the importance of doing those things for others. Forman advocated for time and education to develop your writing skills and Perkins spoke about reading, reading, reading and actually stopping when you find a scene you like or when feel yourself experiencing some emotion. At that point, go back and see how the author brought you there, step by step. I'm no writer but I found this bit of advice interesting. It's always funny to me when I am just moseying along in a book and then I feel outright disgust or elation in one sentence.
LaCour, Perkins, and Forman.
An interesting fact (to me, anyway) is that Stephanie Perkins worked on Lola and the Boy Next Doo
r for a decade. Anna
came afterward and, though she admits it sounds corny, was based on a dream she had of being in a large room with a French boy who had an English accent. Perkins admitted that she's more of an Anglophile but that she searched for a setting that would work for her purposes and that ended up being Paris. She said she did a ton of research because she was afraid of messing something up and that after she got a book deal, she went to France for a month. She'd spent so much time writing about it that it felt like she'd invented this world--she said it felt like she was going to her own Narnia. Also, did you all know that Isla from Perkins' upcoming Isla and the Happily Ever After
was a minor character in Anna
? I didn't realize that. She revealed that Isla
will be set at the same school as Anna and that it will involve Isla's senior year of high school. Here are a few lightning round questions they answered: "What scene from your own book is your favorite?"
Forman: The bridge scene in Where She Went
and the checkers scene in If I Stay
LaCour: The bike scene in The Disenchantments
(note: I can't read my notes to make this more specific)
Perkins: The Luxembourg Gardens scene in Anna
and the Thanksgiving bed scenes in Lola
."Which YA book do you wish you'd written?"
Forman: Jellicoe Road
LaCour: Before I Die
Perkins: Harry Potter"What advice would you give to 16-year old you?"
Forman: Wear more sunscreen. Also, she talked about how travel is transformative and that she'd give more advice to 15-year old her to travel more. (She ended up spending her 16th year studying in England after a push from her father)
LaCour: Be more adventurous.
Perkins: "I'd remind myself that my dad comes home for lunch."
After the event, I met Sarah and her mother Sandra, both from Clear Eyes, Full Shelves
, and Mindi Scott, author of Freefall
and the upcoming Live Through This
. I am always so excited to meet fellow readers, bloggers, authors, and book lovers. I'm only sorry I don't have a picture to share. *sigh* Maybe next time? There are some great YA events coming up. Get ready for some more recaps!
Have you been to any author events lately?
This Is Not A Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publication Date: 6/19/12
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Blurb: It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life--and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?Review:
Because I’m a fancy creative post
writer, I thought I’d start this off with a quote from someone whose opinion I really trust:
“Can you imagine what she's going to do with zombie survival?!! I bet it's going to be gruesome. :D
You know what? I really do love the sound of my own voice. You are so, so right, me of approximately five months ago.
Of course, this is Courtney Summers so the “gruesome” part of this book doesn’t arrive with the zombie apocalypse; it takes place within the grasping, desperate, damaged minds of the survivors. Which I think is a common thread in all the best zombie novels, really. Zombies are compelling in that they speak to some of our deepest fears; for example, that our bodies could become vacant killing machines, piloted by something other than ourselves. It’s a complete loss of free will. But in some sense, zombies can easily be a stand-in for any mass disaster or plague. What’s most compelling is the reaction of the human survivors to
This book has one of the best opening chapters I’ve read in a really long time. It is completely subtle but also utterly horrifying and absorbing. We are introduced to the main character Sloane in one brief, emotionally intense snapshot. Her life is a confining, meaningless misery and now that her sister is gone, she doesn’t see the point in continuing. She’s just about to finally let go when something happens – a shattering window, a crazed woman, a mad rush of humanity outside. And then we are pushed forward in time by seven days, as Sloane and five other survivors find shelter in their high school. What happened in those seven days was ugly and brutal, but we are not shown the details fully. We are given a front row seat to the more interesting part – the aftermath.
I’ve long admired Courtney Summers’ writing, because she really has a talent for getting in deep with the darker emotions and portraying them with such stark honesty that it’s impossible not to be affected. But in this book I feel like she’s really grown as a writer, finding that perfect balance between subtlety and story-telling. She hits us with bright pieces of emotion and action, but she never fills in all
the blanks. It's subtle but evocative enough that we are compelled to contribute – we have to put ourselves into the story. She can lead us down the path, but we have to use our own emotions and experiences to make the final steps. I think that’s one of the hallmarks of a great writer – because in the end, no writer can complete a story alone. No writer can describe an emotion with such perfection that someone who’s never felt it before will suddenly understand it. The best writers lead us to our own emotions, and the best stories are collaborations between writers and
readers. I think that Courtney Summers really masters that with This Is Not a Test
And of course, this woman writes my favorite kind of endings – dark but ambiguously hopeful, with realistic growth in the main character – perfection. Perfect Musical Pairing
Florence + The Machine – Never Let Me Go
That’s right, I’m pulling out all the stops for this book! No less than Florence will do. This song, to me, is about giving up on everything, completely, only to realize that you’ve survived anyway.
And now I need to make an announcement. Attention everyone: this is not a test. Go crazy for this book. Bloggers: it’s time to light up the super special ARC signal in the sky. Courtney Summers fans: do whatever you have to do - crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside if you must. Just get this book. This is not a test people!
Today, we have one of our favorite Aussie authors, Shirley Marr, here at The Readventurer to celebrate the release of her second novel, Preloved
. Marr's first novel dealt with a teenager accused of murder so it's safe to say that Preloved
is something completely new for her. In it, a high school girl finds a locket that is haunted by the snarky ghost of a boy from the 80s. Here's my review
, if you missed it. If you're outside of Australia, you can purchase Preloved
with free international shipping. In Australia, try The Nile
, which has free shipping as well.
Shirley has done amazingly fun blog posts and interviews
at the prior stops on her blog tour, so be sure to check them out
. Today, she's taking a trip back to her high school days. Pay close attention because we want you to grade her as a student when she's done! Here's Shirley on her day at YA Author Heights High:
Okay, so Shirley stuffs up the flux capacitor and goes back to high school!
First Period, Social Studies:
What I've noticed about YA Author Heights High is that everyone is super nice. They're all like "oh so what are you writing?" and "Yes, I completely understand Second Novel Syndrome, how about we sit together at lunch behind Writers Block and swap manuscripts?" and "That Librarian, Ms Oprah has got like favouritism or something". But I can't help but notice like every other school, it has CLIQUES.
The Popular People: Everyone is like in awe of them. They are like The Cullens. Everyone stares at them in the lunch hall. I mean that Markus Zusak is pretty good looking and School Captain Melina Marchetta is amazing. And I wish I was Cath Crowley and I wish John Marsden would look my way just the once. I would be so jealous of Jaclyn Moriarty if only she wasn't so darn nice. They always get the gold stars from the teachers and the school loves them too. One day maybe I will be able to share my Vegemite crispbread with them, but maybe this is just a pipe dream.
The Cool Kids: Wow, Lili Wilkinson has the right clothes and hair and she reads the right books and she knows how to tweet the important stuff. And Craig Silvey is the best looking hipster I have ever seen, I hope he asks me to the Year 12 formal. Gabby Williams is instantly cool cos she's from Melbourne. Leanne Hall in vintage black skivvy and capris, oh my. They hang around the bike shed being cool and themselves. They are in it for the ART.
The Newbies: These students have just moved to YAAHH this year and I'm excited. At the moment I am chaperoning Emma Cameron and Pip Harry around and showing them the canteen, toilet block, computer room etc. I reckon they will do well at YAAHH.
The Top Students: Look at those overachievers! That Kirsty Eagar, she's going to graduate and become an International Superstar. And Sonya Hartnett, always winning our school mega awards. Lucy Christopher? I didn't even know she was Australian because she's out of this world. I thought she was British. And Laura Buzo, if she over-achieves with her new novel, she might get inducted into The Popular People cos Laura "Buzo" has got serious "buzz" cred. I wish I knew the secret handshake to get into The Popular People crowd.
The Emo Kid: Me.
Second Period, Art:
I was an A grade student! Shaun Tan eat your heart out. I used to draw a lot when I was very young, when my English wasn't good (I didn't speak English fluently until I was about eight) and drawing was my only medium of expression. I made hundreds of these little picture books. But as I got better at writing my art suffered as a result and these days it's pretty piss poor! But my one Party Trick is that I can draw anything on the spot. You tell me the first thing on my your mind (hippopotamus, potato etc) and I will draw it for you. Here are some things I drew from Preloved. You get 1 point if you can figure out what they are. 2 points if you can specifically locate them in the book and a bonus golden unicorn if you can guess Number 4.
Third Period, History:
Once upon a time in the 80s, Shirley Marr was born. As a child she read a lot of books and knew at about 10 that she was going to be a writer. If she were able to reign in her personality it would have helped as in high school she refused to take English Lit cos it was "elitist", resigned from the Year Book Committee because they were "elitist" and didn't hand in several major essays in English because the curriculum was "boring". She ended up graduating uni and ended up with that magic occupation starting with "A"! Yes! An... Accountant. But an Awkward Accountant. The other day while walking down the city terrace, she accidentally kicked a lawyer (but it wasn't Julia Lawrinson). One day she decided to send in a manuscript with a terrible submission letter and a box of chocolates (no! The inter webs says you must never do this) to a slush pile. And for some reason the Publisher liked her. And here she is. Newborn Author.Fourth Period, English:Shirley's aforementioned original submission letter for Fury:
18 March 2009Dear Black Dog Books
[actual person's name redacted by The Readventurer],
Please find enclosed a three-chapter submission of my young adult manuscript
Fury. It’s a contemporary story of murder, revenge, blood and love set in a high
school, told by one snarky narrator. It is my first submission ever, so I hope that
you like it.
I decided to submit to black dog because I like the fact that you are a young,
passionate and fun publishing house with a sense of humour and if the answer is
a yes, then I think I would fit right in. I also think Dragon Keeper is awesome and
I would very much like to be published by you if it means I get to meet Carole
I believe that I have heaps of books inside of me (not just the one) and I would
like a chance to develop all these ideas. I believe I am committed in the long run
as I write every single day of my life and have done so for the past ten years. I
don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
Unfortunately, I have to tell you the truth that I don’t have a biography to attach
as per your submission guidelines. The only other thing I’ve ever had published
is my honours thesis called “Locus of Control and Budgetary Participation: An
Investigation into Budgetary Slack in Management Accounting”. It failed to
produce any concrete findings (as well as being extremely boring), but I won the
Asian Review of Accounting Dissertation Prize for highest scored thesis paper
based on the writing alone, so I hope this is proof that I can actually write.
Please also find a box of chocolates for you all to share. I don’t expect that a box
of chocolates will make you want to publish my manuscript, but may I suggest
that you enjoy them while you read my manuscript…
Shirley Marr Lunch:
At lunch I find in my lunch box all the food items from Preloved
. With cheat-sheet for our American and International friends.I'm hoping that since my lunch box is so awesome Markus Zusak will quit making himself so handsome on the rugby field and come sit with me.
| || |
1. A raspberry licorice strap. There are no raspberry liquorice straps in the US? I think liquorice straps are a traditional UK thing. Anyway, it is just really long liquorice that can be peeled off into smaller straps which is then eaten. It's hours of fun and variation. I've been known to plait 3 smaller straps together before eating them together.
2. Milo. Australia's favourite chocolate/malt powder for making it into a drink. It will turn you into a cricket superstar, I swear. You can mix it with milk for a cold drink (make sure you actually use more milo than milk for a traditional Aussie way) or make it hot and then top it off with like 3 tablespoons of milo 'sprinkling". I don't understand how chocolate gets promoted in Australia as being an "energy food", but hey, it's the Big Brown Land after all. Do you have Ovaltine? It's similar, but Ovaltine is nowhere near as GOOD.
3. A cheesymite scroll: A spiral pastry with a cheese and Vegemite filling, hence "cheesymite". Popular as a mid-morning snack, eaten cold. They can be homemade or purchased from Australian chain bakeries such as "Brumbies" (how Aussie is the name of this bakery chain?)
4. Weet-Bix. The Breakfast of Champions. "Mate, how many can you do?" the TV commercial
will ask of you. "Top Aussies" can do about twenty in one go. They are like slabs of wheat that taste like… absolutely nothing. But they are totes nutritious. I can only "do" about 3. I know, I'm a weakling and will never be a Socceroo.
Fifth Period, Science:
The regular science teacher is "chucking a sickie" (Aussie slang for having a sick day) and the substitute teacher has failed to show up. Flann says you call them "subs" in the States, but here it is just "substitute teacher". Shirley has decided to wheel out the ancient TV and video player to play a movie instead.Shirley's 80s movie choices are:
1. The Princess Bride
- I love this movie. I bet you can't tell!
- Teenage girl's "coming of age" symbolically manifests itself into a fantasy sequence involving a massive inescapable maze, a groping pit of hands and David Bowie in lycra tights. And this is supposed to be for little kids.
3. The Dark Crystal
- I'm sad how they don't make kid's movies like this anymore.
4. The NeverEnding Story
5. Return to Oz
- I don't really like The Wizard of Oz. But I LOVE the sequel. Dorothy is dragged to have Electric Shock Therapy after confessing to having "been to Oz" and escapes with the said magical friends. Now that's more Shirley's style!
6. Pretty in Pink
- I love how John Cryer used to be young, cute and a contender for Movie Boyfriend. I think I would rather endure like, The Never Ending Story II before Two and a Half Men.
7. The Breakfast Club
- *doodles "SM 4 MZ 4EVA" on desk*. If I can "accidentally" switch on the bunsen burner and maybe set Melina's hair on fire and blame it on Markus Zusak and then "act out of line" during Math, then hopefully we can end up in after school detention together. Sweet!
8. Back to the Future
- I love but don't understand this movie.
- I also love but don't understand this movie. Tron sequel thing - go way. You are too cool and that it not the point.
10. The Goonies
. That is all. The Goonies!
[editor's note: TONS of these were released in 1985. What a crazy amazing year for movies! -F]Sixth Period, Maths:
Since Shirley can't do Math, she decides to cheat off Principal Flann in this period. Unfortunately (or thank goodness for that), she gets caught and has to do after school detention.
Shirley in the dunce corner. (or against the dunce wall, as it were.)
Seventh Period, Languages:
A normal Shirley sentence: "Something-something Pollywaffle Wagon Wheel Gotye something-something Golden Gaytime Jason Donovan Frilled-neck Lizard" What language is this?? It's 'Strine of course!
Here's a handy Aussie English translator for when you read Preloved:
Bloke: a guy. Can be embellished as "top bloke" - a really great guy
Dag/Daggy: something really uncool and possibly nerdy. Can be used as an expression of endearment e.g.: "You dag!" which roughly translate to "Your poor dear!"
Fair dinkum: The real deal, something genuine and "true blue". When used incredulously, such as "fair dumkum, mate!" it becomes a rhetorical "Are you being real?"
Fair go: to give something a fair chance.
Fish and Chips: a popular Friday night meal, inherited from the British, consisting of battered fish and chips, wrapped up in butcher's paper.
Grouse: Great. Not gross I guess, but… grouse. Anything can be "grouse" e.g. - Your hair looks grouse, this book I'm reading is grouse.
Neighbours: a once popular nightly Australian TV family drama about the inhabitants of "Ramsey Street". In it's hey day in the 80s the defining moment was when loveable female mechanic played by then-rising-star Kylie Minogue (Charlene) marries the hottie Scott (Jason Donavon, who now has totally jumped the shark) and it was the besets TV wedding ever.
Would you LOOK at that mullet?
Sheila: a girl
Spewin': similar to "I can't believe this is happening" or when used to sympathise with another person - "I'm so sorry to hear"
Strewth: used to express shock, as in "I can't believe this!"
At the end of Shirley's day, I bet she went out for drinks and cupcakes with her mates. I guess that's one benefit of being an adult back in high school. What would you score Shirley for her day back at school?
I'd definitely give her an A. Heck, I'd give her an A just for including her artwork, that mullet picture, and dressing up like a schoolgirl for detention. That's dedication! Her movie picks are epic as well--the wheelers from Return to Oz
are a recurring nightmare of mine and I watch Princess Bride
, and Goonies
on at least a monthly basis.Since Preloved is so hard to find in the US/Canada and her publisher (black dog books, an imprint of Walker Books) was kind enough to send us two copies (one of which we already gave away--Congrats, Missie!), we'd like to tour our other copy to give a few more people the chance to read it. Don't forget to enter the giveaways on earlier blog tour stops as well for books and a few other goodies!We will see what the demand is like for a book tour, so fill out this form if you are interested. We'll definitely include the first 20 people to respond but maybe more, depending on the success of the initial effort.
Thanks for joining us today, Shirley! You were a wonderful student!
Let us know in the comments what high school clique YOU belonged to, what grade you'd give Shirley, or what your favorite period was in today's back to the future trip to high school was.
Silently and Very Fast
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publication Date: October, 2011
Publisher: WSFA Press
Blurb: Fantastist Catherynne M. Valente takes on the folklore of artificial intelligence in this brand new, original novella of technology, identity, and an uncertain mechanized future.Neva is dreaming. But she is not alone. A mysterious machine entity called Elefsis haunts her and the members of her family, back through the generations to her great-great-grandmother -- a gifted computer programmer who changed the world. Together Neva and Elefsis navigate their history and their future, an uneasy, unwilling symbiote.
But what they discover in their dreamworld might change them forever...Review:
I feel so completely in awe of this book right now. I’m just so grateful that I got to experience it in my lifetime. I know that sounds like so much reviewer hyperbole but it’s not. This reviewer’s fangirling is 100% free of exaggeration. I am still so swept up in all of the intense emotions that this book cultivated in me. I know this high is fleeting and I want to pass it on to all of you while I still have it. Catherynne M. Valente deserves all the small attention that I can nudge in her direction.
Like so much of my favorite “genre fiction” these days, this one defies genre boundaries. It is part science fiction, part fairy tale, part philosophy, part coming of age story, and part intimate memoir. It is all the vast inner workings of a mind both young and old, naïve and wise.
Elefsis is an artificial intelligence, existing within the “Interior” – a sophisticated virtual space that grows and changes with Elefsis’ evolution, and with the passing of each of several generations of one human family, to whom Elefsis is inextricably bound. This is a very personal story, told through the filter of images, metaphor, and parable that were Elefsis’ first means of communication.
“I’ve…I’ve been telling it stories,” Ceno admitted. “Fairy tales, mostly. I thought it should learn about narrative, because most of the frames available to us run on some kind of narrative drive, and besides, everything has a narrative, really, and if you can’t understand a story and relate to it, figure out how you fit inside it, you’re not really alive at all.”
Elefsis initially translates its responses into images and metaphor, but slowly it learns to speak, to emulate human behaviors, to reproduce human feelings. Is this artificial? Are its “feelings” real and valid or are they only so much mimicry? Isn’t that how we all learn to act, to be,
by mimicking the behaviors of our elders or parents until we find our own?
What’s interesting here is that Catherynne M. Valente never definitively answers this question. She leads us down both paths: Elefsis is alive; Elefsis is artificial. In the end, we are left with even more questions. Why does the ability to “feel” as we define it, somehow equal humanity? Why does the ability to appear human somehow equal existence, intelligence? What if AI were something wholly different, something brand new? Would it be any less valid, any less real? “I do not want to be human. I want to be myself. They think I’m a lion, that I will chase them. I will not deny that I have lions in me. I am the monster in the wood. I have wonders in my house of sugar. I have parts of myself I do not yet understand. I am not a Good Robot. To tell a story about a robot who wants to be human is a distraction. There is no difference. Alive is alive. There is only one verb that matters: to be.”
All of these questions are flawlessly woven together with stunningly visual experiences in the Interior, Elefsis’ sorrowful recollections, and the fairytales that it’s been given, and that it’s told.
I’ve read other stories that examine what it means to be alive through the idea of artificial intelligence, but none so deeply personal as this one. I can’t recommend this slight but profound novella enough. This is the kind of story that I could read a dozen times and still glean new ideas from on the thirteenth reading. Perfect Musical Pairing
Kate Bush – Snowflake
This book is a mere one hundred twenty seven pages, but it deserves all ten minutes of this song. This song is haunting, sorrowful, and so very personal. And it’s the story of a snowflake. Kate Bush takes something outside the bounds of life and gives it a very understandable story. This is also one of the most brilliant and moving songs I’ve heard this year. For all of these reasons, this is my song for Silently and Very Fast.
Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1)
Author: Chuck Wendig
Publication Date: 4/24/12
Publisher: Angry Robot
Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.
But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.
No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.Review:There have been a few conversations on Goodreads
lately concerning the dangers of labeling and categorizing books, especially books written by women and especially calling them chick-lit
or dystopian romance
. Many eloquently and convincingly argued that giving fiction written by women these labels is dangerous and detrimental because it dismisses these books and alienates its potential male readers. On a logical level, I do understand these people's concerns, but personally, I don't feel like women are being underrepresented in publishing. Most of the books I read are written by women, most of my favorite authors are women, so it is hard for me to relate and lament the fact that if some book is called a romance, then we, people who label it so, take away the author's livelihood and stop men from reading it. I suppose, men are generally disinterested in books dedicated to "women's issues," but must it always have something to do with sexism and ten kinds of malice? Where am I going with this? Well, I just want to make a point that some books genuinely do not work for us, because they are written by an author of the opposite sex, no sexism needs to come into play. This is the case with Blackbirds
, a book, which, I believe, I would have liked more if it didn't have so much dude in it.Blackbirds
has all the elements of an excellent urban fantasy novel. And it would have been one, if it were written by Stacia Kane
, for example. The book's main character, Miriam, has an ability to know how a person will die by having a skin-to-skin contact with him or her (this reminds me of some other books with similar powers, maybe Harper Connelly serie
s by Charlaine Harris?). She uses this ability to take advantage of the dying people, normally by following them close to their death moment and cleaning out their wallets. Miriam seems to be unable to change the course of people's lives and postpone anyone's death, so she carries on knowing everyone's last moments, but not doing anything about it. That is until she meets a long-distance truck driver Louis who is nice to her and who she knows will die in a gruesome way a couple of weeks after meeting Miriam and with Miriam's name on his lips.The plot unfolds roughly as you would expect
any urban fantasy (series) to unfold. There is a romantic entanglement (or two), some drugs, some sex (not sexy), a mystery, and lots and lots of violence and gore. I would have totally been down for this plot, if not for a few things.Wendig writes from Miriam's POV (3rd person). And I have the same problems with his woman's voice that
I have with all the YA novels written by female writers from POV's of young lads who sound like middle-aged women. It's just not believable. Miriam's narrative is peppered with the amount of dick and dick-related tangents and jokes that are characteristic of only male-written books. (Sorry, guys, we are just not that preoccupied with your members.) And, in general, I found Miriam's voice too labored for my taste. Too much strained wit, even in the most inopportune and life-threatening moments, is not something I enjoy. The other thing that turned me off about this novel is the bare, cinematic
quality of it. Sometimes you come across books that just have no "meat." Wendig has the plot down, the dialog is OK, but his characters appear to be operating in a vacuum. There is no sense of place, no atmosphere, little to no emotion, but mostly events and conversations happening one after another. And the last thing that I never in a million years thought I would complain about. There is way too much gore and nastiness in this book. It is often gratuitous and too gross, which is especially jarring when not balanced with depth and emotion and solid motivations. You have blood galore, cut-off body parts
, eye boogers, bodies ground in a garbage disposal. Not to mention the term "blumpy" I learned which I now desire to erase from my mind forever (google it at your own risk). A lot of this was an overkill and not fully justified by the novel's plot.My advice about Blackbirds? Skip it, unless you are a dude or have a taste for gross, and read Zoo City instead.2.5/5 stars
She Made Me Do It: Round One
As amateur reviewers, we pride ourselves on being able to recommend the right books to the right readers. As massive readers, we rely on the opinions of others to help guide our own book selections. But how much do we trust each other? Enough to place our next round of reading in the hands of a co-blogger?
Today we are starting a new feature, where we will risk it all and make and receive recommendations to and from the pickiest people we know: ourselves. Using a round-robin approach, each one of us will give three selections to another Readventurer. That person must select and attempt to read one of the books within the next month. Glowing reviews may follow. Scathing rants may follow. Half-hearted DNF’s and awkward glares may follow. Our very reputations as reviewers are on the line!
This should be interesting.
Flannery's Recommendations For Tatiana:
| || |The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
What it's about:
The teenage clone of a drug kingpin analyzes what it means to be human and free.Why I think she'd like it:
I know how much Tatiana enjoyed Unwind
by Neal Shusterman. House of the Scorpion
brings up the same kinds of moral values discussions and questions that were prevalent in that work. Plus, seriously, look at all the awards it won. Psht, as if
she wouldn't like it.
| || |Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann AguirreWhat it's about:
Sirantha Jax has the ability to navigate and jump ships through space because of her genes. She joins up with a ragtag crew and adventures ensue à la Firefly
. Why I think she'd like it:
Tatiana likes urban fantasy. She also likes space. Ergo she should like urban fantasy in space, right? Jax is a pretty badass heroine and she definitely isn't a cliché --I know Tatiana loves women with backbone.
| || |Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
What it's about:
A teenage boy wakes up in a juvenile psychiatric ward, doesn't think he truly belongs there, and snarks it up while he figures out if he does. Why I think she'd like it:
1. It is funny; 2. It is a case where journal entries work as the format; 3. It is a male narrator done well; 4. I recommended Sisters in Sanity
by Gayle Forman to Tatiana in the past and she enjoyed that. I think she and I both enjoy stories about mental illness and rehab/psych ward books. (though this one is definitely funnier than the Forman book)
Tatiana's Verdict: I am quite excited about these picks. I won't be surprised if I read them all. The House of the Scorpion has been on my TBR for a very long time. All those awards! It is my kind of book for sure. The only reason why I haven't read Sirantha Jax is because I prejudged the author based on the reviews of her YA novel (something about a rapey love interest?). Maybe it's time to put this prejudice behind and actually read one of Aguirre's books? And, of course, I LOVE books about mentally unstable people.
Tatiana's Recommendations For Catie:
| || |
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
What it's about: Urban fantasy set in an alt universe Johannesburg where sinners carry their crimes on their backs in a form of animals. Zinzi, an ex-journalist, ex-druggie, ex-inmate is forced to pay off her drug debt by getting involved in a missing person investigation. It doesn't end well.
Why I think she'd like it: Catie loves urban fantasy and I am sure she will love this one. Not only is it a thrilling mix of mystery and paranormal, but it is a great social commentary, with Paolo Bacigalupi-like darkness and grit.
| || |
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
What it's about: It is a story of a young woman, who after years of feeling invisible and insignificant, discovers her strength and sense of belonging in the land of her kidnapper - a mysterious Hill-king who possesses magic powers.
Why I think she'd like it: First, it is fantasy. Second, it is so beautifully written! This story is lush, vivid and oh so romantic. I am quite certain The Blue Sword will take its place among Catie's favorites fantasies, next to Megan Whalen Turner's, Melina Marchetta's and Kristin Cashore's books.
| || |
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
What it's about: When Walter discovers that his shallow and silly wife Kitty is cheating on him, he decides to punish her by moving them to an isolated cholera-stricken part of China. There Kitty finds new self-awareness.
Why I think she'd like it: Catie will appreciate Kitty's emotional growth in this book. Plus an exotic locale. She will also have to watch the movie adaptation and she will love it too (am I a bit too sure of my recommendation powers?)
Catie's Verdict: I knew I could trust Tatiana to list three books that I most definitely want to read - she practically does that for me every single week as it is! I've desperately wanted to read Zoo City ever since she described it as a combination of "The Golden Compass and Paolo Bacigalupi" in her review. That sounds like something I would love. I've also heard wonderful things about The Blue Sword. I was disappointed with Robin McKinley's Sunshine and Beauty, but I think it's time I gave her another chance. And guess what? I've already seen AND loved the film version of The Painted Veil. Perhaps a Book vs. Movie post is in my future? It will be very hard for me to pick just one of these when I really want to read all of them.
Catie's Recommendations For Flannery:
| || |
Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
What it's about: A light, fun story about a hilariously sarcastic teenage girl who can see ghosts, and is tasked with helping them move on.
Why I think she'd like it: Meg Cabot. Snarky/silly jokes. Hot latino ghosts. Querida. Did I mention it's Meg Cabot? I don't think this one will blow her away, but I think she will have fun with it. This series is also quite fun to inhale all in one go (there are six books). Okay, yes - she did just post an entire review about her dislike of non-eighties ghosts in books only a week ago. But I have a loophole: I'm pretty sure that Jesse, the ghosty love-interest, is from the 1880's. Problem solved!
| || |
Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt
What it's about: A very uplifting story with a colorful cast of characters. From the author of The Wednesday Wars, this spin-off features Doug Swieteck (the younger brother of the noted bully) and his struggle to fit in and cope with major life changes.
Why I think she'd like it: I think this book will go right to her heart and squeeze. It's quirky and funny, but has a lot of sweet depth and a happy ending.
| || |
The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
What it's about: Earth detective Elijah Bailey is reluctantly teamed up with a humanoid robot to solve a murder mystery on a faraway planet.
Why I think she'd like it: Murder mystery...IN SPACE! With a simple (like a fox) detective and the robot sidekick he loves to hate. Need I say more? I think Flannery is destined to be an Asimov fan.
Flannery's Verdict: I told Catie after I read her recommendations that I find it funny that only two days ago I was on our blog discussing my hatred of ghosts and now she is recommending a ghost book to me. But it IS Meg Cabot and she usually entertains me, especially when I block Avalon High and Insatiable out of my mind. I have been meaning to read Okay For Now for ages, ever since I loved The Wednesday Wars so I'm excited to prove my chops for this feature by definitely reading that one. Catie knows that anyone can snag me when they add "IN SPACE!!" to any premise. A laundromat...IN SPACE!! Twenty grandmothers playing bingo...IN SPACE!! I have no clue what the man on the front of that cover is doing, but it intrigues me. Also, I've yet to read any Asimov, despite being a self-proclaimed sci-fi fanatic. The verdict on Catie's picks is that I'm excited to read them all. Realistically, I hope to read two of them. -Flannery
The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2)
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Publication Date: 5/1/12
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Blurb: In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.
This thrilling companion to Paolo Bacigalupi's highly acclaimed Ship Breaker is a haunting and powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.
The Drowned Cities
' predecessor (and loose companion) Ship Breaker
has already won Printz
and was short-listed for National Book Award
, and rightfully so. But I am wondering right now - was it not a tad premature to give Paolo Bacigalupi all these accolades? Because, frankly, The Drowned Cities
is a far superior novel in comparison and, I guess, it is hard to expect similar acknowledgment of it, even if it is deserved? It appears, most of these awards are given once and the awarded authors are then promptly ignored? I wouldn't want this novel to be overlooked. The Drowned Cities
is a completely different story from Ship Breaker
. Paolo's intent for Ship Breaker
was to write a boy book, with action, adventure and explosions, and with a little bit of a moral lesson about bravery and loyalty. But I doubt The Drowned Citie
s was written with the same agenda in mind. Or if it was, the final novel far exceeded its original intent. The Drowned Cities
is a heavy, brutal, unequivocally message-driven story that no one will dismiss as a simple entertainment.This is a story of war.
The kind of war that is playing out in many parts of our world right now. The setting of The Drowned Cities
is futuristic/dystopian (slightly post-apocalyptic?) - natural resources are scarce, global warming has caused a climate change and extensive flooding of many parts of the planet, US is torn by civil war the reasons for which no one can any longer remember, China is a mega power that attempts to act as a peacekeeper, there are genetically augmented "people" who do rich men's bidding in all spheres of life from war combat to sexual services (this later "sphere" is not actually written into this YA novel, but a part of the larger The Windup Girl
universe). But there is nothing in this fictional world that, on a human level, is not already happening in reality. And what is happening is that people are murdering each other for no good reason, children are being recruited to advance various war lords' convoluted political and financial agendas, livelihoods are being destroyed and citizens killed and exploited by the same soldiers who claim to protect and serve them.
Bacigalupi writes about many war-related things in this novel - the futility of peacekeeping efforts, the pointlessness of civil wars. It raises questions of what should one do in a time of war - fight and spread violence? endure and survive at any cost, even by sacrificing one's humanity? or try to simply escape? But the major theme of The Drowned Cities
, in my mind, is the place of children in war. They are its victims, they are its bloody players, they are its survivors. The part of the story that struck me the most is the portrayal of the evolution (or birth) of a child soldier. This novel is awfully reminiscent of Ishmael Beah
's personal account of becoming a boy soldier. It is astonishing how easy it is to dehumanize a child and make him (or her) a senseless torturer and killer. Reading The Drowned Cities was an immensely intense experience for me.
Every time I put the book down and came back to it later, it only took me a few pages to put me again and again into a high level of anxiety and fear for its characters. Not many YA books can keep me in suspense these days, but The Drowned Cities
did. With that said, I want to assure you, the book never becomes a tearjerker or tragedy porn or shocking for the shock's sake. It is an honest, real and raw portrayal of what happens every day in the countries we don't care and don't want to think about.
If Mockingjay or Chaos Walking Trilogy are your favorite reads, The Drowned Cities is your next natural reading choice.5/5 stars
Many of you (and I’m guessing possibly even the author himself) will laugh me off this small stage when I confess that I find Paolo Bacigalupi’s novels to be incredibly hopeful. Seriously. Now, admittedly, this is an author who writes all about the end of the world as we know it and what we’ve done to bring ourselves here. The Drowned Cities
is about the irrevocable loss of childhood innocence, the harsh realities of survival, and the grasping, selfish nature of humankind. His novels are not for everyone, and trust me when I say that they are dark.
And yet, somehow these dark, twisted, eerily prophetic tales make me feel lifted. Maybe it’s because, set against such bleak settings, the hope stands out even more acutely. In the very harsh world of The Drowned Cities,
it stands out in moments of sacrifice and resistance: in all the moments when these characters fight to rise out of the grim world they were born into. It’s in the reckless bravery of one damaged child to save another. It’s in the momentary resistance of one hardened teenage soldier to years of violence and trauma. It’s in the deceptively foolish actions of a peaceful man. It’s the strength within one born and bred killer to choose another path. These moments are brief and often fruitless, but they're powerful within the scope of a single life.
But that’s not the entirety of it. It’s hard for me to articulate this properly, but there’s a certain much broader, more ambiguous hope that I think Paolo Bacigalupi paints so incredibly well. It’s a hope that stems from our complete and utter insignificance. We crawl around this Earth, warring with each other and consuming every resource, leaving waste and pollution behind. And yet, the Earth goes on. The Earth finds ways to thrive despite us, because of us. It adapts. Even as we are molding this world into an incompatible home for ourselves, we are remaking it for something, someone else. We are so arrogant; we feel so separate, but the truth is that we aren’t above nature. We are a part of it. We are a small piece of this powerful, wild system that can’t ever be controlled. Even when we try to control it, it slips right out of our hands. We are such a miniscule, temporary part of this Earth’s history. All we have is this one brief moment to live the best we can and to try our hardest not to be a part of the violence and destruction. And even if we fail, this world will go on without us, just as it has for millennia. For some reason, I find a lot of hope in that.
What do all of my ramblings about hope have to do with this book? Everything,
says my addled brain. Or maybe nothing. Maybe you’ll have an entirely different feeling, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll feel something for this intense book and its characters. Just read it. If you don’t trust me (understandable – this review is completely unhelpful), scroll back up and let Tatiana’s much more lucid words convince you.Perfect Musical Pairing
Nine Inch Nails - The Good Soldier
This is a very chilling song, told from the point of view of a soldier as he walks through his destroyed home, stepping over bodies and trying to convince himself that what he's doing is the right thing.
"I am trying to see
I am trying to believe
This is not where I should be
I am trying to believe
Blood hardens in the sand
Cold metal in my hand
Hope you understand the way that things are gonna be
There's nowhere left to hide, 'cause God is on our side
I keep telling myself."