April 17, 2013

When things work out perfectly...

It's the little things in life that make us smile. Especially when we're working on a scene in one of our chapters and a bright idea comes into focus. Because we want our books to be realistic even though they're set in a post-apocalyptic world, making things as real and plausible as possible is really important.

That's why, when the small detail we want to add is not only plausible but completely and utterly possible, we get excited. It makes writing that much more fun and gratifying to see all the pieces falling into place.

For LP - this stumble was a happy accident.

Just like Mary Poppins, it's practically perfect in every way.

(this is random out of context, I know...but trust us, it couldn't be more perfect).
Canon Arrow Company

April 12, 2013

"Girl On Fire"

"Music is the shorthand of emotion" so says fellow author Leo Tolstoy. Our music pick this week is full of both emotion and soul. Check out Alicia Keys's Girl On Fire video and try not to sing along or be inspired. If nothing else it will get stuck in your head.

We double dog dare you.

April 8, 2013

Book Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Reviewer: Lindsey Pogue

Title: Shatter Me
Series: Shatter Me (book 1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Indie or Traditional: Traditional (HarperCollins)
Genre(s): YA, Romance, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-apocaplyptic
Main Character(s): Juliette Ferrars, Adam Kent
Rating: 5/5 stars

Team Lindsey adores Tahereh Mafi and her Shatter Me series. Although Shatter Me is the first book in the series and has been out since 2011, I'm only just now about ready to jump into Unravel Me and wanted to do a quick recap.

!If you haven’t read Shatter Me, POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!

Summary:  Juliette doesn’t know her own strength that she’s cursed. That is, until she tried to help someone inadvertently killed a small child, was labeled dangerous and locked away in a cell…by the Reestablishment…from the crumbling, chaotic world in which she lives.  While 17-year-old Juliette isn’t exactly cursed, no one knows why her touch is fatal or what to do with her…that is until someone gets a bright idea and deems her useful.

Juliette thinks she’s been forgotten about until Warner, the son of the leader of the Reestablishment, begins to show interest in becomes obsessed with her, trying to convert Juliette into one of his weapons to help take over what remains of the decaying world that they live in.

Adam, a childhood acquaintance and a soldier in the Reestablishment, is the only one willing to help her, who sees Juliette as good, who loves her, and who helps her escape Warner’s evil grasp.

There's a little romance, a little action, but a lot of heart, which I think is what really grabbed my attention.

What I like about it:
·      Mafi is a fresh author with a unique voice. I love the strikethrough idea because, let’s be honest, we think this way so why not write this way? It seems ingenious to me, especially because the censorship and uncertainty is written as it is inside Juliette’s head. Sometimes Juliette makes no sense, but that’s because her mind is reeling and she’s trying to comprehend her life…the world…love…fear. She’s a naive girl in an uncertain and unpredictable and dangerous world so it makes sense her inner-most thoughts would be wishful, confused, self-deprecating, and wanting.
·      The prose. While I don’t necessary write with so much fluff, with as many adjectives or abstract thoughts, that doesn’t mean it’s not refreshing to read once in a while. I generally like simple and to the point, but I can definitely appreciate the time and creativity an author can put into description and elaboration.

For instance…
I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.

The prose are really quite beautiful. I could never write something so clever, so thought provoking. I think Mafi doesn’t it nicely and while some people don’t like it, I think others absolutely love it.  There were many times during this book that I literally stopped reading and thought “how does she do it?”
·      The characters. Warner was creepy. Adam was lovable. Juliette was endearing. That’s what a good story needs and I think the author did a good job of making the reader want what she did…to either love OR hate the characters. Even Kenji was entertaining and kept the suspense up because we don’t really know if he’s sincere until they arrive at one of the Resistance bases.

Some of the issues that I had…
·      Because the story takes place so much in the whirling mind of the heroine, I did find myself sometimes wishing the action would pick up, the romance would pick up, something that would help at a little more life to the story along with all the inner turmoil.
·      Sometimes the prose did seem a bit much and I could have done with them more sparsely laced throughout the story, but again, it’s the author’s writing style and I can’t do that, so I appreciate it (even if it is sort of distracting at times).

Overall, I’m a huge fan of this book. I am anxious to get started on Unravel Me, but I wanted to get my thoughts down on paper before immersing myself in the second installment of Shatter Me. I have a feeling I’m going to be wishing I’d waited for book three, but I can’t help it…I’m reading it anyway.

April 6, 2013

#SFFFriday...the second

Yesterday was Team Lindsey's second #SFFFriday (when LF and LP get together with the sole purpose of honoring, catching up on, and getting lost in something from the SciFi/Fantasy genres). Continuing where we left off last week, we finished up season two of Game of Thones, and FINALLY watched the eagerly anticipated season three premier!

While the premier left us hungry for more GoT, it did feel like it was mostly set-up for the succeeding episodes...but that's okay, because we know some of what's to come. Well, besides winter and white walkers and wildlings. We'll laugh, we'll cry, and without a doubt, we'll throw a tantrum when the season ends and we have to wait another eight months for season four. We're already dreading it :(

Back to season two. Here is some of what we loved, and who we loved to hate...

Favorite Quotes From Season Two (mostly spoken by Tyrion, of course!):
1. "You love your children. It's your one redeeming quality; that and your cheekbones." (Tyrion, 2.01)
2. "I am not threatening the King, Ser Meryn, I am education my nephew. Bronn, the next time Ser Meryn speaks, kill him. That was a threat. See the difference?" (Tyrion, 2.04)
3. "I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid." (Tyrion, 2.08)
4. "The Lord of Light wants his enemies burnt. The Drowned God wants his enemies drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious c*nts? Where is the god of t*ts and wine?" (Tyrion, 2.08)
5. "Or maybe it's a dream. Your dream, my dream, I do not know. These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." (Khal Drogo, 2.10)
6. "That would make me the quarter man, and that just does not have the same ring to it." (Tyrion, 2.09)
7. "I need to find my brother and mother...and my sister. I need to find her too." (Arya, 2.10)
8. "I wish someone would have told me. I wouldn't have had to steal that pig." (Jamie, 2.10)

Top Five Loved Character Combos:
1. Jaqen H'ghar & Arya Stark
2. Jon Snow & Ygritte / Jon Snow & Ghost
3. Danaerys Targaryen & Ser Jorah Mormont
4. Tyrion Lannister & anyone
5. The Hound & Sansa Stark

Top Three Love-to-hate Characters:
1. Joffery
2. Cersei
3. Jamie

Top Three Characters We'd Like to Punch:
1. Theon ('nuff said)
2. Melisandre, The Red Witch (that beezy is just evil)
3. Ser Loras Tyrell (when did he get so whiny?)

Top Five Characters Who Confuse Us (What's their endgame?):
1. Lord Varys
2. Margaery Tyrell
3. Lord Baelish
4. Talisa Maegyr (She's not in the books, so we're thinking they must have replaced Jeyne Westerling as Robb's wife for a reason...why?)
5. Shae (She's so different from the Shae in the books, so, what's her story?)

After another successful and satisfying #SFFFriday, all we can say is...MORE GAME OF THRONES! Now, back to the world of The Ending...