Saturday, October 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo Synopsis + Soundtrack

I have THIRTY followers! 30! Three-zero! :D Thank you, people! You are wonderful. But just as a PSA, since I have you all here and listening (well, maybe), next month is National Novel Writing Month, so my blog will mostly be full of NaNo fever. If you dislike NaNo fever (as many do, I hear), please just avoid my blog for the month. ;)

For those who are participating or like stalking, HI! I'm not exactly excited about NaNo this year, but I'm making an effort to become so. lol.
My project is a sequel to my 2007 Nano, which was a retelling of the Ariadne/Theseus/Dionysus myth. Here's my synopsis (which is horrible and over-dramatic as they always are, but it will have to do for now):

Working Title: "Even Unto Hades"

It's been ten years since Ariadne was abandoned by Theseus and married Dionysus, the immortal god of wine and cats. She has two young sons. She loves her husband-she thinks. She's never quite sure. Sometimes he's beautiful and loving and passionate, and other times he's distant and aloof and cold. Sometimes he leaves for weeks. Did she make the right choice, or should she have given up ten years ago?

It's been ten years since Dionysus fell in love with Ariadne. Ten years since he discovered Hera arranged his mother's death. As a bastard son, the other gods still don't give him the respect he thinks he deserves. The Argives are rebelling against him. And now he learns that the one he loves the most is in danger from his most hated enemy.

Will Ariadne and Dionysus be able to stand against everything that is trying to ruin them? Or will they let themselves be destroyed by lies and despair?

Andddd here's my soundtrack! Or my planned soundtrack. Who knows what it will end up really being. ;)

  • Snow Patrol [Dionysus and Ariadne]
  • White Horse by Taylor Swift [Ariadne]
  • Ladies And Gentlemen by Saliva [Dionysus]
  • Adam Lambert [Dionysus and various other scalawags
  • Various movie soundtracks, which will probably mostly be Avatar and How To Train Your Dragon
Feel free to leave links to your Nano profiles or posts or whatnot, if you're participating. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Movie Adaptations: Hunger Games and Mortal Instruments

Hey guys! Sorry I didn't do a Manga Monday post yesterday. FAIL! :D I'm sure you'll survive.
I have a question before I get to my actual topic: Does anyone have any debut novel suggestions? I need to read 4 more before 2011. My debut post is here but I haven't acquired any of those TBR ideas so I can still change them.

Now on to the post. I read the Hunger Games trilogy over the last 6 months or so, and just read the Mortal Instruments trilogy a couple weeks ago. Both of these best-selling series have been optioned for film. Both of these trilogies are not my fave books ever, but I would definitely enjoy seeing parts of them on-screen. Below are the things I'm most looking forward to or most dreading from these film adaptations.

The Hunger Games
Character I'm most looking forward to seeing: I'm betting Haymitch is going to be AWESOME, and I don't have enough emotional attachment to him that I'll be pissed off if they "do him wrong." If they do things right, I will most look forward to seeing Cinna. :D
Scene/chapter I'm most looking forward to seeing: Probably the first time Katniss gets made over by the prep team and Cinna, and Cinna's outfits in general. If you want me to face facts, I sorta read all three books for Cinna. XD
Something I'm dreading/fearing in the movie: the heavy criticism of war and the media. I respected Collins for being so hardcore on these themes, but in a movie version, I'm afraid they'll cheesify it, over-do it, or worse, completely ignore it. I also think the zombie-dog part is going to be FREAKY.

The Mortal Instruments
Character I'm most looking forward to seeing: Magnus Effing Bane. XD Easy. Or if you want a not-easy answer, probably Isabelle and her whip. :)
Scene/chapter I'm most looking forward to seeing: Fighting Abaddon, the Greater Demon. That fight scene was legit and all the characters had little jolly moments (except maybe Isabelle. Huh.). OR Magnus Bane's party, because it's hilarious in every way.
Something I'm dreading/fearing in the movie: I almost read these books completely for Magnus Bane (I AM REALLY SEEING A THEME HERE), so if they mess him up or make him, too, well, TOO MUCH, I will be really pissed off. I am also kinda worried the movies will be made on a Twilight level: over-dramatized, insanely publicized but not very good movies. Although I think TMI has better source material than Twilight.

What about you guys? What adaptations are you looking forward to? How would you answer these questions?

Upcoming posts:
Mockingjay Thoughts
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White review
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell review

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dewey's 24-hour Readathon Wrap-up

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hour 23...I was like wow....done now. lol somehow I managed to snuggle up on my bed and read without falling asleep.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Like, books readers should read for the next read-a-thon? That I read for this one? I dunno I didn't read that much. The Rise of Renegade X was definitely the most of a page-turner and book that most people could enjoy, I think.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Less mini-challenges that require a whole blog post.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The cheerleaders and the hourly updates from the site were lovely.
5. How many books did you read?
4 and 1 manga, parts of 2 other books. 7 total if you want to be loose.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander
Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
The Grey King by Susan Cooper
Hetalia vol 1 by Hideka Himaruya
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
8. Which did you enjoy least?
Probably the bit of Faulkner that I read. It was from the POV of the most unpleasant character.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
All my cheerleaders were fantastic.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Dewey's Read-a-thon Midpoint Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander, and Hetalia vol. 1

2. How many books have you read so far?
1 and parts of 4 others.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
The rest of A Fatal Waltz. :)

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Besides behave really anti-socially (my parents have company) and work around my homework? Nah.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
No, but breaking for food is annoying.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How slowly I read! lol

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
More challenges that don't require a blog post (ditto Snazel)

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
Not be in school, lol.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Read variety, and if you get stuck with something, read a chapter of something else.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Dewey's Readathon Goals and Progress

I didn't make a "what I'm reading" post before this because I didn't want to change my mind five times.

I am strongly hoping to read:
  • The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell-almost due back at library
  • A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander-almost due back at library
  • Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander-almost due back at library
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens-45 pages for school
  • The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner-60 pages for school
Alternates/extras are:
  • Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
  • The Grey King by Susan Cooper
  • Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
  • Hetalia Vol. 1
I will post my progress ON THIS POST. Everything else related to the read-a-thon will be on my twitter (@bahnree, request to follow). I will do a wrap-up post w/ any other thoughts on this blog probably on Sunday.

Good luck to all the other participants, and have fun! :D

Update 1:
Whoops slept in! I just started reading a bit before 8 Pacific time.
Book I'm currently reading: The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
Food consumed: Not yet! I'm BEHIND okay???
Quote for you: "She could, in fact, be completely naked and no one would ever know." (pg3)

Update 2:
Hours since I woke up: 3
Pages read: 171
Food consumed: PANCAKES. And lemonade. My fave combo.
I'm still reading "Renegade X" and LOVING IT. It's hilarious and I want to cuddle the MC. :D It's really fun just waiting to see what he'll do next.
Location: My house, but I think I'm going to pack a bag and go to the library for a while.

Update 3:
Hours since I woke up: about 6
Pages read: 340
Books read: 1
Location: public library
I finished "Renegade X." It's fantastic and hilarious in every way and I wish that everyone who reads this would go out and buy a copy so she can write a sequel. :)
Now I'm going to read my assigned reading (from A Tale of Two Cities and The Sound and The Fury). Wish me luck! Thanks for all the comments/cheers so far!

Update 4:
Hours since I woke up: 9
Pages read: 445
Books read: 1, parts of 2 others
I read my assigned chunks of Dickens and Faulkner. Darnay just left for France, like a moron, and Jason is a d***. XD
ON TO A FATAL WALTZ! I also have couple of volumes of manga I might treat myself to. ;)

Update 5:
Pages read: 596 +144 manga
Books read: 2, parts of 3 others
A Fatal Waltz isn't going quite as speedily as I could wish, so I think I'm going to take a break and read some Greenwitch or possibly How to Ride a Dragon's Storm by Cressida Cowell. I'm a little tired, but I'm going to make some coffee I think. Only seven more hours! I must be productive.

Update 6:
Pages read: 761
Books read: 4, parts of 3 others
I forgot to mention last time that the manga I read was Hetalia vol 1. It was delicious in every way. I was also very amused to see that it was rated "Older Teen" for, among other things, "Mild Fanservice."
Then I read A Fatal Waltz where part of the mystery involved a scandal featuring "deviants." As one does in Victorian England. Finished that one, as well as Greenwitch. Settling into The Grey King now.
I am tired.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Book Buying Ban September wrap-up

I really should do this more often. Like, every other month.
I didn't completely pass, though. There was some failage. I read Beastly and City of Bones, which were both library books. :( FAIL. I also bought 5 books for $4 on the SFBC because it was a limited-time only offer? Still a massive FAIL, but .....less than a dollar per book? I choose life.

I did manage to read 5 debuts, though, and also 4 books from my TBR pile. :D

Manga Monday (2)

Here we go again. This week I'm just going to do a "currently reading" and "looking forward to" because I don't have time for a full review of a series I've finished. Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle next week?

Currently Reading: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days by Fumino Hayashi (based on the original story by Gainax and Khara)
I haven't actually watched or read the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, which makes me kinda feel like a poser when I read this series. Also, I'm kinda reading it backwards (read vol 6, then 5, looking for the others XD). BUT THAT'S OKAY. The actual series involves really big robots called "Angels." Or something. I'm a little unclear. But they bond with children/teenagers, who control them, and fight and the usual thing. Sorry, I've always been a Gundam girl. ;)
This series, though, is kind of a collection short/side stories about the main NGE characters. The fifth volume is one story, set before the main events of NGE, and the sixth volume is a series of shorts about the MCs AFTER the main events of NGE. I'm not sure what is in the other volumes.
The stories are extremely well written, though! Even though I don't know the characters or the world, I'm immediately drawn in to their issues, emotions, relationships, and lives. The robots aren't featured, btw. This is one of those series that I just randomly picked up at a bargain and was pleasantly surprised.

Looking Forward To: Black Butler by Yana Toboso
I don't know much about this series, but it's one of those series that's been around for a while in Japan and is just now being published in NA, but is already popular with otaku everywhere. The art looks delicious, the story involves a prat and a butler with special powers (and an assassin maid?). Yep, I'm interested.

The Iron King, Julie Kagawa

Plot summary from Goodreads:
Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series.

The major thing that I thought was fantastic about this book is how the story/plot takes Faerie and the legends and the folklore and the characters and the belief system behind it, and actually updates it for the 21st century. The faeries in this book are on the decline, a la Tolkien, and they are either very aware of this or in extreme denial. Characters from popular folklore like Oberon/Titania/Puck and stuff like the Seelie/Unseelie Courts are present, but there are also metal trees and--what are these strange creatures? They seem to be Faerie, only made of iron. WHAT DOES IT MEAN.
Meghan, the MC, is brought into this world in turmoil (oh yeah I just used that phrase, deal with it) and has to deal with her own personal problems, figure out who wants to use her and why, and somehow survive and be productive.
Like I said, I REALLY liked this idea. The plot and the way it was executed was really excellent in every way. I liked that it wasn't happy flowery fairies, but it also wasn't just the old, dangerous fairies in modern setting. It really goes into how the Faerie world would have changed since, say, the Middle Ages, but it wasn't completely "OMG HUG TREES SAVE THE PLANET" either. The characters and the world are struggling to achieve balance with everything that is going on, and of course not everything is resolved in this book (it's a trilogy). The only downside to the plot story was that occasionally it got a little confusing. It was like a video game quest, where you go to a NPC for an item, but then they're like "oh first you need to help get my cat down, so you'll have to go to this OTHER guy and get a ladder" etc etc. I had to pause a couple of times and think, "Okay, where are they going, and WHY?" and also "Who owes faerie debts to WHO right now?"
On to the characters!
Meghan screams at least once in every chapter. Let's get that out of the way. This REALLY annoyed me, but despite her endless screaming she does show good qualities like bravery, resourcefulness, and most particularly quick wits. Once she gets the idea of "FAERIES WILL MANIPULATE YOUR WORDS" into her head, she is able to hold her own and even outwit people at points. Overall I liked her. *nod of approval*
Robbie was my favorite part of this book. I was almost cheering every time he showed up. :) I would read this book for Robbie.
Ash was....Well. Ash was just one of those male love interests where you know exactly who he is and what he's going to act like, generally. Not very many surprises for me with him. But a nice icy winter faerie is always fun. I liked how the theme of balance came out with him, too: he begins to learn that it's not all about white/black Seelie/Unseelie Us/Them.
The other faeries were, in general, terrifying. I thought Oberon was a typical Oberon characterization, whereas Titania was VERY disappointing in that she's a 1-dimensional bitch. I was hoping she would be a bitch but in an awesome, flawed, complex way. Nope, she's just a bitch. POSSIBILITIES, LET US EXPLORE THE. I liked all the creatures, bugs, grimalkins, pack rats, etc etc'll have to read to enjoy all of those. The Iron King...Well, let me just say, the Iron King was completely hot, oh, and, er, interesting, and I really hope he's in the rest of the trilogy. Fantastic.
The writing was pretty good for a debut. There was definitely a few spots when I was shaken out of my reading with a "wtf is that sentence doing", a few iffy metaphors/similes (but I am wayyyy critical of sensory language) and such. But it was a much higher quality than, say, The Line or even Restoring Harmony. It was easy to ignore the language and get into the story, which is something I've been struggling with in debuts so far this year.
This is so long, I'm sorry! Just one more note. The romance: I wasn't huge on. The sexual tension was paced pretty well for the most part, but then there came a point when they were just suddenly-deeply, madly, truly in love and I was like oh okay. Wait, when did you decide this was working out????? :P But otherwise it was fine. I especially loved it because there wasn't a ton of sappy drippy romance until at least halfway through. We get emphasis on STORY here, people! :D
Did I mention I REALLY want to read Iron Daughter? :D I managed to get a free copy from GotYA which hopefully I'll get soon....YAY! Thanks, GotYA!

Rating: 4/5 stars.
Recommended for: Fans of the Wicked Lovely series (although I'm not a huge WL fan and I loved this), fans of faeries/faerie romance/anything related to faerie, really.
Notes: I want to hug Ironhorse.
Quote: [pg 87 of paperback] Robbie: "Metallic trees. That's new. If you see any steel dryads, be sure to tell me so I can run away screaming."