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text 2013-11-27 03:45
I am Hermione Granger.


Book Week Scotland -- Quiz: Who are you in Fiction?



Well this was certainly unexpected.  I never pegged myself for a Hermione, but I guess I kind of like the results.  She DOES happen to be one of the few female characters in young adult fiction whom I admire and love.  One of my favorites, in fact.


Not bad.

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review 2013-11-21 05:30
Series Review: My Fair Godmother
My Fair Godmother - Janette Rallison
My Unfair Godmother - Janette Rallison

I see that there is supposed to be a third book to the series, but there isn't a definite publish date yet, so I'm just going to base my opinions on the first two books.


I haven't been in the mood to write any reviews lately, but a couple opinions popped into my mind while I was reading My Unfair Godmother.  And despite the fact that I read the first book, My Fair Godmother a while back, some thoughts are still fresh in my mind.  Nonetheless, this post will include a short blurb for each book... well, just because I don't like structure anyway.


As a series overall, these books can be read individually and out of order and everything will still make sense (as much sense as the series' world logic allows us anyway).  My personal opinion of the My Fair Godmother series is pretty straight forward: light and breezy cute romance; but at the same time, frustrating as heck.


Both books took me a little while to actually get into.  Character introductions and a development of character empathy is really not the strong point of either book considering I hadn't been able to relate with either of the books' main characters or even side characters.  They are simply NOT likable characters -- at least not at the beginning.  By the end of the book you're admittedly in the "Okay, you guys aren't SO bad" camp even if you don't really fall in love with them.


I believe the phrase is, "I tolerate your existence because the book was still enjoyable enough for me to finish it without too many complaints."  


Or something like that.


ANYWAY...  a good twenty-five to thirty percent into the book and you're simply reeled into the fairy-tale-esque adventure and magic scenery of the telling.  I couldn't possibly tell you why I got hooked (it was probably the adventure and the elements of fairy tale), but it happened despite all the moments where I rolled my eyes or had to question my own suspension of disbelief.


At the very least, both books were rather fast-paced.  And if you can manage to ignore the moments of head-desking frustration, then the books are actually pretty cute and not to be taken too critically in analysis.  And maybe that's why I managed to enjoy reading the stories even if I had so many issues with the books as entire literary entities.  I simply turned off my over-analytical thought processes and told myself that I wasn't even going to bother writing any reviews or opinions.  I would read and enjoy and be entertained.


Then I finished reading My Unfair Godmother and decided that I couldn't just let things be as is.


And I then ask myself, "Why do I hate myself so much?"


Anyway, moving along...


Both books center around a rather originally created setting and world where our resident Fair Godmother (not a typo), takes on extra credit projects among mortals in order to earn her way into Fairy Godmother University so that she can become a full-fledged Fairy Godmother.  Unfortunately, Chrysanthemum Everstar is (in my most humble opinion) the MOST air-headed, selfish, inconsiderate, incompetent, and stupid fairy creature I've ever had the pleasure of reading about... well, maybe not that extreme, but her antics, rather than being humorous or amusing just strike me as frustrating.  No wonder she's having trouble gaining admission into university.


Nevertheless, we get to see her in both books, bumbling our heroine through three wishes which seem to keep landing them in a fictional fairy tale Medieval setting that she didn't ask for.  Adventures ensue.



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text SPOILER ALERT! 2013-11-21 04:04
Amateurish Mini Book Club, Day 1
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

Day One

Location -- Noisy Coffee Shop where I prove that I CAN be much noisier than the noise.


This is pretty much how it went down in a not so very brief-tastic summary with probable exaggerations and some paraphrased conversations because my memory sucks at exact details and maybe I should have been recording everything, but I didn't.  Anyway, long day aside, this is my best friend and my first attempt at committing to something like a book club.  But we tend to be more or less easy-going about books, so we agreed on simply discussing how we feel about the book thus far with no "high school style" deep analysis.


The session was overall pretty laid back, and as my best friend likes to remain anonymous within the online world (she doesn't even have a social networking account of any kind outside of her GR account that she rarely frequents), I shall refer to her as BFF.





Shows up 15 minutes late and immediately starts talking about how life sucks and our table is in the middle of too much crowd.  Wonders what kind of fattening fancy coffee shop drink to get.



"Yeah, it's really crowded tonight."  Proceeds to talk about book and how she had wanted to read more than our agreed upon ten chapters because she was enjoying it.  "I read all ten chapters in one whole sitting... then I sort of started on the next chapter a little bit..."



"Oh right.  The book."  Plops down onto the chair.  "Um... I'm enjoying it too.  But honestly, I liked Puck's portion of the narration more than the other guy."  Because Puck sounds wittier and livelier and I like wit and sarcasm and liveliness.  And I also like the relationship between Puck and her brothers.


Gives very brief "I can relate" segway with a roll of the eyes and wave of the hand about Puck's relationship with her brothers.  Continues to wonder what type of fancy drink to indulge in.



"I thought of that too!"  Proceeds to flip through book to end of Chapter 3 after Puck's elder brother, Gabe, announced that he's leaving the island... for good.  Puck feels abandoned, little brother Finn is semi-trying to keep the peace.  Puck tries to act nonchalant and brave.  


"I especially made the connection at this part," points to book, "here when Puck goes to her room and says something like, 'Jackass', or whatever.  I thought it sounded like you and your brother."



(Random tangent)

Well, the actual line is, "Selfish bastard," right before Puck sobs into her pillow after putting on a strong front and proclaiming that she's going to participate in the races that could get people killed because they'll need the money if she can win it.  But nonetheless, the sentiments and the feelings are there.  And yes, while I don't relate with Puck too much (she's pluckier and has more determination than I do), I can relate with her situation somewhat.  The difference is that her parents are gone and mine are still here, but between the "selfish bastard" big brother and the strange little brother with disjointed behavior and unpredictable color commentary, I think that's pretty similar in some ways.

(Random tangent end)




Talks about the difference between Sean and Puck and why Puck is more easily related to than Sean.  Sean is too dark and broody -- dark and broody doesn't always work for main male characters.  



Talks about some lines in certain chapters she has highlighted and why.



At some point during the discussion that I can't quite remember, points at a nearby taller table that just got vacated.  With a happy grin: "Window table."


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text 2013-11-17 05:46
Starting: The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

My best friend and I are doing a mini-book club read-along and decided to choose this one.  We both enjoyed reading The Raven Boys, and although she hasn't quite finished it nor has she read The Dream Thieves, she told me that she's read enough to like Maggie Stiefvater's writing style.


Anyway, this will be a test of patience for me since I tend to read faster than she does and we promised to read to a certain point (chapter ten for this first duration) and then get together to discuss the "story thus far" later on in the week.  So it's a good thing that I have a lot of other books to start reading (courtesy of some book sales and whatnot).


So... here we go!

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text 2013-11-07 03:33
Update: The mystery begins...
The Diviners - Libba Bray

And very slowly at that.


I'm still having trouble getting into this book.  Maybe I'm trying too hard and over-analyzing.  But I have little thoughts throughout and since I'm not feeling that urgency to continue reading immediately, I stop and take the time to write things down.


So far, I'm not feeling it.  Aside from a few instances where we delve into some religious and supernatural matters, I'm not sure I care what's going on.  Even after the murder happened, the progression of the "mystery" (a word I use tentatively since we already KNOW who's doing the killing) every event and action is still being paced at a very slow rate.  There are moments when I just want the story line to get on with it: with the investigation, with the use of Evie's divining powers, with the explanation of why I even care that there are others in the city who have special supernatural powers...


As far as characters go, I'm also finding it hard to relate with ANY of the characters at all.  I like Jericho fine enough, but he's kind of boring right now.  I liked Uncle Will when he first appeared, but he's starting to annoy me a little bit.  Evie, I'm still indifferent about; I don't like her, but I don't hate her either.  And I still don't understand the significance of Memphis, because his side story keeps coming up randomly.


Also, there seems to be no element of surprise in this book despite the fact that I feel like certain instances keep building up to a possible surprise secret... but then the very next scene or chapter, the maybe-surprise is given away as if the reader couldn't come up with that conclusion without extended explanation.


I'm a little disappointed.


I'm not certain how much longer I'm going to stick with this book before I finally give it the toss.


And in the meantime, I've found myself starting three other books, looking for something that will catch my attention.  I need to finish 7 more books to reach a hundred by the end of year (even if some of them ARE shorts...).



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