Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blog Discovery and Book Review

Children of the 80s, rejoice! Whitney is a blogger who reads a bunch of YA fiction, especially R.L.Stine, V.C. Andrews, and other literary greats. Then she writes hilarious recaps on her blog!

Awesome Blog of Awesomeness: Unleashing My Inner Geek

How did I find this gem, you may ask? I was trying to remember a creepy horror book I read at my friend's lake house when I was in middle school. I grabbed the book one day and just couldn't stop reading. Not because it was good so much as creepy. I googled this exact phrase, because it's all I could remember about the book: "YA horror+girl with tri colored hair_ islander"

Lo and behold, Whitney recapped this book! It's called The Fog by Caroline B. Cooney.Now not only is my obsessive need to remember that book satisfied, but I found a new, fun blog to read and share with you.

In other news, I just finished Seanan McGuire's Rosemary and Rue.It's Urban Fantasy and about faeries AND it's actually for adults (yay!), so I had to read it. Let me give you a brief review using LISTS!

What I Liked:

1. It's Urban Fantasy for adults. I do enjoy YA urban fantasy buuut sometimes I want to read something meatier. This was about Toby, a changeling (in this world, meaning half fae half human) private detective with baggage. While there is some romance in it, it's not about her romance with any one guy (a guy who somehow represents the metaphorical path the rest of her life will take if she decides to go steady with him. ZOMG).

2. The Main character is flawed but in a likable way. She's also a woman but I feel like that's incidental--for the most part, which is nice.

3. The fae world McGuire creates is really interesting. I was occasionally annoyed that every single fae Toby encounters in some unique mix of this or that but that's just me.

Now, What I Didn't Like:

1. The book suffers a bit from what I like to call Felicity Syndrome.
That being, seemingly every male character introduced, falls in love with the main character. However, I would call this book the girl's version of Harry Dresden--in other words, a fantasy/detective story. And in a typical male protagonist noir/detective story, the detective is surrounded by women who want to sleep with him. In this book, the female protagonist is surrounded by men who want to love her (also have sex with her, obviously).

So then I thought, well maybe that's what most women want. Sex with someone who also wants to protect them, and brush their hair off their face when they sleep. Is that so wrong? So we'll consider this a tentative con of the book.

2. She needs rescuing. Like, a lot. And there's often fainting involved and being carried by one of the aforementioned burly men who love her. Yes, she is a tough character. But if you force the tough girl into scenarios where she is constantly relying on a guy and fainting in his arms, then it feels like fake feminism. (Kind of like a certain *clumsy* wannabe teen vamp who just wants to be Independent but really is a danger to herself without a man to rescue her, *cough*Bella*cough*)

Bottomline: Will I Read The Next Book? Yes, yes I will.

To wrap up the news for tonight, I want to share that during a brief, violent storm, the sky turned a sickly shade of greenish yellow. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, I took photos. No, they did not do the eerie sky justice.


  1. I need to go to sleep, but I also need to finish my work, but I need to sleep. So what am I doing? Reading blogs. :P

    Note: may be spoilery!
    I also recently read R&R and enjoyed it. I agree with the fainting, though I do like that when she's hurt, even with magical healing, she stays hurt for a while. (Opposite of the Power Ranger syndrome) And I also agree with the men surrounding her thing, sort of. I kinda had no use for what's-his-face, who's married to the crazy daughter, and in addition there was Devin and Mr. Cat (though that's, I suppose, more hinted at than outright stated, but it's pretty clear). Not to mention the kids all looking up to her (a weird and stark contrast to her own feelings of shame and guilt, but perhaps overdone a tad?). But on the other side of all of that is her daughter and husband (widower?) who hate her and won't speak to her.

    I have the next book but haven't started it yet. Sorry the random rantiness. I don't think I reached the point I wanted to make, but it's almost 11 pm and I've been awake since 5:30 and need to get up at 5:30 again tomorrow, and am giving exams which aren't done yet, and...yeah, lots to do and my spelling sucks when I'm this tired.

  2. I hope you managed to get up at 5:30! I've been playing at nocturnal lately and so I did NOT get up that early, not even close.

    **Spoiler**Personally I think the King of Cats subplot is SO obvious and is one of my pet peeves about first person POV. See, when we first meet him, Toby informs the reader that he HATES her and we're supposed to be believe her, even though it's clear he's only teasing and might even be...flirting. You know, the kindergarten way--this guy's old fashioned like that.

    However, despite my nitpicking I really did enjoy the book very much and found Toby to be a likably flawed and complex character.

    I'm even recommending the book to my husband. This is definitely not a book "for girls."

  3. PS In regards to nitpicking above as well as some slightly over the top "this guy is soooo super hot" descriptions that aren't consistent with the rest of McGuire's writing, I often wonder if the publisher is to blame. Do they put pressure on writers to make books appeal more to the romance readers out there? I wonder...I guess there are worse things in a novel than a bevy of hot guys to choose from.

  4. I did get up at 5:30. And on Friday, I had to set my alarm for 6:30 and woke up at 6. XP which wasn't fun, but worked out okay. I'm so glad the quarter is over, though.

    As for R&R: Yes, so obvious with the King of Cats. But I think her opinion of what he thinks/feels is an interesting trait. I see in other people and they're so convinced they know what someone thinks, even though it's clear to others that's not the case.

    I really enjoyed it, too, though. Sometimes the things I really like, I tear apart the most.

  5. Congrats on the quarter being over! Sabrina, we should coordinate when we start the next Toby Daye book and when we finish, we can both post reviews on our blogs.

    I agree, I think I tear things apart more when I care about them. I'm trying to find a balance between dissecting how I would have written a story differently, and just appreciating the story as it is.