Thursday, June 3, 2010

Guest Post @ Pure Imagination!

Pure Imagination

I was going to make a quick post to tell you guys that I did a guest post over at Pure Imagination for Lori's Twilight Takeover month. I decided to take a different approach and did an interview with my husband to show a little inside the male mind of the Twilight phenomenon. I think it turned out well. As I was typing out the interview, I was telling my best friend Heidi about it - and she actually ended up answering the questions I asked Nick. I found the differences in their answers amusing. While some of their answers were pretty much the same, you can definitely tell the difference between the girl's answer and the guy's answer - which goes along with my whole post about how girls are more passionate about sharing their love for Twilight than guys are. So, why not share that as well? I'm going to post Heidi's answers that she wrote to me here so you can compare it to Nick's interview that will be posted over there. Hope you enjoy!

Note: Heidi's interview sounds a little more serious because I just tried to post the Q&A without all the silly banter we had in between -- you know how incredibly crazy banter between best friends can get. ;)

Missy: Alright, first question: What first made you interested in the Twilight Saga?

Heidi: I saw the previews for the first movie, Twilight, and then heard there were books involved. Being a person that generally likes to read a book before seeing the movie, I started reading them and was instantly hooked.

Missy: Once you started reading, what kept you hooked?

Heidi: I continued reading the stories not only for the story, but for the fact that SM wrote it in a POV that anyone could relate to and put themselves in their shoes. A girl is taught from the very beginning that she can be a princess and have the prince and the castle. In Bella's POV, you can relate to her getting the guy and falling in love with their one true love.

Missy: Did Stephenie Meyer's writing attract or repel your attraction to the series in any way?

Heidi: SM's writing style was befitting for the level of reader she was attracting. Not too hard, but not too easy. Definitely Teen Fiction, but also with hidden innuendos for the older readers.

Missy: Would you have liked the story more if it was told from Edward's Point of View?

Heidi: It would be a nice change of pace to get it from Edward's or even Jacob's POV. The male readers would probably be able to relate to that and therefore it would attract a broader audience then just horny teenage girls. Plus, being with Edward's POV, you get to see more of his life and what his day-to-day routines are, not to mention the rest of the Cullen family.

Missy: Do you think reading the story from Bella's POV gave you any insight into the inner workings of the female mind? ((For the record, Nick said no to this because he thinks Bella is too fictionally clingy to be a real girl.))

Heidi: I think the female mind is different and therefore can't be portrayed by one POV. Had they included Rosalie, for instance, you would have seen a different side of the female mind and therefore had contrast.

Missy: Some people think that Bella and Edward's relationship is unhealthy. Do you agree?

Heidi: For the age that she is in the book, yes to a degree and no in another. Yes, because she is young and still has so much life ahead of her to get tangled up in a boy. She's losing the experiences of her life by only seeing him and almost becoming obsessed with his existence. She is throwing her life away for him and wanting to become like him. But also no, because this relationship taught her alot about herself and the powers that even she has and proves that she is meant to be in his world.

Missy: From your perspective, do you think that Edward is controlling and/or possessive?

Heidi: I think he had her best interest at heart from the very beginning and knew what kind of life she was forcing herself into. I think he was neither, actually. He was protective and nurturing, trying until the very end to get her to live her life and not end up like him. When it comes to matters of the heart and how things are meant to be, you can't change how someone feels.

Missy: What's your favorite book in the series, and why?

Heidi: My favorite book in the series is Breaking Dawn. It's more adult oriented and is finally bringing about a sense of closure to the entire series. They get married, they finally release their sexual tension, and then the baby is born. It's more of the fairy tale ending that we've all been waiting for.

Missy: Who's your favorite character in the series? Why?

Heidi: My favorite character would be ... Rosalie. I can more relate to her cynicism and distrust for the world. We see later in the series why she acts the way she does and why she is so vehemently against Bella's transformation into a vampire. Rosalie is the voice of reason when everyone is so ready to give Bella and Edward what they want.

Missy: Do you like all of the history included in the story?

Heidi: I wish there had been more history and I think that would have come with changing more of the POV's. We learned of Bella and her estranged relationship with her father from the very beginning. Had SM either included other POV's throughout the books or created more books in the other character's POV, we could have gotten more history lessons. What was included in the originals was sufficient, but to me it's a personal preference to know more about the other characters.

Missy: Did the screen adaptations [so far] make you like the series more, less, or the same?

Heidi: The screen adaptations are suffering for me because of some of the acting. The first one was DREADFUL, but I know it's because they were just getting their sea legs, so to speak, and now with the second it is starting to get better. There is more action, the acting is better, and it's reflecting better on the written series.

Missy: How about the characters? Did the screen adaptations change your opinions of them any?

Heidi: No, but it's now nice to have a face with the character when you are reading about them and can imagine their expressions and body language.

Missy: Do you think more guys actually like the series than the number actually admitting to it?

Heidi: I think they will like it more with the next couple of movies since there is more action and violence. The werewolves have a larger presence and so do the Volturi.

Missy: Why do you think most guys are so ashamed to admit they have read [and might actually like] the series?

Heidi: It's a girly series and mostly because it is in a female's POV. It's not the guy fighting for the girl or all of the vampires, it's the typical damsel in distress and the prince on the white horse comes to save the day.

Missy: ((Last question I have so far)) Book vs Movie: Did the characters in the movies look like what you imagined they would when you read the series?

Heidi: I am very pleased with how well they casted the characters and I do believe they have them spot on. The only one I have an issue with is Rosalie and the fact that they should have gotten a REAL blonde to play her. Rosalie, in my opinion, is very regal and was regarded as looking like an angel with the blonde hair. The actress who portrays her has fried blonde hair and a mouth that is set like stone. I would've seen Rosalie being more nose in the air and a look of disdain on her face, not a face that says someone just farted.

So, there it is. Girl's POV of Twilight. Now, head on over to Pure Imagination and read the male POV. I promise you, it's worth it! While you're over there, check out the other posts and enter into the giveaways!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Want to participate?

My Choice:

The Darkest Lie
by Gena Showalter
Published by Mira Books
Release Date: June 18, 2010

In this riveting new installment of New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, Gideon, keeper of the Demon of Lies, fights to uncover the truth….

Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife. He doesn’t remember the beautiful female, much less wedding — or bedding — her. But he wants to . . . almost as much as he wants her.

But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free, and a future with her could mean ultimate ruin. Especially as Gideon’s enemies draw closer . . . and the truth threatens to destroy all he’s come to love . . .

At the risk of sounding completely repetitive, I am abso-freaking-lutely in love with The Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter. But, I am at another level of complete and utter inner-chaos with this book coming out. Why? It's Gideon's story! In case I haven't bashed it in your head enough, Gideon is my absolute favorite Lord! I'm a little perturbed by the cover -- don't the people who come up with the covers actually read the books?? Gideon has blue hair! AND it's much longer! And and AND he's sexier! ;) -- but I think I can look past that just to actually own and be able to read his story.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Review: Uninvited, by Amanda Marrone

Title: Uninvited
Author: Amanda Marrone
Pages: 224
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 23, 2007

Genre: Young Adult
Keywords/Themes: drugs, high school, paranormal, vampires

When rejection comes back to bite you...

Jordan's life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.

Jordan can't understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life -- once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn't relate to -- now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.

Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words....

Review: It's actually been a while since I've read this, so bear with me if I'm a little too vague in this review. I know most of the key points and I know how I feel about the book -- but re-writing the synopsis here just made me question something I read. Without being too spoiler-ish, isn't the "Jordan's boyfriend dumper her" part wrong? I mean, I thought that she dumped him, which was one of the reasons why he did certain things. It's not going to ruin the book, or the review, but it's something I'm questioning right now. I'll have to go back and check my point at another time.

So, back to the review. There were two main points that caught my attention with this book from the very beginning. The first was the cover. It was gorgeous. Not too flashy, but not too plain either. The second was the synopsis. As a loyal vampire lover for over the past 13 years or so, the synopsis made me squee like a little school girl. Honestly, this sounded exactly like the old school vampire stories that first sucked me in. The whole rule of having to be invited in, the stalker-ish behavior, the darkness ... it's great. Don't get me wrong, I'm obsessive about my Twilight books too, but this is getting back to how vampires used to be.

Sadly to say, the book didn't quite live up to my own self-imposed hype. Maybe no book will because I put too much enthusiasm into things before actually starting them. I did like the book, though. I'd recommend to fellow vampire-lovers. It's just not the highest on my ranks.

Jordan was a decent character. I think she was fleshed out decently. Michael seemed to stay in his own little character bubble and you thought you knew him, until he popped that bubble close to the end. Jordan's other friends ... well, they were around ever so often, but not enough to get a good grip on who they were. You got a bit of a back story on Jordan's best friend, but it still wasn't enough, in my opinion, to relate to her as a character.

And the whole vampire story line? Yeah, not so much there. You don't get a good grip on the vampire world - other than they come out at night and they have to be invited in. There wasn't good world building at all. Besides Jordan's room, I couldn't necessarily picture anything else in my head except for maybe their location at the end of the book.

What I DID like about this book was that Jordan was a real character. She had a lot of problems and she coped with her problems with alcohol, drugs, and sex with different guys. It's not the best solution, but you could see that she was human and could relate to her - or at least empathize. The vampire thing seemed to be more of like a loose metaphor for the effect of the drugs and reckless behavior on her life.

If you're looking for a wonderful vampire read, you may want to look elsewhere. If you're looking for a book on teenagers, angst, social anxiety, addictions, and relationships gone wrong ... this will probably suit you better.

Rating: ½ - The story was more telling than showing, most of the characters were flat, and it didn't hold my attention as well as I would have like. However, aside from all the things that I wasn't too happy about, I did enjoy this take on a young adult paranormal(ish) story. It was a good idea, but I think the author held back a little too much on it. In the words of Heidi Klum on Project Runway: "It's too safe."

Other Books By Author: Revealers, which I haven't read but came out after Uninvited. She also published another YA book called Devoured in 2009 which I do want to read, as well as a middle grade series, Magic Repair Shop, that's being published this year.

Source: Purchase

Teaser Tuesdays!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

· Grab your current read.
· Open to a random page.
· Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the author and title, too, so that the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, Book 2), by Richelle Mead

I thought about this for a moment and then looked straight into his eyes. "Well," I said at last, "the way I see it, we aren't Lissa's guardians yet."
I steeled myself for the next response. I knew it was going to be one of the Zen life lessons. Something about inner strength and perseverance, about how the choices we made today were the templates for the future or some other nonsense.
Instead he kissed me.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? [4]

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event - hosted by the wonderful Sheila - to share what we are reading this week, as well as what we read the previous week. Feel free to share in on the fun, or just click on the link to see what others are reading!

Last Week:

The Mermaid's Mirror, by L.K. Madigan
Prom Nights From Hell, by Various Authors
Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr
Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead

Currently Reading:

Frostbite, by Richelle Mead
Truly, Madly, Deadly: Unofficial True Blood Companion; by Becca Wilcott
Wherever Nina Lies, by Lynn Weingarten
Fang, by James Patterson

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