Last week, I read four books. The first was Sunshine by Robin McKinley, which veronamay recommended to me. It's about a woman named Sunshine who is abducted by vampires and used as bait to lure another to his death. It doesn't work and they create an uneasy alliance. It's set in the present time, but in this world the existence of vampires, werewolves and demons is known (though it is illegal to be any of those things.) Magic exists though people mostly try to ignore it.
I really liked this book and read the first 150 pages in about a minute. Sunshine is a capable character (though she does have her wiggy moments.) I used this book as my Fantasy genre book for class and ran across this on McKinley's wikipedia page (don't tell my prof!):
The heroines in McKinley's books reflect certain qualities that she saw in herself as a young woman: clumsiness, plainness, bookishness, and disinterest in the usual social games that involve flirting and dating (she says, "I didn't discover boys because they didn't discover me, and because their standards of discovery seemed to me too odd to be aspired to... they were the ones who got to have adventures, while we got to -- well, not have adventures.") She believes now that most girls go through a time growing up when they believe they must have an innate greatness and destiny beyond the apparent; that they are in fact lost princesses, switched at birth.I really like that and it shows in her portrayal of Sunshine's character.
She writes about strong heroines because she feels very strongly about the potential for girls to be "doing things" and she feels that the selection of fantasy literature featuring girls is scarce and unsatisfactory. According to biographer Marilyn H. Karrenbrock, "McKinley's females do not simper; they do not betray their own nature to win a man's approval. But neither do they take love lightly or put their own desires before anything else. In McKinley's books, the romance, like the adventure, is based upon ideals of faithfulness, duty, and honor."
One thing I did dislike about the book was that the author spends a good deal of time developing characters that have no bearing at all on the plot. And, as the author has made it clear she isn't writing a sequel, I don't understand why she left big question marks over these people without ever supplying any purpose or answers. It annoys me a bit.
Moving on...next I read Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker, as my Multicultural genre book for class. I read this once before when I was in college and going through an Alice Walker-phase. It was impactful then and it remains impactful now.
The story focuses on genital mutilation and how having it done as an adult impacts one woman's life in every conceivable way. The plot is intense and emotional. Each chapter is told from a different character's point-of-view and we never get the entire story as each character sees things differently, and only knows their own perspective. The reader has to work to fit all the pieces together to figure out what's going on. Alice Walker has such an amazing and unique narrative style.
I really like this book, though it certainly isn't "fun" reading. That the things that happen in this book are STILL taking place in our world just baffles me, and it never will not. As Alice Walker says in her endnote, “Torture is not culture.”
Lastly, I read the first two books in the Vampire Diaries series: The Awakening and The Struggle. They were OK. As you probably know, the CW is making a TV show around this series in the Fall. It's very True Blood for the teenage set.
It basically is the story of two warring vampire brothers fighting over a human girl. I did like the relationship and backstory between the two brothers (and, let's be honest, I feel a little faint at the prospect of fanfic about them, mmmmmm), but I absolutely HATED the main female character. I honestly am unsure if we're meant to dislike her (as in she was deliberately written that way), or if it's just too much teenage bitchiness for me to absorb.
I did request the next two books in the series since the summery for the fourth book looks like drama of Twilight-esque proportions. I couldn't resist.
As previously mentioned, I watched the first half of season one of Bones and LOVED IT. Netflix sent me the last two discs and both were cracked, so I'm still waiting for replacements. I also somehow ended up watching the first two seasons of Friends. Season one was good and nostalgic and fun, but season two has rocked my world. I laughed my FACE OFF. I had forgotten how funny this show was! It was a good time.
AND THEN. Here's some random music I'm into this week:
Today I have to go to the dentist, boo. But then I'm going to the grocery store and Dr Pepper WILL BE MINE, mwahahaha! YAY.
"I thought it was good for my daughters and little girls just like them, who haven't seen themselves represented in these magazines, hopefully to talk more broadly about what beauty is, what intelligence is, what counts."
--Michelle Obama on posing for Vogue