Hunger Games: Female leads, Love Triangles and a tiny movie review

Katniss Everdeen is not a typical girl! (this article was written after my blog)

1. When I first read the first chapter I wasn’t sure if Katniss was a girl or Gale was a girl…..

2. She can’t lie: Notice how she’s always the last to know about the real plot (wait Peeta is actually in love with me, I thought we were just pretending is the first book, and a whole host of things in the second one I can’t name). Stereotypically

3. Katniss is not in a typical Love Triangle…I feel like the girl is usually caught in a direct competition where the ENTIRE plot rides the triangulation….Katniss says she’s too busy to worry about being in love…and I think she’s right.

4. Love Triangles don’t exist for boys in books, usual for Men there are two equally viable possibilities and sorting it out is more about what kind of life the hero wants to live (i.e. quiet and nerdy or fast and exciting). For girls its about who is the “RIGHT” boy…I think Hunger Games is more about the possibilities of living with Peeta vs. Gale as opposed to one being “right”

5. Katniss is a dunce about others but she is very self-aware…I like it

6. She grows (always important to me)

7. Every time you think you get how deep the plot is, it gets thicker

8. Its a study on PTSD

Tiny Review of Catching Fire (spoilers ahead)

Catching Fire is intense, people who are not familiar with the book tend to be surprised.

There is a lot more kissing than in the book (as I remember Katniss kisses Gale and Peeta once (for real) each…)….still I found myself taking it into stride

The “feel” is right: This is important because the pacing and details have to change some (the books are mostly introspection, which doesn’t translate to the screen”) however, I think the changes they did were (mostly) sensible for onscreen, and I have no doubt this is because Suzanne Collins has experience writing for TV as well as books

Finally! ending was interesting: I won’t give it away, but they uncover something that is a major mystery in the third book…wondering how they will handle this in the next movie….

Missing Link: I wish they did more with the minor characters, part of what is engaging for Katniss (for her audience and for us) is how she connects with the other characters, they missed that some with nuts & volts as well as the morphlings (who were barely onscreen)….also Peeta connects more to them and is particularly good with the morphlings which we completely miss…a regretable loss….

PS Cinna is my favorite character, I wish they gave him a couple more minutes of screen time about him “putting all his emotion in his work”

Overall: A great adaptation of the book…however ALWAYS read the book

I think we’ve m…

I think we’ve made a mistake,” he says softly. “We’ve all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own. I don’t want to do that. I want to brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.” p. 405

p. 405 Divergent by Veronica Roth

My family, when its hard to do something, says “If I’m wise and brave and kind..I will” I think the Hedges-Goettl translation for this is If I’m able to be heroic

Heroes are a weird breed, ones who are able to balance a great number of traits and ACT on what they think is right, even after they have made mistakes.

Puts the whole “being Christian” thing in a new perspective…what if “Being Christian” meant being a hero…that tend to be my interpretation 🙂

Talia: Chapter 1

I can’t sleep. Note, this is not an unusual fact of life, but there it is. I am up awake again looking at where the moon should be. There is no moon of course, only the dark and feathery clouds that have blocked the moon for the last three years. I remember because it started on my sixteenth birthday. On that day the moon rose, and shone full for all of an hour before the clouds came out. I was outside, looking at the moon with my mother when the clouds started to gather, one by one. Looking no more than wisps, or the seeds of a dandelion. It kind of crept up on you. Then it was covered.

Not a lot of people noticed the moon of course. But my mother and I had looked at each other and shivered when it happened. My mother and I aren’t really witches (we’re not much of anything). We live day to day trying to get by. I go into the village and keep watch over the childlings for a bit of money. My mother tells stories, and villagers will leave her presents.

Note I say villagers, because we aren’t really villagers. But as I said before, we aren’t really witches either. We don’t have magic and we don’t know the lore. But my mother tells their stories, and we do live at the edge of town in the former witch’s cottage. My mom was the friend of the Witch—Perwin, and my mother found herself without a husband (I still don’t really know what happened to my father), we moved out here.

I sighed to myself as I reviewed the facts of my life. It was like telling a well-known tale. At sixteen I was….well I wouldn’t say innocent…I had already known that life was not full of the good food and pretty clothing other girls had, but I was more hopeful. Hopeful that some girl might talk to me more than in passing. Hopeful, that I might find a friend in village. And wishful too, back then I wished for a house—maybe with a husband or a friend—where I wouldn’t have to live alone.

That was before the clouds. Before magic started cropping up everywhere. Before my mother started to tire out before the day ended.

Before I had trouble sleeping.

Hopes and wishes, they weren’t bad things, but I felt them burning in my breast, smoldering and burning down almost to nothing, before something—like a smile from a girl my age or a wistful moment holding a childling, rekindled the spark in my heart.

My life was like a banked fire.

Maybe that was what was happening to the magic. Maybe its fire had been smoldering too long so sparks of it were escaping. No one is quite certain whether magic had been disappearing, or if people had just been making less and less use of it. The Court Scholars are still arguing about it (as if their arguments change the fact that magic is back, personally I think they are arguing about the wrong thing, maybe instead of worrying about why there is so much magic all of a sudden, maybe we should worry about what we should be doing with it all).

In our village, Elda’s nose turned purple. It really wasn’t all that noticeable. Elda has beautiful ebony skin, and is the town Matron. No one, but no one crosses her. So it was rather a problem when people started to see it. No one wanted to mention it to her face, but since there is no witch in town, no one had a mirror, and the pond is too cold for most of us to admire ourselves in the pond. Besides Elda doesn’t seem to care much about clothing or looks (that’s how she got to be matron)…she tends to rap the knuckles of the more vain girls and always compliments a girl on their skills rather than their looks (Elda did compliment me once on my sharp eye for childlings when I was watching the nearest neighbor’s youngest whilst the mother was having a new baby…I tend to think this is why I got so many offers for further care). So, it wasn’t until Tam, a boy of about 5, told her frankly that he liked her nose that she realized something was up. She marched over to the pond right away, and the entire village held their breath waiting until we heard loud shrieks—it wasn’t till we reached the lake we realized that the shrieks had been laughter. I always sort of liked Elda, at that moment I wanted to be her.

Since then small magics have been cropping up. Lots of colors have changed, and some new plants grow and die in a day. Some of the childlings claimed to have seen pixies. I rather think that they are right, after all, none of the stories speak of pixies visiting adults, and the childlings don’t usually lie (they instead play dreaming games, where they always declare “I dream I’m a …..” before they start the game). But I guess too much imagination is not to be trusted, because the childlings aren’t really being taken seriously about this.

So sometimes a fish says a real word, and sometimes the roses turn into teeny tiny bushes with fairy sized buds. Sometimes your hair turns blue and sometimes (more often than not) it will eventually revert to its old color. I like to think  of it as the magic leak. After all, I’ve seen magic before this,: Sunlight making the dust sparkle, newborn babies taking their first cry, the full moon at night so close you can feel its power. In my personal opinion, magic has always been there, but regular magic feels like tame magic, and tame magic allows for explanation. So the scholars study a newborn baby, proclaim that it makes a mother and a father to make it and state the fact like they have it all figured out. But no one really knows when a baby first cries. Is it while its still a secret, hiding in its mother’s belly? I saw a stillborn babe once, she was wet and wrinkly, no more than 5 or 6 months in the womb, yet she looked to me like she was real. This deep magic is the sort of which, I think we take for granted.

But as I said before, I’m not a witch, so no one has asked me what I think. And the magic keeps spilling out in small leaks. Making itself known.

I miss the moon I think, finally drowsy as the sunlight starts to shyly peak its head out from the morning….and with that thought, I fall back asleep.

Book Review: “Dead Ever After” by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse Series)

In honor of this being the last book in the series, I did what I always do with good series, I reread the entire series before starting on the final book…(I’m a rereader)

(Note, trying to avoid spoilers)

The ending is good–there is still a lot of mystery-type-plot…a lot of loose ends are tied up and there is a definite progression of characters (esp. Sookie Stackhouse). Here is the deal though, I don’t think of books individually (esp if they are about the same character)…they are just HUGE chapters to the ongoing story.

As my husband says, the ending is key…because it reflects on the WHOLE (not because it is an important piece)..see I do book reviews like I do my theology (w)holistically,

ps wholistically should totally have a w on it, it helps the meaning…

Anyway…Here is what I think what makes the Sookie Stackhouse series so good.

1. It explains why so many deaths happen in a dinky little town…my mom says she likes mysteries but after a while its hard to buy that so many murders are happening in the middle of nowhere, vampires, werewolves and shapshifters help

2. It struggles with the questions of humanity (what does it mean to be human? Why am I here?) through the contrast and comparison with the supernatural

3. It deals with Bigotry–big time… it deals with real and perceived differences, prejudices and how even other groups can be bigots (homophobic shapeshifters anyone?)

4. It shows growth…again I know I said this, but the only way you can sustain an ongoing series is to have the characters grow–now Sookie Stackhouse sleeps around a little too much for my taste, but I think that she is sleeping around because she is searching for some self-definition, and in the end, she has learned a lot, not just about guys but relationships, friendships and herself. There is a little bit of obsessing about looks, manners, appearances etc. but I think that is the reality of Sookie’s life (some of it being the culture of a small town, etc)…and she doesn’t frustrate me too much with these hang ups….

I recommend as a fantasy and mystery fan and as a feminist

Series List

Better Off Dead, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse, Dead and one, Dead in the Family, Dead Reckoning, Deadlocked, Dead Ever After

Another Vampire Review Here

Theology of Vampire Here

(PS I did watch the first couple of seasons of True Blood, but it was a little too drug obsessed for my taste, not to say that it wasn’t good the focus just seemed to be different…………..)

Ode to Cimorene

One of my favorit-ist series EVER

Disrupting Dinner Parties

***NOTE: this post will be a little bit of a spoiler for the book Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. The post will discuss the first two chapters. SO if you do not mind a very little spoilage, read on! ****

Throughout most of my youth and young adulthood, I was a reading fanatic. Any fantasy, sci-fi or fiction book I could get my hands on were devoured by my need to escape into another world and for a little bit of time, become a character on a space ship or a detective on the streets of London. My favorite books had female protagonists and authors such as Tamara Pierce, Robin McKinley, Diane Duane, Phillip Pullman, Holly Black, and many others, were the ones who introduced me to the basis of my feminist belief that women are as kickass, powerful, and moving as men. One particular book whose character…

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Love Joss Whedon

Love Joss Whedon

(in other words, what’s with your obsession with females with swords..oh wait it might not be an obsession…it might just be awesome writing!)

Review: The Spy Princess by Sherwood Smith

The Spy Princess

I found this in the Elementary Readers section of the library, which is interesting, but I think a good fit. Crown Duel is often found in YA section and the main character didn’t really interest me. For those who don’t know the Crown Duel and Wren series are both in the same world as this book, but each stand so independent I don’t think it really matters–except that the Wren series is really good and the Crown Duel series is ok.

Lilah, though is back to Smith’s spunky women. A princess who wants to know what is going on in the kingdom disguises herself and through it gets to know her father, her uncle, her brother and herself much better.

I think Smith writes better characters when they aren’t concerned with love–both Wren and Lilah declare they are “too young to worry about love.” This has stuck with me: intrigue is definitely a strength of Smith’s writing, and I especially like how she handles the topics of revolution and war.

All in all not quite as good as Wren, but definitely better than Crown Duel for me.