amandaink: (Default)
I love creature horror and I'm horrified to discover that I don't write nearly enough of it. So I've made a list of all of the monsters I'd like to write about at some point. There's no deadline for this goal, it's only for organization purposes. ijustlikelistsokay

[ ] vampires
[ ] werewolves
[x] zombies
[ ] wendigos
[ ] ghosts
[ ] sea monsters
[ ] witches
[ ] fairies
[ ] demons
[ ] imps
[ ] kelpies
[ ] mermaids
[ ] goblins
[ ] chimeras
[ ] the bogeyman
[ ] incubi/succubi
[ ] sirens
[ ] rawhead and bloody bones

I'll be adding more as I come across more creatures I find neat. Of course, comment with any awesome monsters you think I've missed.
amandaink: (Default)
So! Good news first! I decided to make a blog for book recs over on Tumblr since I like the accessibility of it and I think it's a good way to meet fellow book nerds. If you're interested:

http://amandaslibrary.tumblr.com/

There are only two recs up so far and they're two that are already on this journal. But there will be more to come. I will likely only be adding a select few here.

If I stay here, that is. That's the bad part. Like many other users, I hate LJ's recent changes and I heard a few minutes ago that even more changes are in the beta process. I reserved an account over at dreamwidth (no invite codes, this week only if you want to do the same!) because this website is going down the shitter. LJ hasn't responded to the backlog of complaints but apparently dreamwidth is working on updates for members who are jumping ship, or so I've heard. course, I'll stick around long enough to see if it sinks or gets back on its feet but I'm not expecting much. I'll tell you if I move for good, of course.

Either way I'll be trolling around the internet somewhere. And I hope all of you are well.

Winning!

Nov. 29th, 2011 03:06 pm
amandaink: (Default)
I am officially FINISHED with NaNoWriMo this year.

I've clocked in at 50,076 words. Sure, it's a little less than last year. Sure, I've finished with fewer days to spare. Sure, my "novel" is more like words regurgitated on a page.

But it's FINISHED.

I'm taking a break from any major writing projects this December and then starting on something new in January. My brain needs time to recover.
amandaink: (Default)
I’ve been off of LJ all weekend since I’ve been hanging at Biff’s house. His parents went to go visit him upstate and I’m they’re go-to girl for house/dog-sitting since I more or less live there anyway. I spent the weekend watching the Food Network and theoretically writing since I’m under the delusion that I can multitask.

I’m where I’m supposed to be at the moment with my word count BUT my Thanksgiving week looks something like this:

Monday: Bake red velvet cupcakes for mom to take to work on Tuesday. Bake hazelnut cupcakes for Biff. Spend all night with Biff when he comes home.

Tuesday: Chilling with Biff. Go wherever. Drag him [food] shopping.

Wednesday: Bake sweet potato pie. Do whatever after that. I’ll probably get the most writing done on this day assuming I stay home.

Thursday: Thanksgiving. Go out to eat with family. Go over to Biff’s house to eat with him and his family. Probably end up hanging out there all night.

Friday: Black Friday shopping; tempt death. Take out Christmas tree and start decorating (!!) Make peppermint cupcakes for mom.

I know there’s a way to fit writing into this week.

It can be done.

Also, I’m very impressed with myself for keeping up with my word count considering this is the WORST NOVEL I HAVE EVER WRITTEN, BAR NONE.

I’m gonna finish it though. Somehow.
amandaink: (Default)

The Bermudez Triangle

The Bermudez Triangle
Maureen Johnson
YA, LGBT, Romance, Coming of Age

Lifelong best friends Nina Bermudez, Avery Dekker, and Melanie Forrest face their first separation the summer before their senior year when Nina attends a ten-week summer program at Stanford. Nina returns home bursting with stories about Steve, her summer romance. But she soon learns the shocking truth about what her friends were up to while she was gone when she sees Mel and Avery . . . kissing. The friendship is rocked by what feels like the ultimate challenge. But it's only the beginning of a sometimes painful, sometimes funny, always gripping journey as three girls discover who they are and what they really want.

It seems like I go on a hardcore reccing-spree for this book once every few months--probably because that's how often I reread it. I've just finished it for the twentieth? thirtieth? time and I want to make everyone who hasn't been around to witness my Bermudez-related histrionics is made aware.

The Bermudez Triangle is a romance on the outside but a story about friendship at its heart. I've never related to characters in a YA novel the way I relate to Mel, Nina, and Avery. When you read this book, you could be reading about yourself or your friends. And those are the best kind of characters, in my humble opinion--the ones you can see yourself in, be it the good parts or the bad parts. Rarely do I find one character--let alone three--where I can see, not one side, but both. For bonus points you also have the goofy but endearing guy friend thrown in there. Why all have those. (Don't we?)

Maureen Johnson realizes that it's not just how a character is described or how a character acts that is a prime marker of characterization--it's the relationships between the characters and how they interact and how their personalities bounce off of one another. This is especially important in a book about friendship and it's one of the many aspects that makes The Bermudez Triangle shine through triumphant.

The book chronicles a year in these characters' lives together and it's full of poignant moments, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, usually bittersweet. It's organized with holidays as time-markers and it serves to remind that even in the midst of jubilation or crushing heartbreak, life doesn't stop.

And besides all that, I'm just a huge fan of Maureen Johnson's writing. She's adept at bringing any scenario to life with her trademark style of humor. The lesbian relationship is (of course) what drew me to this book in the first place and if I'd have to choose, it probably stand number one on my shelf of Queer Relationships And How They Are Handled. Sexuality is a big theme: not only is it about two girls in a relationship, it's about discovering yourself, coming out, questioning your identity, dealing with homophobia, and learning how to deal when your two best friends begin a relationship.

There is honestly nothing I don't love about this book and I could wax poetic some more about WHY but I think you get the idea. It's one of the first books I go to when I need a heartwarming, comforting read. Read it. I can't recommend it strongly enough.

Trigger warning: some depictions of homophobia.

amandaink: (Default)
I feel like this needs its own post because I have so many feelings. I just watched it via Youtube because, you might not know this about me, but I love musicals and I’ve loved Legally Blonde since I was in middle school. I knew that they had made a musical but I waited until tonight to go and search for it. But I did get there, you know, eventually. So let’s talk about the pros and cons. Warning: potential spoilers.

Pros:
♥ The music was awesome. If there isn’t good music then a musical wouldn’t be worthwhile and there would be no pros. End of.
♥ Enid got a bigger role and some awesome comic relief. Furthermore, she might have provided comic relief but she wasn’t treated like a joke.
♥ I loved the Elle told Vivian that girls needed to stick together and that Vivian echoed that sentiment at the end.
♥ Emmett gets more character development and backstory. This is one really strong improvement over the film since in the movie he’s a bit of a boring nice guy.
♥ The scene from Brooke’s workout video was especially catchy and fun.
♥ The women of Delta Nu were the classic Greek chorus. How clever.
♥ SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS: Elle pops the question to Emmett. I’ve always wanted to see the woman pop the question instead of the other way around.
♥ Maybe some of the scenes weren’t as powerful but it definitely kept the spirit of the film alive.

Cons:
♥ I didn’t like the fact that Emmett was the one who motivated Elle to take law school seriously. This was one of the best scenes in the movie. I liked Elle working to reach her potential on her own.
♥ Chutney’s confession scene was nowhere near as awesome and dramatic. And the weird switchover into the bathroom setting was…um, weird. And unneeded. I also kind of felt this way about Elle’s personal essay scene…it was just…a little too out there.
♥ I HATED what they did to the scene with Warner and Elle near the end where she turned him down politely after he acted like a total asshole to her. Her line was much better in the film: “If I’m going to be a partner in a law firm by the time I’m thirty, I need a boyfriend who’s not such a complete bonehead.”
♥ Why’d they have to go and cut out Professor Stromwell? She was one of my favorites.

So all in all I didn’t think it was quite as good as the movie but it’s great in its own respect and the music was awesome. I’m going to buy the soundtrack. There wasn’t a song I didn’t like.

If you want to watch, and you should, start here:



Shouldn’t I be working on my NaNo novel?
amandaink: (Default)
As of this entry, I'm at 3364 words.

Also, I'm numb from the neck upward. And sneezy. And let's not talk about how disgusting and raw my nose is right now. I've been sick since yesterday which pretty much RUINED my plans to get ahead of the NaNoWriMo game. I'm feeling a little bit better today. I slept for thirteen hours which took away some writing time but I'm keeping up with where I'm supposed to be, at least. Hopefully by the end of this week I'll feel better and I'll have my car back so that I can go to the library and write for a good three or four hours without distraction.

I also meant to write about my Halloween weekend and post some pictures. Perhaps I'll get around to doing that but you know how I am with commitment.

How's November treating you so far? NaNo kicking your ass already? Loaded up on half-off Halloween candy? ANYONE EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS YET?

(Because I am.)
amandaink: (Default)
Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel

Dead of Night

Jonathan Maberry
Horror, Zombies

A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite.

This book broke away from every expectation I had and I mean that entirely in a good way.

Dead of Night rekindled the zombie loving passion in me. The author played with a few different concepts I've mulled over but never seen done, such as the zombie that retains its human mind as it's biting and devouring people. When I received the book and read the words "two small-town cops" I didn't expect much to come from that since it's typically a played out concept for dull cookie-cutter characters, almost always heterosexual white men. But Maberry took a gun to my expectations by introducing a diverse cast who made me want to root for them--especially spitefire Dez Fox, who was a far more rounded character than one usually finds in zombie thrillers.

The ending was what made this novel for me. The first three quarters of the book, while excellent and fast-paced and exciting, were merely a set-up leading us down the road to a showdown which certainly had my heart pumping. And I know it's past Halloween but any time is a good time to get into the zombie spirit.

Trigger warning for violence.

So...

Oct. 31st, 2011 07:47 pm
amandaink: (Default)
Now that NaNoWriMo starts in roughly an hour, who wants to be writing buddies?
amandaink: (Default)

Wildthorn

Wildthorn

Jane Eagland
YA, LGBT, Historical Fiction, Feminism

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor's daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key...

This book is a blatant case of a novel not getting the publicity it deserves and I hope to rectify that even if only by the smallest of margins. Wildthorn uses Victorian England as a backdrop to explore and criticize sexist attitudes which, sadly, still exist in the world today. And while it is a queer novel, the queerness is more incidental to the story than it is the primary focus. But primary focus or not, it's heartwarming all the same.

Take my word, if you’re looking for a gripping, well-researched, and well-written feminist novel with interesting characters, you need Wildthorn in your life.

Trigger warnings: depictions of sexist attitudes, mental illness, and abuse of mentally ill people.


amandaink: (Default)
NaNo starts in thirteen days! So here I am posting the summary of the novel I've been OBSESSIVELY PLANNING. And this summary was a pain to write let me tell you.

Devil's Food
Young Adult


Cindy Chase has two options post-graduation: go to college or take a year off and get a job. Her one hope for employment is The Cupcake Gallery, a small bakery owned and single-handedly run by twenty-one year old Lacey Finch. Cindy lands the job but only barely, and once on board she comes to realize that baking and decorating a few hundred cupcakes everyday isn’t as easy as she anticipated—not to mention the arduous task of dressing up for the theme days Lacey is always brainstorming.

But learning how to properly frost violets is the least of Cindy’s worries.

In the fairytale-obsessed town of Little Cinder, superstition is something taught from birth. Carrying warding charms, hanging horseshoes above doors, trying to pass legislation that will ban the killing of spiders—these are ways of life for the townsfolk. So why aren’t Cindy’s charms working? Why does she still feel something watches her at night even after she purifies her home?

It isn’t long before the watching evolves into something more malevolent and being with Lacey is the only thing that makes her feel safe. But there’s only so much the comfort of one lovely girl can do against the threat of the monster Little Cinder most dreads...


And it is LGBT. LET ME REASSURE YOU THAT GAYNESS IS OMNIPRESENT HERE.

Just the way I like it.
amandaink: (Default)
Saw this over at [livejournal.com profile] book_memes and decided to fill it out and post it here before I have to rush out.

1) What was the first Stephen King book you ever read?
Carrie. I was twelve and I didn’t actually know much about Stephen King beyond the fact that he wrote horror and that my parents had a hardcover copy of Gerald’s Game that they told me I wasn’t allowed to read. I just picked up his shortest work to test whether I liked his style or not. Lo and behold.

2) Does he actually scare you? Or just entertain you?
Not gonna lie, a few of his stories and scenes have gotten under my skin. I don’t easily get outright frozen-under-the-covers, batten-down-the-hatches scared but a few of his works have left me going WHAT IF. WHAT. IF.

3) Scariest King scene (from a book)
When I was eleven and just starting middle school we had to go through this process called “Wheel” where we spent a week experiencing each elective course before making our choices for the second semester. I got to chorus a week around Halloween and the chorus instructor was a really awesome guy who, instead of teaching us about the class or singing or any of that, played us the “Halloween” theme on the piano and then told us scary stories. One was called “The Boogeyman” and it TERRIFIED me. That story stuck with me for five years before I learned that it was, in fact, a Stephen King story from the collection Night Shift.

So yes, that’s my answer right there. The Stephen King story that frightened me before I was even reading Stephen King.

4) Scariest King scene (from a film)
The scene from It where Pennywise lures Georgie over to kill him. That was in the movie, right? It’s been a while. Either way, it was creepy as hell in the book, too.

5) Would you rather face Pennywise or Randy Flagg?
I haven’t read any of the books featuring Randall Flagg but I sure as hell don’t want to go up against Pennywise. Is the devil I know better? whatdoido whatdoido

6) Are you a Dark Tower fan?
I haven’t read them yet.

7) Favourite Stephen King novel?
Again, Carrie. I’ve reread it like ten times since I was twelve.

8) Favourite Stephen King short story?
Again, “The Boogeyman”.

9) Favourite Stephen King short story collection?
I don’t know if it counts as a short story collection since they were all technically novellas but Four Past Midnight. Between that, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, and a general fear of falling miles out of the sky, fuck you if you think you’re ever getting me on a plane.

10) Favourite SK quote?
“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.” It’s from On Writing and I giggled a lot after reading it for the first time.

11) Your five favourite/most memorable King characters…
1. Carrie White.
2. Pennywise.
3. Jack Torrance.
4. Annie Wilkes.
5. The entire town of Salem’s Lot.

12) Would you rather live in Castle Rock or Derry?
Derry. Just cuz.

13) Favourite King film adaptation?
I don’t want to say Carrie again (even though the original adaptation with Sissy Spacek was fantastic) so I’ll go with The Shining.

14) Worst King film adaptation?
They’re not really adaptations but any of the TV sequels. Especially Carrie 2: The Rage.

15) Least favourite book?
Dreamcatcher. I couldn’t finish it.

16) Stephen King has a habit or bringing up previous works in his novels. What random other-book character would it most tickle you to see in Dr. Sleep (other than surviving characters from The Shining)?
Any of the characters from It. Which might not be that far-fetched since one of the characters from The Shining was in It.

17) Are you looking forward to 11/22/63 or Dr. Sleep more?
Dr. Sleep. I’m sure both will be great but really now—a sequel to The Shining.

18) M O O N … that spells… ?
Amanda.
amandaink: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelleat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.



amandaink: (Default)
The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)

Shades of London, Book 1: The Name of the Star

By: Maureen Johnson
YA, Supernatural Mystery/Thriller

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


I won this book as an ARC back in June from the Librarything Early Reviewers program. You can hardly understand my excitement. I love Maureen Johnson. Maureen Johnson is one of my INSPIRATIONS. And I’m happy to report that she hasn’t failed to deliver. The Name of the Star was released last week and if you have the funds or the library access, I highly recommend picking it up.

The Bermudez Triangle is one of my favorite books by Maureen Johnson, if not my number one favorite in the entire field of queer YA. The Name of the Star comes close to topping it on my list of favorite MJ books. I can’t praise this book enough. It’s books like this that keep me in the paranormal YA genre even when I feel like I’m burnt out—it’s original and funny, thrilling and well-plotted, and just the right amount of eccentric.
amandaink: (Default)

Just a quick reminder that Banned Books Week starts tomorrow. What are you planning on reading? I'm going to be starting this:



amandaink: (Default)
Since the wipe of the entire NaNoWriMo website is coming in roughly ten days, I thought I'd post my 2010 novel info here. You know, for posterity and such.

Red Words
Horror/Supernatural


At eleven years old Ashton Casey learned that he’s not like most other people. Most people don’t see letters in color. They don’t identify voices by their hues and they don’t associate the shrill sound of their mother’s car alarm with even shriller yellow. At seventeen he has a name for it--synesthesia.

His previous life--a small home on the lower class edge of the suburbs, a little sister getting ready for her first year of high school, and a single mother struggling from paycheck to paycheck--is uprooted in only a few months’ time. His senior year finds him cushioned in the unfamiliar luxury of The Queen’s Theatre, the apartment suites located on the upscale side of town, paid for in full by his mother who just earned her fortune launching a chain of highly successful coffee shops. Charlotte, his little sister, died in a bus accident at the beginning of summer and Ash is thrust into grief counseling. Through all this, Ash clutches tightly to his best friend Ethan and the colors that stay mercifully familiar even in this new life.

But his precarious new reality takes a shift with a single envelope found in his pile of mail one morning--an envelope meant for the room above his. He delivers the letter to the enigmatic inhabitant of room C-14, a gentleman of unknown origin and fortune. Days after their encounter, Ash can’t get him off his mind. He’s stuck on this man who speaks in gorgeous red, who’s seen more of the world than Ash knew existed, whose refined taste masks dark ideals, and who will ultimately unravel Ash’s life strand by fragile strand.


Last year was my second year doing NaNo and my first time winning. I reread this beast earlier this year and it was a lot better than I remembered. It still sucked all over the place but after a few rounds of editing, it's actually not half terribad. It's still never going into the world though. It's staying right in my binder for my own amusement.
amandaink: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] darkspirited1 at SIGNAL BOOST: SAY YES TO GAY YA
This comes from an article by [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija entitled, Say Yes to Gay YA.
(click the link for the full article)


Our novel Stranger has five viewpoint characters; one, Yuki Nakamura, is
gay and has a boyfriend. Yuki's romance, like the heterosexual ones in
the novel, involves nothing more explicit than kissing.

An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us.

The agent offered to sign us on the condition that we make the gay
character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to
his sexual orientation.


This isn't about that specific agent; we'd gotten other rewrite requests before this one. Previous agents had also offered to take a second look if we did rewrites… including cutting the viewpoint of Yuki, the gay character.


It's time to stand up and demand change. Spread the word everywhere if you are just as angry and outraged by this.

amandaink: (Default)
A while ago, back before this account existed, I took stock of the female-male equity in my high school reading courses. Here were the final results:

Total number of books: 26
Number of books written by women: 2
Number of books with female protagonists: 3

However, one of the books in the last category was Romeo and Juliet, which also features a male protagonist so count it or discount it as you like.

There’s this pervasive idea in our society that most things can be separated into “boy” things and “girl” things and “boy” things are by definition superior. Books written by men about men are literature. They have Important Things to say. Books written by women about women, however, are chick-lit. The very term “chick-lit” comes with this dismissive connotation that a piece of work produced by a woman which explores the life, conflicts, friendships, relationships, and growth of a female protagonist is inherently inferior to a similar such work from the opposite sex.

Men are the default in our society. That’s why “chick-lit” isn’t taken seriously and that’s why most of my high school reading list was a fucking sausage fest. The idea is that something from a male point of view is easily accessible to every demographic but something feminine is automatically polarizing to men. Estrogen levels are just too high, I guess. They might even—gasp!—have to be confronted with the reality of menstruation.

As much as women are expected to identify with men, it’s treated like a big deal when a man can venture out enough to enjoy something targeted at a female demographic.

And this is why I hate bronies. The ~edgy male fans of predominantly female media—like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic—feel the need to call attention to how subversive they’re being just because they like a girl’s show. This also leads to some “fans” bleating, “But what about male representation? Because, let’s face it, I’m expected to sit down and enjoy the “boy” stuff not only because men are expected to be universally relatable but because most of the shit out there is male-centric and I don’t have much other choice.

In short: I’m mad. I want women-centric media to be taken seriously. Fuck obnoxious men.

To make this entry a little less ragey, let’s talk by-women-about-women books that deserve to be taught in schools. I’ll start.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

Additionally, how did your high school reading compare to mine?
amandaink: (Default)
What house would you want to be in? What house do you think you'd be put into?

According to this quiz, I'm in Slytherin which is pretty much what I expected, although I won't be able to find out my legit results until Pottermore.

But I do think Slytherin suits me best. I can't be in Hufflepuff--I'm not hard-working. When I was in high school I was unduly impressed with myself for even bothering to write papers, let alone write them on time. I can't be in Gryffindor--I don't count myself as particularly brave. I wouldn't call it cowardice though. Self-preservation sounds nicer. All the same, things like the interstate, elevators, and roller coasters scare me. Ravenclaw wouldn't be too bad but I don't think of myself as particularly smart.

Ambitious though? You bet your ass. Working towards an ambition is about the only time I kick into "hard-work" mode. Cunning? The jury is still out but I would say that I've demonstrated cunning in a few circumstances.

(Everyone take the quiz and tell me your results.)
amandaink: (Snape)
This is a couple hours late. Shhh.

Favourite male character and why.

I'm not into going and searching for a picture and fighting with formatting so please look to my icon for further information.

Oh Snape, this complex, sadistic, emotionally wrecked, fascinating, confusing, divisive, fucked up man. I love characters who embody these things. And love him or hate, Snape is a well-crafted character and nothing wins my literary heart like a well-crafted character (with or without the complex wrecked fucked up-ness, but I do admit that's a bonus).

True story: when I was little, I hated Snape. I only had the first four books to work with for the longest and every time I went to re-read them I would always think Snape, you dickbag.

But, you know, in little kid terms. Like jerk. Or meany. Or whatever.

And he is a bit of a dickbag (or more than a bit) but that's what makes him GREAT.

Maybe I'm not explaining sufficiently why being a dickbag, or any other kind of dick, is a great thing but hear me out. His dickery makes sense. He's not a hero, but he is heroic, and he's not evil despite doing evil things. He's not a sadistic teacher for the sake of the story needing a sadistic teacher, and all of his Freudian excuses don't excuse the fact that he really and truly is not a good person but not being a good person doesn't make him a bad one either.

I didn't start feeling this way until Snape's Worst Memory in book five which gave me great pause.

I had a moment of I'msympathizingwithSnapewhatishappeningtomylife.

The fact that readers were completely divided on the subject of Snape's loyalty after book six (and I do mean divided--Borders gave out bookmarks listing both sides of the argument, as I recall) should speak for Snape's complexity.

And if you know me, there isn't anything I love more in fictional characters than complexity.

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