amandaink: (Default)
I just finished an enthralling re-read of one of the most divisive classics in the English language. The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most hated and most frequently banned books due to its foul language, its misanthropic narrator, its depressing storyline, and its otherwise “inappropriate” subject matter. It’s also one of the most widely assigned books on high school curriculums.

Now, I love The Catcher in the Rye. If I got my shit together long enough to create a List of Top Five Books of All Time, it would probably be on there. Hell, it’d be on my Top Three even. The reason I’m here rambling at you is because every time I see someone say in a book discussion, “I hate Catcher because of [insert your own myriad of criticisms here]” I feel motivated—no, obligated--to justify my love for this novel with a long-winded and emotional and scatterbrained response about Why This Book Is Awesome.

And so this post is just extrapolating on my love for this book so I can have it coherent and in writing. It’s in no way meant to change your negative opinions but it might help you gain some insight into why this book is as well-loved as it is. Let me say quickly that this entry does consist of a short discussion of possible sexual abuse (nothing graphic). So if this is a trigger for you, click back or proceed with caution. Also, all of my quotes are from the 1991 Little, Brown mass market paperback edition.

If a body catch a body comin' through the rye. )
amandaink: (dftba)
I'm re-reading The Great Gatsby because John told me to. I read it in junior year and was rather lukewarm toward it because I found Gatsby incredibly pathetic. I still find him pathetic but I'm actually enjoying it a lot more this time around.



And I've already seen HP 7 and I want to post my thoughts on it but I'm being lazy with writing them down. They'll be here soon if you're interested. If you want to discuss it, I'm here for you.

Book Time

May. 31st, 2011 10:23 pm
amandaink: (Default)

1) I got Beauty Queens by Libba Bray on it's release day and I finished it by the following afternoon. Verdict? Amazing. It's a feminist Lord of the Flies that takes on a plethora of serious subject matter all while maintaining Libba Bray's custom humor.

1a) While we're on the subject of Libba Bray: I'm going to go see her this summer! She is coming down to Miama with Meg Cabot and Maggie Stiefvater and so for that reason alone I've convinced my family to take a vacation downstate with me. (No way am I driving down to Miama by myself. Fuck that noise.) What should I wear? Which books should I bring? And how do I make myself not seem like a neurotic creeper who's just going to stand there like a moron and say, "Ohmigod, you're Libba Bray"?

(I've actually never met an author I admire IRL. Can you tell?)

2) Librarything is sending me an ARC of the newest book by another of my favorite authors. 



The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson! Just let me illustrate my excitment by saying that Maureen Johnson is one of three YA authors I count amongst my favorites. (Obviously Libba Bray is the second. INTERNETS FOR WHOEVER CAN GUESS THE THIRD.) (I also stalk her twitter loyally.) Anyway, The Name of the Star was one of the big releases I was looking forward to this year. It's official release date isn't until September. And I am getting it this month. For free.

So how excited am I? Pretty damn excited, let me tell you.

amandaink: (Default)
You know how you know that you might be crazy or just entirely too paranoid?

When it's ten o' clock at night and you're at your best friend's house, all alone save for two dogs. And then you hear a voice outside the door. It's a female voice. And so you race outside of the bedroom, heart going off like a jack hammer, and you look around the room and ask, "Is someone here?" And the only response you get is the two dogs jumping up to say, You're back? How about you stop looking half-crazed and pet us?

We're going to call this Adventures In Housesitting.

Other adventures include Friday when you're at lunch and you get a call from your best friend's mom saying that the alarm company just called to say that there's been a breach so you get your ass up and race across town to find that the house is empty, the alarm is glitching, and one of the two dogs you're taking care of decides that this is the time to jump ship through the escape route you left while you're checking the closets for burglars. You find him in the neighbor's yard and drag all three hundred pounds of him back into the house.

So this has been my week. In some book news--everyone loves book news--I read The Dark and Hollow Places on my Kindle thereby proving my own theory that getting new books for half the price and not in annoying debilitating hardback made the Kindle price worth it.

I also got Bleach. The first fourteen volumes. If the librarian thought it was strange that I was carrying manga up to my chin, she didn't comment. I know I'm late to the party but I'm really enjoying it so far. I also got two Naruto volumes and I put others on hold since I'm finally getting back to reading the manga cohesively rather than just watching sporadic episodes and reading whatever scanlations and spoilers I come across. I forgot how much I love it.

But I find the only problem is that now I can only hear Little Kuriboh's voice(s).

amandaink: (Default)
It might just be me, but as someone who hangs around review communities (for stimulating discussions) and sporking communities (for shits and giggles), I've found that the term 'Mary Sue' has lost its meaning somewhere along the way. It was a pretty elastic term to begin with what with the plentiful crop of types to choose from and the lines that blurred between, well, a powerful character and an unrealistically powerful character. But there are Sues and Stus out there and there are several ways to identify them.

But Mary Sue is a spectrum, not a dichotomy. So in some cases when someone cries "SUE!" someone else might be inclined to say, "I disagree with your assessment, good sir/madam." Some characters have Sue traits. Some good characters have Sue traits. But does that make them Sues? Well, in my opinion, no, but as subjective a term as Mary Sue is, someone might say that no good character could possess a Sue trait at all. I would say, "Your favorite character was marked at birth as the Chosen One, has the dead parents angst going on, got selected as the youngest Quidditch player in a century, often gets to flout the rules with little to no consequence, routinely saves the day, and is generally well-liked by everyone but the bad guys. Those are all Sue traits and yet Harry Potter is not conventionally considered a Sue." (“You’re calling Harry Potter a Sue!” someone yells from the back row. “Read my paragraph again,” I respond.)

The one thing I've noticed lately is that people tend to lose sight of what a Mary Sue actually is despite the broad definition. People use Mary Sue when they simply mean a flat character (which a Mary Sue often is, though these things are not synonymous). Or they use it simply when they mean, "I don't like this character and that makes her a Mary Sue, right? RIGHT?" No, it doesn't. Sometimes people don't want to expound on Sueness. They're in a main character position, they get screen time, and I disagree with what they do or how they are portrayed. Isn't that enough? Bad Character = Sue. Original Character in an Already Established Universe = Sue. New Girl At School Who Has a Mysterious Secret and Snags the Heart of Male Character A = Well… probably a Sue.

My other problem with the Mary Sue spectrum is the misogynistic structure it creates. The Mary Sue’s BFF, the Gary Stu, does get face time but nobody goes into a movie or starts a book expecting to meet Gary Stu. But when a medium has a female protagonist it seems going in examining her for Sue traits is the savvy thing to do. More powerful than the men in the series? Must be a Sue. Hypercompetent at what she does? Sue alert. A crush on the super attractive male protagonist who has some romantic subtext with Male Character B? SUE. (And a whore for good measure.)

The same treatment is rarely—if ever—given to male characters. I once saw a compelling argument (alas, I don't have a link) that stated that if Harry Potter were a female character then the books wouldn't have half of the fanbase that they do now. Why? Because Harry would be labeled a Sue of course.

Another example most of us can relate to: we all agree that Bella Swan is a Mary Sue—every other time I see a Twilight discussion I can always, always count on "lolol sparkly vampires" and "that Mary Sue bitch Bella Swan." But it's so rare that I see Edward get tacked as a Gary Stu even though he so obviously is. It’s no secret that a good portion of fandom gets its jollies demonizing female characters. (And, unfortunately, it’s a common hallmark of my fellow slash fans.) But the Mary Sue archetype has become so ingrained in the fandom mindset that any strong female or any prominently featured woman or any girl that gets the guy is likely to be scrutinized for their imperfections and then painted over as too perfect, too strong, too magical, too easily forgiven.

It’s lost its meaning. It’s become a catch-all for an unlikable character and, too often, it stands in for critical analysis. Female characters I find generally likeable or well-rounded are getting the shaft for their perceived Sueness. In some parts of fandom, it’s morphed from a legitimate complaint into a witch hunt. I, personally, will not be using it from here on. I know it would be ridiculous to expect everyone to follow suit but I’m adamant in my belief that it’s a term that hurts more than helps. The most I can hope for is that it falls into disuse as the internet and fandom evolve.
amandaink: (Default)
A few months ago a friend and I were discussing who we would want to be cast in a movie version of Good Omens and it spiraled into one of those conversations that might cause anyone observing to edge away a bit. We were laughing but it was srs business sort of laughing.

Now that it’s being made into a TV show I thought I would document the opinions that I put forth right here. If you happen to be reading this, o saintly television personnel, then don’t be afraid to take these suggestions to heart. I, as an eighteen year old fangirl who has seen some TV in my lifetime, know what I am doing.

Now onto the dream cast. )
Page generated Jul. 25th, 2017 12:47 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios