“When’s the next time you’re going to New York?”
Sunday, July 24, 2011
“When’s the next time you’re going to New York?”
Kindle edition, published 2011.
Wow! I stumbled upon this author on a blog (The Bookshelf Muse), and the first thing that caught my eye was that cover. Great job to whoever did that! I read a couple sentences of the blurb and got the sample from Amazon.com. But I really had no idea what it was about other than the dystopian setting of the global heating crisis. So, going in, I had pretty much no idea where it was going, and it was really cool reading it that way! Reading without any preconceived notions, just enjoying the book for what it was - great writing!
Enough about me - onto the book. It starts off as a "typical" dystopian, introducing the reader to the world of the future. Piper's world is stuck in the Global Heating Crisis. It's been summer for eighteen years and there's no end in sight. There heat bubbles, cooling gels, little air conditioning, missiles to dispel the heat bubbles, domes to protect people. It's a fascinating world that probably could have been a novel in and of itself, but then we start to see inklings that there's more to Piper and her family than meets the eye. She receives a mysterious box for birthday present. She meets a guy who says he's known her for a year. P.J. Hoover soon pulls you into a world of mythology with finely crafted language that constantly kept me wanting more.
This book was addicting! When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I'd have time to. When I was reading it, I was forcing myself to slow down. The world is so vivid; it's like I could feel the heat. There were lots of twists, and it kept you guessing (although I knew what was up about two thirds of the way through, and I was yelling at Piper to get it). It's so imaginative, too. I want to see this on film. I think it would be awesome. I'm definitely not an expert in Greek mythology, but my high school was pretty big on it, and I loved revisiting some of those myths and also seeing a new take on them.
There were times when Piper seemed to passive, but overall, I liked her. She grew into herself, for sure. There were some great characters and concepts. I liked the author's take on the Underworld.
I really, REALLY liked this story. I recommend it for any young adult or dystopian or mythology or Indie readers. Or just anyone, really. It's a very enjoyable read, and I can't wait for more from this author. I hope she writes a sequel. I'd be all over that.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I've been lucky enough to avoid the REALLY strange eye colors - like amethyst or orange. Some strange eye colors are actually part of the plot, like Shatter by Elizabeth Mock or a paranormal I'm beta reading in which eye colors change when the wolf is close to the surface. But some just get on my nerves.
Like black and grey eyes.
When I read black eyes, I think of demons. You know, when the iris blends with the pupil blends with the white. Like this:
Blech! Now, I know some people have brown eyes that are so dark they look black. A few people have said that about my eyes. But it still doesn't change the fact that they're brown. Not black. Right? Maybe I'm misunderstanding eye pigment or something. I know pictures online look like someone may have black eyes, but I've never thought that in real life.
This doesn't tick me off as much as grey eyes do.
I don't know what it is, but they pop up EVERYWHERE. Is it like a rule if you write a fantasy book, you have to have a character with grey eyes? Why? This color is so uncommon. In fact, it's more likely that the character's eyes are just blue or green, but they want to say grey to feel special.
When I read grey eyes, I think of model Jessica Stam. And you know what? I'm looking at pictures of her, and they're just light blue.
I can't deny these are gorgeous eyes, but it's so rare. I don't know, maybe the problem isn't the extreme overuse of it (BUT IT IS) but the fact that I don't know what grey eyes are.
I could definitely consider Aishwarya Rai (spelled that wrong the first time!) as grey-eyed.
I'm just saying. . .it's so rare, and yet everybody has them.
OMG, there's even a TV Trope about grey eyes, but they're missing the point! Grey eyes don't have a purpose or significance - authors just give them to EVERYONE!
Case in point. . .my list of grey-eyed characters/authors. And yes, I got a lot of my list TV Tropes there because I try to block grey eyes out of my memory.
1. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. JK is just grey-happy:
a. Sirius Black (this is the one I remembered)
b. Luna Lovegood (SILVER!)
c. Draco and Lucius Malfoy
d. Cedric Diggory
e. Mr. Ollivander
2. Annabeth from Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
3. JRR Tolkien. Lots of grey eyes there.
4. Katniss, Gale, and Haymith from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5. Many of the Stark family in A Song of Fire and Ice by George Martin (I've only read the sample on Kindle, but he mentioned it a dozen times)
6. Anne in Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (What? I always thought they were green! Red hair and green eyes, that's another one overdone)
7. Lolita from Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov
8. Jordan Baker from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I'm coming back to this and adding to it every time I catch grey eyes in the books I'm reading.
Sigh. Brown eyes make up the majority of the human population, but you've just got to make everyone GREY. The least common eye color EVER. Because your characters are special snowflakes. I could definitely bring up some kind of race issue, but that might be blowing it out of proportion.
It doesn't annoy me as much as I make it seem like it does. It's just overdone. Especially when it's the first thing you learn about a character's description. I hardly notice eye color when I first meet someone unless they have stunning eyes - like any of the three pictures I posted (I'd really notice demon black eyes).
Do you have any reader pet peeves? Things you're sick to death of reading about?
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Seagulls cried above her, only small flecks in the endless blue sky. The water ebbed back and forth, splashing against the rocks where Hannah had found her four months ago.
Fiona stared down at the waves as the breeze brushed her hair over her face. She clenched her teeth, waiting for the memories to come. Maybe if she wished for it hard enough, she’d remember.
Behind her, Troy mumbled something to Hannah. Fiona tried to block him out, crossing her arms and looking across the harbor.
Nothing new. The same disconnected memories floated around in her mind, searching for meaning. Pointless things like playing in a McDonald’s play place and taking a driver’s test. She wasn’t even sure if some of the images were memories. The fire and its suffocating smoke. The two men dragging her into a van. The girl who drove a different car while Fiona bled from her stomach. After that, the first clear memory she had was the ride in Hannah’s car and the name Fiona mumbled the entire way: James.
The strange images left her with nothing. Fiona didn’t know who James was, or who the other, blurry faces belonged to. She didn’t know what had happened to her. She didn’t even know what her name was. When looking through the name book Hannah had brought her, the name Fiona had stood out, but she didn’t know why.
Hannah touched Fiona’s arm, smiling softly. “How do you feel?”
Fiona shrugged. “Fine, I guess.”
Troy walked over to them from the car. “Do you remember anything?”
“Don’t you think I would have said something if I did?” Fiona asked.
“Sorry for asking.” Troy rolled his eyes.
“Hey, you guys hungry?” Hannah said, too brightly. “Let’s go to Cafe Mecca before I have that meeting.”
They walked back to Hannah’s green Land Rover. Fiona glanced back at the harbor once more before getting in the back seat. Someone had left her here four months ago. . .who? And why?
Hannah started the engine and pulled out of her parking space. “Well, that article should run in the Boston Herald soon. Maybe someone will see it.”
“Hopefully the right people,” Troy muttered. “You know, we could still call her and ask her not to run it.”
“It’s running,” Fiona said firmly. “Maybe a family member or a friend will see it.”
“Yeah, or someone else,” Troy said.
“Wow, this conversation sounds really familiar.” She tuned out his response. She wanted the article to run.
Troy had complained about the follow-up article all day, saying it seemed like someone had been after Fiona and publicity might bring trouble. Fiona had weighed the benefits with the risks, though. If her family saw it, it might be worth the chance of someone else seeing it.
“I was not jealous!” Ron said, and rather loudly at that. He had been jealous. Ginny wasn’t a jealous type, she was fine with Kellie while everyone else in Hogwarts always asked about Kellie and Harry and their ‘relationship’ and Ginny didn’t mind if Harry went to study with Hermione, or to play Quidditch with Jennifer, but if his giggling fan club waltzed up to him in the corridors, Ginny was very quick to pull him away. Most of the time he was thankful, but sometimes he liked bragging about his last Quidditch game, or something else. Ginny was the kind of person who trusted people with time.