“tell me about it,” my sister asked a few weeks ago.
i responded by mumbling and laying dramatically on the kitchen chair, which by the way, is the hardest thing to sit on for days at a time. “i don’t know how.”
“well you’re gonna have to figure it out if you’re posting about it.”
“it” in this case is referring to a very cool person’s book that’s coming out in a couple days or months, give or take, and by now you should know that cool person’s name, which is weez, and her book, the lightest heaviest things, or at least heard *some* kind of iteration of the concept known as subpar art. if you remain oblivious, well. i feel sorry for you. and will probably enlighten you by yeeting a copy at your face.
anyway, weez must’ve made the mistake of entrusting me with something, because she asked me to help her out with throwing books at people’s faces getting tlht out to the people, whoever the people may be. and i must’ve made the mistake of assuming i could, because the next thing i knew i was swiping through a copy for review and going “what what whAT” for an hour.
so anyway, here’s me figuring this out and here’s the book of potential cult classic status, per weez’s interview with clara (read that or i will fight you).
“The trees are tall, and the giants are not actually taller than the trees. You told me that the giants aren’t real. I don’t know if they’re real. They look real, to me, but they also don’t seem real. You don’t see them, either.” Peri, alone in her house, has spent a lot of time observing the silent, strangely sad giants that move just on the edge of her vision. They never speak. They never laugh. They are always alone. Drowning in her own loneliness, Peri doesn’t think much about where the giants came from, or what they might need from her.
When Peri’s best friend Wink starts seeing the giants too, though, they decide that they need to find out why the giants are so sad and alone. This sets them off on a quest that neither of them is quite prepared for, through the woods and up the mountain.
Magic, melancholy, and myth collide in their lives, showing them a world both worse and better than they ever knew.
the atmosphere. HHHHH. i’m a sucker for the ambience of a place, and the lightest heaviest things did not disappoint in that regard. there’s many ways the stereotypical country story can go stale, but the way this one went was refreshingly simple and yet heartwarming, like a place you’ve seen before but don’t really know. the instant i read through the first few pages i remember thinking “yep. i wanna explore this place a little more.”
the characters. peri, the main character and the newest fictional love of my life needs a HUG. i admired her complexity and really connected to her fears and thoughts and the way she saw her world. the little details weez spun along the journey and the way she revealed peri’s story bit by bit was very cool, to say the least. wink is a fascinating best friend/foil character that has a lot of pluck and nerve and also needs a hug. she reminds me of samwise gamgee’s character but with childhood angst, as we all tend to have. ull, my dude, is a friendly hungry magic kid with excellent rhyming skills, and i would’ve liked to have met him. his arc is bittersweet, and i think it was very well done. all of the kids have a lot of story that gets revealed through the people they meet, that for a moment it’s like they could be real kids.
the dialogue. the oneliners and quips and back and forths were hilarious. to prove my point:
“we’re going to save the giants.”
“we’re on a quest.”
*chef’s kiss* i rest my case.
this banter and the humor behind it carries on throughout the story in a very endearing way, and i simply don’t have enoug hwords to say how much i like it. it’s just that good. go read it for yourself.
more backstory. i think the plot is solid in terms of how engrossed can you get in a book and end up crying a few dozen times, but could’ve done with having more exposition, more details, more development into each character and the world they interact in and with. there’s so much for potential and if anything this feels like a teaser of being so close and yet not close enough to actually entering paper and ink and living in that world ourselves.
giants. i say this because even though the giants are peri’s catalyst and a big part of the book, and even though we get descriptions of them and why they’re here, i didn’t feel like i saw them exactly? that may be something left to each reader, that may be something that comes with rereading, and that may be because all that needed information will come somewhere else. who knows?
just morein general. everything in this book was great, full stop. no denying that. but i think in the way a bunch of little kids want to know what’s next when someone tells them a story, readers of this one will be absorbed enough to demand more, simply because it’s at a level that can only get better with more of it. so go read it and get weez to write another one because i won’t be able to rest otherwise *nods seriously and gets attacked with incoming pillows*
this book feels like childhood. it feels like growing up and adventure and food and friends and running and bravery, sadness and pain and fear and all of these elements of our younger selves woven into magic and fantasy and it feels nostalgic, and it feels foreign, and it feels right, and it feels like this search for home, like coming home.
but in many ways, it’s a beginning. not just for these characters and the story, but also for the indescribably talented weez phillips and her not-so-secret superpower of making me people cry. i really think that ability and the creations that come from it will only grow, and how amazing to be at the start of it all watching it happen. i also can’t believe i’d lasted this long without realizing the periwinkle pun.dang.
i’drecommend this book for people who enjoy filling in the blank details of a book with whatever their imagination gives them,
readers who enjoy growing up stories and adventure,
and kids who feel alone, and scared, and just need a little shot of hope to go bravely.
it’s a feel think hope kinda thing, and this book presents that wonderfully.
iron man, 2008, at a very tender age. the rest goes downhill from there.
What’s your favorite Marvel film?
the winter soldier. the love of my life and also the only thing the-brothers-who-don’t-deserve-any-award-whatsoever did right.
Top favorite Marvel character?
<– i rest my case.
actually no i don’t do you Know how much bucky was robbed the man has 47 lines total in the franchise and whose fault was it that he’s reduced to “pew pew pew punch” (despite being the winter soldier and being trained to fight hand to hand combat but no let’s forget that hahaha here give him a gun and make him a basic brainwashed assassin) and also just steve’s long lost friend like no he has one of the richest character arcs and wouldn’t even be in the mcu if it wasn’t for ed brubaker literally bringing his fanfiction to the comics like are you Kidding me steve isn’t bucky’s world he’s just a big part of it bucky has so much more he has an amazing relationship, a kid he adopted from another mission and a whole organization dedicated to helping people like this was all in the 2016-2018 arcs so how. dare. you. just call him a sidekick and honestly the russos lucked out with tws because ever since they!! have just CONTINUED TO MESS HIS STORY UP and i will die mad about it
If you were transported into the MCU and had to trade places with one of the superheroes, who would you choose?
ehhhhh wait i can’t use comics? dangit. uhm. probably skye johnson from aos (also she counts fite me)
What are some of your favorite quotes from the films?
“your mother’s name was sarah… you used to wear newspaper in your shoes”
“i’m, uh, gonna hit you in the head with a peanut butter sandwich”
“i am groot!” “NO“
“… and i have a bow and arrows, none of this makes sense.”
“you’re taking all the stupid with you”
“everyone went on a life changing trip with zuko, i want—” hold on that’s not marvel heh
Which crew would you want to be part of the most: Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Revengers?
the thunderbolts; all of these groups are chaotic and have too much drama to deal with.
Favorite and least favorite ship?
fave: scott x hope. healthy, based on partnership, a relationship of equals, they don’t just share love, they admire and respect each other and that plays well into everything they do. idk i just like the idea of a relationship being more than just pure romantic attraction, what’s the point of keeping it otherwise?
least fave: nat x bruce. NOT because it doesn’t work, but because the way they wrote it was terrible. if you *want* to write an out of canon ship, at least write it well add some character development, don’t play with your audience’s feelings, don’t reduce one person’s past to specifically prey on their gender (i’m looking at you, whedon– there are SO many worse things other than infertility and you KNOW nat is stronger than that) and don’t just grab the nearest guy available. shame. i could write something better and i amace. this had potential and they Messed It Up.
Favorite and least favorite villain?
fave: you know what, i’m gonna say hydra as a whole, because i find it fascinating how easily their ideals, their people, and their poison is spread throughout the captain america films and the powerful analogy that has today. (what? i’m a nerd. get over it.)
least fave: the vulture and mysterio. ALSO not because they’re not evil enough, but i don’t think it’s a good idea to villainize working class people who have to resort to less than acceptable means to provide for themselves and their families. it just makes us sympathize with the elite and rich when they’ve done literally nothing to earn that love.
Unpopular MCU opinion?
sharon carter is *not* a bad character– her writing and everything about how marvel handled her was wrong. her arc is so detailed and amazing, her relationship with steve was really sweet and not just that, it made sense, and the mcu just ignored all of that and messed it all up. even with how her actor was treated, they just reduced sharon to this character that came out of nowhere. i hope tfatws gives her the proper development she deserves.
(hold on i just remembered that people ALSO do this for my girl captain marvel and gihukjgfhngieukjrhgniujfkn i’ma deal with you buffoons later)
What’s your favorite Stan Lee cameo scene?
*inhales* *exhales* *cries* mr. lee, sir, the world kinda needed you rn
Do you like Marvel?
it’s problematic and troublesome, but absolutely.
Thor: long hair or short hair?
thor: any hair (why is this a question)
What was the first Marvel movie you watched?
iron man 1, we go allll the way back.
Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield, or Tom Holland as a better Spider- Man (there is only one right answer)?
hah, you’re all WRONG, the best spiderman is john mulaney and i will say that to my gRaVe—
well. that was fun. thanks kenechi. 🙂 i think the thing with hyperfixation is that sometimes you move on from your interests, and the fierce passion that kept you awake for weeks eventually channels away to something else–
but everytime something comes or a reference is made, it comes back again, and that little rush of oh yes this shaped my childhood and helped me become the person i am now is always one little blip of good?
so yeah. i won’t be this calm when the black widow movie comes out, appreciate the somewhat coherent ramble you got today.
clara thought we should do a thing, and i agreed with her.
Do you hear it, the way the silence echoes, overflowing into the places that used to hold the rhythm of the ordinary?
Pacing aimless and bored through the grocery store, searching for misplaced siblings and dancing to terrible radio music, exchanging friendly insults from across the produce section with employees-turned-friends. Being alone on a college campus for the first time, holding heavy doors for vaguely familiar faces, marvelling at the freedom of letting yourself be purposely lost for a while.
Going out for a meal and losing track of the hours, lingering at the long-empty table until closing time to listen to the rambling aspirations of a waitress who’s been waiting for someone to care. Taking the long way home, windows down, leaning too far into open air to watch the trees sway along the edge of the dimly lit park. Mornings that barely exist and afternoons where time stands still, hesitating in the doorway of the tired post office, breathing in the smell of newspapers and fresh ink and forgotten letters.
Turning down the offer of a bookbag at the library and stumbling to the desk beneath a precarious tower of hardbacks, searching through endless pockets for a library card, talking to the librarians about school and movies and summer reading lists. Deciding last-minute to go to an open mic, shoving instruments into the car, reading off a piece of paper for an audience of three and letting them applaud even when the harmonies are more than a little shaky.
Drinking expired hot chocolate and taking pictures of odd little paintings, watching a convenience store sign shine through the rain, cheering for both the overconfident karaoke singer and the uncertain poet alike. Running across the freezing parking lot and still being the last ones in the classroom, fighting headaches and dropping pencils, waiting for a ride home and lamenting over the certain fact that we both failed. Untangling earbuds and stretching out across the ground in the pale sunlight, ignoring the glances of passing students, lining up interesting stones along the edge of the sidewalk.
Wandering with a camera into unexpected places, catching a smile from a stranger, a sunbeam between two road signs, an angry admonishment from the woman in the gas station. Feeling the familiar jolt of empty railroad tracks beneath car tires, piling into the outdated one-room apartment and collapsing on the couch, nearly suffocating beneath siblings and faded throw pillows. Sharing sandwiches and mixed conversation amidst a comfortable sort of quiet, falling asleep to the sound of a humming air conditioning unit and low, familiar voices as they discuss everything and nothing at all.
Those blink-and-you-miss-it moments were the heartbeat of the everyday, slipping quietly away with an unnoticed ease, forgotten until they fell suddenly still.
if you’re reading this, than i assume you’ve already gone over to clara’s (new!) blog and read the first part of this story, i also assume you’re dying to read clara’s part because she is way better at this than i am, and lastly, i assume that if you have no clue what i’m talking about, you’ll hop over to midnight mind and check it out for yourself. yes? yes. yes!
How long is a mile?
Yeah, you should probably know that. However long they are, you’re guessing there’s maybe several thousand between you and home. Maybe more, if your estimation is off.
Everyone warned you about homesickness. The tightness of your heart, the longing, the wanting to drop everything and run back to the place that feels like comfort.
You haven’t felt it once.
You feel slightly guilty, but you push that thought away, because why should you be? You’d been dying to get out, and now that you’re out, you’re dying to stay this way.
The sky looks wide open, like someone took a knife to the clouds, and now they’re bleeding all over a canvas of pale blue. You tug on your sleeves and shiver, but you don’t mind the cold. It’s so warm back home, with things always humming in the trees at night, but here the world feels remarkably clear and bright in its coldness.
You keep thinking back home, but really, is that how it feels? You’ve been here three days, and already you recognize the shape of the moon sliding shyly along the horizon. You remember the colors of the sunsets—two pink and one blood-red so far—and you know the way to your hotel room, which is the only thing you don’t like about this place. Your room before was quiet at night, and though the silence suffocated you at times, you were always able to sink into a peaceful rest eventually. Here, the mattress makes strange noises, and people laugh and shout in the parking lot at two am, and sometimes you don’t close your eyes all night long.
You just stare at the ceiling and wonder about things, and suddenly the sun is rising, and your head is pounding with heavy exhaustion.
Then you roll over in bed, and someone small is curled close beside you, and you see your parents breathing gently in the pale light of morning. They look so peaceful for a man and woman who are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.
A cold wind cuts through your clothes, tugging you back into the moment, and you smile a little, because you’ve found the answer. They’re home. Your parents’ brave voices, your little siblings’ hands in yours, holding tight to each other in a thousand different unfamiliar places, laughing when it should be impossible—
A voice calls your name. Your little sister is running to you, telling you that you’re supposed to come inside, that it’s not safe in this parking lot, her small voice shaking a bit in the cold. You swing her into your arms and run for the hotel lobby, and you’re both laughing in the sudden warmth of the little yellow room as your mother comes around the corner, trying to look stern, but her eyes are smiling as she takes your sister from your arms.
You follow her into the elevator, and as the heavy doors slide closed, you catch a last glimpse of the sunset through the lobby windows. The image stays burned in your mind as you jolt upward, the flashes of color in the dying light trapped behind your eyes forever.
also i haven’t written obsessively in like weeks now, drat. i’ll change that eventually, but enjoy this madness for now.
Never have I ever…
… started a novel that I didn’t finish.
have you seen my google drive
… written a story completely by hand.
i’m assuming you haven’t seen my notebooks, either.
… changed tenses midway through a story.
you probably haven’t seen my writing, period.
… not researched anything before starting a story.
*deletes search history*
… changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.
this is a call out post isn’t it
… written a story in a month or less.
*the a’s and b’s of normal* my one good thing in my nonexistent writing career
… fallen asleep while writing.
aw come on, i looked noble dozing off, didn’t i?
… corrected someone’s grammar irl/online.
i’m a nerd.
it’s my job.
… yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.
ain’t it a total shame “AHHHHH” doesn’t count as “noteworthy reading material”? pfft.
… used “I’m writing” as an excuse.
it is nOt an eXcUSE it’s TRUE
… killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life.
i detest murder
… used pop culture references in a story.
what am i SUPPOSED to do, write like normal people?
… written between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.
don’t judge me i have a hard life
… drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.
they have 5 hour energy shots nowadays. so.
… written down dreams to use in potential novels.
nobody needs to read the time i had to fight in the hunger games but the hunger games was in the set they used for gladiator and right when i had to choose my weapon the matrix glitched and i was a video game character in wreck it ralph
… published an unedited story on the Internet/blog/Wattpad.
stop convicting me you horrid line of letters
… procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.
*looks at algebra 1*
*looks back at the camera like i’m on the office*
… typed so long that my wrists hurt.
my wrists are indestructible
… spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.
they made me get a water resistant laptop for this very reason
… forgotten to save my work/draft.
this is why i only have one google drive and not 3
… finished a novel.
is that honesty i smell
i don’t like it
take it away, it BURNS us
… laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.
my sister chatting with her boyfriend during the last week of july can confirm
… cried while writing a scene.
how DARE you i don’t cry
*oh nyooooooo she discovered her tragic past, poor caseyyy*
… created maps of my fictional worlds.
i was trying to draw a brain, it ended up looking like a coffee bean, this is why i don’t draw
… researched something shady for a novel.
i asked the nsa agent and they won’t let me answer that, sorry
oh, did i say i haven’t been writing obsessively? i lied. i’m sorry. enjoy this snippet from a series i will never work on
“You’re broken.” He smiled. “I like that about you.”
“One of my more redeemable traits, is it now?” She glanced at her fingers, thumb flicking off the dried blood on them.
“I always love finding new projects to restore.” He smiled, although to say it was a smile on his face would be speaking too kindly of him. “I’ll enjoy you.”
Hands laced around a gun.
The girl laughed.
“Aw, don’t you wish.”
She pulled the trigger, and he slumped over.
“It’s too bad I can’t be fixed. Really a shame.”
The girl walked over, tucking the gun into the man’s cold hand.
“But hey, I enjoy doing to others what they would do to me.”
She walked away, the door softly closed behind her. Wouldn’t want to wake the neighbors up after all. Wouldn’t want to cause a scene.
Hasn’t anyone ever told you good girls don’t cry?
don’t ask me where this came from i don’t know
i just realized i employed murder in this scene.
~the words you keep erasing and creating in your mind, jo~
ps. y’all the best of blogging awards is up for voting and too many people nominated me so go forth and vote for the other people, they’re amazing and deserve attention wait this wasn’t related byeeeeee
which i am extremely sorry for but like. finals. i’m glad to be even sitting mostly straight these days.
*i say that like i actually studied* *which i didn’t*
in 2018, i was pretty sure i was the only filipino homeschooled writer/blogger/allthatlovelystuff in existence. *because small minds* i mean, it’s not like i could see anyone else who sat on the couch and watched shmoop videos til lunchtime, right? whoever these mysterious people were that were supposedly just like me, i wouldn’t be running into them anytime soon.
*and yet another fine example of how jo is a moron*
cause i started a blog.
and you meet MANY weirdos on a blog. but like…. in the nicest way possible.
some of the weirdos were the goodTM weird, and one of them was zielle, who used to be up and running at my homeschool notebook a century ago.
i was just shooketh. she had a cool name, she was filipino too, she was hOmEsChOoLeD too, and she just seemed like so much fun to get to know.
and then she left.
for like. a year.
A WHOLE YEAR. WHY.
a year later i somehow mysteriously popped on to this young writer site that is half role-playing, half coffee, and one third awkwardteengerstryingtosocialize, and lo and behold, zielle was there.
and i was totally right because zielle is awesome and i had to leave the site but she’s started a new blog and i’m late but i get to talk about it because write in the dark sounds epic and so, have a rousing quickfire discourse about cultures, stereotypes, and pho.
i actually want some pho now, dangit.
Zielle: Do you always take off your shoes before you enter the house?
jo: ohhh yes. even living in the states, it just made sense to take them off. have you had more than 5 cousins/siblings/relatives?
Yess. I’ve lost track of who I’m actually related to. XD Do you wear your pajamas to ‘school’?
*coughs* guilty. i mean, obviously not all the time because i occasionally take classes and random odd jobs, but otherwise, yes. 😀 do you ever stare blankly at the screen for an hour and then get distracted by youtube?
*grins sheepishly* All. the. time. When writing a scene do you ever wish you were making a movie instead because it seems so much easier?
YES. you just need the dialogue, and occasional actions and aNyThInG sounds better than actually just sitting down and writing. do you ever have grownups talk about you pursuing medicine and other advanced educational pursuits?
yEs. Not all the time, but occasionally. Usually they ask me if I want to do medicine but I’m more of an artsy person. It’s more talk about my future in general. 😛Are you and your family/relatives always on fillipino time/late?
welp, as you can see, YES. XD which is terrible when you’re half american, but alas, it is what it is. have you ever tried lechon or its fellow cultural abomination, dinuguan?
I haven’t, I’m too Australian for that, I think. XD Have other kids ever thought you were from China?
all. the. time. when you’re not chinese and you’re not korean than what could you possibly bE? have you stayed up til 12 am wordsprinting?
Oh totally. Especially during the competitions. And that’s when all my American friends are online! XD Do you binge-watch all of the Blimey Cow homeschool videos?
ya know what, i’ve never actually heard of blimey cow until blogging, and only then i’ve watched like one or two at best. have you ever had to do double school because you didn’t do any the last day?
*grins* Haven’t we all? But then I procrastinate and triple the work. XD Do you eat rice with every meal?
surprisingly, no. XD most meals, absolutely, but there’s a lot of times when rice just doesn’t come into the equation. does your mom/any female influence in your life ever want to plan your debut with you?
Are you good at math and science and music like “every filipino”? If music, do you ALWAYS get asked to sing at Filipino gatherings??
oh my word. math, no. science, no. music, meh. and every. single. time. it’s terrible when all you know is the opening number of in the heights and that is one big rap. XD and let’s not forget all the kareoke that goes on at these things. do people always ask to read what you’re writing WHILE you’re writing it?
YES. I usually avoid telling people about my work, because then they start. asking. questions that i don’t have the answer to XD
Okay. Do you ever get revenge one someone by writing them into your story and killing them?
*dramatically raises hand* guilty as charged. what’s an imagination if you don’t use it properly? XD have you ever tried goldilocks polveron?
To be honest, I’ve never heard of that! I know what polveron is, but not goldilocks polveron…Is pho like the one thing you order when you eat out at vietnamese restaurants?
never. it just never crossed my mind. XD
Do you know what grade you are in?
okay, so i take online college classes, have to go down a grade for math, but i’d overall say i’m in what they call freshman year of high school. it’s the worst. XD have you ever had to answer someone in english when they’ve asked you something in tagalog?
Um yes, all the time!! Especially with my filo friend, he’s always telling me to learn Tagalog when I respond to him in English. I can speak it, but only a little. XD
XD aaaaaaand i do believe that was a wrap! thanks Zielle! this was a ton offun 😀
Thank YOU! I had so much fun doing this! 😀 It’s nice to have someone to relate to.
it is, isn’t it?
you can catch zielle jotting down some significantly more sane thoughts over at write in the dark as of… right now. 🙂
( a and b could be truly anyone you choose. but i feel a bit bad for them, because a and b never have easy stories.)
I’m clingy. Horribly so.
I pace back and forth in front of my phone, hoping it will magically buzz and I can pick it up and know your safe, secure, cheerful voice will greet my ear.
“So are you!”
What don’t I get? Why can’t I move on? Why can’t I say I’m okay? Why do I close my eyes and see the demons of my past? Why are you my anchor point?
Why can’t I let go of you?
I love you.
Maybe too much. Is that possible? Is it possible to love someone til your heart literally hurts?
I didn’t mean to call you. That was accident. I was sobbing on my bed at 4 am and my cheek must’ve pressed dial because there you were, there you were, there you w e r e.
“Shouldn’t you be asleep?” You laugh.
“What’s wrong?” I suppose the harsh sobbing must’ve told you something.
I fell asleep to your voice and woke up horribly guilty.
You didn’t deserve this. You didn’t deserve me to be constantly needing you. You didn’t deserve the screaming and the crying and the being scared, the worry and the fear and the darkness. You didn’t deserve to have to deal with me.
But I’m selfish. I’m horribly, horribly selfish.
“Is this real? Is this real?”
“Yes, baby, it’s as real as anything.”
“I can’t see you. I can’t, I can’t–” the sobs wrack my body.
Someone’s going to ask me about this tomorrow, for sure. Someone’s going to go, “was that you crying last night?” and what am I going to say? What am I going to say? “Oh, were you scared of the dark? Oh, were you homesick? Oh, were you lonely?”
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know?
“hey, hey, just breathe. Just breathe.”
“You’re so far away– you’re so far awayyyy,” I whisper.
“I know.” And for a moment you sound like you’re going to cry too. “But I’m here. I’m here. Can- can you focus on that? Focus on my voice.”
Your voice is a million miles away from mine.
If I pretend, you’re right here with me.
“Shhh– it’s okay, it’s okay.”
“I miss you.”
“I miss you too, dear heart. Should I sing a song for you?”
Maybe I fall asleep to it. Maybe.
You said it was okay. You said I could call you anytime. You said you were tired but you were going to be there for me first thing in the morning.
You were always there.
But you’re not here. And I’m not there.
It hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts.
“I love you, okay?”
“Stay alive, I need you. Please?”
What don’t you get?
I need you.
How could someone as steady and amazing as you need someone as broken and weak as me?
“Shhh. Go to sleep now. I’ll see you in the morning.”
there’s a list of reasons for this. i despise how it’s portrayed as the norm and the only worthwhile kind of love, how cheap a lot of the books in this genre are, how shallow the characters can be, and how overall cringey everything can be. i’d rather not die of secondhand embarrassment, thank you very much.
i’m a complete sucker for romance done right. and by that i mean,
aCtUaL cHaRaCtEr dEvElOpMeNt
an enjoyable plot
honestly good dialogue
a sense of equality (nobody’s superior or inferior)
flufferstuffers (them dratted sweet and simple scenes)
not overdone description! nobody wants to hear how his hair kept being tousled by the wind!
romance is like a steak (at least in the book sense. don’t ask me how in real life. i can’t give you a good answer.). just because it’s on flames doesn’t mean it’s well done.
so because i have no life (and no laptop, mine crashed a few days ago so my uncle let me borrow his) and no clue what the what i’m talking about, here’s a random variety of duos that i shall respect or roast (depending on what o’clock it is and how much sugar i haven’t had, of course.)
yeet! (here we go, for the non-slangy person, you amazing brick of sensibility, you)
anne and gilbert, anne of green gables.
ngl, i hated gilbert’s guts. the jerk. but wait, what do we have here? character development on both parts? yes. rivals in education? unheard of but gimme. dialogue you both cringe at reading because you’re feeling both characters emotions but yet you really sorta kinda enjoy? yes. growth? OH YEAH. a satisfying conclusion? everything except the latter books *cough cough* *because death is never a resolution*
they are: respected. i really enjoyed reading how they both changed from hating each others guts to starting a society together, going to school, and just being great together. ❤
katniss and peeta, the hunger games.
honestly i’m ignoring the third book because why. just why. but even with that there are still a lot of questions here. katniss “loves” peeta to survive the games (that’s so slytherin), and they seem to continue the whole fake thing to continue surviving, with only hints of anything possibly real between the two of them. also the switching between peeta and gale, peeta and gale, peeta and a croissant, it gets old (and it kinda takes up all of book three, so. y’know.) however, equality? both katniss and peeta prove that they’re very capable and come to each other’s rescue when the other needs it, so i definitely appreciate that.
they are: roasted. please don’t kill me, you shippers. it’s kinda hard when a relationship materializes out of a need to appeal to the public, and just… is more angst than actual solid stuff.
cassie and chris, more than a second chance.
this is part of an official, official blog tour, actually, (which you can find the links to the tour and book here and here) and since internet stuff is kinda on the fritz for me, my attempt at a review will probably be on goodreads later.
it’s not.. bad, per say. are these two characters interesting? definitely. do they have arcs? oh yeah. and i really, really appreciate how unique the entire book is and the setting and the concepts.
but there’s just.. something missing. i don’t know. maybe it’s in how stilted and stiff the dialogue seems, or the constant shifting from awkward dialogue mixed in with deep sentences scenes to let’s-have-a-private-picnic-and-stare-into-each-other’s-eyes scenes, or just how overall it feels more like a first draft than a finished book in terms of how these two relate to each other.
they are: roasted. terribly sorry. you seem like nice guys.
rhen and lute, to best the boys.
i just.. i don’t even know how to begin with this couple. both from totally different yet totally equal fields, both still kinda kids and young and they’re in this maze relying on their wits and each other, and lute is one of the rare characters i honestly wish was real, and they put each other first without giving up their individual dreams? uhm, we stan?
they are: respected. and very proud to say it too. JUST GAH THE ART, THE BEAUTY, THE DEVELOPED CHARACTER ARCS.
orpheus and eurydice, hadestown.
this is that awkward part where i really like something but it raises questions (oh there’s a list of that, goodness), because while i seriously love hadestown, the fact remains that orpheus’s first interaction with eurydice is a marriage proposal. like. dude! you haven’t even known her for all of two minutes and you want to spend your life with her. and i can understand wanting to work on your song, but, uh, the point of being married is caring about the other person. also, eurydice, why oh why did you say yes to hades, why, why, why, why, why. WHY. and i don’t know how much of a good idea it is to base your deciding to get married on what someone can give you.
but the thing is that they do start loving each other. and. for real. and despite the rough, tough life and the naivety, they’re real. they’re true.
and, if you’ve studied greek mythology, they GET SEPARATED.
they are: roasted. i love you please don’t kill me but develop your relationship i beg you please please you’re still great in my book but-
i’ve heard it said that people change their ideas of love when they fall into it so, y’know, i could be looking back on this and cringing. but i might not, so.
either way, romantical love is, yes, valid! and when it’s done right, it’s amazing.