Sunday, February 26, 2012

Peeta Bread Humor

There's a meme (Internet running joke) for perspectives of college majors and career fields such as this one:

The two in the middle are my favorites.
Then this "What people think I do" meme spread to interests including literature. Here's one for Peeta from The Hunger Games:
Once again I like the mom one. haha.

I found another meme with Peeta and burnt bread:

The movie is coming out in March. Read the book beforehand. The rating is PG-13 so teenagers can enjoy it. Thus, some scenes will not make it to the screen including most likely the last death in the game which I am grateful it is not. I had no problem with that scene in the book, but I am fine not facing it again through another medium.

If you find funny The Hunger Games images, then I'd like to see them. They do not have to be Peeta. I just feel that I know that character better than Gale from the first two books.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gamer's Valentine

Here's a Valentine I thought was cute and worth sharing:

The first two lines refer to iconic game characters.

Done with Poison

This cover shows the long nose bridge
just as described in the book.
I finished Poison by Chris Wooding.

The story is about a girl named Poison who feels alienated in her town even within her family, which now includes a new mother. Her baby sister, Azalea, is one of only two people that Poison is comfortable around. Therefore, when Azalea is kidnapped by the Phaerie Lord, Poison musters courage to leave her home and find Azalea. The result is an enlightening adventure that changes her perspective of the world and her life.

Once I finished the story, I felt satisfaction and uplifted because Poison found her place. =)

WARNING: There are big spoilers towards the end of this post. I will warn you again right before that part.

Throughout the book, the narrator sets up questions for the reader such as:
  • Why was Posion's sister taken away?
  • What is the significance of the spider Lady's dagger and does it wield a power?
  • Who is the Hypotroth?
  • How will Poison's story end?
Each answer carries weight in the story.

There were some elements that I have seen before, which happens more as you read more, but the experience did not feel repeated. Now that I think about it, Wooding may have used classic Fantasy elements on purpose. After all, Poison noticed how fairy tales strongly related to her adventure and for a reason!

I agree, Ron.
One of those elements was a giant spider like in
The Incredible Shrinking Man 
(Sci-fi not Fantasy), The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. Outsmarting the spider was still suspenseful with some fun. Poison dreaded the Lady of the spider realm more than the spiders. My only repeated experience was that I was grossed out by a giant spider.

When Poison researches the scarecrow, I remembered Pennywise (from Stephen King's IT) in an album. I reread that particular scene for thrills, but by the next two chapters I forgot the scene. Wooding wisely reminds the reader of it during the scarecrow's reappearance.

As I said before, Katniss' attitude in The Hunger Games reminded of Poison, especially when describing their homes. I felt that Poison was for a younger age range than The Hunger Games until the story took a meta twist. =) Middle schoolers will be spellbound by the concept of meta-fiction and even adults will find it intriguing. As a quick definition, metafiction is a story within a story. A new definition I heard is fiction on the process of fiction because it is a story that covers storywriting. I won't say more. Wooding explained it for you in the story.

One problem I had with the book was that some lines sounded too fantastical. I had to reread them to grasp the action and meaning plus those lines were not necessary. When Poison traveled to new places, I ignored these fantastical lines after the first attempt. Sometimes a writer feels pressured to have clever lines, but the words need to flow with the rest. Otherwise readers lose their trance. Newsweek writer Elmore Leonard has stated, "If it sounds like writing I rewrite it."

The rest of this post mentions big spoilers because the scene discussed is close to the story's end. I will not list all details though.

The day after I finished reading Poison, I remembered a scene that struck me as odd for a hero, especially for young audiences. Throughout Poison's journey, she bluffs and taunts threats. With Aelthar, she tried to tone down her attitude, realizing that it can hurt her chances. But when she was stabbed, Poison did not watch her attitude. Had she not learned? Her life was threatened the most at this moment.  Even if she had felt almighty about her new role, Poison should know that her life was still at risk. She saw what happened to Melcheron.

I questioned if Poison should be considered suicidal at this point because she provoked her stabber to strike again, "'Finish it. The last laugh will be mine.'" I understood she was helpless in this moment and hurt badly, but shouldn't she at least want to live now? She had wanted to die before, but her role is different from that point.

I did enjoy the adventure though. And after the last line, I turned the page to a blank one and felt as if I had just experienced magic because the story actually ended at that line. Haha.

What did you think of Poison? How about that odd moment I mentioned?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Troy & Abed Shirt

I have a lot to blog about including Johnny Cupcakes! But for this post, I'm going to return to Megan Lara who has done Art Nouveau style T-shirts.

"Dope Adventures" T-shirt
Today on, Megan Lara has a T-shirt of Troy and Abed from Community in the styled of the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes."
At first I was a little disappointed that they don't look much like Troy and Abed. But then I thought about their relationship. Troy is the boyish innocent one while Abed is the rational one. So Megan Lara matched up the personalities well.

And then I looked at the details. If you know Troy and Abed, then you will appreciate the comic title "Kick-Puncher." =) They have also like blanket forts, and they now room in one in at the end of season 3. The little mug says "Special drink,"  which I think refers to Abed's chocolate milk recipe. So Megan Lara has succeeded in putting Troy and Abed elements in the "Calvin and Hobbes" setting.

You can get the shirt HERE for $10, but only for 8.5 more hours of today. The web page has a countdown for the duration of the shirt sale. Afterwards the shirt will no longer be sold at TeeFury. You will have to find the shirt on another website, which will sell the shirt for at least $20.

Here's a picture of "Calvin and Hobbes" for those of you who need an introduction to them:
Calvin and Hobbes

You can read the comic strips in book volumes now. Some adventures, including the great ones, last more than one strip. The names were chosen from philosophers John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes the tiger is actually a stuffed animal that Calvin imagines as a real tiger and his best friend.

There's no fooling myself now that I'm nostalgic and sentimental. I will get the shirt!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Reading Status

I am currently in between books right now.

Last week I finished reading Poison by Chris Wooding. I will talk more about Poison on a separate blog post. For now I will say that I enjoyed the adventure and the twists, but I am unsure of the heroine's attitude near the end.

After watching the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I started reading the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley. 
Ramona looks happier
in the books than in
the movie.

From the movie, I felt that the battles with each ex represented a boy's inner struggle when dating a girl on a higher level. He feels insecure about the previous relationships of the girl and hopes she won't see him as below them. So when Scott wins a fight, it can be a victory of self-esteem. 

In both the movie and the graphic novels, I crack up on the video game aspects including the pixelated Universal Studios opening. The graphic novels cover more than Scott's current relationships. I just finished vol. 2. 

One new release that I added to the top of my reading list is I, Robot: To Protect.
From glancing at a copy at the store, I thought someone just retold the story in their own style. However, from Amazon reviews, I saw that the book is a prequel to I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. One review states Dr. Susan Calvin is shown to become as she is in I, Robot. Now I am interested. =)

The other new release I want to read is The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson.

A blogger states that she loves the author Dickerson's evil villains and sense of danger in her stories. The Merchant's Daughter is similar to "Beauty and the Beast." This book seems to be about 2 main decisions.

The first decision is to be the lusty bailiff's wife or a disfigured man's temporary servant. You don't have to think too hard on that choice.

Because the heroine is a servant instead of a prisoner or an arranged guest, I think of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The second decision reminds me even more of Jane Eyre. The heroine has a spiritual dilemma: the path she chose for herself or God's true calling for her.

And finally, a friend recommended Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay to me for suspense.

How about you? What are you reading?