Friday, January 22, 2010

Twidays: A Toy Story

Meadow, have you seen the new NECA dolls for New Moon? Edward's shirt comes complete with wonky nipple rip. And you can even buy the sparkling version!

Why? Why did they have to legitimize the freaky nipple f*ckery by putting it in a doll? And SPARKLING? Really? Are they trying to cash in on the popularity of the Vamp?

Did you notice how Twilight Little Edward was normal-size, but New Moon Little Edward looks like he's about to do the Hulk Smash? I swear, it's like the gave the doll steroids or something before hittin' the mold this time.

It's kinda freaky. He bugs me now. (But not enough to replace him with the weird sparkling ripped shirt one.)

You mean Beefcake Edward? Or really, Beefcake Ed, because he's not Edward when he has a fat neck - he's Ed. Or even Eddie.

He's Eddie the Neck. You don't want to owe Eddie the Neck a favor.

And, did you happen to notice who is missing from the new doll line-up? WHY isn't there a damn Emmett doll? *cries* I suppose I could always just take Fatneck Edward and pretend he's Emmett. I wonder if I can change his clothes? Does CafePress make doll clothes? I need a tee that says, "Emmett" so everyone will know who my doll is.

Especially since Fatneck Eddie is so sour looking. Emmett doesn't look that morose in a single movie. I get that Edward broods a lot, but would it KILL them to make a single "action figure" that doesn't look like he's about to throw himself into the dryer and end it all?

I know, right? Maybe I could paint a smile on my Lil Emmett. Okay, maybe I'm going too far. But how will everyone know who he is if he's not smiling?

I always wanted to learn how to knit. I can knit him a sweater a la Kemmett's Ski Lodge photoshoot.

You mean like this?

Yup, that's the one. Although I don't think I can get jeans that tight on over Fatneck Eddie's shoes...

You're not joking around? Because I am now imagining my Little Emmett - my own PERSONAL Little Emmett - and this MUST happen!

Well, I don't knit YET but I DO REALLY want to learn how so yes, Lil Emmett will be my first project.

*claps and jumps up and down* Oh would you? And a little knitted hat for his head?

Of course! Kemmett's head can't be cold.

Oh right, I will definitely need to keep his head warm. *snicker*

*giggling* Oh, thank GOD. I was afraid you were going to make a comment about how big I was going to have to make it to accomodate his, ahem, head.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stefan and Damon are BACK!

FINALLY! After a long, LOOOONG break, the Vampire Diaries is returning tonight! Is everyone excited? Yes, I know you are. Okay, if you're not, then just play along. OR START WATCHING! I promise, you will love this show. I thought we could all get in the mood for tonight with @RayneatTwilight's Vampire Diaries video. She won 2nd place in the Vampire Diaries Fansite contest. (I kinda think she should have won first place!)

And, I made a video of Stefan and Damon for Twilightheaded - to try and talk the girls into watching, or at least reading the books. It did not work. *glares at Meadow, Spank, and Ginger* But, that should help us get in the mood too!

And, you know how we like to relate things back to books, right? Watch me do that... A lot of people have expressed dismay over the fact that the Vampire Diaries show is VERY different from the books. Luckily, I have not read them since September 2008 and I have a bad memory, so it's not bothering me that much. But, I do understand this point of view. I had just finished the True Blood books when the HBO show started. I tried and tried to watch, but it was so different - I couldn't handle it (even with Eric Northman). I decided to wait and try again when the books weren't so fresh in my mind. It hasn't happened... yet.

I'm sorry I'm not on the Vampire Diaries bandwagon, it's nothing personal, honest! It's just that there is only so much time I can commit to vampire-related lusting and I've used all of it with Twilight/True Blood. I can still WATCH True Blood, but I had to accept that there was a disconnect between the books and the show.

It still drives me a little crazy, but that's mostly just Anna Paquin's acting.

*giggles* Yeah, I've heard that she isn't the best.

What about you? Have you read The Vampire Diaries? Do you watch the show too? And what about True Blood? Does it drive you crazy when the tv shows (and movies, for that matter) depart too far from the text? Can you still watch and appreciate it?

Happy Endings Aren't Just For Massage Parlors

sidebra with sorting hats: ***Spoiler Alert*** This post contains spoilers on both the Twilight saga and the Harry Potter series. If you haven't read them, then please crawl out from under your rock and go do so. Trust us on this.

I know a lot of people who loved reading the Twilight series, but are staunchly "Team Trilogy" - meaning they would rather have the series end with Eclipse. And this isn't solely due to the freakshow of a birthscene in Breaking Dawn. Although that plays into it (seriously, how could it not?), most of the Team Trilogy members hated the whole Disney-esque happy ending that came later. The anticlimactic Volturri scene and the "gooey" finale.

Personally, I love a happy ending. I liked Breaking Dawn, although it's not my favorite of the series, and I still start happy sighing at then end, even if it is a bit much. So, this got me thinking about writing and reading and endings. I saw a tweet from a YA author (and I cannot remember who!) asking about what kind of endings people like - Happy Endings? Ambiguous endings? Tragic but redeeming endings?

I have mixed feelings on Breaking Dawn and it's brand of "HEA" or "Happily Ever After" for a few reasons. On one hand, I didn't want anyone to die. Well, okay, there were some parts in the middle where I thought Jake could bite it and I'd be fine with it, but overall my inner 10 year old wanted it all to tied up nice and neat. On the other hand, while the premise of Twilight was unbelievable (vampires and werewolves and psychics, oh my!) the relationships within the series are what kept us hooked. Real life relationships often don't have neat happy endings like that. So my rational mind fought against it.

Agreed. Honestly, even if the bad guys had died, the ending of Breaking Dawn would have been more substantial, or more believable. I think the fact that nothing was sacrificed made it all the more difficult to swallow. I have to be honest though - after my first reading of Breaking Dawn, I was completely content with the way things ended. It wasn't until the second (and third, and fourth, and...) time reading it that these things started to occur to me.

I think there are "levels" of HEAs. For Stephenie Meyer, obviously her HEA included every character. As a reader, my HEA criteria revolved around Bella and Edward. Personally, as we saw Bella's love for Renesmee, even her death (to protect her daughter and her daughter's future) could be construed as a "happy" ending, as long as her needs (Renesmee's survival) were met. I don't know, maybe I've grown cynical in my old age, but my idea of a happy ending and Stephenie's idea of a happy ending are vastly different.

For example, **spoiler alert here people** Harry Potter had a "happy" ending in my mind. Even though people died.

I could not agree more! And, when Dumbledore died, I ugly cried. Serious sobbing. But, his death only made the story that much stronger. And the deaths in Book 7 were almost unbearable, but again, it made the ending all the more powerful. I still get chills (I have them right now) just thinking about the ending of the Harry Potter series.

Oh, me too! I think this is the point, though. Each author was true to the story she wanted to tell. I'm not debating strength of writing or anything like that. I'm just pointing out how each had different criteria.

I think that Meyer had a love story and at the end of the day she wanted her characters happy. I can see how, for her, that happiness needed to come without any hint of sorrow. Sure, it's not realistic, but it's what we'd all want out of life. Rowling, however, had a story of survival and friendship. I feel like her message was one of good conquering evil and as long as evil was vanquished then she accomplished her goal.

Well said Meadow. And perhaps the reason millions of people love the Twilight saga is because it's, as you say, what we'd all want out of life.

Especially the becoming a vampire thing. Because we all want to be sparkly vampires now! *wink*

So tell us your favorite happy endings, and we'll discuss them along with ours next week!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

And the winner is....

F*cking Reading Rain-bow!!!

It was close until the last hour - and then FRR pulled waaay ahead.

We decided to give a free copy of Shiver to the second place winner, @rxmeds96 AND to a random winner chosen by Random Integer...

Comment #4 on last Monday's post came from trystawhitlock.

Congratulations to rxmeds96 & trystawhitlock!
Send us an email and we'll get you both your copy of Shiver!

And now, on with our regularly scheduled post... *hangs head in defeat*....

sidebra: Each week I’ll be sharing about a book I’ve read, but I won’t be doing plot summaries or reviews. I’m basically recommending books and hoping to start discussions about them. I’ll always link to a review/synopsis for you all, if you like that sort of thing. Personally, the less I know about a book before I read it, the more I like it, but I love getting recommendations. And for that reason, I’ll also link to the person who recommended the book to me, so feel free to email me with book suggestions! I love them!

Since we are giving away the book Shiver today, I thought it appropriate that it be the first book in the F*cking Reading Rain-bow series.

Shiver was recommended to me by Ginger *nods braid at G* back when she read it on her Yosemite vacation. I believe she said, "I want to go hide from my family and read this book," which is a great recommendation, in my opinion. When I recommend this book to my friends, I thrust it in their hands and say, "Read this. You will not be sorry. Grace and Sam, I promise you, will rate up there with Bella and Edward."

The first thing I loved about Shiver was the writing. It was beautiful and lush, without being too verbose or flowery. Truly, it was always just enough at the right moment. One detail that stands out particularly is when Grace finally is able to approach her wolf. I could literally feel the wolf's fur beneath my fingertips as Grace buried her hands there. The intensity of that moment is burned in my mind forever.

Since Maggie Stiefvater has described Shiver as, "a YA novel about werewolf nookie and first love," (which is the most awesome book description ever) I'm going to assume it's safe to reveal that this book is about a werewolf and his girl. I love how Stiefvater makes up her own wolfy rules- throwing out, or adding to the generally understood myths of the werewolf. Sam's existence is not pretty - it's gritty and heartrending. But, beyond (and because of) his burden, Sam is a wonderful character. I instantly adored him. He is sincere and thoughtful, and is able to see past a person's errors when love is involved. He's no Edward, but that is what I liked about him, actually. He isn't perfect and his existence is not something one would aspire to, but he is real.

And lest you think I am going to compare every book to Twilight, be assured, I will not. But, when I finished this book I thought about it for days - and wanted to re-read it again quickly, which is just how I felt after finishing Twilight. Sam and Grace haunted me, and I found my thoughts always returning to them throughout the days following my first reading. The books and characters are not really comparable, but my feelings about them are.

And the good news? Thankfully, Maggie Stiefvater has written the sequel, Linger, which is due out July 20, 2010. *bounces in my seat* I can't wait!

And here is where I ask for your feedback. If you've read the book, what did you love/hate about Shiver? (I know you didn't hate anything about it!) How do you feel about Sam and Grace? If you haven't read it, are you planning to? And, seriously, why haven't you? *grins*

And please remember - if you're going to comment with spoilers, please give a big old ***SPOILER ALERT*** before you do so.

Links and such:

The Crooked Shelf