Friday, March 5, 2010

Twiday: Redefining Glamour

Okay, I don't usually put much stock in fashion magazines anyway, but a friend forwarded me this link and I realized that we needed to discuss.

KStew is #5 on the list of the most glamorous women of 2010? Did I miss the memo about greasy mullets being the "it" trend this year?

I was checking out the list - and, um, Lady Gaga is on there too, so I'm going to have to say that Glamour has lowered the standards.

Glamour is trying to appeal to a broader audience. I applaud them for trying, but I'm not sure why the audience they chose must have been "Heavy Drug Users."

Okay, but to be fair, Kristen Steward does clean up well. I think she's come a long way from the Mtv Awards with the red-dress-and-converse look.

I agree! I actually really LIKE Kristen Stewart. I appreciate her whole "I don't give a flying f*ck what any of you people thing" attitude. But, again, not exactly glam. I mean, is this Glamour's "Most Improved" list?

If it was most improved, she'd be number one.

Right. Because it takes some serious skill to go from this to this:

You thought I was going to use the pot bikini picture, didn't you? I couldn't. It was just too easy. 
(image sources: Socialite Life and Kristen Online Gallery)

*still trying to make sense of this mixed up world in my mind* Maybe she made the list because of the nipple ring?

Right, because Nipple Rings are so glamourous.

*snort* I have nothing against nipple rings. I think they're kinda bad-ass. You know it's probably just a pastie and she's trying to screw with all of us.

I think Summit should jump all over it, though. Can you imagine the sales of nipple shields at Hot Topic if they put TWILIGHT all over them? Dreamcatcher shields, little moon and stars danglies... The possibilities are endless! Bwahahahaha!

*runs off to create an Etsy store that is sure to live in Regretsy infamy*

Sidebra with holes for the Twilight Nipple Rings: Rain is going to be out of commission for the weekend. She is having her wisdom teeth removed, and as if that wasn't enough she also finally recieved her referral from her adoption agency about her newest addition to her family: a little Ethiopian girl! I'm over the MOON with excitement for her, so bear with us if this blog is a bit Meadow-heavy while she adjusts and plans for her new baby girl!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

I have to be honest, I was skeptical about the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was written by someone other than Seth Grahame-Smith (the author of PP&Z) and I am skeptical of prequels in general - I mean, I already know what happens, so what's the point? But, I'm happy to say that I was wrong to be so cynical. Dawn of the Dreadfuls was a fun read - and in some ways, even more interesting than PP&Z.

Now if you're a PP&Z fan, don't get me wrong - that was a great book. You really can't beat Seth Grahame-Smith when you're talking Jane Austen and zombies. But, what I liked about Dawn of the Dreadfuls was that it was an entirely new story, but with completely familiar characters. Hmmm... kind of like fan-ficiton, yes?

Dawn of the Dreadfuls tells the story of how Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia all come to be warriors against the dreaded zombies who have invaded England. Mr. Bennet is wonderful in this book, leading each of his daughters to find her inner warrior. Mrs. Bennet is pure comic relief - and done so well that I actually found myself laughing out loud.

I think if you liked PP&Z, you will like this book. If you can get past the whole, "Why didn't Seth Grahame-Smith write this book?" question (as I had to), you'll enjoy it. It has quick wit and a lightheartedness, even amongst the zombie slaying, that I found refreshing.

Dawn of the Dreadfuls will be available on March 23rd. In the meantime, Quirk Classics is giving away some prize packs that include advance copies, audio books of PP&Z and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and lots more. If you'd like to enter, go here and post on the Quirk Classics message board. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We Love Chicks Who Can Kick Our Asses

I recently read this roundtable on strong heroines in YA literature from writers Tessa Graton, Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff. (If you have time - go read it - it's worth it!) Basically, the women discuss what it means to be a strong female character in literature, and this mainly includes a more cerebral, rather than physical, type of strength.

I'm fascinated by this partly because my unfinished thesis for my MA is actually on strong female characters (Look! I'm doing "research"), but also because I feel that a female character's strength is no longer measured only by her mental or emotional capacity. She has to have some element of bad-assedness to go along with her inner strength.

What I'm trying to get to in my long-winded fashion, is that while I agree with the three Merry Sisters of Fate on their ideas of strength - I also really enjoy a character that can kick some ass and save the day. Granted, it's asking a lot of my heroines for them to be strong-hearted and also be able to fight like Chuck Norris, but many times those are my favorite characters in YA lit.

I definitely agree that I prefer reading about a woman who can hold her own in a fight. This may stem from the fact that I was suspended for fighting in middle school. (I was just defending myself! Apparently school bullies don't like it when their fake authority is questioned.) It proves a very important point, though: if you're going to put your main character in dangerous situation, she better be able to defend herself. Especially since most of the lit I read has a fantasy/sci-fi bent. If you're going to face down demons at the Hellmouth (Buffy forever!), you better know how to wield some legendary weapons.

We expect our male heroes to be both resourceful and strong (emotionally and physically.) Now that women and men are seen in a much more equal light in the real world, I don't think we should expect any less from our literary heroines.

Buffy is a great example of the kind of young woman I'm talking about. I think her character actually started, or was a big part of starting, this trend of emotionally and physically strong women.

One of my favorite female characters who embodies this is Katsa, the protaganist in Graceling by Kristin Cashore. If you haven't read this book, I definitely recommend it. Katsa is such a great character and the story is really well done. I also love Katniss from The Hunger Games, and Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments series, just to name a few.

I think Clary from Mortal Instruments would also fit the description. She had to be emotionally strong, sure, but she also had to face very physical dangers. Maybe she didn't know how to strangle an enemy in their sleep, but she did stand her ground when faced with a real danger.

I agree completely. Clary definitely grows into her role as a strong character. I love the moment when she puts on the Shadowhunter clothing, you can almost feel her changing into something more.

Who are we forgetting? What do you prefer to read: physical strength, emotional strength, or both? Tell us!

Monday, March 1, 2010

We Interrupt Our Normally Scheduled Programming...

If you've come by today expecting Reading Rain-bow, it will be up Wednesday this week. We're participating in Quirk Classic's "All-Out-Worldwide-Zombie-Blog-Explosion-2010." Yes, seriously, that's what it's called. I can' t promise explosions on Wednesday, but there will be a link to a contest giving away advanced copies of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

And, since we normally post our general thoughts on books on Wednesdays, that post will be up tomorrow instead!