Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reading Rainbow: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I know that we usually only rec YA books, but every now and then a book comes along that, while not categorized as YA, has that "YA feel" to it.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is one of those books.  (And you all know I mean that as a very high compliment, because YA books are the best!)  I was very excited to read this book, mainly because of the gorgeous cover, but also because of the much-discussed, intriguing first line, "The circus arrives without warning."  How could I resist that?


From Goodreads:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

I will start by saying that I have a HUGE love of imagery, especially when it is does well.  Some people find this book "too descriptive" and I could not disagree more.  I loved the every last word of this book, and nothing seemed superfluous to me.  Each scene (and oh, the scenery!) seemed so real, so vivid - I could not help but fall in love.  

And then, THE STORY!  It's mysterious, romantic, dangerous, and magical all rolled into one amazing story.   It does jump around quite a bit, so if you're a detail person, pay attention to the dates at the beginning of each chapter.  It took me a bit to realize that the book is not linear, and sometimes this bothers me, but not so in this case.  I loved the way the story folded in and knitted itself together in the end.  The last line of the book (prior to epilogue) actually made me gasp and say (out loud), "Wow, that was good."  

So, if you want to sink into a delicious novel that will keep your mind's eye very busy, definitely pick up The Night Circus.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Edward Cullen Discusses the Name Renesmee

  If you're new-ish around here, you may not know that Stacie and I met over a mutual love of - wait for it - Twilight. Two young (shut it) moms bonding over Twilight? Why, that's a completely original story that NO ONE ELSE ever shares. Except, like, everyone. So, new or not, it's not exactly shocking. When we started the blog we used to kick around with some Twilight-themed posts for fun, which it was, but as time went on we moved on. (Publicly, at least.)

With the advent of Breaking Dawn: Part 1, however, we felt compelled to break our Twi-silence. No, this is not a recap. (We liked it a lot, in case you were wondering, but it was not without the lulz.) This is more of an homage to something the movie did right. There was a lot of humor in this one, and for once it was intentional. We both especially loved a small bit where they poked fun at Bella's choice for a baby name. In honor of that, I give you a conversation that should have happened about the worst name ever chosen in literary history.
"I knew I should've played for future-baby-naming rights!"

Edward Cullen Discusses the Name Renesmee with His New Vampire Wife, Bella

Listen, Bella, honey, we need to talk about the baby.

No, not Renesmee, that's what we we need to talk about... No, no, no! There's no other baby, I just meant.. Okay, this isn't going how I'd planned.

Here's the thing - See, we all thought you were going to die, right? I mean, honestly, no one expected you to make it. So when you suggested Renesmee, well, we just didn't see the point in disagreeing with you. Why upset you more? You were already so pale and thin and lifeless. But then it was obvious you were going to make it through and we realized we couldn't say "Renesmee" without snickering.

Look, sweetheart, we're not making fun of you, really. You were in a lot of pain, and with all the hormones and everything you weren't thinking clearly. It's just a bad name. Even Esme hates it, and she likes everything. 

Don't huff like that. Admit it, it wasn't your most thought-out decision. I can see it on your face.

Anyway, we were going to wait for you to come up with a new name, but with the way she's growing we really weren't comfortable with that. She heard us mention Renesmee and sent me the image of her puking on Rosalie, so I knew we had to do something. No, I swear I am not making that up. Next time you pick her up try it, you'll see.

The bottom line is that we've decided to name her Norah. I thought you might like it because it has the same old-world feeling as Esme and Renee. It seemed important to pick a name that none of us have "associations" with, if you know what I mean. Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Not using the name of someone we've eaten, turned, or dated pretty much ruled out all the traditional names. Okay, so not 'dated' in my case. But I couldn't name our daughter after someone I'd had an impure thought about, could I? And we couldn't use anyone that Rose remembered as being a, and this is her term, not mine, 'skank' from any of our past high schools. And then there was Jasper. We made it halfway through the list on without finding one he hadn't... well, you know... so we decided to ignore his history.

Plus, you had that one Norah Jones CD in your box so I figured you wouldn't hate it.

Bella, You have to believe me, we all spent hours pouring over this.

All of us except for Jacob, that is. He's come up with his own nickname for her.

I'm pretty sure it's the Quileute word for "I swear I'm not a pedophile."