Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Actual Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Brief Summary: Mara Dyer, whose name is not actually Mara Dyer, wakes up in a hospital to learn that she was in a building with her friends when it collapsed and they all died. She doesn't remember anything. She has hallucinations and her mother wants to have her committed, but she convinces her parents to move instead, claiming that if they move away from the place where she's constantly reminded of her friends, she'll do better. So they move to Miami, where Mara and her older brother are enrolled in a stuffy private school with people who do things like put signs on other people's backs. There she meets Noah Shaw, resident bad-boy who for some reason takes an interest in Mara even though she makes it a point to act as if she's not interested in him. He's got a reputation. But, alas, it turns out he's really one of the few people she can trust, and he's got some secrets of his own. Oh, and he has an English (not British) accent.
Review: The more I think about this book, the more obsessed I become with it. I love the idea of a narrator we don't know if we can trust. I mean, I liked that Mara didn't even trust herself most of the time. It's not very often you come across a first-person protagonist with psychological issues this involved. She walks into a classroom and sees the whole thing collapse; she stands in front of her mirror and can have conversations with her dead friends (not that she wants to); she sees earrings at the bottom of scalding hot bathtub water and gets second-degree burns to retrieve them, only to discover that they were in her ears the whole time. Yeah, girlfriend's a little off her rocker. It makes for extreme suspense and entertainment, especially as she slowly recovers her memory of the night that changed everything-- and learns exactly how dangerous she is.
And as if bad-girl Mara weren't enough, enter Noah Shaw. Finally, a bad-boy love interest who is ACTUALLY BAD. He only ever denies one rumor about himself, indicating that he did, in fact, earn his reputation. Hallelujah! I'm so sick of stories where the leather jacket-wearing, edgy and brooding boy is just misunderstood and actually does things like write poetry and practice celibacy. Noah Shaw fights, threatens, has one-night stands, defiles children's books, and smokes cigarettes. Because he can. Are any of these less-than-desirable qualities the reason why Mara won't let herself fall for him? No. She won't let herself fall for him because she thinks he will break her heart. And then because she thinks she's a danger to him. I'll take "characters on antipsychotics who actually have logical reasons for not falling in love" for 200, please. Who is Mara Dyer? That is correct! (Also a good question.)
This book has an irresistible balance between dark-and-twisty and throw-your-head-back-and-laugh-hysterically. Two words: animal crackers. I was cracking up for 3 pages. And then you've got your awesome supporting characters, like Daniel, aka Mr. Perfect, who's witty and the kind of older brother any girl would want; and Jamie, the dreadlocked foreboder who amusingly warns Mara against getting involved with Noah-- but remains her friend even when he thinks she's ignored his advice. Wait, she does something he disagrees with and he doesn't unfriend her?!? I know, right?! I loved him and his one-liners and his condescending terms of endearment.
Basically, this book is unlike anything you've probably ever read. And you should read it. And then you should buy animal crackers and start calling people "asscrowns."
Since I make the rules on my blog, I give this book 4.5/5 stars. NOW GIVE ME THE SECOND ONE.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Survey!

One rule: You can't use the same answer twice.
1. What book are you currently reading?
Well, I'm between books. I'm waiting for Pandemonium to get to my house on Tuesday, and I finished The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer yesterday (review to come).
2. What is your favorite book?
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (I say this not because Mockingjay isn't also my favorite, but because I saved it for a later answer)
3. Who is your favorite character in any book?
Augustus Waters.
4. What character are you most in love with?
Peeta Mellark.
5. What character are you most like in personality?
Katniss Everdeen.
6. What character do you look like?
Tris Prior. Small, with a plain face that competes with blond hair and blue eyes.
7. What character do you wish you were more like?
For some reason I want to say Alaska Young, even though I know she's all tortured and whatnot. It's the self-assured thing.
8. What book do you think is underrated?
Mockingjay. Severely.
9. Favorite bad boy character?
Noah Shaw. Because he actually did earn his reputation.
10. Favorite bad girl character?
Mara Dyer. She crazy. (Those two are such a pair)
11. Favorite English character?
Etienne St. Clair ("But he's not English! He's American! And he lives in France!")
12. Favorite author?
This is such a hard question to answer. Because my favorite books are The Hunger Games books, Suzanne Collins. Because he and his books are both made of awesome, John Green. Because I agree with her on everything and I love her books more than is probably healthy, Stephanie Perkins. Because she talks to her fans more than any author I've seen, and treats them like their questions are worth her time and their theories are valid, Cassandra Clare. And because she's completely crazy, Maureen Johnson.
13. Name a character with a psychological problem that you share (be it serious or not).
Anna Oliphant, obsessive compulsive.
14. Name a character you will/would defend to the ends of the Earth.
Will Herondale.
15. Favorite redheaded character?
Finnick Odair.
16. Favorite love triangle?
17. Favorite blue-eyed character?
Cricket Bell.
18. Name a character people wouldn't expect you to love, but you do.
Gale Hawthorne.
19. Favorite book you've read this year?
The Fault in Our Stars
20. Favorite villain?
President Snow.
21. Name a book you could/would not finish.
22. Name a book that made you angry.
Imaginary Girls ...I'm still not over what a waste of time that one was. I want to wring the main character's neck, as well as her sister's, as well as EVERYONE ELSE'S.
23. Name a book that made you happy.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
24. Name 5 books you're looking forward to.
1. Insurgent, 2. Mara Dyer #2, 3. Promised, 4. Isla and the Happily Ever After, 5. Clockwork Princess
25. A random fact about your book preferences.
I am fascinated by books involving secret societies (especially within schools) or factions, i.e. the Loyal Order of the Bassett Hounds in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks; the territory wars in Jellicoe Road
26. Favorite childhood book?
Well, I didn't really read that many books as a child. There was the Series of Unfortunate Events, but I was 11 when I started reading those. In 4th grade I read this book Wait Till Helen Comes and I loved it (early sign of my taste for the dark and twisty).
27. Bad book habits?
Lately I have not been timing my book-reading correctly, so I'm left without one to read for a couple days until I get back to my dad's. Also I buy them instead of, like, getting them from a library, so I have a lot of books and not a lot of money. Also I buy them on Amazon instead of from real book stores :/
28. Do you have an e-reader?
29. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
One at a time. I feel like I'm cheating on them if I don't do it that way.
30. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
31. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
My comfort zone is pretty expansive, so not often.
32. What is your reading comfort zone?
33. Can you read on the bus/in the car?
No, unfortunately.
34. Favorite place to read?
Don't have one.
35. Do you ever dog-ear books?
36. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Only school books.
37. What makes you love a book?
Above anything, I have to care about the characters and they have to be interesting. And then the plot has to be interesting. And then the writing has to be awesome, obviously.
38. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Depends on the person I'm recommending it to.
39. Favorite genre?
Don't really have one, other than YA.
40. Genre you rarely read?
Adult. haha
41. Have you ever read a self-help book?
42. Most inspirational book you've read this year?
Considering I already said TFiOS, probablyyy... The Sky is Everywhere
43. Favorite reading snack?
Pretzel M&Ms
44. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone. I kept expecting it to get better instead of appreciating what I actually did like about it.
45. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don't have exact percentages, but usually I do.
46. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I'll only do it if I really, truly hated the book and want to stop people from wasting their time on it. If I'm lukewarm about it, I'll usually give it 3 stars and try to focus on the things I did like.
47. Most intimidating book you've ever read?
I don't really read intimidating books. Buuuuut I just had to read one about the politics of the Swat Valley for political anthropology, and it was not fun.
48. Books you're most likely to bring on vacation?
Ones I haven't read yet. If it's a beach vacation, summer books. Obviously.
49. The longest you've gone without reading?
Recently? Probably a weekend.
50. What distracts you easily when you're reading?
My FATHER intentionally TALKING TO ME when he can see that I'm REALLY INTO a book.
51. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Water for Elephants. I liked the movie better than the book, I think.
52. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Twilight. Obviously.
53. The most money you've ever spent on books at one time?
Huhuhuhuhhh... about $220.
54. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Well I never just buy a book on a whim. I make sure I'm interested first, either through reviews or reading the first chapter on Amazon.
55. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?
Only boredom can do that.
56. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I like to keep everything organized.
57. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you've read them?
If I liked them, I keep them. If I didn't, I try to sell them.
58. Are there any books you've been avoiding?
That I already own? Yes. That's all I'm willing to say on the matter.
59. A book you didn't expect to like but did?
Birthmarked. I avoided it for a while but got it for Christmas and was surprised by how much I liked it.
60. A book that you expected to like but didn't?
Tiger's Quest, the second in the Tiger's Curse series. It was pretty horrible.
61. Favorite historical fiction book?
The Book Thief
62. Hardcover or paperback?
I don't care. A book is a book.
63. Favorite book nobody has heard of?
Well, I know people have heard of her, but I feel like Deb Caletti is seriously overshadowed by the likes of Sarah Dessen. So anything by her.
64. Favorite classic book?
The Great Gatsby
65. Write something that only people who have read a certain book will understand.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cover reveal: Promised

OOOH! Prreeetttyyyyy. I'm a little upset that the Prized and Promised covers don't match my version of Birthmarked (also that Birthmarked doesn't start with a P), but whatever! I like this one!
Release date: October 2nd! This is good news, after the three incidences of bad news I have discovered lately (1. That Isla and the Happily Ever After got pushed back to 2013, 2. That The Madness Underneath isn't out until January, and 3. That Clockwork Princess won't be out for AT LEAST A YEAR.)

And now I must go decide whether to suffer through the rest of Incarceron, or start/reread a different book.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

One obsession leads to another

So remember how when Safe & Sound first came out I was all like DOIFHASDF;OIHSDF; THIS IS THE MOST PERFECT SONG EVER?
You know how I still go all SODIFHAEOS;IHFSD THIS IS THE MOST PERFECT SONG EVER when I hear it?

Well, I think Safe & Sound might just be the beginning of my oncoming obsession with The Civil Wars. I had no idea I'd like them so much. Honestly, I didn't even know they were this country. I love me some country music, and this is kind of like oldschool country meets The Wreckers meets something totally different that fills a hole in my life I never knew was there. Soooo. Yeah. I would have gone to bed by now if it weren't for the fact that I just bought their full-length album as well as their EP and must finish listening to both before sleep.

It makes me kind of angry that they aren't played on country radio, but it also makes me kind of glad. Country radio, as much as I will defend it against all the old-timers who think everything was better in their day, has evolved so much since music like this was played on it. It doesn't really fit anymore, but it's still a shame. GOOD THING THEY HAVE TWO SONGS ON THE HUNGER GAMES SOUNDTRACK! soperfectsoperfectsoperfect.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A reader scorned

So, earlier Cassie Clare reblogged someone who wrote an "essay" (not a formal one, obviously; it's Tumblr) about why she ships Jem/Tessa and Jace/Clary at the same time. Now, I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bitter that she reblogged this Jem/Tessa shipper for her "thought-out" essay or whatever, while my [in all honesty] better-written, Will/Tessa-shipping ones sit ignored. But that's not what this is about. I actually agree that it is possible to ship Jem/Tessa and Jace/Clary, because the love triangles in which they are involved are nothing alike. It is not necessarily true that you must ship Will and Tessa if you ship Jace and Clary simply because Tessa and Clary are the main characters, and Will and Jace are the edgy Herondale boys with lots of angst.
Something to keep in mind: I never shipped Simon/Clary. I thought it was awkward. But I haven't always shipped Will/Tessa either. I knew I loved Will, but Jem intrigued me to the point where I was ambivalent about which choice Tessa should make. Until Clockwork Prince.
However, I don't really think it's useful to point out that shipping Jem/Tessa is possible even if you ship Jace/Clary. First of all, everyone ships Jace/Clary. If everyone who shipped Jace/Clary shipped Jem/Tessa, that would mean Jem is the more obvious choice-- which is kind of the whole problem with the TID love triangle. There is no obvious choice, because no matter what happens they're all going to get hurt. Also, Tessa and Clary are actually not that much alike. Neither, in fact, are Will and Jace, though they do have similarities. I think it's important to believe in couples based on their actual relationships, and not based on their comparisons with other couples. By which I mean that saying you ship Jem/Tessa because Jem and Tessa are friends and know each other pretty well is pretty short-sighted, and in my opinion a little incorrect. Will knows Tessa. Knows her enough to see that writing an apology of sorts in one of her favorite books will make her come around to him; knows and understands when she still loves Nate even after everything he's done; knows her enough to differentiate between when she can stand up for herself and when she needs his help. Jem does say that Tessa won't break, but he still often treats her like she will. He's never in favor of letting her do things that put her in danger, even when they're important to her. Will understands that when something is important to Tessa, it's better to help her than to try to stop her. And yet, I agree that there are a lot of things Jem and Tessa know about each other that Will doesn't. That even makes me ship Will/Tessa more, because I don't really buy into the notion that a better friendship always leads to a better relationship. Tessa loves Jem because of the things she knows about him, but she loves Will despite all the good things she doesn't yet know about him. Now that she has the chance to learn what kind of person he really is-- and she has already begun, based on how he agreed to suffer in silence so that Jem could be happy-- she'll see that he's actually just as good a person as Jem is, and that can only make her love him more. He won't always have to be the mysterious, angsty Will Herondale who pushes people away.

I ship Will/Tessa because, to me, they are equals in their relationship. They can stand not only side-by-side, but toe-to-toe as well [see picture above, for instance]. People seem to be under the impression that Will only loves Tessa because of the things she wrote in her letters, which is not true. Although they are a part of it-- and I will point out that they were letters she never thought anyone would see, so she was free to be her true self, and he loves that Tessa as well as the external Tessa-- he loves her because of who she is. He says he fell in love with her almost the moment he met her. Not love at first sight, but not love that only came from her letters either. He loves her because she is passionate, she genuinely cares about people, and she makes him laugh [which is pretty difficult for anyone except Will himself to do]. He loves who she is, just as Jem does. But Jem and Tessa do not seem like equals in their relationship, because they are always so eager to take care of each other (Jem with the over-concern every time Tessa does something dangerous, Tessa with the agreeing to marry Jem to make him happy). It seems like one of them is always standing behind the other, rather than side-by-side [again, see picture above]. Which is fine, but there has to be more. They can't be afraid to disagree or yell or argue with each other. Yes, they have passion and are obviously attracted to one another, but Jem loves Tessa so much that he actually believes his love for her is keeping him alive, while Tessa is completely torn between him and Will. She has chosen, but only* because she was under the totally reasonable impression that being with Will was not a possibility. She mentally chastises herself every time she thinks of Will-- but still she thinks of him. It's not possible or fair (to anyone) to ignore that, just because Jem is the more pragmatic choice.

The big question is really who Tessa loves more, to which I believe the answer is Will. If she truly loved Jem more, this triangle wouldn't be quite such a big problem, would it? She wouldn't be burning herself on fire stokers or sneaking glances at Will or wondering about who he really is. She might be pained by Will's pain, but she wouldn't torture herself over it.

To sum up:
Will/Tessa-- shared interests, side-by-side, make each other laugh, still more good things to learn, and I'm not going to lie: the angst does make it more romantic, at least in my opinion.
Jem/Tessa-- friends, deep affection for each other, happy together, but they stand behind each other (which is not always good).

* I say "only" not to minimize Tessa's feelings for Jem by insisting that she only picked him because she couldn't have Will, but to point out that she probably would not yet have chosen either of them if she had actually thought she could be with Will.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Now I'm just a basket case

So, I have this habit of finding ways to relate songs I hear to books/TV shows, and sometimes they are really perfect fits, if I do say so myself. Sometimes only a few lines match up right, like that time I matched Mockingjay with The Story of Us by Taylor Swift (yeah, not my best work), but this one... man, I'm good. Because I follow Cassie Clare on Tumblr and therefore am constantly reminded of my heartbreak (and yet I will not unfollow her because I Love This Pain [that's Lady Antebellum]), here is my line-by-line dissection of Basket Case by Sara Bareilles and how it relates to the Infernal Devices.
Notes: "I"= Tessa; "You"= Will; "He/him"= Jem.

I don't want to talk about it to you
I'm not an open book that you can rifle through
Tessa won't admit to Will that she loves him, because it won't make things any easier on him to know that she does. This is right after he tells her that he loves the girl in the letters ("open book that you can rifle through"), so she wouldn't want to be that girl anymore, to spare him the pain of loving someone who can't admit she loves him back. Also, they both love books.
The cold, hard truth that you see right to
I'm just a basket case without you
The cold, hard truth is when Will says "You can never love me," because he realizes that it would be dishonorable for Tessa to tell him she loves him when she's engaged to Jem. But she is a basket case without him, because after this whole scene she goes and burns herself on a stoker to distract herself from the emotional pain with physical pain. If that doesn't say "basket case," I don't know what does.
He's not a magic man or a perfect fit
But had a steady hand and I got used to it
I feel like this might minimize what Tessa actually feels for Jem, but come on. It's pretty appropriate. Tessa's feelings for Jem didn't really start until she was fully convinced that Will only wanted to use her for her smokin' bod. Jem is, by definition, the "steady flame."
And a glass cage heart and invited me in
And now I'm just a basket case without him
Glass cage heart= breakable. Jem. He never thought he'd have a chance to fall in love, so if Tessa were to tell him about Will's and her feelings for each other, he would probably be crushed. Also Tessa agrees to marry Jem after he tells her that loving her is keeping him alive. And of course she would be a basket case without him, too, because she does legitimately love him.
You're beggin' for the truth
So I'm sayin' it to you
I've been saving your place
But what good does it do?
Now I'm just a basket case
Now I'm just a basket case
Back to Will, wanting to know if Tessa does love him, but the only truth she can tell him is that she is engaged to Jem and therefore can't say she loves Will. And she really has been saving his place-- it even says in the book that a part of her would always belong to him. But it does no good, because of the aforementioned engagement. So she's a hand-burning basket case.
I don't say much and it'll stay that way
You got a steel train touch and I'm just a track you lay
She doesn't say much to Will about how she feels about him. He only had a sense that she might love him back because of the things she does: kissing him, coming to get him from the ifrit den, that whole thing in the infirmary. The "steel train touch" part is especially accurate based on Tessa's previous close encounters with Will, how they pretty much attacked each other. Also, figuratively, it could relate to Will deliberately hurting everyone he cares about, specifically when he called Tessa a barren prostitute monster.
So I'll stay right here underneath you
I'm just a basket case and it's what we do
Well, this isn't exactly what it sounds like. One, even after Will calls her a barren prostitute monster, Tessa still has feelings for him. She stays under his influence-- when he's in the room with her, she chastises herself for admiring him, and when he's not, she chastises herself for thinking about him. Two, it reminds me of the party at the Lightwoods'. Which was, you know, the day after Jem was improperly romancing the young lady in his bedroom. It's what basket cases do.
[Chorus again]
Won't somebody come on in and tug at my seams?
Oh, send your armies in of robbers and thieves
To steal the state I'm in, I don't want it anymore
To me, this verse isn't actually about wanting someone to come and tug at her seams; it's a sarcastic comment from someone who feels like they already are. Tessa is so torn by the end of Clockwork Prince, and obviously she doesn't want to feel this way, so she becomes kind of self-destructive (in a minor way, of course).
[Chorus again]
Now I'm just a basket case
The repetition of this line at the end is a lot like at the end of Clockwork Prince, when Jem announces their engagement out of the blue and Tessa has to deal with Will being in the room to hear it. Obviously there is a good chance this will make the "basket case" situation four times worse.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Watch this show.

Okay apparently I'm writing a blog every single day of this week, but I don't care! I'm changing it up a little tonight, though, and talking about television (I never thought I'd say ME talking about television would be "changing it up").
Namely, New Girl. This is the first show with incessant dirty jokes that I have ever loved. It's pretty much the only show these days that makes me look forward to new episodes, besides The Finder.
What is it about New Girl that makes me want to watch episodes repeatedly even though they're only a half hour long?
-Jess. A lot of people can't stand New Girl because Jess has just a little too much quirk for them, but I like it. I like that she's not afraid to be who she is, and I like that she's a little bit detached from reality. It's not a hindrance to her. Heck, she even helps other people with her weirdness, her unflinching optimism.
Favorite Jess quote: "I brake for birds, I rock a lot of polka dots, I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours, [...] and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird, and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it, or something to make it just slightly cuter. [...] I'm about to pay this $800 fine, and my checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch!"
-The D-Bag Jar. This whole concept is so completely necessary, especially for a character like Schmidt. I wish people in real life had these jars (particularly a certain manager at work). The things they come up with for Schmidt to say/do in order for him to put money into the jar. This show has some seriously fantastic writers.
-When Jess moved into the apartment with the guys, it was expected that there would be awkwardness because she didn't know them. And there was. But it didn't last long, and now they are completely comfortable with each other and all of the guys defend Jess, and it doesn't even seem unrealistic. I'm so sick of situation comedies, and this is not one of them. This show is character-driven and completely unpredictable. Refreshing.
-The dialogue. The things they end up talking about on this show! The arguments between Schmidt and Nick about towels and conditioner. The times when Nick and Jess are lovingly at each other's throats because they have such different worldviews.
-Never has a show ever been able to make me feel so uncomfortable with the things the characters do WHILST still feeling comfortable with the characters themselves. Schmidt... why do you do these things? And why do I still like you anyway?
-Last but least least (yes, least least), Nick. Sometimes he is the voice of reason amongst a loft full of crazy people, and sometimes he's just as crazy as the rest of them. Cynical, pessimistic, usually-right Nick. I love the relationship between him and Jess, because he always tries to bring her head down from the clouds and she always tries to get him to be a little less... Nick. It doesn't work, of course, but it's fun to watch. They balance each other out, and I love that even when Nick has a girlfriend, he's almost overly concerned about Jess (case in point: on tonight's episode, Jess befriended their landlord and Nick was convinced that he only wanted to get in her pants, so he wouldn't let her be alone with him in the apartment. And then when he was proven right, he went back to being another one of the Crazies by nearly having a threesome with her and the landlord just so she would say he was right.)
Favorite Nick quotes: I'm only working with tonight's episode here, but that's because there are so many from each episode that I couldn't rightfully choose a favorite. Jess: "You never smile." Nick: "Smiling is a sign of weakness." (later) Jess: "You always assume the worst in people." Nick: "Because people are the worst!"
Basically, people should watch this show. There are no cheap laughs, and I still end up in laughing fits [that usually involve tears] just about every episode.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Know, don't know, guess.

I apologize in advance for this. Because it's another rant about FREAKING SHADOWHUNTERS AND THEIR FREAKING FAMILY TREES.

Calming down. Calming down. Writing coherently. Trying to write coherently. Grasping onto whatever shred of coherence I have left. ALL THE FEELINGS I AM SO CONFUSED. How does this woman even know what's going on inside her own head?!
[Imagine this is a family tree. That is what it seems like.]

Things we know (using mainly last names that are relevant in the Infernal Devices):
-Jace is a Herondale. Stephen Herondale's son. Good. Okay.
-Clary is, technically, a Fairchild.
-Alec, Maryse and Isabelle are Lightwoods who look like Herondales. Actually, they are Truebloods who look like Herondales, but it's more amusing to think of them as Lightwoods who look like Herondales.
-Magnus knows something about parabatai where one died and the other one was destroyed by it.
-The main character in the Dark Artifices, Emma, is a Carstairs. I repeat: the main character in the Dark Artifices is a CARSTAIRS.

Things we don't know:
-How is Stephen Herondale related to Will Herondale?
-How is Jocelyn related to Charlotte? It's probably not even a big deal. It wouldn't be earth-shattering news if we found out that Charlotte and Henry are her great-great grandparents or something.
-How are the Truebloods related to the Herondales? In that vein, wouldn't it mean Alec and Jace are actually related by blood? In that vein, how?
-Is Magnus's parabatai story about Will and Jem, or does Cassie just want to freak us out?
-HOW IS EMMA RELATED TO JEM? Jem was an only child, as far as we know (but we also know the tendency of Shadowhunter siblings to pop out of the woodwork). Did he have a paternal uncle we don't know about? Why wouldn't we know about this uncle? Why wouldn't Jem have gone to live with him when his parents died, instead of going to the Institute? Also, the Carstairs-es(?) are not present in the Mortal Instruments, but the Herondales are. How did they get separated?

My theories:
-I don't even know how to begin to theorize about the Herondale family tree. Ideally, it turns out that Tessa can have children, so Jace & Stephen and/or Alec & co. are Will's descendants. But realistically, they would have to be descendants of a Herondale cousin (unless somehow Cecily could have passed down the Herondale name).
-I'm not really that concerned with forming theories about Clary & Charlotte.
-Again, ideally the Truebloods are related to the Herondales because a female descendant of Will/Tessa married a male Trueblood, and thus the Trueblood name was passed down until Maryse became a Lightwood.
-Preferably, Magnus's parabatai story is not about Will and Jem. Preferably neither of them dies, and Magnus once knew some *other* parabatai who were "so close they were almost the same person" (my logical side is telling me this can't be Will & Jem because they are not almost the same person. Will says they are "one" or whatever, but they are two very distinct people. Yeah, I'm listening to my logical side. *nods vigorously*)
-I've already stated my Carstairs theory, which really only brought more questions. The cycle continues.

Oh and one more thing: WHERE THE HECK DOES TESSA FIT INTO ALL THIS? Is she a warlock? Does the fact that she doesn't have the warlock mark mean she can have kids? Does she have kids?!

My only solace in this whole mess is coming from the fact that Cassie said she'd do a family tree after both TID and TMI are done. I'm probably going to need it, even when I've read all the books and know the answers to all the questions I care about.

I'm feeling Divergenty tonight.

I should clarify: "Will" is not Will Herondale. Different series.
This is wrong for so many reasons.
1. Will is a pretty unimportant character.
2. Peeta... Peter... Peeta... Peter.
3. He would be going backward, from a LEADING ROLE in a GIGANTIC movie to a medium-sized role in a medium-sized movie.
4. I am pretty sure there is no description of Will that says anything like "Will looks exactly like Josh Hutcherson."
5. Josh Hutcherson DOES NOT DO ANYTHING EXCEPT ADORABLE. I will not stand for it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Unidentified snippet theories

So, I've been compiling a mental list of theories about Cassie Clare's "unidentified snippets" for a while now, and I think it's time to write them down. So I can either say "I told you so" when I'm right or, you know, lie and say "my idea was better" when I'm wrong.

To my son,
If you are reading this letter, then I am dead.
Well, Cassie has explicitly stated that one version of City of Lost Souls is going to have a letter from Stephen Herondale to Jace as an extra feature. So I'm guessing this is the beginning of that letter.

"In your eyes, I have always found grace."
This sure sounds like something Jem would say to Tessa. But if we're thinking outside of the box, it could be something Magnus says to Alec if Alec's having one of those moments where he's jealous of people Magnus has had feelings for before. He knows about Will and has never gotten a straight answer regarding him, so he probably has more questions to ask. My out-of-the-box theory about this is that Alec asks how they look alike, and Magnus explains the eyes and the hair. But then he obviously has to say something to explain why he's in love with Alec and not Will, so he states the difference. Alec's eyes could possibly have grace, while Will's never did. I'm not just spitballing here; it could be true. Will has never exactly been known for grace.

He stopped dead. "Tessa told you?" he said.
Now, I have two different theories for who "he" is, but I get the strange feeling that the "you" is Sophie (my initial panic was that "he" was Will and "you" was Jem, but I'm pushing that thought down). It's probably either Gideon or Will speaking. If it's Gideon, he's probably talking about something we find out later, and if it's Will, he could be talking about... you know... The Thing. I mean, Sophie is the one who came and helped Tessa when she burned her hand on the fire stoker. It's possible that Tessa could finally give in and tell Sophie why she really did it, because she knows she can trust Sophie to keep it a secret.

his parabatai rune was bleeding
Hokay, so, my first thought for this one was "well, the H in 'his' isn't capitalized, and there's no period at the end of it. So it's not a whole sentence, and therefore there is more to the sentence, and therefore it's not as dramatic as it sounds." But who am I kidding? It doesn't matter what the rest of the sentence is, because this part is A BIG DEAL. I am about 70% sure this is Will/Jem and not Jace/Alec. Oh the implications! It could be a literal bleeding from battle or an attempt to disfigure the rune (WHY?), or it could be a figurative bleeding because the partnership has been injured (NO!), or it could be both. It is probably both.

Marry me today.
Initial thought: Jem is dying. Jem and Tessa are already engaged. My thought now: I'm not going Infernal Devices on this one because it's too painful. I'm siding with the person on Tumblr who made a nice piece of art featuring Magnus and Alec.

She slid the gold ring back on her finger before heading into Jace's bedroom.
Well, I doubt the Morgenstern ring actually fits Clary, and I see no reason why Jace would have proposed to her. I'm going really out-of-the-box and saying that Jace finds out that Tessa is his great-great-great grandmother (I will hold on to this possibility until it is explicitly confirmed that Tessa is a warlock) and the "ring" in question is a Herondale ring Will had had made for her when they (inevitably) got married. Jace has invited her to the New York Institute to ask her about something important, considering she knows a lot about the Herondales and can probably explain that whole Silent-Brothers-have-ties-with-them thing. I mean, I can't say I know why Jace would care about that, but I still do. Wishful thinking.

Will's hand looked brown and sunburnt by contrast, their fingers dovetailed together like piano keys.
Okay, this is kind of a lame unidentified snippet. The only places my imagination will allow me to go with this is that Will and Tessa are holding hands, or Tessa is observing Will and Jem holding hands (because Jem is probably dying... *sobs*).

He kissed each finger, and with each of them spoke a word. Five fingers, five words. His last.
AAAHHHHH. Once again I'm trying to think of a possible City of Lost Souls scene here but coming up with nothing. I can only picture Jem lying in bed holding hands with Tessa on one side and Will on the other and the five words are "Take care of each other." Or maybe "We will be together again."

"Did you..." he could barely bring himself to ask. "Did you like it?"
"Yeah." Her voice was husky. "I liked it."
LOLZ. I can imagine the fanfics about this one. "He" is probably Simon, because scenes with Jace and Clary are not usually written from Jace's perspective ("he could barely bring himself to ask" vs. "her voice was husky" --the narrator is definitely in "his" mind, not "hers"). I'll let you draw your own conclusions about that one. But it could also be nothing like that. Say, for instance, Isabelle has tried some strange vampire thing because she and Simon are obviously developing a little something-something. And "he" is Alec or Jace.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lauren Oliver's giveaway!

Oh FOLLOWERS! If you're a book nerd (like me), and if you like dystopian books (like me), and if you *particularly* like Delirium by Lauren Oliver (like me), and also if you like chocolate (like me), enter Lauren's giveaway! Free copy of Pandemonium!