February 2014


So, I haven’t posted on here in forever. But I have finished reading a few books over the past few weeks and have a few recommendations among them.

 

I think the last time I made a post about books I was reading Stick, so I’ll start with that…

 

Stick – by Andrew Smith – This book about Stick (real name “Stark”) and his older, gay brother Bosten was an enjoyable read. It wasn’t a super happy read (their home life was terrible), but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I wanted to give most of the characters hugs. I liked that it was mostly about a sibling relationship, and brothers at that. I am drawn to stories about boys/men dealing with emotional stuff and having to talk about it with other boys/men. Man feelings. Can you dig it?

 

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares – by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – I very much enjoyed the premise of this book. Lily and Dash communicate via a shared notebook and they make each other go on little adventures. It was a friendship story where people were friends through the written word before meeting in person. (Of course it develops into a story about teens liking each other, because that’s how these things take shape…) I loved this book until I really didn’t. It took a really strange (re: wholly silly/unbelievable) plot turn toward the end and took me out of the magical cuteness that the story had been up until that point. I don’t like when things get silly. I don’t feel it advances the plot and it actually is quite insulting. As a reader, I don’t like it when the author (or authors, in this case) takes the story on a route that pulls you completely out of the book. I honestly stopped reading at one point, shut the book and heaved a heavy sigh of disgust. I still liked this book (for the most part), I just wish it would have taken a better route to get to the ending.

 

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List – by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn – This is the first thing (co-)written by David Levithan that I hated. I couldn’t wait to finish the book because I needed to return it to the library as soon as humanly possible. I could not stand the female protagonist and her immaturity. Naomi (straight high school girl) was basically madly in love with her gay guy BFF Ely and she kept getting mad at him for not returning the feelings (and for kissing her boyfriend, who turned out to be gay). It’s frustrating to read about characters who are best friends even though one of them is a kind of terrible/selfish/ignorant person. I liked Ely for the most part, but even he got on my nerves. I do not recommend this book. I just… ugh.

 

Maurice – by E.M. Forster – I’ve seen just about every E.M. Forster film adaptation except for Maurice, so I was very keen to track down this book and read that before I ultimately track down the film. It was interesting to read about the relationship between two guys set in the early 1900s, but heartbreaking at the same time. I admit that I skimmed the last half of the book (it was due at the library the following day and couldn’t be renewed), but I got the general gist of it. It was a good read and I really do want to see the movie.

 

Gone, Gone, Gone – by Hannah Moskowitz – This book is about a gay teen named Craig who is living near DC post-9/11 (when all the sniper stuff was going on). Someone broke into his house and all his pets ran away. Also, his ex-boyfriend’s father died in 9/11 and was now at some mental institution. Craig falls hard for a new kid, Lio (he was a cancer kid and his twin brother died when they were younger). So, basically a lot of drama on top of even more drama. Oh, and these boys love each other after a few weeks/months. Do 15-year-olds really fall in love like this? Every time I read a YA book and the 13-16 year old characters go on and on and on about falling in love, I’m like, “Really?” I think back to when I was in middle school and early high school. I wasn’t in love with anyone. I had massive crushes on people, yes, but even then I knew I wasn’t mature enough to be in love. So when I read all these books about kids falling in love, I wonder if I just missed out on something early on, or if I’m supposed to suspend disbelief because everyone just loves reading about people being in love. (For the record, the book I’m writing is about high school juniors and though they like each other an awful lot, they are not going to profess their love for each other because they’ve known each other for, like, two months.) I thought this book was a little too heavy on the drama, but I liked Moskowitz’s writing style and decided if I came across any more of her books, I’d give them a whirl.

 

When Love Comes to Town – by Tom Lennon – I pulled this book off the shelf at the library because the spine was the hands of two guys clasped. I was pleased to see that once I got the book off the shelf, the book front and back had the two guys – just two dudes wearing plaid shirts and jeans holding hands. Adorable. The book itself was a little less adorable, but really interesting. It was about this gay high school senior named Neil who knew he was gay since he was about 10 or 11, but was scared to come out because it was Ireland in the early 90s. Throughout the book he told some people and tried to embrace his identity. He went to a gay bar, he chatted up and befriended some other gay guys, and he finally told his parents he was gay. His story had obvious ups and downs and I just kept asking “But what about Ian?” as Neil found himself falling for a guy named Shane even though Ian from school was the better choice of who he should be with. I liked this book a lot and it was really cool to read an Irish book about LGBT youth.

 

Marco Impossible – by Hannah Moskowitz – See, told you I’d read more of her books if I found them. The premise of this book was kind of cheeseball – 13-year-old Marco and his sidekick/BFF Stephen were going to break into the high school prom so Marco could confess his love to Benji, who was on his way back to England for the summer. (Again – 13-year-olds in love?)  Though I balked at the premise, I actually enjoyed the book. It was cool to read about Marco and Stephen’s friendship and how Marco being gay was not a big deal but a very big deal at the same time. Straight Stephen was mad that Marco was going to a different high school than him come the fall, but during their night of shenanigans in order to get Marco into that prom, Stephen finally pieces together that Marco has a target on his back at all times because he’s gay and he’s not safe because some of the other kids are out to get him. Reading about hate crimes makes me sad. I mean, I got picked on in school for being a bit of a nerd, but little Marco gets his locker bashed in and death threats because he likes boys. You legitimately worry that Marco’s plan to publicly proclaim his love for Benji is a fatal trainwreck just waiting to happen, but you still want to watch it happen because maybe, just maybe, it won’t turn out as bad as you think it probably will. I liked this better than Gone, Gone, Gone because there was a healthy dose of comedy surrounding the more serious moments.

 

The Death Cure – by James Dashner – This is the prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy and I haven’t finished reading it yet. I actually started reading this after Gone, Gone, Gone but I find it so boring that I put it down and read the other books instead. It’s due at the library this week and I don’t feel like renewing it, but I will try to finish reading it even though I am really not liking it. I thought it was going to be about Thomas and Theresa pre-Maze, but it’s not. It’s about characters I don’t really care about thirteen years before The Maze Runner takes place. I’m maybe 11 or 12 chapters in so far and I’m very underwhelmed by the writing and the plot. I honestly wish I hadn’t started reading this, but I feel obligated to finish it. Once I finish it, I have two newer David Levithan books waiting for me.

 

So, yeah… this is what I’ve been reading the past few weeks.

 

If you have any good recommendations, let me know!

Okay, so by now you probably saw on Facebook or other parts of this vast thing we call the Interwebs that there is an upcoming interview with JK Rowling where she regrets having Ron and Hermione ending up together and that their union was more of a “wish fulfillment” than a necessity to the plot. (Here is a link to an article on Hypable. I’m not a huge fan of that website, but the site I read the article from first linked its source as Hypable, ergo I will as well.)

Despite this reveal, Ron and Hermione are still my HP OTP because, for me, this relationship actually works. And why does it work?

Two words: Star Wars

“Buh-what?” you say?

Yep, Star Wars. Ron Weasley is obviously the Han Solo of the group, Hermione is the Leia and good old HP is Luke Skywalker. Even though I have came this conclusion on my own, other people have also pointed this out and I cannot/will not claim this as my own. (The HP franchise is similar to the original Star Wars trilogy in many ways, but for now we will just focus on the three lead characters.)

Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger work well together because their differences complement each other. Ron is street smart whereas Hermione is book smart. Ron is family-oriented whereas Hermione is an only child. Ron is pureblood whereas Hermione is muggle-born. Ron thinks with his heart whereas Hermione thinks with her head.

But, for as much as they are different, they share a lot of the same ideals. In the books, Ron’s legitimate worry about the house elves’ safety was what finally made Hermione go for it. He cares about what she cares about – it might not be in the same way, or the same level of caring, but he does his best and tries hard to do what’s right. They’re both best friends (and true family) of Harry Potter. Ron is the brother Harry never had while Hermione takes the role of sister and mother. Harry and Hermione would never work (in my opinion) because she sees him as someone who needs to be minded/tended to – not someone who she would see in a romantic sense. Ron is worried that Hermione thinks that she would be better off with Harry (hence what he saw when they were trying to destroy the locket), but really she wouldn’t.

Harry and (movie) Ginny are a terrible couple (because movie Ginny was underdeveloped as a character – she lacked the sass and maturity of book Ginny). But Harry and Hermione wouldn’t make a better couple. If anything, it would be like watching Luke pine for Leia and squirming because you know their love is more familial than romantic.

OR

You could also use a Little Women analogy (though this is a bit of a stretch, but let me explain). Hermione is like Laurie and Ron is Amy (even though he’s definitely more of a Meg or Beth because Amy is truly despicable…). Hermione was always meant to be a Weasley and Ron was her only real way to gain entrance to that family. But Ron and Hermione’s feelings/love is real, or at least waaaaaaaay more realistic/believable than Amy and Laurie’s love. (BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW LAURIE AND JO WERE MEANT TO BE, OKAY?)

So, yeah… that’s my two cents.

I don’t care what JK Rowling’s intentions were/are or that she regrets Ron and Hermione ending up together. As a huge fan of the books and movies (as they are separate entities), I thought this pairing worked. I thought their relationship progressed naturally over the course of the books/movies.

Long story, short… You can call me Captain Smith because I will go down with this ‘ship.

❤ Ron and Hermione 4ever ❤