Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thought of the day. A problem with clothes

I want to address the clothes issues right now. If you have ever picked up a fantasy or romantic novel you will know that the men tend to wear stuff that most guys wouldn't dream of putting on.

Its not that the clothes are bad, its just that very few non goths put black on black if they are not wearing a tux. so when the hero shows up in black jeans and a black shirt i raise my eyebrows. Or the leather. Most guys own maybe a leather jacket. They do not own leather pants. I really don't think leather pants on a man works in reality. They are a nice idea but in testing i get the feeling they would be horrible.

Lets make a deal and put the heroes in clothes that normal guys would wear. that means something they pulled off the floor in a hurry or yanked the nearest thing off a hanger or out of the drawer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks

There is this moments that happens in a lot of fantasy romance novels, where a heroine is suddenly told that they handsome man she just met is a vampire/werewolf/zombie/mummy/goat/a car/the spawn of Satan/etc. At this point he will say that she has to trust him, even though they just met three days ago, she needs to trust him because they are meant for each other. I normally gag or roll my eyes for a few minutes before i go on reading.

In the past Sparks has been one of the authors that has been notorious for these moments. Not this time ladies. This time the characters have a long distance skype relationship for several months. Also the leading female has this creepy stalker serial killer.

But really other than that this is a formulaic book. Sparks has a formula and she sticks to it. Girl is doing somethings, girl bumps into guy. Guy is vampire. (only two books of the entire series have not done this) They have passionate encounters. Girl notices she can only meet guy at night/he has no reflection/drinking of the fake blood. She has minor freak out. He explains to a point. She is weary. Evil vampires attempt to kill her/him/them/others. They bound deeper. In the next book they have a wedding.

I was not expecting anything new and i didn't really get it. The only difference is because there is a few months that are skimmed over when the girl finds out that her beau is a vampire she doesn't completely flip and takes the whole "trust me" better because she knows him. Besides this one change i am pretty much underwhelmed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

In the last few years i have become more and more wary of the young adult section in my local book store. At one time i would make a bee line there and then not leave for hours until i had turned over every book to make sure there was not something that i had missed.

Then came Twilight. Twilight effectively killed the young adult section as i knew it. what was once a place to find stories that invovled teens as the main characters suddenly became the head quaters for romances involving emo teenagers. I started to shun what was once my safe heaven.

Twilight also did another horrible thing. It took what had once been a dark and entertain subgenre of vampires, werewolves, wizards, fairies, angles, demons, and all things occult and suddenly turned all previously stated creatures into brooding emo teens who have way too much hair gel. My once hard to find favorite creatures have suddenly become the only thing that is being published. I now must keep a critical eye on books with these creatures for fear they might be Twilight spawn.

So when i saw Hush Hush in the book store for several months in a row i became curious. The vampire books had been polluted, possibly the angles and demon books were still free of the evil taint.

These days it is really really hard for authors to surprise or confuse me when it comes to plot twists. I have read so many books that i can sense mood and pick up on foreshadowing before others even know it is happening. So when i say that half way through i was perplexed and asking Chris if he thought i was on track or guessing to what happens next that means something. (Chris told me i should be happy that for once i didnt know the ending half way through.)

Hush Hush is the story of Nora Grey, a curly haired smart girl who lives in Maine. Her father was recently murdered and her mother is never home due to work. (For any of these books to work the parents have to be missing, this is a fact.) When the biology teacher (why is it biology? i mean really. Nothing interesting ever happened in biology class, these teen writers need a new class for the interesting things to happen in) changes the seating chart she is suddenly sitting next to the transfer student Patch, who is the ever familiar tall, dark, handsome and cocky (not emo!)

Nora has a few near death and freaky shit things happen to her and suspects Patch, who is constantly making large sexual overtures at her. Then she meets two nice clean cut guys that seem to be really into her for no reason she can see. Oh and a new guidance counselor that is very anti-Patch, even though Nora never mentions him to the lady.

The book does creep well. And besides the fact that Nora doen't really get that she is pretty she is a pretty decent main character and she doesnt completely ditch her best friend for the hot guy which i totally approve. My issue is with the ending. It sorta comes out of nowhere. All sorts of strange things are happening left and right and i am going for a head spin when all of a sudden in a moment of cliche Nora learns about who Patch really is. But this is at three fours of the way in. Then all of a sudden she knows the truth, people try to kill her several times (not including the earlier failed attempts by none other than Patch, talk about issues) and there is a dark school building, and then its over.

When did this whole, put all the really interesting things in the last fifty pages become a thing? I know what a climax is, but it not supposed to be the majority of the plot condensed. The book was long and a hardcover, but i would have much preferred that the author maybe spread out the knowledge and the assassination attempts.

Over all the book was good. It suffers as all young adult novels suffer from the issue that being a teen for a main character means you always seem to miss the sensible options and do something stupid. The real test will be when the sequel comes out. Seeing as the book left some strings dangling it will be important to see how Fitzpatrick ties them up and either keeps the creep, or now that less people are trying to kill Nora, creates and equally puzzling chain of events for me to read.