Book Courtship Tag

I was tagged once again by MageChild – this is the Book Courtship Tag! This one required some thinking on my part, as I wanted to limit my responses to books I’ve read in the past two years.

courtshiptag

1.) Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?

tbs-aussie-coverThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner – I bought this a couple years ago, and have finally started reading it this month. It’s REALLY good, ya’ll. The writing is superb, especially for YA (not saying anything against YA, but those books are harder for me to get into). It’s just a really engaging, beautifully done book with good characters – which matches the stunning cover perfectly. For those who don’t know, the premise is basically “Titanic in space,” and leads to a sci-fi romance between an underdog soldier and the richest girl in the galaxy.


2.) First Impressions: A  book that you got because of the summary?

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski– When I discovered the niche of postmodernism, House of Leaves was title that kept cropping up. The premise – a house that’s bigger on the inside and the family that it torments, all written in a topsy-turvy experiment of typography – intrigued me incredibly. Thank goodness it did not disappoint. House of Leaves was about everything I expected it to be and everything I wanted.


3.) Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?

Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov – This book is so complex and confusing that I can barely tell what’s going on in it. But I don’t care, because Nabokov’s beautiful, unusual, synesthetic prose is so lovely to read. He describes people in a particularly interesting way, always focusing on the most obscure and sometimes unflattering aspects of their physical appearance, while still making them charming. I have a few works of Nabokov on my shelf, not because I really care about the Russian chronicles he writes about, but because maybe immersing myself in his talent will rub off on me. Whenever I feel like my style is suffering, I open one of his  anthologies and work through a few short stories. It’s just a nice reminder of this is how it’s done.


4.) First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

Divergent by Veronica Roth – I haven’t actually read Insurgent or Allegiant yet, but I think Divergent did a good job of introducing an interesting world with enough questions to keep the reader moving through the series. Honestly though, I found out that some of the questions were just there as bait and ended up with rather unsatisfying answers, so that’s put me off finishing the series. I….tend not to support books that do this to their readers. There are better ways to build suspense.


63345.) Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – This book had a lot of intrigue. Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit of a let down after all that build-up.


6.) Always on my mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn– Rarely does a book hit me in the face with some real-life observations and cause me to reevaluate my life, but man. Gone Girl called me out on so many problematic things I did on a daily basis, from trying to please everyone to judging other women for being “bitchy”. Amy pulled me in with her first 100 pages with that likeable persona of hers, and when she proceeded to call me out for going along with it…man. Gillian Flynn is brilliant. That is all.


7.) Getting Physical: A book which you lolovecraftleatherve the way it feels/looks?

H.P LoveCraft – The Complete Fiction– Any of these Barnes and Noble collectors editions are beautiful, with their gold-leafed pages and leather bound covers. The H.P Lovecraft one is especially pretty, as the nebula on the front is foiled and sparkly. The pages have a nice weight to them too. These anthologies are the best looking things I have on my shelf.


8.) Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin – I had to think hard about a book that is “for everyone”, and really, there’s no such thing. But I think this book has a message that everyone ought to hear, and does a good job of offering multiple perspectives on a very sensitive issue. Plus, if I’m asked to recommend something, I like offering indie/small-press books over mainstream novels, as word of mouth is so much more important to those without a PR team and NYT bestseller buzz.


9.) Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – This series was my first fandom, sparked my first fanfic, and I am still stoked about the (potential) movie that’s stuck in perpetual pre-production. Colfer is an amazing writer and the entire cast of characters in Artemis Fowl will stick with me forever. Especially Holly – one of the best female characters ever put to page.


10.) Share the love:

Any takers can leave their responses in the comments or do it on their own blog ;) Read any of the books on this list? Agree or disagree?

Throwback Thursday #10: Fanfiction

I have a close relationship with fanfiction. Pre-established worlds and obsessive teenage thoughts about shipping and fictional mythology gave me the drive to finish books instead of just starting them. Before that, every work-in-progress or story concept was abandoned by chapter three, as my family shot down the plausibility or I was too limited by my young brain to properly conceive a story world.

I wrote my first fanfic when I was 10, before I even knew what fanfiction was. It was about Harry Potter. I think Goblet of Fire was the most recent HP release at that point, and that was when Ron and Hermione’s chemistry became evident. I shipped them. I wanted them to end up together. So I wrote a story about Harry, Ron, and Hermione on the Hogwarts Express and Harry mediating a fight between his two friends. And I think it ended up with Ron and Hermione confessing their feelings or something.

I can’t remember properly because I lost this story. It was on my old computer – the one with 7 GB of hard drive space and no functioning CD-ROM reader.  I never thought about posting it online anywhere. I just wrote it because I wanted to make it be, and that made me happy enough.

But I was 11 and shy of 6th grade when I discovered fanfiction.net. That was the summer when I became a diehard fan of Artemis Fowl, so I spent most of my summer days on FF.net reading Holly/Artemis stories and other silly things. By the fall, I started participating. I published some things that have been lost in the years since, as I did not save the original files and I deleted them off my fanfiction.net account (things like Artemis Fowl: The Musical, Artemis and The Lost Remote, and a crossover of Artemis Fowl with the movie Clue. I feel like these are probably better gone and buried, to be honest.) To this day, I still have my primary AF-verse trilogy up though….mostly because I like skimming the reviews for nostalgia’s sake. But I’m not telling you the name of it. It really is abysmal. You can see the potential there, I think, but it was quite obviously written by a spastic child.

In 7th grade, I returned to original writing and spent an entire year working on The Outcasts, which was the subject of a previous Throwback Thursday. In 8th grade, I began writing RPF (real person fanfiction) about my actual school friends, met with….mostly outrage from my friends, until I came up with one called Truth or Dare: Dante’s Inferno – or, the only time in my life I’ve ever “pants’ed” a story (I may talk about ToD in an upcoming Throwback Thursday, but that’s one I have to be careful about….because it’s constantly in my “top five shortlist” for projects I plan on revamping. It’s sorta been in development hell because I haven’t been able to get it “right” yet, but I revisit it every couple of years. I really, really adore the concept of it and it’s great fun). My friends loved Truth or Dare so much that I kept writing it throughout the school year, about a chapter a month, until I finally found a way to end it. One of my friends liked it so much that he tried to write a sequel.

The latter half of 8th grade is also when I rediscovered fanfiction.net. I became obsessed with The Office (US), as well as National Treasure that year, and wrote a few stories about each. There was another Harry Potter story somewhere in there, basically my take on what Book 7 should be like. Then Heroes came out and I stuck with that fandom for four years – all the way through high school and part of college. I wrote hundreds of thousands of words – words that allowed me to find my voice and plotting methods and to become a true writer. My last fanfic was published in 2010, and I actually haven’t had a desire to write anymore since. Partially, because nothing has inspired me as Heroes did and 2010 is when Heroes ended. But also, my second-to-last fic was met with mass critical acclaim from the Heroes community, and I finally felt like I’d “made it.” Like I was finally accepted, and therefore ready and determined to be published professionally. Some people can dabble in fanfic while simultaneously working on original fiction. That’s impressive, as I really have to choose between the two. The muses don’t get along and they don’t like occupying the same space.

But I do still read fic occasionally – usually for the Avengers, or Inception, or even strange stuff like True Grit. I’ll even browse through the Artemis Fowl section sometimes. Most of me feels like it was a stage in my life that I probably won’t return to, but you never know when something inspiring is going to come along. Heroes is coming back this spring, after all, and the fanfiction bug could bite me again.