Friday, October 17, 2014

This section was SO SAD. Please tell me I'm not the only one who sobbed through the last three chapters.

At first I was Team Clara Doesn't Need Either of These Boys and then I was Team Tucker and now I'm Team I Can't Decide. Is Tucker stupid? Does he really think that a few days after Clara's mom's death is the right time to discuss their relationship?


Christian might be right. We belong together. That's hard to den. He's my purpose, at least a big part of it. But Tucker is my choice.

That's it! Link up your discussion posts and/or your reviews. My review will be up later this week.

Radical Read-along: Hallowed Day 5 Discussion

Radical Read-along: Hallowed Day 5 Discussion
This is my discussion post for chapters 17-21 of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. WARNING: There are spoilers for Hallowed and Unearthly in this post.

Christian takes Clara to Aspen Hill Cemetery, where her mom is to be buried. He promises to be there for her when she needs him. He knows that she and Jeffrey are Triplares -- and he's one too. He says this means they belong together. His uncle has taught him about the Triplares and believes there are only ever seven of them on earth at at time. They are very powerful and must be protected.

Christian tells Clara he's been having a new vision of the cemetery and one in which he kisses her right where they're standing. They kiss for the first time then and Clara, too, feels like they belong together. She pushes him away.

The next day Clara goes to Tucker's rodeo competition. There's another girl there cheering him on, Allison Lowell, one of the girls he took to prom last year. Clara reads her mind and discovers that Allison really likes Tucker but knows she has no chance with him. Clara leaves without talking to Tucker.

Clara spends time with her mom, who gives her a charm bracelet and says that they will find each other in the glory. Clara asks again about her mom's purpose. Her mom says that her purpose is Clara. She explains that when she first met Michael, she recognized him because she had been dreaming of him, of kissing him. She developed a crush on him but he went away for three years, and when he returned she rejected him. She fought her purpose too.

Clara's mom dies the next day. Her father vanishes at the same moment.

When Clara goes to her room, Christian is waiting outside her window. She takes a nap. Christian is still there when she wakes. He flies away just before Tucker knocks on Clara's door. After a few minutes with Tucker, Clara sends him away. She just wants to be alone.

A few days later Tucker complains that Clara is pushing him away and has been for months. They argue and she tells him that Christian is part of her purpose, that she doesn't love him the way she loves Tucker but she and Christian make each other stronger. She tells him that she kissed Christian. He walks out. Christian is outside. Tucker punches him, which starts a fight. Clara and some of the angel-bloods break it up so that Christian, who is stronger due to his angel blood, won't hurt Tucker. Clara sends Christian away.

That night Samjeeza calls Clara. He didn't know her mom had died. He says he should have felt it. Clara yells at him and says that her mom didn't love him, was always meant for someone else.

Tucker shows up at the funeral but Clara asks him not to go to the cemetery. She says Samjeeza will be there and he's angry because of what she said. He wants to go but she tells him not to. That's why he's not there in her dreams. The graveside ceremony goes just as it did in Clara's visions. She feel's Samjeeza's sorrow at knowing he's lost her mom for good and she calls out to him. She gives him the charm bracelet. He says he's the one who gave it to Clara's mom.

The police are waiting for Jeffrey when they get home. They want to question him about the fire last summer. Billy sends the police away (no warrant) and Jeffrey admits to her and Clara that he set the fire. It was his purpose. Alone, Clara apologizes to Jeffrey for being so focused on her own purpose that she didn't think about his. He says he did his part but she failed at hers. She says that if she hadn't, Tucker would have died. Jeffrey says he was supposed to save Tucker. He was out there searching for Tucker

Graduation. Jeffrey isn't there. He left the day after his mother's funeral. Angela is announced as valedictorian, one of three students who will be at Stanford next year. Angela, Clara and...? It's Christian.

Tucker wants to know if Clara will be around for the summer. She won't. She's going to Italy with Angela. Before she goes, she and Tucker say goodbye for good. She doesn't tell him this but she wants him to be with someone who can truly love him.

Michael takes Clara to the Tetons, where they walk to the edge of heaven where she can see but not touch or talk to her mom.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Publication date: November 7, 2013.

I want to know what fandom(s) Kelly Hourihan was/is in because I know this woman has fandom experience. Everything related to fandom in this book is SPOT ON, from the names to the capslock squeeing to Recirclr (Tumblr in disguise). This author knows fandom.

I thought the book would be more about Jane juggling her many online personas, but she really has one main one that she uses, a girl named Rachel. She has others but she only uses most of them when necessary, and we do get to "meet" a couple of them via posts. The book is more about Jane failing to maintain a healthy balance between her online life and her real life.

Jane is already obsessed when the prizes for a fanfic contest are announced: If the fandom can raise $15,000 for breast cancer research, the grand prize is a trip to Los Angeles to attend a fan convention and to sit in on a cast script reading.

Everybody who is anybody in the entire fandom is entering. Audra, Jenna, Fanfictionista, Skye, TealDeer, Allie S. Even that friggin' "Tooxian Taleteller" with all the dippy grammar-impaired fangirls is entering, and she hasn't written a fic in two years.

This exciting opportunity kicks her obsession up even higher and now Jane-as-Rachel MUST WIN. She's convinced that it will be a life-changing experience. That's why I was surprised when Jane decided to write her fic entry for the contest in script format. I've read enough fan fiction to know that THIS IS BAD. In my experience, scriptfic is pretty much always terrible. I can't really comment on the quality of Jane's, however, because I skipped over it. Fic about characters I don't know in some kind of alien world I don't care about doesn't interest me.

The entire book takes place online. Anything that needs to be narrated is written as Jane's private diary-now entries. Other parts are chats, IMs, emails, and her fan fiction. Parts of this book are difficult to read because of all the chatspeak ("ur," "ppl," random capital letters in a word that I have never liked, even when I was younger). I was relieved that there was no "smth," which I find really grating.

In parts of this book I got the feeling that Jane is a pretty horrible person. Her mom is dead and her dad is drunk and both of things suck. She has a learning disability and anxiety and attends an alternative high school, but she doesn't do anything to help herself. She sees absolutely nothing wrong with blowing off assignment after assignment because, hey, she has a fanfic to write. Priorities, right?

This is where the horrible person part comes in. When someone does her wrong -- in Jane's eyes -- she attacks them. She digs up information on a therapist's past and throws it in her face. She sets up a classmate for public humiliation. She just DOES NOT CARE about other people. Having a shitty homelife doesn't make it okay for you to do shitty things to other people. Fortunately, this is a lesson that Jane eventually learns, with the help of a new therapist.

Lucky for us, Jane refuses to speak to this new therapist in person so they sit in the same room and IM each other. It takes some time for Jane to open up to Nora, but once she does, the book really picks up. I found myself liking Jane a lot more once she stops being so self-centered and realizes that other people have issues and struggles too.

Review: 4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan

Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends.

But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.