Log in

We can love quite well, if not wisely.


not spoiler free. feel free to add but please leave me a note.
my personal writing comm → // chokingonpetals //
links → // fanfiction // AO3 // tumblr // dreamwidth // youtube // livejournal // 8tracks (+listings) //
important posts → // fanfiction masterpost // book scrapbook //

Just me, a fast ship, and a fair galaxy.Collapse )
traveling to: Sherwood Forest
feeling: ecstaticecstatic
calliope tune: "Forever"-Rex Smith
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
22 August 2030 @ 02:06 pm
TV seasons to watch/finish watching

Bronco s3&4
Lawman s2&3&4
Zane Grey Theatre s4&5
T.J. Hooker s4
Little Men s1&2
Bourbon Street Beat s1
Lancer s1&2
Surfside 6 s1&2
The High Chaparral s1&2&3&4
The Ponderosa s1
The Second Hundred Years s1

Upcoming TV I want to try/watch

Time After Time - premieres - March 5
The Originals - s4 - March 17
Iron Fist - s1 - March 17
IZombie - s3 - April 4
Anne - premieres - May 12
The Shannara Chronicles - s2 -
Drew - premieres -
Outlander - s3&4 -
Still Star-Crossed - premieres -
Midnight Texas - premieres -
Knightfall - premieres -
The Frankenstein Chronicles - s2 -
12 Monkeys - s3 -
Daredevil - s3 - 2018
Turn - s4 -
Zoo - s3 -
Z Nation - s4 -
Britannia - premieres -
Legends of Tomorrow - s3 -
The Flash - s4 -
Lucifer - s3 -
Supernatural - s13 -

Upcoming Films & Miniseries I want to try

Lewis and Clark
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Man At Arms
A Gown Of Spanish Lace
Wreck It Ralph 2
How To Train Your Dragon 3
Oz the Great and Powerful 2
Sherlock Holmes 3
Thor 3
World War Z 2
Beauty and the Beast
Prince Charming
The Sword In the Stone
Maleficent 2
Star Trek 4
Robin Hood: Origins
Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Descendants 2
The Avengers: Infinity War part 1
The Avengers: Infinity War part 2
The Legend Of William Tell
Hansel and Gretel: Death's Messengers
Dragonheart 4
War for the Planet of the Apes
Kong: Skull Island
The Death Cure
The Little Mermaid
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Rose Red
Voice From the Stone
Mary Poppins 2
Tinker Bell
Tulip Fever
Black Widow
Mary Poppins Returns
Bitter Harvest
Pacific Rim 2
Despicable Me 3
Wolverine 3
The Greatest Showman on Earth
Now You See Me 3
A Storm in the Stars
Deadpool 2
New Mutants
Devil in the White City
Justice League
Wonder Woman
The Mummy
The Silver Chair
The Promise
Power Rangers
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them 2
The Zookeeper's Wife
The Man Who Invented Christmas
The Exception
Ashes In the Snow
The Beguiled
Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance
feeling: lonelylonely
calliope tune: "Red Rubber Ball"-Cyrkle
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
I initially put off trying As You Wish by Jackson Pearce due to its dreadful cover (yes, I judge books by how they look, I know I shouldn't) but gave it a try anyway because I do enjoy genies. And I ended up loving every moment.

Summary on the back: Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes. Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well ... and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life — and her world — forever.

My thoughts: For a fluffy supernatural teen romance, I was not expecting such intricate and unique mythos and world-building! I adored the distinct "otherness" and non-human portrayal of genies, their origin, and the world. I loved how Jinn steadily became more human in his thoughts and emotions the longer he spent in the human world, and I was fascinated by the description of his appearance and thought-processes, especially how he perceived time: being psychically able to see the affects of aging in humans and himself even over only a few hours. I also liked the idea that genies are forgotten by their masters once the wishes are complete. And the whole concept of genies needing to urge masters to make their wishes quickly - as they only age in the human world and return to their own world once they wish - was brilliant.

I also didn't expect the book to be as witty as it was. Several moments had me laughing, and I snickered at Keanu Reeves having been one of Jinn's past masters (having wished to be a famous actor, but not a good one). The plot was a bit cheesy, the romance a tad rushed, and the conclusion predictable, but the story moved at a quick pace that kept me interested and left me wishing for more, even though I was pleased with how the plot wrapped up. Apparently, it's listed as the first book of a series, but I felt it stood perfectly fine on its own. And while most of the characters weren't particularly deep, they were all perfectly enjoyable, making it easy to root for their ultimately happy and very satisfying end.

Overall, As You Wish was a delightfully imaginative and creative tale that I greatly enjoyed. Still a shame about that cover, though.
feeling: crappycrappy
calliope tune: "Harry's Game"-Celtic Woman
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
Next on my reading list was Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. I've been meaning to dip into an East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling for some time, and this was a nice start, even if not exactly what I was expecting.

Summary on the back: "Blessed" or "cursed" with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she's known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn't hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who's been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he's forced to marry a troll princess.

My thoughts: More an adaptation than a true retelling, the book still paints a lovely, even though simplistically told, story. I loved the fairytale imagery, as well as how very Norwegian the setting seemed - so many retellings seem to lose their roots in the country of origin, but Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow enhanced them and brought them vividly to life. The romance, a bit too much fairytale like in that regard, unfortunately, was woefully underdeveloped - the most compelling relationships are between Lass and her brother, and Lass and her dog Rollo, who I adored. I would have liked a bit more details of Lass's gift, as well, but it was easy enough to simply accept it - helped by the fact that Rollo gets some of the best moments once he turns up and starts talking to her.

The book is, unfortunately, quite lacking in depth or originality - I would have loved a bit more world-building and character introspection, not to mention more explanation for the magical elements - and why exactly there was a faun in the story at all? - but it oddly benefits the fairytale tone. And, the characters, while not very distinctive, are all perfectly likeable, which was refreshing. The book, also, had a nice, cozy feel, like reading a childhood story that didn't require a great deal of effort or thought to appreciate.

Overall, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was a breezy, often sweet book with a childish warmth that I greatly enjoyed.
feeling: soresore
calliope tune: "Incomplete"-Backstreet Boys
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
After Wicked Girls, I discovered the similar The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. But unlike the prior book, I was left with mixed emotions.

Summary on the back: Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.

My thoughts: The Heretic's Daughter is a vividly descriptive, deeply haunting portrayal of the harshness and cruelty of Puritan life, sparing no punches as it digs deep into the religion, practices, and people behind the trials. The writing is beautiful - I'm incredibly impressed that it's the writer's first novel - the side characters interesting, and the story powerfully dismal, and often achingly sad. I understand Kathleen Kent is a descendant of the protagonist, which adds a fascinating link to the story.

Despite all this, there were some elements that made me uncomfortable, particularly the portrayal of Mercy Lewis. Considering that historians believe she was mentally ill, the depiction of her seemed both disrespectful and cringe-worthy. And as much as I enjoyed the accuracy of the historical details, the book had a grimness that bordered on the grotesque, even seen through the eyes of little Sarah who seems far too jaded and world-weary for her years. I was left with a weirdly unsettled feeling as Sarah anticipates, and occasionally seems to relish death - even long before the trials, as she observes her baby sibling leaning over the side of a wagon. I felt the story would have been better from the adult perspective, perhaps, as much of it felt far too advanced for such a young narrator.

Ultimately, despite an unflinching accuracy that I deeply appreciated, I was left with an ill feeling after so many pages spent immersed in such a unpleasant world.
feeling: lethargiclethargic
calliope tune: "Don't Walk Away"-Rick Springfield
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
Next on my reading list was Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill, an introspective look at the girls who instigated the Salem Witch Trials. And while I initially was a bit put off by the fact that it was written in a loose poetry style, it quickly grew on me.

Summary on the back: Ann Putnam Jr. is the queen bee. When her father suggests a spate of illnesses in the village is the result of witchcraft, she puts in motion a chain of events that will change Salem forever. Mercy Lewis is the beautiful servant in Ann's house who inspires adulation in some and envy in others. With her troubled past, she seizes her only chance at safety. Margaret Walcott, Ann's cousin, is desperately in love. She is torn between staying loyal to her friends and pursuing a life with her betrothed. With new accusations mounting against the men and women of the community, the girls will have to decide: Is it too late to tell the truth?

My thoughts: With an ever changing point of view, Wicked Girls does an excellent job of humanizing the troubled, and repressed girls of Salem. While some of them still come across as outright villains, others receive a refreshing depth as they quickly end up in over their heads, particularly the troubled and tragically unloved Mercy. For the most part the narration had a historically accurate feel, especially in the old style dialogue, and a melancholy poignancy as the girls' lives and the entire town spiral out of control, even allowing a less commonly portrayed glimpse of their lives in the aftermath of the trials.

The imagery was both grim and very effective, with several powerful lines that jumped out at me, and I liked the notes at the end regarding the ultimate fate of all the characters. While I realize the novel was centered on the girls, I would have preferred a bit more time spent on the accused, but I felt they were well portrayed in their few moments, and I learned some new facts I'd never heard before about some of them. My only issue with the book was the lack of sympathetic supporting characters, with the most prominent, Isaac, an entirely unlikable and annoying person that I can only hope was nothing like the historical character he was based upon.

Despite its unusual style, Wicked Girls was a darkly stunning study of the inner mental workings of an intriguing event, that added a fascinating layer to several often judged historical figures.
feeling: calmcalm
calliope tune: "Save Your Kisses For Me"-Brotherhood of Man
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
19 January 2017 @ 03:59 pm
So I finally managed to get a picture of my feral foster failure kitty I've had since October! It was nearly impossible (he's over the top energetic and into absolutely everything, and its almost pointless to try to get him to hold still). But he's come so far - from a somewhat aggressive and very frightened kitten to a cuddly, friendly cat. This is Helios:

^ You can't see it very well but he has a white stomach and sort of vest/bandana underneath his neck.

And yes, he's my sixth cat. It wasn't intentional.
feeling: fullfull
calliope tune: "Can't Help Falling In Love With You"-Elvis Presley
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
11 January 2017 @ 05:43 pm
After my last book I was in the mood for some more mythology-related books so I checked out Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett. It promised a fantasy-free retelling of Ariadne and the Minotaur, but left me with mixed feelings.

Summary on the back: Ariadne is destined to become a goddess of the moon. She leads a lonely life, filled with hours of rigorous training by stern priestesses. Her former friends no longer dare to look at her, much less speak to her. All that she has left are her mother and her beloved, misshapen brother Asterion, who must be held captive below the palace for his own safety. So when a ship arrives one spring day, bearing a tribute of slaves from Athens, Ariadne sneaks out to meet it. These newcomers don't know the ways of Krete; perhaps they won't be afraid of a girl who will someday be a powerful goddess. And indeed she meets Theseus, the son of the king of Athens. Ariadne finds herself drawn to the newcomer, and soon they form a friendship - one that could perhaps become something more. Yet Theseus is doomed to die as an offering to the Minotaur, that monster beneath the palace - unless he can kill the beast first. And that "monster" is Ariadne's brother.

My thoughts: Dark of the Moon was an odd book, to say the least. There was quite a lot of history and world-building, but most of it was undermined by unlikable, flat, and curiously modern characters. While I loved the gritty darkness of the historical setting, some parts were a bit grim and unnecessarily gory for my taste, jarring me out of writing that felt safely young adult. Also, perhaps I was a bit spoiled by the gorgeous prose of my last book reading, because I found myself wishing for more details about nearly everything. So much was left unexplained - most notably Asterion's condition - and other parts rushed, especially the ending which seemed completely out of left field and illogical. The story also fell a bit flat for me without the inclusion of mythical elements, and I was uncomfortable with Asterion's ultimate fate particularly without them.

But despite all that, there were a few things I liked a lot. The concept of the moon goddess was intriguing and left me wishing for more information on the unique religion of Krete, Ariadne's parentage and lonely childhood was interesting, and I enjoyed the nearly lack of romance between Theseus and Ariadne.

Overall, Dark of the Moon was a disappointing mix of strangeness and unexplored potential that left me wistful for a better retelling in the future.
feeling: disappointeddisappointed
calliope tune: "Nineteen Men"-Johnny Western
We can love quite well, if not wisely.
My first book of this year was Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin, which promised a unique point of view to The Aeneid. And it did exactly that, in the most beautiful way possible.

Summary on the back: In The Aeneid, Virgil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills. Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom, until suitors come. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner, that she will be the cause of a bitter war, and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands. And so she tells us what Virgil did not: the story of her life, and of the love of her life.

My thoughts: The Aeneid has always been my least favorite of Virgil's works, but this book made me want to read it again and gain a deeper appreciation for it. Every line, every description was stunningly gorgeous, and the world incredibly detailed to the point I felt completely immersed in the time period and setting. There were few mythological elements other than the prophecies and a handful of nods to religious practices, making the plot very historically realistic. The tone was poignant, haunting, and strangely distant, almost as if a ghost was relating it, and from the beginning to the last page there was an aching, melancholy feel as Lavinia both embraces and fights against the inevitable fate of those she loves, as well as herself.

Above everything else, I appreciated the authenticity of the characterization. Unlike a lot of historical books where the heroine has a distinctly modern way of speaking, thinking, or behaving, Lavinia seemed utterly a woman of her time, while still retaining a distinctive voice that made her feel very real despite the ancient setting. Likewise I enjoyed that elements of the setting were never explained beyond what was necessary, just simply part of the world, allowing me to fully slip into the time period so much that it was almost jarring to come back to the real world at the end. My only complaint was the pacing - the rushed nature of certain parts of the plot, especially the three years of her marriage, the somewhat confusing jumping around of flashbacks to present in the start, and the slight dragging toward the center in the battle scenes. But for the most part it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story.

Overall Lavinia was a beautiful, rich story filled with emotion and fascinating history.
feeling: exanimateexanimate
calliope tune: "In the Mood"-Glenn Miller