Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sudeuced by moonlight

File:LaurelKHamilton SeducedByMoonlight.jpgRelease Date: February 3, 2004
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Ballantine
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age group: MA
Book Subjects:
Politics
Sexual Advantages
Power
Reawakening's
Death
Faeries
Overall:3/5

Book Summary:
When her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness, becomes obsessed with securing an heir to the throne of Fairie, Meredith spends unfruitful evenings with the Queen's immortal guards and finds her magical powers evolving in unexpected ways.

My Review:
Well, I give Laurell credit for knowing how to keep the readers on their toes, that's for sure. It's like reading a modern day Game of Thrones but with faeries. But I do have this one niche that I can't seem to shake when I reading the Merry Gentry series, it's like a love/hate relationship. I feel like Merry has been nothing more than a commodity for sexual breeding since the first volume, and she can't do anything of the little free will that she does have because it'll cost her life and the love she shares with her guards. She has to do everything to sustain the little time of alliance she has with the goblins, she has to put up with people trying to kill her, and making a baby to claim the throne. It's...a hot mess! At the same time I commend Merry because she's doing everything she has to do in order to survive. So that is my main dissatisfaction with the story, other than that the differentiating politics, culture, and gender roles between the humans and fairies is quite intriguing. Can't wait to see what happens next.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sybil: The Backpack Fairy

Nina loves having her backpack fairy Sybil around! Nina is the only person who can see or hear Sybil and the two have formed a special bond. But when Sybil unexpectedly disappears, a new fairy named Amanite shows up to take her place. Amanite brings Nina to a magical underwater world, where Nina is magically transformed into a tiny mermaid! But then thigns go horribly wrong when sea monsters decide that Nina look mighty delicious! Where’s Sybil when Nina really needs her?


Nina is a girl in middle school with a little brother and a single mom who barely has enough time to spend with her. Put down at school by nasty cliques, Nina’s life is not much fun. All this changes when a magical fairy named Sybil turns up in Nina’s backpack! Sybil and Nina have a blast giving Nina’s tormentors a taste of their own medicine. There’s only one problem: demons from the magical world that Sybil comes from have followed her to our dimension, and they’re out to cause some damage of their own!





 Having a fairy friend can be fun, but it’s not easy. When Nina first met the fairy Sybil and her companion Pandigole, she had no idea the fate of the world would end up resting in her hands. After her defeat in SYBIL THE BACKPACK FAIRY #2, the black fairy Amanite has teamed up with the King of Evil, Aithor, planning to destroy the “trees of life” that are found throughout the world of the Fairies. If these trees are destroyed, not only will the fairy world fall, but the world of humans, as well. In response, the King and Queen of the fairies charge Sybil and Nina with the task of stopping Aithor and Amanite, as Nina gets closer to discovering the truth behind a mysterious prophecy that seems to foretell her future.


When Nina is assigned a history report, she and Sybil decide that the only proper way to research is to travel through time and see history for themselves! Though they have a great time meeting Ramses II, Leonardo da Vinci, and Napoleon, the evil fairy Amanite is observing from the sidelines. While Amanite schemes to turn their adventure against them, Nina and Sybil have to figure out a way to stop her . . . or risk being lost in time forever.

 

Poem of The Month


Friday, February 28, 2014

Wench

Release Date: January 5, 2010
Author: Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Publisher: Amistad; HarperCollins
Age Group: Mature Audience
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Subjects:
Rape
Slavery
Antebellum 
American South
Overall: 4/5

Book Summary: 
Tawawa House in many respects is like any other American resort before the Civil War. Situated in Ohio, this idyllic retreat is particularly nice in the summer when the Southern humidity is too much to bear. The main building, with its luxurious finishes, is loftier than the white cottages that flank it, but then again, the smaller structures are better positioned to catch any breeze that may come off the pond. And they provide more privacy, which best suits the needs of the Southern white men who vacation there every summer with their black, enslaved mistresses. It's their open secret. Lizzie, Reenie, and Sweet are regulars at Tawawa House. They have become friends over the years as they reunite and share developments in their own lives and on their respective plantations. They don't bother too much with questions of freedom, though the resort is situated in free territory--but when truth-telling Mawu comes to the resort and starts talking of running away, things change.

My Review: 
I came across this book a couple of years ago but never got a chance to read it because I had a list of other books in line, so now I've decided to review it for black history month--even though I finished it on the third of March; late review. 
It is the summer of 1852 in Ohio at the Tawawa House, where southern slave owners and their black "concubines" gather in open secrete. The story tells of a women named Eliza (who goes by Lizzie) and her master and father of her two children Nate Jr. and Rabbit-May. At only twenty-three years old life as she once knew is staring to transition along with her friends Sweet, Rennie, Mawu and Phillip. There's a lot going on in Wench.  First off, Lizzie has this teenage puppy-love/slave/master mentality for Drayle that begins to decrease as the book progresses. What I picked on Drayle part was, he was educating and prepping Lizzie to keep her happy and shut her up at the same time.  The only time she sought real solace was when she was around her friends. Through it all the four women encounter horrific turn of events by the hands of their masters, and through each little time they grow from the encounter even if they don't want to. I scuffed at the negative commentary regarding this book because, although I didn't care for Lizzie I understood her motives and why she was afraid to act on running-away. This fear was even more heighten when she realized that Drayle was using their kids as bait to keep her from running away. Although I thought the ending was awkward with how the rest of the novel is set-up, I was glad to see that Lizzie grew up. 
 
Favorite Quotations:
"Long as he a slave, he ain't gone never be a man."
-Phillip

"This just the life you got. Until you do something about it, 
you got to deal with what the Lord bring you."
-Clarissa 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Song: to Celia

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Belle
 
Come, my Celia, let us prove,
While we can, the sports of love;
Time will not be ours forever;
He at length our good will sever.
Spend not then his gifts in vain.
Suns that set may rise again;
But if once we lose this light,
’Tis with us perpetual night.
Why should we defer our joys?
Fame and rumor are but toys.
Cannot we delude the eyes
Of a few poor household spies,
Or his easier ears beguile,
So removèd by our wile?
’Tis no sin love’s fruit to steal;
But the sweet thefts to reveal,
To be taken, to be seen,
These have crimes accounted been.
-Ben Jonson


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Strang Fruit


Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is the fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
-Abel Meeropol


Written as an anti-lynching song the idea of “strange fruit” is a haunting one. “Southern trees” refers to the American South, where at the time of writing lynching was still prevalent. One could take “strange fruit” to mean the black bodies hanging from the trees. “Blood at the root” suggests the cycle of violence. The lynch mobs water the tree with blood breeding evermore hateful fervor.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Passion of Tinker Bell: Why the Little Fairy is Far More Complex Than You Think


When you get right down to it, Tinker Bell isn't really the lovable impish fairy that Disney has made her out to be. Of course, since Tink has risen to become the unofficial spokesperson (so to speak) for Disney's theme parks, that should come as no surprise. The relatively recent live action Peter Pan featured the most memorable Tinker Bell in cinematic history; in fact, she and Captain Hook are really the only good reasons to spend time with this movie.

As written and wonderfully portrayed by French actress Ludivine Sagnier, the full petulance and jealousy of Tinker Bell at last was revealed. Compare Ms. Sagnier's performance to that Julia Robert's in Hook to see how talent can make a great character come alive and how lack of talent can leave even the most fascinating of characters dead in the water. The Tinker Bell of Sagnier is in keeping with J.M. Barrie's original conception. Something that cannot come through in any stage version where Tink is merely a spotlight is the quite palpable sexual desire and the feelings of proprietary ownership that she feels for Peter.

To suggest that Tinker Bell's jealousy of Wendy upon the arrival of the young British girl is beyond the ken is to state the obvious. Tink's impolitic attitude toward this romantic rival for Peter's affections is quite clearly delineated in a conversation between Pan and Wendy: "She says you are a great ugly girl, and that she is my fairy" It doesn't take long to realize that in Tinker Bell's mind there is a place for only one girl in Peter's life, even if that girl is a fairy. Fairy Tink may be but one cannot help but feel that were she in the real world she might one day wind up on Jerry Springer. Tinker Bell expresses her feelings toward Peter through violence inflicted upon Wendy.

 The most infamous of these assaults takes place, not coincidentally, when Peter and Wendy share a kiss in the Darling nursery. Wendy tells Peter that she felt as if someone were tugging at her hair and Peter replies, tellingly, that he's never known Tink to be so naughty in the past. Of course not; in the past Tinker Bell never had a rival. It would be enough if Tink merely stopped at harmless things like pulling Wendy's hair, but our dear fairy is nothing at all like the impish little sprite as portrayed in those Disney commercials.

If you've never read J.M. Barrie's original novel you might be shocked to learn that Tinker Bell actually calls upon one of the Lost Boys to shoot Wendy directly in her heart, and then arrange for it to appear as though the order was handed down by Peter Pan himself. As these kinds of Lifetime Movies plot twists often do, things backfired for Tinker Bell as Peter's love for Wendy grows stronger in the face of almost losing her. As for Tink, this episode only served to deepen her hatred for Wendy. The depth of jealousy is described in a way that gives an element of humanity to the fairy. One element obviously missing is size. Tinker Bell knows she could well compete-and with that figure quite easily-with the girlish Wendy.

Tinker Bell is never assumed to be anything other than a mature fairy, as is made evident from the palpable sexual tension existing between her Peter. Also consider Barrie's description of Tinker Bell as given to embonpoint, which is simply a fancy French term to describe a woman who is voluptuous. Barrie even gives one description of Tinker Bell in which he outlines what she is wearing making sure to add tha "her figure could be seen to the advantage." At another point Peter's admonishes "Tink, if you don't get up and dress at once I will open the curtain, and then we shall all see you in your negligee." If that isn't a sign that the relationship between Pan and Tink is intended to be a bit more ambiguous than usually portrayed, I don't know what is. And then of course there is Tinker Bell's decision to down the poison that was supposed to be ingested by Captain Hook.

As usual in these situations, Peter Pan is oblivious to the depth of feeling that Tinker Bell has for him. Tinker Bell chooses to drink the poison as an act of romantic passion and Peter is not mature enough to understand. He mistakenly believes that Tink merely drank the poison to save him. Tinkerbell's reply is to call Pan a silly ass. Silly he is, unable to fully meander through the complexity of his relationship with the fairy. The decision by Tinker Bell to drink the poison also works as a way to tell Peter that she understands that he loves another and that she realizes her passion will forever remain unrequited.

The bizarre love triangle that is at the center of Peter Pan elevates this children's novel to a sphere in which it very subtly touches upon sexual awakening and romantic maturity. In many ways Peter Pan is a far more mature novel about sexuality than many other more adult novels because the relationship between Peter-Tink-Wendy is fraught with passion and jealousy and the violence that is usually missing from novels directed to younger readers.

Tinker Bell acts as the voice of unchained passion capable of doing to the most extreme lengths to deal with her rival. Peter and Wendy are ultimately still children in the early stages of maturation and sexual awakening, whereas Tink is a fully eroticized character. Naturally, in order to make this palatable, not to mention to downplay the creepiness quotient, Barrie chose to make Tinker Bell a fairy, which not only removed her from humanity but made her too small to really be a threat to Wendy by herself.
Next time you see Tinker Bell whizzing around on one of those commercials for Disney World, you just might have a little more respect for her. You'd better respect her at least. Or you may find yourself the target of a Lost Boy arrow aimed at your heart.