Thursday, November 26, 2009

A small rant about "Fire" by Kristen Cashore

As you all can see with your own eyes, I loved "Graceling." It was the perfect YA novel, especially for a girl, but really for anyone.

Fire, oh Fire, how you disappointed me. I'm fine with a book that mentions menstruation. I'm fine with menstruation as a plot device. I'm annoyed when it is used to facilitate giant swaths of necessary plot and is mentioned every other sentence or so. Unnecessary!Also, small detail, Please use different words than "monthly bleeding!" Because there are other words, but mostly just cut about 1/2 to 2/3 of the mentions out of the book and we'll be okay.

This brings me to my second point: This is not a YA novel. I don't care that Fire is seventeen to eighteen years old through the course of the novel. For instance, one of the main issues she grapples with is the decision of whether or not to have children and therefore pass on what is basically a hereditary condition that is guaranteed to be passed on if she has a child. Other issues include her becoming a stepmother-type character, and how to be ethical while still maneuvering to win what you believe is a just war. Oh, and finally a major problem addressed how to deal with the fact that you are just so beautiful that everyone either is so struck by your beauty they instantly love you or instantly hate you. Actually, for the most part that isn't such an invalid point about the values society places on beauty, especially female beauty, but she way over-emphasizes the point. Much like everything in this book is drawn out and rehashed a million ways.


The book literally ends with the main character crying to her lover about how she's not just another pretty face and she has all these crazy FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS. Which her current lover tells her he understands. Then makeouts. He's spent the entire book showing her how well he knows her and how little he cares about her outer beauty, but for some reason we needed this last chapter just to over-drive home the point again. AGRGH!


Do you see where I'm going here? Fire doesn't deal with issues teenagers deal with, she doesn't even deal with issues that MOST PEOPLE deal with, but those that do are typically older and in odd places of power. I just thought this book shouldn't have been marketed as YA despite the success of Graceling as YA novel. I might have liked it more if I'd picked it up in the adult fiction section with that framework functioning in my head.

Oh, but the one thing I will say is that I made it through the audiobook because the narrator Xanthe Elbrick is amazing and could have read me the phone book and I would be riveted for quite a long spell.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm writing a novel in a month.

Other people like Abby (The) Librarian can do that and post blogs, but I don't have the energy. I really respect Abby's commitment to posting and writing her novel. Good work!

Needless to say, I haven't gotten a lot of actual physical reading done, but I have listened to one fantastic audibook.

Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It took me a few discs to get into this story, but once I was in, I was hooked and didn't want to get out of my car to go into the Library...or into my house. The full cast audio recording of "Graceling" is wonderful.
Katsa is graced--she has two different colored eyes and special powers--she is rare, a girl graced with killing. Her uncle Randa, king of the Midlands, uses her as his own personal attack dog. She hurts people so they obey him. She hates him, and herself for doing his bidding and so together with her cousin and some guards of Randa's, she starts a council to do good around the seven kingdoms. When she rescues the father of the king of one of the far away peaceful kingdoms she doesn't know what a can of worms she is opening. Nor does she realize she'll be opening her heart to the old man's grandson.

View all my reviews >>

I'm currently listening to the companion novel "Fire" which is not full cast audio, but is still awesome.