solovei: (Mad Max - Whee!)
So, somehow I had gotten myself interested in comics. Like, actual mainstream comics, of the Marvel/DC variety. You can now add X-Factor to the list of Things I got Interested In Because of the Ships.

I had never really bothered with it before, you see. I watch all the movies when they come out, and I like the characters and the set-up... but having to dig through 50-some years of issues never really appealed to me. It was daunting. Where does one even begin?

Well apparently in this case, one begins with seeing someone on Slack posting cute pictures of Shatterstar. And then remembering that one's favorite tumblr fanartist has drawn even more cute pictures and oooh so that's who those two guys are, please tell me more

I guess what I'm trying to say is I've been working my way through X-Factor Investigations, and it's pretty good. Having literally never read a comicbook before (Saga doesn't count), it took me a little while to get used to things like crossover events and changing artists and the fact that sometimes half the story is actually in another series entirely, but I'm actually really enjoying it.

Part of me is waiting for the axe to drop, actually. Part of me can't believe that here is a mainstream publication with two queer characters in a relationship, and nothing bad has happened to them so far! And I keep being told there is angst upcoming, but right now it's been pretty cute shit, along with, you know, feels. Lots of feels.

There's also this amazing feeling that comes with having your ship become canon, when the subtext becomes text. I feel a little bit invested in it, like it's a matter of... faith, almost? Look everyone, we believed and it came true! Look at them go.

I had that feeling reading The Raven Cycle and I'm getting that now with X-Factor. What a time to be alive!

Also this morning a train hit a car downtown and as a result I was late for work. But I got paid so I bought myself some cake! (I actually wanted cupcakes, but the closest place to get them was an additional 15 minutes of walking past my house, and it was rainy and cold. Next time, maybe!)

p.s. I broke down and bought PWR BTTM's album after spending various hours playing their NPR Tiny Desk concert on repeat. Everyone should listen to it. It's amazing.
solovei: (Misc- wallow)
So remember how I said I was going to post a review of The Raven Cycle? And how that was quite a few days ago? Well I had actually just never gotten around to it but I'm going to pretend it's because I was waiting to finish the last book in the series so I can talk about the whole series.

So. The Raven Cycle. *insert incoherent flailing here*

This is one of those books that happens to have absolutely god-awful official blurbs, which means anytime someone mentions it and someone goes "Hey lets google that and see what it's all about!" they immediately get turned off by words like "paranormal romance". It will say something about true love and curses and you will probably think Twilight and cringe and close the tab. It's okay, my friend. I was one of those people too, way back when I started seeing some slashy fanart on tumblr tagged with "trc" and I wanted to know what it was all about.

Here is what it's actually about: codependency, chosen families, coming out via a giant nightmare monster, magic, privilege, the circular nature of time, platonic intimacy, welsh kings, a gaggle of psychics who spend their time being snarky and drinking a lot, antagonists you want to hug, protagonists you want to slap, cars, trees, pet ravens, and a metric fuckton of character development. 

I do have to say I went through this series in record time. Part of that was just having a lot of commute to fill up, but the 3rd and 4th books I devoured in about a day and a half each. (It was the feelings. There are a LOT of feelings in these books. I just finished the last one and I am still not okay with stuff that happened in the second.) Some people seem to find the language flowery, but I personally found it very easy to keep going. There was rarely any part where I was taken out of the story by the writing itself. 

Oh and there's also the amazing feeling of having your ship actually become canon, which happens so rarely that it's worth mentioning just because of that. (Actually there's a lot of subtext in this book. Everyone loves everyone, thought not always in a romantic way) 

So yeah, if you like sort of... modern-day YA with paranormal/magical elements and an adorable queer subplot, definitely, DEFINITELY read this series. 

(I've also already written fanfic for it, so I guess that means I'm officially in raven boy hell now)

Up Next: I have no idea. I picked up Leviathan by Scott Westerfield purely because it happened to be on one of the highlight shelves at the library, and I'd heard some good things about it. It's.... also YA, some kind of steampunk I think? But more likely I'll just dive into Raven Boys fanfic now that I can't be spoiled by anything. 

solovei: (Misc - Owl)
Wow, it's probably about time I updated this thing, no?

☂First things first - Yes I am alive.
All sort of real life things happened and because the universe is a cold, unjust place, they all decided to happen at the same time. Or at least, within the same 2-3 month span. Here's a quick rundown:
I volunteered for my local comic expo; had a job interview - didn't get it, then did; went to Vancouver for a week to see my grad school friends, came back significantly poorer (oops); signed the lease on my first actual apartment, and now I'm here.
 
☂The new job is going okay. I mean, it's a significant step up from my previous job (dear retail, I will not miss you, even if you tried to win me over with sweets!) and actually makes use of some of the skills I, you know... have an education in. The contract is for 18 months but I'm keeping a sharp eye on other internal postings already.

☂Book news: I'm speeding through Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle series. I have a lot of feelings about it and will probably make a bigger post about it tomorrow or the day after

ensconced

Feb. 29th, 2016 11:36 pm
solovei: (Mad Max - Whee!)

So. 

I really liked Carry On.
Like, a lot. Enough to go and order my own copy before I'd even finished reading it. (And that totally doesn't have anything to do with the fact that Chapters had a promotion for 10x points going on this past weekend, noooo.)

(Mostly I just thought that I haven't bought books in a while, so why not?)

Let me first summarize the premise. In 2013 Rainbow Rowell wrote a book called Fangirl, which is about a fanfic author named Cath. Her fandom of choice is this Harry Potter-esque children's fantasy series about a guy called Simon Snow. Carry On is the defictionalized version of Cath's fanfic, and I know that sounds confusing, but I promise you don't need to know any of that to enjoy it. Just enjoy it for what it is: A magical, queer love story with ghosts and a mystery and some really funny things. 

It's kind of ridiculous and utterly believable at the same time. I would call it a parody only it's not really meant in jest, it just uses very familiar tropes to tell a very different story. And that's okay. It kind of reminded me of the music video for Genghis Khan, taking cliches everyone knows (Chosen One, Secret Agent, Supervillain, Nemesis) to tell a story that's different, that doesn't end how you'd expect, that feels like it's for me.

Some other stuff:

★ There's a new class of wranglers joining up this month and the chairs have decided to pilot this mentoring program where a bunch of experienced wranglers (me included) help them out with questions and generally make them feel welcome. There's a special separate channel on Slack and everything. I think it's a super cute idea and I really wish this was around when I started! 

★ Gotham had it's winter premiere today (also, since when is that a thing that shows are split in half over fall and winter, like school terms? I had to wait like three months, come on). Pretty solid episode, they did some interesting setup for what I'm guessing will be the theme for the rest of the season. Hope Penguin will be okay! 

★ Looks like my friend already got the package I sent him on Thursday! Definitely didn't think it would take such a short time. 


solovei: (Mad Max - sick)
I'm about halfway into Carry On by Rainbow Rowell which is a difficult book to describe. Like, it's sort of a spinoff of Fangirl but it's more a weird queer rehash of every YA teen wizard book/chosen one ever. It's like Harry Potter, but with more kissing and more vampires, I guess. And swearing, there's swearing in it too. Expect a full review when I'm done with it. 

Speaking of Rainbow Rowell, I've noticed a weird trend with her books. I've only read her YA titles so far but they're all that sort of book that is very easy for me to devour, they look big but read fast. I haven't stayed up till 3 am reading with this one (yet) but I can absolutely see myself doing that. I wonder if her adult books have that same quality. The thought did occur to me to check them out one of these days, but I looked over the synopses and neither really appealed to me? Oh well. 

The weather's been doing really weird things lately, like they promised +17 yesterday? It didn't happen but it was still really warm. And then today it started to rain which turned into actual big white fluffy flakes of SNOW that melted as soon as they hit the ground? No wonder I started feeling shitty at work today. I really don't want to be THAT PERSON that carries around painkillers but migraines are also not fun. 


solovei: (haikyuu - tiny asahi)
☀ Finished The Motherless Oven. This book is surreal as all heck. Like - I am still not entirely sure what happened. It's like, you know when you have a dream and while you're dreaming it makes sense but when you wake up you realize it was really weird? That's kind of what this book is like. I sort of started to get at least SOME sense of a plot and how the whole world works towards the end, but not enough to explain, well... anything. 

☀ I had some leftover chopped hazelnuts so I decided to take another stab at chokladbollar. Last time I made them they turned out far too sweet so I cut the sugar in half. Also the cut-up chocolate chips I used for the outside last time got really hard and kinda weird in the fridge, so the nuts should solve that problem. They look like big truffles! So cute. 

☀ This has been thoroughly yelled about over on  [personal profile] yuuago 's journal but I am really really loving this chapter of Stand Still Stay Silent. All the characters that I love but who don't usually get much screentime (Tuuri, Onni <3) are right there and it's amazing. To  be honest, seeing Tuuri in the header image was one of the things that first attracted me to this comic. I couldn't think of any other time where a small chubby girl was in a post-apocalyptic comic, so that made it immediately worth checking out. And Onni, gosh I just have a lot of headcanons about Onni that I won't go into here. 

☀ Also, you know that feeling where you know exactly how a fic should go, and you can picture it, but you just can't write it? I've been wresting with this one thing about Kenma for weeks now and I got to a certain point where all the sentences feel awkward and weird and end up deleting everything I write. Blargh >.<
solovei: (Misc - Owl)
☀ So, because it was SO HYPED and I was curious, I marathoned all 10 hours of "Making a Murderer" on Netflix (because that's what it's for, right?) I don't normally watch true crime stuff unless there's some redeeming factor in it like an actor I like, so I'm really not sure what motivated me in this case, but oh well. It was interesting, but eventually you just kind of lose all hope you had in the justice system and just, ANY SYSTEM really. I would recommend checking it out if you like watching court proceedings and can resist the urge to yell at people in movies when everything seems obvious but they just don't see it.

☀ Stopped by the library and picked up The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis. I happened to see it on one of those "Best Graphic Novels of the Year" lists in... well, some time ago and kind of forgot about it. It's... I don't know how to explain it, really. I mean, this is the blurb on the back:

"The weather clock said knife o'clock. So I chained dad up in the shed"

If nothing else it will be an interesting read. Will update soon.

☀ P.S. I totally stole this idea of using unicode emoticons as bullet points from
[personal profile] yuuago. Sorrynotsorry :P


 


solovei: (SSSS - Flower Tuuri)
First post!

So, I made this to keep the longer, personal-ish things off of my tumblr, spent a day or so tweaking everything, and then... drew a total blank. But now I actually have stuff to talk about, so lets see how long I can keep this up!

Finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell today while making dinner and I can say it's been kind of a wild ride. Like, the stay-up-till-1-am-reading-and-crying kind of ride. I don't usually read YA romances and was hesitant about this one, but a friend had very good things to say so I thought I would give it a go. I'd read Rowell's Fangirl before and my reaction was very different. Whereas Fangirl hooked me mostly by it's context (I have not heard of a book before or since hat even acknowledged fanfiction existed), I had no patience for its protagonist. The two leads of Eleanor & Park, on the other hand, felt like people I know now, and people I knew in high school. I got... very very invested in these kids. Maybe a little too invested, but that's beside the point. I think this book ticked off a lot of things I like, in YA and in general:

Also, any and all discussion of The Smiths? Yes.
Acknowledgement that "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is an amazing song? Very yes.
Low-key discussion of gender presentation without a big glowing arrow pointing to it? Sign me up. 

Oh and on a final note, I really enjoyed the shifting perspectives. It was just really refreshing to have a teenage boy in a YA novel discuss his feelings for a girl. I don't feel like that happens often? So many times when there's a romantic story we get such a limited view of it.

P.S. You know that thing where you fall asleep reading and then you can't quite remember if something was in the book or in your dreams?
 

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