Category Archives: Lisa's Tuesday Perspective

Tuesday Mash-Up

I meant to come along on Friday and post my good news. I didnt. I got roped into an extended shopping trip at Toys R Us where my little guy ended up with a Cozy Coupe and a plastic slide. All to use IN the house, as I do not have a backyard. *_* Ah yes, the joys of parenting.

I then meant to come and brag about my good news on Monday. But, as you can probably guess. I didn’t do that either, since real life tends to take me away and keep my hands full with other things. Like our television for instance. No, I was not watching it, though I wish I had been (no Gossip Girl spoilers! I am still furious over what the writers are doing to Chuck/Blair). My television lost power last Thursday. And never came back to life. We spent yesterday night shopping for a new one and dishing out a good chunk of change. Plus side, we have a cool new flat screen HDTV. Down side, we’re out a few hundred bucks. *sigh*

So here I am today, with a mashup of info and my good news.

First up: I am a Steampunk enthusiast. I love the style, I love the era, I love the possibilities. I am loathe to find that it is often NOT done justice. I do however have high hopes for this.

Thanks to http://www.scifiguy.ca/ for the heads up!

OMG. First of all, that cover is STUNNING. Secondly, one of the YA authors I’m kinda obsessed with (Maria V. Snyder, whose Glass series I’m currently working on), is contributing a story. Along with a few other heavy hitters. Ann Aguirre. Caitlin Kittredge. Et al. I’m beyond excited. And I’m going to get it, if only to support the steampunk love. 🙂 Look for it in May 2011.

Speaking of beautiful covers- ok, I can’t wait. Check it out! I have a brand new shiny to share with all of you. I just received the cover to the second book of my Guardian Circle Series, Zerah’s Offering.

I LOVE it. The color, the mood, everything. The heroine is Amaya, the empath from book 1. And Zerah is a very different place than you remember it! Look out for book two coming sometime in November. And look out for exclusive excerpts and giveaways here on Hollow Tree!

Happy Tuesday all!


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Dystopias

The word “Utopia” had two meanings.  Firstly, “a perfect place,” and secondly, “no place.”  As in, no place could ever be perfect.  Anyone who’s read the novella by Sir Thomas Moore (or has been around enough) knows that Utopia was never really as perfect as it was supposed to be, and from that has sprung, over time, a string of “Dystopia” novels.  Some of them you had to read in high school, like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World.  Right now they’re all over the place in the YA market, though, because Dystopia and fantasy kind of go hand in hand in glove.

Earlier Dystopian novels were all about losing something vital from the human existence: God, family, love, literature, etc.  A society where the values have shifted so much that it takes an outsider from the society to show them what they’re missing.  What’s more common these days is something that’s intended to be for the greater good going terribly wrong—something that makes everybody better, everybody nicer, everybody more equal, where the solution is just as bad or worse than the original problem.

I haven’t read a lot of the Dystopic books on the market right now… they’re getting a LOT of big hype, though.  What have you read?  Do you like the trend, or no?


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Conveniently Absent Parents

You know what I’m talking about.  The main character’s parents just happen to be dead or workaholics or obsequiously neglectful or something like that.  I can never decide if I like this trend or not.  On the one hand, it can instantly up the angst factor up the wazoo, and besides, the YA is all about characters coming into their own, which may be harder to believe if they have perfect, supportive parents behind their every move.

On the other hand, though… most kids do have parents.  And really, most parents don’t suck.  The believability of the absent parents goes down a pinch when it happens in every single novel.  I’ve been reading a lot of books where parents just died in car wrecks a few weeks before the narration starts, and it’s starting to feel a little overwhelming.  Are there that many parental car crashes, really?

Then again, I’ve enjoyed some absent parents a lot.  In Jaclyn Moriarty’s Feeling Sorry for Celia (which is an epistolary novel, where everything is told in the form of letters or notes), the main character’s mother is insanely busy, and their entire form of communication is through post-it notes left on the front of the refrigerator.  That I found entirely clever.  Then again, I find just about everything about Jaclyn Moriarty’s books clever.  If you ever want to surprise yourself by how a story can be told, take a look at her books.

On the other other hand… parents really are difficult to involve sometimes.  In darker YA Fantasy, it can be difficult to believe that a good parent can’t sense a little bit of the danger surrounding their teen without trying to intervene in some way.  Even Charlie tries to protect Bella a bit in Twilight, and let’s face it—Charlie’s clueless.  He doesn’t come close to the kind of protective stance a normal dad with a teenage daughter being courted by a questionable someone might be, though.  At least, in my opinion.

So what is it that keeps parents out of YA?  Is it because authors decide their teenage characters are mature enough to take care of themselves?  Because they decide their characters don’t think about or interact with their parents much?   Because they feel like parents just slow things down?  Or is it because authors just don’t know how to handle writing believable parents?  I know that I’ve had difficulty with it myself, but at the same time, I really enjoy the challenge of making believable family units, and making my characters that much more believable.

What do you think?

Sorry for the late-night posts of late, folks!


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

So, I recently told you about the newest and final Fablehaven book coming out.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to let the series end for me just yet, so I went back to the beginning and started the series over.

Fablehaven is about Kendra and Seth, a sister and brother who lost their beloved maternal grandparents in a bizarre accident, whose will leads to their parents being sent on a Scandinavian cruise—no kids allowed.  This means Kendra and Seth have to be sent to stay with their mysterious paternal grandparents, the Sorensons, who are rarely seen and live on a giant preserve in the middle of nowhere.

When they get to the preserve, they’re given some strict rules to follow, confining them to the house and the lawn, even though the Sorenson’s property is enormous.  The rules prove too much for Seth the adventurer to follow, and after a series of odd things happening, Kendra and Seth learn that their grandfather is the caretaker of Fablehaven, a special preserve for magical creatures of all sorts—both good and bad.

The kids start out protected, because magical creatures can’t cause harm or mischief to you if you’ve done no harm or mischief to them.  Unfortunately, Seth is well, mischievous.  Throw in a little well-intentioned mistake on a Solstice night, and suddenly not only is their grandfather missing, but a powerful enemy is loose in Fablehaven, an enemy who is bent on destroying the preserve, and possibly the world.  Kendra and Seth must do their best to save the preserve, and they have to be very resourceful to do it.

I love this book.  The whole series, really.  Kendra and Seth are an amazing portrayal of a true-to-life brother and sister relationship.  They’re hard on each other, but they’re at each other’s back immediately, and know when they’ve said too much or gone too far to hurt each other.  Seth has a nose for trouble, while Kendra is maybe overly cautious about some things.  Just in the book, though, they both learn a lot and grow as characters, finding a little bit of a middle ground.  Meanwhile, the magical creatures Mull paints for us range throughout beautiful, breathtaking and scary.  Wholly enjoyable.

I give Fablehaven a heartfelt A+.


Lisa’s What day is this Anyway? Perspective: Comic Con!

Phew.  Okay, it’s Wednesday. I know that.  I missed my Post yesterday, apologies.  The past week has been insane for me.  First Comic Con, and then moving back to Utah.  But enough about my life.  I want to show off some of the cool stuff I saw at the San Diego Comic Con.

Like most years, I spent comparatively a lot of time at the LEGO booth.  I was able to go into the floor early on Thursday, and get some clear shots without the masses of crowds in the way!

Of course the very first thing I took a picture of was something Harry Potter.  More specifically, the new LEGO Harry Potter video game.  I was able to play around on the the game a little bit, and I LOVED it.  Of course, I’m a big fan of LEGO video games in general – they’re just my type of video game. All you have to do is smash things and fight people, and you have endless lives to do it with.  Fun, fun. 😉

Bar none, one of the biggest things at the Con this year was TRON: Legacy.  If you’ve never seen the original TRON (I hadn’t, until a few weeks ago) I highly suggest checking it out.  Last year when they started promo-ing the twenty-years-in-the-making sequel, I didn’t really get the hype, but now I’m just as excited as anybody.  Well, maybe not quite, because I haven’t been waiting for it for nearly as long, but I’m so looking forward to what they can do with the film.  The first one was amazing so far as the technology of the time was considered, and the new one promises nothing less than that.

Of course, the thing I really went there for was the panels.  Actually, ONE panel in specific.  The WB panel.  My fiancé and I stood in line for no less than FIVE HOURS in order to get a glimpse at the big hits the WB is working on at the moment.  Namely: The Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, a new femme-powered Zack Snyder film called Sucker Punch featuring Emily Browning and some other fantastic ladies, and for the first time ever at Comic Con, Harry Potter.

Really, Harry Potter only brought out Tom Felton (ONLY?!!!) and showed new footage (which they asked us not to record) but I have to say from a die-hard fan’s point of view that the film looks amazing.  I was nearly jumping out of my seat with excitement.  And it was fun to see Tom.  He is such a cutie.

One of the funnest bits of the panel was when a little boy asked Ryan Reynolds to recite the Green Lantern oath, though.  This kid was such a scene stealer.  Have a look:

So!  That was a little taste of my Comic Con experience.  I think Sucker Punch looks fantastic, too.  About five girls in a mental institution, and going back and forth from the real world, where the main girl is in danger of being labotomized, to a fantasy world where the girls can (and do!) do whatever they want.  It looks very, very cool.  I’m extremely excited for all three films!


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: This Week – Comic Con!

Some of you may know that tomorrow starts the annual San Diego Comic Con, the biggest pop culture convention in the world, basically.  I’ve been going to the Con for years now, either working it or just going for fun with my family.  I’ve seen some fun stuff, too.   The Supernatural boys (actually, just Jensen), David Tennant from Doctor Who (be still my heart!), movie panels, sneak peaks at movies and TV shows… the works.  I’ll only be going a couple of days this week, but I’m looking forward to it.  It’s a lot of madness and a LOT of people, but it’s always fun.

The biggest thing I’m looking forward to this year?  Well, there’s no Twilight panel (I’m kind of relieved) but there just so happens to be a Deathly Hallows one.  Or, okay, a WB one, that will include the Deathly Hallows.  I’m not holding my breath towards seeing Dan Rad or Rupert Grint, but maybe if life loves me I’ll see a Phelps boy or two.  There is a slim possibility that Ryan Reynolds will be making an appearance in said panel also, to promote The Green Lantern.  I’m going to spend all Saturday morning standing in line to see this panel, but I’ll be doing it with a nice boy who loves me, so it should be fun.

My point in all of this?  Is that I plan on taking a lot of pictures and reporting back here next week.  I’m also hoping to get some yummy ARC books from the publishing house tables.  Mmmm, free books.  See you all next week!


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Alex Reads Twilight

Hello, lovelies.  As you may have read in Isabelle’s post yesterday, things are a little hectic in my life at the moment.  Impending wedding, along with some new professional opportunities have put me well behind on my reading.  I wanted to share a little something that is really sorely tempting me to waste a lot of time lately, or rather, someone.

This someone is Alex Day.  He’s a musician who’s found a kind of quirky (and smart!) way to get himself out there on youtube.  He not only vlogs, but he also does a lot of commentary videos, and right now he’s working his way through Twilight, with commentary on the chapters as he reads through.  I’ve listened to the first two chapters so far and besides being a refreshing reminder of reading the books myself (though a little different, considering I loved them the first read through!) (and still do, if I were forced to swear to it), Alex has some really fun comments on Bella Swan and Stephenie Meyer’s interpretation of teenagers.  This isn’t really anything you haven’t heard before, but Alex is fun, along with being adorably British, and yes, that does make a difference.

Be forewarned, there is a little bit of language in these vids.

From what I can tell, Alex is up to chapter 18 (16-18 is the vid) and I have a feeling I’ll be ducking in throughout the week to catch up on where Alex is.  I do enjoy it, though.  I think my favorite comment so far is his talking about Bella’s description of Edward’s hair being “bronze,” and how unlikely a description it is.

And since I stumbled along this as well, here’s a taste of Alex’s music, which I actually like quite a lot.

We’re not affiliated with Alex at all, I just found him clever and funny, and maybe you will too.


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: How Many is Too Many?

If you head over to my goodreads profile, you’ll see that I’m in the middle of reading TWELVE books.  This is partially because a lot of them are library loans that I ran out of time on reading, but a many of them are books I own and just haven’t sat and gone straight through yet.  This happens to me for a lot of reasons, some of them more or less insane.  Here’s a little look at the books I’m reading and why it is that they’re taking so long to get off my currently-reading list.

Little Women by Lousia May Alcott

Every other Christmas or so I start this book.  Last Christmas I did this again.  But I’ve read it half a dozen times, and my copy isn’t exactly carrier-friendly.  I get distracted by newer stuff.

Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde

Now, if you’ve been around here for a while, you may have noticed that I’m a bit of a Fforde fanatic.  Sadly this book is not mine yet.  I’ve been checking it out from the library, and if any of you have read Jasper Fforde’s work, you know it’s a dense forest of brilliant nonsense.  It takes me some time, and I just haven’t had enough of it yet!

The Land of Elyon: The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

This book has a lot of potential.  In fact, I’ve already bought the next three books in the series.  It’s just a little young and a little slow for me.  But I can’t give it up either!

The Poetical Works of Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

He had a lot of them. I’m not even a third of the way through.

East by Edith Pattou

I love the concept of this book, and really love the fairy tale behind it, so I won’t give up on it.  But again, this book is impossibly slow.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Another library book.  I really loved the first half of it, but then I read The Dark Divine which is a vaguely similar story, but much more my style, so it’s been hard to get re-enthused about Hush, Hush.  Still, I want to finish and see if it’s worth the hype.

The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Library book!  And again, sadly slow. Zink isn’t writing in her own vernacular, and it’s so painfully clear.

Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

I’m trying to read through all of the Anne books, but again, it gets sidetracked for the hotter YA books sometimes!

Ӓlvor by Laura Bingham

This book is a lot of fun, but not really impressing me much. I’d like to finish it to review it, though, because I won it, so it’s the least I can do.

Sabriel: The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix

Okay, this one is my bathroom book.  I’ve been wanting to read Nix’s books for a long time, because they’re sort of fantasy classics, but this is again, dense stuff.  Fascinating, super well-realized world, but it is something easiest to take in five or ten pages at a time!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

The third Percy Jackson book… I had to stop reading this one for a bit because I sent my copy to my mother… don’t ask.  But I’ve picked it up again and Riordan continues to be a lot of fun.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

So, this is one of my favorite YA fantasy series.  Well, possibly children’s fantasy is a more fitting description, but I love it anyhow.  The last book came out earlier this year, and I haven’t read it yet, because I am in resolute denial. I’m going to re-read the first four books first.  Well, once I find this one again, because I’ve misplaced it…


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Love Triangles – So Last Season?

This is a debate I’ve had many a time.  I’ve heard a lot of people—a LOT of people—say that they hate love triangles.  To the point of vehement declarations of hate towards one or more of the parties online.  Complete strangers get into heated angry debate, and feelings get hurt—which really, is kind of silly, considering that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But people walk away from all of this saying that they hate love triangles.  I’ve heard some say that it’s the oldest trick in the book (which it is, look at some Greek myths!) and that it’s been done to death.  Well the fact is, love is the most common story ever told, and since love tends to happen between us messy, complicated humans, love triangles happen.  Beyond that, a story needs drama to be a story, and love triangles are nothing but drama.

Personally, I love the triangles.  My favorite thing about fiction, crazy as it may sound, is when it rips my heart out of my chest and shreds it into little bitty pieces.  This is probably why I always fall for the underdog.   For the one who doesn’t even have a chance.  For that fatal, unrequited love.  Does it hurt?  Heck yeah.  Is it fair?  Not really.  But then, neither is life.  And that kind of hurt comes off a lot better when it’s in the form of a book you can close at the end, right?

Anyhow, that’s my opinion.  What do you think about love triangles?  What are some of your favorites?


Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

I realize today’s post is more than a bit late, but I’ve only just finished The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer.  I have to admit, I took advantage of the free version at breetanner.com, though that made finishing the story a bit difficult when you had to reflip to the page you’d ended on whenever you went back to the webpage.  Considering I had no idea if I’d enjoy the book at all, though, I was more than grateful for the chance to check it out before buying the book.  (It’s free online through July 5th, by the way, and only 178 pages, if you want to read it online!)

So.  I only vaguely remembered Bree from the end of Eclipse.  She was our one look at a “newborn” vampire, and one that Bella looks at with a “I could turn into that” point of view.  We didn’t know much more about her, though, except that she wanted to suck Bella dry—not that that was exactly a new thing for non-Cullen vamps in the Twilight world.  Probably like a lot of people, my first reaction to hearing about The Short Second Life was… why do I care about her perspective?  Why should I care about Bree Tanner at all?

I have to admit, though, when I read the intro by Stephenie Meyer, and I read the tagline from the inside flap of the book of it being another story full of “danger, mystery, and romance,” I kind of got my hopes up. Maybe Bree really was going to captivate me and hold me by the throat the way Twilight first did.  I was starting to look forward to it, even though vampire books really aren’t my cup of tea, and this is the most vampirish of any of the Twilight stories.

Now that I’ve read the story, though… do I feel differently?  Honestly, I don’t know that I do, much.  I have to admit, I enjoyed Bree’s perspective.  She wasn’t whiny like Bella, even though she was still kind of a scaredy, and kept out of all the real action.  Her interaction with Diego was fun to watch, but so short-lived that I felt the “romance” tagline was forced at best.  In fact, the romance itself seemed a bit overrated, even by Bree.  She didn’t have time to fall in love with Diego properly, so her agony at the end of the story doesn’t truly hit home the way it would if the two had more of a real relationship.  That said, I did enjoy their interaction, as I said.  Once Diego was out of the picture, though, we get caught up in the one big stumbling point Twilight—or any first-person perspective—can’t help but have… we were stuck with Bree’s point of view, even when it may not have been the most interesting one.

But learn insight into what happens in Eclipse, we certainly did.  I don’t know that it’s as essential to understanding the novel as it claims to be—Eclipse would be a failure of a novel if it needed outside help after all, which it’s not—but it was interesting.  And it was refreshing to stumble back into familiar territory at the end of the novella, too.  I think Bree ended up a lot more human than Meyer ever implied newborn vamps could be, though, and a lot more rational, too, no matter how many times she’d derail her logical thinking by saying she couldn’t concentrate—I didn’t buy that, half the time.

So I guess I could say that I’m glad I read this.  But unlike the rest of the Twilight novels, I don’t honestly know that I’ll ever read it again.  It was nice to step back into that world for a minute, though, and I have to admit, I really, really loved Fred.  I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him, in the future.

I give you a B, Bree Tanner.  Maybe a B+, since a dollar of every book is donated to the Red Cross.  Is that cheating?  Yes, but hey, it’s for a good cause.  If you do read the book online, there’s a chance to donate there, too.  Don’t miss it.


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