Monday, October 31, 2011

BLOOD RED ROAD Giveaway Winner!

The winner of Blood Red Road by Moira Young is

I have emailed the winner!

Happy Halloween, people!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fairy Tale Friday #4: Amputation

Oops. Not Friday anymore, but close enough :P

Since it's Halloween weekend, I'm going to have a fairy tale post about the darker parts of fairy tales, specifically amputation! Fairy tales were originally intended for adults, not children. There was sex, violence, incest, murder, etc. Of course, nowadays, those fairy tales had been cleaned up for the children. (Look at all those Disney movies.)

In "Cinderella," remember how Cinderella's stepsisters try on the glass slipper so they can marry the prince?

The Grimm Brothers version: The stepsisters obviously can't fit into the glass slipper so they cut off parts of their feet to do so. On the first day, one sister cut off her heel. The next day, the other sister cut off a toe. And it becomes a very bloody mess just to bag a prince. It's kinda stupid of the prince to not notice the bloody foot each time when he rides away with one of them. A bird has to tell him.

Let's move on to "The Red Shoes" by Hans Christian Andersen. There's a girl who always wears her red shoes. She's a mean and unappreciative girl who pissed off a lot of people. One day, she can't stop dancing and she can't take off her red shoes. It's punishment for her appalling behavior. It comes to  a point where she asks someone to chop off her feet. Chop. Chop. Chop. And she finally stops dancing...although the red shoes continue to dance with her amputated feet.

Now let's talk about a gory fairy tale called "The Girl Without Hands" by the Grimm Brothers. A devil offers a poor miller wealth for whatever's behind a mill. Thinking it's just a tree, the miller agrees. But no! It's his daughter! But since she's kept herself sinless and her hands clean, the devil can't take her. Instead, the devil threatens to take her father if he doesn't chop off her hands. So she lets him chop off her hands. Oh, what an awesome daughter!

So what's with all these chopped off body parts?

1. The stepsisters did it to get the prince. (Greed)
2. The girl with the red shoes did it to stop dancing. (Punishment)
3. The miller's daughter did it to save her father. (Sacrifice)

In these three different tales, amputation is used in different ways to affect an outcome. All girls in real life will come to a point where they make important decisions in their lives and live with those decisions. In these fairy tales, these girls make their decisions whether it's selfish or not. How they perform their lives after those decisions becomes important.

1. The stepsisters don't learn their lesson so they are blinded by the birds.
2. The girl with the red shoes wants to change and asks for mercy. In the end, she goes to heaven.
3. The miller's daughter is rewarded for her sacrifice by marrying a king and giving birth to a son, and by the end of the story, God gives back her natural hands.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fairy Tale Friday #3: Kisses

Do fairy tale kisses really bring you back to life after you've been dead/sleeping the whole time?

In the Disney movie, the Prince's kiss brings Snow White back from a death-like sleep caused by the Evil Queen and a poisoned apple.

In the Disney movie, a kiss brings Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty, back from sleep caused by a bad fairy's curse and a spindle from a spinning wheel. It was supposed to be death but one of the good fairies was able to turn the death into sleep.

In Disney, a true love's kiss saves the day.

In the original fairy tales, a kiss does diddly-squat.

Do you know how Snow White wakes up in the real story? According to the Brothers Grimm's version, while the Prince's servants carry Snow White's coffin away, they stumble and the piece of poisoned apple in her throat is dislodged. She wakes up. No kiss here.

Do you know how Sleeping Beauty wakes up in the real story? Giambattisa Basile has a story called Sun, Moon, and Talia that predates Charles Perrault or the Grimm Brothers' versions. In Basile's version, Talia wakes up after her twin babies, Sun and Moon, begin to suck on her fingers rather than her breasts. A splinter of flax comes out. (Earlier, she pricked her finger on the spindle.) She wakes up. No kiss here either.

(Okay, you're probably wondering where these twins came from. Well, in this version, the king actually rapes Talia while she's been in this coma-like death. And somehow, she gives birth to twins. And the king already has a wife while he commits this sin. And the wife tries to get the cook to cook the twins for the King's meal. And the wife tries to burn Talia on a fire pit. No worries though. Happy ending.)

The servants and the babies save the day.

Oh, Prince Charmings, you're not having a good day.

In my WIP, my society wants to have this true love's kiss. So the girls are put to sleep for their plastic surgeries but are awaken by a Prince Charming's kiss afterwards. So what happens if the Prince Charming chosen to be your true love doesn't wake you up? Yeah, this princess stays asleep forever like Sleeping Beauty.

Oops by the society.

Monday, October 17, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Blood Red Road

Hey, people, I'm giving away Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

From Goodreads:
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization. 
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction. 
Blood Red Road is such an awesome book, full of action, girl-power, and love! So why am I giving it away? Because I have 2 copies of this book and I only need 1! And why do I have an extra copy? Because I previously won a copy and then bought a copy at Borders when Borders was closing!

So how do you win this book?

To enter, comment below on your favorite Halloween memory or a favorite costume. Remember to include your email address. You can also tweet about this giveaway for an extra entry and put it in a SEPARATE comment!

I'm sorry. US only.

Giveaway ends on Halloween at 12pm EST :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist...with Videos!

So I was going through my pictures on my computer tonight and found a couple of videos of a book signing at Books of Wonder in NYC back on April 11, 2009. Two of those authors were David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. (The other authors were Cassandra Clare, Lisa McMann, Beth Fantaskey, Elizabeth Scott, and Libba Bray-fronted band Tiger Beat.)

This video is of David Levithan and Rachel Cohn reading from a German version of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist:

This video is of David Levithan and Rachel Cohn re-enacting a scene from the movie Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist which is based on their YA novel:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cassandra Clare...with Pictures!

I love Cassandra Clare.
I love The Mortal Instruments.
I love Clary and Jace.

I remember how I got started in her books. I've never been to a book signing before, but I really wanted to go to Holly Black's book signing for Ironside back in 2007 in NYC. (I was going to NYU during the time.) I saw that she was going to be signing with Cassandra Clare and I hadn't heard of City of Bones. But I bought the book at a Barnes and Noble in NYC so I could see what it was about! Wow, was I glad!

And I've been to almost every signing of hers in NYC ever since!

Here are pictures of me with Cassandra Clare throughout the years! Oh, my, look at how I've aged! :P

(May 20, 2007)

(April 6, 2008)

(November 26, 2008)

(April 5, 2009)

(May 3, 2011)

I love how that whenever I go to her signings, Cassie recognizes me! That's awesome of her! I can't wait to go to another signing of hers!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fairy Tale Friday #2: The Color Red

The color red is very much an intense color. It can mean love, hearts, and life. It can also mean blood, violence, and sexuality. In reference to females, red represents the menstrual cycle which represents becoming a woman.

In fairy tales, Snow White's lips are red as blood. The poisoned apple she takes a bite out of is red. (The Evil Queen eats the white side which is not poisoned.)


Red Riding Hood's outfit is red.

Bluebeard's wife's key is stained with bloody red after she uses it to open a forbidden door.

There are red roses in different fairy tales such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "Beauty and the Beast." There are so many fairy tales that have characters shedding blood: Sleeping Beauty pricking her finger, Cinderella's stepsisters chopping parts of their feet off to fit into the glass slipper, the Huntsman carving out the lungs and liver of a boar instead of Snow White, etc.

In these fairy tales, red seems to represent the negative side, the downfall. A lot of times, this downfall is because of the stage of life the female is entering. Red is significantly tied to a girl becoming a woman. Many of these fairy tales are about girls becoming of age to get married, to bear children, to be a mother. White may be considered a virgin or a maiden, but red is a mother or a woman.

In popular culture, red is found in various objects in The Six Sense which represents, according to the DVD (via wikipedia), "anything in the real world that has been tainted by the other world" and "to connote really explosively emotional moments and situations." 

A little girl's coat is red in Schlinder's List. According to Stephen Spielberg (via wikipedia), "It was a large bloodstain, primary red color on everyone's radar, but no one did anything about it."

In Pleasantville, color bleeds into the black and white world, starting with a red rose which ruins this perfect world.

In the book The Giver, Jonas is able to see the color by first seeing a girl's red hair and red apple which causes Jonas to be different from the other people of his society.

So why am I focusing on this color? In my WIP, Beautiful/Wild, (a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling), red is a forbidden color in the society I have created. Anyone caught with the color is punished. So no red exists in this town, but of course, you can't escape the color of blood. Red here is such a negative color, but I plan to change the connotation throughout the book through my main character Arabella.

Red is a strong woman.
Red is a revolution.
Red is life.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fairy Tale Friday #1: Snow White Movies

Wow, I honestly suck at updating my blog on a consistent basis. I either am too lazy to post anything or I have nothing to say. Well, it all changes with my "Fairy Tale Friday" idea. I was trying to figure out what I can post each week. That's when I came up with the idea of posting something fairy tale related each Friday. Maybe I talk about a specific fairy tale, or a theme I noticed in fairy tales, or upcoming books/movies/shows that are about fairy tales.

I'm getting excited here!

So, why fairy tales?

First of all, I love, love, love them. Second, I'm working on a fairy tale dystopia. And third, I have the bottom shelf of my bookcase devoted to fairy tales.

Since this is the first post of "Fairy Tale Friday," I will post some pictures of the two upcoming Snow White movies. One is Snow White and the Huntsman which stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. The other is The Brothers Grimm: Snow White which stars Lily Collins as Snow White and Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen.

Based on the plot lines and the photographs, you can tell the vast differences in these two movies! One is dark and seemed more realistic and grimy while the other is colorful and more magical/fantasy-related. (By the way, I just read that the Kristen Stewart one is supposed to be a trilogy! What?) Even though I would definitely watch both movies, I'm actually more excited for Kristen Stewart's version because it seems darker and her Snow White seems more badass.

Also, I loved the 1997 movie Snow White: A Tale of Terror starring Sigourney Weaver as the Evil Queen. I loved the horror/dark elements which how the original fairy tale was originally intended. If you read the original story and not the Disney version, you would see how dark it actually was. The other fairy tales were that dark, too, because they were originally intended for adults, not children.

Here are the differences between the two upcoming Snow White movies:

The Evil Queen
(Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Charlize Theron
(Snow White and the Huntsman)

Julia Roberts
(The Brothers Grimm: Snow White)

Snow White
(Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

Kristen Stewart
(Snow White and the Huntsman)

Lily Collins
(The Brothers Grimm: Snow White)