Saturday, January 26, 2013

Does he exist?

Ack! I should really stop watching chickflick/romance movies (and books). Every time it makes me long for a sweet, well-built, perfect guy who usually doesn't exist. Tonight some friends and I watched Leap Year, which is a funny movie about a girl traveling to Europe in order to propose to her boyfriend on leap year. However, the trip does not go as planned, and she meets a rough Irish brogue (God did good on Matthew Goode!) and of course, eventually falls in love with him and all that.

This movie is fantastic (I've seen it 3 times), as are most other romantic movies, such as Pride and Prejudice, Ever After, Pearl Harbor, etc. And I know it's fine to desire to be married to a godly young man, especially at my age. But does this man exist? I think the young women in our culture tend to idolize romantic love and create men who do not have many flaws. As I've mentioned before, most books aimed at teenagers and even younger have relationships in them, and many of the young men in these stories are unreal. For example, Edward in The Twilight Series, Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Todd in the Christy Miller Series, Peeta in The Hunger Games, Kai in the Matched Series, and several others. Of course these characters have flaws, one must consider the context of the story, and the flaws of the men are usu. harder to spot because they are not the main character. And I like all these stories.

I just feel like we don't portray the struggles of relationships in books and movies very well, and sometimes put men characters on pedestals in (at least) young adult fiction for girls. Of course not all fiction does this, some show the boyfriends as humans who make mistakes; I'm speaking generally from what I've noticed. And if we write stories with the boyfriends raised up, then this will leave girls looking for someone who does not exist. There is no perfect man, there is no perfect relationship.

I struggle with this in my own writing. I want to portray characters, both male and female, who have faults and arguments and lives like ours, albeit in different worlds. I hope at least some of this makes sense; I'm processing it as I'm writing. And remember, I'm not against romance novels or books with love in them (as you'll see in the books I read and review). I just think we need to portray men and women as real people so we're not let down when we can't find a man like the one in the books we've read.

So, what do you think? Yay or Nay? Can you think of any examples of men characters on pedestals or as regular people in the media today? What effect, if any, will it have on our culture?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Review: City of Bones

Wow, it's been a long time since I wrote! Sorry about that; school just started and it's going to be a super uber busy semester. I'll still try to write once a week, but I'm not promising anything.

Anyhow, over the break I read the City of Bones series by Cassandra Clare. These books are full of exciting events, plot twists, and intriguing characters. It is filled with otherworldly characters including (but not limited to) vampires, elves, and werewolves.

Be warned though, that these books are PG-13. There is some language and one of the main characters is homosexual. Some of the scenes between two of the main characters get a little steamy too. Therefore, I would recommend this series to mature highschoolers (and older people) who can handle these things. Overall, it was a well-written series that keeps one's interest throughout each book.
       -Oh, and the first book, City of Bones, is going to be a movie, but no one knows when yet.

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)City of Glass (Mortal Instruments)

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book 4)City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments)The last book comes out Sept. 2014

So what are these books about?
Well, in the modern-day New York City area, Clary Fray goes to a club with her best friend, Simon. There, she has her mind opened to a larger world than what she sees everyday. Through a young man named Jace and his friends, she finds out about the Shadowhunters, an elite group who kill demons.

The night Clary comes back from the club and strange happenings, her mother disappears and Clary esapes her house with her life barely intact. Who took her mother and why can Clary see the Shadowhunters when humans aren't supposed to see them?  Clary's life is about to change in dramatic ways, as will the lives of those who bring her into the Shadowhunter world.
-This is just a review of the first book, City of Bones. If you want to know what happens in the other books, you'll just have to read them!
-Or, you can check out Cassandra Clare's website.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hope you are having a great year so far! So far, mine has consisted of sleeping in, watching the Rose Bowl Parade, writing, reading, and of course, eating a lot of delicious sweets. I don't have any 'big' New Year's resolution. Like last year, I want to love the Lord more fully this next year and serve him and people. What's yours?

I finished Reached, the last book in Ally Condie's Matched series, last night, and the whole series is fantastic, especially if you like dystopian (futuristic) young adult romancy novels. I'm not huge into love triangles, which is throughout this entire series, but there is enough adventure, rebellion and mystery in these books to keep me in their thrilling grip. What's more, these books have gorgeous covers.

In this first novel, the Society controls Cassia Reyes' life and those of everyone she knows. Everyone is safe in the Society, and Cassia has never questioned the controlled and simple environment she has grown up in.

But after her Match banquet, where certain citizens find out who their match (mate) will be for their entire lives, a face appears on the screen and it's not her match.

Is it possible Cassia's match could not be the right guy for her? Could it be possible the Society is not perfect? Is there more to life than just existing?

In Crossed, Cassia breaks out of the Society's hold on her life and looks for the person who might be her true Match.

In this novel, Cassia faces dangers in the wild she's never imagined, and learns more about herself and those she loves.

-I can't say more without giving anything away!

The Society is sick in Reached. Cassia and many others are excited by what this could mean for their ability to choose in the future. But things that no one predicted begin happening and hurting many people, including Cassia. Cassia must go through more Canyons before she becomes who she is meant to be and discover the true meaning of choice, and how dangerous it can be.
This is one of my favorite series; I highly recommend reading them. They are clean and have excellent bits of poetry thoughout them, which is actually a large part of the entire series. Ally Condie is a very talented author and you can learn more about her here.