Monday, July 28, 2014

Percy Jackson: The Musical?

Monday, July 28, 2014
This weekend was awesome because I finally got a couple of days off to go into the city with my brother. Back when he was starting college and I was finishing up elementary school, I read the first few Percy Jackson books and passed them along to him. They filled the gap between Harry Potter books, but they were also really fun and something we could both share, regardless of our age gap.

Fast forward to 2010, when the Percy Jackson movie came out. Of course, we saw it together, and I'm not really going to rehash how I felt about it because I've said often enough what a putrid, terrible, racist, sexist, idiotic, piece of trash that movie is. 

Needless to say, we did not see the sequel.

But then! My brother's girlfriend's voice teacher told my brother's girl friend that his husband (hope you're keeping up) had written the music for a Percy Jackson musical. It was going to be a kid's show, it was at a theater in Manhattan, and the tickets were free! 

Obviously, we were in, and we got to the theater an hour before the box office opened (the theater gives preference to groups, so we went on a Sunday when there would be fewer groups, but that didn't stop the line from stretching down the street). 

Going in, we weren't really sure what to expect ('cause, I mean, The Lightning Thief: The Musical has plenty of potential to be reallllly bad), but the end result?


Seriously, this show was smart, funny, energetic- ugh, it was just great. All of the actors were incredible, and even though there was just a five person cast, the show hit every important character and every important scene from the book. All in just an hour, which is doubly remarkable when you consider that a) it didn't feel rushed or cramped with too much stuff at all and b) the movie completely and utterly failed to do this in double that time. 

Oh it was just so good!

If you're in/around New York, definitely go see it! It's going to be at the Lucille Lortel Theatre until August 22nd, and here's a handy dandy link to the rest of the info.

Meanwhile, I'm praying that there will be a CD or something, because I have all of the music stuck in my head. "So if you think you are a half-blood..."

Would you want to see The Lightning Thief the musical?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fictional Roommates

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Since I have about a month left until I start college (AH, but also YAY), I've been thinking about, well, college a lot. And one of the most novel parts of school (no pun intended) will be the whole roommate situation.

I'm not too worried, especially since my roommate seems pretty cool, but it got me thinking: what if I could room with any of my favorite fictional characters? Who would I choose? Who would I never, ever room with?

I think it's time for a list.

Livin' in Harmony:

Karou and Brimstone by Calivel
By Calivel
1. Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Karou doesn't seem like she'd be too uptight about the room situation, and can you imagine how beautiful she'd make it with her artwork??

By Simini Blocker
2. Elisa from Girl of Fire and Thorns 
Late night gossip sessions like with Mara? Count me in!

Asking for a roomie switch:

By agusmp
1. Hermione from Harry Potter
I love Hermione, but I am far too similar to her to room with her. We'd probably end up killing each other.

This series needs some fan art, stat.
2. Audrey from Audrey, Wait!
Again, love Audrey. But "she likes her music loud" and I like being able to study in peace and quiet.


I also asked you guys who you'd like to room with- here are some of your answers!

So, who would your fictional roomie be?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Feminist Review: Pawnee by Leslie Knope

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Welcome to Pawnee: More Exciting than New York, More Glamorous than Hollywood, Roughly the Same Size as Bismarck, North Dakota In Pawnee, Leslie Knope (as played by Amy Poehler on NBC's hit show Parks and Recreation) takes readers on a hilarious tour through her hometown, the Midwestern haven known as Pawnee, Indiana. The book chronicles the city's colorful citizens and hopping nightlife, and also explores some of the most hilarious events from its crazy history--like the time the whole town was on fire, its ongoing raccoon infestation, and the cult that took over in the 1970s. Packed with laugh-out-loud-funny photographs, illustrations, and commentary by the other inhabitants of Pawnee, it's a must-read that will make you enjoy every moment of your stay in the Greatest Town in America.
Summary from Leafmarks 

The Quick of It: Reading Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America (allegedly written by the fictional Leslie Knope) is kind of like watching one really long episode of Parks and Rec. While also rewatching all of your favorite episodes. While hanging out with the characters. Basically, if you're a Parks and Rec fan, this book will be a lot of fun. And if you're not a Parks and Rec fan...why the hell are you reading this book??

Yes, unfortunately, self-declared feminist Ms. Knope strays from her ideals when discussing the women's rights hero of Pawnee, Dorothy Everton Smythe (though the rest of the section is, admittedly, pretty amusing). According to the book, Smythe had to educate herself in secret since women's education was outlawed and so she "'traded kisses for books.'" Leslie goes onto comment that "Basically, she was a little slutty, but for a good cause."

At which point, I was kind of like, HOLD UP. I mean, it's not the biggest thing in the world - it's a throwaway joke in a comedy book - but why is a female character's sexuality being judged or explained away? And by a feminist, no less? 

A demerit for you, Leslie Knope.

Making the Grade: 
I mean, if you want to see an awesome female friendship, just look at Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins. While Ann Perkins is only featured in a short section of the book, I'm giving points because of how great their friendship is on the show, which may be cheating but, well, it's my blog.

"She's my best friend and I love her" ~Ann Perkins on Leslie Knope

One thing I really want to point out is that besides being hilarious, Leslie Knope is a really important figure in our media. She's a woman with amazing leadership skills who is determined and gets stuff done (while still being a bit nutty and endearing and nerdy), which is why Parks and Rec is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.

Other Notes: This book is funny- like, really really funny. Every few pages I would put it down and stop whoever was nearby so I could read a particularly chuckle-inducing passage out loud, which probably got a little annoying for my mom after awhile (especially considering she doesn't watch P&R). But seriously, if you're looking for a break from heavy duty reading and want something enjoyable, Pawnee is a good choice.

Get a Copy (you know, if you want)

Final Grade: B-

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Author Adoration: Kristin Cashore

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
You know when you're reading a book by an author you've read before and you're struck by how amazing it is? And you're doubly amazed because it's just as good as the author's other two, three, ten books? This feature will highlight those authors, those whose books are an automatic purchase, who you recommend to all of your friends, and push on your book clubs. There's no set schedule for this, but there will probably be about one of these posts a month. (Blogger's Note: hahaha the last time I did one of these was January, whoops)

Kristin Cashore

My love for Kristin Cashore's books knows no bounds. Seriously, every time I see these books in a bookstore, I end up yacking my friends' ears off over HOW AMAZING her Graceling series is. And then I bemoan the fact that I still don't own Bitterblue (though I will. Soon. Hopefully.). 

Her published worksGraceling (YA, 2008), Fire (YA, 2009), Bitterblue (YA, 2012)
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)

What's to love: 

  • These books are off the feminist charts. Seriously, I could go on and on (as my friends will tell you) about the characters' diversity and her exploration of femininity, or you could just read them. (I highly recommend that.)
  • Katsa is a girl after my own heart in so many ways. In fact, she and this character inspired me to lob off my hair two years ago. (Okay, so I had a professional do it. There was no way I was giving myself a pixie, let's be real.)
  • All of the characters, really, are just amazing and wonderful and awesome. Fire is not the traditional fantasy heroine (oh gosh, seriously you could write a 20 page paper all about Fire), and Bitterblue is at once a queen and a teen (points for a rhyme?), and then there's Po (swoon), and Brigan (ditto), and all of their friends, and GAH.
  • The world-building. Seriously, there's magic Graces and beautiful monsters and evil and royalty and castles and fancy bridges and hidden chambers. When you read these books, it's like you're really there.

Some Favorite Quotes

"Bacon improved things dramatically."

"But you're better than I am, Katsa. And it doesn't humiliate me. It humbles me. But it doesn't humiliate me."
~Po in Graceling

"The world may be falling to pieces, but at least the lot of us can have a bath."
~Brigan in Fire

So you might want to follow her blog

And definitely read her books:

(I'm a Better World Books Affiliate now, so if you use the links below to buy her books I'll deeply appreciate it and you'll be supporting literacy programs and the environment!)


What is your favorite Kristin Cashore book?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sweet Summer Reads

Friday, July 11, 2014
One of the best parts about summer is, of course, ICE CREAM. The rest of the year, I don't look twice at a bowl (or cone) of ice cream, but come June I could eat it and only it. (I mean, I don't because I've been trying to eat healthy and all that, but I could. AnYwAy.) The only thing better than ice cream in the summer? Ice cream and BOOKS (because everything is better with books, right?).

So while you're lazing away with a waffle cone, why not pick up one of these reads?

If you think of anymore book/flavor combos that should be added, leave your suggestions in the comments or tweet me @thepagesage with the hashtag #SweetSummerReads.

Now, excuse me, I think I'm going to go have some ice cream. ;)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bad Books: A Dilemma (featuring Andy Dwyer)

Monday, July 7, 2014
So I've been reorganizing my room, which means finding space for a lot of books (there are currently 180 on my floor because I've run out of shelves, if that gives you an idea of the problem). And there's a small pile of books I have that are, well, bad.

Seriously, they're not good.
These books fall into two categories:
1. Bad for Me (who knows, someone else may like them)
2. Bad because of Tropes (they feature quite a few of the sexist tropes that I give out demerits for)

So Category #1 is easy- my library frequently accepts book donations, or maybe my friends would like them.

Thanks, Andy.
But the majority fall into category numero two, and I can't give those away! I'm not going to encourage some unsuspecting soul to read offensive material, not when there are so many other great books out there! But I also don't want them on my shelves (or in my book stacks). But I also can't recycle them, because, I mean, they're still books.

What to do, what to do....??!?!
Right now I'm hiding them underneath a pile of books and pretending like they don't exist, until I come up with a permanent solution.
Now just pretend Andy is talking to my
 books instead of April. Actually, don't do that.
That would be weird.
Book nerd problems, man.

P.S. I'll take any solutions you may have.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Hangover

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Okay, so this isn't really a "post," but a PSA.

About what?

Epic Reads. They've been doing these awesome YouTube videos, and one of their most recent is amazing. Seriously, watch it below and then tell me you haven't felt the exact same way after finishing a book.

The Epic Reads team just nails it.

Have you ever had a book hangover?