Monday, 17 September 2012

30 Days of Books Meme (Part 6)

Day 16 – Favourite female character
I love the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (I even quite like the weird fourth part of the trilogy) and I read a lot about the characters. Westerfeld often talks about how, after writing the books, he realised that the heroine, Tally Youngblood, isn't in fact the hero of the story - it's her best friend, Shay. And a lot of people, it would seem, agree with him.

I'll admit, Shay is more of a natural leader than Tally is. Tally has a tendency to become a bit of a sheep, she's totally in awe of her friend and often follows her rather than deciding what to do for herself. She also gets dragged into a lot of the situations she finds herself in rather than entering them by choice or some kind of action on her part. And yet, Tally's my favourite. I don't really like Shay, I don't know why but I just don't. Maybe it's because the story is told from Tally's POV, but I also felt like I understood her better, like she was more like me. In a way, the fact that she's dumped in difficult situations and forced to figure out a way out of them is something I like. How often in your life do you create a crazy situation and then have to navigate it? Rarely, if ever. How often does shit happen to you and you're forced to deal with it as best you can? Tally is every person on the planet, in that respect, (albeit living in a crazy world) and you know what else? Sometimes she screws up. In fact, most of the time she screws up. Shay, on the other hand? I haven't read the books in a while now, but I can't remember a time when Shay makes a mistake (other than trusting trouble-magnet Tally).

This was a really hard one for me to pick, I spent a lot of time debating whether I liked Hermione Granger or Tally Youngblood more, but I think Tally just has the edge. Who knows, maybe if it had been Hermione Granger and the Philosopher's Stone, she would have won out in this instance, but Tally is a character who I've always felt a strange sort of connection with, and I love her.

Day 17 – Favourite quote(s) from your favourite book(s) 
It's come to my attention that what I believed to be my favourite quote from one of my favourite books, is actually not in the book. Just the film. Well, it might be in the book, but I can't find it and so I'm guessing it isn't.

I'm pretty sure I quote Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk more than any other book. Seriously, I quote it at least a couple of times a month, but I'm starting to doubt whether I'm quoting the book or the movie. I frequently tell people why they drop oxygen masks on planes in the event of an emergency, and why the brace position is putting your head between your legs and your hands over your head. I don't know why my friends are friends with me. Anyway, my favourite quote from this book/movie has got to be in reference to the soap that they're making:

Tyler sold his soap to department stores at $20 a bar. Lord knows what they charged. It was beautiful. We were selling rich women their own fat asses back to them.

Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
I really wanted to like The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt. I really, really did. It was, I now realise, my first step into reading Steampunk, and it's completely put me off the genre. Because it's so, so bad.

Seriously. The first three hundred pages are bad, then it gets brilliant for a hundred pages, and then the last hundred are even worse than the first three. I think the reason I like those hundred pages in the middle so much is because I invented a romantic relationship where there was none between a captor and a prisoner (seriously, it was so dull that I started to invent my own story). The worst part is, because I liked that hundred pages so much, I bought the second book. I really did, and I slogged through it. None of it was as bad as the worst part of Court of the Air, but none of it was as good as the good part either. And you know what? I bought the third one. Which was complete drivel. To this day, I have genuinely no idea what actually happened in those five hundred pages. I only managed to finish it because I was stranded overnight in a Minnesota airport and had literally nothing else to read.

But I have to say, the trilogy looks ever so pretty on my bookshelf, so maybe it's not all bad.

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