[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction Post!

Sep. 19th, 2010 07:27 am
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Hi there! I'm Sophia, and this is my journal. If you want to know more about me and about what you can find on my journal, this is the place! )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
For starters, I LOVED it. It's the first in a projected fairly long series, and in some respects you can really see that she's working to set up a lot of things for future storylines to lead from. But it works!

cut for spoilers )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Next up in my Great Courtney Milan Readthrough of November (....yes I am very behind in posting) is the Turner Series! Which I found pretttty uneven in my enjoyment of. I strongly disliked a major aspect of one of the three books, and adored the other two books.

Not even mentioned here: the side novella Unlocked, which I disliked enough that I didn't bother finishing.

Unveiled, by Courtney Milan )

Unraveled, by Courtney Milan )

Unclaimed, by Courtney Milan )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Hey so the fic I wrote for yuletide this year was the following!

One Step (1786 words) by sophia_sol
Fandom: Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Areida & Char & Ella (Ella Enchanted), Char/Ella (Ella Enchanted)
Characters: Areida (Ella Enchanted), Ella of Frell, Prince Charmont

Summary: On Ella and Char's first official state visit to Ayortha after King Jerrold's death and King Char's crowning, I did not expect to see them for more than a brief night's stopover. What would keep them in Amonta, after all, when the politics happen in the capital?


And now that reveals are past, I can also post my book thoughts about this book without revealing what I wrote for yuletide!

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

A charming retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella! I read this book a lot as a kid, and I still really like it. The basic premise: Ella was given a gift/curse by a fairy as an infant, and as a result she must be obedient to any direct commands from anyone.

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I saw Rogue One yesterday, finally! Overall an imperfect but worthwhile movie.

cut for spoilers )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I need to get on posting all my book thoughts if I’m to have all my 2016 books posted within a reasonable time frame after 2016! At any rate here’s four more books at once:

The Immortals Quartet

I do like these books a lot but not as much as some of Tamora Pierce's other works. The first two books are better than the second two, in my opinion.

cut for mild spoilers for all four books )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
My yuletide gift this year is just SO GOOD!!! I am utterly thrilled. My author wrote me a fic about the album Splendor & Misery in the style of the album and it is EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE WANTED, gosh. Highly recommended!

there’ll be no here when you wake up

(3625 words) by Anonymous

Fandom: Splendor & Misery - clipping. (Album)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: The Computer & Cargo 2331
Characters: Cargo 2331, The Computer (Splendor & Misery
Additional Tags: Loneliness, Artificial Intelligence, Finding Selfhood, What Makes for a Non-Human?, POV Second Person, Formatted to be Read Aloud, Impossible to Tag

Summary:
you have learned love but not self-consciousness, because love does not beget self. there’s no need for heart and body to love; no need for mind or soul though you have both, programmed for one and grew the other like a struggling sprout in a crack on the pavement, just for him, just like him.

The Passenger and the Computer, in the midst of the all black everything. Time once more has meaning, and humanity must be redefined.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
First: shoutout to [personal profile] china_shop for recommending Courtney Milan's historicals to me last year and giving me spoilers for Duchess War and Heiress Effect - it was helpful to have a sense of what to expect from these books before I'd read enough to get a handle on Courtney Milan's trustworthiness as an author!

So this is the first half or so of the Brothers Sinister series, read slightly out of order because my hold on the Heiress Effect took too long to come in. (The Heiress Effect will be in my next post about the Brothers Sinister, which will be after the Turner trilogy and also some more Tamora Pierce.)


The Duchess War )

A Kiss for Midwinter )

The Governess Affair )

The Countess Conspiracy )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I haven't reread the Emelan books in forever and I was in the mood so I reread the five that I own! Which are the four Circle of Magic books plus The Will of the Empress, since I was never as into the Circle Opens books (possibly because they're all about serial killers). At any rate it works very well to read just these five books as a complete set.

thematic spoilers only )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Well this weekend I watched Yuri on Ice! That is definitely a thing. It was a weird experience because I know basically zero about anime conventions so I kept on being mildly baffled by choices it was making without knowing whether my bafflement ought to be directed towards anime as a whole or Yuri on Ice in particular.

cut for vagueish spoilers )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
And so we embark on the period where for approximately a month straight I read almost nothing but lots and lots of Courtney Milan and Tamora Pierce.

The following two are the first Courtney Milan books I have ever read. They are the beginning of her new contemporary romance series. I don't know why I started with these instead of her copious quantities of historical fiction, given my general preference for reading stories about the 19th c over the 21st c, but I did! And clearly it worked because it inspired me to keep reading her books. Courtney Milan writes really compelling romance novels, I must say.


Trade Me, by Courtney Milan

Read more... )


Hold Me, by Courtney Milan

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Yooooo so latest gender update! Is that I have been experimenting with pronouns irl and have realized that they/them pronouns make me a lot happier than she/her. So please use they/them for me going forward. Thanks!

(for ppl who know me irl: please continue to use she/her for me in front of people who don't know I'm agender, because I am not ready to be out to everyone.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Terry Pratchett is just such a good writer, gosh. Okay so like, obviously this was a reread. But I haven't reread this one for a lot of years at this point! And it's really great.

One thing I noticed while reading it is something that I'd never consciously recognized before about Pratchett's writing. Which is his style of setting up a series of facts and leaving the reader to connect them and draw the obvious conclusion of whatever you're supposed to gather from the scene. It's really effective!

cut for a mild spoiler )

I love the way this kind of thing makes the book feel like a collaboration with the reader.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Eh, it was a perfectly reasonable kids' book that I found totally uninspiring. There wasn't anything glaringly wrong with it, but I didn't get emotionally invested in the characters or the plot or anything.

I did like that in the context of this story's worldbuilding dragons' genders have no visual cues and dragons don't say anything about their genders, so dragons get referred to by nonbinary pronouns and titles. On the other hand the pronoun used for dragons is IT. And no, that wasn't me all-capsing for emphasis, that's actually how the book writes IT throughout. The dragon Meenore is one of the major characters in the book, which means that the pronoun IT gets shouted at you by the text a lot over the course of the book. So that's both a plus one and a minus one for nonbinary representation, I guess. Sigh.

Other than that...I am just super lacking in anything at all to say about anything in this book because I just didn't care.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly

Oh look another historical novel about a tomboy living in rural 19th century USA!

This one though was written in the last few years and is set in Texas in 1899. Calpurnia (often known as Callie Vee) is the middle child of seven children, and all her siblings are boys. But instead of just a general interest in adventure/hijinks, she has an interest in SCIENCE, encouraged by her grandfather. Much to her parents' despair.

There was a lot to love about this book! Some good characterization, especially of Callie and her grandfather.

Read more... )


The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This is a novelized account of the author's grandmother's childhood. The author wrote in the 1930's and the book's events take place in the 1860's in rural Wisconsin. In a number of ways the book has a similar feel to the Little House books, and I get the impression that comparisons are made between these books rather a lot!

Caddie, the main character, is 11 years old and quite a tomboy. The book doesn't have much of an actual through-line plot (other than the question of Will Caddie Ever Learn To Be A Lady?), and mostly consists of telling a series of anecdotes about Caddie's adventures and experiences. It's charming enough to make up for its lack of forward momentum, and her adventures are never so hair-raising that I found reading the book stressful.

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
A ridiculous piece of fun, as Heyer's books tend to be. Featuring: crossdressing, duels, pretend highwaymen, masked balls, and so forth. You get the idea of the sort of book it is.

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
At any rate the world doesn't stop having good books in it just because everything else is horrible.

Here's a collection of short book thoughts about some books I liked, that aren't substantive or spoilery enough thoughts to get their own posts.


The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex

A reread. Still an impressively successful and delightful book! A kid's book about alien invasion(s), told from the point of view of a young biracial girl, with the conceit that it was written by her for a school project with a goal of it ending up in a time capsule. Tip is a really engaging narrator, and the themes the book is addressing are all well handled, and it's just all SO GOOD. I have a lot of feelings.

Also http://archiveofourown.org/works/1087542 is pretty much exactly right for what happens after the book imo. I love this fic. (though really I ought to read the ACTUAL Smek sequel at some point I think. There is one now!)


Quilting: Poems 1987-1990, by Lucille Clifton

An interesting collection of poems written by an African-American woman. Worth reading, though I have nothing to say about it because I'm not comfortable enough yet with poetry to have the words to describe it.


Dogsbody, by Diana Wynne Jones

A well written and charming book, as is to be expected from DWJ. I'm not the right audience for it, since I don't particularly care one way or another about dogs, and our main character is fairly thoroughly a dog for much of the book. But DWJ is a good enough writer to keep me invested despite this, and I did care an awful lot about Kathleen!


The Emperor's Soul, by Brandon Sanderson

A reread. I still love this book. But do I have anything else to say about it that I didn't say last time? No.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now, by Ryan North, art by Erica Henderson

A total delight, just like the last two Squirrel Girl tpbs! I love Ryan North's sense of humour, and Erica Henderson's art is perfect for the story. Doreen and her friends are all amazing, and I love just about everything about this book.

However. The last two issues in this collection are a two-part crossover with Howard Duck. The first part (done by the Squirrel Girl team) was just about as good as the rest of the series but the second part (done by the Howard Duck team) I just wasn't as into. It wasn't as funny or as charming, and I didn't like the art as much, and I just didn't care as much. It's too bad that this is the note the book ended on, because the rest of the book had me gleeful all the way through.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I keep on trying to write up my thoughts on the recent US election to post here and keep failing. I just don't know what to say that other people aren't already saying, more eloquently than me. I spent basically all of Wednesday in tears or near it. I am horrified at what the next four years are going to be like for people in the US, as well as for the rest of the world given the US's outsized influence.

I wish I could have hope that things aren't going to be that bad...but evidence does not seem to be on my side on this one.

I can't believe this happened. I can't believe this is really reality now.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I read this book because of family reasons - I have a grandparent who was put into a boarding school overseas by her missionary parents for much of her childhood, and this was clearly a formative influence on a number of the ways in which she grew up to be a difficult person.

This book spends too much time focusing on the methods of therapy for the author's various case studies, which is unhelpful and uninteresting to me. But it also did a good job of outlining both the systemic abuses within the imperial British boarding school system and the ways in which boarding school can be traumatic even without any overt abuses, and how these things can affect the child subjected to them.

It's a helpful reminder that Grandma was once a traumatized child -- and although as an adult she emphatically did not deal with her trauma well, that original trauma she experienced was not her fault.

(note: this is a different grandmother than the one who died this summer.)

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