Great White Snark: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm not a beauty queen, I'm just beautiful me.

{DISCLAIMER: This post is a rant. As such, it is long and disjointed. Also, the language might be kind of salty.}

Right. So my mom and I subscribe to Us Weekly for the lulz. Whoever gets it out of the mailbox first gets to read it and write in notes with a Sharpie for the other to enjoy later. This is just kind of a thing we do.

Well, last week's issue came in and this was the cover. No biggie, because celeb trash mags sell pretty much on the premise of either a) embarrassing pics of celebrities doing things like picking up dog poop or having (God forbid!) cellulite, or b) info on how to make you more like said celebrities. Well, this one was one of the former. And in order to be like a celebrity, you obviously need to be built like a celebrity.

But not just any celebrity. You have to be built like the Kardashians or Victoria Beckham.

It just PISSES ME OFF that this magazine had like a 40 page spread of "hot beach bods," and there was NO. VARIETY. Every single girl in there looked like the two on the cover: thin, tanned, with unrealistically large breasts and their bones sticking out. And then people wonder why 24 MILLION people in the US alone have eating disorders.

It's just angering, because there's this crazy unrealistic ideal. According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders, only 5% of American females have what media portrays as the ideal body type.
(See how nice I am? At least I protect the identities of people I'm about to publicly trash.)
NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. This is NOT natural! It's not even anatomically possible without the assistance of some major surgery and God-knows-what-else.

And I love it, because like, about a month ago, Us named Jessica Simpson their style icon of the year. And they trumpet around all this garbage about how even though she gets ragged on for her weight, they are accepting and she is beautiful! Was she featured in the hot bodies issue? Hell no, she wasn't.

Women, according to the media have four distinct categories: perfect (see above), too skinny, too curvy, and unhealthy (obese and skeletally ill women). And each of these have their own stereotypical personality types, too. The perfect women? They seem shallow on the surface, but really, they are misunderstood, deep thinkers with a heart and a soul beneath their inflated breasts. The too skinny women, like Keira Knightley and Zoe Saldana, are secretly in denial of their eating disorders. Curvy women, like Adele, Jessica Simpson, Christina Hendricks, and a slew of others, get thrown into this "I'M BIG AND I DON'T GIVE A DAMN" category. They get made into these ridiculous oversexed, overconfident versions of themselves, because it's like the public won't believe that it's possible to not be "perfect" and still be an okay human being. And the "unhealthy" women, the ones who are way too fat or way too skinny, simply just don't care about themselves. They're probably also on drugs because they're just that messed up.


Look, just because you're an hourglass figure doesn't make you a sex symbol like Marilyn Monroe. Just because you're tall, thin, and have A-cup boobs doesn't mean you're secretly hiding some kind of life-threatening eating disorder (it doesn't automatically make you serious and into indie stuff, either. Just saying). And some women are just naturally kind of bony or kind of thick. And you know what, ladies? Even though you are SORELY underrepresented on the glossy pages of these sick-ass magazines, YOU ARE OKAY.

While I was fuming about this, I, providentially enough, came across the following video on Tumblr (which even though I don't have one, is probably my favorite website). This girl is HILARIOUS and accurate, and I just wanted to share.
WARNING: CONTAINS INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE. Don't watch at work or in front of sensitive family members.

My only qualm is with the fact that her self-acceptance came with a boyfriend. But you know what, that's real life. Plus, she only tells us this to make the point that we are, almost always, our own worst enemies.

Anyway, TL;DR: the media is crap for showing us only one type of body and telling us it's the only good one.

Kudos to Glamour magazine for being the ONLY one on the market who truly embraces a wide variety of body types. If you're interested, too, I read this book and it truly changed my entire outlook on body image:

Crystal Renn is probably the most famous plus-sized model (I think she's like a size REALLY?), and she wrote this book detailing her struggle to fit into the modeling world, her battle with severe eating disorders, and how she managed to accept herself just how she is and is making more money now that she has. It's really eye-opening (and just a juicy good read), so I definitely think everyone should read it.

Anyway, that's my latest rant on the ever-pervasive issue of body image and media. It's just a load of crap, and as long as you are HEALTHY, you are JUST FINE, whether you're a size 4 or 14.

And now, a relevant picspam:

ETA: I forgot to post this. It makes me laugh every time, but it's cute, and relevant to this post.

Oh, Tyra... ♥

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to be an English Major.

Accept the fact that your spare time will be whittled away nose-deep in a novel. You’ll have anywhere from 20-30 to read a semester, if you’re dedicated. Learn quickly which ones you must do a thorough read-through of and which ones you can skim. Idealistically, this should be done more than a day in advance. Buy a good coffeepot and some eclectic mugs. Develop an identity. You spend your academic pursuits bombarded by different personas, problems, and settings. How do you expect to understand others if you don’t understand yourself?

Try reading outside. You will quickly learn that although you look cute sitting under a tree reading Pride and Prejudice, you will get grass stains on your pants and bugs will inevitably crawl inside your book. Pretend this doesn’t bother you until you can privately freak out about it and pack up to go inside. Read the classics. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to love them. You should respect the impact they made during their time periods, and if they happen to resonate with you, that’s an added bonus. Explore different authors and various types of literature. Remember that the words you read mean something to someone, somewhere.

Pick up a pen and take a shot at poetry. Count beats, recognize rhyme scheme and meter, then scrap it and start fresh. Let the ideas flow and see what you produce. Chances are, there is a genre of poetry your work will fit. If you like poetry, read anything and everything poetic you can find. If you dislike it, there are better uses of your time.

Write and write and write and write and write. Do this until your hands cramp and your eyes burn from staring at the computer screen. You should have perpetual ink stains on your fingers. Create vibrant characters and rich settings. Make your characters laugh and cry and dream and dance and fight. Your antagonists are just as important as your protagonists, so invent people you love to hate. Words are meant to make us feel. If your own writing doesn’t stir something inside of you, it’s time to toss it and begin again.

Listen to the engineers and physics and math majors who ask you sarcastically what you’ll do with a degree in English. Don’t tell them to go to Hell. You’re articulate, remember? You can do better than that. Instead, tell them that you’ll be able to communicate with others and spell words correctly when writing a letter. Tell them you’ll know how to formulate a professional resume. Tell them you have knowledge of people and emotions and the ability to get lost in a place. And kindly suggest their entire life will be spent trying to understand a universe they will never fully grasp. Do this, of course, with vocabulary they will never understand. They will most likely stop harassing you.

Most importantly, realize that you possess something that not everyone does: the gift to mold words and use language to create something beautiful. Now go do that. I expect to see your name in a Barnes & Noble someday. Yes, you can do it. You’re an English major.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Instructions" for grads.

Hit "play," then read along. What better way to experience a poem than when it's read by the author? (And Neil Gaiman has a sexy British voice, so who's complaining?)

by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never

saw before.

Say "please" before you open the latch,

go through,

walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted

front door,

as a knocker,

do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat


However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,

feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

if you can,

ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the

wild wood.

The deep well you walk past leads to Winter's


there is another land at the bottom of it.

If you turn around here,

you can walk back, safely;

you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the


The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-


Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She

may ask for something;

give it to her. She

will point the way to the castle.

Inside it are three princesses.

Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve

months sit about a fire,

warming their feet, exchanging tales.

They may do favors for you, if you are polite.

You may pick strawberries in December's frost.

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where

you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-

man will take you.

(The answer to his question is this:

If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to

leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.

Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that

witches are often betrayed by their appetites;

dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well-hidden,

and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.

Know that diamonds and roses

are as uncomfortable when they tumble from

one's lips as toads and frogs:

colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.

Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped

to help you in their turn.

Trust dreams.

Trust your heart, and trust your story.

When you come back, return the way you came.

Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.

Do not forget your manners.

Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).

Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is

why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your

journey started,

you will recognize it, although it will seem

much smaller than you remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate

you never saw before but once.

And then go home. Or make a home.

And rest.

I think this is such a beautiful poem. I read it at Barnes and Noble a few weeks back and it's been in my mind ever since.

To all the grads out there: Congratulations on completing one of the most grueling and formative chapters in your life. The entire world is at your fingertips. Never forget that hard work and kindness really can beget all the things you've ever imagined, and then some.

And to everyone out there who's already graduated: even though the world is a hard, cruel place, there are some things worth fighting for. Never lose sight of that excitement you felt at 17 or 18. I truly believe it's never too late to harness your strength and courage and make your dreams a reality. Remember your roots, reconcile your past with your present, and walk determinedly towards the future.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A pirate's life for me.

So I saw this yesterday, and actually, I enjoyed it! I went in expecting the ultimate worst, but it was better than I expected.

The plot for me was a little weak-ish. Basically, everyone in the world is after the Fountain of Youth (as in Ponce de Leon, and that nasty insufferable water down in St. Augustine), but we really don't know why. Apart from the whole "eternal life" business. Also, I liked the Blackbeard character, but I felt he was underdeveloped, as was his backstory with Captain Barbossa (played once again by the brilliant Geoffrey Rush). And as much as I loved Davy Jones in the second movie, I felt that Blackbeard was a more formidable and realistic enemy (despite having a magical sword that controls his ship...hey, it's more plausible than a crew made up of barnacle-men, right?).

I liked the banter between Penelope Cruz's character and Captain Jack Sparrow. I thought it was cute, and they had good chemistry onscreen. I wanted to know more about their backstory, too, but I feel like it was left shrouded for a reason. I think my favorite part was the inclusion of a captured clergyman and his weird quasi-relationship with a captured mermaid. Actually, the mermaids in general were my favorite part. It's such a huge part of pirate-lore that I'm surprised it wasn't done sooner. But I think they actually did a really wicked job with all that.

Overall: So well acted. The plot could be nonexistent and if you have a cast that talented and that into what they're doing, you can't really fail (also cameo appearances by Keith Richards and Dame Judi Dench can't really be a bad thing). If the plot had been tweaked and developed a little more, this one might've been as good as the first. As it stands, it was still better than the nutsy scene with 100 Jack Sparrows and the part where Tia Dalma, resident voodoo queen (oh yeah, and CALYPSO) grows to epic proportions, a la Ursula in "The Little Mermaid."

My biggest gripe with this movie is that I will now never be able to publish my pirate story, which features a Spanish lady-pirate and an epic scene involving carriage-jumping (which was also in the movie) without being accused of plagiarism. Oh well. I wasn't planning on publishing that till much, much later anyway. ;)

Overall: Maybe like a 6-7 out of 10. It was funny (I laughed out loud at some of the quips), piratical, and overall just a fun summer flick. Don't expect anything Oscar-worthy, but if you're just looking for a more character-based romp with Jack Sparrow, this probably won't disappoint.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

I recently watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and wanted to share some screencaps I made during the process. This movie is rife with lulzy expressions.

^Man, I HATE when that happens.

^I feel like I'm this small in about 90% of chairs I sit in.

SO then I noticed that in this movie, VOLDEMORT HAS A NOSE. Which then reminded me of this graphic (which is sadly, not mine):

Lol, then I'm watching and I see this guy's painting in the background and I'm like HOLD IT.


He's hanging out at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Bethany and I had NO idea who he was, but we were just like, "LET'S GET A PICTURE LOL." And then lo and behold, he's IN THE MOVIE. It made me wonder if it's actually the same picture used in the film and if so, how many other portraits were originals?

Then I just took a few of scenes that were pretty.
I DEFINITELY want to celebrate Halloween at Hogwarts.

"I'm not going home. Not really."

For more better funny screencaps of the HP movies, I simply must recommend .

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Well, here's what's new with me.

I started my new class, the Evolution of Video Games. First of all, this may well be the most interesting class I've taken in my too-long history at UCF. We're starting off REALLY early, like in the 30's with the invention of pinball and working our way up.

May I just say that the progression of technology fascinates me?

This is your old-school computer from the 50's and 60's. It took up a whole room and could answer a math problem in like three minutes. It kind of blows my mind that we went from this to an iPhone that can do pretty much anything (there's an app for that) in about 40 years.

Also, this furthers my theory that we stole all of our modern flight and computer technology from the Roswell crash in the late 40's, but that's a rant for another day.

Anyway, the subject material is interesting. And fun. I mean, VIDEO GAMES. They're fun! But what's fun too are the students.

Having been stuck in the English department, I meet a very select few types of people. Most of them are artsy, deep-thinking, and creative. It's very much a "type." The "English major type." And not that I hate them. I love my fellow English geeks because I'm one of them. BUT. That being said. The computer sciences/engineering and digital media majors are a TOTALLY different kettle of fish.


It's like being in a real life episode of The Big Bang Theory. I love geeks! They're adorable. There are so many different levels of geeks, I can't even get into it. But what I HAVE noticed is the astounding amount of STRAIGHT GUYS. Let me just put this out there. I have NO problems whatsoever with gay people. The only thing is, in English classes, if there are guys in there, more than half are probably gay. Not a problem at all, except that only meeting gay guys is shite for my personal life. But then, I walk into my video game class, and I am one out of like 5 girls. The rest are guys. And all these guys are STRAIGHT. It's AMAZING.

Also, being one of such a limited population of women does WONDERS for your ego. Every time I walk into class I feel like this...
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...even though I probably look more like this.
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Anyway, it's highly amusing, and so far I'm quite enjoying it. Still waiting to hear back regarding re-employment at Plato's. Meh. Making miniscule amounts of money is the only good thing about a minimum wage retail job.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"It looks like I'm going nowhere. I have to finish cleaning those droids."

You know the conversation Luke has with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru right before this fabulous 70's-emo scene with the twin suns and the incredible orchestra? About how he wants to go to the academy, and all his friends are gone because they're either there or involved with the war, and Uncle Owen tells him he can't go because he's needed for the harvest? And then Luke gets all angsty and goes and has that moment with the suns? I used to religiously make fun of this scene, because it's so angsty.

I will never laugh at this scene again.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (namely involving the epic failwad that is Bright Futures), I won't be finishing college this summer. I'm taking one class now over the summer, and I'll finish the other four in the fall. Which means I will graduate in December.

As of right now, I'm taking my Evolution of Video Games class because a) it's the only class I had this summer that actually meets and b) it's interesting and fun and nerdgasmic. I will also be attempting to regain my job at Plato's to fill the intervening time and save up some money, so that HOPEFULLY I can still manage to get my own place in a relatively timely manner.

TL;DR: I'm graduating in December, not August.

This is a little ickier than things I normally post, but BEAR WITH ME.

My first thought upon viewing this image

was that from henceforth, "that time of the month" shall be known as SHARK WEEK.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May the odds be ever in your favor.

The Hunger Games Pictures, Images and Photos

I just finished this on Thursday. It was quite good; probably the best thing I read on my short summer break (apart from The Deathly Hallows). You can read a summary here, because I feel like if I tried to summarize it, it would sound terrible. "And then that girl did the stuff with the thing in that one place." Yeah, no. It was definitely better than that.

My initial reaction to this book was that it's a cross between 1984, "The Most Dangerous Game" and Lord of the Flies. It deals with a dystopian future set in a post-nuclear apocalypse world. My second reaction to this book was that it's one of those genre-benders. It's sold in bookstores under Young Adult lit, but I feel like there's so much stuff going on between the lines that it could really be for anyone, adults included. Just because the main characters are teenagers doesn't mean it should only be marketed towards teens. I think a lot of adult readers would enjoy it, too. Anyway, I always love a good anti-government dystopia story (V for Vendetta, anyone?). And like Lord of the Flies it explores human nature (specifically, the baser nature of children) untamed and uninhibited. The games are designed by the Capitol (aka: government) to remind the districts who's in charge. And the object of the game is simple: outlive everyone else, and kill whoever stands in your way. It's an extremely fascinating subject, and I feel that Collins does a really good job of sucking you in to this universe where this is the norm; The Hunger Games just exist, are played, and then life moves on.

I like the characters too. Peeta turns out to be unexpectedly likeable, while Katniss, the protagonist, is that perfect mix of realistic and ideal. She's not a total Mary-Sue, but she's not unlikeable either. Unfortunately, my only complaint is that The Hunger Games is just the first in a trilogy, so the ending was a total cliffhanger, and I'm not entirely sure where this story could go to fill two more books. I feel like maybe five more chapters and an epilogue would have satisfactorily ended the story. However, I'm probably wrong. Collins writes so wonderfully that I'm not complaining about having to read two more of her books.

Anyway, this is a gritty, fascinating, and addictive read. I read it in about three hours and couldn't stop. Definitely for fans of sci-fi, dystopian fic, and psychological stuff. It's a thrilling read, and I very much enjoyed it.

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So, in other news, I start school tomorrow.

WAYY too short of a summer. I am DYING to go on a cruise, so if any of my generous, adoring readers wants to hook me up... ;)
And that's about all that's new with me. Hope you guys are enjoying whatever summer loveliness you're up to!

Also, PS: Remus Lupin as a "gay junkie?" Brb, loling forever.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I'm running out of room for my books. I have two rows per bookshelf, and then books squeezed in on top of books. I have books in every room, including rooms that I no longer live in.

My mom's thoughts on this: get rid of books.

My reaction:
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You don't just get RID of books. That's like getting rid of children. To be fair, I do pass on books that I don't like, but even then I keep some of the bad ones because I want them in my collection (why, hello there, Heart of Darkness). I must now discover a new place to hide them so I don't have to get rid of them.

^Life's new mission.

Just a reminder.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

I just finished this book and wanted to record my thoughts.

(Yes, the guy's name really is John Granger. No, I don't think it's intentional.)

So Harry Potter's Bookshelf was of interest to me for many reasons, the primary of them being it's about the books that influenced the Harry Potter series. I'm always curious about literary criticism of books I enjoy, and this is probably the first time that I've read lit-crit on a book that crosses both literature and pop culture lines. So I was naturally interested to see where Granger finds meaning and cross-references with pre-existing lit.

Some of the points made are extremely valid. For example, the gothic elements in Harry Potter (even though they're there, they're hardly horrific like classic gothicism. They're more humorous, eg: the ghosts in the castle, the castle and great lake and Forbidden Forest, and underground passages). Naturally, he cites books like Jane Eyre (orphan morality tale, anyone?), Dracula (forehead scars and shared blood connections), Wuthering Heights (Snape = Heathcliff), and Frankenstein (Voldemort's prejudices are just the projection of wizarding society's obsession with purebloodedness, DUH). This part was by and large the most interesting, as was the lengthy dissertation on the boarding school tradition in English storytelling.

The rest of it gets a little ridiculous, as is the wont of lit-crit.

Granger digs deeply into the HP series. I mean, REALLY deeply, to the point of analyzing circle imagery throughout and digging deep within alchemical literature. Some of this is a little far-fetched for me, and confusing if you have no prior experience with metaphysical or alchemical literature. His points are good and he definitely supports his arguments, but I still don't necessarily buy all of it. Do I really believe Mad-Eye Moody was based on the murdered guy in Poe's "The Telltale Heart"?

No, not even for a second. Just because there are two guys in literature who have pale-blue vulture eyes doesn't mean they're the same guy. The same goes for the five steps to acheiving alchemy in a book:
1. Having a black trial period (Order of the Phoenix, wherein he cites Sirius Black's name)
2. A white period of grace (The Half-Blood Prince, citing Albus as a name symbol for albedo, meaning white)
3. A red conflict and resolution period (Deathly Hallows, and whole slew of name symbolism including Rufus Scrimgeour, Fred Weasley, and Hagrid)
4. A quarreling couple (Ron and Hermione, complete with their periodic table counterparts, being sulfur and mercury--you go figure that one)
5. And an alchemical marriage/resolution (the epilogue).

Some of this is INCREDIBLY far-fetched. Interesting to read nonetheless, but hardly plausible.

All that being said, do I recommend this book? Well, yes and no. If you've read Harry Potter and want to dig deeper, go for it. I think it would be very difficult to follow if you're not familiar with the other works Granger references (even though he does a splendid job giving VERY BRIEF synopses of each) and if you're unfamiliar with literary criticism as a whole. Postmodernism, gothicism, literary alchemy, and the hero's journey are thrown around so glibly that if you have no idea what each entails, I fear you'd be pretty lost. Some of the points Granger makes are exceedingly interesting, and will definitely catch my interest on future re-reads of the HP series. However, unless you read lit-crit for fun (aka: you're a major geek like yours truly), I'd say pass this one up.

He's written another book called Unlocking Harry Potter, which I also have, and I have a feeling that's a more general "here's what you missed between the lines" book. Bookshelf is definitely focused on HP as a work of literature and where it fits in the wide schema of the literary world.

My two distinct reactions:

When a really excellent point was made:
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When Granger gets carried away with symbolism and literary high horsiness:
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Anyway, overall pretty good. Probably like a 6-7 out of 10. And you have to give the guy props for almost singlehandedly bringing Harry Potter into the realm of scholarly discussion. :)

Pics to come from my trip (again!) to the Harry Potter thing with Bethany!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Narcissa Malfoy makes me wish I still had platinum streaks in my hair. :(
Oh hair. How come you are never the way I want you to be?

Friday, May 6, 2011

"I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. "

Sorry this happened so fast. Apparently, I'm a quick reader when I don't have to sit and dissect the language and analyze the text from a scholarly point of view. Who knew?

This is the book I just finished:

The Luxe is basically Gossip Girl at the turn of the century. No kidding. Like, down to the number of boys and girls and their physical descriptions and everything. If you know nothing about Gossip Girl, I'm not sure if that would improve or lessen your chance of liking this book. For me, it was helpful in that I could visualize all the characters quite easily. And there are a lot of characters.

I think I actually liked this book, despite its cliffhanger ending and three sequels. It was predictable, capitalizing on the shamefully overdone "marriage for love vs. marriage for money" theme. This is what makes the Victorian setting work. I can honestly say that if this novel had taken place in the present day I would've stopped after Chapter 5 or so. But I'm an absolute sucker for lush and lavish descriptions of the upper crust of times gone by. So I stuck it out, and I don't regret it.

It's basically the story of socialite, Elizabeth Holland (aka: Serena van der Woodsen). Her life is seemingly perfect, that is, until her family is suddenly on the brink of being (brace yourselves) POOR. Then it's up to her to marry New York's most eligible (and wealthy) bachelor, Henry Schoonmaker (aka: Chuck Bass). Well, luckily for her, Henry's father wants him to put an end to his playboy lifestyle and threatens him with (brace yourselves again!) POVERTY, and his answer to this is to propose to Elizabeth, who's the picture of elegance and Christian goodness. Both kids, spurred by their obvious desire to avoid destitution, enter into a loveless engagement. Here's where it gets sticky. Elizabeth is routinely shacking up with the stable boy who she loves (he's kinda like Dan Humphrey). Henry is in love with Elizabeth's rule-flouting sister, Diana (Jenny Humphrey). And Elizabeth's drama queen best frenemy, Penelope Hayes (Blair Waldorf TO A T), is in love with Henry. So it's this very tangled web. Well, the book opens with Elizabeth's funeral, and it's up to the reader to piece together how she died. I won't spoil anything, but it was just 400 pages of a LOT of stuff. And not all of it particularly necessary.

Like I said, predictable and enjoyable enough. If I had absolutely nothing else to read, I'd read the sequels. As it stands, I've got about 6 more books I'm DYING to finish before May 16th, and the rest of this series isn't on that list. However, it's definitely something I'll tuck away for future reference if I'm in a reading dry spell. I'd recommend it, but if you don't like period fic, this is absolutely not gonna be your cup of tea.

My reaction:
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I promise this blog isn't becoming solely book reviews! This is just what I like to do with my free time and naturally, you guys are the captive audience to all my whims and whimsies.