So there is a growing worrying trait in these books. And possibly it is because of what happened in Stubenville that I am extra aware of it, but I donSo there is a growing worrying trait in these books. And possibly it is because of what happened in Stubenville that I am extra aware of it, but I don't think keg parties where girls are groped and routinely date raped are the imaginings of a good time.
The second novel dealt with this culture of frat boys gang banging for fun a little bit, and it is part of this third novel too. I think a discourse on rape culture and female objectification is vital; especially in light of Stubenville. But it doesn't feel like this is what is happening here.
Claire almost got raped in book two. The answer was for her to be rescued by a vampire.
A random unconscious girl was having her panties removed by a group of boys in this novel. The answer was for Shane to rescue her.
When they arrived at the party, the things that were described were given as examples of a great party, a party to be respected. A list of things: * A mob of drunken frat boys stumbled down the walk carrying a couch. * A girl ran by dressed in the top half of a bikini. * Drinking games. * People making out in full view of everyone.
Eve and Claire dressed up for this party, and were pleased when drunken frat boys wolf whistled at them. Claire only decided to get dressed in the outfit Eve provided for her because she wanted to see Shane's reaction. She dressed up specifically for someone else, not herself.
I don't know, you guys. What I'm saying is, this doesn't seem to be fodder for open, vital discussion on the dangers of rape culture. This seems to be Caine portraying stuff that she thinks just happens. There is not enough autonomy of female character for this to be a feminist depiction. If the biggest way in which your female characters are displaying control is to choose to wear clothes that are going to make boys gape - that is just not sitting well with me.
There's a troubling dynamic of the male characters either being bad or good. Either you can get stuck in a room with a rapist, or you can be rescued by a good man. Either you can be threatened by a creepy boy who has just been let out of jail, or you can rely on one of your two male housemates to protect you. You are either a bad cop who carries out vampire slayings, or you are a good cop that is available to give you a ride home at the drop of a hat.
The character of Myrnin here, is the physical portrayal of a man battling between his good and his bad side. He can't be both, he has to be one or the other. Unfortunately for him it is going to end up being bad, as that is the illness he has.
Add to this we are routinely told Claire is some child genius, but she consistently makes the most ridiculous and stupid decisions. She goes off to find a mentally ill vampire who has already tried to kill her twice without telling anyone. She acknowledges to the person who tried to kill Sam that she knew he was the one whilst she was in a moving vehicle that he was driving.
There is only one thing that I require in a female protagonist to make it bearable for me to read; common sense. Her complete lack of foresight or self protection is detracting from what isn't a bad idea for a world.
I am told these books get better, and I'll be reading on because it is one of my GCSE pupils providing them for me. But I'm just sayin'. They're not great....more
Great little flick through book full of warm ups, games and tasks that can be developed into further tasks. Definitely one of the best books I've comeGreat little flick through book full of warm ups, games and tasks that can be developed into further tasks. Definitely one of the best books I've come across for drama games....more
Do not be fooled by the cover art. I know what you are thinking, because I was thinking it myself. Romance! Teen! Girl meets boy! Cute! NO. This littleDo not be fooled by the cover art. I know what you are thinking, because I was thinking it myself. Romance! Teen! Girl meets boy! Cute! NO. This little novel packs a punch, and it will not be anything like you are expecting.
If anything it is a novel about friendship, family, at it's core I guess I would have to say community. And it does it with an almost gritty realism in parts. There is unemployment, alcoholism, illness, death, all treated under a magnifying glass of Tiffy's relatable observations.
Which leads to Tiffy, the main character. I really quite loved her. She's got a smart mouth, she makes a joke out of most things, she thinks more than she says - she is so believable as a character and so well constructed I found myself missing her when I wasn't reading. The novel deals with her at a time in her life where she doesn't really know what to do next. She has finished school and got an internship at the local newspaper, which as the story progresses she doesn't know if she wants to continue with or not. It is a time of great opportunity, but also great uncertainty.
And believe me when I say the uncertainty is everywhere. In her work, in her relationships, even in the weather that changes throughout the novel.
Her family situation is unique for a YA novel. (The same goes for her best friend Kayla.) We're exploring things here that don't involve a mother, father and siblings. The scenes between her and her adopted family, Reggie and Bull, are heartwarming. And funny. Brief moments scattered throughout the novel that really tied the whole thing together. Making breakfast. Tiff trying to tell Bull something and him wanting to watch the TV. Friendly name calling. All of these things and more, culminate in a tale about belonging, and family, and what it means to love people daily.
This is a super quick read. The chapters are short, the dialogue so smooth you will whiz through it, but by no means is this a fluff, shallow novel. There is depth of character here that takes a skilled author to construct in such a short space of time. The over arching theme of uncertainty is buffered by the constant awareness of family and friendship. Perhaps best summed up by Zoe, Tiff's adopted brother's girlfriend:
That's how we get by. We talk and share and eat cake and giggle in the dark, even when we're scared - no, especially when we're scared....more
2012: Pretty much spent the best part of my summer re-reading Harry. As per usual. So that's 6 books towards my terrible book count for this year, rig2012: Pretty much spent the best part of my summer re-reading Harry. As per usual. So that's 6 books towards my terrible book count for this year, right? RIGHT?!...more
Can't praise this enough. Having taken up a position as an English and Drama teacher in a school that has very little in the way of Drama schemes, itCan't praise this enough. Having taken up a position as an English and Drama teacher in a school that has very little in the way of Drama schemes, it has been a learn-on-the-job experience so far. Having battled with classes for 5 weeks I soon started to realise it wasn't them, it was the mind numbing things they were being required to learn. Freeze frames, tableau, mime. All in mundane and unexciting ways. I set out to think about drama lessons in a new way and began work on term long schemes that would involve the whole class and have a consistent narrative running through. Each lesson moving the story line along a little more. I started that, then received this book in the post. It has been a god send. I'm still working on my original schemes, but the ready made ideas in this book have inspired and encouraged me. Hopefully I am on the right track now, I am all set to go as Warden X with my difficult Year 8s and win them over! (I hope!)
Will probably update in a few weeks when the lessons have been implemented for a while....more
I mean, really? REALLY? I'm teaching this to a middle set Year 8 group right now and they are just as bored as I am. It is The Worst. I hate a book thaI mean, really? REALLY? I'm teaching this to a middle set Year 8 group right now and they are just as bored as I am. It is The Worst. I hate a book that has specifically been written to be analysed in a classroom. It sucks all the fun out of storytelling. I will NEVER teach this again if I can help it....more