The Nick Geiger Fan Club + SKEFFREY discussion

The Penderwicks at Last (The Penderwicks, #5)
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(Your Contributions To) Dear Ms. Birdsall: A LETTER OF PROTEST

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twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Okay, I'm going to be sending Ms. Birdsall a protest letter but first I need to know what points to include in the letter and who wants their names signed to it. Because ofc we can't sign it in person, but I can put your names on it at the end so that we can all group up and let her know there is an uproar and that was a very bad decision to marry Skye off to some nobody.

SO. I need your points short and to the point, or I can't include it in the letter (I don't want it 1,000 pages long). Just give me anything you disliked about Skeffrey and what you thought was a bad idea.

Also I want to know everyone's opinions: should I ask her to write another, alternative ending to Penderwicks At Last (or just the series altogether) or should I leave it be? Thanksss guys :)

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
An alternate ending would be very good. Perhaps as a novella, like on Worldbooksday?
She wouldn't write a sixth book, and in this case we could only ask for more Batty and Jeffrey or Dusek or more about Laura and a love story for Jane or Lydia. I don't think she would remove it (even against the Star Wars movie, it didn't work). But perhaps she'll regret it. We just have to understand why she chose Batty. Perhaps she never planned it. We need to do it psychologically.
On the one page there was an adress for fan letters, but perhaps we can use her agent's adress or something else.

my points could be;
- Skeffrey interaction in book 3- (Skye and Jeffrey vow eternal friendship in book 1. She listens to him when he's talking about music, she's jealous of his cousin and she dances with him.
Her arguments like wanting to study first, or not losing a friend or just she can't change her brain are no clear no.)
- Little Women (!Batty is Beth, not Amy. Batty was Beth and Jeffrey Mr. Laurence). Skye and Jeffrey could even have parts of Bhaer and Amy inside. They would be perfectly representing essentially Little Women. Both could become profs like Iantha and Mr. Penderwick
- the mishappened ending that Dusek has no character (I would imagine him with brown hair and green eyes ): ) and the relationship between Batty and Jeffrey is actually nothing. They don't kiss, not marry, there's nothing and Batty even doesn't remember her marrying wish. She had a lot of boyfriends, and why can't they stay soulmates in their music world?
- that Birdsall would be most similar to Skye, and not Batty (or both enough to make both possible), and Jeffrey would be her Jeff, and she was in sixth grade (like Skye!), when it happened to fall in love.
- That most of her readers are disappointed
- we love Wesley and Batty (!) Wesley should return. He and Batty are great (Lydia imagines even how Batty would ask him to stay, but of course, Birdsall allows it not). (I would have even wished Wesley and Jane together.)
- she could include some moments for Jack
- have stronger parts with Tommy and Nick, include a love story for Jane (!!!!!!!!!!), a return of Artie, Pearson, Melissa, Churchie, Anna, Mercedes and Dominic (It was so sad that Mercedes said that the Penderwicks shouldn't forget her). And we don't need the repetition of Lydia and Alice. Like just something what could have happened before the last chapter. There was a plot hole.
- Batty said it only twice in the whole series that she wants to marry Jeffrey someday, and she rejected the visit in Boston because she preferred to stay together with Hound.
Batty didn't talk about marrying Jeffrey at Arundel. She said it only when she was almost asleep.

Well, my ideas. (: I wished my fanfic would be magically a real book. But we shouldn't mention it.
You can put my name below.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
and we could mention attracting opposites. Skye and Jeffrey share a lot of memories at Arundel.
In my opinion, it may be still Lydia's point of view, but just more old characters.
And please include Jane. It shouldn't be all about Skeffrey (: Please, also Jane!
Just an alternate end like in "The Best of me" or "Titanic" - I watch these movies only in alternate-end-edition. (: (A lot of movies should have it. Perhaps a Penderwicks movie would have it someday?)
I guess it would be a bit embarrassing for Birdsall to replace it entirely. There are also readers happy with it, so then other ones would be disappointed. But just a little, last, kind way of showing: Hey, fans, you are important for me and I'm not an egoistic coward.

message 4: by twicebaked (last edited Jun 07, 2018 01:50PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
That's an amazing way of saying it - hey fans, you are important to me. :)

Ofc I will include Jane! I want to represent all of us here, and not everything is about Skeffrey (only a lot of it - haha ok that was my Skeffrey fan inside of me, just ignore that). I will definitely complain about Jane having no relationship on the horizon (bc even a hint or two at her getting together with someone would be MUCH better than her just remaining single. If it were Skye I would be LIVID with rage that she just remains single! Tho only if Jeffrey got together with someone - if both of them remained single, it would leave room for imagination and hope).

And I don't want her to pull Penderwicks At Last, I just want an alternate ending and that's what I'm going to request - because it's not unheard-of to give fans a different perspective, and I do know that there were (fsr) fans who enjoyed this last book.

Thank you sm, those are excellent points. I will definitely include your name.

I want to point out to her that she built Skye and Jeffrey's relationship and it all came to NOTHING. Batty was more like a little kid who sees the first nice guy and says, oh yeah it's definitely him. < most of the time, tho, it's just not and they grow up and move on. I have to go back and gather all my other points, but that is the most important one of them all to me. I deeefinitely want my name signed!!! I stand for the right side :P

message 5: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Could you maybe ask her why she did not have more interaction between Skye and Jeffery in this book? And why did she have the moments in the previous books between Skye and Jeffery if she knew all along that it would be Batty and Jeffery? Also ask her why she didn't have Mrs. Tifton and Alec be reunited or if they ever will?
She probably won't answer but hey it's worth a shot. Also could you sign my name as, A very disappointed fan.

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
I will definitely do that. I want her to know how many people actually cared about seeing Skeffrey in this last book, thank you sm for your contribution. That was very well said - I'll make sure to include it! :) I've wondered that a lot, myself, why she did that knowing they weren't going to get together. :(

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Actually, I guess that Batty was aimed first in "The Penderwicks in spring.". Birdsall said that Batty and Skye are both parts of her personality, struggling with each other. In current interviews Birdsall says that she would be closest to Batty, but counts some characteristics she shares with Skye.
And possibly she didn't want to give interactions because then readers would feel the chemistry of Skeffrey and that's why she didn't do it. Perhaps she would have regretted it. That's why Batty is not 100% working and how could Dusek ever replace Jeffrey?
And if Mrs. Tifton and Alec would get together again, readers would also expect Skeffrey. There are so many similarities! In book 3, Birdsall wrote that Alec and Mrs. Tifton had nothing except their love in common....and this would be the case of Skeffrey (OK, also soccer, but the same difference).
We should clarify how long this end should be and which parts should be replaced. I mean before the real wedding is a cut.
Or Birdsall cuts before Dusek arrives...what If Dusek was only a fictional character Skye invented to get rid of possible suitors?? That would be an easy solution?
And should it be a little print book or how do you imagine it?

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
I imagine it as just as big as Penderwicks At Last, different cover but same designer. And it shouldn't have any Dusek - it should be a completely different story. Like, example, YOUR version of LW, think of how different it is from our version! Yours, Jo and Laurie end up together. Ours, no. That's the way I picture it as being, totally legit, the same in every way except a different ending without Dusek! And I do want Tommy and Rosalind's wedding. And I do want Skye's wedding - just including Jeffrey in the wedding. I want to read about a wedding that has two pretty brides and two handsome grooms. Is it THAT hard? Come on Birdsall, we know you can do it.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Do you really think that Birdsall would replace her whole book? Then no one would read the other one...I don't know if this is greedy and we would have to wait three years again.
I think it's just important to have these two weddings with the right couples, and either it happens after book 4 or like in a gap of book 5.
We should keep the minimal demand. Then it's easier to persuade Birdsall to do it.
And she can keep Wesley and Batty, and since Dusek only appears in the end, it would be easy to cut him.
And a love story for Jane. I have no special wishes and she can do it with Nick, Pearson, Artie or even Dominic.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
I mean Skye could realize how important Jeffrey is when she sees him with Batty.
And Dusek could fall in love with someone else, like Anna.
We shouldn't begin with "Ugh, your book is horrid.", but with "we understand your ideas, you are a brillant author, and we just have needed the right couples in the end."
And the ending with Lydia and Jack is not full circle, unless Skye and Jeffrey get together, too. Skye should be the previous leading character of the series. And we don't want it in the style like the first generation didn't get together, but now the kids. And it would be so much cuter if the story would be really repeated.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
And we could say that Birdsall shouldn't imitate Alcott's flaws. Also Laurie and Jo are still interacting. Her solution reminds me of Jo's boys with Tommy-Nan-Dora triangle and of Dan and Bess. She shouldn't imitate these heartbreaks.
And please don't say only Jo and Laurie. Batty isn't Amy, even if she's pushed in the fourth book into her. It would be rather Lydia to be Amy and she's too young to be a match for Jeffrey.
Please, Skye is as well Jo as also Amy (she's blond), and Jeffrey isn't 100% Laurie because this would be also Pearson who could switch to Amy/Jane (theatre in book 2). Of course, Birdsall could also use Nick or Artie, but we could demonstrate her that her ending isn't Little Women. Dusek is no Bhaer, he could better be Fred Vaughn and Skye returns like Amy in 'Surprises". We have only Amys in this last book, because Batty is pushed into "Learning to forget" and Jane is artistic like Amy.
Jane shouldn't stay as a fighter against patriarchy and love can be inspiring for books. If she's successful with the first book, and her man likes to cook, then she has no reason anymore to refuse.

message 12: by twicebaked (last edited Jun 08, 2018 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Verena, I don't want to replace the last book. That's the last thing I want, since some fans actually really did enjoy it. All I want is an alternative. There are two endings to Little Women, there can be two endings to Penderwicks, both available to the public. And that is what I want.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
I understand you. But you can't compare it with my edition because it's a translation, abridged, and a long time after the release date because it's a classic.
And you don't need to buy the whole book entirely, but just the part you need.
It's also a matter of publisher and a little booklet can get released more easily.
And the bad thing it doesn't feel like Little Women because Bhaer never urged Jo and Jo had still interaction with Laurie.
It feels more like Jo's Boys. With more insta-marriage and the heartbreakimg Break-up and eben the part with Lydia and Alice.
It's not Little Women.

message 14: by Luna (new) - added it

Luna (lunawashere) | 59 comments I agree w everything y'all said but I'm not sure we should include the Little women referencea bc it's not supposed to be literally like to equals Skye 100 percent and like the storylines r separate. idk that's my opinion, u can keep if if u want

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
It can be baffling, if we try to tell Birdsall: Hey, Batty isn't Amy, but this relationship would be also in Skye. I guess that the talk about Batty as Amy could have persuaded her to this solution. And even if she was a Beth-Laurie-shipper, we could argue then and say:Hey, why not Jo and Laurie?
And we should show that we are professionals with Little Women.
But I don't know if she ever planned a Jo and Laurie end...

message 16: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Verena wrote: "I mean Skye could realize how important Jeffrey is when she sees him with Batty.
And Dusek could fall in love with someone else, like Anna.
We shouldn't begin with "Ugh, your book is horrid.", but..."

YES YES VERENA! Full circle! That's what I was thinking since Skye and Jeffery bumped into each other in the tunnel when they met and Jack and Lydia bumped into each other and Birdsall obviously implied that they would be besties and get married eventually, THEN SKYE AND JEFFERY SHOULD'VE GOTTEN MARRIED! And as you said it would've been so much more sweeter if it ended how it started or the situations were the same...

message 17: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments You know the more time that has passed from me reading Penderwicks At Last the more I'm sure that Skye and Jeffery should've been together. Right after I read it I knew it was wrong, Batty and Jeffery, but I could see it kind of since they played music together and talked with each other more than the others. But now, nah it was all wrong. It was off, it wasn't real or realistic. Like if this were reality perhaps Skye would marry someone else, BUT she wouldn't completely drop her best friend. It's not realistic that they wouldn't even talk to each other unless there was some sort of drama between them, which Birdsall said there wasn't...So WHY?
Sorry this is off topic of the letter...

message 18: by twicebaked (last edited Jun 08, 2018 10:51PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Nah you're cool, we're all kind of drifting haha but I really appreciate the consideration! :)

Yeah I was really irritated by that too!! I was like, ok so are you implying that Lydia and Jack aren't going to get together or that Skeffrey should have gotten together? It didn't make any sense and that is another thing I want to point out in the letter. I don't really mind the LW copying/plagiarism/whatever because that wasn't really a hill to die on for me. But the Lydia and Jack circle thing was just irritating. And it made me really sad that Skye would seemingly so reject Jeffrey - she doesn't ever pursue interaction, and the only time they even acknowledge each other is when Jeffrey asks if she cares to translate what that #$*&@ said and she doesn't even respond, she just shakes her head. 🙄🙄🙄

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Actually, I didn't get the impression that Batty had the most contact with Jeffrey. Please don't count book 4 - here's Batty the narrator and this causes this impression.
And we should keep Little Women. Please, no one has a reason to assume Batty as Amy. The only reason was that Batty was the youngest and this would be cancelled, because of Lydia's birth.
The interaction between Batty and Jeffrey was clearly copied from the interaction between Mr. Laurence and Beth, and this is friendship.
The Mentor relationship in book 4 is a bit different because Amy was Laurie's Mentor, and not the other way round.
That Skye and Jeffrey don't interact anymore is a proof that Birdsall is first a coward, and second that the model of it wasn't Little Women, but Jo's boys. It's the triangle of Nan-Tommy-Dora. Of course, Nan doesn't marry at all, but Birdsall tried to close Skeffrey completely with also copying "Surprises" from Little Women (where Amy returns as a bride from Europe to close Jo and Laurie).
I did enough research to proof that Skeffrey was the only way to stay close to Little Women.
Please read Jo's Boys, chapter "The worm turns", "Josie plays mermaid", "Aslauga's knight", and "Positively last appearance". I think it's online. You won't find the similarities of The Penderwicks at last in Little Women because it was copied from Jo's Boys. And actually, it's confusing anyway because Jane did fight with Mrs. Tifton, she called Jeffrey- that's why it would be likely that she would get together with Jeffrey. Then appears Batty suddenly. She feels even in the literature context wrong.
Birdsall tried to change everyone. Imagine that Rosalind is working on a farm, Skye has lost her temper and she blushes, Jane fights against patriarchy and Batty of course, who was with ten years afraid of boys, is a super popular girl with a lot of boyfriends in the past. Wesley was wasted. Why would Birdsall invent the best character of the book, and then he just leaves?
Perhaps she wasn't sure and then just decided in the last minute: "Let's do Batty and Jeffrey". It reminds me a lot of Dan and Bess.
Birdsall put all dark, disappointing flaws from the Little Women series in ONE book.
-The break of Jo and Laurie
-the break of Nan and Tommy
-Amy's reaction about Beth's death
-the break of Dan and Bess

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
I found even more references to Jo's boys.
We should mention the references so that Birdsall sees that she can't fool us.
Honestly, you know I'm always following Little Women. First, I assumed Jane to be Amy and that's why getting together with Jeffrey (and because she's my favorite character).
I joined Skeffrey for two reasons: 1) because Skye has a great chemistry with Jeffrey 2) because it would fit exactly to Little Women. I really assume that Skye was meant to get together with Jeffrey. And that's why I could imagine that Birdsall only decided to push Batty because everyone was expecting this for a LW end.
And the reasons just because Batty would be Amy because she's the youngest.
But Skye and Jeffrey were not only Jo and Laurie, but had also the conditions that were lacking in the original. And why would Skye turn down Pearson, if she would do the same with Jeffrey?
That's why we really should pass our observations on LW. Perhaps Birdsall recognizes her old plan again.

message 21: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Oh I wasn't saying that Batty and Jeffery had the most interaction throughout ALL the books, I only meant she they had the most interaction in this last book. Skye and Jeffery definitely had the most quality time with each other in the previous books. Batty was just being baby sat most of the time by Jeffery, not quality time.

message 22: by KC (new) - rated it 3 stars

KC It's rude to send a letter to an author asking them to change their book or write an 'alternate ending' for you. If you didn't like it you can write a review of why, or write fan fiction of how you'd like the books to have gone instead, and that's a more positive activity than hurting an author for making characterization choices you didn't like.

I also don't understand some of the problems you guys have with the characterization. You are calling every single new character development 'out of character', even when they are fairly benign. For example, why would anyone object to Rosalind working on a farm? Why is that 'weird' or out of character? Rosalind has always been characterized as highly nurturing, that is her prime trait. If you have ever lived or worked on a farm you will know that you must posses a nurturing nature and emotional strength to do so.

And why do you think Jane needs a boyfriend? Not everyone in life ends up with a partner, it's insulting to say anyone, male or female, MUST find love or get married to live a fulfilling life, and it's unrealistic that all the older sisters would find love at such a young age. I love that Jane was focused on her work. I felt this was especially nice because her romantic nature was her Achilles heel as a young girl. It shows character development, as she now channels her romantic notions into her artistic endeavours. It's not sad to live a life with a focus other than romance. It made me love Jane all the more.

I personally would have loved to see Skye and Jeffery together but I didn't find Skye 'out of character', I think if anyone was out of character it was Batty. People grow up, and they change. I related very much to Skye as a kid reading these books, and I relate very much to her now. She's an adult and no longer must 'shy away' from love for fear of being hurt, like she did when her mother died, which is essentially why she feared romance. Would I have liked her to have worked that out by realizing she loved Jeffery? Of course! And I did think Dusek was a sudden addition, and yes, I did like Wesley and wish Batty would have stayed with him since he seemed wonderful. So don't get me wrong, I can see where you are coming from and why you are upset. But just because one primary choice an author made wasn't what you wanted it to be, doesn't mean every choice was 'out of character' or ludicrous. You know what I mean?

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
OK, now clear. Yes, but this was Birdsall's trick. To show the cute dynamics and readers will swoon. And because there is no comparison and we readers long for romance at last, it's accepted. I understand because I had similar trouble in my fanfic, but as soon I had another boyfriend it worked very well. But why would Birdsall invent a boyfriend and lose him? And some readers called it even a toxic relationship?? Birdsall is mean.
And since Jeffrey represents Mr. Laurence, there had been the age difference to make it similar to this "Baby friendship".
And Beth was actually the baby of the family...Alcott wrote this...
The seven years age difference is not the four years age difference between Amy and Laurie.
But would Birdsall admit? I have to check it, but she never admitted how close this is to Jo's Boys. Which makes it easier to read is as standalone.
And Birdsall didn't say the truth. When she was asked about Princess Lydia, she said that this would be her own idea. But she took it from Bess from Little Men/Jo's Boys.
I wouldn't deny that Birdsall used also other sources and I would really like to try it for a big comparison.
But with so many Little Women et co. references, it would be sad if the rest were neither original.
But then it is a book on it's own.
Actually, this comparison helps me to treat this last book as a standalone retelling of Jo's Boys.

message 24: by Verena (last edited Oct 02, 2018 06:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Of course, I know fanfiction! But it isn't satisfying like a print book and you can't trick yourself. And Birdsall could have the right to remove it. That's why I decided to keep my fanfics not in publicity.
We want to protest not only in personal favour, but because we think about which is the most suitable for the series.
And we wouldn't include too much of out-of-character in a protest letter.
And actually, that's why it should be just a tiny printed alternate end which could have happened to satisfy disappointed readers...And fanfics can't get printed, but I wished it would be.
Actually, I was thinking like most readers about Rosalind being in education because this is also kind of nutrition and fits to her diplomatic character. Isn't it odd, how she flexes her arm to show how strong she is? It should be mental, not physical.
Skye is so much out of character because she's for me a Goldilocks)Amy character in this book. She is not only not shy anymore, but reacting and blushing like a romance novel damsel, with insta-love and insta-marriage.
And Jane....isn't it sad that the only character always longing for love stays heartbroken and is the one who won't marry? She's suddenly a tomboy fighting against patriarchy. You call it Achilles heel? I would call it her essential character. Jane always wanted to be loved. Why do her sisters fall in such unrealistic, young marriages, and Jane gets the "realistic" disappointment?
And that she writes a love story with an artist in the end and says "sort of jealous"shows how sad Jane is. And because Jane is my favorite character, I'm as heartbroken as she is. I don't care for side romances if the main characters are ended on such a way.
And even if Jane wouldn't marry, it's very realistic to have at least a kind of open relationship with someone.
Tell me, which writer nowadays is a focused spinster. I can't understand how love should be harmful for Jane's inspiration. Love is the greatest inspiration of all time.
Jane shouldn't be an alter ego of Austen or Alcott.
I rather think she was knocked out as potent rival.
And there were so many possible story lines, with Artie, Pearson and was possible.

We do want a Penderwicks book. Something which Birdsall could have wanted in the beginning, and not a copy of Jo's Boys. We show our greatest respect towards Birdsall and that's why it would only her right to end her series with her words.

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Hey KC! I understand what you mean - part of my backlash was being really disappointed, because I had thought this was going to end out really well, and it didn't. As to writing a review and fanfic, I have written a review. I'm not good at writing so I haven't pursued the fanfic line, but that's what Birdsall is for, she's an excellent writer, we love reading her work, and that's why we want her to do another because we love the way she does it better than we could do it, and want to have lots of options for the fans.

And I'm not saying that you're not a person if you don't get in a relationship or that you're not wanted if you're single, etc. etc. - I'm just saying (or, really, Verena's saying) that since Jane was her favorite character, she wanted to see that happen to her. Not that that's the be-all end-all, bc ofc it's not, but she would have liked the one person who practically loves love would be deprived of it. Hope we haven't offended or annoyed you in any way and that this makes a little bit more sense. 😊😊

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
And don't forget: The Penderwicks was always a happy series. It can't be right that fans are heartbroken...this is calling for alternate ends...
And realistic or not, whatever Birdsall wanted to teach -
Hey, what should I learn? That I'm condemned to be unlucky in love issues and everyone is patting on my head and is congratulating me how great this is?
Wouldn't it be happier and more satisfying that Jane finds her happy end at last? Find the true love she was always searching for?
Perhaps none of you relates with Jane enough to feel like her. And I had really personal reasons to connect especially with Jane and I was hurt that's why. Perhaps you can imagine now what it meant for me. And I assume that I would also compile a protest letter if Jane was unhappy and Skeffrey did happen.
Of course, I was also doubting my picture of Jane but I tried to reread the series to get hints and that's why I say it's not only personal.
@Twicebaked. Do you remember my fanfic and the Jane sections? It might sound only like Birdsall's character, but it was always easy because I was thinking of myself...

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
oh yeah I totally remember them. :) I went back and reread some of it, because I was depressed haha. Jane did sound like you in one of the parts...I don't remember which one, but it sounded like you. I just assumed that was because you wrote it but it could have been bc you see Jane as yourself (or vice versa) ;)

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
And that's why I can't understand why Batty has to get Jeffrey. Birdsall sees herself as Batty, although she has also similarities with Skye.
And this is just a demonstration that you can write Skeffrey without having Skye as favorite character (but I have similarities with her and I like her, of course).
A lot of ideas and couple scenes, like the scene with Batty and Frank, the star night for Skye and Jeffrey, the kiss between Jane and Artie are inspired by my favorite movie Monte Carlo. Do you know the film?
I mean, it's okay to have inspirations.
You have to imagine, I know Little Women very well, but I didn't get a lot of references in the beginning.
I'm actually reading Jo's Boys for the first time, and I find the similarities at once. Perhaps I'm thinking too much about it, but I'm writing it, as I can find it.

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Oh yeah defs add Jo's Boys similarities to the LW similarities bc Jo's Boys is very close to (as far as I can tell) Penderwicks...unfortunately.

There's a lot I want to say but like I told you in the other comment, I NEED to go to bed so see you later and I'm glad you decided to read it because I'm curious to see all the correlations between the two books :)

message 30: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments KC wrote: "It's rude to send a letter to an author asking them to change their book or write an 'alternate ending' for you. If you didn't like it you can write a review of why, or write fan fiction of how you..."

I didn't necessarily think Rosalind working on a farm was out of character. I was good with that, in fact Rosalind seemed quite in character in this book. And I too was completely fine with Jane not having a boyfriend and indeed she was one of my favorite characters in this book because it felt like she hadn't changed, she was just like an older version of her younger self.

However I do want to write a letter to Birdsall and ask her why she didn't have more interaction or even friendship between Skye and Jeffery in this book.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Why do you think she would answer honestly?
Of course, because then everyone would see the chemistry and she would perhaps regret it.
She pushed baby Batty in the spotlight and created a lot of wrong memories.
I found review that wrote that the two most popular characters get together.
Seriously, whose favorite character is Batty??

And Juny, perhaps the Skeffrey fan club should take care for Skeffrey in the protest letter. Take my name, but honestly, I care more of Jane and I was a traitor for Skeffrey's sake, but it meant a big sacrifice.
Why the.... doesn't get anyone that Jane is the tomboy of the book?
She's modelled after Jo and feminist Nan, and Skye seems to be Amy and that Brit beauty Mary.
Perhaps you think hey cool Jane is going a different way, but Jane was also a favorite character for readers and Jane isn't happy. Why do you think that??? Jane doesn't try it again after several heartbreaks and says in the end "sort of jealous" and she includes romance in her novel finally.
How does it feel if you have Jane as favorite main character and having her disappointed, with no hope in sight, and surrounded by happy couples, and then I should accept this as series closure?
It's as weak as having Skye married to a random ghost creature. Indeed, a thoughtful, elaborated ending for a series. Birdsall treated both as side characters.
Someone who would start with this book would get a very different impression. Batty was never the main character. She was never a popular character.
And if we won't find a shared protest letter, I'll write one on my own dealing with Jane, but I wouldn't demand Jane and Jeffrey, something I would do if I had never started discussing.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
I hope I didn't sound roud, it's just frustrated. The fate of Jane was almost more aching for me than the loss of Skeffrey.
And Juny, you can ask, but please consider that Birdsall had reasons and we should just remember her that it wasn't ok how she did it.
And we noticed her plotting.She may try to explain it.

message 33: by twicebaked (last edited Jun 11, 2018 04:50PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
We know she had reasons. That doesn't mean I'm (we're) not going to ask her to write an ADDITIONAL book. Not a replacement. Not pull the fifth book out of printing or anything. Just ADD to the series. Like, for those of you who didn't like this, here's something else.

Juny and I really want to see Skeffrey happen. If you want, I can tell her that you are more concerned with Jane than Skeffrey and that you don't want an additional book, but Juny and I do. Birdsall might have reasons but they are crappy reasons that resulted in Skye making terrible life decisions and we want Birdsall to know that not everything was sunshine and roses for readers and just because it's a bestseller doesn't mean it's best. It just means Skeffrey fans didn't know what they were getting into when they clicked "Add to Cart" on Amazon.

And I don't care if it's considered "rude" to ask Birdsall to add to the series. Skeffrey is important and there were way more Skeffrey fans than there will be fans of any other character (no offense, Jane and fans).

But I agree, Batty has never been the most popular character. She hasn't even been close - I've heard way more people saying Skye or Jane or Jeffrey or Nick were. Batty has barely had a character anyway, none of it has shown up until the fourth book when she actually became a person more or less.

message 34: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Verena I get where you're coming from, wanting Jane to find love since she is your favorite character. I wouldn't be opposed to her finding love, if it fit and was right. I guess I just found her so refreshing in this book since a bunch of bad couples surrounded her which made me happy that at least something hadn't gone wrong.

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
ugh ^ exactly.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Perhaps I would be generous and accept everyone. Honestly, I would also accept Dusek for Jane because she would like marriage and compliments, and then this girl is happy, and Skye would be still single and of course, then it is open and she could get still together with Jeffrey.
Also in standalone issues, I would just need Jane to be happy, and then I could pretend that it's a good children standalone book.
And actually, this book is unnecessary. I could have decided after book 4, and the only purpose of this book is destroy Skeffrey. I hoped for Jane and Wesley, but I don't think there's too much hope.
If we cut some chapters, we could call it "Lydia's adventures at Arundel". It could work as standalone better.

message 37: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Haha yes Lydia's adventures at Arundel indeed as well as throwing in a recap of everything the older Penderwick sisters did in the first one. Though her adventures weren't very exciting, there was no plot really.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
But as a kind of sequel for very young could work at least. But it's not a right final.

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Actually yeah I hadn't thought abt Dusek and Jane, but I wouldn't mind if they got together. Dusek seems like fine, but that's partly bc I've never even heard him speak English so 🤷

message 40: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Hey guys not sure where the letter is at, but I don't think we should necessarily ask her to rewrite her book since I mean she won't do it anyways. I would still like to just ask her questions though why she left out the older sisters especially Skye in this book, though she probably won't answer...

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Because Skye is in California (Curiously, there's a city called Nice in California. And Amy meets Laurie in Nice (Europe) again) and returns like Amy/Mary suddenly as a bride. It's from Little Women/Jo's Boys and since we have only the point of view at Arundel, she wasn't able to describe Skye's romance.
And it's common for changing shippings...separate the "wrong" character and don't write any interaction with the hero...
I know because I did the same with Batty in my Skeffrey fanfic...And I almost cancelled my fanfic because it was hard to make Batty reject Jeffrey...Birdsall wouldn't be strong enough to keep such a part in her story.
And I suggest not rewriting the book, but just an alternate end edition. There's a big gap hole before the last chapter and Jeffrey's and Skye's wedding would fit exactly...then a little bit Jane romance, Lydia meets Jack, and then it's completely full circle.
I guess she just has to write ONE CHAPTER.
It worked also in the Emily of New Moon series. Since Birdsall was also influenced by this series, she just could follow it...there's a wedding switched in the last would work.
Or this ghostly Dusek creature could turn out as frighten suitors away or make Jeffrey jealous..there are a lot of easy solutions ! (:

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
And we only want her to know not everyone is in favor of her decision, and then maybe that will sway her to add a short story later on abt Skeffrey.

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
Okayyy guys so I've been kind of putting this off bc I had a ton going on May-July, so I'm still swamped but most of it has lightened up SOOO how do I start this letter? And should I post it as a new topic and we add things on as we go? I want this to be a team effort, so take the things you've said here and go dump them there. I'll post a link when I've created the topic. :) Thx guysss

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
I know it's perhaps obvious and it's not an act of giving up...but I'd like to close now this section and the protest letter officially.
I don't know if we would have ever made her think, but I guess she'll be aware of the shippings and the reviews. I still don't know my point, but Birdsall never answers fan letters.

message 45: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments Yes, I kinda agree with Verena. I guess I've kinda cooled off since the initial read, not saying I'm not still very quite most definitely angry about how it turn out, but I don't think that sending a letter to Birdsall will help. It kind of just feels like hate mail now...

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Thank you for understanding it. I think 3 years waiting and all exitement and then the disappointment lead to a kind of volcano eruption. I think I regret some of the desperate words in the heated debate. We can't blame Birdsall for writing the books as she likes it. Because we identified too much with some characters, I think we projected our own ideas and desires into it. The anxiety and suffering was honest, and future readers won't feel it. I have never waited and cared for a series more , and I will never do it again.
I just want to confess here that I really have read the last book very often so far since the release date and I was very upset that I did love it. On a peculiar way, it's a book I would have loved as a standalone and as a child book. I don't say that Birdsall won, it's just that I can't blame her any longer. I compared it with my own writings and some other classic literature. What broke me, was reading Emily of New Moon and this minged with Little Women, and this changed my view. I wished that not everyone would have talked about Little Women - because the clues are in Emily of New Moon (and this should have been mentioned by Birdsall). And I don't say any longer that Birdsall copied from literature, no, she rewrote it. And each author has to pick from own experience, from books and movies, and what Birdsall did, was marking it (and perhaps she is really amused noone notices it).

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
I can. I can blame her 100%. Like you said, waiting so long for something that let you down sm is lame. Birdsall should have thrown a bone to us and given us something to look forward to, or to be happy about. Maybe not have been so "end of story" about it - she didn't give the Skeffrey shippers any wiggle room and what makes me mad is that she totally gave the story to the Baffrey shippers so that they can have their way. But what about us? Is there no consideration for the people who were discouraged about the ending to Little Women? Why is everyone against the people who want a good ending?

And it's also discouraging to think that 1) now we have two books on our hands that make us sad, even after we waited ages for one! and 2) the future readers won't really know what it's like to get emotionally invested over a story that you've grown up along with. It's like Toy Story only this was a complete disappointment. I blame Birdsall entirely.

Verena (auroralightheart) | 452 comments Mod
Yes, of course, you can do it because you do it, but I mean we can't change it. I did some little protest in some Swan Lakes - and what did it help?
It's just a pity that we fans who are involved aren't asked. But honestly, Twicebaked, I'm glad to hear anything about you again!
I know your hopes and I know what we discussed and shared.
But imagine: Birdsall is probably a "Baffrey shipper", i.e. she wanted that Batty and Jeffrey should get together. She's the author. Imagine you write a story and your readers tell that someone else should get together. It's still her decision and firstly she writes to please herself.
I will never deny that there was something between Skye and Jeffrey, and they would have been as possible as Batty and Jeffrey. As I'm compiling stories, too, I had also the case when I try to make my ideas to ONE story and then I have to choose which solution and which couples - and I did a big deal of getting rid of all Baffrey influence.
If I were a future reader, yes, I wouldn't question it anymore. Perhaps I would question Jane ....and Wesley. That's why I prefer to know how the story turns out.
And that with Little Women....yes, apparently, Birdsall wrote a new story in the same style like Alcott, and not a better, modern retelling of Little Women.
And how many times have I to repeat that the Soul of Little Women ended in Penderwicks with Baffrey? For me, this isn't Little Women. I knew she wouldn't give us Jo and Laurie, but Skeffrey was never this.
It wasn't Austen and not Montgomery - she did always the opposite.
And I learned from Little Women how to live in two different universes.
And from my literature references, I see the last book as response to literature. If readers just would's fanfiction to the classics...

twicebaked (twicebakedsmallpotatoes) | 307 comments Mod
That's true. There's a little bit of selfishness and self-centeredness in every author. I mean there's some in all of us, but it really comes out in an author when she disregards the wishes of her readers to write something she wants instead, even though she knows it will disappoint us. But she doesn't care because she knows we'll buy it anyway because we're dying and just want to know how the story ends so we're going to give her money to write a crappy book and she's secure in that - she can write whatever and she knows we'll buy it because we're loyal fans. And that's the payback we get for actually supporting her financially and emotionally.

It's discouraging. That's why I stick to stories I know will turn out all right. Because after this, what in the world do I trust anymore? :\ That sounds really dramatic, but seriously. If there's a series I like, I just want it to be finished by the time I come along to read it because I don't want to get emotionally attached to an idea that probably won't even happen. Verena, you should write a retelling of Little Women/Penderwicks - and get it right this time!

Is it just me or does it feel like LW cursed all the books that would follow a similar storyline? :P jk

message 50: by Juny (new) - rated it 1 star

Juny | 66 comments My stance on the last book hasn't changed. (oh wait what last book??? It's dead to me.)
I just don't want to write to Birdsall anymore about it, because it is her book and she identified with Batty more and so of course she's going to have Batty end up with Jeffery...even though it was not pulled off correctly, whatsoever.

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