Saturday, December 13, 2014

Between Here and Forever {A Review}

Between Here and ForeverTitle: Between Here and Forever
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 2011
Rating: 2 stars


Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...

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Geez... and I thought I had self-esteem issues. This girl... man. Poor Abby. I wanted to snuggle and hug her and tell her she's perfect in her own way and strangle her at the same time. Her incessant "woe is me" attitude seriously started to wear on me. And really... she is totally not perceptive at all. I feel I'm a pretty unobservant person and that I don't read people all that well, but c'mon.

So that might've been my biggest issue with the book. Which is bad since she is the main character and everything is from her point of view. But I, as a reader, knew more than she did. I picked up on the 'clues' long before she did. I saw everything she didn't. It seemed everyone had a little bit of the 'woe is me' attitude going on tho. Except for Claire. Claire was pretty awesome. She knew who she was and had no problems with how people saw her. But everyone else? They were so intent on caring about and only seeing what they thought everyone else saw. A LOT of assuming was going on, which was quite annoying.

I think the premise of the story was really good. It hooked me and I wanted to know how it all went down and turned out. And although there was some growth in Abby, I felt it took a lot of hitting her over the head with things to knock her out of herself.

Overall not a bad read. I don't know that I would *highly* recommend it to anyone and everyone, but if someone is looking for a slightly sad, self-discovery type book, then I might suggest it. :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Raven Cycle Art

When it comes to drawing, or pretty much possessing any imaginative artistic ability, I typically scoff and say "Uh, no. I can't do that." BUT... esteemed Maggie Stiefvater has decided to hold an art contest. And the prize? A set of her major arcana tarot cards that she herself created for her series, The Raven Cycle. I knew about the cards from her Blue Lily, Lily Blue blog tour, and I entered those contests (which required no artistic ability) to no avail. These cards are oh-so-gorgeous. So when I saw her post yesterday about the new giveaway, in which she and her sister will judge works of art created based on the Raven Cycle, I thought "Uh, maybe. Maybe I'll give it a shot. I mean, if I put some effort into it, and patience (lots and lots of patience), maybe I can work something out worth entering."

 As you can see, my family is a Maggie Stiefvater fan... ;)  These are older, I took them when TRB first came out, but I just had to add them on here for fun. :)

So I started thinking about the Raven Cycle. The scenes that still stand out to me. The characters and their relationships with one another. There's Cabeswater, the dreaming tree, the Pig, Chainsaw, Noah, Blue/Gansey, Ronan/Gansey, Ronan/Blue, Monmouth Manufacturing, cars, Kavinsky (who, despite my strong dislike of and nearly feeling happy for his demise, still stands strong in my mind... I mean, he *did* help Ronan...sort of...), Maura, Persephone, Calla, the Gray Man... man I could go on for the rest of the month probably. This obsession may not be healthy...

I started to just draw. At first I was stuck on the dreaming tree. As you can see... yeah. Not my finest. Or hopefully not my finest. I can't seem to translate to paper what I see in my mind. Obviously I can draw in the most basic sense. I can hold a pencil and make marks on paper, but creating something that looks like something? Not my forte. As my friends Mindy and Adrienne pointed out, it looks like a pair of pants... HAHAHA

Then I thought of Blue/Gansey, and their 'moment' by the Pig... *sigh*... ♥. I wanted to attempt to recreate that. Caveats? 1 - I can't really draw faces. 2 - Even if I can get the faces, how do I get that emotion to go with it? So I worked on the former first. Google helps. "How to draw faces." I mean, yeah yeah yeah, I work in a library and could just go pull a book off the shelf, but I'm also sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER. ;)  I got a face. Sort of. I mean, obviously it's a face. Or supposed to be. But then I attempted to add hair. And glasses. Because scholarly Gansey. Yes. lol  So scrap that. And my friend Mindy kindly informed me that if I were drawing glasses in profile form that you wouldn't see the entire lens. Uh... duh? Whoops. ;)

Moved on to ravens in general. Not too bad of a bird. But what to go with it? Does a simple bird count as a 'piece of art'? What if I draw more than one? One in motion, one not?  And I added 'shine' with blue hues. Hmm... So far they are the best of the three, at least.

Oooh... but the Pig... I mean, who can think of the Raven Cycle without thinking, at least passively, of Gansey's beloved? Not me, for one. But could I draw a car? You decide, I guess. (Although I can see lots of issues with it, but that's alright...) I did have a model. He (yes, he... not she) sat very still for me. I offered this model to Maggie once via Twitter, when her Loki kept breaking down. But, alas, it's never made its way out of my possession - only from my house to work, from where I was truly going to mail it to her (really, I was...).

So there you have my attempts at art. Despite them not amounting to anything remotely museum worthy, I think they may earn a spot with my kids' art in our kitchen. At least the ravens and the car. The others? File 13, probably. ;)

Anyway. Happy Friday! :)