TTT: Books Read in One Sitting

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I used to read books in one sitting often when I was younger, mostly because I liked staying up late at night to finish a book. Nowadays, it hits 11 o’clock and I’m dozing off whether or not the book is super-interesting. However! There are definitely times when I will sit down on my bed and then refuse to get off until I have finished a story. Normally this happens on books that aren’t massive, and it’s almost always the case when I pick up a graphic novel to read. That said, I’m discounting manga, children’s picture books, and graphic novels, only because yes, they do take faster to get through than a regular book.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read In One Sitting

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – Hah, remember when we had to wait an actual year for the next installment of the Harry Potter series? Well, my wait wasn’t so bad. Books 1-4 were already out by the time I got on the bandwagon, though when OotP finally came out, I was one of the nerds lined up in front of a bookstore just to get myself a copy. Which I then proceeded to read without interruptions for an entire day. Gone went breakfast and lunch, and when I emerged during dinnertime…well, I sulked in the corner. Lawd, this book took me places.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier – Oh, this book was lovely. And so was its spinoff. I also cried by the end of this, though I’m not sure if it was because I was sad that the book ended or super-happy at the result. In any case, I’m pretty sure someone found me curled up reading in the basement at 4 am and wondered why the hell I was still up. Oops?

Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermere – I’m pretty sure I had a Computer Science exam the next day. I ended up reading this and pulling an all-nighter to finish reading the story of Cecelia and Kate. So worth it! (But double oops?)

Iron Kissed, Silver Borne, River Marked, and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs – Hah, and just about every other Mercy Thompson book out there. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I marathon-read the first four books over one weekend, and then subsequently read its sequels within a day. Not necessarily one sitting, but they really were just so addicting!

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause – One of my first introductions to YA supernatural fiction. I’m not sure I’d actually have enjoyed this book now if I read it again, but I did spend an entire day arguing about this with a friend because she and I were on different ships. That said! It was far better than the silly movie that was loosely based off it.

Cress by Marissa Meyer – Alright, strictly speaking, Cress took me at most two days with breaks. However, that was mostly due to me starting the first ten pages, and then going to work. But then the weekend happened and I lay in bed reading all of Cress until I’d finished. So. Damn. Good.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – I would not recommend reading this at night. I say this out of experience. The funny thing about Ocean is that it is a story of a child, though I don’t believe it is a children’s book in any sense. I suppose the best way to describe it will always be that it’s a children’s book written for adults, and that’s why I added this on the list. It was such a great read, and Gaiman has always been a wizard. So there.

Do you often read books in one sitting? What books kept you up all night?

Peter Peter and Sky Eater || Tiger Lily Review

Initial Thoughts: 

For a retelling based off a children’s adventure story, this was kind of a snorefest. Kudos for the transgender Tik Tok at least?


TIGER LILY

by Jodi Lynn Anderson
HarperCollins, July 2012
YA fantasy, retelling, romance
Rated: 2 / 5 cookies

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

Okay, so I admit I expected to be writing a very squee-ful review of A Conjuring of Light by now, but my commitment issues got in the way and I’ve been refusing to read the last two hundred pages of Schwab’s book because I DO NOT WANT IT TO END. So I picked up this book that I’d stopped reading in the middle of February for various reasons, and I finally finished it in one sitting.

Unfortunately, the feeling I had for the entire book was really just…meh?

(I’ve tried real hard not to turn this into a rant, but I swear my fingers have a mind of their own…)

So Tiger Lily is a retelling of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, a story about a flying boy who never grows up. In the original source, Peter takes the Darling siblings on a grand adventure in Neverland, only to find themselves in trouble with Captain Hook and his band of pirates. There’s a lot of shenanigans happening, and in the end, the story takes a cyclical turn, staying true to Peter’s everlasting boyish persona: that everything goes round and round, and will always stay the same where Neverland is concerned.

One of the secondary characters that show up in Barrie’s work happens to be Tiger Lily, the daughter of a tribal chief in Neverland. She is often pitted as the foil to Wendy, because she, too, loves Peter, and has eyes for no one else. Now, the Barrie original has an image of Tiger Lily walking onto Captain Hook’s ship with a knife in her mouth. And honestly, that image alone made this girl the most interesting character in Neverland to date. That’s saying much, considering there are mermaids and pirates and fairies to contend with!

I won’t get into an argument about the depiction of the Piccaninny tribe in the Disney movie, but honestly, I do remember loving what glimpse I had of this feisty little girl!

A lot of the book blurb hinted at some fast-paced, love-at-first-sight adventure romance. I mean, it’s a retelling of Peter Pan, and what wouldn’t be a retelling of Peter Pan if it didn’t have a magical Neverland brimming with mermaids and dangerous pirates and its indigenous, non-colonized people? The entire selling point was that the focus would be on Tiger Lily, one of the most interesting characters in the stories.

Here’s the problem with the blurb, though: it’s another unfortunate, inaccurate write-up. The most accurate it could have gotten was that the focus is on Tiger Lily. However, insta-love doesn’t happen (thank goodness). Tiger Lily is her own character for a majority of the book, and she does fall in love with Peter Pan, but her realization doesn’t even come about until halfway through the book.

Here’s the other problem: there wasn’t much “risk” involved on Tiger Lily’s part. Not once did I feel the need to worry about how the Sky Eaters would react to Tiger Lily’s involvement with the Lost Boys. There was clear and present danger, yes, but nothing immediate, and when dealing with a story where most people already know the ending (heck, the friggin’ fairy already prefaced the story as something that would not end happily for the two lovebirds), it was already predictable that Tiger Lily and Peter would come out unscathed. Probably heartbroken, but largely whole.

And to top it off, meeting Wendy Darling was pretty much the last fifty pages of the book. Honestly, I was half-hoping the entire scene had gone the pirates’ way in the end, because at least that would have been a trifle more exciting. Also, I didn’t think Wendy could get even more boring than the usual persona she is often depicted as, but she did. She got even less interesting in this book, and frankly, even Tinker Bell had developed more personality within the last fifty pages than Wendy did (and that’s saying something, because I swear Tink didn’t have an opinion in her little fairy body either).

It’s gotta be said, Wendy.

My biggest gripe of the story was probably the narration itself. It was hard trying to sympathize with any of the characters when the storyteller kept changing tenses and perspectives on me. The whole book is seen in the eyes of Tinker Bell, a mute fairy whose sole purpose in the book was really just to watch and observe things unravel before her. While I do not mind plot-driven books, the addition of Tink as the unreliable narrator made the storytelling clunky. There were too many POV changes in one scene, and it was sometimes difficult to determine whether or not it was Tink thinking some things or if it was Tiger Lily or another character whose mind Tink can view.

And honestly, Tinker Bell’s limited, single-minded view pretty much distorted the story to revolve around what she wanted to see. Everything else was white noise for her, and unless it dealt with the well-being of Tiger Lily and Peter Pan, Tink pretty much just glazed over things. This in itself is irritating when there were darker, grimmer issues surrounding the story that had nothing to do with Tiger Lily and Peter’s doomed romance. At one point, a rape took place, and Tink’s narration of it lasted a couple paragraphs, like it was just some sort of pitiable thing she happened to have come across. Instead of feeling any sorts of disgusted or worried, she doesn’t even bring this shit up to Tiger Lily. Oh, but Tink has time to prank Wendy Darling, though!

(In Tink’s defense, I doubt she would have been able to say much to Tiger Lily, who was also unfortunately too wrapped up in her own miseries to be paying attention to what was happening to her own damn friends. Ugh, shame on you, Tiger Lily!)

That said, it could have been worse. Tink could have had a voice…

That all said, there were a few things I liked about Tiger Lily.

The writing had its moments, for sure. I thought the prologue and the first few chapters were the best parts to read, because it had a poetic feel to them, and it was easy to forget that Tinker Bell was narrating the story for the most part. The letter at the end was probably one of my favorite bits, too, it was bittersweet and a bit sad. If I sympathized with the relationship more, I might have cared more, but Peter was kind of a jerk for the most part, and only the letter really indicated how much he changed when he got older.

Tik Tok, Pine Sap, and Moon Eye. Honestly, there were some really good characters written into the story. I thought Smee was characterized rather well, though I found this an interesting take on Hook’s most notorious lackey. Pine Sap and Moon Eye were great secondary characters, though I will say that Tik Tok was my absolute favorite. Honestly, Tik Tok’s and Moon Eye’s storylines were the most compelling for me in Tiger Lily, both of which dealt with darker issues. Hell, I was sad for Tik Tok. I was not sad that Peter chose the other woman.

2 out of 5 cookies! It got one extra cookie for Tik Tok and the conclusive situation with Giant. Yeah.


Have you read this book? What did you think?

Of Book Hauls and Signings

I shall keep this post sweet and short, because honestly all I want to do this morning is play Final Fantasy XV and read A Conjuring of Light (but let’s face it, I’m probably doing neither because I have lesson plans to write and papers to grade *sobs*).

Last week and the week before I was lucky enough to attend two book signings at my favorite book shop! Of course, this meant a breakage in the bank, but OMG my haul is pretty lovely. And the authors were fantabulous.

From the Tor side of things…

So um. A Conjuring of Light came out late February, and obviously the first thing I was thinking was: “WHEN IS SCHWAB COMING TO TOWN AND I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS BOOK.” The lines for Schwab were absolutely ridiculous that I was getting paranoid about making it on time. Thankfully, I managed to dash out of work without having to inflict any physical injury on other persons on my way there, hah.

Seriously, you guys, I’m 300 pages into ACOL and LOVING IT. I mean…I totally cried at least once already. Maybe twice. And I totally squeed several times already. And yelled at characters to get a room (an advice they seemed to have heeded occasionally *COUGHSQUEECOUGH*) because my god that tension. And and and…oh god, okay, I’ll review this at some point.

Also! I had been oggling Truthwitch for ages, and borrowed a library copy to read prior to Dennard showing up at Books of Wonder. Unfortunately, the reading didn’t happen on time, but I decided I wanted a copy of at least the first book anyway, because hell, I’ve bought books in the past that I don’t plan on reading at all, and honestly, I feel like I’d actually like Truthwitch. Susan Dennard should totally be my friend. Not only is she a Dragon Age fan, but like Schwab, she’s also an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan. She’s ALSO a Zutara fan. (YES SOMEONE I KNOW IN PERSON IS A ZUTARA FAN, I MEAN, WHAT.)

Not pictured, but I also got a signed copy of Goldenhand by Garth Nix, because I mean, let’s complete that signed Abhorsen hardcover collection I have sitting prettily on my shelf. No, really, though, I do want to read this next book. Eventually.

God, I just love authors.

From the Penguin side of things…

Let’s be honest here, I was totally hoping Flame in the Mist galleys would be thrown at the audience during this tour, but hell, there was a stellar set of ladies kicking off their tours, and I’ve been meaning to get Rebel of the Sands for the longest time. Alwyn Hamilton’s sequel also came out, but I opted to get just the first book for now. Lesley Livingston’s The Valiant also caught my eye because um, hello, princess-turned-gladiator? Yaaaaaas. Livingston herself was such a dork, I loved her.

AND I AM A LITTLE JEALOUS of the girl who actually DID get an ARC of Flame in the Mist from Renee Ahdieh. But omgah, Ahdieh was awesome enough to let me take some swag and a signed poster! I cannot wait to Food and Fandomize Ahdieh’s next book…though I am still trying to figure out the best opportunity to make myself a full-blown Persian meal…

Mini Reviews: Hamilton, Legenderry

Ugh, balancing time between work and hobbies have become almost impossible at this rate, especially when I find myself constantly thinking about grading papers instead of doing other, more sane things. *shudders*

That said, books must be read, reviews must be written! At least, I try to get as many reviews written as I can.

One of which is a nonfiction. Yay! I need to add more of these in my life, and I do have a few more lined up somewhere. Audiobook-style.

This other one was a bit disappointing after a time. I try not to dwell on it, because it’d be my first attempt at steampunk this year and the results were lukewarm at best. (And I usually am biased for my steampunk, so that’s saying something…)

Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure counts as #1 on my Steampunk Reading Challenge.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

Wrap-Up: February 2017

february2017-monthlyFirst off: Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

Teaching the bigger voldies has given me quite the perspective on time management. Where “time management” equates to “no time at all” for the most part. Seriously, how do fellow teachers deal all the time?! I swear I’ve only managed to rack in a couple hours of video game this weekend, and then it was back to grading, lesson planning, and browsing other math and science resources. Not to mention the fact that I’m also trying to keep regular schedule with reading and blogging…

Sigh. At best, it’s going to be an interesting next few months. At worst, I’ll not have done any writing or editing at all.

But it’s not all fatigue and sadness! Lots of good stuff this month, too!

Books Read

I was in a bit of a slump over the month, to a point where I’ve even gotten bored with audiobooks to a point where I just DNF it after the first few chapters. Hopefully I’ll find a balance of being able to read AND get other work done in the coming weeks.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, Smoke and Shadow, Vols. 1-3 by Gene Luen Yang || An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure by Bill Willingham || Gilded Cage by Vic James

Currently Reading

Let’s be honest here. I’ve probably pushed all books back in light of Schwab’s A Conjuring of Light being out. Sorry not sorry.

Portal of a Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan || Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson || Truthwitch by Susan Dennard || A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Writing

Unless I’m counting blog posts and lesson plans, writing has pretty much been nonexistent. Not a good thing, but I don’t think that’s going to change until I’ve got a decent system in place to get through my regular workdays without being utterly drained of any motivation whatsoever, lol.

Movies

February is always my busiest month for movies, and for good reason! Now that the Oscars are over, I can finally take it easy with watching the other movies I wanted to get to this year. That said, there were some very good movies on the list that I watched this month. And, uh, I totally watched more than 8 movies, I just didn’t have room to add the rest…

february2017-movies

Moana || Hacksaw Ridge || Lion || Kubo and the Two Strings || Florence Foster Jenkins || Fences || Jackie || Hell or High Water || Nocturnal Animals (not pictured) || The Red Turtle (not pictured) || Captain Fantastic (not pictured)

Television

The Magicians, Season 1 – Honestly, this had something going for it, up until the characters kept doing stupid things, and I was just so over it.

Arrow, Season 3 – Yeah, still on this season, but I’m getting to the point where I had stopped a long way back!

Flash, Season 1 – Ditto.

Outlander, Season 2 – So I subscribed to a free week of Starz, which meant I totally binged a majority of the second Outlander season. I may have to resort to other streaming services to get to the rest of the episodes, though…

The Great British Bake Off, Season 3 – NETFLIX FINALLY HAS MORE SEASONS UP. Naturally, I just had to watch it.

Video Games

Dishonored 2 – Took me much longer to finish a stealthy, non-lethal run with Corvo, but that’s mostly because I haven’t been binge-playing video games in a while. I plan to do a couple more runs on this game, but I might wait another time.

Batman: Arkham Knight – A ways back, I totally rage-quit this game and stopped playing it for a while because the effing Batmobile Riddler challenges DROVE ME NUTS. I just went back into the swing of things, though. Might as well try to finish the game…before I contemplate heading back to Dragon Age

Fooding and Drinking

Last month there was a severe lack of food and drink pictures gracing my blog. This month, I needed to separate food AND drink apart, because there was a lot of both happening due to Valentine’s Day and it being my mother’s birthday among other things.

february2017-fooding

Thin Mint Oreo and Kit Kat Brownies || Tutti Frutti Waffles || Apple Pirozhki || Pineapple BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza || Tiramisu || Waffle Fries || Marinated Prime Rib BBQ || Harvey Wallbanger Cake

I’d also visited The Way Station, which was the dorkiest bar I’d ever seen. And this is a good thing! I ended up ordering a few Doctor Who-inspired drinks, and they were LOVELY.

february2017-drinks

Galliano || 4th Doctor || 10th Doctor || River’s Red Mark || Barefoot Moscato || Mocha Madness || Moroccan Mint Tea || Vodka (for baking!)

Miscellany

Valentine’s Day was a pretty good day, considering. My bestie and I ended up just reserving a table at Max Brenners and fed on food and chocolate for the rest of the day. Soooo delicious.

I did do another Food and Fandom post, which means I’m good for the month. But now the cycle begins again and I probably need to start thinking about another F&F project to do in order to stay on top of my own Reading Challenge…

Nerdy News

I honestly don’t know why I insist on following up on the Mass Effect hype, because every single time I see an article, like character profiles (YES FEMALE TURIAN COMPANION RAAAAAAH), voice actor announcements (Margery Tyrell joins The Tempest crew as an asari, WHAAAT), and the fact that you can still actually decide which Commander Shepard is YOUR Shepard in ME: Andromeda (FemShep all the way!) only gets me overexcited about this game. And it’s not like I’m even planning to get it in March! I’m going to have to wait much longer than that, otherwise NO work is getting done…

On another space-related note: I am so eagerly awaiting for our First Contact with turians. NASA, make this happen. You’ve found the planets, so find the aliens. Just don’t try to wage war, please. 😄

WHAT IS THIS NEVERWHERE SEQUEL, GAIMAN YOU ARE KILLING ME HERE I MUST HAVE IT.

You know what, I’d actually be interested in the Ford, Bernard, and Maeve Westworld Funkos. I wouldn’t mind if they suddenly came up with a Hector Funko. Rodrigo Santoro is a beautiful man.

Hayao Miyazaki getting bored of retirement and coming back to make more movies is really not surprising. He’s pretty much a workaholic, which is a good thing, because YAY MORE MIYAZAKI MOVIES!

My first reaction to there being a possible A Darker Shade of Magic movie was practically, “OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG EEEEEEEEEEEEE.” My second one is, quite naturally, “OH GOD PLEASE DON’T EFF THIS UP I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.” So yeah. Excited and REALLY hoping for the best. And super happy for Schwab, who must be super-stoked about this news.