I’m tired.

I missed posting last week because I was grading, grading, grading.

And I was all set to post something this week, but then the Ferguson decision happened and the shooting of Tamir Rice happened, and I was consumed by rage and so many words that I couldn’t even get them out.

What it all boils down to is that I’m tired.

It’s exhausting being a black person in America. I cannot keep having the same conversations where I have to keep asserting my worth and the worth of my family and the worth of my child and my friends.

I have so many words that they are all inadequate to express my rage and frustration and grief.

So I am infinitely grateful to the people who are able to articulate their rage, frustration, and grief. To the ones who write think pieces and explain over and over and over and over and OVER again that Black lives matter, that diverse fiction/media is important, that racism has not gone away and here are all the ways we can see it playing out over and over again.

A student asked me on Tuesday if it was wrong for him to be nervous about going to FSU (there was a shooting there), and I told him, no it wasn’t wrong. But I also told him that he was probably in more danger just walking down the street. To which he kind of shrugged and nodded.

That’s why I’m tired. Because we both know that’s true, and so many other people are still failing to see that that’s the reality we live with. Those people are instead choosing to condemn us because we’re upset and angry.

So, yes. I’m tired.

I’m tired.

Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their Own Books

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hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


1. Rachel Elizabeth Dare (Percy Jackson series) — I love Rachel Elizabeth Dare so much. Like, so so much. I want to see what wacky adventures she gets into when she’s not popping up to talk to Percy and Annabeth about the latest prophecy. What is her life like? Did she have a crush on Percy? GIVE ME MORE.

2. Hogwarts (Harry Potter series) — I want a story set at Hogwarts that has nothing to do with Voldemort or Harry Potter. Just a story about some random Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff/Slytherin/Gryffindor and the wacky adventures s/he and his/her friends get into. I want to see Hogwarts from a different perspective. In fact, my ideal would be a collection of short stories set at the school

3. Tina Hakim Baba (Princess Diaries series) — Basically, I’m putting her on every list ever because I love her so much.

4. Chrysanthemum “Chrissy” Everstar (My Fair Godmother series) — What does she DO when she’s not complicating mortals’ lives? The book hints at the parties and stuff she gets into, but I really would like to see the world she inhabits.

5. Isabelle (Belle Epoque) — She was by far the most interesting character in that book. I’d love to see her wacky scientist adventures.

6. The Capitol (The Hunger Games trilogy) — I really wish the movies had done more with/about showing how the other districts–especially the Capitol and District 2–experience the Games. They are so different than District 12 and 11 (and all we know about them is what Katniss tells us) that I would really enjoy seeing how someone so far removed from the Games but glamorizes them (or maybe doesn’t, like Cinna!) experiences the whole thing.

7. Einar (Son) — Oh, I love him and Claire so much (separately and together) that I really, really would just read a whole book about them.

8. Reece Malcolm (The Reece Malcolm List) — Not grown-up Reece since I have a clear handle on her, but I’d love to see teenaged/young adult Reece. She’s so fascinating.

9. Deb (What Happened to Goodbye) — Deb was a standout in What Happened to Goodbye. I was so intrigued by her and her varied interests. I am sure she would follow the contemplative mode of all of Dessen’s narrators, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, but. I do think she would have a rich interior life, and I am here for it.

10. Cecile (One Crazy Summer) — She is so complicated and so interesting! When I read the second book, I loved her letters more than anything. Cecile! More please!

Movies Based on Books: Gone Girl

Gone Girl

The best thing for me about watching movies in the theater is observing audience reactions—especially one that’s based on a pretty popular book. I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (my Goodreads review) about a month before going to see it whereas the friend I went with had read it more than a year ago. The women sitting behind us clearly hadn’t read it AT ALL, and so we all had different reactions to what happened.

See, the crazy was fresh in my mind, and my friend remembered that there was a lot of crazy, even if she couldn’t remember anything beyond the big stuff. Those other women, though? Gasps and exclamations throughout. Lots of “OMG” and “What the…?” Me, I was just like, “Yep, everybody in this story is still crazy.”

As for how I felt about the movie, I thought it was a pretty solid adaptation. All the main points were hit and some stuff was condensed for the movie, but, all in all, I had the same reaction to the book as I did to the movie–mainly that everyone was terrible except for Go and Boney, and they were the only two I felt anything for. Oh, and I thought Tyler Perry was awesome as the lawyer. I liked that character more in the movie than the book.

There were two changes that I didn’t particularly care for:

  1. In the book, Nick drinks pretty constantly, and I don’t think that was emphasized as much in the movie.
  2. I was really, really upset by something that happened at the very end.

[SPOILER]I hate, hate, HATED that Nick physically assaulted Amy at the

First, the point was that he didn’t and wouldn’t. Second, it just brought up all kinds of icky “she deserved it” feelings/commentary that should not have entered the conversation. My friend is a DV advocate, and she had very mixed feelings about it, and we both agreed that it just should have been left out altogether—especially since it wasn’t in the book. We know he’s frustrated; we know he feels powerless. Even her non-reaction was troublesome. Ugh, that whole part annoyed me. Just…let’s not.


Now that that’s out of the way, this movie also crystallized something else for me:

I really hate sex scenes. The nudity didn’t bother me at all (except during that one scene, which is supposed to be bothersome because it’s the height of effed up). But I seriously do not need to see people have sex, even if they are fully clothed. I mean, after about two seconds, I get it. They’re having sex. Okay. Can we move on now?

(I feel the same way about sex scenes on TV. And I grew up watching soap operas! Which, again, I always felt those sex scenes went on too long, and those are just people rolling around with sheets strategically covering their bodies and soft music playing. Seriously, though: WE GET IT.)

(I realize I may be in the minority on this.)

So, yes, that’s my big takeaway from Gone Girl: I hate sex scenes. Also, you know, I still like Go and Boney the most. (I was going to say love, but really. Neither version leaves a lot of room for love at all.)

In conclusion: A great adaptation, which left me feeling pretty much exactly the same as the book did.

Graphic Novel Adaptation: The Red Pyramid

I listened to The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan a while ago, and enjoyed the book but found it a little long and fairly complex. So I was really interested to see how the book translated to the graphic novel format.

To start, the illustrations (by Orpheus Collar) are gorgeous. GORGEOUS. The colors are rich and detailed, and the characters look pretty much exactly as I expected. The pictures/colors also match the mood of the story: dark when appropriate, hazy and dream-like when appropriate, and, of course, bright and fun when appropriate.

The action scenes in the original novel are fairly complex, so they are well served by the graphic novel format. Events that take pages and pages of description are finished in one or two pages. The same applies with magical transformations or acts. They took a lot of description in the book but only a few panels in the graphic novel.

So that was great.

See? That scene took probably five pages to describe in the original.
See? That scene took probably five pages to describe in the original.

While I enjoyed reading this as a graphic novel, I found that the racial politics of the book were lost in translation, and that was a huge letdown.

There’s no ignoring that Sadie and Carter are brothers and sisters who, on the surface, don’t look alike. (He’s brown-skinned and she can pass for white.) This is a point of real tension in the original novel that is only briefly touched on in the graphic novel. In fact, it only comes up once when their dad introduces them to someone he works with at the museum.

In the book, that difference is a much bigger deal. For example:

  • Carter thinks his grandparents rejected him in favor of Sadie because she looks more like them.
  • Carter’s dad makes a very big deal about how Carter should dress, which causes Sadie to make fun of him for dressing as an old man.

In the graphic novel, those details are lost. There is zero mention of Carter’s relationship with his grandparents and/or how he feels rejected by them. At the end of the book, Carter mentions his dad would think Carter is dressed “like a hoodlum.” However, there’s zero mention of why, nor is there any mention of why that’s a big deal.

The Red Pyramid by Rick RiordanAnother huge part of the story is that Sadie and Carter have lived apart for a long time, and they’re very wary of each other and have to learn to trust each other. They’re jealous of each other’s relationships with the other members of their families, and they both find each other tiresome in very complicated ways–mostly because they don’t know each other very well. Those complexities, too, get lost in the adaptation.

Oh, and a lot of the humor was lost. So, that sucks.

I feel like this review is reading negatively, and that’s not my intent. I really did like the graphic novel. However, I did read the original first, and it’s hard not to notice that so much of what I liked about the novel is missing here.

That said, I think the graphic novel is an awesome introduction to the characters and the series, but I would definitely recommend that anyone who enjoys it also check out the original novel as well. All in all, the graphic novel is a solid adaptation because the general outline of the story and the excitement are there. But, for nuance and humor, the original really is superior.

Source: Library