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In which we learn through exposition that Damen is a smoldering pile of perfection.

 

Last time we read this story we were left with a cliffhanger. How will Damen defend himself about the fact he looked the same at 14?

 

Apparently Damen modeled for a short time, back when he lived in New York, which is why his image is out there, floating around cyberspace, just waiting for someone to download and claim that it's them.
And even though we passed it around and had a good solid laugh at the whole weird coincidence, there's still one thing  I can't quite get past: If Damen just moved here from New Mexico and not New York, well, doesn't it seem like he should've looked a little bit younger in that picture?
Because I can't think of anyone who looks exactly the same at seventeen as they did at fourteen, or even fifteen, and yet, that thumbnail on Miles's Sidekick showed Damen looking exactly the same as he does right now. And it just doesn't make any sense.

 

Yep, that’s all we see about that. I love the style of this novel. Why bother with showing when you can tell? Why write characters when you can just mention them?

Also, don’t you love how Ever just puts on neon lights what’s wrong with this and just by passes it. He has super speed,  no aura, drinks weird red liquid and levitates pens in your face (among other things).  Are we still going on with the “Hmm, I wonder if there’s something more about Damen” BS?! You idiot!

 

Moving on, we go to art class where Ever is just failing at painting. She can’t even do simple strokes without causing a mess, which is apparently the only subject she sucks in because—oh, hell no:

Ever since I became psychic, I'm no longer required to
study. I'm not even required to read. All I have to do is
place my hands on a book, and the story appears in my
head.

linaangry

(You goddamn whore!)

[Warning: massive capslock rage about to hit]

HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?! WHY WOULD YOU HAVE THAT POWER?! HOW IS THAT POWER GOING TO BE USEFUL IN THIS STORY?! IS THERE A POINT TO IT BESIDES MAKING EVER’S LIFE EASIER?!

I just don’t know anymore! This has to be the most overpowered character I’ve ever seen… and I watched Dragon ball Z!  This is such bullshit.

Sensing that I’m not annoyed enough at her we turn the camera to Damen who turns out he’s perfect in all he does. He always answer every question in class (not that we see that)  while adding historical facts as if he were there, paints like a master, is perfectly ambidextrous and multitasks without never doing something second grade.

 

sleep-books

Oh, Huh. (Yawn) Sorry, paragraphs of boring exposition about perfect beings do that to me.

Finally we get a scene with the teacher showing up complimenting Damen while cringing at Ever’s painting. Once she leaves, Ever asks how can he be so talented. Damen, with smoldering eyes, acts all coy while touching her scar… which she’s sensitive about. Yeah, Damen is not creepy at all.

Seriously, if you had a scar that you got in the car crash in which your parents died (and you blame yourself for it) and made sure to hide it with a hoodie and bangs and somebody touched it, wouldn’t you be at least a little peeved? Mind you, this guy came like three days ago at this point and it’s not a close friend, just an acquaintance you are starting to hang in your group of friends.  Personal space, Damen!

Anyway, that’s all for this chapter (yes, it was THAT tiny and pointless). Until next time this is Shaolina, signing out!

(Chapter 10)

 

Spitefic: Literary Analysis

on 2010-09-17 06:58 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] gehayi.livejournal.com
You know, in addition to being Sue-riffic and incredibly annoying, there's a problem with this method of "studying" that the author hasn't thought about. Spitefic time!

***

We were studying Dostoyevsky, and I was bored.

It wasn't just that I couldn't have cared less about Rodion Raskolnikov and his guilt trip. The problem was that we were only in the last chapter of the second part of the book. There were four more parts to go. And I already knew every single word of the entire book. I'd memorized the contents involuntarily on touching the cover. I had every one of my textbooks rattling around in my head, and I hated them. Even if they weren't fantastically dull, which most of them were, they didn't have anything to do with my life.

I was brooding on all this when Mr. Welsh--my English teacher--called on me.

"Ever, answer this question--what narrative device does Dostoyevsky make particular use of in this section, and what purpose does it serve?"

I stared at him blankly. I had no idea what he was talking about.

He gazed at me expectantly, ignoring the forest of hands all around him.

Still mentally flailing, I did the only thing I could think of doing. I guessed. "Um...foreshadowing? And...uh...personification?"

"And what purpose do these devices serve?" he repeated.

"To create suspense?" Which should have been a statement, not a question. It was the only reason I could think of, and even as I said it, I knew it was wrong. "No, wait. You don't create suspense by hinting at what's going to happen next, do you?"

"Well, you can," he said calmly. "Is that what Dostoyevsky's doing here?"

"No," I said, glaring at my desk. "I guess not."

"Tell me what happens in Chapter 7, then."

This I could do. Quickly, I began to recite from memory what had happened.

To my surprise, he interrupted. "No. Don't recite the whole chapter. Summarize."

ONce more I stared at him blankly. I knew the story in Dostoyevsky's words--or the translation, anyway. But I couldn't sum this chapter up in my own words, because I'd never bothered to think about it.

He seemed to sense that I couldn't answer, and nodded. "See me after class."

That was the last thing that I wanted to do, but a half hour later, I was standing in front of his desk.

"I did do the reading," I protested. "I do know what happens in the chapter.

"No," he said, shaking his head. "I don't think you do. Tell me about the pawnbroker that Raskolnikov kills."

Words from the very first chapter came back to me. "'She was a diminutive, withered up old woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared with oil, and she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck, which looked like a hen's leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag, and, in spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur cape, yellow with age. The old woman coughed--'"

"That's enough. Now, compare and contrast Raskkolnikov's personality with that of his sister. It's not that difficult," he added, seeing that I was beginning to panic again. "If you know anything about Rodion and Dounia, it should be simple enough."

I hung my head, wishing I could shrink into my hoodie the way a turtle shrinks into his shell.

"You can't." Again, he didn't sound surprised. "You know, I'm not certain that you're aware of this, Ever, but since you were in that terrible accident, there's been a huge drop in your ability to reason analytically. I'm sure you've got some sort of eidetic memory."

He sighed. "Unfortunately, just memorizing texts isn't enough. You need to understand what you're reading; that's the point of education. And you don't. I've heard similar stories about you knowing the math textbook backwards and forwards but not being able to tell what rule applies to which problem. You can explain how every scientific experiment in your chemistry book works--but let Ms. Herrara introduce an experiment in class that deals with a principle that you've never studied and you're lost.

"I'm going to advise that you be taken out of your classes and put in a one-on-one tutoring program. One that will focus heavily on reading comprehension. You have to learn to work around the brain damage, Ever. Do you understand?"

Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis

on 2010-09-17 07:23 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] shaolina.livejournal.com
(Applause!) The amount of love I feel for you right now can't be measured. I would give you flowers but that's Damen's shtick and I want nothing in common with that guy.\

Sadly, she's a straight A student without ever having to read anything. It's just disgusting. Still, that makes so much sense that it should be canon. It would explain why she is still wondering about Damen when it's obvious he is supernatural. She just neon signs the weirdness and moves on to say "Oh, it's probably nothing." It's just annoying.

I do wonder if Noel thinks the more powers a character has, the more likable she or he is. Never mind that it limits their potential, makes them dumber and just impossible to relate to.

Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis

on 2010-09-18 04:06 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] aikaterini.livejournal.com
Man, when it comes to spitefics, you're on a roll, aren't you, Gehayi? :)

I agree with Shaolina; I don't really understand what the point of that "power" is. Does it serve any purpose in the story or is it just a throw-away gift? I myself wouldn't see it as a gift because I love to read. Even if the story "appeared in my head," I would still want to read the book anyway. Besides, what's the difference between that and looking up books on Sparknotes?

Re: Spitefic: Literary Analysis

on 2010-09-18 04:44 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] shaolina.livejournal.com
You know what, I just give up in understanding her powers and I don't mean why she has powers. I bet she's either the chosen of reincarnated from the moon kingdom/alternate universe/book fated to love Damen forever or she's a reaper (a la dead like me/Yu yu hakusho). I get that, it's nothing special. What pisses me off so badly is that we get a new power every chapter and no development of it.

Ever didn't start as a mood reader and 20 chapters later her power grew to the point she can read thoughts. We don't get to really experience how the powers affect her in part because we get so many of them that the author can't keep them straight (at the restaurant she had no headphones yet she didn't read anybody's thoughts by accident) and also because the narration is in angty teenager blogging on livejournal style.

If Meyer is the master of saying one thing and showing another Miss Noel is the master of telling and no showing. It's especially frustrating in this first person where we are meant to experience Ever's life. This would have worked better as diary entries or blog entries. A novel in live journal format instead of this. It just pisses me off so much! I'm reading shadows and puppets and stuck with Ever, and maybe Riley, as the only real characters.

But there's just no thought and that makes Ever into such a stupid girl.

Although, this "power" would be perfect as a curse. I actually feel like writing a personal note to give it to a character who loves to read and just that power. It could be hilarious and frustrating to see how he/she handles it. I mean, imagine getting that power the day before the release of HP: HBP and next day you grab the book, have the whole text in your head and shout "Oh, my lord, Snape kills Dumbledoore."

Or it could be a world where such powers exist in a small group of people and they are found and trained to be agents of some sorts. Some may be used as tools and never taught how to read so they just copy down messages and pass them. If they discover somebody who knows how to read they kill him. How would a character that defies the order and learns how to read handle herself? Still, in here this is just one more power to be used whenever Noel wants to and forgotten later. Mind reading was enough to ace tests if you are lazy, Edward Cullen already proved that.

I feel with you, though. I adore to read and the joy of reading comes in great part from visualizing. Taking the time and picturing the words. Getting the feel for them and how they are funny, clever or suspenseful. I would be destroyed if I couldn't read at all, but Ever doesn't care if she reads or if she doesn't so I can't even tell if she's lazy, stupid or sad about it. Ever is almost as blank as Bella.

on 2010-09-18 09:07 am (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
That. Was. Brilliant.
You just made my day. XD
As the fic continued my smile got wider and wider. I loved the Twilight spite!fics and this was just as great. You're fantastic at them!

Of course we wouldn't see Damen answering correctly -rolls eyes obnoxiously- this book obviously cannot contain the smartness of his-his... his smartness!
Damen: I am intelligenter than you!

-eye twitches- Damn you -croaks- powers...-voice dies-.

on 2010-09-18 04:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] shaolina.livejournal.com
I think you mean smoldering smartness. XD I swear each chapter has 1 smoldering and 1 new power. It's driving me bonkers.

Damen is the most boring shallow love interest I have read so far and I read Twilight. I hate Edward Cullen, but at least he makes me feel something. I nothing Damen. We get lists of how awesome he is and the word smoldering and that's it. At best I can say he needs to learn what personal espace is and, while a creepy quality, it's not enough to truly say I hate the guy. Then again, I'm 1/4 into the book, I have 3/4 to hate him.

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