Feature & Follow #94: Character that Disappointed Me

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read. Time to discover some new blogs and (hopefully) gain some new followers! Yay!

I would love for you to follow via whatever method you’d like: email, RSS, Linky Followers or Networked Blogs. Be sure to leave me a comment letting me know you’re following so I can return the favor!

Also, my husband just designed me a snazzy new button (Isn’t it snazzy? I find it quite snazzy) which you can grab in the sidebar if you’d like. Let me know if you stuck my button on your blog, and I’ll grab yours to put on mine. That’s obviously not a requirement of the Feature&Follow; just a bonus if you are so inclined. Thanks!

This week’s question:

Q: Have you ever had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then “broke-up” with later on in either the series or stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

Hmmmm, this is a hard one. Typically, a character either annoys me right off the bat, or I love them forever. It’s pretty rare that I would start out a book enjoying a character and end up hating him or her.

Okay. If we are sticking just to books, I’m going to kind of have to be a little loose in my answer to this question, because I honestly can’t think of a character that I fell in love with and then “broke up” with. So let’s just stick to disappointed.

I’m going to go with Elphaba from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. I went into reading the book knowing the basics of the plot. I knew she was going to become the Wicked Witch, and that eventually Dorothy was going to throw a bucket of water on her and she was going to melt and die and all of Oz would rejoice. And somewhere along the way, she was going to sing “Defying Gravity.”

Okay, maybe not that last part.

But I was expecting for her to still be a sympathetic character. I was looking forward to the book putting a new spin on her story and making me really understand her, maybe even feel sorry for her. I wasn’t really expecting it to be a tragedy (this is a story about Oz, after all), so I didn’t think I’d be too broken up when she died, but I was expecting her to have a slow fall from grace. [Spoiler warning ahead]

But no, she was pretty much unlikable throughout the entire book. I understand she had a rough childhood and adolescence, but even so, she pushed away, ran away from, or downright rejected anyone who attempted to be kind to her. I couldn’t figure out what Fiyero  ever saw in her to make him want to have a romantic relationship with her. And then once he’s out of the picture, she’s even more withdrawn.

The part where I knew I could never, ever feel sympathetic towards this character was when some horrible children play a prank on her young son — who she is never even slightly affectionate towards — and he spends two days clinging to a bucket at the bottom of a well, and nearly dies. And she doesn’t notice, and once they find him, she doesn’t care.

What. The. Heck.

So yeah. Sorry Elphaba. I’m kind of glad Dorothy threw that water on you. You were a pretty horrible person. I was looking forward to seeing another side of you, but every side of you kind of sucked.

And just because I can’t seem to let it go…..

As an honorable mention, and ranging outside of the world of books, I would like to give a shout-out to Chief Galen Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica. His character was awesome during the first couple seasons of the show, started a slow descent in Season 3, and was utterly decimated in Season 4. Congratulations, Ronald D. Moore, for completely ruining a sympathetic and interesting character.

Battlestar Galactica kind of had that effect on a few characters. Tyrol was just, in my opinion, the worst.

Happy Friday everyone!

Milestones and Giveaways!

Wow you guys, time really does fly when you’re having fun! Tomorrow completes my first month of writing this blog, and what an awesome and crazy month it’s been!

Here’s what’s happened in my first month as a new book blogger:

  • Posted 14 reviews
  • Gained 23 new followers
  • Created a Facebook page
  • Created a Twitter profile
  • Discovered some insanely awesome book blogs/bloggers
  • Received dozens of helpful, amusing and insightful comments
  • Started following so many blogs I lost count
  • Won one giveaway, only to lose my prize because the notification went to my spam folder and I missed the 48-hour response window [drat!]
  • Gave my blog a makeover (It looks nice, right? And yes, that actually is a photo of me up there! Just one of the perks of marrying a guy who knows his way around Photoshop. Thanks, honey!)
  • Passed 1,000 page views(!)
  • Received a totally unexpected box in the mail from Scholastic! Here’s what was inside:

I had contacted the lovely folks over there a couple weeks ago in my giddy new-blogger eagerness. I wasn’t really expecting any publishers to take me seriously yet, but I contacted a few of my favorites with a “nothing ventured, nothing gained” mentality.

Everyone I spoke to was incredibly friendly and helpful. I had a couple “sorry, we only send books to professionals” responses, a couple “patience, grasshopper” responses, and one “tell us what you are interested in, but no promises” response. So I told them what I was interested in, with no expectations whatsoever, and a week-ish later…BOX.

Holy smokes, I’m ridiculously excited that a publisher actually took my little blog seriously enough to send me books.

So everyone, get ready for some reviews of what are sure to be fantastic middle-grade titles in the coming weeks!

ALSO, since I know you’re only reading my excited ranting right now because I put the word “giveaway” in the title, YES, I will be holding my first-ever giveaway tomorrow to celebrate one month of survival in the blogosphere! I won’t tell you what it is yet, but you may want to come hungry and ready for some games, if you know what I mean.

Come back tomorrow for the details! And thanks so much for reading!

Hold on to your hats, folks.

Well, in case anyone’s curious how long it takes for free WordPress hosting to become more trouble than it’s worth, the answer is almost exactly one month.

I had come to terms with my limited widget functionality in my sidebar. But my inability to use Rafflecopter was just too much.

So long, free WordPress! You and your lack of Javascript aren’t welcome here anymore!

Hopefully I’ll be up and running on my new higher-functioning site by tomorrow, but there’s a possibility I won’t be able to celebrate my 1-month-iversary exactly on time.

There’s also the possibility that this could screw with any of you who are following me via WP or RSS (hopefully if you are following via Linky Followers or Networked Blogs, those will be unaffected). So if you look for me tomorrow and it seems I’ve disappeared, I haven’t. Just moved.

I’ll also update my Facebook Page and Twitter Feed with updates. If you can’t find me, check for me there. Those aren’t going anywhere. And if you don’t follow me on Twitter or FB yet, what are you waiting for? Carpe Diem!

Right now I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. My husband and his friend are handling this. I’m mostly just here to watch them nervously and complain that it’s taking too long.

See you on the other side!

The last few weeks

Well, I’m 3.5 weeks into this book blogging thing. [Side note: what is the etymology of the word “blog?” Because it looks and sounds weird.] And already I’ve done a few things right, a bunch of things wrong, and learned a whole lot.

I’ve had a personal blog for a bunch of years, but this book blogging thing is a whole new beast. The personal blog is, let’s face it, mainly for my mom. It’s about my kids and how they’re weird, and is really only entertaining to people who know me.

But this one is for…well…anyone! Or at least anyone with a similar taste in books and a tolerance for my long-windedness.

[I had a dream the other night that people were commenting/complaining about my long-windedness. I woke up relieved (that it was just a dream) and somewhat abashed (since I am long-winded).]

Anyway. In the last few weeks, I’ve had my eyes cracked open to the world of book bloggers, and it’s pretty neat. Book bloggers are cool. They’re a whole tightly-knit community that I never was really aware of. I’ve had a lot of fun reading their posts, drinking in their wisdom (The Broke and the Bookish just had a Top Ten Tuesday on Tips for New Book Bloggers, and I lost several hours of my life skipping from blog to blog, soaking up knowledge), and “meeting” several of them via comments, email and Twitter. It’s strangely exciting to start to slooooowly crack my way into this new society of awesomeness.

I’ve also emailed a few publishers/publicists with a “nothing ventured, nothing gained” mentality. And guess what? They also turned out to be actual, friendly human beings. No, they’re not tripping over themselves to send me review copies yet, but they made me feel a lot more comfortable about asking in the future.

I’ve tried to keep an active presence on Facebook and Twitter to gain readers and followers, and also just to be social to the world at large. It’s trickier than it sounds, since I can only hit up my personal social circle so many times before they’re going to start blocking me (who knows, maybe they already have). No wonder companies hire social media specialists.

My biggest error: posting multiple reviews the day I launched the site. I should have kept some in reserve while I got my feet under me. Now I either have to:

A) dig way back in my memory and my library to find new (old) stuff to review,

B) take time off to read new stuff, or

C) neglect my “real” life so that I can read fast and review immediately.

Since my family would frown on option C, and since taking a hiatus immediately after launching a new blog doesn’t seem wise, I’ve been going for option A. I figure even if a book’s been out for a few years (or decades), it’s probably new to someone, right?

So anyway. That’s the update on my little 3-week-old blog. If you like it, great! Follow the blog, leave comments, tell your friends, etc. It would make me do a little happy dance.

And if you’re an established book blogger and have some words of wisdom for me: I’m all ears!

Or eyes. Since technically I would be reading your wisdom, not hearing it.

I’m having fun. Here’s to THE FUTURE.


Today, now and 6 years ago

Six years ago today, I met someone.

She looked like this:

I was happy to meet her.

And now she looks like this:

So today will be spent making cupcakes, wrapping and opening presents, celebrating with her friends at school while she dons the special Birthday Hat, going out to dinner, eating too much sugar, singing songs, Skyping with family, and basking in the awesomeness of my little baby girl who is now not so little.

And as a result, the only book I will be reading today will be this.

Happy birthday to my first munchkin. You are loved to the point of absurdity.