March 3, 2011

The Hunger Games Love Triangle

I don't know why love triangles are so popular these days, or maybe it's just the books I'm reading. Just look at the number of them (that I can remember) in Harry Potter alone:
Mrs. Norris/Filch/ Madame Pince (OK, just kidding there. Although...)

I'm sure we can all think of a few more love triangles in other books, but there is one I'd like to talk about in particular. Gale/Katniss/Peeta from The Hunger Games trilogy. Why? Because, and I say this as someone who has a low-tolerance threshold for romance, it's perfect. I'm going to try so hard not to give any big spoilers away. This will be difficult.

So first there's Katniss/Gale. They have been best friends for years. They go hunting together, they tell each other everything, and it's clear from the beginning that Gale at least has a thing for Katniss. He even has a cute nickname for her. They are a lot alike in personality; at the end of Mockingjay, Katniss said they're both very fiery (paraphrasing). To quote the first Veggie Tales movie, they're "two peas in a pod! Two humps on a camel! They always sway the same way!"

And then there's Katniss/Peeta. Gale might be Katniss' best friend, but Peeta actually manages to rival him in that area. But where Katniss and Gale are more fiery and obviously strong-spirited, Peeta is much calmer. He's strong-spirited, too, but in a quiet way. You know what I mean? He and Katniss complement each other.

Also, put them in a cave and look how adorable they get.

They are the sweetest. Ever. But let me tell you something else about the Peeta in the books! He is not quite that *ehem* handsome. (Or British. Heaven help us all if Peeta Mellark were British...)

I can hear it now. The gasps of shock. The WHAAATs of confusion. There is a love triangle and both "options" are not drop-dead gorgeous? YES! I KNOW! He's initially described as "medium height, stocky build, [with] blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead." It is just so refreshing to see a normal-looking person in a book. We can't all be supermodels.

So get to the point, Qzie. Why did this love triangle work so well?

For just so many reasons.

1) Because the choices mean something. You could interpret the triangle in a variety of ways, but here's how I saw it. Gale represented the life that Katniss had always known (that's not necessarily a bad thing, after all). Then Peeta represented the changes in their lives and their world.

2) Because it really could have gone either way. At the beginning of the first book, Gale and Katniss actually talk about running away together. And then... well, did you see the YouTube video? Point is, they both had a fair chance.

3) Because Gale and Peeta's characters weren't totally dependent on Katniss. One wasn't the Designated Love Interest and one wasn't the Other Boy. Their characters were totally fleshed out, and we're able to sympathize with all players.

4) Because when either of them were gone for an extended period of time, Katniss didn't have a complete meltdown. She was still able to function. And that's all I'll say about that...

5) Because we don't have to hear about it every other page! And it's not like over-the-top declarations of love! That YouTube video was the soppiest it got. And the actors actually made it soppier. It's gotta be one of the more honest portrayals of love I've read.

So yeah. That's why this particular triangle worked.

March 1, 2011

Awesome thing of the day: "Date a girl who reads..."

Found this on the NaNo forums and had to share it.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes. - Rosemary Urquico 

Let's face it. We are kind of awesome. :D

February 28, 2011

Bananas Triumphant

Today, I went grocery shopping for my grandmother because she has some mobility issues. She wanted three bananas. The self-checkout said that these three bananas only cost one penny. Who am I to argue with a checkout machine? :)

In other news... remember the post from a while back about the Frostic Creative Writing Awards and how I turned in a nonfiction piece about the time I went to the ER? Well, we got the email announcing the finalists for each category. There were nine for nonfiction. I was one of them. I think someone made a mistake.

Also, my sister just used a hilarious phrase. "Holy gosh." That's almost as funny as, "Bless my soul, what is this?"

In other-other news! The variety show went fantastically, thank you. :) I'll probably upload the videos sometime this week. I hear they are quite entertaining.