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We take our leave once more

Amidst the lashing rain

And return our borrowed vessel

To the myth from whence it came

As I glanced behind a final time

Aella turned to me to say

“What a wondrous home it was

For however brief a stay”

I had no choice but to agree

And give a wistful sigh

Before remarking that

“Of course this isn’t just goodbye”

We would like to give you all our thanks

In a form more tangible this time

For your companionship on this venture

And for bearing through this dreadful rhyme

We hope you’ll follow us into the arms

Of our familiar storm-laced sea

Where our beloved Maelstrom awaits the end

Of this not-so-epic odyssey

Your Whirly-Girls,

medsandael

…but the Charybdis looked at me forlornly (as much as a blog can look forlorn), and I just couldn’t resist. I have honestly read a million books, but whenever I try to do that massive review post something inevitably interrupts me. I think it’s one of those unwritten laws…like the one where you finally run out of patience and buy the book that you’ve been waiting for the library to get for AGES and the next week (as you are waiting nail-bitingly for the shipment to come) the book appears on the shelf.

So this isn’t the huge post that I’ve been promising, but instead a review of a book that we got over the summer and never got around to reviewing. Basically, there’s this girl, Shelby, who’s part of the “Queen Geek Society” with her friends, who are all geeks evidently. One has a crazy tattoo (apparently that makes you a geek now), an “artful goth poetess”, a math-lete, and a computer nerd from Australia. They’re getting together to host an alterna-prom (Which is a cool idea IF it’s all clandestine and secret-like) BUT *cue dramatic music* the non-geeks at school don’t like that the “Geek Prom” is actually competing with the real prom in popularity. O M G.

For starters: really. Can you say stereotype?I know I can. And I did. Frequently. Secondly: really. Can you say cliche? The book is a mix of “omgsupergeekpromawesome! lykomgmyboyfriendwantsmetogototherealpromwhatdoido? waitthere’sanewgirlwho’sgonnareplacemeWHAT? andIhazarobotmaidcuzmydadsamadscientistguy”. It then proceeds to degenerate into the old “I have to be in two places at once”. Like we’ve never read/seen/heard that one before. Prom Queen Geeks, I award thee with 3 neon green Converses out of 7.

~Medeia

Seeing as there’s only about a week to go in the NaNo-ing frenzy, Aella and I figured that we should probably get something more done than three character sketches and around 2000 words.

*cue frantic NaNo-fest!*

The Siofras graciously offered their residence as a place for our festivus, and so it began with me on a post-music, pre-drawingfail high (I was sing-song-ing everything for about an hour) and Aella in a nervy room-cleaning spaz brought on by:

Medeia: “How many words do you have, exactly?”

Aella: *nervy-spastically throws hands in the air* “Q! I have Q words!”

And then I couldn’t find the forum on the NaNo website that just lists a bunch of random conversations that people overheard and posted (ex. “So, where did you put the body?”, “He was murdered to death”, “You may have to stab some clowns.” etc) . It’s amazing and I still CAN’T FIND IT. Then Aella pulled out her million year old laptop. The combined Medeia-Aella awesomeness had kicked in by that point and I’m sure you would have been amused by a video of us NaNoificating, but as I remarked, “I don’t think they had cameras in that laptop’s prime”. Once Aella woke up her compy and we both started NaNo-ing… things got interesting. Some quotes from us at around midnight:

-“I just drooled ALL OVER my laptop!”

-Aella *reading some of her file names*: “Grimm Tale 1, Grimm Tale 2, My god it’s BACK, My god it’s BACK 2, and I FRICKIN HATE THIS STORY”

-Medeia: *lycanthropes into an evil llama*

– Aella: *notices that it is past midnight* “Happy October 23rd!” Medeia: *realizes right away that it is indeed November 22nd and bursts into gales of laughter* Aella: *looks puzzedly at me* “Why do you mock me?”

Oh, but the best part was that we actually got stuff done. Not nearly as much as needs to be done by the 30th, but something. Aella doubled her wordcount in just a few hours (from Q words to… uhm… several thousand more than Q words…) and I now have a character sketch of Ilse… and many many doodles reeking of unadulterated fail. So expect some… thing. I might post some of those drawings once I wash the awful out and maybe I can get Ael to share some of her story.

And now I ask, as we come upon the end of the month, how goes it? Anyone done NaNo-ing or are you just reading this as something to do while you procrastinate? …Okay, yes… I might also be procrastinating by writing this post. But on an English paper. That’s totally different.

~Medeia

So, I finally return to the blog-o-sphere and what do I find waiting for me? A meme-tag. Now, normally I hesitate to do memes anymore, but this one involves music and that’s fun so here we go.

Rules:

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.

How would you describe yourself?

The Running Free – Coheed and Cambria

[Oh great. Now it’ll get stuck in my head… “you’re going home, you’re running freeeeee” until the next question at least]

How do you feel today?
Firefall – Ah Nee Mah

What is your life’s purpose?
Walking Contradiction – Green Day

[Ahahaha]

What is your motto?
There and Back Again – Daughtry

[I love the title of this song simply because it is the alternate title of the Hobbit]

What do you think about very often?
Island in the Sun – Weezer

[Well, with this weather *looks out window into perpetual greyness* who wouldn’t?]

What is your life story?
Under the Gun – The Killers

[“kill me now kill me now kill me now” ? I don’t think so.]

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Scream – Avenged Sevenfold

[In case being an artist doesn’t work out…]

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Black Magic Woman – Santana

[Me, dance? Ahaha ha ha]

What will they play at your funeral?
Jamming – Bob Marley

[*raises eyebrow*]

What is your hobby/interest?
Long Road to Ruin – Foo Fighters

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
Papercut – Linkin Park

What do you want most of all?
Take a Bow- Muse

[“you will burn, you will burn, you will burn in hell for all of your sins”… ??]

What is your greatest fear?
A Little Priest- Johnny Depp and Helena Bohnam Carter

[Oh no, my weakness has been revealed! I do fear being cooked into meat pies!]

What is your darkest secret?
Atrophy – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

What is your favorite thing in the world?
Miss Murder- AFI

[okaaay then…]

If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
We Are Broken – Paramore

What is your theme song?
Children of the Grave- Black Sabbath

The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance.
I Will Possess Your Heart – Death Cab for Cutie

[Wow. I hope I don’t hear that one soon, then. It’s loooooong. No one wants to see me dance for any length of time.]
What will you post this as?
Smile Like You Mean It- The Killers

Thanks Rae!

~Medeia

okay okay, I realize that the price of one is free… but I’ve read a bunch of books lately that I meant to review and I don’t want to drag it out and make three different posts for them, hence the three-in-one deal.

First is Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky.

This is a book about sex. And not the in the usual way where there’s a killer plotline and sex is woven into it either to add drama or as an integral part of the story. Well, there is a plotline but I would hardly call it a killer one.

It’s the story of Dominique, the barely-been-kissed high school senior and her first love. The two quickly progress from IM-ing all night to fooling around in the back of Wes’ car. Long story short: they go to prom, have sex afterwards, etc etc then go off to different colleges. Now here’s the part of the book where I thought there would be major drama and cheating boyfriends getting caught when the girlfriend pays a surprise visit or something. But there isn’t. There isn’t anything really, just Dom and Wes growing apart and another conveniently placed boy thrown in towards the end that you can tell is going to hook up with her right after she and Wes break up. So, yeah, the lack of anything but various descriptions of them screwing around made this book kind of unimpressive. I don’t know about you, but I like my characters to have some personality. Anatomy of a Boyfriend gets 3.5 undressed Ken dolls out of 7.

Next up: Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

Have you ever wanted to break into a haunted mental hospital and film a movie in it? I’m going to assume that your response is “Hell yeah!” because that’s what I would say. Well, not really. I tend to go for abandoned amusement parks, personally.

Derik and his ragtag band of “actors”(I use that term very loosely) break into Danvers State Mental Hospital the night before it is due to be torn down. I did mention the place is haunted, right? So they run around seeing loads of creepy stuff. Like a doll hanging from a noose, singing a creepy song. And that’s just the beginning. Soon they get sucked right up into the fate of one of the hospital’s ghosts.

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that this book was a cool one. All of the characters are really… real. They all have their own reasons for going along with Derik’s plan, and often misjudge each other’s motivations. Which is awesome because I hate flat characters. Okay, so 5 out of 7 on that one.

Almost done, guys. Wow, when I started, I didn’t think the post would be so long… ah well. I’ll keep the last one short, I promise. It’s for Marked by Kristin and P.C. Cast.

Pretty much your run-of-the-mill vamp story. Girl gets turned into a vampire, has to go to vampire academy, falls in love with super hot vamp boy, has to defeat leader of evil vampire chicks who summons ghosties on Halloween. Nothing really amazing here. It just felt like a bunch of books I’ve read before smooshed into one.

3 out of 7 glasses of wine spiked with vampire blood. Yummy…

So there you have it. Believe it or not, I still have more books to review, but I didn’t want to overload anyone. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, after all. Expect more reviews later this week. Of better books, too…

~Medeia~

Eoin Colfer is made of awesome. He is one of those authors whose work you never have to doubt. When I see one of his books with its shiny new cover begging me to pick it up and turn its lovely pages, I never think, “Oh, I hope this won’t be one of those books that looks fantastic and is just… not.” Which makes me happy because books with shiny covers disappoint me all too often. *sighs and rambles for a while about how books with awesome covers should, in themselves, be awesome*

But getting back to Airman. Our hero, Conor Broekhart, has been (literally) flying since birth. He was born on a hot air balloon, and has been obsessed with aircrafts of all sorts since. He is a resourceful and clever youngling (as shown when he rescues Princess Isabella from the king’s tower… which they may have set ablaze in the first place…) and is assigned a tutor, Victor, under whom he learns about aircraft, fencing, and other studies necessary to an illustrious youth. Okay, maybe not necessary but certainly helpful.

However, Conor’s world falls apart when he witnesses the assassination of King Nicholas, by the devious scoundrel, Bonvilain. Victor and Conor are blamed for the king’s death. Victor is shot by Bonvilain and Conor is sent to Little Saltee, the island prison. Now, Conor has to learn to survive the daily beatings, poor conditions, lack of air and sunlight, etc. Oh, and he needs to find a way to escape, too. What kind of story would it be if our protagonist rotted away in a cold, dank cell? How is he going to escape? Well, maybe, just maybe, looking at the title of the novel would give you a hint ;).

Eoin Colfer never disappoints. His characters were solid and the adventure was exciting. The two year time skip was a necessary evil (I mean, who wants to hear about two years in prison?) and very appropriately placed. I actually liked this book better than the newest Artemis Fowl, to tell you the truth. 6 out of 7 balloons full of fireworks for this one [insert explode-y noises and such here].

~Medeia~

Now, I have been told (by many people) that Maureen Johnson is a fabulous author and threatened (by one person in particular) with heavy exposure to Swedish techno if I did not read at least one of her books. Swedish techno is actually fun to listen to… in small doses. More than that might melt your brain. Seeing as I like my brain in its non-puddinglike state, I snagged the nearest one, which happened to be (as you can probably guess from the title of this post) Suite Scarlett.

Scarlett Martin’s family owns and lives in a hotel. The Hopewell has fallen on hard times and while it may not have a plethora of Egyptian cotton towels or toilets that function 100% of the time, it has what is called “the personal touch”. Meaning, that the Martins can no longer afford to hire staff and the only people around who will work for free are Scarlett and her siblings. Following family tradition, Scarlett is given the key to the Empire Suite and the responsibility of its upkeep. Due to the family’s financial troubles, Scarlett has to drop her plans of getting a summer job in favor of working at the hotel… but her plans are saved in an entirely unexpected way by Mrs. Amberson, a former actress turned writer/director/agent, who moves into the Empire Suite and offers Scarlett the chance to be her assistant. As this position pays $500 a week, she snaps up the opportunity and quickly gets to work.

This mainly consists of fetching exotic delicacies and helping Mrs. Amberson write her novel…. uuuntil Scarlett’s brother Spencer gets involved in a local “Broadway” production. The cast is evicted from the parking garage where they’ve been practicing and where do they choose to stage the rehearsals? The basement of the Hopewell, of course. Things quickly pick up and between Mrs. Amberson’s meddling in the production of the play, and Scarlett’s maybe-boyfriend-maybe-not (who also happens to be Spencer’s friend and in the cast of the play) events around the hotel quickly get tangled. And once everything starts to fall down around their ears, Scarlett has to take charge and show that she’s good for more than delivering organic Japanese plums.

I found Suite Scarlett to be a fun and funny book. It was cute and I loved the interaction between the family members. They seemed very real and atypical and interesting. Very different than what I had thought a book about a hotel would be like… much more entertaining. And if you happened to be looking for a book to take to the beach I’d recommend this one. Not that I read it at the beach, but it seems like that’d be a good place to do so. 6 out of 7 … wailing mermaids?… that sounds good, let’s go with that.

The dictionary defines a hero as:

“a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal”

Kevin Ross (Kross, to his friends) never thought that his name and the words “model” or “ideal” would be used in the same sentence, much less actually being seen as either of those things, but when he saves the mayor’s daughter Leah from a grisly end at the hands of a serial killer things begin to change. Kross attends ceremonies in his honor (with reluctance), gives speeches about his heroics (with difficulty), accepts the key to the city (with fake excitement), and gets a great deal on his very own car (with real excitement). However, things soon start spiraling out of control when Kross tosses some magnets (those “support the troops” ribbon things) into the trash. Suddenly, he has gone from the “town hero” to an ungrateful soldier-hater. Interesting how that works…

This book displays many different facets of awesome. From the funny and entertaining pranks of the Council of Fools (the circle of Kross’s best friends) to the debates about things that most people never give a thought to. As well as Kevin’s dark secrets and inner battle about whether he really deserves to be called a hero.

Needless to say, I loved it. All of the plot twistyness and owning the narrow-minded in fantastic verbal duels and bitter little ironies made it a wonderful read. Even comparable to Little Brother in its awesomeness (which Aella reviewed, once upon a time). I’m not exactly sure when Hero-Type comes out…but when it does, go buy it. Yes, I said buy. Seeing as I only have space for one shelf of books (and whatever I can pack into the various untrodden corners of my home) books have to be amazingfantasticwonderfulsplendidmagnificent before I’ll actually buy them. And I don’t just recommend books for buy-age lightly.

And I’d love to get some thoughts on this one: What makes a hero?

P.S. 7 out of 7… somethings…. not exactly sure what we’re giving books these days

Greeting and felicitations

You’ve found our new word-pressed creation

We’re not on blogger anymore

We found fresh layouts to adore

We’ve also gone and changed our name

Though much will dare remain the same

There’s still reviews and author news

Art updates and interviews

But with our new face, there’s much to do

We’ve also planned a contest (or two)

And quotes each week and what we’re reading

And more reviews than you’ve been seeing

Our title’s the maelstrom that most know the best

The companion of Scylla from the Odyssey’s quest

For once you’re pulled in to the greatest of books

There can be no escaping and no second looks

So leave us your thoughts, though it remains rather sparse

We welcome you to our still windy hearth

The Charybdis is eager to meet your desires

And feed the avid reader’s brightest of fires

For books you will read long into the night

And those that are not worth the candlelight

We hope to inform you and meet bookish hearts

This day will forever mark the start

Of an exciting beginning and worthwhile pursuits

We’ll try to be honest and tell you the truth

But most basic of all, through this glimmering new surface

We remain the Whirlwinds, at your most humble service.