Friday, November 11, 2011

TGIF! & Feature, and Follow Friday (14)

It's Friday, Pretties! 
And, you know what that means: Friday meme time!
Follow Friday (hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read)  and TGIF (hosted by Ginger, from GReads!) were the only ones we saw up this week. so here we go.

In light of 11.11.11 and Veteran’s Day tell us about your favorite soldier and how he or she is saving the world. Fictional or real life.

Jesse: I don't actually know any soldiers, although I think they are all pretty awesome. Just the courage it takes to do what they do everyday makes them heroes. But since I don't know any, I'm going to share one that I do know.

Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore.

Brigan is a great soldier and leader for his brother, King Nash's army. He is strong and bold and would willingly sacrifice himself to save his men. Here's an excerpt from Fire that shows a little about Brigan as a military leader:

"The greatest danger was to the men at the back of the line who would have to slow their pace as the horses entered the bottleneck of the nearest tunnel's entrance. The soldiers who made it into the tunnel would be safe. Raptors didn't like dark, cramped spaces, and they did not follow men into caves.

She understood from the talk she heard in the stables that Brigan had ordered the king to the front of the column and the best spearmen and swordsman to the back, because in the moment of greatest crisis the raptors would be too close for bows. Brigan himself would bring up the rear." {Fire, eBook page 119/542}

How many people would do something like that? Sure, it's easy to make the call when it's not you on the line, but a real soldier, a real hero, knows that if they're going to ask people to follow them into danger, they need to take the lead. Set an example. That's what I think a true soldier does. Sacrifices his/her own well being for the good of their fellow soldiers and country.

So, thank you to all the soldiers out there who are willing to step up for our country. You are all heroes, each and everyday.

Kira: A few years back, I was introduced to a miniseries that HBO released in 2008 called Generation Kill. It was seven parts, and followed the story laid out in the nonfiction novel by the same name, written by Evan Wright as an expansion of a series of articles he did for Rolling Stone in 2003.

I think the Amazon blurb of the book describes their story best:
In the tradition of Black Hawk Down and Jarhead comes a searing portrait of young men fighting a modern-day war.  
A powerhouse work of nonfiction, Generation Kill expands on Evan Wright's acclaimed three-part series that appeared in Rolling Stone during the summer of 2003. His narrative follows the twenty-three marines of First Recon who spearheaded the blitzkrieg on Iraq. This elite unit, nicknamed "First Suicide Battalion," searched out enemy fighters by racing ahead of American battle forces and literally driving into suspected ambush points.  
Evan Wright lived on the front lines with this platoon from the opening hours of combat, to the fall of Baghdad, through the start of the guerrilla war. He was welcomed into their ranks, and from this bird's-eye perspective he tells the unsettling story of young men trained by their country to be ruthless killers. He chronicles the triumphs and horrors-physical, moral, emotional, and spiritual-that these marines endured while achieving victory in a war many questioned before it began. Wright's book is a timely account of war; even more important, it is a timeless description of the human drama taking place on today's battlefields. Written with brutal honesty, raw intensity, and startling intimacy, Generation Kill is destined to become a classic and take its place in the canon of the most captivating and authentic works of war literature.
I was so awed and inspired by their story that it has stuck with me since that time. I may not have agreed with the war, but that doesn't mean I don't/didn't support our troops. I practically idolize them, and the courage and strength it takes for them to do what they do and fight for what they believe in. This series just put a face on several of these men, these soldiers.

Love-Hate Relationship: Which characters from a book do you love to hate?

Jesse: I seem to always love the bad guys in books. But of course as soon as I'm asked who I love to hate I can't think of a single one. But since I have Night World on the brain (check out our last two My Book Boyfriend posts -- Ash and Morgead -- to see why), I managed to find a truly awful character that I hate. Whether I love to hate him remains to be seen.

Hunter Redfern.

I hate him. I loathe him. I DEPLORE him! Just his name makes me gag, not to mention the thought of his hideous yellow eyes. He is the most awful of all the characters in L.J. Smith's Night World series.

Hunter appears throughout the series as a bad guy, but it's not until the fifth book, The Chosen, that we get to see just how evil he is. To give you a hint: he murders (or drinks since he's a vampire) a four year old in a children's play place.

Yeah. He's pretty terrible. But then he shows up again and again later in the series. And his awful daughter pops up here and there as well. Now, I can't bash the whole Redfern family, because most of them are favorite characters of mine, but he is a piece of work and a villain who deserves to be hated by all.

Kira: Of all the book characters I have read, the one I think I hate the most is Leek from The Seven Kingdoms series by Kristen Cashore. Now, I wouldn't say there is any love lost on this man, but I hate him with such passion that it's almost like a love-to-hate scenario.

For those that have read this series, you know that some of Cashore's characters are born with special abilities. Like Katsa, the protagonist of Graceling, who was gifted with survival. Unfortunately, not all those with gifts were very nice.

Leek was also a graceling. Only his gift made him much more sinister. Even from the time he was a child, as Fire shows us, he used his gift to commit heinous acts.

I suppose it's not too hard to fall into that pattern when your Grace makes it so that no one can disagree with you, that your every whim belongs to everyone else. All he has to do is speak his will, or have others who heard him speak pass it along, and then everyone within hearing range has fallen under his spell.

I won't get into the things he actually does, as I don't want to spoil bit s of either book for those who haven't read it, but I can guarantee they are all terrible.

Taylor: Who do I love to hate? Jeremiah Fisher from the Summer Series by Jenny Han. There are no words to describe the feelings I have toward him. I hated him during the first two books but he wasn't my most hated book character — *cough cough* Hunter Redfern *cough cough* — until the last book We'll Always Have Summer. Where you find out he cheated on Belly. *Gag. Cabo. Gag. Puke.* That's when I really started to hate him for real.

* We reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendra Blake
* and, Blood, by KJ Wingall
* and, of course, In the Forests of the Night, by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
* We had another Night World boy for our Book Boyfriend (Morgead Blackthorn)
* and We got excited over some recent castings for The Host movie.


  1. 11-11-11 What a neat day to honor our veterans. I like the quote from FIRE.

    Here's my hero:
    11-11-11 at My Head is Full of Books

  2. love the blog! :)

    I follow you here. Will you stop by mine?! I'm hosting a cover craze for an author!

  3. I'm a new follower! I like your answers. Hope you'll stop by and check out my blog as well here:

  4. Great quote :) and a good selection!

    Happy Veteran's Day

  5. Oh my goodness, you're making me squee--I loved Brigan. I loved getting to know him aside from cold and callous, as he learns that Fire, despite her father, isn't actually a monster inside. Great answer :D


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