Also, as it turns out, I will be partaking in Project 365 after all for 2010 (it's basically the concept of a photo a day for 365 days). Pop on by Lucid 365 to come keep me company :)
Today's musical feature is pretty special for a number of reasons. LIGHTS (also known as Valerie Poxleitner) is a Canadian synthpop artist. Her music has won a number of awards so far, most notably a Juno. She's been on tour around the States and Canada, and recently I was able to see her perform live in concert!
It was a pretty amazing show - Lights definitely has that extra little something, that charisma, that stage presence that makes for a wonderful performer. The little episodes of comic-esque extra-terrestrial plotline, the beautiful singing live, the vibrant energy... it all made for an amazing event.
There's an aspect of originality with how the little cartoons were intersperced, and the recurring theme of her music being "out of this world". I like it. Basically, she seems like a very fun and friendly person.
One of the other cool moments of the night was when one of the members of Jets Overhead (her opening band - also Canadian and amazing!) told my friend and I that we were "rocking our Lights t-shirts".
IAmLights / Lights MySpace / Lights Youtube / Lights Twitter
I'll share two of her music videos as a sampler. The first is Ice, and the second is February Air (which another friend of mine recently covered - you can check it out here). (The FA video is an old unofficial one - but this version is really cool)
Fourteen-year-old Tessa has never had a normal
life. Her mother, a frustrated hippie with awful taste in men, has seen to that.
But when her mom pulls her out of school to live at an ashram in the Catskills,
Tessa goes from being a freak among normal people to being an outcast among
freaks. Freaks who worship an orange robe-wearing guru. And while her mom is
buzzing with spiritual energy, and finding a little too much favor with the
guru, all Tessa feels are weird vibes.
Unless she's with Colin, the
gorgeous boy who fixes trucks for the ashram. The connection they share is the
most spiritual thing Tessa has ever felt. But he's older-like illegally
older-and Tessa's taking dangerous risks to spend time with him. Soon her life
is blooming into a psychedelic web of secrets and lies and it's clear that
something's about to give way. When it does, will she have anyone to hold on to?
Will she even know herself?
So only one book since the last IMM post (and one resultant of a mailing mix-up to boot), but still. On the plus side, it's always easier to make a dent in the TBR pile when it's not growing at the same time. ;) But your turn now - what was in your mailbox this week?
Dina and Daniel are happy to open the doors to their very first “retelling” contest!
Okay, so here’s how this works. First of all, we want EVERYONE to enter (assuming, of course, that you’re not a professional. Unpublished writers only). You don’t have to be a longtime writer, or even an aspiring writer, or a certain age or live in any particular country (this is an international contest). You DO have to write fluently in English (sorry! Though if you write in any of the languages we are trying to learn, we will read your story just for fun and practice)…
Here are the rules:
1) Write a 3000 word (max) retelling of the Faustian Bargain (”Another Another Faust”) set in any time, place, dimension, or world. Your story can be from any viewpoint, and you can get as creative as you’d like! Don’t exceed 3000 words, but don’t give us filler either. You can certainly tell an amazing story in just a few words.
2) Paste your story in the body of an email (attachments will not be opened). There should be no greeting or any other text besides the story in the body of the email. No need to explain the story background. The writing will say it all!
3) The subject line of the email should be in all-caps “WRITING CONTEST ENTRY - JOHN SMITH.” Replace John Smith with your name.
4) Send the story to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31, 2010. If your entry doesn’t meet any of the above rules, it will not be read!
5) Five finalists will be selected by February 28, 2010. We will post all five finalists on our website for people to admire and comment. But in the end, D&D will choose the winner. The grand-prize winner will be announced in mid-March.
Now, here’s what you’re playing for:
A signed copy of Another Faust
A handwritten deleted scene
A featured article & interview on our website
An author’s galley of the sequel Another Pan
(And hey, impress us, you never know what can happen!)
Best of luck to everyone who participates, and have fun!
Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.So in addition to a really awesome cover, the premise of The Mark definitely sounds very intriguing! Something about the ethical and decision aspects of this sounds a little TOK-esque, and thought-provoking is always interesting in that it pushes the envelope.
The one time she pointed it out taught her she shouldn't do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to keep her secret. How does the mark work? Why her? Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?
Megan’s twin sister Remy died in an accident nine years ago, and she’s been haunting her ever since. Knowing how crazy that sounds, Megan keeps this secret to herself and tries to lead a normal life. But when she takes a summer job at Land of Enchantment to keep an eye on her new boyfriend and his lovesick best friend, Samantha, she meets fellow employee Luke who can see Remy, too. Things get even twistier because Megan’s new friend Ari is sporting a massive crush on Luke, who seems to be developing a massive crush on Megan…making for a love triangle that’s positively possessed.
Megan wants to keep her distance from Luke, but when Remy’s visions get crazy violent; she knows she needs his help. Because someone’s definitely in danger...the only question is who?
With Devoured, Amanda has brought a whole new facet to the concept of the fractured fairytale - and is it ever refreshing! Disregarding the apple on the cover/spine, the lack of mention of fairytale roots otherwise might have one not even making that connection initially. And in this case, it seems to work best this way - for those who are fans of Snow White, it adds a little extra zing; for those who aren't, it still works great as a stand-alone YA paranormal/romance/mystery/and so much else.
I'll admit, the paranormal mysterious aspect of the premise is what intrigued me at first. But then, having read the book and going back to the synopsis on the back - it doesn't really do the story justice. From that description it sounds like a more contemporary type of tale, but it's really not as superficial as the middle section makes it out to be.
In the case of Devoured, I would say that incorporation was definitely one of Marrone's fortes. The way that threads of the Snow White were intertwined with the story, the way that contemporary elements were incorporated, the way that the paranormal elements were injected - it all made for a fun read. Remy's appearances and spooky prophetic warnings were definitely one of the strong points; they added suspense, spookiness, and intrigue. The only thing that could've been introduced a little more smoothly would've been one of the foreshadowing symbols, as it seems a little too sudden and hard-hitting.
Although there are tragic elements to it, overall as a novel, Devoured is a pretty fun read. And in keeping with that, most of the principal characters had interesting traits. Ari, Megan, Remy... they were all very interesting and well-portrayed. It might've been nice to get a little more insight into some of the minor characters as well though, but that's not a major factor. The pacing could have been a little smoother, but at the same time, as it is contemporary, things don't always happen on a linear, constant, timeline, so it could make sense that way. Once you get into it, the story moves along nicely though.
With an intriguing premise, beautiful incorporation of Snow White and chilling elements, Marrone's Devoured is a spooky fun read. And what great timing, especially with Halloween right around the corner?
In this highly anticipated follow-up to Ophelia, Lisa Klein delivers a powerful reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, featuring a young woman so seamlessly drawn it seems impossible she was not part of the Bard’s original play.
[Shakespeare's] Macbeth is on the reading list of most high school curriculums. And hey - I have to admit, I actually quite liked it, in spite of all that. So this - a fresh spin, a different perspective - definitely looks like it'll be pretty interesting. (And it's doing pretty well in terms of ratings so far on Goodreads, so that always helps.)