Posts Tagged ‘Reread’

  • Forest Born Reread: July 15th

    Date: 2016.07.15 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Chapter 11

    The best writers remember to include even the smallest detail to shape their characters throughout their work and make them feel real. Hale gives her girls life by including what they are like first thing in the morning. Enna is silly and a bit whiny. Dasha is incoherent. Isi and Rin are the most consistent. Isi is calm and measured while Rin is ever watchful.

    Hale has beautiful diction. She likens the worry in Isi’s face to weather which isn’t the first time an author has done this. Some say you could see a dark cloud hanging over someone’s head or how someone is as gloomy as a rain cloud. Hale, however, says: “…Rin could see the worry in Isi’s face, thick as a rainy sky” (page 132). Her phrasing is simple and elegant. She conveys her meaning without getting too bogged down by or wrapped up in metaphor.

    I love when the girls wax on philosophically about their gifts. Fire-speaking like a monster that if not controlled, consumes the speaker. People-speaking a monster that could to be your friend, but could also guide you to destruction. Wind-speaking would be the monster that wears you away until nothing is left while water-speaking would be a monster that wants to engulf you. I wonder what kind of monster tree-speaking is.

    No matter what Dasha says the food options are one of the bigger reasons I’m not about to run off into the words and live My-Side-of-the-Mountain style.

    Enna and Dasha are great comic relief throughout the book. I guess Razo isn’t the only one who can lift spirits!

    I love seeing Rin be useful to their mission. The more that she learns she is needed and unique the closer she will be to finding herself.

    Rin’s moment in which she tests out her tree-speaking is very jarring. Hale sets it up perfectly to be that way, too. First, she describes the forest as being young and vibrant, beautiful and alive–safe. Then, Rin is “blasted with a sensation of loathing, filling her like maggots bursting from an animal corpse” (page 138). Talk about imagery!

    So what I’m learning is tree-speaking is a monster of self-loathing? Is it that way for everyone or just for Rin who feels so out of sorts with herself that she decides she is no more than a mirror and continues to act that way?

    Such a heartbreaking end to a chapter!

  • Forest Born Reread: July 14th

    Date: 2016.07.14 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Chapter 10

    This chapter starts off with a bang! Or…with a blaze! Enna, Dasha, and Isi are extremely handy to have around in case of fire. Something that Hale doesn’t mention in this chapter that she did in the last is the many mice inhabiting the roof. (I am now sorry I pointed that out.)

    Rin proves that she is also handy in fires. Without second guessing herself for once she saves two lives. She brings focus and ability back to a panicked mind. She really, really needs to talk to Isi. Isi has an extremely kind and patient heart; she would take Rin’s trouble and guide her through it.

    I’m just going to take a moment here and really appreciate Rin’s attention to detail. In all the chaos she has enough foresight to stop and collect their belongings.

    Haunting words:

    “That could’ve been my grave right there,” someone said. “I sleep like a tree most nights. Good fortunes, that could’ve been my grave.” (page 115)

    Also, a small insight into the culture Hale created. Many people would call upon a higher power (e.g. God(s), angels, saints, or stars), but this person says “[g]ood fortunes”. S/he could be calling on something akin to the Fates of Greek mythology or it could be superstition. Very interesting choice of diction there.

    After the fire Rin seeks calm and reprieve from the tumult. She ends up noticing a suspicious character. I didn’t understand what Hale wrote at first because I thought she was saying that Rin notices a suspicious man, decides he wasn’t that suspicious after all, and then immediately points him out to her friends. What Hale is actually saying is that Rin decides the calm which seemed to slow down what was going on around her was imagined and Rin redirects her thoughts to the suspicious man.

    If Rin’s friends had had more faith in her, I wonder if they would have gotten caught. This is not the first time that Enna’s determination has gotten her into trouble, but she has an amazing knack for getting right out of trouble, too.

    I love love love the interrogation scene. How amazing and powerful the girls are when they are unimpressed by the man’s spitting. They take away whatever power he’s hoping to achieve and hit him with fact…and then his own spit. I want to be as strong and confident as Hale’s characters.

    The queen of Kel wants them dead. The queen of Kel? “Not ringing a bell” (page 121–hee hee). Well…really she wants two of them dead, but which two?

    I love that Isi asks Rin for her input and then Rin completely misses the plot. Perhaps not completely, but she certainly doesn’t get the question the first time. Hale is excellent at writing charming moments between her characters like this. She really knows how to make people feel like friends. Not just with each other, but with the reader, too.

    Following a rude man’s information the quartet decide to go to Kel, a land of orange soda and people saying, “Uh…no?” Just kidding! It would be kind of cool if Hale had the kingdom partial to some sort of orange-based drink though. Finn is forced to depart from the company and although I love his character dearly, he wasn’t lending much to the story and was feeling a bit wooden in this chapter.

    I love the ease that Enna and Finn show their hearts to each other. To say that they make each other whole isn’t quite right. In this departure they continue on without one another, but neither is any where close to home without the other.

  • Forest Born Reread: July 13th

    Date: 2016.07.13 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Chapter 9

    The four girls have continued on their journey and come to the burned village of Geldis. I can clearly see Enna being enraged by the ruins and demanding the culprit to step forward.

    Love the throw back to Goose Girl with the hair being covered and eyebrows darkened!

    Rin being overwhelmed by the inn with all the people “eating, drinking, singing, laughing, pushing, shoving, yelling, weeping” (page 102) compounded with Hale’s tweet yesterday makes me wonder if Rin has sensory processing and integration issues.  She also had a hard time adjusting to the bustle of the city back in Chapter 3. It does make sense that the difference of a forest and a city can be quite jarring to anyone. The point to which Rin has difficulty in both the city and the inn, however, makes me wonder if she and I share yet another trait.

    I love the banter between Enna and Dasha. It’s like being amongst sisters or old friends and buoys the heart.

    Ugh! Will there ever be a time in real or imagined history that doesn’t include blind hatred towards others? A certain green puppet said it the best:

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”– Yoda

    This man lays it out very simply: he is afraid of being weak, he’s angry that he’s defenseless against an unknown threat, and he’s turning all of this into a hatred for Tiran people. One man (or woman) feeling this way is just ignorant and sad, but a horde of people sharing this mindset leads to unnecessary warfare.

    The next scene with the two men and a woman is very intense for me. I know the girls can handle themselves, but I can’t and I just go into a panic thinking about it. It’s one of the major reasons why I don’t go anywhere without my husband. Enna, Isi, and Dasha have faced worse, but I feel just like Rin: completely helpless to do anything.

    I love Finn. I really do. I also truly love Hale for giving her readers strong, capable heroines–and Enna for not letting Finn off the hook for treating her like she might need rescuing. Look, there’s a really good reason Hale is one of my all-time favorite authors–several actually!

  • Forest Born Reread: July 12th

    Date: 2016.07.12 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Part Two: The Wood

    Chapter 8

    Rin may be terrified of horses, but I really appreciate how she still remembered to unsaddle and brush Gladden before allowing herself any rest.

    *Humming to self*
    *Casually pointing to the yellow dream snake*

    Rin handling a horse on her own is exactly like how I would do it. Only I’m not sure I could climb a tree and drop down from above.

    Interesting, isn’t it that Rin shakes off her self-pity once she rests against a tree? Have the trees forgiven her? Is she starting to forgive herself?

    I love that Gladden led Rin to the girls instead of turning right around and heading back for the camp. Also, I really love all the pranks Hale supplied the readers while Rin is up in another tree. (How naturally did it come to Hale to write a Squirrel Girl novel after this book? Note: I know nothing about Squirrel Girl–sorry!) Isi catching Rin! Ha!

    I love love the girls just being around each other. I really appreciate this moment in which they can be friends and not worry about battles or politics or murder! I do wish Rin could have seen all of the talents on display, but 1. they aren’t 100% likely to whimsically play with their gifts and 2. it’s a good idea for them not to draw too much attention to themselves.

    I found it interesting that Hale didn’t write the story of the three gifts the same way she wrote it in Goose Girl. Maybe it’s because she didn’t want to have to read the same story in this book’s edits. Maybe she wanted Isi to mold the story to her own experiences. Maybe she reworded it so that readers wouldn’t just skip most of page 95. Whatever the reason, thanks for the extra effort!

    Personally, I like Hale’s story about a girl and her forest better than Rin’s…but Rin is still writing her version.

  • Forest Born Reread: July 11th

    Date: 2016.07.11 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Chapter 7

    Lots happened in this chapter! I really didn’t have time to do a write up on it last Friday, so I’m glad I stopped at the one chapter even though it was short.

    First of all I am impressed by the measures Rin took to be prepared for a trip she wasn’t invited to join. She’s fully dressed like a kid with only one more sleep until Disney World and she has all of her gear packed ready to take on the world. However, I believe she doesn’t really think that she will be allowed to go or will be able to sneak in with the party without being discovered. All she packs for food is bread and Hale doesn’t mention that her waterskin had actually been filled. She planned everything thing else and had slept in her clothes to on save time. Also, remember this is the girl who anticipates needs. How far does she actually think she’ll get on old bread and no water?

    What a relief that the chief steward catches the queen before she left! I’m feeling very uneasy that Cilie is missing. Why is she still in the castle?? I guess it would have been wrong to reassign a servant based on nothing more than a hunch, but that’s why you’re a monarchy! You can do whatever you want through divine, birth-given right! Right??

    (One advantage of setting your book in a castle is that you can introduce and throw away characters as needed. Readers aren’t going to be upset that we just learned about Janissa on page 71. Of course she’s there! Someone has to look after Tusken as he sleeps and there are droves of others doing who knows what in the background, but also no one is going to stress over whether or not she has a hand in continuing the story either.)

    Child-carrying muscles are serious business. Babies look so tiny and fragile, however, they are great at being dead weight that just pulls at your arms until you cry out, “Somebody bring me a pillow!”

    Geric and Razo and Finn are okay!!! Isi and Geric in the world of their own was a bit hard for me to read due to all the hearts in my eyes!

    Rin is back to being an accessory to the action instead of being part of it. I can hardly blame her, though, when you are as unsure of yourself as she is. It’s hard to insert yourself into a conversation–especially when you don’t have anything to contribute.

    I think Isi being angry and making threats would be much like me being angry and making threats. No one takes it seriously due to our size or general demeanor, but when it comes down to it I know Isi has the gumption to take care of things. (Everyone is still probably safe from threats I make.)

    “[Rin] felt forgotten, alone and left with the night. It was what she had been dreading. Nothing to distract her now.” (River Secrets, page 79) Night can be the worst struggle for anyone with depression. What Hale writes here is so perfect. You are left without anything to distract you from dark thoughts or anxiety-causing scenarios that seem to be on a constant loop. Rin puts a stop on her downward spiral by seeking out solace. It’s actually an amazing to watch the change. She went from dreading the night to trying “to take comfort in the fact that good things like night still existed.” (page 80) She’s still unsure of herself, but she’s figuring it out.

    Rin has a lot more conviction than I do. I’m not sure the small amount of information that Rin has would be enough to spur me to run off into the unknown. Her need to belong and discover who she is pushing her forward.

    Final note for this chapter: Razo is the best. He can instantly deflate the stress out of any situation. We need more Razos in the world.

  • Forest Born Reread: July 8th

    Date: 2016.07.08 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Today’s chapter was pretty short. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read and write about two chapters today WHICH further helps me sympathize with Shannon Hale because I certainly have less children than her! (Me: 0::Her:4–I think)

    Chapter 6

    Well, remember the warning of a storm that ended in the last chapter? It looks as like it decided we could use the rain.

    Rin is an amazing individual. She is hearing horrible news and still she puts another’s need before her own. I’d say she’s almost meticulously thoughtful, if it didn’t seem so second nature to her. She’s definitely a Hufflepuff.

    How incredibly frustrating to know your loved one was/is in danger, but have no knowledge of current state! Not just for Isi, but for Rin, Enna, and Dasha–seriously what were they thinking allowing all the guys to leave when the girls are way more powerful?

    I love Enna’s ability to think through a crisis. My thoughts completely freeze and go into a white-noise panic. Enna, however, becomes more focused and attacks the situation.

    I worry that having both the queen and king leave the heart of their kingdom could be an unwise decision. It certainly leaves Bayern vulnerable.

    While thinking of how to describe Rin’s realization of what everyone could do I couldn’t shake the beginning of the “Captain Planet” theme song out of my head. “Earth, fire, wind, water, heart!” So first of all that made me think maybe Hale chose trees because they’re more likely to have a language (and some research shows that they do communicate with each other) than the soil who really would just complain about how much everyone stomps on it. Secondly, I thought that she MAY have cut the series too short because where is the girl with the power of “heart”? Perhaps that is People-Speaking and “heart” of man is too easily corruptible? Maybe our “heart” book appears in a girl on a mountain. Am I traveling down a rabbit hole of theories? You bet!

  • Forest Born Reread: July 7th

    Date: 2016.07.07 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    With all that is going on right now–all the senseless acts of violence toward one another, the racism, the hate, the loss of decency among people, and the murder–I am extremely grateful to writers. Not only for creating a safe place to explore new ideas, lands, and times, but also to provide us with a means of escaping so that we may recover from real world traumatic events. Thank you.

    Chapter 5

    Enna is back! Oh how I love that spitfire spirit! (Pun intended.) One of the best traits of Enna’s is that she is who she is without fear of what that might mean to someone else. She is energetic and fun and exact. Oh my gosh I love Enna and Finn in love I just can’t stand it! There’s a line from Enna Burning that still pops in my mind from time to time and I’m in awe by the amount of love and yearning that is pressed into it.

    “All I’ve ever wanted was to be near you.” ― Shannon HaleEnna Burning

    My heart melts.

    I wish Enna had had the chance to get Rin to open up; she really needs to talk through her problems.

    My only issue with this chapter is that I do lose track of where Razo and Finn are. I imagined Razo sitting next to Rin, but Isi discovers him on the floor. The last placement of Finn is in the doorway, but at some point he ends up at the edge of a table. I guess it would be over cumbersome to say: now my character is here every 3 sentences, but finding that they had suddenly moved from where I had last put them in my mental picture brings me out of my reading trance.

    I do wish Geric could have been part of this scene. He feels separate from this group of friends and I want him to be included more. I also want to read a game night scene with these characters…and more people to read this series…and a mini series on TV…and a house with a pool. (Just in case anyone is in the mood to grant wishes.) I love the interaction between these beloved characters and Rin can be every bit as funny as Razo! Though I hope she isn’t just mimicking him.

    This chapter is all the heart-eyed emoji you can print! It’s the sun shining down causing things to grow, but then it ends with a warning of a storm.

  • Forest Born Reread: July 6th

    Date: 2016.07.06 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Chapter 4

    We’ve been getting two types of weather lately: a lot of showers on or off or blistering heat, so when Hale wrote that Rin “[...] had the extraordinarily odd experience of spending most of her days under a roof” I was surprised at how much that stuck out to me. First, it must be wonderful not to be driven inside due to the weather, but also how different being in the city must be to her.

    I love Rin learning her way in the castle. I imagined that because she was the see-a-need-fill-a-need sort that she would get some recognition from her peers or maybe a promotion, but Hale had a different reward in mind in the form of chubby cheeks. Though we’ve read that Rin was Ma’s constant helper, this is the first time we see her interact with a small child. She is amazing at it! I’m going to have to remember her no-panic-mimic-me approach to finding lost items whenever I have kids. I also loved how Hale understands childhood so well. No matter what your heritage is or what world you live in making “soup” is a rite of passage.

    Cilie. I do not trust her. I’m not supposed to trust her, but I really don’t trust her. Unlike in some other books I’m pretty sure I’ve got a reliable narrator here. Also, her name has “lie” in it. Coincidence? Maybe. You can tell that she is up to something because she escalates too quickly to violence. Also, what powerful language Rin is using! Telling a predator that you fully see them has been know to dissuade aggressors from attacking. I do wish Rin had spoken with Finn about her concerns, but she doesn’t know him as well as readers of the series do.

    Yay Isi yay!! I always like Isi best in her own book, Goose Girl, because the reader gets the explanation of what Isi’s thinking and what she is going through at that time. Outside of her book she can seem a little too measured, but she was also raised to be that way. Of all the people to model yourself after Isi is a solid choice, however, Rin needs to find herself!

  • July Reread of Shannon Hale’s FOREST BORN

    Date: 2016.07.05 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    If you have come across this post through Twitter, you’ll know that Goodreads was driving me crazy so I gave up on doing the reread through it. I will still post my updates here and page numbers on GR. This first post will condense the first three days of my reread.

    Forest Born

    The fourth and final of The Books of Bayern

    First, a little history:

    Shannon Hale started a book club in July of 2013. During that month everyone would read one or two chapters each week day and she would post behind the scenes information corresponding to that day’s designated chapter(s). She started off with the first book (naturally), Goose Girl, and I had the best time submerging into a story that I loved with others who felt the same. Also, I’m big on trivia, so that was perfect for me! In July of 2014 she continued book club with Enna Burning, the second in the series. I was ecstatic of course and I used that time to read with my newly adopted sheltie rescue, Lily. She came from a bad situation and I believe that reading to her, showing her that I was and would continue to be a steady presence in her life helped her trust me. In 2015 Hale’s schedule wouldn’t give her the amount of time she needed to dedicate to posting daily–which is totally understandable considering all she does (and I’m sure she does a lot more than she mentions). I was having so much fun, though so I decided to reread River Secrets on my own. This year is the last book in the series and I can’t wait to once again be enveloped in Hale’s incredible world of Bayern!


    I will be reading one to two chapters a day and post my reactions to each chapter while trying to avoid spoilers. So…here we go!

    Part One: The City

    July 1st/Chapter 1

    What a beautiful and heartbreaking chapter! I’ve always felt connected to Rin because I also have often felt overlooked and unsure of who I’m supposed to be. I wish I had this book when I was younger. The remarkable thing about Hale’s writing here is that it feels steady and quiet just like the setting.

    July 4th/Chapter 2

    Here we get to see Ma in her element: captain of her ship and commanding her crew. She is MOTHER SUPREME.  Though, if she were doing something else she would be ___ SUPREME because that is who she is. I’m not sure I realized it the first time I read, but Rin is struggling with depression. I appreciate the fact that Hale did not say flat out that she was therefore making her more relatable to readers. Sometimes knowing a problem before you get to know a person can act as a roadblock making the problem all people see. I love Dasha! She is so in tune to the needs of others and is an exceptional friend! Also, I never before noticed Hale’s clue in this chapter! Perhaps something runs in this family like it has in another. Poor Rin needs to find her voice!

    July 5th/Chapter 3

    Congratulations, Forest Family, you failed at being supportive instead of selfish! How frustrating that Rin gave so much to her kin and they couldn’t look past themselves to encourage her to find her own path. I’m also disappointed with Ma’s reaction in this chapter. I know the news was shocking, but afterward she tells Rin to make sure she returns as her “sweet-eyed tender girl” and later calls Rin her “baby girl, my peaceful Rin.” To me it felt less like motherly love and more as a way to control Rin and avoid change. MOTHER SUPREME probably would have been better off reminding her daughter that no matter where she goes, what she does, or who she becomes she would always have a home waiting for her. However, not even MS can be perfect all the time. I love that we get to see the city from Rin’s perspective! It harkens back to the time that Isi saw the city for the first time and I did notice that Rin made no mention of bodies hanging from the walls. I was very happy to see that Isi helped change something that bothered her so much within the city. Razo’s tour of the palace seemed short, but I am always greedy for more scenes with Razo. Very glad that Rin’s peers have such different personalities. She does not need to fall into old habits of shadowing others!

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