Table Talk 411: Love triangles, ugh!

Love-TriangleIn just about every YA novel you read, and sometimes in the Adult genre as well, there’s a love triangle. Let me define love triangle as something that occurs between the main character and two different people who are interested in that main character (did I make sense? I tried several times to generally define it). I never really gave it much thought until the Arcana Chronicles. The Arcana Chronicles has one the most heart-wrenching love triangle that I’ve come across (I may get into this as the book release for Dead of Winter gets closer; it just really gets me). I would not want to be Evie at this point in the story. Not at all. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Well, I poked around the discussion boards on GoodReads and a reader made the comment that she hates love triangles and she really wished that Cole left that out of the story. I stopped to think about it a bit because I never thought to hate love triangle, nor did I think to love them either.

I guess it’s safe to say I’ve always been impartial to love triangles (and let me be clear, the subject matter is the love triangle in general and not necessarily characters involved, capiche?). I think, in most cases, they move the story along. Another reader on the discussion board mentions that love triangles are all about obstacles and tension. Authors need something for the lovers to overcome, hence their popularity and their effectiveness. I’ll go a bit further and say it gives the characters involved something to fight for, something to show their struggle, something that allows their feelings to grow and in time, we hope proves, which one our hero or heroine truly loves (and while this is always debatable on some level, that is a subject for a different day). Love triangles shows how each character responds when they’re under that kind of stress. And then of course you have the overall plot. You know, the world-ending event, the impending danger or doom, the whole my world-is-falling apart story arch? Yep, that one.

Anyway, when our main character has to face the main conflict while choosing who to love … drama. And I don’t know if you ever saw that old football commercial where the ref explains “Drama, change the channel, drama.” (You can view it here). Hilarious. Anyway, that’s what I think of when I think of love triangles. Drama makes things interesting, keeps things moving … most times. There are stories where I think they over do it, though. Take Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harrison. I liked the story, but I thought the love triangle dragged on a bit and, well, I got a little bored. That’s when love triangles work against the story. I thought it was a good idea, too, I mean it’s not the first love triangle I read that deals with brothers, but this one, just a tad bit drawn out.

So, it really boils down to the storytelling. That’s the way I see it and the way I deal with the whole love triangle story line. After all, you’re kind of subjected to whatever the author makes you feel anyway. And while I don’t always agree with how the love triangles play out (I’m looking at you Charlene Harris. I know it’s your world, but really? Sighs. Yep, still cannot let that one go), I understand their purpose. And you know what? They work.

Now that’s just in fiction. Reality is a whole different ball game. I don’t know what I would do if I was the main character dealing with all the tension*shudders*, but that is one subject I’m staying away from (as far as reality goes anyway).

What do you think about fictional love triangles? Love ’em or hate ’em?


Table Talk: Book v.s. Movie v.s Book

booksvsmoviesI have put this conversation off as long as I could. Now that I’ve blogged steadily, I feel like I can confidently put this out there.

Do you prefer the book or the movie?

If I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked this question I could retire and happily write, read, and watch TV/Movies all day, every day, for the rest of my life. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems I get asked this question a lot because I’m an avid reader. I don’t see anyone who is strictly a movie-goer get asked this question. At least, not in my reality.

When I was younger, blinded by my arrogance, I immediately responded “the book will always be better.” And how can it not be better? There are so many arguments to be made pro-book that you almost can’t argue with it, unless of course you don’t like to read. And if that is the case, arguments for the book are pointless because the person you are pleading your case to, most likely, will never pick up that book. But let’s take a look at some of those arguments. Humor me, non-book lovers.

Since there are many arguments for the book-is-better campaign, I’m only going a few of the ones I hear the most. One argument I usually hear most for the pro-book side of the fence is that you have more narrative. With more narrative, you get more detail, more backstory, more information, period. Most times, when you read you really understand the story. You get the who, what, where, why, how, … and then some. Your mind then takes all this, processes it, and then gives you the full story. Another argument I hear is that since you’re reading, you get more intimate with the characters and as a result you gain a better sense of their character because of it. You really get to know them. I also hear that with reading the book, your imagination is supplying all the visuals so you’re not disappointed. You have the flexibility of adjust the world the book is providing as it suits you since it’s all in your head, versus the hard-and-fast creation the director provided for you on-screen.

As I mentioned earlier, arguments that the book is better are pointless if the opposing party doesn’t read the book. You can argue until you’re blue in the face that the book is better, but it won’t matter to someone who just doesn’t like to read. Sorry, guys. Fact of life.

Now, I mentioned that I was an avid “book is better” fan until I got a bit older (I’d say around my sophomore year in high school) and realized that I may have to reconsider my position, if only because of the fact that half of the world doesn’t read. I really started to think about this because I really got into movies. I made up my mind to work somewhere in the Film and Entertainment industry because I wanted to be a part of the magic.

My conclusion? You can’t compare them against each other because they are two different forms of art. Literature is its own art. Cinematography is its own art. To compare one to another is like comparing an apple to an orange (I hope I get that parallel right). With literature and cinematography, there are different rules to follow (does that make sense?) so the presentation will be different. Both entertain. Both bring joy. Both are creative. In their own right. It’s because of this I’ve given up on comparing these two to each other and instead judge them on their own turfs and consider book-to-movie adaptation as a separate category instead of using it as a guide.

Example. Mansfield Park. The book is written by the famous Jane Austen and is a beloved classic to avid readers. This book has been adapted for film a couple of times. There was the 1999 adaptation directed by Patricia Rozema, who also wrote the screenplay. There was also a 2007 TV movie adaptation directed by Iain MacDonald with the screenplay written by Maggie Wadey. I have yet to see the TV-movie, so let me focus on Patricia Rozema’s work. Simply stated, I loved it. I thought it was a great movie. In fact, it was because of this movie that I decided I needed to read the book. Needless to say, the book was a whole different experience. Book to movie adaptation? It sucked. The book and the movie shared some events, but the movie told the same story in a very different way and if you’re looking at it strictly as a book-to-movie adaptation, you’ll be sorely disappointed (as some fans were). But I really enjoyed the movie. And I love the book. I’d venture to say that it’s my favorite Austen, but I haven’t read all her works yet. So, as a movie adaptation it was poor, yet as a movie it was excellent.

Two different forms of art.

Other examples? Twilight. Beautiful Creatures. The Hunger Games. These were all movies that I watched before reading the book and I read the book because I watched the movie. Granted the movie adaptation of Twilight left me with a lot of questions, which is the main reason I picked up the book, however, I felt the movie was good as a movie.

So, in my humble opinion, one shouldn’t judge a book by its movie nor should a movie be judged by its book. Two different mediums so they should be judged accordingly, not against each other.

What are some of your favorite book-to-movie adaptations? Any experience where the book ruined the movie for you or vice versa? Feel free to share them below.

(Photo credits: (“never judge a book” image) & (“book vs movie” image)


Table Talk: To spoil or not to spoil?

Courtesy of

When you’re an entertainment aficionado everything you do is spoilery, especially if you keep a blog. You read. You watch. You write. And when you write, you wield the power on what you want to reveal.

Recently, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take part in the fandom chaos for the release of the final book in a series. I haven’t had the pleasure since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007. Anyway, it was just that … kind of chaotic. As with most final book releases goes, there’s usually a block on previews or advance reading copies to stop spoilers from happening. There was a lot of discussion on this and, of course, many discussions on spoilers itself. Majority of the participants were very strict about no spoilers. They didn’t want to hear so much as places in the story until they read it for themselves.

I, for one, LOVE spoilers. Yes, I am that kind of girl. Some would call me impatient. Others would call me buzz kill/kill joy/no fun. And they would probably be right. In some ways, I just have to know what happens. A huge part of it, though, is because I love the story telling. Even if I know who dies or if they do find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I still want to know how they get there. I want to see the story unfold, so to speak.

How did he tell her he loves her? Did he tell her in a restaurant? Did they take a moonlit walk? What was her initial reaction?

How exactly did they find that lost city? Was it really in the map? Who found the missing link? Was in a secret language that could only be revealed by a moon in a specific month?

And how, exactly, was Snape a good guy?

Seriously. Spoilers don’t bother me as much because I love the art of storytelling.

Yes, but you kill the excitement.

To some, yes. Knowing what happens kills the suspense and excitement, but not for me. I mean, part of the excitement is not knowing. I get that. But not when the excitement is how the story unfolds, like it is to me.

But do you have to ruin it for everyone? Do you *have* to write about it?

Now, just because I love spoilers doesn’t mean everyone loves them … and I get that, so of course I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. But I do believe that you should take responsibility for your preference to spoilers and act accordingly. I do my best to put a spoiler alert warning before every review post, but I’m not a psychic. I can’t read minds so I’m depending on you to use caution. It’s up to you whether you want to cross that caution tape and you shouldn’t get mad if you read something that spoils it for you. I do my best to keep descriptions brief, but if there’s a scene I really love or a passage I really enjoy, I’m going to share it.

With that said, I propose some guidelines for anyone seeking reviews.

First, expect spoilers. It’s as simple as that. All reviews will have a small degree of spoilery hints or such so it’s pointless to not to expect them.

Second, if you don’t like spoilers, stay away from the internet and all things social media. I know it doesn’t seem fair, but it’s easier for you to stay away than for every media outlet to keep in mind a spoiler clause, especially if they were privileged enough to get a sneak peek so they could write a review. Since I’m a book blogger, I sometimes get requests to preview books in exchange for a review. Some reviews asks me not to post my review until the release dates, others ask me to follow a general guideline of what to post, but the purpose of a sneak peek is to generate buzz for that book and I can’t do that if I don’t entice the audience a little.

And …well, I thought I had more, but everything boils down to those two points.

So, my best advice? Just go with the flow. You can’t really control what the media does, including a humble book/movie blog, but you can control what you do 😉 .



BookJunkie Table Talk: The Selection Series #2 ~ Prince Maxon v.s. Aspen

Shipping wars: Prince Maxon v.s. Aspen Ledger.

For starters, I like both Aspen and Maxon. They both have good hearts and I feel they both love America. At this point, I’ll be okay with whomever America chooses because I feel they will take care of her in their own ways.

With that said, I will be lying if I didn’t mention I’m really, really hoping she’ll choose Maxon and vice versa.

I know Aspen loves America and always has and probably always will. I also understand Aspen encouraged her to enter the Selection because he wanted what was best for her. However, I feel he didn’t respect America enough to let her make her own decision. She loved him wholly and completely. She was more than ready to give up her present lifestyle if that meant she could be happy with Aspen. He didn’t consider this or he considered it, but to put his mind at ease, he chose to let her go. I don’t think he’s being selfish at all. I think he regrets letting her go and now sees an opportunity to see if he can win her back. I think he underestimated his love for her and now … he regrets it.

Because he chose to let her go, I think he should see his decision through. He was, more or less, prepared to live the rest of his life without her if it meant she would be happy and well taken cared of. Knowing she cares for Maxon and quite possibly loves him, he should do everything he can to make sure she’s happy. He should be helping her, even though it hurts him, because that’s what he hoped for America–for her to have a better life.

Now, Maxon. I see that he cares for and loves her. I see that he’s trying to give her time to come to grips with what would be her new life and responsibilities. I understand that if America cannot show faith and trust in Maxon, he’s forced to marry someone who will. I just hope–really, really hope–that he chooses America. At the end of Elite, America seems to choose Maxon and will be fighting to show him she can do it. I just hope he doesn’t crush her and choose Kriss. America has gone through a lot and has already suffered terribly heartache and lost. I would hate for her to finally give in and admit that she loves Maxon, makes her decision to be with him, and then he turns around and chooses someone. I hope Maxon doesn’t make her go through that again because she was scared and didn’t adjust fast enough for him.

And that is the hook for The One. I am very interested to see where Ms. Cass’ story will take us. She’s done a fabulous job with her story so far, even building the government tension. Her novella, The Guard, really sheds some insight to this side of the story so I’m excited to see the grand finale. So heads up, I’ll probably be blogging this again and until then … Happy Reading!