About Me

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WRITER. ARTIST. THINKER. INVOLUNTARY RECLUSE. I work under my own name, Marque Terrynamahr Strickland, or my pen name, Wrinklegus PoisonTongue. I absolutely ADORE artistically brilliant people. I surround myself with them, as it is with them that I feel most comfortable. I owe everything to artistic people, for without you, I would be nothing. Be you a writer, painter, actor, musician, architect, or whatever, I thrive upon your efforts. You are the air I breath. My solace. My stronghold. My safety net. My sanity. My reason for living. I love you all. Childish. Creative. High maintenance. Sensitive. Insensitive. Insecure. Quick tempered. Loving. Loyal. Lustful. Incredibly horny (especially after 3 decades of involuntary celibacy). Mischievous. Bombastic. Slightly domineering, yet fair and easy to please. Talented to no end. Know-it-all. Chaste. Afraid of germs. Healthy. Insightful. Artist. Born on St. Patrick's Day, I am a PISCES with VIRGO rising, two signs of opposition, which complete me. By the Chinese Zodiac, I'm a DRAGON with ROOSTER rising. —The ‘f-bomb’ is my favourite swear word.

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES: My review. I loved it!

(I will post the review here in regular text, as well as HTML images to suit the tastes of both types of people.)


I had the pleasure of meeting authors Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia at Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove, Illinois. Marg, a self-proclaimed 'caffeine fiend,' is laugh-out-loud funny...definitely the type to cheer you up on a down day. You'd even want to hang out with her. However, you might want to keep your distance if you're an impressionable person, for she has said (more than once): “I'm not a role model.” But don't mind her nonsense, as she's just being silly...Margaret is a very sweet girl.
The other half of this writing team, Kami, is so cute and adorable that you just want to sweep her up, and kiss her, and hug her, and marry her on sight. She too is witty, with an edge of sarcasm to her demeanor. This one is also a sweetie pie.
Two great girls with great talent, who wrote a great book-Beautiful Creatures-their debut novel.

It's been quite some time since I've been this pleased with a read. As I've mentioned before to people, I prefer female authors, as their writing tends to be a bit more honest, whereas males are conditioned to write a certain way because of all the machismo we're raised with. I absolutely positively HATE stories with tons of male bravado and weak female characters! Perhaps that is why I myself do not create those damsel-in-distress females when I write. (Oh, I didn't mention that I'm a novelist, did I? I'm currently finishing up my 4th book, whilst working as a teacher aide in the atrocious public school system...but not for much longer, I assure you!) Because of my need for strong representation of both sexes in books, I really fell in love with Beautiful Creatures.

One character in particular that I adore, is named Amma. Though I'm not sure of her ethnicity (as I don't quite remember it being mentioned), she reminds me of the women in my family. I grew up in a really 'old school' black family, with deep southern roots, so of course the women in my family are all extremely spiritual and FANTABULOUS cooks! Amma is definitely 'auntie' or 'grandma' material. I love her!
Amongst other wonderfully entertaining characters, are the two main ones, Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes. They are what I wish all teenagers would be. Let us not forget that I work in the public school system, so my opinion of teenagers is rather jaded. The kids I deal with on a regular do nothing except FIGHT, F***, FOOL AROUND, FEEL EACH OTHER UP, AND FAIL EVERYTHING THEY POSSIBLY CAN! (Like, seriously, how the 'effing crap do you fail GYM?! Or...how are you sitting in Mr. Jacobek's class, PLANNING TO GET PREGNANT at sixteen-years-old?! The kids I know, do these things on a regular!)
Lena Duchannes is not only innocent, insecure, and incredibly powerful, but she is also an absolute dream to me. I'll take the beautiful, 'strange' outcast any day of the week over the bubblehead, dumb b****, who could possibly make my social life easier by dating her but who is simultaneously the worst of human beings.
And Ethan is what every young man should be. He's selfless, respectful, and secure enough to stick by the side of someone he loves even though he's persecuted for it. Any young man that is coming of dating age, who needs to learn how to treat a woman, should take notes from Ethan Wate.

The story is complex but simply told. And though there are many people to keep track of (especially with the addition of characters who I can tell will be important later in the series), Kami and Margaret did a great job of presenting just enough information to get to know these people without overwhelming the reader. And they get even more cool points for being so creative within their confines of Gatlin, South Carolina. As an author, I know that it's very difficult to work well in a limited setting, but these girls were so inventive within their restraints that their tale never ever got boring. I promise you, this story is entertaining, cover-to-cover!

Another thing I'd like to point out about the craft of these two authors is that Margaret and Kami treat their readers with much respect. They automatically assume that you're smart, and I appreciate that immensely. Some writers, especially beginners, tend to explain every single aspect of their tale right off, just to make sure that you, the reader, understand things to come. How insulting! Marg and Kami, however, do not give you pointless exposition to explain aspects of their story...they actually give you STORY! I can't tell you how many times that I, as well as others that I suggested a certain book to, got frustrated with a tale, in which a popular author (I'm speaking of the most popular author as of April 2010-not the wealthiest. We all know who the wealthiest one is!) kept beating me over the head with a certain detail. I'm a pretty intelligent guy, and I read constantly, so I don't need a writer to tell me how beautiful a certain characters is, over and over and over again! WE KNOW HOW BEAUTIFUL HE IS ALREADY, GOOD LORD! I swear, one day, I'm going to go back through that book and count how many times this author speaks of a certain character's statuesque beauty...she must have done it 100 times! (Don't get me wrong, the tale was marvelously entertaining overall, and I still love and admire her as an author...but good grief, woman!)
More cool points to Kami and Margaret for NOT treating their readers like first graders that need notes pinned to their shirts everywhere they go.

They say that we authors have a tendency to reveal who we are in the stories we tell. So, lastly, I'd like to say that I'm quite impressed with the women that Magaret Stohl and Kami Garcia have revealed themselves to be. From the numerous quotes and references, you'll be able to tell that these are very educated, well-read women. They believe in loyalty, justice, and equality. And they despise bigotry. Furthermore, I can see that they're idealists at heart, who believe in lasting love. With that said, I'm having a very difficult time figuring out which I adore more-the authors or their book?

-April 2010/Marque Terrynamahr Strickland

Oh, I forgot to give you all one warning about the book. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, READ THIS BOOK ON AN EMPTY STOMACH, BECAUSE YOU WILL BE SORRY! It's chock-full of food! I can't tell you how many times I put this book down, absolutely ravenous, ready to devour any and everything in sight...even the damn brick walls of my house!

...and, speaking of food, Kami and Margaret, can you guys do me a solid? Could you please have Amma incorporate more vegetables into Ethan's diet? If you don't, my dude is gonna have some serious heart problems later in life!

1 comment:

ally said...

I loved your review and couldn't agree more!! But, i'd definitely would have to say i <3 Kami and Margie more because without them there would be no books =)! *but, of course, they are the sweetest and funniest authors i've had the chance to exchange words with!*

My Loyal, Wandering Souls