Why I Love Wednesdays…The Earnshaw/Linton/Heathcliff Family

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m back with Why I Love Wednesdays, hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic. Today’s topic is Book Family!

If you’ve ever read this blog, you know I love a lot of books. After much deliberation, I settled on the Earnshaw/Linton/Heathcliff family from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Now, even if you haven’t read Wuthering Heights (which you should–it’s awesome), you probably know a little bit about the story of Cathy and Heathcliff. They grow up together, fall in love…but Cathy says something that makes Heathcliff take off and when he comes back years later, she’s married. The whole story is really sad (and that’s a serious understatement).

The whole Earnshaw/Linton/Heathcliff family is pretty messed up. Maybe that’s why they seem so real–or disturbing. (WARNING: major spoiler alert if you haven’t read this.) Heathcliff (he only has the one name) and Catherine (Cathy) Earnshaw are in love with each other. Edgar Linton is also in love with Cathy and when Heathcliff disappears, Cathy marries Edgar. When Heathcliff returns and finds Cathy married to a man he hates, he takes up with Edgar’s sister Isabella, whom he later marries. Cathy falls ill and dies shortly after giving birth to a daughter, who is also named Cathy. Isabella takes off on Heathcliff and he finds out years later that he has a son. He sends for the boy when Isabella dies, and later tries to marry his son off to Cathy’s daughter so he can have all of Edgar’s wealth. (He already has everything Cathy’s family had owned–her brother gambled it off to Heathcliff before he died.) Cathy (the daughter) and Linton, Heathcliff’s son (named for his mother’s maiden name), do marry and Cathy’s father Edgar dies shortly after. Cathy is forced to move in with Heathcliff, Linton, and Hareton, her cousin through her uncle Hindley Earnshaw. Her husband Linton soon dies and she’s left with just her father-in-law and her cousin, understandably miserable. Heathcliff eventually wanders off, thinking he sees Cathy’s (the mother) ghost, and he dies. Cathy (daughter) and Hareton decide to marry.

Crazy, messed up family, right? This is the ultimate love web, and really takes the phrase “keep in it the family” to a whole new level. Reading this story reminds me that no matter how crazy some of my family may get sometimes, they’re no where near as crazy as the Earnshaw/Linton/Heathcliff family. Their drama is extreme–and that’s why I love them.

Why I Love Wednesdays…Favorite Villain

I’m finally back with Why I Love Wednesdays… hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic. This week’s topic is “Favorite Villain”.

Since I recently read Destined, book nine of the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast, I thought I would talk about Neferet.

First of all, Neferet is seriously twisted. I wouldn’t want to meet that woman/vampyre in a dark alley, that’s for sure. She is manipulative and dangerous. If you haven’t read the series, I don’t want to ruin anything, but the woman is straight up EVIL. I really don’t understand why everyone doesn’t see all the crazy stuff she gets away with, or why most of the other vampyres/fledglings still follow her. Only Zoey, the protagonist, and her friends see what’s really going on. Of course, if everyone saw what the woman was really doing, there wouldn’t be much of a story, would there? It’s rare for me to want even a villain to die as much as I want Neferet to die. That’s how awful she is. The Cast duo would have to do some extremely fancy footwork to make Neferet redeemable.

Now, I know this is supposed to be all about a villain, but I have one more thing to say about the House of Night series. Stark=major yum. Even if you have no interest in vampire books, or crazy evil Neferet, read the series for him. I love me some Stark. He doesn’t show up until book four, Untamed, so stick with it. I guarantee he’s worth it (especially when he starts talking in a Scottish accent).

Why I love Wednesdays . . . Why I Love Phoenix "Nix" Birmingham

When I first saw today’s “Book Crush” topic, my mind immediately went to Kellin from The Chronicles of the Cheysuli. Since I already discussed him in a previous, non-WILW post (HERE) I thought I would tell you all about my most recent book crush: Phoenix “Nix” Birmingham from Pandora’s Box by Gracen Miller.

This is Gracen’s rendition of Nix (Chris Evans with different hair and tattoos added).

Nix can only be described as a badass–he’s a demon hunter, along with the rest of his family. They call themselves Sherlocks (yes, as in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock). He arrives on the scene to help the damsel in distress, only to discover that she doesn’t really want his help and that what he needs to help her with is above and beyond anything he and his family have ever dealt with before. He’s cocky (you know how I always go for the self-assured ones), stubborn and way hot.
Without giving too much away, I’ll say that he tries to help said damsel (named Madison) whether she wants it or not. He would–and does–do anything for her.
So there you go: a guy that kicks butt (demon butt) and would literally brave the hoards of Hell. I’ll leave you with the lovely cover of Pandora’s Box, which houses the beginning of Nix’s story: 

Oh, and Nix IS on Facebook, if you want to friend request him: Phoenix “Nix” Birmingham  He does answer back!

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . A Children’s Book

            
            Today’s “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” post is all about children’s books. Now, if you read my previous WILW post on a Childhood Book Friend, found HERE, you might recall that I can’t remember what my favorite book was as a child. Maybe I didn’t have one. The world may never know . . .
            So, I’ll be talking about a book—or rather, book series—that I remember loving as a child: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. This series is probably what began my obsession with the whole Fantasy genre. If you haven’t read the books, you’re missing out. The same goes for the movies. They’re excellently done. (Ben Barnes playing Caspian in the second and third movies is just an added bonus.)
            There are two ways you can read the series: either in order written/published, or in the world’s chronological order. I’ve read it both ways, and I kind of like it in chronological order. Since I originally read it in order published when I was a child, I’ll discuss it that way.
            The series begins with four siblings in the real world—World War I Era England. They find a magical land called Narnia in an old wardrobe. (If you don’t know what a wardrobe is, it’s sort of like a freestanding closet.) There they meet a fawn, some talking beavers, and other creatures. They are told that the land is under an enchantment cast by an evil witch and that the children must help break it.
            The children also meet a talking lion named Aslan. He was there at the creation of the world, and he is the only character who is consistently present throughout all seven books. one great thing about the books is that even though most of the characters aren’t in all the books, the author did a fabulous job of connecting the characters together.
            I won’t spoil the end of the series. I will, however, say that I was extremely surprised. I think it’s a great series for both children and adults. My eleven-year-old cousin is currently reading the series—I can’t wait to ask him what he thought of them.

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . A Book Assigned from School

Today’s “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” is a Book Assigned in School. Now, I don’t know about you, but we did a ton of assigned reading over the three years I was in high school (I skipped my junior year and graduated early). Even though I love to read, I hated a lot of the books we were assigned. I wanted to read what I wanted to read. I had a Fantasy obsession and the books my school assigned just weren’t cutting it. While the books were well-written (for the most part), they just weren’t for me. In fact, I have very clear memories of an essay I wrote on a short story we assigned to read my sophomore year of high school. In my essay, I stated that I could have written a much better story. I also said that even a three year old could have come up with a much better story. Needless to say, my teacher didn’t like that very much and I got a bad grade on the essay.

But I digress. I’m going to tell you about the book that stood out to me the most in my high school assigned reading: Animal Farm by George Orwell. It seems like an odd choice, I know. For those of you who have never read Animal Farm, it’s about a group of animals who drive the humans out and take over the running of the farm they live on. Why did I like this book? Well, I thought the idea of animals running a farm was pretty funny. But more important is that it’s a satire of the Stalin era in Russia prior to World War II, which we happened to be studying at the same time in my World History class. This book helped me to understand history better and was entertaining at the same time. If you have any interest in history whatsoever (or even if you don’t), I highly recommend this book. It’s a novella, so it’s pretty short. But isn’t the idea of a pig, horse and dog revolt funny?
On a side note: I also really loved reading Hamlet in school. Maybe I’ll talk about that in another post some day.

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Why I Love Garion & Ce’Nedra

Today’s “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” is all about a favorite book couple. At the risk of repeating myself and posting massive spoilers, I’m going to tell you about Garion and Ce’Nedra from The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings.

If you’ve been following my “Why I Love Wednesdays . . .” posts, you’ll know how much I love David Eddings’ works, particularly The Belgariad and The Mallorean (in case I haven’t mentioned this before, they’re technically companion series, set in the same world and with many of the same characters, but several years apart). I’ve already expressed my love for Ce’Nedra (if you missed that post, you can find it here). Now it’s time to share about Ce’Nedra’s relationship with Garion.

Garion is the main character of The Belgariad and one of the main characters of The Mallorean. He and Ce’Nedra first meet when they are fifteen. They hate each other at first. Garion thinks Ce’Nedra is a spoiled brat (which she kind of is) and Ce’Nedra thinks Garion is an uneducated peasant (which he basically is). They have screaming fights and she treats him as her servant. They eventually begin to become friends when Ce’Nedra takes it upon herself to teach Garion how to read. Garion’s aunt, Polgara, cautions Ce’Nedra against playing with Garion’s emotions, although Ce’Nedra insists that she feels nothing for him.

Ce’Nedra finally realizes her feelings for Garion when he goes away for a time to retrieve a magical object that’s been stolen. She’s been left behind and she finds herself missing him. When he returns, she goes into a fit of jealousy when she sees him with another girl (who is in fact his cousin).
When they reach the end of their quest, Garion and Ce’Nedra are both surprised when Garion is revealed to be the long-lost Rivan king. Ce’Nedra catches the implication of this, although Garion doesn’t. There has been a long-standing treaty that one day an Imperial Princess of Tolnedra will marry the Rivan king. This means that they have to get married.

It isn’t until Garion has to leave on a dangerous quest to kill an evil god that Ce’Nedra finally decides that she wants to marry him. She leads an army to distract the disciples of the evil god to help insure Garion’s safety.

The two are eventually married at the end of The Belgariad series. The Mallorean series begins with the abduction of their child. Garion, Ce’Nedra and many others must go on another quest to retrieve the child. Throughout it all, Garion basically has to keep Ce’Nedra sane. After all, what mother wouldn’t go crazy if someone kidnapped their son?

Through all ten books of the two series, I enjoyed the development of Garion and Ce’Nedra’s relationship. They may fight, they may drive each other crazy, but they always manage to work it out. It’s funny what lessons we can take from books sometimes.

Why I Love Wednesdays . . . Why I love Chloe Saunders

Today’s Why I Love Wednesdays “instructions” were to pick any previous topic. So, here’s Favorite Character: Take Two. (You can find my first Favorite Character post here.)
I know I did a favorite character post recently. However, as those were my favorite characters from epic fantasy, today I’ll introduce you to my favorite YA character: Chloe Saunders from The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong.
Chloe’s a fifteen-year-old necromancer, but people think she’s crazy when she starts screaming about ghosts. Her family puts her in a “group home” for troubled teens, which turns out to be a home for supernaturals.
I won’t go into too many details because I don’t want to spoil the story, but I appreciate how Chloe stays strong through everything and does everything she can to discover who (and what) she really is and the truth behind the “home” she’s been left in. She doesn’t give up, even though some scary things happen to her, and she doesn’t cower behind the boys and let them handle things for her. She’s a very believable character and I hope to see a continuation of her story someday.