Saturated Reads: Peeta Mellark

Saturated Reads

A few months ago, I posted about how I wish more authors wrote using color in their descriptions, since I attach emotions and even characters to color. After some discussion on the comment threads, particularly with Kelley @ Oh! The Books, I was pointed to something called synesthesia, and I have a type that connects emotions with colors. Every Wednesday, I’ll pick a book or character, and show a palette of the colors I see or associate with the book/character. Basically, imagine the saying, “I feel blue,” but applied to the entire color spectrum. Hopefully that makes sense!

This week’s Saturated Read is… *drumroll please* Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games.

What colors do I associate with the character?

Peeta Mellark

These were Peeta’s colors even before I finished Mockingjay and Katniss calls him her dandelion boy. But I’m so glad that Collins did that, because the way she described Peeta is so spot on to his colors! Peeta is a field of sunflowers on a breezy summer day – warm and earthy and gentle and safe.

Does the actor match my colors?

Lemme just say it right now: Josh Hutcherson IS Peeta. He’s captured the nuances and personality of the character so well that the two are irreversibly intertwined from here on out. Also: that quote is one of my favorites that he’s ever said.

What do you think of the colors?

If you have any books (or even characters!) that you want to see Saturated, leave a comment below! Check out my GoodReads shelf to see what I’ve read. 

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Top Ten Characters To Keep Me Company While Deserted

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island (pick based on however you want…skills they would bring, their company…or pure hotness factor :P) I actually think I’ll stick with those three categories! As long as this doesn’t go Lord of the Flies, I think I could be quite happy stuck on an island with these ten characters. I tried to get fanart for all of these characters, but some I just couldn’t find, so I put the covers instead. All art is sourced to their creators 🙂

For… skills they would bring

1. Karou from Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Even without the magic, Karou is intelligent and quick, and she would take charge and handle things in a crisis easily.

2. Sturmhond from Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a privateer with them? Not just for the hotness factor, I mean. He’s probably used to surviving in harsher conditions, and he could make any tough situation a bit lighter with his sarcasm and wit. 

3. Celaena Sardothian from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Of course I want an assassin on my side! But she’d also be nice to have for company – I mean, she loves chocolate cake. I don’t think I could hate any person who loves chocolate cake.

So. Many. Feels.
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For… their company

4. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Oh Peeta ❤ My one true love and first book boyfriend. I’m pretty sure I could be happy just by seeing him smile every day. That’s all I’d need to survive a deserted island.

 5. Josie from Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan. We could sit on the beach and complain about sock seams and shirt tags all day, and then talk about linguistics and syntax together. The time would fly by and we might actually cry when the rescue teams pick us up!

6. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Josie may be just like me, but Cath is my soulmate. It’s been several months since I read Fangirl, and I still can’t even properly word how much that book means to me, and how much it helped me understand myself. If I could just be with Cath for five minutes, my life would be made.

7. Emi from Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. She’s got big ideas – maybe even too big sometimes – but I love the fact that she’s a dreamer. And she pays attention to the little details; the important parts of what makes someone unique.

For… pure hotness factor

8. North from Free to Fall by Lauren Miller. I mean, he’s a bit unconventional, but I’m a sucker for forearm tattoos. And when they reference literature? *swoon* Plus, he’s the most respectful character I’ve read about in a while. World is ending and girl is throwing herself at you? Nah, son, let’s save the sexy times for when we’re not acting out of fear. *swooning again*

9. Raffe from Angelfall by Susan Ee. *fans self* Let’s not get me started. This snarky asshole is the bane of my existence.

Yeah, I don’t like you either.
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10. Matt Finch from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. He could serenade us while we all watch the sunset. Now tell me that isn’t a beautiful, beautiful dream…

11. Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I need a Levi. Seriously, someone make one for me. Or buy one. I’m not too concerned about ethics in this situation.

THIS SCENE
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I just have to make a note here that while I’ve never read the Heroes of Olympus (just a few more months till the boxed set is released… patience, my love), y’all need to see this art. Oh lawd.

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Forced to Read

TTT BannerTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their amazing blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Books I Was “Forced” to Read (either by teachers, friends, other bloggers, book club) — doesn’t necessarily have to be a BAD thing. Could be required reading, yes, but also book club, or just super enthusiastic friends “making” you read something!

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This one came from Veronica… and Andi… and Arial… and I’m so glad I didn’t ignore them! I can’t even put into words my emotions for this book. But I’ll try tomorrow, so come back for my review 😉

2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. Also from Veronica: she practically shoved it into my hands, and I was once again so thrilled that I listened to her! She’s now my official “contemporary fiction book finder for Kayla”. It’s totally legit.

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. My dad made me read this one, and while I don’t like some of the other books he forced on me, this one was the best, and is still one of my favorite all time reads.

4. Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire. This was from my “African Culture” class in college, and even though I didn’t like the other three books too much, this is my fave, and now I’m teaching it in my world lit class next semester!

5. Antigone by Sophocles. I struggled with Greek plays in my “Roots of Western Culture” class, but Antigone was seriously an A++.

6. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. I read this one when I was trying to decide on my book list for my General Lit class, and I fell in love, head over heels. Now it’s one of my favorite books to teach!

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This was just general peer pressure, and I’m so glad to have given in.

Now here are three that I’ve recently purchased/waiting for in the mail because of the influence of others: 

8. For Darkness Shows the Stars and Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diane Peterfreund. Because I love the Scarlet Pimpernel, and of course I had to read the first one in the series too.

9. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman. Because Veronica said that if I sobbed so much over TFiOS, I’d be dead after this one. I just couldn’t turn down that challenge!

10. Altered by Jennifer Rush. I’d had my eye on it for a few weeks, but Andi posted about how much she loved it, so I caved! I actually won a preorder of the sequel that comes out in January from Andi’s giveaway, so I’m all set for both now!

That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

On Katniss Everdeen, Or: Why My Opinion Has Changed So Drastically

I’ve been trying to write this post for a few weeks now, but I could never find the right words. I want to do this justice, because I’m about to try to be really honest and open with you guys and that’s difficult for me. But I think I’m ready today. If I do end up bumbling a bit, I apologize, and hopefully you’ll still understand what I’m trying to convey here. I know this is a long post, but I hope you can stick with me to the end.

Before It All

Two months ago, on July 7, 2013, my life changed forever. Everything I thought I knew was turned upside down and contorted into something I couldn’t recognize anymore. There was a huge shift in my family dynamic, and it’s left us with a lot of uncertainty about the future, in a lot of different ways. Relationships weren’t what I thought they were, not only with my family, but also with my friends, what few I had left. Luckily I’m still close to my mom, if not closer, so she’s given me an anchor as I try to right all the years of wrong.

I realized on that day, and every day since then, that I had been allowing a lot of people to manipulate and take advantage of me. I’ve struggled with low self esteem for years, and what I thought was someone boosting me up was actually tearing me down. My most repeated question lately: “You mean friends aren’t supposed to do that? What do you mean that’s not healthy? What if they’re family? Still not okay?” What I thought was me being helpful and supportive was actually me being codependent and sacrificing my own needs to try and fulfill others – even when they refused to be built up and instead continued to drain me and my futile efforts.

I’ll admit this right out: recognizing and coming to terms with all of this left me depressed and anxious. In the earlier days, there were times when I couldn’t find the energy to get out of bed. I had a hard time getting a deep breath, and a panic attack was just one disturbance away. I’ve started to pull out of it, and the hard days are less often now, but I still wake up some mornings and it’s like a dark fog pulls at me with every step. Some parts of me are angry at myself – thinking why can’t I get over this? It’s been two months, it’s time to move on. It’s taken the assurances of several people to tell me that this isn’t a situation that’s easy to get over, and the process to rebuilding my confidence and finding my footing in this new reality is going to take some time.

What does this have to do with Katniss Everdeen, you ask? If you’ve followed me since the Stone Ages of this blog, you might remember me whining about how weak and brittle Katniss was in Mockingjay. How I always wanted her to just get over it and pull herself up by her bootstraps. I always tell my literature students that books will affect everyone differently, because of their individual life experiences. I’ve always believed this, but not until July 7 did I truly understand it. I wish that I didn’t have to experience this particular circumstance to get a full grasp of that concept, but now I have a new respect for Katniss like never before.

Mockingjay is full of traumatic experiences, and if Katniss hadn’t been affected by them, then her realism would vanish. What I’ve realized is that even though Katniss struggles with PTSD (I know it’s not stated in the book but all the signs are there), she still stands as the Mockingjay and sees the revolution to its end. Maybe she’s not gung ho about it, and needs a lot of support and people forcing her to keep moving, but the fact is that she does it. She stays true to the very end. And you know what else? She realizes that she needs people to keep her strong – that it’s okay to say, “I’m struggling and can’t do this on my own.” I think I could learn a thing or two about that.

After

All of this is to say that I have completely changed my opinion on Katniss Everdeen. I’ve realized how incredibly real she is, and that Suzanne Collins has written such a brutally honest character that I rejected it at first because I wanted to believe in a strong heroine that was fazed by nothing. But now I realize that Katniss’s response to everything is probably one of the most powerful points of The Hunger Games – because even if she isn’t that archetype of the strong female character, she’s strong in her own way.

And you know what else Katniss has shown me? Just because the world seems like it’s falling down doesn’t mean that it’s truly the end: it’s just a chance for a new beginning. Since that day in July, and the subsequent breakdown of everything I thought was right, I’ve had to essentially rebuild myself. I’ve had a new chance at confidence, and a new chance to be who I want to be, rather than hide the parts of myself that I thought no one would ever like. Before, I never would have tried half the things I’m doing today.

I would never have clicked “send” on the email that inquires about participating in a blog tour. I never would have thought, “The worst they could say is no – so why not try?”

I wouldn’t be connecting with a bunch of incredible bloggers who have welcomed me into the blogosphere and shown me that it’s okay to fangirl and cry over books because BOOKS.

I wouldn’t be able to say, “I know I’m not writing right now, but I’m reading, and getting involved with other things bookish. And that’s okay – I have years ahead of me to write my books. And one day maybe I’ll even publish them.”

I would never have had the confidence to actually email an author and share with them how much their book meant to me and ask questions and actually be involved.

I would never have spent $18 on a hardback book, and then sat with a $5 Starbucks in Barnes and Noble for two hours guilt free – just because I could and dammit I am worth it and I work hard for my extra money.

But now I can do that. And so many doors are opening every day, and I just wonder: if this is where I am now, two months after the end of my world, where will I be in another two months? Two years?

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay for everything to shatter, because sometimes you just need to pick up the best pieces of what was, and fit in the new pieces of what is to be.