Saturday, October 16, 2010

Literary Feast Discussion: Sisters Red (Chapters 1 - 5)

Welcome, faithful readers, to our first Sisters Red Literary Feast Discussion!


Hunker on down here while Shel and I toss out our thoughts. And do feel free to add anything you want to -- this book seems like it's going to be stirring up some controversy, and the more people added to that kind of discussion, the better!

Ready? Here we go.

Shel: Wow, from page one Jackson does a good job of creating icky-creepy man vibes with her Fenris, werewolf guys.

Monica: Almost too creepy! Can’t you hear the ominous music starting as he leans causally on a fence post and stares all scary-like at the tasty little girls!?

Shel: I totally can. And as I imagine it, I also see great use of shadow and light. When Scarlet was off hunting alone in chapter one, I got a distinct Buffy vibe. That's a high compliment.

Monica: Except… Buffy usually had witty quips. I’m getting the feeling from Scarlett that her whole hunting vibe is a little more obsessive. Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily, but humor doesn’t seem to be her forte.

Shel: This is true. Scarlett should have stayed in school. It could have helped with the wits (or at the very least given her time to be bored and thinks up witty comments). So are you a Scarlet or a Rosie, hmmm? Who do you relate to more?

Monica: Rosie all the way! Or… maybe neither, to be honest. I don’t know if I could be coerced into doing as much exercise as either of these girls seems to enjoy – I’m not really a “let’s work out and then throw knives and also run a little” kind of a person. You?

Shel: While I'm more inclined to like tough Scarlet, she does have a tendency to be too unforgiving. (And also, I took a criminal justice class, in which the prof was like "NEVER THROW YOUR WEAPON AT A PERP! THEN YOU ARE WEAPONLESS. THROWING KNIVES IS MOVIE BS. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS SACRED, HOLD ON TO YOUR KNIFE IF YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO CUT THE MO-FO AND LIVE!"

Monica (breaking into the rant): That... that's a really good point, actually. Wow. Not that I would know how to throw a knife anyway, but....

Shel: Plus, after Rosie was attacked and only managed to kill only one of the two Fenris, I'd hope my sister would be at least a little more concerned about my well-being. I'm already getting a bit of the "blame the victim" vibe coming off of her (and we haven't reached the scene The Book Smugglers were talking about yet). I think though, I'm going to operate with the hypothesis that what is at fault so far is Scarlet's characterization and not the underlying ideas of the book. My grad schooly argument: As someone who was a victim of attack herself and who was left marked and scarred by the experience, it is part of Scarlet's way of dealing with the trauma to never be the victim again and she has distanced herself from empathizing with others who might be in a similar feeling to avoid the motions of loss she might feel about herself. Or something. That might just be a bunch of crazy talk.

Monica: No, no, I think you 100% have it. That’s how I’m reading it, at least. (Of course, my thoughts were a little bit less classy. More like, “Ooh, remember the scene in 10 Things I Hate About You where Cat was talking about how she was unwilling to let her sister date boys because, having lost her virginity to the slimy sock model and had her heart broken, she refused to let anyone else close to her be hurt in the same way? This book is JUST LIKE THAT!”)

Shel: Oh, Ten Things I Hate About You! LOVE! I just saw the TV series on DVD actually. There's a little less to love there.

Monica: Seriously. Without Heath, what's the point?! Um. Back to the book?

Shel: Five bucks says the potential wolfie is Silas. Are you with me on this? Hmm, if we're going to bet though? Maybe we should bet five books, since those are more precious. No wait, I might not feel strongly enough about this bet to risk my books.

Monica: No. No way. Well, maybe. But I hope not! It would seem too cliched. Can you imagine Scarlett and Rosie standing there, all "We love you but we must destroy you because you have become an Evil Wolf and thus have no chance at redemption," and he's meanwhile trying to convince them it's just a flesh wound... Shel, I'm actually not sure at ALL that I will like this story, if he turns out to be the potential.

Shel: Don't think about it for now, then. I'm excited that Jackson Pearce seems to have done her research when it comes to her history of the folktale: She has the German background with Oma March. All the better that she used to tell the sisters folk, fairy tales and philosophical arguments at night. We also have vague allusions to the history of Little Red being a story about morality and what not.

Monica: Morality and sexuality. Don’t forget the latter. ;)

Shel: Chica-bee, I could never forget the sexuality.

So really, guys, in the first five chapters we have had creepy seduction, emotional scars as they relate to physical ones, back alley street fighting, spats between sisters, and, wait for it, a potential love interest. In the first five chapters. We'll do the next five for Wednesday, so get reading! Who knows what will happen!?

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