Wednesday, January 25, 2012

YA Conversations: An End to Occlumency

This week's YA highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt was to create a dialogue between two of your favorite YA characters.  Awesome! I'll take that excuse to write fanfiction ;).  So, I thought about a conversation that would have been great to see between Harry and Snape and came up with this:

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Harry came out of the pensieve, wanting to retch after what he'd just witnessed in Snape's memory. Everything he'd come to believe about his father had been shattered to pieces, and he gripped the long potions table in front of him so hard his knuckles turned white. The offending bowl rested innocently there on that table, still so close that if he wanted, he could swipe it to the floor to banish its contents. That wouldn't help. Gasping and fighting not to double over, he drew a few ragged breaths as he squeezed his eyes shut against the unwanted images now permanently etched in his mind. 

"Potter! How dare you. How dare you."

At the sound of Snape's sharp, menacing voice with no hint of his usual silken tones, Harry's eyes snapped open. Emerald met onyx, but Harry couldn't hold his gaze for long or bear the sight of the potion master's pale, livid face. Shame burned Harry's cheeks, and he had to look away. Harry should never, never have let curiosity get the better of him. "I didn't...I didn't mean to," he stammered, swallowing hard.

Snape swept toward him, black cloak billowing behind him. He seized Harry by the collar and shook, hard. He looked like he wanted to choke the life out of Harry. "Arrogant. Meddling. Just like your father. Get out. GET OUT! Your Occlumency lessons are at an end." He practically threw Harry from him.   

"I'm not like him," Harry choked out, stumbling, his arms just managing to break his fall. He stood and faced Snape, the icy dread in his gut at being found snooping into Snape's private memory melting away, leaving only anger, disappointment, and revulsion. Snape had told him what his father had been like, and he'd refused to hear a word against James. Harry had idolized him too much. His breaths still came heavy, ragged, shaking his thin frame. "You were right about my dad. You were right. He was...he was like my cousin. Like Malfoy. A bully." 

The thought of that Malfoylike sneer on his own father's face as he'd tormented Snape sickened Harry, and bile rose in his throat. He shook his head, backing away toward the door, wanting to run and never see Snape again.  Wanting to hop on his broomstick and fly until the wind blew all of this from his mind. 

Snape stared at Harry as though he'd grown two heads, as though this were the last thing he'd expected Harry to say.  Harry felt a familiar brush against his mind, not as invasive as what he'd become used to in his Occlumency lessons, but enough to know what Snape had done. Some of Snape's fury seemed to dissipate, and he fixed Harry with a cold, thoughtful expression. Suddenly, Snape seemed to age ten years, weighed down by a secret grief. "Perhaps you are more like your mother," he said, his voice so soft Harry barely heard it. "Now go."

Harry didn't need to be told a third time.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis: Review

Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Possible spoilers ahead...

This week, the week I'd been waiting for, finally arrived! I'd pre-ordered my copy of A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis, and it showed up on my Kindle overnight. It was there, bright and shiny and ready for me to read Tuesday morning. Have you all read it yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and I shall slap a spoiler warning on this thread so we can discuss it here freely. So, if you haven't read it yet and don't wish to be spoiled, you may want to wait and come back here after you've had a chance to finish the book so you don't get spoiled by the review or by anyone's comments. I devoured it that day, and below is my review posted to Goodreads:

AMAZING! This will be difficult to review without spoilers, but I will say this. It is a strong sequel, and it left me breathless in anticipation for the third of the series. So many elements I'd found in other reviews were spot on. It was fast-paced, with poor Elder (who refuses to let himself be called Eldest)running around dealing with one problem after another--people who refuse to work or can't due to depression, food shortages, people who want to cause trouble just because they can, people who want to overthrow Elder as a leader or just establish another system of government. And all the while, Godspeed is falling down around them. Meanwhile, Amy gets clues left to her by Orion, who figured out the entire truth about the ship long ago and has secrets to tell as well as a choice for Amy to make. 

A choice that could change the fate of everyone on Godspeed. 

I loved that we learned more about Harley and, especially, Kayleigh. I loved that Victria played a larger role this time, and that everything that happened made me truly feel for her. Really, my one nitpick with the book was that the voices of Amy and Elder didn't come through as distinctly as they did in Across the Universe. Otherwise, I loved the relationship between Amy and Elder--the love, the fights, the questions and doubts--though there were times I just wanted to reach into the book and shake them. I also want to shake the people at the time of the plague, too, for their inaction.

There were so many wonderful scenes in this book, but I'd have to say my favorite one was the spacesuit scene and all that Elder and Amy learned there (like where the ship actually IS, and that Amy truly loves Elder).  So, what were your reactions, favorite scenes, etc.?