Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh, the Disappointment and Approval

So, I believe the saying is, that "the honeymoon has ended"?
I'm beginning to figure out all the faults and foibles of my once precious Kindle Touch. Many thanks to Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Princess Ben for pointing out these problems to me (more on that lovely book in a minute!).

For instance, whilst reading, I started to notice that random quotation marks had seemingly disappeared from the text. While it typically isn't that difficult to discern when a specific character has ceased speaking, it was certainly annoying to find yourself halfway into a paragraph, still reading the text in the particular voice of a character, only to find it wasn't the character speaking at all! Also, occasional words were misspelled. I had to read a sentence three times over before my story-soaked brain could fully understand that doing something "inces santly" wasn't from some kind of Latin or fantasy language, but instead, the word "incessantly" with an incredibly incorrect space in the middle. It was so irritating that I was incensed enough to look it up online, where I discovered that typographical errors in eBooks are, if not frequent, simply commonplace! Here's how I feel about it: if you're going to read a book electronically, you should be able to read the same thing all those people who bought the physical books read. There shouldn't be that big of a difference between the two, let alone major errors in punctuation and spelling!

Then, my heart broke into a million pieces. Maybe I shouldn't have started with Mindy Kaling, whose cover art for Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was so gosh-darn cute. I know that it was cute, because I like looking at cover art, and even though it was a little harder to maneuver to the cover on a Kindle, I did it, just for the sake of seeing the artistry: the cover of a book ensnares your attention immediately, and demonstrates the story and atmosphere of what you're about to read in a mere glimpse. The battle of books over my heart and shopping cart has been decided by cover art before. Which is why the fact that Kindles don't come with cover art for all of their eBooks is completely soul-crushing! I LOVE the beautiful, glossy photos on the front of a novel! Tell me why I'm not allowed to have it now?

But I digress. My Kindle and I aren't officially broken up just yet... we're just taking a break.

So I can talk about Catherine Gilbert Murdock (whose name I just LOVE saying, for some reason) 's Princess Ben (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). It's a book I've read three times now, and I have no short amount of confidence in saying it is a really great teen-fantasy novel. This story, of a princess who-doesn't-wannabe, who, through magic and hardwork, learns about herself, her true love, and what it really means to be a princess, is one of my faves in the Teen section of our library. So, I bought it. The book is divided into four parts, which individually display different sections of her personal journey, from spoiled, over-emotional, chubby girl, to self-assured, confident, slightly-less-chubby girl (but she realizes that appearances don't have significant importance, so the fact that she still remains "more than slender" is no biggie). It's a coming-of-age novel, essentially, set in the fantasy world of Montagne, across the mountain Ancienne from neighboring Drachensbett, who are preparing to wage war. Ben - full name: Benevolence, truly one of the worst names you can inflict on a child, in my opinion, particularly if they grow up to be a full-blown terror - is your normal teenage girl on the inside, even if, on the outside, she wears a crown. She has as much trouble dancing in high heels as we modern girls do! Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that Murdock manages to tell a beautiful fairy-tale, while successfully transplanting in identifiable characters and familiar emotions, that make Princess Ben a fantasy world that's all too accessible for today's teenage girls.

# 16. Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Princess Ben.

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