Novels With Real, Live Father Figures (i.e. Not dead ones)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a Father’s Day related freebie.

At first, I wanted to do my ten favorite Dad’s in fiction, but this proved difficult. Instead I’m focusing on books with Dads who have not not: a.) died or B.) abandoned/abused their children. It turns out they are rare indeed.

The first nine are my selection, and the tenth is a selection made by my father when I asked which book had is favorite father is from.

Bluejay Feather

 

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Challenger Deep

Thoughts

I don’t really remember much about Caden’s father, but from what I remember he was alive and seemed to care for his son.

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Dark Life

Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I read this (my freshmen year of high school to be exact), but I remember Ty’s parents being caring. Though, I think the other main character was an orphan.

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Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings

Thoughts

The main character’s father seems like a pretty nice guy, even if it does get more than a little awkward at times as he tries to fulfill what would otherwise be the role of our protagonist’s mother.

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Splintered

Thoughts

I don’t remember much about the father’s involvement in this first book, but he became very involved later in the series.

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Mister Monday (The Keys To the Kingdom #1)

Thoughts

Okay so, technically, the main character’s biological father is dead. However, Arther loves his adoptive family a lot, so I’m counting it. Also, I think I read this book in elementary school? I feel so old! (Hint, I’m not.)

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Found (The Missing #1)

Thoughts

Okay, so this is another one where the main character is adopted, but the main character is close to his adoptive parents.

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The Sun is also a Star

Thoughts

The parents in this book have major conflicts with the protagonists, but they aren’t horrible parents, either. The protagonists’ parents are also, most importantly,  not dead. Yes, this is seriously the best I can do. . . sorry.

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Alienated (Alienated #1)

Thoughts

One of the protagonist doesn’t have parents, (he is an alien clone) but the other one has two very supportive ones.

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Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)

Thoughts

Okay, this is another case where the parents are a major source of conflict for the protagonists. Hey, at least they’re not dead.

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White Noise

Thoughts

Okay, so I know nothing about this book. I asked my father what book he thought contained the best father figure he’d ever read. This is what he came up with. So, there you go.

Bluejay Feather

Wow, that was oddly depressing. I had to resort to a book I read in elementary school just to list ten books where the father wasn’t dead?

Who are your favorite literary fathers? Are all these real, live fictional dads hiding someplace beyond my notice? Can you name any other books where characters have fathers who aren’t dead and haven’t abandoned their children?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Beautiful People May 2017

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Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I’m talking about Lyle, a character from a science fiction short story I’ve written and am considering turning into a novel length manuscript.

Bluejay Feather

Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?

Before the start of my story Lyle would have said his relationship with his parents was good, and in a way it was because they spent so much time together. However, most of this was because Lyle was sheltered and had nothing to compare his relationship with his parents to.

After the story starts Lyle’s relationship with his parents is terrible. Like, too terrible to say anything about without spoilers terrible.

Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?

Yes, Lyle knows both his biological human parents very well. Now, his biological nonhuman parents are another story entirely. Thankfully, for most of the story Lyle doesn’t know they exist, and I’m pretty sure they’re dead so . . .

How did their parents meet?

They met in college at a club for finance majors.

How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?

That would depend on the part of the story I’m at. At the very beginning Lyle would take that as a huge compliment. Throughout the rest of the story, Lyle would take that as a huge insult.

What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?

Lyle’s mother was being home schooled and helping take care of her five siblings. Lyle’s father was in high school.

Is there something they adamantly disagree on?

Lyle’s parents often disagree on the best way to raise Lyle and when Lyle is old enough to learn certain information.

What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?

This is kind of spoilery but is answered within the equivalent of the first fifty pages, so I’ll answer anyway. The hardest part of raising Lyle is his untimely death, which forces Lyle’s parents to find a way to bring Lyle back to life.

What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?

Before the story starts, this would be the time Lyle’s parents sneaked him into a mall in a baby carrier. They got found out and made to leave the store before long, but it was still a great day for Lyle because he’d never been inside a mall before.

What was your character like as a baby/toddler?

That depends. Is this referring to the first time Lyle was a baby or the second time? They were very different experiences. . . . or were these babies two different people? That is the question.

Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?

Lyle’s parents chose his name because Kyle was a family name. Lyle’s parents thought this was too common but still wanted to be somewhat traditional, so they chose a similar sounding alternative.

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Do my answers to these questions make sense to anyone besides me? Is anyone interested in hearing more about this writing project?

What does everyone think of the feather? It’s new. 

What does everyone think of me asking questions at the end of posts? That’s new too. I’ve seen a lot of people doing it and thought I’d give it a try. 

The Spindlers Book Review

Title: The Spindlers

Author: Lauren Oliver

Release Date: October 2nd 2012

Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary Fantasy

Format: Audio Book

Synopsis: When Liza wakes up one morning to discover that her brother’s soul has been taken by the spider-like spindlers she knows that the only way to save him will be to descend Below. The only problem is that in a land so strange and vast as Below how can Liza possibly hope to rescue her brother’s soul in time?

Review: Before reading The Spindlers the only books I’d read by Lauren Oliver were the Delirium Trilogy. I was nervous about having expectations that might be too high for this book as it was middle grade and I had feared aspects from the author’s YA writing would not transfer, but thankfully Lauren Oliver did not disappoint. Another concern of mine was that the whole concept of “Below” sounded too much like the underland from Suzanne Collin’s The Underland Chronicles. Thankfully, the characters and the overall feel of Below differed enough that the two settings ended up feeling separate and not at all like copies of one another. This book was reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland with the whole concept of a young girl finding her way to a somewhat creepy and complex world she previously knew nothing about.

I enjoyed the whole concept of Below. The world Lauren Oliver crafted with all of the creatures living underground felt extremely complex and well thought out. There were  nids, troglods, scawgs, and of course spindlers. Additionally, there was also a talking, makeup wearing rat named Mirabella who was Liza’s constant companion on her quest for her brother Patrick.The relationship between siblings was portrayed extremely well through Liza and Patrick in Liza’s flashbacks of their interaction. Liza’s determination to save her brother was admirable and brought out her character.

As usual, Lauren Oliver’s prose was beautiful as illustrated by my favorite quotes from this story which I plan to share below. Unfortunatly, I found the overall story line to be predictable, but that’s not an unusual characteristic where the story lines of most middle grade novels are concerned. Overall though, this was a very fun read.

I listened to this in audio book form with my younger brothers who normally hate reading. They both found the story intriguing and to my surprise the youngest of the two (who falls into the recommended age range for this book) was soon asking for the audio book to play more and more. Listening to the book with them was very appropriate considering that this is a book about a girl on a quest to save her younger brother and I think that aspect made me have a greater appreciation for the story as a whole. Experiencing the book this way also supported the notion that this book would be found enjoyable by the intended audience.

Quotes: “Liza made a sudden decision. “I’ll be your friend,” she announced. she had trouble speaking the words but was glad once she had spoken them. She did not really want to be friends with an enormous rat of questionable sanity, but it seemed the right thing to say.”

“That was what her parents did not understand—and had never understood—about stories. Liza told herself stories as though she was weaving and knotting an endless rope. Then, no matter how dark or terrible the pit she found herself in, she could pull herself out, inch by inch and hand over hand, on the long rope of stories.”

Rating/Recommendation: I recommend this book to children between the ages of eight and twelve or anyone who simply cannot get enough of Lauren Oliver’s beautiful writing style. I give this a 4/5 rating for good prose, and creativity, but a predictable story line.

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