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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Waterfall Wednesday: Chapters 1-6

It's the first week of the Waterfall Read-Along, this week hosted by Tina from Tina's Book Reviews, talking about Chapters 1-6!

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, she's depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?

I was a bit annoyed that she was complaining about getting to spend the summer in the Italian countryside on an archaeological dig because that sounds way awesome to me. What teenager gets to do that? Perhaps I was just never a typical teenager though, like Gabi, who would prefer to spend all summer doing typical teenage things. Though while I wouldn't say I really connected with her right away, I wouldn't say I disliked her either.

2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?

I feel like this is the cliched answer that everyone chooses, but I would have to go with the Victorian Era. It may be because I am heavily influenced by some great historical fiction novels I've read recently, The Monstrumologist Series and Clockwork Angel, which are set in Victorian times. I am probably most interested in the intense sexual repression of the time and the ramifications of that (I loved The Importance of Being Earnest).

3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of men's mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

I would have actually expected the men of this time to be even more disrespectful. Granted, I am really no expert in this time period, but I was surprised that Gabi gets away with being so outspoken and strong-willed and the men just go along with it, albeit grudgingly. Then again, she is claiming to be a Lady so mayhap that is the difference and they wouldn't be as kind to a simple peasantwoman. I think the men's mentality back then was just a product of the day and age.

4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?

Well, no. But that's maybe easy for me to say because, as a reader, I have an insight into her background and where she is coming from. But for the people from the era that are set in their ways and don't know time travel exists, she must come across as exceedingly strange. Not that that makes it fair for them to judge her, but I think they're too ignorant to know any better. Have I ever felt like an outsider? Yes, all the time.

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?

Coolest: Dinnertime! Is it just me, or would it be fun to eat all your food without utensils (except knives)? Does this out me as a slob? I swear I would do my best to be neat even without utensils. I hate wine though so that would be a problem if that was the only beverage available.
Worst: Sidesaddles come to mind. I am a somewhat experienced horseback rider but even I cringed when they made Gabi use a sidesaddle. I would not feel safe on one of those going fast either!


  1. Good points Aylee. Who would complain about spending a summer in Italy. I know I wouldn't. Sounds fantastic to me.

    And yes, now that I think of CA, Victoria England sounds like a fantastic era to visit.

    You're right about the men. They did seem a bit overly polite which seems to fit Jane Austen times more than Medieval times. There is a difference, right? *scratches head*

    I think sidesaddles sound cool. Women must have been incredibly skilled to ride a horse in such a way. There is no way you are a slob. I mean, just look at me. I hate washing dishes, so if I can avoid utensils, I do. LOL

  2. Yeah, I really don't know a heck of a lot about history but the men did seem more Victorian in nature than Medieval. But what do I know?

    Sidesaddles do not sound cool, they sound scary! But perhaps if you had been trained, yes. LOL, that reminds me of my dad who eats his dinner over the sink sometimes to avoid having to do any dishes!

  3. I'd be more interested in the Victorian era than the Medieval era too. It's a time that fascinates me.
    It is frustrating that she whined about being in Italy, but she's so used to it that the magic has worn away - so I understood that.

  4. Mhm, perhaps she hears her parents talking about it so often that it's lost its charm. I can relate with some of the things my parents constantly talk about :)

  5. LOL! I love that you said Dinnertime would be the coolest thing. And yes those sidesaddles would be uncomfortable. Great answers :)

  6. Ooooo the Victorian Era, that's a good one:) Even better if perhaps Will and Jem were there to spend time with!

    Couldn't agree with you more on the wine, I'd be in trouble if that was the beverage of choice. I guess I would acquire a taste for it pretty quickly though if I had no other option.

    And sidesaddles are miserable:)

  7. I love the Vict.Era, those dresses the women wore..so beautiful!!

    Dinnertime would have been fun and the whole wiping your mouth on the table cloth...awesome!!

  8. Eating food with knives?! That does sound fun, Aylee! I keep seeing this everywhere. I need to get started on this series!

  9. I agree with your first impression of Gabi. I didn't dislike her, but I didn't think she cherished the amazing opportunity she had.

  10. Really? You want to eat food without silverware? Speaking to someone with severe OCD, I can't stand to have all that stuff sticking to my hands. I'd constantly want to wipe it off. (We did one of these Medevial dinners in Las Vegas once - so I'm speaking from experience - it wasn't fun for me lol).

    Oh, yes, you dare bring up the side saddles, I agree - they would totally SUCK! My butt would be sore in no time and I'd probably be one of those that fell off.

  11. Great answers. Eating with no utensils? hmmmm, that might be fun to try, but I probably wouldn't dig right in, I would probably try to eat very carefully so as not to get too messy. ha!

  12. Huh...being a vegetarian...dinner time is one of the things that I assume I'd have much trouble with in the Dark Ages!

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  13. OMG yes! Dinnertime does sound like such fun. Getting dressed up and all that fun food.

  14. I forgot about sidesaddle! Oh God, I would last all of 5 seconds on that wicked contraption. *shudder*

    I agree about mealtimes. Hence, my love for Medieval Times. I dig eating with my hands.

  15. LOL...dinnertime does sound awesome..and drinking wine all the time sounds cool too!

  16. Clockwork Angel... :) Time period was great!

    You make a great point for question #3.

    HA! I don't think I would like eating with my hands all the time!

  17. the constant wine drinking does sound nice in theory but it's not exactly thirst quenching and I would be constantly drunk as wine goes straight to my head!

  18. haha, oh I forgot about the sidesaddle! They sound so painful and awkward. I'd be afraid of bouncing right off.

    Gotta say though, I'm with Gina. I'll keep my fork, please :)

  19. I totally forgot about the Victorian Era. It is def amazing to read about. And the clothes were interesting too. I also think sidesaddle is completely bonkers. I understand that they wear dresses and that is hard to wear not riding side saddle but couldn't they come up with some time of dress that would work just for traveling seriously :)

  20. It would be fun to eschew the spoons and forks now and again --but I would like to watch people (with manners!) eat without utensils before trying it out myself in front of an audience! but -- maybe I would beat ol' Lord Sandwich to the invention and it would be called a Chase. ;-)

  21. I'm surprised with how much Gabi's getting away with too...I would've thought one of them would stop her from speaking up, but I'm glad they haven't yet.

    Dinnertime would be interesting, wouldn't it? ;)

  22. I haven't been on many horses but one tried to rub me off his back on the tree limbs. That was the last time I went horseback riding. I didn't fall, but I think riding side saddle would have made it much harder to stay on! What do you think? Besides the fact that the horse didn't like me, obviously. I've always thought side saddles looked strange and were a hindrance to riding. The book proved right.

    Loved your answers. I thought spending the summer on an archaeological dig in Italy sounded cool too, but then if I did it every summer and she doesn't get to do much until all the good stuff is done, maybe it isn't so much fun. I wouldn't want to stand on the sidelines, I'd want to get dirty!


  23. Excellent responses, Aylee. I guess I saw Gabi like every teen I know--used to what she's used to, and longing for something else. And it amused me to think of NOT wanting to be someplace that is so near and dear to my heart...Tuscany.

    And I think I agree with you on the almost-not-medieval vibe. I could've made more of the girls' differences for sure...and the men's reaction to them. But that's what I think was at the heart of their interactions...the men KNEW they were different and responded to them in kind.

    Can't wait to hear what you think next week! Adore listening into smart readers discuss the book!

  24. I wouldn't be complaining about spending my summer time in Italy either. But, if it's something I did year after year at an archaelogical site, I just might get bored (although probably not).

    I'd be traveling to the Victorian Era too and think dinnertime in the Dark Ages would be lots of fun. Think of all the food that you could eat ... if you were rich that is.

  25. Thanks for stopping by everyone!

    Jenny: Oh yes, Will and Jem would be a must for visiting the Victorian Era.

    Gina: Aw, I'm sorry to hear that... I loved Medieval Times!

    Logan: I wish I lived near a Medieval Times. The whole chicken and the bad acting.

    Laura: That would be convenient if they could create some kind of special dress just for travelling! I guess they weren't concerned about women's needs.

    Serena: Ha! Oh, to have invented the sandwich, one of the best inventions of all time!

    Lea: I'm glad no one's been too forceful about Gabi too. I love that she is getting away with being herself in this time period where women aren't treated equally.

    Heather: A side saddle would be much harder, agreed! I would say it would be downright scary. That's true, it would suck to be told that you weren't allowed to touch anything and forced to stand back all summer.

    Lisa: Gabi is absolutely a typical teen. I'm sure she'll appreciate someday that she got such an amazing opportunity! And yes, I can see that the men were approaching Gabi as someone from a foreign country who has a much different culture.

    Zahida: Being in Italy at an archaeological site would be cool, but I can admit that being forced to stand aside and just watch would be boring. And yes, it would only be fun to travel back in time if you were rich and could afford food!