February 20, 2016

Favorite Couples from 1940's Movies

Hello all! Rose at an Old Fashioned Girl is hosting a 1940's blog party and I do encourage you to check it out. :) The 1940's is one of my favorite eras ever! Unfortunately, I did not have as much time as I wished to participate in the party. I came up with a grand list of post ideas-movie reviews, a list of my favorite Glenn Miller music, book reviews.....

Yeah. :/ Unfortunately none of that will be happening this week. I'm sorry!

But I did finally think up a post idea that was both short and easy but fun and not too boring. ;) I'm going to share with you all FIVE of my favorite couples from the movies that I've seen that were made in the 1940's. Since Valentine's Day was not very long ago, I feel that it's a perfect fit.

*I tried to keep everything as spoiler free as possibly, but be aware that some things may be given away if you read this.*

Maximillian de Winter and Mrs. de Winter
From Rebecca, 1940

The relationship between these two is confusing at best, strained and upset at worst. Joain Fontaine's character (we never actually learn her first name! I'll just call her Joan) marries the wealthy and mysterious Maxmillian de Winter after they meet and fall in love. She soon finds that being the new mistress of Manderly (her husband's mansion) is more dreadful and difficult than she would have imagined. You see, Maxim is a widower—and everywhere Joan turns she is reminded of how she could never possibly measure up to Rebecca de Winter's former beauty, talent, and charm. She feels that everyone is comparing her to Rebecca—even her new husband.
Despite several upsetting incidents, she clings to her love for Maxim, and only hopes that he can learn to one day forget the mysterious Rebecca and learn to love her.
Little does she know that the problem has nothing to do with Maxim's love or lack of love for her. ;)
I'd like to say more, but since I don't want to give anything away, I'll simply say that there are some very sweet and emotional moments between the two—moments that make you love them as a couple very much. She needs him....and perhaps, just perhaps....he needs her too.

Lou and Eleanor Gehrig
From the Pride of the Yankees, 1942

Lou and Ellie are just one of the sweetest couples! Theirs is a relationship that is sweet not only because of their love for each other but because of the fun they share together. Banter and jokes fly often between the two .The first time they met was when Ellie yelled out jokingly that he was a "tanglefoot"—because he tripped over a pile of baseball bats during a game he was playing in.
They stick together and encourage one another as Lou's career in baseball soars. Even when their happiness is threatened, their love for each other encourages them each to remain strong and to keep a smile on their face—for each other.

Mark McPherson and Laura Hunt
From Laura, 1944
This romance has a rather odd start when the detective assigned to investigate the mysterious murder of Laura Hunt feels himself falling in love. Not with any girl he's ever met. But with the memory of this murdered Laura. He knows he's being ridiculous, but he can't help but wish for a woman like Laura-whom everyone describes as the most kind, gracious, and intelligent woman they ever met.
And then—in a surprising twist of events (which is kind of spoiler-y, but also obvious from the photos) Laura is found to be alive. And upon meeting her, Mark finds that he truly does love her.
Woven among this suspenseful murder mystery is their romance. A little unconventional, and definitely with an odd start, but adorable and touching nonetheless. 

George and Mary Bailey
From It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

I think the above must be a behind the scenes photo from when they were practicing the Charleston (which they dance in the movie). Isn't it just adorable???
I love that Mary and George's relationship is one that began since childhood—with Mary's famous words, "George Bailey, I'll love you till the day I die."
Which he didn't actually hear. She made sure to whisper that in his one deaf ear. ;)
So, George and Mary grow up. Mary never loses her love for him, and when they re-meet at a dance...well, let's just say George falls head-over-heels. 
But he doesn't want to get married! He wants to travel and see the world and built things...marriage—and a family—would only chain him to the little town he's been trying to escape all his life.
But, he does get married. And we see George and Mary's relationship grow and change. They have a family of four children. And even when things start to go desperately wrong and their marriage seems to crumble, Mary never loses her faith in George. And in the end, he realizes that his family—and friends—is what truly give him happiness. More than any money, fame, or adventure the world could ever offer.


"Yank" and Sister Parker
From The Hasty Heart, 1949

Now, this isn't so much a "favorite couple" as it is a favorite ship. ;) I mean, look at them! They're so cute together! And in the movie, it's clear that he likes her and they get along so well and....yeah. I just really ship the two of them. I like to pretend that they meet again after the war and fall in love "for real" (without the hindrance of army formalities and her being his nurse and all) and then get married. 

So there you have it! Five of my favorite "vintage" movie couples. :) Hope you enjoyed and don't forget to check out Rose's party!

February 18, 2016

Would You Rather?~Star Wars edition

I don't talk about Star Wars very much on my blog (except for my recent review of Eps. 7) , but ever since I was about 10 years old, it's been one of my favorite fandoms. Before I even knew what a "fandom" was. haha Now, granted, there are things about the SW movies that I don't care for and scenes I skip over (the dance scene at Jabba's palace, anyone?) and so I totally understand when people say "they don't watch Star Wars".....aaaand, I'm not sure where I was going with this! Anyways, Cordy created a another of her fun "Would You Rather?" games and here I am to play it. :)

1. Would you rather pilot the Millennium Falcon, or an X-Wing Fighter?
Millenium Falcon. Hands down. It's my favorite ship in the entire SW universe. I'd probably end up crashing it or something, but hey, it would be fun while it lasted, right? 
2. Would you rather face your worst fear in the Dagobah swamp or get stuck in a garbage compactor?
Eeesh. Uh, I guess I'd go with the swamp. Because I don't trust C-3PO to remember to turn that comlink on. :P  (I'd also have a better chance of running away from "my worst fear" in the swamp than in the compactor!)

3. Would you rather have R2-D2 as a co-pilot or BB-8?
Another hard one!!! I'll say R2-D2. He's been my friend forever and I trust his judgment. :) Although I'm sure BB-8 is trustworthy, too.

4. Would you rather have a lightsaber or a blaster?
Blaster. I don't think I could wield a lightsaber very well.

5. Would you rather be trained by Qui-Gon Jinn or Obi-Wan Kenobi?
Obi-Wan Kenobi. :) Qui-Gon can annoy me sometimes. Well, so can Obi-Wan....but not as much. Plus, he's more handsome than Qui-Gon. :P

6. Would you rather have to fight Palpatine/The Emperor or the inflamed Anakin on the volcano planet?
Uhh, it doesn't really matter which I choose because I'm going to die either way. :P
I'll say Palpatine. He's so purely evil that I wouldn't feel as bad about killing him if I were able to. Plus, no lava.

7. Would you rather be part of the first attack on the Death Star or the Battle on Hoth?
Battle of Hoth. I don't think I'd last long in a space battle!! (and maybe I could find Han and get a ride out on the Millenium Falcon! haha)

8. Would you rather drive during the speeder chase on Endor or the bounty hunter chase on Coruscant (in the Clone Wars)?
Goodness! Why are these all such life or death (mostly death) questions, Cordy? ;)
The bounty hunter chase, I suppose. It seems a little bit slower....at least a tiny bit. I'd rather not die by running into a tree thankyouverymuch.

9. Would you rather sit through a meeting of the Senate or watch a pod-race?
Senate. All the way. It's cool and interesting in the senate. The podrace would be really hot and dusty and I'd be surrounded by a ton of weird, yelling aliens and other sketchy, shady creatures. Just no. 
Not to mention I'd like to stay as far away as possible from Jabba the Hutt. :P

10. Would you rather have to wear your hair like Padme or Leia?
Hahaha! Your italicizing of "have". I happen to like a lot of their hairstyles, so this is the best question yet! I'll say Leia because her hairstyles tend to be more practical and pretty. I'd wear pretty much all of her hairstyles. Although Padme has some gorgeous ones that I love, too. :)

11. Would you rather fight Darth Maul or General Grievous?
Oh look. I just died again. :P

-sigh- How would I rather die? By double-sided light saber, or by a cyborg wielding 4 lightsabers?

All right. I'll say Darth Maul. Maybe I can hold out against him longer than Grievous. (#yeahright).

12. Would you rather be part of the first attack on the Death Star or the attack on the planet/space station...thing, from the New Force Awakens movie?
The first attack because it's classic and suspenseful and Han Solo will save me in the Falcon if I'm about to get blown up. hahaha

That's all! :D Thank you for this fun game, Cordy! :D

oh, Han

February 14, 2016

Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

For awhile now, I've wanted to do a post highlighting some of my favorite proposals from film and literature. Actually, this post idea has been in my drafts for months. Then, I had the idea inspiration to use it for my Valentine's Day post!

Last year on Valentine's Day I did a super long and picture-laden post on my favorite couples. So check that out if you'd like to read about some of my favorite couples, and not just my favorite proposals.

I'm going to try to highlight any proposal that ever made me squeal or sigh or smile in delight. I will probably, nevertheless, leave out some favorites, so don't consider this an all-extensive list. ;)
And it's not in any particular order. Just FYI. :)

Oh, and this may be rather obvious, but be forewarned that most of these proposals are plot spoilers.

"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

First up, we have Mr. Darcy's famous (and justly so) proposal to Lizzie. I couldn't decide whether to include just his first proposal (which, in case you didn't know...didn't go well) or the second, much more-well-received (although I love both proposals ;)) one. 
And then I thought, hey, why not include both?

Anndd, the second one!

Aren't they just so perfect??? And the second proposal! "Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth."  -happy sigh-
I could have included the book excerpt too, but it's rather long. And you should just read the book yourself anyways. :P haha

"And marry you?"

Eeeeee, this scene! The Young Victoria makes me cry. At many scenes. This is one of them.
It's just SO precious!! She's so nervous about "proposing" to him (being the queen, it was proper protocol for her to propose to him and not vice versa. Yeah...) and Albert, in his amazing-ness, immediately knows what she means and helps her out, almost asking the question himself.
-happy tears-

"If I loved you less..."

 He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said." She could really say nothing. "You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more."

Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling.

"I cannot make speeches, Emma," he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it. Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well you have borne with them. God knows, I have been an indifferent lover. But you understand me. Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.

.......(shortened for brevity's sake)....

What did she say? Just what she ought, of course.
~Emma by Jane Austen

How could I not include Mr. Knightley's sweet proposal to Emma? And the clip from my favorite movie version of Emma. :) It's an altogether wonderful story. I can't wait to re-read it someday!! 

"Together we're stronger."

This proposal!! It gets me every time. Robiiiin.  <3 Marian is so surprised and taken off guard and yet you can tell she's the happiest she's been in a long, long time. It's just the best part in the whole episode. :)

"Will you please be my wife?"
Anyone who's been following my blog for a long amount of time should know that I adore William  William and Peggy in Return to Cranford. Theirs is one of the sweetest proposals ever (though also the shortest in this post heh heh) and I get squee-ful and happy every time I watch it.

"Darned if I don't love you with my whole life."
He started to walk away, but I caught him from behind. "Luke, quit teasin'!" He held the box in front of him now, so I stood on tiptoe to peer over his shoulder, wrapping both my arms around his waist to give myself two chances at grabbing it.
But before I could wrap my hands around it, he took hold of my left hand and slipped something onto my finger.
I stood there motionless with my arms around him, afraid to take my hand away and find anything less than what I'd suddenly hoped be there.
But Luke didn't wait. With my hand still 
in his, he turned to face me, cupping my cheek with his other hand. "Jessilyn Lassiter, you're stubborn and impatient...and darned if I don't love you with my whole life."
....(shortened for brevity's sake)....
Luke laid my hand on his chest, let his forehead settle against mine, and whispered, "Marry me."
-Catching Moondrops by Jennifer Erin Valent

Squueee! This proposal!! Luke and Jessy are such an adorable couple and the last book in the series holds so many sweet moments between them.

"I don't want to possess you, I wish to marry you because I love you!"
(gif) This part breaks my heart because I know he truly loves her and she is so flippant about it.

I couldn't find a video of John Thornton's proposal to Margaret Hale (why...?) so a gif will have to suffice. I would include the book proposal, but I haven't read it yet and would rather wait until I do so. :)
But oh. The movie proposal. Poor Mr. Thornton! It's when he says "I love you!" in his deep, accented voice, brimming with emotion, that my heart breaks for him.

"The Great War is on but I hope ours is over."
In the altogether sweet and simply but beautifully written Betsy-Tacy books, World War I is declared while Betsy is traveling in Europe. Joe, unaware of her address, finally asks Betsy to forget their past quarrel—in a newspaper advertisement.

Mr. Dick came in, wearing his new ill-fitting uniform. He walked over to Betsy, smiling.
"Still keep up with the Agony Column?"
"Heavens, no!" Betsy answered. "I'm trying to learn how to sew."
"Well, it's a good thing I clipped this," he said and reached into his pocket. "Of course," he added, "I know you aren't the only Betsy in London. But do you know anyone named Joe?"
Betsy stared at him for a long unbelieving moment. Without a word she put out her hand.
Joe hadn't forgotten her! And he had found a way! Holding the clipping fast, she ran out of the garden and up to her little white room. She sat down, with tears running down her cheeks.


~Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace

"I don't want sunbursts. Or marble halls. I just want you."

Now, Gilbert proposes....2 times in the Anne movies. And then, at the end of Anne of Avonlea, he....well, he doesn't propose exactly, as it's understood now that she loves him (FINALLY). And we all know Gilbert has never wavered in his love for her. (awwww)
So, as I couldn't find a video of any of his proposals, I included the end scene AND I'm including an excerpt from the book.

"I think," said Anne softly, "that 'the land where dreams come true' is in the blue haze yonder, over that little valley."
"Have you any unfulfilled dreams, Anne?" asked Gilbert.
Something in his tone—something she had not heard since that miserable evening in the orchard at Patty's Place—made Anne's heart beat wildly. But she made answer lightly.
"Of course. Everybody has. It wouldn't do for us to have all our dreams fulfilled. We would be as good as dead if we had nothing left to dream about. What a delicious aroma that low-descending sun is extracting from the asters and ferns. I wish we could see perfumes as well and smell them. I'm sure they would be very beautiful."
Gilbert was not to be thus sidetracked.
"I have a dream," he said slowly. "I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and a dog, the footsteps of friends—and you!"
Anne wanted to speak but she could find no words. Happiness was breaking over her like a wave. It almost frightened her.
"I asked you a question over two years ago, Anne. If I ask it again today will you give me a different answer?"
Still Anne could not speak. But she lifted her eyes, shining with all the love-rapture of countless generations, and looked into his for a moment. He wanted no other answer.
~Anne of the Island  by L. M. Montgomery

Did you see that?? Er, I mean read that? Anne Shirley couldn't speak! For once in her life, she couldn't find words to express herself. What more fitting way could L. M. Montgomery shown how moved  and truly happy Anne was than by that nonverbal action?

This proposal is so sweet. While I love the movie version of "diamond sunbursts and marble halls", I have to say that I MAY like the book version (the true version) better. I'm not sure. It's rather a tie. :)

"I would feel like a king if you...would be my wife."

A rather new favorite, this proposal is SO sweet and especially poignant as it displays Henry's change of attitude. His character arc reaches its peak here—this is where he finally exercises the humility he's learned. And, as a side note, isn't it so adorable how Danielle cries and puts her face in her hands? It's such a realistic response! 

"My heart is...and always will be....yours."

Guys, I couldn't find a clip of the 2008 Sense and Sensibility proposal!
Here's a couple of pictures to make up for it, because it is SUCH an adorable version of the proposal. Their hug!!! It's just so cute!!


Although I think I prefer the 2008 proposal, I do still love the 1995 proposal too. So, here it is. :)

Now, as a side note, I ADORE the book, Sense and Sensibility. It may be my favorite Jane Austen book. But, the proposal is only narrated in the book. There's no dialogue or smiles or joyful tears. So, that's why I didn't include the book excerpt. :)

"Say you'll marry me."
Ella Enchanted <3 one of my favorite books. I hate that the movie didn't give it any justice :(:
Now it was my turn. Char knelt, holding the slipper. I extended my foot and he guided it. The slipper fit perfectly, of course. What was I going to do?
His face was close to mine. He must have seen my terror."You needn't be Ella if you don't want to be," he said softly.
He was so good.
"I'm not," I said. But in spite of myself, tears streamed down my cheeks. I saw hope spread across his face. "That letter was rubbish. A trick." He glared at Hattie, then turned to me, his look probing."Do you love me?" He still spoke softly. "Tell me."
An order. "I do." I was sobbing and smiling at once. How was I going to give him up again?
Char was jubilant. His voice rang out. "Then marry me!"
Another order. I nodded and continued to weep. But my hand found its way into his.
"Don't marry him, Ella," Hattie commanded, giving my name away once and for all.
I withdrew my hand. "I can't," I said. Perhaps Hattie would save us.
"Hattie, don't be a fool," Mum Olga snapped. "Don't you want to be stepsister to the queen and make her give you whatever you like?" She smiled at me. "His Highness is kind enough to want to marry you, Ella, my sweet."
It had begun. The curse would make Hattie and Mum Olga as grand as they wanted to be, and it would provide endless wealth for Olive.
Char was looking at me with such gladness, and I loved him so. I was the cause of his joy and would be the cause of his destruction:  a secret delivered to his enemies, a letter written in my own hand, a covert signal given by me, poison in his glass, a dagger in his ribs, a fall from a parapet.
"Marry me, Ella," he said again, the order a whisper now. "Say you'll marry me.
~Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ahhh, this book!! One of the best retellings of Cinderella that I've ever read, this book is funny, adorable, sweet and just perfect. Ella has been cursed with the magic "gift" of total obedience since her childhood. She obeys any order that anyone gives her. I'm sure you're dying to know what happens after the above snippet, so I heartily encourage you to read the book. :)

"Before I go on, I should tell you there's a pretty good chance of disinheritance."

Goodness, this proposal scene in the 2008 Northanger Abbey is just SO CUTE. He's so excited and a little nervous and she's still so shocked that HE'S HERE and then he proposes and.....gah. Just watch the clip. It's adorable.

(I thought of making the heading "I felt myself bound to you" etc. but I always loved the disinheritance line. haha)

"Everything's political!"

Ahh, hahaha. This proposal. :D It's adorable and awkward and un-romantic and yet somehow still ends up to be romantic. Perchik gives the impression that he thinks of everything in terms of politics, and yet we all know he does love Hodel. I think he's just a little too shy to truly say it. :)

"I offer you my hand, my heart and all my possessions."

'Oh, Jane, you torture me!' he exclaimed. 'With that searching and yet faithful and generous look, you torture me!'
'How can I do that? If you are true, and your offer real, my only feelings to you must be gratitude and devotion—they cannot torture.'
'Gratitude!' he ejaculated; and added wildly—'Jane, accept me quickly. Say, Edward—give my my name—Edward, I will marry you.'
'Are you in earnest?—Do you truly love me?—Do you sincerely wish me to be your wife?'
'I do; and if an oath is necessary to satisfy you, I swear it.'
'Then, sir, I will marry you.'
~Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Bronte

I included both a snippet of the book and the 2006 movie proposal (although I like the movie very much, I cannot entirely condone it due to a lot of skip-able scenes).
Mr. Rochester's proposal to Jane might be as famous in the literary world as Mr. Darcy's to Elizabeth, although very different in both circumstances and style. I love Jane Eyre. :) It's a beautiful, stunning book and the proposal is definitely one of my favorite scenes.

"Let me stay with you all your life."

My friend Naomi reminded me in the comments of the scene between Arthur and Amy in the marshalsea. Now, I had thought of this proposal, but by the time I finished the post I forgot. I also wasn't sure if it applied since...well, since she kind of proposed to him! But, it's just too adorable to not include. And they are one of my favorite couple ever. So here it 'tis. Thank you for reminding me, Naomi! :D


Well, that's about it. I'm sure there are other proposals from literature and film that I love, but I can't remember them all. And this post is already very long. ;)

By the way, I noticed that only ONE of these proposals included a ring! I found that rather humorous, since nowadays we hardly ever separate proposals from "the perfect ring".

Happy Valentine's Day!
Are any of your favorite proposals mentioned in my post? 
What are your other favorites?

February 11, 2016

Blogging about Blogs Tag

Anna over at A Glass Star in an Iron Galaxy nominated me for the Blogging about Blogs tag. I didn't think I'd get around to doing it, but it's such a fun tag that I thought I'd take a break from my super long Valentine's Day post (hint hint) and just whip this out quickly. :)

Thank you so very much, Anna!

Because it's easier to break the rules than follow them (not to mention other people have done it heh heh) I might list multiple blogs to one question. And, if you don't see your blog listed here, that certainly doesn't mean that I don't enjoy yours. It just may not have quite fit any of the categories.  :)

Blogs that makes me laugh
The bloggers at Wonderland Creek, Meanwhile in Rivendell..., and Sunshiny Corner all have the talent of putting a smile on my face or even make me laugh aloud with their witty posts.

Blog that makes me think
My Lady Bibliophile frequently has thoughtful, in depth posts on literature that I find fascinating.

Blog that teaches me things
Well, I don't actually *follow* this blog, but I keep up with the posts on goodreads, so I guess it counts. K. M. Weiland's Helping Writers Become Authors.

Blog with beautiful headers
Wonderland Creek. Jack Kelly voice: "For Shore"
this may or may not be my laptop's lock screen right now cough cough
Blogger who takes great pictures
Three of my favorite photographer blogs are Allix Ruby, Payton Marie, and Jess McGhie.

Blogger whose recommendations I trust
Along the Brandywine hasn't steered me wrong yet. ;)
this is for you, Heidi
New blog I'm enjoying
Mmm, Write on, Cordy! and The Storymonger are two new ones I'm enjoying.
Because it's Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney with a  baby. No, it's not THEIR baby, I'm sad to say.
Blog I've followed the longest
Yet Another Period Drama Blog is one. And Fresh Modesty. I'm also going to include A Singular and Whimsical Problem, even though it's technically a new blog. But Hayden's previous blog, The Story Girl, was my first exposure to the world on blogging. So it counts. :P

Blog I've started following the most recently
Isn't this kind of the same as the one-before-last question? Even if there was a newer blog than the ones I listed, if I wasn't enjoying it, I wouldn't be following it, now would I? (I'm cringing at that grammar of that sentence.)

Blog that is always a refreshing happiness
Captured by the Word is certainly one that is sweet and lovely and altogether happiness-inducing.

Blog where I revel in the words
A Lantern in Her Hand continually astounds me with beautifully written posts.

There you have it!! There is quite a handful of blogs that I wished I could have linked to, so please don't feel bad if I didn't include your blog in the tag. I did think of you!!

Annnd, I'm breaking the rules again and not tagging anyone. If you wish to play (even in the comments!) consider yourself henceforth tagged. Your welcome. :)

February 5, 2016

Storming~K. M. Weiland

After reading and falling in love with K. M. Weiland's book, Behold the Dawn, I was hesitant to buy another of her books only because, "What if I don't love it as much?"
Don't get me wrong. I couldn't wait to get my hands on another of her books! But I also knew that the next book I read from her would either cement her as a favorite author....or just the author of a favorite book.


Guys, I have a new favorite author.

Storming is a book than is rather smashed together with two genres-historical and steampunk. I never had anything to do with steampunk before, and wasn't sure what I'd think of it.
I actually really, really liked it! The feel of this story was just plain fun. Between a bright red bi-plane, a huge, mysterious flying craft hidden in the clouds, and the comfortable, lazy summer days atmosphere of a small town--it was fantastic,

So, to you who may also be put off by the steampunk aspect: please don't! I found it very entertaining and not disturbingly "strange" in the slightest. Unless you dislike anything that's not strictly historical, I would totally recommend it. (And, if you dislike anything that's not strictly historical, I'd still beg you to give this book a try. I think it would surprise you.)

My absolutely favorite character was Walter. WALTER. Oh my my my, I just----squuueee!!

How do I describe how much I adore this little boy who completely stole my heart? Due to an occurrence a few years ago, he doesn't speak. At all. Guilt tears at his little heart, holding him back from thinking himself good at anything. And then-a hero comes into his life. Just as if from out of the pages of a story book, Hitch Hitchcock flies in on his shiny red plane. Walter immediately finds not only a role-model and hero in him-but also a friend. (He also becomes best friends with Hitch's adorable dog, Taos.)

And-and...ugh. Can I say this? I don't want to give away spoilers....

Well, suffice to say Walter IS a hero. His heart is made of pure gold and he is truly heroic in every sense of the word. I love you, Walter!!!

Now remember, Walter doesn't talk. He can't yell or sing. So when he's bubbling over with excitement and happiness he rolls somersaults.

-sigh- I just really want to give Walter a big hug and to tell him he's amazing and that so many people love and appreciate him. There's this moment...this moment when some things go wrong and Walter feels responsible. What happened was entirely NOT his fault, but because someone he liked got hurt trying to protect him....good gravy (as they say in the book ;)). Walter feels simply awful for what happens.

If Hitch saw him like this, he'd know for sure Walter was a coward. He was just a little kid who couldn't stop shaking and wouldn't start talking—and who didn't even fit in quite right at home, much less out here.  He hugged Taos tighter and bit his lip harder. A hero like Hitch wouldn't want to be around him. Might even be ashamed to be seen with him. ~Storming


But, thankfully, Hitch (being the wonderful man that he is) realizes how Walter is feeling and he assures him that everyone feels scared sometimes. With just a few words of encouragement and reassurance, he lifts Walter's world back up to shiny, starry heights.

(I have a VERY clear mental picture of Walter looks like...black hair, bright blue eyes...freckles ...simply adorable. But I unfortunately have no photo. Sorry!)

The actor Scott Eastwood is KIND of how I picture Hitch.....
Well, guess it's about time to talk about my second favorite character, Hitch. (or I could go on and on about Walter...) He's the protagonist-and he's a hero. Goodness, I love him.
Hitch is.... how do I even talk about Hitch without giving away a bunch of spoilers? He's an adventurous, cocky pilot. He's fun, he's brave, and he really cares for people. Even when he knows he'd be "better off" by not concerning himself with some issues.

Like the woman who drops out of the sky in front of his plane. (But I'll get to her in a minute.)

Hitch has an ammmaazzzzing character arc. You see, when the story starts, Hitch has pretty much ran away from his past. It wasn't done out of pure selfishness. In fact, you could almost say he did it for his family and friends. But, at the same time, he does love the freedom that life as a barnstorming pilot gives him. And to give that up.....well. How could he give up the life that he loves?

(spoiler spoiler But just maybe he'll find something better than the life of a free-of-care pilot. What if a life formed from reconciliation and love is what he's been looking for all along? end spoilers )

Jael is SUCH a fun heroine. For one thing, she can barely speak English when she falls to earth. She has lived all her life on Schturming, the steampunk "world" of this story. She is feisty and stubborn and can completely handle herself. Ha. Whether it's climbing rooftops, riding on the wings of a bi-plane, or defending herself with a knife...she's got it covered. ;)
I see Jael looking a little like Jenna Coleman

EARL. Let's talk about Earl for a moment. He's hilarious.

    "Doggone it, Hitch!" Earl hollered. "I'm going to have to carve a whole new propeller. I'd like to know how I'm supposed to do that with one arm!"
    "Quit about the plane, will you? Get over here and let me set that arm of yours before it swells up bigger'n Rick's head."   .... (I omitted some lines for brevity's sake)...
    Jael surfaced from the backseat with a couple plaid shirts and an old buck-bow handsaw.
    Earl huffed through his clenched teeth. "Amputation's a little drastic, don't you think?" ~Storming


Now, there are SO many more great characters, of course (J.W., Matthew, Nan, Aurelia, Griff, Lilla, Rick......I could go on), but this is turning into my longest book review ever, so let me hurry this along....

The Big Plot Secret wasn't a secret to me at all. I figured it out after the first or second foreshadow-ment of it. That may mean:
a) I'm way smarter than a think I am
b) The secret wasn't concealed very well
c) The author wanted us to figure it out ahead of time

But, even by knowing ahead of time, it didn't affect my opinion of the book at all. In fact, it only made me anticipate the "big reveal" even more. I cried when "It" was revealed even though I already figured "It" out. It was...sob...so wonderful.

I can't tell you the why's or how's or what's of The Secret (even in *spoilers*) because I don't want to ruin it for you. BUT. Trust me, you want to read this. Please do. Please.

Other note-worthy things are the villain himself, Zlo, Schturming itself, and the moment that Something Big crashed into Something Owned By The Sheriff (another cruel antagonist/villain of the story). That part made me laugh. Such poetic justice. haha

While reading this book, I would just look up and smile or laugh or even cry.

(Who am I kidding, I do that with every book I love!)

If I had to pick something I DISliked about this book (that's such a cruel thing to make me do) I'd guess I'd have to say that the fight scenes toward the end were a little *too* much for me. Like, I don't mind a page or two of a good fight, but then I start to get a wee bit bored when they're both bleeding and bruised and STILL going at it! ;)

Although on that note, I appreciate so much that in K. M. Weiland's books it's not JUST the opponent who gets banged up in the fights. The hero gets just as battered-or more. It's a very refreshing realism. haha

(Although, after the hero has several dislocated joints, a broken nose, and a bleeding knife wound, I start to wonder whether he's a superman. Or are there really guys as amazing as this? ha)

Oh yeah, I remembered another thing. A Certain Character died and...well, I felt like their death wasn't *necessary*. I feel like the story could have been just strong without that death. :(

Inspired by my friend Naomi, who makes GORGEOUS collages for her book reviews (I mean, everything she makes is gorgeous) I tried my hand at it (see above haha) and I like it pretty well. Most of the photos are from Pinterest (including the author's Pinterest boards for Storming heh heh) but the red plane in the corner was a picture of a print on Etsy. Hopefully it's not some copyright issue that I used it in my collage.....?

The book contains a sweet and pure romance, some fight scenes, and some mention of drinking, but it's really quite clean and appropriate. Compared to Behold the Dawn (which contained a few mature issues-but were handled very well and with care)  I would easily hand this book to anyone old enough to enjoy it-anywhere from 13 on up. (Or younger, if you're a voracious reader ;))

Summation of this review? I absolutely adore this book and you should read it too. 

(Not that I'm commanding you to read it....well. Then again, maybe I am. ;))