5 Memorable “Cave Scenes” in YA Books

Some of our favorite books have memorable “love scenes” and “fight scenes” and “death scenes”. Apparently, they also have memorable “cave scenes”–scenes that are set inside caves.

My The Mysterious Reading Society friends and I started talking about this out of nowhere while waiting for our detained discussion leader to arrive. He never did. *hem hem*

So anyway…

1.  Achilles and Patroclus consummate their relationship in “The Song of Achilles”

a.k.a. While the centaur mentor is away, the boys will play.  😛

“The Song of Achilles” is one of my favorite books ever because of the way Madeline Miller took me on an emotional roller coaster with this story.

One of the turning points in the book is when Achilles and Patroclus finally became lovers in the truest sense of the word.  It’s tastefully written and actually rather emotional.

The cave smelled hot and sweet, like fruit beneath the sun. Our eyes met, and we did not speak. Fear rose in me, sudden and sharp. This was the moment of truest peril, and I tensed, fearing his regret.

He said, “I did not think—” And stopped. There was nothing in the world I wanted more than to hear what he had not said.

It’s a Cave Scene and a Love Scene!  😛

Interestingly enough, Chiron’s Cave is one of the few places in the world where Achilles’ goddess mother Thetis’ omniscient eyes cannot see through.  Convenient, eh?  😉

2.  Karou and Akiva stare each other down in “Days of Blood and Starlight”

a.k.a.  Karou and Akiva’s TV drama moment

Spoiler warning for those who haven’t read the second book of Laini Taylor’s wonderful series, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”!

At the end of “Days of Blood and Starlight”, Karou and Akiva, along with a handful of chimaera and seraphim, bide their time in a cavern as they wait to fight against a common enemy.  And because Taylor’s prose is more capable of triggering a “wave of feels” than I ever can…

Her eyes are pulled elsewhere, across the cavern to where Akiva sits at another fire with his own soldiers around him.

He is looking back at her.

As ever when their eyes meet, it is like a lit fuse searing a path through the air between them. These past days, when this has happened, one or the other would turn quickly away, but this time they rest and let the fuse burn. They are filled with the sight of each other. Here in this cavern, this extraordinary gathering—this seethe of colliding hatreds, tamed temporarily by a shared hate—could be their long-ago dream seen through a warped mirror. This is not how it was meant to be. They are not side by side as they once imagined. They are not exultant, and they no longer feel themselves to be the instruments of some great intention. They are creatures grasping at life with stained hands. There is so much between them, all the living and all the dead, but for a moment everything falls away and the fuse burns brighter and nearer, so that Karou and Akiva almost feel as if they are touching.

Tomorrow they will start the apocalypse.

Tonight, they let themselves look at each other, for just a little while.

wave_of_feels-18739

I saw that scene in my head as if it was a TV drama, wherein the camera shows the two protagonists from all angles while staring at each other, complete with a voice-over.  “Tomorrow, we will start the apocalypse.”

I’ve been watching too many Korean dramas?  Why, yes, I sure have.

3.  Katniss and Peeta put on the act of their lives in “The Hunger Games”

a.k.a.  Katniss and Peeta’s REAL TV drama moment

Katniss tries to put on a “girl madly in love” act as she tries to cure Peeta’s injuries.  But it is only when she drops the act and lets her real feelings show that their mentor Haymitch sends them a reward.

“Katniss,” he says. I go over to him and brush the hair back from his eyes. “Thanks for finding me.”

“You would have found me if you could,” I say. His forehead’s burning up. Like the medicine’s having no effect at all. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I’m scared he’s going to die.

“Yes. Look, if I don’t make it back—” he begins.

“Don’t talk like that. I didn’t drain all that pus for nothing,” I say.

“I know. But just in case I don’t—” he tries to continue.

“No, Peeta, I don’t even want to discuss it,” I say, placing my fingers on his lips to quiet him.

“But I—” he insists.

Impulsively, I lean forward and kiss him, stopping his words. This is probably overdue anyway since he’s right, we are supposed to be madly in love. It’s the first time I’ve ever kissed a boy, which should make some sort of impression I guess, but all I can register is how unnaturally hot his lips are from the fever. I break away and pull the edge of the sleeping bag up around him. “You’re not going to die. I forbid it. All right?”

“All right,” he whispers.

And then a pot of broth drops from the sky.  And the shippers (as in the people of Panem) all squee.   giggle

4.  Sirius and Buckbeak co-habitate in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

a.k.a.  The Domestic Saga of Padfoot and Claws

At the end of “Prisoner of Azkaban”, Sirius Black escapes with the hippogriff Buckbeak and spends some time hiding from dementors and Ministry officials together in a far-away cave.

I dunno about you, but I feel like there’s a spin-off sitcom in there somewhere.

The cave scene in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” with the locket horcrux and the lake of zombies was pretty awesome, too.

5.  Colin and Lindsey share stories in the dark in “An Abundance of Katherines”

a.k.a.  It’s Not That Dark If We Have A Bottle of Moonshine

Lindsey takes Colin to her “secret hideout” where they hang out and share stories.   There is no sex, but there is alcohol.  And lots of cute dialogue.

“It’s weird talking to you; I can’t see you at all.”

“I can’t see you either.”

“We’re invisible. I’ve never been here with someone else. It’s different being invisible with someone.”

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Colin was probably starting to like Lindsey already, but some of his little brain cells keep shouting “But she’s not a Katherine!”

 
So, what is it about caves, huh?  

But what about you?  Are there any memorable Cave Scenes from your favorite books?  🙂

“An Abundance of Katherines” by John Green

An Abundance of KatherinesAn Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Read Date: 16 January 2013
Goodreads Reading Status Updates: click!
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washedup child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Okay, so, yay, I survived this book and actually understood the math! If I didn’t, I’d probably be ashamed for my university degree. It did bring up some horrible memories of Math 17, Math 53, Math 54, Math 54 (Take 2), Math 54 (Take…nevermind)…and Math 55, which I’d rather do without, but…yay for being able to understand the math! I know that shouldn’t be the thing that I take away from this book, but I’m just so relieved that I got it.

But hey, understanding the math isn’t a requirement for enjoying the book. Green wrote this in a way that is easy for math haters to get the gist of Colin’s Theorem, and also easy for math lovers to geek-out over all the graphs, equations, and proofs.

Anyway. This is the first full-length novel of John Green’s that I’ve read (I read his story on “Geektastic”), and I can tell why so many people like him. His writing style is very engaging, and he has a way with words that makes him so quotable.

“An Abundance of Katherines” has a cool premise, although, in keeping with the theme, you probably have to wonder at the statistical probability of someone falling in love (or some form of it) with 18 different girls named Katherine (not Catherine but KATHERINE), and getting into a relationship (or some form of it) with one of those twice. But hey, Green managed to suspend my disbelief, so…good job!

It took me a while to get into the narrative rhythm of the book for some reason; I guess I didn’t care too much about the incidental happenings and characters compared to Colin’s trials and tribulations. On hindsight, this was weird of me because while I ended up liking Colin, I had a difficult time, in the beginning, trying to empathize with his character. He was too quirky, and I hovered over my computer monitor being all judgmental, mentally chiding Colin “maybe this is why you were dumped by 19 girls.” I also found the footnotes and anagrams and the math just a little too gimmicky, but later on, when I got used to the narrative style, they didn’t bother me anymore. When I got that out of the way, I was able to power through the latter half of the book because the character interactions also became more interesting by then.

The plot was infinitely simpler than the math and was a little too predictable–no equations necessary–but that’s not a deal-breaker here because the story really is more about the characters’ metaphorical rather than their literal journeys.

I think one of the reasons why this book works on the character level is because of Green’s uncanny ability to capture the thoughts and emotions of young people and to express those in highlight-worthy words.

“I just want to do something that matters. Or be something that matters. I just want to matter.”
:
“I think we’re opposites, you and me,” she said finally. “Because personally I think mattering is a piss-poor idea. I just want to fly under the radar, because when you start to make yourself into a big deal, that’s when you get shot down. The bigger a deal you are, the worse your life is. Look at, like, the miserable lives of famous people.”

I also loved Green’s little shout-outs to books and storytelling.

That’s how I remember things, anyway. I remember stories. I connect the dots and then out of that comes a story. And the dots that don’t fit into the story just slide away, maybe. Like when you spot a constellation. You look up and you don’t see all the stars. All the stars just look like the big fugging random mess that they are. But you want to see shapes; you want to see stories, so you pick them out of the sky. Hassan told me once you think like that, too—that you see connections everywhere—so you’re a natural born storyteller, it turns out.

Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.

Friends who’ve read many of Green’s books tell me this is actually his “happiest”. Well, this did end happily, although (SPOILER ALERT!) the next question is: how will Colin fare in a long-distance relationship?

Pick up this book if:

  • You like math and anagrams.
  • You don’t necessarily love math or anagrams but you want to read something that showcases a different perspective on relationships.
  • Your name is Katherine.
  • You have been dumped before.

achievement (2)
✻ ✻ ✻
Share Your Story in the Pensieve: Do you want to matter or do you prefer flying under the radar?

Postscript to my Recommended Reads from 2012

My 12 Recommended Reads from 2012 story was just published on GMA News Online – Lifestyle: click!

Sidenote: I wasn’t able to include purchase information for the books on the list, so here they are:

  1. The Fault In Our Stars – I saw signed first edition hardcover copies in various Fully Booked branches, so if you’re going to purchase this book, try to find those. This is also part of the John Green Box Set, which is available in all the major book stores.
  2. The Casual Vacancy, Gone Girl, Cinder, Trese 5, The Raven Boys, Bring Up The Bodies, Kwentillion, This Is How You Lose Her, and The Song of Achilles – are all available in local book stores.
  3. Interim Goddess of Love – Because this is published independently by Mina, you can check out her website for purchase options. That Kind of Guy, meanwhile, is available in local book stores.
  4. You can purchase Lauriat on Amazon.com.
  5. Lower Myths – is an e-book available through Flipreads.com. A Bottle of Storm Clouds is available in local book stores and online via Lazada.com.

I had to choose the 12 books for that list carefully so that I can cover a wider variety of books. I don’t think I really succeeded because I know there are a lot of non-fiction, literary fiction, children’s/middle-grade books, and other excellent local literature that I never mentioned. But then again, I only feel comfortable mentioning books that I’ve read or that people/sites that I trust actually recommended.

There are also other good books from my 2012 reading list that did not make it there for several reasons: 1) They weren’t published in 2012 (although I did cheat with “The Song of Achilles,” but that’s too good to not recommend); 2) They are part of a series (I cheated with “Bring Up The Bodies” as well, but that can stand alone as opposed to other sequels I read); 3) There are just other books that are more worth recommending.

Since I don’t need to follow the rules I set above here on the blog, just for the record, here are my other favorites from my actual 2012 reading list:

  • Moondogs by Alexander Yates (4 stars) – I never got around to reviewing this after our book club discussion. This book is set in the Philippines, and everything–the people, the places, the culture, the history–feels authentic despite being written by an American. Sure, Yates lived here for some time, but it still isn’t easy to get that authentic feel, even for some Filipino authors. I also loved Yates’ characters, most of whom, are larger than life. The fantasy elements were fun to see in action, especially when it involves Reynato Ocampo’s X-men like gang, although not so much when we’re dealing with other characters. Over-all, it’s a fun read. 🙂
  • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (4 stars) – The idea of an origami finger puppet of the awesomest Jedi Master ever spewing vague wisdom is already great on paper, but it’s so much better on folded paper. (Okay, even I have to wince at that, but let’s run with it.)
  • Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor (5 stars) – Beautiful and enchanting.
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (5 stars) – A sci-fi classic, and now that I’ve finally read it, I get why. Despite being written decades ago, its core themes and ideals remain relevant, especially since our modern world is still not free of certain oppressive entities who would ban or burn books in a heartbeat. Until now, I still don’t know what is that one book I would want to be assigned to memorize if I ever joined a secret society of “mental librarians.”
  • The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan (4.5 stars) – is a great finale to Riordan’s “The Kane Chronicles.” The way he Riordan-ized the Egyptian deities here continued to be almost pitch-perfect, and he ties up all the plot lines and character arcs nicely. I didn’t like how he handled the thing with Anubis, though, so I will knock 0.5 stars from my rating.
  • Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima (4 stars) – This is my “surprise” book this year. It isn’t my usual fare, and yet I found myself finishing the entire series despite being required to read only the first book for our book club. Until now, I can’t quite pinpoint what it was that made me want to finish the series, sometimes even at the expense of other books that I told myself I absolutely had to finish then. Most of the Cycle is bleak, even depressing, and there are big chunks of text on religion, philosophy, and history that do not affect the plot but are mostly there only to reinforce certain themes or ideologies. My pet character didn’t even make it past the first book! So yes, indeed, this was a big surprise to me. The even bigger surprise is I’d probably read another Mishima book if I can get a copy of one.
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (5 stars) – The War is on in this sequel to the beautiful Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Taylor does away with her more poetic prose for this one but her writing is no less vivid. She has successfully moved her characters into strategic places on her plot chessboard while giving them more depth than they had in the first book and also developing more of her mythology. And our villain is more solid this time. There are some nice additions to the List of Characters That I Hope Will Not Die But Probably Will, and I still love Akiva, who will remain on my list of Literary Boyfriends. I am very excited for what’s to come in this series.
  • The God Equation and Other Stories by Michael A.R. Co (4 stars) – I love good geeky Filipino speculative fiction and my favorites here are “The God Equation” and “In The Eyes of Many”. Co’s writing is particularly strong in the titular offering, as he manages to not alienate non-math loving readers even as he spews out a lot of technobabble. The majority of the stories often feel rather open-ended despite the plot threads coming to a satisfying close; I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just the writing style. Or maybe it’s just me. Nevertheless, the story ideas are great and they make me want to check out more of Co’s work. [Availability: Books on Demand | Kindle Edition]
  • The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson (4.5 stars) – I’m in the middle of writing a full review of this. I’ll update this post when it’s live. 🙂 UPDATE: click!

p.s. I’m still 3 books behind on my 2012 Reading Challenge of 53 books, so it looks like I have to cram in the next few days. Wish me luck. 😉