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?  🙂

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. 😉

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

SongofAchillesTitle: The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Read Date: 5 November 2012
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller’s page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career.

Caution: Today, I am prepared to sacrifice virgins on the altar of literature. So beware, Song of Achilles Virgins and Iliad Virgins! This could get spoilery.
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