Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Welcome to another installment of a totally rockin', short-term meme created by Tina at Tina's Book Reviews! This Waterfall Wednesday we are looking at chapter's 12-17 of Lisa T. Bergren's YA smash, Waterfall, the first novel in the River of Time series.

Joy is under the weather and, since I am soon to be declared Officially Addicted to the River of Time series, it is my pleasure to serve as host of the Waterfall Wednesday Read-Along this week. I hope you'll join in the discussion by leaving a comment and linking up with the Linky widget below -- you could win an autographed set of the River of Time trilogy from the author!

Now... let's dive in!

Discussion Questions for Chapters 12-17

1. In Siena, on her way to the ball at Palazzo Pubblico, Gabi likened her experience to being on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the goal being "to see and be seen." If you were a peasant, watching from the crowd, what would you be thinking as this procession passed by?

I think I would probably be in awe... and a little bit jealous. Okay, a LOT bit jealous. Even in my best I would feel totally under-dressed ("And here is Serena Chase, wearing vintage K-mart she picked up at Dolores's Resale Peasant Wear Boutique!), but... even then I might be so bold as to smell my pits to check for peasant B.O. and then try to catch the eye of an unattached knight. My luck, however, I would catch the eye of someone creepy, cuz all the good knights would have noted my sniffin' of the pits (which would probably be full-on hairy European pits, no less! Ew!) and that would be the end of that!

2. Though quite nervous about dancing at the ball, Gabi discovers a strange feeling of connection to the time, the people, and the society through the unified beauty of the dance. Have you ever been in a position where you felt out of your element, but, in one, pinpointed moment, became a part of or connected to something bigger than your fear?

The only moment I can pinpoint is the birth of my first child. Following a battle with endometriosis and a couple of years of fertility issues it was an arduous 24-1/2 hours of labor (3-1/2 pushing) before "It's a girl!" was finally announced. At that moment, the exhaustion faded (briefly) and I felt like Superwoman. If I could do that, I reasoned in my happy-new-mom-haze, then I could do anything! (Obviously, I was ignorant of the challenges I would face when that squirmy, purple, cheesy McNugget of a baby became a teenager!) To be charged with directing the potential of a miracle was (is) daunting -- but at that moment I was just... full -- in the most complete and honorable sense of the word.

3. The kiss. Oh, the kiss. When Marcello finally kisses Gabi, he believes the experience to be proof that they are meant to be together. What did you think about his assumption? Were you surprised at Gabi's reaction to it? Have you ever experienced a kiss that seemed to be prophetic in a similar (or opposite!) way?

I've certainly kissed some should-have-been-prophetic frogs in my day. I mean, these guys were cute, sure -- but super toad-frogs on the Worthy-of-a-Liplock scale. At age 21, however, while slow-dancing to Kenny G (cringe) one cold winter night, I received what I will always refer to as "The Perfect Kiss." Spontaneous, gentle, and undemanding -- yet entirely romantic -- it was our first kiss and the best. I get tingles just thinking about it. A year later I married the perfect kiss-er and this December we will celebrate our 17th anniversary.

4. Many go through their teen years with a subdued sense of immortality. Do you think Gabi has a sense of this teen feeling? And did you think Gabi's converse observation, "Sometimes death came hunting and there was no way to cut it off at the pass." was informed more by the experience of losing her father, her self-admitted closet hypochondria, or the forced maturation of being transported to a different time? How does this observation show Gabi's growth as a character?

Gabi does tend to throw caution to the wind, BUT... I loved this observation. It was such a brief and eloquent way for the author to show not only Gabi's growth as a character, but the forced maturity -- and sense of mortality -- that comes from losing someone close to you at a tender age.

5. In the span of a few moments, Gabi goes from sword-wielding teen beauty to man-killing warrior. Did you think her realization of the finality of death -- and her justification for its necessity -- was realistic? And, in her slippers, could you have done the same?

I love that Marcello had to yell at her, more than once, to get her head back into the game of staying alive. This experience was a game-changer for Gabi -- a pivotal shift in her maturation as a character and as a medieval warrior. Being forced to kill in the course of defending those she cares about cemented in her mind the necessity for violent action, often to the death, to defend what (who) you love.

This scene also showed a fresh side to Marcello. We've seen him as a romantic pursuer and as a decisive warrior and leader of men, but we've not necessarily seen him in a leadership role in Gabi's life. Here, he takes a stand as her protector and defender -- which is, of course, totally romantic -- but with a surety of strength that is driven by his experience in battle as well as his growing love for Gabi. We've already learned that Gabi is fairly adept at adapting to new situations and I thought this scene was a well-played pause which moved the character development forward in a very believable way.

Now it's your turn! Fill in the Linky below (and please leave your comments for us, as well!) to join in on the discussion. Visit the other participants' blogs to see their thoughts on these chapters, and join us again next week when Waterfall Wednesday will be hosted by Jenny at Supernatural Snark!


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