Welcome! In the Vivacious Spotlight is a talkative type of post where Vivi shares with you specific thoughts, gush-worthy moments, and awesome characters from a spotlighted book/series/theme, etc. It is in truth, very much a discussion-like feature, and often contains questions from yours truly to you, so feel free to join in in the comments section!
In this first edition of In the Vivacious Spotlight, the limelight shines Cassandra Clare's second book of The Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Prince, and in particular, the character James "Jem" Carstairs! (by the way, this is a loooooooooong post.)
WARNING! THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS SPOILERS AS I HAVE WRITTEN THIS WITH AN AUDIENCE WHO HAS READ THIS BOOK IN MIND. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. VIVI, UNFORTUNATELY, TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY OVER SIDE-EFFECTS OF SUFFERING FROM SPOILERS, INCLUDING UNCONTROLLABLE WEEPING, TEMPER TANTRUMS, UNSTOPPABLE HYPERVENTILATION, OR ANY OTHER SYMPTOMS.
If you wish to continue, please enter from the doorway directly ahead. Seats in rows A to J are located to your left, rows K to O in the middle, and rows P to Z are to your right. ^_^
This edition is partially to celebrate Clockwork Prince, which I've just recently finished reading, but also to celebrate Jem's recent victory over Gale (from The Hunger Games) in the YA Crush Tourney! -clap clap clap!- For the match, click here. A super huge congrats to you, Jem! Off to Round 2, you are! (He's against Finnick in Round 2, I think. What's with THG-attack against Jem?!)
A book review for Clockwork Prince will come after I recover a bit from the aftershock of it all. -sweatdrop-
A bit of a clarification --> I'm not strictly Team Jem. Nor can I say that I'm only Team Will either. This is one of the strongest Triangles I've been thrown into by an author, and I absolutely cannot stand to see either Will or Jem get hurt, even though Will's the one who had a tough time in Clockwork Prince (which is an understatement, I know....). Also, I felt that if I posted about Will.....I might go insane...O_O -slightly worried-
One of the main points of this spotlight ---> I know how evenly most fans love both Jem and Will but it seems as though Jem is....less gushed-about. So I shall place him in the spotlight this time! This post will pay tribute to Jem! Even though I'm both Teams, I am most willing to contribute to the Jem side as well ❤ ❤ ❤
His character background was a bit unexpected though. I really liked how Cassie created such different backdrops for her characters. Will with his demon, Jem with his yin fen and Shanghai childhood, Jessie with her dollhouse, etc.
Thinking of Jem: He's such a sweetheart *//////* Yes, he shows the occasional physically-weak moment here and there, but he still gives off an admirably stoic and strong image of his personality.
In Clockwork Prince, we finally got a look at Jem snapping when him and Tessa dragged Will back from the opium den. This actually made me like him even more because it added a lot more depth to his character. Well, now we know that he's not one of those nice but boring and shallow characters who just goes along with everything. -smile, nod smile nod-
That he's capable of more passionate emotions convinced me that he is worthy for his bigger role in Clockwork Prince. Not that I ever doubted Jem to be a shallow character. o_o
Jem and Will: This strong bond between Jem and Will would be the most prominent and unbreakable boy-and-boy bond I've ever encountered in a YA book. It goes to the point that each of them gives off an equally strong appeal in the second book (while I felt Jem was slightly in the shadows for Clockwork Angel).
What Will did for Jem at the end of Clockwork Prince just shows how admirable this friendship is. I felt so much more respect for Will for withstanding Jem and Tessa's engagement so valiantly. At the same time, perhaps in another book, I would have hated the character that is in Jem's position, but I did not hate Jem at all. Instead, I felt the urge to wish Jem happiness too, because even though we saw Will suffer, I could not imagine being able to see Jem suffering too.
Cassie did so much awesome layering for this, I had an amazing time experiencing the gradual but steady unraveling of their love. It was nice and steady, just like Jem's personality. Nothing sudden. Even so, not everything Cassie laid out played out the way she probably intended to for me...
>>> I first saw this adorable illustration on Jennifer's blog. It's linked back to its tumblr source. (Hope you don't mind me borrowing it, Jen XD )
It was so gorgeous, how as the book progressed, Tessa slowly and slowly heard more of Jem's Chinese, to the point in that dream-sort of scene where she knew and understood exactly what he was saying. It was like showing how that barrier between was melting. (not the specific language barrier, but just as barrier between the two characters.)
I absolutely loved the skillful tactic of uncovering bits of Jem using Chinese over the entire course of the book. . The only problem was that it wasn't really gradual uncovering for me personally while I was reading....
|| Flashback Time! ||
"Say something in Mandarin," said Tessa with a smile.
Jem said something rapidly, that sounded like a lot of breathy vowels and consonants run together, his voice rising and falling melodically: "Ni hen piao liang."
"What did you say?"
"I said your hair is coming undone. Here," ---------Vivi interjects! "Jem, you liar! That is SO not what you said!!!" (I literally shouted this out loud when I was reading.)
|| End of Flashback ||
For Vivi, that was the first big moment that hinted strongly of Jem's feelings for Tessa. It was building to that point, but that was definitely the first glimpse that we get of Jem revealing it literally. Even though Cassie wrote it with the intention that her readers wouldn't know the true meaning of "你很漂亮" until the....uh.-cough-..bedroom...scene, it was a peak at in-love-with-Tessa Jem and it was really well pulled off!
Nevertheless, it wasn't like the first hint that he liked Tessa at all, so it's Vivi's Question Time!!! If you've read to this point....wow....-gives you a big hug-
I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this one because I didn't get the chance to experience it the way many of you guys would've.
When you reached that scene, did you believe Jem's inital translation? Or were you slightly suspicious that there was something more there? And if you didn't believe Jem either, what did you guess he said instead?
There's something very gentle and not completely ordinary about this picture. If this guy said he was half Chinese, I'd probably go with it too. Okay...maybe a bit of a stretch, but not impossible.
I don't know....something about the atmosphere being set off by this particular photo too... What cha think? ^_^
This first show of In the Vivacious Spotlight is coming to a close! Should you want more, join us in the reception room for sharings of extras!
Finale Pic Spam for Jem ~ (mostly tumblr goods, all linked back to their sources ^_^)