I would probably be thinking, "I wish I could go." *big sigh* and that I would love to wear a dress like that. Gabi really did wear a gorgeous dress to that ball. I also would be checking out all the hotties going in and I would be trying to find a way to get into that ball.
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?
This one's a toughie...
I guess the first one that comes to mind is when I went to New Zealand. See, I ended up flying over there alone because my friends had gotten an earlier flight and it was booked when I tried to get my flight (it was a flight deal so it filled up fast). This also meant I had to leave New Zealand three days LATER than they did. So, I was in New Zealand by myself for three days. It's kind of disorienting to be so far from home AND all alone. But, I decided it was worth it. Well, I was kind of scared out of my freaking brain because, HELLO, other side of the world and I knew no one.
Lucky for me I was in Aukland and in this giant hostel. I was just kind of sitting there in the main lounge, reading a book I'd picked up from a bookstore around the corner, trying to pretend I wasn't alone in some foreign place, when I looked up and around and realized...EVERYONE was from somewhere else. It was kind of like this moment when I realized being alone didn't mean I was REALLY ALONE, it just meant I had to make my own friends for the next 3 days because there were hundreds of people in that hostel. So, I ended up making friends with this group from Israel, mostly this guy who I'd kind of met before my friends left (he'd been "hanging" out with one of the girls in my group). He went with me whenever I had to go out late so that I wasn't alone at night. I also met a guy (freakishly hot, might I add) from LA, California - of all places - who took me out during a couple of the days before he had to leave. Once to the beach and once out to lunch.
I'd say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned that even on the other side of the world I could be who I wanted and do what I wanted. It was kind of liberating.
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?
That kiss was body melting. I guess I was a little surprised at Gabi's response, but then again, my hormones have ALWAYS been my guide. This people, is NOT a good thing. I would never say any of my kisses were prophetic, but I could say they were the opposite. I mean if I kissed a guy and felt nothing, save the lip on lip contact, then he was a dud in the future department. But, I don't believe in soul mates (I suppose that makes me a cynic) so I don't really do prophetic in regard to relationships. However, when I read, I'd like to think that two people are far better suited than any other in the story. I suppose I prefer the fairytale in my head, but not in real life. I think it's because I've never seen the fairytale in real life.
But, that kiss was one of my favorites. I like when the guy takes control for that first kiss and you can feel every emotion through the words on the pages, like it's your body on the receiving end of the kiss, feeling all the need and want and spark flowing off the man in front of you, causing your heart to beat against your chest so hard you fear it may break away from you. *big sigh* I think I may go reread that now.
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?
Except for a select few, I feel that most people have an innate sense of immortality. Even the death of a family member doesn't necessarily bring it on. I think it would have to be very close to home, like the death of Gabi's father. I think teenage years bring more of a "nothing and no one can hurt me" sense rather than a "I can't die" sense. Even in my twenty's I still feel like I'm a bit immortal. It's hard to see sometimes because so many perspectives are skewed in their own way.
I think Gabi totally felt like nothing would harm her. I think that's why she threw herself into danger as much as she did. I think that times she would look back at life and it would temporarily hit her because of the death of her father. It could be a car on the road to take a life rather than a sword through the back. Still, I don't think it penetrated her deeply. I felt that she still had this sense of being untouchable for most of the book.
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?
No, I don't think her realization of the finality of death was realistic. I think it was because she still couldn't feel it herself. I'm glad she did have a moment when it was rough. I mean, she could see others die, and that affected her, but not as deeply as it may have a lot of people. However, I agree with her justification for its necessity. I'd kill to protect my family and myself. Say whatever you want about me, but if someone is coming at me to kill me and it's a fight that will mean their death or mine...I'll choose theirs most every time. Yes, I'm harsh I suppose. But life is a fight to the end.