MADE MY OWN CHALLENGE THIS YEAR!
Partially because the love of PHOTOGRAPHING books has sort of overtaken my love for reviewing them and also partially because the book-nerd in me couldn’t resist.
I’m posting my Christmas List choices over on my Instagram profile if you’d like to join in @briipearl and the tag is #PearlBayou — the more the merrier! Feel free to jump in and ping-back on here, too, so I can see all the pretty books and your all’s choices!
The Nutcracker :: Favorite Dance Scene
“Their other hands flipped up, palm to palm, and Merik’s only consolation as he and the domna slid into the next movement of the dance was that her chest heaved as much as his did. Merik’s right hand gripped the girl’s, and with no small amount of ferocity, he twisted her around to face the same direction as he before wrenching her to his chest. His hand slipped over her stomach, fingers splayed. Her left hand snapped up—and he caught it. Then the real difficulty of the dance began. The skipping of feet in a tide of alternating hops and directions. The writhing of hips countered the movement of their feet like a ship upon stormy seas. The trickling tap of Merik’s fingers down the girl’s arms, her ribs, her waist—like the rain against a ship’s sail. On and on, they moved to the music until they were both sweating. Until they hit the third movement. Merik flipped the girl around to face him once more. Her chest slammed against his—and by the Wells, she was tall. He hadn’t realized just how tall until this precise moment when her eyes stared evenly into his and her panting breaths fought against his own. Then the music swelled once more, her legs twined into his, and he forgot all about who she was or what she was or why he had begun the dance in the first place. Because those eyes of hers were the color of the sky after a storm. Without realizing what he did, his Windwitchery flickered to life. Something in this moment awoke the wilder parts of his power. Each heave of his lungs sent a breeze swirling in. It lifted the girl’s hair. Kicked at her wild skirts. She showed no reaction at all. In fact, she didn’t break her gaze from Merik, and there was a fierceness there—a challenge that sent Merik further beneath the waves of the dance. Of the music. Of those eyes. Each leap backward of her body—a movement like the tidal tug of the sea against the river—led to a violent slam as Merik snatched her back against him. For each leap and slam, the girl added in an extra flourishing beat with her heels. Another challenge that Merik had never seen, yet rose to, rose above. Wind crashed around them like a growing hurricane, and he and this girl were at its eye. And the girl never looked away. Never backed down. Not even when the final measures of the song began—that abrupt shift from the sliding cyclone of strings to the simple plucking bass that follows every storm—did Merik soften how hard he pushed himself against this girl. Figuratively. Literally. Their bodies were flush, their hearts hammering against each other’s rib cages. He walked his fingers down her back, over her shoulders, and out to her hands. The last drops of a harsh rain. The music slowed. She pulled away first, slinking back the required four steps. Merik didn’t look away from her face, and he only distantly noticed that, as she pulled away, his Windwitchery seemed to settle. Her skirts stopped swishing, her hair fluttered back to her shoulders. Then he slid backward four steps and folded his arms over his chest. The music came to a close. And Merik returned to his brain with a sickening certainty that Noden and His Hagfishes laughed at him from the bottom of the sea.”
One of my favorite dance scenes on the YA spectrum.
(Anybody else as excited for Bloodwitch as I am?)