Back to the Sarah J. Maas frontlines

It’s all my next-door neighbour Sanaz’s fault. She introduced me to – nay, impelled me to – read Sarah J. Maas’s young adult fantasy trilogy A Court of Thrones and Roses (ACOTAR). This was Spring 2018. I can remember the exact day – we were both on our front sidewalks chipping off ice during an unseasonal ice storm: April 15.

Sanaz cautioned me that the first book takes a bit to get into. Right as usual. But once you are halfway through, it flies, and so do the other two. Happily, by the time I’d inhaled all three, a fourth novella was out, and I sped through that too. So that was about 2,064 pages of YA fantasy digested in about 8-9 weeks.

The novella contains the first chapter of the next in the ACOTAR series, focussed on sister Nesta and Illyrian warrior Cassian. Don’t tease me like this Sarah J! It’s still not fucking out. I’m pretty sure I saw some sort of announcement on her Instagram that it’s scheduled for January 2021, but now that I look back for it, it’s mysteriously missing.

Sanaz then said I had to read Maas’s first YA series – Throne of Glass (TOG). Seven books this time, plus a prequel. She started writing it when she was 16, what? Just as good, even better? Everyone has their own opinion. But I started in, and loved it, but the pace slowed a bit.

I read through the first 4 books through the latter part of 2018, a solid 2,080 pages, and then proceeded to start #5 Empire of Storms, and give up. I was YA’d out, fantasy’d out. No Maas (mas), to quote Roberto Duran. Time out.

In the meantime, I’d started Candy on her own Maas-capade, by giving her TOG Novel #1 for her April 2019 birthday. Being a generally more disciplined and committed individual than me, she finished TOG by end of the year, and impelled me, a la Sanaz, to finish the series. She even gave me (correct that, lent me) her hard cover #6 and #7 that I was missing. At Christmas.

So once again, into the breach. I’m going to do it. I started re-reading the very end of #4 Queen of Shadows last night, because after about a year, I can’t remember what was happening, who’s who, and all that. Starting into Empire of Storms anew today, and I’m determined and slightly daunted to finish the remaining 2,368 pages of the TOG series.

Then onto House of Earth and Blood, which is getting rave reviews and apparently is no longer pure YA (I think that means she uses the word “fuck”, because otherwise ACOTAR in particular was pretty damn adult-y in some places).

Wish me well.

And in Candy’s words, what else do you have to do during a pandemic Sarah? Write that Nesta shit and get it out here.

Nordstrom check-in – not so damn bad, she says with a disappointed sigh

2019’s Spring trend of “chewed-hem” jeans wasn’t the runaway success they might have predicted. Or so I assume, since they are conspicuously absent from the 2020 Spring website.

Remarkably few crazy fugly high-priced jeans on offer:

Brunello Cucinelli Track Pant Jeans, C$1475.

These must be catering to the “soft pants” movement of the 2020 pandemic – how prescient! I really don’t get why you’d pay $1500 for track pant jeans, but I’ve seen far worse on this website.

Ripped acid-dipped jeans by Givenchy, C$1315.00
Marine Serre Moon Print Jeans, C$1350.00 – quel dommage, available in size small only 🙁
U-Gusset jeans (what?), by Yohji Yamamoto, C$726 on sale!

These three are all pretty ugly, and very expensive, IMHO. And they each look remarkably UNflattering, even on a model. But, again, seen much worse.

Marc Jacobs high-waisted jeans, C$790.

Apparently the pandemic has time-travelled us back to the 70s, because super high-waisted jeans are BACK. If you are 19 and skinny and all’s right with the world, these probably look alright on you. (And you could audition to be Daisy Jones in Daisy Jones & The Six, except the TV series is already cast. Listening to this audiobook right now, by the way, and it’s fun – told as an oral history, so lots of characters and conflicting perspectives. Glad I was a young kid in the 70s because it was a sucky sucky decade.)

Nevertheless, for someone who is many decades away from the age of 19, these are a monstrosity. But only $790, so, again, seen waaaay worse Nordstrom. Although there are lots of more affordable high-waisted jeans for the aspiring Daisys of the world.

Crossover skinny jeans, C$555

The asymettrical (aka “crossover”) look continues, which allegedly gives the jeans a “punky” edge, but strikes me as a factory fuck-up.

And I’m kinda psyched, cuz Nordstrom models have tattoos on their ankles! That aren’t photoshopped out! Whoo-hoo. I do love a nicely placed and low-key ankle (or wrist) tattoo – honest, I’ll share my Pinterest board with you. They make these jeans far cooler than they would otherwise be.

All in all, I was hoping to find a lot more to snark about. Nordstrom has failed to disappoint, and that in itself is a letdown. Sigh.

To borrow from Star Wars – there is another! Our own Hudson’s Bay Company may be stepping in to fill the fugly vacuum – slowly, measuredly, but decidedly. The Bay won’t let me copy the image. I guess it’s just too damn precious. So here’s the link:

Scroll down for the view from the back to see the absurdly huge ass and the upside down pockets on the back calves (don’t put your keys in there, girls!). A steal at C$350.00.