Mark Reads “How Lovely Are Thy Branches”: Chapter 6

In the sixth and final chapter of “How Lovely Are Thy Branches,” IT’S TIME TO FIGHT ABOUT CEREAL. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Of these two short stories, I think I enjoyed “How Lovely Are Thy Branches” more. I am certain now that I mentioned this before, but I’m really into these sort of low-impact, low-stress stories. However, I usually have to turn to fanfiction for this, and I’m pleased that Duane has given us a chance to get to know these characters and this world in greater depth. Nearly every scene in this story took place in the Rodriguez household; we saw characters we hadn’t seen in a while; we got a chance to observe how the Rodriguez family was adapting to the weirdness of Kit’s and Carmela’s lives; THERE WAS A CHRISTMAS-THEMED SLUMBER PARTY, COMPLETE WITH A LITTLE CHRISTMAS RETRIBUTION.

And this is life in this suburb of Long Island, in a home with a wizard son and his brilliant sister. This glimpse of what the wizards do outside of their newest errantry is valuable to me because readers so rarely get to see this sort of stuff. There might be short sequences at the beginning of a book or scattered throughout, but I definitely appreciate a whole story like this. And Filif! Lovely Filif, who really was the star of this whole thing, who taught us of the Outlier holiday, who stood up for himself, who reminded others of the power that there is in numbers, and also BY YOURSELF. There is power in being the only one willing to take a risk and do what you feel is right!

How lovely are Filif’s branches, indeed.

But I want to end this review with some fun: THE GREAT CEREAL DISCOURSE OF 2017. There are true facts about cereal, sorry, I didn’t make the rules.

  • Fruit Loops are trash.
  • So are Fruity Pebbles, which always used to leave this monstrous film in my mouth like the cereal was going to invade my body and turn me into a Xenomorph.
  • All of the Halloween-themed/Monster cereals (like Boo Berry and Frankenberry) are valid.
  • Mini Wheats are only good if they’re covered in sugar, otherwise they’re inedible.
  • Kix? Boring.
  • Special K? WHY
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch? God tier of the sweet cereals.
  • Frosted Flakes are MEH.
  • Honey Nut Cheeries are solid and dependable.
  • Coco Pops = evil.
  • Apple Jacks = evil. Apples, sweetie. I’m so sorry.
  • Trix: PURE EVIL. I don’t like fruit flavored cereals.
  • Peanut Butter Puffins = PERFECTION.
  • Cinnamon Life: Basic. Dependable, though.
  • Rice Krispies: NO. My cereal shouldn’t sound like distant weapons fire.
  • Golden Crisp: EXTRA NO.
  • Honey Bunches of Oats: I am trash, I love them.
  • ALL GRANOLAS AND MUESLIS: PERFECTION.

It’s time, let’s fight over cereal.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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