Friday, June 30, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Gwenpool Vols. 1 and 2

SERIES TITLE: The Unbelievable Gwenpool
Vol 1: Believe It (issues 0-4)
Vol. 2: Head of M.O.D.O.K. (issues 5-10)
AUTHOR: Christopher Hastings
STARTED: April 2016
GENRE: Superheroes, humor
PREMISE: A girl from our world gets dropped into the Marvel comics universe...
MY REVIEW: If you've looked around at fanfiction, you probably took one look at the above premise and went NOOOPE. Before you do, hear me out, actually works. Somehow Hastings found a way to take a popular fanfic trope and do it in a great way.
Part of it is, the comic does not take itself seriously at all. It's very much a humor type of comic like Squirrel-Girl and that goes a long way for me (I adore Squarrel-Girl, in fact, a review of vol. 4 is coming soon). Gwen is also just charming and it really helps that she doesn't get superpowers or anything. She's just a normal person who got dropped into this wacky universe and being a huge comic book nerd, knows all the heroes secrets. A lot of time this hinders her, more then it helps her (superheros do not like it when you know their identities).
Marvel, more books like this. Less events like Civil War II please.
WHO SHOULD READ: Marvel fans, Squirrel-Girl fans
MY RATING (for first two vols.): Four out of Five fangirls living the dream

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book Review: Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded

TITLE: Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded
AUTHOR: Sage Blackwood
PUBLISHED: March 21rst, 2017
CATEGORY: Middle-Grade
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A girl in a school for magical maidens discovers a dangerous plot is afoot...
MY REVIEW: This was a random pick-up read for me. I saw it at the library, thought the plot sounded interesting and I checked it out. It is very middle-gradish. It has that old-school type of story-telling that comes with the category. But there was also some meta parody like things going on in this book that I didn't expect.
Ultimately those are the aspects of the book I enjoyed the most. It does its commentary on some of our ridiculous standards for girls very well. The humor appealed to me a lot and it lifted an otherwise rather average story of kids getting into hijinks. Chantel was also just a fun character.
So it was a bit of a mixed bag of a book. Average in plot, but still very fun. I might be checking out more from this author whenever I get in the mood for more middle-grade books.
WHO SHOULD READ: tweens, fans of middle-grade fiction, if you like metaish type of fantasy books
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five fun tales

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reading Through the Classics: Franz Kafka's Short Stories

TITLE: The Metamorphosis and Other Stories
AUTHOR: Franz Kafka
GENRE: Er....mixture?
The Metamorphosis (1915)
The Judgement (1913)
The Stoker: A Fragment (1913)
In the Penal Colony (1919)
A Country Doctor (1919)
An Old Leaf (1919)
A Hunger Artist (1922)
Josephine the Singer, Or the Mouse People (1924)
Before the Law (1919)
MY THOUGHTS: So...Kafka. How to explain Kafka to those who haven't read it? Honestly...there's probably no real way to explain Kafka. He's one of those authors you just have to read for yourself.
Of these small stories, the best ones in my opinion are The Metamorphosis and In the Penal Colony. The rest...I don't really know what to make of them to be honest. Like...I don't think they're bad. But they're just...confusing. He's one of those kinds of writers that just puts you in a situation and expects you to make sense of things without giving any explanation. That's...something that kind of drives me batty to be honest. Like, I don't need everything spelled out for me...but at least have some explanation if you're going to turn a guy into a huge cockroach, just saying.
I honestly am not sure how I feel about Kafka. His stuff is interesting. It's weird that I honestly don't know how I feel about it. I might be checking out some of his longer works in the future, I do know at least that much.
WHO SHOULD READ: Magical realism fans, literature fans

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Review: You're Welcome, Universe

TITLE: You're Welcome, Universe
AUTHOR: Whitney Gardner
PUBLISHED: March 7th, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A deaf girl gets sent to a regular school after getting kicked out of her old one for helping out a friend...
MY REVIEW: This one was a very pleasant surprise for me. I figured because it was contemporary, I was probably going to figure out how it went. But...I was wrong, on most counts. This was actually pretty damn refreshing.
There's so much in this book to unpack. I loved that the characters weren't perfect. I loved that for once, a character was allowed to get angry at the injustices happening to her. Far too often, I've seen character get crappy things happen to them only to have them just shrug and move on. Julia, does not do that, she calls out the BS and I love it.
As you can probably guess, I just basically loved this book. Nothing went the way I thought it would. There was no romance. It wasn't a typical contemporary book at all. It was just honestly, very refreshing.
WHO SHOULD READ: Those looking for diverse YA books, contemporary book fans
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five refreshing books

Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale

TITLE: The Bear and the Nightingale
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Katherine Arden
PUBLISHED: January 10th, 2017
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: In a small village, a girl calls upon all her gifts to help save everyone...
MY REVIEW: If you've been looking into new adult fantasy books likely, you've likely seen this book at the top of everyone's must-read list. There is a very good reason for that. It really is that damn good.
It's a very old-school type of fantasy that is sort of a combination of Uprooted and Neil Gaiman-like writing style. It's very slow-burn, so if you're looking for fast paced fantasy adventure, this is not your book. But I promise, if you stick with it, the pay-off will be worth it.
This debut really impressed me. I felt like I was reading a book from a seasoned author. If this is the author's debut, I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Uprooted, dark fantasy fans, Neil Gaiman fans, Others series fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five excellent debuts

SIDENOTE: There was no notable releases this past week because there honestly wasn't really much on my radar this week aside from two non-fiction books that I"m sure are books that probably not many people care about.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: Me Talk Pretty One Day

TITLE: Me Talk Pretty One Day
AUTHOR: David Sedaris
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Essays
PREMISE: David Sedaris writes humorous pieces commenting on various subjects.
MY REVIEW: When I first started picking up essays, this was one of the books that was basically on every must-read essay collection list. It's also part of the Rory Gilmore challenge which I've been unofficially going through book by book these past few years (I've completed over 60 books now!). So possibly, my expectations for this were a little too high.
I don't think this book is bad. Sedaris is hilarious. There are many laugh out loud moments in this book. I could listen to Sedaris tell funny stories about his family all day. But after awhile...they just got repetitive. I also can't help but notice....he kind of went out of his way to avoid anything heavy. Like, the minute something like say homophobia came up, there was suddenly a quick change in the subject. Which...okay. Not everyone has to talk about the heavy stuff if they don't want too. But kind of made it so that for me...the collection didn't have much substance too it.
It was funny, don't get me wrong. If you want just funny essays this is a great one to read. If you want essays that actually make points on things though....I can recommend better things. So this was just an okay read for me. I see why Sedaris is popular...I've just read better.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that want light hearted essays
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five okay but not spectacular essays

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review: Victoria-The Queen

TITLE: Victoria, The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire
AUTHOR: Julia Baird
PUBLISHED: November 2016
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Biography, History
PREMISE: An historian gives an in depth look into the life of Queen Victoria.
MY REVIEW: Some of you may have noticed: I've been getting into historical biographies lately. I've been hearing quite a few good things about this one, so I picked it up. It is surprisingly a rather refreshing look at Queen Victoria.
I've just read way too many biographies that clearly have a bias either toward or against Victoria. This author pointed out Victoria's flaws as well as the good things she did. It was a nice change of pace. The wealth of information is detailed and well organized and is actually pretty well written. Occasionally the author's bias against other people sometimes shined through, but for the most part it was very fair biography.
If you're looking for a fair and balanced look at Queen Victoria, this is definitely a good one to pick up. If you're wary about how large it is, I'd like to point out at least two hundred pages of it is just notes/bibliography. It also reads surprisingly fast.
WHO SHOULD READ: those interested in Queen Victoria, historical biography fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five interesting people in history

Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

TITLE: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Book 1 in the Summer Trilogy
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
GENRE: Contemporary/Romance
PREMISE: A girl's friendship with two brothers changes one memorable summer...
MY REVIEW: So I'm still pretty new to Jenny Han. I only discovered her just last year. I'm not ready to say good-bye to Lara Jean just yet, so I thought I'd pick up her first trilogy first. I liked it...but not as much as I liked the Lara Jean series for some reason.
As always with Han, the writing is great. Like Lara Jean, there are interesting family dynamics going on. I just for some reason couldn't click with it. There were a few instances where I sighed (like when the fat-shaming jokes happened in the beginning), but those instances weren't enough to ruin the book or anything. It still had some great character stuff like the Lara Jean series has. Just for some reason this one...I just shrug at. I'll still be reading the next two books, because it's summer and this series is perfect summer reading.
I don't know, you guys. I still say it's good. Just for some reason that has to do with mostly me, I think, I just didn't get into this one as much as I got into Lara Jean.
WHO SHOULD READ: Jenny Han fans, Sarah Dessen fans, contemporary romance fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five shrugs

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Spider-man-Miles Morales Vol. 1 and 2

TITLE: Miles Morales
Spider-man-Miles Morales Vols. 1 and 2
AUTHOR: Brian Michael Bendis
Series Start: 2016
COLLECTS: vol. 1 collects issues 1-5, vol. 2 collects issues 6-11
PREMISE: Miles Morales deals with his growing complicated life as Spider-man.
MY REVIEW: It's really funny, when it comes to Spider-man I've always been sort of a shrugger. But Miles? I love Miles. I discovered him sometime last year and it's taken me awhile to get caught up but it's been so worth it.
I will say, I have a bit of a issue sometimes with Bendis as a writer. Like some stuff he does, I love (he writes some of the best dialogue ever), but then there are scenes where...I just want to bang my head against the wall. Like that scene in one of the early issues that is clearly taking potshots at girls online who dare to care about things like representation. Writers, don't insult people that read your stuff, okay? We tend to notice you're making fun of us and sorry, it's not going to stop us from criticizing you. It might make us stop buying your books/comics though.
Second volume unfortunately got bogged down with Civil War II stuff. As I've been getting caught up on the Marvel comics from last year, I've been getting bits of info here and there about Civil War II and I have to looks like it was just as much of a mess as Civil War was. On the bright side though, we got to see Luke Cage and Jessica Jones meet Miles and that was the best.
So...this series is ultimately good, but has some issues as usually happens when Bendis is involved. It is still a great start to read if you're curious about Miles Morales.
WHO SHOULD READ: Spider-Man fans, Miles Morales fans
GOOD FOR NEWBIES: Er...sort of. If you have some idea of who Miles Morales is, you should be okay. Would probably help to read his older books first though.
MY RATING: Four out of Five web-slingers

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Notable Releases: 6/11-6/17

Here are the notable releases on my radar from this past week:


Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

Debut that's been getting quite a bit of buzz.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Anderson always writes very interesting ideas, and this one looks like it's no exception.

Stormheart Book 1: Roar by Cora Carmack

Fantasy debut that's been getting lots of buzz.

Ivory and Bone Book 2: Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh

I have...mixed feelings about the first book in this series that is basically a gender-flipped Pride and Prejudice set in the pre-historic era. But I was interested enough that I'll probably read this. Eventually.

Monsters of Verity: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

I can't wait to get my hands on this one. This Savage Song was one my favorites from last year.

Adult Fiction

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know Book 1: Mad by Chloe Esposito

This week's twisty thriller.

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S. J. Sindu

LGBTQA book that looks interesting to me.


Daring to Drive A Saudi Woman's Awakening by Manal Al-Sharif

Interesting looking memoir.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

New Roxane Gay book! New Roxane Gay book!

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock

The author of the memoir Redefining Realness returns with a memoir talking about her life as an adult.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: Caraval

TITLE: Caraval
Book 1 in new series
AUTHOR: Stephanie Garber
GENRE: Fantasy/Romance
PREMISE: A girl and her sister get swept up in a magical game at a magic carnival...
MY REVIEW: Most of you have probably either already read this, or seen all the reviews, or at least know about this. It has been a pretty big buzzed about book this year. It was basically THE book to get your hands on at last years BEA and the marketing for it has been great. Naturally with most books like this...people had expectations not met and so there are lots of mixed reviews out there. It seems to be one of those books people either really loved or were just meh about.
I'm in this weird place where I liked it a lot...but I also am not completely in love with it. One thing I loved was the magic part of it. The imagination in this was great. The world-building definitely could have used a lot more polishing, but we're spending most of the time in the game so I get why we can't see everything yet. The characters...were just okay. They got the job done. I didn't really have any feelings on the romance, other then whatever. I definitely don't think this rivals Night Circus like the publishers kept trying to say. Sorry, it is not up to that level at all. Also for the last time: please stop comparing new debuts to beloved older books. You tend to set up high expectations that way and that tends to make people more critical then usual of the book. You are not helping your new author at all with that nonsense.
For a debut, this is really good. I have a feeling if it was not a debut, I'd be grading it a bit lower, but the author pulled the story off, I really hope the next book is about the sister because she was frankly ten times more interesting to me then the main character was. If you want just a entertaining story with romance and magic, this is your book. It's definitely not better then the Night Circus, but it is still good.
WHO SHOULD READ: Night Circus fans, those that like romance with fantasy elements
MY RATING: Four out of Five magic carnivals

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review: History is All You Left Me

TITLE: History is All You Left Me
AUTHOR: Adam Silvera
PUBLISHED: January 17th, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A boy tries to get over the death of his ex-boyfriend. The only one that seems to understand is the guy his ex-boyfriend dated after they broke up...
MY REVIEW: This is actually my first foray into Adam Silvera's writing. I have not yet read More Happy Than Not. After this, I'm definitely picking that one up sooner, rather than later, because this was GOOD. I have to say, contemporary lately, particularly some of the ones I've been reading this past year have been knocking it out of the park. I used to never really bother with contemporary, but nowadays, that's definitely not the case. So far some of the top books I've read this year have all been contemporary.
One of the things that really impressed me about this: it actually admitted the relationship between these two boys was not healthy. Like...thank you. I have read way too many books where the relationship is clearly not healthy, but author went ahead and tried to make them a happy ending sort of couple anyway. Silvera did not go that route and I'm very grateful for that. More authors need to do this. Both main characters manage to move on and deal with their grief, but it's not a "your love helped save me!" sort of situation like so many of these kind of books tend to turn into.
So this book was definitely a very present surprise. I won't lie and say it's an utter joy to read. It's good, but it is very sad. If you're dealing grief this will possibly trigger you like whoa. But the writing is good, the characters are fully developed (also yay for present parents in YA!) and it dealt with things honestly and realistically. This book will very likely wind up on my top ten list of the year, or at least be close if I happen to read things better in the second half of the year (completely possible, there are a lot of good looking books coming out this year).
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of More Happy Than Not, David Levithan fans, John Green fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five incredibly satisfying books

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review: Rebel Mechanics

TITLE: Rebel Magisters
Book 2 in the Rebel Mechanics series
AUTHOR: Shanna Swandson
PUBLISHED: July 2016
GENRE: Steampunk/Alternate History
PREMISE: Verity tries to bridge the gap between the wealthy Magisters who are ready to rebel and the Rebel Mechanics already having a rebellion under way...
MY REVIEW: I will be forever sad that this series didn't take off more than it did among the YA crowd. It is a tad generic, true, but the world created here is great. Swandson really expanded that part in the second book.
Not only did she expand on the world, but she developed characters as well. This book took things in directions I wasn't expecting and that to me, is the mark of a great middle book of a trilogy. My favorite part, surprisingly is the way the author handled the love triangle. This is the most mature way I've seen a love triangle handled in a YA trilogy.
Is this a brilliant series? No. I've seen ideas like this done before. But, if you're like me and hooked on these steampunk books, this series is one of the better ones to come out of YA.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read Rebel Mechanics, steampunk fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five huzzahs, because this improved things from the first book

Monday, June 12, 2017

Notable Releases: 6/4-6/10

So...yeah...this is late. Sorry. Real life and all of that. Anyway, here are last week's notable releases:


Dividing Eden Book 1 by Joelle Charrbonneau

New fantasy trilogy debut. The comparison to Maas and Aveyard is giving me slight pause because...well, I'm not a huge fan of either author. But I'm hoping it's just a case of the publisher comparing it to popular fantasy and not because there any actual similarities (which lets face it, is something that happens in publishing A LOT).

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

I can't wait to get my hands on this one. A book with a asexual main character. FINALLY. Not a background character, the actual main character. Now if we can just get some damn demi-sexual representation out there...

Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

Mystery that looks pretty good.

Song of the Current Book 1 by Sarah Tolcser

Fun-looking fantasy that is the latest one to involve pirates.

Adult Fiction

The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson

Historical fiction about Patricia Highsmith.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

One of these days I will actually read a Horowitz book. I keep making note of his books because they look fun, but then I always forget about them for some reason or another...

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Big June release that probably doesn't need me to plug it, but here you go. Once again, I advise ignoring the low rating it has. Most of it seems to be people whining about how she's an activist now.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

WWI/WWII historical fiction novel that's giving me some Code Name Verity vibes.


Rwandan Women Rising by Swanee Hunt

Non-fiction about how Rwandan women have come to hold over sixty percent of their Parliament seats. Perhaps US women should take notes.

Comics/Manga Releases
Giant Days Vol. 5 TP
Valerian The Complete Collection Vol. 1
Fate Zero Vol. 5 TP
Mother Panic Vol. 1: A Work in Progress TP
Nightwing Vol. 2: Back to Bludhaven TP
Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damien Knows Best TP

Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review: The Sun is Also a Star

TITLE: The Sun is Also a Star
AUTHOR: Nicola Yoon
PUBLISHED: November 2016
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PREMISE: A girl and a guy meet on a very important day in their lives, but it seems their romance is doomed due to circumstance...
MY REVIEW: So here's the thing about Everything Everything for me: I liked it...but it was mostly just okay for me. I have too many issues with that ending to ever really love it. But this book? This book I love. I actually think this one is ten times better then Everything, Everything.
Everything about it is much more realistic. There's a less cringe-worthy ending. It also touches upon so many issues in just a short span of time. Also, I like this romance more for some reason. Yes, it was insta-love, was realistic insta-love, if that makes sense (it probably doesn't and won't till you get to the end of the book). Characters were also much better developed. Everything was just...much better and far more polished for me then Yoon's first book was. NOW I'm definitely a fan.
If you're looking for a sweet (but realistic) romance that touches upon social issues, this book is definitely a good one to pick up.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Everything Everything, contemporary romance fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five realistic endings

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Review: Yesternight

TITLE: Yesternight
AUTHOR: Cat Winters
PUBLISHED: October 2016
GENRE: Historical Fiction/Magical Realismish
PREMISE: A young woman comes to a town to help children and discovers one child might be remembering a past life.
MY REVIEW: Why didn't I know Cat Winters had branched out into adult fiction? Seems very strange for me as I enjoy her books quite a bit. This is apparently her second adult book. Who knew. Everyone but me, I guess.
This is very much like Winters' YA books. It has top notch historical details, interesting plot that you don't see every day, and an interesting conclusion. What I love about Winters' stuff is she mixes real events in with her plots and her writing is very atmospheric.
As always, I enjoyed this one. The ending is not my favorite thing in the world. It ends rather abruptly. But overall, this was a very interesting read, as usual with Winters. Not my favorite of hers (so far, the best I've seen from her is A Steep and Thorny Way), but definitely memorable.
WHO SHOULD READ: Cat Winters fans, those that like spooky fiction
MY RATING: Four out of Five reincarnated lives

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Review: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

TITLE: Take the Key and Lock Her Up
Book 3 in the Embassy Row Trilogy
AUTHOR: Ally Carter
PUBLISHED: December 2016
GENRE: Adventure
PREMISE: Grace goes on the run after learning a shocking secret about her family's history.
MY REVIEW: Embassy Row has definitely been a wild ride of a series. This last book, was no exception. If you're familiar with Ally Carter's books, you probably already know what to expect from this series. It has lots of action, some romance, teenagers getting shit done, and some surprise twists.
I will say, I kind of with the Embassy Row series was a bit longer. I sort of felt like this one wanted to be four books instead of three. I felt like there were two books in this last one that had to get squished together because that was all the contract was for or something. As result the plot goes like it's one of those hundred meter dash races at the Olympics. I was getting whiplash from all the plot developments.
Ultimately, this did end in a satisfying way that mostly made sense. I just wish we'd maybe have had some more time to process things. All in all though, this was a successful trilogy. I don't love it as much as Gallagher Girls. but it is on par with Heist Society quality wise. In other words: it's adventurous fun as I've come to expect from Carter.
WHO SHOULD READ: Ally Carter fans, those that have read the first two Embassy Row books
MY RATING: Four out of Five high-speed plot paces

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 1

TITLE: The Boys Are Back in Town
Vol. 1 in the new 2016 Power Man and Iron Fist series
AUTHOR: David F. Walker
ARTISTS: Sanford Greene, Flaviano
SERIES START: October 2016
COLLECTS: Issues 1-5
PREMISE: Luke Cage and Danny Rand have been on a very long break from Heroes for Hire and are fine with that. Really. Unfortunately, they have one hang out session and one incident and everyone's convinced the team is back together. But they aren't...really.
MY REVIEW: I adored this series with every fiber of my being. It's everything I've come to expect with Marvel: lots of action, utter silliness, some amusing fun at its own expense (I love that Marvel makes fun itself), and just lots of fun. The a bit here and there. This is mostly the first arc so not much happens but there are a lot of utterly hilarious moments in it.
Full disclosure: I'm pretty new to both these characters. I've seen their shows on Netflix (loved Luke Cage, am lukewarm towards Iron Fist). I've seen them in a handful of appearances in other comics. I'm aware of their history and the whole Heroes for Hire thing, even if I maybe don't know the full details. So I can't tell you all the easter eggs or how this series compares to older series and whatnot.
I can tell you, if you've just seen the Netflix shows, then you should be able to grasp what's going on. I mean, probably the only thing you may be confused about is the fact that in the comics Luke and Jessica have a kid together.
WHO SHOULD READ: Iron Fist and Luke Cage fans, Marvel fans
GOOD FOR NEWBIES?: Sort of. If you've seen Luke Cage and Iron Fist and know they hung out a lot in the past, you should be good.
MY RATING: Four out of Five brotps

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Notable Releases: 5/28-6/3

Here are the notable releases from this past week:


I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Debut that looks like it might fill the hole the ending of the Lara Jean series has left in my heart.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Debut that promises a Breakfast Club like scenario with a murder mystery added in. I'm intrigued.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Contemporary Romance that has been getting quite a bit of buzz.

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Interesting looking fantasy.

Adult Fiction

London Underground 1: From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh

For those like me, who can't get enough of these silly but fun historical romances about dukes/rakes/earls, here's a new series by Eva Leigh.

Beren and Luthien by J. R. R. Tolkien

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. There is a new Tolkien book out. Apparently they found yet another manuscript somewhere.


Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-And the New Research That's Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini

For you science nerds out there, here's a book going into some of the myths about women sexist science has perpetuated. Looks both interesting but also maddening at the same time.

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002

Into journal collections? Check out this newest one from essay writer David Sedaris.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Review: Between the World and Me

TITLE: Between the World and Me
AUTHOR: Ta-Nehisi Coates
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Essays/Letters
PREMISE: A man talks about things like race in a series of essays written as letters to his son.
MY REVIEW: When it comes to books like this one or Letters to a Young Muslim and whatnot, I'm never really sure how to go about reviewing them. These are books that need to be read by people regardless of how good I or anyone else actually thinks they are. Plus, I'm still very new to essays so I'm still not exactly sure about what qualifies as a good essay or not. I just tend to judge them based on whether or not it made me think. Pretty much all of them tend to do that to some extent.
This one especially did. I'm slightly familiar with Coates from his appearances on various things. Plus, I've been reading the Black Panther comic run he's been writing. This goes into his life and his own various experiences with race and race relations. There is a lot of food for thought in this one. I can't say I related to any of it. I am a white woman, I will never experience things like this. But I'm of the firm opinion that you don't have to relate to every piece of writing out there, and just because you don't relate to it, doesn't mean the piece of writing isn't good or important.
This is a very quick book. I read it in an afternoon. But the things it talks about will stay with you for quite a bit.
WHO SHOULD READ: Essay fans, Letters to a Young Muslim fans, those looking for books that talk about race
MY RATING: Four out of Five essays to make you think

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

TITLE: The Upside of Unrequited
AUTHOR: Becky Albertalli
PUBLISHED: April 11th, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
PREMISE: A girl's love life gets complicated when her sister starts to seriously date someone and push her to actually date as well.
MY REVIEW: I'm not going to lie: I had some pretty high expectations for this one. I adored Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda last year. I tried to keep expectations in check, because sophomore slump happens to the best them. But, I'm pleased to say, it did not happen to Albertalli. In fact...I actually might like this one more then Simon.
I will admit, there is a bit of a nostalgia bias on my part. Because it turns out this takes place in the DC suburbs. Guess who grew up in the DC suburbs? In fact, that Giant Foods store in Silver Spring that Molly and her guy flirt at? I actually lived down a few blocks from that store. It's where my family got our groceries every week. So I was overcome with nostalgic memories while reading this like whoa (shout out to the Long Street Branch librarians who did not judge me one bit during that period where I read nothing but BSC/Sweet Valley High/or Nancy Drew books). It made reading this even more fun for me.
Honestly, even if there hadn't been that factor, I'd have probably loved this. All the characters are great. It's got that great middle ground between romantic, funny, and heart that Simon VS the Homo Sapiens had. It was frankly just delightful. Like, the only bad thing I can say about is, that being a contemporary romance, it's rather predictable in how things turn out. But honestly even in how things turn out it subverts tropes a bit (there's no slut-shaming! Even when guy is flirting with another girl, Molly never slut shames said girl. THANK YOU, AUTHOR). There's just so much to love about this book. I'm pretty confident that this one is going to be in my top ten of the year.
WHO SHOULD READ: Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda fans, John Green fans, you're looking for cute romances with great positive representation in it.
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five books that just make you happy