Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review: They Both Die At the End

TITLE: They Both Die At the End
AUTHOR: Adam Silvera
CATEGORY: Young Adult
PUBLISHED: September 5th, 2017
GENRE: Dystopianish, Romance
PREMISE: In a world where you get called a day before you die, Mateo and Rufus both receive calls and meet on an app designed give comfort to those about to die.
MY REVIEW: I'm a little late to the Adam Silvera bandwagon. I just read History is All You Left Me earlier this year and it was a favorite, now I have another favorite. So expect a review of More Happy Than Not in the future. If you are familiar with Silvera, you probably already know: this one will make you cry.
Surprisingly, this one reminded me a bit of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. It has that people meeting randomly thing, you knowing ahead of time it's going to end sadly but wanting them together anyway, them getting together beautifully and then you being sad when the sad ending comes. It's all very seize the dayish and great characters and yeah, I liked this one a lot. Sad as it was (and it is so sad guys. The title is not a lie).
So Silvera gets me again with another great book. Looks like we're getting another one from him next year (that he co-wrote with Becky Albertalli!!!!!!) and apparently a fantasy book of some sort is in the works (here for that). I am officially on the Silvera train. Sign me up for all his books in the future.
WHO SHOULD READ: Adam Silvera fans, The Sun is Also a Star fans, those who like books that rip your heart out
MY RATING: Four out of Five tissue warnings

Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: Sex Object

TITLE: Sex Object, A Memoir
AUTHOR: Jessica Valenti
PUBLISHED: June, 2016
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Essays, Feminism
PREMISE: A collection of essays from columnist Jessica Valenti that center around the ways in which sex has effected her and other women.
MY REVIEW: Jessica Valenti has been around for quite awhile, but I confess...I've never read her books. I've been meaning too, it just never happened until now. After reading this one, I'll definitely be looking into her other books.
For those trying to wrap your minds around Weinstein, Moore, Franken etc. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you are wondering how exactly we got here. There is a lot of stuff in here that is pretty timely and some of these essays were written quite a few years ago. Oh and FYI, women have actually been calling out sexual harassment stuff for quite awhile now. Stop acting like the news that there's a rape culture out there is somehow brand new information. We've been telling you about it for years now. You're just now finally forced to acknowledge it because the media finally decided to pay attention to it.
I should get back to the book...anyway, there are a lot of great essays in this one. The most notable ones for me are the essays titled Subways and Grilled Cheese. If you want to really get angry at people, Valenti ends the book with some of the comments she's received online from people about the essays. All I can say is...wow.
WHO SHOULD READ: Feminists, those reading up on rape culture
MY RATING: Four out of Five thought provoking essays

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Book Review: At the Edge of the Universe

TITLE: At the Edge of the Universe
AUTHOR: Shaun Hutchinson
PUBLISHED: February 7th, 2017
GENRE: Science-Fictionish, Contemporary
PREMISE: Tommy remembers Ozzie, his boyfriend. Everyone else...does not.
MY REVIEW: I read We Are the Ants last year and promptly fell in love with it. It was one of those books I picked up on a whim, not expecting much, and it just sort crept up on me and suddenly it was a favorite. This is the second book by Hutchinson that I've read and I think its cemented him as a favorite author for me.
This kind of has the same idea as We Are the Ants: there's a possible major world catastrophe going on in the background as a guy goes through life trying to figure things out. You don't know if it's in his head or actually real and honestly....don't get many answers in the end, so for that....it's a tad frustrating. But character wise...this book packs as much of a punch as We Are the Ants.
If you're not into sci-fi, don't let that element of the book turn you off of this. It plays very little into the story. A majority of this story is character development and typical contemporary drama stuff. It is very much of a slow burn of a book, but the pay off at the end is worth it.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of We Are the Ants, Magical Realism fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five disappearing universes

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book Review: Flame in the Mist

TITLE: Flame in the Mist
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Renee Ahdieh
PUBLISHED: May 16th, 2017
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A girl disguises herself as a man after she is attacked to find out who tried to kill her.
MY REVIEW: Flame in the Mist and the way it was received is a perfect example of how poor marketing and blurbs can hurt your book. This was billed as a Japanese retelling of Mulan. And...it isn't. The only thing it has in common with Mulan is that there's a girl dressed up as a guy. Everything else from why she's dressed that way, to the story, is not at all Mulan. I get why the blurb writer tried doing that, because a lot of people are fans of Mulan. But its misleading and that led to a lot of people being disappointed. And when fans are disappointed....they tend to get harsher when reviewing books. Seriously, don't piss off your readers guys, it's just not a good idea. Another issue was that people were getting upset at the idea of Mulan being retold with Japanese elements (something about cultural appropriation, I think) and I bet we maybe wouldn't have had all of that if it didn't market itself as a Mulan retelling. Which...again...it wasn't. So just...be careful how you market your books, okay?
So as for the book itself....it was just okay for me. It has a pretty solid plot. The characters are interesting and world is well developed. The weaving of Japanese myth into the fantasy world was probably one of my favorite aspects. The romance....was there. The ending...was a good lead in for the second book.
For the most part, I was pretty okay with this book. It's not the most remarkable thing I've ever read. I've certainly read worse. Just please, don't go into this expecting a Japanese Mulan retelling. You will be disappointed.
WHO SHOULD READ: Renee Ahdieh fans, Japanese mythology fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five shrugs

Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: Moxie

TITLE: Moxie
AUTHOR: Jennifer Mathieu
PUBLISHED: September 19th, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A girl gets fed up with the rampant sexism in her school and starts a feminist zine to fight back.
MY REVIEW: When I heard the premise for this book I was both very nervous and very excited for it. I was excited for it because we are now actually in a place where YA is bluntly talking about and embracing feminism. That is amazing to me and I'm very happy about it. I was wary about it because I was afraid it was going to be what I call faux feminism (or White Feminism depending on the situation): it would be all about empowerment to an extent. I will give the author credit: she did try to emphasize that feminism should be inclusive.
For the most part I liked this book. It is a very basic introduction to feminism. If this is what it takes to get girls to realize feminism doesn't mean hating men and is not the evilness their friends have probably assured them it is, I'll take it. Seriously that conversation the main character has with her friend where the friend is all "I just like...don't hate men. I'm into like, equality! So I'm not a feminist"? Yeah, I've had way too many conversations like that. Guys, if you're into equality, congratulations: you're a feminist. Because that is what feminism is. Do some research, okay? A lot of the stereotypes out there about feminists are in fact bullshit made up by anti-feminists. Not to say the movement is perfect, it isn't, we need to work on our crap same as everyone else. But a lot of the stereotypes you hear are usually not even remotely true.
I just have two issues with this book. One: it's not subtle at like all. The sexism in this book is very in your face and easy to spot. Which, okay, I get it. But here's the thing: a lot of the sexism nowadays? Is not easy to spot. It's subtle and done in little ways so that the person can go "oh that's not sexism, you're making a big deal out of nothing!" It's like racism: it got coded and is done such away so that people can hand wave it away if they feel like ignoring it and don't want you calling them out on crap. I really wish the book had gone into more of the subtle ways sexism gets perpetuated in our society today.
The second issue I have is it does try to say your feminism needs to be inclusive...but it sort of does it as an afterthought. Like there are token characters of representation here and there and the character goes "oh yeah, inclusiveness is important!" and then goes right back to focusing more on the straight white females of the story. Perhaps if there's a sequel, the author can focus more on that bit.
So it's got issues. I wish the author had done a little more then what she did. But at the same time I appreciate that we're even getting this book at all. The plot is a solid one. It definitely gets the message across. In short it did its job. So...all in all I'm satisfied with it.
WHO SHOULD READ: Feminists, contemporary fans not scared off by feminism being in their books
MY RATING: Four out of Five Moxie Girls

Note about Notable Releases: Here's the thing about November and December in book world: there are usually no really big releases during those months. For the next few weeks or so there are only about one or two books I'm mildly interested in during this month so it's not really necessary for me to do notable releases right now. So it's on a brief hiatus until the beginning of 2018 and you get all the January releases. And there are so many books in January guys. SO. MANY.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

TITLE: When Dimple Met Rishi
AUTHOR: Sandhya Menon
PUBLISHED: May 30th, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
PREMISE: A girl meets her betrothed at a convention. The only problem? She doesn't want to be betrothed.
MY REVIEW: This is one of those books everyone and their mother has been raving about around the YA book community. To be fair: I get it. It is a very charming book. I just suspect I wasn't the right audience for it. This is for those who just want a true epic romance that doesn't really tackle much else.
I do think the author tried to tackle other things. I see issues floating about in here such as cultural conflicts, girls in tech, sexism in the tech industry, etc. But...the author didn't spend enough time on those issues and kept pushing them aside in favor of the cute romance. On one hand: it is romance so I get it. On the other hand: this stuff is pretty big stuff...so it all kind of felt really out of place in what was otherwise a very fluffy romance. I sort of felt like there were two books here that the author had been working on. One was the cute romance sort of talking about generational conflicts in Indian culture. The other was the one about a cute romance dealing with girls in tech. The two plots...didn't really gel well for me and the book sort of suffered as a result.
If one ignores that the author didn't really touch on issues very well and just focuses on the cute romance part...this book was decent. The dialogue is nice and snappy, characters are fleshed out, the romance is cute. The author just needs to work on her plotting a little better because a lot of this book dragged and again, it suffered from too many ideas going on that didn't blend well together. I do think Menon is promising though. I will be checking out her books in the future when I just want cute romances.
WHO SHOULD READ: Bollywood movie fans, Romance fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five cute romances that did the job

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Book Review: Never Caught

TITLE: Never Caught: The Washington's Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
AUTHOR: Erica Armstrong Dunbar
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
PUBLISHED: February 7th, 2017
GENRE: History
PREMISE: A non-fiction book that looks into the slave Ona Judge, who ran away from George and Martha Washington.
MY REVIEW: I wanted to read this one almost as soon as I heard about it. Most people do not go into the fact that the founding fathers owned slaves. In fact, some people go out of their way to ignore it. Or try to paint it in a rosy "well, they treated them with kindness so it was like...okay!" light. Look at all the ways people try to romanticize Jefferson having sex with his slaves (or in some cases, outright say it didn't happen because that doesn't fit their world view of Jefferson).
For the most part, I did like this one a lot. Unfortunately...it didn't go enough into Ona Judge's story. I think the author just didn't have enough solid information. Half of the stuff about Ona is in fact, speculation on the author's part. Logical speculation, sure. She does present all the facts she has and show you how she comes to her conclusions...but ultimately....it's speculation.
The far more interesting thing to me here was the deep look into pre-Civil War attitudes about slavery. I really wish the book had actually been more about this, because that a) had solid information and b) was just more interesting because it is a thing that most people just don't go into. It was nice having a book that did not wax poetic about George Washington for a change. Sorry guys, he was flawed. All the founding fathers were flawed. Yes, they did great things. But they were also human beings with many faults. I personally would love a book that focused on the founding fathers and their views on slavery because there is a bit in this book that goes into it a little and it's pretty fascinating (and also disturbing sometimes when you consider the mental gymnastics some of them had to have done to justify their views).
WHO SHOULD READ: those interested in american history
MY RATING: Four out of Five looks at things people don't often talk about

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

So You've Finally: Got caught up on Game of Thrones

So you've finally got caught up on Game of Thrones. You've read all of the Song of Ice and Fire books and you've realized you probably have quite a long wait before you get new content from both the show and the books. Well, here are some things that I think GoT fans might be interested in reading next:

You're curious about reading more from George R. R. Martin

Dreamsongs series by George R. R. Martin

Martin has written a ton of short stories. Some in the Game of Thrones universe, some not. Dreamsongs collects a whole bunch of those short stories into one collection. So far there are three books.

You loved the warrior women in the series and kind of wished the series focused only on them:

The Conqueror's Saga by Kiersten White

If you want more women fighting and taking names, I recommend this alternate history series where Vlad the Impaler was actually a female. It's as awesome as it sounds.

You. Want. Dragons.

Temeraire series by Naomi Novik

Looking for a long dragon series to sink your teeth into? I recommend this alternate history series where dragons were involved in the Napoleon wars. Have not personally read this myself, but I've heard great things and it sounds perfect for dragon fans.

More dark fantasy please:

First Law series by Joe Abercrombie

If you want your fantasy to be grimdark, this is definitely one to go too.

You like Jon Snow, okay?:

Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

From the looks of things, all Robin Hobb's books will be good for Game of Thrones fans. But if you're particularly invested in Jon Snow, this trilogy looks like it'll do the trick.

You're in it for Tyrion:

Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch

I have not personally read this series yet (look, I have a huge TBR list okay?) but from the sound of things, Tyrion would get on well with the characters of these books.

You just want another fantasy epic to sink your teeth into while you wait for more Game of Thrones:

The Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan

From the sound of things this series has all the plots and twists of Game of Thrones and also has that really long story thing going on.

As much as you liked Game of Thrones, you would have liked a) more women, and b) more humor:

Rat Queens graphic novel series by Kurtis J. Wiebe

If you want more snark and humor with your fantasy as well as more awesome women, I recommend this comic series from Image about a group of female mercenaries in a fantasy world.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

TITLE: The Gallery of Unfinished Girls
AUTHOR: Lauren Karcz
PUBLISHED: July 25th, 2017
GENRE: Magical Realism
PREMISE: A girl deals with difficulty in her life while meeting a mysterious artist who helps her and others with their creativity...
MY REVIEW: I know what you all are thinking: you keep saying you don't like magical realism....but you keep picking them up???? I don't know either guys, it's a thing with me. This genre disappoints me over and over again, but they make their plots sound so interesting and so I think "hmm...well maybe this one will be good!" because for every nine magical realism books I hate, there's one I actually don't mind. So...I keep picking them up despite getting burned over and over again. It's an issue, I know that.
This one had all the usual problems I have with magical realism: slow plot, nothing much going on, great idea for magical bit but not much of an explanation for how magical bit is going on. But, it also had beautiful writing and meaningful character development. So...I'm torn on this one. At least with this one there was a bit of a point to it.
I think whether you like this will just depend on personal taste. I didn't mind this one, but also didn't completely love it.
WHO SHOULD READ: magical realism fans, contemporary fans, artists
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five unfinished portraits

Book Review: Etched in Bone

TITLE: Etched in Bone
Book 5 in the Others series
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop
PUBLISHED: March 7th, 2017
GENRE: Urban Fantasy/Alternate History
PREMISE: Things in the Others series finally come to a head...
MY REVIEW: Have you ever had a series give great build-up only to get to the end and go "really? That's it?"? Well, that is sadly me with The Others series. It pains me to say this too, because I really loved this series.
The first problem is: this book is really slow. I know, I've said that with all the books. But with this one....that slowness was doubled down on to the point that when I got to the ending, I was a little confused and didn't realize I had read the ending. Turns out, I actually haven't. See, now there's going to be new books in this series, but it's going to deal with new characters. I suspect this was a last minute decision and that caused this last book to suffer because the author had to change things. I might read the new book next year, I might not. We'll see how I feel next year.
So yeah...I don't know guys. I still like this series. I recommend it for all who like in depth world-building and don't mind slow-burn plots. Emphasis on slow. But this last book....yeah, I kind of get the feeling that author didn't really know what she wanted to do with it and the book suffered from an anti-climatic ending as a result.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the first four books, Anne Bishop fans, fantasy readers who don't mind slow plots
RATING FOR THIS BOOK: Three and a half out of Five disappointed sad sighs
RATING FOR SERIES (I'm counting the first five books as their own series #don'tcare): Four out of Five

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Book Review: Proxy

TITLE: Proxy
Book 1 in a series
AUTHOR: Alex London
GENRE: Dystopian
PREMISE: Two boys from different sides get caught up in a rebellion in a dystopian future.
MY REVIEW: This is one of those books that has been on my radar for awhile, it just has taken me awhile to get to it. Look, there are a lot of books I want to read okay? My TBR list would make you weep from the sheer size of it.
For the most part, this is pretty typical dystopian stuff. Once again, I notice it talks about class issues and privilege better then Sandcastle Empire did. I know, I know, one day I will stop ranting about that book. But today will not be that day. One thing that really sets it apart from other dystopians is the dynamic between Knox and Syd. There are definite inspirations drawn from The Whipping Boy here and it works rather well.
This is not a unique book by any means, but it is interesting, has a solid plot and issues that it brings up and talks about fairly well. Looks like the author has another book coming next year that looks interesting and there is a sequel to this book. I look forward to eventually reading both.
WHO SHOULD READ: those looking for LGBT dystopian books, fans of The Whipping Boy and Feed, Dystopian fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five interesting dystopian societies

Friday, November 10, 2017

Author Review: Rebecca Solnit

TITLES OF BOOKS: Hope in the Dark
Men Explain Things To Me
The Mother of All Questions
AUTHOR: Rebecca Solnit
PUBLISHED: 2004, 2014, 2017
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Essays, Articles, Feminism
PREMISE: In three of her books, Solnit discusses various issues surrounding politics, feminism, and activism.
MY REVIEW: Over the past few months I've been reading through these three books by Rebecca Solnit. For those who have no idea who Solnit is, you probably know or have used a term she coined: Mansplaining. That term is credited to her essay Men Explain Things to Me. She's also a frequent columnist on many websites, including LitHub.
I specifically want to talk about Men Explain Things to Me though, because mansplaining has been a thing getting a lot of flack lately around the internet. Mostly from men, but not always. First, I'd like to point out, Solnit herself is not altogether pleased by how much the term has been overused. She says as much in some endnotes after the Men Explain Things to Me essay. So maybe put your misandry claims away, okay? Second, I think people frankly deliberately misunderstand what the term means. No, it does not mean men can't explain stuff ever. If a woman actually asks for your opinion and you are actually educated and know a thing or two about the subject, go ahead and talk about it! We won't care. Because that's not mansplaining.
Mansplaining is a man making the assumption that a woman can't possibly know this one brilliant thing they know and so proceed to condescendingly explain the thing to us. Yes, sometimes females do this to people too (geeks of all shapes and forms tend to do this to new fans I've discovered and guys, seriously, cut it out). But it is not quite at the same rate as men do it to women. I see you men going "well wait, then how do I know if I'm mansplaining or not?" It's very simple: did the woman ask for your opinion and do you actually know a thing or two about the subject? No to both or one of those questions? You are probably mansplaining. Stop.
Men Explain Things to Me is probably the best of all the essays. But there are a whole lot of really good ones. Hope in the Dark is also incredibly interesting to read at times because it features essays written during the Bush years and it's like a peek back in time to what was going on then. I'm still wrapping my mind around the fact that it's been over a decade since some of the early Bush years.
WHO SHOULD READ: feminists, those interested in social justice issues or politics
MY RATING FOR ALL OF THE BOOKS: Four out of Five satisfied nods

Monday, November 6, 2017

2 in 1 Poetry Books Review

So I read two poetry books this past month. I know, who am I? But I am going to be doing poetry as the genre I'm focusing on next year and I thought I'd get an early taste of it by knocking off some recent poetry releases off the TBR list. Here they are:

TITLE: The Princess Saves Herself in This One
AUTHOR: Amanda Lovelace
SOME THOUGHTS: I liked this one. As I often say with these things: I am not a poetry expert. I haven't even taken a class in it. I can't tell you what is good style and what is bad style and whatnot. All I can do right now is let you know if I liked it or not. I liked this one.
MY RATING: Three and a half I liked it shrugs

TITLE: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce
AUTHOR: Morgan Parker
PUBLISHED: February 14th, 2017
SOME THOUGHTS: Again I liked this. Again...not sure if it is actually good or not. But I can tell you there's some poems in here that really struck a cord with me.
MY RATING: Four out of Five cleverly titled poems

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Book Review: Like Water For Chocolate

TITLE: Like Water for Chocolate
AUTHOR: Laura Esquivel
PUBLISHED: 1989 (1992 in the US)
GENRE: Romance, Magical Realism I guess...
PREMISE: A woman deals with not being able to be with the man she loves...
MY REVIEW: This book....I just don't really know what to make of it. This is one of those books that people absolutely love. Unfortunately, it just was very much a case of not for me.
First: it's magical realism and all the frustrations that come with that genre for me. It's slow and tedious. The author clearly wanted me to feel sorry for the main character, because of all the stuff she piled on her. But...all I kept thinking was why didn't she tell her mother to go jump in the river? The whole "you only have to take care of me and you can't marry!" thing made absolutely no logical sense. That I think is what ultimately hindered the book for me. Throughout it I kept waiting for someone to go "hey, you know this is seriously messed up, right?" but no one did. Like...really? As for the love interest....I kept getting told by fans of this book how super romantic he was...I frankly did not see it. He wasn't quite as bad as the guy from Love in the Time of Cholera (don't get me started on that nonsense) but he still wasn't great.
So yeah...maybe if you're super romantic this one is for you. Me....I just kept going "but this makes no sense!" during the entire book, so that hindered the experience of it for me. The writing is pretty, I'll give the author that. Apparently there was all this symbolism in it that was great, according to literature snobs (those apparently went over my head during my boredom). If you want your happy ending, you get it. I just...could not with this one. Oh magical realism, why can't I get you?????!!!!!
WHO SHOULD READ: Super romantic fans not bothered by ridiculous premises, magical realism fans
MY RATING: Three out of  Five not for me feelings

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Notable Releases: 10/29-11/4

Apologies for not having one of these up last week. There just wasn't time in the schedule to do one. Some awesome books from last week I suggest checking out are: We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union, The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, Dear Martin by Nic Stone and many more.

But here are this past week's releases that are definitely on my radar:


 Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Oneybuchi

I don't have much high expectations for this one (reviews so far have been rather low), but I'm still giving it a shot because I'm a sucker that way.

Tortall: A Spy's Guide by Tamora Pierce

Once upon a time, Pierce promised us Tortall fans a guide to Tortall. It's been like over five years since that promise, but we're finally getting it! Also finally getting that Numair book. I still wish it was the Tris in magic school book that was mentioned instead (Tris is my favorite), but I'll take what I can get.

Adult Fiction

The Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

Historical Fiction novel from Isabel Allende. I can pretty much guarantee you'll hear about this come next year's book awards selection time.

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu

Are you pumped for The Last Jedi? Same. To tide you over till then, here's a book going into what Luke got up too before Rey tracked him down.


Dorothy Brooke and the Fight to Save Cairo's Last War Horses by Grant Hayter-Menzies

Never heard of this lady, but this promises stubborn lady and horses. I'm in.

Graphic Novels/Manga

Two-Face: A Celebration of 75 Years
Very DC Universe Rebirth Holiday TP
Vampirella: The Dynamite Years Omnibus Vol. 1
Walking Dead Omnibus Vol. 7 HC
Generation X Vol. 1: Natural Selection
Mortal Instruments Vol. 1 GN

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mini-Review Catch-Up Number 2

One of these again. I really do need to get better about this. I apologize.

TITLE: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
AUTHOR: Mackenzie Lee
PUBLISHED: June 27th, 2017
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Fantasyish
QUICK TAKE: Absolutely adored this one. It's a fun romp through historical Europe with a cast you pretty much fall in love with from the get go. There's apparently going to be another book focusing on Feliciy and I for one cannot wait. One of my favorites of the year for sure.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of My Lady Jane, those looking for fun LGBTQA books
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five happy sighs

TITLE: All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to be Complete Strangers
AUTHOR: Alana Massey
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
PUBLISHED: February 7th, 2017
GENRE: Essays
QUICK TAKE: Fun essay collection covering a variety of pop culture topics. There are even a few literary analysis essays in here. Including one that managed to put into words just how sexist the Virgin Suicides book is and why so much of that plot was just not okay.
WHO SHOULD READ: Essay fans, if you like opinion articles about pop culture
MY RATING: Four out of Five satisfied nods

TITLE: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Book 3 in the PS I Love You Trilogy
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
PUBLISHED: May 2nd, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
QUICK TAKE: Okay ending that ultimately...I kind of felt wasn't very necessary. It didn't solve any lingering plots that were left over or anything like that. Basically all it did was tell you things like yes, her dad gets remarried, you find out what college she's going too, that sort of thing. It ended things for sure...it was enjoyable. It was just ultimately...kind of pointless which pains me to say, because I adored the first two books.
WHO SHOULD READ: Super fans of the first two Lara Jean books, everyone else...it's no big deal if you miss this.
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five shrugs
RATING FOR TRILOGY: Four out of Five