Monday, December 17, 2018


I think it's safe to say, I've lost interest in keeping this journal up. I'm not sure why, it just is what it is. I am going to still be doing random reviews of all sorts of things over on Dreamwidth though. I made a new account after the Tumblr debacle was announced earlier this month. So if you still want to know what I'm reading and my thoughts you can follow me there. I'll also be chatting about tv, movies, and various other nerdy pursuits:

I'm also still on Goodreads if anyone just wants to follow me that way.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Book Review: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

TITLE: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place
Book 9 in the Flavia de Luce series
AUTHOR: Alan Bradley
CATEGORY:often shelved as adult, I say it's middle-grade
PUBLISHED: January 30th, 2018 (in the US)
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Mystery
PREMISE: While dealing with the death of her father, Flavia stumbles upon another mystery...
MY REVIEW: I am a latecomer to the Flavia de Luce series. I read the first book around...two years ago, I believe. The series has been out for quite some time now. With the ninth book, it is coming to an end. I'm sorry to see it go, but I think it's just as well. I could tell the author was running out of ideas of what to do with the series. Some of the previous books wandered in plot a lot. The same happened with this book. But we do ultimately get a good conclusion for Flavia and everyone else in her life. For the record, I wouldn't be opposed to a series about adult Flavia de Luce. Just saying.
It's always a bit bittersweet when a series comes to an end. On one get to know the characters are going to be okay in the end. On the other hand: no more books. Flavia, I'm going to miss you and your delight in stumbling upon dead bodies.
WHO SHOULD READ: those who've read books 1-8, cozy mystery fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five series coming to an end
RATING FOR SERIES: Four out of Five

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Book Review: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

TITLE: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have the Answers to When You Work in the White House.
AUTHOR: Alyssa Mastromonaco
PUBLISHED: March 2017
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Memoirs, Politics
PREMISE: Obama's former Deputy Chief of Staff writes about her time in the White House and what it's like to work in politics.
MY REVIEW: I'm honestly not sure how to rate this one. There's nothing really wrong with it. The writing is engaging, it explains things really well, there are some good stories in here. It's just...I feel like the book didn't know what it wanted to be.
Part of it was a memoir, another part of it was life advice. It just kept switching and it was jarring when it would switch. That aspect of the book, I could have done without. But for the most part, I did enjoy it. It just was all over the place sometimes and needed a bit more focus. There were some excellent stories in here about Obama though. Those were fun.
This is one of those niche kind of books, you either are going to be interested in it or you aren't. I was, so I liked it.
WHO SHOULD READ: those interested in politics
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five funny stories about Obama

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Book Review: Heroine Complex

TITLE: Heroine Complex
Book 1 in the Heroine Complex series
AUTHOR: Sarah Kuhn
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Superheros
PREMISE: An assistant to a superhero struggles with new found super powers...
MY REVIEW: I've been meaning to read this forever. I don't know why it took so long for me to get to it. It just did. I enjoyed this one a lot. I will warn, there's actually a lot of sex scenes in this. Way more then I was expecting, actually. I don't mind sex scenes, but I know that can be an issue with some readers.
This was actually more romance focused then the summary let on. If you're a romance reader, you actually should probably like this. It follows a lot of the romance genre beats. There's some good character stuff in it as well. I love that it wasn't afraid to make all its characters flawed.
If you want a really serious urban fantasy...this probably won't be for you. It's more character/romance focused then it is on world-building. But the character stuff is great and is what is going to keep me reading the series. The next book goes into another character and her romance and I actually am really looking forward to that. I found the character really interesting.
WHO SHOULD READ: superhero fans, romance fans, Marvel fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five kick-ass women with powers

Friday, October 12, 2018

Book Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You

TITLE: The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You
AUTHOR: Lily Anderson
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
PREMISE: When their friends start dating, two people who can't stand each other agree to try and get along for their friend's sake....
MY REVIEW: After reading and enjoying Undead Girl Gang, I decided to just go ahead and read the author's other books. This one is different from Undead Girl Gang. It's a contemporary book with romance in it. Luckily for the author, I've been in a romance mood, thanks to Crazy Rich Asians and the To All the Boys I've Loved Before movie.
This is one of those classic enemies to lovers kind of plots. It's honestly, just fun. It's also very nerdy. All the characters are geeks, so there are references to all sorts of things. The dialogue is great, there's a bit of a funny twist at the end and I liked all the friends.
If you want ground-breaking, this book isn't it. But if you want just a cute and fluffy contemporary romance, with lots of geek references, it absolutely delivers. There's a companion book out there and I've already read that too, so a review will be coming soon.
WHO SHOULD READ: geeks, contemporary romance fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five cute romances

Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

TITLE: Crazy Rich Asians
Book 1 in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy
AUTHOR: Kevin Kwan
GENRE: Romance, Contemporary
PREMISE: A woman finds out the man she is dating is in fact a member of one of the richest families in Singapore....
MY REVIEW: Unless you've been living under a rock or something, chances are high you've at least heard about Crazy Rich Asians. The movie has been big this summer. I saw it, and honestly, I get the hype. Seriously, the movie is gold, go see it if you adore rom coms or any kind of family drama stuff.
I read the book right before seeing the movie it was honestly just as delightful. I will warn, the not the best. It kind of jumps from POV to POV and is awkward in some places. But the characterization, the self-aware humor, and entertaining family drama all make up for it. There's also some pretty interesting commentary on things like classism, racism, and various other topics. I also actually liked the footnotes. They provided some interesting information that I wasn't aware of. So not only are you getting an entertaining read, you actually get some interesting tidbits about Singapore and its culture.
So count me in on the Crazy Rich Asians hype train. I can't wait to read the rest of the books and see the sequel, whenever we get it. Also: if you have not seen the To All the Boys I've Loved Before movie so. It's wonderful.
WHO SHOULD READ: Rom com fans, Jenny Han fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five wacky families

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Book Review: Most Wanted

TITLE: Most Wanted
Part of the Star Wars canon books
AUTHOR: Rae Carson
PUBLISHED: May 25th, 2018
GENRE: Sci-Fi, Media tie-in
PREMISE: Set before the Solo movie, this book goes into how Han and Qi'ra became partners...
MY REVIEW: I saw the Solo movie a few months ago in theaters. It was perfectly decent movie. Completely unnecessary, as are most prequels, but it was a decent film.
This book is pretty on par with most of the new Star Wars books: not necessary to read, but a good time if you're pining for more Star Wars in between the films/TV shows. They also give some nice supplemental info. I actually kind of feel like this gave us some better background on Han, then the movie did. It also gave Qi'ra some much better development, as well.
If you read Star Wars books on regular basis, you know what to expect from this one: lots of action and adventure. It's very fast-paced (I finished it in like, two sittings). If you liked the Solo movie, but maybe wanted some more info on the characters, this is a good one to pick to pick up. There's also one out there about young Lando, so I'll probably look into that one as well.
WHO SHOULD READ: Star Wars fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five space races

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Book Review: Undead Girl Gang

TITLE: Undead Girl Gang
AUTHOR: Lily Anderson
PUBLISHED: May 8th, 2018
GENRE: Urban Fantasy. Mystery
PREMISE: A girl raises her best friend back from the dead to find out how she died, but...she winds up bringing back two other girls as well.
MY REVIEW: I normally am not interested in zombies. I don't know why, but they just honestly bore me. There's usually not really much you can do with them. But this one interested me, because there was a mystery and female friendship attached to to it.
For the most part, it's a fun ride. You have to suspend a lot of disbelief while reading it. The main character is a bit prickly, but I personally enjoyed her. But I find all the characters the YA crowd deem "unlikable", are characters whom I wind up liking a lot. Go figure. If you were picking this up because you heard rumblings about there being "great" LGBT rep...there really isn't. The rep is just two adult female side characters who barely get any screen time and it's just mentioned that they're in a relationship. I found them interesting, and would honestly love a book about them. But I'm not sure why it was advertised as great rep as honestly...the characters don't really do anything.
That disappointing bit aside, this was a decent read. I particularly liked where the mystery went. After this, I went and picked up Lily Anderson's debut book, and wound up loving that one as well. The review is coming soon. I think I have a new author to enjoy now.
WHO SHOULD READ: Buffy fans, those looking for books with witches/zombies
MY RATING: Four out of Five female friendships

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Classic Book Review: A Separate Peace

TITLE: A Separate Peace
AUTHOR: John Knowles
CATEGORY: Young Adult (sort of)
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PREMISE: A man remembers his time in school during WWII.
MY THOUGHTS: Sigh. This is yet another book in what I'm beginning to think is a sub-genre: Old (usually white and straight) guy thinks back on one memorable thing from his childhood. I've stumbled across so many literature books that do this and...honestly dudes? I'm sorry, but your childhood is not as interesting as you think it is. This one had all the problems that books that do this idea have:'s dull.
I get what the author was doing with it. War is hell, it effects us all, even those not in the war, etc. etc. Probably also some metaphors for losing your innocence as well. This is not a difficult novel to grasp or even to read. Which is probably why it winds up on reading lists for schools all the time. But personally, I suspect this is better read as an adult. I have no doubt that teenage me would have hated this. Adult me....didn't enjoy it, but appreciates what the author was trying to do.
I just, for the life of me, couldn't get into this one. Yet another classic that is just not for me.
WHO SHOULD READ: literature fans, those that don't mind slow-paced books

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

My Big Fat Recommendation List: J Authors

Here are all the authors whose books I recommend whose last name starts with the letter J:


Diane Wynne Jones
Chrestomanci series
Enchanted Glass

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Young Adult Fiction

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Michele Jaffe
Bad Kitty duology
Ghost Flower

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay (there is a second book, but it's honestly kind of bad. Just read the first)
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Summer Prince
Love is the Drug

Maureen Johnson
13 Little Blue Envelopes
Suite Scarlett duology
Shades of London series
Truly Devious series

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
Need Series by Carrie Jones

Diane Wynne Jones
Howl's Moving Castle series
The Game
Dark Lord of Derkholm

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/Historical Fiction
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones


N. K. Jemisin
Inheritance Trilogy
Broken Earth Trilogy

Queen of the Tearling Trilogy by Erika Johansen


Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
Here We Are: Feminism For the Real World by various authors, edited by Kelly Jenson
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diane Wynne Jones

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Book Review: Not If I Save You First

TITLE: Not If I Save You First
AUTHOR: Ally Carter
PUBLISHED: March 27th, 2018
GENRE: Contemporary/Romance
PREMISE: A girl needs to save the President's son from getting kidnapped. Too bad she hates the boy's guts.
MY REVIEW: I am pretty much always up for an Ally Carter book. Her books are just fun. This short standalone is no exception. It's a nice breezy pace, with lots of action, just enough detail, and a satisfying story.
It just...wasn't as good as I've seen her do. It's not bad! Again, I enjoyed it. If you're looking for a quick, cute, read, it's a good pick. If you want something with a little more substance though....I'd look elsewhere. This also isn't as good as some of her previous work. I kind of get the sense that it was just written to meet a contract requirement. But at least it was fun. It also apparently takes place in the same world as Gallagher Girls/Heist Society as there's a bit of a reference to one of the spy schools.
So, not the best book ever. But if you just want a quick read with a fun main character, this is a good one to pick up.
WHO SHOULD READ: Ally Carter fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five bedazzled hammers

Monday, September 10, 2018

Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time

TITLE: Aru Shah and the End of Time
Book 1 in the Pandava Quartet series
AUTHOR: Rhoshani Chokshi
PUBLISHED: March 27th, 2018
CATEGORY: Middle-grade
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A girl goes on a quest after she accidentally causes time to freeze after lighting a lamp....
MY REVIEW: I have been meaning to read this for awhile now. I adore Rick Riordan's books, and this new imprint he has going on with his publisher is frankly awesome. I want to read every book that he has previewed so far. Sadly, some of them don't come out until 2020 ;pouts;
If they are anything like this though, we're in for some good stuff, guys. This is very Percy Jackson like, so I understand why Riordan picked it for his imprint. But it does its own thing. I confess...I don't really know anything about the poem that this book is drawing inspiration from. So I can't tell you how well Chokshi is using the mythology or anything like that. I can tell you, she spins an entertaining story, with delightful protagonists.
This is a great start to a new series. The ending is very interesting and I can't wait to see what happens next.
WHO SHOULD READ: Percy Jackson fans, Rhoshani Chokshi fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five sassy birds

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Book Review: Freshwater

TITLE: Freshwater
AUTHOR: Akwaeke Emezi
PUBLISHED: February 13th, 2018
GENRE: Er....Magical Realism...I guess?
PREMISE: A young woman grows up with different selves living inside of her...
MY REVIEW: You ever read a book, think to yourself "Like...I'm sensing this is a really good book...but I'm not getting it at all?" Well, that is me and Freshwater. I feel like I maybe needed more information on some sort of myths or something in order to enjoy this. Because I mostly just read this book, feeling confused as hell through out the whole thing.
I'm honestly not sure if this is the fault of the book or just me not giving it the attention it needed or something. The writing is fine, I get what is going on. I just don't understand the why of what's going on. I feel like there's some sort of piece of the puzzle that I'm missing and that kept me from getting fully invested in the book.
I will say, the writing is lovely. There are some gorgeous lines here and there in it. The story however is just weird and doesn't seem to go anywhere. But according to literature people, it did go somewhere. So...I guess I just missed something.
WHO SHOULD READ: Um....not sure, really, literature fans maybe?
MY RATING: Three out of five I just don't get you books

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Big Fat Recommendation List: H and I Authors

Here are all the books by authors whose name starts with the letters H, and I, whose books I have read and recommend. I am putting I here, because there aren't many writers I've read whose name starts with I. So it's kind of silly for me to make a whole page for them when there'll be like...two authors there.

H Authors


Princess Academy books by Shannon Hale

Marguerite Henry
Misty of Chincoteague series
King of the Wind
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Born to Trot
Justin Morgan Had a Horse

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Bunnicula series by James Howe


Gone With the Respiration Duology by Lia Habel
The Girl is Murder Duology by Kathryn Miller Haines

Shannon Hale
Books of Bayern series
Book of a Thousand Days

The Conspiracy of Us Trilogy by Maggie Hall
Deadly Cool series by Gemma Halliday
Rebel of the Sands series  by Alwyn Hamilton
To All the Boys I've Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han

Cynthia Hand
Unearthly Trilogy
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
The Lady Janies series co-written with Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Kim Harrington
Clarity Duology
The Dead and Buried

Seraphina series by Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall series
Rebel Belle Trilogy

The Girl From Everywhere Duology by Heidi Heilig
The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman
Splintered series by A. G. Howard

Shaun David Hutchinson
We Are the Ants
At the Edge of the Universe
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/Literary/Historical Fiction

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo


Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
The Hollows series  by Kim Harrison
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley


Charlaine Harris
Aurora Teagarden series
Lily Bard series


Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Cotillion by Georgette Heyer


A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry


The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes


Around the Way Girl by Taraji P. Henson
The Geek Feminist Revolution  by Kameron Hurley

I Authors

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/Literature/Historical Fiction
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

Monday, August 27, 2018

Book Review: Heart of Iron

TITLE: Heart of Iron
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Ashley Poston
PUBLISHED: February 27th, 2018
GENRE: Science-Fiction
PREMISE: A sci-fi retelling of Anastasia.
MY REVIEW: So I got this book in my OwlCrate box awhile back. I wasn't really anticipating it or anything, but after enjoying Geekerella, I figured I would at least be reading it. For those wondering about the Anastasia is definitely there. If you're reading this for the hopes of some Russian inspired sci-fi or something'll probably disappointed. It just takes the bare bones of the movie Anastasia and sets it in space and takes liberties.
Luckily, I liked the liberties. World building wise...this isn't really hard sci-fi or anything. If you're someone who likes the science part of sci-fi, I guarantee the science in here will probably bug you. But story wise and character wise, it was pretty good. It's fast paced and entertaining. I don't mind the relationships that much either. There's a cute side M/M relationship as well as the main one. There's also quite a bit of diversity. I wish the book had advertised those facts more. I bet people looking for those things would like to know the book has it.
Story goes pretty predictably. But there are some pretty good twists here and there. Particularly at the end. The characters are all enjoyable and it's very readable and entertaining. I'll probably be picking up the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Anastasia fans, sci-fi fans, fans of things like These Broken Stars
MY RATING: Four out of Five lost princesses

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Book Review: The Case for Jamie

TITLE: The Case for Jamie
Book 3 in the Charlotte Holmes series
AUTHOR: Brittany Cavallaro
PUBLISHED: March 6th, 2018
GENRE: Classic book referencing, Mystery
PREMISE: Charlotte and Jamie get thrown together for another case...
MY REVIEW: This series continues to be really enjoyable. I love what the author does with the characters of Charlotte and Jamie. Mystery's about average. But character development's top notch. I honestly wish this author had been put in charge of the BBC Sherlock show. I bet we would have gotten much better development for everyone. ;is still bitter about how that series turned out;
I can't really go into much without spoiling a lot of the book. But this deals with the fallout of the last book and I love how it dealt with it. It didn't try to demonize anyone or make the reader pick sides or put any character on a pedestal. That was so refreshing, because that can often happen when there's a conflict in book series.
So my feelings on this series are mostly the same. It's an enjoyable riff on Sherlock Holmes. It does gender-flipping well and does something new with the Sherlock Holmes stories. I can't wait to read the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that have read the first two books, Sherlock Holmes fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five excellent character developments

Saturday, August 25, 2018

(Modern) Classic Book Review: The Neverending Story

TITLE: The Neverending Story
AUTHOR: Michael Ende
CATEGORY: Middle-Grade
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A boy finds a book that magically transports him to a magical land.
MY THOUGHTS: I have seen the Neverending Story movies a long time ago. I believe back in middle-school, actually. I enjoyed them well enough. That's kind of my reaction to the book: I enjoyed it well enough. It's not really life-changing or anything, though.
Probably if I had read this as a tween, it'd be a different story. If you have a tween into fantasy, give them this book. They will probably at least get a kick out of it. Me, I just can't give it more then a shrug. Part of it is that it's predictable. Nothing happens that isn't really unexpected. It follows typical fantasy quest rules. It's wish-fulfillment for boys, basically. It is also frankly...a little dated. Female characters don't really do anything, the one PoC character is a horrible stereotype. He...kind of does stuff, but is quickly pushed aside, once Bastian goes into the book. Which...I get it, it's a wish-fulfillment book. So naturally, everyone is going to be focused on making Bastian the best hero he can be. It was still kind of annoying though.
So...I get why it became a thing. It's a decent story and does the trick. There's some meta stuff in the beginning about reading that I really liked. For the age group it's aimed at, I recommend it. For older folks though...I suspect it might bore you. Especially if you're like me and have seen the movies, so you already know what happens.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tweens/Middle-school/early high school readers, fantasy fans

Friday, August 24, 2018

Book Review: An American Marriage

TITLE: An American Marriage
AUTHOR: Tayari Jones
PUBLISHED: February 2018
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A detailed look at a marriage and its ups and downs as the husband gets convicted of a crime he didn't commit and goes to prison.
MY REVIEW: I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. On one hand: the writing is great. There are a lot of topics brought up in this book that make you sit and think about things and I loved that aspect of it. The characters are well developed as well.
On the other was really slow. And I really did not like the ending. I felt like there was all this big amazing build up that...just fizzled out at the end and I was just left there going "that's it? Really?". unfortunately a thing that often happens with me in literature books.
So I'm torn on how to rate this. It was really good and I liked it. For the first two thirds of the book I thought I might have a five star read on my hand. But then the ending happened. But I don't want to rate a book low just because of the ending. The ending is just one factor of a book. I like to look at all the factors. For most of it...this book was really good. So...yeah, I'm not sure what to rate this one, really.
WHO SHOULD READ: Oprah's Book Club fans, those who like gut-punching kind of books
MY RATING: Three and a half to four out of five troubled marriages

Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review: Anger is a Gift

TITLE: Anger is a Gift
AUTHOR: Mark Oshiro
GENRE: Contemporary
PUBLISHED: May 22nd, 2018
PREMISE: Moss' life gets turned upside down when his school starts getting metal detectors and a heavy police presence...
MY REVIEW: Some of you may know Mark Oshiro from Mark Reads or Mark Watches or his general Mark Does Stuff website. I've been a fan of his for awhile now. I used to actually comment on his readalongs/watchalongs but stopped and now mostly just lurk. So I was pretty excited to hear that he had written a book.
I am pleased to say: it is great. There are a lot of comparisons being made to The Hate U Give and that is definitely apt. This takes a lot of the issues brought up in that book (as well as the book Dear Martin) and builds on it in a wonderful way.
This book does not play. To quote Mark himself: shit gets real. Very fast. There's a bit in the middle and end that is especially gut-punching. Basically, this book is just damn good. Read it. Especially if you need something to tide you over until THUG movie or Angie Thomas' new book in February.
WHO SHOULD READ: THUG fans, Dear Martin fans, Adam Silvera fans
MY RATING: Five out of Five tear stained tissues

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Review Catch Up Part 3: The Second Half of July 2018

Last of the review catch up posts, I promise. Here are all the things I read in the second half of July.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding Book 1 by Alexandra Bracken
Category: Middle-Grade
Published: September 2017
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Enjoyable read, as usual, from Alexandra Bracken. Turns out this is going to be made into a movie, so I read it just in time.
Rating: Four out of Five snarky demons

Another Country by James Baldwin
Category: Adult
Published: 1962
Genre: Contemporary
Read mostly because it was on the Great American Read list. I'm kind of slowly going through the ones I haven't read. Not all of them, because there are some I'm just not interested in, at all (Atlas Shrugged, for instance). But most of them I will be some point.

Robots VS Fairies anthology by various authors
Category: Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi
Published: January 9th, 2018
Fun short story anthology that had stories featuring either robots or fairies.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five short stories that I wanted to be whole books

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Social Commentary/Feminism
Published: February 6th, 2018
A deep look into the sexism of the tech industry. How bad it is, how we got there, why it persists, and how we can change the culture. The book is good and's just draining, hearing about all these incidents and seeing all the indifference from some of the people in the industry.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five informative, but sad books

Kat Holloway Book 1: Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Published: January 2nd, 2018
Okay historical mystery. Didn't really impress me, but didn't really fail me either. It's good for if you just want some Downton Abbey-esque feelings with a dash of mystery.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five nosy maids getting shit done

Veronica Speedwell Book 3: A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn
Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Published: January 16th, 2018
This series continues to be delightful. If you like slow burn romances, heroines who don't give a fuck about society's expectations, and snark, seriously pick this series up.
Rating: Four out of Five awesome snarky heroines

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Category: Play
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: 1953
I started to read this one, and it turns out I actually already have read it...way back in school. I just apparently forgot that. Oh well. If nothing else, it was a good refresher.

Comics read:
Captain America original 1940s series on Marvel Unlimited
Heavy Vinyl vol. 1

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Book Review Catch Up Post Part 2: First Half of July 2018

Here are some of the things I read in the first half of July:

River of Teeth Book 1 by Sarah Gailey
Category: Adult
Genre: Alternate History
Published: May 2017
This is a short novella that takes an interesting what if idea and just runs with it. The result is a really fun and fast adventure story. Need to get my hands on the second book.
Rating: Four out of Five hippos (the reference will make sense when you read it)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Category: YA
Genre: Verse/Contemporary
Published: March 6th, 2018
Contemporary verse novel about a girl finding her voice through slam poetry. I liked most of it, but the ending with the mother left a lot to be desired for me. If it wasn't for that, this would be five whole stars from me, because it's beautifully written.
Rating: Four out of Five let down endings

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary, literary fiction
Published: January 9th, 2018
Everyone and their mother has been raving about this book and honestly...I don't get it. Half of it was good, the other half...not so much. Also I was really not into the way it stereotyped people a lot.
Rating: Three out of Five side-eyes

Caraval Book 2: Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Published: May 29th, 2018
Oh Caraval, I have so many mixed feelings about this series. I gave the debut a four out of five, but after much reflection...I would probably rate it lower now. I enjoy this series, it's very readable and everything. There's nothing really bad in's just not really good either. If you like it, I get it. I like it too. But...I also fully acknowledge that quality's not the best.
Rating: Three and a half out of Five generic, but enjoyable fantasy reads

American Panda by Gloria Chao
Category: YA
Genre: Contemporary
Published: February 6th, 2018
Cute and fluffy contemporary about a girl finding her way while dealing with controlling parents.
Rating: Four out of Five satisfying reads

Magic Misfits Book 1: The Magic Misfits by Neal Patrick Harris
Category: Middle-Grade
Genre: Contemporary/Adventure
Published: November 2017
Yes, NPH wrote a book. It was...just okay. The thing with middle-grade books is that there are two kinds: ones written with a general audience in mind...and one just written for tweens. This was written for tweens and they should be happy with it. I am not a tween, therefore, I was not really the target audience for the book.

Graphic novels read:
Generation X (2017) series (yes, the whole thing, I recently got a Marvel Unlimited subscription and have been putting it to use)
America Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez
Runaways (2017) Vol. 1

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Book Review Catch-up Post Part 1: June 2018 Reads

Yeah...I'm woefully behind on reviews on here. I have been reading...I just haven't been terribly motivated to post reviews. So I'm going to do a catch up and try to get back into the swing of reviewing/posting stuff this month.

Here are the rest of the books that I read in June:

Rebel Mechanics Book 3: Rebels Rising by Shanna Swenson
Category: YA
Genre: Steampunk/Historical Fantasy
Published: April 2017
Rating: Three and a half out of Five steampunk outfits
Okay ending. Everything tied up a little too quickly and neatly for my taste. A bit of a let down after how great the second one was.
Rating for series: Three and a half out of Five

Tyranny of Petticoats Book 2: The Radical Element by various authors
Category: YA
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy, Short Stories
Published: March 13th, 2018
Rating: Four out of Five awesome female leads
If you've read Tyranny of Petticoats, this is just more of the same. Lots of good stories in this one.

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
Genre: Contemporary
Published: January 23rd, 2018
Rating: Three and a half out of Five
I like the overall message in this book, and there were some beautiful passages of writing in it. But the story overall...just fell a little flat for me for some reason.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Category: Adult/Classics
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 1905
This was...interesting. It was a bit slow for my taste, but overall I liked it. I find that Wharton's books tend to subvert expectations and I really like that aspect of her books.

Numair Chronicles Book 1: Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Published: February 6th, 2018
Rating: Four out of Five
I adore the Tortall books and pretty much everything Pierce writes. So it was a given, I was going to read and enjoy this. However, even as I enjoyed it...I think the series is unnecessary as most prequels are. It gives good insight to Numair's character...but that's honestly about all it does. But this was mostly just build-up, I think I suspect the next book will be where everything I actually care about happens. Such as Numair meeting Alanna and co.

The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes
Category: Classics
Genre: Poetry
Published: This edition, was published in 1995. It includes all of Hughes poems written over the the years, going as far back as the 1930s.
Still very new to poetry, so I can't comment on the quality. But I personally loved these. I also found some that were written over fifty years ago that are still relevant today. Part of me thinks it's because Hughes was just that good and part of me also thinks its because our society has not evolved as much as we like to claim.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Category: Classics
Genre: Non-Fiction/Philosophy/Politics
Published: 1513
If you're into history, you'll probably like this. As a lot of it is Machiavelli talking about politics and drawing from examples of history to back up his ideas. I just honestly found it dull.

Graphic Novels read:
Ms Marvel Vol.s 7 and 8
Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1
Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Vol. 2

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Review: Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scary Tales

TITLE: Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scary Tales
AUTHOR: Kiersten White
CATEGORY: Middle-Grade
PUBLISHED: July 2017
GENRE: Fantasy, Fairy-tale mash-up
PREMISE: A retelling of various fairy-tales with some twists here and there...
MY REVIEW: I should probably give a bias warning: Kiersten White is a favorite author of mine. I've yet to read a book of hers I haven't enjoyed at least somewhat. Her stuff just kind of speaks to me, and this book is no exception. It is basically a fantasy parody with mash-ups of fairy tales with a slight horror bent. For instance, Goldilocks and the three bears. In this version, Goldilocks is a zombie hunter and the bears were actually zombies. Her breaking into the house was totally justified, guys!
There's Snow White, who turns out to be a mind-controlling monster (hence why the queen really put her into the coffin). Red Riding Hood turns out to be a vampire and so on. It basically just twists fairy-tales in unconventional ways and ties all of the tales together. It's all told with an hilarious narrator.
Because of the parody element, this probably won't appeal to everyone. But I personally loved it. If you know of tweens or anyone who enjoys middle-grade who is skeptical of the whole princess thing, they will probably like it too.
WHO SHOULD READ: fairy-tale mash-up fans, those who like fun twists on familiar stories
MY RATING: Four out of Five fun twisted fairy-tales

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Big Fat Recommendation List: G Authors

Here are all the books I recommend written by authors whose names start with the letter G:

Childrens/Middle-Grade Fiction

Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Mapmaker's Trilogy by S. E. Grove

Young Adult Fiction

Elusion Duology by Claudia Gabel
Caraval Trilogy by Stephanie Garber
Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden

Whitney Gardner
You're Welcome, Universe
Chaotic Good

Princesses of Westfallen Trilogy by Jessica Day George
Stoker and Holmes series by Colleen Gleason
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Ryan Graudin
The Walled City
Wolf by Wolf duology

Claudia Gray
Evernight series
Spellcaster Trilogy
Firebird series
Star Wars: Lost Stars

John Green
Looking for Alaska
An Abundance of Katherines
Paper Towns
Will Grayson, Will Grayson (co-written with David Levithan)
The Fault in Our Stars

The Girl at Midnight Trilogy by Melissa Grey
Masque of the Red Death Duology by Bethany Griffin
Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/General Fiction

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Historical Fiction

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


Neil Gaiman
Trigger Warnings: Short Fictions and Disturbances
American Gods Duology
The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray


North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell


Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden (I think this series is out of print now, but you should be able to find it at used bookstores or libraries)
Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood (also highly recommend the TV show version)


Neil Gaiman
The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Non-Fiction
Norse Mythology

In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary

Roxane Gay
Bad Feminist
Hunger: A Memoir of My Body

Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash
My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Giuerrero with Michelle Buford

Monday, July 9, 2018

Book Review: Before the Devil Breaks You

TITLE: Before the Devil Breaks You
Book 3 in the Diviners series
AUTHOR: Libba Bray
PUBLISHED: October 2017
GENRE: Historical Fantasy/Paranormal
PREMISE: The Diviners all come together for their training as their lives become more difficult and the enemy comes closer and closer...
MY REVIEW: I think I've been pretty up front about the fact that I adore this series. So it probably won't come as a surprise to any of you, that I adored this book.
As with the other books, the characters in this series are the best. I love how they all come together. I love the snark, I love how their personalities clash and also mesh well. I love the setting in this. Far too many historical novels that take place in the twenties focus on the glamour part of it. This book does that, but also points out all the gross stuff that went on during this time as well such as deep racism that still existed well after slavery had ended, sexism, classism, and a whole bunch of other funky things we tend to try and brush under the rug when we go on about the "good old days".
This was a phenomenal continuation. There were twists I wasn't expecting (and some that downright broke my heart, even though the twists were damn good), and it leaves on a big question mark. I'm sure we'll probably have to wait awhile for the next book in this series as well and I'm honestly okay with that. Just please, publishers: stop changing the damn covers.
WHO SHOULD READ: Libba Bray fans, those that have read the first two books
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five almost perfect books (it was a tad slow in the beginning, that's the only reason it's not getting five full stars from me)

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Book Review: Geek Love

TITLE: Geek Love
AUTHOR: Katherine Dunn
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A slice of life sort of book documenting the lives of a family at a traveling carnival...
MY REVIEW: Oh literature crowd, sometimes I do not understand you and your taste. This is yet another one of those times. I've seen this book on all sorts of lists, hailed as super amazing and everything. So I was eager to read it. Unfortunately...I did not get into it. At all.
The writing is gorgeous. This is something the literature crowd does get right usually. They have an amazing ability to spot people with good prose. But here's the thing: just because something has good prose...that doesn't mean it's a good book. The prose here were lovely...the story...not so much. The characters were all jerks who I didn't enjoy spending any time with. There's emotional abuse and all sorts of messed up things happening here. The plot also moves at a snails pace. The ending leaves a lot to be desired as well. A lot of reviews I saw, said the ending was worth all the slowness of the book...I really don't agree with that assessment.
So yeah. I just don't get what people see in this book. All I saw was a book that had a great idea, but not such great execution. Which is a problem I find happens a lot in literature. But from what I can tell this is the kind of book people either really love or really hate. So I would not take my word for things and check it out of the library to see if it's for you.
WHO SHOULD READ: literature fans who don't mind slow books
MY RATING: Two and a half out of Five beautifully written, but boring books

Book Review: To Kill a Kingdom

TITLE: To Kill a Kingdom
AUTHOR: Alexandra Christo
PUBLISHED: March 6th, 2018
GENRE: Fantasy, Retelling
PREMISE: A retelling of the little mermaid where the mermaid actually becomes human so she can kill the prince...
MY REVIEW: I admit it, I was a bit skeptical going into this. Mermaid books and me, really do not get along as a rule. But to my surprise...I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is a tad generic. Sorry, but retellings of the Little Mermaid happen all the time. So I can't give it higher then four stars. But it is still a very readable and entertaining book.
My favorite part about this book, hands down, were the side characters. Particularly the Prince's crew. They were an utter delight. They snarked at each other, supported each other, it was all great. It gave me a lot of Six of Crows chosen family vibes. That's my weakness. So that had a lot to do with my enjoyment of the book. I always say: if your plot is not going to be the most original out there, make sure your characters are awesome so people want to stay and read it. And the author succeeded in that quite a bit.
This was just a fun, but also kind of angsty, entertaining read. It did exactly what it set out to do, and I think the author did a fairly good job on it. The fantasy debuts this year are doing a much better job then last year, I must say. I still say it needs to do better on the diversity/LGBTQ plus rep though. I'm hoping the success of Children of Blood and Bone (which I still need to read) gets the ball rolling on the diversity front at least.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the Little Mermaid, dark fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five solid retellings

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book Review: Famous Last Words

TITLE: Famous Last Words
AUTHOR: Katie Alender
GENRE: Paranormal/Mystery
PREMISE: A girl moves to Hollywood as there's a serial killer on the loose and she's haunted by visions...
MY REVIEW: I read this pretty much right after reading Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. As always with Alender: it's a fun and entertaining romp. This would make a great by the pool book (there's even a scene in it with a pool!). Quality's just okay.
The plot was decent. It kind of slowed in the middle. There was stuff going on with a female friend that I found incredibly unnecessary (and fed more into that whole "girl can't be real friends!" nonsense that seems to plague YA). The romance was...a little blah and felt forced. But the stuff with the ghosts and the mystery was pretty good. A little slow, but good.
This book just scratched my itch to read more ghost books. If you also have such a need, it's a good one to look into. Though if you're going to try Alender, I recommend starting with her Bad Girls trilogy first. After reading all her books now, I can safely say that's her best one.
WHO SHOULD READ: Katie Alender fans, those who just want fun ghost stories
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five ghosts bothering humans

Friday, June 29, 2018

Mid Year Book Freakout, 2018

This is a survey thing that was created over on YouTube. I think it works pretty well for blogging as well so I'm going to borrow it. Basically it's a way to take stock of what you've read so far in the year. Here is the original video for anyone interested in doing it themselves:

I still can't believe the year is halfway over. Didn't we just start 2018?

The Questions:

1) Best book you've read so far in 2018:

I have a lot of favorites so far already. But I'm going to go with Diviners Book 3: Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray. I finished it a few days ago (review is coming soon) and I have feelings you guys. So. Many. Feelings.

2) Best sequel you've read so far in 2018:

Other then Before the Devil Breaks You, some other good sequels have been:

Three Dark Crowns Book 2: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Broken Earth Book 3: The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
Winternight Trilogy Book 2: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Wayward Children Book 3: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

3) New release you haven't read yet but want too:

Oh geez, where to begin? Here are some of the heavy hitters

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Flavia de Luce 9: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Illuminae Files Book 3: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
Trials of Apollo Book 3: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

It's so cute how they say release instead of releases

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Conqueror's Saga Book 3: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White
Custard Protocol Book 3: Competence by Gail Carriger
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab/Vengeful by V. E. Schwab
Kate Daniels Book 10: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Three Dark Crowns 3: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake
Warcross Book 2: Wildcard by Marie Lu
Strange the Dreamer 2: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
What if It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
Renegades Book 2: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
Peter Grant 7: Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovich

5) Biggest disappointment:

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

This book should have been everything for me. It had so much potential. But it was all wasted on a typical plot I've seen a million times before.

6) Biggest surprise:

The Belles Book 1 by Dhonielle Clayton

I admit it, I was not expecting much from this book. I had hopes. Especially after the gorgeous cover was released. But the comparisons to The Selection kept putting me off. Luckily, the comparisons to that series turned out to not really have much merit, and this book turned out to be awesome.

7) Favorite new author:

Nnedi Okorafor
Emma Mills
Toni Morrison

8) Newest fictional crush

Yeah...I don't really do the fictonal crush thing. Plus honestly half the characters in the books I read are like 17 or whatever so me having crushes on them would be....not right. But here are some people I highly recommend as good possible romantic partners to people who are not old like me (or aromantic like me):

Finch from The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Remy from The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Gideon from Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
Elena from The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Adrian or Nova from the Renegades series by Marissa Meyer
Takumi from Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Abby and Garrett from Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

9) Newest favorite character

The ship crew from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I utterly adored the Prince's ship mates from this book. They bickered and bantered and were all sassy and loyal. They were just awesome.

10) Book that made you cry:

Er...none really. I don't really cry during entertainment of any kind. I get really shocked. But I don't cry. One that did really get to me, mostly because I was just so angry on the main character's behalf was The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis. Does that count?

11) Book that made you happy:

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

This book is so adorable you guys. Just read it.

12) Most beautiful book you've bought/received this year:

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.

That cover is freaking gorgeous. The one I got was an Owlcrate exclusive cover too and the background is green instead of black and I LOVE IT.

13) What books do you need to get to by the end of this year?

Well, see all the books from above. As for my Bronte sister read through, I'm in the middle of Shirley, and still have The Professor, Villette, and Emily's poems to get through. As for my classics list I'm hoping to do:
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Candide by Volitaire
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Little Prince
Howard's End by E. M. Forester
and possibly Watership Down

14) Favorite Book Community Member

Eh....don't really have one? There are lots of people I follow on blogs as well as YouTube who just all give out great content. I don't particularly have a favorite, though I do love the Owlcrate team for their subscription boxes.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat

TITLE: Leah on the Offbeat
Companion book in the Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda series
AUTHOR: Becky Albertalli
PUBLISHED: April 24rth, 2018
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
PREMISE: Simon's friend Leah goes through her own set of troubles as she deals with the looming of college, dealing with her sexuality, and a crush on a girl that she thinks is hopeless...
MY REVIEW: I love Becky Albertalli's books, so I should probably give a bias warning for this review. She's basically an auto-buy author for me now. So whenever there are more Albertalli books in the future, I will be reading them.
As with all of Albertalli's books, this one was just cute. It is fast paced, there's some great lines in it that just nail things, and there's a romance I actually don't mind. I will admit that story wise...this was all over the place and I kind of think it lost focus too much. Quality wise...I think it's not as good as her first two books.
But it is still very enjoyable. At the end of the day, it was mostly what I wanted from it, so I'm not complaining too loudly and don't think it's bad or anything like that. I can't wait for whatever she has in store for us next. The only one I know of coming out is the one she's writing with Adam Silvera that's coming out later this year. I am thrilled about it and have my money and my tissues ready.
WHO SHOULD READ: Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five happy reads

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My Big Fat Recommendation List: F Authors

Here are all the books I recommend written by authors whose name begins with the letter F.


Harriet the Spy series by Louise Fitzhugh
The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
Corduroy picture book series by Don Freeman

Cornelia Funke
Inkworld Trilogy
The Thief Lord

Young Adult Fiction

Jessica's Guide Duology by Beth Fantaskey
Of Metal and Wishes Duology by Sarah Fine
Incarceron Duology by Catherine Fisher
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Gayle Forman
If I Stay Duology
Just One Day Duology
I Was Here

Bhinian Empire Duology by Miram Forster
Dark Star Trilogy by Bethany Frenette

Esther Friesner
Nobody's Princess Duology
Spirit's Princess Duology
Sphinx's Princess Duology

Adult Fiction

Contemporary/General Fiction
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Room With a View by E. M. Forester

Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke

Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde

Welcome to Night Vale series by Joseph Fink


Carrie Fisher
Wishful Drinking
The Princess Diarest

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin

Monday, June 25, 2018

Book Review: Gunslinger Girl

TITLE: Gunslinger Girl
AUTHOR: Lyndsay Ely
PUBLISHED: January 2nd, 2018
GENRE: Dystopian
PREMISE: A girl escapes her home life and goes on a journey to a town where she becomes a sharp shooter for entertainment...
MY REVIEW: These James Patterson imprint books have been a real mixed bag for me. Much like how James Patterson's books are, now that I think about it. This latest book is no exception. I do give the author many points for creativity factor and readability factor. But was just okay all across the board.
The world-building is really interesting and where I see most of the creativity. She also writes nicely and cleanly and manages to spin a fast-paced tale. But other then those things...nothing much about this stood out for me. The characters were all the usual types that you see in YA these days. The story was okay...but not what I'd call a must read. Even the writing, which I mentioned was just okay. Everything is just...okay. Nothing, aside from some creative world-building, really stands out in this book.
So I don't know how I feel about this one to be honest. I enjoyed it as I read it. There's nothing particularly bad about it or anything. It's just...very average. I basically finished it, shrugged, and then promptly moved on to the next book in my pile. But I've seen some people love this. So...I don't know. I say check it out from the library, and see if it's for you, before buying it.
WHO SHOULD READ: James Patterson fans, dystopian fans, Hunger Games fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five shrugs

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Review: The Dangerous Art of Blending In

TITLE: The Dangerous Art of Blending In
AUTHOR: Angelo Surmelis
PUBLISHED: January 30th, 2018
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A boy tries to survive high school and an abusive household all while dealing with his growing knowledge that he is gay.
MY REVIEW: First I'm going to give several trigger warnings for this book. The character's mother is incredibly abusive, both physically and emotionally. He also faces major bullying and there's lots of homophobic language used throughout the story by people. If all of that is triggering for you...maybe wait to read the book. I mean it started to piss me off while reading it and I'm not even gay, nor have I ever been abused. But the people in this book (not the main character or his love interest, but like the bullies and the mother and basically every crappy person enabling them in that town) just made me so freaking angry. If you have any sort of'll probably make you angry as well.
Which is probably what hindered my enjoyment of this. But I also recognize, this book was not written with me, a het-leaning demisexual woman, in mind. It was written for gay teens. To give gay teens hope. To show them they can survive and it gets better and all of that. This is a daily reminder: just because something does not speak to you. Does not mean it won't speak to anyone else. Not every book/movie/TV show is written for just you. Which I think is a good thing. It means we get more variety in our entertainment.
So personally, I had a hard time enjoying this one. But I also see that story-wise it's good. The writing is powerful. For people who need this kind of book in their lives, I definitely recommend it.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of things like Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, The Miseducation of Cameron Post fans, etc.
MY RATING: Four out of Five powerful stories that weren't for me, but still good

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Book Review: Chaotic Good

TITLE: Chaotic Good
AUTHOR: Whitney Gardner
PUBLISHED: March 13th, 2018
GENRE: Contemporary
PREMISE: A girl who is sick of being ostracized by male geeks, dresses up as a male to be able to go her local comic book store in peace. Things do not go how she plans...
MY REVIEW: This is more of what I am taking to calling geek lit. I am mostly enjoying these geek lit books. But one thing about them is bugging me, and that thing persists in this book: it does not call out the geek world on its issues enough. I know what you're thinking, wait...this book sounds designed to call out the stuff like sexism in it? And to be sure, Gardner definitely goes farther on calling out shit then most of these books do. But...I can't help but notice it never once mentioned the word sexism, nor did it imply that the problem was sexism and that's...really baffling to me. This was talking about fake geek girl crap, and fake geek girl crap exists, mostly because of sexism. There is some of the usual bs elitism that floats around geeks involved as well, but's sexism. I've yet to see any male geek who didn't know some obscure piece of information get called a fake geek. Laughed at a bit, sure. But he's still welcome to play Dungeons and Dragons. If a female geek doesn't know the random thing, she gets told to go away and stop pretending she's a geek.
Honestly, the way the author handled the character of Brody in general, just really bugged the shit out of me and dragged down the whole novel for me really. Yes, sometimes a character would tell him he was being a jerk. Cameron got a great tell off scene at the end. But...even she never once told him to his face that hey, you're being sexist, you know that, right? Quite frankly...someone really needed to tell him this.
I'm sorry, but I've dealt with way too many guys in fandom who are like Brody. Who will say all the bs he says, then insist that they totally aren't sexist, how dare you suggest such a thing! It's been my experience, guys like Brody...tend to ruin fandom. My advice to anyone who runs into a guy like him is a) Call him on his shit, please. Tell him outright he is being sexist and it is not okay. B) If he doesn't change his behavior...ditch him. Because if he sticks around spreading his toxic views to the group, your friend group is going to disappear, because they don't want to deal with him.
If it wasn't for Brody and the mishandling of that entire issue...I would have liked this a lot more. The main character is fun, it does address some stuff like male privilege and does that well. It did try to address the fake geek girl stuff and definitely said it was wrong...but by not talking about the sexism part of it...I'm not sure if it handled the subject that well. All of this is just more then a little disappointing as I loved this author's last book so much.
WHO SHOULD READ: Queens of Geek fans, Geekerella fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five sad sighs

Friday, June 22, 2018

So You've Finally: Read and Watched The Handmaid's Tale

Trying to get back into the swing of doing recommendation lists again. We'll see how long this lasts.
This time, I've got a list for fans of The Handmaid's Tale. This book has been everywhere lately, thanks to the TV show, our current crappy political situation here in the US, and even it being on the Great American Read List.
I confess, I haven't seen the TV show. because I don't have a Hulu subscription. I have however read (and highly recommend) the book. Here are just some recommendations for people who...not sure if enjoyed is the right word here, as the book is scary as hell (or at least I found it scary as hell). Liked, I guess? Note: you're not going to see the usual suspects like 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 etc. Because more then likely, you've either already read those, or you've been recommended them a million times already.

Some other older sci-fi recommendations:

Earthseed series by Octavia Butler

Hainish Cycle series by Ursula K. Le Guin

Some more recently published recommendations:

Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Vivian Apple duology by Katie Coyle

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

American War by Omar El Akkad

The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano

Bitch Planet graphic novel series by Kelley Sue DeConnick

Some non-fiction dealing with the subjects brought up in the book/show:

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi

Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism's Work is Done by Susan J. Douglas

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Reading Through the Classics (Play version): Waiting for Godot

TITLE: Waiting for Godot
AUTHOR: Samuel Beckett
GENRE: Um...Magical realism...I guess?
PREMISE: Two old men wait for a man they call Godot every day. Here are just some of the things that happen to them while they wait...
MY THOUGHTS: This is a weird play. Like, of all the plays I've read so far I think the weirdest is either this one or Angels in America. But like Angels in America....this works for me.
A large part of it is the banter. I love me some good banter, and this play has that in spades. It just makes you laugh, even as you have no idea what's going on sometimes.
I enjoyed this. It is a weird ass play. But apparently, weird ass plays are my thing. What can you do?
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the play, Angels in America fans, philosophy fans

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Book Review: Scrappy Little Nobody

TITLE: Scrappy Little Nobody
AUTHOR: Anna Kendrick
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Celebrity Memoir
PREMISE: Actress Anna Kendrick talks about her life.
MY REVIEW: I...honestly don't have much to say about this book. It is basically what it is: a memoir written by Anna Kendrick.
It's very typical celebrity memoir stuff. She talks about her childhood a bit. She goes into how her career started. There are some bits here and there about the movies she has been in (not much about Pitch Perfect, oddly enough). and so on. There weren't any major reveals that shocked me or anything like that. If you're a big Anna Kendrick fan, you're probably aware of most of the information in here.
So it's an okay memoir. It just doesn't really blow me away. I don't look at Kendrick differently or anything like that. It's just an average celebrity memoir.
WHO SHOULD READ: Anna Kendrick fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five shrugs

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Big Fat Recommendation List: E Authors

Here are all the books I recommend by authors whose last name start with E. It won't be long probably. Last names starting with E don't seem to be common, in the writing world at least.

Childrens/Middle-Grade Books

Tales of Magic series by Edward Eager
Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman (picture book)

Young Adult

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Court of Fives Trilogy by Kate Elliott
The Pimpernelles Duology by Patricia Elliott
This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Ivory and Bone series by Julie Eshbaugh

Jennifer Estep
Mythos Academy series
Black Blade Trilogy

Adult Fiction

Heartburn by Nora Ephron
The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

Historical Fiction
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival

Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep

Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich


The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

TITLE: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
AUTHOR: Katie Alender
GENRE: Paranormal
PREMISE: A girl inherits a mansion full of secrets, and ghosts.
MY REVIEW: This was a random pick up from the library for me. At the time I was craving ghost stories. I tend to do this when it gets hot and muggy outside. I crave a weird combination of ghost stories, gothic historical fiction, and then cute and fluffy contemporaries. I don't get it either, but it is what it is.
Alender is always good for a fun ghost story so I picked this slightly older book up that I meant to read awhile ago. It was a fun time. It's not a must read or anything like that. But if you're in the mood for ghosts, this should give you your fix. It's a nice and fast-paced plot, the characters are interesting, the atmosphere is great. It's exactly what I wanted at the time I picked it up.
This is a very quick read and was very nicely done. Again, not exactly a must read. But if you want a fun story with ghosts, this should do the trick.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that want ghost stories, Katie Alender fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five decent reads

Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Review: This Will Be My Undoing

TITLE: This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America
AUTHOR: Morgan Jerkins
PUBLISHED: January 30th, 2018
CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
GENRE: Essays
PREMISE: A series of essays by Morgan Jerkins diving into things like feminism, racism, pop culture and so much more.
MY REVIEW: Lately I've found that I really enjoy essays. Particularly I like listening to them via audiobook. Which is what I did with this one and I highly recommend it. The author does the narration herself and she's pretty good at it.
I personally really liked this one. As with most essay collections, some are better then others. One or two go a little too long for my taste, but she still makes her point. The subjects raised are interesting ones that not many people talk about. For instance, she talks about a trip to Japan and the differences between how she was treated there, versus the United States.
I think it was a pretty solid collection. I hope we see more from this author in the future.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that like essay collections, Roxane Gay fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five interesting essays