Trashed is a "fictional memoir" - fictionalized incidents from the author's time as a garbage collector. Interspersed between the amusing and disgustiTrashed is a "fictional memoir" - fictionalized incidents from the author's time as a garbage collector. Interspersed between the amusing and disgusting memories are informational bits and statistics about the methods of garbage collection, garbage trucks, landfills.
If anything, this will teach you to be nicer to your garbagemen. I felt pretty proud because my household (me and my downstairs neighbors) are well below the average when it comes to garbage production and well above the average when it comes to recycling. I'm also a bit relieved to know that the garbagemen in my city don't have to deal with a lot of this stuff, because we're required to have specific trash bins which are picked up by an automated arm, so the garbagemen don't have to lift heavy cans or come into direct contact with the really nasty stuff. Still, it was amazing to learn what people will try to get away with throwing away (like the guy who disassembled an entire car and threw a trashcan's worth of engine parts each week until it was completely gone, instead of paying to have it removed or put in a junkyard)....more
I feel like this graphic novel is almost too ambitious. That fact that this graphic novel took me four days to read says a lot... This is the story ofI feel like this graphic novel is almost too ambitious. That fact that this graphic novel took me four days to read says a lot... This is the story of a girl who has a secret to hide, a connection to an ancient god that others in this world wish to destroy. The first issue/chapter was great, but then came the info dumps about the history of this world which I couldn't quite follow. There were three groups, it seemed, trying to stop this girl, and then there was a cat with two tails and a fox-child trying to help her escape. While the artwork is absolutely gorgeous, and the story has so much potential, I wished this was a novel so I could get more background information without the info dumps. ...more
Celaena is a master assassin - or was, until she was caught and thrown into a death camp/mine. After a year of brutal treatment, she is offered an oppCelaena is a master assassin - or was, until she was caught and thrown into a death camp/mine. After a year of brutal treatment, she is offered an opportunity for freedom by none other than Prince Dorian: if she can win a competition to become the King's Champion, and serve him for four years, she will have her freedom. Killing, even for the king who crushed her people, is better than being whipped and beaten, so Celaena takes the chance. As she regains her strength and tries not to appear too intimidating to the other competitors (not than most of them take a girl seriously anyway), she discovers an evil plot in the glass palace. Someone is using forbidden magic to kill off the competitors. Is it scheming Kaltain who wants the prince for herself? Is it the foreign princess Nehemia? Perhaps it is the king himself, or the top competitor, Cain? Celaena isn't sure about that. What she is sure about is falling for both Prince Dorian and the man assigned to guard her, Chaol.
First off, let me just say that I had the song "Heart of Glass" stuck in my head for the duration of reading this book.
Second, I did not expect to like this as much as I did! I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, but I liked this female assassin immediately. Celaena was a firecracker to be sure, and deadly, but she also actually cared about people. I didn't much expect to like either the prince or Chaol at first, and now I'm about as torn as Celaena, and generally I dislike love triangles... I also liked that Celaena had other friendships throughout that weren't part of her love triangle. The world building somehow didn't interfere with the plot (no giant info dumps!) and I'm very curious about the rebellion and the Wyrdmarks. This book basically had it all: lots of action, intrigue, and romance. ...more
I can't remember where I heard about this book, but the title and subtitle sounded intriguing. The first few chapters describe a tall blonde British gI can't remember where I heard about this book, but the title and subtitle sounded intriguing. The first few chapters describe a tall blonde British girl named Lucie Blackman, who goes with a friend to Tokyo to work as a hostess - these are girls who are paid to sit and talk with Japanese business men, and to go on dates with them - and who disappears one day while on a date. The friend then received phone call several days later from a man explaining that Lucie had joined a cult and would not be returning.
Sounds like this is going to be about a cult, right?
Essentially this book ends up being about the man who is most likely responsible for Lucie's death, and how, due to the Japanese police's disinterest in foreign women being raped and in general the mannerisms of the Japanese that lead foreign women to feel "safe" in the company of Japanese men when they would never do these same things with men of their own culture, this one guy Obara was able to drug and rape women for about 30 years and kill at least two women (apparently accidentally, from the drugs). To give an example of how the Japanese worked this case, they had the suspect for about 7 months trying to get him to confess before they "found" Lucie's body (the author implies that the police may have know the whereabouts of the body the entire time), and the court case went on for NINE YEARS. Sure, Obara himself was quite bizarre, and there was a lot of strangeness about the case, but it most certainly was not about cults, and the title "People who eat darkness" is not explained at all. I'm not sure who is eating darkness here, but the "evil that swallowed her up" was basically one dude that the police could have stopped quite early on and didn't. Unless the title refers to the police. I personally can't even imagine why the author continued to follow this case after nine freaking years... I'd be so bored!
The book was actually quite well-written because I found myself racing through it, despite what in the end turned out to be "boring," or, a pretty common occurrence and not cults. The most interesting parts were those about Japanese culture and about Obara's strange life. I just ended up being disappointed by the actual facts of the case. I had fully expected a much more sensational crime....more
Maddy's lived her whole life in the bubble of her house. She has the "bubble girl" disease where almost everything makes her sick, so she homeschoolsMaddy's lived her whole life in the bubble of her house. She has the "bubble girl" disease where almost everything makes her sick, so she homeschools and only has contact with her mom, her nurse Carla, and one of her teachers. That is, until a new family moves in next door. Maddy becomes curious about Olly, and Olly is curious enough about Maddy that he is willing to undergo the decontamination chamber to meet her - all done in secrecy from Maddy's mom. Maddy and Olly quickly fall for each other, and Maddy's feelings lead to her doing the one thing she's not allowed to do: go outside.
Okay. I've heard a lot of people rave about this book, and it was a fast, enjoyable listen. However. **spoilers ahead**
I wished the book had simply been about a girl with this disease who puts her life in danger for love, and how that affects her future and the possibility of a relationship or even of a life. When Maddy (view spoiler)[runs off to Hawaii with Olly (hide spoiler)], I literally wanted to smack her and be like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? But then there was the twist. Which was an interesting twist, sure, but I think the implications of the twist were handled very poorly. At one point before the twist I remember thinking, oh, how convenient that Maddy's mom is a doctor, and how convenient that there was a settlement from the deaths of Maddy's dad and brother to pay for air filters and decontamination chambers and all that. I also remember thinking, Maddy never mentions being "sick" - like, she says she's sick with SCID, but she doesn't mention ever having a cold or other illness, or even any allergies, which I would think would be common for someone with that disease.
(view spoiler)[I mean, you have a mother who decides, after her husband and son die in a car accident, that her remaining child's life is too precious to risk out in the world, that she diagnoses her own daughter with this crazy rare illness that prevents the daughter from ever leaving the house. I mean, yes, Maddy is upset at discovering this news, but then she continues to live with the mom, and no one has any problem with this arrangement. To me, what the mother did was basically child abuse. Isolating your child is abuse. It's at the opposite end of neglect, and certainly isn't anything like what Olly's father was doing (like, why was no one calling the police or social services when they literally SAW Olly's dad punch him in the stomach???), but it is still abuse. The doctor Maddy sees in the end should have known this, should have reported the mother not only for child abuse, but for abuse of her doctor privileges - she should have had her license revoked! And yes, Maddy was 18, and so she could basically do whatever she wanted at that point, but it's still abuse. The girl had never even been IN A CAR. She was led to believe that if she went outside she would DIE. That is ABUSE. And the end of the story is Maddy deciding to be all independent and go to meet Olly at a bookstore. Because normal kids can just buy plane tickets to Hawaii and NYC on a whim, right? And Olly wouldn't be at all upset that Maddy hadn't emailed/texted him in months?? Never mind the whole aspect of Maddy basically falling in love with the first real boy she's ever laid eyes on. (hide spoiler)]
So, that was a rant! I think I was just disturbed by a lot of what happened in the twist, mostly because I went into this thinking it was going to be a bit more of a serious book about someone living with an extreme illness and it was more of just a fun story about first love with a crazy weird twist that makes everything, everything all better. Unfortunately, there are people out there with diseases like this who won't have this kind of happy ending....more
Twelve-year-old Christina, an orphaned heiress waiting for her 21st birthday, is shipped off to Flambards to live with her uncle and his two sons, MarTwelve-year-old Christina, an orphaned heiress waiting for her 21st birthday, is shipped off to Flambards to live with her uncle and his two sons, Mark and William, presumably because Flambards is failing and and the uncle wishes to marry Christina off to Mark for her inheritance. Christina isn't sure how she feels about this, especially when she arrives and is treated like a servant, and she sees how cruel her uncle is about anything but horses. Mark is just like him, too, and odd William is bed-bound on purpose to escape the horses. But as the kind stablehand Dick teaches Christina to ride, she discovers she loves the horses, which leads her to have mixed feelings about Flambards in general.
This was an enjoyably old-fashioned read. You have to read between the lines in a lot of places, such as Christina avoiding explicitly saying that she has a crush on Dick, or that Dick's sister Violet (view spoiler)[becomes pregnant by Mark (hide spoiler)]. Some of Christina's lack of choices was really frustrating, because she is unable to leave Flambards to go live elsewhere, and she can't allow herself to love a servant. Things are somewhat worked out by the end, but I imagine there will be much more drama in store. ...more
Heather, recently released from a "wellness center," is off to spend her summer with her aunt and grandmother in ScotlanI read this ARC via Netgalley.
Heather, recently released from a "wellness center," is off to spend her summer with her aunt and grandmother in Scotland. She's spent many summers here, and she's excited to see her friends. There are only a few problems: her aunt has cancer, her grandmother is senile and living in a home, and now Heather has been having strange visions. Oh yeah, and her cutting hasn't stopped, but now thanks to her visions, she's convinced the patterns she cuts into her skin have something to do with a history of witchcraft in her family. Can blood magic help her aunt, or will it invite evil into her life?
Oddly enough, I just watched a documentary on Netflix about witches in Scotland, and what Primrose goes through as she is accused of witchcraft and then tortured was very close to what the documentary said happened back then. The idea of blood magic as related to a girl who cuts was interesting, although this didn't get too much into the psychology of what drove Heather to cut, because it seems this was more to do with her visions and history than her mental state. I think teen readers will eat this up, both because of the different locale for the witchy history and the romance between Heather and Robby. The romance didn't take over the narrative, which focused more on Heather's connection to Primrose and Prudence in the past....more