we need more books like these and i don't necessarily mean novels that tackle subjects about abuse, but honest, important coh man, that ending.... :-/
we need more books like these and i don't necessarily mean novels that tackle subjects about abuse, but honest, important conversations about sexuality, rape culture, slut-shaming, animal cruelty and ...female wrath. there's no sugarcoating, that's for sure and that's why it's better than a lot of ya books out there.
i can't add anything here that hasn't been already said by another reviewer.
suffice it to say, it's a fantastic book passing the bechdel-test, with characters that are undeniably human with all their flaws and dumb mistakes that make you hum with sympathy or indignation as you read along. ...more
this was such a delight to read. it's not particulary fast-paced, not a whole lot happens but that's exactly why it clicked with me. in the hand4.75/5
this was such a delight to read. it's not particulary fast-paced, not a whole lot happens but that's exactly why it clicked with me. in the hands of a lesser writer, this might have been a mess. instead we get a quiet, unassumimg novel with loving details.
the story is a snippet in the life of van, our shy and hard-working protagonist who struggles with the wants and expectations of her parents that clash with her own wants and dreams she has for herself. when a boy, she's been infatuated with from a afar for years unexpectedly pays her more and more attention, she's honestly baffled and suspicious.
i was oddly proud when van stood up for herself. it was amusing how in many ways, she was the female version of tall, dark and brooding, completely unaware of her allure.
also refreshing was the way, not every loose end was tied in the story, a lot of the threads are unfinished and some will remain so till the end. the author does not pretend to know all the answers and i know i would've liked the story less had it been different. in some ways it can be frustrating, not knowing how it all continues from a particular point onwards, in other ways it's liberating and more rewarding, since the story is hopelessly brimming with options.
billy is unapologetic in his attraction to her and the many ways he tries to woo her in the book including reading her favourite book, jane eyre had me 'aww'-ing.
noteworthy as well, are the bits and pieces where we experience her home life, spicy food and her tense but loving relationship with her parents.
*** When she looked at her parents watching MasterChef on TV in a tired trance at the end of the working day, she could not connect the very ordinariness of them to what she’d read. What they had experienced was obviously unspeakable. But didn’t they realise the extent to which not speaking made them strangers to her? Why couldn’t they imagine how odd it might feel to see your parents through the wrong end of a telescope? She thought of demanding that they tell her their story, asking the difficult questions, but her courage always failed. She imagined Jane Eyre, stern-eyed, tapping her polished boot impatiently. How did their experience fit with her life now? Across this unspoken gulf, where so much was implied but never spelled out, was it really all down to her to justify the effort, the sacrifices? To make it worthwhile? How could she ever do enough, achieve enough? Be enough? To compensate for – what, exactly?
*** ‘If she knew we were going out?’Wow. He’d said it out loud. ‘We are?’‘To the extent that we can, given you’re not allowed out much, and you don’t want me to come to your place. And you obviously object to public displays of affection.’‘Wouldn’t you like to check in with me? Ask me if I want to go out with you?’He looked shocked. ‘Don’t you?’It cracked her up that the idea of a girl maybe not wanting to go out with him was utterly alien to his experience. ‘Sure. I guess. If you can cope with all the limitations.’‘That is the most excellent news I could hear. Ever.’
*** Curled up in her bedroom chair that night, she thought about boat trips, putting down roots, bitter marmalade and what makes home home.
current issues wrapped in a teen novel, every second generation of migrants can relate to, i'd wager. no sleepovers, parties, staying at home, studyincurrent issues wrapped in a teen novel, every second generation of migrants can relate to, i'd wager. no sleepovers, parties, staying at home, studying, no dating etc etc.
reading through the book was a breeze, in light of smart arguments delivered by several characters, but i had to notch a star because of some jarring sentences. like, sophie (main character) would be angered about someone's reasoning in a discussion and then notice the cute/hot guy in her vicinity. while i know, that might happen in real life, it lessened my enjoyment. it threw me for a loop, it honestly did.
nonetheless, this is a good novel and i'd definitely recommend it in spite of its shortcomings....more
in the second installment of just you taylor and her boyfriend try to make their long-distance relationship work. things get a bit complicated when nein the second installment of just you taylor and her boyfriend try to make their long-distance relationship work. things get a bit complicated when new friends enter the scene and a boy who sparks her interest.
though i skimmed through the book, i was suprised at how different it is compared to the first one. i did expect the female lead to overcome hurdles, but not the kind where she is in an unhealthy relationship with a guy who continously demeans and instigates feelings of shame in her. i was shocked to tell the truth. but even (view spoiler)[ after cutting free of this abusive relationship, -- because she finally realizes it's not healthy for her and also makes her a bad role model for her younger siblings, she cares what happens to the abuser (hide spoiler)]. ...that is not to say that it's all drama with no moments of relief. it has its ups and downs, with an open ending that left me somewhat satisfied and i think the author realistically depicted various issues and situations (from what i've read/skimmed).
i'll be on the lookout for her next work, that's for sure....more
☺ name: mary shelley black ☺ character: mary shelley black ☺ goggles ☺ mary's bluntness ☺ mary's love for science ☺ stephen's anagrams ☺ spirit photog4.5/5
☺ name: mary shelley black ☺ character: mary shelley black ☺ goggles ☺ mary's bluntness ☺ mary's love for science ☺ stephen's anagrams ☺ spirit photography ☺ illustrated book (*swoon*) ☺ creep factor (including the beak mask) ☻ julius, not enough of a fleshed out character ☻ ending :'( ☻ stephen's (view spoiler)[disdain for his brother, cause i kind of pitied him and how his family treated him as if he were exactly like his father .. well, it just seemed as if they didn't really give him a chance that's all: "his father was a drunk who treated my mother terribly before she left him. and violent, thieving drunks often breed violent, thieving children." (hide spoiler)] [ click ] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
usually i don't bother buying a book which practically landed in my lap for free (netgalley arc!). usually. this isn't one of those occasions, even thusually i don't bother buying a book which practically landed in my lap for free (netgalley arc!). usually. this isn't one of those occasions, even though i skipped parts of it, i think this is a book that deserves to be heard of. so i additionally bought the e-book copy of this, to contribute in a small way.
the honesty and realness of the situations played out, is what actually made the story so different and original from any other book with ya-characters on the market. (view spoiler)[ feeling pangs of sorrow on behalf of théoden. (hide spoiler)] i bow to you, andrea! ...more
wow woah :0 it seems i have a soft spot for psychos misguided villains with lotsa onion layers on their character self and get a chanrating: 3.25-3.5/5
wow woah :0 it seems i have a soft spot for psychos misguided villains with lotsa onion layers on their character self and get a chance to redeem themselves... review to follow after further inspection and thorough rereading.
note: copy was generously provided by the author; came across polymer via giraffedays...more
cover the cover sums the story of the book in just one picture up: dark, creepy, terrifying, but also with flashes of beauty. i get goosebumps jus2.5/5
cover the cover sums the story of the book in just one picture up: dark, creepy, terrifying, but also with flashes of beauty. i get goosebumps just by looking at this cover.
story daphne (daughter of lilith and lucifer) and a mortal boy, truman meet in hell, because he tried to kill himself. but circumstances allow truman to return to earth. daphne stays in hell. when her brother goes missing, she leaves her home behind to find truman, the last person to see her brother. one thing leads to another and they find out some surprising things..
the good, the bad & the ugly the story read nicely, although sometimes a little stiff.
angels aren't all downright good or evil, more like somewhere in between, just like the demons who are in hell. that added a nice touch. i like my characters with shades of gray. there are even some horror elements (that's a plus point, btw!) (view spoiler)[a baby who can talk and doesn't need food for a month with pointy metal teeth (flashbacks to angelfall) (hide spoiler)]
there's no love triangle (hooray), there were some nice and touching moments and dialogues between the lead characters, but overall it still wasn't enough. maybe i'll feel differently at some point, but right now? nope. also the secondary characters like lilith or beelzebub (view spoiler)[In later Christian and Biblical sources he appears as a demon and the name of one of the seven princes of Hell. [ article] (hide spoiler)] or obie (her brother) were underdeveloped. i wish the author had polished the characters a little bit more, to give them a little shine.
the showdown wasn't much of a showdown. it was pretty ... anticlimactic to tell the truth.
quotes daphne & truman: "I have a toothbrush,” I tell him, trying to make him feel at home. “You can borrow it, if you like.” He just looks at me. Then he smiles a little, shaking his head. “Toothbrushes aren’t the kind of thing people usually share.” “I know. I haven’t used mine yet though, so it’s new. It could be yours instead.”
beelzebub: “What you have to understand is that this is his life, and he’s the one who has to live it. People make decisions, and maybe you don’t always agree, but those choices are still their own.”
flashbacks to daughter of smoke & bone: All I know is that demons are born from chaos. They’re born from rage or blood or fire, or ruined holy water. They’re born from eggs. They come into the world as wisps of smoke or in grotesque forms that splinter off and multiply. There are all kinds of origins, all different ways to be born [..]
love is a bitch: (view spoiler)[I remember kissing Truman on the balcony, and maybe he never said he loved me, but he meant it anyway. And there’s my mother, shrieking in pain when she thought something had happened to her son, and Myra with her sly smile and her dead eyes, grieving for Deirdre in the only way she knew how. My father, holding the razor to Beelzebub’s throat, telling him that it would all be over in an instant. (hide spoiler)]
moloch & truman: “I’m not a holy man,” Moloch said from behind his hand. “I’m not pious, and I’m not good. But if I were, your penance would be to start reaching for the things you want and giving up the things that will destroy you.”
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on th3.75/5
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on the porch with), i'd have liked him, but as a serious love interest, he was .. bleh so far.
i feel like i should hide behind a bush before y'all are coming at me with pitchforks and everything. the first quarter was a definite 4 stars,2.75/5
i feel like i should hide behind a bush before y'all are coming at me with pitchforks and everything. the first quarter was a definite 4 stars, but (especially) later as the story unfolds it was kind of eye-rolling how a lot hinges on her supposed 'soulmate' and she (view spoiler)[ decides to run to the man/alien she's never met based purely on the bunch of dreams she had with him playing the male actor, so he can save her or whatever (hide spoiler)]. which i should probably understand, as terra, the female lead grew up into a pretty screwed up family, but maaan i wanted to slap her so many times i lost count ...
other things that DID work for me are that terra is into art. i dig that. and that she's a botanist. and it's a space opera of sorts. you see, i have a weakness for these kinds of things. also, the characters had lots of onion layers and i had to grudgingly put aside my hate for a couple of characters and empathize with them. some wonderful descriptions of terra doing her thing:
hardly anyone knew about my drawings. my father always told me it was a waste of time. art was a luxury. it did nothing for our lives on the ship. it wouldn't help us once we reached zeheva. i was doing nothing for tikkun olam. and sure enough, my first efforts were terrible, the pencil all smeared, then erased, then heavily layered in again. but over time i'd gotten better. the lines were looser now, more expressive. i'd learned to block in broad shapes first before squeezing in the details. now when i sketched out the crocuses that poked their heads up through the snowy ground, or the vines that twined through the oak trees beneath the dome, the final outcome actually looked close to what i'd intended. [6%]
some passages baffled me though, like these e.g.:
but a thin birdsong was the only thing that answered. [11%]
our house was blue gaps of silence punctured by the white light of the arguments my father and i had [..] [39%]
new terms (for me): talmid • asherah • l'chaim • tikkun olam
no matter the quibbles i had, i'll be sure to pick up north's sequel as soon as it comes out!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other more and more. when one day, she gets tangled in the murder of a stripper, things start to change. (pene)lo(pe) obsessively tries to solve the case, as the police doesn't even really try to look behind the curtains, which in turn makes her the target of the killer who's still on the loose. of course lo finds out more than she bargained for.
what sets this book apart is most notably that the author made her main character a person with an anxiety disorder (ocd). for those who lost a loved one, there's the familiar pattern of not knowing how to handle the grief, guilt, anger and depression. growing apart as a family. and finding a way back.
"after school, i've been picking bus lines at random, finding new places to explore. mostly i go to other parts of the suburbs, find the high school or the baseball hat store at the mall or a restaurant my brother might have liked"
overall, the book was surprising in its subtle writing, which i appreciated a lot and made my rating higher. she didn't try to make a melodrama out of a drama, which happens more often to authors and their books than i'd like to admit.
random quote "i barely know anything about him, but he seems so familiar --as though i could flip through childhood photo albums and he'd be in every picture."
i'm having (fondly remembered) flashbacks:
"a warmth fills me, like it used to on saturday mornings when i was a kid and i'd wake before anyone else to watch cartoons, wrapped in my fuzzy pale blue blanket, waiting for everyone else to wake up, too"
random quote "a rush fills my whole body as i do, clears up my head, makes me feel instantly like everything in the whole world is okay, like the universe and solar system and every big, holy planet and blade of grass and flake of fresh-fallen snow are rotating and growing and falling just for me right now. when i find where it belongs, where it fits, everything will be whole: i will plug up the emptiness, the swirling, sucking drain of the universe spinning into chaos."