This was an enthusiastic 4-star read for more than half the book, then it took a sharp turn in tone that I didn't dislike, but it threw me. My love foThis was an enthusiastic 4-star read for more than half the book, then it took a sharp turn in tone that I didn't dislike, but it threw me. My love for the story faltered a tiny bit, but overall I still thought it was a powerful story so I'm sticking with the 4 stars. I went into it not really knowing much about the story or what to expect and I think that's the best way to do it. So I'm not going to talk about what happens or precisely how the tone shifts. It was a real surprise to me, and that surprise gave it power. Instead, I'll just say that there's more going on here than you think. You'll read a bit and you'll start to see hidden depths to the story fairly early on. Still, there's more going on than you think. And things get dark people. This is set in eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, and the darkness, violence, and superstition of that time are soaked into the pages. If you are looking for a story where women are treated like independent individuals and animals are treated like feeling creatures and there's no such thing as torture, look for another book. That's all I'm going to say. Except that this is a unique read. I've never read anything quite like it, and that's valuable to me as a reader....more
I'm 99% certain that this is my first lesbian romance. I've read many books with lesbian characters, but I'm pretty sure this is the first romancey roI'm 99% certain that this is my first lesbian romance. I've read many books with lesbian characters, but I'm pretty sure this is the first romancey romance I've read where the couple are both women. Yay firsts! Everybody drink!
It's especially nice that my first time out was with such a warm and lovely story. I picked this particular book because it's a green card marriage romance, which is a thing I have a particular love for. (I love the Andie MacDowell movie Green Card. LOVE it. And I haven't watched it in far too long...) Anyway. Green card marriage stories do the same thing as my other favorites: marriage of convenience stories, road trip stories, cabin romances - they all have forced closeness that accelerates the love story, and they all have my undivided attention. So this was a perfect entry point for me, and it didn't disappoint. The marriage portion is fairly drama-free, with much of the conflict instead coming from Rachel's struggles recovering from anorexia, and her growing understanding of her sexuality. (She ends up identifying as demisexual, if this is a thing you've been looking for.) Her growing connection to Pari, her struggles with food and control and body image, all combine to create a really emotional love story with depth. It drew some tears, I'm not ashamed to say. And at 160ish pages, it's the quickest of reads. I'm excited to read the sequel!...more
I think this shows much more promise than my 3 star rating implies. I absolutely love Moon Girl, and I love her interactions with the dinosaur. The arI think this shows much more promise than my 3 star rating implies. I absolutely love Moon Girl, and I love her interactions with the dinosaur. The art is adorable and exciting and I'm really interested to see where this series will go next. I rated it a bit lower because it has a lot of origin story type exposition, which can slow things down. I also wasn't in love with the big villain of this volume, and there was a scene involving the Hulk that I was really excited to read but ended up bumming me out a little. Nothing deal-breaking, and the characters and hints of things to come will definitely bring me back....more
I struggled with this story. The writing is beautiful. It tells a story that's familiar from a perspective and with a focus that makes it feel new. ItI struggled with this story. The writing is beautiful. It tells a story that's familiar from a perspective and with a focus that makes it feel new. It doesn't shy away from what's difficult about war. Boy, does it ever not shy away. Through the characters we get to see war from the front lines and on the home front, from the perspective of a soldier and a civilian, volunteers and children who weren't evacuated. There's a certain amount of romance that goes along with World War II - regular people standing up for a just cause, refusing to back down to tyranny, fighting the good fight, keeping calm and carrying on. Chris Cleave shows us the hunger and the death, the injustice and the loss, the hopelessness and the struggle. It's an important vision of World War II, but it's also unrelentingly sad. As beautiful as the writing was, I struggled to finish. And I have to admit, I'm glad to be done....more