This was an enjoyable read, but I felt that it was really long-winded. I didn't even realize until I read other reviews, that we aren't even given a nThis was an enjoyable read, but I felt that it was really long-winded. I didn't even realize until I read other reviews, that we aren't even given a name for the main character. I'm surprised that I hadn't noticed that.
Also, I loved that the main character was a male who unabashedly loved his cats. I don't see that very often.
As for the mystery. I knew what the rogue noise was on the record before we got there in the book. And I knew what the fill-in-the-blanks puzzle was way, way before they solved it in the book.
Overall, I really liked this book and I will probably read the second in the series. ...more
This was absolutely charming and delightful and funny. I never would have expected something so meta to have come out of the 1930s. I can't wait to reThis was absolutely charming and delightful and funny. I never would have expected something so meta to have come out of the 1930s. I can't wait to read the next one.
Sidenote: A lot of people have this shelved as historical fiction. It really isn't. It was first published in 1934 and it takes place during the Great Depression....more
I can't believe this was a first novel. This was really good. I picked it up on a whim from the library and was hoping that I would like it, but was aI can't believe this was a first novel. This was really good. I picked it up on a whim from the library and was hoping that I would like it, but was afraid that I wouldn't. Its kind of in the vein of John Green's stuff, but not really. Mosquitoland was indeed filled with teen angst, but I felt that it wasn't quite the same kind of angst that frequents Green's books. Also I had assumed that the book was going to be lighter in tone that it actually was. But none of that was a problem for me. The "good guy" characters are delightful and quirky. The "bad guy" characters are horrifying. I feel like I can't say a ton more without spoiling parts of the book. But it is a coming-of-age story that happens on a road trip.
Parental note: If you are looking at this book for your teenager, and you are concerned about cursing or sex, you should know that there is a lot of cursing. There isn't any outright sex though. The main character lusts after a friend and there is talk of rape. (view spoiler)[Someone almost rapes the main character, Mim. The reader is in the room with her when this happens. And another side character is raped but the reader isn't there to witness it. (hide spoiler)]...more
I was drawn to this book because of its title. A Tyranny of Petticoats. How fantastic of a title is that. I don't know what the intent behind that titI was drawn to this book because of its title. A Tyranny of Petticoats. How fantastic of a title is that. I don't know what the intent behind that title was, but to me it means that these young women are going to fight the established ideal of femininity. I have liked everything that I read, but they don't all fit with my interpretation of the title. The first third of the book in particular doesn't seem to fit. Everything else fit really well. The blurb describes the stories as this, "...on a thrill ride through history with American girls driving their own stories. They are monsters and mediums, bank robbers and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're charting their own path in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenal, facing down murderers and marriage proposals." I feel like this description fits in with my idea that I got from the title. As I review each story, I'll explain why the ones that don't fit don't fit.
This story is about a young woman who is pretending to be a boy on a pirate ship. I liked this story the best so far of what I read, but this isn't the story of a girl creating her own path. Her father took her with him when he was a runaway slave. She barely even remembers this. Her father becomes a sailor on a pirate ship and shaves her head and has her pretend to be a boy so they could stay together. Now she likes being a sailor and she can't imagine having a different life, but she didn't make the choice to live that life. There was a moment in the story where she takes action, but I felt that it was because there was no one else. And it wasn't a fight to shed the norms of femininity. I did really enjoy this story a lot though and would love to see it in a larger format.
Our main character in this story is indigenous to Alaska in 1723. I think that her story fits the descriptor the best. She asked her father to teach her some of the things that were only done by the men in her tribe, and eventually he did teach her those things. And those things wind up being very helpful to her in the end. From a subjective viewpoint, I liked this story a little less than the others, but it fit in the best with what I thought the book would be about. I would have liked this story to be longer as well. There were some lovely moments in this story.
This story frustrated me. This story is set in New Orleans and is about a free girl of color. I'm from New Orleans, so I loved that aspect of the story and there was a lot in this story that I was not aware of and it made me want to read more about the topic, but when it comes to whether or not Madeleine made her own decisions or chartered her own way, she most certainly did not. Madeleine, a black girl, fell in love with a white guy, who made her an offer for her to be his mistress. Apparently, in real life this was a very official process. Offers had to be made and accepted. Her parents do not approve. They want her to get properly married to friend that she grew up with who asked her to marry him. They won't force her to marry him though. So it comes down to three choices: go be a mistress to the white guy that she think she loves, marry the black guy who she doesn't express any feelings for outside of friendship, or go with neither. I'm not going to pass judgement on what happens in the end. I did find it fitting for the character as she was written. But she literally makes no decisions. For a book that is claiming to be about women making their own way and chartering their own path, she does none of that. One decision is completely taken away from her and she kind of just settles into the other. And the story just ends. I respect the decision that is made and I actually really liked the story, it just doesn't fit with what this book claims to be. And what's weirder is that it is written by the woman who edited the collection.
This story was actually quite lovely and probably one of my favorites from the series. It's a reinterpretation of the Fates story in Greek mythology but based in Southwest Texas. And the women are portrayed as teenagers. It reminded me a lot of a Neil Gaiman short story. But here is where my problem comes in. This is purely a fantasy story. No where in the book's description did it say that these stories would be anything but history-based. (What's odd is that the GoodReads description does mention that there are fantasy stories in the collection.) And you could have taken the core of this story and put it in any section of history and it would have worked. And it's literally the point of the Fates to take control of destinies, so no big surprise there. But like I said, this is a really beautiful story and absolutely worth being read. I just don't get it's place in this collection.
This is was actually a really fun little story. I would love for this to be flushed out and made into a full book. And this is the first story that actually kind of fits the description. This one was fantasy-based as well, but it fits with its place in history really well so I was okay with it. It's actually more like an alternate-history. The story takes place in the early days of the Civil War and Klio (our main character) is a young lady of her own means. Without spoiling key points of the story, the general plot is this, is that throughout history the separate factions of the fantasy world meet up in time of war to play some sort of sport or game and the winner somehow decides the fate of the war. (That's the part of the story that I really wanted more of. They never really get into how that works.) This was a really cool story.
From this point on, I felt that all of the stories fit with my interpretation of the description of this collection.
This story also takes place during the Civil War. Elizabeth, a Washington D.C. socialite, basically agrees to scope out some people at a party to find a Confederate sympathizer among the guests, for her uncle who is an officer in the Northern army. Decent story.
This story is about a young woman of means who is raped by an acquaintance and her father expects her to marry her rapist. Our lead will not stand for this and takes her life into her own hands. She leaves Chicago without telling her family to become a teacher in the wilds of Wyoming. This was a really good story and another that I felt like would be a really good novel. I really liked this one a lot.
This story takes place during the Gold Rush time period in Deadwood in the Dakotas. This story is about Fei-Yen, a young girl who is brought to the Dakotas by her uncle leaving behind California and everything that she knows. Before her mother passed away, Fei-Yen was studying the art of reading fortunes. Her mother died before she finished her training but she is doing her best to read the fortunes of gold diggers hunting for their fortunes. This story also has a bit of fantasy to it. Because of her talents, she is cursed with seeing ghosts. And there are a lot of ghosts in Deadwood. The crux of the story is that she helps a ghost and his non-ghost family keep their land. Also a pretty decent story.
This story is about two young women that own and built a bar in Alaska in the 1890s. They run this bar by themselves in the wilds of Alaska and have to figure out how to outsmart a mobster who wants to take their business away from them. I really wanted this story to have been historical fact and not just historical fiction.
This is the story of Antonia, a girl who loved Bessie Coleman. Antonia is an African-American girl who relates to Bessie because she is a black, female aviator and there weren't really any of those back in 1930s. I can't really get into the story without spoiling anything, but I absolutely loved this story. It's one of my favorites in the collection. The story really had me in its clutches.
This is about a young lady who is living the life of a hobo during the Great Depression. During all of this, she takes care of a younger boy who is also living on the streets. By the end of the story, there is hope that she will have a better life.
This is the story of Evelyn who lives in LA towards the end of World War II and is an aspiring screenwriter. She is living the Rosie Riveter life when she meets Frankie, an aspiring actress, at the place where she rivets. At first Frankie is super annoying, but they start to get along and eventually Evelyn falls in love with her. Through a series of misfortunes, Evelyn learns things about herself that she didn't know.
This is the story of Sandy who lives with her father on a farm in California in 1967. That small town farm life is really all that she knows. Sandy is a black girl and a lot of the race conflicts that she would see on the evening news didn't affect her everyday life. Until one day her father invites the Black Panthers to stay at the farm for the night so they could practice shooting. Her father didn't really want her hanging round them, but she does. I really liked this story a lot, because I've been really interested in the Black Panthers lately. That was something that I never really knew about growing up. I only really heard about the stereotypes of the Black Panthers being violent. And then I read One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (that I highly recommend) and that taught me a ton of other stuff about the Panthers that I didn't know. So I really liked this story.
This story is about Jill and her hippy friends during the Vietnam protests in Chicago in 1968 and the abuse that they suffered from the police. There are a couple of different aspects to this story. Jill is a black girl that is dating a white boy because that's easier to explain to her father than her liking a girl. The war protests at the Democratic National Convention is the other big part. The police get extraordinarily violent against peaceful protestors. This particular event was important because it was caught on live tv. So the nation got to see the violence that the police was perpetrating on them. This was also a really good story that taught me about things that I didn't already know.
Overall, this was a decent collection. Fitting in aside, I liked all of the stories and absolutely loved a couple of them. I do struggle with short stories. (I want my stories to be longer.) The awesome thing about this collection is that they tried to be really diverse. You get stories about black girls, white girls, an Asian girl, and a Hispanic girl. You get varying sexualities as well: girls who are interested in men, women, and some stories didn't have any romance in them at all. They also covered different economic classes as well. Some of these girls were very wealthy and some were very poor and some were in between. All in all, a good book that taught me a few things. I'm not sure if I will read the sequel....more
I wish I liked this book more. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, and I liked what was there, but I was just left wanting more. The whole tI wish I liked this book more. There was nothing particularly wrong with it, and I liked what was there, but I was just left wanting more. The whole thing felt rather empty and I don't really know why. I think possibly the author didn't dig deep enough into any of the characters, so you never really got to understand them. (view spoiler)[Like why did Cecilia steal Natalie Bracer's hair clip? Or dig Natalie's Elvis Ruby scrapbook out of the trash? She didn't like music and she didn't know who Elvis was. I was never given the impression that Cecilia was going to use the scrapbook to become friends with Natalie. We are never given the whys to any of that. I think these examples were there just so the reader would think that Cecilia was the odd kid with no friends without having to do the work of making her odd. We also got chapters from her POV and she never explained her actions. Also Elvis' fame could have been explained better. Tweenstar seems to have shot him into super stardom, but I definitely got the idea that he was famous already from touring with his dad's band. Well, now I want an explanation of his dad's band. (hide spoiler)] I also felt that the Tweenstar television show that Elvis was on should have been developed more. This a show that doesn't have an equivalence in our world. It seemed to be a mix of American Idol and Big Brother/The Real World. And the winner gets to live in the Tweenstar house for a year, along with a show on Broadway (what kind of show - a play, a concert, what?), and an action figure made in his likeness. We get little snippets here and there of what its about and its massive popularity, but I just wanted more. More of almost everything....more
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I was hoping to enter it for the The Seasonal Reading Challenge here on GoodReads, but it fell beloI really wanted to like this book more than I did. I was hoping to enter it for the The Seasonal Reading Challenge here on GoodReads, but it fell below the required AR qualifications and I wondered why seeing how the book was about a biracial 11-year-old trying to learn about herself and to fit in. That seemed to me like it should rank higher on the AR list. Having since read the book, I now understand why it is not. It is written in a really simplistic way. It feels like it is written for a group of kids younger than who this should be directed at.
So, the book is about Violet, an 11-year-old girl, who has an African-American father that died two months before she was born and a white mother. She lives with her white mother, her white sister (from a previous marriage), and her two white grandparents who are always popping in and staying over to help out. The town she lives in is mostly white as is her school. Her family loves her and she loves them, but she always feels like she doesn't fit in. When she is out in public with them, she always sees the question marks in peoples' eyes trying to figure out the puzzle, because she looks black. And when white people see her, they see her as black. She also doesn't know any members of the black side of her family. Her grandmother purposefully shut her out of her life. Due to a series of events, Violet gets to meet her grandmother, amends are made, and gets to stay with her for a week. While with her grandmother, she meets other members from that side of her family. And while that is fantastic for her, and she feels that she is filling in the missing puzzle pieces of her life, she also learns that some black people see her as white. And a lot of the story is about her trying to figure out how to self-identify.
Now, since I'm a white person, I can't say whether or not this stuff would or should ring true to a biracial person, but it does seem to ring true to some of the blogs, open letters, and Facebook posts written by biracial people that I've read. I think it is a good book to recommend to children so they can learn from perspectives other than their own.
Now to my complaints that most kids probably wouldn't have, but as a 31-year-old woman, I do have. Violet's immediate family seem to have no real memory of their life before Violet's father died. We are told in the beginning of the book that Violet's sister Daisy's white father died of cancer when Daisy was two. And then Violet's father who adopted Daisy and loved her as his own died when she was six. Daisy essentially had two fathers die on her and she most likely can't remember her biological father. But when Violet struggles with the absence of her father, Daisy never mentions her struggles. And it never even occurs to Violet or anyone else in the family that maybe Violet could talk to Daisy about it. Also, Violet's mom has lost two husbands tragically in the span of 4 years. How horrible is that. And I do get it that this is Violet's story and its told from her perspective, but I just kept thinking about her mom.
And then there is some of the stuff about how her white family doesn't know how to take care of her black needs. I know why some of this was in the book, but I feel like it could have been written better, because it really makes her mom seem like a horrible person. Violet needs special products for her hair and skin. Her mom has apparently googled for info, but none of the stuff she has come up with has worked as well as the stuff her one black friend helped her get or the stuff her grandmother helped her get which was even better. Like woman! How hard is it to get your butt to a black beauty salon and ask some questions. Or ask that one black friend that you have Thanksgiving with every year. I get why some of this was in the book. It was to show the disconnection that she sometimes feels with her family. But Violet is 11, how have they not figured this out yet? I feel like this could have been handled better. Also, I feel like Daisy's grandparents from her father's side could be better people. (This is such a tiny part of the story, and its such a non-thing, but I totally picked up on this immediately.) There are references to how Daisy's grandparents send her birthday cards and invite her to come stay with them during Christmas or the summer and Violet is sad cause she doesn't have that with another grandparent. I know that this is in there as well to show Violet's lack of a connection with her father's side of the family, but I just kept thinking that Daisy's grandparents are horrible. I get that Violet isn't their grandchild, but she is your grandchild's sister, and her father raised Daisy as his own, they could at least send Violet a birthday card. I feel like this could be written better in the sense of "Daisy's grandparents are really nice people and they send me birthday cards and Christmas presents, but its really not the same." I do think that this was done with no ill intent. Violet's people are really lovely, but I just found these to be unfortunate choices.
Violet is also a lover of new words. She would write in her notebook every time she learned a new word. I personally felt that this was overdone. It was clearly a technique to teach young readers new words which is great, but I don't need her to go, "what's that mean?" every five pages.
Also there was a weird obsession with wishes. People kept trying to get Violet to differentiate wishes from prayers, but really in the context of this story, it doesn't even matter. It was like the author was skirting around addressing religious issues.
This was a wonderful surprise. I picked up this book from the library, because I'm pretty sure that Brett Helquist illustrated the cover. Then I thougThis was a wonderful surprise. I picked up this book from the library, because I'm pretty sure that Brett Helquist illustrated the cover. Then I thought the back of the book sounded interesting.
I enjoyed this more than I expected to and the characters are lovely. And this book is legitimately funny. I thought that the end dragged on a bit too long, and there were a couple of things about the end that at I didn't quite like, but as a whole I loved it. I'm really looking forward to reading its sequel....more
I enjoyed this very much. Its a fun, light read that can be read really quickly.
What's weird is that I loved the way that she wrote this. Its reallyI enjoyed this very much. Its a fun, light read that can be read really quickly.
What's weird is that I loved the way that she wrote this. Its really hilarious. And I think that we could get along in real life. We have a lot of similarities. But there is a chapter where she lists her favorite comedic in moments in tv and film and a good half of them, I kept telling Mindy (in my head of course), "Oh honey, please no, that wasn't funny at all." And this isn't actually a complaint about the book, its more an aside about how our hypothetical friendship would play out in real life.
Oh! There is a dated reference too. Mindy wrote a chapter about marriage and there is a section about what she thinks a good marriage should consist of. She writes of how she thinks that Amy Poehler and Will Arnett have a good marriage. Sadly, they are now in the process of getting a divorce.
There were a couple of editing issues where words would be left out of sentences. Seriously, who are editing these things?
I look forward to reading Kaling's other books and maybe, just maybe, giving The Mindy Project another shot. In other words, I highly recommend this book....more
I absolutely loved every second of this book. It is completely predictable, but I don't care. Its absolutely delightful. And its so funny. I just loveI absolutely loved every second of this book. It is completely predictable, but I don't care. Its absolutely delightful. And its so funny. I just loved it. Can't wait to get my hands on the sequel....more