I did like this book, I did, but it I realized I spent a long time waiting for Theo - or anyone, really - to make a mention of bisexuality or pansexuaI did like this book, I did, but it I realized I spent a long time waiting for Theo - or anyone, really - to make a mention of bisexuality or pansexuality. That's the thing about GFY that rubs me the wrong way; while I was glad there was a discussion about demisexuality in this novel, I feel like Theo denied being gay more than he was open to exploring his sexuality or anyone suggesting being bi or pan to him. I don't really know how to feel about that, though the topic is up for discussion (and based on the author's profile, she is aware of these orientations). Aside from that, I did really enjoy this. It made for a quick, light-hearted and humorous story and it was ridiculously fluffy. I will definitely read its sequel!...more
Did I dislike this book? Definitely not. Did it blow me away? Nah. It was pretty fun and adventurous (something that was lacking in many of the YA booDid I dislike this book? Definitely not. Did it blow me away? Nah. It was pretty fun and adventurous (something that was lacking in many of the YA books I've read recently) and I liked the secondary characters, like Digby and Felix (sort of?) and that even the characters I knew so little were still pretty descriptive, like Zoe's mom and Bill. But maybe it read too fast? Like, some things would happen in the span of seconds to the point where it seemed pretty unrealistic, and that just kept on happening. I guess the quickness was supposed to add to the humour of the story, but I would have preferred a pace that was a leeetle bit slower.
But there was great potential for a good series with this novel, to be honest. It intrigued me enough to pick up its sequel, and I do have the feeling that I'll like that one a lot more. ...more
I've decided that Shakespeare's historical plays are my least favourite of his works. I much prefer comedies (self-explanatory) and tragedies (to a leI've decided that Shakespeare's historical plays are my least favourite of his works. I much prefer comedies (self-explanatory) and tragedies (to a lesser extent). ...more
This was such a gorgeous, well-written magical realism. I haven't read many, but this definitely won't be my last. I don't even know which parts I canThis was such a gorgeous, well-written magical realism. I haven't read many, but this definitely won't be my last. I don't even know which parts I can pick out as my favourites, because I loved the whole thing. I loved the characters, Aracely, Miel, Sam - not because they were all likable, mind you (I'm still unsure about those Bonner girls), but because they were so incredibly written. There wasn't anything particularly plot-twisty in When the Moon Was Ours, but the revelations that came out of these characters only served to make them more complex. In particular, I loved Sam; of course I loved Miel, too, but Sam's head was such a good place to be in. His voice is sensitive, affective, and calming, and I felt like I understood him through his words, few as they were. Speaking of which, this novel is pretty heavy on figurative language - similes, metaphors - you name it, it's there. I thought this would throw me off a little - and it did nudge at me a little in some instances, where I felt like the dialogue would have sufficed instead - but I feel like the descriptiveness of the story enriched all the other aspects, especially, as I've mentioned, the characters. It's why I'm so looking forward to Anna-Marie McLemore's next work.
“And where do you get off acting like it’s any different here than where my family came from?” Sam asked. “You think girls can do whatever they want here? You think Miel can? How do think girls here would do if they got to be boys growing up and then had to be girls again?”
What None of the Above succeeds in doing, in my opinion, is being educational at the same time as it stresses the subjectivity of dealing with one’s iWhat None of the Above succeeds in doing, in my opinion, is being educational at the same time as it stresses the subjectivity of dealing with one’s identity as intersex. I liked that Gregario made this about a regular teenager, a girl who had friends and popularity and a boyfriend, who discovered an aspect about herself and learned about it – and in the process, taught me, the reader, about it – while still maintaining the thoughts any teenager would possess given her situation. And not only does this novel succeed in making this of great importance (the battle one faces with oneself alongside other stresses like school and breakups), but it also succeeds in making the solution clear: in Kristin’s case, communicating with and forgiving her friends, talking to her father about everything, and putting aside differences, etc.
The thing is, to me, the first part of the book was quite enjoyable, because not only was it educational, but I liked to see Kristin’s growth and development into understanding herself. I liked seeing that the author put a lot of emphasis on Kristin’s mental health (her depression), the backstory of her mother’s death (as well as her father’s grief because of that) and how that played into the storyline, but some things just seemed randomly dispersed, almost thrown in like an afterthought. While I did appreciate the whole part about Kristin volunteering at the clinic, I felt that the romance that was added to the story (with Darren) took away from what I preferred seeing, which were the friendships with Gretchen and Jessica. And the whole fiasco with Vee and Faith was ridiculous to me, because in the end, Kristin forgave Faith waaay too easily. I just think it’s fair that she could have stewed a little longer. And that scene at the end, with the fight? Kristin was barely fazed, and that irritated me. Not only was it randomly tossed into the end for some final drama, but the author had put so much emphasis on a lot of important subject matters prior to that moment in the novel, and that near brush-off was weird, to say the least.
Nevertheless, None of the Above is a good read about being an intersex teenager, and perhaps that’s why Gregario had a lot happening in only 330 pages – only just finding out you’re an intersex teenager can be difficult and scattered. There’s certainly a lot going on in terms of family, friendships, and romance, so if you would like to read a book like that, I would recommend this one.
I'm not surprised that I didn't like this, if only for how completely shitty the Royals acted for about 75% of the book. Am I supposed to excuse misogI'm not surprised that I didn't like this, if only for how completely shitty the Royals acted for about 75% of the book. Am I supposed to excuse misogyny and dickish behaviour because deep down, these brothers are "vulnerable" and "unloved"? Nah. The concept of this story sounded promising, but I spent more time reading about a bunch of teenaged boys acting twice their age and treating every girl within a two-foot radius like trash than I spent admiring our protagonist's spirit (which was the only redeeming factor to this book, quite honestly).
I'm still plunging on to the next books, but I think I'll review the series as a whole when I finish Twisted Palace....more
The amount of sexual puns in this play... damn. I consider it artistically astounding how the innuendos contrast so sharply an honest-to-god tragedy,The amount of sexual puns in this play... damn. I consider it artistically astounding how the innuendos contrast so sharply an honest-to-god tragedy, but both elements seemed to conjoin (lol) pretty easily (and achieve climax as one), given all the death and gloom and what-not. I actually have to give a presentation on this play for a course, and I'm considering that very topic....more
This book was great. The last time I read a series about espionage and mystery, it became one of my all-time favourites, so I was a little apprehensivThis book was great. The last time I read a series about espionage and mystery, it became one of my all-time favourites, so I was a little apprehensive about this one. But it was actually really good. I found myself guessing the entire time. And it was so reminiscent of Veronica Mars, which I loved, and Ellie seemed a lot like Nikita, which I also loved. It's actually the first in a long time that I've genuinely been intrigued by and simultaneously adored a protagonist. Ellie is not perfect; she is flawed, and has a tendency not to trust people, including her closest friends, and I found that Julie Cross handled this excellently. There was a lot of development to Ellie's character, her misgivings, and her gradual closeness to other characters like Justice and Miles. I loved reading from her voice, which was refreshingly sarcastic, witty, and smart. And Miles was also quite flawed - I think there's a lot of work to be done when it comes to him, as a matter of fact ((view spoiler)[since he found out about Ellie's history and is moving away (hide spoiler)]). I would really like to see how their relationship progresses. I am HOPING there won't be any unnecessary relationship drama or, heaven forbid, a love triangle. (Please don't let me down, Julie.)
I think what was especially great about this novel is that while the story itself was shaped and detailed, the characters were just as important. I mean, some characters were only present for a short time but a lot could be said about them (like Dominic, Bret, Chantel, and even Simon). I really, really, enjoyed seeing Ellie's sister Harper and Aidan be present, ((view spoiler)[because while Ellie's parents are obviously absent, and for understood reasons, these two were remarkably protective and caring (hide spoiler)]). I really hope to see Aidan and Harper again in the next release. And I'm curious to see where the mystery is going as well (view spoiler)[especially with the St. Felicity stuff (hide spoiler)].
A great start to a new series, which I'll give 4 stars!...more
Thanks to Netgally and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an e-ARC!
Anyone who knows me knows how much I dive for Miranda Kenneally's novels. They'Thanks to Netgally and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with an e-ARC!
Anyone who knows me knows how much I dive for Miranda Kenneally's novels. They're guaranteed to make my day, and it helps that some of the characters in older Hundred Oaks books appear in newer ones as cameos, which makes the lightheartedness and romance that much more special. So it's really no surprise that I liked Coming Up For Air.
This installment - if that's what you choose to call it - is about Maggie and her best friend Levi, who are training for Olympic swimming qualifiers. In between challenging herself to actually make the cut despite an old rival (Roxy), Maggie is also trying to balance a normal future college life with her newfound sexual desires, and trusts Levi, who's had much more experience in that department, to "teach" her. It seems like a complicated story, but since it's Miranda Kenneally, I was no less excited to read it.
I have several mixed feelings about the book, and the only way I can discuss them is by comparing my reading experience for Coming Up for Air with Kenneally's previous release, Defending Taylor. While its predecessor made me actually fall in love with the love interest (Ezra), Coming Up for Air lacked in that department - at least in the first half of the book. Don't get me wrong - I did like Levi, and he definitely made a swoon-worthy character, as this author's love interests (and protagonists) tend to do. But I felt that I was seeing more of Maggie's investment in the relationship than Levi's (again, that developed a bit better later on), and it seemed that there was a short gap between their friendship and their sexual attraction for each other - not really an in-between.
But that doesn't take away from what I did like about the book infinitely more. For example, I liked how Miranda handled Maggie's feelings like a teenager would, and that the conversations Maggie had with all of her friends, her peers, and her coach, parents, and teachers, were significant in her self-improvement as a swimmer. One of the things I most like about Miranda's novels is how simple they appear but how important they actually are - including the presence of parental figures and helpful teachers. I barely knew Maggie's parents or Levi's Oma and Opa, but I felt like I knew enough about them, which says a lot about character development. And of course, Sam and Jordan made an appearance (and there was a lovely epilogue at the end of the novel in Sam's POV!!) so I was a happy reader.
What I liked the most (if this review isn't gushing enough) was how Miranda balanced two conflicts at once and merged them in some form. Here, Maggie's struggle to qualify for the Olympics was also in harmony with her struggle to be a normal teenager with sexual desires, and Levi basically hung in the balance with his own desire to make the cut and depend on sex to "take the edge off". It only seemed likely that both would depend on each other, and I felt that this was handled perfectly. While I mentioned before that Levi wasn't as swoon-worthy to me as I'd hoped, the romance definitely developed further as the story progressed. I liked that Levi made up for what he'd done to Maggie (something about him crying made me sad but also happy? idk man) and that Maggie took her time forgiving him, as she deserved. This is definitely something I liked better in Coming Up for Air than I had in Defending Taylor, which is that self-development outweighed anything else.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't recommend this book, so I obviously will, if you're looking for a lighthearted, quick read, with a lovely friends-to-lovers romance and a lot of self-improvement lessons. I laughed a lot during this book - especially at the Superman briefs and the condom-shopping! - and yes, smiled wistfully. Be sure to read this when it releases!
I could probably interpret this play in seventy different ways, but at this point, I'm exhausted from reading so much Shakespeare for academic purposeI could probably interpret this play in seventy different ways, but at this point, I'm exhausted from reading so much Shakespeare for academic purposes. It wasn't a terrible play - a lot can be said for the interconnectedness of characters (perhaps why some adaptations use doubles for multiple roles), the gender non-conformity (which I found particularly interesting), the reduction of Caliban to a "monster" (which I'm convinced is relevant to imperialism/colonization), and the presence or absence of "wives" (my tutorial had a good discussion about brokenness in Shakespearean texts due to editorial work, and how the presence of a long s in the text changed it in "wise" to an f - "wife" - in some editions, and that basically shifted the meaning behind some lines). Very interesting stuff. But other than that, I wasn't as enchanted by Tempest's plot as I was with A Midsummer Night's Dream or Measure for Measure....more
Ha! little honour to be much believed, And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming! I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for't: Sign me a pre
Ha! little honour to be much believed, And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming! I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for't: Sign me a present pardon for my brother, Or with an outstretch'd throat I'll tell the world aloud What man thou art.
Who will believe thee, Isabel? My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life, My vouch against you, and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you shall stifle in your own report And smell of calumny.
I was sold once I read that, from Act II, Scene IV. I think the play deals a lot with feminism overall, but this direct attack on misogyny and the terrible way a man's "reputation" protects his criminality is very, very important and necessary. Especially right now....more
Admittedly one of my favourite Shakespearean plays, and I had very limited time to read it. The "everything is really nothing" concept is completely mAdmittedly one of my favourite Shakespearean plays, and I had very limited time to read it. The "everything is really nothing" concept is completely mind-boggling (in a good way), and the final scene (the mechanicals' play), where Thisby and Pyramus talk through "a wall" is hilarious. ...more
This was actually, ridiculously, adorable. It got me out of a reading slump and it featured two very dynamic characters. I assumed that Lucy and JoshThis was actually, ridiculously, adorable. It got me out of a reading slump and it featured two very dynamic characters. I assumed that Lucy and Josh would be pretty static and dull, but their interactions proved otherwise. The banter, the detailed monologues, the writing style... all of it was excellent. My only complaint is that Lucy was a tad over-dramatic in the first 100 pages or so, but I didn't see that problem as much in the rest of the story.