This is a book that shouldn't have worked at all. Like, AT ALL. There's (almost) instalove, and oh yeah, one of the parties is in a coma. A COMA. AndThis is a book that shouldn't have worked at all. Like, AT ALL. There's (almost) instalove, and oh yeah, one of the parties is in a coma. A COMA. And yet......... it works.
Elsa and Thibault are strangers who "meet" each other when Thibault stumbles into her hospital room thinking it's the stairwell while trying to escape his brother. His brother is in the hospital after a drunk driving accident that killed two girls. Thibault, who doesn't drink except on rare occasions, can't even look at his brother he's so disgusted and ashamed. However, he can't say no to his mother's weekly requests to drive her to the hospital.
Elsa is an adventurer who suffered a serious accident while ice climbing and has been in a coma. She hasn't been responsive and her vitals haven't changed so no one realizes that she's regained the ability to hear. Her family and friends visit regularly but they mostly talk about her or at her. It's only the stranger Thibault who addresses her directly.
I got this because I loved The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and, well, it's not Diving Bell. I also saw it recommended for fans of If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and that's more accurate, but it reminded me of Colin Firth's storyline in Love Actually. (I loved Jamie and Aurelia!) The alternating POVs let you see how in sync Elsa and Thibault are even though they are each having one sided conversations. I bought how quickly Thibault's feelings developed because he's lonely and in upheaval. BUT this is also with the knowledge that he's fallen in love with the Elsa he's created in his mind. It's only as a reader that we know that his Elsa is pretty true to life.
I actually think this is a relationship that, if ever realized, would be doomed to fail, but in the context of this story, I bought the characters' actions and motivations. I found myself pulling for them despite my better judgment and really invested in Thibault's relationship with his brother. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. ...more
I guess I'll pick this as my Book of the Month selection? I'm a bit disappointed in this month's choices to be honest, especially since last month's wI guess I'll pick this as my Book of the Month selection? I'm a bit disappointed in this month's choices to be honest, especially since last month's were SO GOOD. I'm still thinking about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Amy Schumer though? HARD PASS....more
Imagine if the Bridesmaids were teenagers and on a school trip to Washington DC. Or if Greg and Earl from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl were girls. IImagine if the Bridesmaids were teenagers and on a school trip to Washington DC. Or if Greg and Earl from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl were girls. It's as awesome and crazy as that sounds. This book felt almost British or Australian to me because the teen girls openly talked about and/or engaged in sex, drugs (pot), rock 'n roll etc. And that wasn't the issue. That just was.
It's also about a 23 year old newly minted high school teacher who volunteers to chaperone the DC trip so she can reconnect with the other chaperone, Mr. Kenner, after an awwwwwwkward encounter. She threw up on his penis while they were making out.
This was just a fun, fast read and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. It's the perfect summer read. If revenge diarrhea isn't your thing though, you may want to skip this. Otherwise, grab a popsicle and strap in. You're in for a ride. ...more
It's hard out there for a superhero. An Asian superhero though??
Meet Aveda Jupiter, née Annie Chang, San Francisco's self appointed protector. After aIt's hard out there for a superhero. An Asian superhero though??
Meet Aveda Jupiter, née Annie Chang, San Francisco's self appointed protector. After a portal opened up in the city and gave her (very) limited powers of telekinesis, she decided to train herself to become a superhero. She was inspired as a child by watching Michelle Yeoh in The Heroic Trio (1992), a film about three female superheroes in Hong Kong. (The full movie is on YouTube by the way.) (Also Maggie Cheung is in it!)
Sitting next to Annie in the theater, and next to her always, is her best friend and assistant Evie Tanaka. They met in elementary school when the other kids started picking on Evie for bringing spam musubi to school and Annie defiantly ate them all. The spam musubi, not the other kids. Evie and Annie bonded as Evie held Annie's head while she threw up all the spam, and they've had each other's backs every since. Well, it's mostly been Evie behind Annie once Annie decided to become AVEDA JUPITER, SUPERHERO. But mild mannered Evie preferred a behind the scenes role as she's also been taking care of her younger sister after their mother died and father ran off.
The tables get turned when Aveda injures her ankle while superhero-ing, and she sends a glamoured Evie in her place to some events. When demons attack one event, Evie, who isn't trained in fighting like Aveda, ends up using a power that she's repressed since an incident long ago. She shoots fire out of her hand. Evie, as Aveda, finds herself for the first time at the center of attention, from curious bloggers to those pesky, seemingly evolving demons.
Rounding out Team Aveda is Nate, nerdy, scientific, ...muscled, brooding Nate, Lucy the bodyguard/trainer/condom supplier, and Bea, Evie's annoying little sister extraordinaire.
My first feeling about this book is just how NECESSARY it is. This is the scene where Annie and Evie discover The Heroic Trio for the first time, but it could also apply to kids reading this book:
It's why #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, as amazing as she is, can't be the only one holding it down for us colored girls. This is also about friendships, and how they evolve and can get complicated. This book was in the Sci Fi section but it could also be classified as YA/NA. Evie is just recognizing her powers, both literally and figuratively, and all the feelings she's tamped down over the years are bubbling out. Aveda and Evie have both identified themselves in one way for so long (hero and sidekick) that this new situation makes them reexamine their places in the world and each other's lives and what they want out of both.
I had some trouble with the tone initially because it read younger than I was expecting despite the characters being in their 20s. It also brought up some great issues that weren't addressed, like Aveda's Asian parents not approving of her lifestyle choice, but now that I see a sequel (and series!) is in the works, I really hope they're examined in the next installment.
Overall, there's so much potential in the story and characters and writing, that despite being a little uneven at times, I'm ALL IN. It's also really fun. There are karaoke battles to the death! What more could you want?? Heroine Complex is a book we need, but also one that we deserve. We deserve superheroes that LOOK LIKE US, damn it, WRITTEN by people who LOOK LIKE US.
Whew, this is the first review I've written in like 4 years. What can I say, I was inspired by the DNC. If Hillary Clinton can become the first female presidential nominee of a major party, I can finish a review. Or something. Now I'm going to finish The Heroic Trio. How has everyone been?? ...more
Gah, I'm so torn about these developments. Actually, I'm not torn at all. NO ME GUSTA. However, I trust Ilona and Gordon to make them work. Still, GAHGah, I'm so torn about these developments. Actually, I'm not torn at all. NO ME GUSTA. However, I trust Ilona and Gordon to make them work. Still, GAH. I went to an Ilona Andrews signing when Magic Rises came out and the only thing I asked was, Will Derek get a girl? Gordon answered, He should! I should've asked, Will Derek get a woman? :/...more
After a slow start, I ended up loving this. There's an ensorcelled (how great is that word??) fake mustache, a stolen emerald, and an heiress disguiseAfter a slow start, I ended up loving this. There's an ensorcelled (how great is that word??) fake mustache, a stolen emerald, and an heiress disguised as a Frenchman. Four very enthusiastic stars. ...more