When I was asked to join the the Dr. Seuss blog tour, I had no idea I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! even existed. Dr. Seuss has more books out that I canWhen I was asked to join the the Dr. Seuss blog tour, I had no idea I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! even existed. Dr. Seuss has more books out that I can keep track of and I shamefully have only read his more popular works like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. It was the same for my husband, so we sat down together last night and I read him a little bedtime story. It's amazing how no matter how old you get, you can still appreciate the simplicity of a Dr. Seuss book.
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! features three stories: the book's namesake, King Looie Katz and The Glunk that Got Thunk. Each are told in the same tone you'd expect from Seuss with a good measure of silliness for fun. This isn't an I Can Read! early reader's book, so a really young child would still need assistance with these stories.
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! showed its age with the main character occasionally saying he could "beat up" the tigers. Would a modern Childrens' book contain something like that today? I'm doubtful. It caused a little confusion because I thought he was trying to lick them, but whatever. Maybe I'm trying to apply too much logic to a Dr. Seuss book which is obviously ridiculous. Still, I ended up enjoying the book as a whole and it brought on some sweet, sweet nostalgia!
My personal favorite of the three was The Glunk that Got Thunk because it's perfect for reading out loud, made up words and all. And so my husband recorded this for your enjoyment!
Welp. Another case of pretty cover and terrible book has struck me again.
Kricket is a super special girl. She has special powers, special eye color,Welp. Another case of pretty cover and terrible book has struck me again.
Kricket is a super special girl. She has special powers, special eye color, special hair color, special name and spelling of said name. She's really beautiful, but doesn't know it and every guy wants her body for himself... some as old as dirt! She's also The One at the center of a prophecy her super special mom prophesized long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Are you rolling your eyes yet?
Never have I read a book with so many ridiculous tropes balled up into one novel. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with tropes because even I have a certain weakness for some. For example, I fall prey to the "girl and boy hate each other, but slowly fall in love through forced interaction" trope every time and I'm not ashamed to admit it. But Under Different Stars reads like a self-indulgent writing experiment with absolutely no purpose.
While on the run from the department of social services, Kricket is abducted by a group of men who share the same violet eye color as her. They end up taking her to a different world, and surprise, surprise, she's an alien with powerful abilities that are highly sought after. She's immediately thrust into a world where females are valued as much as a prized show dog and whose vernacular verges on both corny and juvenile.
Yet despite being born with a vagina and thus seen as lesser than her male counterparts, every male she runs into wants her. Whether for political gain, selfish wants or sexual conquest, Kricket is a highly sought after commodity, and much of the novel is a pissing contest between various man folk. One that seems interesting at first, but quickly losses its appeal with every new suitor.
Though most of the novel takes place over the course of a week, possibly two if I'm being generous, Kricket manages to fall in love with one of her original captors, Trey. I can usually pick out who the love interest is from the very beginning and Under Different Stars didn't even bother making this remotely difficult, nor did it make an attempt to keep the lovers apart. As I previously stated, this novel is very self-indulgent and doesn't particularly care to stay the course of what was originally laid out in the beginning for the reader.
At one point Kricket confesses her love to Trey only to be rebuffed and in her words "friend-zoned" due to his already established previous engagement to a childhood friend, something she was well aware of beforehand. Yet, imagine my surprise when while Kricket is yet again fawning over Trey, claiming her undying love, and he AGAIN telling her no, that he suddenly tells her that he's broken it off with his fiancé and wants to be with her. And then an argument over who loves who the most ensues, ending with her basically begging him to deflower her and he saying he wants to marry her instead. Because nothing else matters but their love, guys!
Oh, kitten. Oh, honey. *makes out*
It's the first time I've ever read a scene that does a complete 180 with no warning whatsoever.
To say this Under Different Stars has a bad case of wish fulfillment is a complete understatement since Kricket can, in fact, wish her way out of certain circumstances. Whatever Kricket wants, she has the power to get. Kricket doesn't want to marry someone? No worries, another male suitor will have him killed. Kricket wants Trey to be with her and ditch his childhood sweetheart? So it shall be done. I mean, the amount of wank that went into this novel is shocking.
Kricket isn't the heroine of the story despite her situation. No, instead she is the heroine of the story because the world is setup to be terrible so she can be the shining ray of light. With so many male characters that belittle her and constantly want to control both her powers and body, Kricket is the stanch feminist who desires to be in control of her own destiny. While all the men attempt to mansplain to her, they later find out that she's actually a genius whose "brain lights up like a christmas tree" on a scanner. They frequently tell her how she can't defend herself and yet Kricket has the most powerful powers out of everyone. Everyone in the book is deliberately horrible, so she can look flossy as fuck.
To make matters worse, the ratio of male to female characters is nauseating. Only three, including Kricket, have lines in the book and I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand how many times they chatted with each other one page. Two other female characters are mentioned, one being Kricket's dead mother and the other Trey's fiancé. Everyone else is virtually male or just not mentioned. Ugh.
(view spoiler)[Also, why is her name Kricket?! Why is she the only one with the super odd name? Why does she spell it with a K?? (hide spoiler)]
A part of me is confused, surprised and disgusted with myself for continuing to listen to the audiobook even when I knew there was no way possible for it to redeem itself with me, but I'm such a stubborn reader with a pinch of masochism. Maybe under different stars I could have liked this book, but it's made up of too many of the things I dislike to have ever had a chance. Such a shame because I really do love those covers.
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