Screw its blatant, ridiculous slut-shaming, and its romanticising of abusive, ILLEGAL behaviour.
I've had it with brooding heroes, whoScrew this book.
Screw its blatant, ridiculous slut-shaming, and its romanticising of abusive, ILLEGAL behaviour.
I've had it with brooding heroes, whose obvious disrespect, disregard for other's emotions and well being is made "ok" by the fact that they're hot as hell and make the heroine all weak in the knees.
I've fucking had it.
Kacey loses her entire family in a drunk driving accident, and now it's only her and her sister, Livie. After their uncle tries to sexually assault Livie, they move far away.
Here Kacey starts working in a stripclub as a bartender which, as she's very keen to constantly remind us, does not require her to take off her clothes. Then she proceeds to slut-shame every single woman who works there and actually does take of their clothes.
As if you're somehow cheap, slutty or gross because you chose to work in a stripclub. That's a valid line of work, and it should be respected. Women can do what they want with their bodies, and chose whatever work they want, as long as it's consensual. Respect that. Jesus.
Now for some spoilers.
Of course it turns out Trent is indirectly responsible for the accident that killed her family (it was his family's car, that he'd let a drunk friend of his borrow). This is not a surprise, it's so blatantly obviously the case that it couldn't even be described as a plot twist. And it isn't.
In a desperat attempt at giving her obvious plot twist an edge, Tucker adds a little something extra: the revelation that Trent stalked Kacey for two years, watched her from afar, hacked her email to discover she was moving to Miami and rented the apartment next to hers. And then insinuated himself into her life.
Then he proceeded to lie, manipulate her emotionally, and sleep with her, in the hope that he might "fix" her, and thus make her life better so she'll forgive him.
This is not me reading into things. It is explicitly stated, that his one reason for doing what he does, is so that she'll forgive him. He ruins her life, so that HE might be rid of his sense of guilt! YOU PIECE OF SHIT.
Also, the idea that he might be able to "fix" her life? HOW? What did he have in mind? Because what happens is that he makes her fall in love with him. Which I don't think is a valid plan for fixing someone's life, unless you truly believe your man-love is so powerful. It's just gross. Like stalking someone for two years is fucking gross.
And also illegal.
Listen, if someone came up to me and was like: "This is my husband", and I asked how long they've known each other, and they had to go "Oh, well, we met three years ago, but of course, he knew me longer, because he stalked me for two years out of a sense of guilt and desperate search for forgiveness for himself" I'd tell them to run for their goddamn lives.
Anyway, she then does forgive him, so his creepy stalker plan of fixing her life to obtain forgiveness totally works, and then they start a relationship and end up together to live happily ever after.
I'm fucking done. This whole thing is gross....more
I promised myself I'd go into a bookstore and buy a book I'd never heard of before, by an author I didn't know, since I never ever go into a store andI promised myself I'd go into a bookstore and buy a book I'd never heard of before, by an author I didn't know, since I never ever go into a store and buy a book I wasn't always planning on reading. Which is a shame. The result was the purchase of this slim Man Booker winning novel. And it wasn't a bad random pick, although I'm a little uncertain what it was REALLY trying to do.
See, I honestly don't know about this book. I found it very charming, and was easily swept into its languid prose, slow moving plot (if you can call it a plot) and the eccentric existences of Hotel du Lac. But on the other hand, I have no idea what it really gave me in the end.
Edith Hope is sent to Swiss Hotel du Lac, and told to think about her life and her choices, and only to come back when she's repented. As it's almost out of season only very few guests occupy the hotel, and they're all women. Edith soon becomes part of their daily life, with its small dramas and controversies.
She observes the other women, and tries to work them - and in turn herself - out. And this is where it gets a little uncertain. Because I can't decide if it's too stereotypical in its portrayal of women, or if it's confidently complex and subverts the tropes it gives us.
I'm leaning towards the latter, but I think a case can be made for the former too.
Because while it's a story with a sharp focus on women, it's also all women who are measured, in small ways, by their relationship with men. Either because their husbands died or they've been abandoned by them. Or they're the other woman. So they're left on the fringes of society, slightly outside what everyone else thinks is acceptable and they've come to Hotel du Lac.
Mr. Neville, a man who arrives at the hotel later on, vehemently tries to convince Edith that the life she's been living isn't worth it, and that he can give her a comfortable position inside the societal norm and all the freedom that come with it.
But it's also a novel that, I think, insists there is nothing wrong with Edith's life at all, with none of these women's lives. That Mr. Neville is a total d-bag who simply assumes he knows what Edith needs, without actually understanding her inner life and passions at all. And Edith may be prejudiced against her own sex, she may accuse them of some ridiculous things, but this is also because she's incapable of turning this judging eye towards herself, and that she has to learn too. I don't know if she does, but I think the experiences lends her a sympathy towards herself and her gender.
I just don't know. I'll have to read it again someday. But for now I found it had a nice melancholy charm, and I loved its focus on women and their inner and outer lives. Other books have definitely done it better, but this one I liked too.
For a random pick in the bookstore it was definitely not bad at all. ...more
"I felt the pain and glory of growth, was straining and shuddering with it."
I loved Binti and this is a stunning sequel.
A year after Binti left home,"I felt the pain and glory of growth, was straining and shuddering with it."
I loved Binti and this is a stunning sequel.
A year after Binti left home, watched her entire spaceship get massacred by Meduse, and became a hero by stopping an intergalactic war, she's immersed in her studies at Oomza Uni and friends with Okwu, one of the Meduse who murdered her fellow travellers.
She's suffering from PTSD, and trying to make sense of her new life and identity. So she decides to travel home and make amends to her family as well as participate in her people's pilgrimage, hoping it might clear her head and heart.
She feels alienated, and not just because she's been infused with Meduse DNA, but because she's the first of her people to travel into space to study, because she defied the expectations of her family and her people. She's not sure where she belongs anymore.
So her and Okwu travel to earth. Okwu is the first of its species to ever come to earth in peace, and Binti? She just hopes her family will forgive her for running away and following her dreams.
Neither Binti or Home are particularly action-packed. It's a series that's focused on character progression, on Binti's journey towards her destiny. And Home lives up to the many connotations of its title.
Binti comes home, but finds it is much different from how she left it, and that she, too, is much different. It turns out the change that is looming over her has just begun, and she might find herself even further removed from her family by the end of it.
Binti continues her journey, and discovers strange, unnerving parts of her own heritage - and the part she may still have to play in the grander scheme of things.
And it goes deeper into the violence of prejudice. How culture is what binds us together, but does so by also creating an "us" and a "them" and that bridging that gap may cost more than she is truly willing to pay.
I'm honestly still just blown completely away by the amount if story Nnedi Okorafor manages to pack into so few pages. This doesn't feel like a 160 page novel, it feels like it's 300 hundred with the amount of feeling, world-building and exposition it gives us.
It feels a little like an interlude (a finely crafted, immensely important interlude - a sort of calm before the storm) to the third and final book, The Night Masquerade. And I cannot wait to see where she takes us.
Every single time I read an Okorafor book I'm left with a feeling of wonder and excitement. I'm continuously impressed with the scope of her vision and her unwavering courage to carry it out with such precision and style.
Long story short, I love this fucking series and I cannot wait for the final book....more
An utterly adorable, lovely and all-round good book that made my eyes turn into little hearts and my tears turn into fucking rainbows.
Molly has so faAn utterly adorable, lovely and all-round good book that made my eyes turn into little hearts and my tears turn into fucking rainbows.
Molly has so far in her life had exactly twenty-six crushes and precisely zero kisses. And at seventeen years old, she's very, very ready for that to be remedier.
First off, I love Molly. And I love that she's a fat protagonist looking for love, there really isn't enough of that. But most of all I love the fact that she doesn't hate her body. As she states herself, she's mostly just afraid everyone else will. That is wonderful, and truly the kind of body positivity wee need more of. Molly is insecure, absolutely, and it is partly about her body, but mostly it's about the fact that she's never had sex, let alone a single kiss, and at this point she's a little unsure if she'll even know how to get there. It seems to come so naturally to everyone else, but not to her.
But when sexy hipster Will, and cute Lord of the Rings loving Reid at work, both start maybe showing interest Molly finally has her chance... if she dares take it.
And if perhaps finding love for the first time wasn't enough, Molly's twin sister, Cassie, has just found herself her first girlfriend, and the two sisters face the very real possibility that they're growing apart. This was one of the book's greatest strengths. Seeing them navigate their relationship as intimacies arise for the both of them was fascinating and moving. They've always been each others closest companion, so what happens when someone else threathens to take that place?
The diversity and inclusiveness in this book is astounding. There's black characters, including one of Molly's moms, a bisexual mom, a pansexual Korean-American love interest, a jewish love interest, plenty of lesbians, minor gay side-characters, and asexuality is mentioned. And I know there are gonna be some shitheads out there going "it feels so forced!!!" and let me tell you, it doesn't. Becky Albertalli doesn't write in poetic, lush prose, but she does one thing very very right, and that's keeping her stories realistic and natural. She nails it in Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda and she nails it here. There is nothing forced about this book, not a single sentence.
It just gets so many things very right. Falling in love for the first time, and the insecurities about sex, about love, about kissing. The way you act all irrational when you're falling in love and lash out at people. And female friendships! It gets them so, so right. And it's a fucking delight that they aren't in any way diminished or used for drama. They're supportive and beautiful.
And honestly, Reid is so fucking adorable I wanted to smooch his face myself.
It's just a really good book, it's sweet, it's moving, and it gets a lot of things very right. You can tell Albertalli took the time to craft a world that is true to the one we live in. And it pays off, it feels vibrant and alive.
There's also a small cameo from some much beloved characters from Simon, although it took me a while to figure out it was the same ones. I'm a little slow at times. But I love that these two stories exist in the same world.
Becky Albertalli hasn't let me down, and after this I'm pretty certain she never will. Her stories make the world brighter, better and more beautiful. She fills them with warmth and kindness and respectful inclusion. Bless her....more
(Copy provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review).
This is the high-school experience we all wished we'd had. Sure, many(Copy provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review).
This is the high-school experience we all wished we'd had. Sure, many of us felt left out, like dumb, invisble outcasts. But what if you could've felt that way AND hung out with a bunch of cool guys who also happen to know about strange, parallel worlds?
What if the backstage door led to a world of magic, adventure and, maybe, the best friendships you'll ever make?
That's what this story is. Jory ends up at an all-boys highschool, and in an attempt to fit in, in any way at all, he joins the backstagers and suddenly the world is a lot less dreary and lonely.
It's a really delightful, adventurous and fun read, with an awesome diverse cast. And it can be read by pretty much anyone. I can't wait to see where they take the story, and how teenage life turns out for Jory and his new motley crew.
Oh, and the art is stunning! It fits the story beautifully and really helps set the mood, and define the characters. I loved it....more
I'd forgotten I knew exactly what the plottwist of this book was, until the moment I sat down to read it. I'd also forgotten I'd once decided not to rI'd forgotten I knew exactly what the plottwist of this book was, until the moment I sat down to read it. I'd also forgotten I'd once decided not to read it. Which I'm glad I forgot, because it is actually a very sweet, fascinating novel.
It's the story of 18-year-old Maddy, who's never set foot outside her house. She dreams about it, and imagines what the outside world might be like, the thing is... she's deathly allergic to it. If she goes outside it could mean death.
So all she does is dream. Until Olly moves in next door. Suddenly she's falling in love, hard and fast, and when just thinking about someone gives you butterflies, simply chatting with him won't be enough. So they meet. Then they touch.
And soon a life lived in isolation is never going to be enough. Maddy will have to decide what she's willing to risk to really live, and, for just once in her life, be absolutely, transcendingly happy.
That part of the story I liked, because I recognised it. We've all been young and in love and felt like we had to risk some things for that - although a lot less than what Maddy risks.
I did feel they maybe fell in love a little too fast, but on the other hand, that is how it works when you're young.
And then... the twist. Which sort of ruins the book a little, because the more you think about it, the more wildly unrealistic it is. It doesn't ruin it completely, it's still a lovely novel about first loves, and choosing what life you want to live, what sort of person you want to be, and what really means something in this world.
But it would've worked better, I think, without the twist.
(view spoiler)[ Alright, so it turns out Maddy isn't and never was allergic to the world. Her illness is a lie, and she's been trapped in this house for 18 years because her mother didn't want to lose her, like she lost her husband and son.
I just... It feels like that shouldn't be POSSIBLE?? That someone ought to have fucking realized what was going on? That maybe Maddy could've googled something about needing more tests, not fucking done by her mother? And Carla maybe, I don't know, calling the fucking police if she suspected something was up.
And then the truth is out and Maddy is persuaded to stay with her mother? WHO TRAPPED HER FOR 18 YEARS? THE HELL? She does move out soon after - good call - not sure where she got the money though.
And nothing happens to the mother? Although she's clearly mentally ill? She can't keep being allowed to be a doctor, but no mention is made of it. I just can't believe trapping your own daughter in a house for 18 years is in any way legal. I get why Maddy wouldn't want to do anything about it, and she was treated well, but come on. It's so fucking messed up.
Yeah, I couldn't really accept it. Also because it seemed to be a sort of Deus Ex Machina just to find a way for Olly and Maddy to be together easily. I'd have liked it better if they'd had to find a way around her being sick instead.
God, can you imagine how messed up you must be as a kid, if you find out your mom trapped you and lied to you for 18 years? And basically took a way your chance at a normal teenage life and childhood? What the fuck, man.
I wanted them to go deeper into that, because it changes EVERYTHING. It's suddenly not just a cute teenage romance, it's a messed up story of abuse of power?
I just find it so wildly unrealistic that nothing more comes of it and can't really accept it. (hide spoiler)]...more