After the collapse of society as present-day humankind knew it, Lynn and her family have managed to survive the nuOriginally posted on Just a Lil Lost
After the collapse of society as present-day humankind knew it, Lynn and her family have managed to survive the nuclear wars and diseases that decimated the lands around them. Setting up camp in the Canadian Yukon, the small band of survivors have learned to hunt, trap and stay out of sight until one day when Jax, a mysterious stranger, enters their lives. His appearance sets off a chain of events that places the small community in dangers they had not wanted to face.
I’m a bit torn with this book. While the overall story is compelling, I had a hard time looking past the fact that a male author has written for his female protagonist to get sexually assaulted by an awful man within the first 8 pages of this book. And it’s not the only time that Lynn is put in a situation where she is harmed. That being said, I attended an intimate gathering of the Indigo VIP Book Club hosted by Indigo Books and Simon & Schuster with the author, Tyrell Johnson, several weeks ago. This topic was brought up and Johnson did say that he had a male and female editor, and neither had brought this up as an issue. Nonetheless, as I had finished this book prior to the book club discussion, truth be told, I was bracing myself for the rest of the novel if that was how the first chapter started.
To my relief, aside for some questionably sexist remarks which could be chalked up to the male characters’ thoughts, the remainder of the book didn’t give me as much pause as it initially had. I thought Johnson’s world-building of a post-apocalyptic landscape was a bit too eerily plausible given the nature of the current climate – politically and globally. It felt realistic and vast, just as what Lynn would have been experiencing as she lived in and trekked through that environment. I don’t often read “wilderness survival” type stories, and hadn’t read a dystopian book in a while but I was pleasantly surprised how much I got into this and how quickly I flew through it.
An interesting point was brought up by a fellow attendee during the book club discussion, and it highlighted the subtle nuances that really show a narrative with a female POV written by a male vs female author. At one point in the book, Lynn lists the things she misses most post-nuclear war and feminine hygiene products never make that list. A small thing, but I felt it illustrated how differently that might have looked if a woman were to have compiled that list.
Johnson’s debut novel is full of adventure and survival, really building a fleshed-out barren world with the use of flashbacks to pre-war days. The story holds up to being a standalone and can certainly be read that way, however it also leaves enough open for a potential sequel as well. The Wolves of Winter is great for fans of Station Eleven and other post-apocalyptic novels....more
When Marisa happens to catch her best friend’s boyfriend cheating on her, she had no idea that her moment of beinOriginally posted on JustALilLost.com
When Marisa happens to catch her best friend’s boyfriend cheating on her, she had no idea that her moment of being a private eye would give her the reputation for catching cheaters. She begrudgingly takes on a case from her frenemy, Kendall, who is convinced her boyfriend TJ is being unfaithful. She convinces Marisa to get close to him to find out what he’s hiding but what she discovers about Kendall and TJ goes beyond what she thought she was getting into.
I really enjoyed this book! I flew through it in a couple of days, not being able to put it down. I’m a big fan of Veronica Mars and Busted reminded me a lot of the cult fave show starring Kristen Bell – down to the mystery-solving, small-town school life. It’s a fairly quick read full of high school drama, relationships and friendships with a detective element to it.
I also loved how Ciocca explored the friendship dynamics. Marissa wasn’t afraid to call out her friends for being mean and while it may have been a few small moments in the book, I thought it was really important to show. Hopefully it illustrated to readers that the cycle of bullying can be stopped when one friend refuses to participate in the mean spirited actions. And good friends don’t stop being friends because of it. It was really refreshing to see both healthy and toxic female friendships depicted, as well as great sibling camaraderie.
Overall Busted was an entertaining weekend read for fans of contemporary YA and Veronica Mars. I do wish there was a bit more, different, sleuthing – maybe more cases for a future sequel? A really great start to 2018!...more
When Ruby moves to Paris after marrying her French husband, she would not have imagined thatOriginally posted on JustALilLost.com
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
When Ruby moves to Paris after marrying her French husband, she would not have imagined that their lives would be spent fighting for survival rather than sitting at cafes as World War II looms near. Living next door to Ruby is Charlotte, a young Jewish girl who lives with her parents until the restrictions turn into deportations and their world is torn apart. When Ruby and Charlotte’s paths cross with that of Thomas, a downed Royal Air Force pilot trying to get out of Paris, their lives are forever changed by that chance meeting.
The Room on Rue Amélie is a story that follows three people dealing with what life has dealt them in the midst of a war. Their situations are not ideal, to say the least, but not wanting to be complacent and surrender to the enemy, they each find their own way of fighting back. Harmel has written a cast of interesting characters and possesses a way of drawing on the emotions of those characters as evidenced by the various dramatic and heartbreaking scenes in this book. It’s a beautifully-told tale as the protagonists face one unthinkable situation after another, the lives they once knew fall away and a new routine must be adopted.
At times I’ve found that stories about wars were told with male protagonists – the soldiers, the men in power at that time. Admittedly, I didn’t know a lot about the role of women during this period but I loved reading about how they got involved with the resistance any way they could – even if it’s just a start with this one story. I also found it eye-opening to get a better idea of what that time might have been like in Europe, especially as there are small moments in this story that talk about the response from the rest of the world versus what they were actually experiencing.
While this book is about fighting for survival, it’s also full of self preservation and hope. Harmel takes multiple POVs and weaves them into a compelling narrative that displays both the vulnerabilities in and empowerment of women. I really enjoyed this journey that the author has taken her readers on. The Room on Rue Amélie is perfect for fans of historical fiction and books like The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay....more
Meet Cute is an anthology of 14 original short stories by YA authors, such as Nicola Yoon, Julie Murphy, Nina La Cour andRating: ★ ★ ☆ (2.5 /5 stars)
Meet Cute is an anthology of 14 original short stories by YA authors, such as Nicola Yoon, Julie Murphy, Nina La Cour and others. From a meeting brought on by an angry customer’s tweet to a strange reality show competition, Meet Cute covers a variety of scenarios where two people make a romantic connection.
While these tales consisted of a variety of scenarios, I had wished there was a bit more variety in the pairings. Along with the straight couples, there was representation in lesbian and trans characters but there was a lack of gay couples, despite what I assumed to be two guys illustrated on the cover. Yes, female-centric stories are great, and there was some diversity in that respect but not enough of the kind of diversity I was expecting.
With regards to the short stories themselves, I was pretty split on them... about half I really enjoyed and half of them I really didn’t. I particularly loved The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies and The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Those two stories left me with such a giddy smile on my face at the actual meet cute moment - a sign, for me, of a successful story told.
And that brings me to what a meet cute story should be. UrbanDictionary defines it quite perfectly: "Scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the better)." This unfortunately did not describe a number of the stories in this book, including the very first one which was unfortunate. True, some of these are cute stories but not all of them would necessarily fall under the “meet cute” category. I also didn't understand the use of "you" in the narration, as if the reader was the person even though the "you" has an actual name in the story. I feel like this book may have needed more curation to be more cohesive in its theme....more
This was such a sweet graphic novel! While I don’t consider myself an introvert at all, I still found a lot of the panels extremely relevant as a bookThis was such a sweet graphic novel! While I don’t consider myself an introvert at all, I still found a lot of the panels extremely relevant as a book lover. This would be a great gift for someone (or yourself!)...more