Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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It took me a long time to finish this book.

Not because it was bad, but because it was heavy. Very, very heavy. Hell, the whole thing was an avalanche of emotions, especially for someone who struggles with many of the things described in it.

I loved how real the characters were. No one was perfect and no one was evil. Everyone was human. Little things like wet socks and smelly armpits made it so genuine.

I loved the short chapter layout. It reminded me of Go Ask Alice, my first brush with the self-destructive teenager diary genre. I liked the writing, too, though sometimes the dialogue felt a little too mature for the maturity level of Charlie, the main character and narrator. Plenty of beautiful metaphors and rolling sentences, things that one might imagine but not say, and for how little she said a lot of it didn’t feel right.

As for the story itself, I enjoyed it a lot, but unlike most other books it didn’t have a typical plot. Usually, in a book like this, we’d get an overview of what we are to achieve by the end of the book, aka the big reveal. This book was a story of Charlie’s life post- suicide attempt and it was interesting, and heart-breaking, and intense, but I had no idea where it was leading aside from everything crashing back down at some random point. It made for an unpredictable, though at times random, read. And without spoilers, I have to say – the ending was the best part.

I think that many audiences would enjoy this book, from teens to adults, because the characters were a variety of ages too. If you’re looking for a book about dealing with feelings of self-harm, this is a great read. But be warned: there are all kinds of triggers aside from cutting, from suicide, to abuse, to addiction. This is a book that doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, which makes it one of its greatest strengths.

Celebrate LGBT pride month with a diverse book.

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This month I see a lot of posts with diverse books in honor of LGBT Pride, and I love it! So here’s another one to add to your list, readers!
Rise of the Chosen is a dystopian fantasy where the main character, Samantha, is bisexual and in a relationship with another girl, Lena. It’s gotten a lot of positive reception on how they are portrayed and needs to be more on the LGBT radar (and it’s #ownvoices!). It’s been compared to Divergent, The Maze Runner, and is inspired by The Walking Dead. Here’s the blurb:
In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

It’s not a super long book so find the time to check it out!
Or, for more information, you can find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30553316-rise-of-the-chosen
And the author website is: http://www.annakoppauthor.com/young-adult

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

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You guys…I think I’m getting older.

Even a few years ago I wouldn’t have picked up an adult family drama to save my life.

And yet, seeing this on my NetGalley email, something told me I should.

And oh my God was it good.

I devoured this book. When I was doing other things, like working or cleaning or cooking dinner, I was thinking about the next time I can pick it up so I can see what happens. It’s that good.

Now, after finishing it, I’m still digesting all the wonderful and emotional feelings that it brought. The distinctly British-style writing, the twists and turns, the coincidences of a well-thought-out plot. I think I smiled through half of it just imagining all the big reveals, and the satisfaction they brought was perfect.

So what does this mean?

I think it means it’s time for me to expand my horizons. I’ve been missing out. And if you don’t read this book, you’d be missing out too.

 

A huge thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this ARC!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

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I’m not going to lie, the main reason I got this book is because I saw a bunch of people say it had great f/f bi representation. I’m more into traditional fantasy versus modern, but I still put it on my list, and finally got the chance to read it.

And it was…good. At least that’s how I would describe my feelings after finishing it. I’ll go into more depth here.

First off, it had an amazing diverse cast. Alex’s family reminded me a lot of The Raven Boys’ Blue’s family (which was my favorite thing about that series) but they weren’t your typical white witches. The entire book seeped that Latin American vibe and I LOVED it. I felt like I was immersed in that world, and not once did I see the characters as default-white.

Speaking of the world, oh my Dios, Los Lagos was incredible. It’s no surprise this was picked up for a movie. People compare it to Alice in Wonderland but I disagree. To me it’s more like OZ. There are witches and fairies and everything is alive and filled with magic but not insane or silly magic – real and dangerous and sorrowful. They aren’t mad, they’re surviving.

So then, what, might you ask, is the problem?

There is no problem. It was written well, the bi-love-triangle-that-wasn’t-really-a-love-triangle was fairly well done, and it paced itself perfectly well and wrapped up perfectly well. I liked the characters, there were some twists I didn’t see coming, and overall I enjoyed it.

So, once again, why did it take me a month longer that it should have to finish? I kept putting it down to do other things. At first I couldn’t figure out why. And then I did.

It was that the whole thing felt like a Pixar movie. Somehow, the way it was written, with its little sweet interactions and Alex’s innocence and the darkness and evil and death being so surreal that I saw it in my head like a beautiful animated film. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. I love Pixar movies. They have that darkness while still giving us hope and love and a happy ending. This book was about family and self acceptance, and that’s wonderful, but Alex could have been 13 and it would have still been completely appropriate. Actually, I think it would have been better. Made her a stronger character.

A lot of reviewers are saying they thought it wasn’t intense enough so they didn’t feel scared for the characters, but I think it’s actually that it was too intense. Every corner was life or death, every vision a mirage, every escape deemed impossible. The explanation of ‘magic’ just wasn’t enough to make up for the sheer amount of running and fighting and bleeding and still being able to give more. It was, as I said earlier, surreal, thus taking it into a whole new territory. Still, it’s not a -bad- thing. It’s how this book was laid out and it was great. I just think many of us readers couldn’t relate to the darkness because it’s too cartoony in a way.

All in all, a great story that would make a great Pixar animated film, but I think the target audience is middle grade/teen, not young adult+.

A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel Vol 1-3

I love the HBO series but I’ve never read the books. As much as I am interested in expanding that world, I simply cannot convince myself to pick up the behemoths that these novels are. So, when I saw this on Bookbub I wanted to check it out as a possible alternative.

The descriptions say that these are based on the books, not the show. They specifically made sure to try and distance it from the show.

They kind of failed.

Either because the show is just that close to the books, or because I’ve never read the books, but I felt like these graphic novels were almost exactly like the show. Verbatim in many parts, things you can’t forget. Sadly, in all three books I haven’t learned a thing that I haven’t already seen on the show.

I wouldn’t say it was a waste of time. The art is beautiful and I enjoyed reliving the awesome twists and turns of the story. But it looks like if I want canon from the book I’d have to read it. Maybe one day…

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (book and show)

 

I wasn’t going to write a review until the Hulu series was over, but since they’ve been renewed for season 2 in 2018, I’ve decided not to wait.

Like many others, I was intrigued by the Superbowl ad for The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and decided to read the book before the show aired. Not my usual genre, but hey, why not. I’m not going to do a ‘review’ as this book is a classic, but I want to talk about it, and the show.

First of all, I was shocked by how accurately Atwood portrayed the pre-Gilean society. This book was written in 1986, before I was born, and yet it felt like today. From banks freezing all credit cards to martial law due to terrorist attacks, these predictions are the fears we all have – today. The TV show took it one step further and showed us the technology too, but what’s crazy is it didn’t feel like it strayed from the book. It felt right. And terrifying.

Of course, today this gender-apocalypse wouldn’t be a possibility in the US. Not in the same way. Why, you ask? We are already on the same path! I’ll tell you why. Because America is a nation of guns. And when shit hits the fan, and some militia comes in and shoots at protesters, we can shoot back. We will shoot back. If the government, or a government, says we need to give up our guns, there would be no one to enforce it because those who can, also own guns. I think, in a lot of movies and books, we forget that every thug and soldier is a human being. They have mothers, lovers, daughters. And guns. Our God-given right to protect ourselves from this very thing. No religious rhetoric would work on this belief. It simply would not fly.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book, and I’m currently enjoying the show. Some of the scenes are downright haunting, like the one where Moira asked if they would be having actual intercourse with the men. Her face was just…it hit me hard. There’s rape in the book, but it’s so much worse in the show because you see it happening over and over again, and no one cares, and you just want to scream THIS IS RAPE YOU ARE RAPING HER RAPE RAPE RAPE but it won’t matter. It’s nauseating.

To be honest, I didn’t really like the show at first. I thought the narration was forced, jarring even, like reading random lines from the book. But I got used to it. I love the memory sequences the most, learning about their lives before the regime. I do hope we get more than the book, since the ending was so abrupt. I hope we get to see the regime fall and June reunited with her daughter.

One can only hope.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

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Let’s rewind.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was good, but not great. I only picked up the second book because everyone said it was amazing and way better than the first.

And it was. A Court of Mist and Fury was probably my favorite book of 2016. I loved it so much I couldn’t wait for book three.

A Court of Wings and Ruin did not disappoint in terms of giving us a great conclusion to the story. We got it all in an epic fantasy format. No more Beauty and the Beast shadows lurking in the background. This was all out war. However, I can’t go into greater detail without spoilers so here’s my warning – spoilers ahead!

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