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bold it is an audiobook
I'm going to be completely awful and mostly skip this month's Diversity Challenge. With my last minute move and my super all the pain because of my high ankle sprain/whatever I did to my knee, I've got a whole lot of reviews from July to catch up with. I might find some books with asexual characters later on in the month, but right now I'm just trying to get caught up with the reviews I'm behind on.
You can click any of the titles under "Reviewed" to read my review.
Book Club / Personal / Fanfiction / Library / Netgalley / Review Request
* it fits within the month's diversity challenge
bold it is an audiobook
About the Book
Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents' chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya's mid-thirties. When she can't get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya's care. As Kavya learns to be a mother--the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being--she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else's child.
Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.
“But no matter what, strangers never disappointed, because she expected nothing from them. It was the people she knew, who liked and even loved her, who could let her down most cruelly.”
I put a hold on this from my library, but I'd forgotten where I'd heard of it. Turns out it was recommended for one of my book club reads, but not enough people voted on it... so they read another book. But I missed that meeting, didn't read that book, and I ended up reading this one anyway. Obviously I do what I want.
Anyway, I had gotten this book late last month but I really didn't have time to read it due to issues with moving. So I ended up having to return it after only listening to it for about half an hour... and then I had to wait almost another month to get it back. That was pretty frustrating, because I was really enjoying it.
I did get it back earlier this week, and due to the current weather issue where I live I finished it pretty quickly... because I evacuated 2 hours away and I was too wired to sleep much of today. And this book was pretty much awesome at keeping me alert on the drive. There's so much stuff going on, but not in an overwhelming way. But it's just enough to keep me captivated... and too excited about what was going on to sleep.
One thing that really got to me is how there aren't any actual "bad guys". Except both sets of characters are antagonists toward each other. And I found that pretty interesting. Because there's all this drama and stuff going on, and we're getting both sides of it. That made it really hard for me to side with any of the characters on the main issues since I was emotionally invested in both sides of the issue.
Things really pick up toward the end. I actually had to stop listening to the audiobook for a bit. And then when I started, I had to listen in small bursts. When I'm really tired, I get extra emotional. And it's already pretty intense without the added boost to my emotions.
I ended up enjoying this way more than I anticipated. And I should probably guilt everyone at my bookclub for missing out on this fantastic read. Highly recommend.
About the Book
Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
“Never give up on your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that what you love is inconsequential or useless or a waste of time. Because if you love it? If that OTP or children's card game or abridged series or YA book or animated series makes you happy?
Honestly, I wasn't sure if I should read this or not. I was interested when I first saw it... but then I saw a friend of mine gave it a 3, and I just wasn't sure. But then I saw it was available on my library's overdrive and I figured the worst that could happen is she was right and I waste some time.
Good news! She's crazy. And I let her know it. This book was AH-MAY-ZING. I absolutely loved it. I have a thing for fairy tale remakes and nerdy romances, and this has both of those. And throw in all the geek culture references, and this book pleased me so much.
I love Cinderella, but it was never anything I could relate to - servant girl becoming a princess and whatnot. But this remake was done in a perspective that I both understood and could see myself in. And that made it that much better!
There's this one line Elle's stepmother says to her, I don't wanna say it because potential spoilers. But if you read the book, you'll know it. And it hit me right in the feels. I had put the book down. Thing is, and I'm getting personal, it is almost verbatim an exact thing my own mother said to me back when I was a little kid. And it is not a good thing, heads up. So that brought up some unexpected emotions.
Other than that unwanted trip down memory lane, this book was fanfreakingtastic. I did not want it to end. And also it made me wish the show Starfield was a for-reals thing. I almost skipped through the scenes that explained the episodes because I didn't want spoilers, but then I remembered it's not real. I got a bit too absorbed into the story, btw.
To sum it all up, I loved the story. I think the way each character fit into the fairy tale was fabulous and perfect. And this was awesome and great and everyone should read it immediately.
About the Book
“You talk here about greatness. I just wanted to ask if you could understand what it was we were going for. That there is greatness in the attempt - something in the trying. That in trying, we set up a certain scaffolding that a new generation can use to climb to heights we only dreamed of.”
I was loaned this book by Sofia from a blind date with a book swap we did back in February at book club. It just took me forever to start it because this is who I am as a person. Also, she completely forgot what it was about because it was nothing like what she explained to me. So dishonor on her and her cow.
Anyway, I had to fight myself to continue reading this book. The first half is, to be blunt, ridiculously dumb. I can't even take it seriously. That's how bad it was. I almost marked it DNF. But then I was at a playground that was for kids only, so I couldn't even go onto the actual equipment and my phone was dead and this book happened to still be in my backpack... so my boredom powered me through the first half. I would like it noted that it came with great pain and a lot of sighing.
So, while the first half is bad, the second is much better. It's not what I'd say is "good", but it was interesting enough that I actually finished it.
In conclusion, Sofia gets -1 platypires for bringing this to the book swap in the first place. And I am pleased I was actually able to use this image in a review. It gets even better, because she's the one who made it. And she totally deserves it.
Oh, and the book itself gets 2 of them. This is because, even though it caused many an eye roll, I did like Daniel and the message behind it as a whole wasn't terribad.
About the Book
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.
I kept seeing this book on Amazon's most read list week after week, so I decided to give in an see what all the fuss was about. Although it turned out I had placed a hold on my library back when it was a pre-hold... but so had apparently every body else in the world. Because I had only gotten it last week. And the wait list has only grown insanely past what it was when I went on it. The last person in the queue will probably have it in about 53 years.
Okay, so I finally got started. The beginning is interesting although it reminded me of Girl on the Train... and it wasn't until I was putting together this post that I realized it's the same author and I am dumb. Anyway, I was instantly pulled in because I wanted to know what in the hell was going on and why all the people were doing the things they were doing. Although there's a whole lot of characters being introduced in a short period, and so for a little while I had a bit of trouble keeping them differentiated.
I think it was a bit after 60% in when everything finally started clicking in place for me, character-wise. Also story-wise, because that's when all the things became more obvious. But that's another point entirely.
For the majority of the book it's pretty good. The ending and beginning were most definitely the best bits, but the issue was with a good chunk of the middle. It fluctuated between keeping my attention and me struggling to give a fook about what was going on.
Man, I wish I'd have found this one earlier this year. I'd have already beaten the "Library Card on Fire: read 50+ books" part of the challenge at least twice over. But I'm signing up now, and I'm only counting books I've read from this point onward.
I'm still going to sign up for the final category though. Because I am absolutely addicted to overdrive.
I've made a new shelf on Goodreads so it'll update my list without me having to keep accessing this post. And the widget I'm attaching should include my review/rating if I did it properly.
About the Book
After a bachelorette weekend getaway leading to a rekindled lusty encounter between Molly and Emma, the best friends start to wrestle with their feelings, try to make sense of what it all means, and question if they can make this hidden relationship work despite Emma’s marriage to Seth. Molly is filled with trepidation, but Emma’s love, light, and clarity inspire her to embrace their growing intimacy and take a risk she never thought she was capable of.
Will Molly be able to come to terms with this forbidden desire for her beautiful friend on the cusp of Emma’s wedding? Can Emma enlighten Molly to the realities of what her family expects of her? Will these two best friends and lovers figure out a way to make it all work?
While searching through free short stories on Amazon I came across this author- who happened to have multiple short lesbian romances available for free. That sounded exactly like everything I could ever want in life, so I grabbed all of the short stories. The worst case is I just wasted my time adding books, or I could get lucky and actually like them.
I totally found myself sucked into this story. Although I was not a fan of the relationship between Molly and Emma, I understood it. I have been in the type of relationship where I was the secret other person. And I compromised myself because of it. So, I recognize the need to be with someone because of love, even if it's not healthy.
Anyway, I absolutely plan on reading more from this author. I'll probably test out the other free stories of hers I grabbed and see where I'll go from there.
One last note... I got frustrated every time Molly tried to convince Emma that she was a lesbian. It's possible that Emma is, especially because of her attraction to Molly. But seeing as she's in a relationship with a man, that she is marrying, it is also possible she's bisexual. It's not like we get to see what's going on in Emma's head, as this is all told from Molly's perspective. It's also possible I'm projecting myself into the situation and taking it too personally.
About the Book
“Beautiful is it not? How we all came from there, out of that blackness. Funny how all life originates there but cannot survive out in that black coldness.”
Here is proof of my Signed Copy
When I first saw this quote I burst out laughing. Then when I looked at it again, months later, I burst out laughing again. Here's the reference for those of you not cool enough to have seen Atlanta yet:
First of all, I need to note that I bought the ebook when it was released. But I also won a signed copy from the author during a live stream of a video he was playing. I don't remember which game, as this was over a year ago, but I did have to turn on all the lights in the place I was staying that night because it was creepy AF. Also, if you like colorful chapter headers then I would suggest you stick with the ebook version. Because it's prettier.
Okay, so this book was pretty cool. I especially recommend it for all you gaming nerds out there. I loved the world that Christian Terry created and getting a chance to be immersed within it was good times. Also, there were loads of times I burst out laughing from some one-liner or the interaction between Mike and Louis.
The entire story is fascinating and wonderful, but there's some issues with the editing. I'd say most of that has to do with comma usage. They're all over the place and it made the book difficult to read in parts. I had to take many breaks from the story because of it. And that is a disservice to it, because it's otherwise a great read.
I really liked Mike, his background and development. But I did wish there was a bit more depth to him in the story. Perhaps there will be more in the next installment? Looking forward to that when it comes out.
About the Book
“Believe it or not, that was tame compared to some of what I hear. And women think men are lechers. Women can be barracudas, too.”
I asked for some recommendations on the blog’s facebook page, and this one was suggested. I got it after subscribing to the author’s newsletter. And I actually started it immediately, which is quite unlike me. It’s been a long while since I’ve read a legit romance, so I was more than ready to start one.
Although there were some issues really getting into the story. I guess the biggest one was with the dialogue. It feels kind of choppy. And when it comes to the characters, Damon is pretty well developed, likeable, and easy to connect with - whereas Tara just felt like she existed to support him.
So, there are some feels I experienced while reading this. There’s a horrible tragedy which causes a whole lot of turmoil between the two of them. For the first few chapters the reason for the issues between the two of them was just dangled just out of reach of the reader, awkwardly. I think it was trying to do some sort of build up and reveal, but it just fell flat. And know if it was explained better, maybe expanded upon a bit, I would have felt something more with everything going on.
The first chapter is awesome. It catches my attention quickly and I loved it. Although I did enjoy the rest of the story, it never quite lived up to my expectations. I do plan on reading more from this author.
About the book
Everyone has that moment I think, the moment when something so momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.
This is another of the books I read last month for the mental illness diversity challenge, but wasn't able to review in time because of my personal drama. But I'm reviewing it now, so I forgive myself for my insolence and lack of internet.
From the beginning of this book it shows how mental health is thought so little in today's society. Charlie, the main character, is struggling and needs help - but because her family doesn't have the money for it, she is removed from the institution that she'd been staying in after her breakdown.
Once she gets out, her mother basically abandons her. So she's struggling to live on her own while maintaining a job, focusing on her art, and trying not to self harm. There's a lot of self destruction seen, because Charlie was really not taught coping skills by her mother, and she doesn't have anyone in her life that she can look to for guidance.
My least favorite character is sadly Riley. I say sadly, because that's my kid's name and the Riley in this story sucks. He's got so many of his own issues, and I think it's bullshit that he allowed himself to get involved with Charlie. Especially toward the beginning of the story when she was still under 18, as he's a decade older.
I related strongly to Charlie when she was fighting herself over whether or not to self-harm. I feel the author did a good job explaining that. It's not a desire to inflict pain on oneself, but it's a way to give oneself control when they feel they have none. I also like how she didn't glorify it, but she showed how people were both uncomfortable and disgusted by it.
There are some pretty fascinating characters in here, and a whole lot of things going on. It's a heavy read, and it deals with self harm, addiction, and other mental illness related issues. Ultimately this is a 3.5 star read, but I'm raising it up because of how often I wasn't able to put it down. Also, I really liked the end, and that totally brought up my opinion of this book.
No longer used
5 Platypires - Oh my holy fluff, this book was amazing and everyone needs to read it immediately!
4 Platypires - Great book. Enjoyed it a lot. Minor issues. Highly recommend.
3 Platypires - Good book, but I would have enjoyed it more if there weren't so many issues.
2 Platypires - The book was okay, but it needs a lot of work.
1 Platypire - I didn't like the book. Major changes needed.
DNF - I couldn't finish. Too many issues.