Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Blogger Hop (2)

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books and is now hosted by Billy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week's question is: How do you organize your books for review? Does it work for you or have you had to change it?

It's mostly a stack on my night stand (which is a coffee table). Like I said in my first Hop post, I don't get a ton of review books, so just sorting them in order and reading what comes first pretty much works for me. I have like one ARC right now, lol.

Then for eARCs, I have a collection (like a folder, essentially, if you don't know how kindles work) on my kindle with all of those in it. It's called "areview books" because then it's right up at the top when I turn it on, since I sort my kindle by title, lol. Not the most graceful way to do it, probably, but it gets the job done. I only have like 4-5 eARCs at once at the most, so I don't need anything more complicated than that.

In general the stack method is how I organize my reading pile. Since I do generally plan on talking about both library books and books I've purchased on my blog, I'll count that. I have them somewhat organized by what's due first/what will cost me money if I don't get my butt to reading, and it used to be way higher, but I've worked it down quite a ways. And then I have a box of backlist challenge books to refresh it in my closet, but that's another story.

So, boring answer from me this week, lol. I'd love to hear how you guys organize yours, though!

Thanks for reading!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (3)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

This week, I'm excited about:

Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney

Release date: May 15th, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Clara can't believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally "follow her bliss," which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse . . . the horoscopes.

Worse yet, her horoscopes come true, and soon everyone at school is talking about Clara Voyant, the talented fortune-teller. Clara is horrified--horoscopes and clairvoyance aren't real, she insists, just like her grandmother always told her. But when a mystery unfolds at school, she finds herself in a strange situation: having an opportunity to prove herself as an investigative journalist . . . with the help of her own mystical powers.

Why I'm excited: You all know I love me some middle grade, and this sounds really stinking cute, and like it's gonna be a lot of fun. It sounds like something I would have loved as a kid, honestly. And it doesn't hurt that the cover is adorable.

So what are you excited about this week?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, April 16, 2018

Things I've Read Recently (70): New Comics!

If you're new around here, Things I've Read Recently is a series of posts I do that are basically mini-reviews of books that I either forgot to review, didn't have enough to say for a full review, or just didn't want to do a full post about for whatever reason. This is very convenient for comics, honestly, as there's not always a ton to say about them.

I do have some stuff to talk about, though, and let's start with this one.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Published: These are webcomics that eventually started to be published in newspapers, collected into a bind-up September 2nd, 2014 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Middle grade/juvenile comic
Binding: Paperback, but if you have a choice for your library for this series, get a hardcover. (I'll explain why in the review.)
Page Count: 215 plus a bunch of cute extras like little recipes and crafts and how to draw stuff. Very nice bonus stuff.
Part of a series?  There are currently 7 volumes out, one just published March 20th, and I believe the comic strip is on-going as well.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Do you believe in unicorns? Phoebe does. She has no choice.. one day she skipped a rock across a pond, and hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this resulted in a lasting friendship between Phoebe and the unicorn, one Marigold Heavenly Nostrils.

Come along for the unicorn ride with Phoebe, as she deals with the usual burdens of childhood (cruel classmates, gym class, piano lessons) and also some unusual ones (magic hair, candy-breathing dragons, and the legendary Shield of Boringness).

Can a precocious little girl and a self-absorbed mythical forest creature find common ground?

Thoughts: Dang this is adorable. I grew up on Calvin and Hobbes, and this is definitely reminiscent of that, but centering a great girl character. Also, I've never seen the Last Unicorn, but I know enough about it know the way Marigold is drawn is pretty similar to that, so if you grew up watching that movie, you might get a kick out of this.

It is very, very cute and really funny. I would have adored it as a kid, and I can tell that kids today are loving it, because the paperback copy I have is super beat up. Like I read it and then I went and washed my hands before doing anything else, lol. I know not all of these can be bought in hardcover, but if you're a librarian and you can get the ones in hardcover, do, because I think the durability will be worth if.

If you want to buy a gift for a kid, one of these would be great as they seem to average at or under ten dollars, and I can see the appeal being super high. There's a bit of ableist language, and it lacks a little bit of diversity (could use more POC especially), but I'm hoping that comes as it goes on. All in all, lots of fun.

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Mat Wilson, and Clayton Cowles

Published: November 1st, 2014 by Image Comics
Genre: Adult urban fantasy comic
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 144
Part of a series? This collects issues 1-5 of The Wicked + the Divine
Got via: The library
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Thoughts: I was looking for comic book recommendations on Twitter, and someone recommended this, plus I'd heard there was eventually an ace character, so I decided to check it out. I actually really like the art style of this, and I also thought that it was super neat that they use a wide variety of gods, and not just like, the Greek ones. For some reason I definitely thought it was only going to be Greek gods, and seeing Irish mythology especially excited me because that's my thing.

I will say, this is a bit gorier than I would have expected without being told beforehand. Luci warned me about the fact that several heads explode on page in this, which I really apprecated because yeah, that's kind of disturbing. There's also a lot of sex talk done in a way which can get a little meh. Like, I get it, everyone wants to bone the gods. I just thought it got a bit old.

All in all, this probably isn't my favourite series, but I'm interested enough to read more. It's an interesting concept, and the art style works well for me, so I think I'll order another volume or two.

Paper Girls, Volume 1, by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiange, and Matthew Wilson

Published: April 5th, 2016 by Image Comics
Genre: YA comics
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 144, and as always, I assume goodreads is correct, as these things aren't numbered.
Part of a series? This collects Paper Girls 1-5.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Thoughts: Oh yeah, I want more of this. Partly because the volume ended on a freaking cliffhanger like nobody's business, but also I really liked this. It's set in 1989, and has kind of a Lumberjanes meets Stranger Things vibe going on. Which are both things I enjoy.

The only thing I'm really not fond of is the homomisic language that one of the protagonists uses (she's called out for it by the other characters), but I'm willing to see how that character changes and grows. I have a feeling about where they're going with that and I want to see if I'm right before making a decision on that. If you're not okay with that and that's a dealbreaker, I totally get it and no pressure, but that's my view for now.

This does feel really unfinished, which it obviously is being the first in a series, but I'm very interested in reading more.

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, and Marissa Louise

Published: June 20th, 2017 by Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Fantasy Comics, and it's an adult comic, but would be fine for teens as well and probably has a lot of YA appeal.
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: This one actually numbers them, and it has 134 pages.
Part of a series? This collects Spell on Wheels #1-5 which I believe is the whole series.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): A road trip story. A magical revenge fantasy. A sisters-over-misters tale of three witches out to get back what was taken fom them.

Andy, Jolene, and Claire aren't your average twenty-somethings. They're legacy witches making their way through a modern world. When a jealous nonmagical ex breaks into their home and steals a spell that could awaken potentials with magical powers, the witches plan their revenge. Traveling down the East Coast, they must retrieve their powerful stolen artifacts and strengthen their friendship... the big bad is even worse than they imagined.

Thoughts: This was super fun. I ordered this solely because I saw a preview of it on Twitter, actually a couple years ago, and the character on the far right there, Claire, looked maybe-fat, and I wanted to see how that was. She's comic book fat, so she's not exactly representative of me, and is more chubby/curvy than really fat, but she's also the largest character in the book. Her design can change issue from issue, and in some parts she looks almost the same as the other girls. She is clearly meant to be larger and taller, though.


So, not really rep for me or anything, but she's cute. Better than the nothing most comics give us, honestly. It's about what I was expecting.

Overall this was quite fun. I do quite like the art style, and found it fun and engaging. It is super colourful and I really like that so much more than grim and dark. It's just pretty to look at. Also, queer! Multiple characters in this are, including one of the main characters. It lacks in some areas of diversity, but not bad overall for that. And I liked how tropey it could be at times, in really fun ways. There's a magical makeover scene and that is just wonderful.

I believe this was a limited run, so this is all there is, but if there was ever more, I'd read the heck out of them. Lots of fun, and easy to read since there's just the one volume. I was quite impressed with how well the characters and their relationships were developed in such a short time period, especially. This was probably my favourite of this post, honestly. Recommended.

Alright, that's everything for this post!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pokemon Go Book Tag Starring Luci




I don't know if you all have noticed, but my blog has been a little review heavy for the last... few years, frankly. And reviews are great, but they're a lot of work, and I also want to do things that aren't just me complaining. Things that are just fun for me and for you all to read. So I started looking at book tags and weekly posts and  things like that, and I found some stuff I want to do, so things are going to be changing a little around here.

And this one in particular seemed really cute. But I never got into Pokemon, either time around.

So I roped Luce into doing it with me! And they went along with it because they love me!

This tag was created by Aentee of Read at Midnight, and all graphics were created by them.


Starters: Book that started your love for reading?

My guess: Something I've never really heard of, because German.

Luci's answer: I don't know. I've always read a lot. The first book I was really into as a smol was "Die Maus Mathilde" (Matilde the Mouse) which was published by some tiny GDR publisher. I knew it by heart and recited it while pretending to read.

Me: I remember you telling me about that one!


Pikachu: An iconic classic that you'll always love

My guess: I'm thinking something by Oscar Wilde or Shakespeare, or the Neverending Story guy.

Luci's answer: I like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet is hilarious. It has a lot of comedic elements. I did a presentation on that a couple semesters ago. Basically, a looooot of dick metaphors. Really the whole thing without death is pretty much a comedy.

Honestly I like a lot classics. Goethe's Faust is a good one too. Dracula is great because it has a lot of platonic relationships.

Me: Can you tell they're an English major?

Zubat: A book you lost interest in because it's literally everywhere

My guess: Luci got too fast and I didn't get to guess.

Luci's answer: The Hunger Games. I was kinda turned off the whole thing before I even started. I kinda read it late, like everyone was so into it, and then I eventually read it, but it was kinda meh. I didn't really care for it much. Mostly I just read it so I'd know what the hype was about. It wasn't as good as everyone said for me.

Also the whole Grisha thing.

Me: PLEASE ELABORATE. (I think we've documented my Six of Crows dislike...)

Luci: I actually own the first book but everyone is so into and my inner hipster is over it already. Also from my experience books or anything really that gets that much hype always diappoints, and a lot of stuff has aromisia in it, and people don't notice.


Ditto: A book that reminds you of other books/tropes, but you still love anyways

My guess: I feel like you're gonna feel this way about Not Your Sidekick, but you don't have that yet. Maybe one of Austin (Chant)'s books, or another queer romance?

Luci's answer: I don't know, romance is super tropey generally, but I wouldn't say that books with the same trope remind me of each other much. Maybe I'm weird.

Me: Well, yeah, of course you're weird, but not for that.

Luci: Thanks lol.


Snorlax: A book/series you have not started because of sheer size.

My guess: (Okay, sidenote, this concept is a little fatmisic.) My first thought was Goosebumps because we've been watching that show, lol. Honestly Luci's an English major. I don't think that's really a big thing for them.

Luci's answer: Honestly big books don't really scare me. I can't really think of a single book. I've read the entire bible. The only one that kind of fits is The Second Sex, but that's not so much a size thing as just very complex and a bit convuluted language thing. Theoretical text on feminism, very long, written in French and then translated. It's not that it's not interesting. It's just a lot and it's not like the most gripping book, and my attention span isn't what it used to be.


Gengar: A book that kept you up at night.

My guess: Okay, Luci's a wimp. I don't think they read much horror. They still haven't forgiven me for Poltergeist. They've probably read Chameleon Moon all night.

Luci's answer: I don't read any horror, lol. It's just not my genre. But I've had books that kept me up because I couldn't put them down. Yes, that (to Chameleon Moon). Also Harry Potter, A Little Life, The Fifth Season. Honestly I do most of my reading at night, like pretty much everything I've ever read was at least partially read at night.

Me: Yeah, you don't sleep.

Luci: Nope. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I got it delivered at midnight and stayed up until like 5am reading it, then slept a few hours and finished it at 8. Anyways, lots of late night reading. Oh, Well's Time Machine. I was scared as fuck. Merlocks, right?


Nidoking/Queen: Your bookish OTP.

My guess: Basically everyone in Chameleon Moon. To answer this would literally just be listing the Chameleon Moon cast list.

Luci's answer: YOU ARE NOT WRONG. ZILCH/ROWAN/REGAN FOR LIFE. Also you know their whole extended polycule, but that's like a lot of people. Jude and Pixie from Stake Sauce are Good. All the people from Dracula have like a QPP (queerplatonic partnership) thing going on in my head. Not literally ALL the people, but like the good guys. Wespeth.

Me: They don't know who that is, lol.

Luci: I BUILT THAT SHIP AND I WILL SAIL IT.


Rapidash: A fire-hot, fast paced read

My guess: If this isn't a Chameleon Moon answer I will be shocked.

Luci's answer: Chameleon Moon. Also Stake Sauce and the Fifth Season. I have a book with photos of baby (their dog) and I gotta say that's a real page-turner.


Eevee: A series you'll never get tired of seeing spin-offs for.

My guess: *cackles* Chameleon Moon.

Luci's answer: YES. Basically I love everyone in CM and I will never not want to know more about them, and also it's just a really interesting setting. Like there's a lot to explore there, all the hows and whys, and just a lot of interesting possibilities there.

Also Stake Sauce which actually has a spin-off series already with a NONBINRARY FIRE WITCH. And Stake Sauce/Death Masquerade has vampires AND witches so that's kinda self-explanatory. Vampires are at least in my top 3 of fantasy creatures.


Magikarp: A book/series that was surprisingly awesome.

My guess: I don't really have a guess for this one, but I do think that poor fish is ridiculous looking.

Luci's answer: It can literally only flop around. It's so useless. But then it evolves into gyaados which is awesome and a dragon type if I remember correctly.

Okay, don't laugh, but Chameleon Moon.

Me: I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN.

Luci: For some reason I didn't really expect to like it that much? BUT THEN. Instant fave.

Me: New religion.

Luci: And then reading slump because it was SO GOOD and nothing could compare. I didn't read a lot of sci-fi before CM so I think part of why I didn't expect to be into it was that I just hadn't discovered the genre for myself yet and I kinda associated sci-fi with, like. Nonqueer White Dude Nerd CultureTM


Legendary: An overhyped series you're still excited to read.

My guess: More Percy Jackson. I know you've been enjoying that series.

Luci's answer: I'm kinda stuck on book three. God, I think I might be a hipster. I think my problem with this question is I'm reading a lot of queer lit right now and it's rare for queer books to be overhyped. And the ones that are, are like allo cis gay books or something, or just stuff that doesn't appeal to me, like Adam Silvera kinda? I keep hearing things about his books, but I don't like sad stories that much. AND the more hype something gets, the less interested I get by default.

Me: Hipster.

Luci: xD Which I guess has a lot to do with how ARCs get a lot of hype already, so by the time it comes out and I could actually read it, it's kinda like I feel like I know all about it already. So I'm not that interested in actually picking it up. Unless I've heard that it has like awesome aro or enby rep, but those aren't really *over*hyped.

Mask of Shadows got a lot of attention, though, and I'm really excited to read that one. It's just that diverse books generally don't get a lot of attention outside of diverse book twitter, so I don't know that overhyped applies there. And the books that actually get overhyped are like, Carve the Mark or The Raven Cycle or whatever, and I don't care about those. I'm like anti-excited to read those.


Mew and Mewtwo: A collector's issue you wish you owned.

My guess: Does Chameleon Moon have a collector's version? I know you wanted a version of some Oscar Wilde stories, and there are some cool Dracula editions. I don't think you're that into that kind of thing, though.

Luci's answer: I actually own a really pretty leatherbound edition of Dracula! But yeah generally I'm not that into collector's editions or anything. Unless the normal editon is like butt ugly. I care more about keeping my books in a good condition, aka PRISTINE. I would totally buy a special edition of CM though. Also we don't get a lot special editions except like movie tie-ins. But like in the US sometimes Target or whatever gets a special edition of a book, and we just don't get that, so tbh like it's just not on my radar.


Poke-Egg: A debut novel you're very excited for:

My guess: We were just talking about Hurricane Child, because the author is nonbinary and that's awesome. Was Mask of Shadows a debut, since you mentioned it?

Luci's answer: I think it was! Both of those. Also yours obviously ;)

Me: Aww dork XD (I haven't even started querying, lol.)


Lure Module: An auto-buy author

My not actually a guess but a fact: RoAnna Sylver.

Lucia's answer: Lol true. Also Claudie Arsenault, and Austin Chant.


Server's Down: A book release you've been waiting on forever

My guess: I know you're terrified to read The Lifeline Signal, although that's been out for a while, lol. Apparently you're into Game of Thrones so that one everyone else is waiting on that may never happen.

Luci's answer: Yes on TLS, and yes on GOT and same thing on the Kingkiller Chronicles, which I'm not even that excited about anymore, but I just want to FINISH it. Also I'm really excited for Baker Thief so it feels like I've been waitingfor a long time.

Me: I nearly mentioned that! Anything else you want to say?

Luci: Chameleon Moon is underrated.

Me: Hey since this is a Pokemon thing, what's your favourite one?

Luci: Eevee is cute. Mimikyu is is my fave I think. It kills people? I love it. It's spoopy. Look up the pokedex entry for Mimikyu. Also the Mimikyu rap on YouTube.

Me: Which one do you think would be my favourite?

Luci: Hmmmm. Oh, that's hard. Oh man you can't ask me that. There's like 700 of them!

Me: I know like three. Pikachu, fake Pikachu, and the plant one that turns into a flower.

Luci: Vulpix is cute and has an Alolan variant that is an ice type. I feel like yours should be an ice/ghost type or ice/dark.

Me: Oh that's cute. Okay, we'll go with that one, why not?


Okay, I think that's everything for us! Thanks for reading, and go follow Luce on Twitter, because they're obviously awesome.

Thanks again for helping me, Luci. And let me know what other posts like this you'd want to see from me!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (2)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

This week's book that I seriously can't wait to read is:

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Release date: May 8th, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There's not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley's favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone's explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer...before the killer strikes again.

Why I want to read it: I have a confession. I kinda love murder in books. I know it's terrible, but you know. Everybody has those things. I also heard that this has good fat rep, and that makes me extra excited. I even requested it on Edelweiss and I got rejected hard, lol. But that okay. It's gonna be out soon, so I can order it from the library.

What are you guys excited to read this week?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, April 9, 2018

YA Review: Before I Let Go

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Published: January 2nd, 2018 by Sourcebooks  Fire
Genre: YA Mystery
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 349 plus author's note and such.
Part of a series? No, standalone.
Got via: The library
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...

Review: Okay, I kinda really liked this one. I have a few critical things to say about it, but it's one of those books that quietly worked really well for me. It's one of those books that isn't super in your face, but is kind of lovely for that. It does some things that are really subtle and leave you thinking about them for a long time afterwards. Parts of this are incredibly creepy and atmospheric, and I honestly had no clue what was going on for like most of the book, and it was a really, really good read.

Plot Talk: This is one of those books where there's not really a lot of plot but a lot happens? The summary basically explains it. Corey's best friend dies, and she goes back to their hometown for her memorial and to grieve and all that jazz, and things are weird. The rest is Corey trying to figure out what really happened to Kyra, and dealing with her grief. The book uses a variety of methods to tell the story, as well, from straight up narrative to letters, phone call transcriptions with no dialogue or prose, to almost screenplay like segments. It also utilizes a lot of flashbacks.

I'm making that sound really confusing, but it works and it's not. It reminds me of Far From You, and I think in both those cases it kind of makes sense for how the main character/narrator is feeling. Corey is thinking about her and Kyra's time together, and memories, and examining that, and wondering what she did wrong or what she could have done differently. It makes sense for the narrative to not be super lineal.

I also found the small town setting really well down. It feels isolated and weird and creepy.

Characters: I liked Corey's voice, and I especially liked how much she was into science. It's nice to see female characters with interest in STEM fields in YA. I also really liked that she had some really strong emotions. Asexual (and aromantic or aromantic-coded - I'll get more into that in a bit) characters can really be written as having no emotions or being very cold, and that can get old.

I'll also say here, one of my favourite things is how deep and intense the friendship was between Corey and Kyra. It's a relationship that's treated with as much importance as a romantic relationship, and that's wonderful to read. Kyra has romantic interest in Corey, but Corey doesn't recipricate, and she's not villanized or called lesser by the narrative for that. She sometimes struggles with feeling that way, but you know. That is pretty realistic, and it's a very small part of the book, and her entire identity is not wrapped up in feeling bad about it. She just has a low moment or two, and the narrative/other characters reassure her that no, she's actually just fine the way she is, and nothing is wrong with her.

I also feel like this is true of Kyra, specifically about her bipolar disorder. (She's also pansexual, but that's not relevant in this conversation, I just wanted to mention it because neat.) I'm going to try and find some reviews from ownvoices reviewers. That can be a bit tough, so I'm not really giving this points one way or another, but I do have some thoughts. I do think I'm going to go into this a bit more in the next section as well, so we'll come back to that.

Otherwise, kudos again for the small town depiction, including the small town characters. I was never entirely sure who to trust or who to be afraid of or if I was even supposed to be afraid of anyone at all. It's very effective. The book is pretty white, but it's kind of deliberately so? There's a lot of talk about how the land where Lost Creek is was stolen, and how it's a tiny, conservative, kind of bigoted town. There are POC characters at Corey's boarding school, which is described as basically larger than Lost Creek, although they aren't featured as prominently obviously. If that's going to be a dealbreaker for you, no worries from me, I get it, but I thought it was at least interesting that it's aware of it to some extant. You might feel like it's an excuse or something, and I'm not arguing, but I thought it was kind of accurate for the type of small town being portrayed, and handled better than just acting like it was the default automatically.

Does that make any sense?

There were also other queer characters, both at Corey's school and a couple even in Lost Creek, and the book acknowledged that the town could make that very difficult for them, if they weren't careful. It's not graphic about it, but it is realistic, speaking as a queer person who lives in a small town.

PG-13 stuff: Whole lot of this book is about ableism. Necessary spoilers in this section, so skip if you want. I'm actually going to link to a discussion about inspiration porn that the author took place in on Disability in Kidlit, because I think the book really sets out to meet that idea head on and talk about harmful it is. So while I personally think those things are handled very well, things still happen that could be upsetting. So trigger warnings for medical abuse, specifically medication being withheld and access to a therapist denied, a disabled person dying with people watching doing nothing to stop them. As well, arson and Corey is attacked and almost killed at one point.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: So my biggest complaint here probably could have been solved by hiring a couple aro sensitivity readers. There's a couple times where there are some aromisic phrases like "more than friendship" and whatnot, but the bigger thing? Corey super duper reads as aromantic. The book does do a cool thing by not actually talking about sex, and only talking about attraction. That's refreshing.

But while the asexual label is used, Corey's romantic orientation is never mentioned, or even talked about like a thing that exists, and the type of attraction talked about is never expanded on. It's only called "attraction", and that causes some conflation of aromanticism and asexuality. Corey is described as never having crushes, for instance, and other things are talked about that are obviously about romantic attraction, not sexual attraction, which leads to a not great asexuality depiction. Basically, if the book had actually used the word aromantic, I would have no problems, because she's pretty clearly not alloromantic. Instead, I gotta be a jerk and say all this.

Cover comments: The cover's creepy, and really fits the book. I like the use of a very light, almost blank space that leads into this darkness. The pop of red is great, too.

Conclusion: While there were a few things that frustrated me, there was a lot of this I loved. There's a part in the book where Corey goes back to Lost, and she sees an old picture of Kyra, and she's certain that it should be a picture of the two of them, only Corey's not in it. She doesn't know if Kyra's mom edited it, or if she's remembering wrong, or what. It's such a little detail, but it stuck in my head and really creeped out.

And a lot of the book is like that, really kind of unnerving and creepy. I was never quite sure if things were paranormal or grief or a weird small town or what and I had a lot of fun with that. That is right up my alley. This is a book that I know has some problems, and won't really work for everyone, but worked really well for me, and I think would work well for other people. Wish the ace rep had been a little different just in a few ways, but overall I had a really good time reading it. Three and a half out of four roses, but I'll probably round up to four on goodreads.



Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, April 6, 2018

Book Blogger Hop (1)

On my quest to do things that aren't just reviews, I came across this weekly post. I really liked that the prompts for the whole year were already available, as that's totally the way I blog most comfortably. I don't connect with every single prompt so I won't do this every week, but I think it'll be a pretty regular fixture around here. Hope you like it!
The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books and is now hosted by Billy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

This week's question: 

Do you overextend yourself with too many reviews because you can't pass up a book in hopes you will get them all done or do you carefully plan and be sure you can fulfill the deadlines for all the promised reviews?

My answer:

Honestly, no. Mostly because I don't actually get that many review books. I know, shocking, right? I am terribly, terribly popular, and it's shocking that everyone doesn't want me to read and review their books. It's absolutely shocking that I'm not drowning in books.

My only bad habit lately has been Edelweiss. There are a lot of things on there that look really, really good, and a lot of them don't even have to be requested. You can just download them. I used to not review ebooks because I had no way to read them besides the kindle app on my laptop and I really dislike reading that way, but since I got my actual kindle, I've been enjoying reading ebooks a whole lot more.

I've downloaded seven books from Edelweiss and I've reviewed two of them, and one I'm not going to review because reasons, so I only really have four to review, and I only really have one physical book to review, so I'm in pretty good shape right now.

Otherwise, my biggest problem is actually library books. Since I also talk about those on my blog, I'll throw them in here. I have no impulse control when it comes to library books. If I see something at the library and I think it looks interesting, I won't even think about grabbing it, and I'm constantly ordering books from the library. That's something I'm trying to do a little less this year, and work on actually reading the books I own.

...the results so far have been mixed.

What about you all?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (1)

Once upon a time, I used to blog and I used to do things that weren't just reviews. From 2009 to 2012, I did about over 100 Waiting on Wednesday posts which, since I usually did two books per post, meant over 200 books.

That's way too much and we're not going back there, because your Laina is old now and doesn't have that kind of energy anymore. However, I do miss doing things like this. So, instead of falling back into old habits that present!me can't keep up with, I'm taking the opportunity to start over with a clean slate.

This is a really long ramble to say, welcome to this first edition of Can't Wait Wednesday!

Look, I even made a thing. Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa of Wishful Endings. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, which was created by Jill Breaking the Spine.

And this week, I am excited about:

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Release date: May 1st, 2018
Amazon / Book Depository / IndieBound

Summary (from goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

Why I'm excited about it: I don't think I've ever read a YA Jane Eyre retelling. I'm sure they're out there, but I've never encountered one, and I really enjoyed Jane Eyre when I read it. Plus, a science fiction twist is a really neat idea.

What are you guys excited about?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter!

I'm mostly scheduling this because I got a free stock image in my inbox!

And it's cute!

So, if you're celebrating today or tomorrow, happy Easter to you and yours, and if you're not, have a relaxing weekend!

Peace and cookies,
Laina



Saturday, March 31, 2018

Reading Challenge Check-In: March

This year I am doing Playpire's 2018 Diversity Challenge, and March's theme was "Woman History Month", and it was specified that non-fiction was required, and I read:

All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island, New York's Most Notorious Jail by Liza Jessie Peterson

Published: May 2nd, 2017
Genre: Memoir
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 243 including all the acknowledgments and such.
Part of a series? No.
Got via: The library
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Eighteen years ago, performance artist Liza Jessie Peterson never thought that her day of substitute teaching at Rikers Island C-74 would change the course of her life, but it did. It ignited a lifelong passion--which continues in her work with incarcerated kids today--to make a difference in the lives of youth in trouble.

Her powerful narrative captures the essence, humor, intellect, creativity and psychology of children in the penal system. She intimately introduces readers to her students. We see them, smell their musk, feel their attitudes, hear their voices and learn how they came to be jailed--residents of "the island."

Everyone in the classroom grows-including the teacher-in this must-read memoir for anyone who cares about children and education. Peterson's perspective and insights will make any teacher a better teacher. This book will encourage and empower anyone committed to social justice.

The part where I talk: I specifically wanted to choose something by a woman of colour for this month, and this was recommended to me another time. I'm glad I picked this one!

And my backlist book list hasn't changed:

1. Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
2. You by Charles Benoit
3. Ruined by Paula Morris

I didn't read very much this month, so my list hasn't changed. Oh well!

What did you all read this month? How are your challenges going?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Passover!

If you're celebrating today, Happy Passover to you and yours!

If you're not celebrating, happy friday! Hope it treats everyone well.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, March 26, 2018

Things I've Read Recently (69)

If you're new around here, Things I've Read Recently is a series of posts I do that are basically mini-reviews of books that I either forgot to review, didn't have enough to say for a full review, or just didn't want to do a full post about for whatever reason.

Ruined by Paula Morris

Published: August 1st, 2009 by... Point? Like that Point? Like Point Horror, from the 80s? Huh. I don't actually know, but that's interesting.
Genre: YA Paranormal
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 309 plus acknowledgments.
Part of a series? Apparently yeah, there's a sequel. I was surprised, honestly. I thought it was a standalone.
Got via: I bought it from somewhere, and I feel like I bought it new? No, maybe I won it. It wasn't a review book or anything. That I know. This is probably very unsatisfying for the FTC agent reading this, but honestly I'm kind of blanking where it came from.
Amazon / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: Twilight with a ghostly twist.

Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city.

Thoughts: This is kind of a throw-back. Obviously it's almost a decade old, and that is a long time in the world of YA books, which also leads to this having some dated references, especially talking about TV shows and celebrities and such (which there's a fair amount of). There's not as much reliance on computers and cell phones, although the MC does have a phone. However, it also has a feel like a much older book than what it acually is, and that's interesting. The tone of it reminded me a lot of classic YA horror. For example... Point Horror novels. Especially because it was written in third person present tense, which isn't as common right now.

This definitely had some issues. There's no queer people, no fat people, no disabled people. Lisette is black,  and the book does actually talk a lot about racism both historical and current, but the book is written by a white author. I think the author did a lot of research, and tried very hard to be sensitive, but maybe those elements were not the best choice for a white author. And it sometimes gets a bit messy. Lisette's descriptions in particular were a little strange. For about half of the book, every time Lisette was referred to she was either referred to as "the black girl" or "the black ghost". It got awkward. Sadly, I can't seem to find any reviews from black reviewers that talk about that. If you know any, I'd love to link to them. There is also a use of the g-word that isn't called out as being problematic.

This wasn't as creepy or atmospheric as it could have been, but I did find the setting interesting. And, amusingly, I actually finished this the day before Mardi Gras, which is a big plot element in the book. All in all, I had fun reading this, but it didn't overly wow me. Kind of middle of the road. If you really like books set in New Orleans or really like ghost books and you see it somewhere, it's good, but I probably wouldn't seek it out specially. I do kind of want to check out the sequel, though. I'm curious about it, since this seemed to have a pretty closed plot.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Published: August 28th, 2014 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Genre: Middle Grade Non-Fiction/Memoir... in verse.
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 320 plus acknowledgements and some really awesome pictures of her family.
Part of a series? I'm not really sure memoirs can have series?
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Thoughts: So 2014 was around when I was really depressed, right? Because of that, my knowledge of books from around that time is... lacking. My point being - I thought this was fiction! I knew it had won several awards, but I didn't know very much about it, and it surprised me. I got it, started reading without reading the jacket or anything, and I had a moment of confusion at first. Then I went and read the inner flap of the jacket and figured it out.

The idea of the book in general is not something I see as often. I know I read more memoirs and biographies that were aimed at middle grade audiences as a kid (I don't think Jean Little's biography was specifically aimed at children, but I know I read it as a kid which means my elementary school had to have, as that was my main source of books), but it seems like not as much of a thing anymore, and I hope it becomes more of one in the future. A lot of kids are more drawn to non-fiction than fiction, on all parts of the reading spectrum. It can be challenging for more advanced readers, or for more selective readers, things that can be broken into smaller pieces are less imposing. (One of my personal favourite to recommend are the DK Eyewitness Books from Penguin Random House which has a book on almost everything. Great format.)

Wow I'm rambling. Sorry, I'm sick.

Anyways, this is great. Woodson's voice is great, and a memoir in verse is something I haven't read before, and really enjoyed. She was born the same year as my mother's oldest sister, actually, and is only two years older than my own mother. So for a lot of kids who would be reading this, their grandparents could be the same age. It's like my generation reading about pioneers or something. (Joke. Joke, I promise.)

I also think that if you were doing a classroom unit, or a book display at the library or something, this would be great to pair with One Crazy Summer. Real historical events that happened, and Woodson makes note of, are explored fictionally in One Crazy Summer, and even in the sequels, and that would be super interesting to compare with a class or book club. (I know I reference that book way too much, but they'd fit together so well!)

Anyways, I'm getting super off topic and not nearly doing this book justice, but it's super unique, very interesting, and I'd be very interested in reading more by the author. Highly recommended.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Published: February 25th, 2016 by HarperCollins Children's Books
Genre: Contemporary YA
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 474 plus acknowledgements and an excerpt.
Part of a series? Nope.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. When she’s not studying, she’s up in her room making fan art for her favorite podcast, Universe City.

Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. But no one knows he’s the creator of Universe City, who goes by the name Radio Silence.

When Frances gets a message from Radio Silence asking if she’ll collaborate with him, everything changes. Frances and Aled spend an entire summer working together and becoming best friends. They get each other when no one else does.

But when Aled’s identity as Radio Silence is revealed, Frances fears that the future of Universe City—and their friendship—is at risk. Aled helped her find her voice. Without him, will she have the courage to show the world who she really is? Or will she be met with radio silence?

Thoughts: Oh dear. I mostly read this because it was a book with an ace character available from my library. The thing is, I kind of hated it. The best thing I can say is that the ace rep is... okayish. I actually think the scene where Aled comes out to his love interest is actually fairly well worded. The scene does balance "the definition of asexuality is doesn't feel sexual attraction" and "some people also identify as it because they don't have an interest in having sex but that's not the definition". That is one of the better definitions I've seen in a mainstream book.

However, I thought the framing of demisexuality as "partly asexual" was problematic. The consensus from my informal poll on twitter is that people have never actually seen that phrasing before, and they found it an oversimplification at best and at worst inaccurate and dismissive. You can read said thread here. It was a very interesting discussion, and I highly recommend checking it out.

I had problems, however, with the framing of that scene. One, this is a scene that our main character is essentially eavesdropping on. I mean, a tiny dorm room you're sharing with 3 other people probably isn't the best place to have a private conversation... but as an author, you have the power to not write that. So as it is, you have a scene where someone is outed because another person is eavesdropping. Two, this scene doesn't happen until the end of the book. There's maybe twenty pages left in the five hundred page book when it occurs.

Third, I knew who the character was going in, and I'm glad, because things that I saw in my reading wouldn't have red flagged quite as much if I hadn't. The depiction of the character is not horrible, but it's not great either, in my opinion. Aled really skirts on the edge of some asexual stereotypes throughout the novel, and like a fair amount of his plot arc is drama about his sexuality and how he won't come out. Can't he just be ace without it being about someone else's feelings?

Okay, those are my thoughts on the ace rep. Oh, and it ignores the idea of aromanticism, isn't really that aro friendly, and uses the phrase "just friends" so, extra points off for that. The only thing it gets points for from me on that front is that Aled and Frances never hook up, and the book points out that it's not gonna happen.

Now, my thoughts on the rest of the book - I really didn't like it. It is slow, it is boring, nothing freaking happens for like three pages, I didn't believe a lot of the stuff that did happen, and in a five hundred book, the author left plot threads dangling on a pretty important thing! There's a buttload of ableism, and I can't even comment on, like, fat representation because I was bored silly reading it and I didn't care enough to try and notice. I didn't like the voice. Frances has kind of a savior complex and I'm pretty sure depression can't be fixed by your hair being dyed. (Which I also ranted about on twitter.) I found the plot dull and nothing happened. I thought a couple hundred pages could have been cut off. I thought there were way too many references trying to make them sound "cool" when a lot of the stuff referenced is pretty mainstream.

AND IT'S NOT THAT INTERESTING TO READ ABOUT A FAKE YOUTUBE PODCAST AND WHY IS THIS PODCAST EVEN ON YOUTUBE THEY COULD HAVE GONE TO PODCON THAT IS A THING THAT EXISTS.

*deeply inhales*

I just. It's not even that I was offended (until I was side-eyeing the end) because at least that would have interesting. I was just so bored. It's the dullest book ever. Everyone else seems to like it, so maybe it's just me, but there you are. I didn't like it, I wouldn't recommend it for demisexual rep without caution because I'd feel irresponsible, and this might be my least favourite book that isn't massively offensive through its entirety. Seriously, super subjective review here, but sometimes that happens.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Published: October 3rd, 2017 by Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 335
Part of a series? Nope
Got via: The library
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

Thoughts: Okay, full disclosure, Luci asked me to read this because they wanted to read it and they hadn't really heard anything about the trans rep in it. To sum up what I said to them, I found it underwhelming, and questioned if you'd read the character as genderqueer if you didn't know that fact outside of the book. I think people who identify as demigirls or genderqueer girls (as I believe the character would if that vocabulary was available to them - I doubt it would be in the setting) could absolutely see themselves reflected in the character, but I would be hesitant to recommend it for that type of representation without full disclosure about it.

But feel free to ignore me because, you know, not a genderqueer girl.

I also question how this curse would work if you were aromantic or sex-repulsed. Seems like there's not room for that in this story.

Otherwise my only real complain here is that I found it a a little slow at the beginning. I also found it really weird at the beginning, lol, but that was fine. Comment, not complaint on that one, but I also could see how some people might be thrown by that, too. It's told in third person alternating POVs which as I constantly point out is a little more unusual in today's YA. I do think it works well for this, as it lends to the sort of fairy tale feel it has, but it does take a while to get into.

I imagine both the bi rep and the Latinx rep is wonderful, as both seemed great even to me as an outsider, and I will try to find some reviews... Wow, this twitter search is bringing up a lot of makeup. Okay here is one and two reviews from bisexual reviewers, and one from a Latinx reviewers because my searches are making me feel super creepy. But also both of those aspects are ownvoices, if that sways you.

All in all, this is kind of average for me, but I think other people would like it a lot better. I'm just a picky brat. When I put this on goodreads, I'll probably round it up to a four because it's a good book, it's just not a great book for me.

Anyways, that was an interesting grouping! What have you guys been reading?

Peace and cookes,
Laina

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Housekeeping

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bloglovin' says I need to make a post, so I'm doing that. I'd backdate this, but I don't want to. Here's a picture of a puppy so this post is less annoying.

Sorry again!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, March 12, 2018

Things I've Read Recently (68): Comics

If you're new around here, Things I've Read Recently is a series of posts I do that are basically mini-reviews of books that I either forgot to review, didn't have enough to say for a full review, or just didn't want to do a full post about for whatever reason.

Class Warfare by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II (The Movement Volume 1)

Published: May 27th, 2014 by DC Comics
Genre: Comics
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 144
Part of a series? This bind up contains issues 1-6 of the Movement series. Apparently the New 52 series "The Green Movement" is also connected to this world.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Coral City is infected by corruption and crime and its up to the citizens to fight back!

The Movement sees a young group of super-heroes rise up and take back the streets of their corrupt city. But when one of their own is captured by the police, its Coral City's finest against the citizens they have negelected to protect.

Thoughts: This is a new series for me. I've been curious about Gail Simone's writing, and wanted to check something of her's out, and I heard this had an asexual character in it, so I decided to grab it. This is also a short run so it's entirely available in only two bind-ups. Easy to get my hands on both! I have no real preference Marvel or DC, but I do really like the idea of comic series that I can read all at once, especially since it takes so long for the library to get new bind-ups. Following Lumberjanes and Ms. Marvel is a lot already.

It's also pretty new for me to read a comic series that's aimed more at adults. I know comics don't have as strict of a YA/teen/adult line, but most of the ones I read (again, Lumberjanes and Ms. Marvel) are pretty clearly aimed at a teen audience. This has a teenaged cast, but the tone definitely feels more adult. YA appeal, I think, for sure, but it almost seemed like it's aimed at like a 20-25 year old audience? It's kind of interesting.

The basis of this story is police corruption and police brutality, and that's very relevant to today. Which considering this is four years old is saying something, and that something is not good. The art style is not my favourite at times, especially the action scenes. It is pretty action heavy, too, so sometimes I'm a little thrown off. Otherwise, it can be really nice, but sometimes things just look a little off to me. Probably just a personal thing there, though.

The only thing that really bothered me was the depiction of Amanda Waller.


(Left photo from Who's Who in the DC Universe #1 (August 1990, art by Luke McDonnell and Geof Isherwood, right photo from Suicide Squad #8 (February 2017) by Jim Lee, both copyright Marvel. Photos from Wikipedia. Photos used under fair use for educational purpose only. No I'm not paranoid about using these pictures at all.)


(Photo taken by me of The Movement Volume One, Class Warfare, from issue #4, by Gail Simone and Freddie E. Williams II, copyright DC comics. Photo used under fair use for educational purposes only.)

Do you see a bit of a difference in how Amanda Waller is drawn in this versus other places? This is a real nasty habit Marvel has with Amanda Waller's look, both making her thinner and, honestly, lightening her skin tone. The series overall lacks fat characters. The boobs and female bodies in general are also a little bit... standard comic book. Two characters are hinted at being queer in this, but none are explicit yet. There is some disability rep that seems interesting, and it is really racially diverse. (That always sounds so weird to say. It's really not just white. Although, there is the aforementioned lightening of Amanda Waller so, like, make your own decisons on this one.)

Overall, I'm finding this interesting, and it really ended on a cliffhanger, lol. I also want to find out who the ace character is. So, I'm gonna keep reading. Will update!

Probably the next book, actually, because I have the other one already.

Fighting for the Future by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II (The Movement Volume 2)

Published: December 9th, 2014 by DC Comics
Genre: Comics
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 144
Part of a series? This contains The Movement issues 7-12.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): Its the corrupt cops and politicians of Coral City vs a rag-tag group of young super powered vigilantes known as the Movement. But after The Movement has been taken down, only the powerless Vengeance Moth is left to protect the streets from the Graveyard Faction!

Thoughts: Well, I have many. The most prominent one is that I didn't like the ace rep at all. Because the ace rep consists entirely of this:

(Two pictures taken by me from The Movement, Volume Two, Fighting for the Future, from issues #10 and #12, by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II, copyright DC Comics. Photos used for educational use only.)

So, click to enlarge the pictures, but if you can't see them, the ace rep in this series consists on Mouse hitting on Tremor for a while, and Tremor eventually turning him down by saying, "I'm asexual." Mouse replies with, "A sexual what?" And the scene ends. Later, another characters says, "You can't keep hitting on Tremor, that boat has a hole in it."

"I'm asexual" does not automatically equal "I don't date anyone". Asexual doesn't equal aromantic, and even being aromantic doesn't automantically mean that someone doesn't want to have a relationship. And after that scene, we never hear from Tremor again. Maybe instead of the weird "Katharis/Kulap hooking up with a dude who killed a bunch of people" plot, we could have spent a page or two having Tremor actually talk once again in in the entire series seriously she never gets another line about herself.

It's not really good ace rep. It is explicit, at least, but it's not exactly thoughtful or not stereotypical. Also, another character calling her "Miss Priss" doesn't sit so well with me, and the reaction later, saying she's a boat with a hole in it, acts like there's something wrong with her for being asexual.

The storyline is okay. It kind of meanders, and with such a short run, that definitely feels unsatisfying. There's a lot left unfinished, and it feels cancelled for sure (which it, apparently, was), not like a planned short run. Between that and the completely unsatisfying ace rep, I wouldn't be quick to recommend this one.

Mecca by G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla, Diego Olortegui, and Ian Herring (Ms. Marvel Volume 8)

Published: December 26th, 2017 by Marvel
Genre: YA Comics
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 136
Part of a series? This collects issues 19-24 of Ms. Marvel
Got via: The library
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): An enemy from Ms. Marvel's past resurfaces and begins targeting those closest to Kamala. As the world around her is spinning out of control, it becomes clear that this time there's something more sinister at work...Kamala's no stranger to fighting for what's right, but in facing down this challenge, everything she is will be called into question. Not just as a super hero, but as a human being.

Thoughts: I'm trying really hard not to compare things too much, but this really worked so much better for me than the Movement and it's hard not to compare them when I'm reading them back to back. And honestly, Ms. Marvel comes out ahead. Kamala reminds me sometimes of Kara (Supergirl), not in personality, but in how she believes in people, and how people believe in her. Which, fun fact, one of the writers who used to write for this series now works on Supergirl. In this, Kamala needs to be reminded of that fact, and that leads to one of my favourite scenes that the series has probably ever had.

At least for now, since I tend to like a lot of scenes in this series.

I also liked that one of the issues in this took a bit of time to focus on her brother. Aamir is a very interesting character, and I love the nuance that the series gives him. He's a very thoughtful character, and when the series chooses to focus on him, it often leads to some really great stuff.

And this wrapped up things from the last little bit of the plot arc really well. There's still obviously a lot of places to go, but it's a very satisfying place to take a break until the next one comes out. It's like a cliffhanger that makes you happy, if that makes sense. I also noticed again how much I like the art style for this series. Kamala's boobs are not, like, vacuum sealed into her costume, and I really appreciate how they can show that she's gotten her butt kicked and is exhausted and hurt without going really heavy on the gore. Very happy with this one, and I can't wait for more.

A Bird's-Eye View by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carey Pietsch, Ayme Sotuyo, and Maarta Laiho

Published: December 12th, 2017 by BOOM! Box
Genre: YA Comics
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: Goodreads says 112
Part of a series? This contains Lumberjanes issues 25 to 28.
Got via: The library.
Amazon / Book Depository / Indiebound

Summary (from goodreads): All Lumberjanes are on deck when the High Council comes to camp for inspection!

The High Council is coming to camp and counselor Jen is determined to make everything perfect, even though a storm is brewing and kittens from the boys’ camp are manifesting magical powers. It’s every Lumberjane on deck as the girls do their best to prep the grounds for inspection . . . but there are some storms no one can prepare for.

Thoughts: The art shift continues to not be my favourite, since it's gotten a bit more cartoon-y, but how much I love the story in this one makes up for it. Honestly I took like no notes reading this because I was enjoying this so much. I like that this one is mostly self-contained within these four issues, with just a little hinting at the end of what's to come. Because I am reading these through the library, and the wait between them can be quite long, it can sometimes get confusing if I forget what happens between volumes. It's nice to get one like this now and then.

The plot of this one is really fun, and it's so cool that there's a nonbinary character, which I hear the next issues go into more, so I won't talk too much about here, but I'm very excited about them, and those parts are really wonderful. Really enjoyed this one, and I'm already super excited about the next one.

And that's four! Let's get this thing scheduled.

Do you guys have any comic recommendations? I always enjoy them so much.

Peace and cookies,
Laina