Reviews

Review: The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

34198648SYNOPSIS:

All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.

Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.

Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost


RATING: ☆★☆★

Someone: hey-

Me, busy being emotionally invested in this 19th century mafia story featuring genderfluid shape-shifters, an amazing queer romance and an iconic and unabashed obliteration of the concept of gender binary: shhh please be quiet Continue reading “Review: The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta”

Reviews

Review: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

 THE NOWHERE GIRLS by Amy ReedSYNOPSIS:

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

Grace has moved to Prescott, Oregon, and finds words of searing agony and sorrow carved into the wall of her new room and carving their hurricane path through her mind, pushing everything out of its way. Grace’s classmates, Rosina Suarez, a Mexican-American queer punk rocker, and Erin DeLillo, a girl with Asperger’s, explain that the former occupant was Lucy, a girl who was driven out of town after she accused a group of popular jocks in her school of gang rape. Continue reading “Review: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed”

Reviews

Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

38720939SYNOPSIS:

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

Y’all mind if I cry because if you’d told 16 year-old me that one day I’ll read a NYT best-selling book where a Muslim Hijabi teen gets her own coming of age story and her own big romance instead of being the token (stereotyped) minority character or some cultural prop used only to further the writer’s favorite white girl…it would have made a world of difference. Continue reading “Review: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi”

Reviews

Review: Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

36952596SYNOPSIS:

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

McLemore centers Blanca Y Roja on the del Cisne sisters who couldn’t have been more different—Blanca, light-skinned and golden-haired, and Roja, darker-skinned and with a heart that gleamed so red it showed in her hair. Blanca and Roja have always lived in a perpetual state of disaster preparedness: sisters in their family were offerings for the swans to choose from, and for many generations, they delighted in taking one of them and leaving the other. Continue reading “Review: Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore”

Wrap-ups & TBR

AU Where I Complain And Overshare A Lot: my October wrap-up & November tbr!

me at the beginning of October: I am going to read 20 books this month

me @ myself right now: why the fuck u lyin….. why you always lyin…. mmmmmmmMMMMMOH MY GOD STOP FUCKIN LYIN Continue reading “AU Where I Complain And Overshare A Lot: my October wrap-up & November tbr!”

Reviews

Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

24233708SYNOPSIS:

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.


RATING: ☆★☆★

Fortunate happenstance has led to me reading this book with absolutely no prior knowledge to what it was about. I’ve just grown tired with John Green romanticizing the white heterosexual nerd’s quest for the perfect woman whom they win by using the longest most pretentious words possible, and I was very curious to read his brother’s work.

Frankly, I expected to tumble into this book dissonant and harsh in my criticism—but what do you know…I actually liked it. (If you look really closely, there’s probably a lesson here somewhere lol.) Continue reading “Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green”