Posted in Reviews

(DNF’d) Review: The Part About the Dragon Was Mostly True

The Part About the Dragon Was (Mostly) True by Sean Gibson
Verdict: way too many digressions; the crude / poop jokes didn’t really do it for me either; and the characters felt flat and singularly defined by one characteristic.

Recommended: there’s definitely people who will love this (just…not me)
If you love crude humor and poop jokes; if you can follow along a whiplash ride and don’t mind constant diversions; if you’re looking more for humour than a story or developed characters; if you’ve never read an “epic adventure” parody book (because this one wasn’t great, so if you’ve read and enjoyed another you’ll probably be disappointed)

Sure, you think you know the story of the fearsome red dragon, Dragonia. How it terrorized the village of Skendrick until a brave band of heroes answered the noble villagers’ call for aid. How nothing could stop those courageous souls from facing down the dragon. How they emerged victorious and laden with treasure. But, even in a world filled with epic adventures and tales of derring-do, where dragons, goblins, and unlicensed prestidigitators run amok, legendary heroes don’t always know what they’re doing. Sometimes they’re clueless. Sometimes beleaguered townsfolk are more hapless than helpless. And orcs? They’re not always assholes, and sometimes they don’t actually want to eat your children. Heloise the Bard, Erithea’s most renowned storyteller (at least, to hear her tell it), is here to set the record straight. See, it turns out adventuring isn’t easy, and true heroism is as rare as an articulate villager. Having spent decades propagating this particular myth (which, incidentally, she wrote), she’s finally able to tell the real story—for which she just so happened to have a front-row seat.

DNF @ ~80%. My, oh my. The digressions were just way too much for me. Heloise must have a touch of ADD. What a shame because this was one of my Fast Forward Friday features! But, look, even the BLURB is enormously long and wordy.

My overall feeling:

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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: If I Tell You the Truth, 1/19/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look ahead to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is If I Tell You The Truth by Jasmin Kaur, which has both a gorgeous premise and a gorgeous cover.

Why wait on this one?

  • Ahhhh, a good multi-generational women’s story. With the added element of immigration, this is basically everything I love in a story. We’ll hear from Kiran and her daughter Sahaara as they tackle together longstanding secrets and painful pasts.
  • ….those secrets being not so secret to the reader, as we know that Sahaara was conceived when Kiran was raped. So that’s a pretty intense conversation for a mother and daughter to have, and the way they’ll each try to cope as well as finding their way together with this shared truth between them promises to be painful and (I hope) really really powerful with tentative hope in the face of despair.
  • Multigenre stories feel so rare. I absolutely adore books told in varying formats, or in nontraditional medium. This one is a blend of poetry, prose, and illustrations, and I can only imagine how well that will complement the story. Powerful and complex feelings sometimes need creative and non-linear forms of expression.

Summary

Told in prose, poetry, and illustration, this heartrending story weaves Kiran’s and Sahaara’s timelines together, showing a teenage Kiran and, later, her high school–aged daughter, Sahaara.

Kiran is a young Punjabi Sikh woman who becomes pregnant after being sexually assaulted by her fiancé’s brother. When her fiancé and family don’t believe her, she flees her home in India to Canada, where she plans to raise the child as a single mother. For Kiran, living undocumented means constant anxiety over finances, work, safety, and whether she’ll be deported back to the dangers that await her in Punjab.

Eighteen years later, Kiran’s daughter, Sahaara, is desperate to help her mother, who has been arrested and is facing deportation. In the aftermath, Kiran reveals the truth about Sahaara’s conception. Horrified, Sahaara encourages Kiran to speak out against the man who raped her—who’s now a popular political figure in Punjab. Sahaara must find the best way to support her mother while also dealing with the revelation about her parents.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

January 2021 TBR: probably starting off slow

Hey y’all! I do recognize that it’s already almost halfway through the month, but nonetheless here is my TBR! In reality I probably wouldn’t have stuck to it anyway, so it doesn’t matter if I post it early in the month or not. 😂 Here are some of the books I’d had in mind to start off the year. 🙂

BOTM Delayed

Well in December I got two books from Book of the Month, Memorial and The Office of Historical Corrections. I didn’t read either of them in December because I was going all-in on challenge books and newer releases, so they’re on the list for January! Which works out, actually, because I’m not interested in any of this month’s BOTM selections.

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Posted in Book Talk

2020 Library Love Challenge is COMPLETE! :)

Hey y’all! In April last year, I stumbled upon my favorite reading challenge ever, the Library Love reading challenge! Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures & Books of My Heart, the goal is simple: read books from the library! And boy, do I ever do that!

2020 was probably even more library-heavy than usual since I had so much time to read and also couldn’t leave home for bookstore browsing and impulse buys. 😂 Instead it was like impulse loaning, which is much more budget-friendly. Thanks, libraries!

Here are the tiers that were established from the hosts for level of reading:

  • Dewey Decimal: Read 12 books (my goal)
  • Thrifty Reader: Read 24 books
  • Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books
  • Library Addict: Read 48 books
  • Library Card on Fire: Read 60+ books

My original goal was twelve books, because apparently I forgot who I was for a minute. 🤷‍♀️ So, where did I end up?

Continue reading “2020 Library Love Challenge is COMPLETE! :)”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Hey y’all! I gave a way more in-depth look at the stats and numbers for my year in reading in 2020 in this post a few days ago, but here’s the Goodreads side of things! Once again, this number of books that I read is FAR above my average (60ish) because of the craziness of last year. But let’s get started! 🙂

The 11 page book by Mindy Kaling was weird because there was an actual whole length book, but for some reason it was broken up into separate pieces on Amazon. So I ended up reading each separate section of the regular book as it’s own book. Not sure why they did it that way, but whatever! And, of course, Paolini’s grand return. Look, *I* was a fan of this, and yes some of that is probably my excitement about Paolini. But I don’t typically like space stories, and this one…. I was fully sold on this one.

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Posted in Reviews

Review: Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma

Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma
Verdict: a somewhat generic plot spiced up by art, history, family, racism, and so much more!

Recommended: sure
For a slightly altered YA version of Crazy Rich Asians, for a happy book where kindness takes control, for surprising pepperings of acting, art, history, and more that will keep you interested.

Summary

Gemma Huang is a recent transplant to Los Angeles from Illinois, having abandoned plans for college to pursue a career in acting, much to the dismay of her parents. Now she’s living with three roommates in a two-bedroom hovel, auditioning for bit roles that hardly cover rent. Gemma’s big break comes when she’s asked to play a lead role in an update of M. Butterfly filming for the summer in Beijing. When she arrives, she’s stopped by paparazzi at the airport. She quickly realizes she may as well be the twin of one of the most notorious young socialites in Beijing. Thus kicks off a summer of revelations, in which Gemma uncovers a legacy her parents have spent their lives protecting her from—one her mother would conceal from her daughter at any cost.

Thoughts

Admittedly better than I expected! There were conversations about art, Chinese history, belonging, racism, family, and so much more. They went a bit deeper than I expected them to, and cut to the heart of the matter without bogging down the story or losing it’s true thread. That’s a pretty impressive skill, to weave in ideas and commentary without taking over your characters. The central plot itself was also heartwarming in a lot of ways, since kindness takes precedence as the most important thing. So often, this is forgone in books for a more dramatic, cruel kind of pull. I’m not about that. I thought this was a wonderful balance.

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Posted in Reviews

Review: In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd

In Love & Pajamas: A Collection of Comics about Being Yourself Together by Catana Chetwynd
Verdict: Catana continues her signature style with plenty new comics that made me smile. (PLUS THIS RHYMED!)
Expected Release: February 2, 2021

Recommended: uh, YES! 🙂
For people who like slice-of-life comics, for a trusty source of smiles, for more of Catana’s established comic style, for anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship and is familiar with the feeling of settling in and having routines

Summary

When you’ve reached that sweatpants-wearing cozy place in your relationship, it’s all In Love & Pajamas!  This brand-new collection of Catana Comics presents some fan favorites and half of the book features never-before-seen comics that delight and amuse readers of all ages.  Wholesome, sweet, feel-good humor!

Thoughts

Catana Chetwynd is a master at creating comics that feel like a slice of your own life. Not to speak for you, of course, but that certainly is the feeling for myself and many others. For example: the very first comic in this book is something that happens so frequently in my relationship that I just had to laugh when I read it. And then settled in happily for the rest.

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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Concrete Rose, 1/12/21

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (who I feel probably doesn’t need an introduction as an author at this point).
Expected Release: January 12, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Well, of course, Angie Thomas. The fact that this is a companion novel to The Hate U Give is enough reason alone for me to want to pick it up. The first book was raw and painful and necessary. Give me more any day.
  • I trust Angie to take an honest and balanced look at life in — and after — a gang. Hearing Mav’s story has so much potential, to see how he managed to get out of the game. It was referenced so much and such a key factor in some elements of the other book, that it will be exciting to dive into his story a little more.
  • On top of that, there’s the whole unexpected-parenthood thing, which is a difficult situation to be thrown into for anyone I imagine. There are so many colliding “difficult situations” in here for Mav to deal with. I hope it doesn’t get jumbled, but I expect good things!

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.