Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: Still Can't Do My Daughters Hair (poetry)

Title: Still Can't Do My Daughters Hair
Author: William Evans
Genre: Poetry
Rating: 4.5 stars
Page Count: 96
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2017

A collection of poetry by William Evans - he's the founder of Black Nerd Problems and has performed poetry on stages across the country. (I highly recommend checking out his work on YouTube, he's performed there and phew)

author twitter

eARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
This collection. There's so much here. I felt like so much of it was going over my head. I love poetry but I'm not super well versed in it. If you feel the same I highly recommend just reading it out loud to yourself, especially this kind of poetry by someone who performs it a lot (or just go on the internet and look up them performing it, because that's a whole different level).

This is, apparently, less then 100 words and almost made me cry? I can't really review this collection with any authority, as I'm white, so I'm not going to try. I'm just going to try and give you enough thoughts that, hopefully, you go pick this collection up for yourself. Or for a friend.

There's just - so much and it is so well done, well written, fucking incredible. I could tell that even when it fel tlike it was going over my head.

I cannot recommend this poetry collection  enough - it's so damn good and so important to me now. Reading poetry by people of color is some of the hardest things to do, because there can be so much raw pain there, and it's hard to read, but I feel like I owe it to myself to do so. And you should definitely go check out William Evan's stuff, definitely this collections, it's the one thing I've seen from him but I highly, highly recommend.

"I could be more compassionate, but I was raised by the dead."
... still coming for the children. It is telling us that we are still the children." 
And also ow, for both of those. I, sadly, need to get better at highlighting and notes when reading ebooks as I'm sure there's more things that I'd be quoting but phew boy. This poetry collection

Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: Depression & Other Magic Tricks

Title: Depression & Other Magic Tricks
Author: Sabrina Benaim
Genre: Poetry
Rating: 3/5
Page Count: 97
Publication Date: April 18th, 2017

This is a poetry collection written by Sabrina Benaim (best known for Explaining My Depression to My Mother) and this is her first poetry collection.

author's twitter

There were parts of this collection I really, really enjoyed and connected to but it didn't blow me away in any way. I don't know what it was about this collection but, while I did really enjoy it, I didn't become super attached to it.

I didn't know a lot of this poetry collection when I originally decided to request it, though I did realize I knew a poem from it - Explaining My Depression to my Mother - which, if you haven't listened to, hey. I've seen it during those slam poetry youtube holes I fall down every once and a while.

I'm not sure why this poetry collection didn't catch me more, maybe it was just the mood I was in while I was reading it. I did enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but I did get annoyed with it at points. All of which were definitely personal things and nothing to do with the author.

There were multiple points talking about her depression in relation to a signficant other, which I understand can be a part of it, but the way she described it at points was honestly just frustrating for me. Someone else cannot cure your depression and that just argh.

Overall, though, this was a solid poetry collection and I would recommend checking it out.

Barnes and Noble

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: What Does Consent Really Mean?

Title(s): What Does Consent Really Mean?
Author: Pete Wallis, Thalia Walls, +
Genre: contemporary / self-help
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 64 pages
Publication Date: November 21st, 2017

A comic about exactly what it says - What Does Consent Really Mean? It's a question brought up in the comic between three teenage girls - I think they're suppose to be high school age? probably 16-18 - about what consent really means, talking it out amongst themselves.

This is definitely super important and I feel like it covered a lot of bases very well - not all the bases, but there are so many layers I can't be surprised about that. I was a bit worried going in since the first person listed is a man - I know there are problems there as well but... - but I was honestly really pleasantly surprised.

To be fair, though, I knew nothing but that going in.

- diversity (characters)
- covered different POV's
- educational
- no slut shaming (that isn't pushed against)

- read like an afternoon TV special at a few points
- didn't feel like some of the guys really understood fully? (this might of just been me, but if you've read/end up picking up, let me know your thoughts)

That con isn't even that bad, but it is why I couldn't give it a full 5 stars. But I think this is a truly important comic and it's good it's finally out. Especially that we got to see the guys confronting their own toxic thought cycles - ahh, the way people want to seem cool, just making us hurt ourselves, really.

Overall, I'd recommend this for, well, anyone. For classrooms - even for middle school, to be honest, because there can already be those ideas forming about who they should/shouldn't be with people - and libraries, of course. But also just for people. If you've got a son or daughter, especially, I hope you borrow or buy this for them. Let me know that their wants matter, and that not saying yes is not consent.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

10 Years in 10 Books | #readathon challenge

I love this idea for a readathon challenge so much that I'm typing up this post before I've started reading for the day, also possibly because I'm just not really in a reading mood. Which is a problem on readathon day. Anyway - I went for books that weren't the obvious choice, or tried to. Also tried to go for books I've read.

For example, yes, I could of put Deathly Hallows for 2007 but I think everyone's aware of my love of Harry Potter considering the 2 tattoos I have related to it.

2007: The Arrival by Shaun Tan - this is a gorgeous graphic novel that uses no words, cannot recommend enough.
2008: Duma Key by Stephen King - honestly, one of my favorite books. By King and just in general - a very underrated book by him that I highly, highly recommend.
2009: Leviathan (#1) by Scott Westerfeld - this is such a fun first book, and fun series. It's been a while since I've read them but - so much fun!
2010: Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1) by Cassie Clare - I love the Infernal Devices series, so much. I've got problems with Clare but this series, I can't even tell you.
2011: Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr - this whole series is gorgeous. It's been a while since I've reread, and I know they'll probably seem a little outdated now but - I love them.
2012: Adaptation (#1) by Malinda Lo - just read this for the first time recently, and something about it just clicked with me. I'm still in love with it months later.
2013: The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater - this might me by favorite of this series, I just love it so much. The atmosphere, the world.
2014: The Saint (Original Sinners #5) by Tiffany Reisz - not my favorite of the series, but still the best I read that year that I can find. If you haven't heard of this series - they're amazing but also all the trigger warnings in the world.
2015: Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo - this was hard, so many good books. But I've already read this book three times so I think it wins. Incredible duology.
2016: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman - this book. God damn. I will shout it's praises from the rooftop. And Exit, Pursued by Bear came out in 2016, too, so it was a tough choice.
2017: City of Strife (#1) by Claudie Arseneault - this was rough cause everything is so fresh but this book was incredible. So diverse, so full of plot and feeling. Cannot wait for book 2!

Whew, that was harder then I thought it'd be. If you posted a list, anywhere, let me know! I kind of failed in the not the obvious choice place, a few times, but I feel like in a few other places I did pull out a different one. Either way - I've got to go read something now, hopefully.

Happy reading!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon | October 21st

Once again, we've reached Dewey's 24 hour readathon! One of my favorites of the year and I love how seriously so many people, myself included, take this readathon. This year is probably going to be a little bit different though because I don't want to wear myself out too much. I'm traveling at the end of the week and have a lot of to do before then, and then then.

Speaking of which - blog posts during November will probably be pretty sparse considering I'll be visiting friends and it'll also be NaNoWriMo.

My plan is to be up at 8am and then read as long as I can, and then friends might want to do virtual hang out stuff. I have a lot I want to get done, I'm also in the middle of a lot of books and I'd like to get some of them finished, especially before my trip.

The Stack:

  • Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  • Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  • This Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

The Goals:

  • finish books on my currently-reading stack
  • read for literally any amount of time
  • participate on twitter and cheer people on
  • mostly just read!

The Updates:

8am - 12pm

Not Your Villain (Sidekicks Squad #2) by C.B. Lee (finished - 170 pages)

# of pages read:  170
# books read: 1
time spent reading: 1 hour, 23 minutes

I woke up tired and not in a mood to read but I love this readathon and wanted to get in the mood so I made myself stop sleeping and read. Which is something I don't do enough and never regret? i'm breaking now cause my eyes are a bit iffy and I definitely overdid it yesterday but planning to finish at least one more book, if not two. I'm mostly working on currently-reading books and, specifically, hardcover currently-reading because probably not bringing hardcovers when I leave for my trip at the end of the week!

Let me know how your readathon is going!

12pm - 4pm

Smoke and Mirrors by Michael Faudet (started and finished - 240 pages)
Depression and other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim (started and finished - 97 pages)

# of pages read: 337
total # of pages: 507
# books read: 2
total # of books:
time spend reading: 1 hour, 14 minutes 
total time spent reading: 2 hours, 37 minutes

I wasn't super in the mood to read when I woke up and then, eventually, I ended up taking a nap. I think just because I wore myself out so much the day before I just couldn't function today. And then finally got to talk to some friends over video and, sorry, more important then books (don't tell them, they'll be shocked).

Friday, October 13, 2017

Readathon | House Cup + Dewey's 24 hour

First off: The Hogwarts House Cup Reading Challenge. This is such a great idea, I think you're all aware of how much I love Harry Potter, but also - house points, and not all strict reading goals. Like the 7 years are free choices, which I love because mood reader. And, of course, you have to report to your head girl, I believe they're all girls. All of the heads of house are the co-hosts, of course, there's 4 hosts for this readathon and I just love that idea. Basically I'm all about this readathon.

Anyway - I'm a Ravenclaw, if you didn't know, and will definitely be trying to get some house points for the house because I can be a tad competitive.

Also it lasts for about a month. Starting October 15th and going until the 12th of November. (A Sunday - Sunday deal, which I do enjoy). I will be out of town for like two weeks of this readathon, maybe three, so that will be interesting but it's more visit friends then vacation/travel and I'm sure there will be reading time just not sure how much reading time.

And now there's a little sign up questionnaire to answer.

Hogwarts Student Questionnaire
Name: Casey Cassidy
Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
Wand Type: I forget the wood but dragon heart string core
Pet: Owl
Favorite Subject: Defense Against the Dart Arts
Favorite Professor: McGonigal

And now - Dewey's. I almost always participate in Dewey's 24 hours readathon. A 24 hour readathon, that starts in the same time in every time zone so everyone's reading together. It's one of my fav parts about it. I normally don't stay up for all the house - because I need sleep if I can get it - but I do try and read as much as possible.

This round takes place on 21st of October, and it starts at 8am Eastern Time. About page, time zone page, sign up post.

I normally do a post for Dewey's and update every few hours, so I'll probably be doing that - even though I shouldn't even do it, because I leave for chicago less then a week later but whatever. And, also, this is going up Friday the 13th and tomorrow is a social media 24 hour readathon being run by a booktuber - #readathonbyzoe is the hashtag if you want to check that out. I'll probably be actually reading something tomorrow for that, I haven't had much time recently and especially not the last few days.

Happy Reading! As always, let me know if you're participating in any of these readathons, or any I might not of heard of.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review: Michael's Wings

Title(s): Michael's Wings (Original Sinners #6.3)
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: romance/erotica (BDSM)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 253
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017

A few short stories set in the Original Sinners universe, all revolving around Michael and/or Griffin. The title story takes place before the last two books of the whole series, which I won't give the synopsis for as to not spoil you.

You cannot read this, without spoiling yourself, if you haven't read up to book 6 - or book 2 of the White Years. The first story, Michael's Wings, is the one that's the most spoilery but the others also spoil a lot - especially the Christmas one (which is available for free on her website). Apparently all have been put online/published previously, but I think I'd previously only read one, maybe two of the stories in this collection.

(Trigger warnings by story, let me know if I missed any:
Michael's Wings: OD/death mention, past drug/alcohol abuse mention, I mean a lot of pain play? Whips, i think, crops. Wax play.
Griffin in Wonderland - drug/alcohol addiction
The Gauze - self harm, suicide attempt mention. Michael dealing with both, flashbacks to the sucide
The Theory of the Moment - don't think any? Let me know if wrong, on any of these.
The Couch -D/s, don't think anything else?
A Better Distraction - D/s, also don't think any.
Any questions, feel free to just ask me!)

I'm definitely bias towards this series just on the fact that I love these characters so much. Just all of them, I don't know if I could pick a favorite ever.

I'm not entirely sure which of these stories were published elsewhere before being here, but the only one I'd read was the Christmas story - which I love, and reread in this anyone because so good. Anyway, the title story was for sure new and it's the first, which is where we're going to start.

Michael's Wings - first off, small note, I thought it was a little weird that this was first? I understand it's the title story and such, but I feel like it should of been in chronological order. It wasn't that confusing for me when I was putting it down between stories, but if I kept going it was a little jarring to skip around like that.

However, saying that, this story was amazing. We got to see Michael and Nora interact more, which is always good. And, of course, Michael and Griffin. I'm was not going to spoil anything at all, but I've decided against that. So if you don't want to be spoiled for a major plot point in the last two books, jump ship now (just know I love this collection and would highly recommend it, and the entire series).

So in this we get to see how Griff proposed, which I was always a tad curious about because... well, he's Griff, honestly. And so I was so proud he did it in a quiet way because he knew Mick wouldn't want it any other way? It gave me a lot of feelings, and the answer scene... I've missed these boys.

Griffin in Wonderland. A super interesting one, that I've never read before but might of been floating around, I'm not sure. Seeing Griff six years before we officially meet him was super interesting to me. I adore him and to see how King reached out to him... I love them all so much.

The Gauze. This one was more intense then I expected? Like I said above, trigger warnings for self harm, suicide mention, attempt flashbacks. D/s, also. It's a good short story, something we don't get to see about Michael dealing with gauze from tattoos (which isn't a thing but I'm letting it go), and talking to Griffin about his attempt. Really touching - also great sex scene.

The Theory of the Moment. Super cute dinner with Griffin and Michael's mom? I don't know what it was about this, but it was just so cute. I think it's just because I love seeing platonic relationships and we really don't get to see them enough. And Michael's mom takes this whole thing like a champ, honestly.

The Couch. Their first fight story, so cute. And then making up on the new couch. They're such dorks, I love it so much.

A Better Distraction. For some reason this is the one I remember least? But I do feel like I've read it before. Basically just Griff trying to help with Michael's homework, totally innocent, nothing D/s here at all (we need a sarcasm font).

Christmas in Suite 37A. I've read this at least four times now. It's so sweet and cute, and I love Griff and Nora's interactions - and also the snippet we get of Griff and Soren interacting. And, of course, Griff and Michael. Of course they'd had problems in their relationships, neither had ever done this and Michael was still so young. I adore this story. Especially the end and Griffin freaking out,. It's also very sweet, though, and tugs on the heart strings a little.

I think you can tell by now that I loved this collection. I was so excited when it was announced, and am even more excited when the young Kingsley story finally comes out next year. Alright, if I had to pick a favorite character, it might be King, but don't tell any of the others, alright?

If you haven't read this series - first of all, spoiling yourself, though I do it to myself sometimes, too. But I do highly recommend the series, just trigger warnings for everything through out. Book two has bloodplay, but I love these characters, and I really like the writing, as well.

Happy Reading! Let me know if you're planning to pick this one up, or let me know what you thought.