Reviews

Mini-Review: KNIT ONE, GIRL TWO

CaptureBook: KNIT ONE, GIRL TWO
Author: Shira Glassman
Pages: 68
Format: Ebook
ARC?: No.
Rating: 5/5
TW/CW: None
Rep: Jewish, bisexual, fat.

34732711 ONE, GIRL TWO by Shira Glassman is an honestly delightfully book.

Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…

I usually don’t read short stories because I feel like I never have enough time to get invested in the characters or their lives but at the recommendation of a friend, I purchased this little gem and was immediately in love with the cover.

While I don’t know a whole lot about knitting or hand-dyed yarns, I do have a solid appreciation for beautiful yarn and the work and effort that goes into making it. Glassman did an excellent job of describing the process without it becoming an overbearing instruction manual. I think the brief descriptions of what Clara was doing intermingled with the romantic plot so well that I have to give kudos to Glassman for making me look forward to those little snippets.

This book was enough to make my heart soar in just a tiny space of 68 pages. If you want some fluffy f/f romance, this is the one for you!

 

Book Tags

My Life in Books Tag!

Capture.PNGThe My Life In Books Tag was originally created by The Journeys of A Girl.

Instead of my normal Wishing and Waiting Wednesday, I decided to change things up a little and do the My Life In Books tag!

1. Find a book for each of your initials.

AAlice in Wonderland

L– The Little Prince

W– The Worst Witch

2. Count your age along your bookshelf. Which book is it?

27774758AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir… which I still have not read.

3. Pick a book set in your city/country.

tkmNot set in my city but TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee is set in my state! (Alabama)

4. Pick a book that represents a place you’d love to visit.

auACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis is set in space… and I kinda really want to go!

5. Pick a book that’s your favorite color.

bhTHE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler is a great books with a beautiful purple cover! My favorite color!

6. What book do you have the fondest memories of?

hpI’ve talked before about how I came to have my first Harry Potter book that Christmas Eve MANY MANY YEARS AGO (gosh, I’m getting old) and even though my feelings towards Rowling are rocky at best… I can’t ever forget what Harry Potter gave to me as a young, lonely kid.

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

137791DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD by Rebecca Wells is an awesome book but it covers some super heavy topics that made me put the book down several times. I love all of the companion novels to this, too, but they all make me cry!

8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest feeling of accomplishment when you finish it?

C99O54SUMAAxzp9IT by Stephen King. WILL I EVER BE FINISHED WITH THIS BOOK???

And that wraps up this tag! I tag anyone who wants to do this!

Talking Tuesday

Talking Tuesday: Have I Become A Shallow Book Buyer?

tt

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life.

I don’t even know where my love of books came from. Neither of my parents were readers when I was a kid, but I remember Mama used to buy me tons and tons of books from yard sales, church sales, and thrift stores. When I was old enough to properly take care of books, she switched to buying me books from used bookstores and sometimes new ones from Books-A-Million when we would go into town. But more often than not, the bulk of my books were used, sometimes tattered, but always loved. I never cared that they weren’t beautiful or in great condition. I never cared that sometimes they were taped up or missing covers. I didn’t mind previously dog-eared pages, coffee stains, or doodled margins. All books were beautiful to me.

In February 2016, I joined the online book community. I had a booklr previously but never really joined in with the discussions because I didn’t read the newest releases and I was shopping pretty regularly at thriftbooks.com. My books were still a little tattered and I didn’t think of taking pictures of them because in my mind, who would want to see my worn out books when they could fawn over pristine hardbacks?

To be honest, I never had any intention of being this involved in the book community. I made my twitter so I could connect with a small group of friends through DMs and talk about The Foxhole Court and The Raven Cycle. For the first 5-6 months, I had maybe 50 followers and I wasn’t interacting with anyone. But then I made friends with other PoC/Native book bloggers and… things just kind of took off. I definitely found my voice and my platform and in a little less than a year, I’ve somehow managed to trick 2500 people into thinking I’m cool enough to follow. I love this community, I love talking about books, I love the friends I’ve made, and I love seeing how we’ve all grown over the last year.

But with this influx of followers on twitter, instagram, listy, and my blog… I think I’ve become a shallow book buyer.

That realization came this weekend when I took my two oldest godkids, Grant and Sidda, to the used bookstore on our Sunday brunch date. I have been looking for an extra copy of DARK HARVEST for a while and Grant found one at the used bookstore. But it wasn’t in terribly good condition. The cover had been ripped and taped, and there were a few pages that had been smudged with ink. But for $2, could I really pass that up? Especially on a book that’s out of print?

I almost did. I took one look at the book and it’s little cosmetic problems and actually turned my nose up at it. Me, a book lover, rebuffing a cheap, out of print book.

Grant: What’s wrong with it?

Me: The cover has been ripped and there’s some ink on it…

Grant: … so?

I ended up getting the book but when we were checking out, I noticed how carefully curated my selections were. All were passable as new books and were fairly new releases. All of their books were… tattered and old and taped but they were books that they really wanted to read. I, on the other hand, had passed up a few books that were on my TBR because they weren’t, well, photogenic. Just how shallow have I become?

It’s something I thought about the rest of the day. Has the pressing need to compete for views and followers and likes overshadowed my love of books? Part of me says no but part of me says yes. I haven’t ordered from thriftbooks in months. I haven’t been to the used bookstore for anything other than old editions of Goosebumps and The Hardy Boys (because those old books are part of my childhood nostalgia collection). I get scared when ordering books online because what if it’s not the right edition? What if a page gets crinkled during delivery? What if-

Why should it matter? Why do I care? Why am I putting such intense pressure on myself to fit into this little blogger box? I love beautiful books but I’ve loved ALL books my entire life… old and ugly, new and pristine… and I don’t want that to change. I don’t want my godkids to think that old used books are bad and I don’t want them to see me fawning over new releases while hiding my previously loved copies like they’re something bad.

It shouldn’t matter if a book takes a good picture or not. That’s not the point of a book. I’m going to be working very hard to get back into the mindset that a book is good because of it’s story, not because it had a pretty cover or because it looks good on Instagram.

I don’t want to be a shallow book buyer anymore.

 

Middle Grade Monday

Middle Grade Monday

MondayMiddle Grade Monday is an original meme to spotlight a great Middle Grade read!

While writing last week’s MGM post, I suddenly remembered a book I had read and loved as a kid… but had ultimately forgotten as I grew older. That book is FLIPPED by Wendelin Van Draanen.

331920It didn’t take much to jog my memory and stir up feelings and memories of why I loved this book so much.

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

First, let me say that Bryce and Juli are not teens. I think they are 12/13 in the book so not quite old enough for this to be considered YA, especially since they are in middle school.

Half of the book is Juli being hopelessly into Bryce and him avoiding her at every turn… mostly because he family is considered strange because the don’t care about the state of their yard, keep chickens, and work hard to save old trees. That’s what connected me to Juli when I was a kid- my family were definitely weekend warriors (hiking, camping, flea markets, yard sales, aimless driving) and our yard was usually haphazardly groomed with giant unruly (but truly beautiful) flower beds. We also had yard chickens, much to one neighbors revulsion. I understood Juli’s confusion over why the state of their yard should even matter.

The second half of the book is Bryce realizing Juli is fantastic and Juli realizing that Bryce is, well, kind of a jerk. The admired becomes the admiree and I loved how Bryce definitely got knocked down a peg when he realized Juli wasn’t that impressed with him anymore.

It’s a short, quick read but it’s definitely worth it!

Have you ever read FLIPPED? Thoughts?

 

 

 

Reviews

Review: LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND

CaptureBook: LANDSCAPE WITH INVISIBLE HAND
Author: M.T. Anderson
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 160
Format: ebook
ARC?: Yes, provided by NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3/5
TW/CW: Serious physical sickness, extreme poverty.

33281801When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth — but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents’ jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive. And since the vuvv crave anything they deem classic Earth culture (doo-wop music, still life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go — and what he’s willing to sacrifice — to give the vuvv what they want.

When I saw the cover of this book, I knew I wanted to read it. There’s just something about aliens and the (most terrifying) thought of an invasion that makes me get all “grabby hands” about a book.

I’ll start by saying this is a strange book. There’s not a whole lot of world building and it’s mostly character driven. We don’t see the invasion, just what has become of Earth and it’s inhabitants after several years of the vuvv hovering in the atmosphere. Nothing much has changed for the wealthy, but the middle class were thrust into sudden poverty and everything is controlled by the vuvv.

Adam and Chloe’s relationship doesn’t play as big of a part in the story as I thought it would. They fall apart fairly quickly after turning their relationship into a money-making scheme and while that does have an impact on Adam’s families survival, the story is mostly about Adam trying to win an art contest while dealing with a curable illness.

That’s the part of the story that struck me hard. Adam had a disease caused by unclean drinking water and it’s something that was very easily cured at any clinic… if you had the money for treatment. But for a family barely affording oatmeal, that cure was far out of reach. It’s stated several times that for the vuvv and the wealthy families, the price of that cure would be pocket change and at his sickest, Adam asks one of the vuvv for help. They snub him saying “I hate when they beg” even though Adam is clearly on the verge of death.

The book isn’t happy but it does have a happyish ending. This is definitely a good commentary on wealth, poverty, and privilege. A short but enjoyable read, I would recommend this to fans of alien books.

 

Spooky Saturday

Spooky Saturday

spooky_forest_background_by_indigodeep

Spooky Saturday is an original weekly meme to spotlight a spooky, scary, or just plain creepy book!

Damn, Weezie! Back at it again with the Stephen King.

When I decided to bring Spooky Saturday back, Brit asked “Why don’t you just call it Stephen King Saturday. You know you want to.”

And I kind of do.

BUT.

Stephen King isn’t the only spooky author I read (although, my posts don’t prove that). However, I am back with another Stephen King book: PET SEMATARY.

832795I’ve talked before about how I wasn’t allowed to watch TV growing up with the exception of when I was at my Grandma’s house. While Grandma never really let me watch anything scarier than Mama’s Family, my older cousins delighted in scaring the crap out of me while movies that they knew probably weren’t suitable for a fragile 5 year old’s mind.

PET SEMATARY was one of those movies. The thing that scared me most in the movie was Victor and his rotten face and Gage in his fancy little suit. I had nightmares about hat fancy little suit. Years later I watched the movie again and it was much less scary and definitely more cheesy than my small 5 year old self had remembered.

However, the book is not cheesy. It’s not. It’s scary… like I-didn’t-go-outside-at-night-for-two-weeks-after-reading-it scary.

I’ve said this before but King is absolutely brilliant when it comes to setting the mood for his stories. There are things I’ve forgotten about the book in the time since I last read it and now but I can honestly still recall how creeped out I was when Jud and Louis took that walk past the ‘Pet Sematary’ and continued on a terrifying journey to the “real cemetery”. I kept having to put the book down because the setting was so vivid and real that it felt like I was right there with them.

Maybe the most disturbing scene of the book was when Louis digs his dead son back up in order to transport him to the burial ground that had brought the family cat back to life. The entire time I was reading it, I just kept whispering “Oh no. No, no, no, no, no.” because it is SO hard to imagine someone doing something so vile and disgusting as digging up a deceased loved one.

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Don’t tell me this wouldn’t give you nightmares.

A little fact about this book: King never actually intended to publish it. When he completed the manuscript, he set it aside believing that no one would ever want to read it because of how twisted and dark it is. He only submitted it to fulfill a contract. King was incredibly shocked at the reception the book received since the book is basically just one dark spiral- there is nothing happy about this book.

 

Despite it probably being the darkest novel he’s ever written, PET SEMATARY is probably my favorite King book and I can’t wait to read it (and be scared) all over again!

Forever Friday

Forever Friday: The Giver

CaptureForever Friday is an original weekly post to spotlight a book I’ll love forever!

If it weren’t for the cute name, this post could really just be called “Weezie is old and nostalgic”. Because I am old and I am becoming increasingly nostalgic over the books that shaped me into the reader I am today.

3636THE GIVER by Lois Lowry is another book that my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Shelton, read to us, and I fell in love. For most of us, THE GIVER was our first taste of middle grade dystopian or dystopian in general and it’s always been the standard I’ve held every other dystopian novel up to.

I was a terribly sensitive kid (who grew up to be a terribly sensitive adult) and I remember this being one of the 3 books that I actually faked sick so I could go home after it was done. (The other two were BRIDGE TO TEREBITHA and WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS.) I was so upset that the not knowing if they survived and sick to my stomach that the adults were so willing to kill an innocent baby.

Now that I’ve read it as an adult, I appreciate how (excuse my language) fucked up this world is. Pills to surpress hormones and emotions. Families made by government matches and not love. The overwhelming need to keep everyone docile and happy and unquestioning. And how it just takes one person to say no to start unraveling injustices.

Book Tags

Unpopular Opinions: BOOK EDITION!

Capture.JPGThe Unpopular Opinions Book Tag was originally created by TheBookArcher!

I want to preface this post with the same disclaimer everyone else uses: These are just my opinions and they aren’t meant to hurt, embarrass, or otherwise stress anyone out. I love the book community and how we all have different opinions on books and authors… and these are just mine!

1. A popular book you did not like.

25526296EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire. This was continuously pitched to me as THE asexual book I needed in my life and that it was right up my alley on the creepy scale.

But I was so underwhelmed with the story, hated the main character, and gave this book away as soon as I was finished. I have no plans to read the companion novel and I kind of wish I had never read it just so I could pretend to be hyped about it without having to say “Actually… I hated it…”

 

 

2. A popular book or series everyone else seems to hate but you love.

18053060THE DOROTHY MUST DIE series by Danielle Paige.

I have seen so many people talk about how boring this series is but I love it so much? Maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of retellings and “after the story ends” books. Maybe it’s because Danielle Paige is literally the sweetest human being I’ve ever met. Either way, I love this series, I love Amy and Nox, and I’m HOPING that THE END OF OZ wasn’t actually the end.

 

 

3. A love triangle where the main character ends up with someone you didn’t want them to end up with or an OTP you don’t like.

Gansey should not have ended up with Blue. Gansey should have ended up with Ronan and Adam. Listen, you know it’s true.

4. A popular book genre you hardly ever reach for.

Sci-Fi. I don’t understand present day technology… don’t expect me to understand made up technology.

5. A popular or beloved character you do not like.

16068905Cath from FANGIRL.

I hated her so much. Like the only reason I finished the story was because of Levi. While I totally understood her worry about her sister, it also felt like Cath was trying to make her conform to her wishes. Not to mention that whole line about “I don’t want to read my m/m fanfiction to you because there’s a gay dude downstairs.

Girl….

 

6. A popular author you can’t seem to get into.

Marie Lu. I tried reading LEGEND and ended up skimming the last 50 or so pages. I tried reading THE YOUNG ELITES and didn’t make it even 20 pages in. It makes me SO MAD because all of my friends seem to super love her work and I’m just meh about it.

7. A popular book trope you’re tired of seeing.

Love. Triangles. Please, please stop. They are so boring, so tired, and so morally weird and I can’t stand them.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

256683THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS by Cassandra Clare.

I read CITY OF BONES but it took me a month to finish it and I only made it halfway through the second book before I gave up. Even before I knew all the drama surrounding her, I couldn’t get into the books at all.

 

 

 

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

22628THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

I absolutely loved this book but the movie just added so much heart and emotion and Logan Lerman was the absolute perfect Charlie.

The book touched my heart but I absolutely SOBBED in the movie theater.

 

 

 

And that’s it for my unpopular opinions! I tag anyone who wants to do this!

Wishing and Waiting Wednesday

Wishing and Waiting Wednesday

WWWWishing and Waiting Wednesday is an original weekly post to highlight a book I’ve been wanting to buy and a book I’ve had on my TBR for a little too long!

wishing

 

2954411LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott has been on my To Buy list for a while. It was recommended to me by a friend when I was still a part of the booklr community and while it sounds intriguing and definitely up my alley in terms of the true crime feel about it, I’m still so, so hesitant to read it because of the heavy topic it handles.

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.

Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.

Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends — her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

waiting

 

6387925I bought THE WILD THINGS by Dave Eggers in 2015, started it once but then got distracted by the Percy Jackson series. I’m not sure why I’ve not picked it back up other than I am afraid of being disappointed. This book is loosely based on WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak which is my absolute favorite children’s book. This has a lowish rating on goodreads but an absolutely STUNNING cover, so hopefully I’ll get to it and want to keep it…

… eventually.

 

 

What are wishing and waiting for this week?

Reviews

Review: SAINTS AND MISFITS

FreeVector-Floral-Background-DesignBook: SAINTS AND MISFITS
Author: S.K. Ali
TWs: Sexual assault
Rep: Muslim, divorced families, hijabis, niqabis, Hindu (minor character), PTSD.
Rating: 3/5
MG, YA, Other: YA contemporary.

31123249

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

I feel like I sat this a lot… but this book was super hard to rate. Super. Hard.

I loved the characters in this book. I love Janna, I loved her brother, and I even loved Saint Sarah after a spell.

The way Janna’s sexual assault and the resulting PTSD was handled beautifully. So many YA books have the girl immediately seeking revenge (and that’s AWESOME AND WONDERFUL!) but seeing Janna’s uncertainty and her need to tell someone but her uneasiness at doing so felt so real and touched on my own experience with sexual assault.

However… the summary of the book is misleading. Janna’s comic? She talks about it a lot (she started it as a kid) but works on it once. Jeremy? She hangs out with him once, we see him a few times, and that’s about it. Caring what other people think? Other than putting in hair product once, I didn’t see that. I felt like this book started the Janna’s assault, had a few 100 pages of her day to day life with Monster sighting, and then a big ending. I loved the ending. I thought the ending was wonderful and perfect- it was everything else that lacked.

Having said all of that, this book was not written for me. This is very far out of my lane and I probably missed nuances that mean a lot to Muslim girls. For that, I suggest you check out this review and this review for ownvoice viewpoints of this book.