Being off from work for the holidays has set me behind a little on my audiobook listening, but I’ve finally gotten through another round of three, and you know what that means: more mini-reviews! This time, we have a nonfiction, feminist, data-driven book; a queer sci-fi romance; and an #OwnVoices YA contemporary/rom-com about two Indian-American teens at a summer coding program. Let’s get started!
Author: Rebecca McLaughlin Publication date: January 7, 2020 Genre: young adult, fantasy My rating: 2.5/5 stars
When broken down to its fundamental components, Nameless Queen has a lot of things that tend to make me automatically love a book: a protagonist who is a thief, hidden royalty, and commentary on classism and rigid social structures. But when taken as a whole, the novel failed to breathe much life or originality into those tropes. The result was a lukewarm story–not bad, but wholly unremarkable.
Hello, lovelies! This is a super quick update/apology, because it has been 9 days without a post and I am WAY behind on things these days. Between the festivities associated with the holidays, family members coming in from out of town, polishing up my law school applications, and binge-watching to get through the end of Friends with my mom before it gets taken off Netflix on January 1st (no, I’ve never seen it before; yes, we’re on track to finish), I’ve been a little distracted. Since I’ve been off from work (see previous mention of holidays), I haven’t had the time on train rides to write posts like usual, and I was in the middle of five books but done with none of them.
But fear not! The last applications have been submitted! I finished reading a book last night, and I’m on track to finish at least two more in the next day or two! THERE WILL BE NEW CONTENT STARTING TOMORROW!
Author: Stacie Ramey Publication date: January 1, 2020 Genre: young adult contemporary, romance My rating: 4/5 stars
A timely narrative about disability, sense of self, and first love, It’sMy Life deftly navigates the difficulties–physical, emotional, and social–that accompany serious disability, through the eyes of a smart, likable, and relatable narrator. Though it does get a bit cheesy and/or implausible at times, the story itself is an important one, specifically targeting the younger end of the YA spectrum with a solid message of hope.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a TTT* post, for a variety of reasons (including vague prompts and my life being chaotic), but here we are with an easy one: my winter TBR this year. As you may recall from some posts a while ago, I won quite a few books recently, both from Goodreads giveaways and from other giveaways, so I have plenty of reading material for this winter. Plus, I have a KILLER range of genres. Seriously, I feel like I’ve outdone myself on this one 😉 This is a very tentative TBR, and a lot of these are ARCs, so I have split the list into ARCs and some books that are already out that I’m excited for. Let’s go.
Hello, lovelies! As some of you may know, I’m a moderator in the Facebook group Bibliosphere: A Group for Everything Bookish. This year, the modmins and I decided to set up a holiday book swap for members of the group…with a twist. Like any secret gift exchange, people were assigned anonymously to their recipients, and since we are a book group, the gift to be sent was to be a book. But, to help keep our spending to a minimum (and prevent our shelves from further overflowing), the catch was this: the book you sent had to be one you already owned. Of course, if your recipient was international or something, you could send something from a site like Book Depository since their international shipping is good, but for most of us, the goal was to pass on a book you loved and/or thought your recipient would love.
Author: Claire Kann Publication date: January 23, 2018 Genre: young adult contemporary, LGBTQ+ My rating: 1/5 stars (and I considered giving it less than that…)
I. Am. So. Mad. At. This. Book. Seriously, I am one angry ace right now. I was so excited about this book; I had seen it listed so many times in articles with lists of books featuring asexual main characters, and plenty of people had written great reviews of it on Goodreads. I should have realized early on that most of those glowing reviews were not from OwnVoices reviewers; the one highly-ranked review I saw written by someone who is actually ace was quite critical.
It became apparent that the people who praised this book were glad because it taught them about asexuality. The thing is, simply having representation isn’t enough, especially if that representation is bad. And BOY HOWDY was this representation bad. Maybe someone out there can see their feelings reflected in the story told here, but for me–based on my own experience, the experiences of other aces I know, and the little research that actually exists on asexuality–it was inaccurate, full of stereotypes, and generally just not good.
Oh, and the book itself was pretty crap as well, so before I start tackling all the ways in which the book does aces dirty, might as well discuss those problems.
Author: Gloria Chao Publication date: Genre: young adult, contemporary My rating: 2/5 stars
What do you get when you cross an OwnVoices story with odd mythological tie-ins, a cheesy romance, and parental conspiracies? Hint: it’s this book, and it isn’t very good. At first glance, Our Wayward Fate looked perfect for me (Chinese-American story, discussions of racism, quirky protagonist who likes puns, etc), but like a poorly-planned recipe, the ingredients became stale very quickly and did not blend well, resulting in a forgettable trifle of a read.
Alright, folks, time for another round of hot takes on the book community. Today’s focus: annoying, repetitive questions. See, I’m in a lot of bookish Facebook groups, and in those groups, there are certain questions that just get asked over and over and over. They aren’t original, nor are they questions whose answers will change over time, and all they end up doing is cluttering everyone’s newsfeed. Like…have you people never heard of using the search bar? Or Google?
For the convenience of all parties, today I am going to list (and answer) a couple of these oft-repeated questions. Please, for the love of all that is sacred, don’t ask them again–to me or to anyone else.