are you there spring? it’s me

I know I said see you next week in my post just yesterday, but here I am already, back again like a stuffy nose. In the movies, they always make being snowed in in the middle of a storm some big exciting, and usually romantic, adventure. Instead it’s Wednesday, I haven’t left my house in days, my car is surrounded in an inch of thick ice so and won’t open so I cannot leave, and I am running solely on coffee because I refuse to eat another chicken patty. The first day or so was nice. I got a lot of work done and was generally productive. Now I am pretty sure I am going crazy. The house is clean. My homework is done. My lessons are planned. I am so bored.

Being trapped in my house has gave me some reading time, which is really nice. I finished two books this week Wolfsong by TJ Klune and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I rated them both five stars because they are both extremely fantastic, although in very different ways.

Wolfsong was just, crazy good. I could not sleep until I finished this book. I could not eat, could not hold a conversation because I just needed to know what was going to happen. It was beautifully written, heart wrenching at times and hilarious at others. There were times where I just wanted to wrap Ox up and ensure that nothing bad ever happened to him ever again. So, I understood Joe’s desire to protect him even if I didn’t agree with how it all went down. Man. This was just a powerful book. It also featured one of my favorite tropes- found family. I cannot believe I have to wait until July to read the next one. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

Turtles All the Way Down is not your typical John Green novel. You can really see his growth as a writer in this book. It follows Aza, a girl who suffers from sometimes debilitating anxiety. The sections dealing with her anxiety are written really well. While Aza and I experience different types of intrusive thoughts, our spirals mirror each other and it was incredibly powerful to read about. This book was written beautifully. I had to stop every few pages just to highlight another sentence or two. (Sidenote: one of my favorite things about the kindle is that it groups all of your highlights together in a nifty little book automatically, which you can read at anytime.) I also liked how the romantic relationship was portrayed realistically and it did not overpower the main narrative.

I have downloaded a bunch of books to my kindle, so hopefully this craziness will continue to be somewhat fruitful. My goodreads is here, if you want to follow along.

Here’s hoping for some sunshine.

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Book review + weekly wrap up

Just about one week done in the new year. I hope it’s been treating you well, void. Last night I finished my first book of the year, We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union. It is a collection of essays that detail certain parts of her life. Even though I normally don’t read non-fiction, I was really excited because I love Gabrielle Union. I have loved her as long as I can possibly remember. She’s an amazing actress, she’s funny, she’s socially aware, she’s an activist, and she’s absolutely beautiful.

Her book did not disappoint. I laughed at some parts and I cried at others. There is a part where she talks about the aftermath of her sexual assault that really just resonated with me. She talks about having to face the door whenever she goes out to eat, still, and that awareness is something I still struggle with today. I loved that she was honest and bare bones about her life and her struggles. I know for a fact that this book will sit with me for a while. I’m so glad it was the first book that I read this year. It feels like a good omen. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I encourage you to do so! It is an excellent, quick read.

On to my weekend reads. In very me fashion, I’m ignoring my very long TBR and am instead reading something I’ve already read. I am a serial rereader. It’s a thing. I’m currently rereading the Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat. I finished it two years ago, I believe, but I wanted to revisit it because there’s a lot of controversy around it and it’s changed my opinion of the series. I want to give it another go, because I can’t really remember what happens and I can’t really remember if I liked it or not.

Once I finish with that series, I really want to get to The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I picked this book up a few months ago through Book of the Month but I just haven’t got around to it even though I am really excited to. I have heard lots of good things about it and I really loved his last novel. Also I just found out that Madeline Miller has a new book coming out and I am so freaking geeked. Miller wrote my second favorite book of all time, The Song of Achilles. I am ready to see whatever she does next. It is another mythos book, which I love, so I’m looking forward to it.

I think that’s it for this week. What have you read or are reading this first week of the new year? What are you excited to read? Let me know in the comments. As always, my goodreads is here. Have a great weekend, void.

Book review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray 

A couple of weeks ago, I finished Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I am however just now getting around to the actual review part of the whole process. I heard about this book from a random text post on tumblr and thought I would give it a try. The premise is a group of beauty pageant contestants crash onto a seemingly deserted island, and have to survive until, or if, help ever arrives. So like The Lord of the Flies but with way more interesting characters and circumstances. 

Beauty Queens starts off wild, and ends wild. It’s an adventure from beginning to end, and it’s just really, really fun. That’s what I loved most about this book. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, while still presenting honest and genuine characters. Even characters I found myself indifferent too, towards the end of the book I really found myself loving and appreciating. I’m looking at you, Taylor. 
Taylor is presented as gunslinging, blonde haired, blue eyed, Miss Texas Teen Dreamer. She eats, sleeps, and breathes Miss Teen Dream. She is the leader of the pack. She’s resourceful, she passionate, and at her core, she really does want the best for the survivors of the crash. 

What’s remarkable about Taylor is that she’s presented as a hard to like character, an overdrawn stereotype even, but by the end of the book, you genuinely care about her and her story. 

Now, let’s talk endings. I try to be as spoiler free as possible and I’ll continue that trend now. Generally, it ended pretty neatly and positively. There are a few things that I wish were wrapped up a little better and not left so ambiguously but all/all I was satisfied. I honestly really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun read. 4/5 stars for me. If you enjoy satire, or just need a break from the normal, I think you’ll really find a place with this book. I highly recommend it. 

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson review 

It’s Spring Break! Which is pretty exciting, even though I’m definitely working pretty much everyday over break. I get to sleep in though! Which is pretty exciting. 

So! On to the fun stuff. I think enough time has passed so that I can talk about how much I really really loved At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. Earlier this year, I read We Are the Ants also by him and decided to embark on a 1-person mission dedicated to reading everything he’s ever written, because I loved it that much. 

Hutchinson does this incredible thing with his characters that makes them so real and tangible. In At the Edge of the Universe, we follow Ozzie who has woke up in a world where he is the only one who remembers his best friend and boyfriend Tommy. And oh- the universe is shrinking. We’re introduced to a wealth of characters and each of them are well rounded and developed, you get to know them all so well. 

This book also deals with mental illness and it deals with it honestly, no sugar-coating it or making it seem glamorous. It’s something that’s very important to me, so I love and appreciate how well handled it is in all of his books, especially this one! 

At the Edge of the Universe is such an honestly good book. Great characters, great plot, twists to the very end. 5/5 stars. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you read this and his other books! You will not regret it. 

Book Review: Weight by Jeanette Winterson

This is the sixth and final review from the Weekend Bulk Reviews. If you have made it through all six, I am eternally grateful and want to be your friend. If this is your first or you’ve only read a few, I still am eternally grateful and want to be your friend.

Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson is about the myth of Atlas and Heracles. Atlas for reasons is charged with holding the weight of the world, Heracles for reasons needs Atlas to grab some apples for him so he takes the weight of the world for a while. I’ve said before mythology is one of my favorite subjects to read about so I was readily drawn into this book based solely on the subject.

I found Winterson’s Heracles to be one that I’ve not really encountered before. I found him immensely self interested and absorbed and I could see how it made up his intentions and decisions. She also painted Atlas in a way that I had never thought of. He was very caring and careful with the world and his punishment, and it was not just something that was thrown upon him. Overall, I thought it was a refreshing look at this story. I had never heard it told this way and I liked it a lot. The beginning and end had some vague narrative plots that were confusing and I’m unsure what purpose they served, but overall the story was very enjoyable. 3/5 stars for me.

Book Review: Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson

Next up is Missing You, Metropolis which is a collection of poems which, if you couldn’t tell by the title, strongly center around comics, superheroes, and the lives of the people who love them.

I absolutely adored this collection. I almost want to drop the mic and leave it there, making you all go out and read it for yourself, but I’ll talk more.

This collection tells several stories. It tells the story of a young man who loves comics and grows up in Kansas and his friends. It tells the stories of superheroes. It tells the stories of the people who loves these superheroes. It even tells the stories of the ones we like to call the villains. They are not all nice stories. But here is the truth: they are all honest stories. And they are worth listening to. Read this book. Five out of five stars.

I want to real quick post an excerpt from a poem that really struck me “The Dilemma of Lois Lane.”

“Sometimes,

when we’re alone at home,

fixing dinner, you’ll pretend

to wince when you cut yourself,

and I find myself hoping

that the tiniest drop of blood

will bloom on your finger.”

Read this book.

Joint Book Review: Graphic Novel Edition

Hello void friends, and welcome to part three of my week bulk review! Today we are reviewing three graphic novels. I made these joint reviews because they are shorter but I still enjoyed them immensely. They are Giant Days Volumes 1 and 2 and The Odyssey. Let’s get started.

Giant Days Volumes 1 and 2 by John Allison were my first experience with graphic novels in a few years and were a really nice re-introduction. The books follow a group of three new friends as they navigate college, studying, romantic relationships and personal relationships.

I personally found these books to be very fun! They were short reads and I found them to be very honest and relatable when it comes to the college experience. I also found them to be freaking hilarious! There were moments in Volume 2 were I found myself legit lol-ing in pubic space, it was such a fun experience. 10/10 would read again, will continue reading the series!

4/5 stars!

Next, I read The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds. It is essentially the epic poem by Homer in graphic novel form. This was not something that I knew that I wanted until I stumbled upon it at my library yesterday morning. One of my favorite subjects is Greek mythos, so I obviously had to grab and read.

The book follows Homers poem with really amazing graphics and translations. I found this to be a really cool version of the Odyssey. If this were your only point of reference for the epic, you’d obviously miss some of the finer details but I think you’d get a great big gist of the big details. The graphics are beautiful. The pacing and organization is beautiful. And I just think the concept was really neat. 3/5 stars for me.

That’s it for this one! Happy reading, void. UP NEXT: Missing you, Metropolis by Gary Jackson.