Wherein I catch up on reviewing some books!
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
4.5 Stars! I really enjoyed this contemporary YA. Pen has a lot going on – she’s genderqueer (but doesn’t really have the vocabulary to describe her experience), she’s got a sketchy/manipulative best friend, Old World parents who do NOT get her at ALL, a great older brother, and she’s really into gaming. When one of her friend’s exes seems to be struggling, Pen gets accidentally pulled in. Through that, a new relationship, and a school project, Pen works on figuring out who she is and the kind of friend she wants to be. If you liked Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (which I loved and highly recommend!), I think you would like this, too.
Nevertheless, She Persisted by various authors at Tor.com
For International Women’s Day Tor.com did a cool thing – they asked a bunch of authors to write flash fiction/very short stories, each starting with the now (in)famous phrase, Nevertheless, She Persisted. These are really fun! I knew and had read most of the authors, but there were several that were new to me and I’m excited to check out more of their work. My favorites were Astronaut by Maria Dahvana Headly and Margot and Rosalind by Charlie Jane Anders. They’re all free to read, so go check them out!
The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
This was a rare DNF (did not finish) for me. It was strange – I really enjoyed how clever the writing was – Meg Howrey knows her way around a catchy phrase. And yet…nothing happened. I don’t want to be one of those people who needs plot to be central and lots of Bang! Flash! Boom! to keep me interested (I swear I’m not), but I think my expectations were really high for this and I just couldn’t get into the creeping pace. There were a LOT of narrators in this, which I’m pretty neutral about in general, but every single time we switched perspectives I found myself pissed off. I’ve heard people compare this to The Martian and I do NOT get this AT ALL. This is a verrrry introspective story with almost no plot events. I stopped at about 50%, after finding a review on GoodReads that assured me that Nothing continued to happen for the rest of the book. I kind of wish it had been a short story.
Octopus Pie Volume 1 by Meredith Gran
4 Stars. I kept seeing volumes of this comic on display in my library’s YA Graphic Novel section – but never Volume One, which was always checked out. I finally got my hands on this collected web comic and I’m glad I did. Eve is such a perfectly curmudgeonly 20-something living in Brooklyn not too far out of college. She ends up with a stoner roommate who was also a childhood friend, thanks to her mom. This is a funny look at an awkward time of life, but it also touches on some pretty deep stuff surrounding identity. I’m looking forward to reading Volume 2.
Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) by Jeaniene Frost
3 Stars. Right around this time, I started suffering pretty badly from a neck/shoulder injury (from sleeping, thanks/fuck you aging!) I found myself pretty unable to read with my eyeballs, but audiobooks seemed to work a-ok. Because I was distracted by pain a lot of the time, I just wanted something totally mindless, a story to be absorbed in without requiring me to think AT ALL. This was the right choice! My library’s Hoopla collection has a LOT of audiobook romances, something I’d never tried before and honestly thought would be weird and awkward. I was not wrong, but I also enjoyed it more than I thought!
I read Once Burned (Night Prince #1) way back in 2013, and I wasn’t sure if I would remember enough to jump into #2, but it was fine. This book reminded me why I prefer standalone romances (paranormal or otherwise) – the HEA from the previous book has to be upended in order for there to be a next book, and the conflict is usually stupid and frustrating. *so much drama.* And so much of it could have been avoided with a few simple conversations. The MC, Leila, was extremely woe-is-me!!! I’m counting myself lucky that I didn’t actually injure myself from rolling my eyes SO HARD. The hardest.
Regarding the audiobook-romance aspect – LORD! The narrator seriously got into the role – REALLY committed. *blushes* Definitely an earbuds experiences. Anyway. This review was a lot more about me than the book. Sorry not sorry. It is what it is!
Cherry by Lindsay Rosin
4 Stars! If I had had this book in late Middle or High School, it would have been falling apart from how many times I would have reread it – it’s kind of the next generation (and age group’s) Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. A frank and realistic look into teenage girl sexuality, Cherry isn’t only about sex – it’s also a fantastic story of friendship. These girls have each others’ backs, and it is marvelous to behold. This book could have easily gone the way of cheesy after-school-special, but it does not. There is honest talk about masturbation, orgasm, various kinds of sex, and the individuality of a person’s sexuality – basically, it made me want to cheer. I kind of feel like it should be required reading for most if not all teens.
Other bookish things…
ERMERGAD I joined Book Riot’s new Insiders community and it is SO FUN! The Slack channels are hilarious. I did ask myself, geez, did you really need *another* place to talk about books and the answer was HELL YES YOU DID IT IS AWESOME. It really is! The new releases index is making it easier for me to request high quality galleys and keep an eye on books I really want via a Watchlist; I’m REALLY looking forward to the Read Harder podcast (I have some really tricky categories that have me kinda stumped); and again, the Slack channel is the BEST. If you are in the market for a fun bookish community, Treat Yo’ Self 2017 and sign up for Insiders (I highly recommend the Epic level, but you can check it out for only $3/month)!
What have you been reading lately? Tell me below! 👇