Monday, August 14, 2017

Down Among The Sticks and Bones

A week ago, I tried to write a blog post about how reading didn't help me. I was in despair, suffering from that vicious cycle of obsession that torments my brain. I was convinced I was unhealthy, unattractive, unlikeable--all the "un"s, really. Curled up on my bed, my body hurt as much as my heart, because depression and anxiety make you physically ill to match the illness in your head. And I couldn't bring myself to pick up a book because I told myself that I was beyond saving. I was doomed to be unhappy, so why bother trying to banish the darkness with a story?

Now, I regret that I didn't make myself read. Much like doing something you are afraid of to overcome the fear, doing something you've convinced yourself won't succeed probably will help. Tonight, angry, not at myself, but at the world and the people in it, the people who spend all of their time and energy on hating other human beings, I had to get away. Vile rhetoric glared at me everywhere I looked, cold and completely insane. I grabbed Seanan McGuire's Down Among the Sticks and Bones, the companion book to Every Heart A Doorway, and I fled.

Friday, August 11, 2017


It's never a good sign when I can call the big plot twist of a book after 40 pages. I had seen a lot of good reviews for Ararat and at first blush, it looked like it would tick all my reading boxes when it comes to adult thrillers/horror: stuck on a mountain, winter storm, ancient mystery, evil creature. That is tailor-made for me. Plus, comparisons to At the Mountains of Madness gave me hope that this would be a horror story with the punch of Lovecraft's original without all the wonky prose.

Alas. Any appeal that Ararat may have held was smothered by one-note characters, a very silly bad guy, and the general senselessness of the plot.

The cover is really cool, though.
That's it. Kinda false advertising, I guess.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk.*

(But please proceed!)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ARC August: Hunted

Beauty and the Beast was the first movie I remember going to see in theaters. I cried so hard when Beast died. SO HARD. My little 4 year old heart was broken. And then, well, I felt kind of disappointed in the way he looked as a human. As a child, my favorite was The Little Mermaid, but now, I think I can safely say that Beauty and the Beast has overtaken Ariel (or Awiel, as I said as a child, with my inability to pronounce "r" properly. I sounded like a lisping Baba Wawa.)

And of all retellings, my favorites have always been those based on Beauty and the Beast (Sleeping Beauty pulls a distant second). However, it's such a popular story to retell that it threatens to devolve into a trite love story. Thus, with much trepidation, I approached Meagan Spooner's Hunted. To my great surprise and delight, this book turned out to be excellent.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ARC August!

Being in a different part of the country affects how I feel about August in rather dramatic fashion. Since I now live in a climate that is not the ninth circle of Dante's Hell (freezing cold, whipped by the wings of Lucifer, if you don't feel like reading the whole poem), I don't feel like this is my last chance to wear shorts or go swimming or enjoy being outside. And so what used to be a month of mourning and dirges (slight exaggeration) is now just like any other month. Wackadoodle but also pretty amazing.

All of that rambling means that I'm approaching this year's ARC August with less trepidation and more indulgence. I'm not making a specific list of BOOKS I NEED TO READ THIS AUGUST, partially because since I'm not a teen librarian in name anymore, I don't have as many physical ARCs, and partially because just eh. I will be tagging my ARC reviews with #ARCAugust and I'll try to make it to the chats!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Beggar King (Hangman's Daughter #3)

There's this face that I make when I'm frustrated that makes me (alas!) resemble my aunt. If you knew my aunt, you'd understand why I hate catching myself making this face. I believe in literature an author might describe it as a "thin-lipped grimace." Basically, I suck my lips in, flatten them out, and look a bit like a frog.

I'll be very surprised if my face isn't frozen that way (or if I don't get any new wrinkles) from a near-constant presence of the expression on my face as I read the third book in the Hangman's Daughter series, The Beggar King. While I quite enjoyed the first entry in the series, I was disappointed by the second, The Dark Monk. Goodreads almost unanimously (it's a miracle!) agrees that this third book is the weakest of the series, and it gets better from here. Hmm. It's a good thing I can get them on Kindle Unlimited and not clog up my library card with checkouts of books that make me cranky.