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text 2018-11-09 00:06
24 Tasks: Door 4 - Diwali - Task # 4
The Penelopiad - Margaret Atwood
Heidi - Johanna Spyri
Ladies of Letters - New and Old - Lou Wakefield,Carole Hayman
The Deceased Miss Blackwell and her Not-So-Imaginary Friends - K.N. Parker,K.N. Parker
Juliet Takes a Breath - Gabby Rivera
A Talent for Murder: A Novel - Andrew Wilson
Geisha, a Life - Rande Brown,Mineko Iwasaki

This task was hard.


And because I'm clearly lacking books that feature women holding flowers, I had to stretch my interpretation of the task. And by stretch I mean, stopping just short of a post-modern expressive dance interpretation of what can be understood as woman holding a flower. 

It would not have been a pretty sight.

So, count yourselves lucky to not have to see it.


Anyway, I have listed my covers above and there are a few more than five, just in case some should not work...


So, we have one actual cover with a woman holding flowers. Atwood to the rescue. 

Then we have a girl holding flowers - Heidi. Still close enough, I guess.

Then we have a Vera of Ladies of Letters sporting a buttonhole flower. 

The Deceased Miss Blackwell on top the grave is holding a rose. 

Juliet has a flower-shaped earring.

A flower in a hat on the cover of A Talent for Murder, and finally...

Flowers in hair on the cover of Geisha, a Life.


I had to wade through more than 2500 covers on my combined shelves to even get the ones I listed. Seriously, this was a hard task.

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review 2017-04-10 16:27
I wanted to love this five stars worth
America (2017-) #1 - Gabby Rivera,Joe Quinones

Again, I like America.  I really, really loved her in Young Avengers, but that whole run was amazing.  And I keep reading great things about Gabby Rivera's novel; she is Latina, queer, and a writer who's book was lauded by Roxanne Gay.   So I went into this, figuring it probably would be five stars. 


I ended up liking this, loving some of the concepts, but not quite enough to give it five stars.   America wants to go to college to better herself, and her girlfriend, Lisa, has suddenly decided not to make the move with her.   America is angry, mostly because they'd spoken about this before and Lisa always seemed to be fine with this plan.   I want you to be happy, Lisa says, but I think this is your journey and not mine - and I only said I'd go so you'd be happy.   I actually like that Lisa realizes that she can't sacrifice her own happiness or journey for America's, and I think that's healthy.   I don't think America had the best reaction ever, although I understand why she lashed out like she did: she was blindsided, and truly cares for Lisa.   Losing her so suddenly must be crushing and it's not a huge shock that anger was her reaction. 


I kinda liked the college she goes to, because it's for superheroes, or ex-mutants who are geniuses, and it's got the whole Xavier vibe: holomatter, taking powers into account, etc.   It's Xavier's for college students.   And yet when the resident ex-mutant who is a genius - Prodigy - shows up, I wanted it to be more.   See, he's not going to be America's new relationship, but he knows her.   And while I enjoyed seeing him again, I also felt that I liked Lisa and America's interaction better: they didn't take shit from each other, but they clearly loved each other very much.   (Lisa isn't angry at America for saving the world, but if she doesn't get word for two hours at a restaurant, she'll take it upon herself to go home and get shit done instead of waiting around.)   Prodigy just fell flat compared to Lisa, so...


Also, the meta in going into an old comic book at the end didn't feel nearly as clever as Deadpool.  Which means that, yet again, I was comparing it to something within Marvel that I enjoyed more.   


And maybe, just maybe, how sore I am from that Pilates class is making me grumpy.  I'm still gonna go online and see if I have some Pilates I can do at home until I see about what I can do at Simmons.

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review 2016-10-16 17:38
Juliet Takes a Breath
Juliet Takes a Breath - Gabby Rivera

Juliet was holding onto a dream. She found her dream inside a book and she hopes that by meeting the author of this book, she would finally be set free. She is tired of hiding, she wants to live, and she wants to breathe. What Juliet actually finds in the end was not the freedom that she expected but something much more, something the book and the author could never provide for her. Juliet finds her own voice and more inner strength than she thought she possessed.


Juliet was looking for a safe haven, somewhere where she could be herself. Living in the Bronx, Juliet has been living a lie for many years. With her Puerto Rican heritage, Juliet is afraid of telling the world actually who she is until the night before she sets off to do her internship with Author Harlowe. Things at Harlowe’s house are a bit “free” and it reminded me of the 1960’s as Juliet is met with individuals who feel free walking around naked, smoking drugs and drinking without reservation. Juliet is shocked of course at this behavior but considering this is the author’s home and knowing the author’s mindset and being in a new city, Juliet knows she must adjust.   It was Juliet attitude and energy at Harlowe’s that I enjoyed most about this novel.   Juliet went into this internship with the attitude that she wanted to set free and she hoped she would accomplish that with Harlowe. Reading Harlowe’s novel, she felt a connection and she knew that just being with her they would bond and Juliet would feel more relaxed with her sexual identity. Juliet hoped the internship would empower her so when she went back home, she would not be terrified about what awaited her since she came out. Juliet had hoped that she would be more relaxed now that she was not living a lie yet as the days go by Juliet is the same person.   Juliet tries to be focused, she tries to be composed, she tries to be reserved but life there was different and these new individuals that are in her life are trying to help her relax and change but Juliet can’t. I loved this conflict.


This novel was not what I was expecting; there were parts that I thought were fantastic and parts where I wished that the author could have written more. Juliet thought she would find her freedom from someone else but the truth was, she first needed to discover herself and how she felt about herself. The novel tackles some great issues for young adults: self discovery, friendship, and heritage.

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review 2016-08-07 20:04
Juliet Takes a Breath
Juliet Takes a Breath - Gabby Rivera

"Feminism. I’m new to it. The word still sounds weird and wrong. Too white, too structured, too foreign: something I can’t claim. I wish there was another word for it. Maybe I need to make one up. My mom’s totally a feminist but she never uses that word. She molds my little brother’s breakfast eggs into Ninja Turtles and pays all the bills in the house. She’s this lady that never sleeps because she’s working on a Master’s Degree while raising my little brother and me and pretty much balancing the rhythm of an entire family on her shoulders. That’s a feminist, right? But my mom still irons my Dad’s socks. So what do you call that woman? You know, besides Mom."


When I first looked into picking up Juliet Takes a Breath, I came across a review that described this book as the female version of The Catcher in the Rye. My immediate reaction was "Oh, good grief, noooooo!" and I instantly wanted to cancel the sample that had just been delivered to my kindle.


However, I read the first few pages and was kinda hooked by the voice of Juliet, a 19-year-old Latina, living in the Bronx. The book starts with Juliet writing a letter to the author of her favourite book, a book that she originally started reading as a joke, but that turned out to have such an impact on her that she started to question her view of life.


"I fall asleep with that book in my arms because words protect hearts and I’ve got this ache in my chest that won’t go away."


I guess, this is where the similarities with Holden Caulfield start. But, really, this is also where they end. Where Holden dismisses the believes of others over his own somewhat narrow-minded ideas, which are based on his misinterpretation of the Burns poem (which he never really bothers to find out more about), Juliet wants to learn more about the ideas in the book that she regards as her "Bible" and manages to arrange an internship with its author.


And so Juliet's huge road trip begins. She moves to Portland (OR) for the summer to help her author gather material for a new book, and by doing so learn more about herself, her family, her relationships with others, her place in the world, and as with all good coming-of-age stories, she learns that stories change depending on whose narrative is given a voice.


"Who were these women? I didn’t recognize any of their faces. How could I be 19 and not know any of them? I’d always done all of my homework, read all of the books assigned in school and yet, here was a world full of possibly iconic ladies I knew nothing about."


Unlike The Catcher in the Rye, which was a painful read because I mostly remember wanting to smack Holden with his own book, I could hardly wait to pick up Juliet Takes a Breath in my spare time.  A couple of nights sleep may have suffered also, but it was such good fun reading this, that I really didn't mind.


I'm looking forward to more of Gabby Rivera's writing.          


"It made me wonder about all the ways that we are able to love each other and how movies and TV make it seem like you have to discard people once they break your heart or once the love disappears. Maybe that was a horrible lie, a complete disservice to real love."

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text 2016-07-14 22:44
Juliet Takes a Breath - Gabby Rivera

"Libraries have zero tolerance for bullshit. Their walls protect us and keep us safe from all the bastards that have never read a book for fun."


Gabby Rivera - Juliet Takes a Breath



I'm really enjoying this book. It's YA, but I can hardly put this down. I nearly got into work late this morning because I "had to" read another chapter before getting up.

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