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review 2018-05-20 22:10
GLITTER AND MAYHEM by JOHN KILMA
Glitter and Mayhem - Amal El-Mohtar,Maria Dahvana Headley,Laura Chavoen,Michael Damian Thomas,Damien Walters Grintalis,Cory Skerry,Sofia Samatar,Damien Walters,Kyle S. Johnson,Kat Howard,Seanan McGuire,Jennifer Pelland,Vylar Kaftan,Rachel Swirsky,Tansy Rayner Roberts,Diana Ro

Anthology. As I was reading this book there seemed to be a theme of rollerskating lesbians but then I found out there were some other stories interspersed. I wonder if that was initially what the publisher were going for but then needed extra stories to fill it out. 

The average rating is 3.33 stars. More than I thought actually. 


1. Sister Twelve: Confessions of a Party Monster by Christopher Barzak. 12 sisters travel through time dancing at famous and infamous clubs. One wants to stay. Good story. 3-1/2 stars.

2. Apex Jump by David J. Schwartz. Really good story about roller derby girls who find out their are fans out in space. 5 stars. 

3. With Her Hundred Miles to Hell by Kat Howard. There's a woman that dreams death and works at the "nightclub" Hades. I was so confused reading this story. I don't really know what it's about. 2 stars just because of that. 2 stars

4. Star Dancer by Jennifer Pelland. I'm about 1/2 way through this story and I still don't like it so next! No rating.

5. Of Selkies, Disco Balls, and Anna Plane by Cat Rambo. A selkie is captured and works as a DJ in a dance club. A patron inadvertently helps her. 3 stars. 

6. Sooner Than Gold by Cory Skerry. Good story but it ends in a cliffhanger which I didn't appreciate. 3-1/2 stars.

7. Subterraneans by William Shunn & Laura Chavoen. I could not get into this story. I really tried though and got more than halfway but I kept putting the book down and it's due tomorrow. No rating. 

8. The Minotaur Girls by Tansy Rayner Roberts. A glitter skate park is more than the teenagers think. Strange story and that's saying something for this book. 3 stars.

9. Unable to Reach You by Alan DeNiro. Another freaky story that centers around cell phones/phones used for evil. 2-1/2 stars.

10. Such & Such Said to So & So by Maria Dahvana Headley. I didn't care for the beginning of this story, actually the first paragraph. So, did not finish. No rating.

11. Revels in the Land of Ice by Tim Pratt. A poet finds inspiration from an old friend. I enjoyed this story. 3-1/2 stars.

12. Bess, the Landlord's Daughter, Goes for Drinks with the Green Girl by Sofia Samatar. I don't know what was going on with these girls. Really strange story, but I liked it. 3-1/2 stars.

13. Blood and Sequins by Diana Rowland. Loved this story! A cop loves creating costumes as a secret hobby and him and a friend enter a costume contest. While there they get propositioned, shot at, learn the minimum about some strange hidden group, and become heroes. 5 stars

14. Two-Minute Warning by Vylar Kaftan. A brother and sister play a real game of life and death. Okay. Super short. 3 stars.

15. Inside Hides the Monster by Damien Walters Grintalis. A siren has a problem with modern music. Okay story. 3 stars.

16. Bad Dram Girl by Seanan McGuire. Another roller derby story. Someone is draining other players of their energy and Annie needs to find out who it is. Good story. 3-1/2 stars.

17. A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar. A parallel universe and lost love/friendship with a small reference to roller derby. 2-1/2 stars. 

18. Just Another Future Song by Daryl Gregory. A rock star (I'm guessing) has been barely kept alive so now he wants to reinvent himself. Strange but good story. 3-1/2 stars.

19. The Electric Spanking of the War Babies by Maurice Broaddus & Kyle S. Johnson. I got to the word Afronauts and gave up. Too weird for me. No rating.

20. All That Fairy Tale Crap by Rachel Swirsky. Read the first sentence and thought not for me. No rating.

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review 2018-05-20 00:00
Fighting for Everything
Fighting for Everything - Laura Kaye For a tough guy, it's hard to admit weakness. Noah is a far cry from the young boy who believed there was goodness in the world. Darkness is threatening to swallow him whole and taint anything he touches. Kristina is his only hope, his deepest regret and his greatest weakness. Her giving heart is both an asset and a weakness. It makes her quick to love, but vulnerable to deep hurt. Her heart has and will always belong to one man and she will stop at nothing to help him step back into the light to accept the healing powers of love. Fighting for Everything is a gritty, seductive, uplifting story. Noah and Kristina immerse themselves in some ugly moments and emerge beautifully for it. Kaye is a beast when it comes to stories of courageous survivors and Fighting for Everything empowers it's way right into the heart
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review 2018-05-18 18:59
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I have never seen the TV adaptation of this book and only had a vague idea of what it was about. In terms of plot, this has more of a continuous storyline than Little House in the Big Woods. It's similar in that there are a lot of detailed descriptions of the processes and life activities, but this has more of a plot.

This is a good educational read to show what it was like for white settlers moving west in the 1800s. However, I do think adult assistance is needed for this book. While Little House in the Big Woods had some racist elements ("Old Ned" song about a dead "darkey"), this contains much more racism and negative views of the "other". 

I do not think that books should be altered to represent present-day views, but the text should be used as a teaching opportunity. In this book, the Native Americans are mostly shown as negative. They are described as "wild" and "savage" and the saying, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" is popular among multiple characters. There are a few interactions with the Native American people, but for the most part, the white family (with the exception of Pa and his progressive ways) is terrified of the people who are so different from them. Obviously this is from a child's views and it was probably pretty accurate to how Wilder felt at the time, but it definitely shows Native Americans in a negative light. Despite the fact it is declared multiple times in the text that the white people are kicking the Native Americans off of the land, the Native Americans are framed as the villains. The white people take the land and then get mad when the people living on that land are upset. Important history lesson. 

So while this is a great educational read, I can't give it more than 3 stars because of the racist undertones. The views are clearly outdated, but it can still be used to teach about the historical events of the time.

Overall, it's a good educational read, but I suggest it in a classroom or other setting where these issues can be discussed and fully understood by the readers. 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-18 02:35
Ash Princess- 4 1/2 Stars
Ash Princess - Laura Sebastian-Coleman

Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book

 

 

Thora/Theo

Upon learning that the Ash Princess was going to be another "Underdog Heroine Out to Save Her Impoverished And Abused People," I was, quite honestly, bored. Soooo many of those already out there. So we really need another? Certainly NOT! However, this particular heroine just doesn't come off like the others. Perhaps it is her unique status as the "Ash Princess" or maybe her surroundings or back story, or maybe the writing was just so good that I can overlook any tropes that might appear. Whatever it is, Theo just isn't like other YA book heroines. She does some things that I don't really agree with, but she does them for the right reasons and that has to count for something right? Right.

Blaise

My boy, Blaise. Where do I begin? He is the stuff Book Boyfriends are made of. He held back a the right times and made himself vulnerable at the right times. And you just know there is some crazy power that he keeps at bay, but I have no doubt if Theo needed him, all bets would be off. I enjoyed this character.

Soren

The third corner of our triangle. Honestly, I pity him more than anyone else in the story, which is saying quite a bit, because there are a number of people in this story that deserve pity. He's just ordered around or tricked or used by just about everyone. He feels guilty for what he does but by the time he stands up to his father, it's too late on every side, so e threw himself into the line of fire for nothing. Pressure from everyone. No one to trust. Sadly, no one who truly cares for him...and acknowledges it.  Just plain sad. 

Elpis

Okay, let's take a moment to discuss the real hero of this book. The biggest play in the story and arguably the most risky, and it was a thirteen year old girl. If there were more girls like Elpis in this story, there would be a pretty formidable army of teenage girls-- and really, who wants to fight an army of teenage girls.

The Kaiser

You know, normally I just want the good guys to win. This time, I wanted the bad guys to lose. Like lose big. I wanted him ripped apart. But waiting for it- actually I think that'll make it even better. And I really want Soren to be the one who does it. I know that Theo wants it, but Soren just seems more satisfying to me. 

Cress

She's kind of that spoiled best friend that you can't help liking even though their entitlement is obnoxious. Even so, until the end, I really did like her. And in the end, I still understood her. One of the great things about these characters, for the most part, even when you don't like what they're doing, you can understand why they're doing it.

 

There were really no big surprises with the plot as far as the MC's goals and where she wanted to end up. Even not knowing how it ended, I wasn't like, "Wow, where did that come from?" Tension continued to build through the story, however, and there was never a part that was lackluster, though that also meant that no parts really shined for me, which is fine, because that just means the whole story was pretty solid. There really wasn't anything spectacularly new. A tyrant took over a smaller country and made them slaves while his own people obeyed him out of fear. The execution of the writing made it special however, which we will get to in minute.

 

 

Solid A+ for World Building. I'm not sure of the time period, however, the place was very well-written and never did I feel I wasn't actually there. I can imagine the dungeons and the Was as the Prinze and Theo sailed under the stars. The mines, though we never actually visit them, so dark and dank that anyone would go crazy down there. The throne room, commanding and intimidating and cold. 

 

 

If I were to describe the writing in this book with one word, it would be: lush. There was no choppiness. Nothing was rushed or slow. The pace, as mentioned, was steady and engaging. Characters were fleshed out and we saw angles of everyone mentioned. Even the Kaiser had a backstory. Where I expected action scenes to be hurried, they were fully described without being drawn out. 

 

Recommended to: fantasy fans, romance fans, Maggie Steifvater and Sarah J. Maas fans

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text 2018-05-17 13:14
Reading progress update: I've read 182 out of 182 pages.
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,Laura Miller

Huh. Okay then.

 

I'll go back and read the introduction, but I need some time to think first. I'm not sure how I feel about how things turned out.

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