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review 2017-10-07 19:00
Geek Actually: WTF (Season 1 Episode 1) - Rachel Stuhler,Melissa Blue,Cecilia Tan,Cathy Yardley

*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy from Netgalley and Serial Box in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way

 

This is the first installment in the Geek Actually serial, the pilot if you may, and we get to meet five women: Michelle, Aditi, Taneesha, Elli and Christina. They're friends (Michelle and Christina are actually half-sisters) and we get to observe them navigating their lives. It kind of reminded me of Sex And The City, which intrigued me.

 

This book was told from multiple POVs, with an accent on Michelle and Aditi. I'm thinking that each episode focuses more on one of the women than the other, which is interesting. I connected a lot more with Taneesha, to be honest. She's a woman, she's a black woman, and she's a video game programmer, so she basically holds the job that once upon a time I wanted, and there's a scene with her and her bosses that is so painful and infuriating that I wanted to jump into the book and slap both of those idiots. I was also insanely curious about Aditi and her relationship with someone important in her life.

 

I felt like this was a bit too short for my taste, but I could see myself reading the rest of the installments. Since it was a pilot installment, I can't exactly say I was in love with the story, but it's good enough to make me curious about the rest of it.

Source: rubys-books.blogspot.com
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review 2017-09-22 23:06
Darkover Landfall
Darkover Landfall - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Erf. I've started re-reading this series, because I remember how much I loved it when I was a teenager... but damn, I didn't remember this one was so bad. (Or is it because I sometimes used to like shite as a teenager, and that was part of it?)

The story in itself is not uninteresting, all the more since it's THE origins book in the Darkover series, but the relationships... especially the way women are viewed and treated... Wow. That was one special level of bad.

I can sort of accept a patriarchal society, women being treated as wombs, etc. in the more 'medieval-like' novels of the series, because 1) it fits a certain conception of 'dark ages obscurantism', as cliché as that may be, and 2) as far as I remember, in those books, it was often presented as something that isn't so good: while it does remain infuriating, it's part of the conflict underlying those narratives.

Here, though, in a group of engineers, colonists, space crew, scientists, where men and women have similar levels of skills, with gender equality laws on Earth? Nope. Doesn't sit with me. Especially not as soon as pregnancies enter the picture, and give yet another reason for males (and some women!) to be patronising, chalk every reaction to 'she's pregnant', veer towards gaslighting at times (because obviously, the guys in the story know better than Judy Lovat who's the father of her child), and go spouting crap about how not wanting children is some sort of mental illness. Camilla's arc was particularly painful, because, yes, she is being reduced to a walking womb, what's with the doctor even threatening to sedate her during her pregnancy (actually, it does happen once), like some kind of stupid, ignorant being who needs to be locked for her own good. Empowering much, right?

So basically, you get accidentally pregnant (not through any fault of hers—ghost wind was to blame, same for her partner), while you thought your contraceptive was doing its job, you don't want to have a child, but you're denied an abortion. OK. Not cool. In the context of colonists stranded on a hostile planet, that poses an interesting conundrum (= it's obvious that either they need to spawn as much as possible, or they'll die in one or two generations). However, was it really necessary to lay it in such rude and demeaning ways? The Battlestar Galactica reboot has a similar subplot, but the episode about it was at least treated with much more gravitas and moral ambiguity.

It is also important to note that, no, Camilla didn't sign up for this, so treating her as a spoiled kid throwing a tantrum was inappropriate. Putting it back into context: she's an engineer and programmer, she signed up to be part of the ship's crew during the trip, not to be a colonist meant to help populate a new planet. And even in the event of staying on that colony, it would've been in a society where she would've had a few years to make the decision.

(spoiler show)



I have no idea if anyone considers this book as a 'feminist' work, but if you do, please stop. This is not feminist, it's patriarchy at its worst: insidious.

[To be fair, I didn't remember this book as being the best in the series either, nor my favourite at all, so I'm still going to try rereading 2-3 others.]

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review 2017-09-14 12:15
Not Fiona McCallum's best, but still might appeal to horsey people who don't mind reading about characters that are annoying and downright unlikable.
Leap of Faith - Fiona Mccallum

This is the third Fiona McCallum book I've read, and the second one I've rated two stars. There's one main reason this book tanked in my opinion. 

Apologies in advance for the tirade below:

Jessica, the main character, is a self-centred, immature and selfish adult-child. The constant inane babbling of her inner thoughts drove me batty, and her complete inability to think about anyone outside of herself left me wanting to wring her scrawny neck. 

Add to this continued form of abuse to the reader, Jessica's incapacity to put basic symptoms of pregnancy together after the reader was subjected to copious PG-rated coitus between Jessica and Steve, her rough-on-the-outside-but-soft-on-the-inside husband, and you're left wondering how this TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) character even made it to adulthood. 

Considering the amount of inner dialogue the reader is subjected to, Jessica's character has very little character growth, the one tiny speck of change really didn't warrant the 220 pages of torment within the covers. What's with that?! Really? Are there people like this in the world?

This book gets added to my swear-tastic shelf, not because it has a lot of vulgar language in it (there is a little, it's fairly light on), but instead it's added because of the quantity of vulgar language it elicited from me as I read it.

The ONLY reasons this book gets 2 stars instead of 1, is Laurel and Hardy, the farm dogs who were adorable, and the Plain-Jane-but-not-really, Faith. The little filly, Faith, is a welcome piece of sunshine and amusement to the book. If only we'd spent more time in her mind and less in Jessica's. 

I was left thinking:

Throw it in a dumpster, burn it

Not Fiona McCallum's best, but still might appeal to horsey people who don't mind reading about characters that are annoying and downright unlikable.

**Note: I was provided a copy of this book from the Publisher in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-08-21 22:39
WTF (That's the book's title not my sentiments)
Geek Actually: WTF (Season 1 Episode 1) - Rachel Stuhler,Melissa Blue,Cecilia Tan,Cathy Yardley
Geek Actually, Book 1.1

I Picked Up This Book Because: The titles in this series intrigued me.

The Characters:

Aditi Sodhi, Christina Webber, Elli Kelman, Michelle Andrada, Taneesha Adams:


The Story:

This seems to be more of an introduction to the ladies than anything else. A peek into their lives to see who they are and what they are about and what is going on. It’s a lot. I’m very curious about Aditi and Michelle. I love Taneesha. And I can’t wait to learn more about Elli and Christina.


The Random Thoughts:



The Score Card:

description

3.75 Stars
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review 2017-08-06 01:17
WTF (Geek Actually #1.1) by Cathy Yardley Review
Geek Actually: WTF (Season 1 Episode 1) - Rachel Stuhler,Melissa Blue,Cecilia Tan,Cathy Yardley

Meet your new best girlfriends in this sexy, genre-busting serial that's all about feminism, friendship, and fandom.

Michelle and Aditi have been friends for ages, but with Michelle as Aditi's editor for her debut fantasy novel, their relationship is under a bit of strain. Aditi needs to blow off some steam-a hot Tinder date does the trick (and then some). Meanwhile, Taneesha and Elli are both having some job trouble.

Join this tight-knit group of lady geeks as they navigate the ups and downs of their personal and professional lives. Michelle is a hard-nosed fantasy and sci-fi editor used to things going her way. Taneesha is a talented video game programmer used to being the odd (wo)man out. Aditi is a fantasy writer on the verge of her big break. Christina is a rebel on the sidelines of Hollywood. And Elli is a fan-of anything and everything that keeps her from "proper adulting." They might live far apart, but through the power of the internet and a shared love of all things geek, they are ready to face the world together.

 

Review

 

This is a fun start to an interesting concept of series. 

The idea is that is like a TV show with geeky heroines and romance. I love Yardley and many of the writers but I hate serials. However, I am always up for trying something new.

This might have worked but it is more Chic Lit of Women's Fiction/Drama than romance. 

And I don't get enough time to really invest in the characters so as charming as this world is I am far from all in.

I will read several more in the series to see if it improves.

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.

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