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review 2019-05-24 01:16
Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book - Grumpy Cat
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

One of the things I love most about my local library is that they are always up-to-date on important occurrences. The passing of the beloved Grumpy Cat was no exception. I, myself, was pretty bummed to hear the news. There's a special place in my heart for the grumpy little snuggle ball, Tartar Sauce. But when I saw a display at the library featuring popular Grumpy Cat books, my frown was a little less sad and I couldn't help but pick this one up. 

This is a funny book filled with humorous Grumpy Cat sayings. I was a little disappointed that the same pictures are used over and over again. It would have been nice to get some variety. But it was still a fun, quick read to help me cope and it was good for a few chuckles. 

The book includes a hilarious crossword puzzle, an entertaining word search, and other fun games as well as a series of Grumpy Moments montages. A few too many hamster murder jokes for my taste, but on the whole a very good book for fans of Grumpy Cat.
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review 2019-05-23 17:56
Outstanding LGBTQ novel encompassing immigration, grief, PTSD, and has a sci-fi twist; this debut is an easy 5-star
The Grief Keeper - Alexandra Villasante

I can already say that this will be on my list as one of my top and most impactful reads of the year (and it’s only May). I’ve not read too many books lately that can bring me to shed both happy and sad tears, as well as make me drop my jaw, and cause me to put the book down for moments so I could collect my thoughts. And although the title would suggest that ‘The Grief Keeper’ is filled with sadness, it also brings with it a bright message of love and hope.


The novel opens with seventeen-year old Marisol being interviewed in a federal border detention center, having just crossed into the U.S., after fleeing El Salvador with her younger sister Gabi, afraid for their lives after the death of their brother Pablo. She has dreamed for years for a life in the States, perfecting her English, and getting lost in the imaginary world of her favorite TV show ‘Cedar Hollow.’ When it looks like her asylum request will be denied, and a new and curious opportunity to have it granted arises, Marisol will do just about anything for her and her sister to make that happen. And that’s by becoming a ‘grief keeper.’


Debut author Alexandra Villasante has written an expertly crafted novel about the complexities of immigration, grief, sexual orientation, PTSD, depression, and, new love. There are even more nuanced topics woven in  such as attitudes towards immigrants (legal and otherwise) being hired to do menial jobs in this country, our political climate, and how the LGBTQ community suffers in other countries (ie which would cause a young girl like Marisol to flee her home).

This story gives so many deep, complex topics to talk and think about but at the core there is this beautiful story about Marisol and Rey (grieving her own brother) who are discovering their relationship with each other, including Marisol who would never have been allowed to explore this part of her back in the country she has fled. Persecution of LGBTQ youth and ‘conversion by rape’ is brought into the spotlight and from this story of family and migration, I was enlightened and educated.


This is a novel about connections as well as grief, and Villasante sheds light on PTSD, and gives new meaning to the idea of taking someone else’s pain away so they don’t have to suffer. There are serious moral and ethical questions to the procedure that’s used so that Marisol will absorb Rey’s grief and pain (this actually brings quite a futuristic aspect to a very realistic story, which I really liked) and shows the extent that Marisol will go to gain entry to the U.S., and it’s heartbreaking.


I read this book and I felt so many different emotions, and the very fact that it’s able to envelope immigration criticism, discussion on sexual identity, loss, classism, plus a loving sister relationship, AND a sci-fi twist, make it a VERY special book. I think it belongs on every school and YA library shelf everywhere and I hope many people will pick it up, even if it’s initially because of the insanely gorgeous cover (thanks to Kaethe Butcher and Kelley Brady), and that they end up holding it close to their hearts.


*Trigger warnings/mentions: sexual assault, suicidal ideation, violence, bombing, PTSD






Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/34522727-the-grief-keeper
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photo 2019-05-23 11:40
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text 2019-05-23 11:03
And the Winner Is...
Lies Sleeping - Kobna Holdbrook-Smith,Ben Aaronovitch

I thought I might need a tie breaker after the first day of voting, but "Lies Sleeping" pulled ahead of "Who Slays the Wicked" by day two and came in the winner. Turns out it's the perfect choice.  I just finished listening to "The Furthest Station" and "A Rare Book of Cunning Device" -- Rivers of London novella and short story, respectively -- so I'm all primed to slip back into Peter Grant's world and see how he saves London from the Faceless Man.








Here's the official tally courtesy of my snake charmer.




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text 2019-05-23 00:49
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant,Christine Lakin

This has gotten off to a strong, confident start. It reminds me of Michael Crichton at his best, with the added bonus of being able to write believable women.


My favourite quote so far is a rare flash of humour in defence of declining to eat pig meat.


"I never eat anything that can play Fetch. It's rude."

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