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review 2018-03-18 19:23
Stories Beneath Our Skin
Stories Beneath Our Skin - Veronica Sloane

This is a simple story with some great characters, and the various relationships are generally well done. I did feel like the some of the side stories, in particular the one of Joy and Cole, were lost in the shuffle, which is strange since it's needing to help take care of Cole while Joy's in rehab that acts as the catalyst for Liam and Ace to take the next step. I really liked the friendship between Liam and Ace, though I didn't really feel the romantic relationship between them. Thankfully, there was enough else going on that it didn't bother me. (Frankie and Goose had more chemistry going on, and they were just the subplot.)


I know this is a reissue and this was previously released by a publisher that I'm not familiar with. I'm going to assume that the various technical issues are due to the reissue. There were missing paragraph breaks, especially when dialogue was involved, and it made it difficult at times to figure out who was speaking when. However, there were various grammar issues too: words split in the middle, incorrect punctuation (again, usually around dialogue), missing words and even incorrect words (then instead of than, duel instead of dual, etc) and just weird word choices that I couldn't tell if the author was just trying to reinvent the wheel or really didn't know how those words were supposed to be used.


I was also expecting more detail on the tattooing, since that was a big part of the plot, but that left a lot to be desired. Oh, and how did no one correct poor Cole when he thought Mars was closer to the sun than Earth? Sure, he's four, but that's no reason not to correct him. Bad parenting, guys. Bad!


So 3 stars overall for the story, but half a star off for bad editing/formatting.

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review 2018-03-17 02:59
Who We Are
Who We Are - Nicola Haken,Jay Aheer,E Adams

This was such a great read! I wished it were longer - but kind of not, because my eyeballs couldn't have withstood leaking any more than they already were, but since some things were more summarized nearing the end, I didn't feel quite completely satisfied with some aspects of the story. Thankfully, those were minor aspects involving minor characters, so it wasn't too big of a deal.


Anyway, I loved Ollie and Sebastian. This is one of the few instances I found the insta believable, because it wasn't insta-lust but insta-like and we've all been through that, whether romantic or platonic. They actually go on dates, and get to know each other, and the relationship is built up believably enough that when things take a sudden turn for the worse, I actually found the emotions and struggles to be realistic. I also liked Ollie's brother Tyler, even though he constantly abused "init" and acted like a typical moody teen at times, but he really showed how much he cared for and adored his unorthodox big bro.


Plus, Sebastian is bisexual. He said it. He explains the internal biphobia, the problems he faces when datings straight women or gay men. I am so, so glad that more authors are embracing bisexual characters in their books and getting away from the GFY trope.


I do wish we'd gotten to see more of Sebastian's family - even his uncle cuz I want to take that moment at the dining table and frame it on my wall - you'll know that moment if you read the book. And there was this other thing between the besties that happens at the end too, that I'm not sure why it was included at all unless perhaps Ms. Haken is thinking of a potential sequel, which I would definitely read if so.

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review 2018-03-17 01:54
[REVIEW] The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily by Theresa Maggio
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio

This book is made of a series of small essays about even smaller Sicilian mountain towns. It starts off a little dry, but it isn't long before you find yourself googling the town names and planning vacations. The way Ms. Maggio speaks of Sicily and these towns it's impossible not to fall in love with them. I enjoyed learning about cultural traditions and culinary landscapes.


I know I've probably said this before, but I've always been genuinely fascinated with Sicily. My father's family is from there, and I've always wanted to visit. Reading about these hidden villages made Sicily seem more accessible to me, even more, it made deepened my desire to visit it ASAP.

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text 2018-03-17 00:57
Reading progress update: I've read 94%.
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio

Independent, unmarried, childless women like Enza, Rosaria, and Antonietta are rare birds in Sicily. They all say it irks some Sicilian men to see them succeed. Maybe their discomfort is the reaction of insecure men to proof that they are not indispensable.


Sad to see this shitty, sexist behavior thrives in other islands around the world.

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text 2018-03-17 00:23
Reading progress updates
The Stone Boudoir: Travels Through the Hidden Villages of Sicily - Theresa Maggio


Any meal is to a Sicilian what a madeleine was for Proust, a gateway to reverie.



In Sicily, where food is love ad the street is a stage, street food is more than a cheap meal, it's Communion.


I really love learning about food culture in other cultures. It's fascinating.



In the market I watched one man stop at what looked like a plate of glass splinters. He grabbed a fistful, threw his head back and swallowed them. They were neonati, transparent newborn fish that Sicilian women steam and sprinkle on pasta but men just eat raw—for virility, the man told me.



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