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review 2017-03-01 03:36
The Summer Palace (Captive Prince Short Stories #2) by C.S. Pacat
The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) - C.S. Pacat

And, finally, the last short story that's currently out for fans to read and devour! The Summer Palace is an epilogue of sorts to Kings Rising and I am LIVING for it! It follows Damen and Laurent after the events that happened in Ios. They both travel to the Summer Palace to rest, talk, and discuss what the future may hold for them.

 

I'm going to say this: If you love the trilogy, then read this short story right now! In my Kings Rising review, I said I felt the book ended abruptly. I felt there should have been more story to wrap things up a bit more smoothly. Well, this short story did that! It gave Damen and Laurent a proper ending and I implore you to read this so you can see what became of them after the "final battle."

 

The writing in this short story is a lot better than it was in the first short story. Where the first story felt rushed and choppy, this one felt like Pacat took her time to flesh out what she wanted Damen and Laurent to feel, to act. There were a couple of typos here and there but nothing too noticeable. I enjoyed the slower pace to this story because I felt it suited the atmosphere of the setting. I love that we got to see a much more domestic side to both of these characters and I love that we got to see Laurent open up and "thank" Damen for everything he's done.

 

I really love this conclusion. A lot. This short story is an excellent addition to the Captive Prince universe and if you're a fan, then you will DEFINITELY enjoy this as well. Give it a read!

 

Now to wait for the other short stories to be released... I hate waiting! X3

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review 2017-03-01 03:15
Green but for a Season (Captive Prince #2.5) by C.S. Pacat
Green but for a Season: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 1) - C.S. Pacat

And we continue on with the short stories from the Captive Prince trilogy! This short story takes place during book two and follows Jord. It explains how he came to be a part of the Prince's Guard and what he did whilst being Captain. It also touches a tiny bit on his relationship with Aimeric.

 

In short (no pun intended), I liked this story. I liked getting to know Jord a bit more. I also liked seeing him develop further than he was in the books. I will say, however, that I feel that this short story was a bit rushed. I know it's a short story and it's not going to have as much depth as a full length novel. But it just felt choppy in some parts. There was a moment I had to check to make sure that I didn't skip a part because we went from one scene to the next without proper transition. I would have also liked to see Jord and Aimeric's relationship fleshed out more than was in this story, which is what I initially thought this short story was going to be about. I wanted to see their relationship be explored because in the novels, I felt their relationship was hinted to be complex and I just... didn't get that in this story.

 

Still, it's a pretty good read for anyone who is a fan of the trilogy. I think you'd enjoy it even if it's a bit on the short side.

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review 2017-02-28 22:07
Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3) by C.S. Pacat
Kings Rising: Book Three of the Captive Prince Trilogy - C.S. Pacat

Last year, I read the first two books in C.S. Pacat's Captive Prince trilogy and absolutely loved them! I loved them so much, my partner and I bought them as soon as we finished reading them to add to our collections! And it's only now that I am getting around to the third and final book to the trilogy (I know there are short stories that come after the series so I will get to them soon). I have to say I LOVED this book!

 

If you're familiar with the series, then this continues off where the second book ended. It continues Damen and Laurent's struggles of fighting a war with the Regent of Vere. I won't say anything of the plot because this IS wrapping up the story. However, I will say if you loved the first two books then you will love this one immensely.

 

The writing is breathtaking! Pacat's depictions are lovely. I adore the way she described scenery the most. The characters are just as engaging as they were in the first two books. And, yes, Damen is still dumb. I can't believe he wasn't able to figure out Laurent was raped and abused by his uncle. And, no, I don't consider that a spoiler because the hints were HEAVILY implied throughout the ENTIRE trilogy. So anyone with a brain could figure out the abuse Laurent had to endure from his uncle when he was a child. And then there's Damen... man, is he dumb. He really didn't know this entire time... and then he does something ELSE stupid later on that I can't say because that IS a spoiler but... it was just as stupid as not figuring out Laurent's rape. Still, Damen is dumb in a harmless way. In what I mean that he has his heart in the right place... even if he can't use his brain to save his life... LITERALLY!

 

Laurent really made my heart ache in this book. Knowing what we know about his childhood and how much he misses his brother, it pains me to see him trying to protect himself by pushing those away. He's also protecting Damen because he knows what kind of man his uncle is and he doesn't want Damen to have to deal with that. So Laurent does the one thing he knows how to do: Keep him at a distance by being a total ass to him! I swear, I love Laurent. I do. But he can be such a jerk sometimes. Actually, I find it quite hilarious the way he acts and responds with snarky/sassy comments. Laurent and Damen's relationship is such an interesting, wild, sometimes bizarre, ride that I can't help but LOVE it!

 

In short, I love this book. It's fast-paced, fun, steamy, and incredible! My one complaint was how it seemed to just end. The ending, I felt, needed to be dragged out a bit more. BUT! The short story, The Summer Palace, is an epilogue of the trilogy which is why I'm not too upset by Kings Rising stopping almost abruptly. Just keep in mind that you might want to have The Summer Palace nearby if you want to have a full conclusion to the story. 

 

The same warnings apply as to the first two books. So if you've read the first two, you know what you'll be getting in this one. There's sex, violence, adult language, mentions of rape, and murder. If you're okay with reading that then I highly recommend you read this book. These are fun books that you can read in one sitting if you're looking for a steamy mlm politically-run romp.

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review 2017-02-22 19:20
Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Bitch Planet Volume 1 - Kelly Sue DeConnick,Robert Wilson IV,Valentine De Landro

Bitch Planet is one of those graphic novels everyone seems to recommend. And I can see why! It's about a group of women who are deemed "disobedient" from the male-dominated government and are sent to a distant prison planet called "Bitch Planet" to be "straightened out." There they have to do what they're told if they hope to survive. But the main group of women we follow are definitely not keen on such a notion. Then, obviously, rebellion ensues.

 

I first heard of Bitch Planet through BookTube. When I heard so many people talking about how feminist and inclusive it was, I had to give it a read. And I'm so glad I did! The entire first volume is incredible! The art is gorgeous! It's very colorful when it wants to be and gritty when it has to be. I love the character designs the most! All the women have different body shapes, skin color, and sexual orientations. I love the diversity within these pages and the women portrayed therein.

 

The plot itself is so intriguing. I want to know what our characters are going to do now that they are within this prison. We got to see some background stories for a couple of characters. I love Penny's background story the most. It's tragic, yes, but it helps the reader understand who she is as a person. It helps the reader understand some of the actions she chooses to make. I love her so much. I love ALL the characters so much! Well... except the ones we're supposed to hate... I don't like them as much.

 

And that's all I'm going to say about it! Read this graphic novel! It's fun, engaging, intersectional feminism, daring, and intriguing! However, this is for a very mature audience. There's violence, nudity, sexual content, and gore. But if you're okay with that sort of content, then I highly recommend you pick up this graphic novel. It's filled with a diverse cast of women trying to make it in a world that refuses to allow women to be themselves. It's a fantastic read.

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review 2017-02-16 19:56
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen - Jazz Jennings

I don't often read nonfiction. Not because I don't like reading it. It's just something I don't naturally gravitate towards. I tend to reach for more fantastical worlds as a way to relax from the ever polluting realities of our own world. However, this year I want to do something a little bit different. This year I want to read more nonfiction. I want to educate myself about different cultures and experiences. I've always been a very diverse reader, but I want to do that with my nonfiction reading as well. So when my partner and I saw Jazz Jennings memoir at the library, we both decided we HAD to read it.

 

I really enjoyed reading Jazz Jennings's memoir. She writes in a very conversational tone. Almost as if she is in the room with you, just chatting about her day. It was a very relaxing way of conveying her story and message. I enjoyed reading about all the advocacy work she does and I especially loved learning about how loving and supportive her family was. I am fully aware that for some transgender teens and adults, that's not always the case, but I am so happy that Jazz Jennings has a family that loves, supports, and protects her so she can be herself. To be happy. I thought that was beautiful.

 

That's not to say that her life wasn't without struggle. Being transgender, she encountered difficulties when it came to using the girls' restroom in school or being prohibited from being on any female teams when playing sports. Her family fought long and hard so that Jazz could be treated fairly and equally just like other girls. And in the end, it paid off! What makes this an amazing accomplishment is that they paved the way for other transgender kids to have these same rights without having to go to court and fight for them. (Although, I know that no matter what, there will always be struggles for anyone who is transgender or who is considered "different" in our society. But this is why I believe educating yourself and having an open mind could help us better understand one another, so that there's less hatred and violence. Please treat each other kindly.)

 

All in all, I really liked this book. I think if you know a teen who is transitioning or is thinking about transitioning, this is a great book to introduce them to the idea. Or if you know any adults who has a child or teen that is transitioning, they should read this book so that way they can learn to be understanding of their child and their needs. To support their child in any way they can. Parents, more than anybody else, need to try and understand that their child is their child. No matter what. And parents should love their child unconditionally. Whether their child is male, female, trans, intersex, non-binary, etc., remember to always love your child. The world is cruel enough as it is. Do not add to the hatred by discriminating against your own child. 

 

So I do recommend this book for people to learn from. The only downside to this book is that Jazz Jennings writes from a very privileged perspective and she knows that. She points out throughout the book multiple times that she is fully aware she's lucky to have been blessed with understanding parents and the financial needs to transition. So, a lot of the treatments and experiences she talks about in her book are not something everyone will be able to afford or experience themselves. Nevertheless, I still think there are things in this book everyone can benefit from by reading it. Please give this book a read if you come by it. A little bit of education goes a long way.

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