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review 2018-10-03 02:51
Restless Spirits (Spirits #1) (Audiobook)
Restless Spirits - Jordan L. Hawk,Greg Tremblay

My review of the book is here and not much has changed. I did like the relationship development between Henry and Vincent better this time around. Not sure why, but it did. I still can't believe how idiotic and naive Henry was at times, and the fact he and Vincent never figured out the real-life human threat until the end - geez, it was so obvious! And I'm not just saying that because I read it before; I'd actually completely forgotten this part of the plot. So please, guys, don't quit your day job and become detectives. You would suck at it.

 

I decided to reread this since I barely remembered much about it and I'm planning to read the other two in the series soonish. Since this was just released on audio, I figured now was the time for a reread. This is also the first audiobook by Greg Tremblay I listened to. He did a decent job. I wasn't blown away by his narration, but I wasn't annoyed either. His range for voices seems limited, but I was mostly able to keep track of who was speaking when. He was easy to listen to and spoke at a speed that didn't require me to speed up the playback very much.

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review 2017-02-20 00:00
Transphobia: Deal with it and be a gender transcender (Lorimer Deal With It)
Transphobia: Deal with it and be a gende... Transphobia: Deal with it and be a gender transcender (Lorimer Deal With It) - j wallace skelton I chose to read Transphobia: Deal with It and be a Gender Transcender because I am in the process of overcoming my own transphobia and figured a kids book that explained things super simply would be a good place to start. I stand up for Trans rights because I know that being transphobic is wrong. I know that it doesn't matter what gender a person is. I know it, and yet part of me still has trouble accepting it.

Transphobia is a 32 page book for Canadian children that deals both with how to deal with transphobia both as an outsider and as someone who is trans. It gives tips for educating yourself and people around you for people who are not trans, but wanting to know more about it. It has sections designed to help kids who are trans make their needs known.

I really liked the "Dear Conflict Counselor" and "Dear Dr. Shrink Wrapped" sections. I think Wallace did a good job in keeping the questions simple and on a level kids can understand. And the answers are very clear cut. At the same time, though, they're questions even adults might think (at least a variation of) so it is good for adults to read too!

The Transphobia Myths section covered all the common myths that I've heard and gave rebuttals for them.

The Quiz section had potential, but it felt a little off for kids. It was aimed specifically at kids who are questioning their gender, and asking them how they would react to various situations. The reactions were labeled with 'put up' 'speak up' or 'flare up' but there was no explanation as to why the kids should choose one or the other. (I can think of some adults who wouldn't know why, so I definitely get concerned about kids comprehension of it.)

Side note: There was one illustration in this section (referencing trans being a new thing) that (to me) looked like it was referring to Shakespeare's characters on stage. I was a bit confused by that because I didn't think that playing a role on stage (because girls didn't traditionally act back then) made someone considered trans.

I really liked the Choice of... section. It probably had the greatest impact on me, just because it put how to deal with things so easily.

There were things I wish they would have went into a little bit more detail on for kids. For example, one of the dos and don't section says "don't speak up on behalf of a targeted group you aren't a part of" - and that's good advice, but maybe explain to kids why they shouldn't do that.

Overall, it wasn't quite as good as I was hoping it would be, but I think it's a great starter book for kids who need to learn about Transphobia.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration.
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review 2016-02-21 20:48
A Solitary Man
A Solitary Man - Aisling Mancy,Shira Anthony

TW: Transphobia, extensive discussion of violence against children including

sexual exploitation, rape, neglect, and forced drug addiction

(spoiler show)

, human trafficking

 

3.5 stars

 

A Hispanic MC! Whoop!

 

A Hispanic MC who isn't a stereotypical vato! Double whoop!

 

This was my first read from either of these authors and overall, I liked it. The investigation was the main plot, which helped hide the fact that this was yet another instalove story with the MCs. It was well-detailed and didn't try to do that annoying thing of hiding the villain from the authorities while making it super obvious to the readers

except for perhaps Faison. It took a little too long for Chance to come to that conclusion and confront him

(spoiler show)

I'm still not entirely convinced this isn't the "hick town cops don't know how to do their jobs" trope, since it took Xav - an ex-FBI agent - to show up and start solving problems. Some things got a little repetitive also as he was having to repeat details to multiple characters at different times. But once everyone knew what was going on, they were quick, efficient, thorough and professional at getting things done.

 

I really enjoyed the supporting cast. Twyla Fay and Sheriff Winston were great. We need more of them in our government offices. I liked that Xav wasn't given a hard time for being gay because this is the South and that's what's expected. I also appreciated that while Xav and Chance's relationship does move along a little too quickly given all of Chance's issues, I still felt like the issues were addressed realistically and the ending here was more HFN than HEA, which also helped. I didn't get the sense these were two guys who miraculously had all their issues solved by love. They still have issues, but they like each other and that's enough for now. Oh, and the Forrest Gump shoutouts were fun too. You can never go wrong with a Forrest Gump reference. (This from the woman who named two of her cats Forrest and Jenny.) :)

 

I got thrown by the name brand shoutouts for Xav's jeans - just say designer jeans, am I right? There were some theatrics that might work okay in movies or TV but made me roll my eyes here, like the songs that were playing throughout that just so happened to be thematically appropriate for the scene or the moods of the characters. I wish my radio was that accurate. Hell, I'd even settle for my mood-themed playlists on my iPod to be that accurate! That's not even mentioning a certain thunderstorm that rolls in at just the opportune time. It felt clunky, like I was being told what I should be paying attention to and how I should be feeling about things, rather than just telling a story.

 

Things kind of fell apart at the climax. There were way too many loose ends left dangling for me to be happy about the "happy" ending.

First, if Faison really was cleaning house, they wouldn't have left Quinn alive. They'd have dragged him out from under that bed. Not that I'm not happy Quinn's alive because obviously I am, but it's just not realistic. We never find out how the SBI was getting their information. We never found out what happened to agent who was shot at the safe house and close to dying. We never found out if they were also able to arrest and prosecute the people on the Camaron. We never found out if the puppy guy was part of the operation or not, or if Victor's guys were just using him as an opportunity to snatch kids without his knowing. Most importantly, there were 20 kids missing. Four we know are dead, four were recovered alive, and then there's Quinn - what happened to the others?!

(spoiler show)

I need to know these things and it doesn't take long to summarize this stuff

even if it's just to say investigations are ongoing, because then at least I know the authors didn't forget about it.

(spoiler show)

As such, it was an unsatisfying ending to the investigation, even while the ending for the relationship for Chance and Xav

and Quinn

(spoiler show)

was well done.

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review 2014-12-22 04:02
"Kamisama Kiss" -- An Anime Review

Name: Kamisama Kiss

 

Version: Anime

 

Genre: Shoujo/Supernatural 

 

Triggers: Transphobic slur

 

Thoughts

Okay, so this anime/manga, from what I’ve seen gets recommended to people who liked InuYasha, and I can understand why. It does carry a lot of similarities to InuYasha, but , in my opinion, it is able to stand up on its own.  

I do think that this is a fairly good anime. I did find myself laughing at a lot of the jokes and gags. (I probably still would laugh a lot of them if I saw them again). I am glad that I saw this. This is the first season, and the second season will be coming out sometime next month (January). I do, for the most part, like Nanami as a character. She isn’t “naturally gifted” with her powers. There are a few cases to where her powers kind of manifest—or something else—happens at the last minute to save her from getting hurt too much or worse. I kind of feel like there hasn’t been enough detail to say how Nanami makes her powers grow, and I really don’t like that. This is especially given that her becoming more powerful is kind of key center to the plot. For the most part, the show does carry a “problem-of-the-week” type of vibe with the exclusion of the developing friendships and romantic relationships. I do kind of like this. However, I know that this probably means that the second season is going to have something that spans three or four episodes too.

I do like the developing romantic relationships. Though on Tomoe’s end, there is the cliché’ of the previous, now dead lover, I’m not as bothered about that as other might be. On Nanami’s end, I didn’t like how she was like she’d wait for him to love her back. I would have understood or liked it more if she said that she would’ve loved him anyway and just admit her feelings rather than pretend they didn’t exist. Maybe this was just in the version I was watching. But that didn’t really sit well with me. Their relationship, so far, seems to be of the “it-wasn’t-supposed-to-happen” type and they constantly go back and forth (which contributes to the gags that I talked about). However, I don’t find their fighting or anything as bad as I’ve seen in other shows/anime. It, again, gave me those InuYasha feels, with the exception of the fact that it took the both of them a lot quicker to realize how they felt about one another. That difference makes me glad because that was a huge fault of InuYasha for me.

The other big thing I didn’t like was there’s this character who is androgynous(or very feminine), and there’s a point(or two) where Nanami calls him(and I believe that’s how the Wind god identifies) a “h*sh*”. I didn’t like that. I really wish they had taken it out. However, this is a common problem I see in anime with having androgynous, gender fluid, and/or transgender characters.

Other than that, I did like Kamisama Kiss for the most part, and I am looking forward to the next season and what it brings.

 

Rating: 4 stars out 5

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review 2014-12-06 17:52
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I loved this book. It was like peeling back all the years of adulthood and going back to my teenaged self, remembering how confusing and beautiful everything was, how annoying and amazing it could be to figure out who you were, who your parents were, and how the world worked. Ari is my book soulmate, to borrow a phrase a friend used for him. He has a very simple and straightforward way of writing, but there's depth and prose there too, that mix of normal and profound that haunts you when you're a kid on the cusp of adulthood. I loved everything about this book (except for one small niggle I'll get to at the end) and really loved following Ari and Dante on their journey of friendship, and how their friendship affected everyone else in their lives. It's not an easy journey for any of them, but they all come out understanding each other better. Ari's an unreliable narrator, since he's rooted in denial and self-loathing, and seeing him slowly start to blossom and open up little by little was a treat. Which is why the ending didn't quite work for me. 

I wanted Ari to figure out his feelings for Dante on his own, not have his parents sit him down and be all "yo, you're totally gay for that boy". Because having characters tell other characters how they feel about each other always feels like forcing the relationship to happen. But like I said, it's a small niggle, because as much as that bothered me, I equally loved that Ari's parents are so open and accepting of him, and it was that offering of unconditional love that allowed Ari to finally accept what he's been denying himself all along.

(spoiler show)

 

It was also a little weird that we find out what Ari's brother did and 

he beat a transvestite death, and killed another guy, and they're hanging up pictures of him? And Ari has no opinion on what landed his brother in prison for life. I would have liked more development on that too.

(spoiler show)

 

And now I want a million sequels of Ari and Dante's continued adventures. :D

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