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review 2017-05-20 23:37
Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White,Garth Williams,Rosemary Wells

I probably had this book on permanent check out from my school's library when I was a kid. I don't even know how many times I read it growing up, feeling awkward and out of place and wanting that one person to think I'm special. I loved Wilbur and Charlotte and their amazing friendship. <3

Still don't like spiders though. ;)

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review 2017-05-06 23:20
Wizards at War (Young Wizards #8)
Wizards at War - Diane Duane

After my disappointment in Wizard's Holiday and the cliffhanger ending that led into this book, I wasn't sure what I would get or how I would like it. Well, I am now officially protesting only being allowed to give a book five stars. This deserve every star ever born! This was phenomenal, and a definite one to read with a box of tissues close at hand. There will be sad tears and happy tears alike. 

 

I'm really impressed with how Duane managed to turn Roshaun's character around. Not that he stops being a pompous ass, mind you. But with more background on him and his situation on his home planet, and more time spent with him as he and Dairine become friends, lends a lot to being able to appreciate his character better. I even came to appreciate his pompousness. :D Filif and Skeer'ret continue to be great, we get some great character development for Carmela and Ponch, some expected, and some very much not expected. That Duane can still surprise her readers this far into the series is a testament to her skill as a writer.

 

This is a long book, with a few different POVs, and it's necessary. This is the culmination of the series up to this point. We see characters returning from previous books, and we understand the stakes after the various travels we've seen our main three characters have done over the previous seven books. This was tense and the prose was beautiful as ever. This series easily could've ended here - most other authors would build up to the Doom Day book and end it. Duane doesn't do that. She leaves just enough to hint at future stories, maybe not ones that will be as intense or as high stakes as this one, but still stories worth telling. And after this long with her, I'm willing to go along with the ride.

 

I can't say much more without spoiling a bunch of stuff, but I've decided that this is the secret about dogs the Colonel was going to tell Dean Winchester before the dog-talking spell wore off. ;)

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review 2017-03-31 10:31
Review: "Carry the Ocean" (The Roosevelt, #1) by Heidi Cullinan
Carry the Ocean - Heidi Cullinan

"I am normal. I belong. I have a friend who can kick ass from a wheelchair. I live independently and get good grades. I’m an excellent lover.

Like I said. I’m awesome. I’m Emmet David Washington. Train Man. The best autistic Blues Brother on the block."

I love this book more and more with every reread.

 

********************************************

First read: April 15th, 2015

1st reread: May 19th, 2016

2nd reread: March 31st, 2017

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review 2017-03-28 03:22
Wizard's Holiday
Wizard's Holiday - Diane Duane

The first 70% of this wizard-exchange holiday was everything you'd expect of alien wizards visiting and getting to know other worlds and cultures: good, wacky fun; some clashing of worlds; and nice, relaxing kickback time at the beach. The last 30% proves that there's no such thing as a holiday for our poor wizards.

 

 

The pacing did feel a little off on this one, and with Nita and Kit's half of the story in particular, the resolution almost feels like it comes out of nowhere. I'm sure there are hints there that I didn't pick up on, but it felt random. 

 

I did love all the exchange wizards, especially Filif, and even Roshaun grew on me (though he's still a douche). It was great to see Dairine's growth since the start of this series, and in this book particularly as she deals with the massive drop in her power levels and having to do wizardry the "regular" way. Seeing her and Harry get some bonding time after the events of the last couple of books was nice too.

 

There were a few dangling threads at the end of this, no doubt set up for the next book, and while the main conflicts are resolved, the ending felt abrupt.

 

This isn't my favorite Young Wizards book, but it's still a lot of fun.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-25 05:03
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit - Jaye Robin Brown

Word of Caution: If you hate the Big Misunderstanding trope, then avoid this book, because the entire thing hinges on it. Not only is it a "big misunderstanding" but it's perpetuated by one character consistently lying to everyone, and not even for a very good reason. Well, she thinks it's a good reason. Me? Not so much.

 

This is the second F/F book in a row with a punk lesbian. I guess this is a common enough thing to already be a recognizable trope? Aren't there country-loving lesbians? Or jazz-loving lesbians? Or hip-hop loving lesbians? WHERE ARE MY HIP-HOP LESBIANS?

 

But seriously, this book is both complicated and simple. It's told in a simple, rather straightforward way that rarely delves into the depths that this book could easy delve into given the subject matter, mainly how do LGBTQ+ individuals who need faith in their lives deal with the hurtful messages that too many churches STILL put out there because they're stuck in medieval times. I was looking forward to that aspect of it, because too often the one sole religious person in M/M books often acts like he or she could be an offshoot of the Westboro Church family tree. I know many people of faith, some who are close-minded in that way, but others who really embrace Jesus's teachings about acceptance and loving each other without judgment. So let's look at both sides of the spectrum and everything else in between here, right?! Except it never really happens. *sigh*

 

Jo's dad, who runs his own evangelical radio show, accepted his daughter without hesitation when she came out to him. And now that he's remarried and his new MIL has a stick up her butt about EVERYTHING, and because they've moved to a more conservative, smaller town, he asks Jo to lay low. That is, go back in the closet. And she agrees. So she can get her own radio show that she unironically calls "Keep It Real." I say unironically because she's completely unaware of the irony of the title while she's lying about herself to everyone around her. 

 

Except one boy she meets and befriends. She tells him immediately. Which pretty much pulls the rug out from under her every other time she tries to explain to herself why she can't tell the truth to her girlfriend she's so super in love with. Oh, no! Can't do that! And it leads to one ridiculous, cliched "twist" after another until I just wanted to smack her Cher-style.

 

 

Oh, Cher. Where are you when we need you most?

 

I do like the various different characters. There's a weird subplot with Dana. It was nice to see how Joanna and Elizabeth eventually work out their issues. When Joanna does finally stand up for herself, that's pretty great too but comes a bit too late in the story, so that everything after that is rushed. Joanna overall is a passive character and except for that one moment of backbone, she never really stops being passive. Barnum was great, as were George and Gemma. The pastor of the other church, the not-friendly-to-gays one, has this weird quasi-transformation, maybe? It doesn't really go anywhere. 

 

So I guess there's a hopeful message in here. And I guess this is eventually about being true to yourself, even when that self isn't who you originally thought it was. But for each thing I found to like, there was another thing that annoyed me in equal measure.

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