Archive: March 2018

tweets for 2018-03-23

Saturday, March 24th, 2018
  • Illinois is suffering today after fatal shooting. #POTUS, stop the bloodshed. #BackfireTrump ->
  • RT @BuzzFeedNews: Today, 17-year-old Draylen Mason would have learned that he had been offered one of 130 spots at the renowned Oberlin Con… ->
  • RT @GettyImagesNews: Vehicles from the motorcade carrying President Donald Trump pass a billboard calling for impeachment on the way to Mar… ->
  • RT @Staffierescue: Oldies Barney and Ringo were rescued by a wonderful lady who very sadly passed away recently, we would dearly love to fi… ->
  • RT @lacitypets: To help us find great homes for our shelter pets, @EastWestBank is providing 50% off all adoptions this Sunday at the South… ->
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Book Review: Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir & Steenz (2018)

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Sometimes you root for the ghost.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Celeste Walden has fallen on hard times. She’s struggled with anxiety and depression for most of her life, and a recent breakdown cost Cel her dream job as a librarian. So when she lands a position as live-in, night shift archivist at the mysterious Logan Museum, it seems too good to be true. And it is: before long, Cel begins to lose time and wake up in strange places. She pulls away from her long-time boyfriend, Kyle, and her already-strained relationship with her mother continues to fray. She dreams of a sad, hurt girl who roams the museum’s grounds.

Cel fears she’s losing her mind again – that is, until she sees the face of the sad girl, staring back at her from one of the photographs in the museum’s collections. Celine is real, and her ghost is stuck in the museum, calling out to Cel for help. But why? And can Cel convince her co-workers, librarian Holly and curator Abayomi “Aba” Abiola, that Celine is real?

There’s so much to love here. Archival Quality is a great mashup of supernatural ghost story, historical fiction, and semi-autobiographical memoir. There’s intrigue, villainy, self-introspection, greed, and a haunting set in a spooky museum that used to be a terrifying asylum. As a former psych student who also has anxiety and depression, I found the mental health aspect both engaging and compassionately done. The history of psychiatry – steeped in racism, misogyny, and ableism – is equally parts fascinating and horrifying, and makes compelling fodder for a ghost story. The setting of a museum/library is pretty great too, and is sure to tickle the fancy of all the bookworms out there. (C’mon, who doesn’t dream of roaming a library after dark?)

Perhaps my favorite part, though, is the cast, which is fun and interesting and diverse as heck – but in a way that feels natural and organic. I fell in love with Holly – fabulous wardrobe and bitchin’ purple-and-blue hair – from panel one, and her girlfriend Gina has an ace up her sleeve too. Aba is an enigmatic and ultimately sympathetic character. The only person I didn’t much care for is Kyle (good riddance!), who clearly cares for Cel but comes off as a bit of a nag (for lack of a better word).

Cel, though: Cel is awesome. I see a bit of myself in her struggle, and found hope in her ending. She’s just one cool broad.

Read it if you like: books and libraries; ghosts; revenge; research; museums of oddities; nefarious white guys getting their due.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-03-22

Friday, March 23rd, 2018
  • RT @sfspca: This hero risks his life to care for cats in war-torn Syria. He rebuilt his cat sanctuary last May after it was destroyed – but… ->
  • RT @DorothyERoberts: Sacramento police shot at unarmed #StephonClark 20 times in his own backyard, killing him. Then they waited for backup… ->
  • RT @spcaoftexas: Meet Lunetta! The 1-year-old Labrador mix is one of our longest residents and for the life of us we don't know why. She's… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Bunsen. He grew pup into a fine young medical professional. Specializes in mending hearts. 13/10 would ask for him s… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: Here's a heartwarming scene of a single father raising his two pups. Downright awe-inspiring af. 12/10 for everyone https://… ->
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tweets for 2018-03-21

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-20

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Book Review: A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow (2018)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Somewhere, A Unicorn Is Crying

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including the rape, torture, and murder of children.)

For the children, when your time is done, it is VERY important to THANK YOUR LANDLORD—they’ve been such CARING roommates!!! Remember, without THEM, you would never have been able to have your moment of balance. For the landlords, when YOUR time is done, THANK your BODY!!! (For the wonderful times it provided.) NEVER FORGET that it gave you so much more time than your child-tenants had! And THANK the FRIENDS and FAMILY that you LOVED . . . and thank this beautiful BLUE EARTH. — from “The End” (the Guidebook)

— 2.5 stars —

Something strange and awesome is happening in the small town of Saggerty Falls, Michigan – and in towns both large and small all over the world (presumably). The spirits of murdered children (“tenants”) are returning to this beautiful blue earth, temporarily inhabiting the bodies of recently deceased adults (“landlords”) in order to exact revenge (the “moment of balance”) on their killers. They are guided through this adventure by a psychic mentor (“porter”) – in this case, one Annie Ballendine, a former teacher who was institutionalized after she began to hear voices. Annie was rescued and trained by Jasper, the porter before her; and, as her cancer returns, Annie knows that the time is nearing for her pass the baton to her successor. But how will she find this person, while also dealing with the “haywire” events that presage a Porter’s passing?

Depending on how compassionately the narrative is crafted, rape revenge stories are some of my favorites (quite possibly because rape carries so few consequences for the perpetrators here in the real world. Fiction is often much more satisfying.) Mindy McGinnis’s The Female of the Species has become the gold standard for me; Alex Craft is the ultimate antihero, and the book does an exemplary job deconstructing rape culture. I envisioned the titular murdered children as miniature Dexter Morgans-in-training, crammed into the meatsuits of unsuspecting (but ultimately game) adult humans. Like Alex, but with even more personal vendettas. Maybe even with a splash of Chucky from Child’s Play in there somewhere. In other words, horrible and magnificent. Yes, my expectations for this one were through the proverbial roof.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-03-19

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-18

Monday, March 19th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-17

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-16

Saturday, March 17th, 2018
  • A person from New Mexico was just killed in a preventable gun violence incident. #POTUS, please use your influence… ->
  • RT @ClaraJeffery: 1/ The coolest thing just happened. After seeing @ava's Wrinkle in Time, Milo wanted me to read it to him. So I pull down… ->
  • RT @ToLiveUnchained: Just took my 88yr old grandma to see #WrinkleInTime in time and she was in awe!
    *and said “Erika, you look like that… ->
  • RT @sttepodcast: Day nineteen of our twenty days of Funko is this Silhouette Flash Pop! – Entertainment Earth exclusive
    Just follow @sttep->
    WIN this new Star Wars inspired T-shirt before we release it. RT and FOLLO… ->
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Book Review: Pierce Brown’s Red Rising: Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin, & Eli Powell (2018)

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Satisfying, though not as grand a story as I expected.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Fitchner au Barca is a goblin among Gold Gods. In a world that places a premium on physical perfection, he is short, scrappy, and ugly. But he’s also a survivor, one who makes it through the Passage even though he was sent there as a sacrificial lamb. He weathers the Institute by swallowing his pride and aligning himself with the leader of a rival house. But his loyalty goes unrewarded: rather than serve by his friend Arturius’s side, Fitchner is forced to sell his contract after graduation. He’s sent to a terraforming colony on Triton, where he falls in love with a lowly Red named Bryn. The rest, as they say, is history.

Based on the Red Rising trilogy, Sons of Ares gives us a little glimpse of proctor/terrorist/freedom fighter Fitchner’s backstory: his time at the Institute, his relationship with Bryn, the birth of Sevro, and the injustice that would prove the seed of the rebel group Sons of Ares.

The story itself is interesting; while there isn’t much new here, it does at least flesh out Fitchner’s past for us. That said, and especially considering Brown’s intro, I half-expected the roots of the Sons of Ares to go deeper, for the tale of the rebellion to be a little grander and far-reaching. Fitcher might have been the match that lit the spark, but I’d love to know more about the many men and women who provided the kindling and accelerant leading up to Bryn’s murder. Certainly he couldn’t have done this all on his own? It takes a village … over many generations.

It feels more like Fitchner’s memoir than a people’s history of the uprising, if that makes any sense.

Sons of Ares is constructed as a standalone story, but most likely fans of the series will enjoy it most: newbies might find it difficult to get fully invested in the characters, given the sheer scope of Brown’s universe and the comparably short length of the comic.

3 stars for non-fans, 4 for Howlers.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-03-15

Friday, March 16th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-14

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-13

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Book Review: Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings (Kim Reaper #1-4) by Sarah Graley (2018)

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Freaping adorable!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Becka is totally crushing on the goth girl at school, black-clad, purple-haired Kim. What Becka doesn’t know – that is, until she inadvertently follows Kim through a portal and interrupts a cat reaping* – is that Kim wields a scythe and is the only human reaper in employ down in hell. Can their budding romance survive Kim’s super-intense, yet just part-time job? How about a buff cat guy high on energy drinks? One of the girls’ death-dates? A zombie apocalypse? Yes, this all transpires in a mere 114 pages, and it is as weird and wonderful as it sounds.

Kim Reaper is, in a word, freaping adorable. Okay, that’s two, but Kim would excuse me. Becka and Kim make a cute as heck couple, and the bizarre obstacles that inexplicably pop up in their path will just have you rooting for them all the more. I mean, two cute girls? One of them a reaper? Crushing on each other, kicking ass, reaping souls? What’s not to love?!?

Also, some of the over-the-top emotional panels are reminiscent of the Sarah’s Scribbles series, which only ups its cool quotient imho.

The only odd thing is that the writing feels a little young – like tweeny – even though the girls – err, women – are in university. It has the vibe of a middle grade story with a YA/New Adult cast.

* Bonus points for imparting a sort of personhood to nonhuman animals, even though it probably wasn’t meant as a political statement or anything.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2018-03-12

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-11

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Fourteen Little Rennie Things

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

2017-09-17 - Rennie Batgirl - 0018 [flickr]

Dear Rennie,

I love you.

I want to say more, but I’m apt to get weepy and hysterical in my present condition. And no one wants that! There’s just so much to worry about lately without you going and getting all old on me!

I hope you’re still around when we up and move to New York. I hope you like your new home and yard (smaller though they may be), and your cousins Hash and Roxy. I hope I’m doing right by you guys and making this all at least a tiny bit easier. You guys do, you know: make this all a little easier to bear. Some days you guys are the only reason I get out of bed. (So you don’t poop in it, hardee har har.)

I love you. Please stick around a little bit longer, for me?



(Can you believe it’s been thirteen years? I mean, h*ck.)

2017-09-30 - Walking at the Cemetery - 0072 [flickr]

2017-09-06 - Mags, Rennie & the Acorn Cap - 0014 [flickr]

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-03-10

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

tweets for 2018-03-09

Saturday, March 10th, 2018