Archive: March 2019

tweets for 2019-03-30

Sunday, March 31st, 2019
  • RT @BpopeTV: Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Jussie Smollett cost the city $130k.
    The City Of Chicago spent more than $113 MILLION in police misc… ->
  • RT @ComicBookNOW: ‘NOS4A2’ Series Premiere Trailer Released
    https://t.co/7PLU12Tyw6 https://t.co/PKX6qOHpAc ->
  • RT @RoKhanna: We need to fight until the DCCC reverses it’s policy to stifle a competition of ideas and have an unfair restraint of trade.… ->
  • RT @theintercept: “This unprecedented grab of power is a slap in the face of Democratic voters across the nation. It’s something even Rahm… ->
  • RT @AyannaPressley: THREAD
    My thoughts on the @dccc's decision that threatens to slam the door on those who work w/ challengers in Democra… ->
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tweets for 2019-03-29

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

Book Review: The Cassandra by Sharma Shields (2019)

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Hugely disappointing.

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for child abuse and racist and misogynist violence, including rape.)

This—the butchery, the dripping floor—was what kingdoms of men did to one another. We were no more than instruments of hatred.

DNF at 65%.

Mildred Groves has always been haunted by visions. Actually, “haunted” is the wrong word: as terrible and disturbing as her visions are, Mildred welcomes them, like an old friend or security blanket. They make her powerful. Different. Unique. Yet they also make her an outcast, a lightening rod, a target for bullies. Turns out that people don’t very much like hearing about the calamity that’s about to befall them.

Things come to a head not long after the death of her beloved father. At their riverside memorial Mildred pushes her mother into the water. After this she’s put on house arrest, of a sort: sentenced to take care of Mother, in all her failing health. An unemployed, friendless spinster at twenty-something. In Mildred’s quest to be the perfect daughter, her visions flee soon afterward. So when she has a prophecy that she will be employed at the newly built Hanford Research Center in Washington, helping to defeat Hitler, she eagerly plans her escape.

With her strong secretarial skills and unusual mind, Millie is quickly hired as physicist Dr. Phillip Hall’s secretary, where she’s privy to sensitive information about “the product” they’re developing at Hanford. Her escalating visions, accompanied by bouts of sleepwalking, tell her things, too: glimpses of bodies with the skin melted off, eyeballs oozing into nothing, a river choked with corpses. Yet when she questions the ethics of what they’re doing at Hanford – continuing to develop a nuclear weapon even after the surrender of the German forces – she’s dismissed as misguided, hysterical, or crazy. Or, worst of all: threatened with dismissal on mental health grounds, sending her straight back to Mother’s depressing and oppressive home in Omak.

Part historical fiction, part reimagining of the Greek myth of Cassandra, I thoroughly expected to love The Cassandra. Unfortunately, it’s just…not good.

As other reviewers have noted, the characters are all one-dimensional – especially the abusive Mother and sister Martha. They’re such caricatures that I wondered for awhile if Mildred might be an unreliable narrator, but I really didn’t get any confirmation of this in my reading. Like, Mother deserved to take a tumble into the Okanogan River, and then some. And yet there’s no indication that anyone sees Mother and Martha’s treatment of Mildred as wrong. Which in itself seems wrong. It’s all just really weird and frustrating.

Ditto the rampant sexism, which is certainly appropriate for the era – but, in order to make it somewhat bearable, we need a character who questions, challenges, stands up against it. A contrast or aspiration. Mildred seems the obvious choice, and yet. Nada.

I struggled with DNF’ing this book more than most; even though I hated every minute of it, I found the plot interesting enough to want to know how the story ends. The final nail in the coffin came as I was perusing Goodreads reviews, and saw that Millie is brutally raped at the 70% point. I was 65% in, and that was it for me. I don’t appreciate rape scenes to begin with, and I certainly wasn’t willing to sit through one for this story.

I usually love the unpopular books – especially feminist scifi written by women – but sadly I’m with the haters here. Hard pass.

(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 2019-03-28

Friday, March 29th, 2019
  • RT @iamsandyhall: 🚨Giveaway alert!🚨
    Win an advanced copy of THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE!!
    Just RT by Sunday, March 31st.… ->
  • RT @JenAshleyWright: Betsy DeVos owns a $40 million yacht. She could sell it and fund the Special Olympics and she wouldn’t even be out of… ->
  • RT @EBONYMag: A community in Parkland, Florida, is mourning the recent death of a student from Marjory-Stoneman Douglas High School. Calvin… ->
  • RT @NetflixFilm: @TheJoeGil @brielarson Brie Larson has:
    58 acting credits
    53 award noms
    2 writing credits
    2 short film directing credits
    1… ->
  • RT @LordLicorice: @absurdistwords That's just crazy talk! We need police to be RESPECTED, nay, REVERED for their hard and dangerous work, s… ->
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tweets for 2019-03-27

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-26

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019
  • RT @IEarths: #Deadpool fans! We're giving away a digital copy of #OnceUponADeadpool! RT & Follow for a chance to win! Winner DM'd in 5 days… ->
  • RT @ErickFernandez: Reminder that Rahm Emanuel held onto the video of cops shooting Laquan McDonald for 13 months and then lied about his k… ->
  • RT @samswey: Rahm Emanuel approved a contract with Chicago police that gives them:
    -names of anyone who reports them for misconduct
    -48hrs… ->

Book Review: Cretaceous by Tadd Galusha (2019)

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

This ain’t The Land Before Time.

four out of five stars

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

The synopsis for Cretaceous describes it as the journey of a young T-Rex to reunite with their family before death can separate them for good. Well, actually, I guess I just assumed that the protagonist was the juvenile dinosaur (I blame the inevitable The Land Before Time flashbacks!), but the summary really doesn’t specify. So that’s on me. Either way, I’d describe Cretaceous as more of a revenge story than anything else.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex family at the heart of this story is a nuclear unit: father, mother, several children. Dad has just returned with a kill when the family is viciously attacked by a group of albertosauruses, leaving just two survivors: one of the babies, and mom, who was on the other side of a waterfall when the massacre took place. Only after she hunts down the dinosaurs who killed her family does mom go in search of junior (hence, revenge story). They reunite, if only briefly; such is life, especially in such a cruel and unforgiving place.

For having absolutely zero dialogue, Cretaceous is a surprisingly moving tale. Also: bloody, gory, and raw. The two dueling themes seem to be the harshness of survival in the animal kingdom, and the unrivaled bond between parents and children. Terror and ruthlessness meets love and martyrdom. It makes for a compelling read, even if relentless deaths are a little hard to take. (CERA!!!!)

(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 2019-03-25

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
  • RT @StevenTDennis: JUST NOW: McConnell blocks Schumer measure calling for Mueller report to be made public ->
  • RT @pdmcleod: We are living a mad lib.
    [spins wheel] Michael Avenatti has been [spins wheel] arrested for extorting [spins wheel] Nike. ->
  • RT @jameelajamil: I once said no thank you to man when I was 19 and didn’t have an excuse… and he punched me in the face. After that whet… ->
  • RT @adibkhorram: Hey all. Want a YA manuscript critique by yours truly?! There's one up for auction as part of the Kidlit for Christchurch… ->
  • RT @suleikhasnyder: May this sugar-sweet ad featuring two gay men and their dog snuggling on the couch while utilizing their U.S. Bank mobi… ->
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tweets for 2019-03-24

Monday, March 25th, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-23

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-22

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-21

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-20

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-19

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Book Review: Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner (2019)

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

“We may not have forever together, but we have right now.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for mental health issues.)

I don’t know who watches Midnite Matinee or why. I mean, I have some idea from letters we get. Here’s my guess: it’s lonely people. People who don’t have a lot going on in their lives, because they have time to sit at home on a Saturday night (that’s when we air in most markets, including our home market) and flip through channels. People who aren’t rich, because if they were, they’d have more entertainment options. People who aren’t hip, because if they were, they’d seek out higher quality entertainment options. People who don’t truly love to be frightened, because if they did, they’d find actual scary movies. People who prefer their awful movies straight, with no commentary, because otherwise they’d watch old episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. People who still write letters. It’s a very niche crowd. Most of all, I think it’s people who love to be reminded that sometimes you do your best and you come up short, but there’s still a place in the world for people like that. People like them.

Delia

You don’t always know at the time when you’re experiencing one of those random memories you’ll carry all your life. When nothing momentous happened other than driving a little too fast in the direction of Florida, at dusk, with your best friend by your side and, at your back, a guy who’s really good at kissing you. Still, you remember it until the day you die. But this time I know.

Josie

Delia Wilkes and Josie Howard are best friends, soon-to-be-graduates, and local Jackson, Tennessee celebrities (okay, so I use that term loosely). Delilah Darkwood and Rayne Ravenscroft – as they are otherwise known – host Midnite Matinee, a campy public access show that screens terrible B-rated horror films culled from the depths of obscurity (and the ’80s, or so one would assume), performing cheesy skits before, after, and during. Though it’s what brought them together, the show means very different things to each young woman: for Josie, it’s a doorway into a career in tv; for Delia, it’s a way of reaching out to her absentee father, who abandoned Delia more than a decade before, leaving her family in ruin. The tapes she diligently combs through every week? Belonged to her dad, the man formerly known as Dylan Wilkes.

With the end of high school barreling down on them, Delia and Josie have plenty of tough decisions to make – not the least of which involves the future of Midnite Matinee. Josie’s parents are leaning on her hard to enroll in Knoxville, so she can take that Food Network internship her mom lined up for her. But moving away from Jackson will mean leaving Delilah Darkwood and Rayne Ravenscroft – and Delia herself – behind. And then there’s Lawson, the handsome MMA fighter who’s slowly but surely worming his way into Josie’s heart.

The girls hatch a plan to ‘take Midnite Matinee to the next level,’ involving a road trip to Orlando, a horror con, and an eccentric Hollyweird type name Jack Devine. Spoiler alert: things go sideways, as they tend to do.

So Jeff Zentner based Delia and Josie (or, perhaps more accurately, Delilah and Rayne) on two very real people: Marlena Midnite and Robyn Graves, the hosts of Midnite Mausoleum. He also volunteers at Tennessee Teens Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp, working with aspiring musicians. These facts are relevant because Zentner does a pretty rad job portraying female friendships (and cheesy late night horror shows), probably based in no small part on his own real life experiences.

I really love Delia and Josie together; their banter is fun and authentic, and Bufie makes a pawsome sidekick. (The twins I could do without, though the commentary on Basset hounds and beagles and what constitutes a valid opinion is entertaining and relevant as heck.) There are a lot of really great one-liners in here; to wit: “The leather cuff is the fedora of the wrist.”

Typically Zentner writes pathos with a little bit of humor sprinkled in; Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee is the inverse. While I think he’s at his strongest in the former (and the heavy scenes are indeed my favorite bits here), the latter is still entertaining too.

Josie and Delia’s looming graduation really took me back to my own senior year in high school (and then college), and not always in a comfortable way. I empathize with both girls, in different ways: I both identified with Delia’s “sad sack” outlook on life (depression knows depression) and felt the push-pull conflict tearing Josie to pieces in my very marrow. (Like I said, PATHOS is Zentner’s JAM.) The bit about Buford in the last few pieces simply destroyed me. (Shadow, I miss you so much, my sweet babygirl.)

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a season of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to binge watch. I need some laughs, okay.

(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 2019-03-18

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-17

Monday, March 18th, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-16

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

tweets for 2019-03-15

Saturday, March 16th, 2019
  • RT @MargaretAtwood: SHONDALAND's feature interview with Renee Nault is live. Spoiler: its reads beautifully:
    https://t.co/UA1ZVhgA8G @bysh->
  • RT @jonnysun: i tweeted this at the end of 2017 and got piled-on by the irony poisoned circles on here. i think it still stands. https://t.… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Gabanna. Her human Jose rushed past firefighters into his burning home to rescue her. She suffered burns on her nose… ->
  • RT @Celeste_pewter: And something for all of us to do today with our electeds:
    Definitely revisit this 10//2018 article, and ask electeds… ->
  • RT @maplecocaine: All I watch on youtube is car videos and some british guy who reviews old tape decks yet somehow i still get suggested vi… ->
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tweets for 2019-03-14

Friday, March 15th, 2019