tweets for 2018-09-08

September 9th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-09-07

September 8th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-09-06

September 7th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-09-05

September 6th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers (2018)

September 5th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Serial + The Girls, with a pinch of Vigilante = Sadie

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence against women and children, including rape.)

I’m going to kill a man.

I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out. You aren’t supposed to answer violence with more violence but sometimes I think violence is the only answer. It’s no less than he did to Mattie, so it’s no less than he deserves.

I don’t expect it to bring her back. It won’t bring her back.

It’s not about finding peace. There will never be peace.

I’m not under any illusions about how little of me will be left after I do this one thing. But imagine having to live every day knowing the person who killed your sister is breathing the air she can’t, filling his lungs with it, tasting its sweetness. Imagine him knowing the steady weight of the earth under his feet while her body is buried six feet below it.

This is the furthest I’ve been from anything that I know.

My eyes burn, and tears slip down my cheeks and I can’t even imagine how pathetic I look. Girl with a busted face, torn-up arm, begging for the opportunity to save other girls. Why do I have to beg for that?

Nineteen-year-old Sadie Hunter has had a pretty effed up life. Born to a young, single mom with multiple addictions (alcohol, cocaine, heroin) and a rotating roster of enabling boyfriends, Sadie grew up in a trailer park in the small, struggling town of Cold Creek, Colorado. (Population: eight hundred.) She developed a stutter at a young age, but her mother Claire never sought treatment; consequently, Sadie was bullied, isolated, and shamed for it, for most of her life.

Claire’s own mother, Irene, died of breast cancer when Claire was only nineteen herself; Sadie’s striking physical resemblance to Irene was just one of many reasons why Claire had trouble bonding with her daughter. Younger sister Mattie Southern (she got the matrilineal surname; Sadie did not – telling, that) arrived six years later, and Sadie tried her best to be Mattie’s mother and father. When Claire ran out on her and Mattie, Sadie dropped out of high school to support her family. She was only sixteen.

After two years of limping along, with no small support from May Beth Foster – manager of the trailer park and their deceased grandmother’s best friend – Mattie disappeared. Her body was found three days later in an apple orchard several miles outside of town. Nine months later, Sadie too goes missing; her car is found thousands of miles away, in a town called Farfield. When the local police write Sadie off as just another runaway, May Beth reaches out to West McCray, journalist and host of the podcast Always Out There, for help.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Sadie (as she tracks down her sister’s killer) and West (in the form of his investigative podcast, The Girls, as he retraces Sadie’s steps, now three months cold), we embark on a Serial-type mystery that’s also a biting interrogation of rape culture, class, and misogyny.

I mean, I guess you could shelve Sadie under “mystery,” but it’s so much more than that. In a way, it’s a mystery within a mystery: who killed Mattie, and what happened to Sadie? Sadie already knows the answer to the former, and it’s revealed probably halfway into the story. The bigger question is what became of Sadie when she reached the end of her journey – and this is a blank we readers are left to fill in ourselves. In this way, the ending is a tease, but also a blessing: realistically, Sadie’s fate was likely not a happy one. And yet, by leaving things as she does, Summers allows us to hope, to dream, to retain our faith in a flawed young woman who wanted nothing than to save other girls like herself.

Sadie is also stark and uncompromising look at rape culture, much in the vein of All the Rage. Summers’s writing is at once beautiful and cutting; she dissects all manner of sexist tropes and stereotypes, from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl to the idea that men are only truly capable of grasping women’s humanity when they have a daughter of their own to care about and fear for and worry over. (Claire’s confrontation with West? Pure cathartic bliss.)

Sadie, Mattie, Claire, May Beth, Marlee – Summers has populated Sadie with a cast of complex, nuanced women characters. Sadie rather reminds me of a more realistic version of Alex Craft, the protagonist in Mindy McGinnis’s The Female of the Species. (Let’s face it, we can’t all be cold and calculating feminist serial killers.) Her relationships with Mattie, Claire, and May Beth are fascinating in their messiness. I love how Summers challenges our assumptions by allowing various characters to offer their own versions of oft-told stories at the 11th hour, long after our own impressions of them have begun to harden.

If you’ve never read a Courtney Summers book, you owe it to yourself to correct that ASAP. My first was All the Rage (amazing!), and with Sadie she’s fast becoming a favorite author of mine. I wouldn’t quite call Sadie a rape revenge story, but it’s a pretty fine distinction, and if you “enjoy” that subgenre as much as I, Sadie is a good choice on this front too.

(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 2018-09-04

September 5th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-09-03

September 4th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Twenty-Eight Little Mags & Finnick Things

September 3rd, 2018 9:00 am by Kelly Garbato

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Dear Mags & Finn,

The past who-knows-how-many years have sucked, but you guys make everything worth it. (Mags especially. Sorry Finn! We’re each others’ second choices and we both know it. I still love you though!) I hope you both make it to New York with me, and Rennie too of course, and live at least long enough to experience each season in the Northeast. It’ll be a big change, but we’ve got each other, and isn’t that the most important thing? Plus you’ll finally get to meet (and snub, lmao) your extended nonhuman family: Hash and Roxy, Diablo, Jack and Diane, and Laila and Shadow.

It’s been a rocky ride, but just know that I love you both so much. You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go.

Forever yours,

Mom

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(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-09-02

September 3rd, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-09-01

September 2nd, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-08-31

September 1st, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-08-30

August 31st, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Sixteen Little Peedee Things

August 30th, 2018 12:00 pm by Kelly Garbato

2015-07-05 - Peedee & Rennie Out to Sea - 0056 [flickr]

Peedee,

I’ve been missing you so very much the past year plus. You were some dog, you know that? Things have been terrible, and I could use your stupid silly grin and lolling pink tongue more than ever. Not to mention an extra-soft shoulder to cry on, assuming your antics didn’t do the trick.

Also, I think you would have made a great therapy dog/babysitter for old Magsy. What’s that, Peedee? Mags fell down a well!? Take me to her, boy.

Seriously, though, you were rad. I’ll never forget you, even if I live to be one hundred and twenty three (dog forbid).

Love,

Mom

2015-06-27 - Morning Walk at Smithville Lake - 0023 [flickr]

 

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2018-08-29

August 30th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-08-28

August 29th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: Sheets by Brenna Thummler (2018)

August 28th, 2018 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

A ghost story set in a laundromat. Cheeky!

three out of five stars

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

Ever since the death of her mother in a tragic swimming accident, highschooler Marjorie Glatt has been floating through life, much like a ghost: wispy, invisible, barely clinging to this plane of existence. With Mr. Glatt suffering from clinical depression, Marj is left to look after her younger brother Owen, and run the family laundromat after school, pretty much solo. As if that isn’t bad enough, the neighborhood baddie Nigel Saubertuck is gunning for the Glatt family property, so he can turn it into a five-start resort and yoga spa.

A ghost infestation – by a sweet if bumbling middle schooler named Wendell – brings things to a head. When Wendell’s antics threaten to cost Marjorie her home and livelihood, can he bring the denizens of his ghost town together to help a mortal damsel in distress?

Sheets is … kind of weird and expected, especially since I couldn’t always guess where the plot was headed. This was refreshing; less so was the artwork’s sometimes confusing nature. If I couldn’t anticipate the plot, I had even more trouble figuring out what transpired in certain panels. Even so, I mostly enjoyed the overall style of the art; the buildings, ghosts, and towns are quite charming. The people, on the other hand, kind of icked me out. There’s just something a little off about the faces.

Sheets is an unusual little story that’s great for fans of Houdini; people who like ghost stories of the friendly variety; and perhaps kids who are grieving the loss of a parent. Also misfits and outsiders of all stripes. (But save it for October, if you can: this is definitely a Halloween read!)

(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 2018-08-27

August 28th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-08-26

August 27th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-08-25

August 26th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2018-08-24

August 25th, 2018 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato