Book Review: Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber (2020)

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

“I’ve always been a voracious reader, and this is quite the story.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for racist violence, including a scene involving an ICE raid, and violence against women, including rape.)

“Manuela de La Mancha,” says a deep voice. It sounds strange to hear such a long name, but that’s the manada I’m pretending to be from.

“Hola, Marilén,” I say to Tiago and Saysa’s great-grandmother, whom I met moments ago kostenlose hintergrundbilderen.

“No sos bruja.” You’re not a witch.

My tongue feels like sandpaper, and my mouth seals dry. Since our wolf-shadows roam outside the Citadel, and my fangs and claws are retracted, I didn’t think there would be any indicator of my identity—

“No te preocupes, no vengo a interrogarte.” Don’t worry, I’m not here to interrogate you.

She moves closer, and the way her steely eyes seem to see more than others reminds me of Perla. “Toda la vida soñé con conocerte,” she whispers. My whole life I’ve dreamt of meeting you.

Her long black hair is in a tight, elegant bun that pulls her skin, stretching it so that if there’s a single wrinkle, I don’t see it Combine pdf for free Download. “La primera de nosotras que nació fuera de su jaula.”

The first of us to be born outside her cage.

“Anything you do that’s traditional wolf territory could be challenged by some zealot, and you could wind up before the tribunal. I’ve been studying their decisions, and they tend to be led by their pragmatism. Our world is gray, and rapidly gray-ing, and the tribunal navigates it by sticking to a determinedly black-and-white approach. They rule by the book and can’t be swayed by emotion. If you don’t fit the exact letter of the law, they see you as going against it.”

“So what do I do?”

“You can’t break a law that doesn’t apply to you.”

“Meaning?”

“If you’re undocumented, you’re unwritten zeichentrickfilme kostenlos herunterladen. Embrace that.”

“You’re saying if no one’s told my story before … I get to tell it the way I want?”

“Exactly.”

“Sometimes reality strays so far from what’s rational that we can only explain it through fantasy.”

Sixteen-year-old Manuela “Manu” Azul lives on the fringes of society, in more ways than one; in more ways than even she knows.

For starters, she and her mother Soledad are undocumented immigrants, living in Miami illegally while Ma applies for visas through her employer, a wealthy Cuban immigrant named Doña Rosa. As the story goes, Soledad was forced to flee Argentina more than a dozen years ago after she had an affair with Manu’s father, the reluctant heir to a powerful criminal organization download old typo3 versions. When he tried to leave his family for his lover, they had him killed. Soledad’s only saving grace? She ran before her treacherous in-laws discovered she was pregnant with Manu.

Now Manu spends most of her time in lockdown, confined to the relative safety of an apartment complex known as El Retiro, her invisible bars shaped by Ma’s maxim: “Attention breeds scrutiny. Silence is your salvation. Discovery = Deportation.” But it’s hard to evade both ICE and the Argentinian mob when you share a rare genetic mutation with your infamous father: “Because you can’t be invisible when your irises are yellow suns and your pupils are silver stars.” Barred from attending school or socializing, Manu’s only friend is Perla, her ninety-year-old roommate, teacher, and surrogate grandmother bilder fürs handy kostenlos herunterladen.

Manu’s precarious existence is upended when Perla is attacked in their apartment, and Soledad’s employer is raided by ICE – all in the same afternoon. Manu discovers that so much of her life has been a lie; while in other ways, the half-truths and creeping sense of isolation have only been harbingers of things to come. The magical place she dreams of during her period – when her “lunaritis” becomes so severe that Ma has to sedate Manu for her own good – really does exist, and it’s the key to finding her place in the world amazon film kaufen downloaden. Worlds, plural: her mother’s and her father’s. For her father’s people are Septis, powerful lobizonos and brujas who move back and forth between earth and Lunaris.

There’s one thing Soledad wasn’t lying about, though: if the Cazadores learn of Manu’s existence, she will be executed. Human-Septis hybrids are considered abominations, and Manu has yet another beautiful deviation up her sleeve: one that threatens to upend the entire patriarchal system on which Septis culture is based. She’s not a bruja, as gender essentialism would dictate, but rather a powerful lobizona. The first of her kind.

Lobizona is such a great story, and I’m worried that I’ve already dropped too many spoilers, so I’ll shut up about plot specifics how to. Let’s just say Manu’s quest involves surreptitious enrollment in a boarding school for young Septis; a search for her missing father, Fierro; a found family involving classmates Tiego, Cata, and Saysa (among others); smashing the patriarchy; and a trip to another world that’s both enchanting and lethal.

Garber’s world building here is simply spectacular: the twin locales of El Laberinto and Lunaris, anchored by a sentient, bigger-on-the-side, magic police box tree called Flora, are as beguiling as they are complex and detailed. There’s so much to love here, from Flora’s “living library” to Lunaris’s rainbow colored waterfalls and wolf-shaped shadows that seem to exist apart from their owners sketchup download mac kostenlos.

And the racial and gender politics! While I was fully expecting parallels between Manu’s dual “outlaw” status – as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, and as a hybrid in Lunaris – Garber’s decision to throw gender into the mix made things extra deliciously complicated. And I am so here for it! The scenes where Manu’s bruja sisters (and more than a few lobizono brothers – yay for allyship!) rooted for her gave me all kinds of feelings, and Diego’s coaching Manu to write her own story – to own her race and gender and species membership – is inspiring AF.

There’s a bit of a Handmaid’s Tale meets Harry Potter vibe here, but with a much more nuanced interrogation of race on both counts need for speed world. (Or interrogation of race, period.)

Like The Handmaid’s Tale, I feel as though I could write an entire thesis on the themes explored in Lobizona (that’s one way to pass the time until the sequel, am I right?); Garber’s attention to detail is impressive, and leads to some rather interesting and unexpected reveals. The bit about brujas being required by law to birth at least two children – nevermind that doing so saps them of their magic – is particularly chilling, and sadly as relevant as ever.

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

Book Review: Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco Moore (2020)

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

A weird and creepy story, no less enjoyable for its eccentricities.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Content warning for child abuse, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and misogyny.)

I hide myself as much as I hide my sister herunterladen. I hide the person I am when I’m with her. When I was a kid it was easier. How I acted in the day wasn’t much different from how I acted at night. Outside of school at least, the kids of Lester roved about, playing in the woods behind someone’s house or alongside the train tracks, fighting with sticks, running races, trying to catch fish in Monday Creek, acting out plays with dead bugs as the actors. But as I got older, there were more and more things that weren’t acceptable or cool, especially for a girl.

I added them all to the secret half of me.

That’s the one thing we do all have in common. Pretty much every kid I know is looking forward to the day when they can escape this place aangifteprogramma 2012. Savannah dreams about moving to a city. She’s always going on about her second cousin in Cincinnati. Other kids talk about heading up to Columbus or down to Delphi.

Me, though, I already escape every single night.

We are lambs who refuse to learn, I think. We will wander until the end of our days, not afraid of wolves. But together. Always together.

Fifteen-year-old Jolene “Jo” Richards has a sister – an identical twin only she knows about ringtones herunterladen. Lee is a wild thing, a feral child, who lives in the national forest that surrounds their hometown of Lester, Ohio. At night, Jo sneaks out her bedroom window to run with Lee. By day, she pretends to be an ordinary, unexceptional girl.

Well, as “normal” as a kid like her can be; it’s hard to stay under the radar when your mom is missing and presumed dead, a likely teenage murder victim. Jolene, for whom Jo was named, had Jo at fifteen. When Jo’s grandmother Margaret found out about the pregnancy, she kicked her daughter out of the house powerpoint download free full version windows 8. For a while, Jolene lived in a double-wide trailer on the outskirts of town with “the Cantrell boys” (said in ominous tones, natch), Logan and Brandon. Logan, the older of the two, was widely considered bad news: he sold drugs, abused women, and is possibly Jo’s father. (It’s hard to know for sure; Jolene was “friendly,” as they like to say.)

The last time anyone saw Jolene alive, she was enormously pregnant and pounding onion rings at the bowling alley – in the company of none other than Logan and Brandon. A week later, Brandon showed up on Margaret’s doorstep and thrust a newborn baby into her arms. Now Jo lives with her Aunt Aggie … and haunts the night with a specter that only she can see vob b kostenlos.

When a teenage boy is attacked in the woods, Jo the only witness (it happened during her first kiss, the horror), the crime sets off a cataclysmic chain of events. For nearly a decade, Jo has tried to keep Lee hidden, a secret. Lee is wild and paranoid and free; discovery equals captivity, imprisonment, domestication. Maybe even scientific study. Certainly death – if not of Lee’s body, then her spirit.

But is Jo willing to trade her own freedom for Lee’s herunterladen? After all, the girl who attacked that boy wears Jo’s face. Everyone thinks it was Jo who ripped out a boy’s throat during a midnight makeout session. As if her rep wasn’t already sketchy enough.

Some Kind of Animal is, well, kind of bonkers, and I mean that in the best way possible. I try not to shy away from 3-star books, because every once in awhile I’m delightfully surprised by a story that everyone else seems to hate – or hold ambivalent feelings for, at best lustige memes zum downloaden. (See, e.g., The Blondes by Emily Schultz.) Some Kind of Animal is 110% one of those books: it’s bizarre and meandering and the plot never seems to lead where you think it will.

It defies easy categorization. Is it a mystery? A supernatural thriller? A horror story? A psychological study? A cultural critique? All of the above?

Some Kind of Animal is its own beast, and it’s what I love most about it.

If I had to sum it up as a mashup, I’d pitch Some Kind of Animal as Thelma & Louise meets Our Endless Numbered Days (or insert your own YA survivalist story here), maybe with a touch of The Grace Year kostenlose spiele zum herunterladen. It’s so many things, but at its core beats a fierce feminist heart. This is a story about sisterhood, in both the literal and larger sense. About the way society judges women – and conditions women to judge one another.

Through Jolene and Jo and Lee and Savannah, Moore interrogates slut shaming and woman hating. Collectively, they are living, breathing illustrations of how society prefers its women dead and tragic – and maybe just a little bit sexy – rather than alive and wild and in control of their own sexuality. Each is a fascinating character in her own right, but it is their relationships with one another that truly sparkle and ignite.

Some Kind of Animal is also a compulsive thriller; more than a hundred pages go by before Moore lets use know whether Lee is simply a figment of Jo’s imagination (no spoilers here!) plantnet app kostenlosen. There’s a supernatural, otherwordly vibe to the story that I adore; these pages are populated by the night creatures, and I half expected a witch or vampire to emerge at some point. The pacing is pretty wild, too; it feels like you’re reaching the climax of the story about halfway through – but, alas, there are still 190 pages left! Where will Moore lead us next? (Astray, hopefully, because these liminal spaces are where the magic happens.)

Anyway, I’m glad I snagged an ARC before the reviews started rolling in; I might have passed on it otherwise herunterladen. It’s the kind of story you either love or hate, and I fall firmly into the former camp.

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

Book Review: Mayhem by Estelle Laure (2020)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

“This can be really fun if you aren’t a drip about it.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Content warning for suicide, addiction, and violence against women, including domestic violence, child abuse, and rape.)

Brayburn lady coming for you
Take your man and curse you, too.
Brayburn lady knows your sins
Reads your mind and kills your friends …

I don’t know how to explain in words the feeling I have now, about how a person’s history affects their standing with themselves camtasia studio 8 kostenlos vollversion downloaden. About how in Taylor my mother and I were peculiar and nonsensical, but here we have the strength of all the Brayburns behind us and it runs like a current under our feet. Makes us stand taller.

Don’t deny evil, Billie. Crush it. That is your duty.

Seventeen-year-old Mayhem Brayburn has always felt like a square peg in a round hole. (I did an ’80s reference!) She and her babe of a mom, Roxy, live in West Texas, home of giant hair, fatty casseroles, and judgey conservative Christians amigos babylon kostenlosen. Mayhem is lonely and “weird” and her only real friend is Roxy.

But it wasn’t always this way: like her mother (and grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother before her), May was born in Santa Maria, California, the land of sun, surf, and endless beach parties. Mayhem is drawn to the water (Taylor is sadly landlocked), is a little bit punk – and her biracial heritage (she’s Brazilian on her father’s side) probably doesn’t endear her to the suburban bleached blondes in her neighborhood.

Roxy up and fled Santa Maria after the (allegedly) accidental death of May’s father, Lucas Machado, when Mayhem was just a toddler. She hopped in the car and drove until they ran out of money, and wound up in a shelter – which is where Mayhem’s now-stepfather found them excel 2010 gratis downloaden. It wasn’t long into the relationship that Taylor’s golden boy Lyle – a pastor, no less – started abusing his wife. He also got her hooked on painkillers and alcohol, and was no doubt thrilled to maintain Roxy’s isolation from her family. (Patterns, people.) When the abuse escalates to Mayhem, Roxy throws May and a bunch of random stuff in the car and books it.

With a little bit of cajoling and a lot of good/bad luck (read: no monies), Mayhem is able to convince Roxy to return to the family home, Brayburn Farm, now run by Roxy’s twin sister, Elle, and Elle’s adopted kids Neve, Jason, and Kidd. Here, Mayhem hopes to find some answers: about what happened to her father, why Roxy cut ties so suddenly and completely, and who she comes from. What she finds is so much more: a home, her people, a purpose kfz werkstatt software kostenlos downloaden. A voice and the power to wield it.

When she gets to Santa Maria, Mayhem is shocked to find that the Brayburns are celebrities of a sort (a really weird sort).

[T]his place was build by Brayburns, and here Brayburns matter. I know because the whole road is named after us and because flowers and ribbons and baskets of fruit sat at the entrance, a gift from the people in town, Roxy said. They leave offerings. She said it like it’s normal to be treated like some kind of low-rent goddess.

It’s clear from the get-go that Elle and the kids are keeping secrets – BIG SECRETS – from her, but it’s hard to concentrate when you’re worried about your stepdad tracking you down and dragging you back to a literal hellhole, kicking and screaming lustige video kostenlos herunterladen. When there’s a serial killer called the Sand Snatcher hunting the Santa Maria beaches – YOUR beaches – for girls who look like you, who could maybe even be you. When your mom is an addict trying to detox after a life spent running from her demons. When she’s maybe trying to escape by having sexy fun times with a dude nicknamed Boner (or, alternately, Officer Biceps). When your soon-to-be-adopted cousin is super hot and sexy and has a mouth made for kissing (I feel like I should be more grossed out by this last than I was, but idk, I shipped it) herunterladen.

Mayhem is billed as “A YA feminist mash up inspired by The Lost Boys and The Craft” – which is accurate but also doesn’t quite cover it. The Lost Boys is 110% accurate, for reasons I’ll dive into later. I can see The Craft for sure, but a better comparison is Mindy McGinnis’s The Female of the Species (possibly my favorite feminist revenge/female serial killer story of all time…not that there are nearly enough to choose from!). It’s a little softer and fuzzier than Female, to be sure, and a lot more magical, but Neve and to a lesser extent May definitely send off some low-key Alex Croft vibes herunterladen.

Elsewhere I saw references to Rory Power’s debut novel Wilder Girls – which is kind of funny-serendipitous, as I read Mayhem immediately after Burn Our Bodies Down, and felt some similarities in the foundations of each story. (Misfit teenage girl lives in Nowhere, USA with only her mom for company. She longs to know more about her extended family, which – as it just so happens – is matriarchal, occupies a supernatural/magical/sentient estate, and is longing for its wayward daughters to return home.) But Mayhem proved infinitely more enjoyable.

Laure’s writing is, in a word, exquisite. As in, the lady knows how to turn a phrase; there are so many quotable bits to be found here. But it’s not all flowery prose; the meat of the tale is delicious and satisfying as well soundcloud downloaden pc. This is a story brimming with ferocity, anger, compassion, and heart. Mayhem is about justice: what it looks like, where we might find it, and who’s responsible for meting it out. It’s about losing your way, and finding it again. About family: that bound by blood, as well as the family we choose for ourselves. About what we owe to each other, and to our truest selves.

Mayhem is set in the ’80s (LOVE!: 1978 baby here), and borrows heavily from The Lost Boys. As in: it’s a massive understatement to say it’s “inspired by” The Lost Boys alte java version downloaden. As in: Laure lifts some elements directly from the source material, including the Frog brothers and a half-naked, pied piper-esque musician clearly based on Tim Cappello. (To be fair, I remember the Frog brothers from the film; Tim Cappello, not so much. It has been more than a decade, though; I half considered a rewatch before calling it a day on this review – but, alas, The Lost Boys is sadly absent from Netflix.)

I should probably be more offended by this than I am; after all, it feels a little closer to plagiarism than homage. And what’s weirder is that the presence of the Frog brothers and the hypersexual musician really don’t further the story, or add to it in any way; Mayhem would be just as rad without those elements windows media player 12 free chip. But the story is just so damn good otherwise!

I’m also not terribly happy by May’s desire to work with the police, rather than outside of them, especially considering these times we live in. The legal system doesn’t take violence against women seriously as it is, and I can’t imagine it was any better in the ’80s. Their track record is even worse with women and girls of color; ditto: sex workers, those with disabilities, LGBTQ folks, etc. The occasional Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer aside, most rapists and abusers get away scot-free. Why should we think that Officer Boner will be any better, especially with all that victim blaming nonsense he pulled on Roxy?

On this note, I was downright incensed that Lyle was allowed to live … but I guess his ultimate punishment was even better. idk, maybe we can segue that scene into another entry in The Crows Have Eyes franchise? Kidding! But I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t already fancast Catherine O’Hara as Billie Brayburn.

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

Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (2020)

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

A slooooow burn that never quite sparks.

three out of five stars

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

Blood on Nielsen land railway planner for free. Give it enough, and it might give something back.

Seventeen-year-old Margot Nielsen lives with her mom Jo in a run-down apartment in Calhoun, Nebraska. For as long as Margot can remember, it’s only been the two of them – which maybe wouldn’t be so bad, if her mom wasn’t so strange, so distant, so emotionally withholding herunterladen. In addition to tiptoeing around Jo’s fearful-avoidant attachment style, there’s a laundry list of weird rules that Margot has to adhere to in order to keep the peace. Chief among them: always keep a candle burning. The fire will save you.

The flame jumps up, stands steady and stark. My hand used to shake when I did this, but it doesn’t anymore how to download videos from zdf mediathek. No nerves as I hold the fire to the wick until it catches. No fear as I let the lighter go out, lean in to feel the heat on my skin. This is the part that matters to Mom. Watching me. On good days it comes with a kiss to my temple, with her favorite rule whispered in my ear. On most days it comes with nothing at all. Just the feeling that this is a test, somehow, and I’ve only barely passed word gratisen student.

Margot learned long ago not to ask about her family: not her father, and certainly not her grandparents. So when a chance discovery gives her an address and a phone number, Margot grasps at the apparent lifeline. She flees Calhoun, and Jo’s cruel indifference, for the opportunity to start over with her grandmother Vera at Fairhaven, the Nielsen family farm shieldwall herunterladen.

Margot’s arrival in Phalene is, ahem, portentous at best. Within minutes of setting foot in the town square, Margot learns of a massive fire – at the Nielsen farm, no less.

And it’s the second one in a generation. “A new fire for a new Nielsen,” as Theresa Miller – Phalene’s golden child and Margot’s apparent new bestie/partner in crime – proclaims herunterladen.

And there’s a body smack dab in the center of it. A corpse that wears Margot’s face.

With Tess’s help, Margot must get to the root of what’s rotten at Fairhaven – all while negotiating Vera’s own sickly sweet Southern brand of cruelty, and evading the Phalene police, who suspect Vera of arson and/or murder, and see Margot as their best chance of catching her. But the truth threatens to unravel Margot, and how could it not? Spoiler alert: things get pretty bonkers.

I really enjoyed Rory Power’s debut novel, Wilder Girls, and was hoping that she’s bring that same fierce feminist energy to Burn Our Bodies Down herunterladen. And, to be fair, she does. But Burn Our Bodies Down is a much slower burn that never quite sparked for me. The ending is inspired, but the buildup sapped most of the joy out of the discovery.

There’s a lot of creepy, gory weirdness to love here: Margot’s mother’s Bible, and the cryptic, frenzied diary entries scribbled in the margins instagram stories herunterladen app. The mysterious twin and doppelganger(s). The scorched apricot grove, and the ghastly fruit it produces. The sickly, misshapen corn. The spontaneous pregnancies (the ultimate in body horror, imho). The gruesome murder scene next door. Illicit farming practices. The association of women and nature in a way that feels like the inverse (or perversion?) of ecofeminism msn herunterladen kostenlos deutsch. But it takes sooooo long to get to the denouement, and until then you’re just left flailing, with no idea how everything clicks into place.

The climax comes around the 80% mark – which is pretty standard, now that I think about it. Maybe it just feels a lot longer because there’s so much repetition up to this point? Margot’s inner monologues about Jo and Vera and the importance/danger of family are germane to the story, to be sure; but the frequency and predictability just gets tedious after awhile app herunterladen windows 8.

Bottom line: I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. It’s a great idea with a so-so execution that could definitely be redeemed with the right big- or little-screen adaptation. Until then, I’m eagerly awaiting Rory Power’s third book, In A Garden Burning Gold.

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

Book Review: Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks (2020)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

“It’s great to live free of the other sheep until you hear the wolves howl.”

four out of five stars

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

JOURNAL ENTRY #9 – OCTOBER 8

Does she suspect what I’m trying to dismiss? The smell, the howls, the large “boulder” I’d seen on the road. Now this. I’m sure I’m just trying to come up with an explanation for something that doesn’t make any sense. That’s me. A place for everything and everything in its place. I’m just grasping on to what I’ve heard. And I haven’t heard much. I’m not into that stuff. I’m the practical one. I’ve never been interested in things that aren’t real.

To me, Greenloop was the Titanic, right down to the design flaws and the lack of lifeboats. They were extremely isolated, miles from the one public road which was miles from the nearest town. And, of course, that was the idea. With modern logistics and telecommunications, the world must have still felt very small hip hop alben kostenlos downloaden. But then Rainier cut those connections, and the world suddenly got very big.

Though it’s much smaller in scope than World War Z, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe Max Brooks’s Devolution as World War Z with Sasquatch (Sasquatches?) instead of aliens – and, oh yeah, a lava-spewing volcano setting the backdrop.

Like the former, Devolution is told through a variety of eyewitness accounts: primarily the journal of Kate Holland, one of the few (assumed) survivors of the titular “Rainier Sasquatch Massacre,” but also a mix of private and public interviews – including with Kate’s brother Frank, who was supposed to be living in Greenlop in her place – as well as government documents and, weirdly, one deathbed flashback (Hannah!). All are compiled into a book, published roughly thirteen months after THE INCIDENT.

Kate and her husband Dan – a failing/flailing tech bro with an ego as fragile as an eggshell – have been in Greenloop but a week when Mount Rainier erupts. Designed and implement by billionaire (one would assume) Tony Durant, Greenlop is a small, “high-end, high-tech eco-community” located in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. Consisting of just six households, all situated in a ring around a common meeting house, Greenloop is the very definition of exclusive. Everything in the homes is “smart,” from the solar panels, biogas generators that turn poop into power, and battery units to store it all, down to the helipad for when an electric car ride into town just won’t do word 2016 kostenloser.

Though they have tried their best to isolate themselves from the hustle and bustle of city life, Greenloop’s residents are still very much dependent on the outside world for their continued existence. Tony brags that “every citizen of Greenloop generates between two and four service jobs for their fellow Americans” – which would seem to contradict the community’s sustainability, no? But I digress. A mix of white-collar professionals – CPAs, psychologists, philosophy professors, and computer programmers – the residents all rely on high-speed, fiber optic internet: to telecommute, communicate with their loved ones, and order groceries. While the houses do generate their own power, food is another matter: aside from the odd fruit tree or herb-growing window box, most of their provisions are ordered online and air-dropped by drones.

So when the nearby, long-dormant Mount Rainier finally erupts, Greenloop’s selling point becomes its downfall. Lahars overtake the one road out of Greenloop, and the cell phones and internet go soon after, thus severing Greenloop’s contact with the outside world herunterladen. But their situation quickly goes from bad to worse, since the humans are not the only ones facing a harsh winter coupled with a food shortage. The eruption, it seems, has sent all the nonhumans fleeing down the mountain, right into Greenloop’s path: including some belonging to a species never seen before. Creatures of myth and legend and not a few cheesy B movies.

Spoiler alert: these guys are no Harry Henderson. More like the murderous chimps Jane Goodall observed hunting in the Gombe rain forests.

Devolution is totally bonkers, in the best way possible. There’s so much going on here, much of it (intentionally or not) entirely too plausible and close to home in the time of COVID-19. There’s the obvious: being trapped and isolated in your house all winter, nary a fresh tomato or bottle of Kahlua to be borrowed, begged, or stolen. But Brooks goes a little further, concocting this “perfect storm” of factors that conspire to devastate Greenloop – including a slash in government funding that wiped out the early warning system and stymied rescue efforts, as well as food riots in Seattle and a sniper on the I-90 that bumped survivors down on the priority list mp3 download youtube for free german. Greenloop’s residents are adrift, lost, forgotten:

Someone just had to go for help. There simply wasn’t any other choice. Why? Why are we always looking for someone else to save us instead of trying to save ourselves?

Watching 45 fight with state governors over PPE gear and ventilators really drives the feelings of isolation and desolation home. Part of me feels like this book couldn’t have been released at a more horrifyingly serendipitous time. And that’s what good horror does, right? Taps into the fear that’s already lurking beneath the surface.

Then there’s the misplaced idealism and general white upper class privilege of Greenloop. Maybe it’s eco-friendly, in some ways (is trucking in fresh fruits and veggies for eleven people really environmentally friendly? really? why no victory gardens, Tony?), but very few people can actually live like this; it isn’t practical, or affordable poker herunterladen. Yet they are totes the change they want to see in the world (eyeroll).

There’s also the cult of personality surrounding Tony, the mansplaining and hepeating which, coupled with the man’s utter uselessness in an emergency situation, makes this feel like a thinly veiled stab at Elon Musk. Again, I am so here for it! (BPAP machines are not ventilators, my dude. Why are you even.)

While I think we’re supposed to care about how the siege affects Kate and Dan’s relationship, I was much more interested in Mostar. In sharp contrast to her softer and more coddled counterparts, Mostar is badass: a survivor with zero fucks to give. A survivor of the Croat–Bosniak War and May 1993 shelling of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the young artist assumed the city’s name as a way of making sense of a tragedy.

GROSS: … And so you’ve taken on the name of your city as a form of public remembrance.

MOSTAR: Well, I know to some it sounds like … what did Jerry Seinfeld call “Sting”? “A prance-about-stage name”? [Chuckles.] But the inspiration came from Elie Wiesel, when he said, “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” That is what my life, this new life I’ve been given, is about herunterladen. That is why I became an artist. […]

GROSS: And you feel that discussing tragic events in their barest form runs the risk of repelling people?

MOSTAR: Not always, but far too often. We can’t just mourn the deaths, we also have to celebrate the lives. We need Anne Frank’s diary, but we also need her smile on the cover. That is why I decided to become an artist, when I had that inspiring moment.

When the Sasquatch start invading Greenloop, Mostar doesn’t employ any of the mental acrobatics that seem so popular with her neighbors. From jump street, she’s hiding out in her garage, using her artistic talents to fashion weapons: spears, javelins, spikes, flamethrowers. But that’s not all: she rallies “Katie” to start a garden in her garage, teaches them how to trap and skin animals, and gives Dan the kick in the ass he needs. This diminutive, gray-haired grandmotherly artiste proves to be Greenloop’s (would-be) saving grace.

Mostar simply doesn’t have the (white, Western, upper-class) luxury of ignoring the problem, of refusing to see and name the danger in the world apple watch zifferblätter herunterladen.

Yugoslavia, another country I’d read about in school. A war in the ’90s? I would have been about those kids’ age. I didn’t exactly follow current events back then. The ’90s were O.J. and Britney.

Even at Penn, I only took intro to poli-sci and all I remember is the term “ethnic cleansing.” And Professor Tongun, from Sudan, “Like a tree in the forest, America doesn’t hear foreign suffering.”

Shelling. Snipers. Siege fries. Mostar.

It’s a thing of wonder, and also unimaginable despair.

That said, the story’s not without a few hitches; for example, while Brooks generally does a good job explaining why Greenloop is so ill prepared for anything more serious than a paper cut, am I really to believe that there’s not a single hammer to be found? Like, I’m hardly what you’d call a skilled do-it-yourselfer, but even I own somewhere around six hammers, if only for picture-hanging purposes.

Bobbi and Vincent the vegans really ticked me off too. Even though we later learn that they’re vegan for dietary reasons (to beat Vincent’s cancer, now in remission), they get all bent out of shape when Mostar injures a mountain lion that was mere seconds away from devouring a child herunterladen. And of course everyone freaks out when Mostar suggests establishing a defensive perimeter around the village to scare off the Sasquatch. Say what now? I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for more than half my 41 years – for ethical/animal rights reasons – and, while I’d never delight in killing or injuring a sentient creature, you do what you gotta for survival.

Of course, this all could have been part of the group’s mental health strategy of “deny, deny, deny.” What wasn’t was Kate’s classification of the Boothes as ‘the good kind of vegans’ – that is, vegans who don’t make her feel bad or uncomfortable or conflicted about her own choices, just through their very existence.

They also weren’t judgy about those of us who aren’t vegan. Does that sound judgy from me? You know what I’m talking about: all the vegans in Venice, especially the new ones. The way they’d look at Dan’s leather shoes or my silk blouse or how one of them called a fish tank a prison. Seriously, we were at someone’s house for a party and this guy totally went off on them about their koi pond herunterladen google playstore. “How’d you like it if you were imprisoned in a tiny air bubble at the bottom of the ocean!” The Boothes weren’t like that. They were so nice.

Not that Kate needs any help in this regard (emphasis mine):

I can’t see death. You know that. I’ve told you about that time in New York when I couldn’t walk through Chinatown with all the ducks hanging in the windows. I told you about how I can’t even eat at any of those restaurants with the lobsters in the tank because it feels like death row. I told you about when Dan and I went out to Catalina for Valentine’s Day and I got seasick down below because our spot on deck had this dead fly crusted to the railing with one of its wings flapping in the wind. I know it’s hypocritical. I eat fish and chicken. I wear leather and silk. I enjoy all the benefits of killing without ever having to do it myself. I know all this but I just can’t. I can’t see death.

Projecting much, Kate? (Kudos to Brooks if he created this juxtaposition on purpose, though I doubt that most readers will pick up what he’s putting down.)

Devolution works on so many levels: social critique, stealth learning through entertainment, cultural mirror – and, yes, visceral horror songs for ultrastar deluxe for free. I could practically taste the stench of the Sasquatch when Kate describes their musk. This is good stuff, and at the very least took my mind off the real-life horror show transpiring outside my door, if only for a few hours.

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

Book Review: Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky (2020)

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

“Our end will bring our beginning to light.”

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley sonos app mac. Trigger warning for child abuse.)

When I reminisce about the pieces of art I’ve left behind over the years, I get pensive. I could have taken them, but I chose to leave them behind, in places we lived, in art rooms at different schools youtube videos downloaden android kostenlos. Never signed, but as an artistic Honey Was Here trail.

If we were living in a different time, she’d be the first of us weirds to be tried as a witch music from youtube download legal android. Birdie would be next, for failure to cooperate with the magistrates. And then me, because with my sisters persecuted I would straight up lose my mind windows update herunterladen abbrechen.

Sixteen-year-old Honey Juniper and her two younger sisters – Birdie and Blue, collectively known at Elkwood High as “the weird sisters” – are preppers herunterladen. Along with a handful of other families, they live on a secret compound in the backwoods of Washington State. Dieter Ackerman’s acolytes hide in plain sight: bartering and selling homemade goods in the small town of Elkwood, attending nearby Elkwood High School, pretending to live in the mobile home park they use for extra storage brennprogramm kostenlos downloaden vollversion.

Though the Juniper sisters have moved five times in ten years, it’s starting to look like the Nest might be their final home…at least, until Dieter’s increasingly risky and erratic behavior, coupled with Alice Juniper’s social climbing, proves to be their undoing spd schrift herunterladen.

I expected to enjoy Last Girls so much more than I did. I mean, doomsday preppers! Badass sisters with pouty lips and wild hairdos! Forbidden love/lust adobe acrobat 10 kostenlosen! Sick presidential burns! Cultish stuff galore! A freaking peregrine falcon! Alas, it was not meant to be.

I think my main gripe is that there’s just too much going on here bahn app ticket herunterladen. A story about three sisters caught in a doomed doomsday prepper group (lol, see what I did there?) is interesting enough on its own. The culture of paranoia would make for a rather gripping psychological thriller; throw in some teenage hormones a la Remy and Honey, and you’ve got yourself one rousing tale jam labels download. But on top of a prepper cult engaged in some sketchy terrorist activities and maybe under investigation by the authorities, we also have a triple kidnapping and some random psychic shit thrown in to make things extra weird, I guess.

To be fair, Blue’s prophecies are obvious throwbacks to Shakespeare’s witches – as are the sisters, collectively – as well as Cassandra of Greek mythology. Even so, it’s all just too much.

I also felt like many of the characters, including Honey and her sisters, could have been fleshed out more. The Juniper sisters feel more like a collection of quirks and eccentricities than honest-to-goodness people. And the secondary characters? Ugh. Caricatures, mostly: Magda is the jealous scorned wife; Annalise, the power-hungry second child; Dieter, the erratic messiah. Even Alice Juniper is elusive at best, and it’s her actions that set this whole story in motion.

There’s an exhilarating seed of a story here that sadly never fully blooms. I’m sure Blue would have something especially prescient to say here.

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

Book Review: We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman by Deborah Noyes (2020)

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

This could have been spectacular.

three out of five stars

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

“Never is the joke on you, my boy. Remember that. The power is yours. Count your worth in coins.”

As an afterthought, he added, “Your parents certainly do.”

“We have very few pictures of any of us.” She lifted one of the many cabinet cards of General Tom Thumb bubble shooter gratis herunterladen. “Papa always liked them better.”

The subtitle of We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman is a bit misleading, as the eleven loosely connected short stories gathered in these pages are only marginally about PT Barnum. Rather, Noyes concerns herself with the people trapped in Barnum’s orbit, and imagines how his actions might have affected them.

Naturally, this is a pretty complicated subject: while Barnum arguably created gainful (and even profitable) means of employment for disabled folks who, in some cases, were considered “burdens” on their families, his exhibits leaned into racist, sexist, and albeist tropes, thus perpetuating the bigotry that drove many of Barnum’s performers into his arms. Though he was an outspoken abolitionist later in life, Barnum quite literally built his career on the back of Joice Heth, an elderly African-American slave who Barnum purchased and exhibited as “the 161-year-old nursing mammy of George Washington.” He even exploited Heth in death, offering her body up for a public, for-pay autopsy to “prove” her age and authenticity how to download league of legends.

Given this, I expected that Noyes would elevate the voices of the performers who both prospered and suffered under Barnum’s thumb. Instead, there’s a mix of perspectives here: while some stories are told from the POV of performers (or their friends and family), the majority of the narrators – 6/11 – are Barnum’s female family members. The stories cross a nearly fifty-year time span and often occur at crucial (and tragic) moments in Barnum’s timeline:

The Mermaid (1842)
Caroline, the eldest of the Barnum girls, is itching to see her father’s newest acquisition: the Feejee mermaid, being displayed several floors above the family’s living quarters in the American Museum. Since daddy has precious little time for her, she’s determined to take matters into her own hands.

The Mysterious Arm (1842)
Young Charlie Stratton, who will eventually come to be known as General Tom Thumb, has just been recruited by PT Barnum wie kann ich ein video von youtube herunterladen. As he stays at the Museum, training for his upcoming European tour, Charlie befriends the Barnum sisters – including baby Frances and her older sister Helen.

Returning a Bloom to Its Bud (1845)
Charity Barnum, long-suffering wife of PT Barnum, pregnant with her fourth child and grieving the loss of her third, reflects on her life as she sets sail for the States after eight months spent touring Europe with her husband and his performers.

Beside Myself (1851)
When young Josephine agreed to tour the county with her childhood friend Jenny Lind, aka the “Swedish Nightingale,” she had no idea that it would mean losing herself – or the man that she loves herunterladen.

We Will Always Be Sisters (1852)
Helen, now a young woman living on her father’s estate in Connecticut (Iranistan), is haunted by the ghost of her baby sister Frances – and by her older sister Caroline’s upcoming nuptials.

The Fairy Wedding (1863)
Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, inadvertently finds that his visit to the White House is set to coincide with the visit of Charles Stratton and Lavinia Warren Stratton, as part of their three-year “honeymoon” tour, stopping in DC at Mary Todd’s request. Angry with his parents’ insistence that he not take up arms against the Confederacy, and still grieving the loss of his younger brother Willie, Robert’s disgust with the affair forces him to confront his relationship with his parents, as well as his own humanity (or lack thereof) wie kann man minecraft kostenlos herunterladen auf pc.

An Extraordinary Specimen of Magnified Humanity (1865)
It’s just another day for Anna Swan, a giantess from Nova Scotia who left her job as a teacher to join Barnum’s troupe: brunch with her friend Lavinia Warren Stratton, a lecture or two, and bedtime. And then a fire ravages the American Museum, killing most of Barnum’s nonhuman menagerie, nearly trapping Anna in its flames, and displacing them all.

The Bearded Lady’s Son (1868)
Sixteen-year-old Jack is the illegitimate son of a bearded lady who just landed a spot in Barnum’s roster wix bild herunterladen. Trouble is, they’ve got to keep his existence a secret – Barnum can’t risk any whiff of impropriety in a show that struggles to avoid the margins. So Jack spends his days sketching the animals in Barnum’s menagerie…animals who, once again, are about to stoke the (literal) fire of Barnum’s vanity.

It’s Not Humbug If You Believe It (1869)
On the eve of William Mumler’s trial for fraud – at which her own father, none other than PT Barnum, is set to testify for the prosecution – Pauline commissions Mumler to take a spirit self-portrait of her herunterladen. She hides it in a book in her father’s library, where it will sit for more than twenty years.

All Elephants Are Tragic (1889)
As the family gathers at the Barnum property in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to witness the demolition of the Waveport cottage to make way for the Marina house – Barnum’s gift to his second, much-younger wife Nancy – the newest, arguably most vilified member of the Barnums reflects on her fifteen years with PT Barnum, his daughters, and their children.

What Makes You Think We Want You Here? (1891)
Told from the perspective of Barnie – really named Helen after her mother, and then renamed by Barnum once he became estranged from Helen the elder – the Barnums have gathered at the deathbed of the family’s larger-than-life patriarch: to say goodbye, and to reminisce.

While the writing is skilled enough, and some of the stories engaging (the recurring theme of fire is especially compelling), the overall result just fell flat for me spiele erneut herunterladen. I feel like this is something I should have enjoyed, thoroughly, and yet…and yet. With few exceptions, it’s weirdly boring and lacking in emotion.

I was disappointed that Noyes didn’t focus exclusively on the performers, even though not all of their narratives proved all that memorable.

Centering the women in Barnum’s life might also have worked out well, but mostly it felt like the stories didn’t go much of anywhere app spiele kostenlos downloaden android.

Honestly, I think the most eloquent writing manifests in Noyes’s narratives surrounding the nonhuman exhibits who suffered and died agonizing deaths in the multiple fires that destroyed Barnum’s museums over the years. For example, in “An Extraordinary Specimen of Magnified Humanity” Anna Swan bears witness to the deaths of countless animals – snakes, cats, moneys – even as she fights to overcome her shock-induced paralysis and save herself:

She sailed and swayed over the sea of hats in the street, yet another audience, a uniform mass applauding with joy, it seemed, such joy — as much because some kind soul had released the birds from the aviary upstairs, and almost as one they burst from a corresponding window, a wheeling, feathered blur: parrots, cockatoos, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, vultures, and eagles, even the great, stiff, clumsy condor. The crowd in the street seemed to sway with them as they flapped free, and for the instant Anna floated on air as her rescue crew paused to take in the sight, and for the merest instant she felt it, too, swaying there, the beauty of the moment office mac.

Also heart wrenching is the tale of Jumbo the elephant, purchased from the London Zoo to tour in the Barnum & Bailey Circus, who sacrificed himself in a railway collision to save the life of a young calf. For his heroics, his corpse is dismembered and put on display by Barnum, exploited as a commodity even in death as “the Double Jumbo.” (Talk about a callback!) In “All Elephants Are Tragic,” second wife and “interloper” Nancy Fish considers her husband’s oh so brief mourning period and his shameful treatment of a “friend”:

As another of her husband’s British “acquisitions,” Nancy identified with Jumbo. […]

A year after the loss of Jumbo, the circus’s Winter Quarters in Bridgeport, the biggest animal training ground in the world, was leveled by fire, killing most of the animals. All Nancy remembered of that night was that poor Gracie the elephant had tried to swim to safety … making it all the way to the lighthouse before she sank under the waves. All elephants were tragic, it seemed to Nancy, captives stolen from their homes and made to perform against their wild natures.

THIS. This is the content I came here for. Immerse me in a chapter written from the perspective of one of Barnum’s nonhuman performers, the most long-suffering of them all. The fishes and monkeys forcibly joined to make the Feejee Mermaid (posthumously, obvs) perhaps, or the white whales boiled to death in their tank. Maybe Helen’s cranky old cat, banished to the Museum by Charity, never to be seen again.

Give me an act of nonhuman rebellion, or a whisper of feminist solidarity between h. sapiens and the furred and feathered creatures: for we are all their (read: the capitalist patriarchy’s) creatures.

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

Book Review: Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo (2020)

Friday, April 17th, 2020

Diagnosis: Murder

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley sky go windows. Trigger warning for misogyny and violence against women, including sexual assault.)

The girls stowed away repulsive, frightening experiences with males deep in their hearts without even realising it themselves shapes for word download.

Jiyoung was standing in the middle of a labyrinth. Conscientiously and calmly, she was searching for a way out that didn’t exist to begin with koran download usb.

Jiyoung did not feel good as she checked ‘NO’ with her own hand. The world had changed a great deal, but the little rules, contracts and customs had not, which meant the world hadn’t actually changed at all tilburg university word.

Kim Jiyoung lives in a small apartment on the outskirts of Seoul with her husband, Jung Daehyun, and her baby daughter Jung Jiwon hoe google fotos downloaden. A middle child who grew up in a working class family, Jiyoung attended university and landed a job at a small marketing agency after graduation. One of just a handful of women, she enjoyed her work well enough but quit after just a few years to have and raise Jiwon sky ticket inhalte herunterladen.

About a year after Jiwon’s birth, Jiyoung started exhibiting strange symptoms: she would “become” other people. Always women, always known to her, both living and dead: for example, her own mother, Oh Misook, or Cha Seungyeon, a mutual college friend of both Jiyoung and Daehyun who died in childbirth starcraft vollversion download kostenlos. Alarmed, Daehyun sought the help of a psychiatrist; Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is presented as the doctor’s case study of Jiyoung.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is basically a laundry list of the misogynist slights that Korean women – and especially Korean mothers – are subjected to, both historically and in contemporary society filme legal kostenlosen. (Ditto: women who dare to live and breathe and exist in any patriarchal society. As someone born and raised in the United States, I found roughly 97.8% of Jiyoung’s experiences easily translatable across cultures.) Even as I explain the plot this way, it seems like Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 should make for a fairly tedious read; and yet, it’s anything but lustige videoclips kostenlos downloaden.

As Jiyoung’s psychiatrist traces a path through her early childhood, high school and university years, marriage, and motherhood, we’re forced to bear witness as a young girl’s spirit is beaten down, degraded, and eroded – just like her mother’s and grandmother’s before her – while, as outsiders looking in, we are powerless to stop it browser firefox kostenlos download. We are watching a murder: psychological, emotional, psychic, spiritual. A death by a million cuts: some tiny, others not so much. Intergenerational trauma galore.

There are the “smaller” microaggressions, such as how the boys are always allowed to go first: served the first (and best) portions of food at home, or permitted to do their presentations first at school. Then there’s the bigger stuff: gender discrimination in hiring and pay; limited career opportunities and pink collar jobs; sex-selective abortion; the indoctrination into rape culture, starting in elementary school; sexual harassment and assault; the pressure to have children; and the simultaneous idolization and vilification of stay-at-home moms.

When Jiyoung finally “snaps,” you’ll wonder why it took so long. Her adoption of other personas isn’t the disease, but rather a symptom: of a society that dismisses, denigrates, devalues, and outright hates women. Only by becoming other women can she challenge the status quo. They function as Jiyoung’s protectors, when Jiyoung is barred from protecting herself. (Sometimes.)

I hate to quote Alyssa’s father, because he is 110% one of the pricks this story is about, but when the gif fits…
——————————

The coup de grace is the psychiatrist’s personal notes at the end, wherein he recounts his own wife’s struggles, thus positioning himself as the rare male beast, better suited to understanding Jiyoung’s predicament than most. Mansplaining meets “not all men,” while completely and utterly failing to help either beleaguered woman. It’s enough to make you wonder why Jiyoung didn’t opt for a female psychiatrist … but only if you missed the entire point of the book.

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

Book Review: Space Boy, Volume 6 by Stephen McCranie (2020)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

The one where we finally discover Oliver’s flavor!

three out of five stars

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

— 3.5 stars —

A long-running weekly comic on WEBTOON, Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy is teased as “A sci-fi drama of a high school aged girl who belongs in a different time, a boy possessed by emptiness as deep as space, an alien artifact, mysterious murder, and a love that crosses light years.”

The MC is Amy, a sixteen-year-old girl who’s pretty normal except for the fact that she’s an unwitting time traveler c++ kostenlos herunterladen. Born on a mining colony, her family was forced to return to earth when her father lost his job. Since it’s a thirty-year journey, Amy and the ‘rents were cryogenically frozen for the trip: hence the “girl out of time.”

The family settles in Kokomo City, where Amy enrolls in South Pines Academy. Though she misses her BFF Jemmah (now old enough to be Amy’s mom; could this be the “love that crosses light years”?), she soon finds her own new social circles: football star David, his girlfriend Cassie, and their friends Zeph, Meisha, Maki, Logan, and Howard; and the school’s agriculture club, which includes fellow crossover Meisha, and Tamara and Shafer zdf mediathek ipad.

And then there is Oliver, the mysterious, silver-haired boy who does not seem to have a flavor. (Amy has synesthesia and “tastes” peoples’ personalities.) Though her friends think he’s trouble with a capital T, Amy gravitates to Oliver, and vice versa. But for reasons not yet revealed, Oliver’s very existence is classified – and their continued friendship endangers Amy’s life. Enter: the alien artifact and mysterious murder netflix serien die man downloaden kann.

Volume 6 collects episodes 76 through 92 of the WEBTOON comic, originally published between 8/24/16 and 12/15/16 (yes, the trade paperbacks are very far behind! Do yourself a favor and create a WEBTOON account so you can stay up to date.)

One thing I don’t love about the trade paperbacks is that the plot seems to progress at a snail’s pace, and Volume 6 is no exception; 256 pages and we’re still not done with Spirit Week youtube videos auf android herunterladen! Still, this is an enjoyable and bittersweet collection.

Volume 6 sees Oliver continue to distance himself from Amy, while fissures deepen among some of Amy’s friends. Amy gets to experience her first snowfall – and snow day! – for which mom thankfully yet temporarily lifts her grounding (that’s a whole ‘nother story) lustige geburtstagskarten kostenlos downloaden. Amy finally discovers Oliver’s flavor (orange with hints of cinnamon, brimming with passion and vibrancy and life – the complete opposite of Nothing) – revealed, oddly enough, as he’s beating the piss out of a bully. Before she can even begin to process, Oliver and his foster dad Dr. Kim vanish, just as mysteriously as they arrived.

The agriculture club’s baby chicks make a quick cameo, as part of Tamara’s efforts to lift the spirits of a mopey Amy herunterladen. My feelings about the ag club are something of a roller coaster: initially I was overjoyed that Amy made the connection between the soft, floofy, sentient creatures she was loving on and the chicken salad sammie on her plate, and vowed to go vegetarian. This quickly crumbled when she got an accidental mouthful of bacon on Oliver’s sandwich and decreed that it was fine, so long as the agriculture club doesn’t start raising baby piggies herunterladen. Speciesist much?

And the very existence of animal agriculture so far in the future feels like a disappointing lack of imagination of the artist’s part. When I first started reading Space Boy, I thought it had to be at least 30 years in the future, to allow for Amy’s travel. Probably more like 100+ given all the new tech herunterladen. But when Amy starts researching the Arno and its mission to reach the alien artifact, we learn that the year is actually 3355: The Arno launched in 3051, and was supposed to reach the artifact in 300 years – which, for Amy, was 4 years ago. 3051 + 300 + 4 = 3355.

So you’re telling me that it’s more than a thousand years in the future and we don’t have synthetic or lab-grown meat yet streaming videos herunterladen? That we’re still breeding and raising sentient creatures to be slaughtered for food? That our morals have evolved so little? Gross, dude. If this is the future, I hope humanity burns itself out well before 3355.

But yeah, baby chicks are hella cute ich kann bei whatsapp keine bilder mehr herunterladen.

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

Book Review: Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel (2020)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Only loosely based on the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case (& with a much more satisfying ending!)

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for child abuse and suicide. This review contains vague spoilers.)

Most people don’t like holding on to anger geogebra 6 for free. They feel it crushing and consuming them, so they let it go. They try to forget the ways they’ve been wronged.

But some of us cannot forget and will never forgive. We keep our axes sharp, ready to grind. We hold pleas for mercy between our teeth like jawbreakers.

They say a grudge is a heavy thing to carry herunterladen.

Good thing we’re extra strong.

For most of her first eighteen years, Rose Gold Watts was in and out of the hospital, battling a plethora of health problems. Constantly nauseous and unable to eat, she was weak and thin – skeletal, even, weighing just seventy pounds at the age of eighteen. Since her stomach couldn’t tolerate regular foods, Rose Gold got most of her nutrition from a feeding tube that the doctors put in at her mother Patty’s request klasbord fotos downloaden. Patty insisted on shaving Rose Gold’s head, claiming that her hair would otherwise fall out in clumps, or grow in unevenly. Rose Gold had her own wig collection by the time she was a teenager, along with a wheelchair for those days when she was feeling too unsteady to get around on her own. She suffered from sleep apnea and had a mouth full of yellow, rotten teeth, thanks to the havoc all that bile wrought on her enamel.

Home schooled, Rose Gold had little contact with the outside world; that is, until she convinced Patty to get the internet – “to help with school work” – at the age of sixteen funny invitation cards for free. It was then that she met Phil in a chat room; Phil, who would piece together Rose Gold’s terrible symptoms and unconventional life experiences, and figure out what should have been plain to Rose Gold’s doctors. Namely, that she wasn’t sick at all, but was being poisoned and starved by Patty.

Though Darling Rose Gold is obviously inspired by a recent and rather infamous case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy – the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard by her nineteen-year-old daughter Gypsy Rose, and Gypsy Rose’s online boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn – the story veers from IRL events in some pretty significant ways: Dee Dee was not tried for her crimes; Gypsy Rose’s bio dad and his new wife are not total asshats; and the real Gypsy Rose, the one rotting away in jail (unjustly, imho), seems much saner and more well-adjusted than the non-murderous but still stone cold Rose Gold of fiction herunterladen. Which is all fine and good, as long as you know that from jump street. Otherwise you might find yourself offended on the real Gypsy Rose’s behalf – if only initially, before the story’s twist becomes evident. I know I did.

Dammit, I’m trying my best not to give anything away, but it’s exceedingly difficult to review this book without dropping some spoilers java kara herunterladen! Even if they’re just of the maddeningly vague variety!

Darling Rose Gold is told in two narratives: past tense, in the weeks and years following “Poisonous Patty’s” trial, from Rose Gold’s perspective; and present day, five years later, when Patty is released from prison and is taken in by Rose Gold, in Patty’s POV. It’s evident pretty early on – from the time they pull into the driveway of Patty’s childhood home; or rather, when she has such an extreme, visceral reaction to it – that Rose Gold has a few tricks up her sleeve citrix workspace app download. Even so, Wrobel manages to sustain the psychological tension and the “will she or won’t she?”/”who’s the real villain here?” suspense throughout the story, escalating things to delicious heights (depths?) with the denouement. This is a much more satisfying tale than its “ripped from the headlines” inspiration.

Rose Gold makes for a compelling protagonist, whether you’re cringing in vicarious embarrassment for her teenage, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt just-sprung-from-a-bunker awkwardness, or rooting for her to get sweet, sweet revenge on her tormentor con calma kostenlos herunterladen. Patty is appropriately frustrating, so much so that it’s hard not to root for her demise; I would’ve liked a few more present-day chapters from her perspective, so we revel in her anguish just a bit longer. And Billy, what a freaking tool. I really hope he was roasted and then summarily cancelled by the masses, otherwise he got off a little too easy, with just a few months of panic and suffering mit tor browser downloaden.

Also: I hope Rose Gold is able to get those new teeth she always wanted. I have a serious hang up about teeth, and it’s always the dental stuff that haunts me.

Read it if: you devoured The Act, but didn’t want to see Gypsy Rose serve any time for what was clearly a case of self-defense smilies kostenlos herunterladen.

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

Book Review: The Companions by Katie M. Flynn (2020)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

A haunting glimpse into one possible future.

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

four out of five stars

Where I live now is a blank space wo kann ich noten herunterladen. I imagine you live somewhere similar. I can fill it with light, with sorrow, drench it in horror, erase it all with an ocean roar. I can fill it with memories, you putting on your sister’s clothes, Lea! I can remember her name—I don’t know why. There are washes of gray nothing where whole years should be, but I remember thinking something bad would happen at that house party herunterladen.

Standing on the cliffs, holding that shovel in my living teenage hands, the hot feeling of anger. We were just girls—what was I so angry about?

The Companions imagines a future San Francisco that feels all too possible; one shaped in equal measures by disease and capitalism (or are they just one and the same?) herunterladen.

Ravaged by several successive waves of a mysterious and highly contagious virus, the citizens of California are under quarantine. In San Francisco, residents are confined to crowded high rises; children attend school online and socialize in carefully planned and closely supervised play dates in their buildings. The internet is many peoples’ only link to the world outside their tightly sealed towers.

And then there are the companions: when people die, they can opt to have their consciousness downloaded into a semi-immortal body herunterladen. But this comes at a price: companions are the intellectual property of Metis, the giant megacorp that birthed the companion technology. For a hefty fee, the grotesquely wealthy can remain in the custody of their descendants; the less fortunate belong to Metis, to rent out as it pleases. The bodies used to house the companions’ consciousness run the gamut, from beat-up, trashcan-shaped robots that sport hooks for arms, to lifelike human bodies capable of regenerating skin musik für imovie herunterladen. Distribution is predictably class-based.

When I read the synopsis for The Companions – a sixteen-year-old murder victim turned first-gen companion goes rogue in order to hunt down her killer – I was hooked (sorry Lilac, no pun intended). However, this plot point primarily serves as a jumping-off point for a much larger story: about technological developments, corporate greed, unintended consequences, and cultural backlash herunterladen. As much as I wanted to delve into story about robot revenge, I still greatly enjoyed the end result. (Unmet expectations aren’t always a bad thing!)

The narrative unfolds from the alternating perspectives of a whole host of characters, all of them bound by Lilac’s rebellion:

* There’s Lilac, of course, who wakes in her Rosie the Robot-esque body to find that she’s been requisitioned as the plaything of a teenage girl named Delilah.

* Nikki, Lila’s childhood best friend (and secret crush), whose unknown fate haunts Lilac decades later.

* Red/Mrs. Crozier, the teenage girl who killed Lila in a fit of jealousy, now a lonely and bitter old woman who lives in the Jedediah Smith Elderly Care Facility volkswagen navigationsdaten herunterladen.

* Cam, one of Red’s caregivers.

* Gabe/Gabrielle, an orphaned street kid in San Francisco who ekes out an existence as a semi-professional thief.

* Diana, one of the scientists who developed Metis’s companion technology.

* Kit, an illegal companion duplicate.

* Rachel, a companion recruited as a mercenary whatsapp medien erneut herunterladen.

* Jakob Sonne, an actor with dangerously independent ideas of his own.

* Mrs. Espera, ex-wife of studio exec Sydney Espera and mother to their adult daughter Isla.

* Rolly, the son of a farmer named James, who turned to disposing of companions for Metis after he lost much of his land after the quarantine potplayer herunterladen.

* Andy, Rolly’s brother, who goes missing for a time when he’s kinda sorta kidnapped by a pair of companions.

While Lilac’s escape from Dahlia’s custody does set subsequent events into motion, the story becomes so much bigger than one person. Lilac’s singular act of rebellion inspires insurrection in others – sometimes with disastrous results. There are bombings and terrorists attacks and recalls präsentationsprogramm kostenlos downloaden. Acts of stunning inhumanity, as well as tiny moments of kindness and bravery.

Despite its somewhat diminutive size, The Companions is an ambitious book: it dares us to contemplate what immortality might look like, given our current sociopolitical climate. How might such a promising technology be twisted against us, made dystopian? How can we stop this happening? Can we, even?

Read it if: you rooted for the Cylons in BSG.

Read it with: Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful, which is grander in scope yet has a similar vibe.

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

Book Review: Blood Countess by Lana Popović (2020)

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

“And if I was not deranged before, I have since succumbed.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence against women, including physical abuse, sexual assault, and murder.)

But I see it. Just as I see Lord Nádasdy’s hand close around her wrist, the skin paling with the force of his grip 187. I can see how it hurts her, in the way her smile slides off her face.

For all the gold and silver in her coffers, in some ways the countess is just like me.

A woman, with a man’s cruel hand around her wrist.

And is it truly Ferenc’s abuse, I begin to wonder, watching the corded muscles in Elizabeth’s neck, the wild elation flooding her face with every fall of the switch, that casts her to these abject depths klingeltöne kostenlos downloaden pippi langstrumpf? Or might there be some black vein of malice riving through her, too, nothing at all to do with him?

But that cannot be, it cannot. I could not love someone evil, and yet I love her so dearly, shudder with yearning for her touch.

Anna Darvulia is just thirteen the first time she meets the Countess Elizabeth Báthory. She unwittingly chases her kitten Zsuzsi, freshly rescued from a pack of bloodthirsty boys, in front of her Lady’s wedding procession – and, miraculously, lives to see another day musik herunterladen ohne app.

Several years will pass before Elizabeth summons Anna to her side – or rather, to the bedside of her secret, illegitimate son Gabor, in the throes of a mysterious illness. Anna, the daughter of the village midwife and a skilled healer in her own right (“witch,” whisper some), diagnoses it as an infected bug bite and delivers Gabor from the jaws of death football manager 2019 for free.

Elizabeth rewards Anna with employment, and enough coin to feed her struggling family – first in the scullery, then as a chambermaid to the Lady herself. Despite the rumors about Elizabeth’s cruel streak, Anna finds herself drawn to Elizabeth – so lovely, captivating, and mischievous. So like Anna herself, tied to an abusive man by the ropes of the patriarchy fifa ps4.

As Anna becomes more entwined with Elizabeth, she begins to see that the woman she loves is indeed the sociopath that everyone speaks about in hushed whispers in shadowy corners. She gets a front-row seat to Elizabeth’s cruelty – like, a literal front seat – yet Anna stubbornly clings to the fantasy that she can fix Elizabeth, pull her back from the edge of depravity; or, failing that, temper her abuse, if only a little the sims 4 herunterladen. But when Anna realizes that she is as expendable as the rest, she takes drastic action to end Elizabeth’s reign of terror.

Very loosely based on the historical “Countess Dracula,” Blood Countess is not exactly what I expected. For one, the honest-to-goodness, vampiric bloodletting comes pretty late in the story. (In some ways, this almost feels like Elizabeth’s origin story.) The journey there is as much a psychological thriller as a slash-’em-up horror story etiketten drucken kostenlos herunterladen.

Anna is a fascinating character, and her reactions to Elizabeth – her knee-jerk disbelief of the rumors, coupled with her justifications when she witnesses Elizabeth’s rage for herself – feels a lot like contemporary excuses we make for men who do bad things: “Well, he’s never hurt me personally, so he must be a good guy.” or “He was provoked.” or “But what about all the good he’s done for women.” Like, it was painful at times to witness Anna’s journey to the truth; onto her, I projected the faces of Ghislaine Maxwell, or the women seated at Harvey Weinstein’s table when he was so bravely called out by Kelly Bachman, Zoe Stuckless, and Amber Rollo. Handmaids of the patriarchy, if you will.

If anything, Blood Countess is an amazing case study of how abusers get away with it for so long herunterladen. Elizabeth’s gender and her (perceived) connections with Anna make it all the more complex and meaty – doubly so with all the red herrings Popović throws down about men behaving badly. Did Ferenc and Mr. Darvulia deserve to die? Probably. But sometimes women (especially rich white women) are terrible too. Elizabeth’s masterful gaslighting of Anna was the icing on the cake übungen word 2010 kostenlos downloaden.

Popović’s prose is gorgeous and lush and dark and sexy. Horrible yet exquisite. It’s like a rich piece of red velvet cake (decidedly not vegan), topped with not-fake blood icing. Your favorite Halloween candy, with razor blades hidden inside (just like mom warned you about!). Deliciously dreadful.

Come for the historical horror, stay for the doomed F/F, would-be/could-be Thelma & Louise-esque romance mailstore home kostenlosen.

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

Book Review: Foul Is Fair (Foul Is Fair #1) by Hannah Capin (2020)

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

Mean Girls + Kill Bill + The Craft

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for violence against women, including rape and domestic abuse, as well as murder and suicide.)

I said, I spat, I swore: You picked the wrong girl serato dj pro download kostenlos.
They did.
They had to.
It could only be me.
Not the first—
—but the last, the last, the last.
They picked the right girl.

“We’ll be the witches they don’t believe in until it’s too late.”

Elle, Mads, Summer, and Jenny: young, wealthy, powerful, privileged mensch ärgere dich nicht kostenlosen deutsch. The quartet of besties rules their LA social circle: “We were middle school six months early, wearing our shiny new crowns before anyone else knew a monarchy was coming.” They are as ruthless as they are rich. Summer ruins starry-eyed boys for fun; Jenny can kill with her saccharine sweetness. Mads is the daughter of a crime boss who taught her and Elle to defend themselves when Mads came out as trans and was bullied at school Lego star wars game download for free. Ride or die? They coined the term, bitches.

When they crash a party at St. Andrew’s Preparatory School to celebrate Elle’s sweet sixteen, the golden boys on the lacrosse team separate Elle from her pack, like so many wolves on the hunt. Duncan, king/captain, singles Elle out for slaughter; his younger brother, Malcolm, slips Rohypnol into her drink; and Porter guards the door while teammates Duncan, Duffy, Connor, and Banks take turns raping her mario kart wii new stretches. Duffy’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Piper witnesses the assault, but does nothing to stop it.

Elle arises from the ashes like a phoenix transformed: she is the same hard, cruel girl she was, but more. Now she is Jade with the razor-sharp claws, hair shorn and colored REVENGE black, eyes obscured by contacts that match her new name. She promptly enrolls in St alte version von google earth downloaden. Andrew’s Prep and vows to get her bloody satisfaction before the week is out, before her bruises (and their scratch marks) have a chance to heal. Jade and her coven hatch a plan to take the golden boys (and one flock girl) down, all at the hand of one of their own.

Foul Is Fair is wild and audacious, in the best way possible hoe gratis fortnite downloaden. I almost passed on it, because Jade and her crew seem like characters I’d otherwise loathe: part of the 1%, kids who use their parents’ influence to get away with all sorts of transgressions, including bloody murder. (Think: the Drumpf kids, but with more panache and intelligence.)

But I do love me a good rape revenge story, and this one is in a class of its own: Kill Bill (which is of course I Spit On Your Grave + Bruce Lee) meets Mean Girls meets The Craft microsoft windows 10 kostenloser download. Plus, for all her casual cruelty, the objects of Jade’s malice usually have it coming, for one reason or another. She is an avenging angel, if a fallen one at that. (Summer, though – Summer I wonder about. Spin-off, please? And a sequel for Lilia, I feel like that chick could be going places.)

I also found myself falling in like with the parents, again in spite of myself kostenlos lebenslauf herunterladen. I mean, these are some pretty terrible people: Jenny’s dad is a sleazy defense attorney who gets paid to victim-blame girls like Elle, and did I mention that Mads’s dad is a literal organized crime boss? Yet, despite their many flaws, these adults support their kids unconditionally – and not just monetarily, e.g., by buying their way out of trouble sinterklaasliedjes mp3en gratis. Instead of putting a hit out on his daughter’s tormentors, Mads’s dad taught her how to fight…and then didn’t bat an eye when Elle casually mentioned that they were going to kill the bullies, not just kick their asses. Ditto Elle’s parents when, upon learning of their daughter’s assault, were content enough to let Elle handle it, her way. Murder heavily implied emf sensor free app for free.

Is Foul Is Fair in any way, shape, or form believable? Nah. Unlike with Lisa Lutz’s The Swallows – another recent book tackling rape culture and sexual assault in an insular and privileged high school community – I can’t with a straight face insist that I can picture this playing out outside of the big (or little) screen. And that’s okay! Foul Is Fair is a deliciously savage rape revenge fantasy. One hundred percent, complete and total escapism and wish fulfillment.

I mean, if we can’t get justice in the real world, we deserve to see it with compounded, payday loan-esque interest in the fictional realm, right? (Trust me, patriarchy, you’re still getting the better end of the deal.)

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

Book Review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (2020)

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

This isn’t a love story.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for sexual harassment, rape, pedophilia, child abuse, drug use, and suicide.)

Fiona Apple was raped when she was twelve years old. I remember her talking about it in interviews back when I was twelve years old. She spoke about it so openly, the r-word coming out of her as though it were the same as any other windows essentials 2012 download for free. It happened outside her apartment; the whole time the man did what he did, she could hear her dog barking through the door. I remember crying over that detail while hugging our old shepherd dog, hot tears that I buried into his fur. I had no reason to care about rape then—I was a lucky kid, safe and securely loved—but that story hit me hard. Somehow I sensed what was coming for me even then. Really, though, what girl doesn’t? It looms over you, that threat of violence. They drill the danger into your head until it starts to feel inevitable. You grow up wondering when it’s finally going to happen.

“I tortured him,” I say. “I don’t think you understand how much I contributed to everything gif to download. His whole life descended into hell because of me.”

“He was a grown man and you were fifteen,” she says. “What could you have possibly done to torture him?”

For a moment I’m speechless, unable to come up with an answer besides, I walked into his classroom. I existed. I was born.

“I just feel . . .” I press the heels of my hands into my thighs. “I can’t lose the thing I’ve held on to for so long. You know?” My face twists up from the pain of pushing it out. “I just really need it to be a love story. You know? I really, really need it to be that.”

At the height of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault shitstorm, I was living in a rural area in the midwest: a swath of deep blood red in an already overwhelmingly red state. Guns, God, and (when it suits them) small government. The kind of place where everyone just assumes that everyone else agrees with them, on all the things, all the time old ios version. (Spoiler alert: I never did. A year out, I’ve found that I miss the weather; the politics, not so much.)

Anyway, I was visiting with a neighbor and the television just happened to be on, and the reporter just happened to be talking about Weinstein. The neighbor, an older conservative lady, could have chosen to ignore the news; she didn’t. Instead, she reacted with what was, to me at least, unexpected vehemence – directed not at Weinstein, but his accusers. (I guess Weinstein’s white male privilege trumped his liberal Hollywood elite status in her calculations.) Cue the rape apologism: Why did the women wait so long to come forward? If he was so bad, why did everyone continue to work with him? If true, how could this behavior continue for so long, unchecked? Etc., etc., etc.

Naturally, I disagreed, and the conversion quickly morphed into a larger discussion of sexual harassment and abuse 3sat mediathek downloaden. Come to find out, when she was a teenager – back in, oh, the 50s or 60s – she worked stocking shelves at a small, family-owned grocery store. Her boss was a creepy ass motherfucker who used to sexually harass his female employees. Among other things, he’d insist on stuffing her wages into her jeans pocket himself. If she wanted to get paid what she was owed, she had to acquiesce to being groped and fondled (read: sexually assaulted) by a man who was likely twice her age or older. Nice.

Yet even as she acknowledged that this behavior was unacceptable, she denied that she was a victim (or survivor, or what have you; the issue was not terminology), or that sexual harassment, assault, and rape are widespread problems iso bestand downloaden. It was infuriating, but I also saw a disturbing logic in it: no one wants to be a victim; to be a victim is to be weak, vulnerable, and exposed. Why identify with the prey when you can side with the predator – and, in so doing, perhaps absorb some of his strength and power, make it your own? Of course THOSE WOMEN are lying; the alternative means that they are victims, and if they are victims, perhaps that makes me one too?

This is what played through my mind, on an endless loop, as I devoured My Dark Vanessa. Yes, devoured: though it is an impossibly difficult book to read, Russell’s writing – compassionate, insightful, shrewd AF – makes it go down just a bit easier gta san andreas free ios. This might just be one of the “best” (read: most observant) fictional books on rape that I’ve ever read. (Sadly, I have read quite a few.)

Vanessa Wye is just fifteen when she meets her longtime abuser, Jacob Strane. At the beginning, he is simply her English teacher: a bespectacled middle-aged (forty-two, to be exact) employee at the private Browick School in Norumbega, Maine. She’s a sophomore who’s interested in poetry; he’s a pedophile who quickly confesses that he’s going to “ruin” her. Thus begins a seventeen-year “relationship” (scare quotes because it’s more accurately described as long-term abuse, even if the narrator resists seeing it this way) between the two app herunterladen youtube videos.

The story is told by Vanessa, in two timelines: now, which is 2017, as Strane stands accused of sexual assault by multiple former students; and then, at the beginning of the school year in 2000. The story slowly progresses from both points, exploring the sexual abuse and its fallout, eventually converging in the here and now. (Interestingly, in the Acknowledgements, Russell says that the book took her eighteen years to write, which is roughly the timeline of My Dark Vanessa.)

Strane’s selection of Vanessa is hardly random: she’s shy, unsure of herself, a bit of a loner. She had a falling out with her best (and only) friend and roommate, Jenny, near the end of last semester, and she hasn’t yet recovered from the loss. She isn’t particularly close to her parents, and they live a few hours away from the school anyway. Strane doesn’t need to separate her from the herd, as she already stands apart (though he does excel at driving wedges too) herunterladen.

Though she has, through necessity, romanticized the abuse – both in real time, as it was happening, as well as retrospectively – it’s pretty easy for an outsider to see what’s going on. Strane grooms Vanessa, pushes an ever-expanding series of boundaries, and gaslights, stalks, threatens, and otherwise manipulates her. When he’s on the precipice of exposure, Strane has no qualms about throwing Vanessa under the bus – a move that smacks of premeditation.

Yet he has made Vanessa so utterly dependent on him – for attention, approval, and affection – that she cannot move on: not when she leaves Browick for home and public school; not when she reaches legal adulthood and goes off to college; and not as an adult. Strane has, as he promised, “ruined” her. (Though, thankfully, not beyond repair.) As Vanessa so desperately admits to her therapist, she needs for this to be a love story, because the alternative is too horrible to imagine google document herunterladen.

Despite her protestations that she is not a victim, that what Strane did to her was not rape, we can see the toll the abuse has taken on Vanessa: again, both then and now. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of abuse will see the signs; for example, how Vanessa freezes up and dissociates from herself during the assaults. As a young adult and adult, she acts out sexually, engages in risky behaviors, and uses alcohol and drugs to cope. She very clearly suffers from PTSD. All of which belies her insistence that she was an equal and willing partner.

(In fact, statutory rape is not the only instance of assault Vanessa is subjected to by Strane; there are multiple scenes in which she either does not voice her consent, actively says no, cries in fear and pain, and/or is inebriated to the point that she loses consciousness.)

Russell does an excellent job of exposing Strane – and, by extension, all rapists – for what they are: misogynists who get off on subjugating women and girls sciebo ordner herunterladen. Rather than existing in a vacuum, they are symptom of a larger problem: a culture that makes excuses for powerful men (or any man), that dismisses and trivializes and denies sexual harassment and assault, and that hates women. Strane is but one in a long line of weak, pathetic men who are deserving of nothing but our scorn. His ultimate fate proves more than he deserves (and isn’t that always the way in this world?).

As for Vanessa, she can admittedly be frustrating at times. And, while it can be tempting to blame her for her obstinance (particularly when she attacks Strane’s other victims), mostly I just felt sorry for her: how do you even begin to heal when you cannot admit that you were even wronged? Russell gets mad points for portraying what could be, in the wrong hands, an unrelateable or even unlikable character, and infusing her with depth and nuance to further understanding and foster compassion. As far as psychological studies go, Vanessa Wye is a tour de force.

I also really enjoyed how the early-aughts setting grounded the story in my own childhood; the bits about Fiona Apple really connected with me, and I outright snorted when Vanessa (in her inner monologue only, natch) derided Strane for being the stupid one for not knowing who Britney Spears is (rather than Vanessa, for deigning to listen to that pop culture garbage). This all brought me back to my own teen years, and not always in a good way. We all have stories: “It looms over you, that threat of violence. They drill the danger into your head until it starts to feel inevitable. You grow up wondering when it’s finally going to happen.”

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

Book Review: The Living (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac Marion (2018)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

This is the Warm Bodies ending we deserve.

five out of five stars

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

We are ten thousand generations of humans and millions more of simpler things, a vast history of lives and experiences condensed like an ocean of oil, growing deeper and more refined with each new moment of beauty. We want to ignite. We want to be heat and light. After billions of years, we are running out of patience.

“What we had before is what burned the world down spiele kostenlos herunterladen durak. I’m ready for a whole new everything.”

“Chairs on the ceiling,” Tomsen adds. “An otter for president.”

Gebre looks at us for a moment, then tosses up his hands and turns back to his husband. “Well. Okay.”

Gael erupts with laughter. “You’re out of touch with the youth, old man.”

“I might even agree with them,” Gebre says with a shrug, “but they’re hardly representative of the general population.”

“We might be someday,” Julie says. “Maybe sooner than you think.”

“How do we make a better world without giving up a single piece of the old one herunterladen? We don’t. We can’t. That’s a fucking stupid question.”

“No way around it, zombies are magic.”

Warm Bodies is a personal favorite of mine; if not in the top ten, then definitely the top twenty. (Hey, the likes of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler = stiff competition!) Until I met R. and Julie, never did I imagine that a book about the undead could be so beautiful and poetic. Romantic, even, and in a revolutionary, universal heartbeat kind of way.

The Burning World proved a letdown (albeit a teeny tiny one), as Marion traded some of the ardor for action adventure; it felt almost like an intermission between the more important stuff lebenslauf muster zumen kostenlos. In all fairness, bridging the gap between the beginning and end of a trilogy is HARD, and the second book in the series is still filled with its share of beautiful, transformative moments. (I challenge you to find a more tragically exquisite scene than when Nora’s patient, Mrs. A, pulls herself from the pit of the plague, only to succumb to her injuries after enjoying a few brief moments of her newfound humanity.)

I’m not gonna lie: I was nervous as heck to read The Living (especially right after the dumpster fire that was Fury, the series conclusion to another one of my faves, Menagerie).

Thankfully, The Living is a harmonious marriage of the previous two books: it’s got the race-against-time action-adventure chops of The Burning World, with all of the humor, heart, and humanity that made me fall head over heels for Warm Bodies herunterladen.

The Living picks up immediately after the events of The Burning World, as R., Julie, Nora, Marcus, and (Huntress!) Tomsen flee an imploding NYC. What ensues is a road trip across the United States – including an especially precarious and trippy (as in LSD) journey through the Midwaste – as they try to beat Axiom to Post; save their kids from being assimilated into Axiom’s military-industrial complex; continue to spread the Gleam to the Dead and Nearly Living; and confront their pasts.

For Julie, this means finding her Nearly Living mother before she dies a second time; for Nora, it means confronting – and perhaps forgiving – memories she’s tried long and hard to repress; and for R., it involves a trip to the basement, and bringing his crimes against humanity – as both the head of the Burners and the heir to the Atvist megacorp – to light herunterladen galerie. And they’re all chasing Tomsen’s white whale, BABL, hoping to bring it crashing down, thus opening the lines of communication to humanity.

One of the delights of The Living is watching R. grow and evolve – and with it, his relationship with Julie. There’s this wonderful scene where Julie confesses that what first drew her to R. was his distinct lack of a background or baggage. He was a blank canvas on which she could project whatever she needed. Slowly, though, he has become full-fledged person – imperfections and all herunterladen. R. didn’t have much of a choice when he devoured Perry; he was just following the plague’s biological imperative. But the towns that were consumed at his behest as a Burner, and the humans devoured by the machine that was Axiom? Those were R.’s doing. How could that young man grow into the monosyllabic zombie that Julie fell in love with? How can she reconcile the man she loves with the person he once was? How can he?

We also learn more about the nature of the plague; in general terms, it’s an allegory for the times we live in now, and one that’s perhaps more apt today than when the series began age of empires 4 full version free german. The plague is forced unity and conformity; it is greed and pessimism. It is Axiom (Amazon, Blackwater, Purdue Pharma; Bethany Christian Services, CoreCivic, Wells Fargo): objectifying, tabulating, assimilating, corporatizing, mechanizing, consuming, regurgitating, and reassembling humans, nonhumans, and the natural world. It is apathy and stagnation; bigotry and tyranny. The only way through it? Love – and otter presidents.

The loveliest part of The Living, far and away, is the Library: a subconscious, supernatural, subatomic collective consciousness. A vast, limitless record of everyone and everything that ever has been, and ever will be. Though it has a longstanding policy of steering clear of human affairs, the state of the world has become such that the Library can no longer bear silent witness testament vorlage kostenlos downloaden. This burning world, so desolate yet still so full of potential, needs a nudge. A bit of wisdom. A tiny miracle.

And the so Library whispers, cajoles, and calls out to our protagonists. Well, the older ones; the younger ones, Joan and Alex and Sprout and Addis – they can flit in and out of the stacks at will. They are able to sip and guzzle from the Library’s incomprehensible stores of knowledge whenever they like. Perhaps they can even use this wisdom to bend the laws of reality. They are the next generation; our future.

I hope they don’t mind, but I’m going to pocket a small piece of the Library, and slip it into my own weird, godless magpie version of “religion, not quite a.” There it will rest on the shelves alongside Octavia E tip toy herunterladen. Butlers’s Parables duology; Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials; Carl Sagan’s starstuff; Aaron Freeman’s essay, “You want a physicist to speak at your funeral”; and pieces of Light from Other Stars and The Psychology of Time Travel, by Erika Swyler and Kate Mascarenhas, respectively, and among other things.

It’s strange and perhaps a bit confusing, but also as magnificent as all get out. Just roll with it and you’ll have an extraordinary time, I promise.

Also awesome and compelling and worth a mention: Nora’s reunion with Addis; Nora + Marcus; Tomsen vs. BABL; The Suggestible Universe; Paul Bark (sounds an awful lot like Paul Blart!); Gael + Gebre; random philosophical debates with strangers in dive bars; and the feeling you get when a ghost smiles at you fortnite op xbox 360.

Gleam on.

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

Book Review: Fury (Menagerie #3) by Rachel Vincent (2018)

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

The series that started with a roar goes out with a weak, acquiescent whimper.

two out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including rape and forced abortion, pregnancy, and birth. This review contains clearly marked spoilers.)

“I cry foul. Humankind doesn’t deserve a sword and shield. Or even a plastic spork. Not after everything they’ve done to us. You should be fighting for us.”

If Menagerie – the first book in this trilogy – was a 2020 Democratic Presidential hopeful, it would be Bernie Sanders. Fury, on the other hand? More of a Joe Biden. Pete Buttigieg, at best.

Look. I absolutely loved, cherished, and adored Menagerie herunterladen. Reading it was a rapturous moment for me, and for reasons that something like 97% of my fellow readers just won’t get. While the plight of the cryptids in this parallel universe created by Rachel Vincent has several obvious and unmistakable corollaries in our world – the treatment of Muslims in post-9/11 America, the demonization of brown immigrants, especially (but not exclusively!) under a Drumpf presidency – at the time I argued that the most obvious one was also the most apt: simply put, “Menagerie reads like a thinly veiled animal rights revenge fantasy.” Was that Vincent’s intention? Probably not, especially given how the later books played out. Like Oreos, Menagerie was accidentally vegan. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious.

My main gripe with its follow-up, Spectacle, wasn’t that Vincent walked back the animal-friendly undertones, but rather that she failed to tread any new ground. By swapping the site of Delilah’s enslavement and oppression from Metzger’s Menagerie (a struggling traveling circus) to the Savage Spectacle (a place where cryptids are rented out for basically anything, from canned hunts to rape), it seemed like she meant to up the stakes:

Establishments like the Savage Spectacle were whispered about in hushed, fearful tones from behind the bars of Metzger’s Menagerie fotos von facebooken. They were the boogie men that Metzger used to keep his captives in line: act up, and you’ll end up at a place even worse than here. But is it? Really?

While rape in the form of sexual trafficking is rampant at the Spectacle, rape also occurred at Metzger’s: he forced “exhibits” to breed so that he could sell their offspring. Instead of forced abortion, as at Spectacle, Metzger’s had forced pregnancy and birth. Captives were not intentionally murdered at the carnival, but they were neglected and sometimes shipped off to places where they would be killed, such as research institutions or game preserves.

Is it really possible to rank oppressions?

I feel like Spectacle is Vincent’s attempt to up the ante, to create a world more shocking and appalling than even Metzger’s. And I don’t think that’s possible, because again: how do you compare atrocities? It’s all terrible and horrifying and makes anyone with an ounce of humanity not want to live on this planet anymore dropbox album downloaden.

Fury, on the other hand, represents a serious (and seriously disappointing) deviation from the much more radical and subversive Menagerie. Also, very little happens. Something like 75% of the book involves the main characters hiding out in a remote cabin, or sitting in their cars drinking slushees for the free incognito wifi. I shit you not.

Fury picks up nine months after Delilah & Co.’s escape from the Savage Spectacle. After they disabled Vandekamp’s ability-inhibiting shock collars and high-tailed it out of there, the government bombed the facility. The unlucky cryptids and abusive guards trapped inside were written off as collateral damage. On the upside, they have no idea how many cryptids survived – and escaped. They do suspect that Delilah and Gallagher are out there, BUT they remain blissfully unaware of Delilah’s pregnancy. Which is pushing ten months and might end with her demise at the chubby little hands of a fear dearg baby tik tok video herunterladen ohne wasserzeichen.

Delilah, Gallagher, Lenore, Zyanya, Claudio, Genni, Rommily, and Eryx are all hiding out in an off-grid cabin in the deep woods outside of DC. Lenore sirens people into giving them cash monies to survive, and she and Delilah – the most human-looking of the group – go into town once a week to check the news feeds. They mean to be searching for the missing members of their group – Lenore’s husband, Rommily’s sisters, Zyanya’s brother and children – but it’s hard to get anything done when you’re a notorious fugitive.

And then a spate of mass murders whips everyone into a frenzy. Teachers kill students, nurses kill patients, police kill civilians, soldiers kill everything that moves. Some begin to fear that this is the beginning of a second reaping. Cryptids are scapegoated all over again. Though it seems that things can’t get worse for nonhumans, the bottom drops even lower: checkpoints are set up, with orders to shoot loose cryptids on sight Need for speed most wanted 2005 free.

And then things really go off the rails when Delilah wakes up one morning covered in blood and grime. It seems she killed someone in her sleep; but with two badasses taking up space in her body – the furiae and her fetus – it’s anyone’s guess who the murderer is…or why the victims’ faces all look eerily similar in death. One thing we do know: she can’t stop won’t stop.

All this plays out against the backdrop of the first Reaping in 1986, as told from the POV of fourteen-year-old Rebecca Essig, one of the few kids who was lucky enough to survive the mass slaughter by virtue of having other plans that night. She was at a slumber party, only to skip out early and find two of her three younger siblings dead, and her parents covered in blood. Eventually, the government would take her six-year-old sister Erica – really a changeling, or surrogate – into custody, never to be seen again. Rebecca’s story centers on her search for the real Erica, and converges with Delilah’s in unexpected (and often confusing) ways.

*** So here is where the book goes terribly wrong (and where the SPOILERS start). ***

It turns out that, of the hundreds of thousands of surrogates that the government rounded up in 1986, five or six thousand survived. They have been kept in a Guantanamo-like facility, under the control of Vandekamp’s collars, presumably for research and interrogation herunterladen. However, when Delilah and her friends disabled the collars, they disabled the whole lot of them, allowing the surrogates to escape.

Now in their mid-thirties, the surrogates aim to kickstart a second Reaping, this time by turning authority figures against the very people they should be protecting and serving. Hence: teachers vs. students, nurses vs. patients, cops and soldiers vs. civilians. I think – hope! – you can see where I’m going with this.

This plot like leads to some pretty cringe-worthy exchanges between the MCs. To wit:

“Authority figures.” My voice hardly carried any sound. “Instead of parents. The surrogates could be using authority figures this time. Anyone we’re supposed to be able to trust to protect us.”

“And now—maybe—they’ve found a new way to get to us,” Lenore said. “To make us suspicious of the people we should trust the most.”

and:

“They’ll keep feasting on our pain and chaos for as long as possible herunterladen. They’ll keep turning teacher against student, nurse against patient, soldier against civilian. Stealing trust and security from us. Making us fear the very people who should protect us.”

Soldiers and cops, really? “People we should trust the most”? You can tell that a white person wrote this, the privilege is blinding. And in a story that’s ostensibly about the othering and oppression of marginalized communities, to boot. Like, I’m a middle-class white lady and even I get nervous around people with guns who can use them with near impunity. Crazy, that.

Put another way: anyone who’s paying even the slightest bit attention is already suspicious of militarized authority figures like soldiers and the police.

The ending, though? OMG, the ending. I can’t even with this appeasing centrist bullshit.

Because Delilah is tangentially responsible for the escape of the surrogates, the furiae has taken it upon herself to send out a sort of homing signal, luring all the escapees to Delilah’s doorstep. Once they meet, the furiae assumes control of Delilah’s body and straight-up slays them; there is no self-inflicted poetic justice here starcraft 1 kostenlos downloaden vollversion. (Hence the sleep-killing.) But killing them one at a time is a slow process, so Delilah hatches a plan to get thousands of them in one place and induce mass slaughter – with a human audience, so that they can see that we’re all on the same team. Gross, vomit, no want.

“I cry foul. Humankind doesn’t deserve a sword and shield. Or even a plastic spork. Not after everything they’ve done to us. You should be fighting for us.”

“Lenore, I’m not choosing humankind over cryptids. This isn’t us versus them. The surrogates are the enemy. And the only way humankind will ever understand that is if we show them that the rest of us are all on the same side.”

Uh, but you’re not. And this won’t work. Let me tell you why.

In the wake of 9/11, many Muslims denounced the actions of the hijackers; 6,024 self-identified American Muslims fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, fourteen of whom were killed overseas tiptoi abenteuer tierwelt herunterladen. Yet none of this has stopped countless right-wing politicians and commentators from condemning, vilifying, and marginalizing all 1.8 billion Muslims in the world because of the actions of a few. (Meanwhile, domestic terrorism largely remains the purview of white men, and yet you rarely hear calls for white men everywhere to disavow John Timothy Earnest or James Alex Fields Jr., lest they be guilty by association.)

Immigrants have a lower incarceration rate than natural-born citizens, yet the facts don’t stop 45 from saying things like “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Hell, some immigrants even put their bodies on the line by serving in the military, only to be deported once they return home. “Same team” my ass.

I could go on but this is depressing.

Bigotry is born of fear, sure; and this fear is often misplaced. But this assumes that people are open to education and growth, and often it’s just the opposite (deplorables in the house!). Bigotry is stubborn and entrenched, y’all vlc download for free german windows 10. Sometimes people are just fucking horrible. Also consider that oppression is profitable. We’re not afraid of most nonhuman animals, yet we continue to exploit them; and, in this AU, cryptids are a big busine$$. Circuses and carnivals, research facilities, controlled hunts, unpaid labor, rape and forced birth, exotic meats, the military-industrial complex. Political capital and mobilizing the base. Humans have so very much to gain by keeping this system of dehumanization and oppression going.

Delilah’s sacrifice, the denouement of this story, is more tragic than noble. Menagerie had me hoping for total animal liberation: nothing more, nothing less. What we got was some half-assed, “hearts and minds,” if we cut off a limb for them, maybe they will deign to acknowledge the basic humanity in us, bullshit.

As far as I’m concerned, her story begins and ends with Menagerie. Spectacle is just kind of meh, while Fury is legit a slap in the face to everyone who rooted for Delilah and her adopted family of cryptids (and, by extension, the marginalized populations they represent in our own world).

Additional quibbles:

Gallagher’s only method of communication seems to be growling.

I do not like that he and Delilah hooked up; it feels like a really gross and icky taboo violation, and besides, can’t men and women ever “just” be friends (or champion and cause, as it were)?

Finally, Eryx. Oh, poor sweet Eryx. You and Rommily deserved so much better. We all did.

/rant

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

Book Review: Homesick: Stories by Nino Cipri (2019)

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

“Who knew why straight people did anything, really.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for racism, homophobia, and transphobia.)

You and I, we’re twenty feet and more than a hundred years apart.

(“the shape of my name”)

It is easy for him to imagine the worst things. Trying to see exactly what’s in front of him is harder. A plastic container full of living fruit. The streetlight shining through the window. The dangling thread of wool on his suit, the shiny black buttons traktor programm kostenlos. His cheap apartment, his silent and spectral roommate, the letter confirming his academic suspension, his infatuation with someone who switches out their gender like it’s an attractive but itchy sweater, his mother’s disappointment, his dwindling savings.

And the one thing he can’t see, can’t imagine: his future. That’s the monster, really, that’s lurking at the corner of this painting.

(“a silly love story”)

Maybe it’s my pitiful lack of imagination, or perhaps it’s just because I’ve written so damn many of these, but I always have the most trouble titling a review. It’s not uncommon for me to just pluck a choice quote from the book I’m reviewing. Here, though? The title pretty much chose itself.

Homesick: Stories is such a gloriously and unapologetically queer collection of short fiction something soundcloud. And it doesn’t feel gimmicky or purposefully overdone, either: the LBGTQ elements are organic, authentic, and fit seamlessly with the content of the stories. Like, they just are. And why not? The author is “queer and nonbinary/transgender” (and “One time, an angry person called Nino a verbal terrorist, which was pretty cool.”).

The writing here is exquisite and magical; every word and turn of phrase feels like it was conjured from the ‘verse using spells and potions herunterladen. The stories could mostly be described as speculative fiction, with a liberal seasoning of fantasy and scifi throughout. Many of the tales have a surreal, dreamlike quality to them that will throw you for a loop – or twenty.

They didn’t all do it for me – them’s the breaks with anthologies – but even the “worst” of the bunch was entertaining and held my full attention. Really my main complaint, in the event that there is one, is that some of the stories either end abruptly or without a satisfactory conclusion. That said, “the shape of my name” and “before we disperse like star stuff” alone make Homesick a must read herunterladen.

“a silly love story” – 4/5

There is a poltergeist living in Jeremy’s closet, unspooling the stitching on his ancient suit and stinking everything up with the smell of apricots and dust. There is also a bigender person named Merion haunting his heart, threatening to either break or cultivate it. This is a surprisingly sweet and tender story, and the monster is absolutely not what you expect it to be. (Hint: it’s a thousand times scarier than a mildly annoying ghost.)

“Which Super Little Dead Girl™ Are You? Take Our Quiz and Find Out!” – 3/5

I got Jane Doe, with Madelyn coming in a close second hp bios.

“dead air” – 4/5

Nita’s sociologically influenced art project/”ethnography of the people I fuck” goes off the rails when she falls in love with one of her subjects, a girl named Maddie. Maddie is haunted by her small town past, and before long those ghosts will devour Nita too. “dead air” is creepy and atmospheric, and has a kind of Blair Witch vibe, told as it is via a series of interview transcripts. I just wish I knew wtf was going on (!).

“she hides” – 3/5

After Anjana’s aging parents move into a nursing home, she’s tasked with cleaning out their house tipico android herunterladen. In an otherworldly mirroring of her mom’s deteriorating mental state, the house begins to shrink before Anjana’s eyes. So she takes refuge in the hiding place of her childhood: her parents’ oversized bedroom bureau. “she hides” is beautifully told, yet it didn’t quite do it for me.

“let down, set free” – 3/5

In a letter addressed to her ex-husband, the narrator recounts how she left her old life behind: saddled atop a floating alien tree. An invasive species the government has instructed its citizens to burn, natch.

“the shape of my name” – 5/5 amazing

Originally published as a short story on Tor.com in 2015, “the shape of my name” is one of my favorites of the bunch pc programme kostenlos downloaden. Heron was born in the 1950s and assigned female at birth. His mom knew that he’d one day make the transition to male and choose his own name. Not because she’s particularly insightful or progressive when it comes to gender roles and identity, but rather because her family has a time machine and she’s seen the future. Perhaps this is why she chose to live and die in self-exile in the future, abandoning Heron and his father in the present.

I’m sure you were lonely, waiting for me to grow up so you could travel again. You were exiled when you married Dad in 1947, in that feverish period just after the war. It must have been so romantic at first. I’ve seen the letters he wrote during the years he courted you xbox one updates automatisch herunterladen. You’d grown up seeing his name written next to yours, with the date that you’d marry him. When did you start feeling trapped, I wonder? You were caught in a weird net of fate and love and the future and the past. You loved Dad, but your love kept you hostage. You loved me, but you knew that someday I’d transform myself into someone you didn’t recognize.

“the shape of my name” is a magical, innovative, and aching scifi story that weaves time travel with trans issues in a way that’s simply breathtaking. It’s really just a thing of beauty and wonder, particularly in the words Cipri chooses to describe each year in the narrator’s experience sims 3 kostenlos möbel downloaden. Every jump, every era, has its own distinct feeling and flavor. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it.

“not an ocean, but the sea” – 3/5

A middle-aged cleaning woman named Nadia finds an ocean hidden under her clients’ couch. At just a few pages, this is the shortest of the short stories. No less magical, but I want more!

“presque vu” – 4/5

Everyone in this unnamed town is haunted by something. Clay coughs up keys, usually while fast asleep at night. His neighbor Mari receives vintage postcards. Her boyfriend Finn wakes up with unspooled cassette tapes tangled in his hair herunterladen. Clay’s ex-lover Joe gets phone calls from a ghost. And the entire community is plagued by wraiths, ethereal creatures who fly overhead and emit radioactive-esque glowing lights. Supposedly “unwinding” a wraith will rid its abuser of their haunting. Cue: some really vile and uncomfortable ugliness.

A lovely and brutal story, “presque vu” ended just a little too abruptly for my tastes.

“before we disperse like star stuff” – 5/5

Two years ago, the discovery of an intelligent nonhuman species – Megalictis ossicarminis, who lived three and a half million years ago, looked like a cross between river otters and wolverines, and were capable of using tools and written language – brought three friends together. There’s Damian Flores, an activist who left academia to pen a popular science book about his discovery; Min-ji Hong, PhD candidate in linguistics at the University of Chicago and Damian’s close friend since their high school days at Camp Transcendent; and Ray Walker, a biology professor at Emporia State University in Kansas and Damian’s ex-lover.

Reunited for a documentary the Smithsonian network is shooting, the estranged friends try to work through the aftermath of their fame: Damian’s selling out (and Damian and Ray’s subsequent breakup), Min’s theft of the oracle bones, and the potential reinterment of the ossicarminis’s remains.

While “a long-extinct species of intelligent weasels” is both fascinating and ultimately what sold me on this collection, “before we disperse like star stuff” is as much about relationships as anything: romantic, platonic, societal. It’s about what we owe each other, including our ancestors and neighbors.

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

Book Review: Color outside the Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna (2019)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

“We won tonight because we saved what we love.”

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for racism, misogyny, and ableism.)

I swarm the stage with the other girls and here is Lourdes, jumping up and down like a circus girl on a pogo stick herunterladen. She grabs my hand and I jump with her, the mess of our kiss less important than this moment when a tiny powerful woman stands, feet spread wide, and the crowd of boys parts for the shining raging mass of girls.

“GIRLS TO THE FRONT!” she yells again, and she is pure magic.

(“Gilman Street” by Michelle Ruiz Keil)

“Shiva,” he said quietly, “it was one conversation thalia.de free ebook. It doesn’t mean I’ve been programmed.”

What if he doesn’t want to figure shit out?

“Of course you have. We all have. You just don’t notice because the program has been meticulously designed to benefit you.”

(“Five Times Shiva Met Harry” by Sangu Mandanna)

Anna-Marie McLemore and Adam Silvera are two authors on my (relatively short) insta-read list, making Color outside the Lines a no-brainer for me herunterladen. Though I was emotionally devastated (!) that Adam Silvera’s story was not included in an early ARC of the book, some of the other stories made up for it (okay, almost). In my experience, anthologies tend to be uneven; and, while Color outside the Lines is no exception, I’m happy to report that each story is mildly entertaining at worst herunterladen.

The overarching theme of the collection is YA fiction about interracial relationships, both opposite-sex and LGBTQ. Some of the stories are contemporary fiction, as I expected, but there’s a nice mix of historical fiction and fantasy as well. There are some happily ever afters here, while other endings will reduce you to a puddle of tears. A few are…frustratingly ambiguous. (To Elsie Chapman’s “The Boy Is,” I say: WHY NOT HAVE THEM BOTH?! vba excel herunterladen? Like for real though, they both sound delightful, and it’s just toasted cheese and a donut, yo!)

Anna-Marie McLemore’s “Turn the Sky to Petals” is achingly beautiful and magical; no surprise there! “Five Times Shiva Met Harry” by editor Sangu Mandanna is as charming as it is brief; I’m really looking forward to reading more from her (The Lost Girl just jumped up a few spots on my TBR list) gif bild herunterladen.

Speaking of new-to-me-authors, Michelle Ruiz Keil’s “Gilman Street” is a freaking revelation. Set in 1980s California, and boasting a rad punk vibe, I can only hope “Gilman Street” is just a little taste of what we’re in store for with All of Us with Wings, Ruiz Keil’s upcoming debut novel. Having just been ghosted by her friend Kelly (for her sleazy BF Ben and his racist friends), Tam skips school and heads down to Berkley, where a chance encounter with a badass drummer named Lourdes changes the course of Tam’s life for the better where can I download ebook for free. Spoiler alert: there will be Bikini Kill.

I also quite loved “Giving Up the Ghost” by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. In this world, kids are gifted Ghost Mentors at the age of nine, to help guide them through adolescence – and life, if they so choose. (A Ghost Mentor is mandatory only until one’s seventeenth birthday, at which time you may opt to have it removed.) Whereas his parents got a Buddhist monk and a cobbler from Mumbai, Sanjiv got stuck with Ching, a bloodthirsty pirate from the nineteenth century herunterladen. Her advice, among other things? To re-introduce himself to his childhood crush Addy thusly: “Hi, do you remember me? I’m Sanji and we used to try and glue our hands together in preschool so we wouldn’t be separated at the end of the day—wanna bang?” The story’s structure is a countdown to Sanjiv’s birthday. Cue: dramatic tension.

Samira Ahmed’s period piece “The Agony of a Heart’s Wish”, featuring two star-crossed lovers – both victims of British colonialism, circa 1919 – will shred your heart to pieces herunterladen. Ditto: Lydia Kang’s “Yuna and the Wall,” though in a much happier and more hopeful kind of way. Oh, and Lori M. Lee’s “Starlight and Moondust”? 110% as ethereal as the title would have you believe.

Color outside the Lines is a really fantastic collection, in both concept and execution, and even if romance isn’t normally your thing herunterladen.

“Turn the Sky to Petals” by Anna-Marie McLemore – 4/5
“What We Love” by Lauren Gibaldi – 3/5
“Giving Up the Ghost” by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas – 5/5
“Your Life Matters” by L.L. McKinney – 3/5
“Starlight and Moondust” by Lori M. Lee – 4/5
“Five Times Shiva Met Harry” by Sangu Mandanna – 4/5
“The Agony of a Heart’s Wish” by Samira Ahmed – 5/5
“The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love” by Caroline Tung Richmond – 3/5
“Death and the Maiden” by Tara Sim – 4/5
“Faithfull” by Karuna Riazi – 4/5
“Gilman Street” by Michelle Ruiz Keil – 5/5
“The Boy Is” by Elsie Chapman – 3/5
“Sandwiched in Between” by Eric Smith – 3/5
“Yuna and the Wall” by Lydia Kang – 5/5

TK from Danielle Paige and Adam Silvera

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

Book Review: Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden (2019)

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

Daidi’s bells! What a weird, wickedly funny, and ultimately empathetic ride.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for slavery, mass murder, rape, and animal abuse. This review contains some general spoilers about the world building – so please skip it if you want to read the book with fresh eyes.)

“She?” I ask, eyes wide. Never in all my dizzy dreams had I thought that our beast was something other than a thing, an animate object, a sustainer of life. The idea intrigues me. Scares me some, too.

We are careful, taking only what the other offers, knowing that a connection like this is deeper than either of us can fully comprehend google presentation downloaden. He reads poetry to my spleen. I tell fairy tales to his bile ducts. The inside of his navel is a vast, unexplored desert. He lounges upon the cushion of my lips. His desires rise, and I pretend not to notice, diving right into the pool of tears caught in the corner of his eye. I don’t make a single splash. And while I swim laps, he hikes across the boundless expanse of my molars, and then I’m climbing up his chest hairs.

We’re curious, playful. Adventuresome. The landscapes of our bodies like the foreign world we orbit. Is this how the beasts communicate with one another? A life without secrets? Becoming intimately familiar with everyone you touch?

“All throughout our history, we sing of two kinds of women … those born into power and those who disrupt power. I intend on being the latter.”

Excavation, extinction, exodus: these are the phases that define humanity’s existence hundreds (thousands?) of years in the future descenders kostenlosen.

Forced to flee a dying earth, humans took to the skies, eking out a rugged existence; searching, in vain, for a habitable planet. Instead, they found the Zenzee: enormous, tentacled animals whose rough hides and bodily secretions allow them to soar through space, as if it was water. Social creatures through and through, they travel in great herds, communicating through touch and flashing lights. Humans being, well, human, we did what we do best: attacked, dominated, conquered, oppressed. Captured, consumed, culled. In short, we made the Zenzee our ships; our homes.

When a new beast is taken, a contingent of workers is sent ahead to make its barely-living zombie carcass habitable (excavation). Its hide is harvested for leather; its flora reshaped into fields; its parasites, harvested for food. Bones are reshaped to provide infrastructure. Every part of the beast is twisted, bent and broken to serve out needs. And what of humanity? We reshape ourselves into parasites.

And we are greedy ones, at that: beasts with a natural lifespan of thousands of years, we deplete within a decade (extinction) schulgong. Then we simply repeat the cycle again, killing and abandoning one animal after the next (exodus).

So it has been for roughly six hundred and fifty years. But the newest ruler – a young woman named Seske (or Matriling Kaleig; Seske Ashad Nedeema Orshidi Midikoen Ugodon Niosoke Kaleigh if you’re feeling especially stuffy) – is poised to change things. She’s not the only renegade on the ship, though: also working to effect change is Adalla, Seske’s childhood bestie (and soul mate), a lowly beastworker who Seske was forced to shun once she reached marriageable age; Sekse’s betrothed, a man named Doka; and Wheytt, one of the few male Accountacy Guards.

I almost passed on Escaping Exodus. As an ethical vegan (read: vegan for animal rights reasons), the thought of plunging into a make believe world where animals are routinely and brutally oppressed in such a way … let’s just say, it’s not my idea of relaxing escapism. But I also love interrogating pop culture from an animal rights perspective, so there you go. And, y’all, I am so glad I made the leap. Escaping Exodus is a wildly inventive, wickedly funny, twisty turny science fiction story that, at its core, has a giant bleeding heart (both literally and metaphorically) herunterladen. This book is brimming with compassion and examples of humanity at its best.

Escaping Exodus is told from the alternating perspectives of Seske and Adalla, as each girl hovers on the precipice of adulthood. For Seske, this means taking a wife or husband – the first of eight. You see, in order to keep the ship’s population in check, family units are strictly regulated:

“Matris Tendasha made the Rule of Tens that helped to counteract the population explosion after the Great Mending. Ten fingers.” Pai opens his hands and wriggles his long, slender fingers, patinaed with the deepest shade of orange. “Ten persons in the family unit. Three men, six women, and a child shared between them all. Ten for Tendasha.”

Seske’s is a matriarchal monarchy, and she’s next in line to rule after Matris, one of her six mothers, passes away. As such, her choice of mate is especially important (read: political, calculating, stifling). Yet Seske’s position – her very existence – is but a fluke of nature seiten um filme zu downloaden. Seske was the second child conceived in her family unit, but arrived four months early, thus beating Sisterkin by a hair. By all rights, Seske’s younger sister (“sister” being a slur in this culture), deemed so unimportant that she’s not even granted a name, should be the next ruler. Paradoxically, and by a mere technicality, she should have been killed upon birth, and fed back to the ship. But Matris’s weakness may prove to be Seske’s downfall, as Sisterkin plots against her in the background (I said this was a twisty turner thriller, did I not?).

Meanwhile, a natural talent for sensing the rhythms of the beast’s heart scores Adalla a coveted promotion to caring for the creature’s heart. But life comes at you fast, as Adalla wryly observes, and her grief at losing Seske quickly spirals out of control, eventually landing her in the slums of the boneworkers. Vapors aren’t the only thing whispering through the working class; before she can say “Daidi’s bells!,” Adalla is fomenting her own kind of revolution videos downloaden samsung internet.

What’s interesting is how each woman arrives at the realization that their society is corrupt, built on the broken backs and brutalized bodies of others, rotting from within. Early in the story, when she’s off getting into mischief as plucky heroines are wont to do, Seske accidentally stumbles upon the womb of “their beast” – and it is not empty. The beast that Matris has chosen for them is pregnant, and the fetus is draining precious resources, further taxing the Zenzee’s already injured body … and hastening another exodus. The workers are trying in vain to kill the fetus. And this is when the young Zenzee reaches out to Seske for help.

Through her interactions with the fetus – and, later, an adult Zenzee – Seske comes to accept that which she already knows, if only subconsciously: the Zenzee are sentient animals. They are capable of feeling pain and suffering; of experiencing joy and happiness. They form bonds and love their children, their mates, their friends herunterladen. And they are forced to sit back and watch as we capture and colonize their loved ones. Because of the intimate way in which they communicate, they feel their loved ones’ pain as acutely as if it was their own. Their lives predate human existence; yet, as we continue to deplete their herd, they likely will not survive humanity. What gives us the right to put our survival above their own?

Adalla, for her part, comes to epiphany along two parallel roads. Caring for her heart, cutting away murmurs, learning to anticipate an arrhythmic beat: Adalla forms an intimate connection with the beast, which eventually results in her humanizing their would-be vessel. The beast transitions from an “it” to a “her”; a something to a someone. From there, it’s just a short hop to accepting that the animal has her own thoughts, feelings, and desires – not the least of which is the will to live.

The second road reveals yet another crack in the foundation of Adalla’s society. The grisette – colloquially known as a “bucket waif,” for the mindless, repetitive job she performs – assigned to Adalla looks achingly familiar bildergeschichte download kostenlos. After some digging, Adalla discovers an especially nasty open secret: in order to excavate a beast as quickly as possible, slave laborers are grown in vats – and then destroyed when their services are no longer needed. (Dissolved into fertilizer for the ship, in an especially grisly scene.) Skilled beastworkers and their husbands are paid a handsome sum to “donate” their eggs and sperm. In a society where siblings are unheard of, Adalla’s “brood sister” is destined to become plant food.

So while the world Drayden imagines here is rife with suffering and oppression, there is hope: in Seske, in Adalla, and in the world they want to rebuild on the ashes of the old one. But complications about, as they always do, and Escaping Exodus has some pretty jarring twists late in the game. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the ending; we certainly didn’t land where I expected. But it’s an ending that’s replete with hope, trust, and empathy, and that’s good enough for me.

I also thought it a bold choice to make Seske’s society a matriarchy uno kostenlosen. It’s not unusual to think (hope?) that a society ruled by women would be a kinder, more peaceful and equitable one. Yet interrogate this idea further and you’ll see that it rests on some gender essentialist bullshit. As a whole, women are not naturally more compassionate or nurturing than men; rather, these are the traits that society fosters in women. Women can be just as brutal, selfish, and hateful as men. Why wouldn’t Seske’s culture be marked by stark class differences, poverty, inequality, slavery, sexism, and other forms of oppression, when women are in charge … yet still place a premium on stereotypically masculine traits?

Even more interesting, imho, is how Seske’s ship came to adopt a matriarchy. As we discover at the end of the book, hers is but one of seven surviving ships from Earth, each having evolved along separate lines, developing its own unique culture, rule of governance, etc. How did women seize control of her ship? And why are the citizens predominantly (or exclusively) Black? How did b influence a, if at all? I am dying for a prequel spiele ohne zeitlimit kostenlos downloaden deutsch!

Social justice and animal friendly plot lines aside, Escaping Exodus is a just a damn good book. The world building is simply breathtaking; crafting a sky-faring creature into a ship is hella inspired (if heartbreaking), and the descriptions of the ship’s interior are fascinating. Seske’s encounters with the Zenzee – arguably more humane than us – are marvelous. These are some of the most beautiful and bizarre passages I’ve ever encountered. Really mind-bending stuff. Think: Octavia E. Butler.

And Drayden’s sense of humor? Truly gross-out wicked. I mean, talk about your body horror! Between Seske tricking her new groom Doka into deflowering a gel puppet, and Seske expelling a Zenzee fetus from her vag, there are plenty of WTF moments that will either make you hysterical-laugh, or else chuck the book across the room in disgust. It’s not for everyone, okay.

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

Book Review: Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (2019)

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

An important story, but not without its failings.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss herunterladen. Trigger warning for homophobic violence, including gay conversion therapy and sexual harassment/assault, and suicide.)

Like Orpheus, I’m going to hell and I’m looking to save the girl I love. Because Orpheus? She’s a girl. A girl who likes girls.

For as long as Raya can remember, it’s just been her and her grandmother discord app herunterladen. Gram’s husband died in a car accident when she was twenty-seven, leaving her to raise their two-year-old daughter Calli on her own. Calli got pregnant her senior year of high school and ran off to become an actress three years later; Raya hasn’t heard from her since. Raya’s only glimpse of her mom is on tv, where she plays the goddess Aphrodite on daytime soaps. She and Gram are alone together, lonely planets hurtling down parallel orbits of abandonment, each defined by the same absence, the same loss herunterladen.

Making matters worse is the fact that Raya has to hide her true self: from Grammy, from her friends and classmates, from church, from the small town she begrudgingly calls home. It’s 2004 in Pieria, Texas, and Raya is gay: a girl who likes girls. And this is a time and place where teenagers like her often disappear without a trace illegalesen von musik.

When Raya and her best (and only) friend Sarah are outed by a (violently homophobic and misogynist) classmate, they’re sent to a gay conversion camp called Friendly Saviors, where things quickly go from bad to worse. At best, the prisoners undergo grueling physical labor, humiliating talk “therapy,” and milder forms of physical torture; at worse, they are drugged and electrocuted into compliance zoom.us herunterladen.

Orpheus Girl is not for the faint of heart, and comes with some strong trigger warnings. This is a tragic queer story tempered by a tentatively hopeful ending. Our heroes manage to persevere, though they do not emerge from hell unscathed.

As much as I want to see more shiny happy stories starring queer characters, I suppose you could argue that there’s still a need for the sad and horrifying narratives, to shine a light on the many atrocities happening in there here and now avira antivir kostenlosen. (And yes, while there has been a state-by-state legislative push again gay conversion therapy, as of this writing gay conversion therapy on minors has been banned in just 18 states, as well as DC and Puerto Rico. According to studies by the UCLA Williams Institute, more than 700,000 LGBTQ people have been subjected to gay conversion therapy, with an estimated 80,000 kids at risk in the future.)

I’m always on the lookout for good books, of any genre, with LGBTQ protagonists, and Orpheus Girl caught my eye both because of the author’s young age, as well as her background in poetry herunterladen. While the narrative is compelling, Orpheus Girl feels like a debut novel, and not in a good way. There were so many little details that distracted from my enjoyment of the book. To name just one example: Raya is able to lift Hyde’s truck keys on the first try, even though she has zero background in pickpocketing or general thievery photo it naar icloud. Nor does she possess nerves of steel: when she later manages to steal said truck, she immediately flips it 180 degrees, while still within earshot of the camp. So, yeah, I’m not buying it.

Additionally, the characters lack depth and nuance: aside from their fashion sense, Raya are Sarah aren’t really distinguishable from one another, and Raya’s primary personality trait seems to be “orphan.”

But the thing that bugged me the most is how compressed the timeline is: just three days after she’s sent to prison (I can’t in good conscience call it a camp, let’s be real), Raya’s worried that Grammy has already married her new suitor and moved on snes romsen. When I say “new,” I mean as in they literally just started dating weeks before Raya was outed. And then we find out, a month later at most, that she totally did! I don’t know about you, but it takes me three months to hang a new poster. WHO MOVES THAT FAST.

Orpheus Girl is an important story, for sure, but if you’re looking for a book that confronts the horrors of gay conversion therapy, you can probably do better arma kostenlosen. Just off the top of my head, I’d recommend The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

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