***Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review***
I’m going to make this clear from the beginning. This is not a fantasy book. It is a surrealistic story at best and a jumbled mess at worst. I say this as someone who remained hopeful until the bitter end. Despite the characters just being down right horrible and the “fantasy” elements coming so late in the book that I completely forgot that was supposed to be a thing, I somehow managed to continue with a small shred of hope that I would get the answers I was so desperately seeking from this book. However, The Year the Swans Came by Barbara Spencer left me feeling upset and unfulfilled.
***Thank you to BookSprout for an ARC in exchange for an honest review***
WARNING: Book is an Erotica, LGBTQ Romance. This is more for those who just don’t want to read about sex in general. It’s Erotica folks, so things are going to get freaky!
Seriously though, I’m not about to defend the fact that I went out of my way to request this book from BookSprout. Aside from wanting to expose myself to more LGBTQ stories, I also wanted to dip my toes into something a little risque so as to maybe influence my own writing. No, I am not writing an erotica, but it never hurts to look at love scenes from these novels. Though most read as a cheesy porno, it can be helpful. This is what I was going for and I’ll admit that My Best Friend’s Sister by Eden Burgess didn’t disappoint.
It’s hard to claim this book as anything but intense, but I think that is it’s intention. It is meant to make you think and more importantly it wants you to feel – something, which I think in my case it succeeded on that front.
For those who aren’t aware Jamie Tworkowski is the writer most well known for his story To Write Love on Her Arms, which gave way for a non-profit organization of the same name. It’s message is simple, yet profound. We are here, Hope is real, Help is real, Your Story is important. They help with the difficulties of depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. And If You Feel Too Much is Tworkowski’s fist full length book.
It is such a cliche to say that it’s been a rough two weeks, but for me it has been a rough two weeks.
Two weeks ago I attended the Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One in Los Angeles and if you are a Doctor Who fan and have never been to this amazing experience I would suggest re-evaluating your priorities and try to attend next year. It truly is the place to be for all American fans of the beloved BBC show.
Following that terrific weekend I was put out with a hard case of Con Crud (the cold that proceeds a non-stop nerd convention). To be honest I am still not completely over it, coughs linger. This is the main reason that the last two weeks have been rough, that and other personal reasons that I won’t go into here.
The point I am trying to make is that during this two week time period I have acquired a stack of books and I now have the energy to post and share them with you.
**Thank you to Booksprout for an ARC in exchange for an honest review**
WARNING: This book deals with the delicate subject matter of human trafficking and the Darknet
There is a lot to unpack with this book despite it’s relatively short page length. For some reason even after reading the description I wasn’t fully prepared for what the story would deliver and even after I began reading it I still felt unprepared. If there is one thing that can send cold shivers down my spine it is the thought of the Darknet and the fact that it is actually a real thing. I have read plenty of things and listened to a number of crime podcasts that deal with this subject matter, but no matter how many times it is brought forward into my plane of understanding it still leaves me weak with nausea.
Granted, I would hope that K.T. Rose wrote Netted – The Beginning from a purely fictional point of view, but that’s the thing with this subject matter, you never really know for sure. I give kudos to her for taking on something such as this with that horrifying fact in mind and I am sure I won’t be the only reader who thinks so.
***Thank you goes directly to Amy Landon, the narrator of the audio book, for an ARC to review the book and her performance***
WARNING: Book contains violent imagery and death.
I was honored and excited when Amy Landon agreed to have me review her audio book performance for Warden’s Will by Heath Pfaff. It was a first for me and I of course jumped at the chance. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first mainly due to my realization that I am not fond of audio books that are fiction. The ones I have listened to prove to me that it is hard for a narrator to know exactly what the author set out to do in terms of voice and making the characters sound a certain way, making most of my experiences disappointing. It probably didn’t help that the two fantasy novels I listened to before this was from the Mortal Instruments series and I doubt I would have liked those books in any format.
But I digress.
***A big thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review***
WARNING: Book contains sexual imagery involving both adults and children as well as murder.
It has been quite a while since I have delved into a mystery novel. Though Remember Me by D.E. White didn’t seem to have the hard core murder vibe that I used to love ah-la Mary Higgins Clark, I figured it would possess enough intrigue to make for a fast paced mind binder mystery. I was wrong on all fronts, but wasn’t fully aware how wrong I was until I was deep into the story.
It was at the end of the Month of December that I finally decided that I was going to join a book subscription service, just to see what I would get out of it besides a pile of books. This was of course before the Marie Kondo “30 books” controversy, but I don’t think I’ll let this get too out of hand…I hope.
The premise of Book of the Month is, each month they give you a selection of books and each month you get 1 credit towards any of the books you want. You then can add on additional books either from the current month’s selection or from previous months. They then pack those beauties in a box and ship them to you! It’s like my dream service to be honest.
One of the best things though is that they give you a selection of books that are about to be released. It’s like you get dibs on books before everyone else (though I think the difference in receiving them is roughly a couple of days).
I had been going to their website for a while, but never was quite ready to take that next step and sign up for the service. That changed in January when I had to announce my GoodReads reading goal and decided in order to meet and potentially surpass that goal, I needed many books to choose from. (This is a straight up excuse, I have unread books currently on my shelf, just waiting for me).
I was going to assume that those who know of Mamrie Hart know her from her formative YouTube years, such as myself. YDaD or You Deserve a Drink was and is such a great web series that is chalk full of inspirational alcoholic beverages and over the top “Oh my Wow” puns. This is all brought together by the impressive and hilarious Mamrie Hart whom I have now come to realize has done a hell of a lot more so you might know her from other things and to that I say, “Fuck yeah you do.” She is a hoot and while I would love to say I want to be friends with her, I fear I wouldn’t be able to keep up and that just wouldn’t do for the no-time-to-stop-punning Mamrie.
I’ve Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery is a testament to the wilds (and stamina) that is Mamrie Hart. I was semi-sad to learn that this is actually her second book, as I didn’t read the first, but that will simply have to be rectified. In all honestly I think it worked out better this way. From the sounds of it her first book deals more with her life in the 20s, while this book dives headfirst into her 30s. I felt it was more relatable to my current life, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t get a hilarious treat from reading her first, and so I shall…at some point. (Lots of books in that TBR list)
Wow, society really sucks!
This is especially true if you don’t follow the herd, if you don’t live like everyone else, and if you decide to do this, you open yourself up to ridicule and pity regardless of how you see your life. This is the main tenet in Sayaka Murata’s novel Convenience Store Woman. In the span of only 180ish pages Murata had me feeling some kind of way about how we as a society deem the norm. It was eye opening, even for someone such as myself. I’d like to think I don’t run in the pack of norms, but I have to admit I’m not as out there when compared to modern Western society. However, the Eastern culture is vastly different and in the end more strict about what they consider normal (or being a functioning member of society) this is what made this story so compelling.