Adult, Books

30 Seconds to Disagree: Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

This is a segment that Gretchen and I do every once and a while where we try and convince the other to read something they might not pick up themselves.  It is a quick little video where we get to show you some of our favorite books and banter while being stressed out about time.

Remember that there is a different video on Gretchen’s blog so go watch that one as well!

That’s all we have for you guys today!  I will be back tomorrow with an ARC review so look forward to that!

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Adult, Books

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt Book Review

This was one of my top 5 most anticipated reads of the first half of the year.  I was lucky enough to get it from my library in January and finished it right as the month came to its end.  I wanted to talk about why I enjoyed the writing of this.  It definitely stood up to the blurb which likened it to Kelly Link.

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Title: Mr. Splitfoot
Author: Samantha Hunt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Page #: 336
Genre: Mystery, Magical Realism

This review was short and sweet so if you have any questions or you read the book and enjoyed it and want to talk with me about it I would gladly do so!

I will be back on Sunday with the weekly wrap up as always!  Have a lovely weekend guys!

Adult, Books

Uncommon Bodies Anthology ARC Review

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review!

This book is already published if you want to read it by all means pick up a copy!

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Title: Uncommon Bodies
Author: Anthology (full list of authors on Goodreads)
Publisher: Fighting Monkey Press
Page #: 300
Genre: Short Story Collection

I spent a long time trying to figure out how I would review this collection. It is difficult enough to review a collection of short stories written by one author, but when there are so many people writing so many pieces the challenge becomes ever greater. I feel as if that is the beauty of this anthology though. There are so many different stories in it. Some of them I was confused by, others I was awed. Some terrified me and others had me sighing at the adorable protagonist and their love interest. All of these things are held in one book and I was dumbfounded as to how I could sum it all up, and perhaps I can’t.

I’m not going to go through all 20 stories, it would take me forever and I doubt anyone would want to read that so I will do my best to discuss what I think was done really well here, and what I think could have been improved upon.

As far as the collection as a whole goes, I definitely think that it had a great breadth of pieces. I also appreciated how many of the pieces were incredibly inclusive not only because of its seamless discussion of common ailment, disfigurements, and disabilities along side mythical or magical creatures, but its inclusion of different sexualities. I actually thought the relation of physical “deformity” with non-hetero-normative sexuality identification incredibly interesting and if I could go into more detail without spoiling you I would. It is perhaps something I will write a paper on at some point in my life.

I am not sure, however, whether or not I liked the order in which these stories were curated. The breadth of the tones and genres in here is astounding for sure but it was a little difficult for me to go from a romantic story to a horror story to a poem to something else entirely. While I feel like it does allow the book to keep the stories separate from each other it is also a little jarring.

If you want to know some of my favorite stories in the bunch then I would say that the opening and closing stories, We is We by Michael Harris Cohen and Scars: First Session by Jordanne Fuller were incredibly poignant. I think they book end this collection incredibly well. The first was moving in its portrayal of the duality of opinions in conjoined twins. Whether or not it is better to be a spectacle behind the glass or experience the real world. The latter was an incredible story about over coming years of mental and physical abuse. I also want to shout out Undead Cyborg Girl by Kim Wells for its ability to make me laugh and awe on cue.

Stories that I found uncomfortable were mainly only uncomfortable because they were not my preferred style of story. All The Devils by Keira Michelle Telford read a bit like Jack the Ripper fanfiction to me, not only because of its erotic overtones, but because the writing wasn’t pushed as far as I thought some of the other stories were, and Reserved by SM Johnson was equally uncomfortable but only because of the over-sexualization to the point of fetishization of disability. Now I don’t have a disability and I cannot say whether these stories accurately or inaccurately portray such fetishization because of this, but it made me uncomfortable and I would put that forward as my only grievance.

The stories were interesting enough to keep me engaged. I was able to read two or three a day and finish it within a week. If you have an interest in magical realism there is plenty of that in here for you, if you have an interest in connections between perceived deformity and assumed deformity I think this also has some interesting comments.

Overall I really enjoyed the collection and would recommend it to you all if you haven’t already to look into it!

Adult, Books

Horns by Joe Hill Book Review

Another Book Review YAY!

It’s like I actually read books and talk about them.  What is this magic?

Title: Horns
Author: Joe Hill
Publisher: William Morrow
Page #: 368
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Magical Realism

Now some of you might recognize the title because the book is currently being adapted into a film starting Daniel Radcliffe which honestly looks great.  I am one of those people who likes to read the book before the film … mostly because of the reasons that I explained in my post on rereading.  However I am mostly using this as an excuse to jump into Joe Hill’s writing.

I have been eyeing both Horns, NOS4A2, and his graphic novel series Locke and Key for a while now.  The release of a movie trailer, was enough to push me into motion.  I’m glad it did because I really enjoyed this book.

Horns is a tragic love story.  Horns is a murder mystery.  Horns is a revenge plot.  Horns is salvation and damnation mixed together to the point where you no longer can tell which end is up in the most perfect way.  There were multiple points while I was reading this novel that I felt I needed to pause and think about what was being suggested.  It seeks to reach into the very heart of humanity and pull out the filmy pulsing core.

It was a quick read for me, not because it was simple but because it flowed so seamlessly from one point to the next that it is difficult to put the book down for very long.  The characters are raw and real, you care about them and their emotional journey.  For a book about a man who wakes up one morning with magic horns it is surprisingly palpable.

If you are look for something horror filled, this isn’t it.  However, if you are looking for a thriller that might just tug at one or two of your heart strings.  By all means give this bad boy a try.  I was satisfied with it, so should you be.  Some might argue that the big reveal happens too early on in the book, but I felt that it was perfectly timed.  The book isn’t just a murder mystery, there is a lot more that needs to happen to absolve these characters than simply figuring out who done it.

I would warn that it discusses the pain of losing a loved one to a violent death that includes rape (including describing the scene in which that happens).  Though it was done tastefully enough in my opinion.  I think that as a story that takes the point of view of a wrongly accused murder suspect it looks into how the whole town reacts to something traumatic like this without making the protagonist seem off colored.

All in all:

A well written, thrilling, palpable read that I really enjoyed and will probably stick with me for a while.

I hope you guys are doing well and will have a great weekend.  I will talk to you again on Sunday when I let you know everything you need to about VIXX.