Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Ask Me About My Uterus [review]


Ask Me About My Uterus by Abby Norman
Published by Nation Books on March 6, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.74 (as of 03/11/2018)
cw: assault, eating disorders, attempted suicide, domestic abuse

Spoiler-free Review of an eARC Provided by the Publisher and Netgalley

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For any woman who has experienced illness, chronic pain, or endometriosis comes an inspiring memoir advocating for recognition of women’s health issues

In the fall of 2010, Abby Norman’s strong dancer’s body dropped forty pounds and gray hairs began to sprout from her temples. She was repeatedly hospitalized in excruciating pain, but the doctors insisted it was a urinary tract infection and sent her home with antibiotics. Unable to get out of bed, much less attend class, Norman dropped out of college and embarked on what would become a years-long journey to discover what was wrong with her. It wasn’t until she took matters into her own hands–securing a job in a hospital and educating herself over lunchtime reading in the medical library–that she found an accurate diagnosis of endometriosis.

In Ask Me About My Uterus, Norman describes what it was like to have her pain dismissed, to be told it was all in her head, only to be taken seriously when she was accompanied by a boyfriend who confirmed that her sexual performance was, indeed, compromised. Putting her own trials into a broader historical, sociocultural, and political context, Norman shows that women’s bodies have long been the battleground of a never-ending war for power, control, medical knowledge, and truth. It’s time to refute the belief that being a woman is a preexisting condition.


It’s kind of strange: when I enter into conversations with medical professionals outside of the office, they ask where I went to medical school. When I was in the office as a patient, however, I just got asked if I ‘Googled a lot’ before coming into the office.

I knew I had to request this the moment I saw it on Netgalley. The incredibly gorgeous cover drew me in right away and the blurb cemented my decision to give it a try. And I am so, so glad that I did. This memoir follows Abby Norman in her experiences with endometriosis. I don’t know about y’all, but I knew next to nothing about endo before reading this. I had no idea what a difficult, debilitating disease it was or how little is known about it by modern medicine. To say that this book is extremely educational feels like an understatement.

Was being sick making her depressed or was depression making her sick? How many of us have asked the same question, or ask it almost daily as we slog forward in time? It’s the ouroboros of pain from which we cannot escape, no matter how hard we try, unequivocally felt by us and questioned by everyone else — until we, too, are forced to doubt the veracity of our reality.

Abby specifies right from the start that this book is meant to be a jumping-off point for readers, and not their sole source of information regarding endometriosis. She makes it clear that this is her story, and not meant to speak for anyone else. This explanation includes acknowledging that she comes from a place of relative privilege and urging the reader to seek out more diverse experiences. She also points out that calling endometriosis a women’s disease is a misnomer, as both trans men and cis men can suffer from it.

If history had been told by women, would we not be so in the dark about a disease that has, theoretically, always existed?

Her own experiences are downright heartbreaking to read. When symptoms begin to appear, Abby ignores them as long as possible before going to the hospital, something I can certainly relate to. Her voice is repeatedly silenced by medical professionals, mostly male, who downplay the severity of what she is going through. She is able to intertwine her own story with facts and figures, as well as historical parallels.

First-person accounts by women throughout history are limited by a peculiar social paradox: menstruation is both mundane and wildly taboo.

Abby’s voice comes through strong and clear in her writing and I found this book difficult to put down. She is a strong, sympathetic character and you’re forced to keep turning the pages in the hopes that things will get better. This book feels like a vitally important read, not only because of the information relayed, but also because it is relayed in such a way that the reader can’t help but take it all in. This is not a dry piece of nonfiction, but the compelling story of a woman fighting for her diagnosis.

(All quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may have been changed in the final publication.)

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Tempests and Slaughter [review]


Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on February 6, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:

Spoiler-free review of an ARC provided by the publisher via Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

I have been a Tamora Pierce fan for as long as I can remember. My first read by her was Wild Magic and I’ve adored just about everything I’ve read by her since (for some reason I can’t get into the Circle of Magic series, but I guess that’s a personal problem). When I saw that Tempests and Slaughter, the first in a series detailing the youth of Arram Draper (later known as Numair), I almost died of excitement.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, which I practically inhaled. It was wonderful to get to see a different side of Numair and to see his beginnings. I loved finding the characters who I knew would continue to play a role in his future, and who I recognized from the other Tamora Pierce books I’ve read.

In my opinion, this does lean a little more towards MG than YA, mainly due to Arram’s age at the outset of the book (around 11, if I remember correctly). While I’m not usually a MG reader, I love the world and characters that Tamora Pierce constructs and didn’t have much of an issue with it. In fact, when I finished it, I pined over the fact that I would have to wait for a sequel and almost immediately picked up Wild Magic to reread.

Tamora Pierce fans will love dipping back into the world they’ve already grown to love, and I recommend Tempests and Slaughter wholeheartedly.

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Annihilation [review]


Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on February 4, 2014
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

When I saw the first trailer for the Annihilation movie several months ago, I immediately added the book to my TBR-ASAP shelf on Goodreads without even reading through the description. I put in a hold at the library, waited patiently, and then devoured the book immediately after checking it out.

The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.

It’s been a while since a book has hooked me so strongly from the first page, but Annihilation did just that. The writing was just gorgeous, and I was instantly pulled into the world of Area X that VanderMeer had created. From the outset, I didn’t want to put it down, but I forced myself to work my way through slowly and to savor every page.

But there is a limit to thinking about even a small piece of something monumental. You still see the shadow of the whole rearing up behind you, and you become lost in your thoughts in part from the panic of realizing the size of that imagined leviathan.

I adored the narrator and loved the style in which the book was written: a journal penned carefully by the biologist, detailing her experiences on the expedition. The reader’s awareness of Area X, and the events taking place within it, relies completely on what the biologist is willing to share. I loved that she could be a bit of an unreliable narrator, and that she was able to outright admit to intentionally manipulating the reader with what she shared.

But soon enough I banished this nonsense; some questions will ruin you if you are denied the answer long enough.

If you’re the type of reader who wants all of their questions answered, this book isn’t for you. There is no omniscient narrator to share the secrets of Area X with us. There is only the biologist and what she knows, or what she thinks she knows.

I can say without a doubt that Annihilation is now one of my all-time favorite books, and will certainly be on my top 10 list at the end of 2018. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Southern Reach trilogy has in store for me.

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(Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Dream Thieves [review]


The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on September 17, 2013
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg: 

Spoiler-free Review 

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

As I mentioned in my review on The Raven Boys, I first started this series several years ago. It lost my interest and I moved away from it, until this past year. In October, I decided to reread TRB and to attempt to continue the series in a more timely manner. I gave TRB five stars and waited a bit before moving on to The Dream Thieves.

The last time I attempted The Dream Thieves, it had been some time since I had read TRB. Because of this, I had forgotten a lot of the plot and the characters and it just didn’t hold my interest at all. This time, I didn’t wait too long to jump into it, and I latched onto the story.

This was such a good sequel!! I absolutely adored the characters and the storyline. Stiefvater broke my god damn heart repeatedly and I had to keep texting my friend Grace whenever I had something to yell about.

This book focuses a little more on Ronan than the other characters, although of course they all play relatively large roles. I never thought I would like Ronan, but this book made me adore him. My love for Noah stayed strong. Adam has definitely dropped a couple places in my heart, unfortunately. Gansey is adorable and precious and I want to squeeze him to death. And Blue continues to be just wonderful.

I’m trying to breathe a little before moving on to Blue Lily, Lily Blue (aka my library lost my hold  so I’m forced to wait a little longer regardless), but am hoping to continue the series this month!

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Mini-Review Compilation #4


At the Water’s Edge
cw: domestic abuse, gaslighting, drug abuse/addiction

At the Water’s Edge probably isn’t a book I would have picked up on my own. I got it through a Postal Book Club that my friend Rachel is running, and I honestly put off reading it until the end of the month because I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. I’m not big on historical fiction, although I did enjoy Water for Elephants, by the same author. I really didn’t think there was anything in this for me, but I was wrong.

The first hundred pages kind of dragged on for me, but after that, things really picked up! I sat down to read another 50 pages or so, and next thing I knew it had been almost two hours. The only reason I put it away was because I needed to get to bed and didn’t want to fall asleep while reading the end. I finished it first thing the next morning, poring through the last several dozen pages at my local coffee shop. Had it not been for the slow start, I would have given it five stars!



Like Water

This is one of those books that I loved so much I don’t know how to write a review about it. I think all I really need to say is that it’s a queer latinx story with a genderqueer love interest and is beautiful and precious and definitely made me cry. There are so many good things about this. The MC casually realizes she’s bi and it’s not a huge deal and the MC is not only confident about her body, but also recognizes that different kinds of bodies are beautiful in different ways. There are just some lovely messages in this and the romance itself is beautiful and I highly recommend this read.



Good Me, Bad Me
cw: domestic abuse, pedophilia, assault

This was incredibly well-written and conceptually very interesting. It’s about the daughter of a serial killer, who turned in her mother in order to avoid her own demise. It’s a lot of introspection, but even though we’re inside the main character’s head, there’s still a lot of the story missing. Definitely an interesting read if you like unreliable narrators. I enjoyed it, but just didn’t find myself as invested in the story as I would have liked. I still recommend it, though.


Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these books? If so, what were your thoughts?

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Strange Weather [review]

Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on October 24, 2017
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg: 
cw: see below

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill.

“Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by “The Phoenician,” a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.

A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in “Aloft.”

On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. “Rain” explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.

In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.

As y’all may or may not remember, I went to Joe Hill’s release of Strange Weather a little while back and I finally finished this masterpiece recently. As the above blurb indicates, this is a compilation of four short novels written by Joe Hill. Each novel has an eerie twist to it — most are supernatural in some way and one isn’t.

This collection was an easy five stars for me. Each story blew me away in one way or another. Joe’s writing never fails to be any less than spectacular, he really is an incredible storyteller. Below I’ll go through and detail my thoughts on each story (and also share some of the relevant content warnings). They were all five-star reads for me, so ratings aren’t necessary this time around!

“Snapshot” is the first piece in the book and it reeled me right in. I had a visceral reaction to this one, it had me on the edge of my seat and I could actually feel the fear coursing through me. It was the combination of the tone of the writing and the content itself. The only cw I can think of currently is for memory loss, as it’s pretty heartbreaking in the context of this story. I may or may not have cried at the end of this one.

There was no obvious reason for caution — but a lot of our best thinking takes place well below the level of conscious cognition and has nothing to do with rationality.

“Loaded” was the second piece and it was an intense one, a take on modern gun violence and police brutality. This was also a very painful read, there are a few scenes that I wasn’t expecting and I damn near lost my mind reading them. I actually had to put down the book and message Destiny at one point because I knew she would wail over one scene in particular with me. cw racism, domestic abuse, suicide, alcoholism

“Aloft” was the third piece. I had heard an excerpt from this at Joe’s reading, so I knew a bit about the piece and where it was going. Where it went after that excerpt was kind of wild, though. It went in a direction I wasn’t really expecting, but I enjoyed that aspect of it a lot! This was probably the weakest story in the collection imo, but still very good.

It is odd how much we want to be in love when you think about how much anxiety comes with it, like a tax on money you win in the lottery.

“Rain” was yet another heart-wrenching story. But!!! The main character is a queer woman, so that’s rad. The concept here was really cool too, especially because there was a somewhat scientific aspect behind it (although I can’t speak to how accurate that actually was). cws for homophobia and animal death, there’s actually a somewhat graphic illustration on the title page (right after “Aloft”) that might startle or upset some people, so please keep that in mind!!

Overall, this was such a stunning collection and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of Joe Hill’s work, as there’s still some stuff I haven’t read yet!

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Where Am I Now? [review]


Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
Published by Penguin Books on September 13, 2016
259 pages.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
maternal death, anxiety, OCD

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads IndieBound Author’s Website

Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and a little out of place: as the only child on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, the sole clinically depressed member of the cheerleading squad, a valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and one of the few former child actors who has never been in jail or rehab.

Tackling everything from how she first learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to losing her mother at a young age, to getting her first kiss (or was it kisses?) on a celebrity canoe trip, to not being “cute” enough to make it in Hollywood, these essays tell the story of one young woman’s journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity.

But they also illuminate a universal struggle: learning to accept yourself, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Exquisitely crafted, revelatory, and full of the crack comic timing that has made Mara Wilson a sought-after live storyteller and Twitter star, Where Am I Now? introduces a witty, perceptive, and refreshingly candid new literary voice.

I’ve been a fan of Mara Wilson for ages now. Like almost everyone else, I loved her in Matilda, but I kind of lost track of her after that. A few years ago, I ended up following her on Twitter and found myself deeply admiring the person she had grown into. She’s witty, deeply into social justice, and has a take-no-shit attitude that I love. So when I heard Where Am I Now? was coming out, I knew I had to read it. Of course, it took me a while to actually get to it, but I’m really glad I did!

Being a celebrity meant being vulnerable. It meant my face, my body, even my death were for public consumption — none of them was mine alone.

Where Am I Now? is a series of stories and essays about Mara’s life. Each chapter has a theme, usually one that revolves around something specific that she experienced. She covers everything from child acting, to high school girls, to the death of her mother. Somehow she’s managed to capture the perfect mix of humor and solemnity, speaking about grave topics with grace.

There must have been days when I did more, but I have no memory of them.

The sections that resonated most with me were about Mara’s experiences with mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. While I don’t have any personal experience with OCD, my depression and anxiety both began in childhood and while reading, I kept gaping at sentences that I felt described my past self perfectly.

This ended up being a very quick read for me (two or three days?) and I can see this becoming one of my most highly-recommended books. I think that Mara’s writing is very accessible, and that this is something that can be enjoyed by just about everyone. Definitely pick it up if you get a chance!

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance [review]

**Note: This book was received through NetGalley. Review was written May 12, 2017.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
To be published by St. Martin’s Press on November 7, 2017
Kindle NetGalley Edition, 352 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1-250-11204-0

I downloaded Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance off NetGalley by chance. My account there had been languishing for, well, years. I decided to hop back on and see if I could find anything worth reading. And after just a few minutes, I stumbled across BoEC. I loved the cover and thought the synopsis seemed intriguing, so I downloaded my copy and set off.

To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy the book as I was starting out! It took me a bit to get used to the first-person POV and the writing seemed a little infantile. I did note that the characters we heard from at first were children, so infantile was realistic. And I’m glad I pushed through and gave it a chance, because it just got better and better.

BoEC is a story set in modern America about a boy named Weylyn Grey who has inexplicable abilities, namely communicating with animals and influencing the weather. The book is a story of his life, told almost entirely through the perspective of others. The POV switches frequently, and we get to see Weylyn through many different eyes, though almost never through his own. I don’t want to get too much into the plot because it’s easy to give things away, but I will say that it kept me interested and that I was never quite sure what was going to happen next.

There were a couple characters that I wish had been touched on more. First, Weylyn’s parents. They do come up, and we quickly learn that he’s an orphan, but they just sort of feel really hollow to me. It’s obvious that they were just killed in order for Weylyn to have this journey. They never really come up except when convenient to the plotline at hand. I also wish there had been more about Weylyn’s adopted mom and Mary’s dad. They both kind of just vanish after they serve their purpose, making them feel more like plot points than characters. This is true of some of the other secondary characters as well, but these folks feel like they should have been of more importance to both Mary and Weylyn’s lives.

Overall, though, I loved this book. Once I got into the rhythm of things, I didn’t want to put it down. I almost missed my T stop several times while reading. I really felt immersed in the world Ruth Emmie Lang created and sympathized so much with the characters. No spoilers, but the ending made me SO emotional and gave me so many goosebumps. Lang really knows how to thread an ending together.

Takeaway: This book is beautiful. Please read it. Please, please read it.

Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Starfish [review]

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Published by Simon Pulse on September 26, 2017
320 pages.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
sexual assault, racism, emotional abuse, victim blaming, portrayals of anxiety, suicide

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads IndieBound Author’s Website

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

This is a book I really wish my younger self could have read. There are so many deep, important subjects here that I feel are covered in a healthy, realistic way. Kiko is a biracial girl living in an overwhelmingly-white town who finds herself dealing with the intersection of several different issues: racism (both from her classmates and her white mother), abuse (both emotional and sexual), and mental illness (severe social anxiety).

I feel weird just standing there listening. Do other people do that? Move from circle to circle, socializing with everyone like they all know each other? It seems invasive. I don’t know the rules.

As a white woman who was raised in rural New England, I am constantly learning and growing when it comes to issues surrounding race. Because of this, I defer to own voices reviews when it comes to aspects of race in books. However, I can speak to some extent to the latter two topics mentioned above. I felt that Akemi’s portrayal of sexual assault and social anxiety were both spot-on. Of course, everyone’s experiences are different, but I really saw my own reflected here, which made me feel understood and validated. My one issue being that both Kiko and her friends tended to joke about and/or accuse her abusive mother of being bipolar or narcissistic. It was definitely a bummer to see an author attempt to destigmatize one form of mental illness while at the same time continuing to stigmatize others.

I paint three faceless people–one becomes the sky, one becomes the ocean, and one becomes the sun. They live apart for eternity because they don’t belong together.

I loved pretty much everything else about this book. I found myself hooked into the plot right from the beginning. I really felt like I was in Kiko’s head and her emotions became my own. I adored the focus on her art and the descriptions of her pieces (or lack thereof) at the end of each chapter. I thought it was just wonderful to have a romantic subplot that wasn’t the focus of everything, and it was wonderful to have a character whose emotional well-being was not tied to their romantic relationship. I think a lot of folx (myself included) struggle to find a balance in relationships where they are able to use their partner for support without using them as a crutch. I was so happy that Akemi was able to depict a protagonist who could do this, especially since it was depicted as something that involved conscientiousness and work to do.

He looks confused, and of course he is. Normal people don’t need to prepare for social interactions. Normal people don’t panic at the sight of strangers. Normal people don’t want to cry because the plan they’ve processed in their head is suddenly not the plan that’s going to happen.

In short, I loved this book and I cannot recommend it enough. I’m so glad that I got my hands on a copy and I really can’t wait to see what Akemi puts out next. Please let me know if you’ve read this and, if so, what your thoughts were! If you haven’t read it, do you plan to? Also, how beautiful is the cover??

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(Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

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The Raven Boys [review]

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on September 18, 2012
409 pages.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
domestic abuse, self-harm

Goodreads IndieBound Author’s Website

So I am finally jumping on the TRC train! I first read The Raven Boys in late 2013, I believe. I had gotten it as a gift and was on winter break from college–winter break is such a good time to get reading done and I miss it so much–and I just remember devouring it. Quite a while later, I picked up The Dream Thieves and I just… couldn’t get it into it. Mostly because it had been so long since I had read TRB that I could barely remember a thing! So I DNFed it and haven’t picked up any TRC books since.

For a while now, I’ve been thinking that the series deserved another shot from me. My bff Grace mentioned that she wanted to reread the series (she adores it), so I suggested a buddy read! And here we are. I’ve completed the first book, and it will probably be a couple more weeks until we move onto the second. In the meantime, here’s my review!

I can’t believe I forgot how wonderful this book is. Everything Steifvater does in it is incredible. The prose itself, the dialogue, the characters, the settings. It all just comes together to create this beautiful experience. I tore through the book in just a couple days and loved every second of it.

Even when they were quiet, people really were the noisiest animals.

Okay, y’all know I’m not usually one to gush, but I neeeed to gush about these boys. Adam is honestly perfect and I want to shrink him down and put him in my pocket and keep him safe from literally everything in this cruel world. Ronan is a Bad Boy and sulky and dark and loves his baby bird and is basically everything high school me would have loved. Gansey is living in his own world and somehow manages to offend everyone while also being a precious angel. And Noah is darling and cute and sad and I adore him. (Sidenote: There is NO WAY Adam does not know how to drive a stick shift and I refuse to believe that he doesn’t.)

Sometimes, Gansey felt like his live was made up of a dozen hours that he could never forget.

Of course Blue is the best character out of all of them. Part of me is like “you should try to be critical, is she a Mary Sue?” and the rest of me is like “who cares, she’s awesome and we deserve more female characters like her.” I want to say Blue reminds me of me, but she’s like a way cooler version of me, kind of. Anyway. Blue. She’s great.

Gansey looked up to them, and she saw in his face that he loved this place… She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big it felt like sadness. It was the way she felt when she looked at the stars.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Stiefvater’s writing is just gorgeous and even if the story isn’t your thing, I think anyone can appreciate the talent she has. It’s worth a shot, anyway. To be honest, though, I didn’t love the ending. It was too abrupt and a little confusing to me–and I think I felt the same way the first time around. But I’ll see how it ties in to the rest of the series before I make a full judgment.

Okay, TRC fans: please let’s discuss. I am all about this book right now. And people who haven’t read TRC: read it so we can discuss, okay?

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