Eliza and Her Monsters

Finished Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I received a copy for review. 

In real life, Eliza is nothing special. She’s super quiet and her friends are all online. On the internet, though, she’s LadyConstellation. Her web comic has millions of fans (not an exaggeration) and she makes enough money to put herself through college. And then she meets Wallace. He writes fanfiction and is a huge fan of LadyConstellation’s. Eliza isn’t sure how to tell him who she actually is. 

This book is amazing! The premise is fantastic and the execution is even better. It deals with fandom, which I love, but also with mental illness (in a variety of ways). 

I also love the fact that it dealt with the ways it’s so easy to misunderstand people. Eliza feels misunderstood in a lot of ways (her family doesn’t really get what she does) but never really realizes she’s doing it back. When she DOES see how she ignores her brothers, it was one of the most powerful part of the book for me.

This is such an intense but also lovely novel. I hope you love it like I do. Recommended.  

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Turtles All the Way Down

Finished Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. 

Aza is consumed by anxiety. There are the more rational fears, yes, but also irrational ones (she keeps becoming convinced she will die of this weird, super-rare bacterial infection). And then she meets this boy and gets involved with his father’s disappearance after defrauding the company he runs. It’s about so much more than that, of course, but those are the broadest strokes. 

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this book, and I have. (It’s been six years since The Fault in Our Stars.) It was worth the wait but it may kill me if I have to wait six more years for the next one. 

This book is seriously everything but what I want to say the most is this: Aza is seriously messed up and afraid of kind of ridiculous things but she is loved anyway. No one demands she change and when people are upset about the way she is, it’s because they see what it’s doing to her and it makes them sad. It’s hard to see things like that when you’re in the middle of your own spirals but it’s true for Aza and it’s true for me and it’s true for everyone. 

I think this may be my new favorite of his. Highly recommended. 

The Nowhere Girls

Finished The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.”

I absolutely loved this book.  It was so smart and I seriously cheered so hard for Erin, Rosina and Grace.  I love the way they all evolve throughout the novel (especially the fact that Erin falls for a guy–and she’s autistic, which I also love, because how unusual is it that we see autistic people in relationships? I think this is the first story where I’ve seen that).

I also love the fact that it’s initially a trio of women but it becomes so many different girls.  Also, it’s not really vigilantism–it’s more of a protest, but it’s not very violent.

Recommended.

All the Movies, week 5

I decided to change this feature to All the Movies, because I remembered I am ALSO paying $10 a month for Netflix. :-/

I watched Cult of Chucky on Netflix, which I LOVED. It’s the seventh installment of a horror franchise, and it is about a billion times better than it has any right to be. AND it looks like we may get another sequel and YES TO THAT. I also watched Little Evil, which is a Netflix original movie. It stars Adam Scott and is directed by Eli Craig, who directed Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, which is one of my favorite horror comedies. This isn’t that great but is still really fun. (Stepdad learns his new stepson may be the antichrist.)

As far as MoviePass goes, I’ve had it for a month today! I saw The Mountain Between Us with my friend Philip and Battle of the Sexes with Philip and our friend Julia (book club outing). I didn’t know much of that story so the movie was all new to me. I loved both movies but Battle of the Sexes was excellent. These are all the movies I’ve seen since I started using MoviePass. I don’t know why one poster isn’t showing up; it’s for Til Death Do We Part. 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Finished The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. 

Henry Montague is…I guess you’d call him a scoundrel. He’s certainly not a gentleman and I guess he really is the teenage Rhett Butler. But he does love his best friend Percy—though he would deny it and also sucks at showing it. Henry, Percy and Henry’s sister Felicity are touring Europe when they get sucked into a mystery. Chaos ensues. 

I love this book and Henry and Percy. Honestly, though, Felicity is my favorite and I cannot wait for the sequel; it’s from her perspective. 

Everything about this book is fantastic though. It’s clever and sweet and wickedly funny. I couldn’t have lived during this time period; God only knows how Felicity didn’t go insane. 

Highly recommended. 

Weekend Update

What I’m reading: Cybils books! SO MANY. 

What I’m watching: The Mindy Project is so good again! The last two seasons have been a little uneven but Mindy has become the highlight of my week. I also am really liking Liar (on Sundance). I’ve only seen the first episode, so I need to catch up (the second aired Wednesday). 

Cybils Update

I have something like 18 books to read and nominations are open for something like another two weeks. So far, everything I’ve read has been excellent.

There are ALSO a lot of great books that need to be nominated, though!  (Click here to nominate.)

Need suggestions? (Here are books I hope are nominated because I really want to read them and before the

  1. Lucky in Love by Kasie West
  2. Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
  3. This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnes
  4. The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  5. What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
  6. Release by Patrick Ness
  7. This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life

Finished We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. 

This is a book of essays and is not for the faint of heart. 

Samantha Irby tackles topics like dating (men and women), lesbian bed death, porn, why she doesn’t want kids, why she doesn’t want pets (but has one anyway), her family life (not great), her finances (also not great) and a ton of other things. If you are even moderately easy to offend, STAY AWAY. 

But if you have a good sense of humor, this is for you. I can’t even guess how many times I literally laughed out loud. It’s probably about as many times as I angled my Kindle away from other people on the lightrail. (Do not look over my shoulder, fellow commuters!)

Recommended. 

There’s Someone Inside Your House

Finished There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. 

This is the book that’s been dubbed the YA version of Scream. It’s a little accurate but mostly not. 

Yes, this is YA and yes, as you’d expect from a Stephanie Perkins novel, it is fun and sweet and romantic. And there is a body count, which you would NOT expect. 

But it’s also not Scream. It’s not super graphic (although most of the deaths are “onscreen,” as are some of the super-gross things that happen after people are dead). But it’s not like we are told in excruciating detail what happens. It’s more like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, where we are told what happens but the details aren’t lingered over, if that makes sense. 

If you’re expecting a terrifying read, this isn’t that. But it’s very atmospheric and–since Halloween is coming–chances are great that this book could be your one good scare. 

The Hanging Girl

Finished The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook. I received a copy for review. 

Skye has a semi-lucrative business going at school. For $10 a pop, she will use her psychic ability and Tarot deck to tell your future. (Yes, she’s a fake.) This would all be fine except she gets involved after a popular girl goes missing—and it turns out she was kidnapped. Skye gives the police some key details that turn out to be correct. Except she’s still not psychic. She knows because she’s involved. 

I couldn’t stop reading this book! It’s so clever and intricately done. Every time I thought I knew what would happen, I was proven wrong. It’s a completely stunning novel, one that I hope everyone will read and discuss. 

If you don’t love Eileen Cook already, (a) examine your reading choices and (b) this book will change that. Highly recommended!