Reading All Night


Docile Review

Docile - K.M. Szpara

Things I liked: It is a very gay/queer book written by Trans author. The world in which it is set treats being gay or any other sexual attraction just as a normal fact of life . Also  I was just really liked the cover art for this . 

Things I didn't like : Basically everything else .Alex acted too much like a damn teenager than a grown man. Also I am beyond confused that the readers is meant to believer there were at least three people at least that came in contact with him/were friends/ worked for him that worked for the group protesting against him and his company. Just are you fucking kidding me?? Various things the characters do make no logical sense. While I like the positive approach to bdsm the sex scenes just in whole were very very uncomfortable even the more consensual ones. Also in general the book is just overall took long. The last 100 pages felt like a slog to get through. I kept having to stop and come back to it . Personally the only reason I finished it was that was the last day having the ebook from the library , it had holds and I really didn't want to be added to the list again just to finish the last 100 pages.

Overall I am just really disappointed .I was really interested from the summary on this when it was announced and just am always excited for more queer/lgbt content in general. The characters in general sadly stop being able to carry the novel more than halfway through. I get that Elisha is 18 but just in general all the "adults"acted like teens . Least it came across that way to me. The sex scenes and just the sex in general in this was super messed up and just ruined any sort of message the author was trying to get across. I think the idea and the type of world he created could be interesting but just the way it was executed in this was just did not work.


Throw That Book Out The Window GIF | Gfycat


Darling Rose Gold Review

Darling Rose Gold - Stephanie Wrobel

This book was such a disappointment .Was really looking forward to it since there are not alot of fiction books about munchausen by proxy, though maybe there are more and just not heard of them.I signed up for that aspect of it because even though it is something horrible that happens it is still in a strange way interesting to dig deeper into and read about. The first issue is that everyone ,and I mean everyone ,in this book is beyond unlikeable . For the most part I do not have a big issue with that.In fact there are quite a few books that I like or love that have horrible or just characters that are meant to be unlikeable. The difference in those cases is that those characters are written super well, which in this book they are unlikeable and not written well. I am all for making characters flawed but most of the characters here are just super terrible people with little to no redeeming qualities or shades of grey to their personality. I can give the book making her mother an awful person considering what the book is meant to be about but then it is oh no her mom is awful and her dad she has just meant again is secretly awful even though he started off wanting to get to know her and this is before Rose Gold gets all super damn creepy. I can sort of get not being ready to fully bring her into the family or want her on the family trip but just he seems to put up a wall to wanting to get to know her soon after finding her and just in the context of the book it is ummm then what was the damn point in going up to talk to her or seeking her out? Also for good measure her friend(s)are assholes too. Course that is not enough and her boss is awful as well because why the fuck not. Will get back to Rose Gold but yeah for the time being yeah she is awful too.


Second the book take a strange turn some what through where it becomes less focused on the issue of munchausen by proxy, and more a revenge plot. Again , if it was written well could be interesting but just it comes out of no where here and just for the character makes no damn sense in my opinion. This is when I get back to Rose Gold . Again I don't have an issue with the author wanting to make the story into a revenge plot. In many , many respects Rose Gold has a million reasons to want to get back at her mother. The issue is she goes way too far. Mostly for the fact that she stole a freaking baby, passed it on as her own and then framed her mother for doing the same crap again The main thing I feel with revenge plots in books and movies is that you root for the person getting the revenge . Maybe they are not always just . They do not have to be but for the most part feel the plot and character makes you feel they are right in their actions. Here though I can just not explain away or root for her when she stole a freaking child, explained it to be her own . Just it colors how I see her as a character. I don't cheer on her revenge plot no matter what she has been through and no longer feel at sorry for her. That just hate the narrative of those that have dealt with abuse in some way will either do the same as their abusers or worse.


In short, just was overly disappointed in this. The characters were overly poorly written, over unlikeable to the point I stopped enjoying reading about them . They did things that really did not make sense even in the context of the story. Will see if there are others books about similar issues.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Review

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I have been meaning to read this book and just books in general by this author. I put this one in particular off just because of all the praise I have heard surrounding it and just all the awards that covered the front of it. As much as I think awards for books that are great are awesome, I still want the book overall to stand on its own.


During the summary of Ari's Junior/Senior year , Dante moves to town. The boys quickly become best friends and during that summer learn more about themselves and the world around them. Overall I really enjoyed this . It was a cute coming of age story with lgbt main characters . Even though I really liked it and overall see why it is so heavily praised I didn't think it was perfect . In fact there were quite a few things that just didn't sit well with me and took the star rating down a bit.


Things I was not the biggest fan of :
1. The kiss: Maybe was just me but the first kiss really just did not set right with me. I was not a fan of Dante basically badgering his friend to kiss him. Ari said no and that should have been the end of it. Was also not a fan of the  the comment of how do you know you don't like kissing boys if you haven't tried. Just if this was said by a straight character to a gay one think people would be pissed because such things happen in real life and in every sort of media. And it is common for people to ask various lgb people how do they know what they are if they have not done x and it is offensive as all fuck. Just was really mad that this was something said by one of the characters at all. I also wished the kiss at the end had been "the first" Just to me this kiss sort of cheapens the effect of the one at the end. Just again someone can firmly know their sexuality whether they have or have not kissed people they are sexually attracted to or those they are not. Someone does not have to experiment to know for sure . If some people do that is more than ok too. It is more others, mostly straight people, telling them that they can't know til they do. 
2. Along with that: Ari's lie about the kiss: During that scene I didn't get the feeling he overall enjoyed it or was hiding feelings about it. In fact until closer to the end I really thought this was a book about Dante discovering he just prefers boys, overall dealing with those developing feelings and having his friend Ari grow to accept that his best friend is gay. I would love a book that deals with that though.  I am still happy that the two did have mutual feelings for one another but just I didn't get the vibe from the kiss moment that Ari was hiding the fact that he actual enjoyed it.
3. Ari's sit down with his parents: I have nothing against characters slowly coming to turns that they are gay or bi or any other sexuality, but prefer it is on their own turns. The whole sit down with his parents was was really uncomfortable to read and just to me at least makes it seem like if you deeply care for someone, risk you life for them that you must only be in love with them, which is total bullshit. In this case, it was the truth, but very much dislike that just because Ari saved Dante's life that he is thus in love with him instead of deeply loving him because he is his best friend. Loving someone does not go hand and hand with underlying romantic feelings.Platonic friendship love is a thing and the fact that the parents sort of jump to well he is in love with him seems rash. 


Things I was on the fence about :
1. Why Ari's brother was in jail:This was a pretty big thing to the story and just thought the whole he was imprisoned because he beat up and killed someone who was either trans or someone who crossed dressed just feels really forced to me.
2. Gay relative that gay/bi character doesn't know about til later on in their life: Have no issue with other gay family members being people that gay/bi teen character especially can turn to or get support from them . Just have an issue of such people written in and being an overwritten plot point and them really having no other character development other than they are the secret lgbt relative for the main character to relate to in some way.They are not a person in their own right is what I have issues with . 
3. Relationship before "the relationship" is always awful: Again  it is just an overwritten plot point. This case think it was not trying to be that but just tired of the the trend of  all previous relationships before "the one" being written  as awful. People can enjoy the previous people they were with and still very much be in love with person they are with/marry/etc . In this case,think it was very much that Dante was trying to get with someone just because he was trying to be ok with just being friends with Ari when he really loved him. Again, though, the  main point still stands and again just tired of seeing past  relationships written in that sort of way.


Things I really enjoyed:
1. The characters felt like teens, talked about stuff teen would talked about and dealt with natural parts of growing up: Alot of books shy away from certain topics because it is written for teens or because parents of or adults in general don't like to deal with the fact that teens deal with certain things so it was nice to see that this book deals with topics like masturbation , which alot of teen books refuse say even happens. 
2. Being gay is part of an identity and not the only defining part of an identity:Again why the gay relative aspect bothered me because overall this book is very much about characters that happen to be gay and not only focused on being gay. Think books about the latter or very much needed, but it is nice when characters in any sort of book are people first and not just characters who only character trait is that they are gay. There is struggles with being Mexican-American, identity of being an only child and being worried of disappointing parents, struggling with family secrets that never get touched and talked about and the damage that does to all members of the family.


Again think this is an overall great Young adult novel that to me is about the journey of growing up and those characters just happen to be lgbt in some way. Think many young adults will find some part of themselves in Ari or Dante even if they are not lgbt . The book deals with heavy hitting topics such as homophobia, family trauma, grief, dealing with family secrets and coming to terms with family, being lgbt and just learning to love the things about yourself.


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Reading progress update: I've read 70 out of 418 pages.

Kingdom of Souls - Rena Barron

Laying aside for a bit. Not bored but just noting having the desire to pick it up or read more than a chapter or two when I pick it up. Checked out the audio so will see if that helps when I get back to it. 


Brave Face Review

Brave Face - Shaun David Hutchinson

Brave Face is a frank, honest and often times difficult to read memoir about not only the struggles of coming out during the 90's amidst such policies as Don't Ask Don't tell and the defense of marriage act , but is  also a young man struggling with depression. I have not read any of his fiction books but since they have been on my too be read pile for quite some time , thought it was only fitting to read something written about and by that author since I do plan to read his books in the future.  As stated before, this memoir is blunt, honest and very difficult to read at times. He does not shy away from difficult subject matter such as self hate and self harm, all of which the author has trigger warnings at the start of the book and later on as well. Will admit that the ending feels like way too much is crammed. I get that the bulk of the book is about him coming out and deal with depression as a teen but would have liked if some of his adult years of being out and proud but still suffering from depression was not all jammed packed at the end.  





Like A Love Story Review

Like a Love Story - Abdi Nazemian

WARNING this review turns more into a rant and is super long mostly because I am super torn on this book. I started off really liking it and just am always excited to read new lgbtq+ especially from lgbt authors. There were some aspects, though, of the book that really make me want to scream. To the point that I picked up something else because I was pretty sure I was not going to like how it ended and certain plot points were still grinding my gears. 


I am going to try to start off positive because I didn't out right hate it but will be honest in saying the things that I did not like or  that did not sit well for me still sort of taint the enjoyment of the book as a whole. I might come back and change my rating to a two because omg are those certain points really bothering me  but for now will leave it at a three.   Nope, never mind those details bother me way too much. 


At the start I liked all the characters and I liked how  the overall story was going.Will admit and say I am not the biggest fan of books told from multiple perspectives. Sometimes they are amazing, but most times I end up enjoying on thread more than the other ones and the other points of view come off as a slog to get through. I thought the author dealt with a difficult time in Lgbt history with maturity and made it more about appreciation of people who lived as their true selves then focusing just on the amount of lives lost.  I liked that he dealt with the worries of coming out especially when doing was already difficult and challenging but also adding especially Reza's  cultural background, which since had he still being living in Iran when he came out could have meant a literately death sentence. I was also happy that he dealt with teen sex maturely. There was talk of using condoms and just safe sex in general, which seems to never even get mentioned in most adult books to be quite honest. Going in I was hesitant about the premise, though. I am not a fan of books whose plot is based on  dating someone no matter you sexuality only to not really be attracted to them, but instead be interested in someone else. I got it here because Reza was certain him being gay would be a disappointment, which for his mother it is and still is by the end of the book since most of the book his mother acts like it isn't true, to his family and was quite certain if he just dated a girl than maybe by some chance he could "turn" himself straight. So I get it. I still am not a fan, though, but I get it. I do like that the author does deal with the consequences of that , though. Things are not good after because what he does hurts everyone involved.


Now to what bothered me. The first is a minor story telling point then will get into the actual plot details that I didn't care for. The pacing really made me mad. I get that authors have to make time jumps  or else every book would be as long as say something like War and peace. I just think here the time jumps were jarring especially  after Art and Reza get together. One second we go from Art or Judy's perspective, can sadly not recall which, and then when get back to Reza's point of view with him and Art having been dating for months...And I am just..It felt lazy to me to just basically cut out those starting moments of a relationship since a big part of Reza's storyline is him being nervous of finally being out and coming to terms with not only being out , even if it is to a select group of people, but also having a boyfriend as well. Instead of being logical skips in time to move the story along it more felt like oh don't want to actual build to certain moments so will just skip ahead and get right to them. It was a annoying as all hell. 


Judy's character annoyed me the most and parts of her story line really really rubbed me the wrong way. Starting off I didn't think she was a bad character. I liked that she was depicted as a bigger girl who was still very much into to designing her own clothes, doesn't care what others may think of her and has a lot of self love even though her mom and other characters make passing remarks about her weight. It was all well and good til Saadi , Reza's aka one of the main character's stepbrother, makes various jabs at her weight , which ok he's an ass whatever it was bound to happen from someone but ..oh got so much worse. Later on he starts flirting with her and writes off his comments about here weight as him really liking her . Going as far to say that most American girls are too skinny and he prefers a girl with meat on her bones or something like that. I sort of wanted to throw the book at that point. Guys being mean to girls while secretly liking them is beyond a trash concept. It's not cute . It's fucking trash.I will never get the oh he is just me to you because he likes you. Stop fucking telling young girls this fucking bullshit!! It pissed me off that the author thought to include it but tried to make it out as a positive thing. As a guy I am pissed when guys think this damn behavior is ok. But am more pissed that another queer guy that that straight guys treating women like this is fucking ok when it is not!Not only that Judy goes as far to basically help Saadi jack off , tell Art about it and instead of questioning her on it or being wtf he is basically praising her for getting with someone . I wanted to scream because I thought the author did a good job making her out to be a person that had alot of confidence and selflove and then just to be oh this sort of behavior is ok, which again it is garbage. I was really hoping she was going to slap him when he said that he actually liked her but no. I am glad that at the end they were not still together but damage is done . 

Image result for throwing book out window gif


I was also not a fan of Judy's friend group after she learns that Reza is gay and her best friend lied to her . First, I get she would and needs to distance herself from the two of them. No matter what it is still a super shitty thing that Reza did to her. So I will give her that. The thing I do not understand though is that after that  she suddenly is friends with the popular people of her school. Ok..but said people in that group not only still taunt and tease her ex best friend , but beat him the hell up. So..I'm confused . Granted I get she is pissed at Art but why in all fuck would you be friends with people that were and still are , least some of them, massive homophobes? It makes no damn sense to me. Also, I am not quite sure why they would suddenly want to be her friend either. She has stood up and was best friends with the only out and proud person in the whole school but suddenly they are all welcoming to her ..just again it makes no sense.I get wanting and needing to expand your friend group but why are you friends that act that way?


Getting into that at one point in the book Judy is at a party, a party with the almost sex crap with Reza's stepbrother happens, but oh it gets worse. Being stupid teenagers they course play party games , which ok whatever . The thing that bothers me about this scene is sort of two fold. One two girls kiss during spin the bottle . Two straight girls mind you . Now I get that this happens and I get why it does .It bothers me that a queer author would feel the need to include it and yet during all the protests I can not recall one actual lesbian character. Not even among the feminists characters out in support for the gay men. It was like the author sort of forgot that lesbians exist, but thought hey lets include   pointless straight girl kiss. Also a petpeeve but am not a fan of Judy calling girls she is friends with her girlfriends. I get that for alot of people it is just something they call eachother and that no offence is intended to lesbians but it is still annoying. 


While I am again glad the author dealt maturely in regards to teen/young adult sex when alot of authors are like no fade to black or let's just not discuss it. Even so I was not a fan of some of how sex was discussed mainly on Art's insistence that Reza and him should be having sex by a certain point in the book. I am more than ok with Art being frustrated and wondering why Reza doesn't want to have sex with him, but again Reza just came out and given that this book takes place during the Aid's epidemic he is terrified.  They do talk about it but is more Art just telling Reza he can't get HIV/AIDs if neither have had sex with someone else that was positive, which is basically just don't worry about it and not helpful at all to getting to the root of Reza's fear.  The fact though I feel Art doesn't do much to really quell Reza's fears about it or really understand his fear. This wasn't Reza just being a bit nervous this was full blow everything he knew about being gay or gay sex was that he would get sick and die. A sad reality given the time. Had there been a more open conversation about Reza's fear and also Art's worry that Reza didn't want him, even if that was not true, it would have made more sense. That doesn't happen least not between the two of them. Art shares his worries to everyone but the boy he is dating and again pretty much is outright dismissive Reza's actual worry. 


Finally, I am not all that found of the ending. I am glad Reza has a husband and Judy is with someone other then Reza's stepbrother , not that we know anything about them. It was another instance of the time jump annoying me , but admit this one is maybe more just me not liking that massive of a time jump or least not caring for it here in this particular book . The other thing that bothered me about the ending was Art's ending. More due to the fact that the ending in general just feels a bit slapped together and rushed in my opinion. Art ends up HIV+ . How, no idea, which may bug me more than it should.There doesn't and I didn't want graphic detail but there is one line about him being positive and course talking about the medicine  there is and how it is not the death sentence that it once was. I am not sure how to phrase this correctly and I don't want to come off as offensive. The fact that Art is positive is not what bothers me it's that to me it feels like a throw away and just came across of well Art was the only other very openly gay and very very passionate about it  character and this is his fate. I am not saying that is what the author intended but since again there is no back story of he accidentally sleep with a guy without using protection or said protection failed  or what have you it just ...I don't know again not sure how to phrase it correctly. Art is also the only one that is alone or least it is applied that he is . So not only was there a conscious choice that Art would be Hiv+ but that of the three main characters he would be the only one alone. 


It is fine that Art is single and happy but to me the ending doesn't come off that way. It is fine that even though his friends are married he is not. That is all fine. I just find it odd that again the one out and proud gay character is the one to end up all along of the three main characters.He doesn't need a happily ever after . That is not what I am asking for just I find it odd that out of all the characters Art's ending feel again the most unsatisfactory. Maybe I am reading too much into it and will admit that may be the case.  Just will be honest and say it reads like if you are very openly gay you will wind up sick and alone , which throughout the rest of the book the author totally avoided so it was I guess why that ending for Art stood to me at least. 


The main take away is that I think starting off the book was great and I was glad that the author wanted to deal with a difficult time in lgbt history just some of his choices that rubbed me the wrong way. 

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Reading progress update: I've read 60 out of 480 pages.

Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

Started  this because certain aspects of Like A Love Story were starting to bug me. I would say I really like "gimmick " of her books of writing the fictionalized lives of her characters as if they were real people. Would have to say so far I still at this moment like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo better. This one is good so far,though, and has a very VH1 Behind the Musics vibe. 

Reading progress update: I've read 278 out of 432 pages.

Like a Love Story - Abdi Nazemian

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The time jumps in this are really starting to drive me crazy .

Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 307 pages.

Dexter in the Dark - Jeff Lindsay


  I recall not really liking the supernatural aspect of this one. It was such a turn out of left field


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The Deep Review

By Nick Cutter The Deep [Hardcover] - Nick Cutter

 I am so torn how I feel about this book.One one had I really like various elements of the book but on the other hand they were done done as well as they could have been. I really really enjoyed The Troop and enjoyed The Acolyte enough where I wanted to keep reading more books by this author. Like The Acolyte I am mixed overall after reading this. I really liked the concept but the actual execution was sort of weak. To me Nick Cutter is overall good with his endings in that they are vague and mysterious, though will say thought The Acolyte ending could have been better. The main characters don't always come out fine at the end . Most times things are worse off than how they started. Humanity is just overall fucked in his books to say the least and while that might be more than a bit nihilistic but it has a truth in that sometimes for no reason bad things just happen and people are at a loss to stop them.

Other than mostly liking the ending even if it was a tad confusing in this one, I did enjoy the setting of this one but felt it was not used to its full advantage. Thought more of the horror was going to center on the claustrophobic nature of the setting. Some of that came in to play during certain scenes but there could have been a lot more of it. While there is for sure tension that on the edge of your seat level tension never happened for me. That and and the tension or worry was greatly misplaced at times.For example I found myself more when Clayton tore the dog's ear off than when the dog was being dragged by the other dog/monster thing into the hole/rift . Think overall the misplaced tension was one of the major issues that caused me not to enjoy this as much as I did. I am not 100 percent sure if it was how it was written or if it was just me.


I also just overall really enjoy the weirdness and body horror in his books, or least I did in the Troop and maybe I should not have expected the same sort of vibe with this book. There was for sure some body horror and weirdness in this one but over the body horror never reached the well..horror that The Troop did or the out right grossness either. To me there was not a good balance of the horror and just plain weirdness in this one. To the horror, felt it was not all that horrifying. Think it goes back to the tension never reaching the level it should but also to me the things that happened throughout were not all that scary. You have the claustrophobic setting, whispering in the dark, bleak and unyielding darkness, bodies(human and animal) twisted in unnatural ways and merging with surrounding in some way and bees so many damn bees, which I know was meant to be super damn creepy because of what they end up doing and just how freaking big they get but to me was well.. that's a whole lot of damn bees.

Now since horror is subjective , maybe I was just not horrified by these things . I am not sure this is the case though since I found similar things once again pretty damn scary in the Troop. Think it was one part the tension, which have mentioned before, but think too I was not as invested in the characters like I were for the characters of The Troop. Now for me at least this is way different than being likable. I don't have to truly like the characters to be invested in them. In fact I quite like books that have very very unlikable characters and honestly I find myself often loving characters others may hate.Here though just ...I found the characters boring . They were likable enough I would say but just felt this massive distance personally from them to the point that when really horrible things started to happen to them was just not as horrifying as it should have been . If anything I worried more about what was going to happen to the dog than I did to any of the human characters , though again the final outcome for the dog fell flat.

Mentioning the horror, have to of course mention the monster element of this book. Will compare it to horror movies with a monster or monster element. There needs to be a balance of times reader/watcher sees the monster , the build up to that and course a nice outcome if the monster is ever fully shown. For me the build up is mostly ok but not the best . Again think things that were meant to be scary just did not do it for me for one reason or another and then when the "fig men" as they are called are finally seen and are at center stage as it were , which is the last 15 or 20 pages I am just ...this is it ? To me, the tension that did work was just sort of killed in the final pages.The monsters that had been lurking around in the shadows only heard in whispers and strange sounds and only seen in flashes failed to remain scary since now Luke is having a full out conversation with them. All the build came to a head that just to me did not pay off. I would much rather preferred the monsters stay in the dark or stay disembodied voices. In these last pages, it came off as that part of show or movie where the "villain" fully explains their evil plot. All mystery is dead and gone . The same goes here. The fig men explain for the most part their plan , strike a deal to give back Luke's son or least something that looks like his son. I still have my doubts that they had any good will or intention given all that occurs throughout the novel. Think it was more just to get Luke to go along with their plan and to finally just tip him fully over the edge. Whatever the case may be , the last few pages just were really disappointing. Now saying that I did mostly enjoy the ending in that they or whatever it is that finally comes up is now unleashed on the world but think the less the reader knew about the monsters the better the ending would have been.

Also , while I enjoyed the elements of the story at times, the overall story was a bit cluttered. It goes from a mysterious illness story , which in hindsight is more a passing mention than anything else , to a hero trapped in an awful situation and must find a way out , to creepy body horror and very very weird situations, to finally a supernatural/monster that hero must overcome or be taken by story. Overall the book felt like it lost focus and was trying to do and trying to be too many things all at once. The situations had they been on their own could have work . I do wish, too, that and the mysterious illness was more at the forefront than it was . To me the supernatural aspects sort of ruined my enjoyment of this one. That and most of the weirdness was less scary weird and more confusing and weird for the sake of being weird.

My last major issue was it felt like it told instead of showed. Going to mention The Troop again but thought Cutter there did a great job of showing us the boys slow climb to worry , at times madness and the overall just horror of being trapped and at any second could just be consumed by this thing that well consumes you til there is nothing left of your humanity left. Here though the the tension gets killed from too much telling of how Luke is feeling instead of just showing the reader that through his actions . This goes for how Luke describes other characters as well. He goes on and on how Clayton is unfeeling instead of letting the reader realize that through Clayton's actions alone. I mean, hell, he pushes one of the dogs through the hole thing to see what would happen a scene that would have been way more effective had we had a flashback to Clayton doing that instead of just seeing the aftermath of it, which is a different issue but still goes along with my point. Characters come across as evil just because Luke says they are or what they did was evil when the reader could have figured that out through showing their actions all on their on. Take for instance his really horrible mother. Now she does do some beyond horrible things , which based on the fig men's summary of their plans could be them controlling her to do them or it is heavily implied that they least watched and had fun playing games. Still, though, most of what we know about her other than one or two events that we actually see is based on Luke describing how awful she is and so very fat she becomes as he is growing up. And think it is just supposed to make her out to be more disgusting but overall just seems like a oh just so you remember his mother was fucking huge.

To the one event that we do see that confirms that his mother is monster that Luke just says that she is, has to do with abuse so just a warning. I don't have an issue with abuse being in books as long as said abuse is not there just for shock value since feel that is a cheap shot and underplays the evil that actual abuse( physical or mental ) is to a person. Sadly here it was used just to cement it in our minds how just awful the mother was and to just shock the reader. The scene itself is short and thankfully does not go into any graphic detail. It is heavily implied that the mother is sexually abusing Clayton and when said scene happens is hinted to that this is not the first time that this has occurred . Clayton does get his "revenge" so to speak in that he slowly starves to death due poisoning her , but because Luke is on and on again how uncaring and unfeeling he sees his brother the reader is just supposed to get I guess that Clayton is just a monster without really any nuance to his character. Again just supposed to or or less takes Luke's word for it. How Clayton comes across is heavily colored by how Luke's sees him and not letting the actions Clayton does speak for themselves.

Will also mention that there is also a bit of a forced love interest vibe between Alice and Luke to the point where something that is meant to be scary is happening and Luke is thinking about boning her and Thankfully that never happens but just with any book I greatly hate forced romance/flirting etc to just throw in some sort of romance. Not every book needs a romance. They just don't and they will do just fine if not better without them.

While this review may come across as super negative, I still think overall Cutter had some interesting concepts . I had personal preference issues and just overall issues with tension building, but I still enjoyed the book. The horror and weirdness in this one was just not to my liking and very often fell a bit flat or came across more confusing than actually shocking or horrifying. Will also I am going to take a break before reading Little Heaven since I am really into what it is about and really hoping is not just the middle of the road as this one ended up being

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Reading progress update: I've read 268 out of 394 pages.

By Nick Cutter The Deep [Hardcover] - Nick Cutter

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Wilder Girls-Review

Wilder Girls - Rory Power

I am overly conflicted about this book. There are many aspects I liked about it : the body horror, the government cover up, and the queer aspects just to name a few, but there are many aspects about it that just fell flat for me. In fact I was quite nervous to finish it because quite certain that however it may it that it was going to ruin the entire book for me. I put off the ending,aka the last two chapters, to the point that I finished an entire Pet Sematary audiobook before I finally went back to finish it.


As much as I love darker themed young adult novels, I was really wanting it to be darker than it ended up being . I realize this is a personal issue and had I wanted to read a darker body horror novel there are plenty of adult novels that would have been better suited to my needs. Even so I was still expecting just a bit more from this one.A lot of my issues, though, with this book in particular plot points that to me do not make sense. For instance more than half way through the book an incident with the fence safe-guarding the school from the twisted animals that now roam the woods allows a bear to get inside said fence, and inside the school itself. Under the circumstances, it would still be case for alarm if a normal bear had gotten in. Given that it is twisted by whatever is infecting the island, which turns out at the end to be some parasitic worm thing, it is meant to be a even more terrifying experience was frustrating since Hetty and most of the other girls are able to outrun the bear from room to room and barricade themselves inside said rooms. The latter is at least more believable than the former. During the whole encounter only one girl ,that I recall, actually dies from the whole episode with the bear.


I am not saying the author should have killed off more characters, she is not at all shy to kill characters or least some of them, but the fact remains that some how they are able to outrun the bear when people have hard time running away from "normal" bears in the wild. It just all feel too overly convenient. What should have been a high stacks nerve wrecking scene just to me held no tension whatsoever. Mentioning killing characters, though, the author does rack up quite the body count and yet it doesn't hold the impact, least to me, that the author intended. I will like to state character deaths other than a few instances(aka my favorite character in a given work or a death that comes completely by surprise) rarely do much for me. Here, though, the deaths that do occur suffer from particular aspect of novels that really bug me : killing of faceless,nameless, "unimportant, side character(s). Now I am not saying the death of side characters always come off as "safe bets" or meaningless deaths but here it does. Of the characters that do die, the reader only really gets to know the slightest bit of them based on what Hetty has said about them or the few scenes they are present in, which is not enough in to develop them or they were not develop as well as they should have been. Instead in this book , it feels like the reader should be shocked by the number of death instead of who actual has dies. I felt the same way about the two adults that died and then the boy that dies from Byatt kissing him.Given how little time we get to know them their deaths hold little or no impact. If you don't really give the proper time to really know characters than their deaths just don't mean much .


The only death that would and could of held any meaning the author took back , which is a trend in books and other media that I hate. Will be the first to admit I am not a doctor, but I was pretty sure with how invasive Byatt is removing the worm thing in her arm, how much blood she loses in the process, a fact that Hetty remarks on when Byatt is finally found, and the fact that Byatt is left alone who knows how long with no medical assistance she would not still be alive .Least it doesn't seem like she should still be alive. I think it would have much more impactful to have her die, have Hetty deal with that grief and pain of not being able to get there in time, which it seems for a moment she is than to be oh no Byatt is actual alive, very very weak by somehow still alive.


Another aspect of the novel that sort of threw me was the romantic subplot. I love that there is a queer relationship in this and other than the body horror was an element that made me pick it up in the first place,but I am still confused by the two that get together. From the start, was pretty sure Byatt and Hetty were meant to be the romantic pair given how close they seemed in every scene they shared together and given the book was from their two points of view. I have nothing against power close friendships and given what has happen the students may cling tighter to each other more than ever before,but it just felt like more than friendship between the two of them , least from Hetty's chapters. No, though, seems Reese and Hetty are the ones that get together, which just really confused me. Hetty spends way less time with her, at one point Reese tries to choke here and for awhile seems like they are not even friends anymore and are not not even talking. I can buy that Byatt and Hetty are just really close best friends . Books need more powerful platonic best friendships they really do. The fact still remains that relationship makes no sense between the two that are paired up in this book. Maybe I was missing subtle clues but to me seems they went from sort of again not even being friends because of Hetty getting boat shift, something Reese really wants to try to find her dad, to kissing and suddenly are sort of together. If this was the plan where were there no chapter from Reese to get to know her more and develop her more?


Overall I enjoyed it enough to finish even if I put off finishing it but I wanted more from it. I really enjoyed the body horror aspects of it and when they were the focus the book was really exciting . I just really wanted more of those aspects I am not faulting it for not being as dark and gritty as I first thought. I get it is young adult and the darker elements have to be toned down in some way for that target audience. Even so what it did do in that respect was great and just again wanted more of it. I was not a fan of the lack of any explanation for the Tox. I was not expecting a full exposition dump since that would have been over the top and annoying , but was expecting something more than was in the book. I get diseases are confusing in real life but was expecting some sort of explanation to parts of it at least in this. Finally as much as I love open endings , when they make sense, the ending felt rushed and abrupt.Was overall just disappointed in a lot of the aspects of this novel. The cover is gorgeous,though

Wilder Girls - Rory Power

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*Full review to come.

Reading progress update: I've read 320 out of 368 pages.

Wilder Girls - Rory Power

The ending of this book is going to make or break it for me.


My Sister, The Serial Killer-Review

My Sister, the Serial Killer - Oyinkan Braithwaite

Even though this was not exactly what I was expecting , I still really enjoyed it to the point that I flew through it. Now it is on the shorter side , but I put aside other books I was reading just to finish it. Starting out I was expecting it to be more like [book:My Lovely Wife|39796904] or the [book:Darkly Dreaming Dexter|17231] series. Will say if you are wanting more on the murder front or just something more dark and graphic, I would recommended those over this book. While the the murders are still a major part of the book given it what it is about, all the deaths happen off screen and this is much about the consequences after the fact. I could also see some people taking issue with how short the chapters. Personally thought they made it go by faster. The chapters are all only a few pages so made you want to keep reading but could for sure see how it could also make the book seem choppy at times.

Given that the murders are not front and center , the book comes off more as a character study of how the main character deals with the fact of what her sister is and the lengths she will go to protect her to the point that by the end the main character is pretty much a criminal too. There are a few elements of the story that are a bit predictable, but turn out exactly in the way I thought. Will say if you are not a fan of open endings and need some sort of closer, you are not going to get it. Personally, I a big fan of opening endings as long as they are done well and make sense for that particular book. For this book, the opening ending was the most realistic outcome. The man in the comma, for instance, finally wakes up and recalls some of what the main character though it is not clear if down the road he will tell what he knows. There is that chance he might later on decide he might, on good intention, release what he knows or maybe he will find a way that he could profit in some way from what he knows. I am sort of surprised that it wasn't mentioned.Also enjoy that it is clear that her sister is going to keep killing and that the main character is at some point going to have to decide if family loyalty is worth hiding the truth.


The one draw back of this novel is how easily the police believe the sister's and/or the main characters version of events when there is more or less clear evidence that something is not what it seems . In reality the truth does not always win out and people that should be in jail are not and those who are innocent are locked up , but like many similar books the police in this are sort of useless. Not saying I wanted it to go down that road. In books at least, it is more fun if people get away with their crimes or if they come really close to being caught and are able to get away in some way. The two came close to being caught when the police take the main character's car and when a bloody napkin was found at one the crime scenes. The napkin is brought up and not too soon forgotten.It doesn't even appear that that the police even took it in for processing. I also get that the main character cleans up after her sister really well, but you can't tell me she got everything . Just while it may be possible to get blood stains out of various materials, it is pretty much next to impossible to be certain ever trace is washed away even with obsessive cleaning.Every day you see criminals that are brought in because they missed one stray amount of blood or a fingerprint they front to wipe away.Even if the main character is a nurse, she is not a forensic expert and thus even if she is using a black light to make sure she gets every bit of blood it is not logical to think she got everything given that it doesn't seem like the sister does anything to cover her tracks.
Overall though even with the few minor flaws here and there still really enjoyed this one.


The Tenth Justice-Review

The Tenth Justice - Brad Meltzer

Overall I enjoyed this . It was fast paced and for me at least it was quite the page turner. When I first started it, I didn't realize it was his first novel. I went just on the fact that the summary sounded like something I would enjoy. After realizing though, I can tell it is a first novel. Certain aspects of the novel are not as overly polished and a few plot points seem way too convenient, which is my main issue with the novel in general. Several plot points throughout the story are exciting while reading and then when I was finished and had time to mull them over, several events didn't really make sense or add up. I more than fine reading books where I can turn off my brain for awhile. Where it is a book that doesn't have any big meaning it needs to get across or impact to make. A book that that is just supposed to be entertainment for awhile. Even so there is a line a book crosses where even though it is enjoyable, and I did actually enjoy this book, the characters or the writing throw common sense out the window. A few times here and there is not an issue . Hell real people even with the best of intentions do it from time to time. We are all human and just even though we knew better we still fuck up. I can give benefit of the doubt to a few things, but when you add all the infractions together is when I start to have an issue.
For instance I can forgiven the first common sense abuse since in summary on the back cover, I knew going in that Ben fucked up by telling a court decision to someone he shouldn't. I can sort of buy that he let excitement of the position go to his head even though he probably signed a million legal documents stating what you can or can not say to family and friends.That and even though he shouldn't trust some random person that called, he got wrapped up in the moment and blabbed. Fine ok. Things I have more issue is that even though Ben and a few others are sure that the house may be bugged they continue to say things they shouldn't and then are shocked when things get out. Get that moving to different places every time they thought the place might be bugged is a bit obsessive , but don't get why they couldn't have stayed in the house and just been more careful about what they said. I do get having characters pass notes could get a tad clunky to read instead of spoken dialogue. Even so they could have developed a code. Just something.
Honestly too just thought there were too many twists in this. I don't have an issue with books that have twists in them. They can be fun to guess along with but do feel there should be either one big twist that is revealed toward the en or if there are a few, that they are used with a purpose in mind and that there are not so many that they start to clutter the story. This book for me falls into the latter category. I do think the twists were trying to serve a purpose but overall they came off as a mess. For instance one of the twists that just felt personally unnecessary and just didn't make sense is that it is revealed that one of the men working for Rick, the villain of the story, is actually a marshal trying to help Ben. What doesn't make sense to me is that he is supposed to an one of the higher ups for one of the companies whose law suits to Court is deciding. on. Just would think it would be somewhat public knowledge of what someone higher up would look like. So am confused why Rick was fooled by this. It just came off as a way to get someone close to Rick who could save Ben toward the end of the book. I was also not the biggest fan of Eric being a double agent. Not saying am not a fan of the concept and believe it can be done well, just feel in this book it was executed poorly.
The end of the book was the other issue for me. It felt slightly lack luster. Things are not totally wrapped up nicely since there are thankfully consequences for what happened. Still felt overall things turned out mostly ok. Rick has his typical villain moments where he threatens to kill someone but never acts on it by instead letting everyone live and just beats them. Though am a bit shocked that he got to live at the end given how so much media loves killing villains. He was overall an ok villain but for sure could have been better. Ben does lose his job, as he should . Course he has a way better one by the end of the novel so he still wins out in the end. Nathan is pissed with good reason given that because of Ben's actions one of their friends committed suicide . A detail that seems to really matter in the moment but only Nathan seems to feel any real mourning over. That and the fact that the mother of said friend is so possessive and obsessive over her son's life that in one scene she is jumping down her son's throat to get back the job he is fired from and yet is not beating down the roommates door to explain why her son is dead, which really makes no sense. That and just a personal pet peeve of having the book end with the unnecessary romance angle. I am not against romance being in any sort of book but I am against forced romance and for sure felt that the romance between Ben is and Lisa is so damn forced . It was unneeded and personally had Ben not fucked up by spilling the beans about the case outcome both of them would have been fired or least spoken to about their romance. Having the book end on that aspect was just super cringy. Would have honestly preferred if it turned out that Lisa was a lesbian as one of the guys thought in the beginning. Granted still would have had issued given that their assumptions are based on old stereotypes. More though would just preferred if the romance was just not part of the novel to begin with.

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