Monday, June 12, 2017

Blog Tour: The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente



About THE REFRIGERATOR MONOLOGUES:

The Refrigerator Monologues is for anyone who ever got upset at the way women were treated in comic shows, movies or books.
The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics

From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.

In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.



About Catherynne M. Valence

Catherynne M. Valente was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1979 in Seattle, WA, but grew up in in the wheatgrass paradise of Northern California. She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics. She then drifted away from her M.A. program and into a long residence in the concrete and camphor wilds of Japan.

She currently lives in Maine with her partner, two dogs, and three cats, having drifted back to America and the mythic frontier of the Midwest.





Review:

This book, guys. THIS BOOK. This is the perfect time to read something like The Refrigerator Monologues. With Wonder Woman receiving so much praise and feminism taking a new shape, it is time we see more examples of how not-so-woman-friendly a lot of media is. In this book, Valence gives a voice to those women that have been nothing more than accessories in all of the superhero stories out there. 

The worse part of it is that I've never considered that to be odd. It's the norm, the guy is the one with the power. The woman is just there. The end. But this new take is so heart breaking and much needed. The reader gets to see these female characters as people, not just plot devices. It is brilliant and such a great conversation starter. 

Although this is a quick read, it leaves a lasting impression. Whether you're a fan of superhero stories or not, this book will give you a new perspective of that world.  


Tour Schedule:

Giveaway:
2 Finished Copies of THE REFRIGERATOR MONOLOGUES (US Only)

Rafflecopter Code:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#ReadADessen : Lock & Key





When I think of Sarah Dessen, Lock & Key immediately comes to mind.  Even though Sarah is the queen of romance, this novel stands out because it is centered around family. I love that the complicated relationship between sisters is the main focus of the novel. Sure, you'll find a super swoon-worthy boy in this one but the family aspect is so much more present and dynamic. It doesn't hurt that the main character, Ruby, is seriously amazing. 


So, in honor of sisters, let's talk about some of my favorite literary siblings:




Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: 


When you talk about sisters, there is no way to not mention the Bennets. Yes, I've seen every adaptation because I'm a little obsessed with Elizabeth and Darcy BUT the relationship between the sisters is what drives the story. I love that it is so easy to see yourself (or your sister) in one of them. And, even though they are all different, they all care about each other. Well, everyone except for Lydia. 






Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: 


Even though Louisa and Katrina have absolutely nothing in common, they are the most realistic sisters I've come across. Sure, Katrina is selfish and Louisa is pretty much a doormat but the sacrifices that they make and the support they give each other is the perfect example of what it means to be someone's sister. 








Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell:


Twins! Going away to college! My favorite Rainbow Rowell novel! Honestly, I didn't know what to expect when I picked this up but I loved every minute of it. The family in this novel, much like Lock & Key, takes this story to the next level. The relationship between the sisters is so complex and there's something so interesting about twins. Add fan fiction and this is such a fascinating read. 








About Once and for All:

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.


Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Schedule:
JUST LISTEN
May 9 – Xingsings
May 11 – Dazzled by Books
LOCK AND KEY
May 8 – Bookmark Lit
May 8 – Dazzled by Books
May 8 – Live Love Read
May 10 – Peace Love Books
May 10 – Don’t Fold the Page
May 11 – Arctic Books

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara


When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

I love to read. That's obvious. But the reason I love to read is because once in a while, out of the blue,  a book comes around that takes you by surprise. That makes you dig deep, infiltrates your darkest thoughts, and cuts you to the core. I live for these rare instances. I devour books to find that gem and let me tell you,  A Little Life was that book for me. It is a monster of a book (at over 700 pages) and there's so much you can take before you have to step away. But it won't be long before you run back to it because, even though it hurts, the characters in this Yanagihara's novel become a part of you. I've never read a book with such raw characters, with such complex but simple lives, that represent the very definition of being a human being. There's no sugar coating, no silver lining, no magic cure. And that alone made me love this novel even more. 

A Little Life takes place during a very large time span, which is incredibly well done. It had the potential of not translating well or of dragging for too long but it doesn't. I loved that I got to take my time with these characters, that new aspects of their personalities were peeled back slowly, and that their demons revealed themselves at a natural pace. The relationship between the four friends is so complicated and not always perfect because...isn't that life? Relationships evolve and this novel captures this beautifully. 

I wouldn't change a single word in this book. In fact, I would fight anyone in order to preserve this story until the end of time. Even though I don't have time to reread such a large novel, this story is so dear to my heart that I cannot wait to get lost in it again.  If that's not commitment right there then I don't know what is. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Doctor Who meets Roger Hargreaves!


If you know me you know that my love for Doctor Who is out of this world (get it? GET IT?) so when I first heard about these books, made in the incredible Roger Hargreaves style of Little Miss (who doesn't love Little Miss?) and Mr. Men, I had to have them. Just look at them:



Aren't they precious? 

These are not only an adorable addition to my (very large) Doctor Who collection but they are also a perfect way to celebrate the new season of the show. And these are such a great way to introduce the little ones to the best TV show ever. To tell you the truth, I cannot wait until my nephew is old enough to have these because I fully intend on making him a Whovian. I do have to get him his own copies because there's no way I'm parting with mine. 


These cuties are out TODAY! So go pick up one of each! 


*I received a finished copy of each book through PRHPartner. Thank you, Penguin!* 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#ReadADessen - Someone Like You



281 pages
Published by: Penguin
Rating: 4/5
Source: PRH Partner


Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break--because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever. 

What I love the most about Someone Like You is that it is a novel about friendship. Sure, Sarah Dessen is the queen of romance but I absolutely love the relationship between Halley and Scarlett. There's nothing better than the love between best friends. So, with that in mind, I thought I would honor this novel by sharing my top three favorite friendships (other than the one in this novel, of course): 


1. Jess and Cece (New Girl): 


I mean, Jess and Cece are friendship goals. They have each other's back regardless of the situation--the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love that they represent a positive female friendship, one that consists of nothing but (sometimes tough) love for each other. 

2. Rebecca and Paula (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend):


Even though this friendship is a little one-sided at times, I adore their dynamic. Paula is Rebecca's biggest cheerleader. And is there anything better than a good friend who lets you be a little crazy? I don't think so.  


3. Sherlock and Watson:


You cannot talk about friendships and not mention Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. There's a reason why so many people ship these two. It doesn't matter if you look at the TV show(s), movie(s), or any other adaptations. Their friendship is beautiful. They complement each other and, at the same time, they push each other to be better version of themselves.  Isn't that what friendship is all about?



About Once and for All:

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 


Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.



Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: This Is Really Happening by Erin Chack

Hardcover240 pages
Expected publication: April 25th 2017 
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ARC provided by Penguin
Rating: 5/5
BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack provides a collection of personal essays for the Snapchat generation. 
Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company. 
She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it's her first kiss ("Sean's tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.") or her struggles with anxiety ("When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan"). 
Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer, including learning of her mother's own cancer diagnosis within the same year, and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid "un-normaling" everything.
I had to start this book the second it arrived. It is one of those books that just sounds so good so I actually squealed when it arrived at my house. As you can tell, I had very high hopes for this one and I'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint. 

There's an addicting quality to nonfiction told in essays and this is no exception. I loved Erin's voice from the very first page. There's something so refreshing yet familiar about it (think Jenny Lawson) that really connected with me. Erin tackles serious issues in a very light and honest manner. Her take on cancer, romance, and work is refreshing and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.  My only complain is that, at 240 pages, it is rather short. I think this is more of a man, I wish this was longer because I really enjoyed every single page than anything else. So, in a way, my one negative is more of a compliment. Oh, well. 

This Is Really Happening delivers exactly what it promises: it is a hilarious collection of essays. If you're on the fence because it is marketed as "personal essays for the Snapchat generation," please know that the contents of this book can be enjoyed by all. Erin is so likable that you'll feel like you're having a drink with your best friend. 



* A huge thank you to Penguin for mailing me an ARC! 💜

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Glittering Court: Release Day Blitz



Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…


RICHELLE MEAD is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.







GIVEAWAY:

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of ten (10) copies of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (ARV: $10.99 each).


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 28, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
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