Friday, October 19, 2018

Paid For

A hard read about a hard, unimaginable lifestyle of prostitution. Rachel Moran holds nothing back when she delves into her past as a prostituted woman in Dublin. Paid For is far more than a memoir though, it's an in depth, scholarly look at the history of prostitution, implications of working the sex trade and so much more. It's narrative non-fiction at its best and Rachel Moran has the authority and no-nonsense attitude to tackle it head on. She easily breaks down myths and rumors that surround the sex industry and pulls from research to help back up her personal experiences. I've read other prostitution memoirs and books written by sex works, but this one really got to me. It may not be an easy read, but I'd very much recommend it!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Uprooted

Naomi Novik is quickly approaching favorite author status. She writes fantasy as it's MEANT to be written. It flows right off the page and into the reader's imagination that you can't help believe or wish it all to be true. Uprooted tells the story of a young village girl who is sent to live in a sorcerer's tower for a decade. Agnieszka, never thought much beyond her village and her dangerous, yet well loved forest, so when she is chosen as tribute, it comes as a complete shock. What can he see in her?!? Well magic, that's what he sees, unbeknownst to her, there is a vein of magic running through her and with a little nourishment and training she may surpass the sorcerer himself. It's very auspicious timing really, because the wood is angry. It's been lobbying attacks for years, but now the wood is on a mission and the sorcerer can barely keep it at bay. Can Agniescka help keep the wooded monsters in check? Beautifully written, it's like a song. I adored this book and can't wait for more from this author!!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Collision

I thought this collection of macabre short stories would be very fitting for Halloween so I was very pumped to try this author out. I'll admit I wasn't a fan of every story in the collection and I thought some were much stronger than others. I was however a huge fan of the afterword following each short story, which outlined the author's inspiration for each tale. It made me appreciate the stories a little more, even if I didn't love them all. From amputees to aliens to ghostly dogs and vile, monstrous acts; this collection really is all over the place. The writing is unique, lush, and dark; very fitting for all the stories. These aren't tales with happy endings where everything gets wrapped up neatly with a bow at the end. The final and longest story, was definitely my favorite. It felt the most complete and visceral for me; and I could absolutely see it being a movie or season of American Horror Story. It was very chilling and very well written. J.S. Breukelaar is definitely an author to watch out for!

Sadie

While this one wasn't the strongest of the three books in the Amish Fairy Tale trilogy, it was still an enjoyable read. Sadie is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with an Amish twist. Sadie tries hard to be the perfect daughter and a trustworthy friend. It can be very trying though with her stepmother, whose vanity, desperate attempts to get pregnant, and moodiness are constantly trying Sadie's patience. Everything appears to be looking up though when a charming young man stumbles across Sadie singing in the woods, he starts to drive her home after youth gatherings and Sadie thinks their might be more than a friendship developing. All her hopes are dashed though when her stepmother keeps making her cook and clean for a widow with nine children. Is there something more dastardly afoot? Is she trying to marry Sadie off so she can selfishly have her father all to her self? The ending was a bit much, even for me. But I still enjoyed it. I hope there are more Amish fairy tale retellings coming!!

Clan of the Cave Bear

I enjoyed this book much more than I anticipated. I thought cave men would be a boring read, but hell, I was sucked right in. Jean M. Auel did an insanely impressive job immersing the reader into a highly complex and intricate world in which survival is not guaranteed. Ayla may not have been born into the clan tribe (she clearly looks different, she's lean, tall, and has blond hair), but she begrudgingly gets their acceptance after she is taken in as a child by the clan's medicine women. Ayla learns to communicate with them using movement, not sounds, and learns the clan hierarchy and tools for survival. It's a coming of age story set in the ice age and it is way more engrossing then I ever thought. I'm honestly tempted to continue on with the series! The ending was a bit of a shock!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Finding Her Heart

This inspirational romance begs to the question, what would happen if everything that could go wrong, did go wrong? In Allie's case, she faces one uphill battle after another. Her only constant has been her passion for art. Growing up in a small town she was more sheltered than most. Raised in seclusion by her aunt and uncle, her only friends were forest animals. Due to her Asperger's most of the kids in school made fun of her, and the fact that she had to wear overly modest, homemade clothes, didn't help her much either. When it comes time to graduate she has her heart set on art school. She uses the money she's earned from winning painting competitions to secure her first year and things finally seem to be looking up. Then her uncle dies. Despite all the obstacles being thrown at her Allie finds a way to tough it out, despite her disability and lack of money or resources. Everything would be so much easier if she had God on her side, but she doesn't know where to begin. If only she had a man to show her the way, or a parent figure. Then lo and behold, the comes a man who is set on helping her out. But is just interested in her art, or maybe in her heart? Finding her Heart contains a little bit of romance, faith, and perseverance. It is a quick inspirational read that readers will adore.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Silence of the Girls

Damn, what a read. I've been on a Greek mythology kick recently and this really helped fuel that. Told from the perspective of not a warrior or a god, but a "lowly" women (although she had been a queen), this viewpoint is much needed and most always overlooked. The female perspective of the Trojan War was a refreshing (albeit terrifying) read. Briseis is taken a prize of war and given to the might Achilles as a slave. From royalty to slave is a far fall, but he knows she still has it better than most of the women in the camp, she could be passed around from man to man, raped at will, having to sleep outside with the dogs. She is grateful that she is "higher up" but how grateful can you be, when you have to open your legs for the man who killed your husbands and brothers? A wonderful read and a refreshing new take on the Trojan War.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sex Criminals: Fourgy

While a little more depressing and not as strong as the first three volumes, I still loved this. It's been a while since I read Sex Criminals, but I immediately got right back into it. It sucks you in! The characters, the great writing, the bizarre plot, and beautiful illustrations are just the tip of the iceberg. It's so witty and raunchy! This volume deals with Suzie and Jon trying to come to terms with their new romance and their brush with the law. Will what they have last? It's more than sex right? I can't wait for the fifth volume!

Fables: Witches

Let's get real, at this point would I give any of these installments less than 5 stars? They just keep getting consistently better and more complex. This volume didn't feature the regular staples but focuses on Bufkin, The Dark Man, and the witches. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each layer to this series, strengthens it and makes it even more enjoyable to read.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship

A wonderful collection of Indian tales that will delight both old and young readers. Eight tales are woven together by two characters, the prince and his friend, the farmer's son. Together the two of them love to get up to mischief, but love even more to put their thinking caps on and solve riddles. Though they are young, they are wise beyond their age and they delight in holding court and helping solve some of the commoner's tricky dilemmas. It also gives them a chance to occasionally outsmart the adults and prove them wrong. Each of the eight tales comes with an AHA moment when the two young boys are able to get themselves out of a sticky situation. Gorgeously illustrated, this children's book is sure to be a big hit!

The Jell-O Girls

Beautifully written, albeit a bit meandering. This family memoir (memwah) is written by the daughter of a strong and spirited mother and grandmother. Born into the Jell-O money, they may not have wanted for material things, but their emotional and physical lives were never bettered by their family's wealthy legacy. Allie recounts her grandmother's tragic life and how it influenced her mother's and her own unconventional upbringing. Peppered throughout, is the story of Jell-O and it's deep ties with women, motherhood, and domesticity. Not exactly an uplifting read, but still an interesting one. The author then compares her tumultuous life with the girls from LeRoy (also ironically her mother's AND Jell-O's birthplace) who found their limbs inexplicably freezing up in 2012. Parallels are drawn, connecting her family history to Jell-O and the mysteriously frozen young women. It's an interesting and intense read.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One

I devoured this collection of poetry. I needed this now more than ever with the Kavanaugh circus running wild. I needed something uplifting and empowering and Amanda Lovelace delivered. If Francesca Lia Block and Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a collection of petry, this would be their lovechild. These poems talk about the struggles, the dangers, and the virtues of being a woman. It's everything the title promised and more. It made me want to go out and seize the day, attend that women's march, shut that man down, and be proud and confident. I loved it. A must read for every woman!!!