Thoughts on Banned Books Week

Freedom to read, banned books, banned books week, George orwell, nineteen eighty-four, 1984, fuelled by fiction, fueled by fiction, book blog, books, reviews, tutorials

This week is banned books week. Hooray! I think this is an excellent thing. It brings the ideas of censorship, privilege, power, and fear to the forefront of our thinking and can make for some excellent conversations. 

Some people seem to think that in 2015 this is now irrelevant. They think that either there isn’t censorship or they think you should ignore it and just work around it (check out Ruth Graham’s controversial piece in Slate). But what is that saying? 

North America is not the whole world. And even still, as the saying goes, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. This isn’t just about books that are truly and actively banned. This is about the freedom of information and how privileged we are to have it. Not everyone does, and we certainly didn’t always.

The point is not to rank inflammatory books like game highlights. It’s to remind readers that information hasn’t always been free, and that we have librarians to thank for its freedom. (Huffington Post)


This is something we need to keep celebrating and actively work toward maintaining. This isn’t something that just happens. This is something that people have to strive to keep up.

It’s thanks to the work of organizations such as the ALA, which equips librarians and teachers dealing with challenges with advice and legal services. They do the behind-the-scenes work that ensures challenges don’t turn into bans; that they’re successful in this is a very important thing worth celebrating, and, yes, publicizing. (Huffington Post)


And even still, even in 2015, this can still be an issue! It’s not quite as pressing as it once was, or as it still is in some places, but that doesn’t mean it is nonexistent. From the National Coalition Against Censorship, here are five stories of censorship in this day and age

As you can tell from most challenges and most instances we hear of, these are things going on in schools. These are parents and others concerned about what their children are being exposed to. Honestly, I think that to some extent, this is a valid concern. That being said, I think this only applies to your own children

Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there. ― Clare Booth Luce


I think that parents have every right to a say in what their children read and are exposed to. They are the parents! But as far as schools go, you do not have a say in what other children read and are exposed to. If you object to some material, then I’m sure the school will offer an alternative. And while I’d hope that any challenge and objection was made with thoughtful, careful, and detailed consideration, I know that this is not always the case. But either way, parents have that right. 

Whether or not actual book banning is an immediate issue for you, it is something we should reflect on. Are you free to read? Be grateful. That is a privilege not every has or has always had. Celebrate it

What are your thoughts on Banned Books Week and censorship?

Anger, Tragedy, Family—Accidents of Marriage │ Review + Giveaway [closed]!

TLC Book Tour Review and Giveaway

Accidents of marriage, randy susan meyers, fiction, review, book tour, blog tour, giveaway, TLC book tours, fuelled by fiction, fueled by fiction, books, book blog, review, Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers 

Fiction
Paperback, 368 pages 
Published June 9th, 2015 by Washington Square Press (Originally published September 2014)
 
This is the story of the Illica family. Ben is a busy and powerful lawyer. Maddy is an overworked social worker and mother of three. Though their life is busy, on the surface it seems perfect. 
 
However, that is not the case. Within the walls of the Illica home, there is anger. There is rage. There is… abuse. But not the physical kind. Ben constantly berates his wife and children. He abuses them verbally and emotionally. 
 
Ben is not a bad man; it’s not as simple as that. He is hardworking, and can be kind and loving. But he has an explosive temper, and you never know when he is going to burst. Maddy doesn’t want to be a doormat, but when Ben is mad she tries to stay out of his way—and so do their kids.
 
One day, Ben and Maddy are in the car, and she cannot escape his rage. There is an accident. And Maddy ends up in the hospital. 
 
Told in alternating perspectives, this is a story of family, hardship, faith, and forgiveness. 
 
We hear from Maddy, Ben, and their 14 year old daughter Emma as they navigate through the trials of life, family, and marriage. We sometimes see the same things through all three of their eyes, and see how perspectives change things. We see how seemingly little actions can have huge consequences, and how the little things can build up and explode. 
 
The characters are very well drawn and realistic. They are fully fleshed out and multifaceted. None of them is all good, or all bad. Ben is a good example of this. He can fly off the handle very easily, but he truly does feel badly about this. He wants to be a better person and a better husband and father. But we also see the flip side—is that enough? It’s certainly not an excuse.
 
Maddy suffers greatly in this story as she sustains very serious trauma. The aftermath is very interesting and very heartbreaking. She struggles to heal while also dealing with her family issues. 
 
While Maddy is healing and Ben is feeling sorry for himself, Emma is forced to step in as a mother figure and caregiver to her two younger siblings. She is forced to grow up too fast as expectations and responsibilities are heaped upon her. On top of this she must deal with the struggles that go along with being a teenager.
 
The plot and the characters are nuanced and complex. Meyers paints a very vivid and heartbreaking picture as she explores the pain and complexities that can come along with family life. 

I did enjoy the story and the way the characters are drawn. However, at times, especially in the beginning, I had trouble getting into the story and staying interested. 

I would recommend this book for those who enjoy slower paced, character driven stories and those who are interested in the darker side of family life.
 
Content warning: Contains some explicit language. 

About the Author

The drama of Randy Susan Meyers’ novels is informed by her work with families impacted by emotional and family violence.

Her newest novel, Accidents of Marriage, examines the slippery definitions of emotional abuse and explores tragic circumstances forcing a family to challenge the dynamics that have long-defined them.

Randy is a founding member of Beyond The Margins, a site dedicated to the craft of writing and the business of publishing, and coauthored the guide, What To Do Before Your Book Launch, with writer M.J. Rose.  She lives in Boston with her husband, where she teaches at Grub Street Writer’s Center.

Find out more about Randy at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
 

Tour Stops

Monday, August 31st: Books and Bindings
Friday, September 4th: Lit and Life
Monday, September 7th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, September 8th: I’m Shelf-ish
Monday, September 14th: Read-Love-Blog
Tuesday, September 15th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, September 21st: Stephany Writes
Monday, September 28th: Booked on a Feeling
Tuesday, September 29th: Fuelled by Fiction
Wednesday, September 30th: The Book Chick
Thursday, October 1st: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Want to win a copy of this book? You’re in luck! 
This giveaway is brought to you by Washington Square Press and TLC Book Tours!
It is open to residents of Canada and the US.
Please be sure to read the Terms and conditions. It’s not very long and you want to
make sure that you are eligible and that your entries will not be disqualified. 
Please do not tweet or follow with giveaway or spam accounts.

How to Tell if Your Bed is Real (and Other Insights) │ I Crawl Through It by AS King

I crawl through it, A.S. King, AS King, Fuelled by Fiction, fueled by fiction, book blogs, book reviews, books, reviews

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Surreal, Young Adult
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 22nd, 2015 by Little, Brown
[Goodreads] [Amazon] [Book Depository]

Is it normal to know, deep down, that you are two people joined as cells? Is it normal to know, for sure, that there is an organ inside us that no scientist has discovered? Is it normal to know, deep down, that you will escape this place in a helicopter that no one else can see?

 
After reading two of her books, A.S. King became my favourite author. But if we’re being honest, she did after just one! Her books are weird in the best way, and real and honest in the best way. Things don’t have to be “real” to be real, you know? I know. I know it as I sit here hours after I finished I Crawl Through It and am still unable to think about anything else. I know it as I flip through the pages and pages of quotes I jotted down while reading. I know it as I fly off in Gustav’s red invisible helicopter. I don’t know how she does it, but A.S. King seems to have poked me in the soul with a stick. Again. 
 
Right off the bat you need to know that King is not your typical young adult author. She has a very unique voice and is writing books that are pretty well unparalleled in the genre. My goodness, her books are so beautiful and out there and wonderful. She takes pieces from the imagination and uses them to highlight something that is achingly real and honest. I don’t even know how to put words to it. She writes books that poke you in the soul. With a stick. 
 
BE WARNED. They are known to cause severe to acute book hangovers. 
 
This particular soul-poker is about four teenagers growing up in Pennsylvania (I think?). They go to a school that receives a bomb threat every single day. They spend their classes outside. They are no longer surprised by bomb-sniffing dogs and policemen with guns.

Our big explosion is coming any day now. Can’t you hear the ticking?


Each of these four carry their own baggage. Baggage they picked up through hurt and neglect. Baggage from emotional trauma. These kids are like any other kids, really. Except they’re not. But… they are. 

This is the story of teens grappling with loss. Grief. Guilt. Neglect. Trauma. Standardized tests and the complete zombifying of the public school system. And they are dealing with it any way they can.
 
Stanzi (AKA _____), loves biology. She literally can’t go anywhere or do anything if she is not wearing her lab coat. Oh, and she’s pretty sure she’s actually two people. Then there’s Gustav. He’s building a helicopter. It’s red. And also invisible. China swallowed herself. She’s right side in instead of right side out. Lansdale has very long hair. Because it grows a foot every time she lies, and she’s a compulsive liar. 
 
This book is weird and wonderful. It’s amazing and confusing and ultimately incredibly beautiful. It’s the complete realization King’s surrealist tendencies, and I love it. Such a wonderful evolution of her style. I want to marry it. I want to have it tattooed all over my body. Well, maybe not but you get it? 

We’re alive. We have words and shapes and ideas. We will throw them at you when you do not believe. We will throw our love and out hate and our failure and our success. We’ll split in two right in front of you and be our best and our worst. We’ll lie and tell the truth.

I’m not sure that this book is for everyone because surrealism isn’t for everyone. But if you like surrealism, or want to give it a try (GIVE IT A TRY GIVE IT A TRY), definitely read this book. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re new to AS King, I might try easing yourself into her style by starting with one of her earlier books. 

Storyline A+
Structure/Execution A+
Characters A+
Writing A+
Conclusion A+
Enjoyment A+
———————
My Rating: A++++

*Note: Quotations came from the ARC and not the finished copy!

What Are Your Bookish Preferences and Pet Peeves?

 
I don’t know about you, but I am very particular when it comes to reading. I’m not talking about what goes on in the book’s story—today I’m talking about the act of reading and physical bookish things. What are your preferences? Your pet peeves? (Why are they called pet peeves anyway?)

Reading Preferences

When it comes to where I’m reading, my favourite place is on a comfy couch by a large window. I love natural lighting! And, of course, comfy couches. 
 
My beverage of choice of late has been a steaming cup of coffee. It used to be tea, but I find coffee more forgiving. By that I mean there are less chances I will forget about it. You see, with coffee, you just pop everything into the machine and let it do its thing. If you forget about it, you just reheat it. It may be a little stale, but still drinkable. With tea, there are more steps, and therefore more chances for me to forget! Well, really there is one more step and that’s the kicker. You have to boil the water (which I ofter end up doing three times before I remember to get it and steep it). Then you put your lovely tea in and let it steep. If you forget about the tea during this step, it usually ruins it. So………. YEAH. Rant over. Coffee it is! 
 
I prefer to be sitting with my feet up when reading. Unless, of course, I am in bed. If I’m laying down reading during the day, I’m 100% going to fall asleep. 


I prefer to be reading a trade paperback. The size and the weight are usually on point! Mass markets can be pretty dumb (though the floppy ones are slightly less dumb). I don’t usually mind reading a hardcover, unless it’s giant. Then it’s lame and inconvenient. But, like I said in last week’s post, I’d rather own a hardcover.
 
If I’m reading a hardcover, I prefer to leave the dust jacket on. I don’t usually have a problem of it moving around or slipping. I’d rather have it on than end up getting something on the actual book. Plus, the flaps can serve as a bookmark in a pinch. 

It’s best to be reading when my cat is asleep. Otherwise… Enter felinus interruptus.


PET PEEVES!

I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE books with velvety covers. It gives me a feeling akin to nails on a chalkboard. I will not read books with these types of covers because I simply cannot touch them without wanting to die. If it’s a hardcover, that’s one of the times I’m willing to take off the jacket.
 
Paperbacks with cover flaps! No, I don’t mean french flaps. I’m totally down with those. I mean books with those basically pointless flaps where the cover just sort of ends too soon. HATE IT. WHAT EVEN.


 
Cover changes. I think we can all heave a collective sigh over this one. This is especially annoying when there is a cover change mid-series. Because, WHY. WHY DO YOU WANT ME TO DIE? 

… But I’m also not a fan of cover changes at paperback release. The book cover is basically that book’s logo. When I think of the book, that’s the image I think of. So if I have a particular image in my mind associated with a particular book, I don’t like it when they change that at paperback release. I get that it kind of rejuvenates it from a marketing standpoint, but I still don’t like it (unless, of course, the original cover is super uggo). 
 
When books in a series AREN’T NUMBERED! This is most annoying when I’m in a bookstore, but it’s also annoying when I’m organizing a book series on my shelf and I can’t remember the order. I don’t want to have to GOOGLE IT. I WANT IT TO SAY ON THE BOOK! Like, how hard is it to put “Book one” on the cover somewhere? Or even list the books in order on one of the first pages? Are you trying to ruin everything? 
 
Broken spines and dog-eared pages. This classic just irks me somethin’ awful. I try really hard not to break the spines of my paperbacks. But if they do break… a piece of me dies a little. Samesies when I see someone dog-ear a book. ESPECIALLY IF THAT BOOK ISN’T THEIRS (i.e. if it’s MINE or a library book that I will read/look at). 

When books are all different heights. I wish hardcovers were all one uniform height, and paperbacks all one uniform height, etc. So that there would be symmetry and unity on my shelves. Publishing industry, get on that, k?


When people interrupt me when I’m readingfor no good reason! If you need to convey some sort of important information to me, then okay. That’s legit. But if I’m clearly really into my book and don’t do anything to indicate I want to chat, I DON’T WANT TO CHAT. PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE.
 
When bookstores don’t have the first book in a series. I obviously can’t start with book two! Have more stock of the first book! Obviously more people are going to be looking for this one and the latest one than the random middle ones!
 
Stickers. When there are stickers on my books it’s the most annoying thing. Some stickers are nice ones and are easily removable. Most, however, don’t come off without a fight. And they leave stupid sticky residue! Just enough with the stickers already! Use signs! Use anything other than stickers unless you have the nice ones! But really, you don’t need to use any! Because unless it’s the price, we don’t really care! 
 
So these are some of my preferences and pet peeves! 
Do we share any? Do we disagree on any? What are yours?
 

So Many Books, So Little Time… Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is the top ten books on my Fall TBR. There are so many excellent releases coming up, on top of the books that are already on my TBR. It’s going to be tough to just pick ten!

1) Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
This book has received some great reviews–I don’t think I’ve come across one that has a single negative thing to say. This book sounds like so much fun and filled with so much positivity. I’m dying to get my hands on it! It’s at the top of my TBR.

2) What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
This book is getting some buzz, and I got to say, the synopsis has me hooked. I love darker stories with a hint of mystery.

3) Lumberjanes Vol 2 by Noelle Stevenson
I cannot wait for this one to be released! Vol. 1 was just so much fun. I’m dying to see what the Lumberjanes are up to next! Check out my review of the first volume here.

4) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This book is so popular. It has several hundred holds at my library still. I actually bought a copy several months ago because I was planning on reading it and didn’t want to wait out the holds at the library. And yet… It still sits on my self unread. I’m going to get to it this fall!

5) The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
I have been meaning to read this book since I first started watching BookTube videos–they rave about Brandon Sanderson on there a lot. I’m excited to get into this series!

6) All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I have had a copy of this book on my shelf since it came out. But for some reason or other, I just have never gotten around to reading it! Even when it won the Pulitzer, I still didn’t feel like picking it up… Hmmm. Definitely going to get to it this fall!

7) Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson 
This is another one that has been on my shelf for awhile. I’d heard so many good things when it came out. Somehow, I still haven’t read it. But I definitely plan on it!

8) Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
I’ve read three of A.S. King’s books so far, and loved every single word. I am now working on her backlist and this is the one I’m planning on picking up next!

9) Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray
I was lucky enough to get a signed ARC of this at BEA. It’s really long so that has kind of intimated me! It was released near the end of August so I’ve got to get it read!

10) City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
They had tons of these ARCs at BEA so I snagged one! Turns out this is one of the buzziest books of the year! It’s the 2 million dollar book, if you didn’t know! Google it!

Have you read any of these? Is there one I should bump to the top of my list? What books are at the top of your fall TBR?

It’s Monday, Whatcha Reading? │ September 21st

So, it’s been about a month since my last one of these posts! I don’t know why, but I just haven’t managed to keep up with them! Here are the books I’ve read since my last post!

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, Stephanie Oakes, Faking Normal, Courtney C Stevens, Why Not Me?, Mind Kaling, Fueled by fiction, Fuelled by Fiction, It's monday what are you reading, books, book blogs

I did manage to finish reading The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes! And it ended my reading slump! I really enjoyed the book. I find cults really interesting and Minnow’s perspective was pretty fresh. From there I moved on to Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens. This book was both moving, and difficult to read. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I did have a couple of problems with it. The next book I read was at the top of my fall TBR. I was so excited to receive a copy of Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling for review! I love Mindy so much. And I really liked her book too!

After I read Mindy’s new book, I picked up The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo. I can’t believe this is a debut novel! I really quite enjoyed it. I hosted a stop on the TLC book tour for it and have a giveaway running until the 25th! The next book I picked up was another at the top of my fall TBR. I Crawl Through It by A.S. King comes out tomorrow, and you should all be buying it! It’s amazing! Definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’ll be doing a review of it later this week! I then came to the realization that it had been a while since I read some historical fiction. I’d been hearing a bit of buzz about Orphan #8  by Kim van Alkemade so I decided to pick it up. While not entirely what I expected, I enjoyed it nonetheless!

Currently I’m reading Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers and Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I’m really liking both! I’m hosting a stop of the TLC book tour for Accidents of Marriage on the 29th! Mark your calendars! There will also be a giveaway! If you don’t win, don’t worry! You can now pick it up in paperback 😉

What about you? Have any remarkable books graced your shelves recently? What about today? It’s Monday! What are you reading?

“The Art of Crash Landing,” Because Smooth Is Boring, Amirite? + Giveaway [closed]!

The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo TLC Book Tour!

Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 8th, 2015 by Harper
Goodreads|Amazon|Book Depository

 
received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review and my participation in this TLC Book Tour. 

I was immediately intrigued by this book because the synopsis included some things that get me going right away: family, small towns, mysteries, and family secrets. So basically, I was in from the get-go. 
 
The story starts off with a bang:

Twenty-seven minutes is, if anyone ever asks, exactly how long it takes to cram everything I own into six giant trash bags.

Maddie Wallace is quite the character. She’s incredibly sassy, and has gotten herself into a pile of trouble. She’s pregnant, broke, and running away from her jerk of an ex. The first place she heads to is the home of Queeg, the man who was at one time her step-father. Here she does her best to avoid talking about her mother. Mattie has no interest in reminiscing about Genie the alcoholic. Something on this topic, however, sparks her interest.
 
There has been a lawyer trying to get in contact with her. Because she has not been answering the calls, Queeg is contacted. It turns out Mattie’s maternal Grandmother, Tilda, passed away. Mattie has never met her. However, because Genie is dead, any inheritance is passed on to Mattie. With the prospect of any sort of inheritance, Mattie jumps into her ’78 Malibu and makes the long drive to Gandy, Oklahoma—her mother’s hometown. 
 
Here Mattie meets a quirky cast of characters as she tries to stay afloat long enough for her inheritance to come through (or at least long enough to get her car fixed). Along the way, Mattie learns more about her mother and the life that she lead before Mattie came along. It turns out that Genie is a local mystery to those in Gandy. She just disappeared one day and never came back. Mattie decides to find out why. What sent Genie the sweet college girl off the rails? How can Mattie stop herself from falling any further?
 
I really enjoyed joining Mattie on her journey to making peace with her mother’s memory and learning to let go and move on. Right from the beginning Mattie draws you into her story through her sass and chutzpah— it’s immediately endearing yet alienating (and frustrating), but you’ve just got to find out what happens to her. She isn’t exactly the underdog that everyone is rooting for, but she’s a bitter and forlorn underdog that will still hopefully get a second chance nonetheless. 
 
I loved seeing Mattie in the setting of a close-knit small town. Here everyone knows everyone’s business and everyone seems to have a hey-there-how-do-you-do attitude. Mattie, on the other hand, is quite private and standoffish. That being said, she’ll never miss the opportunity to take advance of them and their kindness. 
 
But Mattie meets her match in the moody teenager Tawny that’s working with her at the library. I love their interactions and the sheer load of sass that goes on when they’re together. 

This book is a moving, hilarious, atmospheric, tale of family, friendship, secrets, and redemption. DeCarlo’s writing is funny, smooth, and engaging. If that sounds appealing to you (and it should!), I’d highly recommend The Art of Crash Landing. 

Content warning: Contains explicit language.

About The Author

Melissa DeCarlo was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and has worked as an artist, graphic designer,grant writer, and even (back when computers were the size of refrigerators) a computer programmer. The Art of Crash Landing is her first novel. Melissa now lives in
Find out more about Melissa at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Check Out the Other Tour Stops!

Tuesday, September 8th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, September 10th: The Book Bag
Friday, September 11th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, September 15th: Literary Lindsey
Wednesday, September 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, September 17th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, September 18th: bookchickdi
Wednesday, September 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 24th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, September 25: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, September 28th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, September 30th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, October 1st: A Bookish Affair
Monday, October 5th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, October 6th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, October 7th: Novel Escapes
Thursday, October 8th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, October 9th: My Book Retreat
Monday, October 12th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Tuesday, October 13th: Imaginary Reads
Tuesday, October 13th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, October 14th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Wednesday, October 14th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, October 15th: Joyfully Retired

Tales Of a Handless, Ex-Cult Member, Juvenile Delinquent … A.K.A. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Young Adult, Realistic, Mystery, Retelling
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 9th, 2015 by Dial Books
 
When Minnow is a young girl living in a trailer with her parents, a man comes along and into their lives. He immediately befriends her father, and her life is never the same. Soon, her father begins spouting off things that the man has been telling him. This man’s name is Kevin. And he calls himself The Prophet. 
 
Minnow gets whisked off by The Prophet Kevin and her parents to live in the wilderness. Kevin is the only one who can commune with God, aka, Charlie. Minnow’s parents, among others, seem to fall for this hook, line, and sinker. Minnow is only small when they join, so she doesn’t really know any better.

The book starts off twelve years after Minnow and her family joined the “Kevinians.” Now that she is older, she is beginning to see the holes in what Kevin tells them. She doesn’t believe it the way her parents do. 

In the present, Minnow is in a juvenile detention centre. She was convicted of a crime after something mysterious happened at the Kevinian Community and she had to leave. All we know is that Minnow did something bad, there was an incident at the Community, and at some point in the not too distant past, one of the Kevinians cut off Minnow’s hands. 
 
From Juvie, Minnow looks back on her time at the Kevinian Community. As time goes by, she reveals more and more of what happened to her there. While disturbing, this book is at the same time pretty inspiring. There are all these characters in it that are really down on their luck, people who have done horrible things and have had horrible things done to them. But they don’t let those things define them. This story is ultimately one of identity, and the search that leads us to find our own voice. It explores beliefs, morals, religion, blind faith, acceptance, abuse, self-worth, justice, and a whole bunch of other really important things. These are all wrapped up in great, atmospheric writing, original story-telling, and a shroud of mystery. 
 
The plot is so intriguing and addicting. It’s not always the fasted-paced plot. However, it’s not slow by any means. The story doesn’t really take place over that long of a time span. In the present, it’s only a few months I believe, but the flashes to the past go back further than that—months, sometimes years. The characters in the present do not develop so much as layers of who they are are revealed slowly throughout. 
 
I completely devoured this book. I loved it. I had to know what really happened. I had to keep turning the pages to find out! What really went on at the Community?! I kind of have a thing for cults. I find them so completely fascinating. I was also gripped by the present and the characters there. I loved the dynamic between Minnow and her cellmate, Angel, as well as the other girls at the facility. So good. 
 
Also, apparently this book is loosely based around one of Grimm’s fairytales. That’s neat! It’s called, The Girl With No Hands. Pretty straightforward title, there! I haven’t read the fairytale, but I must say I’m intrigued.
 
This book was thrilling, gripping, atmospheric, horrific at times, and thought-provoking. I highly recommend this book. 

Content warning: Chilling and disturbing scenes.
 
Storyline A
Structure/Execution A
Characters A
Writing A
Conclusion A
Enjoyment A
———————

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Hardcover… or Paperback-Which do YOU Buy?

I was book shopping yesterday (surprise surprise, I know), and contemplating deep, philosophical ideas. Like, do I like hardcovers or paperbacks better? There are some definite pros and cons to both, you know? 

  • They are cheaper. (Save those dollah-dollah bills y’all!)
  • They are lighter. (No bloody noses if you drop ‘em on your face!)
  • They are more likely to fit in your purse (Because I gotta have a book with me at all times)

But…
  • Their spines break easier (especially mass market ones)
  • They get beat up overall easier (worn edges, anyone?)


  • They are sturdy, and thus last longer.
  • Dusk jackets are nice and protective (and the edges can double as a book mark!)
  • They look really nice on book shelves. 
  • For some reason they are cheaper at Value Village (second hand store)

But…
  • They are pretty heavy. Especially if the book is long.
  • Brand new they are hella expensive (though YA and kids ones are less)
  • They are chunky (they don’t fit in all my bags!)

So… I’m torn. I think I prefer to read paperbacks, but I’d rather own a hardcover. Especially if it is a book that’s a favourite. They just look better and last longer! 

What about you? Which do you prefer?

Ten Comic Book Series & Graphic Novels That I’m Really Into


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the BookishFREEBIE! 10 Comic Book Series & Graphic Novels That I’m Really Into

1) Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson +
This is just the most fun series.  Kamala Khan is quirky and hilarious and so are her powers. I love the way she is fitting into the Marvel universe. She is such a gem. 

2) Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson +
This is really just the best. I’ve read the first volume and fell in love immediately. The art style is amazing, the characters are super fun and hilarious, and they have the best adventures. Check out my review here

3) Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick +
I really love the comic book series that revolve around the Carol Danvers’ incarnation of Captain Marvel (especially those by Kelly Sue DeConnick). She is just super awesome and kick ass! 

4) Thor by Jason Aaron +
Thor is my favourite Avenger. LOVE Thor. And I’m really digging this new run with lady Thor! I’ve only read the first volume so no spoilers please! 

5) Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi 
I’ve read the first three books in this graphic novel series. I LOVE them. The art is amazing, the story is amazing, the characters are amazing, AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING. 

6) The Wicked + The Divine by Kieren Gillen +
I’m in love with this comic series. The art is just the most gorgeous just ever. The use of colour is astounding. I’ve devoured the first two volumes and eagerly await more! There are some pretty mixed reviews out there, but I’m really enjoying it! 

7) Fables by Bill Willingham +
This is a super long running comic book series and it’s amazing. If you like fairytale retellings, you will love this one. I’ve only read the first few volumes (no spoilers please!) and I’m looking forward to getting further into the series. 

8) Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley +
This is a really neat graphic novel from the creator of Scott Pilgrim. The art is super cute and the story is magical. I highly recommend it. 

9) Chew by John Layman +
This is a gross but cool comic book series about a guy who gets psychic readings from things he eats. He is a police officer so this gets REALLY ICKY. It’s in like a weird future where the FDA rules and chicken is banned. I’ve only read the first few volumes so, again, no spoilers!

10) Morning Glories by Nick Spencer +
This just really gets my juices flowing! A bunch of teenagers trapped in a creepy boarding school and chaos ensues! I’m only a couple volumes in but it’s great!