Hi, so this is terribly late.
But, hey I forgot to post this yesterday and I just remembered after getting back home after university classes. Anyways, I totally believed that I had read like a short embarrasing amount of books but hey, I ate 9 stories these couple of weeks and I’m glad, however I know I could have read more if I hadn’t been in my grandma’s house not having a good childish Halloween all weekend. Normally, I dress up with my little children cousins and that’s ok by me, as an introvert who’s too afraid to not find any costume that could fit her newly rounded body as there were no formal invitations these last couple of years but whatever, instead I spent my week trying eating out some huge pizza with my older sister, getting selfies I look semi decent in, and obvi not getting the Halloween/Cartoon Network donuts from Dunkin Donuts I craved for, besides I had to teach some English and Math to my annoying almost teenage cousin. As I tried to write I lost an entire day of it because I wasn’t getting my other cousin’s laptop and I got too invested in going through my social media, but whatever what’s done is done, right? Let’s go with the actual news, I’m doing a review on the new Netflix book to screen adaptation of ‘Let It Snow’, and I can’t wait to be 33.3% dissapointed on its execution, so wait for it.
First book I read was the tough as nails, ‘Little Monsters‘ by Kara Thomas.
Kacey’s new best friends have a thing for playing with her… Her emotions, her life, her fears like she was their doll and Kacey lets it happen since she wants to make it work, even to the point where she begins to question if that friendship is right. But before she can even consider this, her mind goes blank and when she wakes up one of her friends has gone missing and everyone is pointing her as the guilty one.
** spoiler alert ** DAMN.
Kara Thomas, you are just fucking amazing, I mean I’m inspired to write more of this genre because of your premium level stories, seriously keep doing it, I need to be fed. It’s just marvelous work, piece of deadly fiction. Perfect, I mean just when I thought these mystery YA novels could no surprise me anymore, here it comes ‘Little Monsters’ and its shocking plot twist! Again, damn! So yeah, after that little thankful preamble, I must admit I shipped the hell out of Andrew and Kacey, I mean he was nice and they had this relationship but only like platonic and sibling like, so yeah, whatever. Next: I totally had my list of suspects before that big reveal, I thought that it could have been Kacey because she said she blacks out, besides she had this anger management background so it would be shocking that the main character was the killer all the fucking time but no, then my next guess was that perhaps Ashley did it, I mean she drugged her kids with god knows what, she’s not stable trying to keep her marriage while her kids are suspects, then the knife was her own, so yeah there was that. Then I believed it could have been Andrew but that was a weak lead that not even in the greates theories it could have had substance enough to be real. Finally, I totally saw that Jade had to do with it, I mean she was always in the background of all of Bailey’s crazy schemes, also she had no real ‘family’ so she could’ve wanted Bailey’s all along, I mean bitch slept in her fucking bed right away, but I never expected to be out of that cold heart and selfish nature of hers I mean her mom was not even dead and she totally manipulated poor unstable Lauren. BTW, I was like WTF, Lauren?!! HOW FUCKING COME?! I was shocked, I mean that’s what I call great prosperous narrative and such creativity. Though I still have some questions like, where was Jade’s mom all along? Was it really her dad the man living with her or someone else? What really happened to the Red Woman? So many unanswered questions. I wish there would be a novella like to give us that. Jezz.
“Girls are not princesses, and I know all the possible endings to the stories about the girls in peril. They’re rarely happy.”
“(…) all the ghost stories got it wrong: evil isn’t a spirit or a monster or a ghost. It lives inside regular people, and it doesn’t know the difference between night and day.”
“But that’s the problem with letting someone slowly chip away at your walls-when you let too much of yourself out, there’s no way to get it back.”
“Some men just aren’t cut out to be fathers of teenage girls.”
“I don’ have any of that to look back on. I wish it only made me sad, not pissed off, but my anger and sadness have always had a codependent relationship. I don’ know no to be angry at the fact that who I am now isn’t good enough; that I’m not a little girl.”
Second story I read was a prequel of Little Monsters, a short story called ‘Wrath‘ by the same author.
The ‘Red Lady’ has been part of the culture of a small town, but what is there that’s actually real? What’s hiding on the woods? What whispers death into your ears once she chooses you? All the answers will go to a lonely girl that only wanted to have a good time with her girls at a college party.
I HAD LOTS OF QUESTIONS, AND THEY WERE ANSWERED.
So you mean to tell me that that woman wearing red blood was real?! F M L! I mean, great because she saved that poor unfortunate girl from that middle aged raper, but damn the ghost is real and can kill, so that means that damn Lauren could have been easily manipulated by the very real GHOST… which means she could or couldn’t be dangerous or possibly could still spend all her life on an asylum because the red woman might have grown attached to that poor little girl. I’m still left with some many “what if” kind of statements in my head. We seriously need a damn sequel.
Then I read a 90s parallel universe like story known as ‘Out of Salem‘ by Hal Schrieve.
Monsters are real. And now Z just discovered her parents died and she’s slowly becoming a zombie in a world that hates on the supernatural, even when they’re scared to death teenagers living in the unpredictable 90s. But she’ll soon discover that being a zombie might not be her only uncertainty… but the intolerant townies ready to end anyone who’s different human or not.
PLEASE, TELL ME THIS’LL HAVE A SEQUEL.
Dear, Lord. First, I mean the idea was cool I mean a less provocative vintage True Blood style of the supernatural being out there but terribly judged in a manifesto of how minorities and LGBTQ+ communities were dealt with in the 90s. Somehow, it was all too loose for my liking until a 60% of the book, I mean it isn’t that the characters weren’t likable but the plotline had no place to hold on to, IDK, perhaps that was only my perspective, who knows. But after that the plotline had somewhere to go, it had a goal after all: looking for freedom while running from the police and all the republican intolerant bitches. And now, there’s even a bigger plotline with that little twist, I mean they could be in another dimension? What about our dimension with no supernaturals? Could it be that? Ok, let’s talk about the writing style, it was ok, I mean I’m not complaining thought I wish it was more IDK, more entertaining something I could just go along, I know this from the pov of a zombie but still I want to live the experience, anyways, it was good. Not amazing like everyone says but definitely very provocative and redundant, as it was creative, artsy even. I hope there’s a sequel, though.
“Stuff happens and you get weird forever, (…)”.
Fourth book I read was a neonazi parallel universe named ‘The Big Lie‘ by Julie Mayhew.
What if the Nazis had won WWII? What if they were still in power all over Europe? That’s the reality Jessica Keller has lived, the life she thinks is the right way of living, the only one fit for her. Until she starts questioning the way women are treated, young women are treated, the way she is treated like she didn’t matter and perhaps… Just perhaps, that’s no longer the right way of living her own life.
** spoiler alert ** I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL. IDK.
So when I got this book, I don’t know if I read the synopsis well or maybe I was distracted by the word “lie” in that lovely pink cover, but I had no idea this was gonna be present day universe where the Nazis won WWII, damn. Anyways, I must admit I don’t particularly like these stories if there’s no uprising to defeat the great evil with action packed moments, so I have to say that perhaps it was not my favorite coming of age tale, I mean I appreaciate the whole “let’s have another way of thinking of the shitty Nazi beliefs because maybe the who programing and racist perfection is not so cool”, since it was almost enough, I mean this girl Jess lives in a world full of fucking opression and brain washed individuals, it was almost worse than The Handmaiden’ Tale when it came to an anti-feminist agenda, Jesus I found my soft core again trying to counsel and hug this girl because of that rapey moment between her and FUCKING Felix, aka the perv teacher, dude! And btw, I found Clementine’s bravery one of the best I’ve ever laid eyes upon, she wasn’t looking to get saved or running away like a coward, hell no, she went off in fucking flames like a pro, she was braver than Katniss. In other news, I just totally wish Jess wasn’t brainwashed again, I want her to still try to plot against Hitler and all that awful region of fanatics, no joke. Otherwise, this was just another story where I’m impotent towards the shit innocent people get thrown at. Give me some hope, please.
“Not everyone can be a leader.”
“You’re only bad if they catch you.”
“We are underdogs but we scare the hell out of them.”
“We hide books so they can’t be burned. We keep thought alive.”
“We decide that surviving isn’t enough. We want to live.”
“I wish I’d grabbed that joy with the both of my hands, do you know what I mean? Joy in whatever form it comes to you. Whatever the consequences…”
“I came to this conclusion: admitting that your parents are wrong is too hard. (…) Acknowledging that they haven’t stepped up to the job and cared for you in the right way is close to impossible.”
“It’s better to live a short honest life, (…), than a long, long, long one in the dark.”
“Do you ever feel like you are not your body? That you are trapped inside of it? A soul, if you like. (…) Even though you want to leave your body behind, your greatest wish is to be reconnected with it. (…) But you can’t do either of those things-leave or go back- because either way you’re trapped.”
“I had done something that I believed in. Not something I had been instructed to do, something that came from within me. It felt good. It felt like being good.”
“The strongest rebellion is to stay alive, (…). That way you can change things, have your say. Outnumber them.”
Next I read another stand-alone named ‘The History of Jane Doe‘ by Michael Belanger.
The moment Jane Doe went inside his classroom that first day of school, he just knew that she would rock his world. However, nothing prepared Ray to loose everything in what was left of his universe in his small town just because she’s gone… This is the story of how a girl actually ended up truly changing Ray’s life forever.
PEOPLE SHOULD REALLY READ THIS WHEN THEY FIND OUT ABOUT PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.
Lately, I’ve been reading a couple of books with this same topic without actually noticing my interest on it. I neve thought I could actually discuss this with others, I thought it would always be me sharing this emotion nobody I told about had felt before, this helpless sadness that no matter how much you push away it haunts you like a fucking black hole ready to swallow you. My depression wasn’t as serious as the one despicted here and in other books, mine was the lucky kind where you get a couple antidepresants and you’re “fixed” but there’s still that fear that it might come back if I get too sad by my own life and lack of connections so yeah that’s what this book made me realise. Because this is what life with mental illness truly is, a lot of laughter but still that moment of unstoppable sadnes that comes for you, when friends that care like Ray and relatives like Jane’s parents can’t fully understand and are constantly trying to fix for their own happiness and your own sanity as well, I mean this story represented that exactly: what goes through the minds of those who are around the depressed individual. How it all starts with a person and there’s that chance that this person has it, like when Ray didn’t understand how it worked, how it wasn’t a matter of just wishing to be happy, how he suffered the consequences of loving Jane with her sinking outcome, how he realised this wasn’t about his sadness over loosing her but how She was the main person in those moments. How SHE truly was, not to affect others with her leaving but with how it affected HERSELF. I stick with the statement of how this book can help others to finally see depression as it is, not a made up thing as I once heard from some relatives, but something you simply don’t get and is not up to the person who suffers from it to get rid of those “sad feelings”. Anyways, leaving the seriousness behind, I’d like to add that I’ve never read anything from Michael Belanger and I must admit that this was a great way to start, he’s a great writer with a capacity for fun one-liners, memorable characters (amazing Simon) and full-on making readers cry over memories wether those were gleeful or just incredibly devastating. PROPS!
“I thought of my own family trips, the nonsensical fights (…). All the signs of a healthy, functional family.”
“Change is good, Ray. Otherwise, life is boring.”
“People don’t like simple explanations, Jane said. It kind of takes the magic out of life.”
“One thing doesn’t define you. It’s just part of the truth.”
“I imagine all the kids who believe in Santa and a benevolent universe that keeps score rewarding the good and punishing the bad. But I don’t believe that anymore. Now I don’t know what to believe.”
“We look back and know that using leeches and draining people’s blood was a bad idea. That you can’t just pray for a cure. But with depression and stuff, people still act like something’s wrong with you. That you’re choosing it or something. But they are not.”
“Life is unpredictable, she said.”
“I realized how hard it must have been for her. To go around feeling like you had to be embarrassed and ashamed. That your love of folk music, your drawing, chasing conspiracy theories and weird histories-you could add all them up, but they’d still feel less than your sadness.”
“Lately I’ve been feeling like a terminally ill patient, but without the Make-A-Wish Foundation. No national headlines, no supporters pouring on donations, no celebrities wishing me well, no towns pretending I’m a superhero for a day. I guess that’s how it is for most of us. Our pain goes unnoticed, we suffer alone, (…).”
“Were you ever in love?
Of course, she says, too quickly for it to be full of shit. But love doesn’t keep people together.”
“Maybe this is cynical, but I get the feeling that his visit is more of his conscience than it is for me. Like I’ve forced him to take a break from his real life (…).”
“He’s checking off boxes so he seems like a good guy. He can play the part of the tragic hero fleeing an unhappy marriage. Respecting the wishes of his wife and son to give them space. And then flying back to his hometown to help his son cope with his demons. How brave. Fucking father of the year.”
“As long as there are people, there will be problems, he said.”
“When someone dies, we spend so much time looking for an explanation. The rest of the time we spend making sure we won’t forget them. So we built statues. Hold memorials. Visit graves. All of these physical marker that make it impossible to forget. But what if it’s the opposite? What if the only way we can really remember is if we stop looking to the past? Maybe then they’ll become more them and less us.”
“The past is now just the past. The amazing, complicated, tragic, beautiful, fantastic past.”
“(…) the good kind of sad. The kind that means you really care about something. The kind that means you have something to lose.”
“Visionaries don’t see with their eyes, they see with their hearts.”
The sixth one was ‘Killing November‘ by Adriana Mather, the first part of her new series that goes by the same name.
November’s dad has always thought the world could turn up against them in a second, so he insisted on her not be so trusting of others, even those that look like friends but she never learnt. Now she’s starting to understand his motivations, the moment he leaves her in a deadly Boarding School, not only the girls are mean but also cruel vixens with knifes, not only are the boys atractive but also cruel sadists, and not only are the stundents secretive but they also could be potential killers ready to put the blame on the new girl. Does November have what it takes to survive here? Or, she’ll not only loose her morality but her own self.
** spoiler alert ** IT LIVED THROUGH ITS POTENTIAL.
I was expecting a sacred mystery and somehow I got it, not in the way I wanted it but I’m happy with the outcome, I mean I got this set of characters with a lot of potential and badass qualities I hadn’t seen since Nightschool, but I loved that this girl’s main core is her emotional self towards the coldness of her other robot like classmates. It was a refreshing sight, with no fear to get nasty and violent in the most unlikely way for a YA book, I mean I can’t recall quite well if I ever saw any main character receive a punch in the face like that or a slap that rough, the choice were fearless and props to that. But let’s discuss this whole murder mystery deal, I had my money on Pippa or even Layla for moments, I mean it would be my obvious first call but in the end it was Conner this whole time, this psychiatrist or psycho-something that I seriously imagine as this short guy balded with glasses and a nice personality, IDK why, I relate these counselor characters with that appearance but hell no this man was a little raw deadly son of bitch. And the whole mystery of her parents was like too obvi, the moment these amazing past students were mentioned twice I just knew it had to be them, besides there was the whole we can’t intermarry or else death, that gave me another clue. It was too obvi, but somehow I’m not upset by the lack of mystery right there, I guess I just enjoyed the ride through all those fascinating classes and the richness of every single character, even the accent master girl. Jezz, I seriously have issues remembering all their names, anyways, can’t wait for the next one since this has the potential to become a series.
“Having a healthy sense of suspicion prepares you for every possible danger.”
“(…) if you can’t do something without being noticed, create confusion.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere.”
“Curiosity is [a] human instinct, (…)”.
“Maybe there’s a fine line between sadness and anger, (…).”
“While something can be helpful in a small dose, it can be lethal in a large one. I’m not only talking about substances here-mediations someone might be taking of cleaning products they use. I’m asking you to look beyond what is obvious to the more subtle and, if you can master them, the best of the poisons: emotional and psychological. If you can dose someone strongly enough with either one, death is likely to follow no physical evidence left behind.”
“(…) caring for someone means so much responsibility that it’s overwhelming.”
After that I ventured deep in the compilation of short Christmas stories known as ‘Let It Snow‘ by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.
Normally, Christmas is full with peace and family hugs but in this small town things might be a little different this year. Three friends will risk their life to get a Twister game to the Waffle house full of cheerleaders. Two strangers will find a home in each other’s words. And a self-absorbed girl will have to find a pig or else she’ll loose her friends for good. All nice and calm under the mistletoe.
WHO KNEW CHRISTMAS COULD BE THIS SWEET WITHOUT CHEESYNESS?.
I must admit that I ventured on this journey thinking that it was only a little John Green tale two years ago, I mean I delayed it a lot… like two years for me to hurry up trying to read it in one seat because the movie is coming out in a week… Only to find out that Netflix totally erased the last story and add on the pig plus the name of Addie, which makes me terribly upset since they’ll erase the nice little man Jeb is to her and how they are so good for each other to give her an LGBTQ+ plot that I know is meant to show equality and you know diversity but dude, you just missed the oportunity to give some Native American representatives a fucking call with this couple. But whatever, let’s discuss the three most lovely love short stories related to Christmas season, I mean I believed this would be so slow and perhaps a bit boring but no, hell no, it was actually totally relatable and cute, and funny. Besides the characters and the most ridiculous situations sorrounding them were legit priceless. I mean the waffles and cheerleaders and twister, and pimpim moms, and piglet robber angels, too much for me to take and I hope that at least with the first two stories Netflix can put out some justice. Anyways, now I’m so glad I picked this book to read now, I recommend it with a playlist of Sia’s Christmas album and perhaps some Christma’s Glee album too.
“One person’s crazy is another person’s sane, I guess.”
“The expression is: a boy’s best friend is his mother. It’s not: a boy’s best pimp is his mother.”
“Holidays bring out neediness like nothing else –(…).”
“Christmas is a state of mind.”
The seventh book I read was the contemporary romancy stand-alone named ‘Hot Dog Girl‘ by Jennifer Dugan.
Lou Parker has been chosen again to play the Hot Dog at Magic Castle Playland, and she hates it. The girlfriend of her crush has landed on the Princess role and she hates it. And playland is going to close together with her last living good memories of her family before her mom went away, and she hates it. But she has a plan, a strange unrealistic plan to get the guy she wants, and her job place for good with the help of her Knight in shining armour, her bff Seeley. Or it could blow up in her face, who knows?
** spoiler alert ** I MUST ADMIT I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS ONE’S SYNOPSIS AND READ IT BECAUSE OF THE FUNNY COVER.
I didn’t remember at all that I was gonna read a lovely queer romance that had me crushing and making heart eyes at everything, besides this one has got some bi representation when it is needed so badly, without judgement or sexist puns. I mean this one was so great, about how we truly are “in-love” with the outside, because we love this idea of people around us and try to make it perfect for us in a way, that’s what happened with adorable yet scheme loving Lou, you may think the girl was a little too obsessed and kind of dellusional but damn, I never felt more identified with a character’s crazy all over the place thoughts and words, I mean girl, I’m that 24×7, trying to avoid the ugly parts of her life by giving herself a purpose for this summer, whether it’s getting the guy she likes or keeping her beloved place of work, that’s somehow what I call determination no matter the odds or comments about how nuts this is. I’m siding with Lou, and who doesn’t want a bff like Seeley? I mean, the girl deserves a prize for putting up to every crazy idea Lou drove her into to get her ways, besides maybe not friendly but girl is a definite good kisser. And what about a guy like Nick to be a friend or whatever? I mean the guy had me with the baking abilities, I need that ASAP! Anyways, what a great start for a new author, props on the funny bits and the whole crazy yet hilarious situations Lou got us into, and the concept itself of the Hot Dog Girl. I would recommend it to people looking for easy reads and contemporary romances with a spark of uniqueness. It’s nothing that makes you cry but aww all over the place as you LOL for your dear life.
“It’s literally impossible not to smile back when a boy in an apron looks at you like you just made his whole night.”
“I’m not how people think. Nobody is, apparently.”
“It feels good to be liked.”
Finally I read was a coming-of-age tale known as ‘Summer of ’69‘ by Todd Strasser.
Right in the Summer of Love, Lucas has to make a choice is he willing to be send to war or he’ll finally settle down to make his own future something worth living. While his estranged girlfriend is away, he is tempted to cheat to relieve his urges, he’s tempted to give a damn about how he’s ruined his chances of going to college, he’s tempted to do everything he can to avoid killing others. But will it all be enough with the drugs and unknown world near him?
** spoiler alert ** THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE WEIRD YET PROVOCATIVE RIDES.
I was on it the moment I saw the cover and read the plot, I thought I was into it because of the whole 60s hippie kind of thing, but I was so so so wrong. I mean, I was mostly bored trying to connect to Lucas for like 48% of the book, he was just so whiny and such a junkie, and so inmature and I know he was like just came out of HS with this whole Peace and Love lust for drugs, I got it. But I figured out it was the times and also some of the upbringing, that even now there are things that some believe are false just because it doesn’t suit with their alternative facts. I mean for me, he was a poser and that’s it. But when I kept reading I got where it all came from, His family life was not the best. His mom living in denial for the best of her life and her kids’, as his dad (shitty paterfamilias, yeah I got used to that nickname) was always not the loving type but in the end he was but he’s still a nasty dick no matter how much good he did for Lucas, and the whole backstory of his brother Brett. Yeah, that together with cousing Barry passing was harsh. Anyways, I ended up enjoying the many details and layers this book had, such as showing us the reality of War, how everything smelled rotten and how everything WAS rotten from the start. How empirelism is pure bullshit to get advantage and get what WE want, instead of what’s fair nor just, how it affects a country and its youth. And how I didn’t enjoy the fact that Lucas and Robin are back together, I mean girl deserves better than a lackey willing to morph like Dito at her command, seriously. NO FUCKING JOKE.
“To me, if you believe in God, you’re not obligated to have a moral code. The responsibility’s off your shoulders because you expect him to enforce morality for all. But if you believe there is no God, then you, the individual, are obligated to be moral, because no one else is going to do the job for you. And if no one’s moral, humanity and civilization collapse. So the individual must carry the responsibility to be moral on his shoulders. That’s why I can’t kill another human being. It is my responsibility to live a moral life, and to adhere to it because I can’t expect anyone else to do it for me.”
“It is said that you should never love anything that cannot love you back, (…).”
“Like most kids, deep down Lucas wanted his father’s approval.”
“How can one person know so little about his own family? Is it because such things aren’t spoken about until there’s a reason?”
“(…), less than two months ago, I was almost annoyed that after graduating high school, life suddenly felt so serious, but now I realize that life feels serious because it is serious.”