Sunday, May 28, 2017

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default.

Because it shouldn't have to be said, but it beautiful when someone can write something so powerfully beautiful that isn't harping at you or trying to shove your square peg into the triangle hole on the board. I have all kinds of love for this book - and not just because Simon is a character who is so easy to love, but because it's real. It's so very real, and there is nothing that perverts the relationships between peer, parents, children and paramours here - there is only open honesty and something that many people can relate to - love.

I take a sip of my beer, and it's - I mean, it's just astonishingly disgusting. I don't think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I'd rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin.

There were so many moments in this book that made me remember what it was like being a teenager (ok yeah, it's been a while now) and how I felt about certain things. The first time I had beer being the big one - I'm with you Simon, that stuff is disgusting! I thought it the first time I tasted it, and I still think it many years later. I think that's part of the charm, that no matter how much time passes, things don't really change that much.

There are so many social issues in here to deal with that I think it's beautiful how Becky Albertalli married it all into Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. There wasn't anything like this when I was younger and dealing with issues - there wasn't anything like this and that's the saddest part, because with something positive to read I might have internalized the it does get better and there are reasons to believe motto rather than the it will never be better for you and this is all you deserve in life, to be be unhappy motto that put me in therapy many, many years later. It doesn't matter if you're a teen who's questioning your sexuality, the nerd they make fun of, or the one who didn't quite fit in and couldn't seem to make themselves fit (like me) that they tortured both in school and online, there is something here for you. There's a positive message for you, and I think that's key.

A full 5 stars for this one, I'll be reading The Upside of Unrequited soon because of how wonderful this one was. I can't recommend Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda enough!

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Sons of Ares

Sons of Ares Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think that it was a guaranteed 5 stars with me for this. Pierce Brown has something with this series that is electrifying. It has a rhythm that beats in syncopation with the hearts and minds of all those searching for equality, freedom of choice and fighting back against persecution of any kind. By putting this prequel series in a different medium, he's accomplished something that can be incredibly difficult and this first edition was GLORIOUS!

I think this was probably the best representation, to bring the story to comics instead of an ordinary prequel novel (because prequels usually leave something to be desired). This does NOT! It's not clean, Golden coloured richness - it's gritty, just like you'd expect Fitchner's history to be but the artwork is beautiful and very fitting for the themes. I cannot wait for more! We're off to a great start learning just why Fitchner became who he was for Darrow (view spoiler) and more importantly it reinforced the similarities with Sevro (and I love Sevro and would protect him with my life!

Five stars for this fantastic start to the Sons of Ares prequel series!

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review: Lalibela's Wise Man

Lalibela's Wise Man Lalibela's Wise Man by Matshona Dhliwayo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was provided a PDF of this book freely by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Matshona Dhliwayo clicked on the button to add me as a friend one day, and I always love adding more people to my reading circles and had no clue that Matshona Dhliwayo had written anything! I’m glad I had the chance to read this lovely novella that inspired some deep thinking from me. It did, and did not, surprise me in that fact as Matshona always shares some beautiful and thought provoking quotes on Goodreads.

I didn’t quite know what I was going to be stepping into with this one when I first opened Lalibela's Wise Man. I wanted to read it at least a couple of times to make sure that I was going to offer a clear and concise opinion here for anyone interested. I certainly made enough notes that I should have something to offer all of you, though I’m going to keep it brief otherwise I think I could ramble on longer than the length of the novella! Lalibela's Wise Man is a brief read (hence, novella) and can easily be read in one sitting, but with deeper meanings that will stay with you much longer than you expect them to.

Christian’s story is a study in self-exploration and positivity, that being a force that is lacking in our current world. Christian’s exploration and discovery also hold a more inspirational message. I know, I know, that rings as something that is a bit foreign for me but I must tell you that regardless of faith (or lack of faith as the case may be) there was never any doubt that biblical standards have always held something valuable for the world to learn. At least, not in my mind…
This is a story that teaches the value of happiness and the power of money. Money can’t the truly important things in life, something that Christian comes to truly understand. I loved the idea that he was searching his soul, searching for the true meaning of why his father had sent him on the journey to Ethiopia, left him without anything though he was the favoured son. This is a voyage of discovery, a study into what truly makes a person of character with a rich, full life.

And that ending?

Three stars from me – I liked this a lot, that said there were places and things that could have been better fleshed out. I think this could have been an even deeper, more thought provoking story if there had been more to it.

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Review: Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this! I was always a great fan of mythology when I was growing up, though I must say that I stayed usually in the bounds of the more known and comfortable Greek and Roman Gods, but even I noticed some stories here that I knew. Or at least stories that I recognized. Norse mythology is something that is vaguer and less well known in may cases as the information hasn't been written down and passed down through millennia of lore. The only story I truly knew, or knew a version of, was The Master Builder in which the sun, moon and Freya's hand in marriage are promised to a builder who could construct a wall for the gods in one season.

Most of what the current generation knows of Norse mythology is what is given to us by, and c'mon you know I'm right here,

And while what they give us of Thor, Odin and (to an extent) Loki is wonderful and somewhat based in the few remaining tales known to us from civilizations past, this man:

While he may be wonderful...

Is not what Thor was originally intended to be.

I think that's partially why it's so beautiful that Neil Gaiman decided to dip his hand into Norse mythology and show use more how the gods were originally portrayed. Read here about Thor, Odin the all father, and Loki his blood brother whom they hated and yet loved in a complicated manner. I think I'd like to see more about the gods that have been left untouched, you have such a beautiful and lyrical mind Mr. Gaiman, I think you could create a world to rival that of what is told by the actual myths that have been handed down!

Neil Gaiman always inspires me, and this is not his first foray into the landscape of Norse mythology. If you enjoy this one, I recommend Odd and the Frost Giants afterwards - classed as a children's offering but still a beautifully inspired tale in its own right. Five enthusiastic stars, and two thumbs up for Norse Mythology!

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