Nail Polish Talk: August 2015

Nail Polish Talk is a once-a-month feature where I talk about the nail polish I wore and bought over the last month.

Nail Polish Project- August 2015 Collage

This month, I wore Lilou, Danica, Alicia & Maren, Rose and Chloe, all from Julep.

The Week Of August 2: Lilou by Julep

I LOVE Lilou!  It’s such a pretty shade of yellow, and I want to wear it again.  It’s definitely a keeper! It is a pretty thin polish, and it did go on a little streaky.  And it was a sheer as well, at least in the first coat.  But it does even out with a second coat. You’d think by now I’d be better with applying nail polish but apparently not.

The Week Of August 9: Danica by Julep

Danica is such a pretty violet, and if you want something a little more sheer, one coat is definitely enough! Otherwise, two is more than enough if you need something with a little more coverage.  I found the description of blue violet to be a little odd, because blue didn’t come through for me at all.  I would wear it again.

The Week Of August 16: Alicia by Julep

I definitely veer towards blue, purple and green, as far as colors go.  And I wasn’t sure about Alicia when I got it in July’s Maven box, but I liked it a lot more than I ever thought I would.  It’s a pretty coral, and peach came to mind as far as colors go.  I would totally wear it again, and I’m glad I got it! Like Lilou, the first coat was uneven and it was a little streaky, but that did even out.  2nd coats are magic, I swear.  It was also a little thick, but it worked out.  I also wore it under a coat of Maren, which is a really sheer bubblegum pink.  It turned out better than I expected, and made it more pink. I really need to try this layering thing more.

The Week Of August 23: Rose by Julep

I really was in a mood for red…really, anything not purple, blue or green.  And Rose isn’t a color I normally wear (for some reason, red isn’t a color I typically wear) but after wearing, I wondered why I don’t wear it more often!  It’s such a pretty watermelon red, and it went on really well- it wasn’t streaky or uneven, and it dried really fast.  I am determined to wear this color more often.

The Week Of August 30: Chloe by Julep

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about this week’s polish in this post, or if I wanted to wait but I decided to talk about it this month.  But I decided, why not talk about?  I really liked Chloe, and for whatever reason, I don’t wear a lot of brown.  But I really liked it, and it’s such a warm shade of brown.  And it’s really pretty.  I don’t know why I don’t wear it more- I wouldn’t mind wearing it again.  It went on really well, and you get really good coverage with one coat- I did two, and found that the second coat added a little something special to it, but you could definitely get away with one coat.

August Maven Box + September’s Box:

I did skip August’s box, since I liked the colors but not enough to go for the box.  I am excited about September’s box, because I got a couple of colors I wouldn’t have picked last year…or even a few months ago, but I really wanted something I wouldn’t normally pick out.  I can’t wait to see how they look!

Happy September!

Currently Obsessed With: August 2015

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about all of the things I’m currently into and everything that’s been going on!

Currently Obsessed With

August has been a great month!  I went to a book signing (more on that in a bit) and I went to a Harry Potter party, which was so much fun!  I dressed up as Luna, which consisted of a floral skirt over some tights, with Converse-type shoes, some brightly colored socks, and a pink top.  I also printed up a picture of the Quibbler from a DIY Luna costume tutorial thing, and taped it to a magazine I had, and I also found a print-out of Spectrespecs, that I attached to my glasses.  I also wore the Luna Lovegood scarf!  I got sorted into Slytherin, which was funny, because I was dressed up as Luna, and I identify as a Hufflepuff…and I’m the least Slytherin person I know.  There were tons of stuff to do at the party, like coloring your own patronus, wizard’s chess, quidditch (which ended up being Slytherin vs everyone else), runes and trivia.  I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s Harry Potter party!

August has been really hot, and I’m hoping it cools down, because all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch t..v. and nothing else.

Crochet:

I haven’t been crocheting a lot, just working on the same dishcloth I’ve been working on for a couple of months- and that’s only at yarn group.  Otherwise, I haven’t been working on anything.  Oddly enough, though, I really want to pick up my blanket, which makes no sense because it’s too warm to work on it.

Books:

I went to a book signing!  For Zero World, which I think everyone should pick up.  But I am biased, since I know Jason, so keep that in mind.  But still.  Read it!  Anyway, we listened to an excerpt from the audio book, and Jason talked about the book, and how it came to be, and then he answered some questions, and it was just awesome.

Books- August 2015 Zero World

I’ve read a lot this month, but for whatever reason, I haven’t really wanted to read.  Audio books seem to be working well, though, because I finished one I started in July, and listened to three others.  I’m definitely on an audio book kick, so for now, I’ll probably be listening more, and reading less, since I’m not in the mood to read…with my eyes, anyway.

Books- August 2015 Coloring Book Collage

As for other books, I bought 3 coloring books, and it’s been awesome.  So even though I haven’t been crocheting, I have been coloring.  I definitely have a post about coloring books in the works as we speak, that’s how much I’ve been enjoying it.

I got The Book Of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez from Audible, and considering the fact that I’m on an audio book kick at the moment, I’m hoping that I get to it soon!

T.V./Movies:

I finished House, which I kind of want to re-watch because there are a bunch of episodes I had going as I was falling asleep, but I think I might wait a while for that.  I’ve watched a few episodes of season 8 of the new Doctor Who (I like it, and I’ll keep watching it as long as it’s on Netflix, which is the only way I can see it at the moment), and I still don’t like Clara, and I’m not sure how I feel about the new Doctor.  I’m sure I’ll have more of an opinion once I’ve watched the entire season.  I’ve also watched some NCIS, and that’s really about it for t.v.

I’ve also been watching Fear The Walking Dead, which makes me want to re-watch Walking Dead.  And I actually find it a lot creepier/scarier than Walking Dead.  I think it’s partly because we know what’s going on and where things are headed, since they’re both set in the same world.  And partly because you’re watching everything unfold. There have only been a couple of episodes, but I really like it so far.

I haven’t seen any movies…I don’t even know what’s out right now, and there hasn’t been anything I’ve wanted to see in a theater.

Around The Internet:

I have a lot to share this month!  I have a bunch of cool blog posts and articles that aren’t on pinterest (for more cool things I’ve read this month, go here).

I really loved this post on how to get back on track.

This article about book banning was really interesting.

Speaking of book banning, this post about some students at Duke having issues with Fun Home by Alison Bechdel made me think.

A post titled When I’m Gone really got to me emotionally (in a good way, though) and it really makes you think.

This post about getting your shit together is something I can relate to.  A lot.

There’s been a lot of talk about For Such A Time by Kate Breslin.  This post is particularly good. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books also has a great review about it.

You can now judge a book by it’s cover.  It’s interesting to see how my ratings of a book matched up with the ones on goodreads.

According to this calculator, it will take me 5 years and 2 months to read all 700+ books on my TBR list on goodreads.  Assuming I don’t add any other books…which I probably will…and also assuming I don’t keep reading any of the series I know are on there…which probably won’t happen…which means that it will take me longer than that to finish.

I made homemade applesauce, and it was amazing.  And really easy.  It’s amazing what you can do in the crock-pot.

Speaking of crock-pots, I want to make this bread.  I would never in a million years think of that.

This post makes me want more coffee mugs.  You can never have too many.

Maybe it’s time to get back to the books.

Or eat mini sausage pancake muffins.

We might even have time to look at really cool book-themed sculptures.

I think my favorite story, though, is the one about the middle school teacher who decorated her classroom Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone style.

Music/Podcasts:

So, I haven’t listened to a lot of music this month- I just haven’t been in a music mood.  And while I could share some podcasts, I won’t because I don’t feel like looking through them to figure out what I have and haven’t shared yet.

But I think I will share some that I want to check out- I don’t listen to a lot of book-related podcasts, so those are what I’m sharing.  I haven’t listened to any of them, so but I can’t wait to check them out.  And I’m always looking for podcast recommendations, so feel free to share.  I’ll give anything a try, so it doesn’t have to be book-related!

The Worst Bestsellers sounds fun.

Witch, Please sounds right up my alley.

Literary Disco seems interesting.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Didn’t Click With

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Blog Graphic- Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Characters I Didn’t Click With

Or as I like to call it, 10 characters that it was hard to care about.  Sometimes, not clicking with characters (or liking them/caring about) make it hard to like a book.  While it is my overall preference to have characters I like and connect with, it’s not super-necessary.  Still, here are ten characters I didn’t completely connect with.

  1. Hailey from The Education Of Hailey Kendrick.  I can relate to wanting to be perfect, but there was also something about Hailey that I couldn’t completely connect.
  2. Eadlyn from The Heir by Kiera Cass.  It was so hard to care about Eadlyn- it won’t stop me from reading the rest of the series, and I hope she grows up a little, because I think she has a lot of potential.
  3. Delilah from Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler.  I don’t have a particular reason for not clicking her, other than the very vague not completely caring reason.
  4. Liz from Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang.  I think it was the jumping around in the timeline element of the book that made it hard to completely connect with her.  I felt for her, and I can empathize, but I didn’t completely connect, if that makes any sense.
  5. Sam from Dear Mr Knightley by Katherine Reay.  I think in some ways, Sam and I are similar, and I think that’s why I had a hard time clicking with her…because I could see myself, to a small degree, being like what I didn’t like about her.
  6. Justine from You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle.  Her story, of the 5 kids we see in the book, was the least interesting, and in comparison to the other characters, she had the least amount of stuff going on. It was hard to click with someone who I didn’t particularly interesting.
  7. Bee from Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco.  I had a hard time clicking with her because she seemed a lot younger then I expected and wanted her to be.  There are a lot of things I like about her, but the connection wasn’t completely there.
  8. Nell from We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt.  Nell seemed really whiny and unable to go through life without her sister.  I had a hard time connecting with her because of it.
  9. Taylor from Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso.  I think the big reason why I didn’t click with Taylor is because I felt like we didn’t see enough of her life before she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
  10. Kiri from Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith.  Kiri was too scattered and all over the place for my liking.

ARC Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything CoverBook: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Expected Publication is September 1, 2015 by Delacorte|250 pages

Where I Got It: I received an advanced copy of the e-book from netgalley.com.  This hasn’t influenced my review in any way. Promise!

Series: None:

Genre: YA Contemporary

Blog Graphic-What It's About

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I really liked Everything, Everything!  I wish I loved it, and it came really close to me loving it…but overall, it’s been a while since I’ve been so emotional/excited about a book.

I really liked Maddy, and I felt for her.  She can’t leave her house, and she only has her mom and Carla.  And Olly.  I loved her relationship with Carla, who was nurse and friend, and Maddy really needed that.  I can’t imagine having such a rare disease, and it makes me wish we learned more about it in the book, because we don’t get anything about it.  Not that the book has to include more about the disease, but at the same time, if you’re going to have a character who has a rare disease, it might be good to have more than a vague explanation of what it is.  I have a theory, but it’s the kind of theory that is a huge spoiler, so I won’t mention it here.  I like that she is not defined by her disease- while the book is about a character with SCID, it’s also about so much more than that.

I did like how the story was told- there are graphs and charts and IM conversation and e-mails and vignettes, and it worked so well for the book.  Something like that, particularly when the entire book is told that way, has the possibility of going very wrong (at least for me), but something about it worked really well for Maddy and her story.

I really liked her relationship with Olly, and I feel like, through him, her world expanded a lot.  In the beginning, it is slightly insta-love-y, so just keep that in mind if that’s not your thing.  But give the book a chance, because it really is an awesome book.

Here’s the thing.  I’m trying to write this review without talking about the ending.  And the ending is really spoiler-y and I really need to talk about it, because I can’t just not talk about it.  Let’s just say that I have mixed feelings about the ending.  I’ll have spoilers after my rating.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

4 stars.  Overall, I really liked Everything, Everything!  It made me feel the feels, and even though I’m not sure about a few things (which did lower the rating for me), I would still recommend the book.

Now it’s time for the spoilers.  If you don’t want to know, please stop stop reading here!

Keep Reading For Spoilers

Audio Book Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl On The Train CoverBook: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins, Narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher

Published January 2015 by Penguin Audio|11 hours

Where I Got It: I borrowed the audio book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Thriller

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot about The Girl On The Train, and I’m glad I got to read it!

So, it’s a really interesting mystery (although it’s one that I figured out maybe 2/3 of the way through?), and while it wasn’t surprising when it was revealed, it was still fun to get to that point. Mostly because Rachel is such an unreliable character, and you’re never sure if what she figures out is completely accurate.  So even though I was pretty convinced of what happened to Megan, I still had my doubts about whether I was right or not.

I thought the end was somewhat predictable- probably because I correctly figured out what happened, at least to some degree- but this was a case where it honestly didn’t matter.  Partly because of how unreliable Rachel is, with her alcoholism, and the fact that she drinks to the point of blacking out and not remembering a single thing later on. But there is something compelling about the book, and I just really wanted to see what would happen.

It was also pretty immersive, and I felt like I was really in the book, which I think has a lot to do with the fact that I listened to it.  It made me wish (for probably the first and only time) that I had a longer drive to work so I could keep listening.  If you haven’t read it yet, I would definitely recommend the audio, because for some reason, The Girl On The Train works really well as an audio book.

Speaking of audio books: the narrators!  The book is narrated by Rachel, the main narrator of the book (Clare Corbett), Megan, who narrates fairly frequently (Louise Brealey) and Anna, who narrates sporadically (India Fisher). I’m not the biggest fan of multiple narrators, but it worked so well for this book, particularly with how Hawkins did it.  Rachel does narrate most of the book, but you get random sections from Megan and Anna, and I have no idea why it worked, but it did.

I’m glad they went with 3 different narrators for the audio, because I can’t imagine one person narrating all three women.  And it really helped distinguish between the three.  I did have to figure out who was who (this post was really helpful, plus they have excerpts).  I really liked who they selected as narrators- Corbett, Brealey and Fisher really brought Rachel, Megan and Anna to life, and they totally sounded like how I would expect the characters to sound.  I think Corbett was my favorite (probably because we hear her the most), but I would also listen to anything Brealey narrated.  Fisher was definitely my least favorite, and Anna was the character who I hated the most.

I hated Anna so much that I was glad we didn’t see her narrate more.  Because the more we saw of her, the more I hated her.  She came across as a vindictive, whiny spoiled brat, and…as weird as this is…I found myself yelling at her whenever we saw her.  The other characters, particularly Megan and Rachel, have a bit more to them than Anna did, and overall, it’s a good look at characters and why they act the way they do.

I’ve seen the comparisons to Gone Girl, but I won’t, because I haven’t read it, and I’m not comfortably with saying anything either way.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars.  I liked it- it was really engrossing, and I wanted to keep listening, but I didn’t love it either.

Audio Book Review: City Of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster

City Of A Thousan Dolls CoverBook: City Of A Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster, narrated by Shannon McManus

Published February 2013 by HarperAudio|8 hours, 54 minutes

Where I Got It: I got it from audible.com

Series: Bhinian Empire #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Blog Graphic-What It's About

The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but also her life.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I’m glad I finally read City Of A Thousand Dolls!  I really liked it, and I can’t believe it took me so long to read it.

It’s a really engrossing world, and I LOVE that it’s set in a world that is so not pseudo-European.  I wish we knew more about the world, because it really is different.  It’s very vivid, and listening to it made me feel like I was really there, figuring out things alongside Nisha.  Listening really made me feel like I was there.

The idea of a place where girls could go to learn skills was really interesting.  I don’t know that it’s necessarily unique, but I really liked how Forster used the Houses and City and asars to distinguish between the houses. It’s so detailed and vivid and rich, and I really felt like there was a lot more to the world than what we saw in the book.  If there isn’t, then Forster did one heck of a job making you believe it.

There were still things that didn’t make sense.  Like, the reveal of Nisha’s family.  It felt like a really big deal in the book, and I couldn’t figure out why.  I don’t know if I missed something, or if the family history we get just wasn’t enough, but it seemed like it was a bigger deal than I thought was warranted.

I did like the cats, and how Nisha had a connection with them.  There was a point where I thought that if Jarrett wasn’t a cat, he and Nisha would totally be a couple.   Or that there would be a love triangle, since Nisha had a relationship with the courier…I kind of expected him to be human at some point, but dismissed it…only to be proven wrong.  You can’t go wrong with cats, especially ones that talk!

I thought the mystery of the murders was really well done, and I liked seeing Nisha figure it out.  I felt for Nisha, with who it turned out to be, and while I was slightly surprised at who it was (and why they did it), looking back, it’s actually not that big of a surprise.  And yet, I don’t think I ever could have predicted who it was.

I really liked Shannon McManus as the narrator, and I felt like she was Nisha.  I couldn’t figure out why she sounded so familiar, and I haven’t listened to anything else she’s narrated, and it’s really bugging me.  Maybe she just has one of those voices.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

4 stars.  I really liked City Of A Thousand Dolls, especially the fact that it’s set in an Asian-inspired setting.  And the story was really interesting and different.

Currently Obsessed With: Character-Inspired Outfits

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about things I’m really into.

Currently Obsessed With

I went to a Harry Potter Party a few weeks ago, and in my search for a Luna Lovegood costume I could put together with not a lot of effort, I got to thinking about character-inspired outfits.  I’m a huge fan of Disneybound, which was really helpful when I was putting together a Princess Anna costume for Halloween.  If you know of any similar blogs, I’d love to know about them.

There is something very cool about using everyday clothes to dress up as a character- and there’s a certain practicality to it that I also like.  There’s nothing wrong with buying a costume, of course, but I’m finding that in terms of costumes, I’m getting more practical as I get older.  I want to dress up for Halloween (or something other party/event) but I don’t want to get a costume that is then going to sit in my closet, not being worn.  Character-inspired outfits are an easy way to do that.

The biggest appeal is that it’s fun to create outfits based on a character.  I did it last year when I dressed up as Anna from Frozen for Halloween, and I did it when I dressed up as Luna Lovegood for the Harry Potter party.  I’m definitely doing it for Halloween this year, and I’m currently deciding between Luna (since I have the outfit, but I may add some radish earrings and a butterbeer necklace) and something Night Vale- either Cecil or a hooded figure.

I’m currently figuring out a Cecil outfit- I have a plum colored shirt I’m not sure about, so I’m trying to decide if I want to go with it, a more Night Vale purple or something white.  I’m hesitant about white, because I know I’ll end up spilling all over it, and white isn’t my favorite color to wear, but it will also be easy to find if I decide not to go with plum, or if I can’t find the shade of purple I’m looking for.  And a cardigan.  I need a cardigan.  And some fun Night Vale-ish tights.  Although I’m not too worried about the shirt now, because the fun of it is that it doesn’t have to be exact, and now that I’ve talked it out a little, I might stay with the plum-colored shirt after all.

I did get this totally awesome old-timey microphone necklace, and I would need to figure out make-up for it.  I figure the temporary tattoos from the Night Vale store might be easier, because I’m not at all confident in my ability to do make-up for a Cecil costume, but we’ll see.

I’m not completely sure what I would do for a hooded figure costume, other than wear all black (which is no problem at all, since I have black clothes).  I’d need a hooded cloak, of course, but I figure that will be easy enough to find around Halloween, and maybe I’ll print up the rules of the dog park on some card stock and hang it around my neck or something.  If I go with it, of course.

Really, for Halloween, it’s more about the accessories than the actual clothes, but it’s still a lot more fun to put something together with accessories and clothes than it is to buy it.  Plus, the idea of dressing up as, say, the Sorting Hat, or Alice In Wonderland in a non-obvious way is really fun.  I just love the idea so much, and I really need to pin more character-inspired outfits.  I’m not kidding when I say that I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to it.

I do think it’s one of those things that’s really subtle, which does fit with me personality-wise, but it’s also something that can be not-so-subtle too.  Depending on who you dress up as, it might not be obvious you’re dressed up as someone, which is the appeal of doing it year-round, but it might be problematic if you’re talking about dressing up for Halloween, or something else where you need to be costumed.  But that really is why I’m such a huge fan of it.

At risk of repeating myself, I think I shall end this post here, but it was also fun to ramble on about.  Hope you have an awesome day!

Book Review: God Help The Child

God Help The Child CoverBook: God Help The Child by Toni Morrison

Published April 2015 by Knopf|178 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Literary Fiction

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child—the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”

A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

When I heard that Toni Morrison was coming out with a new book, I was really excited, because I’ve read a couple of her other books this year, and I knew I had to read it!

It’s not my favorite Morrison novel, and of the ones I’ve read, I think it’s probably my least favorite of the ones I’ve read.  I mean, I loved the writing itself, and the way she told the story- it’s very much her, and it’s why I keep reading Morrison.

What I think I liked most was how what happened to us as children has a huge impact on who we are as adults, and you can see that with both Bride and Booker, and you can’t help but wonder how Rain’s life will impact her as an adult.  I really wish we saw more chapters with Sweetness, Bride’s mom.  There wasn’t a lot to her character (for me), and it would have been interesting to see more from her perspective.  You get it well enough, that she she was surprised by how dark her daughter’s skin was (which actually reminded me of The Bluest Eye initially) and how hard it was for her, but I really wanted more from it than what we got.

Overall, the story didn’t completely work for me, and I’m really at a loss to explain why.  For some reason, it felt like it didn’t have something that was there in the other books I’ve read by her- almost like something is missing.  I really wish I could pin-point it, but I can’t.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

3 stars.  I don’t have a lot to say about God Help The Child, but I did like it, and Morrison’s writing is pretty awesome.

Book Review: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Who Fears Death CoverBook: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Published June 2010 by DAW|386 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Who Fears Death #1

Genre: Adult Magical Realism/Post-Apocalyptic/Fantasy

Blog Graphic-What It's About

An award-winning literary author presents her first foray into supernatural fantasy with a novel of post-apocalyptic Africa.

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient African tongue.

Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny–to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture-and eventually death itself.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

After reading (and loving) Akata Witch a few months ago, I knew I had to read everything else that Okorakor has written, so I started off with Who Fears Death.

It’s such an interesting blend of magical realism and sci-fi.  It wasn’t overtly sci-fi, but there was something about the book that felt like it had sci-fi elements.  Which was really interesting, given the magical realism in the book.  I just love how she draws from African myth.  It really makes me realize how much we need other mythologies incorporated in books, not just Greek mythology.

It’s also a post-apocalyptic Africa, which was also really cool!  I love Post-Apocalyptic stories, and this was no exception.  It’s not clear what led to this point (but you know it’s something) and I honestly didn’t care- there’s something about the way she tells a story, and in this case, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know.  Normally, it would frustrate me, but Okorafor is so good at telling a story that I didn’t even notice that aspect.  It was a different post-apocalyptic world and story than I was expecting.  Even though the world was very changed and different than the one we know today, there were some things that had never changed.  I think I’m very used to a particular post-apocalyptic story where you see the event (or at least have it explained) and then see how the world is different.

Somehow, Who Fears Death felt different than that, and initially, while reading it (and maybe even a little bit after finishing it), I didn’t see why it was described as a post-apocalyptic story.  But after a while, it did make more sense why it was described that why.

I really came to like a lot of the characters, and Onyesonwu had quite the journey.  I don’t know that I have strong thoughts on her either way, because her story, for me, was really tied to stopping genocide, and her destiny/role in things.

She created a very vivid world, and I really want to read it again to let everything sink in.  I think it’s one of those books where you need to read at least a couple of times for everything to sink in- I really feel like you’ll see something different with each read.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

4 stars.  I really liked it, and Okorafor creates these really different, but also really awesome worlds that pull you in.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Classic YA Lit 101 Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Blog Graphic- Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books On My Classic YA Lit 101 Syllabus

I love this topic!  I could focus on one genre, but where’s the fun in that?  Not so fun, though, was trying to keep the list relatively short, because there are so many books I could go with.  And I may have expanded the definition of classic to include books that I think should be YA classics…a lot of them are relatively recent, but it’s so hard to picture YA without them!

  1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  This book is the first one I thought of, and while any book by Anderson would do well, I think if I had to pick one, it would be Speak.  Wintergirls and The Impossible Knife Of Memory would be be other two choices if I had time to do more than one Anderson book.
  2. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  This is the book that got me into YA, and it did make dystopic novels huge.
  3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  This is a huge YA book (denying that would be weird, in my opinion) and it’s hard to deny its impact.
  4. Harry Potter.  You can’t have a class on classic YA without Harry Potter on the syllabus!
  5. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle.  Meg is such an awesome character, and there’s adventure and mystery and it’s so full of awesome, and how could you not have it on a classic YA syllabus?
  6. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  The way the story is told would make for interesting discussion, and it’s loved by a lot of people (like the rest of the list) but it’s classic YA historical fiction.
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry.  It’s a classic YA dystopia.  It was dystopia before it was cool.  And I can’t imagine YA without this book.
  8. Between Shades Of Grey by Ruta Sepetys.  I loved Lia’s story, and even though it’s come out in the last few years, it’s a classic story of overcoming some horrible circumstances.
  9. Ash by Malinda Lo.  This is a totally awesome re-telling of Cinderella, and so deserving of being called a classic.
  10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  It’s such a good coming-of-age story centering around a life-changing book, and I really think

Honorable Mentions: The Book Thief (couldn’t finish it, but I also had Code Name Verity & Between Shades Of Grey on my list and didn’t want a ton of WWII-era books), If I Stay and The Fault In Our Stars (there were too many other books that I’d rather have on the list), Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries are totally awesome) and Sarah Dessen (I haven’t read her, but I know a lot of have read her and love her books, which is why she’s close to being on the list, but not quite there)