The Autobiography of Red

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Goodreads Synopsis: The award-winning poet Anne Carson reinvents a genre in Autobiography of Red, a stunning work that is both a novel and a poem, both an unconventional re-creation of an ancient Greek myth and a wholly original coming-of-age story set in the present.

Geryon, a young boy who is also a winged red monster, reveals the volcanic terrain of his fragile, tormented soul in an autobiography he begins at the age of five. As he grows older, Geryon escapes his abusive brother and affectionate but ineffectual mother, finding solace behind the lens of his camera and in the arms of a young man named Herakles, a cavalier drifter who leaves him at the peak of infatuation. When Herakles reappears years later, Geryon confronts again the pain of his desire and embarks on a journey that will unleash his creative imagination to its fullest extent. By turns whimsical and haunting, erudite and accessible, richly layered and deceptively simple, Autobiography of Red is a profoundly moving portrait of an artist coming to terms with the fantastic accident of who he is.

I was interested to read this book because of a character who mentions it in the TV show The L Word.  And then once when I looked the book up I became even more fascinated with it, as it’s a mixing of poetry and prose.

Autobiography of Red was not exactly what I was expecting. The story took a different turn and the characters were not quite what I had idealized them to be.  I feel bad that this book ended up being 3 stars for me, I had wanted it to be 5.

That’s not to say this isn’t a good book. It is. The writing is magnificent, the story compelling, the characters unique. It’s just not a great book. It’s not something  that blew my mind. It’s more quiet. The tendrils of the story creep in your mind slowly.  I feel that I might like it more if I read it again in a few years.

Has anyone else read Autobiography of Red? Let me know if you have and what you thought of it!

Far From You By Tess Sharpe

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book when I got it from the library. I’d found a thread on twitter talking about books with bisexual main characters, and Far From You was on it.

Far From You is a moving book that will keep you guessing till the end of the story. It has great characters, and it’s also well written.  Our main character Sophie is relatable and sympathetic from the very beginning. It’s hard enough when people don’t believe you about little things. But when your parents, your hometown, everyone falsely believes you set up the drug deal that gets your best friend killed, that’s a whole another level. Despite this Sophie deals with it pretty well, she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and you see how strong of a character she is throughout.  I really liked the frankness of the book in talking about Sophie’s addiction, and I love how her aunt steps in to help her get clean. Honestly Sophie’s aunt is my favorite adult character in the book.

The story is not told linearly, which is really interesting and works really well, so it can show us the relationship between Sophie and Mina. It’s a heartbreaking story, fair warning, but it has it’s beautiful spots and I liked how it ends. The characters are complicated in all the right ways.

Even though Sophie is the one trying to figure out the mystery of her friend’s death, this is not done in a cliche, somehow a teenager is able to do all of this crazy shit way. Sophie has to have the help of friends and adults alike.

For me this book was an easy 4 stars. It kept me engaged from page 1 and the characters have real growth over the entirety of the story. I highly recommend it.

Poetry Published in Thistle Magazine

Hey everyone! This is just a quick post to share some exciting news with you. Awhile back I mentioned that some of my poetry was accepted into a magazine, and I just found out the other day that the issue was published!

Taken from their website:  Thistle Magazine is is an atlas of intricate avenues and rivers within the hearts and limbs of growing souls. We are in the here and now, yet remain intrigued by what ties us to the past. We are interested in the overlooked and unexpected, the long-lost and unknown, the footnotes and etceteras. We seek your art, your words, your dreams and constellations; the memories and visions of your curious heart. Thistle is for those who long to be reminded of the beauty and wonder that we have today. Thistle is for those who long to explore where it comes from.

I am super excited and thrilled to announce that my two pieces Mother of Bread and Of Petrichor and Golden Stars were published in the spring issue titled Growth.    It’s a beautiful issue and I think you should all download it. The artwork in it is particularly stunning.

Thanks everyone for reading! Hope you have a fantastic day. 🙂

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda By Becky Albertalli

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Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.  With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

I had heard so much about this book and how awesome it was, that I was honestly kind of nervous to read Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.  Thankfully it lived up to all the hype!

From the first few chapters I could tell this book was going to be a four star read. Simon is easily one of the most relatable characters I’ve found in YA, probably since I found Rainbow Rowell’s books.  If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll see I commented only 20% of the way in about how much it was making me feel for the character.  Simon is a great friend, which I really liked and at the same time he’s not perfect. He makes mistakes, he gets angry.  His interactions with Martin are really well written and realistic, even thought at times I was amazed at how well he reacted. It all fit with his character.

Plot-wise everything moved about as I expected it to, but the pacing was still good and I was never taken out of the moment being able to predict anything. I was just too busy wishing Simon the best, and hoping things went well for everyone.

Another good thing about this book are Simon’s parents! Who do not fall into typical YA parent mode of never being around! Which is really nice.  Simon’s parents are honestly quite adorable characters, and their reactions to Simon’s coming out were realistic and well written.

As for the mystery of Blue, I honestly had no idea who it was! I love to be surprised, and when I can’t accurately guess plot twists.  I had a couple of guesses, as did Simon but each time he was proved wrong I was right there with him.  And in the end when all is revealed I have to admit I squealed a little because Simon and Blue are so fricken adorable.

So yes, please read this book! I hope you all love this as much as I did! Also feel free to fangirl with me in the comments. 🙂

The Assassin Game By Kirsty McKay

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Goodreads Synopsis: At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game—it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “Killed” during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the “Killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join the Assassins’ Guild, she know it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she’s the next target?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon

I’m a sucker for good covers, and this one has got to be one of the best covers ever!

The Assassin Game ended up being a mediocre three star read for me.  This story, is at parts fairly interesting, especially in the beginning. And I was actually still guessing who the killer was until near the end. But overall I felt like the story wasn’t anything new. The characters were your typical YA characters, the story has it’s fairly common girl meets with boy she used to be friends with and falls in love.

The writing of the story wasn’t the best. I found some of the descriptions weird. At one point a boy’s lips are described as “thin with a Cupid’s bow”, which mostly had me facepalming and laughing at the stupidity of it. But I mean, maybe there’s some points to be given for creativity? I don’t know. 😀

As far as creepiness goes, this book was honestly not all that frightening. It has moments when you are worried for the characters, but I mean…It’s YA, nobody important is going to die in the end, and that’s the sad truth of things.  But when you learn who the killer is, and what the motives are, it’s honestly a bit of a letdown.

So yes, in conclusion, 3 stars for the book. Maybe I could have done less, but I was feeling pleased with the fact that I couldn’t guess the killer.

Anyone Doing Camp Nano?

I realized just the other day that Camp NanoWrimo is happening next month! Is anyone else doing this? I’m hoping to be in cabin with lots of active people, so if anyone knows of a cabin or is putting one together, you should let me know! Cabin assignments happen in 6 days!

Tentatively my plan for Camp is to write 30,000 words collectively on the stories I’m already working on.  Miracle, will hopefully be one.  My second short story, Sheep Of Many Colors, should be another. As well as my siren novel, A Siren’s Tale.  And maybe, just maybe, a NA fantasy novel that I have some ideas for.  I know it seems like a lot, but basically I want to work on a project till it’s finished and them move on to the next. Obviously starting with the short stories.

What are you doing for Camp?