"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you. "
If I Stay, Gayle Forman
Currently reading this and I love it.
I’ve come to a point in my life where when I realize I am not wanted/respected, I will leave. I feel no point in trying to get people to understand me and like me. I leave. That’s it.
This is how I feel about the industries, titles, authors/creators, and/or even fandoms that find any excuse to not include women, different gender identities, POC, LGBTQUIA folks, folks with disabilities, and/or folks with different body types. If including diversity feels like “pandering”, then don’t worry, I’m out.
I will support the titles and creators who are trying to include different kinds of people. I will read and consume work that makes me happy. But I’m tired of asking, wanting, demanding something more and those in charge acting as if their hands are tied.
I’ll take my time and money elsewhere, thank you.
Penguin is giving away a copy of Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews!!! I love this series, as you guys know! Here are my reviews for Magic Breaks, which is the newest book in the series. Just from my gushing you’ll see that you need to win this book and start this epic adventure! So, enter. No, rules. IT’S A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY! REBLOGGING OR LIKING DOES NOT QUALIFY! (US ONLY!)
Synopsis:When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…
Just a few more hours to win!
ramblingkitaabikeera replied to your photo “Dissonance by Erica O’ Rourke 2 Stars Official Synopsis: Delancy…”
Have you guys completely forgotten the whole point of books? It was written in a different time period and it’s from the perspective of two TEENAGERS. We don’t want to know what adults from this time time period think about other ethnicities.
Ok, so Dissonance is not about ethnicities at all…so, I’m guessing this is in response to angrygirlcomics review of Eleanor and Park.
I have to tell you ramblingkitaabikeera, if you cannot stop to make sure that you attach comments to the right post, it will be difficult for anyone to take your opinion seriously. Especially, if your opinion is that you don’t care about other people’s opinions simply, because they’re older than you.
Also, how do you know that angrygirl is older than you? She could be younger for all you know. Also, by sending your comment to me you guaranteed that she would never see the comment. So, what was the point of even making the comment?
Once Upon A Tower (Fairy Tales #5) by Eloisa James
Official Synopsis:To win her love…
As an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, can have any of the maidens at the ball he attends. The only problem is they are all English and Gowan is not so certain they are suitable. He is accustomed to the hard-working lasses from his Highlands, not these dainty noblewomen who spend their days drinking tea or some other such nonsense. But then he makes the acquaintance of Lady Edith Gilchrist. Utterly bewitched by the emerald-eyed beauty with lush golden locks, he knows he must have her.
He must free her from her tower…
"Edie" had the misfortune of being dreadfully ill at her debut ball and barely remembers what Gowan looks like. Even worse, she accepted his proposal the following day. Edie’s only true passion is playing music—until Gowan writes a scandalous letter and stirs the most irresistible desire. Yet when they marry, Edie realizes her husband needs a lesson and locks herself in a tower. Somehow Gowan must find a way to enter the tower and convince his new bride that she belongs in his arms.
Laird Gowan, Duke of Kinross takes one look at the beautiful and quiet Lady Edith and knows that she is the one. A few dances on the floor of a tonnish ballroom and he just knows he’s found his Duchess. What he doesn’t know is that is chosen lady was ill on the evening that they met and the following morning when he asked for her hand. So, they may be engaged, but she doesn’t actually know what he looks like! What follows is two different people, trying to find common ground and failing at it miserably.
This book has Eloisa James’ infamous charm and a few surprises. It’s got all the basics; smoldering looks, witty banter and lush sceneries such as the Scottish countryside. It also has bad sex. Not just bad sex. Please don’t touch me ever again, let’s just be friends, bad sex.
Unheard of, but highly entertaining and gutsy of Ms. James, because she writes romance. Romance is filled with “great in bed.” No matter the situation, sex is always perfect in romance. There is never any awkward fondling or learning curves. Virgins feel pain for literally two minutes until the guy expertly maneuvers her into passion. Sex always lasts all night and orgasms are always had, especially if the hero is an earl or a duke, a prince or a billionaire.
Somehow, Ms. James manages to write a believable love story and a swoon worthy hero, even with all the bedroom mishaps.
Reading about the bad sex was really strange. It was funny and sad. It made me uncomfortable and made me wonder how the hell Ms. James was going to fix it. Especially, when Gowan is so busy he barely has alone time with his wife. Especially, when Edith is lying to her husband. It’s all a big mess that could only truly be resolved with something as a lady locking herself in a tower.
I really enjoy this series of fairy tale retellings. They are always loosely based and yet an interesting take on stories such as the gallant knight climbing up the tower wall to rescue the damsel. Eloisa James’ heroines barely need rescuing, but her heroes often need a slap against the head.
A fun read.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. "
Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Book Geek Quote #558
One time in college I turned in an essay and my professor underlined a sentence I’d written and told me it wasn’t the appropriate register for a university essay and I have crazy respect for her so I tailored my papers for the rest of the semester but this isn’t a university essay so I’ll start off with
Let’s start with the most glaringly obvious: the racism!
The sad thing is that half these descriptions are obviously supposed to be flattering except they’re… not…
Wow ninjas and East Asia what a novel concept wow
Wow because East Asian men aren’t emasculated in American media at all
THIS KIND OF SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
by the way this is so very Memoirs of a Geisha-y because Park happens to be a half-Korean kid who LOOKS more Asian than his brother
But Park has green eyes!!!!! so magical!!!! So EXOTIC!!! Also “almond-flavored” please that’s not the most cliched description for Asian eyes in the book
Here have some more grossness around those oh-so-exotic “Asian” eyes
Please let that sink in for a moment. Like Ming the Merciless. Who, as you might know from the Flash Gordon comic, was originally introduced in 1934 and is a pretty clear stand-in for, uh… yellow peril. upon googling, looks like this:
But then Park has a couple of self-hating moments where he of course implies that Asian women have it easier:
"White guys think they’re exotic". And that is flattering why, Park? "Exotic", really? And Eleanor isn’t exactly doing a great job of not contributing to this harmful mentality when she explicitly thinks that he’s "prettier than any girl". Again:
But then!!! Eleanor makes it all better!!! By saying this!! In the middle of a STEAMY LOVE SCENE!!!! (which by the way neither steamy nor lovely just creeped me out a lot because of the following passage):
This Othering, this fetishization, does not stop through the entire book. Finally, we get towards the end:
So no, Eleanor never gets over Othering her boyfriend.
Wait hold on Asian women don’t get a pass either, as Park’s mom is painted as the oppressive parent who doesn’t like “weird white girls”, but according to Eleanor…
"his" Dainty China person because of course Park’s mom isn’t a person, but a literal object to be moved and shifted according to the whim’s of Park’s dad, a Korean war vet.
Here have some more bad stereotyping of Asian women as “thin pretty and petite” and Eleanor’s own self-hatred and fat-shaming:
Black women aren’t exempt from being props to uphold Eleanor either. Her two “friends” at school (I say “friends” in quotes because they don’t really comment on anything except how cute Park is and they all make fun of those OTHER nasty white girls in gym class together), oh, and Rainbow Rowell writes them like this:
"It was an honor that they’d let her into their club"…the "you’re not like THOSE white people club???"
"I got a man", REALLY???
Park’s “Asian”-ness As Other and He Could Have Been Edward Cullen, What is the Goddamn Difference
I would have felt better if Rainbow Rowell had written Park as a vampire or a werewolf or some other inhuman creature, the stuff of teen girl YA fantasy because a) vampires and werewolves don’t actually exist and therefore you can write them any way you want, albiet cliched, whatever—at least you’re not contributing to some very harmful societal stereotypes.
Park, as you can see from the previous citations, is written out to be this “edgy” indie boy who wears eyeliner and listens to the Smiths (which wow I rolled my eyes at) and is also a loner at school in and his edginess and “magic” make him stand out in much the same way a vampire or a werewolf or otherwise nonhuman creature would. These descriptions of Park really made me think of Twilight and no, not because they are things that “normal” teen girls say or think but because we’ve seen this archetype of, for lack of better word, “magical boy” that comes barging into sad-manic-pixie-dream-girl’s-but-not-like-the-other-girls’-life and sweeps her off her feet:
How artsy, edgy, and NOT PREPPY, he wears all black.
Who else had a face “like a chiseled marble statue in its perfection”? (psst, it was Edward Cullen)
who else was described as “godlike” “angelic” and all that crap? Vampire boy Edward Cullen. Louis and Lestat and Claudia, all of our favorite too-gorgeous-to-be-real fairytale creatures.
But when you use those kinds of descriptors for a character who is very visibly POC and then give them an uncommon feature like ~green eyes~, do they not become a kind of mythical creature in, the stuff of exotic fantasy? Do they then become dehumanized and not real, only the kind of boyfriend a girl can aspire to get?
The answer, of course, is yes. But dreaming about dating a vampire or a werewolf is so very different and again does not carry the same weight as being hellbent on dating a ~perfect Asian boy~. Because at this point it is not about Park. This is not Park’s story, even though he shares half the title. This is Eleanor’s story, the manic pixie “not like the other girls” girl, with her crazy red hair and her weird clothes and her desire to get away from it all.
Eleanor’s entire story is painted on a canvas of abuse and neglect and sadness, so of course she needs some magical boy to literally swoop in and save her— at the end, Park takes her to Minnesota where her uncle lives, away from the safety of her stepfather who is out for her blood. Eleanor is the most precious person in the world to Park, so much that he doesn’t care about his family anymore and the only person he cares about is her. How the hell is that any kind of healthy way to have a relationship?
Park’s Asian-ness is only brought up in the context that it is different to what Eleanor is used to, that it is EXOTIC and MAGICAL and because of that she likes him. No, but it’s in the text, where Eleanor openly admits to fetishizing:
I didn’t end up CARING about Eleanor’s family situation at all. Her relationship with her mother was completely one-dimensional, as was the relationship with her siblings and her stepfather. It was almost as though the backstory was there to make Eleanor more sympathetic to the reader, which as a reader I didn’t end up buying because there was literally no depth to any of it.
Similarly, Park’s relationship with his parents is weird and disturbing and also one-sided. His mom speaks broken English and is demure but madly in love with his dad, who, need I remind you, “liberated” her from her oppressive country. Miss Saigon, anyone? Park’s dad is typical American machismo, a simple kinda guy, but at heart a good one. I feel like the PARENTS’ relationship was something I was more interested in than Eleanor or Park, had it not been written like a weird yellow-fever wet dream, where the white dude comes home and just makes out with the Asian woman all the time and she stays home and tends to their perfect house and their perfect family.
Rainbow Rowell has explicitly stated in an interview that one of her inspirations for writing Eleanor and Park and for making Park Korean was that her father had been in the Korean War:
1. My father served in Korea, in the Army.
This is probably the most obvious explanation.
My parents separated when I was in the second grade, and I never knew my dad that well. I didn’t grow up with him around. But I remember being fascinated by the fact that he was in the military – and stationed in a place where there had been an actual war, even though he was there decades after the worst of it.
There was this photo of him, in uniform, hanging over my grandmother’s coffee table – an unrecognizable teenager with short hair and tiny wire-rimmed glasses.
Every once in a while, if he’d had a few drinks, my dad would talk about the Army. How he signed up at 17 to avoid getting drafted and sent to Vietnam. The Army wouldn’t send a 17-year-old to Vietnam, he said. (I have no idea if this, or much else my dad told me, is true.)
He was especially proud of having protested the Vietnam War while he was in Korea. There was a clipping from a military newspaper with photos of the protest. I was 12 or 13 when he showed me this, and I definitely didn’t get it.
Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I must be confused about my dad, that there weren’t Americans soldiers left in Korea in the ‘70s. But there are still American soldiers in South Korea. We never left.
Anyway, the other thing my dad would talk about, every once in a while, was a girl he’d known in Korea. My mom says he carried this Korean girl’s photo in his wallet for years after he came home. He’d been in love with her; my mom thought he still was.
I used to wonder about that girl. About how he met her. Whether she spoke English. Whether she was his age. Whether it was some secret love affair, or something her friends and family knew about … What if she was his soulmate?
What if fate and circumstance and the U.S. government had come together to deliver my father across the continents to his soulmate – and he just left her there.
He could have stayed, I thought. He could have brought her back. Omaha is a military town; people bring wives and husbands back from all over.
I remember being so angry with him. First for leaving the person he was meant to be with; then for leaving my mom, the person he wasn’t meant to be with; and then for leaving all my brothers and sisters and me in his wake.
So … in Eleanor & Park, Park’s dad gets sent to Korea because his brother has died in combat in Vietnam. He meets his soulmate there. And he brings her home.
He “liberates” her. And puts her in his pocket like a China Doll, right?
These were only a few selections out of the many, many in the novel. Over and over again we’re slammed in the face with the fact that Park is Asian, he’s half-Korean, but only in the way he looks and almost always in the context of his relationship with Eleanor, never by himself. Half the book is supposedly written from Park’s perspective but he never really introspects on his identity except during that scene when he’s with Eleanor, bitter that there aren’t any “hot Asian guys.” Not even Asian AMERICAN, just “Asian”. As though the author were not aware of the hybrid culture that exists in the country—maybe because Park’s “the only Korean in Omaha?”
What first love story is there to tell? They start off hating each other and he makes her a mixtape and asks if she listens to the Smiths, and given that this book came out after Five Hundred Days of Summer…
I’m not sure what the point of the book was. To make people want hot Asian boyfriends?
This read like bad Tamora Pierce Circle of Magic Trisana Chandler/Briar Moss AU fic.
THANK GOD, someone did this. Eleanor & Park is so very racist. I can’t handle it that people seem to ignore it or are completely ignorant of all the things in this book that are just awful.
Dissonance by Erica O’ Rourke
Official Synopsis: Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.
Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.
But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.
If I had to describe my relationship to Dissonance in one word that word would be vague. I had a vague interest in why Simon’s echoes seemed connected to Del and I had a vague interest in what the consort was up to and I had a vague interest in Monty’s motivations, but that’s it. Which is why I was able to get distracted by bunch of other books and was able to put this aside again and again.
The idea is interesting. In fact, I really loved the idea of Dissonance. The pivots, the idea that you can cleave a damaged world and just the very basis that there are other worlds out there filled with the choices we didn’t go with. Like when I decide to get off the train at 42nd street and catch the local, a version of me decides to get off at 14st and walk. That version would be my echo and she will go on to live a completely different life. Fascinating.
Parallel universes is one of my favorite science fiction concepts, because it’s enormous! There is a range of how drastically different worlds could be! I mean in a parallel universe the nazi’s won, the confederate south separated from the US and the Twin Towers are still standing! But, how does the author choose to show us the differences? By how a teenaged boy is living his life! If Simon is wearing a leather jacket and cutting school, well then the world is drastically different, because original Simon is clean cut and plays basketball! What a waste of an excellent idea.
Also, what a waste of a great character! Delancey is a rebel. She’s smart, doesn’t care much for the rules and has a real talent. Her grandfather trained her to be a Walker and it’s all she’s wanted her entire life, but when it all hits the fan and her future is in doubt, what does she do? She risks it all to make moon eyes at some boy. Literally, she is banned from walking, they could strip her of the right to go between worlds and she risks it all, not to figure out what the anomalies are, not in search of her missing grandma…nope, she risks her entire future to hang out with the echoes of a boy who barely notices her in the key world!!!!
The tension does not build at a steady pace. It’s just kind of like oh something strange is going on! Then repetitive scene, repetitive scene, repetitive scene. Then a weak confrontation at the end. The amount of times it’s made clear that Addie is Ms. Perfect, that Monty used to be the best and is now and addled old man or that Del’s parents are not around, was so repetitive it became monotonous. Just boring.
This book also suffers from the fact that the author was desperate to make the romance epic, but the truth is it’s so superficial. Del has a crush on Simon. She doesn’t actually know him. She watches him for a far, just like every other girl. The fact that so much time is spent on this boy annoyed me. It was clear early on that he was some kind of anomaly, but it just takes too long to set up and Del’s obsession with him despite all the drama in her life was very hard to swallow. Also, the fact that the other possible boy in her life is her bff who everyone else knows likes her, but Del is blind to… So cliche, not even worth discussing longer.
This book could have been more. It should have been more, instead it pushes the idea that boys are everything. That nothing matters as much as having a boyfriend or romance. What a waste of some cool ideas.
Ha, no idea does anyone know?blog comments powered by Disqus