Wake by Lisa McMann
Verdict: Liked it a lot! Totally cool. Terrifying in spots. Loved the author's crisp, emotive style. Loved the characters. Looking forward to the sequel, Fade.
The Darker Mask, an anthology edited by Gary Phillips and Christopher Chambers.
This is ssf/f anthology that I randomly stumbled upon in a great little local new/used bookstore that i'm kind of in love with. It's written specifically by minorities writing in sci-fi/fantasy, with a focus on writing about "darker" superheroes and spaces, geographically and in terms of all the characters we don't see in mainstream sf/f. Like any anthology it's a mixed bag - there were a couple of stories that I hated and one that was so violent I couldn't finish - but I mostly loved it, especially the opening story by L.A. Banks, "Avatar" by Chris Chambers, and "Edge of Seventeen" by Alexandra Sokoloff. If you're interested in reading more works by multi-cultural writers in sf/f then this is one I want to recommend to everybody.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. This book (which I finally took the plunge to read) really frustrated me. :( The thing that kills me is that it has a Hero who I like to think of as Hot For No Reason (HFNR): one of those guys you know is hot because girls tell you so repeatedly, but you're left going, what is so hot about this guy again? And ugh. Okay, spoilers of rage follow. The book made such a big deal about choice and agency for these girls, while glossing over the fact that Keenan deprived Aislinn of agency from the get-go by giving her a freaking date-rape drug that turned her into a fairy without her prior knowledge or consent. And apart from Aislin going "uh, hey, you did that to me" once, to which Keenan responded, charmer that he is, with, "Tsk, tsk, you've read your lore, you should have known better," JesuschristWTF, no one seemed to care, much less had the massive throw-down fit about this I was expecting. And I couldn't sympathize with Keenan any more after that. I just wanted to read to find out what the hell would happen to Donia (i loved Donia <3). And while I accepted that the story was about women trying to maintain their choices and their agency when all choice had been taken away from them, after my anger at Keenan, I gradually just found myself rejecting the whole paradigm. Why can't we have a story about a fairy queen going "excuse me, why do you get to pick me? If you're such a whimp-ass fairy king, maybe I need to go out and find us all a better king, or maybe even another kickass fairy queen to rule with me." I wish MM had written that book instead - it would have been awesome.
Black Heart, Ivory Bones (vol. 6 of the Adult Fairy Tale series).
This whole anthology was pretty much hit or miss for me, with a lot that I loved and a lot that I was completely 'meh' about. 'Cats of San Martino' by Ellen Steiber was probably my favorite.
Swoon by Nina Malkin.
SWOON IS THE WORST BOOK I'VE READ SINCE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE. I said that I was not going to rant about this book, because, like. My negativity is not helpful. I'm trying to snark less and be a good person, really. But. But. AHHH guys i can't help it, I just want to tell everyone how hilariously bad this book is. And I don't have the kind of time necessary to to it justice, so I just want to point out 2 things: 1) the hero is the quintessential example of HFNR; 2) the heroine is GAY. GAY. GAY. LIKE SERIOUSLY SHE NEEDS TO EXAMINE HER OWN LEVELS OF LESBIAN REPRESSION BEFORE SHE GOES AROUND FALLING IN LOVE WITH DEMONS OR GHOSTS OR GOLLUMS OR WHATEVER WHO AREN'T THAT HOT and then talking about her aaangst in glibly overdramatic yet snarky language that is supposed to make her look smart except for how she spends the WHOLE BOOK ACTING LIKE AN IDIOT, oh my god everything about this book is ridiculous. Was that over 3 sentences? sorry.
Seriously, Edward and Bella have nothing on these people, Dice and Sin and Pen, seriously. "It's the injustice, Sin! The Injustice!" Did I mention the part where a cheerleader gets taken over by a demon from the 18th-century who tries to kill people in her body and basically has her strip naked in front of a gym full of people, but her whole reaction to this is to go,"oh, hot," and sleep with him. The demon, I mean. Who's only sleeping with her, by the way, because he's acting out the repressed fantasy of her REPRESSED LESBIAN COUSIN. because seriously, he's a gollum now and his whole purpose is to do her will, so act #1 involves... sex with the hot cheerleader. Oh my god this book. "How can my petty problems compare to yours? It's the Injustice! THE INJUSTICE!" Did I mention the part where Dice narrates in alliteration, so like as part of her rich hipster slang or whatever you get sentences like "Was he inferring that I made the Fahrenheit fall?" and you're just like A) OH MY GOD SAY TEMPERATURE LIKE A NORMAL PERSON AND B) SHUT UP UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO NOT MAKE AN ASS OF YOURSELF BY ACCIDENTALLY BRINGING THE GHOSTS OF CONVICTED MURDERERS BACK TO LIFE OK. WHILE USING THEM AS AN EXCUSE TO KISS YOUR FEMALE COUSINS. seriously. seriously, Swoon. Seriously.
oh and then i read Dull Boy! <333333!
Dull Boy! DULL BOY MADE ME RLY HAPPY ok. It was charming. I normally hate superheroes, like, just, in general. Superheroes make me blaaaah which is why I'm doubly delighted when I find books like The Darker Mask where I love them. But Dull Boy was just fun from start to finish. I sort of rolled my eyes at the villainness but I basically loved every character, especially Avery and Catherine :DDDD. And UM quite possibly I ship
Reading now: :DDDD
Floating around on my to-read list:
what to read next?