Top Social

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen


After reading The Girl Who Chased the Moon, I frantically got my hands on as many books as I could by Sarah Addison Allen. I listened to the audio version and the narrator had such a grating southern accent it was hard to take the book seriously. Narrator aside, the book itself was pretty awful. In a nutshell, the characters are: Josey, a fat 27-year-old who hides sweets in her closet; Della Lee, the town sometimes-prostitute who has decided to live in Josey's closet (???); and Chloe, a women who works in a sandwich shop who eventually becomes friends with Josey. Throughout the story, we see Josey navigate her relationship with her controlling mother, Josey and Chloe in their respective relationships, and try to find out what the heck Della Lee is doing in Josey's closet. The ending has a cute/interesting twist to it but it isn't enough to save the rest of the book.

2/5 Stars

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen


I was first drawn to this book because of the cover and the title. I'm having such a difficult time describing this book and the type of books I have been into lately. They're... quietly interesting with a hint of mystery or excitement, take place in a small town, and definitely have a slower pace. I absolutely loved this book and it reminded me a lot of The Obituary Society, which I also loved.

In The Girl Who Chased the Moon, we mostly follow Emily and Julia; teenager and 30-something, both fairly new to living in Mullaby, North Carolina (again, for the latter). We closely and carefully learn their stories, their selves, and watch them both slowly fall in love. Sometimes their stories intersect but mostly they parallel. There is a tiny bit of something wonderfully magical and at the end of the book it makes the title mean so much.

This is a story about finding home, love, and acceptance. I HIGHLY recommend it :-) I listened to the audiobook and I really, really, really liked the narrator. I'm planning on listening to more she's done just because I like her so much.

My favorite quote: "I'm always homesick, I just don't know where home is."

1000/5 Stars (yeah, I did it)

The French Don't Diet Plan by Dr. Will Clower


Overall, I am very impressed with this book. I originally borrowed it from the library but when I was only 1/2 way through I bought a used copy on Amazon (for $5.50!).

The French Don't Diet Plan takes the principles  of French Women Don't Get Fat (FWDGF) and presents them with a little more structure that Americans (or at least me) need. Dr. Clower breaks down the importance of eating real food (less sugar and additives), significantly reducing portions, and enjoying life. he says you don't have to exercise, but you do have to be active; milkshakes are good for you (when made with real food and in a 6oz size); and lying down after eating actually helps digestion so eating later is totally fine. All the opposite of what we have always heard, right? But he makes it all make sense. He also says that the French aren't slim due to genetics but their habits.

More than anything else, this book is about enjoying and LIVING life, not just going through the motions. I think it should be a must-read for everyone. A new graduation requirement, perhaps?
I took one star off the rating for two reasons. He spends much of the book trying to convince the reader about this way of living and I am already convinced, I just wanted more information. Secondly, I feel the recipes in the back (a wonderful start for this way of eating! For more, check out I Know How to Cook, a classic french cookbook that was recently translated into English) could use a little more information, such as more precise cooking times and how long the dish will last once made.

4/5 Stars

ECCC 2016

After something as exciting as a three-day comic convention it takes a little while to digest everything. I was properly tired Friday night and went to bed at a decent hour, but Saturday night I was so happy and excited from the day that I stayed up until past 11pm and my brain woke me up at 5:30 wanting to think about all of the fun things that had already occurred.

Friday was mostly panels for me. I went to the Aliens and Airships and Authors, Oh My!, Orbit Books, and Rat Queens panels. Before, between, and after panels I visited the booths of Benjamin Dewey, Kate Leth, Laura Graves, Leila del Duca and Kit Seaton, went to the Aliens and Airships and Authors... signing, generally walking around looking at fun stuff.

Saturday we ran around to knock out getting as many things signed as possible. We made it though the WicDiv line (it was so short!), spoke with several amazing creators at length, and ran around all over the place. That evening I went to an event for Gail Carrier at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop and enjoyed myself SO much listening to her speak, answer questions, and getting her to sign a few more books for me. I am pumped for the two novellas she has in the pipeline.

On Sunday Joe came with me and we ended up being there for only about an hour and a half. We lucked out in getting in line for Fiona Staples. SHE IS SO NICE. I got to tell her that Saga is my favorite comic and ground zero for me getting into comics, and she thanked me for telling her. I picked up a Bumbersnoot necklace that Gail told us about at the event the night before and the big fancy "complete saga" book of Glory after reading the first trade the night before and being completely blown away by it.

And there were so many things I didn't get to do! I could have done most if I had planned my time better, or if I had the ability to plan my time better... the ECCC website/app was missing a loooot of information that would have been great to know before I got there. But I still had a great time.

I can't even begin to think of how many ways the world of comics has changed my life.

Some of my recommendations that I encountered this weekend:
Glory (Deluxe edition and volume 1)
The Black Bull of Norroway
Space Magic
Wild Beasts and Witches Get Stitches
Jenny Parks Illustration

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel


I received a copy of Sleeping Giants while waiting in a long line at Geek Girl Con last fall. I have taken my sweet time getting around to reading it but I will say that I am doing a fabulous job of trying to get through my TBR shelves. After I made the decision to read this book I flipped through it. I was a little discouraged because it seemed that the format of the whole book is in interview form, and it is the case.

The author is from Quebec and the book definitely has the feel of a "foreign" author in that it is a welcome breath of fresh air. I love French movies so much because they stray from the cookie-cutter way ALL of the movies in the US are; we get new ideas, new presentations, new problems and solutions, and new actors. I don't think an author from the US could have done as good of a job as Neuvel did on Sleeping Giants.

By reading it like an interview, we know things we normally wouldn't and at the same time we don't know things we normally would. For example, the same person is interviewing all of the characters but we never learn who the interviewer actually is or really anything about him other than the fact that he is powerful. I thought it was really interesting to learn about things after they happened rather than as they happened too.

Enough about the format, on to the book. The book is about a little girl who stumbles upon a hole in the ground that contains glowing walls and a giant hand. The little girl grows up to be a scientist and ends up working on trying to learn the secrets of the hand. Over time they find more body parts and eventually form an entire figure. They're trying to find out who built it, how they built it, and what it's intended purpose is, all while trying to work with and around other countries in the world.

Some of the technical parts of the book were a bit slow and I read quickly over them, but overall I really enjoyed this book and it didn't take me long at all to read it. Sleeping Giants came out on April 26th, 2016!

4/5 Stars

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver


The Demon Trapper's Daughter was a souvenir from the gift shop/visitors center at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, GA. I was excited not only that they had a gift shop, but that I was able to get a book there that partially takes place in the same cemetery.

This book is extremely YA, and in a bad way. It could have easily been written in a way that would have included a wider age range, but either the author wanted to appeal to an early-teen audience or she suffers from the old-lady syndrome of trying to talk about "really cool" things that really just show her age. Noting that the MC has a "denim messenger bag," using "ohmigod," and spelling "eww" as "euuu," using way too many italics, and calling someone a "creeper" when she means weird and not actually creepy are examples of these. These issues are littered throughout the book and it's too bad because aside from them, this book is actually really good.

Once you get past the cringe-worthy moments, it is written quite well. Riley's dad is all she has left in the world, so when he dies she is left to fend for herself. She tries to follow in his footsteps by becoming a demon trapper, but some of the other trappers are going out of their way to see her fail.

I thought the world-building was pretty cool. I really liked the uniqueness of the different types of demons and all the characters were nicely developed. I am interested to see where the story goes and may read more at a later time.

3/5 Stars