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Book Review: The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Vixen

Taking place in the 1920’s and lightly historical, Vixen is a fun and captivating read. It won’t be researched enough for staunch historians or literary enough for lit lovers– but it’s success is in gossipy drama that occurs in an unusual setting. While the characters didn’t necessarily romance me, the setting did, and I found myself trying to hunt down both the sequels and other YA books on the topic (sparkly outfits! music! danger! rebellion!). It is indeed a fun read– and if you read a lot, you won’t lament that you spent a day or two on this one.

ch-ch-check it out!

Book Review: Data, A Love Story by Amy Webb

http://litstack.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/data.jpg

This experiment was done on the internet of 2005, and the book was published in 2014.

A lot has happened in 8 years.

This is a book about how after lots of dating fails, an ordinary woman researched how online dating sites work(ed in 2005) and created a coded profile that she used to meet the perfect guy.

I didn’t find the protagonist likable (too elitist, capitalist, and old-fashioned for my taste), I thought that the methodology was often incomplete and unnecessarily confusing, and I wasn’t quite sure that it was her methods, (and not just luck) that caught her the perfect man.

If you want, you can go and read all the one-star reviews on Amazon to see more more critiques that I generally agree with. I think, however, that this book would have fared better as a serialized blog. The author does crazy things (like staying up til 4 AM making charts and drinking wine) that would be amusing to read about in short spurts. As a book, however, it doesn’t seem substantial.

Book Review: Over Easy by Mimi Pond

Over easy

Well that was nice!

It’s the late 1970’s and Margaret quits art school (CCA (then CCAC) in Oakland, CA) to be a waitress at the diner by the art school that caters to artists, bohemians, etc. This book is an account of some of the stuff that happens during that time.

The entire book is done in green, black, and white, and the pictures are nice to look at. The stories are amusing, and will resonate with people who have worked in restaurants before. Check it out!

Book Review: Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Between here and forever

You see the cover? That’s kind of the mood of this book.

Mellow, introspective, and no big climax– but interesting enough to get me through the 250 pages.

It’s a YA novel about teenage Abby, who’s big sister (the radiant, charming, and beautiful) Tess is in a coma following an accident. Average Abby’s always felt overshadowed by Tess, and does a lot of internal processing while Tess is comatose. There’s a cute boy with issues, a surprising-to-Abby (but not to the reader) revelation about Tess, and an obnoxiously bad self-esteem that improves.

This is, indeed, a YA book. It wasn’t as lovable as Stealing Heaven, but that’s ok.

 

Check out a copy here

 

Book Review: The Vacationers by Emma Straub

The vacationers

This is the book that everyone was talking about at the beginning of  the Summer. It was love-love-loved by lots of mainstream book reviewers, and everyone at the library was rushing to put it on hold because they’d heard it was the ultimate beach read.

It’s perfectly good, but I think I loved it less because it wasn’t as life-changing as all the hype made me think it would be. Plot-wise, it’s a classic slightly humorous, kinda gossipy NYT best seller about a wealthy white family from the east coast that goes on vacation and discovers things about each other and comes of age both as a unit and as individuals. I mean, it’s a solid book, an easy thing to recommend to someone who just wants to chill out and not think too much for a stretch of a few hours. You know how when you read a tabloid the nuances aren’t new but some of the people/places are? Kind of like that.

It’s not gonna change your life, but it will fill a few hours with well-written and nicely paced pleasantness.

 

Check it out!

Book Review: Nochita by Dia Felix

Nochita

Whoa.

I kinda bought this one on impulse when I went on vacation and read though the book I brought faster than expected.  Glad that happened!

If you like postmodern/experimental lit or queer lit or feminist lit or lit in general you should check this one out. There are two distinct parts and they’re about the same person but they’re both really different. The narrator is not always reliable, and don’t expect to ever fully touch down in the plot. But. What the author has done with language and feeling is really awesome, and was enough to keep me reading and fascinated. The idea of re-reading a book generally makes me feel a little sick inside (I will never be that person who says they’ve read Jkjsdfghkjl x many times because they love it so much), especially when we have so many choices– but I’m kinda tempted, now that I’ve got the plot down, to go back through this one and savor the language and style a little more.

It’s published by the City Lights/ Sister Spit Collab. Omg, buy it or check it out.

Book Review: Addicted by Zane

Addicted

I’ve been working with teen boys, and to my immense librarian pleasure, they actually read!

They’re super into urban fiction/ street lit, and general stories about people in intense situations with tough lives who either figure it out or succumb. One of the most commercially successful authors in the street lit genre is Zane, so I decided to check out  one of her most popular titles, Addicted.

It’s easy to see why this book is popular. The African American female protagonist is attractive and financially successful from her own company, the writing is often compelling, the subject matter is a little edgy, and there’s lots of hot sex (and aside from 50 Shades, there’s more detail than your average mainstream novel). I read the book voraciously and have no regrets about the time spent. I guess I could have been watching My Drunk Kitchen (which I am presently a little bit obsessed with), but what I’m saying is that this was a fine way to pass the time.

I do, however, take issue with a major part of the book: the causes of the character’s addiction (we’re talking about a sex addiction, btw). I’ll skip over the problematic fact that the protagonist’s set of sexual feelings and actions was labeled an addiction by her therapist, and talk about how this so-called addiction (which seemed more like a sex-negative excuse for some bad behaviors) was allegedly caused by some bad events from her childhood, and how her husband’s sex problem was also caused by his birth mother’s instability and profession. Oh, and then how the end of the book basically degrades into a crude bloodbath in attempt to simultaneously tie up loose ends, solidify the protagonist’s love for her husband, and bring justice to some bad guys.

But I can see why the teens like it. I just wish that each copy of the book could be distributed with a fact sheet. Or that the protagonist’s sexy romp didn’t have to be blunted by the author’s morals.

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