CW: Animal abuse.

“How many generations of women had delayed their greatness only to have time extinguish it completely? How many women had run out of time while the men didn’t know what to do with theirs? And what a mean trick to call such things holy or selfless. How evil to praise women for giving up each and every dream,” (Yoder 161).

One day a mother becomes convinced she is turning into a dog. Her teeth are sharper, there’s hair on the back of her neck, and what is that really just a cyst at the base of her spine? She watches over her two-year-old son full-time while her husband is away on business trip after business trip, finding herself alone and obsessing over her newfound canine qualities. Continue reading

“But what use was logic? It ended where love began,” (He 360).

Cee has been trapped on an island for three years, slowly gaining her memory back. She doesn’t know how she arrived on the island, her own past, and it took her a bit to remember her name but she does remember that she has a sister named Kay somewhere across the ocean and Cee has to find her. Meanwhile sixteen-year-old Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city, a floating city in the sky  where she and it’s residents are protected from the natural disasters happening below. All eco-city residents are required to do  is spend a third of their time in a stasis pod and attend meetings virtually to preserve their carbon footprint.  Kasey enjoys life in the eco-city but her older sister Celia  longs for a more human experience, the ones their ancestors had before climate change. But now three months later Celia is missing and while logic tells Kasey she’s dead she can’t stop herself from retracing her sister’s path, because Celia had secrets but so does Kasey.

I went from being a person who had never read any climate change books to reading two in one year. Still, I don’t think this is a genre I’ll be actively looking for. It’s privilege and selfishness on my part, being reminded about how much we’ve screwed the world and continue to do so is bleak and makes me existential, and I suffer from enough enough existential dread before reading books about climate change. Continue reading

“So why can’t we linger and dream?/Walk with me/Still/Linger on with me/Still” (Still, Alice by Heart, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik).

Unlike my usual reviews, I’m quoting some lyrics from the song “Still” which appears in the Off-Broadway musical Alice by Heart which this book is an adaption of. Why? Because there is nothing quotable in this book. It is written so oddly, so disjointedly that aside from three or four characters I really had no idea who anyone else was or what exactly was going on. One of my favourite niche genres is “kids who cope with trauma by escaping into fantasy realms via books” (here’s looking at you The Neverending Story, The Book of Lost Things, and countless others.) and I expected Alice by Heart to be the same. With the premise of fifteen-year-old Alice Spenser and her best friend Alfred, who happens to be suffering from tuberculosis, are forced to take shelter in an underground tube station during an air raid in 1940s London and with Alice using her and Alfred’s beloved story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to cope through the chaos as the story unwillingly morphs and takes on qualities of the war around them. It sounds promising, it sounds right up my alley, especially since I knew about the Off-Broadway musical first and as a long time musical fan the fact that a book had been written after the musical was intriguing. But Alice by Heart just didn’t do it for me. Continue reading

“It caught fire in 1982, 1985, in 1993, 1996, in 2003, 2007, and 2018. And times in between. Because it is Malibu’s nature to burn,” (Jenkins Reid 3).

Has Taylor Jenkins Reid made my list of new favourite authors? I think so, wow has 2021 been a year of good reads!

Over the course of a night in August 1983 the Riva family is having their annual end-of-summer party, and things are about to change. Surfer and model Nina Riva’s tennis-star husband has just left her for another tennis star but that won’t stop her from hosting the party her siblings look forward to each year. Jay and Hud, a surfer and photographer team, have secrets from one another that could strain their strong bond. And baby Kit has a few secrets, one she’s been keeping from herself and one from her siblings involving and invitation she’s sent that her siblings don’t know about. By the end of the party secrets will be revealed and the night will literally be up in flames, because that’s what Malibu does: it burns. Continue reading

“Ever wonder what happens to those final girls? After the cops eliminate them as suspects, after the press releases their brace-faced, pizza-cheeked, bad-hair-day class photos that inevitably get included on the cover of the true crime book? After the candlelight vigils and the moments of silence, after someone plants the memorial shrubs?

I know what happens to those girls,” (Hendrix 5).

Lynnette Harker is one of six real-life final girls. After surviving two horrifying instances as a teenager, doing the press-release and being loved by sickos around the world, Lynnette and the other final girls fifteen minutes are up. For the past decade Lynnette and the other five final girls have been meeting with their therapist Dr. Carol Elliot who has provided a safe space for them to talk, to bond, to put their lives back together after surviving a horrifying unimaginable situation. But when one of the women misses a meeting Lynnette’s worst fears are confirmed: someone knows about their group and is picking them off one by one. But what makes a final girl a final girl is that she doesn’t die, she fights, she survives, and that’s what Lynnette is going to do. Continue reading

My co-worker recommended Ghost to me knowing that I’m a lover of horror. I was intrigued by it just by it’s binding, the white cover and honestly just the size of it. The book is about the size of a picture book and was shelved among the children’s books but for the subject matter I found that might not be the best place to shelve it, but it from it’s size it would look juvenile among the middle-grade chapter books. I almost wonder if reprinting it into graphic novel size wouldn’t be better and reach it’s age group better, but honestly the illustrations are so gorgeous in this book that shrinking them down would be a crime. I might recommend this book to the young, mature child who doesn’t scare easily but otherwise think that a middle-grade reading level is best for Ghost.

Ghost uses a variety of ways to tell these thirteen chilling stories, to gush about the illustrations again reader’s might just go through to look at the pictures because of how beautiful and eerie they are. But Ghost also uses onomatopoeia for many of it’s stories, which would make this a great book to read around a campfire, as well as creepy poetry and haunting prose to tell these thirteen tales.

It can be really hard to find horror for young reader’s (youth today know of Fear Street because of the Netflix movies but have never heard of goosebumps) that doesn’t end up being more silly than scary. Of course I’m not implying stories should traumatize children, but the horror genre is one that’s beloved by many and one that some kids want to be introduced too but can’t find a good Segway into. I found Ghost to be a wonderful sort-of beginner’s horror anthology because even as an adult some of the stories are children, and even though I may recognize certain tropes they would be new and chilling to those being introduced to the genre.

Read my thoughts on each story below: Continue reading

I’ve been interested in Floriography, or the Language of Flowers since I read Hamlet in grade twelve and learned that flowers have meanings. It’s taken me quite a few years to actually read a book on it but this one certainly won’t be my last. Continue reading

SPOILERS FOR MIDNIGHT SUN AND THE TWILIGHT SERIES

“Suddenly, as she ate, a strange comparison entered my head. For just a second, I saw Persephone, pomegranate in hand. Dooming herself to the underworld. Is that who I was? Hades himself, coveting springtime, stealing it, condemning it to endless night,” (Meyer 187).

Look, I’ve been waiting for this book for fifteen years and am Twilight trash so I was going to give this book a good review solely on the fact that it finally came into existence. I remember when the leak of the original chapters of Midnight Sun happened and when Stephenie Meyer put the chapters on her website with a vow never to publish or even finish writing it. I remember obsessing over those chapters and mourning the perspective that never was, and then the miraculous announcement of it’s publication last year. It took me longer than it should have to read Midnight Sun, I made the decision to re-read the whole series first which also took longer than predicted but I did it. And honestly, Midnight Sun was everything I hoped it would be. Continue reading

“What have you done today to deserve your eyes?” (LaRocca 32).

CW: Animal abuse, body horror

This book has been everywhere on my TikTok For You Page so I was ecstatic when I managed to get a hold of a copy. It’s no secret that I love horror, especially fucked up books and with the reviews I’d been reading I knew this novella was one I needed to read.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke story is told through the emails and Instant Messenger correspondence between Agnes and Zoe, two queer woman discovering internet chatrooms and websites in the year 2000 when the internet was still a new, strange, and at times dangerous place. The story begins with Agnes putting out a listing on a queer website to sell a family heirloom, an apple peeler. Zoe responds inquiring to buy it and the two find themselves talking as things between them escalate from there. Continue reading

“Storms stir up the past,” (Bush 39).

I was curious about the Hamilton Reads title for 2021. I like Canadian Literature and am always looking for new authors to add to my list and I love Shakespeare and the only adaption of The Tempest I’ve read is Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed (which is fantastic by the way) so I was curious to read another one. I also don’t read a lot of books about climate change, not because I don’t care but because I don’t know where to start, don’t know authors of the genre, etc. plus the subject matter tends to depress me, which of course isn’t an excuse but a reason nonetheless. So I was excited for Blaze Island because it looked like it had everything I would want in a book, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Continue reading