Maggie

MIA Update

Hey, y’all! I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone had been curious about whether Lila was once again the sole bookkeeper! But I’m back, maybe with a vengeance – I really just wanted to say ‘with a vengeance’. Anyway, I’m making my way back to The Bookkeepers’ Secrets – note the plural ūüėÄ – and decided I’d return with a serious update. And I mean serious as in LONG – I’ve been away longer than I had thought!

#amdoing

Mainly, I’ve been really busy over at my solo blog, The Caramel Files, working on completing April’s A to Z Blogging Challenge. The annual challenge entails posting based on each letter every day throughout April, save for Sundays. This is my third year to participate and I adore the challenge – I think it’s my favorite because I always really look forward to it.

I’ve also been dead – as in sick – seemingly all month. I let a sinus infection go too long before I finally went to the doctor and it’s taking me a bit to get well. I certainly won’t wait so long to head to the doctor’s office next time I don’t feel good – I’m so sick of being sick!

Partly due to being sick and partly because of writer’s block, I’ve missed posting for the A to Z challenge a few days in a row now. I am the type of person who is ‘all or none’ – meaning a lot of the time I either totally throw myself into something or ignore it altogether. Anyway, since I’ve missed some posting dates, I’d kind of like to give up on the challenge, but I don’t want to. Plus, I’m sort of OCD about having the posts go live on the dates for which they’re scheduled, but I’m going to persevere. I like my random essay theme too much.

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday visiting and eating with family. Even though most of us live in the same small town, we don’t often have the chance to all get together, so it was really nice to see my people. I love my family so much, both immediate and extended. My cousins, aunts, and I are all so similar – it’s almost scary. I appreciate the chance to reconnect with the people who understand me most.

All of our babies played outside together – we were too lazy to set up an egg hunt! And we grown-ups sat around in the nice weather and laughed and talked loud. It’s wild to think that a bunch of my cousins and I have children of our own all of a sudden.

It seems like yesterday that my cousin Cam and I sabotaged an Easter egg hunt. We were charged with filling plastic eggs with sweets and change for the younger kids. No one expected us to eat all of the candy, pocket the change, and cram one of the eggs with an empty chocolates sack! I’ll never forget the look on my cousin’s face when she opened the trashy egg! We were rotten, but we all had so much fun!

On the right are pictures of my boys, Jack and Hank, on Easter. In the first picture, the boys’ third cousin, 16-month-old Clara Mai, is holding Hank. The way she got so excited to hold a baby was beyond adorable! The second picture is my two-year-old, Jack, just looking precious, as always!

#amreading

I’ve gotten really into graphic novels and read the first three volumes of Ms. Marvel (No Normal, Generation Why, and Crushed) by G. Willow Wilson in an evening. While I expected to dislike reading comics on my computer screen, Comixology is freaking awesome! I love the guided reading experience, it makes me feel like I’m almost inside the comics or like I’m watching a movie. Anyhow, Comixology is where I read volumes two and three of Ms. Marvel.

Bingeing on Ms. Marvel has been a lot of fun. It’s new to me not only because I’ve never really dabbled in superhero stuff, but also because the main character, Kamala, is Pakistani-American and Muslim. I’ve enjoyed seeing life through the eyes of a girl with a totally different perspective from mine. I love to read and learn and I’ve gotten both out of Ms. Marvel, which was unexpected.

I love Brian K. Vaughan’s work, especially the Saga series! While I went on a buying binge and got all seven volumes of Vaughan’s graphic novel, I’m just now starting Vol. 2. I’m so excited – I’d really like to read two through seven in one sitting – we’ll see how that works out.

Also since I’ve last been spotted here, I did my first ever reread via audiobook! I listened to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I adored the audio version – the narrator gets two thumbs up! I had forgotten just how much happens in Harry Potter’s debut; I’m so glad I chose to listen as opposed to actually rereading it. I’m excited to listen to the rest of the series! Thank goodness for Audible credits – the Harry Potter books sell for nearly $45.00 a pop! P.S. The covers are amazing!

Lemony Snicket’s The Miserable Mill and Erin Morgenstern’s gorgeous The Night Circus round out the books I’ve read recently. At the moment, I’m reading Saga, Vol. 2 and listening to New Jersey Real Housewife Teresa Giudice’s memoir, Turning the Tables. The entire Real Housewives franchise is a not so guilty pleasure of mine and I’m loving that Teresa, one of my longtime favorite housewives, narrates her own story.

I’m having a lot of fun with celebrity memoirs this year, although I’ve only read Leah Remini’s Troublemaker thus far in 2017. I’ve been eyeing a bunch of other memoirs I’d love to read. I’ve never been a huge Tina Fey fan – it’s not that I don’t like her, I’m just not very familiar with her – but Bossypants has been calling my name forever! I did love Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please, in which Poehler talks a lot about Fey, so I think I should like Fey’s book as well.

I’m hoping to also read Ronda Rousey’s memoir My Fight, Your Fight this year as well as that of Anthony Kiedis, Scar Tissue. I have a few other nonfiction works on my TBR list for 2017, including books about autism, biographies of awesome bands, and memoirs of non-famous people. Those I’m most looking forward to include Temple Grandin’s¬†The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum,¬†Alice in Chains: The Untold Story¬†by David de Sola,¬†Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana¬†by Michael Azerrad, and Kay Redfield Jamison’s¬†An Unquiet Mind.

#ambuying

I’ve had (hopefully) my last hurrah with my credit cards! We’re planning to pay them off with our tax refund, so I had one last bit of fun. I bought a bunch of books and Funkos this month! I got books in every format imaginable – hardcover, softcover, audio, ebook…Let me tell you, my little spree was so much fun while it lasted. Too bad I’m not independently wealthy…

First of all, I’m so excited about the Pops I’ve added to my Funko collection that I’m going to talk about them first! I think my favorite of the new additions is the Hermione Granger: Yule Ball figurine! She is just beautiful – I adore her hairdo – it’s always fun seeing Hermione all prettied up anyway!

The majority of the other Funkos I got are also from among my favorite fandoms: Cher and Dionne from Clueless, Dorothy from Golden Girls, Cinderella, and Olivia Moore from iZombie. The remaining Pops I ordered I’ve had my eye on for a while – Arrow’s Felicity Smoak and a flocked Chloe from The Secret Life of Pets. I’ve never seen Arrow or The Secret Life of Pets, but the adorable Pops give me inspiration to watch both!

P.S. I remember when the Amazon exclusive flocked Chloe first appeared on the site, it cost a whopping $14.00! I was lucky to get it as an add-on item for under $5.00! ūüėÄ

I have definitely not been on a book-buying ban! I’ve also had a big time buying and borrowing books since I’ve been away. I’ve gotten my hands on a few graphic novels, some Stephen King – I’ve shockingly never read his stuff – a cool cookbook, two preorders, an annual Audible membership – that came with 12(!) credits all at once – and some books for my Kindle. I also got approved for some amazing eARCs via NetGalley.

I’m really proud that I’ve been stingy with my Audible credits. Normally, I would have spent them all at once and then lamented doing so later. *pats self on back* I mentioned earlier that the Harry Potter Audible editions sell for almost $45.00; thankfully, with my credits, I’ve been able to get the first three – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and¬†Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my personal favorite.

Also on Audible, I got some classics – Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and narrated by Rachel McAdams, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, narrated by Claire Danes, and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which is performed by a full cast. The Shakespearean audio productions come highly recommended and Macbeth is among my favorite – and I don’t like many – plays, so I’m excited to listen.

As for Claire Danes and Rachel McAdams – I love them both! When I listen to Danes read The Handmaid’s Tale, it will be a reread, while it’ll be my first time to read or hear Anne of Green Gables, a book I’ve been wanting to read for quite a while. It’s one of those books that slipped away from me during my childhood, but that I definitely want to get to regardless.

For my beloved Kindle, I got Robert Bloch’s Psycho, The Gunslinger by Stephen King, and Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho adaptation is one of my most favorite movies ever and I’m obsessed with Bates Motel on A&E. Like I said, I’ve never read Stephen King’s books, but I have seen many of the movie versions. I’m looking forward to finally reading his work – I think I’ll be a different kind of scared by reading his stories as opposed to watching them. Carve the Mark is one of those controversial hyped books that I’m dying to read.

My physical bookshelf – a fancy word for the floor in my closet- has also been treated to some new wares. As I recently fell in love with Kasie West’s work in February via The Fill-In Boyfriend, I got the paperback of By Your Side. I didn’t realize how much I like fluff until reading West! Since I had a tough time getting into Stephanie Garber’s Caraval on audio, I ended up purchasing the hardcover. I’m determined to find out if I buy the hype!

#amhosting

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m hosting a month-long mental health series at The Caramel Files. (that was a bunch of M’s) I feel kind of weird – it’s like I’m seriously plugging my personal blog – but I just want to be able to reach out to as many of you as possible and The Bookkeepers’ Secrets is admittedly a great platform.

What my in-the-very-early-planning-stages series will entail is of course promotion of mental health awareness. I’m really hoping to have as many bloggers and non-bloggers who have stories, etc. regarding mental illness join in and share their experiences throughout May.

So, I’m shouting it out here as well as on Twitter – if you’d like to contribute in any way to the mental health series in May, please let me know! Feel free to DM me on Twitter (@thenovelorange) or send me an email (thecaramelfiles@gmail.com) if you’re interested in learning more details!

#allinall

Finally, I’m glad to be making a return to The Bookkeepers’ Secrets and I look forward to churning out some (amazing) posts with Lila and Claire! I’m also glad to be back here with y’all – our lovely readers! ūüėÄ

fun

Diversity Spotlight Thursday | Multiracial Matters

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila and this week I decided to join in Diversity Spotlight Thursday! Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme¬†hosted by a Aimal at Bookshelves And Paperbacks.The meme’s rules are simple; each week, you choose three diverse books that fall under a certain category of marginalization and you fit the books into three categories: 1) a diverse book you’ve read, 2) a diverse book which has already been released and which is on your TBR, and 3) a diverse book which has yet to be released and which is on your TBR. So let’s get to it!

This week, I chose a diversity category which is very close to my heart: multiracial main characters! This category means so much to me because I, myself, am multiracial and I love to see¬†good portrayals of multiracial people in media. And let me tell ya: there ain’t many. While I have seen more books featuring multiracial protagonists lately, I’ve rarely seen #ownvoices stories written by actual multiracial people. I’ve also seen a lot of the “tragic mulatto” trope, a harmful trope which, in the words of Wikipedia, depicts ” an archetypical mixed-race person (a ‘mulatto’), who is assumed to be sad, or even suicidal, because they fail to completely fit in the ‘white world’ or the ‘black world’. As such, the ‘tragic mulatto’ is depicted as the victim of the society in society divided by race, where there is no place for one who is neither completely ‘black’ nor ‘white’.” For me, I view this trope as very harmful because instead of empowering multiracial people to accept all parts of who they are, it implies that we are simply fragments and percentages who will never fit in with anyone.

So this week, I wanted to focus on books that I a)¬†know have gotten multiracial rep right or b)¬†hope that they will get the multiracial rep right, based on what I know about the book and/or the author. So let’s jump right in!

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15749186Title:¬†To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Diverse Element: Multiracial (Korean/White) Main Character

#OwnVoices: Yes…And¬†No. While Han¬†is Korean herself, I do not believe that she is multiracial.

Goodreads Summary:¬†To All the Boys I‚Äôve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Why I Loved It: Aside from possibly being the most adorable YA contemporary series to exist, the¬†To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is also one that I think¬†really gets multiracial life right. First off, the series doesn’t use the “tragic mulatto” trope. Lara-Jean, the main character, and her sisters¬†never question who they are or where they belong,¬†not once. Second off, Han never makes Lara-Jean and her sisters “choose a side.” Instead, Lara-Jean and her sister seamlessly integrates their Korean heritage and their White-American culture together, creating¬†a unique blend tailored to them, accepting and nurturing¬†all parts of their heritage.¬†And finally,¬†the series also perfectly exhibits how multiracial families integrate and honor the different parts of their heritage. The Song-Covey girls’ Korean mother died when Lara-Jean and her sisters were just children, so they now live with their White-American single father. Throughout the book, the girls’ father seamlessly integrates and honors the girls’ Korean heritage, without ever acting like it’s a big deal–because it’s¬†not a big deal for them, it’s just normal. The girls’ father frequently takes them to visit their Korean side of the family, celebrates Korean holidays with the girls and their Korean side of the family, honors Korean traditions, and even makes (admittedly much too salty!) Korean food for the girls.

All of these things are normal, everyday aspects of being multiracial and living in a mixed race family. It’s the little details Han placed in the series with such care and respect that make the difference, taking the representation from average too¬†superbly stellar, out-of-this-world amazing! If you want to learn what it’s like to be multiracial and to live in a mixed race household, then definitely add this series to your TBR!

tbr1

22838927Title: The Steep And Thorny Way

Author: Cat Winters

Diverse Element: Multiracial (Black/White) Main Character

#OwnVoices: No

Goodreads Summary: Scene: Oregon, 1923.

Dramatis personae:

Hanalee Denney, daughter of a white woman and an African American man

Hank Denney, her father‚ÄĒa ghost

Greta Koning, Hanalee’s mother

Clyde Koning, doctor who treated Hank Denney the night he died, now Hanalee’s stepfather

Joe Adder, teenage boy convicted of accidentally killing Hank Denney

Members of the Ku Klux Klan

Townspeople of Elston, Oregon

Question: Was Hank Denney’s death an accident…or was it murder most foul?

Why This Book Has Me Excited:¬†A historical novel that’s a Hamlet retelling and which features a multiracial protagonist? Hi, there! Sign me up,¬†like,¬†immediately, please and thank you! I don’t¬†think I’ve seen/read many¬†historical fiction novels that have a multiracial main character. I don’t usually go for historical fiction but I like the mystery/thriller and potential paranormal aspects that it sounds like this one has. I don’t have much to say on this one as I haven’t read it (yet) and haven’t heard much about it, but I’m eager to read it and to see how the representation pans out.

tbr2

31450960Title: Song of The Current

Author: Sarah Tolscer

Diverse Element: Multiracial (Black/White) Main Character

#OwnVoices: No

Goodreads Summary:¬†Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn‚Äôt spoken her name yet‚ÄĒand if he hasn‚Äôt by now, there‚Äôs a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo‚ÄĒan arrogant courier with a secret‚ÄĒand without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

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Tolscer credits multiracial (Black/White) model Sabina Karlsson as physical inspiration for her main character, Caro.

Why This Book Has Me Excited: I was interested in this pirate fantasy before I knew it had a diverse element, but learning that the main character is multiracial (like me) has added a whole new layer of excitement. I’d made it five pages into the ARC and was already imagining the edits/graphics/aesthetics I could create, so I decided to check Tolscer’s Pinterest board for inspiration. I was giddy to find a ton of pictures of multiracial (Black/White) model Sabina Karlsson pinned and labeled “Caro” (which is the main character’s name in¬†Song of the Current)! Just to check I decided to tweet Tolscer to confirm that Caro¬†is¬†mixed race and Tolscer confirmed it and added that she sincerely hoped she got the representation right.

I’m¬†so, so, so excited to see a Black/White multiracial character and¬†in a¬†fantasy novel to boot! We have so little representation in fantasy unless it’s like “oh she’s half European-inspired elf and half European-inspired human–so fantasy multiracial, so diverse [despite the fact that the elves and the humans are both European inspired]!” *eye roll* But I digress. The point is that there’s a multiracial character (who looks like me! with the Black facial features, lighter skin tone, and big, curly hair!) and she’s in a fantasy novel written by an author who seems sincerely interested in getting the multiracial representation right! I have high hopes for this one!

So that’s all for this week’s segment of Diversity Spotlight Thursday! If you want to add some books with multiracial main characters to your TBR, check out my Goodreads shelf dedicated to the topic! And tell me in the comments–have you read any books with good multiracial representation?

fun

Obsession Confession | Dear White People, Put Wax Tarts in Your Castle on the Hill

Hey, y’all! Another week has sped by and we’ve come, yet again, to the time for your favorite segment of the week–Obsession Confession! Happy belated Easted to those who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Well, let’s not delay any longer! It’s time for me to “confess” all of my newest obsssions!

Music

I feel 100% certain that I am¬†the last person on Earth to discover Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill.” But I did discover it¬†eventually, which is the point! And once I heard it, I fell in love, of course!

Movies/TV/Trailers

Sense8 Season 2’s¬†trailer was released and I am¬†ridiculously excited!¬†Sense8 was my favorite show of 2015 and after a two year wait, I am¬†beyond ready to find out what’s going to happen to all of the sensates!

In other news, the Thor: Ragnorak trailer also dropped! It’s hilariously and delightfully 80s, down to the costuming and music. I have yet to watch any of the¬†Thor¬†movies, but I can still appreciate how exciting and funny this trailer is!

But wait! there’s¬†more! Just the other day, we finally got a teaser trailer for¬†The Last Jedi! Of course, the internet promptly exploded. The trailer has reignited my newfound love of¬†Star Wars and has me buzzing with excitement for this winter!

Aaaand I’m still not done! Netflix’s new series¬†Dear White People (based on the movie) got a trailer and,¬†damn,¬†it is¬†on point! I can already tell that this show is gonna be hit with me and I’m hoping and praying others will put their judgments aside and give the show a try.

Other Stuff

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I’ve graduated from bookish themed candles up to bookish themed wax tarts! I decided I wanted to give wax tarts as try as they’re a cheaper addiction i the long run, so for Easter, my mom got me a tart burner and some wax tarts themed around¬†Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and¬†Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones! The¬†tarts smell absolutely¬†heavenly and I ca’t wait to melt them!

News

The big news of the week was that Maggie Stiefvater’s¬†The Raven Cycle is coming to the silver screen! That’s right, folks, it’s being adapted for TV!

ALSO! The cover for Leigh Bardugo’s¬†The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales And Dangerous Magic¬†was revealed and it is¬†gorgeous!¬†The Language of Thorns is a collection of fairytales from the grishaverse illustrated by Sarah Kipin.

So…erm…Jude Law will be playing a young Albus Dumbledore in the¬†Fantastic Bests And Where To Find Them franchise? I’m not really sure how I feel about this…I’ve only seen Jude Law in that really kooky adaptation of¬†Sherlock Holmes which starred Robert Downey Jr., and Law’s performance was…kinda weird? So yeah, I’m not totally on board with him playing Dumbledore, but we’ll see I guess!

Lila, reviews

Diabolically Delightful | Five Reasons To Read…The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

26836910Title: The Diabolic

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Narrator: Candace Thaxton

Running Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Rating: ‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź

Goodreads Summary:¬†Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila and today I’m here to share my thoughts on¬†The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid with you! Despite the fact that it took me a¬†eternity to finish this book due to my book slump, I really¬†did love it!¬†The Diabolic is one heck of a wild ride, filled with twists and turns, suspense, intrigue, and romance! So without any further ado, here are five things I loved about¬†The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid…

1. Et tu, Brute?

The Diabolic‘s the name, backstabbing’s the game!¬†The Diabolic is all about politics and deceit and betrayal and it’s absolutely¬†fascinating to watch these elements unfold! Everyone is playing a power game and you realize pretty quickly that there’s no character you can trust. If you love the intricacies of politics, this is the book for you!

2. Love Or Lies?

I loved how,¬†to the very last word of the book, Kincaid has you questioning almost all of the relationships that the characters form. You never know if characters are allies or enemies. The only character you can be certain of is Nemesis, because you are inside her head. But when it comes to the relationships Nemesis forms, you really don’t know how the other person truly feels.¬†Plus, the relationships change at the whims of characters’ schemes, adding an additional layer of complexity. The intricacy of all of the relationships between characters and how the characters manipulate the threads connecting them to each other is so interesting.

3. Catching Feelings

I adored the characters! In particular, I loved Nemesis and Tyrus! Nemesis was so strong and I loved how we saw that while the world thought she was just some emotionless creature, she really had such depth of emotion and love. One of the things I like about Nemesis is that she’s a¬†dynamic character. We watch her constantly growing, changing, and evolving on the page. She begins the book one way and ends the book a different person.

And Tyrus! *Swoon*! I¬†loved him! He¬†was so intelligent and cunning and calculating. I love how he was a well-rounded love interest, with his own motives (some of which we know and some of which we may not know). I also liked how we saw that Tyrus wanted change and wanted to do right by his people, but he was also willing to be ruthless in order to get just that. It brought up the great, old moral question: how much bad are you willing to do for the greater good and do the ends justify the means? Further, I liked how Kincaid made us question Tyrus right up to the last word! We’re lead to always feel¬†some unease about his character and I like that we never know whether or not he’s truly on Nemesis’s side.

4. A Galaxy Far Away

The world was absolutely¬†fascinating!¬†The Diabolic is set far in the distant future, presumably in a different galaxy. But Kincaid doesn’t just build an interesting setting–she also has created a fascinating society, one in which gods are worshipped and knowledge is banned. In many ways, though the society of¬†The Diabolic has progressed¬†technologically, they have regressed in culture and attitude, creating a¬†fascinating¬†dynamic. I could study this world all day long and never get bored and¬†that’s what shows me that Kincaid has done not just a mere¬†good job in world building, but a¬†great one!

5. Choose Your Own Adventure

The Diabolic was originally intended to be a standalone and can be read as such. It’s not like other “standalone” books where there’s an open ending. Instead, the end of¬†The Diabolic wraps up¬†all of the threads of the story!¬†Or you can read¬†The Diabolic as the first installment in a series, as the publisher bought two more books following the same characters! It’s completely up to you!

Juuuust In Case, Some Things That Might Make You Say “No Way!”…

  • There is a short scene of attempted sexual assault.
  • There is¬†a lot of graphic violence in this book.¬†A lot.
  • There is a¬†single diverse character, a lesbian side character. ¬†There are two problems that I found with the representation in¬†The Diabolic, although¬†please note that¬†I am a heterosexual, cisgender female and therefore am not the best person to speak on this. That being said, I feel like if the representation was poor enough that even I, a¬†heterosexual, cisgender reviewer, notice it, then it’s probably really problematic. Okay, so I’ll move on to telling you the two issues I had. First of all, the lesbian character’s identity is used as a plot point and glossed over as simply “unrequited love” that Nemesis, the heterosexual, cisgender main character, ¬†now awkwardly “has to deal with.” That’s my first problem, which leads into my¬†second problem which is that at the end, Kincaid kills off the lesbian character as a way of catalyzing the actions of Nemesis, the cisgender, heterosexual protagonist. To me, it felt cheap to first use the lesbian character’s identity as a plot twist and then to (pretty promptly) just kill them off. That’s just me, though.

So all in all, I really enjoyed¬†The Diabolic and I can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for our cast of characters!

Thoughts In A Gif

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About Me, fun, Lila

Lila Does The “Anything But Books” Tag

I’ve seen this tag floating around and I figured, since it’s been a while since I’ve made any posts with fun fun facts about me, I’d jump on this tag! Now, I must warn you…what you are about to read is very,¬†very nerdy. You have been warned! Now let’s get this show on the road!

1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

Uh oh, it’s already¬†confession time…My confession is that sadly, I’ve never really liked cartoons, save for Disney movies, which I’m not sure if those count? If they do, then my favorite Disney movies are¬†Mulan and¬†Pocahontas.

2. What is your favorite song right now.

I’ve had “Human Touch” by Betty Who on repeat for the past few weeks and, miraculously, I’m still not sick of it!

3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

I could spend ages just singing, making art, learning new skills, and/or socializing!

4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Something that everyone (even my irl friends) save for my mom seems surprised by is that I enjoy listening to hip hop and rap, especially from 90s artists like Tupac, Arrested Development, and Digable Planets. I think this surprises people because I’m an opera and jazz/blues singer, so people think I only like classical music. But, no. I like all music, even rap!

5. What is something unnecessarily specific you like to learn about?

Anything science related! I love any and every branch of science and I love learning new science stuff! I can’t help it–I’m a nerd!

6. What is something unusual you know how to do?

I know how to do the lab parts¬†of a basic paternity test, as well as how to analyze the raw data results of the test. Ya know, swab, centrifuge, gel electrophoresis, analyze gel? We did a live lab on how to do it in my IB Biology class in high school…

7. Name something you’ve made in the last year?

My long term project that I began in about February of this year is my journal. It’s a work in progress, but I’m really proud of how it’s coming along so far.

8. What is your most recent personal project?

Myself? Hah! I kid…sort of. I¬†am working on being a bit more organized and put together.

9. Tell us something you think about often.

I often think about the physics of how the universe began and about uniting quantum mechanics and relativity.

10. Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific.

I love¬†the feeling of¬†singing a really heartfelt song–and, for me, there¬†is a very specific physical feeling when I do this. I’ll sing a really emotionally pure sequence and I feel something in my chest, right above my stomach, pang and leap, like my heart is flying. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I know for sure the people who are musicians and who consider music more than a hobby¬†can relate to what I’m talking about.

So Those Are All The Quirky Facts About Me That You’re Getting Today! Thanks For Sticking Around! And Tell Me An Oddly Specific Favorite Thing Of Yours In The Comments! SMuch Love And TTYL! ūüíó

 

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Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer Blog Tour | Mood Board + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, y’all, it’s Lila and today I’m bringing y’all something special! A mood board for Lexa Hillyer’s new book,¬†Spindle Fire (in stores now!), and a GIVEAWAY (US ONLY–sorry international peeps)! Lexa’s newest book is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which I think is really nice because we haven’t seen many retellings of that tale. The book has magic and fae and sisterly love–so, ya know, basically everything you need for a good story! So check out my mood board for¬†Spindle Fire and the other tour stops and then hurry on over to your local bookshop and grab a copy! You won’t regret it!

Spindle Fire Mood Board

BeFunky Collage

About Spindle Fire

30163661Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

Amazon | B&N  

About Lexa Hillyer

unnamedLexa Hillyer is the co-founder of Paper Lantern Lit, former YA editor, and author of Proof of Forever. Lexa is also an award-winning poet: Her first collection, Acquainted with the Cold, won the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize as well as the 2012 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. Her poetry has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2012, and has appeared in several journals. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

THE GIVEAWAY!

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies of SPINDLE FIRE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For More, Visit The Other Tour Stops:

4/3: Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspirations

4/4: Ex Libris – Review

4/5: The Irish Banana Review – Makeup Inspirations

4/6: Reads All the Books – Review

4/7: In Wonderland – Guest Post

4/10: Book Scents – Review

4/11: The Fake Steph – Q&A

4/12: Swoony Boys Podcast – Review

4/13: The Bookkeeper’s Secret – Mood Board

4/14: The Story Sanctuary – Review

book fashion, fun, Lila

Literary Looks | The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also A Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Goodreads Summary: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I‚Äôve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents‚Äô high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store‚ÄĒfor both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

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