Mr. Fox || A Book Review

This review is going to end up being another “this book was published in 2011 and I AM SO MAD AT MYSELF FOR NOT READING OYEyemi’s work sooner” kind of a review. So, you’ve all been warned ahead of time.

Mr. Fox is a novel that weaves in and out of itself, it tells the drama that is Mr. St John Fox, Daphne Fox, and Mary Foxe’s “love triangle,” with brief fable-like interludes that examine the ins and outs of entering relationships, failing relationships, and what draws people together. St. John Fox is an author who writes fairy tales that end with the death of the heroine. Daphne Fox is his very real wife, that, as the novel progresses, we discover isn’t secure in her relationship with St. John or in who is as an individual. Mary Foxe is St. John Fox’s muse, and she has grown tired of the heroine always dying in his stories and has taken on a physical form.

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SonOfAWitch! || A Review


I suppose I should start this review by stating that I received a galley of this anthology from World Weaver Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This anthology will be published on 10/3/2017.

SonOfAWitch! is an anthology of six short stories edited by Trish Thompson. When I saw the cover and read the description of this book, I was excited. Witches doing fun things is a perfect way to set the mood for fall when you’re struggling to get into the fall spirit due to global warming. Each story in this collection focuses on a spell gone wrong and the disastrous effects that can have on the witch that cast it or the people surrounding them.

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When Dimple Met Rishi || A Book Review

When-Dimple-Met-Rishi-book-cover

When Dimple Met Rishi cover

When Dimple Met Rishi is YA romantic comedy at it’s finest. The story follows Dimple Shah—a recent high school grad who is excited to start the web-development program at Stanford and to move away from her family and her mother’s obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband”— and Rishi Patel— a hopeless romantic, who is attending MIT in the fall to continue his father’s business, and follows the traditions of his family–through a six week summer program for app-development. Dimple and Rishi’s parents have decided that the two teenagers would be perfect for one another, and they are each attending this camp to meet. Their story starts as many romcoms do with a few spilled drinks, or one drink spilled forcefully over a person’s head… Menon moves the pair through all the trials of young summer love in a fast paced and fun way while letting her characters hold onto who they are at their cores.

I’m not even going to wait until after the cut to say that every single one of you should go get this book and read it. I’ll, of course, tell you more specifically why you should read it at the end of this blog post but, after accidentally reading parts of a few one-star reviews on Goodreads, and hearing some of the critics that were going around about this book a few months ago, I want to encourage you to get this book, to read it, and  I hope my judgements are right and that most people would love this book if given the chance — love it. 

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue || A Book Review


Reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was the most fun I’ve had reading in quite a while. It reminded me what I love about YA fiction and well following Monty, Percy, and Felicity around their Grand Tour on the Continent in the eighteenth century is full of romance, mystery, and pirates—excuse me privateers–and was a blast and a half. Lee made the eighteenth century (the 1700s) accessible, and each of the characters feels like full people.

And before the cut, I need to mention that Monty is very bisexual, and this is not a spoiler because from the get he tells us how in love with Percy he is and later we see him go on jaunts with the ladies. Monty is bisexual! And while that term is not ever used Lee explains at the end of the book that that choice was because the term didn’t exist until the 1800s, and so I can respect that decision. But we’ve got a bi-character ladies and gents, and my bisexual-ass is extra excited about it.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled reviewing, under the cut of course.

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Gork, the Teenage Dragon || A Book Review

 

Cover of Gork, the Teenage Dragon

Cover of Gork, the Teenage Dragon

This novel follows Gork a teenage dragon as he attempts to woo the “luscious chick” Runcita to be his Queen for the EggHarvest, a tradition for teenage dragons before they leave to colonize their own planet to continue the domination of dragon-kind over the rest of the galaxy. Moments of this book were a ton of fun, learning about dragon history from a teenage dragon who just wants to set the record straight was a blast, the tone hit the right amount of disappointment and snark to make a believable teenager: “The most offensive book out there about us dragons is the lunatic ravings of a man-creature that goes by the name of Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien” (4). The world that Hudson has built is fascinating and all encompassing, throughout Gork’s tale he gives us flashbacks to important moments in dragon history. This world creation was the strongest thing about this novel.

 

Spoilers under the cut

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Uprooted || A Book Review

cover of Uprooted

Cover of Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik’s novel Uprooted reads like a Fairy Tale. It follows Agnieszka, who loves her home despite the corruption of the Wood that surrounds it. The people of her village and within the surrounding valley give a young woman to the “Dragon” (human wizard, not a large reptile) as a tribute for their protection from the Wood. Everyone knows that her friend Kasia will be taken, that is until the day of the choosing when he instead takes Agnieszka. The story follows her and the Dragon as they work to protect the kingdom and wage war against the growing Wood. The world created by Novik is all encompassing, and I was most drawn to her depiction of natural places overtaking man-made ones with a vengeance.

SPOILERS BELOW THE CUT

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Bedlam Stacks || A Book Review

Cover of the Bedlam Stacks

Bedlam Stacks is the second novel by Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. I received this galley at Winter Institute 2017 in Minneapolis, and the final book will be released August 1, 2017. It follows injured, ex-East India Company smuggler, Merrick Tremayne as he looks for another adventure while trapped at his home in Cornwall, England. The India Office recruits him to fetch quinine, a treatment for malaria, from deep within Peru. He knows this is a bad idea, but accepts in a last-ditch effort to leave his home and the plotting of his brother to send him into service of the church. He heads off and ends up at a village on the edge of the Amazon where a salt line separates the village from the forest. “Surrounded by local stories of lost time, cursed woods, and living rock” he must work to separate fact from fiction, while earning the trust of the village and more importantly Raphael, a young priest, and entering the woods to get the quinine for the East India Company.

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Modern Romance || A Book Review


In Modern Romance Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg has taken on the ever changing concept of romance in the 21st century with humor and wit and facts. I listened to the audiobook while walking to and from work and had to frequently stop walking to almost double over in laughter (and remembering that I was in public untying and retying my shoe so as to not draw attention to the silent laughs) or walk along with a stupid smile on my face and needing to overcompensate with an almost comical frown.

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What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky || A Book Review

what it meansIn this debut collection of short stories Lesley pulls the reader out of the world they are in and places them into the universe of each story so artfully that coming back to wherever you’re sitting and reading as you finish each story is almost upsetting. These stories focus on what binds us in relationships—parents and children, cousins, neighbors, lovers—and the places that we call home. And even at their darkest moments the world of these stories is compelling, magical, and demands to be read. Many of these short stories look at potential futures, near and distant and how these could affect out personal lives and relationships.

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Exit West || A Book Review

exit westExit West is a novel by Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist (which I’m only mentioning because I read it in a college English course and didn’t realize this was the same author, despite it being printed on the cover, because I listened to this book on audio, but more on that later), published by Riverhead Books in March of 2017, with the audio recorded by Penguin Random House Audio. The story follows lovers Saeed and Nadia as they flee from a war-ravaged city to become refugees in Greece, London, and California. This feels like a very timely story with the refugee crisis, and reactions to it among the global community if magical doors with no set destination were opening in places around the world. This reaction seems to be what I’m hearing about this book, and was all that I knew about it coming into the story.

Before I go under the cut and talk about what I thought of the writing, and this book in general I wanted to mention that this was the first book that I listened to on audio using the OverDrive app. I don’t think I could have asked for a more pleasant re-introduction to audiobooks. Often while listening to podcasts on walks I find my mind wandering and when my attention returns to the show I’ve missed something crucial (the real reason I’ve yet to finish Welcome to Nightvale). While listening to this book on my many walks across the city of Minneapolis it held my attention, and I could enjoy the story without any internal intrusion.

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