The moment I took Illuminae out of the mail package, something about this book inherently excited me. It’s a chunky monster, with this really interesting plastic semi-sheer cover that peeks at what looks like censored documents underneath.

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And when you open it up, the book is sheer artistry, with pages devoted to the most interesting, chaotic, and artful typography. This is more than a reading experience, it’s a visual experience.

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Continue reading “Illuminae | AKA THE MOST PERFECT BOOK”


More Happy Than Not | A Book So Good I Don’t Want to Review It


My feelings on Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not accurately summed up in .gif form:


This is one of those books you don’t even want to talk about, if that makes sense. I read this book during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and knew basically nothing about it going in — I knew it was LGBT, kind of a contemporary SciFi, and there was something akin to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in the plot: an organization that is promoting a new “medical cure” — a procedure which erases people’s memories to cure them of PTSD, forget abuse, even change certain aspects of their personality by erasing the memories associated with them.

The basic story is this: while the main character Aaron is reeling from his father’s suicide, living in a crappy, impoverished inner-city neighborhood, and basically scraping to get by, he begins to question his sexuality. And as the stark reality of what this life means in a neighborhood like his really sets in, he decides he wants to have his memories erased in the hopes that he can chemically remove this part of him.

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY EXCEPT THIS BOOK IS SO, SO, SO GOOD. I DEVOURED IT. CRAMMED HANDFULS OF IT IN MY MOUTH AND CRUNCHED IT UP AND GULPED IT DOWN. I didn’t want to close this book. I didn’t want to blink while reading. (Which, considering it was a 24 hour readathon, was kinda perfect.) This is one of those books you don’t want to be spoiled for, because the fun is in the journey, in discovering the rules and games and folds of this world, and wondering what the main character is going to do and how he’ll survive.

More Happy THan Not has been compared to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe, and I think it’s a perfect mishmash of them all. Interesting, fast-paced, has Sunshine’s scary memory-deleting organization, that kind of Memento feel of the reader trying to piece the plot together as the character tries to do the same, and the Ari and Dante beauty of a wonderfully written LGBT read. I cannot recommend it more.

5/5 stars

The Marvels | Just Perfect.

I am a huge fan of Brian Selznick, absolutely loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, but I’ll admit I don’t closely follow his career. I found out about The Marvels while scrolling through Tumblr; someone had posted a book stack with a book that had the Selznick trademark spine — a beautiful illustration of a sliver of a someone’s face.

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guh. these things are so beautiful lined up together on a shelf. also, you can’t tell, but this book has gold-trimmed pages! GOLD. I love me some impeccable production quality.

I immediately went into a conniption fit of “HE WROTE ANOTHER BOOK????” and jetted over to Amazon to find it. To my shock, amazement, and suspicion, the book had terrible reviews. To my memory, Hugo and Wonderstruck were 5 star masterpieces and the reviews reflected this, but The Marvels had tons of 1 and 2 star reviews!

This struck me as strange, so I started reading through the poor reviews to see what was up. There, I encountered some … interesting complaints.

Things like “this is a children’s book, not Brokeback Mountain.”


Apparently, this book had gay characters. And apparently, that was enough for a whole slew of people to leave hateful, distasteful reviews calling for the book’s banishment and boycott.

I’ve never bought anything so fast in all my life.

Continue reading “The Marvels | Just Perfect.”

“I ordered pizza, not … trout.” When A Book Promises One Thing and Delivers Another | A Review of ‘A Madness So Discreet’

I stand at the doorway, staring at the delivery boy. He looks back at me with perfect seriousness. An hour ago, I called the pizza place and asked for a large pepperoni and black olive pie. I’m expecting gooey, melted cheese, spicy pepperoni, a golden brown crust.

He’s holding a dead fish in his hands. And I’ve already paid for it over the phone, so I really can’t do anything but take the fish and figure out what the hell I’m supposed to do now.


madnessI received A Madness So Discreet in my October OwlCrate box, the first time I tried out the bookish subscription service. I’ll admit, I’m always leery of books that come in subscription boxes — I canceled my BookRiot Quarterly box months ago because I never liked the books that came with it (and because it was way overpriced for the paltry few items you’d get.) But, when I checked out this book’s description, I was tentatively excited — a woman trapped in a mental institution is let out to help a brilliant doctor solve crimes? There are so many ways for this to go right.

Turns out, there were also many ways for this to go wrong. This book baited and switched me, I think. I picked up what I thought was pizza and bit into cold fish.


Continue reading ““I ordered pizza, not … trout.” When A Book Promises One Thing and Delivers Another | A Review of ‘A Madness So Discreet’”

You want a creepy scary story that’ll make you never want to go outside again??? // Bird Box: A Review

birdboxI forgot to post a culminating update for the TBR Takedown Readathon, but the last book I read for that was Bird Box by Josh Malerman—and omg, we have to talk about this book.

First of all, this book was so scary. I had the absolute pleasure of reading it straight through on a really dreary, damp day, where I sat out on the front porch for hours surrounded by gray clouds and stormy wind – it was the perfect atmosphere for scaring the bejesus out of myself.

Continue reading “You want a creepy scary story that’ll make you never want to go outside again??? // Bird Box: A Review”