Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - First since 2012

I haven't done a Waiting on Wednesday post since 2012, can you believe it? Today I have my eyes set on a young adult novel from Balzer + Bray that deals with gender fluidity. Come on in and read more about it.


Today I am giving a spot in the limelight to a debut novel titled Symptoms of Being Human, written by Jeff Garvin. Gavin is, among other things I am sure, an author, a rocker, an actor, a husband and a Californian. The novel is a story where the main character is gender fluid and blogging about it to sort out(and let out) feelings.

What do you think of the cover?


Boy or girl? Yes, I am!


he first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.


Gender fluid - what is that?

Actress and model Ruby Rose made a video trying to explain and in an interview with Huffiongton Post she explain what gender fluidity is for her. Read the interview here.



Being gender fluid, as far as I know(before reading the Ruby Rose interview), means that a person does sometimes feels more like one of the sexes than the other, sometimes something in between. It has nothing to do with genitals or sexuality. To some this might be difficult to understand and I think it is fair to say, even though I have yet to read the novel, that Jeff Garvin is contributing to help people be more aware and understanding of others with his upcoming young adult novel. I applaud him for it.

Have you read other novels where the main character is gender fluid? Let me know in a comment.

7K - a band

Jeff Gavin, the author of before mentioned novel, was front man, guitarist and lead singer in the band 7K. Here is one of 7K's songs which I think is rather sweet and perfect for summer. I cannot brag about having a perfect summer day here where I live in Norway today. Summer is in hiding and it is pouring down from above.



Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
is set to hit the stores February 2nd 2016. Published by Balzer + Bray.


What are you waiting for this week?

"Waiting On" Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This event spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Please visit Jill's blog to find out what other book bloggers are waiting for.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

My pet peevs: The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

A lost princess, a breach in a magical barrier, Keepers with an affinity one of the four elements and a handsome Lord. This is The Storyteller, more or less.


Click the Goodreads button to read more about The Storyspinner.


The Storyteller is a high/historical fantasy novel with all of the classical ingredients. Team good vs. team bad, ordinary people vs. people with magical abilities. Nothing new there really, but I still enjoyed the story. I have to underline my liking of the novel before I start listing my pet peeves, because I did enjoy the story and I want to read the sequel. Alas there are things to be said about the story and the use of language that is not positive.

The Edward Cullen complex

Why did the heroine of the story have to fall for the guy who throw punches before using his vocabulary? He beat you up girl, there is no excuse for that even if he thought you were a thieving boy. His brother is so much nicer! I cannot forgive the author for this, and I feel it sends out all the wrong signals to young girls. Never forgive a guy that punches you in the face.

A smile curled the corner of his mouth. “But if you can think of a way to sneak me out, I’d love to go slumming with you.” “I’ll think on it.” She didn’t mention that she had a mother and older brother who kept her far from the pubs and inns, fairly trapping her at their wagon. “Although,” Dom said, his face suddenly serious. “We couldn’t really call it slumming. I bring the quality of everyone up a few notches.” Johanna laughed and caught a glimpse of Brynn’s grim face as she added scented oil to the lanterns bracketed around the room.


Words belonging to another era


Also I found some words that I reacted to, like the use of the word cupcake(did you know the word cupcake was first used in 1826? It is so according to Wikipedia). It felt totally misplaced in this kind of fantasy setting:

Other young ladies and at least one lady’s maid speckled the ground around her like cupcakes fallen from a tray.


An exotic girl 


Why does a woman of color have to be described as exotic just because she isn't white? Or? Don't use the word exotic to describe people and I think you'll be alright, Wallace. Lots of bloggers and authors have written about the use of the word exotic before - here is useful advice.
Maribelle shook the maid away and ran her fingers through her hair, letting it cascade down her back. She was beautiful. And exotic. And noble.

Seeing the paragraph above in combination with this sentence makes it even worse:
The girl was attractive in an obvious way, petite and fair-skinned, with small hands and delicate features. Pira wanted to hate her, but she had to give Johanna credit for a toughness that belied her size.

I am sure that the author has just been a bit thoughtless here and meant no harm, but it is best just to avoid setting people against each other like this based on skin tone. The tone of ones skin is not what makes a person more or less beautiful, kind. mean or any other personal trait.


Cliches and body perfection focus:


I am just fed up with perfection, nothing wrong with being perfect but the world isn't like that. Please spread body positive vibes instead please, for both boys and girls alike.

Her bare legs were pale and well shaped against the dark gray river rocks.

The evening stars crowned his dark head with pinpoints of light, casting a shadow over his eyes. The effect was stunning, highlighting his straight nose and full mouth.

The sun glinted off the planes of his high cheekbones, kissing his face with morning light.

All the negatives aside, Wallace did a good job with her story. I was hooked from the beginning and when I felt my interest starting to fall it was always a new hook there to keep me reading. It is not just the main character of this story that is a storyspinner. I am looking forward to more books from Becky Wallace and I hope my advice will be taken into consideration so there is no pet peeves to be seen in the sequel ;)

Have you read The Storyspinner?
What did you like/dislike about it?
Do you agree with my pet peeves or do you think I am overreacting?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tag: Burn, rewrite or reread?

A keeper? A book that needs to be rewritten?
A book to burn, so that you can keep you warm on a cold winter night?!





Image courtesy of Debby from Snuggly Oranges book blog.
Not to be used without permission.


Last summer booktubers Lauren Ann and WhittyNovels invented this fun book tag called burn, write or reread. Let the book battle begin! 



I have chose nine random YA novels from my Read shelf on Goodreads and dived them into groups of three. They all battled for the reread victory, the outcome was inevitable only three books could be left standing. 

Round one:
(Click the cover if you want to check out my original review)





Burn:
Sorry Sophia Lowell! fun and cute as these reads are I can watch the show instead!



Rewrite:

This one was easy! The main character in Lipstick Laws was taken under the wings of the popular girl, she very much wanted everyone to love her. Then she turned around and treated the sweetest guy like shit, just the way she felt the in crowd treated her. Talk about irony. I would have wanted to change that and the love interest would have to go - soooorry!

Reread:


So much for easy, I have to eat my words now. Maureen Johnsen in all honesty I would have wanted this to go in the rewrite pile as well, but that spot was already taken. Reread it is then. I appreciate the authors effort to keep it historical accurate and I loved the flashbacks to the main characters eccentric family.


Round two:




Burn:
Angelfall was such a surprising read, in a good way. Action filled and addictive, pure entertainment not too much substance for that this dystopia have to go. The competition in this round was just too hard.



Reread:

All I really want to say is that more people need to read this excellent UKYA novel by Dave Cousins. Waiting for Gonzo was laugh out loud funny as well as addressing some serious teen issues. I heart this novel, and I feel like I need to buy a physical copy in addition to the audiobook I own. Do you by any chance know Carter from Brent Crawford's novels

Who wants to see a book trailer where the author wears a fake mustache?! I knew you would be interested, here you go mye friend. 





I will forever be curious as to what band Dave was playing in, his style in the video makes me think I would have liked the music. Rediscovering Gonzo with this tag made me aware of Dave's new MG novel, which I of course had to buy. So careful when you do this tag, it might have consequences for your TBR pile.



Rewrite:


Sorry, sorry, sorry and sorry again Laura Buzo. I have been 15 years and in love too, just like Amelia! In Amelia's case a relationship is out of the question, in my case we are still together. The guy Amelia meets at work in the grocery store is such a sweet guy, and the story is just about their everyday life and some feelings, ya know. No, not boring at all! This was such a bittersweet read and in truth not all that far from hijacking the reread tag. If I were to rewrite this novel it would be with a guarantee that there was to be a sequel. Pretty please, Laura, I am begging you.

Round three:




Burn:
Starcrossed! I was not a huge fan of Angelini's verson of The Cullen family, sorry Josephine. That being said I appreciated the Greek mythology in this novel. Lazyness came over me so I am adding the burn arguments from my review:
(...)the love story that was a bit of a let down. I couldn't feel the chemistry also I'm going to be very honest; I'm a bit tired of the "girl meets boy, boy and girl has to break up even though they are madly in love each other"- formula.



Rewrite:

The Betryal of Maggie Blair was in truth a fine historical YA. My only complaint would be that Maggie, the main character, was too free for a woman of her time. I could not buy in to just that part of the story. The novel is set in Scotland during The Killing Time, a time period I knew nothing about before reading Elizabeth Laird's novel.

Reread:


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a novel often challenged, narrow minded people feel that the story is unsuitable for teens. I find that incomprehensible. If you have yet to read the book you should know that in truth this is a realistic, gripping and believe it or not humorous young adult contemporary about a young girl working her way back to life after being raped.

Speak is an important read for all genders alike. You get to travel inside the head of a young girl, you experience how life can feel, how this kind of secret tears on the inside of a person and changing his or hers personality. I was never sure what ending I could expect from Speak. A fine book and it has been turned into a movie with Kirsten Stewart as the main charactere Mel.

So there you have it, three rounds of book battle, some easier than others. Thanks to Christina from A Reader of Fiction for challenging her readers. I challenge you to do the tag as well, if you like.