Ahh. The second month of the year. Also known as “the season of buying overpriced roses and buying discount chocolate”. Also, Chinese New Year! 🈷️🍊🍊🈸
🎆🏮 (belated) GONG XI FA CAI & XIN NIAN KUAI LE! 🏮🎆
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Didn’t finish my stack of short books again… But I was reading longer books too so I think that’s a good enough reason!!!!!!!! Maybe March will be the month I finish the stack and finally get to dive headfirst into my Unread section of my home library, as well as local library.
I also thought of doing a mid month book haul post, as I got a bunch of library books as -*well as bought a few second hand ones, but it’s now march so… it doesn’t…. feel like… there’s…. much……. point…………
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UFO IN HER EYES
by Xiaolu Guo 🚲🈲👲
This is was 100% a case of being lured in by a pretty cover and exciting title. WARNING: Not really about UFOs. Or SciFi for that matter. Well, sort of. It kinda reads like a dystopian novel even though it could basically be describing – to a certain degree – what life is like as a poor farmer in China right now. I think that was the point anyway. It felt very Orwellian for certain. Also the use of reports and interviews to tell the story was interesting and always a refreshing change of pace. PROOF that Illuminae wasn’t the first! Heheheh… Anyway, I didn’t buy this book but found it at home so it is likely my sisters book. I must ask her if she ever finished it and what she thought of it if she did…
WATCH YOUR MOUTH
by Daniel Handler ⁉️⚠️✖️
I really wanted to like this. I really really did. But I just couldn’t.. After about 85 pages I decided to skip a bit to see what happens later on and if it got any better, but it didn’t. The second part of the book wasn’t any better. It was just weird.. Too much graphic sex scenes and too much weird talk of incest!!! It was crazy weird I did not like it at all. I guess I only like Daniel Handler when he writes for kids. 😩 – As a result of not finishing this book I’m not letting it count towards my yearly book goal but I’m posting the mini review regardless!!!
GODS BEHAVING BADLY
by Marie Phillips 🎭🏡⛈
Ok so I was pulled into reading this book by the sheer fact that it took Greek gods and put them in a modern setting. In London no less. I mean, Aphrodite is a phone sex operator, Dionysus a DJ and Artemis a dog walker. As someone who loved the Disney Hercules film and it’s TV show as a kid, AND who was so very obsessed with ancient civilisations at around the same time, there was just no way I could not read this book.
BOY I AM SO GLAD I DID. It had a bit of a bumpy start but after a short while it started getting really fun. PLEASE NOTE: There are some graphic sex scenes that although are not very long, like a few sentences at most, they are illustrated enough that if this kind of thing triggers you, you might want to put off reading it. Like I said, they’re not very long and the don’t appear that often, but there are mentions of rape so I don’t want anyone getting badly triggered. So take note and be warned!!!
I DIGRESS! This really is a lot of fun to read if you enjoy this kind of “AU FanFiction” type thing, because this is essentially what the book is. Marie Phillips went, I wonder what would happen if 12 gods from Olympus were stuck in a shitty house in London without the full strength of their powers???.
TL;DR – Read this book if you really love A Midsummer Night’s Dream, seeing as it is very similar in humour and plot in someways OR love the idea of great and powerful beings being forced to live with mortals and as mortals.
by Audrey Chin 💔😢👪
I didn’t hate this book but I also didn’t love it. Most of the stories are either sad or a bit spooky, which obviously makes sense when you take into consideration what the title of the anthology is and the cover art. It definitely helps to understand or relate to the stories more if you understand the cultural context in which they come from, that is to say, if you have either lived in or been to Singapore, you’re likely to feel more while reading this.
That being said, I don’t think people who’ve never been to Singapore or what not will not be able to read and understand this book!! It just might help a bit more that’s all.
Anyway, long review short, it was a good little anthology with some good shorts and some that confused me more than intrigued me. Not really ideal for someone who is kinda always morose or someone who is Not In A Good Place mentally, but maybe it could help them come to terms with their issues…? WHO KNOWS. But I do know that I can’t quite decide if I should part with my copy or keep it..
by Robert Louis Stevenson 🏰🌹❤️
Only bought this because the book mentioned vampires and I am all about that Victorian Gothic. I wasn’t lied to so that was good!! Super short book, obviously as it’s a little black Penguin, so it wasn’t hard to read at all. I might add that these books are useful for people who want to get into the rhythm of reading classic literature but also don’t want to pay a lot of money, if they don’t have an e-reader, or don’t like using them!!
Back to the book: So basically the protagonist is at a fancy house in Spain as a guest of some rich guy called Felipe and his sister and mother. I was under the impression that this guest was a female, considering the way she behaved around Felipe. I WAS WRONG. Turns out it is a guy. Which disappointed me and also intrigued me because when the ‘baddie’ was introduced I thought I was in for some Carmilla type Sapphic vampire fun, but no. Just regular hetero-vampire shenanigans. But then, what about Felipe??? Felipe and this dude seemed to be getting really close!!
Whatever, basically this dude and Olalla, the sister, fell in love within the span of like 2 seconds but ALAS, they cannot be together. Because she is a vampire. Or something like that. Also she thinks he is in love with her BECAUSE she is enchanting as a vampire and not because of who she is. YEAH YOU TELL HIM OLALLA!!
This short was very strange and I’ll probably keep it in my work bag to read again just so I can see if I can make more sense of this or not. But like I said, I’m a sucker for Victorian Gothic especially when vampires are involved. Not bad if you’re like me, not fun if you’re not.
THE LIGHTNING THIEF
[PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS #1]
by Rick Riordan 🔱🐐🎯
I’ve been told like a million and one times to read this dang series or at least the first book and in the year of our lord Beyoncé 2016, I finally read it. I don’t think I would have picked up this book, let alone series, if it weren’t for the fact that the movie piqued my interest in it. I KNOW I KNOW, SUCH BLASPHEMY. But it’s true! I enjoyed the two films enough to consider reading the books!! That being said, I saw the films quite some time ago and have forgotten most of the plot which was probably a good idea since the plot wasn’t too complex. It was pretty easy to guess who was the true antagonist in this installment.
I did enjoy the Greek myth parallels a lot though!! I thought they were super cute and had I read this book at around 10/11 years old, I would have absolutely DEVOURED this series in seconds flat. I gotta say though, cause I watched the films before reading the books, I kept seeing the film actors as the main characters in my head. But I don’t think it’s too bad since they fit pretty well in my opinion.
Not gonna lie, I wasn’t sure if I’d even enjoy this but it is so deceptively fun!!! I read like two thirds of the book in one go because I just couldn’t stop!! Riordans writing is also a delight to read. Somehow he manages to sound just like a kid but not so much that it’s tedious or boring even for a cynical 24 year old. Now I regret not checking out the next book at the same time…
THE BUTTERFLY TATTOO
by Philip Pullman 🐞🔫💡
To be quite honest this was a super let down. I thought it’d be some at least, GOOD writing by Pullman. But nope. It was just meh, ok stuff. I later learned this was from his earlier writing days, so ok fair enough, it’s no Northern Lights/His Dark Materials.
The plot was just so… ??? I don’t know. It had promise but it just fell flat so fast and it felt rushed and like it wasn’t really thought through. At least his writing was fairly engaging..
Even though this book is super short it’s kinda not worth it. I’m glad I just grabbed this at the library because I would have been so sad if I actually bought this..
[THE HUNGRY CITY CHRONICLES #2]
by Philip Reeve 🔩❄️💢
One of my 2016 reading goals was to finish as many book series that I’ve started in years past, as possible. The Hungry City Chronicles is one of those! I never finished it before not because I didn’t like it, but I guess cause I forgot???
In any case, this series is probably one of THE BEST ‘Steampunk’ / Mad Max type series out there. Forget that it’s a YA series, forget that you have to go to the kids section to read it, forget everything and just think about how much you loved Mad Max Fury Road and Firefly and read this damn series.
The first novel was exciting and addicting enough, and this second one just ups the level and REALLY hooks you in. Hester and Tom are now flying around on their own until they pick up an eccentric historian who among many things, claims that we old earth types did not use landfills as a place to dump trash, but a place to worship some kind of god… It’s full of hilarious little dystopic tidbits like this and I love it.
BASICALLY read this if you love dystopias that aren’t super grim-dark, if you loved Mad Max or if you’re looking for some addictive and fun SciFi with an interesting female protagonist.
RED DOT IRREAL
by Jason Erik Lundberg 🔴🐟⌛
I did not know what to expect from this anthology, so I was pleasantly surprised when there were more hits than misses!!
It’s a fun little collection of speculative-SciFi all set in Singapore. There was one really ‘intense’ one that seemed to be like a semi autobiographical story about the author and how he met his wife and kept meeting his daughter from the future who came back in time to try and prevent him from making the mistakes he made in her timeline. It was good but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others, even though it stuck with me well after I finished the book.
My favourite that I wish was longer or more fleshed out was the super short story about how all the landmarks of Singapore came to life to destroy the island. I know it sounds kind of sad, but the imagery is what had me cracking up with laughter. Imagine the Esplanade twin durians curling up into each other and rolling around like Sonic the Hedgehog, picture the 2 Stamford Raffles statues pairing up to stomp on and destroy anything in their path, and just think about what it would be like to see the Merlion jumping into the river only to jump back out again and destroy the Marina Bay and the like.
I WISHED THERE WAS MORE OF THAT STORY. In all it’s a really fun little collection and I’m glad I bought it!! That being said I don’t think it would be as enjoyable for someone who’s never been to or lived in South East Asia, at the very least!!
by Lucy Knisley 🐄🚬👭
Interesting peek into 2 weeks of Lucy Knisley as a 21/22 year old in Paris with her mother. It reads kind of like a diary with drawings more than a graphic novel with a plot, if that makes sense. There’s no cohesive plot here which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just very autobiographical.
SEA OF INK
by Richard Weihe
[TRANSLATOR: Jamie Bulloch] EMOJI
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this novella. I mean, it was interesting enough and kind of felt like a fable more than anything. So I was quite surprised when I found out that it was actually based on a real person from the mid 1600s!! And even though I chose to read the book, it was my sister who bought it originally, so I think I’d like to ask her why she bought it in the first place! All in all, it was an interesting little read that was entertaining enough to keep me reading.