Book Reviews

Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan: How Can Something with So Much Magic be So Boring?

♦Warning: This review contains major sass and minor (possible) spoilers.♦ 

I told you the 100-Rule would return, and this book here is the very reason it exists.

First Impressions

Dany (née Andy) is a pre-teen boy on the cusp of puberty with a helicopter mom and a marmalade-selling dad who has begun sleeping on the couch. On an impromptu trip to a carnival, Andy enters a mirror maze and becomes trapped inside the mirror, while his reflection–the changeling version of him–goes home with his parents. Meanwhile, Andy is renamed Dany (because mirrors) and rescued from the mirror by manic-pixie-dream-trapeze-artist Mona. He is then a part of the carnival forever and slowly, ever so slowly, begins to learn the secrets of the carnies’ magical existence.  Continue reading “Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan: How Can Something with So Much Magic be So Boring?”

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Picky Reader Rules

Picky Reader Rules Part 1: The 100-Rule

Hi,

My name is Jenna and I’m a picky reader.

I describe myself as a book worm, but I’m not one of those bookworms who loves all books unconditionally just because they exist. I’m also not one of those people who has to finish every book she starts.

As a writing student, I’ve become very aware of when a piece of writing misses the mark, and it’s grating. I’m also a fairly slow reader, so committing to a book is a big deal, and I refuse to have my time wasted.

To relieve my FOMO, when trying to decide if a book is worth continuing or even starting in the first place, I’ve developed a few rules that I rarely break.

In this series, I’ll be sharing my rules with you, my fellow reader.

Continue reading “Picky Reader Rules Part 1: The 100-Rule”

Book Reviews

The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams: Of all the juice joints in all the world…

First Impressions

The Wicked City, by Beatriz Williams is a master-class in voice, so much so that it distracts the reader from the shortcomings of the plot.

This title stars Ginger (Gin) Kelly, a flapper in the 1920’s, who finds herself inside a spy thriller, helping to take down her comically evil bootlegger step-dad. And Ella, a woman scorned by the infidelity of her husband in a version of 1998 where everyone has a cell phone.

Continue reading “The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams: Of all the juice joints in all the world…”

Book Reviews

The Girls by Emma Cline: Non-Fictional Nostalgia for a Fictional Past

First Impressions

The Girls, by Emma Cline follows Evie Boyd as she comes of age in the era of free love.

In 1969, at the age of 14, and while coping with her parents’ divorce, Evie sees a group of “counter-culture” girls at the park and falls in love with the dark-haired Suzanne, who exudes confidence in her own body and her ability to use her sexuality to her advantage. This begins Evie’s journey to “the ranch,” and her involvement in the cult that follows Russell—a man with a Napoleon complex and a dream of a record deal. From here she engages in sex and drugs until a murder changes everything.

While I tend to approach first novels with apprehension. The Girls was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The pictures Cline paints allow the reader to feel everything alongside Evie, and it’s captivating. Whenever I put the book down, I found myself craving the magical place that was the ranch. When the illusion wears off for Evie, I craved what the ranch once was.

Continue reading “The Girls by Emma Cline: Non-Fictional Nostalgia for a Fictional Past”