The Undead Girl Gang Blog Tour: A Review of Lily Anderson’s Latest Novel

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A big thanks to Friya at Penguin for letting me take part in the Undead Girl Gang blog tour. I’ve been looking forward to Lily Anderson’s book since it’s announcement and I read that fabulous synopsis. From the cover to the plot, there’s all manner of attention grabbing content.

Today I’m sharing with you all my review and the rest of the tour schedule so you can see an array of creativity and insight.

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Published: 8 May 2018

Publisher: Razorbill

Category: Young Adult/Paranormal/Mystery

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

Rating: 5 Stars

The story as a whole has a lot of elements that make for a great read. It’s got deeper themes, such as grief and death (whether referencing murder as an effect on those left behind or on the murder victims), not to mention bullying and racism. There are lighter moments that balance these out without detracting from their messages or seriousness, such as Mila learning how to process losing her best friend or the Mean Girls realizing just what their lives meant to those around them.

Mila’s observations of her small town’s reactions at the funeral bit hard, yet felt wholly accurate. The people that didn’t know Riley in life, the people that bullied her and were cruel on a daily basis, putting on their fake acts like they were her best friends. It was sickening to see and I understood just how Mila felt watching that scene play out. Granted, I’ve never had to deal with the exact situation of having everyone believe in a suicide story when it was actually a murder, but the bigger picture of death erasing all ills, whether those done by the dead or those perpetrated against the dead, is a familiar one.

There are a lot of other examples of Mila calling out the actions of her fellow townspeople, whether mentally for the reader to observe or aloud to their faces, such as in the case of June when they’re discussing what kind of food Mila is to get. June makes a comment about not getting Indian or Thai and wanting “normal” food and Mila takes her down for substituting “normal” for “white”, going on to point out how she’s not only doing so now with the food references, but how she did it on the daily when she was alive in how she talked about other people and anything that wasn’t the way June saw things wasn’t normal (re: white).

I was really happy to read a book about Wicca that didn’t disparage it. I remmeber finding a lot of comfort in the practice when I was Mila’s age and, while not active any longer, the principles of the faith still remain and it means a lot to see it treated pretty respectfully instead of being made into something out of a D-list horror film.

There’s rep in this book that I can’t speak to personally and I recommend checking out other reviews for #ownvoices reviewers re: Latinx representation, Black side character representation, etc. Mila as a plus size character was very blissful because her story was about her living and progressing in the plotline, not about her body and forcing it to change or something like that.

I can’t wait to read more Lily Anderson books because after experiencing her writing in this novel, I’m convinced that she’s an author I’ll want to watch out for new releases from.

About the Author

Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson is a school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU and NOT NOW, NOT EVER. She tweets @ms_lilyanderson.

Tour Schedule

WEEK ONE
April 23 – Darque Dreamer Reads – Review
April 24 – Books and Blends – Review + Book Spotlight
April 25 – Spinatale Reviews – Review + Creative
April 26 – The Book’s Buzz – What three historical women I would bring back to be apart of my undead girl gang!
April 27 – YA Wednesdays – Creative
WEEK TWO
April 30 – Teen Librarian Toolbox – 5 Question Interview
May 1 – Bookstore Finds – Feature on Instagram
May 2 – Howling Libraries – Review
May 3 – The Plot Bunny – Review + Creative Activity
May 4 – The Bookish Actress – Review
WEEK THREE
May 7 – Inkedfables – Playlist
May 8 – The Page Turner Reviews – Review
May 9 – Bookish Connoisseur – Review + Creative Instagram Photo
May 10 – Further West – Review
May 11 – Lacy Literacy – Book Aesthetics
WEEK FOUR
May 14 – The Clockwork Bibliophile – Review
May 15 – Zaira Book Corner – Review
May 16 – Forever and Everly – Review
May 17 – Hermit Librarian – Review
May 18 – Utopia State of Mind – Review + Two Truths and a Lie

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.
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The Hermit Librarian – On Hiatus

This is a very hard post for me to write.

I don’t directly talk about my mental health issues, though I might make an offhand comment here or there. Based on that, I don’t expect many of you to know that the status of my health has been in decline for the past several months, with the last couple of weeks being particularly worrisome and at times frightening.

Due to possible medication complicationa, one which I cannot at this time stop taking, I’m finding it next to impossible to continue blogging as I have been in the past. I’ve been having memory loss, speech problems, and a host of other side effects that I thought would go away but are apparently not. I was ashamed of them and I tried to hide them, but as it becomes apparent that this isn’t stopping, I have to let those close to me and those that read my blog know that I need help. That’s one of the worst parts because I hate doing that.

For the foreseeable future, I will not be able to keep up reviewing or following through with my arc schedule. I apologize to those that might be affected. I will attempt to reach out, but if not, please feel free to email me and touch base if you haven’t heard from me. There is one more scheduled post going up this week on Thursday (Undead Girl Gang Blog Tour) before the hiatus is official, so please return for my review on that day. 🙂

I will try to remain active on Twitter if at all possible. Again, I am so sorry for any trouble this causes anyone, but I need to take some time to figure out what’s going on and to try to heal. Thank you for your understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

Rockstar Book Tour Presents: The CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY Cover Reveal Blitz + Giveaway

A big thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for letting me join them in the cover reveal for Lynn Veevers’ new book,CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY. Lynn’s new YA Fantasy releases June 12, 2018, and alongside the cover reveal today, we’ve got some exclusive content and a giveaway! 

On to the reveal!

 

 

 

Title: CHLOE SHIPTON & THE QUILL OF LEFAY

Author: Lynn Veevers

Pub. Date: June 12, 2018

Publisher: Lynn Veevers

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 263

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

When fifteen-year-old Chloe mysteriously disappears, the rumors at Grammaire Hall point to murder, but spiritual entrapment isn’t the same as dead. In a library that’s believed to be nothing more than a myth, Chloe’s spirit is separated from her body after witnessing another student’s murder. Try as she may she can’t remember what happened to her before she woke up as a spirit in the campus graveyard. As Chloe uncovers clues leading to the mythical library’s location and her body, a secret the Magical Parliament doesn’t want to get out, starts to unravel. Rogue sorcerers have infiltrated the school, intent on reinstating the Third Edict, and sorcery students are dying because of it. Destroyed long ago for horrific crimes against humanity, the return of the Third Edict would spell disaster for both magical and magicless societies. To prevent her own demise and the fulfillment of the Third Edict’s return, Chloe must find a way to reunite body and soul without giving the rogue sorcerers the weapon they need to succeed, a weapon only Chloe can activate.

 

Exclusive Excerpt!

 

The screams ripped at my heart as I listened to the desperation that permeated them, “Please don’t hurt me anymore,” the voice cried, “I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

The girl’s voice in my mind was a familiar one, and not in a good way either. Unwanted concern weaseled its way into my heart because there was genuine pain echoing in her words. I tried shaking off the unsettled emotions her pleas left in their wake and headed toward the librarian’s desk again. I didn’t want to care about whatever jam she’d gotten herself into. Suppressing the guilt that riddled me proved difficult, but for a short time, I was successful. Mrs. Martin checked out my books and the inescapable feelings of guilt kept growing as the desperate cries continued. Finally, my conscience caught up with me

as I reached for the door leading outside. A defeated sigh wiggled its way through my lips, and I cast my eyes upward because I couldn’t ignore this even if I wanted to.

I needed to do the right thing, not because it was my first choice, but because I felt compelled to. My morals demanded nothing less. If someone was in trouble, you tried to help, even if you didn’t like them. That’s what my parents raised me to believe anyway, and so it didn’t make a difference that the girl’s voice belonged to Lydia Nostredame—the single biggest bane of my existence. Hate is a strong word, but my feelings toward Lydia were something dangerously close to that. My gut told me not to get involved, to ignore my conscious and leave instead. Unfortunately, my intuition was next to never wrong. Maybe I should have listened to it. However, my views of right and wrong were a force to be reckoned with, and they weren’t pulling any stops. The two opposing sides battled it out as I stood there with my hand on the knob. After a few moments of inner turmoil, my moral stance won out. So I left the door and headed back into the library. Lydia’s cries ricocheted through my head like a stray bullet looking for a mark. They became tortured screams as I hurried in the direction my mind told me they were coming from.

“Ms. Shipton,” Mrs. Martin said sternly. “We do not run through the Library!”

I cringed at the sharpness of her tone and slowed my pace to appease the librarian. As soon as that same group of snickering girls snagged the stoic woman’s attention, I darted forward. Lydia’s screams had grown to a deafening intensity. Like the tolling of church bells, they drowned out every other sound. The sharp shrill of them poked at my temples, and the pain was worse than any migraine I’d ever had. My feet carried me across the familiar parts of the library and into the further reaches which were seldom ever visited—by anyone. That should have been my first clue.

“Stairs—dark, ominous stairs, of course; why wouldn’t that be the case,” I sarcastically mumbled as I came to a door.

I assumed I’d just never noticed the stairs. After all, I’d only ventured to this part of the library maybe once before. The stair’s door was only partially open but had it been closed I would have thought it was a broom closet. The stairs twisted down into the unknown depths, dimly lit, and narrowing by the second. I was starting to feel as if they might spiral on forever when I finally reached a stone floor. The smell of musty tomes and aged ink filled the stagnant air. There were rows upon rows of shelving easily fifteen feet high. Layers of dust covered sheet draped chairs and tables. Cobwebs, also thick with grime, adorned most everything in this hidden library.

“Please stop, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I swear—I don’t know anything,” Lydia screamed, but it was weaker than before.

I was close enough by then to hear her conventionally. Her voice was drenched in terror and quivering with tears. It echoed and bounced off the milled stone walls of this underground secret I quietly snuck through. Once again my gut adamantly insisted that I turn back, but I stubbornly ignored it. My tendency to be good-natured had baited and lured me into the situation entirely. There would be no turning back no matter how much my intuition screamed at me. I slinked through the columns of shelved books as the feeling of danger settled over my skin like static cling on a warm blanket. I glanced at my arm as goose bumps raced across its tawny surface and the thin layer of peach fuzz stood on end. The sensation sent an unsettling shiver running down the length of my spine. The further in I moved through the rows the thinner the air seemed to become. It felt like I was trying to breathe around a piece of food lodged in my throat. Sweet smelling smoke wafted around me in a lazy wisp as I stood at the edge of a row of books. I recognized the scent immediately as sweet grass, a common reagent used in spells.

 

 

About Lynn

 

 

Lynn Veevers is originally from Washington State. With her mother being from Christchurch, New Zealand and her father being a well-traveled retired Navy Chief, Lynn has always had a fascination with different cultures around the world. An avid reader, she prefers books that take her to a place she’s never been and teach her something new at the same time. The Young Adult Genre is her absolute favorite to read, so it comes as no surprise that it is also her favorite to write. Lynn, on average, pens two to three novels a year with the sequel to Pinnacle in the publishing process now!

Today Lynn lives with her husband and kids in Southeast Oklahoma. Her young adult and adolescent children are supportive and avid beta readers of her work and give her a straightforward and honest point of view about how authentic her characters voices and personalities are for their age group. What better reference than someone close to the same age as the main character. Her kids always have and always will be her greatest inspiration.

 

Giveaway Details

  • One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, International.
  •               Ends May 17th, midnight EST

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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Published: 24 April 2018

Publisher: Feiwel Friends

Category: Young Adult/Mystery/LGBT+

Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to “talk.” Things couldn’t get much worse, right?

But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney.

April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.

Rating: 1 Star

CW: sexual identity slurs, eating disorder comment, sexual assault, drinking/drug use by teens

Mysteries can be really interesting. I’m no stranger to watching them all over Netflix, Hulu, and whatever other streaming site I’ve got access to, not to mention gobbling up books. That’s why I wanted to read White Rabbit: it sounded like a twisty maze of a murder mystery that would grip me from page one.

Oh boy. It was a disappointment and I’m really sore about that. Reading the whole of the book turned out to be more of a duty than an enjoyable experience. The best thing I can say about this is that I can see it being easily adapted to other mediums. With a few tweaks and cleaning up of the more problematic aspects, there’s still a lot of good stuff underneath. However, it was the troubling relationships, the lack of connection, and the pacing that ruined this book for me.

The relationship between Rufus and Sebastian before the book begins and during the majority of the book is, at best, uneasy and at worst toxic. Rufus was outed as gay in the fifth grade and has been dealing with the fallout since then, bullying and the like. Sebastian is terrified of what people would think if they found out he loved Rufus (his identity is unclear: bi, pan, or otherwise). The tension would make sense, but the toxicity comes in when you consider the dependence Rufus shows in regards to their relationship. He said many things that made it seem like Sebastian was the be all of his life and it was more than a little uncomfortable.

 

Dating Sebastian Williams was both the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. In a lot of ways, being with him made me feel as if maybe I’d never really been alive at all before. I was like a violin— an object that hasn’t much purpose until someone touches it, fills it with resonance, draws things from it that it can never produce on its own. Sebastian had been the one to draw music from me, and it’s why the end was so bad; before him, I’d never actually realized how painful the silence was.

 

Sebastian contributed to the toxicity in a few ways. While he and Rufus were dating, he would still be flirting with girls, even knowing that it bothered his boyfriend.

 

It bothered me that Sebastian still flirted openly with girls, even right in front of me, because I knew he still actually liked girls; but I also knew why he felt the need to do it, and I believed all the things he said to me in private— how special I was, how happy I made him, how good he felt when we were together— and so I plastered over my jealousies and let myself fall into him.

 

I understand why he felt the need to keep their relationship private, but knowing how Rufus felt and still doing things like this felt like it contributed to bad stereotypes about bisexual characters. Sebastian isn’t identified as strictly bisexual, though he is coded that way, and these stereotype hints don’t help. It’s distasteful on its own and then Rufus letting him get away with it just adds a whole other level of nose wrinkling frustration.

Sebastian then ends their relationship by ghosting Rufus. He never recognizes or stands up for Rufus when his friends bullied him. He excuses what the bullies do, related to Rufus or not, as being “little kids” back then or just “kids”. Age doesn’t excuse the stuff they did because they were all old enough to know better by this point.

 

“You think maybe I’m in on it.” I respond to the charge with silence, and he states gruffly, “I wouldn’t do something like that, Rufe. Not to you. You know I wouldn’t.” “I don’t know what you’d do,” I shoot back,

 

Even if they weren’t dating, it would have been the decent thing to do. Rufus confronts him about it at one point and Sebastian brushes it off as just something that they do and it doesn’t mean anything. These two didn’t seem healthy for each other and their ending up a couple didn’t sit right. The trust issues that were around before the start and that didn’t have the time to get properly worked on were really serious, as evidenced by the quote above when, after Rufus gets the call from April and thinks it’s an ambush that Sebastian could be in on. You don’t go from something like that to what they do on the night in question and have it be a healthy relationship without a heavy duty dose of therapy or something.

Moving on to Rufus and his half-sister April: whatever he did for her during the course of the book, I cannot believe that he would have so easily let her basically drift into his friend group at the end. Considering the torture that she put him through their entire lives, that her family put him through, it didn’t make any sense. It felt like he was letting those things go and that hurt.

 

Rounding the corner, I walked straight into a trap. April stood against the wall, her blue eyes wide and solemn, and she watched with silent fascination as our older brother Hayden and two of his friends spent the next four minutes beating me into a quivering, bloody pulp at her feet.

 

There were also a few smaller things that bugged me that weren’t really important to the overall story line, but were off just enough that my mind kept coming back, like a loose thread. For example, calling a manga volume by it’s subtitle and then switching to the series title without explanation (only fans of the series would realize what had happened) or when Lia, one of the suspects in the murder, says she used prescription cold medicine to dose someone, but did so at a house where she shouldn’t have had access to such a product (where did she even get it??).

It was really hard to get through the book because I realized around 30% that I didn’t care about anyone. I was semi-curious to find out who the murderer was, so I forced myself to finish, but there was no fun, no enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

Review: After Hours Vol. 2 by Yuhta Nishio

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Published: 12 June 2018

Publisher: VIZ Media

Category: Manga/LGBT+ (Lesbian/Bisexual MCs)

Steaminess level: Pretty hot (explicit scenes)

Emi and Kei are making plans for something big, but first they have to convince Kei’s DJ collective to go along with their wild idea. And with a lot of money on the line, it will take more than just enthusiasm to launch their dream event. But despite finally feeling like she might fit in, Emi’s anxiety and secrets are starting to catch up with her. Will they ruin everything?

Rating: 4 Stars

Emi and Kei’s journey together, and as part of a performing arts group, continues in After Hours Vol. 2.

This second volume picks up right where the first left off. Emi is a new person to the world of DJs and their accompaniments, so her unsureness was understandable. Her anxiety, both regarding  becoming a VJ and her growing relationship with Kei, is a prominent part of the story. There’s a lot of questioning what this new life means for Emi because it’s so new and unlike the life she was living when she met Kei. There are remnants of that person Emi was that she’s kept secret since entering into a relationship with Kei and those secrets cause a lot of tension between the two.

Most of the tension the reader will feel from Emi’s point of view, but there is also a glimpse into how Kei is feeling. Not only does this volume allow the reader to see how much work Kei puts into her events and her music, but it shows her more vulnerable side and how much Emi means to her.

I root so hard for this couple because not only are they learning something from each other, but they are creating a new life where these interests merge and it’s beautiful. The end of this volume has a spectacular, personal scene and the cliffhanger is perfect as I look forward to volume 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Review: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita

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Published: 17 April 2018

Publisher: Kodansha Comics

Category: Manga/Romance/Contemporary

The awkward, romantic comedy manga about geeks in love that inspired the new anime! Can a professional man who’s secretly a hardcore gamer and a woman who’s secretly a fujoshi date without their hobbies getting in the way, or revealing each other’s secrets?

Extra-long book includes 2 Japanese volumes!

Narumi and Hirotaka are, by all appearances, a power couple. They’re young, good-looking professionals. But they have secrets from everyone but each other: They’re serious geeks! Narumi is a fujoshi, and Hirotaka’s a hardcore gamer. Their sweet, awkward love story started life as a webcomic before becoming a full-blown manga series by popular demand, and is about to become a major anime series!work.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

I am a big fan of books that are about characters I can really relate to, such as Genshiken or Lucky Star which feature manga/video game nerds. Wotakoi seemed like a perfect addition to this list because not only does it have characters that are interested in various aspects of otaku culture, but they’re older than the usual cast (in their 20’s as opposed to teens).

Wotakoi started off pretty well with the introductions and the revelation of what kind of things the main characters Narumi and Hirotaka liked. Their best friends/co-workers are also introduced (Hanako and Taro) and it looks like they’re not as alone at the office as it seemed in regards to their interests.

There’s a lot more energy in the first volume, but as things progressed, it felt like the focus was not as much on the otaku aspect so much as the office and personal relationships of the cast. I was expecting a lot more emphasis on the characters playing video games or reading manga, but aside from one trip to Comiket and topical references I didn’t feel like there was the joy of any of these things.

I’ve read slice of life manga and otherwise traditional manga; Wotakoi felt like a strange blend between the two and it affected the streamlined feel I’d expect from a manga book. A longer story it was not; it felt disjointed. A slice of life manga it almost was, but it didn’t have the same individual strip/larger story synchronicity.

As for reading farther in the series, I might pick this up from the library or if offered for review, but I didn’t enjoy it enough or find any characters that hooked me enough to want to purchase any volumes of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

DNF Review: The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale

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Amazon  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Book Depository  –  Goodreads

Published: 17 April 2018

Publisher: Knopf

Category: Fiction

For fans of Maggie Shipstead and Emma Straub, an ambitious, timely, and timeless debut that celebrates the joys and confusions of modern womanhood

Leda is a girl who knows what she wants and who she is—or at least believes she does. When we meet her as a college student in Boston—confident, intelligent, independent—she’s hopeful that a flirty chat with a cute boy reading a book in a café will lead to romance. They have a fleetingly awkward conversation that dwindles into little more than mortifying embarrassment, but the encounter does leave her one positive, and ultimately transformative, thought: Leda decides she wants to read Noam Chomsky. So she promptly buys a book and never—ever—reads it.

As the days, years, and decades of the rest of her life unfold, we watch Leda confront what it is that she really wants and who it is that she is really meant to be. Whether it’s a clumsy New Year’s Eve kiss, the first time she sees the man she will marry, her daughter’s tantrum in an IHOP parking lot, the agony of knowing a friend is being cheated on, or the revival of her creative ambitions in a community writing group, all of Leda’s experiences—the everyday and the milestones—prove to her that even our best-laid plans are not the only paths to happiness. Hilarious and heartbreaking, gorgeously precise, and disarmingly honest, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is a remarkable literary feat that speaks to urgent questions women face today, even as it offers the possibility that, in the end, it might all be okay.

Rating: 1 Star (DNF @ 12%)

I know this book is about a woman that never reads Noam Chomsky, but does that mean she has to be so ambivalent toward other books? Did that mean I had to be so bored to tears by a book inspired by an author that I was almost instantly put off by it? I suppose it doesn’t, but that’s what happened with this title. To be fair, I probably should have researched Chomsky a bit before picking up a book with his name on the cover; hindsight and all that.

From the first page there was a sense of entitlement or elitism that was equal parts confusing, boring, and off putting. It felt like the author was putting on airs to make their writing sound like it was better than they thought it was and in doing so made it sound utterly pretentious. There was also this feeling I got that the author was patronizing and distasteful about the whole storytelling endeavor.

Leda was entirely unsympathetic. I thought that perhaps it was just the early parts of her personality, but the more I read the more I realized the author had just written her to be this unlikeable person. Maybe, maybe, she was working toward making Leda a better person, but the tone of the book was so horrible that I didn’t care about seeing this possible bright future. There was nothing about Leda that made me want to know her, to see her get better.

There’s definitely a constant fat shaming going on, though Leda uses the word “linear” in place of “fat”. She also makes some comments that gave me the impression that she, at the very least, had this idea that fat people have no place on Earth.

As she turned the corner it all fell away, the donuts, the linearity, the boy and his faultlessness; she caught a glimpse of her jumbled reflection in the window by the elevator, and it was awful. She was disgusting. She was fat.

She was also incredibly judgmental of others, tearing them down in what I would have thought was an effort to make herself feel better except she never did, so I’m not sure what the point was. I can’t decide if Leda was being set up by the author to, at some point, become sympathetic because of her body image issues. Even if she was, I’m not sure I’d care because of her terrible attitude toward other people and their bodies. Her own is one thing, but dragging others down, saying they’re fatter, lonier, etc., was too much.

The author also inserted sentences that revealed the future, such as saying when something was happening for the last time; that said, it’s shown that Leda never heals from this compulsion (“This compulsion to be linear began at age twelve and would persist until her death.”) and that, in all likelihood, the fat shaming would be present through the rest of the narrative. It was sad to hear Leda succumbed to this toxic viewpoint, even worse when the author told us at 1% of the way in that she never learns to love herself whatever her size.

Oddly enough, the book seems able to sum itself up in one quote:

“I really don’t get the ending,” the girl across from her said. “Are we supposed to feel sorry for the main character? Because I really don’t. And it’s boring. Why do I care?”

No characters to care about, a storyline that was flatter than a paved highway and about as tasteful, this book is not one I’d ever recommend.

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All media (pictures, quotes, etc.) belong to the respective owners and are used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.