Body Positive Power

I follow bodyposipanda on Instagram when I need positivity during this time of uncertainty. Bodyposipanda is run by Megan Jayne Crabbe, an eating disorder survivor who has quit dieting and is trying to promote positivity around how our bodies look. I find her Instagram page to be inspiring. Our bodies are ridiculed by not looking a certain way and Megan has battled this persona. Megan wrote a book titled Body Positive Power: Because Life is Already Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live it. I purchased this book toward the beginning of Quarantine and it made me feel better about myself and improved the relationship I have with my body.

“I’m sure we all know someone who eats junk food, never exercises, and stays thin no matter what. Yet we refuse to believe the opposite could be true, that you can be fat, eat well, exercise, and stay fat.” – Megan Jayne Crabbe.

In this book, Megan shares everything she knows about the weight loss industry, our bodies, and her journey to overcoming her eating disorder. Megan details her experience spending time in a facility for her disorder. Reading this section was difficult, but crucial because we still don’t know how to treat eating disorders and why they happen. This book targets Anorexia specifically because of Megan’s personal experience, but she does touch on binge-eating disorders too. Eating disorders are difficult to treat and I hope we get to a place in society where we know more about them and can effectively treat them.

One of the most interesting sections of the book was when Megan breaks down what’s in diet teas and diet pills. I knew the Kardashians were promoting their stomach tea, but I didn’t know what the tea consisted of. Two ingredients in diet teas include Senna and Chinese Rhubarb root. Both of these ingredients promote the emptying of the bowels. Another interesting topic was the discussion on diet pills such as dinitrophenol (found in herbicide), various amphetamines, and even Fen-Phen which led to heart valve damage. It’s sad how our society is concerned more for people to lose weight than by doing it safely.

After finishing this book, I felt slightly irritated. I spent so much time hating my body when I could have been living my life. I will always have insecurity with how my body looks, but I want to be nicer to myself. I don’t want to force myself to give up the food I like, but instead focusing on portions. I’m going to not journal my food as that’s where it becomes too much of an obsession for me. Megan’s book confirmed for me that my flaws are what make me unique and normal. My cellulite, fat surrounding my stomach and even my acne are normal for a human body to have.

I would consider myself somewhat active in the body positivity movement. Shaming someone for their fat is insensitive and disgusting. If you’re struggling and need a pick me up, this book is worth it. Megan is making this world a better place. 

Sissy: A Coming of Age Gender Story

Lately, I have been reading more memoirs. I’m currently reading Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe otherwise known as bodyposipanda on Instagram. Last year, I read Jonathan Van Ness’s memoir which ended up being one of my favorite books I read in 2019. In Michigan, I picked up Sissy: A Coming of Age Gender Story by Jacob Tobia. I knew Jacob was cast in She-Ra as a non-binary character which sounds great, but I didn’t know they wrote a book. Sissy is a sparkly story about defining gender norms and discovering your identity.

The first half of the book details Jacob’s childhood and learning about their feminity, while the second half details their life at Duke. I enjoyed the chapters with Jacob’s fundraising to help an LGBTQIA+ shelter by running across the Brooklyn Bridge in heels. I was excited for Jacob being able to visit the White House and meet Obama. For someone in their late 20’s, Jacob has accomplished a lot for their age.

Reading about Jacob’s childhood, it genuinely made me sad. I remember how I could play with “boys” toys or “girls” toys without a second thought. Jacob details a story about how their brother destroys one of the only Barbies they had growing up. It was heartwarming though to hear how their brother had to buy them a new one. This book provides a prompt discussion on how women have more flexibility to play with gender norms whereas men are heavily scrutinized for being feminine.

I did have a couple of critiques regarding the story to discuss. The first being when Jacob discusses Duke, there’s a certain amount of privilege. Jacob received a full ride to attend Duke while many other non-binary people aren’t afforded the same privilege. I didn’t feel Jacob was snobby about it, but there could have been more addressed in the way that Jacob is privileged for having little to no debt.

As much as I enjoyed this memoir, this wouldn’t be the book I would recommend for anyone who is learning about non-binary for the first time. The reasoning behind this statement is the way Jacob explains the terminology within their identity, they come off as being a little judgy. These aren’t terms everyone knows about. My mother doesn’t know what “genderqueer” or “cisgender” means, so it doesn’t hurt to write a couple of definitions down for new readers wanting to learn more about being non-binary. I get it, Jacob is probably annoyed to have to constantly explain their identity, but this is a memoir based on their identity.

I happily read Sissy and soaked up every story within the confines of the book. If you’re looking for a book that’s going to explain in detail every single LBTQIA+ vocabulary word, I wouldn’t recommend this. If you’re looking for a memoir filled with glitter, this would be for you. Now, I have to make watching She-Ra a priority.

**Jacob uses they/them pronouns. I double-checked this post to verify I didn’t use any other pronoun, but if I did, please let me know in the comments as I will modify my post with the correct pronouns**.

Birds of Prey Graphic Novels Review

Barbara Gordon is the best DC Comics, female superheroine and I cannot be convinced to change my mind. The Birds of Prey are the kickass, female, superhero group where each member has a different background and talent. In March, I picked up the Birds of Prey graphic novel released coinciding with the movie. Additionally, I read Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Vol #1 Who is Oracle which should be no surprise. I decided to combine the reviews in one post since they do go hand in hand.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey. Image taken by me.

Birds of Prey: 4 Stars****

This is a graphic novel compilation of stories featuring the six characters from the movie: Harley Quinn, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya, Black Canary, and the Black Mask. This isn’t highly rated on Goodreads since it’s a compliation. I knew this information going into the graphic novel, so I wasn’t disappointed. My favorite stories were Huntress, Black Mask, and the Black Canary.

The Huntress story was my top favorite because Nightwing and Huntress share the steamiest kiss. I hardcore ship Nightwing and Barbara Gordon together, but this wasn’t bad. I’m not sure if this is the best story told as I like it so much solely because Nightwing was in it. The Black Mask story shows how violent and brutal he can be. Black Mask isn’t the most well known Batman villain, but he’s one hundred percent ruthless. Finally, the Black Canary story features a fun cameo of another DC character which I won’t reveal.

I rated this four stars because I mostly enjoyed the stories picked and it’s a fun graphic novel for me to add to my DC collection.

Batgirl And The Birds of Prey: Vol #1 Who is Oracle. Image taken by me.

Batgirl Volume #1: 4 Stars****

This Batgirl rendition features Barbara out of her wheelchair and fighting crime with her bestie, Black Canary. Huntress’s interests align with theirs and she teams up with them. Oracle’s identity is stolen online and the three try to uncover who this mysterious, fake Oracle is.

The negative reviews surrounding this graphic novel have to do with which Barbara Gordon you prefer. This outing features a much younger, more immature Barbara in her crime-fighting days. If you’re used to the older Birds of Prey stories, it shows an older Barbara who has already been wounded by the Joker and how she has embraced the Oracle identity. Many of the negative reviews don’t like this “hippy” or “trendy” Barbara who’s swiping through dating apps.

I’m devoted to Barbara Gordon as a character throughout the several runs of her story. This Barbara is younger, more naive, and at times, foolish. She’s also young and is trying to balance her three identities: Barbara, Batgirl, and Oracle. I do miss Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair because I felt she added disability representation in comics. However, can we eliminate the Joker story from comics? I hate The Killing Joke with a passion and how it intertwines with Barbara’s injury.

Overall, I rated this four stars as I do enjoy this portrayal of Barbara. This isn’t for everyone, and I get that. It’s all about what version of Barbara is your favorite. I like them both.

Quarantine has given me plenty of time to read my comics and graphic novels stack. What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments below.

Data & Dating in the Kiss Quotient

Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

I’m picky when it comes to reading romance books. Romance isn’t my favorite genre to read and I won’t read a romance book without knowing it was highly rated. The Kiss Quotient written by Helen Hoang was recommended by almost every booktuber I watch. One of the other factors for me picking this up to read was how the main character is on the spectrum. My best friend and my brother both are on the Asperger’s / Autism spectrum, therefore, I was looking at this book critically. I’m pleased to say that this is a delightful read.

Stella Lane is a successful econometrist who makes a six-figure salary. Her work drives her routine. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s and she struggles with socializing loud noises, and sex..? She claims she’s bad at sex and relationships, so she hires a male escort named Michael Phan to help her get better at sex. Similarily to Pretty Woman, they fall in love although they both come from two unique backgrounds, can they make it work?

Writing a protagonist with Asperger’s can be tricky. Hoang herself was diagnosed in her adult life with being on the spectrum. This helps to write an authentic, not offensive portrayal of someone on the spectrum. The way Stella interacts socially especially with Michael’s family highlights how differently Stella sees the world. Stella is a character I would fiercely protect as she reminds me of my friend in real life.

Many reviews I read stated this book had too much sex and wished there was less. I disagree with this statement. The sex shows how people on the spectrum are still sexual people. The sex to me enhanced the book because it showed how Stella was becoming more in tune with her body and what she wanted from a romantic partner.

My minor complaint with this book is how some sections felt repetitive to read about. This includes Stella and Michael repeating how they wanted to be together but didn’t want to share these feelings. Stella, I understand because of her Aspergers, but Michael kept going on and on about his past. The first half of the book was a fast read, but it felt sluggish towards the middle of the book.

This was a solid four-star read. When I think of my all-time favorite romance books, this book would belong on the list. Helen Hoang has written a sequel in this series and a third book is coming out in 2021. I already shelved it into my to-be-read shelf on Goodreads. The Kiss Quotient is the perfect division between romance and character development.

Alan Moore & Rape in Comics

Trigger Warning: discussion of rape and sexual assault in media.

The movie didn’t even include the rapes, so how important to the story are they?

I started reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen once I received it in the mail from Cream and Amber. I’m only twenty or thirty pages in and there’s been two instances of sexual assault. I pause and I reflect on other stories I have read written by Alan Moore. There’s another instance of attempted sexual assault in Watchmen. It made me wonder why Alan Moore utilizes rape with his female characters in his stories. It’s not something I alone have been wondering about. Typing into google “Why does Alan Moore write about rape” and they’re countless articles as to why he writes about rape regularly. I wanted to discuss my thoughts about this because as reader, I’m tired of the “rape female characters to make them stronger” trope in media.

Before exploring this topic, there are a couple of important statements I would like to make. I’m not saying sexual violence or rape shouldn’t be written about nor that if it’s included it’s automatically misogynist. There are ways to write rape scenes where it’s respectful to survivors of rape. Most often I see where it’s only used as a plot devise to demean the characters and it doesn’t aid into their development. The last statement I want to make is anyone of any gender can be victims of assault. I cite female characters in this post as I do see female characters being rape victims in Moore’s work. However, anyone can be a victim of assault.

According to reddit, Alan Moore writes about rape because it’s been considered “off limits” and if murder is okay, why not write about rape. This isn’t entirely accurate. There’s an interesting interview of Alan Moore addressing his sexual violence against women. He states, “As regards non-sexual violence, there is clearly a lot more non-sexual violence in my work that there is violence of the sexual variety, although in our current culture that’s true of nearly everyone’s work, isn’t it?” His instances of consentual sexual activity don’t undo the rape scenes he writes. Grant Morrison has been quoted saying how Moore is obsessed with writing rape scenes.

Moore’s response doesn’t state why he writes about rape, but defending his work. Further into the article, Moore talks about the implications of rape, throwing out statistics of sexual assault. It seems Moore is educated about the origins of sexual assault and why it happens.

In the first paragraph, I mention how I’m tired of seeing rape used as a plot device to make specifically a female character “strong” while also showing how “evil” a character can be. Rape doesn’t always have to be utilized to demonstrate this in media. There are ways where abusers can abuse victims beyond physical intercourse. Manipulation or gaslighting are alternatives versus physical rape to determine how evil a character can be.

One instance in which rape was used in fiction where it didn’t fall under this trope was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I finished re-reading this book a couple weeks ago. Lisbeth is subjected to many forms of abuse. However, there’s so much more to her strength than only surviving her rapes. She’s a hacker, has a photographic memory and is able to intelligently plot her way out of a horrific situation. Plus, Lisbeth gets back at her rapist, physically scarring him. I have never read a book where a rape victim got savage revenge against her rapist. It doesn’t undo the rape, but it makes it more managable to read about.

I still enjoy reading the work of Alan Moore despite the rape in his stories. Moore wrote these stories to be enjoyed by readers, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when readers connect the dots between the way he tells his stories. If anyone finds sexual assault triggering in any way, I highly recommend never reading a Moore story. If you remove the rape from Moore’s stories, the stories function exactly the same, so are the rapes really necessary? I’d be happy to hear in the comments section below on your thoughts with rape in fiction along with your opinions on Alan Moore’s stories.

Read Raven’s Origin Story in Teen Titans: Raven

Teen Titans Raven Book Cover.

In 2003, I was in third grade and playing pretend games with one of my friends who lived a neighborhood over. We would pretend to play Teen Titans. She would be Starfire, so she could be dating Robin while I was relegated to being Raven. We ran around her yard pretending to defeat supervillains. Teen Titans always will hold a special place in my fandom heart. When I heard a Raven young adult graphic novel was being released by Kami Garci and illustrated by Gabriel Picolo, I knew I had to read it. Teen Titans Raven is a gritty, edgy take on Raven’s origin story.

Raven is driving with her foster mom when they are involved in a deadly car accident. Raven lives without her memory while her foster mom is taken to the morgue. Raven is sent to live with her mom’s sister and her younger daughter, Max. Raven is navigating using her powers while being a normal high school teenager.

The best part of this graphic novel is easily the illustration. Picolo does an excellent job at blending black & white with Raven’s purple color. It’s seen in Raven’s hair, lighting within the panels and the writing bubbles. This novel is set in New Orleans which coincides well with Raven struggling to have control over her demons. . . literally.

Additionally, I like Raven’s support group. Max is the best friend I want to have. She gives Raven noise-canceling headphones to cancel out the voice she’s hearing. Max takes Raven to an occult shop to try and research more information about her powers. I could read a story of only Max and Raven living their lives in New Orleans.

My only minor complaint is the story felt predictable and corny at parts. This is a young adult novel, so I believe that’s why I felt this way while reading. The male interest in Raven’s life is the stereotypical jock and nothing is interesting about him. There is a surprise appearance of a well-known villain, but I won’t reveal who this is.

I rated Teen Titans: Raven four out of five stars on Goodreads. The artwork is intricate while the story knocked off a star on a five-star rating. Raven isn’t the only Titan to receive the graphic novel treatment. Garcia and Picolo will be writing/illustrating other books with the other Titans. The Beast Boy graphic novel will be released on September 8th, 2020. Teen Titans: Raven can be purchased at any local bookstore or comic store.

Apocalyspes & Asskicking in Bad Ass Girl World

I met Chris Everheart at MSP Fallcon in October of 2019. I struck up a conversation at his booth where he was telling me about his comic, Badass Girl World. He graciously gave me both issue #1 and issue #2 to review. I read them rather quickly, but as my end table grew unorganized, these comics were sitting on top waiting to be discussed. I’m finally back to a semi-regular blogging schedule which means more comic reviews including this series: Badass Girl.

Issue #1

Badass Girl has no name, but she slays the game. When I say game, I mean surviving an alien invasion and being scarred by the death of her parents. She wanders through the land and to some she’s a legend. Her experiences throughout the comic give you an idea as to who she is and where she comes from. I can’t really say much else without spoiling the series.

If Mad Max Fury Road included aliens, Badass Girl World would be the comic version. I’m always inclined to read a series if it includes a female protagonist. This is set to be a four issue comic series, with issue #3 not being available to purchase yet.

Issue #2

With the Corona Virus, independent comic artists need your support. Many conventions are being cancelled or post-poned. This is absolutely the right way to go with this virus, but many creators are out of funds through airline tickets or profits they would have received at the convention.

All comics for Badass Girl World can be purchased digitally or through a hardcopy at a convention. On the Badass Girl World website, you can find t-shirts, coffee mugs and other swag from the series.

Pumpkinheads & the ABC’s of Fall

My favorite season is without a doubt Autumn. It’s the reason me and my fiance have decided to get married in October. When I heard about the graphic novel partnership with Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks and it revolved around an apple orchard, I knew this would be an automatic purchase. Pumpkinheads is the cutest, most body-positive, apple orchard, fall fun themed graphic novel I have ever read. I am captivated by the story and with the apple orchard map revealed in the first pages of the novel. Instead of writing a typical review, I decided to use this inspiration to do my ABC’s of Autumn. One word per letter of the alphabet to summarize fall. Here we go:

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks.

A is for. . . Autumn

Autumn is the better word to describe the season than Fall. It’s a beautiful word to say.

Book Pile. Autumn is the perfect time of year to read all the books.

B is for . . . Books.

Being able to read a book with the sunlight filtering in my reading corner is heavenly. I do plan on re-reading Pumpkinheads around August to get myself hyped up for the season.

Apple Cider Floats… yum.

C is for . . . Cinnamon / Apple Cider floats

A tradition I hold for attending the Renaissance Festival is ordering an apple cider float with cinnamon ice cream. It’s slightly spicy, less sweet and the best beverage for Autumn. I believe you can make this boozy by adding cinnamon schnapps or hard apple cider.

D is for . . . Dress Code

Autumn is for cardigans in themed colors. Plaid shirts with dark jeans and thigh-high boots in light and dark browns. Graphic sweaters with fall-themed patterns. The style this time of year is what I live for.

E is for . . . Exercise

When Autumn hits, I walk outdoors for exercise. Looking at the colors of the leaves, seeing the sun rising high in the sky, feeling the cool breeze move my hair. It’s truly bliss. I will work out outdoors versus being stuck in my gym or home.

F is for . . . Friends

Doing fall-themed activities with friends. The Renaissance festival, apple orchards, visiting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. T’is the season for fun events with friends.

Apple Orchard with Grantolini!

G is for. . . Grantolini

Grant is my fiance. Early on in our relationship, I started calling him “Grantolini” The name has stuck. Grant is my partner and we do a whole lot of fun activities in the Autumn months.

Batman & Catwoman! Halloween 2018.

H is for. . . Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday that’s not a typical holiday. I adore the costumes, reading horror-themed literature, watching scary movies and wearing a costume. Last year I was the “Angel of Death” which was a spontaneous costume idea I had on Halloween. I and a couple of friends went to a brewery and had a couple of beers in costume. Last year Halloween was a special memory because the day after was the last day at my old job. It was before I started my new job I’m currently in which I’m super happy with.

I is for . . . Igniting Candles

Grant has picked up numerous fall-themed scents in candles. Being able to light a pumpkin or cinnamon smelling candle makes our apartment smell amazing.

J is for. . . Josiah & Deja

Josiah is one of the main characters in Pumpkinheads. He is emotional, real and passionate about the apple orchard. Deja is the outgoing counterpart who stops at every food stand in the apple orchard because why not?? These two characters make Pumpkinheads as enjoyable as it is to read.

K is for . . . Kitchen

When I have the time to cook, I do enjoy being in the kitchen preparing a new recipe. Fall themed recipes include hot dishes (in Minnesota, we don’t use the term casserole), chilis and soups.

L is for . . . Leaves

Leaves falling everywhere. Seeing the leaves pile up and kids playing in them… so cute.

M is for. . . Maroon

Maroon is an autumn color. It’s one color I would love to have as my wedding color.

N is for. . . Nippy

This is how the temperature is like in Autumn. I can walk outside with a cardigan or light jacket. I could wear a cute hat or gloves and I would be warm.

O is for. . . Orange

Maroon, burgundy, and Orange would be my three color choices for an Autumn themed wedding.

P is for. . . Pumpkin Coldbrew Coffee

There’s a coffee shop/game store in my area that makes the best pumpkin infused, cold brew coffee. It’s a cold, black coffee with hints of pumpkin. It’s so good. Every year, I message this shop asking when it will be available. They used to sell growlers of it and this year I’m committed to purchasing one.

Q is for. . . Quilts and blankets

Sitting next to me is a quilt I received from Grant’s twin brother. This quilt comes from Senegal where he is in the peace corp serving his last year. I’m also using a quilt made by my grandmother. I love cozying up underneath multiple quilts and blankets.

Renaissance Festival 2018

R is for. . . Renaissance

The Renaissance Festival in Minnesota. I go almost every year. It’s fun to walk around, see the shows and eat some Fall treats. As I mentioned, I always do the apple cider float. Another fun part of the Renaissance Festival is shopping for jewelry. I typically look for earrings, necklaces, and rings.

S is for. . . Spooky

I and the fiance went to Goodwill for Halloween decorations last year. We found so many cute items to hang. It made me happy to see Halloween stickers on the windows and nick-nacks on our sofa table. We will need more window stickers for this year.

T is for. . . Tea

I drink more tea in Autumn than in any other season. I do like vanilla black tea if I want caffeine. Green tea is more used for if I need less caffeine. If I’m feeling in the mood or sick, I like spicy cinnamon tea.

U is for. . . Umbrella

Autumn can be a rainy time of year. I lost my polka dot umbrella and I’m notorious for forgetting to bring an umbrella even though I know it’s going to rain. Additionally, I love breaking out my British / Union Jack rain boots.

V is for. . . Vivid

Vivid colors! Enough said.

W is for. . . Wedding

I will be disappointed if we don’t get married in October. We haven’t found a venue, but we toured one we like. We want to make sure we settle on a venue we love. Weddings are expensive.

X is for. . . being Xtra

Taking a selfie with the first Pumpkin coffee drink or using Instagram to take a boomerang of you throwing leaves. It’s a time to be Xtra this season.

Y is for. . . Young

I’m not a mom. If I do decide to have children, I will take my kids to the apple orchard, renaissance festival and other fall-themed events. I want to share my joy with my kids again if my life path allows for kids.

Z is for. . . Zigzagging through a Haunted House or Maze.

I haven’t done a real corn maze in a while. I did do a haunted maze at Valleyfair’s Valleyscare. Valleyfair is a small amusement park south of the Twin Cities area where I’m from. I don’t like going to the amusement park in summer, but in Autumn, they make it up to be Halloween themed. I haven’t been back in a while, but I hope to go this year.

Yay, I found a word for every letter of the alphabet. If you haven’t read Pumpkinheads, you need to. Pumpkinheads is written by Rainbow Rowell and drawn by Faith Erin Hicks. Pumpkinheads can be purchased at any place where books are sold, though I highly recommend supporting your local book store.

2019 End of Year Book Survey

This is my 5th year filling out Perpetual Page Turner’s End of Year Book Survey . I discovered this survey back in 2015 and I like how detailed the questions are. 2019 was an exceptional reading year for me as it’s the year where I read the most! I came in at 53 books, graphic novels and comics read this year. In past years, I had quite a few life events come up which prevented me from being able to read more. If I could sum up my reading year in 2019 it would be: the year I re-read all the Harry Potter books and I put an emphasis on re-reading my favorite books. In 2020, I’m going to attempt to re-read more of my favorite books along with trying to read more nonfiction books. Here are my 2019 reading answers:

**2019 Reading Stats**

Number Of Books You Read: 53
Number of Re-Reads: 7 with all the Harry Potter books. 
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy and Comics 

best-YA-books-2014-900x244.jpg

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

Finder's Keepers Book #2

Finder’s Keepers by Stephen King. The 2nd book in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy.

I started reading the Mr. Mercedes trilogy while on vacation in Orlando. I didn’t mind the first book, but this book made me continue on in the series. Stephen King does an excellent job creating this cat & mouse chase between Mr. Mercedes and Bill Hodges. The chemistry between Bill Hodges, Jerome and Holly is fun to read and I like seeing them solving various crimes. I highly recommend reading this series by Stephen King because it proves after all this time, he can still write a thrilling series.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Comics Will Break your Heart.jpg

Comic Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

Comics are one of my favorite genres to read. When I heard about this book about a romance between two characters of rival comic book companies, I felt I would truly love reading this book. This wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t my favorite read of this year.

3. Best Series I Started? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender?

Legend Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu

I became a fan of Marie Lu after reading Warcross last year. I decided to go back to some of her earlier books where I started reading Legend. This series appealed to me because of the action sequences, the twists and the romance between June and Day. Additionally, I read Prodigy which is the second book in the series and it’s still a great story. I do plan on trying to read the third and final book in the series in 2020.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Over the Top.jpg

Over The Top: A Raw Journey to Self Love by Jonathan Van Ness

Out of all the Queer Eye hosts, Jonathan Van Ness is my favorite. This is the book where JVN talks about how they found out they were HIV+. They also highlight the importance of Planned Parenthood for low income communities. Reading their story brought tears to my eyes, but it also helps to decrease the stigma that still surrounds STD’s. I also identified with JVN’s struggle with the loss of their step-dad to cancer. It hit way to close to home for me, but it was cathartic to read about someone I could identify myself with.

To answer the actual question, I loaned this book to my friend and forced her to read it.

5. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

I’m not usually a romance type of person, but this book was super good. It was easily a contendor for being the best book I read in 2019. Christina Lauren creates great romance books without giving me an overall cheesy vibe.

6. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Lying Woods

The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston

Any book Ashley Elston writes is a must-read for me. My favorite book of 2017 was This is Our Story which is another Ashley Elston book. I ended up reading over half of this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read any of her books, you absolutely need to.

7. Most memorable character of 2019?

I’m nominating Hazel from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. I appreciated Hazel’s confidence and her green boots with a cow patterned shirt she wears on a date. I give her mad props.

8. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.jpg

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter book series has always moved me. Reading this last book brings up the reality of how prejudice and racism can destroy a society. Voldemort’s war on “mudbloods” with help from the Ministry of Magic puts these preconceived notions on any person entering the Wizarding World without prior magical blood. This war turns violent when the Ministry of Magic goes on a hunt to find these individuals. This reminds me of the Nazi’s from WWII, Slavery and President Trump’s racist policies. This is equally important to mention considering J.K. Rowling’s transphobic tweets made earlier this month.  If we all practiced more love and learned to abandon our preconceived notions about certain races, we would be a happier place.

9. OTP of THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

I’m cheating because I’m going to say Rey and Kylo from Rise of Skywalker. This isn’t a book, but I’m sure there will be a Rise of Skywalker book novelization and then this will work nicely.

**I want to highlight that this OTP is a fantasy. I do believe there are moments where Kylo Ren manipulates and abuses Rey in certain instances. Therefore, in reality they aren’t great together. However, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver’s chemistry together is on fire**

10. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Harry and Hermione are proof men and women can be friends. I personally like Ron and Hermione ending up together because they’re opposite of each other. Plus I feel book Ron and book Hermione are a better couple then their movie counterparts.

11. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Wildcard Promo Image

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Wildcard wasn’t as good as Warcross in my opinion, but I still love this book series. I can’t wait for the third book to be released.

12. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Hogwarts forever and always.

13. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?

I’m nominating Deathly Hallows for a 2nd time. Dobby and Hedwig both got to me. Dobby’s death is especially depressing because there’s a paragraph where it talks about how scared Dobby is to be back in the Malfoy mansion. This is the place where he experienced the most abuse, but Dobby overcomes his fears to save Harry because of how much Harry means to Dobby. Are you crying? or is it just me?

14. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Midnight Task Force Mad Cave

Midnight Task Force / Mad Cave Comics 

Mad Cave Comics is a comic studio I discovered earlier this year. They graciously sent a couple of comics to me, so I could review them. Midnight Task Force was my favorite out of the three series I received, but this studio is seriously going places. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see them at more comic book conventions I attend in the future.

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1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019?

I recently started subscribing to Whatpaigeisit and she does comic book reviews. She also does cosplay makeup tutorials and general vlogging. I adore her work and I find different comics to read because of her.

2. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?

Reading 53 books! Holy shit. This is the most I have ever read and I want this to continue into 2020.

3. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I had no challenges. This was a great reading year for me.

4. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Cream and Amber Grand Opening Feb 2019 3

Making Cream & Amber my new go-to bookstore. Shop local if possible!

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 1. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

I’m interested in reading the third book in the Legend series by Marie Lu.

2. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

I want to re-read more books this next year in 2020 and I want to read more nonfiction books.

Happy Reading in 2020!

 

Lesbian Frankenstein & My Latest Comic Reviews

Lately, I have been driving to my local comic book store somewhat regularly. Since my comics reading has increased, I have been reading comics faster than I can write reviews. I wanted to share the comics I read and my thoughts about them.

The Prometheite by Ari S. Mulch

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This graphic novel was one I helped back on kickstarter in June of this year. Ari is a LGBTQIA+ creator who launched this campaign during pride month. This novel is a lesbian retelling of Frankenstein. Frankenstein and gothic literature in general is one of my favorite genres to read. This novel captures the essence of the story. The artwork gives off a spooky vibe with the use of the black and white panels. The only other color used is red. The red is used sparsely, however when it’s utilized, it creates this horrific theme within the story. Ari Mulch can be found on tumblr and twitter. I rated this five stars on goodreads.

Paper Girls Volume #4

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Finally, I get an idea as to what the hell is going on in this story. If anyone else reads Paper Girls, the first few trade paperbacks don’t go into why everything is happening, while this one gives more story background. Paper Girls stars four newspaper girls out delivering the newspaper in the 80’s. These girls witness an alien invasion of sorts which leads them to go time traveling. It’s been fun reading all the 80’s references. Recently, the girls travel to Y2K (2000). I was only six when Y2K happened, so there’s a lot I don’t remember. It’s fun reading about it in this graphic novel. Despite my earlier thoughts, I do recommend reading the series. The artwork is great and it’s clear Brian K. Vaughan has crafted an intricate story. I rated Paper Girls Volume #4 four stars on goodreads.

Riri Williams as Ironheart Issue #1

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Ever since Riri Williams was announced to take over Ironman in 2016, I knew I needed to eventually read this. I have mentioned numerous times on my blog how diversity is incredibly important within any form of media. When Riri Williams was announced, I wrote a blog post all about it. I picked this first issue up in February during my Universal Trip on the Marvel Island side of the park. I loved Riri’s Ironheart suit. It’s a blend of pink with yellow on her shoulders. It’s feminine without being sexualizing. I highly recommend purchasing this comic. I rated this five stars on good reads.

During Small Business Saturday (November 30th) I picked up quite a few comics to read. There will be more comic reviews and I will probably write them in this format. Happy Comics Reading everyone!