Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In the After

In the After
(image from
Demitria Lunetta

Three years ago, They came. Amy was watching TV while it happened, witnessing what looked like a spacecraft in the city center. Since then, They have attacked every human they find, and they attack to kill. Amy has managed to survive and rescue a toddler she named Baby. They both have to work to survive, staying in Amy's (luckily reinforced) house.

When they are captured and taken to a colony called New Hope, they believe they've reached safety.

But did they?

Sorry if this review is short or just weird, it was a while ago that I read it. By a while I mean like a week. Memory capabilities, amirite?

I'm surprised that I actually liked Baby. Usually small children in YA are used as an 'aww he's so cwute don't you wub dem' factor. Which I hate. They don't have a personality beyond being cute. However, Baby was interesting and individual. She was actually likeable, not just a prop. It's sad that's so exciting, but still.

Amy was very close to your typical YA heroine, but had an original streak enough to keep her interesting. She actually can express concern and do things! Wow! Why is this so hard to grasp in other books? Ms. Lunetta, thank you for allowing emotions and actions to coexist. That is important.

[Please properly dispose of all spoilered goods] Sadly, this is another book demonizing science. I hate this for two reasons- for the love of Athena, science is frickn' beneficial to society, and also the target for a lot of YA is girls. You wanna know what career field girls are being pushed out of? Science. Girls need to learn that science is cool and they can be part of it without being terrible plague-monsters. Girls could cure cancer and get us to Mars if we stopped acting like science was a boys-only club. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME I AM SCREAMING STOP DEMONIZING SCIENCE. [Spoilanger over]

 The pacing was good, though not much seemed immediately important until later in the book. The subtle details from the beginning being huge later was cool, but if the writing style hadn't immediately caught me I might have gotten bored with the lack of plot progression. As I just said, though- the writing style was (waitforitwaitforit) fan. (Okay, if you read the book you'd get it.)

The Florae (just referred to as They in the beginning) were an awesome example of a monster species. The had strengths and weaknesses, and the weaknesses weren't the usual Achilles heel sort of this. They couldn't hunt in the dark, which doesn't seem like it should be big and original, but it is. There's more, I just feel like discussing more would count as spoilers. Anyhow, great monsters.

The format later on with the flashes between the future and the present were cool. It could get a bit confusing with information revealed in the future and not mentioned in the past, but it wasn't what-is-going-on-why-am-I-in-this-dark-room-with-no-windows confusing.

[Spoilered milk] The ending was kind of... eh. I liked the idea of the Florae being alien or plant based. But the zombie thing? Meh. It just felt like a cop-out. No need for more zombie fiction, I swear. [Shh, it's over now... It's alright]

On the romance. It was kind of strange to me, like they weren't really being romantic but they also weren't in the sort-of-friends category? I kind of wish they were either slightly more romantic so it would feel like boyfriend/girlfriend, or slightly less so it was more close friends. 

(Yes, I know it's short)

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Masterpost of Diversity p.1

While I love YA, diversity can be hard to come by. Really, really hard. Really, really... *sigh* So I decided to put together a GIANT LIST OF DIVERSE BOOKS. Yes. I did. I count it as diverse if a/the main character is, so besties don't count. Some books appear on multiple lists. They will be put in parts because by God, I know a lot of books and if I put them together it would take up way too much space.

Feel free to comment if I forgot something! Also, I haven't read most of these, so if I need to take them off or put a trigger warning on them, tell me.



Ash- Malinda Lo

Huntress- Malinda Lo

Bluebell Hall- Kayla Bashe (Heard there was a trans side character? I could be wrong)

Everything Leads to You- Nina LaCour (Lesbian or Bi, I don't know)

If You Could be Mine- Sarah Farizan (Tw drug use, death mention)

Far From You- Tess Sharpe (Tw drug use, death, sad gays (Okay, not a tw, whatever))

Far From Xanadu- Julie Anne Peters

The Summer I Wasn't Me- Jessica Verdi

Ask the Passengers- A.S. King

The Miseducation of Cameron Post- Emily M. Danforth (Tw drug use, death, alcohol use, homophobia, transphobia... I swear it's a good book)

Nik Nassa & the Mark of Destiny- A.J. Salt

The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year-

Silhouette of a Sparrow- Molly Beth Griffin

 The Story Thief- Shari McNally

Sister Mischief- Laura Goode

The Girls From Alcyone- Cary Caffrey

Pink- Lili Wilkinson

Girl Walking Backwards- Bett Williams (Tw self harm)

Good Moon Rising- Nancy Garden (Tw homophobia)

Starting from Here- Lisa Jenn Bigelow (Tw death and some biphobic stuff)

The Beast of Callaire- Saruuh Kelsey (Tw death)

Sister Girl- Jonna Ivin

Because of Her- K.E. Payne

Kissing Kate- Laurn Myracle (Tw alcohol use)

Annie on My Mind- Nancy Garden

What's up with Jody Barton?- Hayley Long (Lesbian? Gay? Summary was too vague to tell, but I think this is the right list)

Wildthorn- Jane Eagland

 No One Needs to Know- Amanda Grace, Mandy Hubbard

Her Name in the Sky- Kelly Quindlen

Dare Truth or Promise- Paula Brock
Moon at Nine- Deborah Ellis (Tw war, death)

 Lies We Tell Ourselves- Robin Talley

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: A Novel- Sara Farizan

Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl- Jessica V. Barnett

My Best Friend, Maybe- Caela Carter

 An Unstill Life- Kate Larkindale (Tw homophobia, and most likely death mentions)

 She Loves You, She Loves You Not- Julie Anne Peters


Hero- Perry Moore
Witch Eyes series- Scott Tracey

Fan Art- Sarah Tregay

Falling from the Sky- Nikki Godwin (Tw death) 

Exiled to Iowa. Send Help. And Couture- Chris O'Guinn

Superhero- Eli Easton
Boy Meets Boy- David Levithan

The Misfits- James Howe

Vast Fields of Ordinary- Nick Burd

One Man Guy- Micheal Barakiva

Call Me by Your Name- Andre Aciman

My Life as a Myth- Huston Piner

With or Without You- Brian Farrey (Tw violence, homophobia, prolly another sad gays story)

I'll Give You the Sun- Jandy Nelson

Hat Trick- Jeff Adams

Omorphi- C. Kennedy (Tw abuse, violence)

Swimming to Chicago- David-Matthew Barnes (Tw suicide)

Freak Show- James St. James (Has drag queens. *slow voice* I do not like drag queens.)

Gives Light- Rose Christo (Tw death)

Wicked- Christian Marotti, Clover Donovan

The Red Sheet- Mia Kerick
Turning 16- Perie Wolford

Safe- C. Kennedy (Tw abuse)

The Unwanted- Jeffery Ricker (Tw death?)

 Ghost Songs- Andrew Demcak (Tw alcohol abuse, past death)

Tristant and Elijah- Jennifer Lavoie

Caught in the Crossfire- Juliann Rich

The Before Now and After Then- Peter Monn

Otherbound- Corinne Duyvis (OMG WE HAVE THE SAME NAME YAY)

Team Human- Justine Larbalestier, Sarah Rees Brennan

It's Our Prom- Julie Anne Peters

Adaption series- Malinda Lo

Indigo Springs- A.M. Dellamonica (Tw death)

 A Map of Home- Randa Jarrar

Teenage Rewrite- Brandon Williams

Postcards from No Man's Land- Aidan Chambers, Eric Dinyer (Tw warfare, death, violence, injury, the likes)


The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind- Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Tw alcohol abuse)

 Grasshopper Jungle- Andrew Smith

 A Kiss in the Dark- Cat Clarke 

 The Difference Between You and Me- Madeline George

 Not Otherwise Specified- Hannah Moskowitz (Tw eating disorders)

Teeth- Hannah Moskowitz

 Santa Olivia- Jacqueline Carey (Tw death)

Life Skills- Jo Ramsey (short story)
Listening Skills- Jo Ramsey (short story)


Luna- Julie Anne Peters

I am J- Cris Beam

Straight, No Chaser- Raul Santiago

Boy Proof- Cecil Castellucci

Accepting Me- Jo Ramsey (Aromantic and ace)

Demonosity- Amanda Ashby

Dust- Elizabeth Bear (Ace, and also there's agender people -squee!-  tw anything to do with cannibalism)

How to Say Goodbye in Robot- Natalie Standiford (I think it's ace or aro? I could be wrong)


What Happened to Lani Garver- Carol Plum-Ucci (Genderqueer- Summary kind of bothers me. "And most disturbing of all, is Lani a boy or a girl?" How is that disturbing. Tell me. Also, it's an "issues" book. Neh.)

Golden Boy- Abigail Tarttelin (intersex)

Cycler- Lauren McLaughlin (Genderfluid- but with the whole XX to XY shebang instead of just the identity)

Brooklyn, Burning- Steve Brezenoff (Non-Binary, I think/hope)

Every Day- David Levithan (Genderfluid, or so I hear)
Pantomime- Laura Lam (Intersex- sorry, spoiler)

Changers Book One: Drew- T Cooper (Another Genderfluid XY-XX thing? Um, okay.)


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe-

Please Don't Kill the Freshman- Zoe Trope (Trans, lesbian)

The End- Nora Olsen (Bisexual, Lesbian- more but, I don't know, tw death and warfare)
Boyfriends with Girlfriends- Alex Sanchez (Bi, Gay)

Down to the Bone- Mayra Lazara Dole (Genderqueer character! Yay! Oh. And Lesbian. Also that.)

Debbie Harry Sings in French- Megan Brothers (Gender and sexuality confusion- questioning)

Dramarama- E. Lockhart (Within this book is a gay character. Which one? I don't know.)

Dirty London- Kelley York (Lesbian, Gay)

Geography Club- Brent Hartinger (Gay, Bi, Lesbian)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Milk of Birds

The Milk of Birds
(image from its goodreads page)
Sylvia Whitman

Nawra, a refugee displaced by the Janjaweed's destruction, lives in Darfur, Sudan. K.C., an American teenager with a hatred of reading and writing, lives in Richmond, Virginia. Surely sisterhood can't reach over such a divide. But after K.C. is signed up for a nonprofit called Save the Girls, she is put in contact with Nawra. Through letters they bond, and over time they form a friendship no distance can conquer.

Okay, I just wrote possibly the cheesiest sounding summary ever. Okay.

The book was less cheesy. Its writing style was beautiful, littered with the letters between the two. The two points of views were distinct and both very nice. Actually, scrapping the word 'nice'. The views, the characters, the story was amazing.

K.C. is the kind of character I want to see more of. Instead of severe 'not like the other girls' syndrome and a thing for tea, her grades are subpar and her relationship with others in her school is realistic. Wooooooooooooo! I mean, I like tea and all, but it's nice to get away from the sniffy Manic Pixie Dream Girls every once and a while.

Nawra was a great character, but with one flaw. It's that whole no-contractions-poetic-speech thing again. However, she was still a fab PoV character. Love her.

The plot itself was kind of unclear. I'm not sure if there was a goal that was supposed to be reached or what. There was, however, a good amount of character development, so I'll assume it was a SOL (Snippet of Life). Okay, K.C. got a good amount of character development. I'm not certain how much of that attention should have been focused on Nawra.

Okay, I feel bad, because all of my grievances seem to be focused on Nawra, but I had one more thing behind the spoiler brackets. [Just ignore the rest of this (sarcastic after the first sentence) paragraph] Why is it that I have found two books in a very recent span of time that portray the teen character having a baby as super positive? Like, WOW, a BABY. HOW COULD YOUR LIFE GET BETTER than a BABY. BABYS ARE THE BEST. BABYS FIX EVERYTHING. Step aside, future, we've got a BABY. [*heavy, spoilerific breathing over*] Yeah, no, I don't like that. Stop.

Ignoring that, I liked the details that were in the story. The sayings, the details on food and culture. Am I the only one who really likes scenes with characters eating? It just brings me this sense that they're real people. I could be the only one who thinks that, though.

*Long sigh* Okay, I have exactly one more complaint. Just one. IT'LL BE IT, I SWEAR. It's the kind of white savior complex going on. Like the idea that K.C. is rescuing Nawra by being from America and having money. I didn't word it right, but it makes sense in context of the book, trust me.

The descriptions were fan. Not purple, for one, which I almost expected from Nawra's voice. Not beige from K.C.'s end. Very nice, very nice. *Golf clapping*

Also, subplots! I love subplots. And these were perfect, not distracting from the main plot (if there was one), but also not too minor to catch. Well-written subplots make stories feel so much better.


(Oh my God I missed the second queue use noooooo.)
(There's a reference to my next review in here.)

(This failed to launch for some reason- here, I have to post it MANUALLY. UGH.)