Watching: Marvel’s Runaways: Season 1

Runaways is a really great teen tv show following a group of friends who find out their parents are not at all who they believed them to be.

What interests me most about the dynamics of this show is the idea of the parental and child relationship that each of them has that is never broken in spite of any of the transgressions on both sides. All the parents here have done absolutely awful things, but they still have this something about them that is redeemable. Especially with some of the parents more then others.

Especially Victor Stein who is the father of Chase and is an abusive asshole. Yet the show showcases unhealthy relationships in a way that doesn’t glorify them while showing real cycles of abuse that play off in abusive relationships in real life. I really enjoy a show that does that. Shows morality and immorality in a way that is clear, but also glorifies neither.

Then there is the casual relationships that happen between the characters that show them discovering the kind of people they are and who they want to be with.

The is especially apparent with Nico who spends half of the show dating Alex:

Then discovering that he wasn’t quite what she wanted and exploring a new relationship with Karolina after she expresses her feelings for her.

Life and love is a fluid thing and I really like seeing that fluidity expressed in a matter of a fact way throughout the show.

As far as the powers go my favorite was by far Gerts! Having a Dino that listens to you and is your constant companion is so cool! Also the fact that they call her Dino an emotional support Dino for her anxiety is so beautiful!

I love that it’s that Gert is a person first and she happens to deal with anxiety. No one in life is there mental health issue or disability. Everyone is themselves first and foremost. I love this characterized in a marvel tv show.

But I love that we also have a character that is a part of the group that doesn’t have a specific power. Alex is a leader that doesn’t have any powers, but that doesn’t make anyone respect or love him any less.

All in all, Runaways is a great tv show that showcases diverse characters in a very well represented way living their lives and navigating school, love, and saving the world from their parents. It’s complicated and well-written. I loved the first season and I can’t wait to watch season 2!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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All of This is True: A Review

All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not my favorite cover. I don’t hate it or anything it’s just too generic for me to be all that interesting. I wouldn’t have picked up this book based off it’s cover.

Publisher: Harper Teen

Publish Date: May 15th, 2018

Number of Pages: 432 pages

Received: got an e-arc opportunity through Epic Reads Insiders

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . .

Opening Sentence:

“So, tell me about Fatima Ro.”

Musings:

This mixed media novel was thrilling, unique, and full of meta. All This is True is a story I think we all should be excited about. It takes you on a journey with ups and downs like none before.

What I Loved:

It is something I could easily see myself being a part of. Who of us book lovers wouldn’t love to be personal friends of the authors we love. To be able to speak with them and ask them our infinite questions about their stories. Being able to let them know how deeply their words touched us in full. To pass time with them and be apart of their world. It would be the experience of the lifetime. Even if it ended the way it did in this book.

Mixed media. Books that are written in unique ways like this make me happy because it shows that there isn’t only one way of writing a novel. It’s fun to read the different formats and see how the story comes together with interviews and reading text messages along with excerpts from the book Fatima Ro had written. I loved this aspect.

You don’t really like anyone, but it doesn’t matter anyway. Some of these characters are downright awful. Some are annoying. Some just make you wonder how they could think that their way of thinking is ok. But honestly, because of how the book is written the interest becomes in the mystery and where the story is going to go. The action propels the story forward in a way that you just can’t stop reading.

Questionable morality. You have to wonder for yourself weather certain aspects of this book are ok or not. Writers get inspiration from the world around them, but was it truly ok for Fatima to write the story she did? Even actions from the other characters cause you to take a back seat and wonder, if I were them.. what would I have done?

Undertow. I loved reading bits and pieces of undertow and how it mirrored and pushed forward the events that were being talked about in the different formats. I loved that the writing styles contrasted so much. How writerly undertow was vs. how much of each characters individual voice was heard with the interviews. The sections were really well written.

It’s meta. Your reading a book about another book (the interviews) while also reading the actual book it’s talking about (the excerpts) but also getting the behind the scenes and it’s just so cool! More books should be meta like this one.

Final thoughts:

All of This is True is just one of those books that takes you by surprised. You can’t put it down and you have to love it for the fandom it creates. It’s juicy and an exciting read. I highly recommend it.

About the Author:

Lygia became a writer by writing letters to a friend she met on a cruise ship when she was 14. She is the author of UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD (Macmillan) and ALL OF THIS IS TRUE, which will be published by HarperTeen US, Bloomsbury UK, and translated in several countries in  summer 2018. Lygia also teaches child stars on television and movie sets. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order SVU, I Am Legend, and others. She lives with her husband on Long Island where she rides horses and watches reruns of everything. Follow Lygia on Twitter @lygiaday.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. If your interested in poetry check out some of mine on Vocal.com Thanks so much for the support!

-Till next time!

My Top 10 Reads of 2017

2017 was a fabulous year for me in my reading and I finished off the year with 99 books and 27,077 pages read and I know it is going to be almost impossible to narrow it down to 10 reads.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

This is the only book I will say IS in a particular order, because without a doubt this is the book that spoke to me and became my favorite of the year. Starfish is important to me because it tells a story of emotional abuse (similar to my own story) that was beautiful and vivid and more real and true to me then anything else I have ever read. Stories like my own are ones I pretty much NEVER come across and this is the first book that has ever portrayed emotional abuse from a parent that didn’t also include physical or sexual abuse, but also showed how emotional abuse could be just as impactful (in a very different way). I LOVE this book and I know I will reread it again and again in the future.

2. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue is home to the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever read and was the brilliant conclusion to the Graceling Trilogy. Kristin Cashore is one of my all time favorite authors and I know her works will always be a part of my favorites as long as I live.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

2017 was my introduction into Sarah J. Mass’s work and I was so happy that I started with the ACOTAR series! I could gush about these books and how they made me feel for hours on end (especially about how much I love Rhysand) book 1 and book 2 twisted from each other and caused me both pain and happiness and I can’t help but love this series. (Someday soon I will read ACOWAR… soon!)

4. Silence is Golden by Robert Thier

My happiness is continuously connected each week to reading a new chapter of this series as it is uploaded on Wattpad. Silence is Golden is the most recently complete book out of Robert’s Storm and Silence series and I live for it!!! These books make me laugh out loud and smile and make my heart beat faster and keep me on edge. I will always and forever be reading these books. They are BRILLIANT! Plus this one was set in the jungle and their was a woman tribe leader and chases and guns being fired and spicy romance and so much ice that you could feel the cold heat from every corner of the world and ahhhh!!! I love this series!!!

5. And I Darken and Now I Rise by Kiersten White

My HEART!!! These books fulfilled my need to have a character be unapologetically immoral in the best of ways. Lada is so badass and she will conquer the world one day. This historical fiction does not read like a historical fiction. There is so much action and intensity and tension and breaking familial bonds that I just had no reason to not love this book. It is written to perfection and I will love it forever!

6. Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula

These two have a special place in my heart. With the love interest I wish to have in my life and the interesting morbid charm these two have these two books will always be some of my favorites. This series is just too good!!!!

7. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

A western horror that felt so raw and epic that I could not put it down this book has earned its spot as one of my all time favorite novels. It was bloody fantastic and everything about it made me fall deeper and deeper in love with it. I highly recommend reading this for an amazing good time!

8. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

This memoir/graphic novel was so beautiful and so needed in today’s times. I am so glad I got to read it and have a better understanding of Vietnam and what happened there as well as of immigration and motherhood. It’s so topical and beautifully written.

9. The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

The writing in this book was GORGEOUS! It made me think about so many things in such a deep and curious way and it made me feel lost yet full of hope in the most curious of ways.

10. The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

A diverse horror novel that was beautifully written and full of heart. I ADORE The Hollow Girl. Everything about it was just so GOOD!

Honorable mentions (that I loved just as much as the rest on this list):

11. A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan

Improve, love, mixed in with Heartbreak, and friendship and you get this funny and delectable gem of a novel! A Messy, Beautiful life was amazing and I adored it!

12. This Impossible Light by Lily Myers

This Impossible Light was delightful and beautifully rendered. What can I say? I am a sucker for prose poetry!

13. The Bone Season and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

These two were a bright light of happiness and fun for me to read. I devoured these books (just like I will devour the rest of the series as it is released). All I have to say is one name Warden, as one of the biggest reasons my heart races as these stories progress. I’m so in love and I can’t help myself!

14. The Diviners by Libba Bray

These was the PERFECT 1920’s novel. I felt like I was living and breathing in this era while reading, but terrified because of all the paranormal horrors prowling the streets. This novel was all kinds of cool and fun and amazing! I loved it!

15. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

What a gorgeous thing of beauty this novel was. The writing alone made my jaw drop. I wish I could write with an ounce of the beauty that Leslye does! Utter PERFECTION!

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

So relevant. So beautifully written. So true. And so incredibly feminist! I adore this novel, but I am also awed by it. Everything about it was incredible!

17. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Labyrinth meets music meets my heart and I end up in LOVE! Wintersong was magical and a ethereal experience. I can’t wait to read book 2!

18. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I wasn’t sure I was going to love this book, but after a few pages I was hooked! So funny, sad, and unique. If you haven’t read this book then you should so you can experience just why this book has taken the world by storm!

19. Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert

This book has everything you could ever want in a contemporary. The romance is there, the friendships, but also the family ties. I love how critical family was to this storyline and the way everything flowed brilliantly together. Such an incredible novel!

20. Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

Bad by Michael Jackson comes to mind when thinking about this book. It was terrifying because it could have easily happened in real life and everyone was so humanely flawed in the most awful yet real of ways. An incredible thriller.

So You all came for a top 10 and ended up with a top 20, but I could not bring myself to leave out any of these amazing (and 5 star) reads. However, before I go I must say how proud I am of this list, mostly because it is a testament to how widely I read from historical fiction to poetry to horror, fantasy, contemporary, and even dystopian there is so much genre diversity in this list. I am so happy with the books I read in 2017!

-Till next time!