Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hiatus of Sorts

10:51:00 PM
Hey you guys. I haven't posted in a while, I just wanted to let you know it will probably be a couple more weeks until I do again. School is busy and stressful, and I'm just not reading and reviewing because I'm not feeling it right now. Hope you guys understand!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"The Book of the Unnamed Midwife" by Meg Elison Review

10:00:00 AM

29806086

Book: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

Author: Meg Elison

Publisher: 47 North (an Amazon Publishing Company)

Page Count: 291 (final, revised paperback)

Genre: Adult, Dystopian, Feminism

My Rating: ★★★★

Disclaimer: I was provided a free ARC from Amazon Publishing for an honest review.

Synopsis: Philip K. Dick Award Winner for Distinguished Science Fiction

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead.

In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.

A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.

After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.


TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, FEMALE CASTRATION, & VIOLENCE

      First and foremost, I would like to thank Amazon Publishing (47 North) for providing a review copy of this book. I reached out to them for a review copy after reading the synopsis of the book and being really intrigued by it. They were so kind and informative. Now, on to the review!



      I have never read anything even remotely like this book before. I'm serious. This book is so unique on its take on what a post-apocalypse society would look like, even the biological nature of the apocalypse itself is different. In this biological apocalypse, something like 99% of the human population is rapidly killed off, with women and children being affected more than men. Now tell me, have you read anything like that before?



      This book is clearly an adult dystopian novel, far different than your typical young adult dystopian novel. This book is raw and twisted, really showing the evils that some young adult books cannot touch. The key focus in this book is the treatment of women in this society. Since there are so few women left and all the babies keep dying in childbirth, there is a culture where women are seen as possessions and unfortunately rape is very prevalent. I was so incredibly disgusted while reading this book. Men were such pigs and I couldn't believe the way they were treating these women like there were less than animals, like rape was okay because there are so few of them left and they need to repopulate the world. It really goes to show though that people can do a complete 180 in the most desperate of times and you never know what someone will do to survive.



      I really enjoyed the main character in the book, the unnamed midwife. She is this bisexual, diverse, badass feminist who pretends to be a man so that she can help any women she encounters in her journey across the country. Even if she can't save the woman from slavery, she gives them birth control, and that might not seem important, but it is so incredibly necessary in this society that the book has shaped. From the start of the book, it is clear she will do anything to survive and she will put up with no one's bullshit. It's interesting to watch her assume different personas as she travels and how she pretends to be whoever she needs to be to survive.  



      For the most part of the book, I liked the style of narration, but towards the last third I started having issues. Part of the book is told through the main character's point of view in a journal, but there are interjections where the woman and boys scribing her story tell what's going on, and it's weird because the shifts are very quick and don't necessarily flow too well. There is also a point where the story stops being just about her, and I didn't really like that because it felt like it was taking away from her journey and wasn't necessarily adding anything.



      As far as plot, I really enjoyed it overall. Like I said before, it was nothing I have ever read before and it had my attention the entire time. There was a point when I got a little weary though because it seemed like the organization and flow of the story was diverging from the rest of the book. Basically she meets this Mormon community (don't even get me started on those fucked up fuckers) and from there the book drags and it seems like nothing important is really happening and that the unnamed midwife has kinda last her appealing spark and fire, if that makes sense. I don't know, you've got to read it for it to make sense.



     I think if you are a woman, this is something you should pick up because it tells an important narrative and point of view that we hardly think about in dystopians, and it's important that we do think about these things. However, like the warning says, there is a lot of rape, violence, and overall horrible shit that happens to the women in this book, so if that triggers you, please don't read this because your mental health is more important, however, if you can get past that, then please read this. I really wish more people knew about this book.

      

On a side note: I thought I would show off some pictures of the book that I took because the book is fucking beautiful. 



Also, I annotated the book, which I never do that for physical books, and I was wondering if you guys would be interesting in a flip through of the annotations? Tell me down below in the comments if you are. Also, tell me if you're interested in reading the book, and if you have read it, thoughts?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Reads: 10/14/16

5:23:00 PM

FRIDAY READS: 10/14/2016

      Well it's been awhile, and you know what, I'm not even sorry. I didn't feel liking blogging. Frankly, I didn't feel like doing anything. Life was getting stressful and college was sending me to the breaking point, so unless, I absolutely had to do it, I didn't do it. I spent a lot of my time just napping or sleeping. I did a lot of sleeping. Honestly, my depression and anxiety probably reached the highest point it's ever been.



      This week was especially taxing, but it's over, and now I feel better enough to write this post. I've still been reading some and listening to audiobooks, so I didn't completely shut down. 



     Right now, I'm not reading anything. I just finished an ARC of "The Book of the Unnamed Midwife" by Meg Elison and listening to the audiobook of "Stone Cold Touch" by Jennifer L. Armentrout, the sequel to "White Hot Kiss". Honestly, I loved "White Hot Kiss" a lot more. I think the love triangle and teenage angst and drama finally started annoying me like it usually does and just pissing me off. As for "The Book of the Unnamed Midwife", it was such a great book about what a biological apocalypse would play out and how if 99% of the population died off, leaving few women and mostly men left would look like. I'll have a review of that up probably on Monday, if I can bring myself to write the review soon.



     Even though I'm kinda back, it probably won't be until fall break or a little later when I truly feel good enough to write the plethora of posts I need to write. And when I say plethora, I mean like at least 15 or so. 



      So how have you guys been? Hopefully better than me. What are you reading? What is going on in the bookish world? Tell me what I need to know down below. 

Side note: I aspire to be confident and rise above my struggles like Bonnie Bonnett, so that's why I'm channeling her through GIFs.

Monday, October 3, 2016

"Wrecked" by Maria Padian Review

10:30:00 AM

28110862

Book: Wrecked

Author: Maria Padian

Release date: October 10th, 2016

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

My Rating: ★★★★

Disclaimer: I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Algonquin Young Reads for the physical ARC! I highly appreciate it. 

Trigger warning: Sexual assault

Synopsis: Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS RAPE AS DOES THIS REVIEW

      In case you didn't see the huge ass trigger warning, I say again, this book and review discusses rape, so if that triggers you, I would highly advise against reading this review and probably the book.



      Anyway, on to the real stuff. I heard about this book, from I don't know where, but I decided to shoot an email to the publishers an request an ARC. As you can tell from the synopsis, this book is a young adult book that is centered around a rape in college. I think it's very important that rape, especially rape culture in college be addressed. Rape is a very serious issue and the culture that surrounds rape in college is sickening, and that's reflected in this book. Don't expect a happy ending where everything is wrapped up nicely. It doesn't happen because that is the reality some rape victims face.



      I'm going to talk some more for a bit, but I'm going to keep things real general because I don't want to spoil anything. This is something that needs to be experienced blind and thought about while being read.



      For starters, the case surrounding the rape. I was very dissapointed at how the rape case was handled by the college, but unfortunately, that is the reality of how some rape cases are handled. Colleges would rather have things swept along quickly and settled rather than find the truth or convict when they know a rape occurred. Kinda a spoiler, but I think it is a relevant one, is that the police doesn't get involved because the victim didn't want them to. Honestly, this frustrated me beyond belief that she didn't want the justice system to pursue this, but I guess it was her choice, though I think it was a bit misguided.



      I really appreciate how the author tackled the rape culture not just how the college itself handled the rape, but how the students did. You get to see how the victim, rapist, victim's friends, and rapist's friends all respond in this situation. Their reactions are all different, and it was enlightening to read this because sometimes I forget that there are people out there who are not sympathetic towards rape victims, who actually have the nerve to blame rape victims. How in the world could someone blame a victim for rape? As much as this sickened me, I'm glad the author tackled it because it shows all sides to the situation.



      A separate yet related arc of the story was the budding relationship between the victim's roommate and the rapist's housemate. I really really really like really enjoyed watching them try to get together despite everything happening around them. They are so cute with each other and just how they interacted was literally #couplegoals.



      One problem I had with the book was the format the story was told in. So in between each chapter was a flashback back to the night of the rape. The flashbacks were told in various point of views and sometimes more than one at the same time, without making it clear that the pov had changed. I didn't think the writing during the flashbacks was very good. It was confusing and awkward, and I think it was meant to be more elegant and descriptive than the normal chapters, but it was just executed poorly.



      Overall, I really quite enjoyed this book. I appreciated what was being portrayed and the importance of the underlying messages. The relationship explored was also hella cute, so that was a bonus. While the writing wasn't necessarily the greatest, I think the plot held more weight, and in this case, that's what mattered. 




My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

Recent

Pageviews

Random