Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite tropes

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is favorite tropes, and I don’t think anyone will be particularly shocked by this list, but here we go. . .

I’m also giving a ton of recommendations in this post, so I hope you love these books as much as I did!


friends to lovers

The DealJosh & Hazel’s Guide to Not DatingNot So Nice Guy

enemies to lovers

The Hating GameArrogant DevilAnything You Can Do

relationships developing through texts

Emergency Contact


fake dating

The UnhoneymoonersThe Kiss QuotientRoomies

road trips

Amy & Roger’s Epic DetourSeven Ways to Lose Your HeartLost At Sea

roommates

Blurred LinesThe Virgin Romance NovelistRoommates

pining from afar

Royal ScandalRed, White & Royal Blue99 Percent Mine

brother’s best friend/best friend’s brother

The Dating ExperimentBro CodeKaleidoscope Hearts

second chance romance

Starry EyesInfiniLove and Other Words

boy/girl next door

My Life Next DoorWallbangerLola and the Boy Next Door

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! What are some of your favorite tropes? Have you read any of these books? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Comics for Choice by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor, and Ø.K. Fox

Comics for Choice by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor, and Ø.K. Fox
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 2017
Source: Borrowed

Comics for Choice is anthology of comics about abortion. As this fundamental reproductive right continues to be stigmatized and jeopardized, over sixty artists and writers have created comics that boldly share their own experiences, and educate readers on the history of abortion, current political struggles, activism, and more. Lawyers, activists, medical professionals, historians, and abortion fund volunteers have teamed up with cartoonists and illustrators to share their knowledge in accessible comics form.

Comics for Choice is edited by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor, and Ø.K. Fox, and contains comics from exciting cartoonists like Sophia Foster-Dimino (Sex Fantasy), Leah Hayes (Not Funny Ha-Ha), Anna Bongiovanni (Grease Bats), Jennifer Camper (Rude Girls and Dangerous Women), Ally Shwed (Sex Bomb Strikes Again) and Kat Fajardo (Gringa!, La Raza Anthology), and reproductive justice scholars like Rickie Solinger, (Reproductive Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know) Renee Bracey Sherman (Program Director, We Testify), and Dr. Cynthia Greenlee (Senior Editor, Rewire).


I didn’t really know what to expect when I checked this anthology out from the library. All I really knew was that it was a ton of abortion stories and that it would probably make me very, very sad. The thing is, while I can’t see myself ever getting an abortion (except in a very extreme case), I don’t think it’s my place to tell anyone else what they can or cannot do with their life and their body. That means that I’m very firmly on the pro-choice side of the debate. I thought it might be a good idea to expand my horizons a little bit and learn more about abortion.

Turns out that this book was possibly not the right place to go for that. First of all, there are a ton of stories here. A ton. Most of them are very, very short, and most of them feel like they were put together very quickly. There are a lot of misspellings and a lot of grammatical issues. A few of the stories looked more like drafts than finished art. It’s not the end of the world, I guess, but this is a book that’s been put out into the world for people to purchase. I expected more from it.

As for the stories, some of them hit me very hard. I can’t imagine being in the situation that a lot of these women were in and I can’t imagine how difficult the choice to get an abortion must be. I also found the stories from the abortion doulas and clinic escorts very interesting. I hadn’t even known that abortion doulas were a thing before I picked this book up! But some of the stories seemed to be there just to prove a point or push an agenda, which is something I don’t really appreciate, even when it’s a point or an agenda that I can get behind.

When this anthology was good, it was good. But when it wasn’t good, it was just disappointing. Overall, I think two stars is probably the best I can do here.

Have you read Comics for Choice? Do you have any recommendations for feminist nonfiction?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Dodge City by Josh Trujillo

Dodge City by Josh Trujillo
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Dodge City is a YA sports comedy about making sense of a chaotic world and growing up against the insane backdrop of competitive dodgeball, told through the eyes of oddball Tomás and his teammates.

Life comes at you fast, but dodgeballs come way faster! Tomás is a teenage misfit, but when he joins the Jazz Pandas dodgeball team, he’s thrown into a family of oddballs and outcasts who are willing to do whatever it takes to win the summer regional dodgeball championships. Through a season of highs, lows, and blows to the face, Tomás might finally find a place where he truly belongs, and the person inside himself he didn’t know he could be.

I checked this graphic novel out from my library because, first of all, it looked like fun, and second of all, I more or less enjoyed the first several issues of Fence. A graphic novel focusing on dodgeball sounded like it would be a great time — after all, Dodgeball was one of my favorite movies when I was in high school.

The thing is, I feel like this graphic novel was a lot of nice art featuring a ton of diverse characters and not much else. There’s not much of a story aside from the dodgeball, and what little story there is is kind of choppy and confusing. This is definitely a fast-paced story, but it’s almost too fast for anything meaningful to happen. The characters aren’t particularly well-developed either — four issues in and I feel like I know them about as well as I did on page one.

All of that said, I don’t think this is necessarily a terrible graphic novel. There’s definitely potential for character development and for the story to improve, but I don’t know that I’ll be jumping at the chance to read any more of it any time soon.


Have you read Dodge City? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

  • Review: The Mental Load by Emma
  • Review: She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d love to have as a best friend
  • Review: Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
  • Tag: Anything But Books
  • Review: Smooth Criminals, Vol. 1 by Kiwi Smith & Kurt Lustgarten

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • Nothing this week!

1 thing this week:

  • I scheduled this post very far in advance because at the time it posts, I’ll be in Tennessee!

Blog hopping:

  • Kristi is doing a giveaway to celebrate her two-year anniversary!
  • Brittany is also doing a giveaway! Hers is to celebrate hitting 500 followers! (Congrats!)

Song of the week:


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Smooth Criminals, Vol. 1 by Kiwi Smith & Kurt Lustgarten

Smooth Criminals, Vol. 1 by Kiwi Smith & Kurt Lustgarten
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Source: Borrowed

When a bit of hacking goes wrong, geeky Brenda accidentally unfreezes Mia, a master cat burglar from the 1960s. Together, they work to pull off a heist bigger than either of them could have dreamed…and solve the mystery of Mia’s cold storage in the proc

When Brenda, geeky hacker extraordinaire, accidentally awakened Mia, an international jewel thief frozen in the 1960s, she wasn’t sure what to expect…but it surely wasn’t a new partner in crime! With their powers combined, they decide to pull off the heist of the century and with fifty years of catching up to do, Mia already has a target in mind. Writers Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith (Legally Blonde) and Kurt Lustgarten (Misfit City) and illustrator Leisha Riddel swing into action and steal the show with this daring and hilarious caper of time-melding suspense.

I found this graphic novel in the new releases section at my library and couldn’t pass it up! I love the concept of a thief frozen in time and accidentally set free by a hacker.

The first volume of this series is a lot of fun, and the action kept me really engaged throughout the four issues. The storyline definitely moves along with one thing happening after another, but one problem I had was that every issue basically just ends with no resolution. I’m left wondering what the heck is going to happen next, and since the next four issues aren’t out yet, I assume I’ll be waiting a while to find out what Brenda and Mia will get up to.

I think that this series has a lot of promise, but it might be better to wait until at least the second volume is out before picking it up.


Have you read Smooth Criminals? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: Anything But Books

I was tagged by Consu to do the Anything But Books tag! I don’t get a lot of chances to talk about things I love other than reading on my blog anymore, so this sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun!


Name A Cartoon Character That You Love

Tina from Bob’s Burgers.

What Is Your Favourite Song Right Now

Not sure how I’m supposed to choose one single favorite song, but I’m feeling a resurgence of my love for Strange Desire by Bleachers, and especially the song “Wake Me.”

What Could You Do For Hours
(That Isn’t Reading)

Play with cats, pet cats, talk about cats… basically anything dealing with cats.

What Is Something You Love To Do That Your Followers Would Be Surprised By

I don’t know if there’s really anything that my followers would be surprised to hear that I enjoy, but maybe going to comic book stores? This is a new thing for me and I’ve found that I really enjoy it!

What Is Your Favourite Unnecessarily Specific Thing to Learn About

I love reading about linguistics, especially modern linguistics. I love hearing about how language is evolving and how things like emojis and acronyms find their way into our everyday lives. Modern linguistic trends are really interesting to me, too, like vocal fry (the creaky voice that’s stereotypically used by bored teenage girls at the end of a sentence).

What Is Something Unusual You Know How to Do

People that don’t work in medical coding might think it’s unusual that I have pretty much every dermatology-specific procedure code memorized, along with what documentation is necessary to bill for it.

Name Something You’ve Made in The Last Year (And Show Us If You Can)

I have made a lot of things in the last year, but one that I was happiest with is these chocolate-dipped cheesecake bars that my boyfriend and I made back in February. (Also pictured are chocolate chip cookie lava cakes.)

What Is Your Most Recent Personal Project

Hmm, probably decorating my apartment. I’ll share pictures once it’s done (provided it looks how I’m imagining) but it’s going to be based around one of my favorite series.

Tell Us Something You Think About Often (Maybe While Staring Out of Windows)

Without being too dramatic… the indeterminate future where I’m working at a job I actually enjoy and living in New York.

Give Us Something That’s Your Favourite, But Make It Something Oddly Specific

Sunday excursions with my boyfriend. We go out for lunch, usually go in a few shops downtown, look around the library for a while, sometimes get ice cream, and really just go wherever and do whatever we feel like. It’s such a nice and relaxing way to spend a Sunday while still having a lot of fun.

Say The First Thing That Pops Into Your Head

I’m tired.


I’m not tagging anyone specifically to do this, but please link back to me if you do your own post! What’s your favorite oddly specific thing? What’s your favorite song right now? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine

Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Source: Purchased

Killing and Dying is a stunning showcase of the possibilities of the graphic novel medium and a wry exploration of loss, creative ambition, identity, and family dynamics. With this work, Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings, Scenes from an Impending Marriage) reaffirms his place not only as one of the most significant creators of contemporary comics but as one of the great voices of modern American literature. His gift for capturing emotion and intellect resonates here: the weight of love and its absence, the pride and disappointment of family, the anxiety and hopefulness of being alive in the twenty-first century.

“Amber Sweet” shows the disastrous impact of mistaken identity in a hyper-connected world; “A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture” details the invention and destruction of a vital new art form in short comic strips; “Translated, from the Japanese” is a lush, full-color display of storytelling through still images; the title story, “Killing and Dying”, centers on parenthood, mortality, and stand-up comedy. In six interconnected, darkly funny stories, Tomine forms a quietly moving portrait of contemporary life.

Tomine is a master of the small gesture, equally deft at signaling emotion via a subtle change of expression or writ large across landscapes illustrated in full color. Killing and Dying is a fraught, realist masterpiece. 

I found this book for $2.00 at my library’s annual used book sale. Being someone who generally enjoys graphic novels, I thought I didn’t really have a lot to lose by buying it. It took me a little bit of time to get around to reading it, but I finally read it over a couple lunches at work.

When I first started this one, I really enjoyed it. I liked “A Brief History of the Art Form Known as Hortisculpture,” mostly because I liked the twist at the end. It really did not end in a way that I expected, and I appreciated that. I also really enjoyed “Amber Sweet” and the more or less unexpected ending that one had as well.

The other four stories, though? I was not a huge fan. I don’t know if I’d really call them “darkly funny” like the synopsis promises. I didn’t find them particularly emotional, and, in fact, really felt very little of anything as I was reading them.

In the end, I’m not mad that I bought this, but it’ll be going to a Little Free Library or back to the used bookstore with me one of these days.


Have you read Killing and Dying? Have you enjoyed any great graphic novels recently?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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