Mini Review: Cat Detective by Meg Golding

Cat Detective by Meg Golding
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Website
Publication Date: April 11, 2018
Source: Gift

From what I can tell, no official synopsis or information on this little zine exists, but let me tell you — it’s amazing. My boyfriend picked this up for me at a zine festival he went to a few weeks ago and I smiled from the first panel until the end. What would happen if a cat were a detective? Well… a lot of sleeping on the job, some poorly-timed naps, and a lot of playing with things that shouldn’t be played with.

I wasn’t going to write a review of a zine — after all, it’s only twelve pages — but this was just so cute that I had to let the world know it exists. I couldn’t find anywhere to buy the actual zine, but I linked to the website so that you can check it out if you’d like!

Do you read zines? What’s the cutest thing you’ve read recently?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Bloom by Kevin Panetta

Bloom by Kevin Panetta
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Source: Borrowed

Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.

As soon as I saw this book pop up in my library’s Overdrive, I knew I had to read it. That cover! I love it. Now, I might be a little biased because (1) I’m on a graphic novel kick right now, and (2) I read this while on an airplane headed to see my boyfriend (so I was already in a pretty great mood), but I thought this was the most adorable book. It’s possibly one of the best things I’ve read so far this year.

This graphic novel had everything I look for in a book: relatable characters, a slow (but not too slow) burn romance, some aspiring musicians, a guy who loves baking, and family relationships that actually make sense. I mean, I could hardly believe it. Not only were Ari’s parents actually present throughout the book, he actually had a good relationship with them!

Add to that the amazing art (and its very soothing color palette) and it’s really no wonder that I loved this so much. So much, in fact, that I don’t even really know what to say about it, other than I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

#mm19: one sitting reads


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

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Book Review: Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Source: Borrowed

Amanda can’t figure out what’s so exciting about kissing. It’s just a lot of teeth clanking, germ swapping, closing of eyes so you can’t see that godzilla-sized zit just inches from your own hormonal monstrosity. All of her seven kisses had been horrible in different ways, but nothing compared to the awfulness that followed Kiss Number Eight. An exploration of sexuality, family, and faith, Kiss Number Eight is a coming-of-age tale filled with humor and hope.

Before I write this review, let me get one thing out of the way. When I first started reading this, I was pretty sure I’d give it one star. Given the serious homophobia and transphobia at the beginning of this book, I couldn’t believe that I’d seen it advertised as a great LGBT graphic novel. In addition to that, Amanda was incredibly rude to her mother, constantly referring to her as a bitch and flat-out refusing to listen to her or spend any time with her at all.

Let me tell you, books like this are the reason I rarely DNF. The character development in this was amazing.

It’s hard to talk about what happens in this book without spoiling the whole thing, so here are some kind of vague bullet points:

  • This book deals with family secrets while also making the point that the way we remember things (or were taught things) from childhood might not necessarily be what actually happened.
  • I absolutely loved that Amanda’s religion played a fairly big role in the story. While I’m not particularly religious, I did attend 13 years of Catholic school (and was in Catholic high school during the time that this book takes place) and can absolutely see these things happening.
  • The friendships in this book were heartbreaking but realistic. Just like Amanda doesn’t always say or do the right thing, neither do her friends.
  • I loved the character development in this book. Both Amanda and many other characters start the book off by thinking that homosexuality is unnatural, that being transgender is a disease, but they gradually learn and grow and question what they’ve been taught and it just made me so happy.
  • I thought that the ending was perfect. When I first finished, I was kind of annoyed that some things were left hanging, but then I realized that it was more realistic that way.

I think that the only other thing I want to say about this book is that the art was amazing. I absolutely loved the art style, and the facial expressions and body language of the characters was some of the best I’ve ever seen. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author (and the artist).

Highly recommended as long as you think you’ll be okay with the homophobia and transphobia at the beginning.


#mm19: one sitting reads


Have you read Kiss Number 8? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Source: Borrowed

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

I checked this out from my library as an audiobook, mostly because there were hardly any holds on it (at least compared to the physical book). While I enjoy listening to nonfiction audiobooks, I’m not as much of a fan of fiction. Something about having fiction read to me usually kind of ruins it, but this was the perfect book to listen to in audio format.

The whole book is written as an interview with the band, and the audiobook is narrated by a full cast that did an absolutely amazing job. I started listening to this audiobook on a Saturday morning and finished it that same night. I didn’t even take any breaks while I was listening. I cooked, I cleaned, I wrote blog posts, and the next thing I knew, the book was done.

I think that the first thing I want to say is that Daisy Jones & the Six felt like a real band. It’s not like I hopped over to Spotify to look for their music or anything, but it was described so well that I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were real. The characters were so well-written that they felt like real people. Quite honestly, I’m amazed.

I always find it harder to write a five-star review than a negative one, and I’m kind of lost for words right now. I don’t know what else I can really say about this book other than I loved it.

#mm19: one sitting reads


Have you read Daisy Jones & the Six? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: You by Caroline Kepnes

You by Caroline Kepnes
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 24, 2017
Source: Borrowed

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone GirlAmerican Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

I feel like I’ve been in a slump forever. I’ve read a book here and there that I’ve enjoyed, but overall, nothing has given me that feeling that I’m used to, where I’m just counting down the minutes until I can pick up a book again. Nothing until You, that is.

Let’s start with why I read this book. I’m not really a thriller kind of person. I mean, sure, I’ve read a few of them. I’ve enjoyed a few of them. But thrillers are usually something I read when they’re recommended by someone else, not something I seek out on my own. This one was recommended by Daniel, who hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

I could tell, from the very first page, that I was going to like this book. From the first line, it has this really creepy vibe that somehow makes it impossible to put down. Joe is so intense, so creepy, so completely convinced that Beck is in love with him and just unwilling to show it. He stalks her, breaks into her house, and steals from her. He should be the least likable protagonist in recent memory, but he’s not. Joe is, somehow, a sympathetic character. Even as he’s doing horrible things, you can’t help but feel at least a little bit bad for him.

I’m so afraid of accidentally spoiling anything in this book, so I’m going to be brief and vague. This book was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever before felt such a mix of emotions while reading — it’s not often that I find myself quoting Lena Dunham, but I 100% agree with what she said about this book: “I am RIVETED, AGHAST, AROUSED, you name it.” It was a wild ride and I enjoyed every minute of it, even when it made me want to triple check that all my doors and windows were locked.

I’m trying to decide if I want to watch the Netflix show or not. In some ways, I think it would be fun to compare the two, but in other ways… reading the printed words was enough. I’m not sure I want to see everything in this book acted out.

#romanceopoly: murder mill
#mmd19: a book recommended by someone with great taste


Have you read You? Have you watched the show?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Source: Borrowed

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative–like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it–but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Fun fact: I was obsessed with Hyperbole and a Half when I was a teenager. I followed Allie’s blog religiously, often laughing until I cried while reading her posts. I was so excited when I heard that she was going to be published! I added this book to my TBR and then just… didn’t read it for five years.

Well, let me tell you, it was worth the wait. I was worried that my sense of humor would have changed and I wouldn’t find Allie as funny as I did all those years ago, but she’s still hilarious. I loved this book. I read it in one night. I couldn’t put it down.

I’m not even sure what my favorite story was since I loved all of them so much. Maybe the goose. But anyway, this was an easy five stars for me. It doesn’t look like Allie does any writing anymore, but if she ever decides to publish again, I’ll be preordering.

#mmd19: a book you’ve been meaning to read
#ps19: your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR reading challenge (2015 – a book you can read in a day)


Have you read Hyperbole and a Half? Did you ever follow Allie’s blog?
Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

ARC review: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Source: ARC via publisher

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I’m obsessed with Jenn Bennett’s books. Imagine my surprise when I was offered an ARC of one of her books by the publisher! Thank you so much to Lauren at Simon & Schuster for getting this ARC to me!

There are two things found in every Jenn Bennett book that I really love: sex positivity and witty dialogue. Both of these are present and accounted for in Serious Moonlight, and, honestly, I couldn’t have been happier about it. I think it’s so important for teens to read about a safe, healthy relationship that just happens to include sex. I also love that Jenn Bennett’s witty dialogue never comes across as pretentious or forced.

If I’m honest, this is a slightly lower five than Starry Eyes or Alex, Approximately. The reason for that is partially me (I just kept getting distracted while reading) and partially the book (the mystery aspect didn’t pull me in as much as I’d expected and I guessed the ending pretty early on). But even with those small complaints, I still loved this book.

Jenn Bennett is one of my favorite authors and I don’t think she’s capable of writing anything less than an amazing book.

#ps19: a book featuring an amateur detective


Have you read Serious Moonlight? Do you love Jenn Bennett as much as I do?Let’s talk in the comments!