ARC Review: The Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz

The Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Source: ARC via Netgalley

Feeling cornered at a wedding reception by gossipy guests? Stuck at a holiday party that lasts forever? This beautifully illustrated book is the ultimate funny, sometimes absurd guide to escaping those painfully awkward situations. 

Trapped in an airplane seated next to a chatterbox? Are you hosting a dinner party with people who just won’t leave? Katie Vaz has the key to your escape. The Escape Manual for Introverts guides readers through different scenarios with themed chapters (“Friends,” “Relatives,” “Strangers,” etc.). Each chapter covers a range of situations, from an invitation to karaoke night to group lunchtime. And she offers a number of escapes for each scenario: bringing odoriferous foods to lunch for a while, having a pet (real or imagined) that “requires” frequent check-ins, and even investing in a jet pack. This book features Vaz’s full-page illustrated spreads, hand-lettering, and spot illustrations. From the silly to the sincere, Vaz’s clever, hilarious escape plans and bizarre excuses speak to the introvert in all of us.

As an introvert and someone who likes to escape from uncomfortable situations whenever possible, I couldn’t not read this book when I found it on Netgalley. I read it in one sitting over maybe a half hour or so, and it was just as cute as I thought it would be.

I guess that the first thing I want to say is that I don’t think this is necessarily the kind of book that you just sit down and read. I think it would do a lot better as a coffee table book, one that you pick up, flip through a few pages, chuckle to yourself, and put back down. I think that my rating of three stars has a lot to do with the fact that I read all of the scenarios and all of the escapes back to back, which probably made them less entertaining and less helpful.

As you might expect, some of the escapes are reasonable, some are obvious, and some are just funny. The book is clearly meant to be cute, and at that, it definitely succeeds. It has a very lighthearted vibe, which I liked, but it didn’t leave me with any long-lasting positive (or negative) feelings.

#ps19: a book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover


Have you read The Escape Manual for Introverts? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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

Advertisements

Book Review: How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman

How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: July 15, 2012
Source: Borrowed

If your cat is kneading you, that’s not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn’t a gift. It’s a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is an offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You presents fan favorites, such as “Cat vs. Internet,” “How to Pet a Kitty,” and “The Bobcats,” plus 17 brand-new, never-before-seen cat jokes. A pullout poster is included at the back of the book. 

Earlier this year, I shared a review of Hyperbole and a Half, a graphic novel based on a blog I loved when I was younger. So when I found How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You in the graphic novel section at my library, I figured… why not? I loved The Oatmeal when I was in college, so I might as well see what this graphic novel was like.

And… it’s fine, I guess.

It’s cute.

Is it much more than cute? Not really.

A lot of the comics made me laugh out loud. Some made me cringe a little. Others (like the cats at work) started out cute but went on too long.

This is a quick and entertaining book that would probably make any cat owner smile, but I don’t know if I can really recommend buying it.

Have you read Technically, You Started It? Can you recommend any similar books?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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

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’

Book review: New Erotica for Feminists by Caitlin Kunkel

New Erotica for Feminists by Caitlin Kunkel
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Source: Borrowed

He calls me into his office and closes the door . . . to promote me. He promotes me again and again. I am wild with ecstasy.
 
Imagine a world where erotica was written by feminists: Their daydreams include equal pay, a gender-balanced Congress, and Tom Hardy arriving at their doorstep to deliver a fresh case of LaCroix every week.

Both light-hearted and empowering, New Erotica for Feminists is a sly, satirical take on all the things that turn feminists on. From a retelling of Adam and Eve to tales of respectful Tinder dates, New Erotica for Feminists answers the question of “What do women really want?” with stories of power, equality, and an immortal Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

I don’t even remember where I first saw New Erotica for Feminists, but I’m like 99% sure it was on someone’s blog. If you’re that person, thank you so much for talking about this book! I put a hold on it at my library right after reading that review and read it the same night that it came in. I don’t think it took me more than an hour or so to get through this book, and I’m so glad that I read it.

First things first, this is not actually erotica. It’s a collection of short stories (mostly a page or so long) about everyday scenarios featuring politics, pop culture, parenting, the workplace, and so on. Sure, some of them are a little sexy, but the majority are along the lines of “imagine if your boss let you take maternity leave and didn’t make a thing of it” or “imagine if a fireman ran into your burning house to rescue a signed edition of your favorite book.”

This was just such a fun way to spend an evening! I wouldn’t say my world was shattered by its amazingness or anything, but I really enjoyed it and I’d happily read something else from these authors.


Have you read New Erotica for Feminists?
Have you read any short story collections like this one?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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

Book review: oh no by Alex Norris

oh no by Alex Norris
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Source: ARC via Netgalley

A humorous and poignant comic collection about disappointments big and small based on the popular webcomic, Webcomic Name.

Alex Norris’ viral webcomic Webcomic Name, has captured the internet’s heart. The disappointed blob and its resigned “oh no” has become a recognizable slogan, tapping into the current internet zeitgeist of self-conscious pessimism to hilarious and heartbreaking effect. 

Now in this alternately funny and gloomy collection, oh no brings together all the series’ greatest hits as well as dozens of never-before-seen comics. With exciting material for established fans and newcomers alike, oh no will have something for everyone. Because, after all, we are all the disappointed blob; the disappointed blob is us. 

I’ve seen a few of these “oh no” comics floating around Facebook and Instagram, but I never really knew anything about them. When I saw this book on Netgalley, I had to read it right away. (In fact, I read it, in its entirety, approximately an hour after downloading it.)

I had so much fun! This pink blobby person is me, okay.

Me.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a comic that was more me.

Do I think this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read in my life? No. But was it a really fun way to spend a few minutes? Yes. Did it make me irrationally happy? You bet.

I don’t think you can really go wrong with oh no.


Have you read oh no? Do you follow Norris’ webcomic?
Let’s talk in the comments!

Blog tour: The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads • Publisher
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Source: ARC from publisher

In this charming romantic comedy perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella, critically acclaimed author Teri Wilson shows us that sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone leads you to the ultimate prize. 

Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. Which couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time.

She drags Charlotte to the pageant as a good luck charm, but the winning plan quickly goes awry when Ginny has a terrible, face-altering allergic reaction the night before the pageant, and Charlotte suddenly finds herself in a switcheroo the twins haven’t successfully pulled off in decades.

Woefully unprepared for the glittery world of hair extensions, false eyelashes, and push-up bras, Charlotte is mortified at every unstable step in her sky-high stilettos. But as she discovers there’s more to her fellow contestants than just wanting a sparkly crown, Charlotte realizes she has a whole new motivation for winning.

Something you might not know about me is that I absolutely love Miss Congeniality. I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen that movie, so when I got an email from Simon & Schuster asking if I’d like to participate in the blog tour for a book that’s basically Miss Congeniality but with a librarian instead of an FBI agent, I had to say yes. This book ended up being just as fun as I’d expected.

The Accidental Beauty Queen is well-written and funny with charming characters and a sweet romance that takes a backseat to the relationship between Charlotte and Ginny. I loved all of the literary references and I loved that the love interest majored in English literature. I loved Buttercup, the French bulldog. I loved that despite their differences, neither Charlotte or Ginny thought that they were better than the other and that, by the end of the book, they really came to understand each other.

This book was just so cute, so lighthearted, and such an easy read. I would highly recommend it to anybody looking for a quick romantic comedy. Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for the free advance copy!


About the author:

Teri Wilson is the author/creator of the Hallmark Channel Original Movies Unleashing Mr. Darcy, Marrying Mr. Darcy, and The Art of Us, as well as a fourth Hallmark movie currently in development. Teri is a double finalist in the prestigious 2018 RWA RITA awards for her novels The Princess Problem and Royally Wed. Teri also writes an offbeat fashion column for the royal blog What Would Kate Do and is a frequent guest contributor for its sister site, Meghan’s Mirror. She’s been a contributor for both HelloGiggles and Teen Vogue, covering books, pop culture, beauty, and everything royal. In 2017, she served as a national judge for the Miss United States pageant in Orlando, Florida, and has since judged in the Miss America system. She has a major weakness for cute animals, pretty dresses, Audrey Hepburn films, and good books. Visit her at TeriWilson.net or on Twitter @TeriWilsonAuthr.


Have you read Fear? What’s the best political non-fiction you’ve read recently?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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

Book review: My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Source: Borrowed

The romance novel that lets you pick your path, follow your heart, and find happily ever after

You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-loving highlander Captain Angus McTaggart? Or perhaps race through the chapters chasing a good (and arousing) man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, Lord Garraway Craven? Or read on recklessly and take to the Continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline? Or yet some other intriguing fate? Make choices, turn pages, and discover all the daring delights of the multiple (and intertwining!) storylines. And in every path you pick, beguiling illustrations bring all the lust and love to life.

Earlier this summer, I read a different book by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris: The Secrets of the Starbucks Lovers. It was a detective novel featuring Taylor Swift and Lorde, and if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Much like that book, My Lady’s Choosing was an experience. Is it well-written? Probably not. Would I have enjoyed it as a traditional romance novel? Nope. Was it a really fun way to spend a Tuesday night? You bet it was.

The thing about this book is that it’s just fun. Don’t take it seriously. Don’t pretend that it’s high-level literature. It’s cute and maybe a little trashy and the choices are honestly hilarious. At one point, I had to decide whether I wanted to be a curious wench or a demure governess, and I just about died laughing. In real life, I’m more of a demure governess, so clearly, the version of myself in this book had to be a curious wench. Things worked out pretty well, though there was a big plot twist at the end.

I still have a few days before this one is due back to the library, so I’m planning to choose a few more paths when I get a minute. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a fun time.

Goodreads summer reading challenge: childhood reboot

Previously: The Secrets of the Starbucks Lovers


Have you read My Lady’s Choosing? Have you read other any choose your own adventure books recently? Let’s talk in the comments!


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