Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday Tunes: Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

10:30:00 AM


      It's been awhile since Janelle Monae's newest album "Dirty Computer" came out, but I was so busy with school to talk about it, but I'm not busy now, so better late than never.

      I really got into Janelle's music about a year ago, and I absolutely adore her. She is such a free spirit and as a queer black woman, I really look up to her. With this newest album, she finally opened up about her sexuality and it really made me happy.

      Overall I really enjoyed this album. I thought it highlighted very important and relevant issues in such a universal way that anyway could understand. The visual album that went with it was also stunning. She's such a visionary and she deserves more props than she gets.

      My top 3 songs off the album were "Django Jane", "Make Me Feel", and "I Like That". All of these songs speak on the struggles of being a queer woman as well as a black woman in such a clever way. It's interesting because at first I wasn't a fan of "Django Jane" because of the rapping style, but it grew on me. "Make Me Feel" just makes me want to dance and gives me such strong Prince vibes that I can appreciate. Finally, "I Like That" is a song that I just vibe to over and over again. It has such a nice flow and is an anthem I can stick to.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Review of "Meet Cute" by Various Authors

11:30:00 AM


Book: Meet Cute

Author: Various Authors

My Rating (Overall): ★★★

Synopsis: Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. 

Readers will experience Nina LaCour's beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard's glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon's imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno's story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick's charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants. 

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

      Not really sure how this book ended up on my TBR, but it did. (I probably saw that Jennifer L. Armentrout contributed and added it tbh.) Anyway, I was in the mood for some cute contemporary summer feels and this was the first one that popped up on my TBR. I read the synopsis and some Goodreads reviews and was automatically put off, but I decided, eh, it's available from my library and I've got nothing else better to read that will fulfill my need, so why the hell.

      Some of these stories were really good and blew my mind while others were truly awful. I love meet cutes despite hating insta love so it was interesting to see how these authors tackled the topic. So without further ado, below are short thoughts on each of the short stories.
Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno | 1/5 Stars
      This is one of the stories that I thought was truly awful. It was in 2nd person POV and that automatically put me off for the book. I didn't think the story was cute, I thought it was cruel.

Print shop by Nina Lacour | 2.5/5 Stars
      I really didn't like how the story was in 1st person POV but used "you" as if talking to the reader as a part of the story. The idea iwas kinda interesting in general but there were hardly any real feels or romance.

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi | 1/5 Stars
      I thought the story was incredibly anti-climatic. It was not even remotely a meet cute.

Click by Katherine McGee | 3/5 Stars
      I thought this was a nice meet cute.

The Intern by Sara Shepard | 3/5 Stars
      I thought it was a cute meet cute but it was incredibly unrealistic.

Somewhere That's Green by Meredith Russo | 3/5 Stars
      I got asexual vibes in the beginning but that turned out to not be right, so I was a little sad.

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton | 4/5 Stars
      I absolutely loved the whole love coil idea. The "myth"ology aspect of this story was just incredibly interesting and I feel like this story could have an entire book of it's own.

Oomph by Emery Lord | 4/5 Stars
      I thought this scenario was super cute. It's always been a little dream of mine that I would meet someone while traveling alone. *sigh*

The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout | 4/5 Stars
      I really dug the whole library scenario. I was not disappointed by Jennifer L. Armentrout, she definitely delivered.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies | 5/5 Stars
      This was hands down my favorite story in the anthology. The whole subway scenario is one I have also dreamed about and I love how it incorporated math into it. I would love to have a mute cute that went down like this one.

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan | 3/5 Stars
      I liked it until the end and then it fell flat for me.

Something Real by Julie Murphy | 2.5/5 Stars
      Eh, I thought this one was alright.

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick | 2.5/5 Stars
      I thought the premise was good but the execution fell flat.

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon | 3.5/5 Stars
      This was a very interesting concept and I would love for this to be explored more in a full fledged book.
      So those are my thoughts on all of the stories. Overall, I didn't feel like I wasted my time and definitely got my fill for some cute feels.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

My Thoughts on "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli

7:33:00 PM


Book: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

      This book was on my TBR ever since it's release, and for some reason I kept putting it off or getting too busy to read anything. Years later, "Love, Simon" came out and I knew I had to watch it. (You can read my review for the movie here.) I loved the movie with all of my heart and I decided right after the movie that once exams were done I was going to take the time to read the book. So I read the book...

      I thought the book was okay. Quite honestly, I enjoyed the movie more, which I don't know if I had a bias because I watched the movie first or if the book just genuinely wasn't as good as the movie. I felt like the movie was more authentic than the book. Even though I graduated high school a few years ago, the memories and experiences are still pretty fresh. The book did not feel like it was coming from the POV of a teenager, which is understandable considering that it was written by a grown woman. For instance, in the book the gossip going on in the school is spread via a Tumblr and there is no way in hell that would actually be feasible. Tumblr is what the fangirls and hipsters use and is by now means the mainstream source of anything.

      I do appreciate that Blue and Simon's relationship was explored more in the book and that Blue handled the situation a lot differently than in the movie.

      As far as the characters, I enjoyed the characters in the movie version than the book 10 times over. They felt more annoying and self-absorbed in the books. Watching the movie, I felt like I could be any of the characters because they felt like real people.

      Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it definitely felt like a let-down after all of this time. Will I read the sequel, probably not. 

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?



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