Review: Children of Blood and Bone

I’m breaking one of my rules. I’m reviewing a single book in a series – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This is because the second book (Children of Virtue and Vengeance ) isn’t out yet. So I can’t review the whole series. And I need to talk about this book. I’ve had this book on my radar since I saw the bit about “women writers are automatically YA” and the falsehood this entails. I have to 1000% agree – this is NOT a YA book. At least not in the “sure, 14-year-olds can read” level YA. Maybe 18. Definitely 20. And although I might consider 20 “young adult” – that isn’t what the market actually says (12-18 is pretty standard). This books hits hard on some deep, serious, and difficult topics. Genocide. Trauma. Blood Magic. Torture. Adeyemi doesn’t toe around these topics lightly, she drags you into them in such a way that you wonder where the

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Tech: Tablet… upgrade?

Within 30 minutes of posting my previous tablet piece, Eli messaged me “you know, there’s an apple store right by my office” He also convinced me to go with wifi-only model, with the promise that if I really, truly miss/need LTE we’ll look at adding a wifi hotspot to our cell phone plan. So that night he brought me home my new ipad mini (there really wasn’t much competition, it was a matter of convincing myself to just bite the bullet). So it’s been two weeks – what do I think? So with the money we saved on the wifi-only option, I got a case and a crayon. The crayon is a very nice stylus. The case does exactly what I want – protect my ipad and give me a real keyboard. Thus far it’s been great, the bluetooth has connected without issue. My only complaint with either is he ability to know how much battery is left (this is

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Baby Stuff: Monitor

Baby Monitors are insane. Ridiculous. We were super lucky that some friends gave us their baby monitor to help us get started. It was less than a year old and really has given us a chance to see what is good and bad in a baby monitor. And there are some ridonkulous baby monitors out there in the market. Now, why am I looking at the market? Well, as we’re beginning to transition Remy to his crib (he’s outgrowing the bassinet already) we’ve run into a snag (apparently common with the monitor we were given) where the parental unit battery doesn’t hold a charge and doesn’t want to charge. Quite a few Amazon reviews complain the battery sucks after a year or so. So it goes 2-3 hrs (withOUT video) and is dying. And you have to basically hold the charging cord in to get it to charge. This wasn’t an issue when we really only used the monitor during

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Reviews: How I approach them

I’m sure anyone who is reading my reviews regularly knows this, but I’m going to confess I don’t have a system for my reviews. When I first started them (if you go back and look at the oldest of them), I tried to follow some kind of pattern. Set a structure and stay inside it. Give a rating of some kind. I hated it. I found it very frustrating when the review I wanted to write didn’t fit in this structure I had built. The boundaries weren’t fences keeping the wilderness out – they were a prison keeping me from exploring! So I scrapped the formula and went freeform. What can I say – I’m a pantser at my core. But it helped. I was able to explore. When I feel an author did an exceptional job (either positively or negatively) on a specific element I can chew on it longer. If something like “world building” wasn’t really important, I

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Tech: The Tablet Hunt

My tablet is dying. I have finally had to admit it doesn’t hold much charge, the bluetooth keyboards can not manage to stay connected (yes, I have 2 and both of them are in bad shape too). I do NOT want to do this, but Eli is pretty sure my tablet was purchased in 2013 or 2014…. which means it’s well past “expected life” for tech – much less a tablet. Hell, it’s on Google 6.0 and can’t be updated anymore (I could probably jailbreak it and maybe get another version on there, but I’m also afraid this would brick the thing). So I need a new tablet. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tablet on the market I’m excited about. What I have now: To understand what I’ve had for the past ~6 years, it’s a Nexus 7, 32GB version with LTE access through T-mobile. The Big Problem My current tablet is 7″ and has been the perfect size for me.

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Review: Wayfairer trilogy

I pretty much stumbled across this series and found myself drawn in. I never realized a book without strong plot could be enjoyable. All those “character books” I had to read in middle and high school (I’m looking at you Pat Conroy) where it’s exploring “the human experience” or whatever. I disliked those. But the Wayfarirer books, there isn’t a strong plot to drive me forward – and I didn’t mind at all. So clearly, these books are all about the characters. And I do mean, all about. The barest of plot/action makes an appearance just to give the books some kind of beginning-middle-end structure, but that is all it seems to be for. These books are about the people and the world. And this world was fascinating. The worlds Beck Chambers builds are awesome. They are deep and real. There was only one alien species I found myself going “I don’t believe they would make it to space on

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Musings: Clothing sizes and who buys them

I have long been jealous of how men’s clothing is sized. Specifically, men’s pants – waist and length. Women’s clothing is NOTHING like that. It’s an arbitrary letter (S, M, L) or number (8, 14, 20) – which really has no external verification for “accuracy.” So I am sometimes a Large shirt. Sometimes Extra-Large. In some brands I am an XXL. And even then, it might be huge around my stomach/shoulders and tight around my breasts. Despite being a “woman’s cut.” Have they MET any women??? It’s why I’m such a huge fan of eShakti (see my review here) – they acknowledge and market that women are different sizes and shapes and make the customization more affordable. Looking at other women, I know I’m not that weird in shape and size. But somehow clothing manufacturers – even relatively “high end” brands (ok, I’m not talking Prada here or anything, but even Calvin Klein) can have the weirdest sizes and shapes

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Review: Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik is a unique writer in my world – I find her books extremely frustrating and extremely intriguing at the same time. I love retellings and twists on fairy tails and Novik hits both with this book. More than 90% of the book is told from the perspective of women – Miryem, Wanda, and Irina being the main protagonists. Miryem and Irina each seeing bigger picture issues they want to “fix” or address – Wanda mostly doesn’t want to be cold and hungry (I don’t blame her!). I enjoyed the Russian twist on Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t particularly like how Novik handled men in this novel. In His Majesty’s Dragons, the protagonist was a man, so I know she can do it – write decent men. For some reason the men in Spinning Silver are flat stereotypes at best – “the big brute” or the “angsty artist” or “pretentious prince.” I honestly have a higher expectation, this isn’t her debut

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Current Reading List

I was talking to someone the other day and I made a comment “one of the books I’m reading…” the person stopped me and said, “One of? More than one?” Yes. I read multiple books at the same time. Not literally sitting and reading one page in one book, then the next, then the next. It depends on my circumstances. And at some point most books become my “need to finish now” book – the one I obsess over until I finish it. I have a few categories of books I read: Need to Finish Now – this is the book I can’t put down. I will sacrifice food, sleep, and people-time to read these books. Breastfeeding and reading is something I’m still figuring out. My commute book. This has to be an audio book since I drive. I try really hard not to let my commute book turn into my “must finish now” book – it can be difficult

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