Summer Promise by Robin Jones Gunn

When it got to be time for me to choose my next young adult, I kind of freaked out.  There were so many books that I had been wanting to read for such a long time that I couldn’t make a decision.  I ended up grabbing the first Christy Miller because I had been suggesting this series to kids who wanted inspirational fiction for a while but I had no grasp on anything about it.  The books seemed to check out a lot so I figured that they couldn’t be that bad and my curiosity got the best of me.

I was reading a chapter of a YA book before bed every night and this actually ended up being a great book for that.   It’s very fluffy but tries to touch on edgy subjects.  I am definitely not the intended audience here.  I’m a 33 year old woman and I am not a Christian.  Though, I actually ended up really enjoying this book.  As much as I was reading it tongue-in-cheek, it was fun and amusing and completely and utterly unrealistic.

Christy is spending the summer with her aunt and uncle in California.  Back home, her parents are having some financial problems and her aunt seems to think that Christy needs help blossoming.  Here we have our typical makeover scenario.  Her aunt buys her all kinds of new clothes and makeup and takes her to get her hair cut and highlighted.  Christy feels like a “real” California girl afterward and goes back to the beach where she promptly makes a fool of herself.  Christy is one of those characters who reminds me a lot of my tween self.  She doesn’t have a lot of confidence.  She’s always over reacting or making mistakes that feel like the end of the world to her.  She whines.  She realizes that she’s been ungrateful or mean and then feels bad.  Very human.  Not perfect.

Christy makes a couple of friends at the beach that day, Alissa and Todd.  Alissa abandons her when everyone is laughing at her but Todd is nice enough to help her out.  Christy LIKES Todd.  He’s so cute, giggle giggle.  Todd is a Christian though, with a capital “born again”.  When Christy goes to a party with Alissa and Todd and some of Todd’s friends, she is innocent to go looking for Coke to drink and instead everyone thinks she wants coke to snort which was actually the funniest thing I had read in a while.  After the party, one of Todd’s old friends gets into an accident and dies, sending Christy down a road of questioning.  The only person she feels able to talk to about all of her new questions is Todd.  She really wants him to like her, so she even pretends to like nuts on her ice cream because he does.

This whole book is supposed to be about Christy finding herself.  Her aunt is pushing her to become a social butterfly.  Her uncle keeps telling her to be true to herself.  Her parents tell her not to do anything she’ll regret.  It’s actually a pretty great message and a well handled theme until the end when Christy pretty much says, “I don’t need to be true to myself!  I’ve got Jesus now!”

There’s a pretty good chance that I’ll continue with this series some day.  It was pretty enjoyable, like a tame soap opera.

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Graphic Friday- A-Force: Rage Against the Dying Light by Kelly Thompson

So, I read the first A-Force trade and liked it a lot more than I expected.  When I finished reading, I noticed that it was by G. Willow Wilson and I really liked her Ms. Marvel so I felt less surprised and also very excited to start the second trade.  Then I checked it out and I realized another reason that I get so pissed off about comics.  New writers.  New artists.  I know Kelly Thompson from her work on Jem, the first trade of which I really liked.  So, in short, I gave it a try.

I liked it.  I did.  Again.

Which has left me in a kind of conundrum.  Am I going to have to admit that maybe I DO like superhero comics, if they are the right ones?  Am I going to have to trust Marvel’s choice in writers and artists?  (I don’t think I can do that because we all know they have a tendency to do stupid shit constantly.  Though I do like that both writers for this series were women.)  And, you know, is there ever going to be more A-Force because I kind of need it?

We join the team this time in the midst of a battle that is going poorly.  It goes poorly enough that She Hulk ends up in the hospital, in a coma.  Meanwhile, Captain Marvel has heard a prophecy that Nico will kill a woman named Alice.  Cap wants to arrest Nico in order to prevent this murder until they can figure out what is going on.  Nico is not a fan of being arrested by her teammate and runs away (ha) to a safe house she has in Colorado.  However, when she gets there she finds that the townspeople are being turned into giant insects.

Another fun run!  I want more, damn you, Marvel.

Tally Monday- September 25, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Archie, vol 4 by Mark Waid
  2. First Date by R. L. Stine
  3. The Knife by R. L. Stine
  4. Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson
  5. The Prom Queen by R. L. Stine
  6. The Best Friend by R. L. Stine

Bought

  1. The Sisterhood by Florence Stevenson

Read

  1. Emitown, vol 2 by Emi Lenox
  2. “Goodnight Nobody” by Sarah Hall

Reading: A-Force: Rage Against the Dying of the LightDirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster, Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

As you can see, I went a little off the rails this week.

Fall.  I freaking love fall and, honestly, this is my favorite part of it.  It’s been in the 80’s and 90’s in Michigan this past week and it’s been wonderful.  It’s so hot and sunny that it’s like summer but it’s also golden and smells like leaves.  It’s great.  Heat is my favorite but so is fall and Halloween and I can feel the spirit invading me.  I want to read horror and watch Ghost Hunters and drink cider.

And so I did my annual ordering of Fear Street books.

The problem is that I now have 10 books out on my library card and I am nearing my usual predicament.  My plan right now is to tear through some books and get it back under control before I completely spin out.  If all goes well, you should expect some book reviews soon!

Bought myself a book this week!  I had a hard couple of days and decided to treat myself on the way to work on Thursday.  I went to my local used book store and spent some time in their wonderful horror section.  I settled on a creepy, witchy book.  I felt satisfied.

Graphic Friday- Emitown, vol 2 by Emi Lenox

Now that I have read both volumes of Emitown, I feel comfortable telling you that I am in love with these books.  I don’t know what it is about them.  I find them comforting, somehow.  They make me feel a little more upbeat.  Even when Emi is dealing with *some shit* she manages to make herself go out and try to have fun and reading these daily entries made me feel like I could do that too.

This volume differs from the first in that Emi constructed it from notes at a later time and so the book has more of an actual arc to it.  At first I was concerned about this because I loved the randomness of the first volume but this book was just as good.  Emi is going through the publication of her first book and a relationship and a job loss.  There is a lot going on but she ties it all together nicely.

I know that these books aren’t for everyone but I can tell you that when I finished volume 2, I wanted to start back at volume 1 again and keep going in an infinite loop.

Podcast Tuesday Part 2!

I did something.

I don’t know why I did it, especially because Hubby has been bothering me to do it forever.  Today it just made sense.

I deleted most of my backlog of downloaded episodes.

At present I only have the podcasts that I am caught up on and four or five of my “next up” podcasts.  I went from 38.55 GB to 19.34 GB!  And it should only get better!  From now on, I’m only downloaded what I’m caught up on and my “next up.”  After I catch up on these, I’ll only have one or two “next up” podcasts!

I don’t know how much freer I feel or anything like that.  Maybe just cleaner?  Better able to take pictures and videos of my baby?  Still, it’s nice!

Podcast Tuesday- September 19, 2017

Podcasts: 1213

Fall is in the air.  I can tell because I want to make a big change.  I want to take a long nap.  I want to go for a long walk and listen to 90’s music.  I can tell because suddenly I want to put all of the fall in my face.  I want to read and watch horror.  I want to listen to horror.

This week I am playing catchup with podcasts after finished Anne of Windy Poplars on audio.  I’m continuing on with my On Being project and I am down to 33!  I feel like that is impressive but when I look back I realize that actually I only made a small dent this week.  Only four!  Well five because a new one hit the feed this week.  Still, a little bit goes a long ways eventually, right?

I thought that I would be able to make a bigger dent in it this week after I caught up.  I didn’t realize how far behind I was on the stuff that I HAD been caught up on.  It feels kind of like a mess.  But when things get like this I just remind myself that I will get there eventually, that slow and steady wins the race.

Am I taking a lot from On Being? As I said before, it’s hit or miss.  This morning I listened to an episode titles “On Whiteness” and it was interesting but it also pretty much confirmed a lot of stuff that I already know and believe.  I live in the middle of nowhere.  I went to school with two black kids, one who left in sixth grade and one who came in eleventh grade.  There are a lot of racists around me, people who wave the confederate flag even though their families have lived on the same NORTHERN land since 1850 but they still somehow have “Southern pride.”  It is normal for me to hear something like, “I’m not one of those people but I think they should just go back home/to Africa.”  It’s an embarrassment.

I didn’t think a lot about race when I was growing up.  When I was in sixth grade I told my teacher that I thought I might be racist because I felt funny when I went to the mall in the city.  Now that I am older, I realize that what I was experiencing was not racism, it was simply how you feel when you go somewhere different, somewhere with a lot of strangers and new experiences.  I mean,  I feel that way when I use a new bathroom.

Maybe I was primed to think about things differently than people I know.  Because I started calling myself a witch when I was 12.  Because I started calling myself a feminist when I was 14.  Because I had a surprisingly large number of gay/lesbian friends in high school.  When I went to college, I had to take a class called Gender, Race, and Sexuality that was about discrimination and the legal system and all of that.  I had never thought of institutional/systematic racism until then but it made complete sense to me because wasn’t that what feminism was talking about too?

I recognize that my race makes it easy for me to say that I am sick of the whole fight.  I am privileged to ignore it when I need to.  And, actually, it was kind of nice listening to this episode because it confirmed the things that I remember learning about all of those years ago.  So, no, I’m not crazy.

Tally Monday- September 18, 2017

Checked Out

  1. Dirt Under My Nails by Marilee Foster
  2. Unlucky by Jana DeLeon

Bought

None!

Read

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  2. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

Currently ReadingEmitown, vol 2Dirt Under My NailsSummer Promise by Robin Gunn

As soon as I got paid on Friday, I got the itch.  “It’s been about a month since I bought myself a book.  I really want a book.  I want to buy some horror.  Maybe some Robert McCammon or Dean Koontz?  I know that I could just wait and buy the new Stephen King next week. Or maybe get my hands on some Fear Street if I stopped by a used book store…”  Actually, it was before Friday because Thursday I left early to meet my mom for lunch so that I could stop at the used book store in town and grab something but I forgot LD’s formula and had to go back home for  it.

It’s frustrating.  The local used book store is only open from 10-5 Monday through Friday, and 10-3 on Saturday.  That means my only opportunities to stop are Thursday before my lunch date with Mom and Saturdays.  This Saturday my brother-in-law got married.  (Yaya!!!!  Super congrats to those two!) There was no stopping.  The wedding was an 8 minute drive from my favorite used book store and I probably had enough time to swing in except that they were having a book signing for a book I had no interest in and that made me feel awkward.

Sigh.  Maybe I can make it THIS Thursday.

When I told Hubby that I hadn’t bought a book in a month, he called bullshit.  So I used this blog to prove to him that it had been OVER a month.  The last book I bought was in the beginning of August and I forgot to blog it but found the order on Amazon to prove my point.  Look at me!  I have a paper trail!

Dirt Under My Nails has been on my TBR probably since it came out 14 years ago.  I’ve been making a point to read some of the older books on my TBR and it feels good to cross some of them off, like I’m actually making progress.  This book is about a farmer on Long Island and it divided into seasons and done in vignettes gleaned from Foster’s column.  I’m enjoying a look into the natural world and also farming. I checked out the DeLeon book because I read her Rumble on the Bayou years ago and loved it.  It was funny and super enjoyable.  I’m hoping this one is too.

I am having that problem right now, the burning need to devour.  I want to read all of the books and listen to all of the podcasts and watch all of the shows.  This tends to get worse in the fall months as well because on top of all the stuff I usually want to consume, I’m also over here like, “Fear Street books!  Ghost Hunters!  ALL OF THE HORROR MOVIES!  Where is the Stephen King??”

As a final note.  I decided this weekend that “flesh” is my favorite word.  Why? It’s awfully creepy, that’s why.

Man… I could use some He Who Walks Between the Rows…. Freaking fall.