Month: March 2017

Mar 21

The Impossible Fortress

Young Adult Fiction 6

Greetings Bookworms!

I know I’ve been slacking in my book reviewing and I’m trying to catch up. Today I thought it would be a good time to take a trip into the not so distant past with all the glory of the 1980s and Jason Rekulak’s The Impossible Fortress. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. That said, a free book does not buy my integrity and I’ll give you my honest opinion. I have no manners. Every once in a while, that’s a useful trait.*

Who doesn’t love a super nerdy teen not quite romance featuring troubled youth in the 80s? I mean, there’s computer programming involved, yo! (I don’t necessarily find computer programming sexy, but shared nerdy interests as a possible romantic foundation is totally my jam.)

Let me rewind. It’s 1987, and a crew of 14 year old boys have set their obsessive teenage eyes upon acquiring a copy of the Playboy magazine that features Vanna White’s scandalous nude photos. They go to great lengths to attempt to procure a copy (or several) of said magazine, and their elaborate heist includes one of the boys pretending to seduce the daughter of a local merchant in order to gain access to the store’s security code. Needless to say, Billy, our unlikely Casanova, soon develops real feelings for one Mary Zelinsky as they program computer games together. Predictably, mayhem ensues.

The Impossible Fortress had some serious marketing push behind it, all the publicity dropping comparisons to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One right and left (review). And, while I found it enjoyable (and I really did, it was a fun read) this book appeared to get way more attention than many of the other debut novels I’ve seen of late, particularly for a novel that’s based in nostalgia and not a literary heavy hitter. I think this led to me expecting more from it than it could realistically deliver. It also left me feeling a bit squidgy seeing how many female and minority authors have to hustle hardcore to promote their debut novels while this white dude seemed to get a ginormous budget. Like I said, The Impossible Fortress was good, it just didn’t seem SO AMAZING that it deserved all the dollars.

Alright Bookworms, talk to me. What time period is your personal nostalgia favorite? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

 

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Mar 13

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction 15

Howdy Bookworms!

It has been a BUSY couple of weeks, let me tell you what. First of all, I want to thank everyone so so so much for all your incredibly supportive and sweet comments regarding the impending arrival of Babysaurus Bookworm. I’ve been overwhelmed in the best possible way with all the love and spoiling this little dude has already received. Last weekend I visited with some of my favorite BEA Bookworms (Stacey and Julz wrote adorable recaps) and I visited one of my ride or die BFFs who made me the world’s best guacamole. Seriously, Chrissy. I’m still daydreaming about that guac. I’d love to write a sonnet to that guacamole, and one day I might, but in the meantime, I thought I should probably attempt to make a dent in the giant pile of books I’ve read that I haven’t yet told you about. So let’s start with a fun one, shall we? It’s Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy!

Willowdean Dixon lives in a tiny town in Texas where the biggest event of the year is a beauty pageant for teenage girls. Will (or “Dumplin'” if you’re her former beauty queen mother) has always been comfortable in her own skin, but she has also always known that her body type does not fit society’s standards of beauty. It’s not until she begins dating a super handsome jock that she begins to feel truly insecure about her size. But Will won’t go down so easily. Not with her best friend by her side, a dash of moxie, and an abiding love of Dolly Parton.

I loooove a book with a heroine with some meat on her bones, y’all. There are oodles of YA books out there full of impossibly beautiful teenage girls. Granted, they normally don’t realize they’re impossibly beautiful until a boy comes along, but I love the idea of a main character who couldn’t be played by a typical Hollywood glam girl in the movie version, you know? Because as much as I love me some cheesy 90s teen movies, glasses and a ponytail don’t actually make a gorgeous actress look awkward. Just one of the reasons I loved Dumplin’. Some of the other reasons are a bit more personal…

Did I ever tell y’all about the time I was in a pageant? Sorry, “scholarship program.” Yes, they used the same line that’s used in Miss Congeniality. My teenage self was a study in contradictions, because while I was busy wearing really huge pants and listening to the angstiest grunge the late 90s had to offer, I was also still very involved in dance classes and, to a lesser extent, high school theater. Which is why, for reasons twisty and confusing, I decided to compete in said “scholarship program.” This book brought SO MUCH of that back. So much. Whew. (In case you’re wondering, I did not win that pageant, I came in first runner up, which legitimately did net me enough scholarship money to pay for my first semester’s books in college. Also, the thought of my talent routine makes me cringe to this very day. It involved pig tails and tap shoes and Bjork. Because of course it did.)

Moral of the story? Read Dumplin’. And please, if you have an embarrassing high school story, share it. Because pig tails and tap shoes, you guys.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Mar 01

A Life Update

Personal 57

Greetings Bookworms!

I know, I know. I wrote a total of ONE blog post the entire month of February. I’m not proud, but I’ve had a lot on my mind. See exhibit A:

That’s right, y’all. I’m currently gestating a tiny human. But I feel like it would be disingenuous to be all “YAY I AM PREGNANT!” without giving you at least a tiny bit of context. So, here’s the Reader’s Digest version…

Hubs and I decided we would like to have a baby nigh on 3 years ago. And, while it is VERY TRUE that one can get pregnant from a single encounter (I don’t want to take away from the importance of being responsible for any of the young impressionable minds that might be reading this) it doesn’t necessarily work that way for everyone. The road from flippant “oh, let’s just see what happens” to monitoring your temperature daily and buying ovulation kits in bulk is pretty depressing. Long story short, 2.5 to 3 years of trying, a whole lot of tests that couldn’t find anything wrong, and one (very early but totally heartbreaking) miscarriage led to the little dude in my belly showing up all on his own. When he darn well felt like it. I’m currently 16 weeks along, and if what the docs are telling me is true, it’s a boy!

I didn’t confide the whole of what was going on to very many people, mostly because it bummed me out and I wanted to feel normal. I also realize that given what some folks go through with hormone treatments and medications and other procedures, things could have been SO much more difficult. But reading the occasional blog post from someone who had been through something similar helped me feel less crappy. So, if this is you right now and you need a hug? Consider yourself HUGGED!

I suppose it’s been good preparation for parenthood. There’s going to be a whole lot that despite my best intentions is going to be completely out of my control. I’m still super excited to embark on this adventure!

Alright Bookworms. Any parents (or super awesome Aunts, Uncles, and Fairy Godparents) have recommendations for excellent children’s books or must-have baby gear? 

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