tweets for 2017-03-21

March 22nd, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-03-20

March 21st, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @FeralCrone: 4yo son said the word prototype. When I asked him what it meant, he said "People are a prototype" and I was too scared to a… ->
  • RT @diancalondon: "If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it." – Zora Neale Hurston #WomensHistoryMonth #r->
  • RT @ShaunKing: Guards in this Florida prison boiled #DarrenRainey to death.

    NONE OF THEM will be held accountable or even fired.

    https://… ->

  • RT @bettinajudd: Just saw someone refer to Trump supporters as Cult45 and I am mad that I never thought of it. ->

tweets for 2017-03-18

March 19th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-03-17

March 18th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @mrjaycoles: “The Hate U Give” and The Reviews I Hate. – ***DISCLAIMER: I saw a lot of the reviews mentioned weeks ago,… https://t.co/… ->

tweets for 2017-03-16

March 17th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @HopeJahren: And they are meant to send a message: that this administration has the power to withhold the food that goes into your mouth… ->
  • RT @HopeJahren: They are an attack on the culture of sharing. An attack on the culture of curiosity. An attack on the culture of caretaking… ->
  • RT @HopeJahren: Trump's budget cuts are not financially motivated; they free up relatively small amounts of $. Instead, they are an attack… ->
  • RT @Fusion: The diverse America Donald Trump hates has handed him one of his most humiliating defeats: https://t.co/M5Y2ruigUY https://t.co… ->
  • RT @CiteSomething: Giveaway! ARC of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE. RT & follow to enter by 3/20 9 pm (CT). 1 follower will win.… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-03-15

March 16th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Fall of Lisa Bellow, Susan Perabo (2017)

March 15th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

An insightful and sometimes uncanny story about relationships, trauma, and the darkest corners of our secret selves.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for rape.)

There were still little green ribbons covering Lisa’s locker, but every morning some would have fallen down overnight, scattered like tiny leaves, and she would pick them up and toss them into the bottom of her own locker. How long would they let that locker, 64C, sit there, unused? How long did missing-person ribbons stay up? Was there an expiration date, some point where they officially became irrelevant, a day when the fall of Lisa Bellow became the winter of someone else, as Evan had predicted from the start?

“You’re popular,” Jules said. “I can’t believe it. Of all of us, I didn’t think it would be you first.”

Maybe they were all bitches, Claire thought. Maybe that was all there was to be in eighth grade. Maybe you didn’t have any choice. Maybe your only choice was figuring out what kind of bitch you wanted to be.

One crisp October afternoon, thirteen-year-old Meredith Oliver stops by the Deli Barn on the way home from school, to treat herself to a root beer soda for a job well done on her algebra test. Ahead of her in line stands her arch nemesis, Parkway North Middle School’s resident Mean Girl, Lisa Bellow. Her presence so unnerves Meredith that she almost turned tail and ran – that is, until Lisa caught her eye through the door. She couldn’t show Lisa any weakness, not with so much at stake.

As the sandwich farmer* is taking Lisa’s order (overly complicated, natch), a masked man strides in and robs the cashier at gunpoint. He forces Meredith and Lisa to lay down on the sticky floor of the restaurant while he walks the cashier to the back of the store, in search of a safe that doesn’t exist. When he comes back – alone – he forces Lisa to her feet and leaves with her. Traumatized, Meredith stays on the floor for another eleven minutes (“eleven glorious minutes”), until another customer walks in and find her. Even then, it takes a group of paramedics and “a needle full of Thorazine to peel her from her cherished spot.”

The Fall of Lisa Bellow is a strange and wonderful book. It’s about how Meredith copes with the trauma of the robbery and kidnapping, yes; but hers is not the only trauma we bear witness to. Meredith’s mother, Claire; her seventeen-year-old brother Ethan; Lisa’s mother Colleen; and Lisa’s friends Becca, Abby, and Amanda – all of them are working through their own “stuff,” not all of it related to Lisa’s disappearance. Yet the ripples of her kidnapping and likely murder reverberate through all their lives.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-03-14

March 15th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @Benjaminoftomes: 🔥RT & follow @oftomes for one winner to win this pile of #Oftomes books! 🔥
    It's international & ends March 31st!
    📖 go… ->
  • RT @CiteSomething: Giveaway! ARC of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE. RT & follow to enter by 3/20 9 pm (CT). 1 follower will win.… ->
  • Urge the Lancaster Event Center and Sesostris Shrine to Go Animal- Free! https://t.co/uUaHDr8H2B ->

tweets for 2017-03-13

March 14th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Mini-Review: Nightlights, Lorena Alvarez (2017)

March 13th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Lorena Alvarez’s Artwork Positively Shines!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

Atoms are the smallest building blocks of matter. We are not able to see them with the naked eye … but everything that surrounds up is made of atoms. The stars … our bodies … the entire universe. They combine in millions of ways to create all the things we see and touch … and all the things we haven’t seen yet.

— 4.5 stars —

Every night when she closes her eyes, shiny little bubbles (stars? bursts of light and energy and joy?) appear over Sandy’s bed. When she catches them, she’s transported to another place: one filled with vibrant colors; giant, wide-eyed creatures; and funky plants of every shade and hue. In the morning, she fills her room with drawings of these other worlds (occasionally neglecting her homework to do so. Oops!)

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One day Sandy meets a mysterious new girl in the schoolyard: tale, pale to the point of translucence, with light purple hair. (Surely the nuns would have something to say about that?) Morfie is at first a welcome distraction; whereas the other kids think Sandy’s kind of weird, Morfie fawns over her artwork. But things take a sinister turn when Morfie begins to visit Sandy at inopportune times, and a nefarious, razor-toothed demon-child haunts Sandy’s dream-world.

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This sounds maybe a little scarier than it actually is. While Lorena Alvarez’s illustrations do pack a bit of a bite, they’re also lovely and whimsical and full of color and life. The target audience for Nightlights is ages nine and up, but adults are sure to be won over by the artwork. Some of the pages are suitable for framing, okay.

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As for the moral of the story, I’m not entirely sure I got it. In Morfie, I think there’s a message about following your passion because you love it, and not for the praise and awards and external feedback you hope to get from others. Staying true to yourself, because yours is the opinion that counts. It’s also important to strike a balance between work and play, responsibilities and extracurricular activities, science and the arts. And if you know why things are, it only makes them more wondrous.

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I also love the diversity here: from the students to the parents to the nuns/teachers, there are girls and women of all skin tones, shapes, and sizes. Lorena Alvarez was born in Bogotá, and the story definitely feels like it could be set in Columbia.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

 

Comments (May contain spoilers!)

Diversity: Yes! See my review for more.

Animal-friendly elements: n/a

 

tweets for 2017-03-12

March 13th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-03-11

March 12th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Thirteen Little Rennie Things

March 11th, 2017 1:00 pm by Kelly Garbato

2016-12-30 - Walking at Wallace State Park - 0057 [flickr]

Oh, my Rennie. Given the year (decade?) we’ve had (and we’re not even a quarter of the way through yet!), you have to live forever. Or at least to the ripe old age of twenty-three. Anything else might very well kill me. No pressure or anything. :P

On that note, I know that today is kind of blah, but I promise that we’ll celebrate your birthday-slash-adoption-day-a-versary in true We Rate Dogs style next week. Your uncle Mike is coming to visit, and there will be loads of walks, belly rubs aplenty, and, dog willing, maybe even a trip to the drive-in (or two or three). We will cram so much fun into so few days that you may never want to chase a ball again. Just kidding! Knock on wood! The day that happens will be a sad one indeed.

On that note: I love you! But I have calls to make, books to sort, and maybe even a few people to yell at. We shall see how the day progresses. Just know that I’m doing it all for you. You and Mags and Finnick, you’re the reason for my being. The things I’m trying to claw my way back for. You three are my everything.

Love you, forever and always,

– Mom

2016-07-26 - AM Sun With My Girls - 0025 [flickr]

 
(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-03-10

March 11th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-03-09

March 10th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2017-03-08

March 9th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Beast Is an Animal, Peternelle van Arsdale (2017)

March 8th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Dark and beautiful, but ultimately unsatisfying.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for child abuse, miscarriage, and misogyny.)

It would have been better not to have any babies at all than to give birth to two girls. Some even said it was an act of spite on the mother’s part. Only a truly disobedient woman would do such a thing.

She couldn’t get away from the monster. She was the monster.

— 3.5 stars —

Once upon a time, in a village near the forest in the land of Byd, two babies were born. They came into the world a mere two minutes apart, after their mother had labored for days. They were girls in a world that considered female children useless and unlucky; identical twins in a land ruled by superstition and mistrust. Mirror twins, at that: each a reflection of her sister, her other half.

Mindful of their neighbors’ intolerance, the woman and her husband kept the children at home, hidden from prying eyes. At least as long as they were able. This grew increasingly necessary, as the village was wracked by drought and famine, year after year. But one fateful day a visitor selling eggs caught sight of three-year-old Angelica and Benedicta; and by nightfall, an angry mob had gathered outside the family’s door. Determined to be a witch and the offspring of her coupling with the Beast, respectively, the mother and her twins were banished to the forest upon threat of death.

The girls grew wild and feral while their mother withered and faded away. Eventually they became orphans, alone save for each other – and the bitterness eating away at their hearts. The resulting hole could only be filled with the fear and hatred of others; of people like the ones who created them.

Once upon another time, also in the village of Gwenith, there lived a precocious seven-year-old girl whose brain wandered at night. One fateful evening her feet and legs followed. Though Alys’s parents cautioned her to never go out at night, lest she encounter the much-feared soul eaters – or, worse still, their master, The Beast – she disobeyed. By morning, every adult in Gwenith would be dead. Killed by the soul eaters, who Alys encountered in the pastures during her midnight stroll. She failed to sound the alarm. She was as bad as the soul eaters. She killed them all.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-03-07

March 8th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel (2017)

March 6th, 2017 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Not for the faint of heart.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for child abuse and violence against women, including rape, as well as suicide. This review contains clearly marked spoilers, but I tried to keep it as vague as possible.)

“Roanoke girls never last long around here.” She skipped along the hall, her voice growing fainter as she moved, like we were standing at opposite ends of a tunnel. “In the end, we either run or we die.”

My feelings for Allegra were never complicated. It didn’t matter if she acted crazy or made me angry or smothered me with devotion. In my whole life, she was the only person I simply loved. And I left her anyway.

THEN

Camilla Roanoke’s suicide doesn’t come as a surprise to her fifteen-year-old daughter Lane. For as long as she can remember, her mother has struggled with depression – not to mention alcoholism, mood swings, and blinding bouts of rage. Some days the tears come so fast and thick that they threaten to drown them both. So when she’s found dead in their NYC bathroom, bathrobe belt wrapped around her neck, Lane is more or less numb. Yet the cryptic note Camilla left behind – I tried to wait. I’m sorry. – puzzles Lane. The news that she has family – her mother’s parents, Yates and Lillian Roanoke – who aren’t merely willing to take Lane, but actually want her? Well, that’s the biggest shock of all.

Camilla rarely spoke of her life on the family estate, Roanoke, situated among the prairies and wheat fields of Osage Flats, Kansas. And there’s a damn good reason for it – one that Lane will discover during summer she turns sixteen. One hundred days of being a “Roanoke Girl” was all she could take before she fled Kansas – hopefully for good.

NOW

Eleven years later, a late-night phone call from her grandfather summons Lane back to Roanoke. Back home. Her cousin Allegra is missing, and Lane is determined to find out what happened. It’s the least she can do, for leaving Allegra behind all those years ago.

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2017-03-04

March 5th, 2017 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato