Book Reviews

Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen – Book Review

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Balance the world in your relationship. No one person should be responsible for killing ALL the Zombies.

Married with Zombies is one of the first books I ever read with Nicole many years ago. I read it during the hype of zombies (in my life) and I loved it so much. Recently, though, I listened to the audiobook because I want to finish the trilogy, and hey, zombies are my favorite thing yet again. I hate to say that I found this book not as great the second time around.

This story follows Sarah and David, a couple that’s on the verge of divorce. During their last therapy visit, they discover a world full of zombies. They cope with everything well, all things considered. The zombie slaying kicks off pretty early on. And through the fighting off zombies and protecting each other, they solve their marriage.

I really love the premise of this book. I love that the fricken zombie apocalypse managed to keep a married couple together. I love to think that certain people will thrive during the upcoming zombie apocalypse. (Come on, do you not believe one is coming?) I liked the pacing and the plot. They encounter a variety of interesting characters and stumble into terrifying situations. I just had a few problems with Sarah as the narrator.

Sarah calls a lot of women “bitch.” The one that hurt me the most was when she called a teenager a “bitch” just because she didn’t want to leave with them. Sarah just constantly kept looking down on women, calling them stupid as well. I hate it when women hate women for no good reason. I kept cringing because of it.

I think this is a fun book that should, in no way, be taken seriously. But give it a read if you like zombies.

3 stars

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Book Reviews

The Strongest Boy by Renee Irving Lee – Book Review

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I’ve been on a children’s book kick lately. During Pride month, I read a lot of really beautiful, thought-provoking LGBT+ books that made me so happy. When I heard about The Strongest Boy, I knew I would also love it.

This beautifully illustrated book deals with the topic of toxic masculinity very well. Max wants to be strong. He’s been told he’s strong, and he believes it completely. But his idea of strength is kind of Hulk-smash strength, which causes destruction and frustration.

Through his father, Max learns that strength can be shown better with your mind and words and intelligence. Max learns a very important lesson about masculinity, and grows a lot in the end.

It was refreshing reading about this topic. I’m glad I found this sweet little story.

4 stars

Book Reviews

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – Book Review

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History, huh? Bet we could make some.

I just want to stay in this book forever.

I had the enormous pleasure of reading an early copy of this book through NetGalley, and I’m so grateful for that because from the moment I heard about this book, I knew I would love it. Sometimes, though, you hear about a book that sounds too good to be true, and it disappoints you because your expectations were way too high. In this case, I’m delighted to say that this book exceeded each and every one of my expectations.

Red, White & Royal Blue follows Alex, the First Son of the United States of America. In this wonderful fictional reality, the U.S. has a phenomenal woman as president, Madam Ellen Claremont. Alex Claremont-Diaz is her half-Mexican son who is one-third of the White House Trio, also made up of June and Nora (who are both exceptional women, owners of my heart). I completely adored the White House Trio, and the president, and the entire White House staff. Adored them. The fact that Alex and June were half-Mexican and very attached to their Mexican culture pulled my heartstrings. Being Mexican, I saw so much of myself reflected in them. I saw so many things of my culture that I had long ago forgotten, and was pleasantly reminded. I felt so connected to these characters for these, and many other reasons.

I’m already gushing and we haven’t even made it to Henry. Oh, boy. How should I sum up Henry? Henry is the Prince of Fucking England. Oops, sorry. I mean. His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales — no disrespect. Henry is the softest, most talented, most beautiful man I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Wow. Henry is a dream, but like a dream that you never want to wake up from. A dream that keeps on giving. Henry is all that is good in the world and then some. He also has the most amazing sister, Bea, who protects him fiercely. And the most glamorous best friend, Pez, who is honestly the best. So, yeah, I think we can all agree that this book stole my heart, entirely.

So now, the premise of this magnificent book, which is the hook that gets everyone. Alex and Henry are lifelong enemies, have always hated each other. But due to a small incident involving them ruining an expensive cake and jeopardizing the peace of their two nations, they’re forced to spend some quality time together. You know, just two guys that hate each other spending time. What could possibly happen next? Oh, wait, I know! It’s the best trope ever! Enemies to friends to lovers. And Casey McQuiston does it perfectly. Their relationship develops so naturally, and before you know it, you’re rooting for these two beautiful idiots to just kiss already because they’re obviously harboring very romantic feelings for each other!

You know, I usually love queer romances in books. That’s my favorite thing to read. I love the rep, and that’s what I’m here to read. But in this book, there was so much more. I came for the romance and stayed for all the other things. Among these things were all of the extraordinary side characters that were all fleshed-out and absolutely wonderful. Did I mention yet that they’re all super witty? Because they are. All of them. The banter they have is on another level.

The love between these characters is so heartwarming. All of them love and support each other. None of them are perfect. They’re all so flawed, but they love each other anyway. It’s great. So great.

And the politics. I gotta say, I’ve always been a bit of a history buff, so I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I cried, simply imagining a world in which Ellen Claremont was the president of the U.S. and I’m not even a little bit sorry about that. That woman was badass and she could rule the world if she wanted to. Of course, she’s fictional so we kind of have to digress.

Whoa, I’m still so pumped after reading this book. It comes out in a month, but I can’t wait to get my own physical copy. I’m going to get as many people as I can to read this, because not only is it an amazing read that’ll lift your spirits, it’s also super inspirational and necessary. Also, the world must know Alexander Gabriel Claremont-Diaz because he is my child. That is all.

5 stars

Book Reviews

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – Book Review

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Even on this most terrible days, even when the worst of us are all we can think of, I am proud to be a human.

Well, this was super entertaining.

This book follows April May (still can’t get over her name being two months put together). She’s a twenty-three year old who becomes an overnight viral sensation upon her discovery video of Carl, a ten foot robot that shows up in New York. But there isn’t just one Carl. There are Carls all over the world. On top of these mysterious appearances, there are many other strange happenings in April’s life. All of it completely unbelievable, and yet totally captivating.

I’m not much of a sci-fi person, or a mystery person. But this book appealed to me. I’m not sure if it was because of the fleshed out characters, or because the prose was witty and had a humorous undertone at all times. I really enjoyed this. April was an excellent main character. I related to her impulsive, reckless tendencies. I understood her fear of intimacy. I was always rooting for her. And her quirky friends: Maya, Andy, Miranda, and Robin. These guys stole my heart from the beginning. I loved the way they worked together, all of them having April’s back. I even liked Carl, the fricken robot.

I loved the diversity, too. April was openly bisexual, and she never hid her attraction to others. I loved the way April saw her fame, and how she recognized the way it made her feel. It was so human. The concept of being human was challenged often, but in very interesting ways. There was a lot to philosophize, and puzzles to break, and pop songs to love. I especially loved the Queen shout out. Another reason to love this book, and Hank Green.

This book was incredible. I’ll be recommending it from now on. I can’t wait for the sequel!

4 stars

Book Reviews

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura – Book Review

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And I remember that hiding the truth doesn’t stop things from being true. Not talking about things doesn’t stop them from happening. Pretending that a thing is something else doesn’t change its true nature.

This is a book of cheaters.

Sana is in high school when she’s forced to move to California. There, she meets Jamie, a beautiful girl she likes. Girl meets girl, and things are good for a while. I liked the diversity in this book. Sana is Japanese-American, and Jamie Mexican-American. They both have friends with the same backgrounds too. That was probably one of the few things I liked about the story.

I didn’t like Sana very much. At first, I could seriously relate to her. I’ve had many crushes on girls, unsure whether the girls even like girls in the first place. I loved everything about the first half of the book. But then, everyone started lying and cheating and it was a complete mess that I ended up kind of hating. There were also a lot of really harmful stereotypes expressed about Mexican-Americans that were really awful, and never really addressed.

I don’t have the energy to hate this book. It just makes me tired to think about it. This book had so much potential. I was sure it would be a new favorite. But it took all of the wrong turns.

2,5 stars

Book Reviews

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg – Book Review

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This summer. First time in my life I’ve been alive, really. I love it.

This book had me sold from the premise. It sounded like the perfect summery romance, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I listened to the audiobook, and the narration really brought the characters to life.

Max and Jordan are complete opposites. They don’t get along at first, even though Max jumps on board to help Jordan and his mom with their food truck business. Jordan and his mom are about to lose their house, and it all depends on whether Max and Jordan make enough profit from the food truck. It is a lot of responsibility for two teenage boys, but somehow, that’s how things play out.

I really liked the interactions between Max and Jordan. They made a really great team, and they always had each other’s backs. My favorite, by far, was Max. I loved that boy so much. He deserved all the good things in the world, but a really terrible thing happens to him, and that made me so upset. Jordan is also great, and I liked him a lot. Really bad things happen to him too. And then suddenly, it wasn’t a sweet summer romance anymore. It was a very upsetting story.

I understand that life isn’t all good times and sunshine, but things got so bad in this book that it just made it so hard for me to keep going with the story. I wanted to give up on it a few times, but the characters kept me going. I just hated so many of the scenes. It got to be too much for me.

I should warn that there are trigger warnings for rape, PTSD and abuse. Take these very seriously, guys. Stay safe!

3,5 stars

Book Reviews

Pet Sematary by Stephen King – Book Review

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Maybe she’ll learn something about what death really is, which is where the pain stops and the good memories begin. Not the end of life but the end of pain.

This book is so twisted.

I don’t know what it was, but while listening to the audiobook, this book made me feel ill. Granted, I have anxiety, so that might have been the reason why I had heart palpitations, headaches, bright red cheeks, and nausea while listening to this book. No book has ever made me feel this sick to my stomach. That should tell you how disturbing and upsetting it was. I’m actually convinced that this book somehow contains bad juju, or some curse that courses through your veins while you’re reading it. But I really can’t complain because it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.

I think it’s better to go into it not knowing much about it. Here’s what I’ll tell you: it’s set in Maine, it’s very much centered around death, grief, and loss, there are excellent characters that steal your heart, there are terrifying scenes that I will likely never forget, and it’s one of the most terrifying Stephen King books I’ve read to date.

Cats were the gangsters of the animal world, living outside the law and often dying there.

I have to say, I watched the movie a few years ago and figured I didn’t need to read the book. However, the new adaptation is coming out soon, so I decided to read the book before watching it. I thought I was prepared for what was coming because I knew to watch out for it, but I was wrong. I wasn’t prepared for anything. It was all shocking and gruesome and horrible. But I couldn’t put it down. I had to keep going.

Sometimes dead is better.

I’m not sure how I feel about death anymore. I’ve always feared it, but not for the reasons I fear it now.

4 stars