Showing posts with label mini-review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mini-review. Show all posts

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Really Mini-Reviews! - Swing Time by Zadie Smith and The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware








What have I got for you today?

Some more awesome-sauce Really Mini-Reviews!







girl writing while sitting on a flying book with a happy sun in the background









So, here are my reviews of Swing Time by Zadie Smith, and The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware:





Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Month in Review(s) - February 2018

You remember, in January, when I said I was getting the hang of the whole life-balance deal-y?






February calendar in pink with the 14th circled, and love hearts in the corner reading 'love you' and 'kiss me'





Yeah... well, regular service has resumed. My life is back to Milo-Murphy's-Law-levels of randomness.

If you haven't seen Milo Murphy's Law, this is what I'm talking about:

(Warning: flashing images)











...I relate so hard it scares me.





Typical example: I had a scratch on my hand. Not unusual?


It was from the cat. Still not that odd?

It was because the cat was squirming, trying to stop me, from stopping him, from climbing into my big brother's sling (which he was wearing at the time,) which he has because he broke his arm roller-skating.

This is my life.




Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mini-Review! - An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

An Untamed State title image with bird flying outside bird cage in a vintage style with purple and brown tones; 'Book Review @ dorareads.co.uk' is written in the bottom-right corner




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Title: An Untamed State


Author: Roxane Gay



Amazon: UK - USA















Verdict:


This book is an open wound.

It is raw. It is powerful. And, somehow, it finds a way to be beautiful.





Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Month in Review(s) - November 2017

November was one of those super-busy months where I barely had time to think!


As such, guys, I apologise if I've been a little more AWOL than usual.

I haven't had much chance to be social and all that - so, hi! I am still here! XD





November 2017 calendar image





Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017

Mini-Review! - Caramel Surprise by Ja'Nese Dixon

Caramel Surprise title image







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Title: Caramel Surprise


Author: Ja'Nese Dixon


Genre: Short Story, Romance (M/F,) Contemporary


Series: Ready For Love #1






Amazon: UK - USA








Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Mini-Review! (Comics Edition!) - The Sun Dragon's Song #2

The Sun Dragon's Song title image


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Title: The Sun Dragon's Song #2

Author: Joyce Chng

Artist: Kim Miranda

Genre: Comics, Fantasy, Kids

Series: The Sun Dragon's Song


Amazon:
The Sun Dragon's Song #1: UK - USA
The Sun Dragon's Song #2: UK - USA
Two issue bundle #1&2: UK - USA




Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Really Mini Reviews! - 3 Contemporary F/F (Lesbian) Romances

It's funny isn't it, how there seems to be a lot more support for M/M romance than there is for F/F romance?

That's not to say that M/M romance doesn't deserve support (it totally does!) but F/F romance shouldn't have to linger by the wayside.




girls kissing pic





Now, I have a habit of reading... pretty much anything I can get my hands on, which includes F/F romances, of course!

But I also tend to go for cheap/on-offer, and free books where possible (I'm broke dammit!) - so in this post, I review 3 short (novella/short story) contemporary F/F books that I managed to snag as freebies. (Woo!)





All three of these books are classified as lesbian romances; there isn't an awful lot of non-lesbian F/F romance out there, which is another reason F/F romance needs more support!







'3 F/F lesbian romances!' Click to tweet









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Title: FlashbangFlashbang Lee Winter book cover

Author: Lee Winter






Verdict:

OK, this one is 18+ only guys, on account of sexy-times.

This is about two journalists at a glitzy Hollywood party.

To be honest, there's not much plot – it's a short pre-sexy-times scene, followed by a sexy-times scene.

But it actually feels really... intimate, and lovely.

It's got real heart, and it's a small snapshot of a relationship that clearly means a lot to the characters involved.








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The Morning After Jae book cover

Title: The Morning After

Author: Jae

Amazon: UK - USA







Verdict:


This is really sweet, fluffy, and enjoyable.

Kathryn wakes up at a strange apartment, with a hangover, not remembering much from the night before.

I really loved the stomping all over stereotypes, and the realistic characters, in this.

I also love the conversations between our main characters, lesbians Kathryn and Michelle, and the whole sweet 'when you least expect it' vibe.

If you're looking for something sweet (but not too sweet,) light, and free of sex-scenes, I really recommend this one. It's well written t'boot! :)

However, some people might find some of the language used in the opening date scene ableist towards people with mental health problems. ('Psycho,' 'loony,' - that kind of thing.)

I personally wasn't bothered, but I can see why it would bother a lot of people.











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The Sexy Librarian Nicolette Dane book cover
Title: The Sexy Librarian

Author: Nicolette Dane

Amazon: UK - USA









Verdict:


This one is also 18+ on account of sexy-times.

This was actually less trashy than the title would suggest (or than the cover would suggest...)

There's actual plot here! (Which I know from M/F romance/erotica, isn't always the case!)

Don't get me wrong though – there was still a lot of graphic sexy-times!

What I loved about this one though (aside from the romance stuff) was the real love for books and reading in general that shone through the writing. That was awesome.

Not so great was the occasional... odd verb choice... when it came to the sex scenes. It wasn't terrible. It was just... a bit odd.

Perfect indulgence reading though.











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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Mini-Review! - Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin














Title: Giovanni's Room

Author: James Baldwin

Genre: Classics (Modern), LGBTQ+ (M/F; M/M)


Amazon: UK - USA





Verdict:

This was an exceptionally good book.

It will however tear your heart out and then show it to you. Yep. That is the level of feels we are dealing with here.

(HFBGIETLJHIOETMHBL!!!!!! WHYYYYYY?!?!?!)

So, this about a young American, David, who gets involved with an Italian bartender, Giovanni, in Paris.

Apparently this book was controversial (to say the least) in the 1950s, when it was written, not only because it was about a romantic relationship between men, but also because it was a black author writing about white men.

And for that fact alone, you should read this.

Because James Baldwin refused to be restricted in the people he could write about - he refused to play it safe and only ever write about black people, as he was expected to.

(And you know me guys, I like a rebel!)

David, as a character, isn't all that likeable. Putting it plainly, he's a bit of a jerk.

But you can still see his perspective - he's a selfish jerk, but that's because of the internalised homophobia and ideas of masculinity that he won't let himself let go of.

And, in his own way, he really does love Giovanni. I'm not sure whether that makes things better or worse, you'll have to read it and decide for yourself.

But Giovanni... argh! He totally broke my heart. Like HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO HIM?!?! *Ahem.* Sorry.











There are a couple of issues with this book:

It can be very dismissive, to the degree of disgust, towards men who are perceived to be more feminine in their mannerisms. 

And it's very offensive to the transgender women who hang around the bar.

It actually describes them as disgusting, which is obviously NOT GOOD, and transphobic.

And the attitudes towards women wanting equality (I mean, how dare they?!) are clearly that of a narrow-minded, and fairly misogynistic, man from the 1950s. Sorry, I call them as I see them.

BUT, for all that: this is a good book. And it was an exceptionally important stepping stone for diversity.

I'm not giving it carte blanche for jerkiness, this book was written in the 1950s, and it bl**dy well shows.

But I will be looking out for more James Baldwin books - once I've recovered from the feels after what happened to poor Giovanni. *Sniffles*

Oh, and quick warning: there's a lot of implied sexual assault, and some implied rape.

There are also some male/female sex scenes. And I think there might've been swearing? Maybe? I really need to pay more attention to these things...

So that's Giovanni's Room - not a perfect book, by any means, but an important one, and largely worth the read - the writing is quality, and the offensiveness is annoying and harmful, but brief (thank God.)















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Monday, 14 November 2016

Mini-Review! - God Help the Child by Toni Morrison










Title: God Help the Child

Author: Toni Morrison

Genre: Contemporary, Magic Realism* (*ish)

Amazon: UK - USA





Verdict:

This was a pretty damned awesome book.

And, I'm told, by pretty much everyone, that Toni Morrison's other books are even better - so I'm totally going to check out more!

This follows Bride, who always felt unloved by her mother, Sweetness, as she tries to deal with her falling-apart relationship with boyfriend Booker.

It's really quite difficult to explain what this book is about - except childhood, and how it relates to everything else.

Because Bride's childhood, Booker's, even Sweetness', affects everything that comes after. And in Rain, the girl adopted by the hippie couple, we see the current face of a traumatised child.

Huge warning guys: child abuse is a big theme here.

There is child abuse of every type in this book - emotional, physical, and sexual. There's even some child murder.

It's handled well - but I figured I'd let you know in case that's going to be a problem for you.

There's also a butt-tonne of swearing.

Generally though? This book is fantastically well written, and infinitely readable.








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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Mini-Review! - Finders Keepers by Stephen King











Title: Finders Keepers

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Series: Bill Hodges #2


Amazon: UK - USA








Verdict:

After reading the first book in this series, Mr Mercedes, a little while back, I wanted to read the sequel.

So, yes, this book is a sequel.

It's actually very different in terms of tone to Mr Mercedes - the central crime-fighting team takes a bit of a back-seat to the plot here - but I actually would recommend reading Mr Mercedes first, rather than reading this as standalone.

(This advice is coming to you from someone who reads most series in a random order according to mood and what book was in the library.

So people who like things organised - and you know who you are - you will definitely want to read Mr Mercedes first.)






This though, is not a book that's that much about our main characters.

I know, that sounds crazy. But this is a book where the central characters of this series are very much in the background.

Instead, our focus is on a decades-old crime, (which, a la Mr Mercedes, we already know the perpetrator of,) and it's unforeseen affect on a teenager from the present day.

This is a tale of literary obsession which bookish folks will recognise as the potential frightening extremity of fandom. This is about the power of words, and people who will literally kill to possess them.

Because this is what happens when the teenage Peter Saubers finds the missing notebooks of a murdered literary genius. This is what happens when the person who hid them wants those notebooks back...











This isn't for the faint of heart - but then, it's Stephen King; even though it's not horror as such, you probably guessed that it was going to be dark.

I found the final showdown pretty disturbing, in honesty. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing ;) But yeah, I actually flinched; it was pretty damn vivid.

There's loads of violence, a shed-load of swearing, and slurs of various sorts from some pretty horrible people.

There's also a lot of reference to rape - there's a lot of rape-as-incidental-plot-point in this book. It's not gratuitous, but it's also very uncomfortable.

I'm glad that black character Jerome is phasing out his jive-talking alter-ego (who consciously came out whenever Jerome decided to act like a jack-a*s,) because that was one of the things that bugged me most about the previous book.

A white dude writing a black character who liked to mock negative stereotypes by inhabiting those stereotypes was a very fine line to tread, and I'm glad that aspect of Jerome's character seems to be falling by the wayside.







I still love our female crime-fighter Holly - the sidekick to main character, ex-cop Bill. She's fab.

She's strong, smart, and has OCD and anxiety problems. And she still kicks a*s.

Allow me to indulge myself in an awesome heroine with mental health problems, ok? ;)











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