Friday, 11 January 2019

Friday Fics Fix - Digging For Victory





fics fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape




Hello 2019! We got fanfiction, we got Bucky Bear, let's get down to it!




'Theoretically, she knew he must go other places sometimes, but it didn't seem to happen often, and from his overall air of nervousness, he seemed to be uncomfortable with it too.'



One of my favourite things on this planet is fanfiction which uses self-care and general mental-health recovery as its focus.

When the character involved just so happens to be my Bucky-bear, aka Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, it's like icing on the cake.

(In related news, I'm hungry and would very much like some cake, with or without icing.)

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Comics Wrap-Up - Symmetry In Shadows I Can't Hide




F**k yeah! It's 2019, I'm blasting my Heavy Metal playlist. Let's do this!



Comics Wrap-Up title image with manga-style woman handing her living-shadow a flower



So, here it is, the first comics-y-ness post of 2019, featuring superhero shenanigans and all that jazz!


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Month In Review(s) - December 2018



In order to fully boot 2018's a** out the back door, there's still a little business to attend to - in this case, December's wrap-up.



December title image against a snowy background


Except for Christmas (which is always amazing - I love Christmas,) December sucked.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

Nerd Church - The Writer Diaries: I Need To Be More Patient With My Writing




I've recently started re-writing a story/novella/novel* that I started writing when I was a teenager... about a decade ago.

And I want it to be finished.

But I know that there's a butt-tonne of work to do to it (I'm basically re-writing the whole thing and making it less... melodramatic...  as well as changing the focus a bit.)



dude writing on table, scattered with other items like breakfast, coffee cup, etc.


*It's been the length of all of these at one time or another πŸ™ˆ



Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Bookish Diversity Link List 2019




Let's get moving my dearest nerdlets!


I didn't manage to make 2018's list all that I wanted it to be - not least because 2018 was stressful and hard as hell.

2019 though? Let's kick some butt!





Sunday, 30 December 2018

Nerd Church - Listen Up, 2019, We Need To Talk





'2019' against a starry background and a view of the Earth from space


Dear 2019,

We gave 2018 plenty of time and patience and care. And it still stabbed us in the back (and possibly some other places...)

So, despite the efforts of your elder siblings (years 2016 through 2018,) we're still standing, and still not giving up on hope.

But how about you make this easier for us?


Friday, 28 December 2018

Review Time! - Piecing Me Together by RenΓ©e Watson





Piecing Me Together title image with multi-coloured jigsaw-piece background



Author: RenΓ©e Watson

Genre: Young Adult (with New Adult crossover appeal,) Contemporary Fiction

Amazon: UK - USA







A Few Starting Notes:





I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. This is a fair and honest review.




This is where I once again point out that I’m a) Welsh and b) White. 

So my perspective of Black American life is obviously limited.

This book is like the forgotten sister of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – it covers a lot of the same ground, and was released in the US in 2017 (2018 here in the good ol’ UK.)

But it’s also a very different book to THUG, and is in no way a lesser take on the topics it handles.

This book is also Black American #OwnVoices.





The Premise:


Jade lives and grew up in a poor neighbourhood, where most of her neighbours are also Black people, and feels kinda out of place in her prestigious (and predominantly White) private school.

When she’s passed over for an opportunity she’s earned, and, seemingly instead of this opportunity, given a place on a scheme for under-privileged Black girls, Woman to Woman, she’s understandably pi**ed.

Add in a confusing friendship with a White girl who doesn’t seem to get the challenges Jade faces because of her race, and local police brutality against Black teenagers, and Jade’s really starting to feel out of place… well, everywhere.






The Best Bits:



This book is amazing.

The characters are so strong – both in the sense of their vividness, and generally as people.

Jade herself is complex and relatable.

Her frustrations as she battles to find her place in the world, and battles against the discrimination she faces, shines through the writing in a way that makes you honestly feel for her (and also wanna slap a few people on her behalf.)



dividing line


But that doesn’t mean that the side-characters are one-dimensional – they’re not.

All of them seem to have a sense of being their own person, with their own motivations.

And, what is maybe unusual for YA, we also get complex adult characters, including Jade’s mentor on the Woman to Woman programme, Maxine.

Maxine is, in so many ways, just as lost as Jade – she just doesn’t think that she is.


dividing line


The interactions between Jade and Maxine provide not only a medium for both characters to learn and grow as people, but also opportunity for the author to explore other themes.

Maxine’s family is considerably better-off, financially, than Jade’s, and that brings in a tonne of tricksy questions about the intersections and divisions of race and poverty and/or social class.

Elements of this book also reminded me a lot of Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera – a New Adult novel that deals with intersectional identities, and coming to terms with how the world sees you.


dividing line

Piecing Me Together weaves these strands together with awesome skill and maturity, while still not losing a tone that (in my humble, admittedly non-teenage, opinion,) is still bang-on for its YA audience.






Not So Great Bits:




This book isn’t for fans of quick, action-packed, plots. This is character-driven.

That’s obviously not a bad thing in and of itself, but a lot of people don’t get on with books which are more character-driven, and I get that.

(If you do decide to take the plunge though, it is an awesome book.)

dividing line


It’s also not a fast read – I think maybe because there’s so much hard subject matter and layers here, that you have some stuff to think about!

With it being a YA and everything, the fact that it is quite a slow read (I’m a fast reader and it took me a while,) is probably worth noting.

Also, maybe not one for when you’re tired and looking for something light!

Content Warnings:




This book does deal with some difficult topics, so be careful dearest nerdlets!

- racism
- systemic racism
- police brutality against black teenagers
- poverty
- elitism
- body-shaming
- low self-esteem/self-worth
- body image issues
- victim-blaming and gaslighting






#OwnVoices Views:



Check out this #OwnVoices review @ The Black Lit Queen.

Let me know if you’ve written an #OwnVoices review you’d like me to link to!







The Verdict:



This is one of those eye-opening books that everyone should read if they get the chance. 

It’s also far too underrated – let’s change that, shall we? πŸ˜‰






















Do you think there's room in YA for complex, character-driven books?
Do you think that sometimes books can be over-shadowed by other books dealing with similar topics?
Talk to me! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’¬







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Last updated: 17th Jan 2019