For What It's Worth

Monday, September 24, 2018

TBB Asks: How do you cozy?


Slippers: Yes to No? I wear slippers to take the dogs out back but don’t really wear them around the house too often. I’m either barefoot or wear thick socks.

What is your favorite Blanket? I have two throw blankets that are my favorite (below). They’re lightweight and super soft. I have to fight for them between Figment and Fonzi though lol

Thin or Thick Pillow? I have neck problems so I use one of those foam tempurpedic pillows or else I can’t move my head in the morning.

Favorite Warm Beverage? I drink iced coffee every morning but when the weather gets cooler I like to go for a PSL or peppermint mocha at Starbucks.

Robe: Yes or No? I only wear a bathrobe in the winter to take the dogs out (I should point out that I have a fenced in yard when I’m out in my bathrobe and slippers lol) This thick plush one (below) is my favorite! I got it on clearance for $10!!!!!! about 14 years ago at Planet Dog. It’s so soft, comfy and adorable.

Favorite Comfort Snack Food? I don’t know if I have a favorite or would call my snacks comfort food. I eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream slices a lot but that’s not very fall like. I also eat chips but I don’t know that any of it is comfort food. I do treat myself to a Ghiradelli triple chocolate brownie once in awhile.

Movies or TV Series Binge? I’m not really a binger. It has to be something REALLY interesting to keep me from bouncing around. I do tend to wait until TV series are done for the season and watch 3-4 at a time though. If I watch a movie, one is more than enough for my attention span.

                      1) favorite blankets 2) bathrobe 3) pj bottoms 4) bunny slippers

Actual PJ’s or Leggings? PJ's! I have an addiction! I buy cute patterned PJ bottoms all the time – without the tops though because it’s too hot to wear those here.

Do you cozy up on the couch or a chair? I have a chaise type couch and I usually wedge myself up in the corner. If I’m reading I use the chaise part – if I’m watching tv or sharing the couch with Kevin – I stretch out the other direction.

Hoodie, T-Shirt or Sweater? I LOVE. LOVE, LOVE sweaters and it’s the one thing I miss about not having cold winters. I still have a closet full of them for whenever we get a cold snap.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

37677964Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic. ~

Source: ARC provided by the publisher via ALA18 in exchange for an honest review


Pride was such a delightful surprise that I read in one sitting.

I haven’t read the original P&P, but I have seen enough of the movies to get what the re-tellings are going for and what points they’re trying to tick off. 

Most re-tellings fall flat for me but Pride felt so relevant and fresh that it stands on it’s own and, imho, is at it’s best when it’s not adhering strictly to P&P. (As I said – I haven’t read the original so I can’t comment on how it did as a re-telling).

Zuri Benitez has pride – in her  Dominican-Haitian heritage, her Bushwick neighborhood and in her  family, but she can also be prideful – to the extent that she’s stubborn as hell when it comes to change and, in the way that teenagers are, thinks she’s got all the answers already and it leads to prejudice or at the very least in Zuri prejudging others based on what they look like or where they are from.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in to the new McMansion across the street, Zuri has an I’ve seen this all before & I don't want any of it response. New, rich people, usually white, move into the neighboring Burroughs, look down on local traditions, pushing out the long term residents and their way of life as they *clean up* the neighborhood. She’s already decided she hates them – sight unseen.

When the family in question pulls up in their fancy car and two gorgeous black boys step out (instead of the white family she and her sisters were taking bets on), Zuri is thrown for a loop. especially when one of the Darcy brothers, Ainsley, starts showing interest in Zuri’s older sister Janae and she finds herself drawn to his arrogant younger brother, Darius.

Despite this having a romance, Pride is all about Zuri coming to terms with change and her knee jerk judgement of others. And she fights it tooth and nail all the way. I loved her! She’s prickly, pigheaded and stubborn but she is fierce with a capitol F in her desire to protect the things that she loves. She does not put up with any nonsense or people talking down to her. She pursues her ambitions of college, poetry and goal of returning to Bushwick to help the people she loves most.

As I said earlier in this review, I think Pride works best when it’s not trying to tick of the P&P plot points. I think it was spot on with the family dynamics and Zuri's love for her family and neighbors. The vibrancy, the love, the realness shines though.

However, she and Darius didn't have the rapport that I hoped for. They were cute, and Darius turns out to be layered and complex on his own, but he’s just sort of floating around at first and is more broody/non verbal than arrogant or engaging in witty sparring – which doesn’t always work on page. I wish he was developed a bit more early on. That’s a minor quibble though – I liked them together!

And while the relationship between Ainsley and Janae is the catalyst for Darius and Zuri, I wish it was just left out entirely or developed better. Ainsely acts really weird at one point and Janae forgives too easily and we don’t ever get why. Again, minor quibble because this doesn’t take up much of the story.

I highly recommend this one for it's smart, fierce heroine, brilliantly adapting P&P for a modern setting, and overall fantastic read. Pride stands well on it's own but for fans of the original check out my friend Jen's review where she compares the two.

Monday, September 17, 2018

monday minis

Happy Monday all!

I think my arm is almost better (last week I had thumb strain that cause pain all the way up my arm and neck which made typing difficult) so hopefully I can get more blogging in this week.

It is soooo damn hot here. Hotter than it was all summer. The heat index, factoring in humidity, has been 103 degrees. So I'm cranky and not doing much.

I managed to get a few books in - one that I picked up on a whim that ended up being amazing! and one I was looking forward to be but ended up dnf'ing.

That's #booklife for ya!

40189670Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right? ~

Source: Purchased

My thoughts: What is there to say about this book that hasn’t already been said?? Not much – but I will say this is the type of romance I love! Two kind people, slowly falling for each other. Not a whole lot of drama but a whole lot of funny. The hype is real with this one. I say this as someone who hasn’t always enjoyed their books, and someone who didn’t love Act Like it, The Hating Game and The Wedding Date – other equally hyped romcom type books.

This was a 2018 favorite list kind of read for me.

37570555Mary Shelley: the Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator by Catherine Reef

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein,comes a riveting biography of its author, Mary Shelley, whose life reads like a dark gothic novel, filled with scandal, death, drama, and one of the strangest love stories in literary history. ~ Goodreads

Source: ARC provided by the publisher via ALA18

My thoughts: This really should have been the “riveting biography” the summary promises.

Mary is such a fascinating woman, with an obviously difficult life, and I can’t imagine how the author managed to make this dull but she did.

The information is doled out like a litany of the days activities. I’m paraphrasing here but…

Mary saw men and animals paraded by her house on the way to the gallows….

Sounds like creepy inspiration for Frankenstein right? I was excited! Only to be followed by…

Then she went inside to have a sandwich. One slice of cheese, two pieces of ham. It was sunny out. Her father wasn’t at home that day, as he was out with the poet Lord Byron. – followed by lengthy bio of Lord Byron.

Then there’s her wack-a-doo, douche-canoe of a husband, Percy Shelley, who, among other things, tried to get Mary to take Laudanum as part of a Romeo & Juliet inspired suicide pact and cheated on her with her sister while she was home alone and pregnant. Although, that’s probably not so surprising since Mary met and carried on with while he was married to his then pregnant wife.

Even though that's disturbing - it should have been more interesting and a clear connection to her future work but instead it's ...Percy spent too much time with her sister. Mary felt lonely. Mary took a nap because she was alone. Blah The author seemed more enamored by Percy than Mary.

I ended up DNF’ing this around the 100 page mark (out of 177 pages + references) and read a quick Wikipedia entry that took 5 minutes and that told me more about Mary and in a more captivating style than this book did.

Bummer because I was really looking forward to this one.