Thursday, March 23, 2017
The story of a teen girl's struggle with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and how love helps her on the road to recovery.
Sixteen-year-old Pea looks normal, but she has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is like having a monster inside of her, one that not only dictates what she can eat, but also causes anxiety, depression, and thoughts that she doesn’t want to have. When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that's when the monster really takes over her life. Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, and in Ben, the support and strength she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Right from the start I couldn't get into the 2nd person narrative. Sometimes it works for me and I believe it was done to give the intense, claustrophobic feeling of being in Pea’s head with her “monster” but I found it completely disconcerting but that's more about what you enjoy as a reader I guess.
I hadn't heard of ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Disorder), and I don't want to take away from anyone who may see themselves and be helped from this portrayal, but I had a few issues with this book. The first was the focus on the romance. While I know from my own experience, finding love can help you overcome things, this one felt unbalanced and that Ben was more of her cure than the therapy was. Not to mention that running full speed ahead with sex and romance while you have so much to deal to deal with emotionally is probably not the best idea - but probably realistic in the way that teens fall so fast and hard.
The big problem with Sad Perfect though is how insulting it is to anyone who has an eating disorder other than ARFID. Pea constantly demeans anyone who has bulimia, anorexia...anything other than her specific eating disorder. When she lashes out in therapy at the other patients, instead of being reprimanded or educated, she is treated like she’s the first person to have the balls to call out the patients with the *lesser* disorders while she’s the one with a *real* eating disorder. People are flawed, healing is a process - if you learn from therapy and to think outside yourself and empathize with others - fine. But she doesn't and I imagine this would be a difficult book for readers dealing with these particular disorders themselves to see their pain referred to in such a callus manor without push back.
Monday, March 20, 2017
When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.
Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Queens of Geek is fun, geeky goodness.
The story follows best friends Charlie - a Chinese-Australian, bi-sexual vlogger, Taylor – a girl on the autism spectrum who suffers from panic attacks in new, overwhelming situations, and Jamie – an American boy who moved to Australia 4 years prior.
Charlie is invited to SupaCon, in San Diego, to promote her latest movie and brings her BFF’s along for one last epic adventure before they move on to college.
Charlie has to navigate SupaCon appearances with her douche bag ex, Reese, the studio and fans that want them back together and meeting her long time crush, fellow vlogger, Alyssa Huntington.
Meanwhile, Taylor is overwhelmed when things keep going off plan at the con while trying to push herself out of her comfort zone and dealing with her confusing feelings towards Jamie.
Queens of Geek takes place over one weekend at SupaCon while the friends deal with romance, sex/sexuality, anxiety, body shaming and adulthood. At times the messages get a little, not heavy handed at all – but plentiful?? like the author was trying to fit every positive message into one book. It slowed the flow of the story at a times but Queen of Geeks manages to stay light, positive, and filled with fun nerd/geek references.
One thing I’ve noticed about myself reading these YA geek/con type books – I just don’t understand YouTube culture and that relationship between the vloggers and viewers. Or I should say I get it but it seems scary to me.
They way viewers feel like they *know* you and that they have a say in your happiness and the way the vloggers have to stage their life to keep up viewership. I think that’s my old age talking though. But it does take some of the enjoyment out of it for me. I end up worried about everyone instead of the fun vibe I’m sure someone younger, who relates to this, feels. lol
Most of all though, I think Queens of Geek will feel empowering to a lot of readers who don’t get to see themselves on page very often.
Queens of Geek’s dedication page
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Addicted to Romance had this fun book tag on her blog and I wanted to join in.
You must be honest
You must answer all the questions
You must tag at least 4 people (I’ll be breaking this one and tagging the whole internet. Go big or go home!)
1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
I assume this means unread - There are a few. I have 6 books from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs - but haven’t read past book #1 yet, all of Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series – all bought at a Borders closing sale I also have a signed copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.
2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
I just finished reading Moving Maverick, a M/M romance, by Lucy Lennox. My next read is Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, and who the heck knows what my next read will be. I’m a mood reader so whatever grabs me at the time.
3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Hate might be too strong a term but EiB bored me to tears and for the life of me, I don’t understand The Hating Game love. It was cute enough but I found the heroine to be super annoying and unprofessional.
4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
The Fault in Our Stars. I feel like I SHOULD but I know I won’t. I’ve met John Green several times at cons and book events and I’ve loved his talks but I know (after sampling a few of his books) that his writing and quircky characters aren’t for me.
5. What book are you saving for retirement?
My entire TBR shelf. I WILL finish all these books one day. I. Will.
6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?
I read books to unwind and relax. Finding out the end first doesn’t ruin a book for me at all. I still don’t know how it gets tot hat point but I can relax and get into the book instead of freaking out the whole time.
I only do that with certain types of books though. Not romances where you are pretty much gaurenteed a HEA and no cliffhanger.
7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
I LOVE acknowledgments and dedications! They can be funny or heartwarming or tell you a lot about an author.
A funny one I just read from Moving Maverick by Lucy Lennox (see just finished reading above):
The book takes place on the South Carolina coast and she starts out by thanking her parents for the “gift of summers on the beach…” but then says this…
“This book is not dedicated to the sister who made me grip the hull in terror as she crossed the channel on a Fucking tiny sunfish, threatened to “hard to lee” in a maniacal cackle, and almost got me killed in a capsizing event. Multiple times. May you rot in hell. But I love you anyway. I guess.”
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Honestly? None. Book characters live too much drama. I’m happy where I am.
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
Not specifically a time or place but I really love books that have characters that overcome anxiety and fears. I suffer from panic attacks and can be pretty phobic so I find inspiration and motivation from books that have someone pursue their dreams despite their fears. Especially in YA because I was never able to find that strength during the time.
10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
Ok so…. I used to read The black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. If you read the series you know about Layla and how she cock blocked Qhuay. For many, many reasons I hate Layla. HATE. A friend of mine was at a romance con where Ward was having a signing and got me a copy of her upcoming book a the time, Lover Reborn, signed by Ward – “To Karen, Layla’s #1 fan!” for my birthday. I think that’s the funniest thing ever! lol
I gift books to friends all the time but I can’t recall a special reason or book. Hmmmm
12. Which book has been with you most places?
None, really. I can’t read away from home. Weird right? So I don’t bring books when I travel. I have special books that I would never leave behind if I moved but I don’t bring them with me just to travel or anything.
13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
School is a blur to me (& a very long time ago!). I don’t remember reading anything. lol I wasn’t even a big reader back then. This whole blogging thing started when I made a New Years resolution to try to read one book a month. A MONTH! Now I read a minimum of 150 books per year.
I’ve tried reading the classics a few times but I glaze over and probably did the same in school.
14. Used or brand new?
Brand new and here’s why. I was reading Laurel K Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series years ago (a series with a LOT of sex). I was new to starting series at the time and tried to find cheaper used versions or borrow from the library instead of buying them all. I also didn't own an e-reader at the time.
Then I was perusing her website one day and several readers talked about how they read her books and practiced some of the sex stuff in bed while reading and I’ve never been able to read a used book again. lol
15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
Nope. Don’t think I ever will either.
16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
I try not to read books and then see the movie. It totally ruins the book for me. Even if it's good. I can’t un-see the actors as the characters and I like my imagination better.
One that I did see and thought was better than the book is Me & Earl & the Dying Girl. The movie had more heart than the book did.
17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?
Laura Florand’s Amour et Chocolat series The way Florand writes so passionately about food and France it's hard to resist.
18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
Jen Ryland from YA Romantics. Her reviews are so thoughtful, honest and well written, that I can tell whether a book is for me based on what she says. I jokingly beg her to read ALL THE BOOKS for me so she can tell me what to keep or pass on.
I will always take her life advice too! lol She's the best!
19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?
Very few. I keep trying to read outside my comfort zone but I guess they call it a comfort zone for a reason. I tend to like fluff and romance. I do like darker, creepy books but I still need that touch of romance in them.
I keep trying fantasy. I love the depth of character development and darkness of fantasy but I can’t get past the sprawling scope of the world building and endless descriptions of grass etc. I get bored.
Sci-fi is another genre where I really enjoy the action and edginess but only if it has a romance or relationships I can root for.
I need relationships in my books or else I don’t feel a strong connection to anyone. *shrugs*