The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (@DaisyWhitney)

There are a lot of strong reactions to this book because it’s a topic that provokes strong opinions. Does a person have to actively say no in order for it to count as rape? Especially when it’s date rape.

The Mockingbirds starts by throwing us right into the middle of this question. Alex wakes up, naked, in the bed of a strange boy at her exclusive boarding school. She is shaky and sick and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Slowly her memory starts to come back and she realizes that she’s had sex with this boy. Sex for the first time. And she can’t remember it. She knows she was drinking. She knows she ended up here. So it must be her fault, right? That’s what she thinks. That’s what she’s sure of. Because she can’t remember saying no.

It isn’t until she tells her roommate what happened that rape is even considered. So, now we get to the age old question – does drinking cancel out the things that happen to you when you’re drunk? Does being really drunk mean it’s okay for a man to have sex with a woman because she’s clearly asking for it? Does going back to someone’s place mean you‘re obligated to have sex with that person? Does kissing someone when you’re drunk mean you’re not allowed to not want to sleep with them? Let me be super, duper clear about this – NO. Hell no. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Re-Reads

Re-reading is one of those things that people tend to have very strong feelings about. Either you’re a re-reader or you aren’t – generally. I fall in the ‘are’ camp. I like to re-read. I feel a little sad whenever some tells me they never re-read/watch anything. That’s like meeting someone you really like and never seeing them again, cause that one time was good enough. I think if a book is good enough, it deserves a re-read. You catch so much more detail the second/third/fourth time through. You see connections. You see how much time and effort an author put in to making sure everything comes together just the way it’s supposed to. The last few years, I’ve put my re-reading on hold. I’ve been trying to read a certain number of books a year – and re-reads didn’t count. This year, I decided to revisit the re-read. I’ve been stockpiling these books. So, when I saw this week’s Broke and Bookish prompt, I knew this would be an easy week for me. The hardest part is going to be keeping it to only ten. I’m including a few series – they totally count as one book. They do. Accept it.

hp

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know I’ve already started this re-read, but I’ve got the three longest books left, so I’m totally including it. I probably won’t finish it this year. I don’t really need to talk about this one too much cause I’ve already done it here, and here, and here, oh yeah, and here. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

It took a while but I finally got through the fourth book in my Harry Potter re-read quest. It wasn’t that I disliked this re-read, in fact I liked it a lot, other books just needed to be read first. Honestly, someday, maybe, possibly, probably not, I’ll get my library lending under control. So, now I’m finally done Goblet of Fire and it was totally worth it. This is where the big, big stuff starts to happen. The books get darker. The damages get more severe. The consequences more extreme. And naturally, the differences start widen between the books and the movies. There is so much happening in these books. Not necessarily big exciting events, just lots of stuff. The timelines are extended. The everyday stuff is included. And the books still include big sections aimed at their young audiences – as they rightfully should. The audience for the books was basically whatever age Harry was in that particular book. They were still pretty young at this point. But the movies were a huge success with adults and began to pull in an audience that had either overlooked the books or would never end up reading them.

After Chamber of Secrets, the movies really started gearing older. They focused more on the darkness present in the magical world. Overall, I prefer the darker portions, but some of the stuff the movies overlook is pretty funny. Blast ended skrewts and bubotubers and other silly moments. But GoF also contains one of the most annoying events in the Harry Potter franchise – the creation of S.P.E.W. I had actually forgotten about this portion until a recent conversation with someone reading the books for the first time. She was annoyed that this section was left out of the movie. That shit cray – as the kids are saying, or whatever. S.P.E.W is Hermione’s attempt to unburden a group of beings that don’t believe they are being burdened. And she does pretty annoyingly. She’s so up in everyone’s business to get on her side. Granted, there is actually an important message hidden in this otherwise annoying distraction– does disagreeing with the way people live, give us the right to impose our values on them? We wouldn’t want them to do that to us, so why are our values better? This is something western culture is super guilty of. Where do we draw the line to say this is good and this is bad? It’s a lot of deep thought and conversation worthy stuff, but that’s not what comes across in the books. It turns into a silly thing that Hermione becomes passionate about and the boys are able to make fun of her for. I can’t remember if this carries forward into the next book, but I have a sneaking suspicion it does – something about Hermione making Christmas presents for the elves or something… Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Series Review

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about series I want to start reading that have come out in the last year or two. I literally have no answers for this week. I could maybe come up with one or two if I really tried, but not enough for a full post. So, instead, I’m going to talk about series in general. Some I like. Some I think are overrated. Some I’ve recommended. Some I started and then stopped.

 

Overrated/Didn’t Finish – These are series that people seem to adore. They rave about them and insist everyone reads them. I did not think they lived up to the hype.

series1

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

I actually started this series before it got all hyped up. I like the titles and the covers. There were only three books out. I thought that was the whole thing. It seemed worth it. I actually got them as a gift and I was excited to start them. I enjoyed the first book but I wasn’t blown away by it. It was entertaining enough to read the next one, but they were starting to feel really formulaic and a little more juvenile than I was looking for. I read the third book anyway. When the fourth book came out, it had been a while since I’d read the first three and I’d kind of forgotten why I hadn’t loved them. I decided to read it and quickly remembered. I didn’t bother with the rest of the series or with the movie. Continue reading

The Likeness by Tana French (@tanafrench)

This is my third Tana French book since July, but it’s actually the second in the series. I liked this book a lot. Not as much as the other two but it was still very good. I think part of the reason I didn’t like it as much is because I kept getting interrupted while reading it. I was about 100 pages in when I received an advanced copy of French’s newest book. To meet the timeline, I had to put this one aside. Then when I came back to it, it took me a little while to get back in the groove. Then life happened and I wasn’t able to read a lot. And then I was too tired to read at night (which is when I get a lot of my reading done). It was a long process from start to finish. Also, the book is super long.

Once again French’s writing is spot on. If it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have gotten through it. She weaves these complicated relationships in slow, intricate waves. The book picks up some months after the end of In the Woods (as always, if you haven’t read the spoilers tag on the post, it’s your own fault). Cassie has moved to the Domestic Violence unit in the wake of Operation Vestal. She’s deeply unhappy with the work and her new partner. She’s still dating Sam, and although she says she’s happy in the relationship, she doesn’t totally seem to believe it. At the beginning of The Likeness, Cassie is called out to a crime scene. She shows up in a nicely pressed suit looking all business. This is not the Cassie from before. The one who dressed exactly the way she wanted to. Who drove her little Vespa. Who was mistaken for a much younger person and didn’t care. The old Cassie was vibrant and energetic. She left her vibe everywhere she went. Now she’s forced herself to fit the mold. She looks the part. She talks the part. She’s the officer everyone wants her to be. She’s definitely lost her spark. She is dying on the inside. Continue reading