book review · books · bookshelf · fiction · nonfiction · ya · young adult

Top Ten Authors I’ve Met/Want to Meet

My first go at Top Ten Tuesday! How exciting.
So this is both the Top Ten authors that I have met, and those that I want to meet in the future (because I am a fangirl and I want to meet the people that I want to obsess over okay thanks).

Authors I’ve Met

Cathy Cassidy
I’ve seen her talk twice now I think, and I got her book Fortune Cookie the second time I saw her. I had a nice chat with her and another book blogger (abookandbeyond, go check out her blog, she’s great) and she was really lovely. Her agent even let me have the book for £2 cheaper because I didn’t bring enough money for it.

Lucy Saxon
I saw her speak at the Hay Festival in the UK, and oml. She was so cool in the talk that she was doing with two other young authors. I got her books and UGHHHHHH. They’re perfect and I love them and the third one is out now so I have to buy it. She’s also got really cool hair, so when I got my books signed I told her that and then ran away.
It makes me very angry because practically no one else on the blogosphere knows about her and she’s SO GOOD. Read her books please and thanks.

Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book was one of my all time faves as a kid. I met him and completely geeked, so didn’t say anything at all and I’ve regretted it ever since. Neil, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I’m a nerd.

Alan Gibbons
He came to my school when I was in year 8. He was very interesting and I got his book inspired by the Minotaur (I can’t remember the name sORRY), which is a lot more my style than his books inspired by combat and war. He was very nice, and I also didn’t talk to him. Even though I have a very confident and opinionated online voice, I am a very meek little mole in real life.

Authors I Want to Meet

Maggie Steifvater
I would like to have a very LONG AND DETAILED CONVERSATION about the Raven Cycle. Preferably with Maggie. I just have so many questions. Why is there no sequel to The Scorpio Races? Why isn’t Gansey real? Why do I want to be part of Blue’s family? I need answers. I just want everything to be okay again in my little head.
Anyone who hasn’t read any of her books, do it right now. PLeaseeeeeee. So I can have long internet conversations with you about how perfect they are.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda is one of my icons. She gives a different perspective on feminism and helps me to understand things better through her books, which are also so entertaining. UNF. I just want to meet her and see her talk and love her. I’m doing my graphics project at the moment at underrepresented feminists, and Chimamanda is one of them. She’s so much fun to draw.

Leigh Bardugo
Again. So many questions. CROOKED KINGDOM? SIX OF CROWS? WHY CAN’T I FIND THE GRISHA BOOKS IN ANY SHOPS NEAR ME? I also want to ask where she gets all of her ideas because they are PERFECT. Theives and knives and boys that I want to squish and girls that I want to squish.

Jennifer Niven
Her books make me cry. I want to see if meeting her will make me cry too. That is all.

J K Rowling
Must I even explain? The Harry Potter universe is one of my favourite long series (I get bored very easily) and also my favourite films. Her life story is so inspiring and everything she makes makes me want to cry a little bit (aka NEWT PERFECT MAN SCAMANDER. WHERE CAN I FIND ONE? AND I’M OLD ENOUGH TO MARRY NOW SO PREPARE YOURSELF REDMAYNE) I just want to give her a hug and thank her for putting me in Slytherin.

Please comment and tell me if you’ve met any of my bucket list authors. Were they perfect humans or were they slightly disappointing?

-abnormalbookgeek

book review · books · nonfiction · poetry · ya · young adult

Milk and Honey

Warnings: sex, rape, molestation, abuse.
Author: Rapi Kaur

23513349milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.’

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!
As a feminist, I saw poetry from this on all of my favourite blogs and knew I had to read it. This is absolutely gorgeous and I encourage everyone to read it. (This may also not be a very long review as this wasn’t a very long book).

Kaur’s poetry not only highlights the pain of women and girls worldwide, but also what WOC have to go through when pressured to Eurocentric beauty standards. If you are a feminist, or trying to understand feminists, please read this. I read this in the afternoon that I got it, simply because of the short nature of the poetry and how much I was enjoying it.

The illustrations are also beautiful. I enjoy drawing and art, so these especially added to the overall experience of the book and helped me to fill in the blanks around the poem and the situation in which they were set. If you read and liked One (if you haven’t read it, find my review here) the format here is very similar, with the same unhidden emotion. I’m one of the people who tends to feel emotion more through poetry than in narrative storylines – I’m not quite sure why. This resulted in me becoming very invested, very quickly.

rupi
In this time, with a rape-y sweet potato as leader of the Free World, we need to band together – not just as women, but as people – to protect our rights, and the rights of those coming after us. Resist and revolt.

10/10
-abnormalbookgeek

book review · books · children's fiction · fiction · nonfiction

The Thing About Jellyfish

Warnings: none.
Author: Ali Benjamin

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Suzy doesn’t speak anymore. Not since her best friend, Franny, drowned. Suzy couldn’t believe it – Franny was an excellent swimmer. She must have been stung by a deadly jellyfish. It’s the only explanation. And Suzy is going to prove it.
So she retreats into silence, researching the jellyfish and formulating a plan that will take her across the world to discover the truth about the creature that she’s certain took her best friend away from her.’

I picked this up during a particularly empty shift at the library. It was in the children’s section, so I wasn’t expecting too much. It has a lot of 5 star reviews on Goodreads, but I agree more with the people who gave it lower reviews.

In the author’s note at the end of the book, they state that this book started as a nonfiction essay about jellyfish which cleared a lot up for me. There are a lot of jellyfish facts in this book. As someone who enjoys documentaries and information, I found this quite interesting, but someone who came for the story may have found it less absorbing.

The original nonfiction nature of the book meant that the chapters showing the friendship between Suzy and Franny felt a bit lacking in emotion to me. Sure, I empathised with Suzy for losing her friend, but the slightly detached way these chapters were written made me put more blame on Suzy than I wanted to. As the book went on, however, I became more interested in this sub-plot, so I ended up enjoying it more than I did at the start.

As a lover of a variety of characters, I was excited when Suzy’s brother and his boyfriend came in – but then there was no development. In fact, the only character really focussed on was Suzy, with a few mentions of Franny in between. This worked well for the solitary nature that I think Suzy was giving off, but I still felt that more could’ve been put into the other characters.

The grief represented in the book seemed very real to me – the confusion and loss that Suzy was feeling fuelled her to draw hasty conclusions, and I thought that would be how a young person would deal with a sudden, unexplained loss, especially if she hadn’t had anyone close to her die before (this wasn’t specified in the book, but I felt that it was hinted at).

5/10
-abnormalbookgeek

autobiography · book review · books · nonfiction

Camp David

Warnings: swearing, mentions of suicide, depression, sex.
Author: David Walliams

David Walliams is a man of many talents. One day he’s wearing a dress and making us laugh, the next he’s stripping off and diving into a filthy river on a gruelling feat of endurance.
Now David tickles us pink with his brilliant life story: from his first fumbling attempts at comedy during school assemblies to treading the boards at university, and from the long, bumpy road to stardom (death threats included) to the giddy, hard-won success of 
Little Britain.
A fascinating memoir, Camp David is both delightful and revealing.

As a lover of fictional books, autobiographies aren’t really my thing. But I really like David Walliams’ other work, so I thought I would give this a go.

I’m having a hard time writing for this book, because a lot of the themes it includes are really serious. Walliams writes about his struggles with depression and his thoughts about suicide, which really makes you think about how many comedians deal with depression.

David also writes about the difficult road to becoming a comedian/actor, making the reader realise how hard it is to make it in the world of showbiz (excuse my cliche-ness).

8/10

  • abnormalbookgeek