My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s March 2019 Wrap Up

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (★★★★)

Flynn’s debut novel is a somewhat predictable thriller starring damaged narrator Camille Preaker, a journalist who returns to her hometown — and her even more damaged family — to report on a missing child and a recent child murder. Super dark and incredibly disturbing, Sharp Objects is not for the faint of heart. Trigger warnings for cutting, suicide, child murder, animal abuse, child abuse, and pretty much everything in between.

Vox by Christina Dalcher (★★★★½)

Described as The Handmaid’s Tale for a new era, Vox takes place in a horrifying near future where women are limited to 100 words a day. Similar to Atwood’s tale, Dalcher’s America turns downright dystopian when it’s taken over by an ultra religious political party, with women quickly losing the right to work, read, or own property. While a little rushed toward the end, I had a hard time putting down this cautionary tale, which draws very obvious parallels to our current political climate.

the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace (★★★★)

The third and final poetry collection in the women are some kind of magic series is here, and comes complete with individual poetry from 13 of Lovelace’s peers. While I enjoyed this collection — which once again delves into Lovelace’s painful past — I found it to be the weakest of the three, with the witch doesn’t burn in this one, followed closely by the princess saves herself in this one being my top two.Read More »


My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s July 2017 Wrap Up

Final Girls by Riley Sager (★★★★½)

A decade ago, Quincy Carpenter became a final girl, the sole survivor of a horror movie-esque massacre. Struggling to move past the title, Quincy is dragged back into the spotlight when one of her fellow final girls is found dead. Deemed “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King, Riley Sager’s Final Girls is a suspenseful thrill ride that will have you guessing* until the very end.

*guessing wrong

love, and you by Gretchen Gomez (★★★½)

Much like Milk and Honey, I didn’t find love, and you nearly as fulfilling as The Princess Saves Herself in This One — both of which were recommended based on my fondness for Amanda Lovelace’s poetry. However, much like with the work of Rupi Kaur, Gomez has some really great and touching pieces toward the end of her collection.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (★★★★½)

Lord Henry Montague (AKA Monty) is a fashionable rake about to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe alongside his best friend and the secret love of his life, Percy. It’s the 18th century road trip novel you never knew you wanted! While I greatly enjoyed Monty’s hijinks and his slow-burn romance with Percy, I was a little thrown by the strange, almost supernatural turn the story took.

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Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: October 14, 2014

In Real LifeIn Real Life by Cory Doctorow, illustrated by Jen Wang

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer – a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

From acclaimed teen author and digerati bigwig Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Gorgeous artwork meets an intriguing premise all tied up in what sounds like a thought provoking exploration of some of our favorite things.

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Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: December 3, 2013

Dangerous Women George R R MartinDangerous Women [edited] by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

All new and original to this volume, the 21 stories in Dangerous Women include work by twelve New York Times bestsellers, and seven stories set in the authors’ bestselling continuities—including a new “Outlander” story by Diana Gabaldon, a  tale of Harry Dresden’s world by Jim Butcher, a story from Lev Grossman set in the world of The Magicians, and a 35,000-word novella by George R. R. Martin about the Dance of the Dragons, the vast civil war that tore Westeros apart nearly two centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones.

Also included are original stories of dangerous women–heroines and villains alike–by Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, Sherilynn Kenyon, Lawrence Block, Carrie Vaughn,  S. M. Stirling, Sharon Kay Penman, and many others.
Writes Gardner Dozois in his Introduction, “Here you’ll find no hapless victims who stand by whimpering in dread while the male hero fights the monster or clashes swords with the villain, and if you want to tie these women to the railroad tracks, you’ll find you have a real fight on your hands.  Instead, you will find sword-wielding women warriors, intrepid women fighter pilots and far-ranging spacewomen, deadly female serial killers, formidable female superheroes, sly and seductive femmes fatale, female wizards, hard-living Bad Girls, female bandits and rebels, embattled survivors in Post-Apocalyptic futures, female Private Investigators, stern female hanging judges, haughty queens who rule nations and whose jealousies and ambitions send thousands to grisly deaths, daring dragonriders, and many more.”

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Duh, it’s an anthology about bad ass women as told by Dresden Files author Jim Butcher, historical fiction writer extraordinaire Sharon Kay Penman, The Magicians‘ Lev Grossman and George R. R. Martin! (Shouldn’t you be writing Winds of Winter though?)

Bonus: you can now listen to an excerpt of GRRM’s novella as read by Jorah Mormont himself Iain Glen. Albeit with his real accent. But we forgive him because he’s Scottish and he reads it with all the voices.

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All Your Dates Are Belong to Us: Cassie-la Says Shut Up and Give All Your Money to “The Geek’s Guide to Dating” by Eric Smith

Geeks Guide to Dating Eric SmithThe Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith (Advanced Reader Copy)
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction, advice, dating, geekery, humor, do you have what it takes to give her the ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL!?!
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

Summary: Geekadelphia co-founder, runner of the Philadelphia Geek Awards, author and teacher Eric Smith can help the geeks of the world find love. You know, assuming that they want to find love. There’s no jokes about fat dudes living in their parents basement in a haze of cheeto dust here, this is loving advice from one geek to another that just might work. You will want to check this one out.

Author and Geekadelphia founder Eric Smith gained his 15-minutes of nerd fame when he found out his girlfriend was cheating on him and he sold the engagement ring he had planned to give her and bought a full set of Master Chief armor with it. He then wrote about it in a hilarious if devastating internet post entitled: Master Grief. Ring any bells? Get it, ring?

Anyway, what better person to pen a book of dating advice by a geek for a geek? One who has recently landed himself a smoking hot fiance might I add. No one, that’s who.

Dateless geeks, I give you your Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Damn the Man: Cassie-la Blathers About Being Different and “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth” by Alexandra Robbins

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins
: Nonfiction, geekery, high school, social science, boy am I glad high school is over
: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Author Alexandra Robbins follows six high school outsiders through one year of school and attempts to explain why being different is a much better option. Storytelling and psychology combine in this insightful true novel about why the geeks shall inherit.

Did you know that all the weird little quirks that kept you friendless in high school could later go on to help you out there in the real world? Well according to Alexandra Robbins in her hope inducing work The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, that is absolutely true. ::crosses fingers::

This book follows Danielle the Loner, Blue the Gamer, Whitney the Popular Bitch, Regan the Weird Girl, Eli the Nerd, Joy the New Girl, and Noah the Band Geek, and gives us peaks into their lives, from the lowest lows to the highest of highs. Like her other nonfiction works, this reads as part fiction and part nonfiction, with research to back up and expound upon the students Robbins’ writes about. Overall, it is very much like her novel Pledged except she took a greater part in entering the lives of her subjects. And it doesn’t talk about being blond and perky and perpetually vomiting up one’s meals.

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