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Regarding Reading (#7)

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I’m switching things up a bit this week.  Instead of doing a post with GIFs and insanity, I want to ask an actual question…Hopefully, you’re willing to tell it to me straight!  (in other words…I’d love to see answers!)

What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read?

Now, I understand we all have our own definitions of “weird,” so I’m leaving this pretty open to interpretation–feel free to tell me WHY it was weird, if you’d like!  Was it weird because it smelled like broccoli cheddar soup, and that made you constantly hungry?  Was it weird because you had a ferret perched on your head the whole time you were reading?  Was it weird for any number of different reasons (regarding plot, writing style, formatting, etc.)?

I ask because we ALL know I’m all about the weird books, and I’m seeking to add more to my endless “want to read” list.  The stranger, the better!

To answer my OWN question… I think a few of the strangest books I’ve ever read include:

The Medium (Liminality, #1)

Through the Woods

The Girl In Between (The Girl In Between Series #1)

and

Horrorstör

for…varying reasons.

So–what’s the weirdest book YOU’ve ever read?

Let me know below!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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5

A Review of F*ck Love, by Tarryn Fisher

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Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

– – – – –

3 Stars
Quick Reasons: weird, weird read; unpredictable story; lots of drama, angst, and wishy-washy romance; hard-to-find suspension of disbelief; it was all a dream…and I’m not real impressed; pretty writing; some hard-hitting snippets of wisdom; a love I could almost taste

Huge shoutout to Deanna @ anovelglimpse for lending me this book on Kindle! I really appreciate it, even if I’m very confused right now about what I think.

I just?! I didn’t love this read, but I didn’t hate it. I lusted and loved the characters…and yet despised them all the same. I devoured this read, but was bored by all the wishy-washy BLECH. I just… I don’t understand what I’m feeling right now! Someone, please, help me out a little bit? I’ll adore you forever if you put it into words I can explain.

“Okay, but I’m trying to find myself.”

Greer grins. “That, my dear, is the scariest thing you’re ever going to do.”

“Why is that?”

“Because you might not like what you find.”

This book is weird—and I don’t mean the sort of weird I want to frame and hang upon my wall. It all starts with a dream…and I’m SO glad I can say, having finished, that the beginning is the ONLY dream, because if at the end it had been pulled out that it was all a dream I’d have been… Well, I wouldn’t have liked it. Still, the dream plays a huge role in this book, and I’m not sure that was really to anyone’s benefit. Because the dream… It acts as a sort of character growth, I guess, but… it also becomes the sole motivator in said character’s growth, and I’m not sure I’m okay with that in the end? It all seemed just a bit too unrealistic, to me, I guess.

Also, the characters. THE. CHARACTERS. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love them. I lusted for them. I rooted them on and giggled like nothing else and enjoyed the witty banter/snark. But?! I also loathed them? They’re just so freaking wishy-washy, and dramatic, and angsty, and… UCK. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good angst, but this book needed something to break up the emotional mess. Which is sad. I mean, shouldn’t that be the other way around? Shouldn’t the emotional mess be breaking up everything else?

If each of our lives represented a page in a book, happiness would be the punctuation. It breaks up the parts that are too long. It closes off some things, divides others.

There are, despite the weirdness and the overbearing angst, some really gorgeous snippets of wisdom found throughout! I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the gut-hitting, mind-boggling sections that leapt out like the sun from behind dark, thick clouds. Seriously—those snippets? Could change the world, they’re done so brilliantly.

And this was an emotional read. It reminded me, a lot, of a relationship I had in high school/college. But despite how quickly I was devouring this, it seemed to drag and drag. I think a lot of that had to do with the sheer amount of angst; it really made it hard to drop into this read, when all it is is drama after heartache after crushed hopes! There are entertaining moments…but in a book of emotional downpour, a few moments of entertainment sort of fall to the wayside.

Then Della drops something in the kitchen. A glass shatters along with my moment. Timing is everything when you’re about to tell someone you dreamed him into your heart.

So… Yeah, I’m confused. I’m confused about what I think of this read, how I feel about this read, how I feel about the characters. I’m just confused all around, which means this is, for the moment, getting a neutral rating. I may come back and change that at a future date. I’d still recommend (I think?) to lovers of drama, angst, and emotional romances. This is a weird, weird read… Too bad that’s all I can decide for certain about it!

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A Review of The Medium (Liminality #1), by M.R. Graham

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Lenny is good at teaching physics. He is good at fixing things, making friends, and not attracting attention. He is good at being a medium, helping spirits pass beyond the Veil. But as a vampire incapable of violence, he has always been a bit of a joke.

All it takes is a drink in a hotel bar, a stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time, to run him afoul of Sebastian Duran, a lunatic who controls other people’s minds better than he can control his own. Torn away from everything he knows, trapped and starved and under constant mental assault, Lenny’s best hope is Kim Reed, a wizard tasked with bringing down Duran. Kim cannot believe that Lenny is evil, but neither can she hide him, and while she battles for his freedom, Lenny is forced to confront his own potential for monstrosity.

– – – – –

3.5 Stars
Quick Reasons: interesting, entertaining take on vampires/vampire lore; sort of confusing writing at times; lyrical and circular plot; strange, ambiguous epilogue; a lot less action in the second half of the read; nice examination of abuse, Stockholm Syndrome, and PTSD

So…this book is WEIRD.

Now, don’t go misunderstanding me! If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know by now that weird books are my bread and butter. I breathe them. I thrive on them. I often toast them and eat them for breakfast.

I kid, I kid! Sort of. But not about that first sentence—this book is weird, and while there were some moments I wasn’t sure it was weird in a good way, overall I’d say the weirdness is a weirdness I’d take any day. It stands out.

“Protection! I had a place to live. I was comfortable here. And they were a family, and I liked them, and they were mine. You can’t go around breaking other people’s things and then expecting them to rush to help you!”

There’s a weird play on vampires and vampire lore going on in this read that I’m not entirely sure can be summed up without confusion, because I’m still slightly confused about a few key points myself. The Broken, for instance—I’m not sure I understand what they are or how they come about. There’s also a sort of…circular repetition going on with the prose that at times felt a bit stilted and awkward but, for the most part, actually made a TON of sense…especially after learning everything we do about Lenny and his journey. The epilogue at the end, though, felt unnecessary to me—I’m not sure why it’s there, apart from introducing a new character and making things more confusing overall. If it were up to me, I’d leave the book with the last chapter—it clears up the beginning, it sets the stage for an interesting opening in the next book, and it closes up everything that’s happened before. Simple. Lyrical. Gorgeous, though bittersweet. In my opinion, perfect.

The characters are both endearing and disturbing at turns. I’m sad we didn’t, in the end, see more of Kim—she seemed like such an important, fascinating character…and was forgotten. Or, rather, forced to move on due to unforeseen circumstances. Note for authors: if you’re going to have a character be kidnapped by family and held magically hostage for ¾ of the book, perhaps you shouldn’t have that character in the first place. I get that Kim was integral to rescuing Lenny, but…he gets re-kidnapped by the psycho-vamp and it all came to pretty much naught, so what was even the point?

There are a lot of things happening in this book, and it does get sort of confusing after a fashion. A lot of characters are introduced, explained, and then left to rot in the distance. A lot of promising futures are hinted at…only to be thrown out the window. Don’t get me wrong—for this particular story, I understand! But at the end, despite the cyclic nature of the plot, I felt there was a huge chunk of story I wasn’t receiving. It feels unfinished, I suppose, in a bigger way than just “because it’s only book one.” There is also a lot of experimentation with abusive relationships, PTSD, mental illness, and Stockholm Syndrome/codependency going on, which brought a different level of interesting to the vampire story.

They drove for nearly a week straight after that, and by the time they got where they were going, Lenny was no longer sure who he was supposed to be. He stayed with a monster for the sake of a ghost he did not know he could save.

So, yes—this book is weird, and it has some moments that defy weird and creep into utterly confusing, but it’s SO SO worth it for the complexity of the characters and the awesome use of cyclic writing. While I’m disgruntled about the ways some of the characters played out, I think I’d like to pick up the next in the series—I need to know where Lenny ends up next, because let’s be honest, the guy’s been through hell. I’d definitely recommend to lovers of weirdness, vampires, and complexly intriguing characters. This was a fun read; I can’t wait to dive into more of M.R. Graham’s work!