Me acting snotty about books, not because I am annoying, but because I am also sick and annoying


Karen that was a choice, and I question your choices. ♫ Intro Music ♫ Book-of-the-month YA is a subscription service where you can discover the best new YA releases. They pick five of the most anticipated books every month, and you can choose your favorite one to be sent to your home I am doing a giveaway for all the five books that they chose in February. These books include ALL THE STARS AND TEETH
by Adalyn Grace It’s a fantasy YA by a debut author. A GOOD GIRLS GUIDE TO MUDER by Holly Jackson
This is a thriller novel. THE SOUND OF STARS by by Alechia Dow
which is a sci-fi novel. YES NO MAYBE SO [by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed]
which is a contemporary novel. and INK IN THE BLOOD [by Kim Smejkal] which is a dark fantasy novel. If you want to participate in the giveaway I will have a form in my description. Otherwise, if you want a discount you can sign up to get your first box for $9.99 using my code “READWITHCINDY” Now on to the video: I’m sick right now, so if I sound more annoying than I usually do in my videos, now you know why. Today I’m gonna be talking about all of the books that I read in the month of January ohhhh shiiiit The first book I read this month is NOCTURNA I would recommend this book to you if you were a fan of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, but you were like, you know what, I love the story. I want the story to be just as it is, except I wish there were more diversity. but to balance it out I don’t want the writing to be that good and the characters to be really annoying and then you would have NOCTURNA This is a fantasy set in a Latinx inspired world. It follows the journey of the main male protagonist, who is a prince, and grief after his older brother was murdered. And then the main female protagonist who is a thief who has the ability to change her face into anybody she wants but when their fates collide they accidentally unlock a terrible ancient power that will destroy the world and so they must work together to vanquish what they have unleashed even if it means facing their own past. I don’t know why I’m acting so dramatic. It’s not good for my throat. I am a simple ho I don’t even care if it’s the same story as A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC If you just give me an adventure story about a guy and a girl and they end up falling for each other throughout their adventures and share trauma That’s all I want in a book. However, Hyatt was very disappointing, which sucks because I really loved the ideas behind this book I love that is Latinx because I think the fantasy books are kind of like all the same now. You should base your fantasies on different cultures so that it adds a little bit more SPICE And I also love the idea of two unlikely allies together, especially with a soft boy prince and a tough girl thief. I mean, that’s my jam. I don’t care how cliche it is. The plot sounded like the kind of thing
I would indulge myself in. However, I found a lot of the
writing to be very trite and juvenile. Both of the characters acted so stupid for the sake of conflict and I cannot stand that shit. The main guy is so freaking dumb The reason why they unleashed the dark magic is because his cousin was gonna die and he was like, oh my god I need to save him and so he takes out this book and he hears these sinister voices coming out of the book, saying like *yes, open us, unleash us* There’s like black clouds coming out of the book and sinister laughter and he’s like, oh my god. You know what? I’m gonna unleash this dark magic and see what happens. So he unleashes it to save his cousin, but now he’s got a bigger problem because the world is about to get ruined because he let dark magic out into the world. He’s like whaaaat? Oh my god. How could I have unleashed darkness into the world? I’m like bitch. It’s literally called dark magic. What did you think was gonna happen? and then for the rest of the book he gets into the self-pitying bullshit about how he’s not fit to be king and I’m like, uh, yeah ’cause you’re a dumbass I don’t think you should be fit to be a king either. You literally screwed over your kingdom. an illiterate person would have done a better job than you because they wouldn’t have even opened the book in the first place. He just feels so bad about the entire time. And then the other characters are like hey, you know, it’s gonna be okay You’re gonna be a great king someday. And I’m like don’t enable him And the main girl, I was
so excited to learn more about her. I thought that her power to steal people’s faces was really cool. However due to certain events she’s actually not able to use her powers for like over half of the story But now she’s basically useless and her whole personality is trying to be a badass bitch. However, when you were first introduced to her she steals some bread from a shop vendor. But then she sees like a starving child and then she feels so bad for the kid, that she ends up giving away for only food to that child so he can eat the bread and the rest of the day her stomach is growling because she just gave up her only source of food, and I’m like a bitch FIRST OF ALL, that was a scene from Aladdin. Here. Go on, take it. SECOND OF ALL, you’re a thief so you’re supposed to be like, “let’s get this bread” not give it away to some kid you just met. She’s trying to show a thief who is badass but she has all these other softer layers within but when you are first introduced to a character I’m not gonna believe that she’s a badass if the first thing that she does is just give food away to some kid. If you were a REAL badass, you would eat the bread
right in front of that starving child. What would you do
if there was a child right in front of you? You could argue that maybe it is supposed to be juvenile because this is Young Adult However, it does tackle some mature themes about the main characters history and some of the bad things that she’s done. So there’s definitely an inconsistency between the characters acting very childish, but then also we’re supposed to take the character seriously because they’ve been through trauma Overall I did like the ideas but I didn’t like the execution which is why I rated the book three stars. After that, I picked up THE SILENT PATIENT It’s about a woman named Alicia who had a seemingly perfect life: she was a famous painter
and she was married to another artist. One evening, Alicia shoots her husband five times in the face and then she gets put in a mental hospital Ever since then, she never speaks a word,
she is completely silent the whole time and will not tell her story. The main character that we follow is Theo,
who is a criminal psychotherapist. he has really really wanted to work with Alicia. He gets to work in the same mental hospital that she’s at and he becomes her own psychotherapist. Now he is determined to unravel the mystery behind why she shot him five times in the face and he embarks on the search for the truth. I was so intrigued and learning more about Alicia story. Why does she lose her voice? Little Mermaid who? What I noticed from the book copy that I had, was that the chapter numbers kept on jumping back and forth. One moment I would read Chapter 9, and then the next chapter it would jump to Chapter 2. and I was like, oh my god This is such a cool stylistic choice.
You’re reading the story out of order. I was texting my friends who have read the book
about it. And I was like, oh my god I wonder what the author’s trying to do. I feel like it’s gonna build up to the twist you have to put all the pieces together, but they’re non-chronological order and my friends were like What the hell are you talking about? And I was like aren’t the chapters out of order. They were like no. That was when I discovered that the library copy that I had printed the chapters out of order but this whole time I was reading it thinking it was like this amazing stylistic device that the author was using that I just wasn’t smart enough to figure out and then when I figured out it was just a misprint I was like, oh Fortunately the chapters themselves weren’t actually out of order It’s just that the chapter titles were out of order for whatever reason I still read it as it was intended to be printed and I really liked it in the beginning However, the more I kept on reading it
the more I was like, hmmmm The book kinda ended up being like a cheesy murder mystery. There are so many side characters that I found to be super irrelevant Not only that. The main character would go around to all these side characters and ask them a bunch of questions As if he were a detective even though he’s just a psychotherapist and not only do all of these characters hate either Alicia or Gabriel or both of them, They would openly admit it to a guy that they just met so they’d be like “Oh, Alicia, I fucking hated that bitch.” “Gabriel, man, he screwed me over ten years ago. I would do anything to enact revenge against him. I would literally shoot him in the face if I could. Oh, Gabriel’s dead? Beats me. I don’t know what happened.” I was like, huh? If you were a side character who is being questioned by someone who’s trying to figure out the truth
behind this terrible murder Why would you openly admit to hating that person? It happened with like every single side character. So it just felt like one of those very cheesy murder mystery houses that you go into You know when there’s like a bunch of actors and you have to talk to them and then they just tell you all their motivations right away or they act overtly suspicious. They are also such caricatures,
like there is the scorned lover that was in love with Alicia
and was resentful of Gabriel all this time There is Alicia’s neighbor named Barbie, who is this total ditz and girly girl with like blonde hair and big-ass tits and I’m like has this author never met a woman Clearly, the only two female characters is
Alicia, who doesn’t say anything. and then this titty Barbie over here. And then the main character is like oh my god. I know there’s a deeper story to this I know that what she isn’t saying speaks more volumes than we could ever realize. I will question every single person in Alicia’s personal life in order to get to the bottom of this and I’m like, bitch, you’re supposed to be her therapist stay in your lane. Throughout the book, Alicia also keeps a diary where she recounts in specific detail all of the events leading up to her husband’s murder I felt like that these diary entries were just a cop-out to easily explain everything because the whole mystery is why she’s not speaking in the first place, but if you’re gonna read her diary entries anyway doesn’t that take away the intrigue? Secondly, who writes specific-ass dialogue lines in your diary entry? Like she literally describes the whole scene exact statements that she said and another person said I was really hoping that Alicia would just GONE GIRL
the main characters ass because towards the end of the book he just becomes so much like a white knight and a savior and he just wants to protect her. And I’m like, bro this is low-key unprofessional. I’m really hoping this is some mind game and she can finesse his ass. There does end up being a twist in the book,
which I did not expect. I thought the twist WAS interesting but I still thought that the twist was a bit shaky and the way that the author had built up to it wasn’t that believable? The only reason why the twist worked in the first place is because the author deliberately left out information. Also, I think that the whole reason for her staying silent in the first place wasn’t that good of a reason and it was just used as a plot device so that there would still be a mystery I think this book gets like a 2.5 stars from me because it was super interesting in the beginning. The execution itself was not that good. The next book that I read was SOMEONE WHO WILL LOVE YOU IN ALL YOUR DAMAGED GLORY. This was written by the creator of “Bojack Horseman.” It has all these really weird ass stories and a little bit of surrealism but ultimately they are all allegories about relationships. One of the first stories is about a young couple who’s planning a wedding. Everyone is pressuring them how to plan for their wedding because the custom is to sacrifice a bunch of goats, but then the main guys like man, you know what maybe I don’t want to sacrifice goats there’s another story that is written like a Craigslist ad in the “Missed Connections” website about these two commuters who make eye contact on a train but never work up the courage to talk to each other. It is very weird and creative and I really really enjoyed it. You could tell that the author was experimenting with so many stylistic devices. He really went out of the box. There was one story that he wrote in the format of the “Taboo” card game as an allegory for relationships, and I just thought that was super well done. The book itself is four stars because I don’t think every single story hit the mark. It’s very imaginative and very thoughtful but not all the stories are up to that bar. However, I listened to the entire thing on audiobook and I would say the audiobook itself is like five stars in comparison. He got a bunch of voice actors from Hollywood to narrate each of the short stories. It was probably the best audio book I’ve ever listened to. He got Stephanie Beatriz from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” He got Kumiko from “Orange Is The New Black” They all did such a fantastic job at giving life to these short stories. It really felt like I was listening to a TV show instead of listening to someone reading a book. It really just enhanced my entire experience. It didn’t emotionally impact me because
relationships don’t exist in my life If you are super invested into “Bojack Horseman” as a show, then you will really really like this book But if you are a casual viewer of the show, like I am then it’ll be pretty much be
the same feelings towards this book. So that’s kind of like a litmus test for you if you want to determine whether you would like the book or not. Another book I enjoyed was OVER THE TOP by Jonathan Van Ness. This is a memoir written by one of the people in the Netflix reboot for a “Queer Eye” He is definitely my favorite person on that show. He has this persona of being this very flamboyant character who just has a bunch of zingers, who always preaches about positivity. He’s kind of like the comic relief person in the group. In this memoir, he details what it was like growing up in the Midwest as a flamboyantly gay kid. What happened to him as a target of bullying and sexual assault and drug addiction. This is something about reading stories about people who are so admirable who have gone through so much trauma in their lives and have been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel this especially for Jonathan Van Ness because if you’ve seen him on “Queer Eye,” he is so positive and so kind and so funny and so silly that you almost forget
that he has been through so much. He pointed out that so many of the issues that he faced was very common in the LGBT community but because he was born white and he has supporting parents those factors were so monumental to why he’s even alive today and he points out that there are so many other LGBT minorities who deal with those things and they don’t make it past their teenage years
or past the age of 25. So I really appreciated that he added that level of intersectionality. He acknowledged how terrible the things that happened to him were but he also acknowledged that there are so many specific groups of people who have even less of a supportive network. Overall, I think it shed so much light on the type of trauma that LGBTQ people face Jonathan has really reflected on all of this and tried to use it as a way to embolden his initiative for self-love, which I think is an ongoing journey for everyone who deals with depression and trauma. You know we really be going through it
and I’m just glad that there is a person like Jonathan who exists that can be an inspiration for other LGBT people and be a reminder that just because you are broken doesn’t mean that you can’t be fixed. The only reason why I’m not rating it five stars is because I don’t think that he goes in-depth into a lot of the themes and topics that he discusses as I have read in other memoirs. It kind of feels like a more surface level explanation of things that have happened. However, I don’t blame him for doing that because it’s really up to him how much he wants to share. He’s a great human being and I wish nothing but the best for him. After that I read LITTLE BLACK BOOK, which is a toolkit for working women. This is basically a tiny self-help book for any woman who is working in the creative field. I gave this three stars because I found it to be very surface-level. It divides it into different sections about public speaking, overcoming creative flops, building your brand, negotiating, networking, all that kind of stuff but because the sections are so short and because the advice comes in such a bite-size pieces I don’t think that it goes as in-depth as I would like. The advice is very standard but it’s nothing new and it doesn’t give room for much depth because it just glosses over a lot of points that if you have already had your skin in the game for a while you should know already After that I read SERPENT AND DOVE which is a fantasy YA book about a witch and a witch hunter who are sworn enemies but they end up having an arranged marriage. That’s really all I’m gonna say about it because I have decided to make a separate video review about this book because listen, there was just so much shit that happened that I was like, bro this is so much unpack Here are all the tabs that I made in this book. Each tab is basically every WHAT THE FUCK moment I had while reading it because it was just like what I gave it 1.5 stars And I will elaborate more in that video review. I know a lot of people liked it. But like… I will say though there is one scene that I really really liked in the book. That’s why I am NOT rating it 1 star because that scene saved the entire thing for me. I mean. Well. Actually it didn’t but I still really liked that scene anyway, so again, we’ll talk more about it spoiler alert: it’s the scene with sex After that I read a thriller book called PRETTY GIRLS by Karin Slaughter This is a book that follows two estranged sisters who became estranged when one of their sisters died 20 years ago well technically she went missing but it’s presumed that she’s dead until one day Claire’s husband gets murdered, Claire tries to find out the truth about what happened. But then she realizes there are connections to her sister that disappeared a long time ago Now the two sisters have to come together to unravel the mystery I was excited to start this book because every time I mentioned it to people who have read it They were acting like this was so traumatizing, all the trigger warnings you can think of is in this book So I was like, you know what I’m tired of being dead inside. I just want to feel something. Let me forget about my trauma by thinking about other people’s trauma. Let’s go. Turns out I’m still dead inside. When I read all the violent scenes. I was just like Hmm. It’s definitely true that there is a lot of graphic violence and torture and mutilation and all the nitty-gritty stuff I read it four-stars because I do think that the author has set out a job to make sure that this book is very engaging to read, make sure that it’s a page-turner and get you on the edge of your seat. She did a good job in that aspect but the reason why I am not rating at five stars is because I questioned if you took away all of the violence and the rape and all the nasty little things that happened in this book would the book still be good in terms of how the plot was structured, in terms of character development, in terms of pacing all the other things that come in to writing a good book or does it completely rely on shock value I would say that if you took away all those things, I don’t think it would be that intriguing So I think that the author heavily relies on violence and torture I also think that is so easy to just write super violent and gratuitous scenes You could binge watch a whole bunch of Criminal Minds episodes and then just vomit out all the things that you watched and it would be this book The saving grace for why this book totally doesn’t veer into torture porn would be that it also heavily emphasizes on family relationships and the rebuilding of the relationships between the two sisters however even that is very limited the story revolves around two women who are different from each other who have to reconcile their differences and take back their agency and go against these individuals that represent the ugly side of patriarchy and the power that men systemically have You could argue that this is like a feminist thriller story because so much of it relied on the strength and independence of women. But I would argue that it is limited to the scope of white feminism. There are so many lines of casual racism throughout this book They’re just completely unnecessary. “Her only regret about her sex life was that she couldn’t do it wearing a burka.” “Was it racist to assume that rich white people were only robbed by Black or Hispanic gang members or had Claire listen to too much rap music in spin class?” those lines completely took me out because I was like Bitch, what? I think the reason why they added those lines was so that you would see how flawed the main characters are Because Claire is privileged and she is kind of ignorant and the whole point about her character development throughout the story is that she takes off her rose-colored glasses and she doesn’t fall into the safety net of her privilege and her ignorance and that definitely happened But that casual racism wasn’t even addressed So I thought it was weird the author added that when it isn’t even gonna be added to her character development in the first place especially when we’re supposed to root for the protagonist So if I’m just reading about this woman and then she says all this racist shit about people who wear burkas, or Black or Latino gang members, it’s very unlikely that I’m gonna root for her or feel any sympathy for her if that racism is not gonna be addressed in the main character’s development Why was it even there? Karen, that was a choice and I question your choices for all its strengths that you can say about how it is like a woman’s story about empowerment It is definitely limited to white feminism because it just completely negates the experiences of women of color. Especially considering how when you hear stories about rape and murders or disappearances of large groups of women It is actually, statistically speaking, much higher for women from displaced groups. There are so many black women and indigenous women and trans women who disappear everyday who get trafficked and nobody gives a shit about that. In this book, there are a lot of girls who are blonde and blue-eyed because those are the types of victims that the attacker targets and I think that is awful for any kind of person, woman or man or whatever No matter what race you are it as awful as it go through something like that. But you also can’t deny that those blue-eyed blonde women are always the ones who are at the forefront of every news station there are towns who will scour the country and go on national TV to find these girls because they are the face of innocence and yet there are thousands of other women who don’t look like that and are not given a voice. I think the kind of book that I would rate five stars would have to add that extra layer of giving some kind of commentary about the real world, but because it wasn’t I just viewed this book for what it was which is an entertaining page-turner book but I don’t see it as anything deeper than that, that would warrant five stars. The next book that I read was
HARRY POTTER AND SORCERER’S STONE. I have never read Harry Potter in my life I finally agreed to read it because Sara from “sarawithoutanH” wanted to start this read along where she and a bunch of other Harry Potter virgins like myself would read the book series By the time this video gets posted there would have been a live show on my channel. I read this three stars on Goodreads, but I feel like my actual enjoyment is probably 2.5. I just thought it was okay. Like I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I do appreciate how inventive the world-building is for its time. I think the friendship between the three main characters is cute I like Hermione and Ron. I think that they’re very fun characters. I personally would have loved to see them as the main characters instead. Harry as a main character simply does not have the flavor that Hermione and Ron have What I liked about Hermione is that she comes from a family that is completely muggle-born. She is the only witch in her family. You can tell that she’s really overcompensating for that by studying as hard as she can and trying to show off as much of her knowledge as she can to It’s a great layer to add to this smart girl trope that is her character. I also like how Ron is like always the person who has been last place in his family. Those two are like the perfect underdog characters that I would have really loved to read more about and root for and then there’s Harry Oh Harry’s “The Chosen One” “Oh, wow, Harry’s so good at everything. Oh, wow. He’s automatically good at Quidditch.” Yawn, I don’t care. It’s hard for me to enjoyed us now as an adult because I don’t have the nostalgia and I’m not a middle schooler, but I was also turned off by so many of the hateful portrayals of certain characters. There was so much fatphobia throughout the book because Harry’s cousin Dudley is like this fat kid every single page every time he subscribed JK Rowling is like look at Dudley, that FAT PIECE OF SHIT. Look at all these fat ugly motherfuckers all they do is eat, oink-oink. I’m gonna have a wizard give this fat boy a pigtail, because he is a pig and he’s fat and that’s all there is to his personality and I’m like Bitch, you need to cool it Okay, Dudley is supposed to be annoying character But he can be annoying without insulting his weight Making fun of fat people was just so cartoonish and cheap and I was just so turned off every time she did that. I also thought that the way that she wrote the bankers, who were very greedy with their money and had long noses was kind of veering towards anti-semitism so I don’t know about that Another part I didn’t know about was this guy who had a turban and that turban was used as a way to reveal a villain. I don’t know about that People could argue that this was a product of its time because this was written back in the 90s. But I’m like bitch. I thought the story was supposed to be timeless. It don’t seem that timeless to me. I also didn’t like that the final action of the book just got skipped over by having a fade to black moment. And then when Harry woke up, there’s this other side character that just explains everything that happened and I was like, bitch I thought we were gonna get to the climax scene. Did we just skip over that? It was almost as if JK Rowling was like “oh shit. I’m gotta end the book. All right. Here you go.” It just felt very abrupt and weird to me but to be honest I was actually kind of glad that the story ended because I just wanted to move on to reading other books I will keep on reading because I did sign up for the read along but the first book definitely wasn’t for me And then the last book that I read for the month of January is MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE which is a memoir written by a therapist where she talks about her own experience with therapy as well as some of the patients that she had treated. We really ended this month with a bang because I rated this book 5 stars. Once I switch over to the audiobook in the last third of the book, a bitch was crying on her commute back home on the train, I really loved how the author was so genuine and insightful but then the narrator really took it up another notch She did such a good job sounding very compassionate. It really felt like I was listening to a therapist herself I loved hearing about the patients stories. I resonated with them in different ways. Like there is this one guy named John. He was misogynistic. He had anger issues He called everybody an idiot because he would never put blame on himself. He was mad at his wife for being depressed and he thought he was stupid for being depressed He called his own therapist “an emotional hooker.” So that paints a picture of how much of an asshole he was but let me tell you this there is a breakthrough towards the end of the book that made me cry on the train because what he revealed was so fucking sad that I truly felt for him even though he is an asshole I was just like damn he been through some shit It was a reminder for me to be compassionate with people even when they can be awful sometimes. Even when people are awful towards you there is like a deeper underlying reason for it A lot of times we use anger as a way to cover up sadness Especially when I see crazy-ass people on the internet being way too extra I try to take a step back and be like, you know, maybe this person has really gone through something There was another patient named Rita who I saw myself in her so much She was this old lady who was basically my future because she lives by herself. She had no family. She had no friends I’m like damn this bitch is gonna be me in 50 years and she had a super negative mindset with everything She is super cynical which is why I saw so much myself in her and the author reflected on how we often stay in our negative mindset because it’s so much easier to stay in what we are used to than trying to improve ourselves because trying to do something different means going into the unknown and is so much easier to be miserable because at least we would know what we signed up for because it’s so much easier to think “Well, I don’t need to improve myself because I’m a piece of shit, anyway.” this should be hitting too close to home The book is definitely not perfect Sometimes it feels kind of long-winded Half of the book is about that therapist sharing her own personal story about seeing her own therapist. I’m sorry. I really didn’t care about it. It was not as engaging as her patient stories. But I still left the book and I resonated with a takeaways and so that’s why I rated it five stars. also, if you deal with grief, that is a huge theme in the book, so… might wanna check that out, In the month of February, I will be reading THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray and I am doing a live show for that on March 7th I will also be reading THE DEEP by River Solomon, THE WORLD DOESN’T REQUIRE YOU, NICKEL BOYS, OCTAVIA’S BROOD THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON, [HOW LONG ‘TIL] BLACK FUTURE MONTH, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, and whatever black book I could think of Anyway, that’s about it. I’m gonna go crawl in bed and die now, so thanks for watching. Don’t forget to unsubscribe and goodbye. ♫ sunday dreamin’ by nvthvn ♫
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