Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wish-list Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper

Hosted by,

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lavishly crammed with the songs, smells, and costumes of late Victorian England" (The Daily Telegraph), this delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.

When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue," Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act. In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.

Drawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson, Sarah Waters' novel is a feast for the senses - an erotic, lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.

Why It's On My Wishlist:

I suppose I read so much gay literature that I get a little tired of the normal nearly predictable story-lines, and the overly used characters that this one really stuck out to me. I have a circus fetish regardless, and Victorian London? I mean come one! This book was meant for me! 

A book club that I am part of, Vaginal Fantasy picked their monthly selections to celebrate DOMA being overturned, and I couldn't have been happier. However, since nearly every one purchased this book all of the cheaper paperbacks are sold out, and frankly I've already spent my book budget ($60.00) for the month.

I'm excited to see more and more LGBT stuff get published and promoted. I'm pumped to not only see it for adults, but as well young adults. I'm proud that things are changing, and frankly very pleased that more and more of these sorts of books pop up. 

Needless to say, I'm super excited to read this, just waiting for the price to head down a little on Amazon. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.


Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man has ever looked at her before. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young.
Most of the chosen do. (from


(why this part is in all caps, I'll never figure out. But I'm too tired to keep trying to fix. Just imagine me screaming this. It makes it more fun.)

You know....the buzz about this book was something of a strong force from most of my friends, and I figured it wouldn't be long before I too would be reading it. Thankfully, my book club picked it up by the ever insistent Katie Brogan, librarian, friend, and drug dealer. (books goobs and find her on Twitter: @jusbeinkt, she's cool as dope.) Now, I have to say I've enjoyed this book club very much, as I'm forced to read things that I normally wouldn't and really enjoy giving my opinion about the entire ordeal. I'm also a member of the Vaginal Fantasy book club, which is an online book club, but there is something very enjoyable about real people and a more intimate group. (Plus the cocktails after are always wonderful!)

Now saying this, let's just dive right in.

I found myself having a hard time truly grasping the pages and diving in. I've been rather busy in my life, and for one reason or the other I didn't have that instant pull. I did enjoy the book, I will say this, and I can see why so many readers have truly enjoyed Elisa. She wasn't the 'perfect' little queen, frankly she wasn't little at all, but as an avid fan of Tersa Medeiros The Bride and the Beast this wasn't my first rodeo into a plus size princess. However, Teresa's plus size girl didn't "become skinny". Granted, Elisa worked her ass off to save her people, so I have to support that.

I felt that Elisa's food habits were borderline signs of an eating disorder, but that wasn't addressed. I think it should have been. But that is the fear of Young Adult, as you have to be careful not to trigger these sorts of behaviors in the young impressionable youths. However, I had to really respect Carson for this, it couldn't have been easy.

I can't relate to this book like I felt a lot of the people around me did, and I relate that to my own growing up story. (Teen Mom here, turned 40 at 18) My body transformed a lot, so this whole "YES I CAN EVEN THOUGH I'M FAT" just didn't flip that GIRL POWER switch in my head, but as the book went on the 'even though I'm fat' became a very much 'yes I can because I am ME'. I can dig it.

Let's Get Technical

Ok, so I've not kept this quiet how much I hate the word 'smear'. I feel it's one of those English words that should have died a long time ago, and again...perhaps it comes from being a mother. 

"Today Brenna smeared her own vomit all over the back of her already poop stained dress."
The stars were smeared, the sand smeared, the building was smeared with reds and golds, and I guess I was so excited to see this totally different beautiful world that Carson already built just illuminated. I felt like I was in The Kingdom of Heaven all over again, with a beautiful mix of the Roman Catholic and Muslim culture. But instead I was treated to vomiting mountains that sometimes expelled gold. 

My only other complaint was that there are a few people that I feel I should have been more attached to, and I wasn't. Humberto being one of them. I guess I had a hard time finding any common ground with him, or even just getting inside his mind. And all of a sudden she loves him? I found that really hard to follow. I know a lot of time passes, and I totally get that. However, I don't think that Rae Carson did very well with the passing of it, and I think the book would have benefited from just a little more detail on how much time truly passed. I mean shit fire, I've only lost five pounds in the last three months (granted I'm not carrying myself through the desert, but still). I guess I would have liked to have had a little more time getting to know him deep down enough to care that his throat gets cut. What? Book has been out for a while. I'm not a spoiler free zone for older books. However, when Ale-Ale-jandro's passing came...I went awwww, no lie, no tears, but there were feels, even if he did suck as a King. He redeemed himself a little there at the end, and there is always Hector!

To Sum It All Up...

Am I ripping my bookcase open to grab part 2? No, not yet. I have a few others that need to come first, but I am certainly excited to pick back up the world of Elisa and her Godstone. I enjoyed the book very much, and will recommend it to my friends. I'll be curious to see if part two has vomiting mountains, and smear stained skies; but most of all I'm excited to see what is next! 


**Edit** I totally lied. I couldn't stop thinking about the other book and read it all in a single sitting. So much awesome happened. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Something Like Winter by Jay Bell

Something Like Winter by Jay Bell


There are two sides to every story. When you’re Tim Wyman, sometimes there are three.
Tim hoped moving to Texas would mean a new beginning, a chance to spread his wings, but he soon finds himself falling into the same tired patterns. Until he meets recklessly brave Benjamin Bentley. Suddenly a whole new world opens up to Tim—love, sex, warmth… home. Certain that society won’t understand what he and Ben have together, Tim struggles to protect their relationship, even if it means twisting the truth. As his lies slowly push Ben away, Tim learns that the greatest enemy can come from within. Buried beneath a decade of deceptions, Tim must claw his way to the surface in the hopes of learning to fly.
Something Like Winter, the companion novel to Something Like Summer, tells the story from Tim Wyman’s perspective, revealing new private moments and personal journeys.
(More Info Found Here: Jay Bell Official Website


So after my whirlwind romance with the first book I eagerly picked up the second, and hoped very much that a few of the little strings missing would be found in this one. For the most part, it did just that. 

This book really opens your eyes about Tim, seeing his struggle from a standpoint is something that I myself could relate more to than with Ben. My parents (mostly my father) were very harsh in my own coming of age story, and I found myself wanting to reach through the pages of this book and just hold Tim--promising that it gets better. 

Eric beat me to it.

Eric, who you were so very skeptical of, even at the end of Something Like Summer, turns out to be a darn nice guy. I fell in love with his strong spirit right away, and cheered for him all the way to the end.  Eric, like many of the new characters in this book is very well rounded, very finely sculpted and you find yourself wanting to know THEIR backstories as well. *Hint hint Jay, hint hint*

I still found myself rather angry with Tim, especially for a few events during Ben and Jace's relationship, but you can at least see where he's coming from much better. And let's face it, Tim just happened to be brave enough to do what all of us have wanted to do when seeing our ex move on and happy. His was just a little less....violent than mine. 

I didn't find myself as pulled under with this one, but I also wasn't as such a vulnerable place in my life. Yet, I did very much enjoy it. It took me about two days to read, and I can say that I enjoyed it very much. 

It served well as a second book in the series, without being a "And they continued to live happily ever after." It just went back and revisited a few things in their end scene, which was my one complaint with the first book. I wanted to have just a *little* more of Ben and Tim's happily ever after, and this book gave just enough to make it seem boring.

Let's Get Technical:

Again, I found very little wrong with this edition. Nothing was misspelled or jumped out at me as being wrong. I especially appreciated the pacing of the story, and how it retold the same tale but without just flat out going back and changing EVERYTHING to Tim's POV. Jay again, did really well with the movement of time, something I have always struggled with reading and writing myself.

I really appreciate Jay's use of imagery, especially Eric's house in this. Last book it was the Woodlands, this one totally Eric's home. It's not too much, it's not too little, it's just about right. And I will continue to follow this author for a while.

To Sum It All Up:

In the beginning of Something Like Winter, the author left a few notes and in this note he said:

"Happy couples are boring, and I refuse to write boring stories."
~Jay Bell, Something Like Winter

I expected another tear jerker, but didn't cry through this one. I was moved, don't get me wrong, but there wasn't any coffee stained face of my ugly sobs. However, saying this I do not know if I would have been as moved with this book had I not read Something Like Summer, and I do recommend still reading that one first. (Duh right?) I would not recommend reading this one as a stand alone book at all, but that does not mean I don't recommend it. Just read them in order.

This story was a welcome addition to my library, and I'm very impressed with how well Jay retold the same story over again--that is not easily done. I enjoyed it. It gave me a bit of closer to a few unanswered feelings from the first one, and easily one of the best ways to do a sequel to a book like Something Like Summer.

Will I be picking up Something Like Autumn? Yes, eventually, right now I'd like to sit and just let this story sink in (plus I have three others that need read first), but vacation is coming up at the end of July. I'll be excited to pick up on Jace's story then I'm sure. Plus, I want to get better at reviewing new releases.

Thank you,
Lillian Brittany 

Tune In Tuesday: Imagine Dragons, Radioactive

Tune in Tuesday: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

There are so many things that I can say about this song, but more importantly (at least to me) how it's moved me. Now I've always been a closet fan of theirs, ever since they burst on the scene, but up until the past few months I've not been able to work on my novel as much as I'd like. However, this song opened all of that up. 

I heard it first while on my Florence and the Machine station at Starbucks one day on Pandora, and just sat there watching the rain poor outside through those large heavy windows and just got swept away. 

If you haven't had the chance to hear this cd, please check it out!