Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel - Jacob Grimm I am not impressed.
The narrator chose to voice all the characters as Southern (USA), when the stories and characters are German, which puzzles me quite a lot, I must say.
The story was decent enough, and her narration was good, it's the dialogue that's cringeworthy if you think about the origins of this tale by the Grimm Brother's.
Not that I can complain since it is a free audiobook by LibriVox *shrugs*

The Way to Wealth

The Way to Wealth - Benjamin Franklin Ugh, I just wanted him to shut the fuck up about Poor Richard, jfc. I eye-rolled so hard my eyes almost displaced itself, smh. It's just really annoying for the whole thing to just be QUOTES of other people (Poor Richard is Franklin's pseud which makes it all the most grating UUUGH!!).

Writing Fiction for All You're Worth: Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level

Writing Fiction for All You're Worth: Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level - James Scott Bell I thought it'd be about, you know Craft and how to improve writing considering the title, but it felt very...vague and not as helpful as one might think. Plus there were the whole agents, query, stuff that has nothing to do with the writing and fiction writing, but with making it as an author/getting published.

I'm disappointed but heh, it could have been worse I suppose, but there's better books out there actually about the writing, and improving writing. I'm currently also reading [b:Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life|357464|Wild Mind Living the Writer's Life|Natalie Goldberg||943430] which is actually being very helpful with craft. Both brought up Freewriting, but I felt Wild Mind is giving me ways to actually do it, instead of "go write for 10 minutes without stopping", and gives prompts to get you going, which really helps! [b:How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play|8254282|How to Be a Writer Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play|Barbara Baig||13102018] also brought up Freewriting (I'm not very far into both books because I was reading this one and also they seem longer than this one heh), but didn't go into as much detail or as helpful as Wild Mind.

My conclusion is: not worth it for improving your actual writing, the advice is vague and there's better books out there giving more insightful advice.

Stages of a Fiction Writer: Know Where You Stand on the Path to Writing

Stages of a Fiction Writer: Know Where You Stand on the Path to Writing - Dean Wesley Smith Instead of the book, I just read the version of this available on Dean's blog for free. I dunno if it'll still be there next year/when he'll remove it, so get on it.
This is an extremely short book, and while it does have some really intriguing food for thought, I do think it needed to be expanded way more than it is.
For one, I would have liked to see how to practice to reach stage 3 and 4, instead of just saying you need to practice and study other writers.
He did give some to read, but there's a difference between reading and studying, and I really would have liked to know how he does or how to go about it aside of reading for pleasure and then a second time for studying.
It's definently not a how-to book, or even a craft one (though he says it is, to me a craft book tells you/explains how to go about improving/reaching higher skills), but it's nice to put perspective.
It's very passable though, if you don't feel curious where you're at, and it won't improve your writing or give you tools to improve per se. Just...give you awareness, which is also good!

Heinlein's Rules: Five Simple Business Rules for Writing

Heinlein's Rules: Five Simple Business Rules for Writing - Dean Wesley Smith Instead of the book, I just read the version of this available on Dean's blog for free. I dunno if it'll still be there next year/when he'll remove it, so get on it.
Only reason I'm giving 2 stars is cause I've actually read extensively Dean's blog about them before reading this, so I already knew everything he was talking about. For someone that has never heard about them, or how he uses them, this would be a 4 stars without issue tbh. It's really just that this is focusing on it and more expanded than his blog post about it.
I highly suggest reading his blog for sure!

How to Write Fiction Sales Copy

How to Write Fiction Sales Copy - Dean Wesley Smith Instead of the book, I just read the version of this available on Dean's blog for free. I dunno if it'll still be there next year/when he'll remove it, so get on it.

No gonna lie, my eyes glazed over since it was just 90% examples, though explained by DWS, but boy oh boy. Though let's be real, this is for indie published people, and I...well I put my stuff on archive of our own and Wattpad for free so... heh, might not be the target audience atm. Though I'd love to you know, be published and etc, I first wanna improve my writing skills.

Either way, the real reason I read it was cause it might disappear like his Writing Into the Dark did, and I love me some freebies hehe.

Though really, in order to study blurbs you need to read a bunch of them and write a bunch of them. His ones as examples were nice, but I'd have liked to see him use from other authors too. Oh well, can't expect much when it's such a small book!

We Were Liars

We Were Liars - E. Lockhart Most of the book I was going to give it 2 stars, I really don't like how it's written but then the truth came up finally and just destroyed me. I'm still crying as I write this, since I just finished it.
My heart bleeds out for the Liars, for reasons that I won't say since they're spoilers.
If the writing had been better, and by that i mean the similes for things that weren't happening like her headaches and her grief, this would've been even better.
It's still such a heart twisting story, and though flawed, you really end up caring about all the Liars. Though the one I ended up liking the most was Gat, with his ideals and his need to right the injustices in this world.
Not for the weak of heart, the last third really murdered me and put in perspective everything that had happened before in the book. Because suddenly conversations had a whole new meaning.
I didn't expect that ending or the answer to the mystery of why she can't remember her 15 summer or what happened, at all.

Now to spoil stuff so don't click, cause I need to unleash this saddeness

I never expected this book to be about grief or how to deal with it, I think that's why it hit me so deep. The liars had so much potential, especially Gat, and they all died without being able to do anything.
A big part of me is angry at Cadence, because she was the one that brought it up and put the idea in them. Tbh, I don't think she suffered enough since she was blissfully ignorant on a conscious level, though not on a subconscious one.
After she said they were dead, I didn't believe at first because she has a tendency to over exaggerate and dramatize, so I thought she meant died as in emotionally/mentally/who they used to be.
Turns out it wasn't, they really were dead, and it devastated me so much, I don't even know why. Whatever it was, it clicked and made me bawl.
I fully expected her to try to kill herself after she realized the truth, though she didn't. I got a feeling she did try it after the burning happened, because of that scene where her wrists are taped and her legs burnt. It also explained why her mother was always hovering and reminding her that she was loved.
I'm still tearing up/crying as I remember and write this. Mostly because it was the 3 liars with potential that died, and not Cadence who didn't have any aspirations aside from wanting to be with Gat. Which was also why she ended up killing them with the fire. What kind of stupid kids don't know to start a fire from top to bottom one at a time, and not all of them at the same time??? Though I get that they were drunk, it just seemed so odd and off to me. That's the part where I'm not convinced tbh.
The scene after she meets them Johnny, Mirren, and Gat, knowing they're dead and just an hallucination/delusion, really killed me.

I need to nurse my wounds and try to stop crying now.

Oh and I totally forgot to say I loved that this author put two of Diana Wynne Jones, my fave author ever, in this book/that the characters read. Though it was only from the Chrestomanci books, and not my faves from her, I still loved that shout out!

Edit: originally I gave it 4 stars, but after thinking it over and over, since the book is still juggling in my head with questions and etc, I realize that I don't feel satisfied. There were a lot of things and questions roused that I wish the book had addressed. The book to be longer, even just by 50 pages. Or at least that the author explained at the end or after the book.
She said the answer to why they were called Liars was cut out of the book to not slow it down, well then just explain it yourself! There's no good reason no to do it, ffs.
It's still a book that impacted me a lot, so I'll leave it at 3 stars~

Strong Signal

Strong Signal - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell tbh i think their relationship grew and blew way too fast without context, since there were time skips for months on end, we don't get to see how they slowly bonded. we just get a lot of rough sex, and some funny interactions. i like the idea, the themes, and even that they used the social anxiety realistically, but it all felt too quick, fast and sudden for me to feel the spark. i love a good slow burn, as characters meet and grow to like each other, and the sexual tension growing until it culminates. this had none of those, which is pretty disappointing considering the summary/synopsis kinda was leading to it. they immediately hit it off after some emails, and I do not buy it at all.

i also feel like the gaming thing got dropped super fast, they didn't game together, and it really was just a prop. i never felt like they were legitimate gamers, I'm not saying this in a snobby way, I mean in terms of games. they barely name dropped games, just some vague "demos" and "early access". they mentioned mahbe 5-6 games, 2-3 of which were made up for this book.

all in all, not bad,made me laugh and smile hard, and the interaction of the chat members did feel pretty legitimate.

Adulting 101

Adulting 101 - Lisa Henry this is fun, cute, heartwarming, and so real.
i definitelt felt for Nick, as someone that has no idea what to do with their lives and just finds everything so overwhelming.
i really liked that Jai is always a trooper, never made him feel bad, and always felt real. both felt real, alive.
thing is, while I laughed and loved it, I don't see their relationship long term. Nick still has too much to grow and learn, and Jai is 25, he's more mature yes, but he'll also want certainty. but maybe this is me being pessimistic when this book was so positive, real and cute, that I just don't think they had much spark.
i felt like they are each others first relationship, the first puppy love you get because someone is hot, or cute, but then you figure out they're not headed in the same direction as you. they're not really right for you.
it still made me laugh, and I love feel-good stories that aren't super focused on angst, or just on the fucking. definitely good quantities of real, fucking and fun


rock - Anyta Sunday If I had to tell someone what their first Anyta Sunday book should be, this would be the one.

Second time reading it, after a few years (I believe i read it in 2015), and I still could remember this book, but it was even better the second time.

The writing is beautiful, stones and rocks are important, and they add so much the narrative and to the growth of the characters.

From the beginning it's impossible not to see that Jace and Cooper are into each other in an innocent way, but that clearly conveys it was deeper than friendship or hate.

Tbh I don't really care if they're blood related or not (as it was left to the reader to piece it up however they think it is), even if they are I must say they just were right for each other. They tried not to be together, they break each others hearts and date others, and put time and space between each other, but love doesn't go away just because you wish it.

I think one of the things I love about Anyta is that her drama and angst is always on point, without going into melodramatic or overdone. A fine, difficult balance to attain, which she did wonderfully in this series.

One of the best slow burns books, and such a good coming of age story as it maps from their early teenhood to their twenties. And yeah, be prepared to see and know they do date, have sex with other characters, and hurt each other, as they are trying to not to hurt those that they love, like their family, and each other. I can't fault them for thinking it could go away, because they were simply too young, yet when they finally get together and consume their years it was worth it. All the heartache, all the feelings, they were worth for that unwavering climax. Better than they doing it younger and then feeling guilt, shame and regret whenever they looked at each other.

A huge part of me did wish that it didn't have the angst, the people they dated, the deaths, but it is so evocative of life and reality. Again, can't fault it for being so grounded, perhaps it's what even made this better.

And tbh, I just loved how they clearly sparked off right from the beginning, and that Lila did notice that from beginning their relationship was unique.

I think even if his father had never divorced his mother and gotten together with Lila, that they'd still have gravitated, met and gotten together. Their pull was just too raw and real, whether it'd been when they were in their twenties or a year or two, since they went to the same school, it'd have happened for sure.

Heck, one of the things I noticed was that for all that Cooper said he liked Zach, we never see or get to see him having sex with any character aside Jace. All the rest is post (as in yes they did) but not even in the same bed post-sex. And for Jace we only see one scene of him beeing intimate with another character, and it was such a gut punch, for Cooper and the reader really. Because they weren't important, the most important memories inside his stones and rocks weren't of them, and tbh it just makes me all warm and gooey inside. I love them soo much, and I wish them all the happiness in the world ಥ⌣ಥ

Warnings: Angst, Tragedy (like death), Sex scene with others beside the target couple, slow burn, lots of sexual tension, climax is super worthy of all the wait and pain though!

Leo Loves Aries

Leo Loves Aries - Anyta Sunday funny, warm and sweet. definitely made me root for them, also smile a bunch at their quips. their chemistry was A++++ /wipes sweat
especially love how giddy, warm and precious this felt after a heavy read. exactly what I needed!
plus it helps there's dimples and an aries on this, xP


Bliss - Lisa Henry non-con, rape and sexual slavery + sexual violence and exploitation.
a lot of those scenes were hard, thankfully Rory isn't a total prick and he's not doing the worst of them: he doesn't know, and by the end he does stand up.
i really liked this because it's difference, premise and subjects and themes, but then...
like looking back there was no plot really to speak of.
why was the chip made to make them into sexual slaves? what was the purpose of it? why and where did it origin from? we don't know, I suspect because it'd bring down this story pretty hard.
i think this should be revisited but in a totally different way, instead of for the oh so extreme sex. it has potential to be good, for the background and world to really shine, but it's too inconsistent and not fleshed out properly.
tbh i expected more, since Lisa Henry has done some real good stories.
in the end i can't rate it a 4, i just don't think it stacks up.
but it's definitely unique in this sea of slice of life M/M, and we definitely need more titles that differ and branch out. not sure this was the branching out I wanted.

More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not - Adam Silvera the twist blew me away, i wasn't expecting it.
i couldn't srop crying at the ending either.
when you're comfronted with the possibility of erasing or changing your painful past in memories, would you take it?
tbh, yes i would.
and maybe I'd be as bad off in a totally different way.
i actually didn't know this book dealt with depression or suicide, otherwise I wouldn't have read it without preparation, but they were broached and tackle with reality, so definitely pleased.
a sequel wouldn't work, but I'm still pretty devastated. and i will remember him, happy or not.
now I'll just go continue to cry on my corner /sobs

The World God Only Knows (LN, 1)

The World God Only Knows (LN, 1) - Mamizu Arisawa This fan translation is as subpar as they can be, and it's what I'm rating here. Do not recommend the fan translation, it's confusing and it's not even properly formatted to novel-style of narration and dialogue. It follows too closely the original, and gets confusing

The Trajectory of Laughter

The Trajectory of Laughter - PK Samurai I wrote a review/spotlight feature of this fanfic and completely forgot to share it here with a link and a snippet from it:

"It's an a amazing fanfic by PKSamurai, and I give props to them because I cried so hard after finishing it, and I don’t usually. You can read it here.

It takes a concept I really like “following the original timeline but with a twist”, into this particular case it’s a bit of “what if Sawamura had started with his end of the first manga knowledge and skills”. Of course, it’s not really the focus, I’m just saying that because I don’t want to spoil the plot. Just know that it involves time-travelling.

Know also it slashes, in the best possible, chaste and slow-burn way, Eijun with Miyuki. My Miyusawa heart is super happy about that (^_-)≡★

I’ll be honest, this story is gigantic, some 150k words, but it’s all worth it. Once I started it, I got hooked. Plus the writing is flawless, it really flows. I’m astounded by all the amazing fanfic writers I find. Discovering really good writers is a favorite past time of mine, and not only is PKSamurai a good writer, (he? she? I’m not certain, let’s go with they) they have an excellent buildup and plot skills. Good writing with bad plot is nothing. It has to come together to make a good thing, and TToL is excellent, and made me feel so vindicated that if Sawamura had started with those skills/knowledge he would’ve been capable of carrying them past those awkward first games/tournament. Plus I like that the PKSamurai has a good sense for skipping/shortening the games that weren’t all that important/needed in the Daiya original timeline.

This story was really touching, plus seeing their quasi-romance bloom as slow as a snail moves was beautiful. But that’s not why I cried. PKSamurai knows when to twist the knife deep inside, and really wrench emotions and tears (个_个)"

Click the link to read the rest! :D

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy - David D. Burns This is good, really good. So why did I not finish it? There's so many examples and so many things possible to do it just exhausted me and started making me think I needed to do everything or I wouldn't heal, so I got stressed and overwhelmed myself. No fault of the book, but I do wish it was more digestible and introduced one thing at a time instead of 10. I'll perhaps return to this book once I try other books of this genre that I hope are easier to get started on my journey. There's also all kind of exercises once can find on Google, just by typing cognitive behavior therapy, so I think giving those a go and then diving deeper when one feels needs a push or more help to heal is the ideal course. For me, of course, and people like me that get easily overwhelmed or stressed because they want perfection or feel fear from missing out.

Currently reading

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Do It Yourself by Jeffrey Dale Jeschke
Always Raining Here, Volume 2 by Bell
Faith Volume 2: California Scheming by Jody Houser
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3 by G. Willow Wilson
Batgirl, Vol. 3: Mindfields by Cameron Stewart
The Walking Dead, Book Fourteen by Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn, Charlie Adlard, Robert Kirkman
Leo Inter Serpentes: Sixth Year by Aeternum
Grimm Fairy Tales Boxed Set by Joe Brusha, Raven Gregory, Ralph Tedesco, Dan Wickline