Review: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel


Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Author: Alison Bechdel

Release Date: June 8, 2006

Publisher: Mariner

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 234

Source: Bestie

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter’s complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned “fun home,” as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.

When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.

5 out of 5 stars


I was blown away by this comic/graphic memoir. I was really impressed and even though it was not what I was expecting, I’m so glad that I read it.

This memoir follows Alison who is struggling with gender identity and growing up in general. She lives in a broken household with her mother, two brothers, and father who has some unstated issues.

The way that this book was written was so interesting because it jumped back and forth during time which I’ve not experienced with a comic before. It wasn’t confusing at all and I was completely immersed the whole time. The basic plot points are all told within the first 50-100 pages, then it goes back through and gives you key important details. I think that it was a very interesting way of portraying it, but it worked really well.

At the beginning I hated her father. To me he just seemed like a creepy slightly pedophilic man who just wanted young guys, but after reading the whole story you find out that he struggled with his sexuality and his gender identity. Alison and her father end up making amends, but mostly through her recollection of memories of him. It was such an interesting take on a “normal” formatting. Both Alison and her father wanted to be the other gender, so they bonded over that later in life after she came out to her family. He told her some things that had happened in his past that made her relate to him more.

I don’t really understand why Alison’s parents were together in the first place because he’s been gay/transgender his whole life. I don’t know if her mother was in a similar situation, but it ended up “working out” in a sense at the end.

There was amazing representation of anxiety and OCD in this book that I really connected with. I used to have anxiety through elementary and middle school and that derived from my need for perfection. I am fairly certain that I dealt with OCD, but didn’t know what it was called and was never formally diagnosed with it. But I remember feeling so similarly to Alison during these parts of the book. I know what it’s like to need to do things a certain way in a certain order. Or making sure my objects in my room didn’t “feel” like one was preferred over the other. It sounds strange to people who haven’t dealt with it, but it made total and complete sense to me.

I would highly highly highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if you’ve dealt with similar situations as Alison or members of her family. Even if you’re not huge into comics or graphic memoirs, give it a try!!

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Review: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – Jhumpa Lahiri


When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – Jhumpa Lahiri

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Title: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Release Date: 1999

Publisher: Mariner

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 19

Source: Anthology

A young Pakistani girl named Lilia is living in New England. It is 1971 when her and her parents meet their new neighbor Mr. Pirzada. He frequently visits their home for dinner, and becomes an integral part of their family. Even though the neighbors share a cultural connection, the war in Pakistan creates tension between them. Lilia learns how war can create fear and uncertainty, even when you live far away from the conflict.

3 out of 5 stars


I liked the first story of the anthology better than this one, but I still enjoyed reading this. I feel like this book is making my reading branch out more, and I feel like I’m reading more diversely. I’m here for it.

This story is about a young girl, Lilia, who lives with her parents. A man named Mr. Pirzada always comes to their house for dinner, and she doesn’t seem to question it. After getting to know him a little bit more she understands that his family is living in war in India or Pakistan. He hasn’t heard from them in a long while, and he’s worried about them, but he still treats her like his own daughter. He brings her candy, and she cherishes everything from him.

There wasn’t a lot to this story, but I do think that it was beautifully written. I really enjoy Lahiri’s writing style; it’s eloquent and easy to read. I think the theme of loss and longing is prevalent, and it seemed more real because it was coming from a young girl. Her friend moves away, and she doesn’t know how to cope with that.

I really felt empathy for Mr. Pirzada. He wanted his family to be with him so badly, so he ends up finding a “host” family with Lilia and her parents. I think that if it weren’t for him joining them for meals he would have been much worse off. I don’t know how hard it would be to be separated from your family without knowing how they are or even if they’re alive, but I’m assuming it would be so hard. I wanted him to feel better and be happy!

I really enjoyed Lilia as a character because she was vulnerable in just the right ways. She’s a kid, so her shyness was portrayed perfectly. She also valued everything that she had in her possession, but was never greedy. I think that was an interesting trait to give her, but it worked well with the story. I look forward to reading more by Jhumpa Lahiri!

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: December 3, 2012

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 262

Source: Author

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

3 out of 5 stars


Challenges Completed:

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge

  • A book with a subtitle
  • A book with career advice
  • A book with pictures

Huge thank you to Iain for sending me his book to read! Like I always say, being able to connect with authors is my favorite part about blogging.

Kitty Hawk is just a normal teenage girl, except she loves flying her plane instead of driving a car. She loves being able to take adventures and travel where she wants, so she decides to follow another passion of hers and learn more about her favorite animal: the humpback whale. She decides to fly to Alaska to stay with her best friend’s family and research whales in the ocean and in inlets while flying her plane. Her adventurous summer of whale watching turns into a crazy adventure with gold smugglers after she finds herself in a sticky situation with some brothers and a cooler full of gold.

Starting off, this book was pretty slow for me. I didn’t really understand why she was going to watch whales and the title was about gold, so right away my interest wasn’t peaked. I would have enjoyed this book much more if she would have gotten involved with the Yukon Gold earlier in the story. It took half the book to even be introduced to the characters she would soon become friends with. After she had met the guys and had started the real adventure, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The second half of this book held my attention, and I’m excited to read the next book of this series.

Kitty was a cool main character to read about, and I liked the relationships she had with the brothers. I wanted her and Charlie to be a thing, so I can hope in the books to come. It’s my prediction that Charlie will insist upon going around the world with her, but all I can do is hope ;). Although it took me quite a long time to read this book, I am excited to read the series. I love adventure books, and don’t get a lot of them in my everyday reading life!

Thank you Iain Reading!

Series:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3)

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #4)

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5)

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December Wrapup + January TBR


Read:

  1. Finding Lizzie – Karma Kingsley *review*
  2. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff *review*
  3. Take Back the Skies (Tellus #1) – Lucy Saxon *review*
  4. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter – Matt Kepnes

TBR:

  1. Class of ’59 (American Journey #4) – John A. Heldt
  2. November Snow (Bad Bloods #2) – Shannon A. Thompson
  3. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) – J. K. Rowling

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Review: Never Mind My Thigh Gap – Sarah Newton and Miss Bronte Huskinson


Never Mind My Thigh Gap – Sarah Newton and Miss Bronte Huskinson

Never Mind My Thigh Gap

Title: Never Mind My Thigh Gap

Author: Sarah Newton and Bronte Huskinson

Release Date: January 21, 2016

Publisher: Createspace

Format: eBook

Page Number: 198

Source: Shannon A. Thompson

“One ordinary girl, one extraordinary moment” There are three things everyone notices about Alice. 1. Her super-hot rugby boyfriend. 2. Her sophisticated, totally gorgeous best friend. 3. Her very noticeable 38-inch long legs.

Alice is tall – just under six feet to be exact – but her self-esteem couldn’t be smaller. When her relationship starts wavering, Alice’s perfectly beautiful best friend somehow convinces her to join a modelling competition, “for a confidence boost.” But Alice is just a normal girl; she loves ice cream too much, has an unhealthy addiction to American TV and lusts after the elusive thigh gap. She can’t even walk in heels, let alone in a bikini, but she finds herself joining Runway Models anyway.

The finale is only a few months away.

Will Alice catwalk her way to self-confidence or fail, proving everyone right? People can surprise you.


2 out of 5 stars

Shannon A. Thompson sent me this book because she thought I would enjoy reading it, so huge thank you! I have to say, though, that I really didn’t like this book that much. The specific thing that made me not like it was the unrealistic friendships and relationships. Alice is a pretty sweet girl who has some self-esteem issues, but that’s only because she has a bitchy friend and an awful boyfriend. Her friend wanted her to do this catwalk show thing and the only reason she did it was because her boyfriend didn’t want her to. He was rude and didn’t help her with her self-esteem. He was always tearing her down and making fun of her for wanting to do things because they were things she “wouldn’t normally do

Alice meets some new friends whom she becomes close with after everyone at school makes fun of her for trying out for this modeling gig. Oscar and Maddie become her best friends, and eventually she falls for Oscar. A lot of this book is misinterpretation and miscommunication. Oscar freaked out in the end because he saw Alice hugging her ex. Ugh.

The only way the “thigh gap” ties into this book is at the beginning when Alice wants a thigh gap. It talked about how much she ate, but she was still super skinny. Um. So the whole thigh gap idea that the book was named after didn’t even play a part in the story. I don’t understand why there was even mention of it in the title.

Overall, I don’t really understand the plot of this story. There wasn’t much of an actual story beside the fact that she broke up with her boyfriend and best friend and found some real friends.

Thank you for sending me this book, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea!

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This Week in Books #2


I saw this on ChrissiReads, and I think I would like to start doing these weekly. Now, if I am currently reading multiple books, I will only put the one I read most recently during my day in each post to keep it condensed. In theses posts I will be talking about what I read then, now, and what I will read next!

Click on the photo to go to the Goodreads page!

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THEN: I just finished Lady Midnight yesterday and OMG IT WAS AMAZING! The review will be up on Friday! I loved all the characters, and the character development was perfection. I feel traumatized, but in a good way because of it. The ending was perfect for the situation in the book, but the situation was not ideal. I highly suggest reading anything by Cassandra Clare. So good.

NOW: Looking For Alaska is the book that I just started today, actually! Have to read it for my Young Adult Literature college class, and I’m 32 pages in right now. I like it, it’s not super great yet, but I’ve enjoyed what I read. I like Miles and Alaska is a pretty cool bad apple. I’m excited to see where the story goes. I’ve heard a lot of mixed feelings about this book, so…

NEXT: Glass Sword still takes this position. I’m really excited to read it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I loved the first book in this series, and I loved the novella that I read, so I don’t know why I’m so hesitant to read this! I promise I’ll start it soon.

What books are on your list of then, now, and next?

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Review: Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld


Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld

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Title: Uglies (Uglies #1)

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Release Date: February 8, 2005

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 425

Source: Friend

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever…


 

4 out of 5 stars

This book was completely different than I thought it was going to be. I don’t really ever know what books are about before I read them, so it was really cool to jump into this one blindly. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this series, but I just have never gotten around to reading it until now. My friend loaned me this book because she enjoyed it when she read it a few years ago, and I’m glad that I read this.

It took me quite a while to get into this book; I’ve not read a dystopian in quite a while, so the world building was hard to get used to at first. I really enjoyed this book despite some of my annoyances with it. The world building was really awesome throughout the book, and it felt like I was right there with the characters.

The main thing that I had a problem with was fricking Tally not telling the Smokies the reason that she came there in the first place. The only way that she would have gotten them to trust her for real was if she told them the truth. Huh, weird right? SHE WAITED UNTIL THE LAST POSSIBLE TIME TO TELL THEM. wth. Why did you wait that long? David, the love interest, would have trusted you and not been backstabbed if you would have told him right away. And for real, she could have just gotten rid of the necklace. I completely saw what was coming before she did it. Ugh; typical YA.

I am really excited to read the rest of this series! I will definitely be purchasing a box set of this series in the near future. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next books!

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