Friday, November 27, 2015

Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

Are these Asians crazy rich? Or is it that these rich Asians are crazy? KIND OF BOTH.

Buncha Asians are crazy rich, like buy-a-hotel-because-the-concierge-insulted-your-wife-and-you-want-to-fire-him rich,

Like this but Asianer
and obsessed with intermarriage between clans and also brand names. The youngest scion of the richest clan teaches college in America, but brings his unsuspecting girlfriend over to China to meet his family WITHOUT PREPPING HER RE: HIS FAMILY'S COPIOUS WEALTH.

And it's played off like he didn't really understand how rich he was, or that's it's weird to be so rich, or how it might be deeply unsettling to be tossed into shark waters like that, but it's not like he'd grown up completely insulated by richness and his rich friends and their richness. Like, he's in America, teaching college, interacting with the proles, AND STILL doesn't want to give his gf a tip. I mean. That is a dumb dude.

But a RICH one.

OBBBBVIOUSLY half the family loves her and half the family is like, that gold-digging whore! Much drama ensues, they break up for a bit near the end, such is romance, all is reconciled.

I dunno. Lotta brand-name-dropping, which I think is the joke and I can SEE the humor but I am not OF the humor.

I dunno. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1: Squirrel Power - Ryan North

EVERYTHING IS AMAZING. Comics are killing me right now. I'm going to read this to Eleanor when she wakes up, and she is going to love it.

Doreen is a human-squirrel with the body of a human and the agility, strength, and tail of a squirrel! Plus she can speak squirrel, so all the world's squirrels are on her side! PLUS she defeats any and all baddies with empathy.

Sounds so much lamer than it actually is. I'm sorry.
I mean. Sometimes the baddies are bank robbers and then she dresses up in a suit made entirely of live squirrels and beats them down. But SOMETIMES she's like, Let's discuss what this intergalactic destroyer of worlds is actually looking for, and then find a way to give it to him that doesn't involve eating all of Earth.

Hooray for talking it out.

Also it is hilarious, good dialogue, solid jokes. Also Doreen has like a regular-person body (except for the tail! What I mean is she isn't shaped like a wasp with boobs). Alruddy put the next one on hold.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Her - Harriet Lane

HA HA OMG THIS BOOK. Oh lordy. Oh man.

Oh goodness. Oh jeez.
Ok, regroup. Nina sees Emma in a town square, and she's like, I'm sure it was her, though we're much older now etc etc and then she starts conjuring up ways to 'bump' into her. It's crazy. She, like, steals her wallet so that she can call up to return it and be invited in for tea, she semi-kidnaps Emma's toddler from the park and takes him home for like half an hour and then calls up the police like, I just found this kid on my steps playing with my cat, his mother must be out of her mind with worry, etc etc etc. It's juicy af.

She's obsessed with her, and eventually it becomes clear that it's not a benevolent obsession. That Nina has something against Emma, something old and half-buried. And the chapters alternate viewpoints, so Nina's like, I orchestrated this thing and this is how it went down and this is how I feel about it, and then Emma is like, This really weird or terrifying or bizarrely nice thing happened, and here's how I feel about it, and you are like


Thursday, November 5, 2015

More Happy Than Not - Adam Silvera

Hooooooooly shit.

I wasn't super into this book to start, because reading about teenage dudes is not my birthday party, but then I ran out of other things to read so here we are. And the first half of the book is FINE, Aaron is a poor teenager with a great girlfriend, but also a dad who killed himself, and then he meets a guy he really likes in a way he's not entirely comfortable with and I'm like, Ok this is better, because novels of self-discovery will always be more interesting to me than novels of teenage angst, and you think this is The Thing but then HA HA

There's a whole other thing that happens, and you have to re-think the earlier things. Also? The novel starts off talking about this procedure that can remove selected memories from your mind, and I'm like, OH, I've seen this movie, but it turns out the only do it if the memories are causing you, like, traumatic distress. Like if you're a war vet, or the main character has this one friend who sleeps with a dangerous dude's girlfriend and the dangerous dude thinks it was the friend's twin who did it and kills the twin, so the friend gets every memory of having had a twin removed because HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF AFTER THAT. (And then obviously his family has to move.)

ANYway, the book sort of throws that in and then carries on being a book and you're like, I was sure this memory-wiping procedure was going to be way more prominent. AND. IT. IS. But LATER. 

I just love a jarring surprise like this so. much.


The Book of Phoenix - Nnedi Okorafor

Yes, good, ok. I wanted something else by Okorafor but my library didn't have it, so I picked one of her older titles at random and IT WAS V GOOD.

It's The Future and Things Are Different (yesssss) and there's some frame narrative that I won't get into but then there's Phoenix, living in an experimental tower with other experimental people who all have Powers because they have been Created by Probably Evil Scientists, and then her lover sees something horrible and commits suicide and she is like ROWR *frees everyone from tower with help of man who can walk through walls, bursts into flames, burns tower to the M F GROUND*

Like this but way burnier.
And then she reconstitutes (like a phoenix, duh) and she and a couple of friends set out to bring down the other experimental towers scattered throughout the world. It's pretty badass.

Strong, capable writing and fierce ladycharacters.

Space Dumplins - Craig Thompson

Ha ha, yessssssssssss, so much great stuff is happening in comics in terms of tiny bitches doin shit. By the time Eleanor can read on her own, I'mma be like, THE LIBRARY IS YOUR OYSTER.

Violet lives in the trailer park of space, and her mom is a seamstress and her dad harvests whale poops (which is the energy source of choice in space) and whales just eat like fucking EVERYTHING and then they eat Violet's school. All her friends move on to other things, she makes two new friends out of some losers and nerds she finds hanging around, her dad volunteers for a secret mission and GOES MISSING and Violet heads off to find him.
There's lots of great class stuff going on here, Violet's mom is focused on becoming citizens and accruing the rights thereof, like warmth, and her dad is worried about Violet hanging around snobby elitist bitches (but then she ends up not getting into the state-of-the-art snobby-elitist-bitch school because of her dad's criminal record).

And there's lots of great GIRL CHILDREN KICKING ASS AND RESCUING NAMES or whatever I'm not sure how the saying goes but TINY LADIES BRINGING DISPARATE PEOPLES TOGETHER TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL. I'm for it. Also, Violet is the sort of sprightly sass-pocket I can get behind, like Nimona but younger and not as edgy (or angry, or shape-shifty).

DUDE AUTHORS WRITING COMPLEX FEMALE PERSONS I don't even know what is happening anymore.

It really is.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Princess Academy - Shannon Hale

IIIIIIIII don't even care. I'm starting to think that Shannon Hale is maybe just not my patronus, because this wasn't BAD but I'm so shruggy about it. I thought it was going to be really WASPy but it's actually, like, small mountain village girl goes to Princess Academy with rest of girls from small mountain village because priests said incumbent princess was to be found in small mountain village. Girl learns lessons about self, leadership, honesty, friendship, talking to each other via stone-ehanced telepathy. Tone is often pretty moralizey. Everyone happy in the end.

I sure didn't.