Saturday 25 August 2018

Continued Hardship

Life is a continued hardship. Okay, this week I am actually just being dramatic as hell, which is fun instead of the usual heartbreaking strain I am always under. I'm going to make Tacos this weekend, so my back will hurt for a day. I am pessimistic, I can't help but go into the negative. It's who I am as a person, then you have all the bad things that happen to my family on a regular basices, I have to see and think why me sometimes. I could have it worst, I sit and think about that too.

See, even when things ain't falling apart progressively. I still can't make the effect to go anyway. Leaving your house shouldn't be so hard. But yet it is. 

Saturday 18 August 2018

A Phone Call

Stalker called me on Friday from my brother's phone. To be clear she not an actual stalker, like call the police stalker, but she stalked me online and then had the balls to tell people like that was normal. It is not normal to follow people you know in real online without telling them. She had this elaborate lie about how she wasn't a stalker. Anyway, she is. I mean if she see this and feel the need to comment on this then we know that she is definitely a stalker.

So I was in my car, parked eating chips, so when I saw my brother calling I didn't answer because I was eating and I wasn't sure I the energy to deal with him today (or anyone on the phone. I hate phones) and I can't imagine a world where he calling me for something important. Probably some bullshit reason. I hang up the call.

A few minutes, he calls again, so in case I am somehow the only family member out of the actual seven he has on my side he can contract, I answer on speaker phone because I have witnesses to whatever bull this is, including our sibling who he has not called. So no clue what this about. Maybe I'm dying. Physically this time, not mentally because he definitely never cared about that.

So I answer, I say hi or hello, one of those greeting words. Does it matter?

She, definitely not my brother says "Verna is that you?" I don't believe she did a proper greeting. I could ask one of the witnesses but does it matters?

I'm not with 'Verna', if I was I would have let her have the phone so she can deal whatever bullshit this is. I mean you don't accidentally call someone twice in a roll. Bullshit is what usually arrives when I see/hear my brother now.

I answer "It is not." She hangs up without a word. How very rude. Not that I care, but you know usually make up a lie like I called the wrong number. Somehow on a mobile that is not yours. We end up discussing Stalker more bullshit, bullshit that she has done. Like calling my mother due to reading on this blog that I didn't like the gift she had clearly brought due to how impersonal it was and would expect my brother to know that I can't wear jumpers. Only hoodies with zippers. Like calling everyone in my families with lies as what I said at her dress fitting. I had meltdown at the dress fitting but I did not saying anything about her. I called my brother an arsehole which my god given right as his sister to do. I suppose it's my Fate given right really. But alliteration.

So I told my mother who got this weird lie from her. If it's true it's weird, but I think it's a lie because stalker often gives weird lies. I won't brother with more examples.

I am still listed as Dad on my brother's phone, despite it having become my phone for the past eight years, but I buy that part because I haven't had an older brother for the past ten. The part I don't buy is that stalker thought it was her Dad listed as Dad on someone else's phone. Especially as my brother has two father's. So it would be Russian Roulette either way. Maybe it is true, she could just be that self-centred.

My theory is that I accidentally called my brother, a week ago (actually I've checked, it was a month ago so extra sad if I'm right) and Stalker was going through his call history because she definitely the sort of person to do that. She used to often stalk people on his phone. It's doesn't matter either way.

Now as an adult I can see that my brother is in a mentally abusive relationship. Maybe it's suddenly not. One person mocking someone for their likes and interests is abusive, and does not make a healthy relationship. She also encouraged his isolation from his family. He's did shitty stuff on his own and has a messed up view point like you stop having family when you get married. There were reasons why I stopped being closed to my bother.

Well, I'm not sixteen on the verge of killing myself so I no long care, other than wow that some bullshit, on either of them. This is just a funny thing that happened, because she has publicly said she will never talked me again because I called her a cunt in a chat she couldn't see. She just so self-centred that she ignored me calling my brother an arsehole and a sister a bitch after having left the chat ten times. I don't think either of us are in the right, but I own my bullshit.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Book Review: Zom-B: Goddess by Darren Shan

Will B finally get herself killed?

Where can you turn when you've run out of Options?

What card can you play when the deck's stacked against you?

Is there any hope in a world of the lost?

B Smith has reached the end...

So after 4 years, 7 months, 28 days (or 1701 days). I am finally here with a review of the final book of the Zom-B series (I have review every book but one because I forgot I hadn't reviewed till months later. I went to Florida. I miss Florida). It's hard to review this book without refering to the rest of the series, so like always I presume you have read the last 11 books or don't care about spoilers (hell, maybe you even want them).

Reading this book, the thought popped into my head, would have done the child bride thing if B had been male? Would we have gotten an child groom then? It probably would have been treated the same, a fourteen year old flirting with a hundred old something. This series started by messing with expectation of gender, but feel like B had to be a girl or female. I'm not saying Shan is sexist, if anything it's do with society sexism. Just the child bride thing and B being forced into the oddest mother role ever. Shan never really addresses sexism in the series outside of B's gender being a twist at the start. It's just something to think about when writing/reading. Yeah, it's stated it's not sexual. But still fucking creepy. In terms of horror it the most scariest thing in the whole series. The zombies and the forced gore just seem laughable next to it. Actually,that part was just dumb.

Everything is finally reveal for the most part, I still had random plot thoughts, one of the big problem with this book and the rest of the ending books is there's this rush to remind the reader of these characters we've only spent two or three books with and then have abandoned for six books in between. So they've just became names and B hasn't thought about them since the last time she seen them. Mainly because everyone B actually cared about is dead, so named characters do die but if you're read all the other books you're be desensitised to their deaths because all the more important characters are all gone. Basically, Shan has had B with no reason to live for the past three books. If the book were paced better or maybe read them back to back (if someone done/does that tell me if you feel closer to the characters that are left at the end) it could work. Twelve Books was too many for this story and not good enough job is done to make them interesting as standalones as the series goes on.

This book has a preachy speech at the end about taking better care of the planet and each other on a globe scale. I am millennial, so I'm dead inside due to knowing how fucked over my generation is and how fucked over the future one will be as things are only getting worse. However, kinda undermines the world series where you spell out what is wrong with humanity as whole and blaming the individual is how we end up with ableist banning of straws instead of pressuring corporations to dispose of their waste appropriately. Hell, it might come into law soon.

I did really like the first book, I guess I still do. Shan tried to rise a lot important subjects in this series: racists, corruption and paedophile but it's probably ruined. Having read them all and made it through them all, I would say give up when you feel like it. Walk away then. There was a point where I think the books become more of a chore to read, in the hope of plot, than enjoyable. I know children/middle grade books do have repetitive formats but this series didn't actually have that. So much of it is B fucking around and I don't think we get plot stuff or world development every book.

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars for fucking up everything. This isn't really a series I can recommend as whole, the last book in the series wasn't satisfying. It was fine. It's been so dragged out  that there's no impacted and that's a problem. I feel like I've wasted money and time with these books so not fun. Because I don't care anymore.

Book Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

An Own Voices Review for an Own Voices Books.

It's high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband - or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger's. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend.

Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he's tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal.

The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.

This book was bigged up by someone who had bigged up another book that I had really enjoyed, so I decided to give this book a chance. It has autistic protagonist by autistic author and I'm autistic. This could be fun. Yeah, turns out that own voices doesn't mean good rep, sometimes it's means internal ableism.

Firstly, before we get into this. This book is written in close third person, changing from following Stella to Michael, firstly by chapter then when ever. This got confusing while listening to audiobook which is how I ended up consuming most of this book, because girl had a deadline and things to do. So now I'm going to share quotes.

I've already said I have some issues with Hoang's choices. Firstly, the good: The autism is claimed straights away in the first chapter; Her traits are shown through behaviour and her choices instead of just being stated which is a usual problem I see with Autistic/disabled characters.This is all done really well and is great representation. Except this a romance book with classic misunderstanding set up. Michael has Daddy Issues and Stella has Autism. *slow blink*

I'm trying not to spoil things, but I might do so with explaining my issue with how Hoang goes about treating this. Being made to feel bad about your Autism is a typical experience for people on the spectrum, but I just don't like the way Hoang goes about it and how Stella's character arc happens.

There's is this one line and I hate it "She wasn't a robot or a disabled autistic girl." Oh, Hoang why did you write this? This is an ableist statement. The implication here being that being disabled is a bad thing, which I get from everywhere. I know where you are and the character is meant to be coming from. If Stella had true fuck society moment then I could let this go as Stella denying herself in a moment of weakness, but all we do get a line about not changing for men. It's just so small after paragraphs of all this terrible, self hate shit.

Autism being disability gets debated a lot, but we definitely face the same problems as other Disabled people. We face constant ableism through weird notions and inspiration porn, the world is not set up for us. I know that scene could also be read as her being defiant but I don't think that's better. Disabled being treated as dirty word is such a problem, leads to a lot people denying themself the help they need and could get.

I don't need that from an own voices book or anywhere. I wonder if Hoang did have this book sensitive read for Autism or not, which I know might seem like a weird thing for an own voices writer to do, but with Autism being such a varied Disorder, I think it something that all authors should do and I know that I will do that if I ever finish anything instead of just dabbling.

Hoang started writing this book before she had discovered she was autistic, so perhaps her previous notions about what Autism have slipped into this book. This book was always going to be how someone's autism made them hire an escort. I do think it could have worked, if more Stella wanted to get more experience for her own sake and not for her mother. I don't think this novel is trash or anything, my feeling after finishing this book was wanting to have a conversation with Helen Hoang about internal ableism. I think things could have been done better. I just really hated spark of the plot, like if Stella had recognized she had no idea what she was doing when it came to sex herself instead of an obvious arsehole giving her the idea. The thing I want is bad arse Autistic Female Protagonist, mainly because all we get is the self-haters that fall to society pressure. I know we all fall to Society Pressure sometimes, I'm just saying what I want. I just wish Hoang attitude in her Author Note made into this book: "When I wrote The Kiss Quotient, I became myself, and I’ve been unapologetically myself ever since. Sometimes instead of confining you, a label can set you free." That's great message, but it not in the book so few people read author notes or acknowledgements and they straight up don't appear in the audiobook versions (including this one, a few ones do have them).

I also really hated that the Autism was a big secret to Michael, when they relationship was meant to be professional. Maybe with being newly diagnosed Hoang hasn't experienced that in hiring a professional service it's better to tell them, things go more  smoothly or you have that moment of telling someone you're autistic and get that the dumb response they give.

Now that I've wrote a novel about Autism Rep, let's
move on.

This book was never for me. It just has too much sex for my liking. The UK cover really highlights what this book is actually like compare to the Rom-Com cover the US one has (I just request it when I saw it, without realising it listed as Exotica on UK NetGalley, the person told me about it, did so in a way that specify that it wasn't exotica. I probably would have still requested it but I would have know what I was walking into). I got real bored of all the sex scenes. I like to read this stuff sometimes, but just scene after scene doesn't do it for me. I know escort but I thought it would be emotions mostly. Not sex mostly. Like role reversed Pretty Woman. There's big chunks where that's all that happens. I didn't like some of the scenes anyway. Like this beautiful quote: "She had the kind of nipples men and babies dream about." Michael would say/think stuff that just took me right out what's happening to think gross. I guess it depends on what you're into and what words turn you right off. For me, it's mentioning children and demanding that animal names are the right names for genitalia. For me, it's on the same level as "Flower".

The audiobook narrator was fine. Sometimes she was slip into a impression of Sheldon Cooper, which I think is honestly my hang up because Autistic people can be quite monotone sometimes and it could just be her natural accent with it. It's a decent way to experience the book if you like audiobooks.

So characters, this book is terrible people. Stella is very autistic. That is all she is. Shit, we're back to Autism rep. Okay, she has some interests outside of being good at seeing patterns and maths stuff. Her and Michael both like martial art films. She likes Korean dramas as well, apparently Michael looks like an actor who was disappointingly not that hot. Maybe he's really a good actor so is hot in film, attractiveness is subjected so that the chance you take when you mention a look-a-like by name. This is a romance so not a much is done with characters outside of relationships. Yeah, that's kinda sad as a trait of romances. Anyway, the relationship is fine. Fine.

I like Michael's family. They're not really characters, there's so many of them and we don't spend time with them a lot but I like them. 

So the actual real unfun part of this book for me. Yeah, it wasn't fully the autistic rep being wack at times.

This being autism book, society being fucked is on show sometimes. But then there's Philip James, a Sexual Harassment case waiting to happening, is introduced by dating an intern and asking Stella if she is a virgin. bliuahtgruie;ojgduityl4w5kghrjbn. He's in the whole book, he's an arsehole the whole book, there's this moment where I think Stella is going to finally call him out on it, but she doesn't. He even gets a hint at happy ending which is just baffling. The way his character is treated is just baffling. I just don't know why he wasn't a secret arsehole or arsehole with a heart of gold (okay, I actually like those characters trope) if that was the way Stella was going to treat him. Spoilers and trigger warnings he kisses Stella when she pressed up against a car, her having just say no to a date with him and that she has a boyfriend all indicates of not having consent. So yay, sexual assault, which makes me think of a terrible book where the autistic protagonist is also repeatedly sexually assaulted. It's treated worst in that book, but this is a definitely terrible. I know straight smuty romance books do tend to have these terrible tropes where consent is blurred, but she washes her mouth out and Michael hits the guy. Now, for the worst part is that Stella never treats him like a guy who just sexually assaulted her. She goes on a date with him after that and then he forces himself on her again. You can have characters that are shitty person, but not when the heroine ignores all this terrible shit he does. It is treat as though, he a fine fellow who just not right for Stella, instead of you know a sexual predator. Anyway, I don't like that in books and just brafiawqqqqqqqqqqqqwweeeeng.

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars for Internal Ableism. The self-hate just was not fun to read through. It just has all these terrible implications, even with this being very much adult book, it's just not fun or healthy.I want to support Autistic writers out there giving own voice characters out into the world, but I just didn't enjoy this. Even with not being a big exotica fan, and acknowledging tropes, it just doesn't work for me. I guess if you read this book, maybe just think about the internal Ablelism that's displayed. I would pick up Hoang's work again. I know her next book has an Autistic protagonist as well, and maybe writing it being more aware that stereotypes about Autism ain't true. Autism was too much of the plot to ever be fun.

Saturday 4 August 2018

The Exam Process (N.E.W.T.s)

No post last week. It's annoying because I had an idea for it and I completely forgot what the idea was. It will haunt me for like a day.

This is also in my drafts and it could be literally from any week.

"I don't know I did this week. Edit I guess. But also not. I filmed a lot of video while sleep deprived and it was probably a mistake. Yes, definitely a mistake because those videos were to actually have words about stuff instead of incoherent rambling which is my favourite thing to do when sleep deprived.

Probably closes I will ever come to doing a "drunk" video since I don't drink and my experience with alcohol make me feel bored and wanting to go to bed."

The BookTube-a-thon is currently going on and I think that even I had energy levels, I would not take part. I just can't arse with the way it's run. It just feel like at the centre of everything wrong with the BookTube community.

On the brighter side, the N.E.W.Ts are under way. It's only a readathon and not real exams. I've currently got an A in Transfiguration. I know, I've got to up my game if I want outstanding in all nine exams I'm sitting. It's a month long thing and I've got to read 27 books to get Outstanding in them all.
I would like four Outstanding which is 12 books which is doable

Well, I'm off now. I have exams to sit.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speaking up is still important.

From the first moment of at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she’s an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t know glare at her. No one knows why she called the police, and she can’t get out the words…

After finally reading this book with years of expectation. It's fine. For its time it was big deal to have a main character in YA be a survivor of rape, but now more is need. It is aimed at lower age group, with the main character being 13/14 than most modern books, it opens a door, more than a full discussion about rape and the culture that lets it be.

My main reason for reviewing this book, was the silent Protagonist aspect. She speaks more than I was led to believe, but does stopped talking to her parents and teachers, which is briefly addressed in the book.

This book famously deals with rape and this it was released in 1999. Next to modern books, it not as good. The character also self-harms, biting her lips to the point their covered in scabs and picks her fingers till their bleed, which is something I've not seen discussed by anyone else. Being a survivor of rape can led to mental health issues so it's nice to see this, and it going unseen is also common sadly.

I do like how this book shows bad friendships, especially aimed at age group vulnerable to them. Melinda becomes friends with someone looking for something better than her and is estranged from her middle-school friends due her calling the cops and is never given the chance to explain why. 

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars for Drawn Flowers. This was an important book, and is still as relevant now as was then. I think the ending feels like a fantasy next to the realism of rest of the book. It is a book to give younger teenage and I know it becoming a problem that there's a lack of Young Adult. I think these book are hard to criticise, since they deal with serious issue that under talked about with respect. This isn't a bad portrayal but things could have been better for me. I rate stars by my gut, and three felt right.