Saturday 27 June 2020

Tweeting Shame.

When you're a teenager, you do and say clingy things.

Been going through old tweets, deleted some of the worst ones. As a general rule, I don't delete tweets but a lot of them look worse due to having no context. Running jokes between teenagers who didn't know better. None of its terrible. Haven't found any slurs yet. The only one is a quote from Steven King when I doing a live read of Carrie. I probably should have censored.

I know I was ignorant about things as a teenager, like what are healthy relationships and I know I had racism and prejudice believes. Edge Humour was such a big thing online in the 00s and the early 10s so I know I was desensitised. I know I always knew that the N-word was bad, but there are other race-based slurs that were so commonplace that I would never have known there were slurs and hurtful. That's definitely a good thing about the internet is learning from different POVs than the ones you're surrounded by in life.

I'm only through 2011, maybe there's something worse lurking on it that will make want to go back and slap myself. So far there's nothing that I couldn't explain as an asinine joke. Trying to be funny isn't always excuse. There is some stuff you can explain but its never be excused and should just apologise and move on.

I don't believe in cancelling people over one mistake or ignorance. Especially if they immediately apologised when it's pointed out. Also, people never fact check and even seem proud of it. Like people are saying that Jenna Marbles intentionally did Blackface, when she was just covered in fake tan which she wore normally then. It would be different if she had darkened her skin just for that one video.  She should privatise the video. The thing is she was racist towards Chinese people and put it in a video it was racist. I think the big problem is that these were all years ago and Jenna Marbles is actually very apologetic. I think she should take a break, but I hope this isn't her exit from the internet.

People being intentionally or constantly problematic are the ones who need to be deplatformed. The problem is that a lot of them are doing for attention and don't care. I do think who you're okay being associate with is an issue. I mean why would have to be friends with someone whose constantly racist, ableist and queerphobic. I use to watch Shane Dawson and even listen to his podcast until it went private video and stopped making sense audioly. It does make me amazed the stuff that Shane use to say and I just it go because shock humour was such a big deal. Frankly, Shane should be ashamed of the things he did and said online. I know he's made an apology video but not sure I want to waste my time if he's not actually going to go deep with it.

We can take joy in one transphobe being deplatformed.

I left my hate of Justin Bieber up because it's not worded great but the emotion is the fame. Surpirsly, no weird dyslexic mistakes. Pretty coherent.

I keep going to say "Overall" when I finished these. Maybe because I've been writing a lot of reviews lately since I've not scheduling them and just trying to get reviews of books I read as them, so books I've read this year is actually accurate. I need to read and review 'Mexican Gothic' before I can catch up on the mess of before I started doing it this way.

Anyway, forgive people who change and throw out the ones who won't and continue to be harmful with their full chests.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Book Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

There are so many summaries of this newly released book, some of them are hella misleading.

In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They've been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby?

And where did they go?

Two entangled families.
A house with the darkest of secrets.

This book follows Lisa Jewell's usual staple of the kids being the centre of what of the mystery but this time we have the kids as adults as well.

I'm not saying that all Lisa Jewell books are all the same, she definitely has a bag of tropes and themes that she goes back to. Incompetent adults are a common one and I guess this is similar to Then She Was Gone in some ways. Well, it shares the same trigger warnings.

Okay, one of the characters is gay. I can't actually remember Jewell having a Queer character before this book but I haven't read all of her works. It just raises the question can we have gay grey-characters when they are no other Queer characters in this book. Him being gay isn't a big deal and there are a lot of grey characters in this book. Except he is a POV character and he's the one we get the past events from through the book. He's probably messed up from the way he was raised, but a lot of his later actions don't have an excuse.

The mystery was okay. Things become obvious quickly and you know what's gonna happen as each piece is laid. It's not a bad thing. The cops do a very bad job of investigating, they missed some big evidence. I get the point was they didn't care but odd. They probably should have been more odd theories out on the internet about this case. At least a YouTube video.  Like things that were public knowledge were never connected.

Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars for Unsold Bags. I have read a lot of Lisa Jewell's books now and have reviewed them (to different acceptable levels). I enjoy her books but I guess they will just never be favourite of mine. The family nor the house was that interesting. There were a lot of interesting tangents but are not what the book is about.

Read: 18/5/2020 to 24/5/2020
Reviewed: 29/5/2020 - /05/2020
Medium: Audiobook
Narrator/s: Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland, Dominic Thorburn
Published Date: 8th August 2019
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
Source: Library
CW: Child Abuse; Grooming; pregnancy from abuse; sexual manipulation; Domestic Abuse; forced abortion; Miscarriage; stillbirth; animal abuse; murdered cat; cult; poisoning; violence; forced imprisonment;

Saturday 20 June 2020

Primary Souce

I should have been seeing My Chemical Romance tonight. I should probably be sad or something but I guess I'm too drained for that now. I've had my grief over all the things I should have done this summer and haven't.

I've so far not got to hold my nibling yet.

At least I didn't drive for six hours yesterday. I haven't driven much in months, its been great. Still miss TGIF for some reason. Their hot wings and blue cheese sauce are not something I can capture so if anyone knows the receipt please feel free to DM me it.

Isn't it odd that this technically counts as a primary source of what the pandemic was like to live through? The answer is boring and frustrating. Now I sound like something they give to Primary school kids studying World War II. May as well go for it then

Hello, I'm Rachel Verna and I'm someone whose a carer for a family member who's not allowed to live the house. The government sent us Shielding Boxes till we begged them to stop because we never ate anything from them. The bread was weird and frozen. The food was clearly was taken from Hotels and Cafes.

Well, I'm done for now. Maybe I'll be sad when it was time for Green Day and Fall Out Boy. I'll never have my ultimate Emo week.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Book Review: Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Not much to talk about.

A show runner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumour.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time – threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a ‘source’ is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is ‘no comment’

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realise the rumour might not be so off base after all . . . but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

After I requested this book, I started hearing bad things about it and sadly when I started reading it that was true. I found Emma annoying at the start, the way she freaked out about a dress she needed for a work event. I think the picture part was clumsily done especially when Jo's media persona is being an ice queen. This book is third-person but we have chapters that follow one character more than the other, which I think was a mistake. At least where and when we followed each character, there's no set pattern.
It does get better as it goes on. Emma gets less annoying and then annoying in the third act again due to an unnecessary trope.

I don't like power imbalance romances, but I'm a sucker for media about behind the scene talent and Queer things so I thought I would give it a chance and hope the imbalance isn't too much. There is a lot of justification to why their relationship is okay and involves the usual tropes around that. This book does involve a sapphic romance between a 27-year-old Bi Jewish Women, Emma and 41-year-old Chinese Lesbian, Jo. They the only out to the reader queer characters. They are both full adults when they met but it is established that Emma did admire Jo's work before she started working for her. This a slow burn romance mainly because both characters spend most of the book denying their feelings. So while I wonder their stance on Pop Culture references, I could get over it for the sack of Sapphic romance.

This book has a ton of tropes, they are obvious as soon as introduced. Honestly, if this wasn't a Queer romance I would probably have stopped reading (arc or not). One did feel very unnecessary and add nothing but did make me like Emma less and we were so near the end by that point. It's generally a trope I hate so doesn't help matters. All books have tropes in them. This one just needs to fine-tune its trope game.

The characters are alright. If you want sibling/sibling-like relationships where they pick on the protagonists until they admit their feelings then this is the book for you. They all very nice but that's about it. No one is that deep, you know this a romance book first so every character is they to serve that purpose in one way or not. A two-line introduction told me exactly what this character was gonna do and then he did it. My favourite character was a side-character and we don't learn much about the protagonists. Like what is Emma favourite film genre? Neither of them seem that passionate about film or each other. A lot of telling, not a lot of tension. It's odd that I would have been fine with them just being Gal Pals by the end. Sisters in arms against Hollywood's prejudices.
The book takes place over a year, so they are some plot points. The ending felt a bit rushed (though I was also reading it fast as possible because I wanted to finish it before I had to do something at a specific time). I guess the conclusion was fine, just lacking in satisfaction for me while I was reading it.

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars for Matching Bracelet. This turn out not to be a book for me, the TV production element wasn't that engaging. It's what I consider a light read, with enough realism to care about the ending. I'm not sure who to recommend it to since most people don't seem to be clicking with it. A lot of is 3 stars. This a debut so improvement is possible and likely. I read it in a day so maybe it's perfect for a quick read.

Read: 16/06/2020 - 17/06/2020
Reviewed: 17/06/2020 - 18/06/2020
Medium: E-Arc
Published Date: 18/06/2020
Publisher: Piatkus
Source: NetGalley
CW: Sexual Harassment; Homophobic Parents;

Crossposted to Strangeness Books.

Saturday 13 June 2020

Book Review Moving (and the world still burns)

Haló Strangeos, this week has been a lot but let's start with the fun and important blog announcement. If you follow this blog for my reviews, then you probably would like to know that I'm going to stop posting Book Reviews on this blog. I will be cross-post the next few posts but if I like having the two different blogs then I'll be sticking to having this being my writing blog and having a separate book blog.

I won't delete my reviews off this blog. I have transferred my book reviews to my new blog so they are all in one place. I had thought about whether it was right to have a blog with my creative writing and book reviews in the one place. The final decision came to me wanting to review books as I read them, instead of always Wednesday. This might be weird to other people but I didn't want to mess up the schedule on here of always only posting on a Wednesday and Saturday. 

There is a few odd posts where I have posted on other days, however, I didn't want it to be a common thing. Basically, if you want more you now have to go to StrangenessBooks. I thought I would try Wordpress and honestly not loving it so far. Definitely feel that paywall and I hate white aesthetic of modern internet. I transferred all my book reviews over there so they are in one place and they will stay here. I don't know. I might continue to cross-post for the year. We'll see.

Now for my usual Saturday thing.
So this week has been a lot. Just Kidding is a real piece of work.

Harry Potter was such a chunk of my teen years and the fan community is what I'm actually attached to.

Just why during a global pandemic and protest against Police Brutality, do you decided now is the time that you declare loudly that you hate Trans people, some of those people are victims of police brutality and violent crimes all the time, whose murders and disappears sit unsolved for years.

Trauma is not an excuse to be hateful to other people, people who are more vulnerable than you. Especially, when none of those people have hurt you. Rowling has just spurted lies and prejudice without proof any kind of what she saying. She made it clear that she hates or is scared of Trans people.

People do not transition because they hate their birth gender. They do it because it doesn't fit. Autistic people are more likely to question society normals because we don't fit it.

This public toilet myth is so infuriating because public toilets have always been on good faith and anyone can just walk into them. There's not a magical staircase. I suppose that staircase tells you everything you need to know what Rowling thinks of XY owners. Trauma is an explanation, not an excuse.

Her opinion of Trans men is no better. Apparently,

I also just assume she has no idea that non-binary people exist in the field of being Trans. I don't hate being a woman, it just doesn't fit me. Well, not all the time. I'm definitely under the non-binary umbrella. Sometimes I think I'm genderfluid because I switch between femme and genderless sometimes. However, I just like dresses and related to the depression of women. Isn't that more fuck-up than anything else. I know I will always be treated like a woman because I feel comfortable in this body (for the most part) and I'm not gonna change it.

The facts now are that J.K. Rowling 1.Transpobic. 2.Ableist and 3.Queerphobic. If you think you're being an Ally by claiming a character is gay and then refusing to put it in a canon.
She also doesn't care about Scotland so I wish she would stop living here. So maybe bookshops have whole sections to Harry Potter and I doubt a chain is going to care she a piece of work.

I can feel sympathy for Rowling but mostly I'm angry at her for turning her trauma against other people. She hurting people. With all that money and all the injustices in the world, why does she feel the need to make stuff up?

She talks about her fear of sexual assault and invasion of women-only spaces, but those spaces aren't invaded by men playing dress-up. They can just walk-in. I don't even know what women-only means. Bathroom and locker rooms should have stalls. Is this secret women society women club that I missed invite for and all women are sore secrecy so of course, they don't tell me.

If we want to get into, she not saying Sex is real because she doesn't understand how sex. Intersex people are real and no transperson is saying it's not real. It's painfully real for them. We still in the early staging of understanding how sex works. It's not the same for every person.

What it really comes down to is sexual assault is a serious issue and that for all women. Trans and Cis all have stories, some worse than others.

The whole way this has been reported on is troubling. All these years we've gone without a peep from her first husband but now is when he comes out the woodwork. The Sun is garbage but this feels so much like propaganda and the perfect way to try and silence people who are critical of her. They are lot but that doesn't feel like much with whose in power.

LBGTQ+ rights are going backwards which is something we've seen in other countries. Basically, J.K. is getting what she wants by the UK parliament and hope she feels proud that she tory scrum. Yeah, labour ain't the bee all but it's very tory to pay your way into fucking people over.

This is a mess of thoughts, so in summary J.K. Rowling can continue to fuck herself. Remus and Sirius were totalling in love and she hates Queer people. She right that she not a TERF because a feminist wouldn't try and define someone for what's between their legs.

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Book Review: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Why I am a Reviewer?

They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don't believe I've done?

1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning - slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.

For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.

But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?

This book has took me a while to review. There are things in this book that would like to read reviews and discussion about, because I'm not informed enough to comment on. I don't read a lot of Historica Fiction but the premise was intriguing and something I do read about in Contemporary books. Also, the cover has a skull on it which I love.

This book is told in first person reflectively, its meant to be Frannie Langton writing an account of her life as she waits for trial and eventually catches up. It's directed straight to the reader as if you are the lawyer defending her. There are also a few readings straight from the trial. The audiobook has two narrators, a man narrator for the trial parts and the author does the rest of the book. Both do a good job.

I listened to this on audiobook and some parts were kinda confusing, so I'm not sure if it was the text or if I had somehow missed something. I did go back but couldn't work what was meant to be happening. A lot of bad things, mysterious things are a reference and we never get clear answers about. So maybe this wasn't the best book for me to listen to and think that has made reviewing harder for me. I do consider the audiobook to be good. Maybe a duel read.

Fannie is definitely an unreliable narrator, in parts she doesn't remember and things she unwilling to disclose to us yet. This narrative is especially interesting as we have court testament going against her but these testaments are themself unreliable for the most part.

Overall, I give this 4/5 stars for Missing Scissors. There were things that would have liked a better answer on. This is a book that deals with the unvoiced generations of black women and the dominance of White men getting to have the final word on the major history which I appreciate. Part of this book is definitely that the writing is beautiful and deals with a lot of complex things. I guess my actual review, go read other reviews. I've been trying to write this for months.

Read: 24/3/2020 to 5/4/2020
Reviewed: 5/4/2020 – 13/06/2020
Medium: Audiobook
Published Date: 4/04/2020
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Library
CW: Racism; Slavery; Incest; Abuse; Sexual Exploitation; Death; murder; lynching; Abortion; unethical human experimentation; Drug Use;

Saturday 6 June 2020

Titles are Titles.

I am an Aunt again whoop and COVID is terrible because I don't get to hold the newborn baby.

I've been Aunt since before I was an 11 (I don't want to do maths) but this the first time there hasn't been something going on to taint the experience. Also this a miracle baby that my sister never thought she would get to have. So this should be a great time but COVID. It's an okay time for my family.

My dad broke his bed in a way that's probably not fixable. Also, he really overestimates how strong modern books are. My mother is upset because she wants a new fridge because it keeps freezing everything in it and all the shelves are broken. Did you know its impossible to buy fridge replacement shelves?

There's a lot of bigger things going on in the world.

Black Lives Still Matter. I am worried about COVID and wouldn't be able to go protests if I lived near one. I'm trying to be a good ally. Signing petitions but I feel like there's not much I can do. I did use up my audible credits on Black writers and finally cancelled Audible. I wish I was better with money so I could donate to things, but I am but a fool.