Big Little Lies–Liane Moriarty

Sometimes I give in and read popular books to see what the big fucking deal is. 

“Gone Girl” is an example of this. I read that because I didn’t want the mystery ruined. But I did not like that book. I could not remotely relate to the characters or understand their motivations. It seemed far-fetched. 

I read “Life of Pi” and was like “Meh. It was okay. Kind of annoyed at the ending.” *awkward shrug* 

I read “Simon VS. The Homosapiens Agenda” and was like ‘HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK THIS IS SUCH A GOOD GODDAMN BOOK EVERYONE MUST READ THIS AHHHHH” And threw it at everyone I know.

But that’s a story for another day. 

The point of my saying this is that sometimes books exceed my expectations. Sometimes. 

SO where does “Big Little Lies” rate? On a scale of Gone Girl to Simon? 

Somewhere in the middle. 

It was well written, and shocking in parts, and then everything exploded and I was left like “WHOA WHAT.” 

I didn’t think there was going to be so much intrigue in a book about three mothers and how they all come to be friends.

But sometimes a book is suggested by the entire world for a reason. 

Because it explodes at the end. 

Not…not literally. 
Although WHAT a surprise that would be! 

Constant vigilance!

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Bonfire–Krysten Ritter

I had been anticipating this book on my shelf for sooooo long. I LOVE Krysten Ritter. I like every character she’s played, I follow her on Instagram and love that she’s a knitter and does that in between doing scenes for shows and movies. 

I love her little weasel of a dog, Mikey.

Did I LOVE this book? 

I wanted to soooo bad. 

I commend anyone who writes a book. Writing books is hard. Like really really hard. 

And I super commend actresses and actors who write them because so much stigma comes when you write a book as an actor. People think you have a ghost writer, or that it’s going to be some fluffy piece of crap that’s just to make money.

 Let me tell you this: This was NOT a fluffy piece of crap. This was a thought out mystery and well written.

I just did not dig it as much I wanted to. Which was probably WHY I didn’t dig it. I built it up for too long and should’ve just read it when I found it. 

This book is about an environmental lawyer who goes home after a long stint of avoiding it. 

GoodReads does a better job of describing this:

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?

 It was good. But not Argh inducing. You know? When a book is so good when you are done you’re like ‘AAAARRGGHHH I NEED SOMEONE ELSE TO READ THIS SO I CAN TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT!!!!!” 

Overall, good summer book to read lazily on the beach.

Constant vigilance!

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You Deserve a Drink–Mamrie Hart

*Note: This was written early January 2018.*

After a dark and gloomy beginning to the year (reading Slaughterhouse Five) I figured it was time to start a book that was guaranteed lightheartedness. 

Mamrie is a well-known Youtuber who makes drinks on her channel (called You Deserve a Drink) that are fun and themed and sound delicious. 

This book isn’t just about drinks, although each chapter starts with a drink that goes with the theme of the chapter.

She makes me laugh and makes me want to infuse tea with liquor! 

This was a fun a read and I liked her stories. But given that she’s such a big personality in her Youtube channel, I expected more silliness, I liked that it wasn’t but I also wish that it had more big laughs? You know? 

Constant vigilance!

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Slaughterhouse-Five–Kurt Vonnegut

I’m notorious for not liking classics at this point, yes? 

This one also joins the 3-star club. 

I’m also notorious for just blindly walking into a book instead of reading the dust jacket. 

Let me tell you what I thought this book was about.

Based off the title alone I thought this was about five people who survived some sort of grisly event in a slaughterhouse. My mind immediately thought: Holocaust. Because this just LOOKS like a book my friend would suggest and he always suggests Holocaust books to me because he likes to devastate my soul at least once a year. 

All I remember from this book is that I get a twitch from the sentence “So it goes.” now. 

What is this book actually about? 

The Holocaust. And the Dresden bombings. And so, so much more. Like alien abductions. 

The timeline goes back and forth and up and down and the main character Billy has PTSD and he gets married and has kids and travels back in time and yes. That’s the book. 

I read this back in January 2018 because I wanted to start the year off with a classic. I didn’t fully believe this was going to be about something so dreary. I’m always getting tricked into reading about the Holocaust. 

Even by me.

Go figure I start the year off with an event I hate reading in books because I’ve visited the Dachau concentration camp and my soul wants to throw up every time I think about it. 

And the books title is because it’s about POWs being held in a slaughterhouse…labeled ‘Slaughterhouse Five’. 

So I wasn’t totally off. 

Constant vigilance.

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Will Grayson/Will Grayson–John Green & David Levithan

I have this problem with writing my reviews since…well since I started this blog because I like to read books en masse. When I’m on a roll I’m on a roll and want to keep jumping stories like a time traveler with A.D.D. 

Gimme a T.A.R.D.I.S. and call me The Doctor. 

So sometimes this thing happens where I read all the books and don’t write all the reviews…for years. 

It’s a terrible habit. Yet here we are again. 

Now, I love John Green. Most of his books I’ve read have at least four stars. Five if he made me cry like a little bitch. 

This one has the mysterious number ‘three’ in the star section. 

What does that MEAN Past Alli?! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! 

I remember liking the way that this was written because the writers were each in charge of a Will Grayson, so I really liked that collaboration. They should do more.

This book is about two Will Graysons who meet by chance and their story. I remember the friend called Tiny who was way into making a musical because he was utterly fabulous. 

That’s all I’ve got today. 

Constant vigilance.

 

Tranny–Laura Jane Grace

It is essential that everyone reads this book. 

If you have transgender friends and want to know more about their struggle of identity: read this book.

If you don’t know anyone who is trans but want to know more about that side of the universe: read this book.

If you like autobiographies: Read this book.

If you like music: Read this book.

If you like Against Me! : Read this book.

If you don’t know who the hell Against Me! is then, you got it: Read this book. 

If you are human and want to human better: Read this book. 

I literally just want to Oprah the hell out of people and go around handing this out. 

Because honest to God: This book is so well written, so poignant for our time, and so touching and honest and brutal, and watching the journey Laura Jane Grace has taken is so raw and beautiful and *mindblown emoji*. 

Now, I’ve never fully listened to Against Me! (at the time and I listened throughout the book as the music was suggested or mentioned by the author and now I am a fan), my friend (who has been a fan for awhile) read this book and it spoke so hard to his soul that if he was a violent man he would’ve thrown it at me and told me to read it. 

Instead he forked it over after adamantly stressing how amazing this book is and then whispered “Goooooo reeeeeeead.” in my ear. 

Okay, he didn’t do that last part. Well, not in my ear anyway, I am a violent person and would’ve punched him for being creepy. 

Anyway. 

I cannot imagine the life and struggle and guilt and relief and stress and secrecy and then finally openness it takes to be a transgender person. They go through so fucking much that I,  as a CIS woman, will never have to go through or fully understand or be able to gage on any sort of yard stick. 

But I can take my white privilege and my CIS privilege and quite frankly, my Canadian privilege, and do better about stepping into someone else’s shoes. I can take the time and see what’s up with other genders and beyond.

I can check in on my fellow humans. 

Because that’s all we all are. A bunch of meat sacks running around trying to figure shit out. 

Laura Jane Grace (and I will continue to use her full name here because she fucking EARNED it.) is a beautiful writer, musician, and human. This book is now a part of my heart and I need it to be a part of others hearts too. 

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Constant vigilance!

Body Positive Power–Megan Jayne Crabbe

I took my sweet time reading this book. I’d say about six months just because I wanted those lessons she was teaching in her book to really sink in. 

Now, I can’t remember word for word what she said, but the feeling of this book really resonates with me even still and I find it has changed my line of thinking.

When I start to talk to myself in a way that I wouldn’t have originally thought of as self deprecating or harmful I catch myself now. 

Why am I bullying myself? You can’t hate yourself into a body you love. 

Which was a big point in her book. 

You can’t be cruel and think you’ll end up happy. You can’t bash yourself and think that’s a form of self love because it’ll get you to a place where you love the end result of all your “hard work”.

But I don’t want my hard work to be a result of me bashing myself or constantly pulling at my body angry that it can’t be different just because I’m willing it to be so.

This is MY body. No one else has this body, so it’s important that I treat her with respect. 

And fuck am I ever happier about that. 

When my brain goes “Ugh. New stretch marks. Way to go fat ass.” I stop that in its tracks and think “So what?”. 

“So what?” is my new key phrase to body positivity. 

So what if I’ve gained weight to the point of new stretch marks. I learned to love the last ones, these new ones can be loved just the same. 

So what if I’ve gained weight at all? That just shows I appreciate food and relaxation. I know I’m not actually a lazy person, I do things ALL the time. I work hard, so I deserve the relaxation and comfort that comes from eating and laying down. 

So what if I eat a bag of chips in one sitting? I was fucking hungry to the point of inhaling it. I obviously NEEDED food.

I’m learning to listen to my body more. Not intuitive eat as a way of dieting. I will no longer diet. I’m done with that. (Hell yeah!) I will listen to my body on what foods it agrees with and which foods it craves. (And sometimes that craving is a goddamn apple! Who knew!!!) 

I want to get back to a place where I move my body for the joy of moving my body. Like when you’re a kid and you run because you love that feeling of being free and the wind whipping through your hair. 

And so what if I get winded halfway down the driveway. I can be breathless for the joy of it! 

I don’t want to punish my body into a body worth having. I want to enjoy the body I have because it was worth having all along. 

All the shapes and sizes I have been get a colossal “So what?”. 

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli isn’t too concerned about what size of pant she is wearing.

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli doesn’t want to give anymore energy or wasteful thought tangents on where her body SHOULD be. Instead living in the body I have now and being grateful that I am who I am and no one else is like me. 

So what if someone else bashes their body? Not only will I not internalize it to the point of thinking “Does that person think I’m fat and hideous because they think THEY are fat and hideous?” I will stop THEM in their tracks and tell them to stop talking to my friend like that. 

This book is so fucking important for all communities. It’s not only about body positivity and how Megan got to where she is, it’s about facts and figures and LGBTQ etc things, it’s about able bodied people (which is everyone. We all have bodies that are able to do stuff.) and it’s about how we value self worth. 

It’s so important. 

And so what if I don’t look like the girls in the magazines? 

We’ve risen up so much the girls in the magazines have come out to say “Me either.” 

Fuck I love this book. 

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