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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The Bend in the Road–Nicholas Sparks

I needed this book after I read Marilyn Mansons book. 

I needed to scrub my brain for awhile. 

So this is (naturally) a romance about how a mans wife was ended in a hit and run, she was the love of his life and nothing will ever be the same. 

Insert: 

His kids hot teacher. Whoa whoa whooooAAAaaa. 

Okay it wasn’t exactly like that, but this book is just as you suspect it will be.

Heartbreaking and lovely and with a piss off ending.

Classic Nicholas Sparks.

Always with the piss off endings.

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Happy 8 Year Anniversary!

Holy crap.

I just got a notification from WordPress congratulating me on 8 years of writing on this blog.

8 years I’ve spent writing about books I’ve loved or hated, personal stories of triumph or failure, love and loss, book hunting, Keep Moving Forwards, True Story Tuesdays, or To Say a Little Words.

8 years of my life.

An inconsistent 8 years of writing on here, but still! That’s bananas.

So thank you all who have stuck with me, who have appreciated the posts, who have reached out to tell me how hilarious I am. I have a small fanbase, but I still appreciate it and am so grateful.

Here’s to you all! For putting up with my nonsense, my wisdom, my lies about when I’ll be posting, my long stretches of going MIA, and the grappling I do with books on a daily basis.

Here’s to books! Without them I would’ve beheaded someone a long time ago.

Constant vigilance!

The Long Hard Road Out of Hell–Marilyn Manson

“What the fuck did I get myself into?”

This is the thought that came up the most when I read this book. 

Look, I know who Marilyn Manson is. I’ve heard some of his music, I’ve read stories about what the fuck he gets into. I know he has beef with Justin Beiber about some t-shirts. 

I don’t know why I know that but I do. 

I know he was married to Dita Von Teese (who I adore.), dated Rose McGowan, and that he’s in general a pretty fucking weird guy. 

I didn’t realize how gross he was. 

This book was traumatizing in its brilliance, but also just gross because of gross things he did. He would scare me every other page with a startling pictures. Which I’m betting was the point. This guy is smart as hell and clever as a whip. And yes, for a while he was using his powers for evil and not good. But he took a long journey back to us (I’m sure he would resent that statement. Because who is “us”? The human race?)  and he’s finally becoming a human being. 

I think.

I don’t know.

This book was super messed up. His stories of his golden ages were really fucked up. As one would expect. 

And then he would hit you with a story of how it hurts that people would harm themselves or others in his name. And you’re like ‘You poor soul, let me hold you.”. 

Really think about it before you read this book. I didn’t . And I’m both worse and better for it.

It was intelligently thought out and executed in it’s contrasting unnerving you and making you love him at the same time.  

Constant vigilance.

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I, Bificus–Bif Naked

Oh Biffy. 

What has happened to you. 

All the things. All the good and all the bad. And all the in-between things. 

I’ve loved Bif since I was teeny little preteen and so much of my early teens was filled with her music. And I’m so glad to finally read her words on the things that happened to her. 

And SOooooooOOooooo much happened to her. 

Fuck. 

Just read this. It’s so goddamn good that I have no words for how good it is. 

I’ve literally tried to write extra paragraphs about it but I honestly have zero words. Just a feeling about this book. Like I want to grab her close and squeeze her tight.

So many bad things happen to people (duh) and she got more dollops than I have that’s for sure. Which makes me always feel like that Lady Gaga song “Come to Mama”.

Come to Mama. Tell me who hurt ya .

Constant vigilance.

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