The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

August 29, 2017
Book Review, F.C. Yee, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, InToriLexPublished By: Amulet Books on August 8, 2017
Format Read: Advanced Readers Copy (310 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy/Mythology
Series:  Standalone
Source: Shelf Awareness Giveaway
Rating: FOUR POINT FIVE STARS
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
~Amazon~
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo's every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

This book was so much fun to read. If I'm speaking in terms of dinner courses, this reads like fried ice cream. The characters are likeable and the humor is memorable. Genie Lo is a formidable force who tries to fight monsters from hell, while crafting herself into a competitive college student. Her character is head strong in a brutish but relateable way. I could only imagine how I would react to learning I have super powers. Quentin is a friend who is full of surprises and a great guide for Genie about how to navigate this new life that crosses worldly dimensions. It was a pleasure to read about a female protagonist who was unapologetically bad ass.
"I'm going to rip his balls off and shove them in his eye sockets."
The author does a great job of describing characters and developing them quickly. The only criticism I have of this short but satisfying book is a lack of world building. The book did fit in action, humor, Chinese mythology and even some romance. But I really wanted to learn more about the leaders and major players described in caring for Heaven and Hell. The pacing was great and every detail helped move the story and kept my face stuck to the book. I liked the focus on the Asian Community and their unique experiences.There are far too few books that focus on marginalized communities, and this was a great one.

This books ending made me hopeful for more action packed adventures where characters cross Heaven and Hell. The mythology described never read like exposition but was presented well as integral part of Genies adventures. The powers and action described stretched my imagination in ways like never before. I would recommend this to fans of Young Adult action packed fantasy, featuring diverse characters. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

F.C. Yee is currently the author of THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO. He will hopefully be the author of more YA books in the future.

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Book Scoop August 18- August 25, 2017

August 25, 2017
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, Book News
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & A Short Story

HEADLINES

Beyonce Will Release a $300 Coffee Table Book

The President's Arts and Humanities Committee Resigns 

Native American Literature's Living Con Job

New Book Will Profile Women Who Shaped Trump 

LINKS TO CLICK

Existential Reading List  
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
~Amazon~ 
Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers―who happen to be polar bears.

Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son―the last of their line―is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away...

Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and “the intimacy of being alone with my pen.”
Fiction and Non Fiction For Every State

Author's Side Hustle

Great TV Shows and Books to Read Post  
The Sound of Things Falling
~Amazon~ 
Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.

In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above.

Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.

Vásquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature,” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and will take his literary star—even higher. 

FEATURED SHORT STORY

Rhymes with Feral” by Alex Higley  
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Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma (artist), Valentine De Landro (artist)

August 24, 2017
Bitch Planet Vol 2: President Bitch, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, Valentine De Landro, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Image Comics on June 6, 2017
Format Read:  Paperback Edition (144 pages)
Genre: Feminism/ Sci-fi / Comic
Series: Book Two of Bitch Planet
Source: Purchased
Rating: FIVE STARS
Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch
~Amazon~ 
Eisner Award-nominated writer KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DE LANDRO (X-Factor) follow up on the success of EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE with the second installment of their highly acclaimed and fiercely unapologetic BITCH PLANET. A few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman's failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords results in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But what happened on Earth that this new world order came to pass in the first place? Return to the grim corridors of Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2, to uncover the first clues to the history of the world as we know it…and meet PRESIDENT BITCH.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

I was overjoyed to pick up with the characters in this series. This volume explained more about how Bitch Planet came to be, although there are still pieces to that puzzle missing. We catch up with the characters on Bitch Planet who are still trying to find ways to use their participation in the upcoming Megaton games as a form of rebellion. However in this issue we learn more about the horrors of male power being revered and unchecked at the costs of young girls. There are a slew of new characters being introduced but not a lot of character development to accompany them. Despite that this was was an enjoyable volume because we finally see the seeds of revolution spreading.
This is one of my favorite ongoing comics right now because it deals with identity as being a trait of who you are, rather than something that defines your humanity. The pages of these comics touch on many different kinds of diversity. There is a important scene meant to shadow the murder of Tamir Rice that was included to highlight how deadly authority can be. The ads were included at the end of some volumes to highlight the many ways that woman conform and hide while sacrificing their happiness.

We finally got to meet President Bitch who did not disappoint, demonstrating her commitment to the cause and unwavering courage. I'm excited to see how the rebellion will be rolled out in the next volume. This was a wonderful continuation of a not so unfamiliar future, and I can't wait to read more.

Reviews in Series
Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine (Bitch Planet #1-5) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma (Artist), Robert Wilson (Artist)  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Sue DeConnick has written for Image Comics, Boom, Oni, Humanoids, Dark Horse, IDW, DC, Vertigo, and Marvel. Today, she is best known for surprise hits like Carol Danvers' rebranding as Captain Marvel and the Eisner-nominated mythological western, PRETTY DEADLY; the latter was co-created with artist Emma Ríos. DeConnick's most recent venture, the sci-fi kidney-punch called BITCH PLANET, co-created with Valentine De Landro, launched to rave reviews in December 2014. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Matt Fraction, and their two children.
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a jarful of moonlight by Nazanin Mirsadeghi

August 21, 2017
InToriLex, a jarful of moonlight, Nazanin Mirsadeghi, poetry, Book Review
Published By: Bahar Books on February 13, 2017
Format Read: Paperback Edition (72 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Nonfiction
Series:  Standalone
Source: Publisher Request
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
a jarful of moonlight
~Amazon~
This is a series of short love poems.

VERDICT: 

 

 

 

REVIEW:

This was a wonderful short collection of poetry. The author is able to succinctly summarize and explain emotions through her work.
I love you with all my being
but loving you
is not my being. 
The author's creative use of words and expressions aren't easily described. The style reminds me of other prominent Poets such as Rupi Kaur andNayyirah Waheed. I wish the volume was longer to experience more of the author's voice. I hoped to read more about the authors experience as a immigrant. The immigrant experience was alluded to but not fleshed out.
the pain
you received as a gift
wrapped in a shiny paper
that said, I love you!,
you re-gifted to me
carefully wrapped in a shinier paper
that said, I love you more!
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy short stanza  poems. The author explores healing, grief, relationships and writing throughout this volume. I will read more writing by this author in the future. I expect with time the author's talent will expand and and develop further.

I received a copy of this book from Bahar Books in exchange for an honest review.

 
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Monday Musings:"Recent Racism" 8/21/17

IntoriLex, Monday Musings, Recent Racism  

LIFE LATELY 

I've been doing a lot of soul searching and transitioning between positions at work. The current US administration has given me the motivation I need to fight against it's racist and detrimental policies. No one is going to make the world better alone, and we all have to figure out how we can help. I've been writing again and slowly catching up on the towering books I need to read. Thank you readers for your comments and encouragement on Twitter when I feel like my blogging isn't even meeting my own expectations.

I wasn't able to make it to the Counter Protest that happened in Boston this weekend. But I was proud so many came out to stand against white supremacist spewing hate. We can show that racist beliefs can't be tolerated and we need to. No one should feel like they can stay out of politics. The heavy cost of apathy became clear after the election.

"Recent Racism"

I've learned and adapted to the racist reality that I live in my entire life. I have had upsetting experiences of being talked to like I was sub-human. That's why it was such a shock to see people surprised that Nazi's would run over a young woman standing up against racism with a car. Heather Heyer's mom has urged that we take righteous action going forward.

America's history has never not included racism and the subjugation of another. Racism is as American as apple-pie, pretending that it's a unthinkable monster being unearthed does nothing to change that. 

I hope that as more people become engaged we keep the momentum going. White supremacist groups have been a threat and taking down monuments that honor them is a small step toward change. Racism thrives when people ignore it, now is the time to stand up against it in all of it's awful forms.

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Book Scoop August 12- August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017
Book News, InToriLex, Links, Short Stories
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 

HEADLINES 

2017 Hugo Award Winners Announced

~Amazon~
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

Texas School Official Removed After

Writing White Supremacist Book

Chinese Novelist Arrested for Murder

Hillary Clinton's Pastor Plagiarizes in New Book

LINKS TO CLICK

12 of the Best Women in Sports Books

~Amazon~
In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.
At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. At one point, she was the most downloaded female athlete on the Internet.
Yet despite her astonishing career and sex-symbol status, Amanda felt unworthy of all her success. Unaware that she was suffering from clinical depression, she hid the pain beneath a megawatt smile. With no other outlet for her feelings besides the pool, Amanda expressed her emotions through self-destructive behavior. In her late teens and twenties, she became bulimic, abused drugs and alcohol, and started cutting herself.
Her low self-esteem led to toxic relationships with high-profile men in the sports world. No one, not even her own parents and friends, knew about the turmoil she was going through. Only when she met her future husband, who discovered her cutting herself, did Amanda realize she needed help.
Through her renewed faith in herself; the love of her family; and finally the birth of her baby boy, Blaise, Amanda has transformed her life. In these pages, she speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, the pressures to be thin, and the unhealthy relationships she confused for love. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry is a raw, compelling story of a woman who gained the strength to live as bravely out of the water as she did in it.

FEATURED SHORT STORIES

Pirate Librarians by Danielle Evans

An Evening Out by Garth Greenwell

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Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff , Marie Lu (Illustrator)

August 16, 2017
Gemina. The Illuminae Files #2, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff , Marie Lu, InToriLex, Book Review
Published By: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18, 2016
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (608 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance/ Sci-fi
Series: Book Two of the Illuminae Files
Source: Purchased
Rating: FOUR  STARS
Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)
~Amazon~ 
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

This was a lot of fun, the romance, action and sci-fi worked well. This book gave me all those great feelings I had when I read the first book in series Illuminae. Hanna and Nik are two teenagers that are grappling with life and death decisions while dealing with their own feelings of inadequacy.  Nik is the typical brooding anti-hero who has tried and failed to lose his conscience because he belong to a organized crime family.  Hanna is a martial arts master who has to outsmart people who like to solve things with violence and deceit. Hanna and Nik compliment each other well, and their banter displayed through short bursts of texts to each other kept things light-hearted, in the midst of crossed out faces informing us who had died.
“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”
The thrills were all here, but at times there were far to many characters being introduced for you to follow without having to flip back through the book. The illustrations were great (thanks to another awesome YA author) they broke up the tediousness of deciphering intentions through bureaucratic reports. Even though Hanna and Nik are slowly unveiled as characters to root for, the piecemeal way it happened in the midst of the action, meant the character development came later. All of the characters have to grapple with the consequences of choices led by self interest. The changing perspectives worked well as dimensions changed throughout the book. I was overjoyed some characters returned to give insight only they could.
“And blood and tears and screams did not matter anymore, because at least they are together.”
Every thread that was introduced was addressed and the science was explained well, so I never felt confused or removed from the wormhole and space time continuum plot points. If you haven't read and loved the first book Illuminae yet, your missing out. If you have read Illuminae, this book has more of the humor, surprises and well described action that made Illuminae so memorable. The book  ends on a cliff hanger, but it's clear from the pace of this series there is so much more to learn. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages who enjoy reading about hard choices made by courageous people. I will patiently be waiting to read book three.
Reviews in Series 
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.
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Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is a winner of multiple Aurealis Awards, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. Being the holder of an arts degree, he has no education to speak of. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.
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Book Scoop August 4- August 12, 2017

August 12, 2017
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through

HEADLINES

Dawn By Octavia Butler to Be Adapted for TV 

Dawn (Xenogenesis, #1)
~Amazon~
 Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.

The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.
Children's Authors Take on the Refugee Crisis 

Vulture Attacks the YA Community for Having Opinions

ACLU sues Washington D.C. for Removing Milo Ad

LINKS TO CLICK

Lack of Diversity Forces Cancellation of Writing Conference

BOMB Fall Book Preview

Arab American Book Award Winners 

A Social Media Fueled Poetry Best Seller List
 
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