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Oliver and the Seawigs

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by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Overall: An amazing book with beautiful illustrations, a hilarious plot, and fun for both children and adults!


I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Rambling isles, sarcastic seaweed, seawigs, and plump nearsighted mermaids, oh my!

“Oliver and the Seawigs” is absolutely one of the best children’s books that I have read in a while. It’s funny, captivating, and I found myself being emotionally attached to the characters. I ate up this book in one morning, and I was begging for more, wanting to read more of Oliver, Cliff, Mr.Culpeper, and lovely Iris!

The story begins with Oliver, who is the only of two wild and adventurous explorers. All he wishes is for a normal life, with friends and not having to move around. But when all of a sudden his parents disappear, Oliver must go on an adventure to rival all other adventures. Atop the rambling isle Cliff, Oliver travels with Mr. Culpeper the albatross and Iris the nearsighted mermaid.

Most people would be a bit alarmed to find that their parents had disappeared along with a whole bunch of uncharted islands. They might feel inclined to call the police, or the coast guard, or just run about shouting. Not Oliver. He was a Crisp, and made of sterner stuff than that. 

You’re going to love this book. The humor is simple and fun, but not childish. The sarcastic seaweed and the adorable seamonkeys bring a whimsical touch. The characters feel real, and you become so very invested it’s almost unnatural (I can’t believe I shipped characters from a children’s book!) The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and blend in perfectly with the narrative as well as the About the Author and Illustrator sections at the end of the book. It is a short read but I was very captivated by the illustrations that I just took the time to look at it all. The details in the hair and seawigs are intricate, and clearly the illustrators took a long time in designing and making each beautiful piece.

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“My name,” the boy said importantly, “is Stacy de Lacey.”

“But that’s a girl’s name!” blurted Oliver.

Stacey de Lacey’s face turned a dark shade of red.. “Silence!” he shouted. “Stacy is one of those names that can be for a boy or a girl! Like Hilary, or Leslie, or…um…Anyway…”

However, one of my favorite aspects of “Oliver and the Seawigs” is the character Iris. There is not often that you see a character in a book (no matter the genre) that is plump just for the sake of being so. She is a bigger girl but that is not an aspect of hers that is focused on or mocked, she just happens to be that way. There aren’t many books that cater to this demographic, without having to involve a plot or subplot involving the character’s weight. It’s refreshing, and–I would say–very progressive.

“So that’s what you look like!” she said, peering at Oliver through the thick lenses. “Oh.”

“What do you mean, ‘Oh’?” asked Oliver.

“Nothing,” said Iris. 

Overall! I love this book. I’ve ordered my own copy so that I can keep it forever. I highly recommend this book to any parent who wants to enjoy a book with their kid…well…and pretty much everyone who wants to have a fun and lighthearted adventure with beautiful pictures to match. Go out and buy this book, then get dressed up in your finest seawig and hop aboard a Rambling Isle! And don’t forget the sea monkeys!

This was, by far, the most comfortable way to go exploring. 

 

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The Antigone Poems

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ALTAIRE PRODUCTIONS THE ANTIGONE POEMS

by Marie Slaight and illustrated by Terrence Tasker

Overall: A short and sweet, yet very vivid interpretation of a classic. 


I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

I will be the first to admit that Sophocles’ Antigone is one of the plays that I have forgotten a lot about, but I do remember the praise of Antigone by my English teacher in high school, praising her rebellion, and the message of suffering in the living world only to receive salvation in the afterlife. While not as dramatic or as darkly humorous as Opedipus Rex, you are given a very powerful story in this tragedy.

I disagree with some of the reviews that I have read that Marie Slaight creates a modern retelling of the aforementioned play. I do not believe that these poems will be understood as someone telling the classic with a modern twist, which is a little misleading depending on how you read some of the descriptions and reviews of this book. However, this is still an excellent book, you will be brought into the symbolism and imagery of Antigone’s heroic yet terrible narrative. These poems were written in the 1970’s, attached with charcoal sketches of the same time period when the author and illustrator were in Montreal and Toronto.

However, don’t think that you wouldn’t enjoy the book just because you know nothing of Antigone. These poems are beautiful and brilliant as stand alone poems. I was surprised how fast I ate up these poems, and they were very quick to read. I believe I finished this book for my second time around just on the bus back to my apartment. You will be amazed at the morbid yet impeccably intricate details, subtle rhyme, and alliteration that is littered through every poem in this small collection.

The only issue have with this book might just be a little picky. As I’ve said before that this book is short, something you can eat up time and time again in little time. With that said, I have to say that it’s a bit overpriced. From the Antigone Poems website, it is about 25 dollars. I got the entire Divine Comedy in paperback with that much. There are some Amazon sellers who are selling the book for about sixteen dollars. It’s a little more reasonable, as the book is about a hundred pages (even though it felt a lot shorter on my Kindle) and it makes me curious about the formatting of the hard copy.

The charcoals are GORGEOUS. They are definitely a huge plus for the book, you get a couple littered in between the poems and a lot of beautiful charcoal sketches at the end of the book. I can admit that it might be a reason for the high price.

In the end, this book is definitely something to pick up and read. I recommend you shop around for a good price, or just go ahead and buy it nice and new! I saw some pictures of the physical cover and I admit it is beau-ti-ful!

You can buy the book HERE!

Can I Tell You About Anxiety?

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by Lucy Willetts and Polly Waite

Overall: Whether or not you have kids, plan to have kids, or even just plan to be around kids this is a book you definitely need to read. 


I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

No matter what background you come from, we have all experienced anxiety in one point in our lives. Whether it comes from school, stressers at home, or maybe even just a subtle nagging in the back of our heads that keep us up at night, we are constantly experiencing anxiety. Some anxiety is good, it keeps us motivated and helps us in terrible situations, however, there are some individuals in the world who experience anxiety on a very serious level.

I have had my own anxieties, with panic attacks a couple times a week, or even just avoiding situations because I couldn’t stand things like crowds or strangers. And when I was diagnosed with PTSD, I became very serious on learning and understanding anxiety. Anxiety disorders, unfortunately, have also been given the same treatment as any other mental disorder: it is considered to be controlled, and could be turned on and off with a moment’s notice or a happy little thought. My opinion on mental illness is the same as probably any reasonable psychologist or student of psychology–it is the same monster as an individual with diabetes or pneumonia. It should be treated, maybe not necessarily with medicine, but it should be treated to improve the quality of life of the individual.

This book is probably the best book that I have read this year about the treatment of anxiety. Unlike the adult help books I’ve read, this treats anxiety with the compassion and recognition it needs. In this book, you meet a young girl named Megan who has anxiety. She describes in great detail how her anxiety has affected her (her separation anxiety, her General Anxiety Disorder, and other things like social anxiety and Agoraphobia), we read about relate-able experiences that can be understood by the youngest of audiences.

What is excellent about this book is the thorough yet easily understandable explanation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This has been proven a very successful treatment plan for anxiety, and the authors were kind enough to provide descriptions and examples of action plans and strategies to reduce you or your child’s anxiety. You are also given a very detailed guide on how a parent should approach the topic of a child’s anxiety, and how a teacher should assist a student of theirs who has anxiety.

The authors do not use CBT as the know-all-end-all for treating anxiety, they also encourage constant monitoring of the child’s behavior by a licensed psychologist and they do bring up the idea of medication, although it is encouraged not to use medication unless the CBT does not work.

I think this book was written in the UK, as it has a lot of different terms than if it was written in the US (lift instead of elevator, cross instead of angry), but the idea is universal. There are a list of resources and references to medical facilities and Psychiatric Offices for future reference, but if you are a non-UK reader, they will not be of use to you.

Can I Tell You About Anxiety? is by far one of the best books I have read that cover anxiety at a level that anyone can understand while not undermining or patronizing individuals who suffer from it. It provides a lot of excellent tips that someone of any age can implement. I would find this book especially important for teachers, and some nice reading material to give to the parents who have children who experience too much anxiety. This is a great, great book. I did some research that the authors have other books that cover other topics such as eating disorders OCD, autism, et cetera. If you’re looking for a good understanding of mental illness, I would see what these authors have to say!

Reading Style: A Life In Sentences

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by Jenny Davidson

Overall: An interesting look on classic books. Should probably be called ‘Writing Style’ instead. 


Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review. I was also instructed by the publisher not to use quotes from the book as I did not receive a finalized copy.

Jenny Davidson is an excellent writer, the author of a few young adult books as well as some academic books and articles, I can’t help but be amazed by how beautiful her writing style is. Reading Style: A Life in Sentences is what I could possibly expect. The book is an analysis of the structure of sentences and the writing styles of famous authors from Austen to King. The author takes quotes from famous pieces of literature and deeply analyzes what we might love (or hate) about the book.

Davidson begins with her long history about the love of her books. She recalls in detail getting lost in all of the classics, and throughout the narrative she sprinkles her undergraduate and graduate studies as well as her older interpretations of the books she read. She even offers suggestions on when to read books, her understanding of classics such as Sense and SensibilityMoby DickLolita, and so many more.

I can happily say that I really agree with how Davidson approaches the subject. She talks about the use of unnecessary pretentiousness in writing and how it affects the audience. She discusses the pointlessness of unnecessary details and overly superfluous sentences. However, this book’s title does not reflect the context of the book. I expected this book would compare to Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book but instead it’s more of a book describing the writing styles of famous authors and explaining why people could love to hate them or hate to love them. In Davidson’s defense, she does cover with the excerpts from the stories on how they read to audiences, but she focuses more on the literary techniques and poetic story-telling and not how to dissect and understand a book maybe as complicated as Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake or something else extremely difficult.

However, I cannot say this book was perfect. I can say that this book isn’t really intended for the average reader, or someone who really enjoyed Catcher in the Rye or Crime and Punishment. This book is dense, filled with a lot of knowledge and obscure references to books that probably only an English or literature major would understand. A lot of her wording was very ornamental, almost contradictory to the times she mentioned that the overuse of details wouldn’t interest the audience. I found myself intrigued but towards the sixty percent mark I was getting bored and zoning off in her narrative. But then again I read this book in an evening, if this was spread over something like a curriculum or a couple of days, you would really enjoy this book.

The book is more of an academic essay than a fun little memoir of the writer’s love for books. With that being said, the essay portion was far too inconsistent. The citations are sparse, switching from in-text page citations, to footnotes, and sometimes no citations at all. The citations did not kick in until at least forty percent into the book, and I believe this is because I did not receive a finalized copy. I hope this was edited, including the many typos that I found. I do hope the publishers also formatted the book to clearly designate when the author was quoting a piece of literature and when she was talking herself. I have not read a lot of the books or stories she mentioned, and her style of writing is so similar to some I ended up getting lost.

In the end, I highly recommend this book if you are interested in the literature classics, some sort of literary major in school, or even just a budding writer learning about all the styles of writing. This is definitely a very in-depth and eye opening look on why some books are considered classics, or why some authors are terrible authors! This isn’t a beach read, it’s very detailed and extensive. And at the end of the book the author was so kind enough to offer a very nice book list! I will definitely be reading these books in the future!

You can buy this book in physical form or on Kindle from Amazon.


Sorry about not being around! School is hectic! But summer’s here and there are so many books ahead of me!

The Pluto Files

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by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Overall: A funny and very intelligent resource for your Plutonian needs!


Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Famous astronomer, now with his own show Cosmos on Discovery and slowly taking over NOVA for the good of the public. Voted sexiest man in science, this brilliant man who was inspired by Carl Sagan strives to educate the world on all things science. But he’s not just all of that, he was the man that brought down Pluto as its planet status (well, inspired it, we have to thank all the amazing people over at the International Astronomical Union for its crash).

Pluto, this mysterious dwarf planet, captured all of America’s hearts and charmed its ways into the lives of elementary school children everywhere. Discovered in 1930 by American Clyde Tombaugh, it’s no wonder why Americans were dedicated to trying to keep Pluto as a planet. But its peculiar pattern made it the most abnormal of planets.

This book is an excellent informal essay with tons of media and graphics that describe Pluto’s history and the hype that surrounded America. With a bit of snark and wit, Tyson shows both his own account over the long debate that puzzled astronomers, cosmologists, and physicists alike. Not only that, but the pages are filled with interesting song lyrics, comics, and even the letters that Tyson himself received from angry elementary school children who were wondering why he would ruin Pluto’s planethood.

Not only does this book give you a nice resource if you are just casually interested in learning about Pluto, Tyson also offers the alternative for learning if a teacher asks “Well, how am I supposed to talk about the planets if Pluto isn’t a planet but a dwarf planet?” Everything in this book is taken with stride and very easy to understand. Without the large Appendix and the graphics this book could’ve easily been 50% shorter, so this shows you how quick this book is easy to read (also considering it is in very large font).

Enjoy this book, and enjoy Pluto!

If you’re interested, watch this NOVA special of the exact name!

Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average

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by Erin Hayes

Overall: A great book for kids and definitely one to pick up!


Jacob Smith is incredibly average. Not kidding, he is the most average boy that you could ever come across. He’s bad at math, his favorite color is blue, and he has the most common name in the world. He’s even the most average child for a statistically correct family, he is the son in a perfect 2.4 children per household family.

If he’s so average, why is he being hunted by aliens?!

Jake wasn’t really good enough at anything and had no interest in anything.

Jacob lives in Pflugerville, Texas with his parents and his siblings Theo and Thea. Theo is the perfect jock, incredibly talented in everything he accomplishes. Thea is the rebel, with her tattoos and her heavy metal music. But lately, Jacob Smith has been having some upsetting dreams, of a snowy owl. Little does he know, he’s being watched.

But then again, that was why he was constantly in front of 592 Norwalk Street, watching him. Watching him day in and day out. For all thirteen years of his boring little life.

 Aliens are watching Jacob, special aliens who are perfection, covered in mathematical tattoos all over their perfectly symmetrical bodies. But if they are so perfect at absolutely everything, what do they want with Jacob Smith, who is absolutely incredibly average?!

Together, with Theo and Thea, a mysterious black labrador, and his alien-obsessed grandfather, Jacob has to run from these mysterious evil aliens whose colonization of planets depend on destroying the Earth with Jacob being their Key. With help from androids, aliens, and alien-fanatics they need to stop this alien race from destroying the Earth!

Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average is the perfect book for a children who are transitioning into chapter books (late elementary school) but the content within the book is enough that anyone looking for an entertaining read can enjoy. I found myself laughing, becoming emotionally invested, and getting surprised in the twists and turns that this book set up and delivered! It was an excellent read and it was hard to put down!

This book is perfect for classroom reading on an introductory lesson on interesting math topics: mean, median, mode, Fibonacci sequence, symmetry, and everything in between. It brings up some interesting concepts but in a vague way. Nothing is difficult to understand and chapters are nice and short.

The mother was safely tucked away in cryogenesis as the preservation of her condition was vital to everything at hand. The average number of children in a household in the United States was 2.4 and at sixteen weeks along, the mother had added 0.4 children to the number of her household.

There is also a deep political and anti-colonization message within this book. The colonization of planets depend on an equal vote and the planet’s representative stating their case as to why their planet should not be taken over.

But most importantly, this book has the message that no matter who you are, you have a voice and while you may be “average” you have your own opinion and not to be scared to speak up. If you believe strongly in something then you should fight for what you believe in.

“You’ve never…dealt…with the human spirit before…”

An Adult Overanalyzing a Children’s Book: The only issues that I had with this book was only because I am reading this book as an adult. With this being an easy read I couldn’t help but have my mind wander over the many questions that this book rose for me.

Jacob Smith is average. He’s so average that the evil alien race wants to use him to find the weakness of the entire human race? Last time I checked, the United States is the third largest population in the world. Why wouldn’t the aliens have tried to take someone from China or India (considering they each have well over a billion in their population). Recognizing this little fact could’ve finally added some diversity to main characters within books. Having a child from China or India would’ve been a refreshing feel and I would’ve loved this book even more.

My other issue was the ending deus ex machina. It was so blunt and made me just facepalm. But not complaining too much, it’s a children’s book. They wouldn’t care.

Lastly, what is up with these books that like to promote animals in hospitals? Every book I’ve been reading lately has a dog that is somehow always allowed in a hospital completely ignoring all protocol. Promoting the idea of lying about service animals never sits right with me and really irritated me.

In the end, this is a great book and I laughed and got angry and the ending nearly brought me to tears. This is an excellent book for a child and I highly recommend getting this book if you see it in the bookstore. I’m expecting a film adaptation.

He was no longer the most extraordinarily normal, average boy.
He was just plain old normal now. And that was just what he wanted.

The Poor Man’s Guide To Suicide

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Warning: Extreme Profanity

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by Andrew Armacost

Overall: Steer clear from this book at all costs


This book is the biggest, steamiest piece of shit that I ever read in my life.

I cannot begin to explain how mad this book made me. It was disgusting, racist, misogynistic, and a complete cheap rip off of which is a fantastic classic. I would never give this book to anyone and if I ever saw this book in the bookstore I am boycotting that bookstore for the rest of my life. This book better not cross paths with me in a dark alley and I swear if I met this author he would feel my wrath about the extreme river of disgust I felt for this racist garbage.

I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

The Poor Man’s Guide to Suicide is the biggest fucking lie of a title you would ever get from a book.

Summary: Wesley Weimer is an annoying, whiny, racist, misogynistic pig who is twice divorced with two children that he has no custody of. He lives in a cheap, run down shotgun style house and works twelve-hour shifts in a Level 4 Correctional Facility in Indianapolis. He is “depressed”, as the author likes to describe it (but I will talk about that later), and is constantly thinking about committing suicide due to his shitty life and his shitty existence. However, for some reason, that doesn’t make much logical sense for someone who is so seriously depressed as the author likes to describe to us, does not want to kill himself.

My initial suicidal ideations were pretty straightforward but have recently grown more elaborate, more ambitious, more demanding on the imagination.

And over the time period of Christmastime to January of the next year, Wesley is “plotting” on how to end his life. What would Wesley like to do? He would like to instead find someone willing to kill him for some small monetary payment.

True, most people don’t know many professional killers but, lucky me, I’m a prison guard.

As someone who has struggled with my own depression, I can understand the strong desire to want to end your life. But you want to know the problem? Wesley goes in briefly about how he accidentally killed some escaped prisoner and that is what caused the downward spiral. But I do not believe that one bit. Wesley’s depression immediately goes away when his best friend gets in a very depressed slump and Wesley appears to be the better off one as his best friend struggles with family issues and his life that is falling apart.

Because The Author Likes Buzzwords and Shocking Topics: THE TOPIC OF WESLEY WANTING TO KILL HIMSELF IS ONLY ONCE MENTIONED IN THE FIRST 3% OF THE BOOK AND THEN LATER TOWARDS THE 60% MARK FOR MAYBE 10 PAGES. Wesley spends 80% of the book reminiscing about how fucking amazing he was in high school and about all the chicks he had sex with and about what he does in prison that means NOTHING.

Wesley has a friend named Cooper (Coop) who is a happy-go-lucky guy unfortunately with an alcoholic father who gets himself in and out of trouble. Cooper is one of Wesley’s only friends, but you know what Wesley likes to do? He likes to insult his friend. How? By calling him a fat slob and saying that Cooper isn’t deserving of his college degree. After all, WESLEY is the smart one!

I was always the more studious of the two, yet Coopers the one who graduated from college

Don’t get me fucking started on this college shit. Wesley likes to go on and on about how he wasn’t able to go to college. He blames his father because his father wouldn’t pay for him to go to college.

”Well, if you really wanna talk about it. It might’ve helped, you know, you would’ve paid for college. Like you said you would. I might’ve been someone. Maybe not. But maybe.”

Oh BOO-FUCKING-HOO. Sorry, Wesley. You’re not the only one whose parents didn’t pay for your college. But you could’ve done other fucking things other than being the waste of oxygen that you are now.

His first ex-wife, Claudette, who is the mother of his daughter Gretchen is a nurse who went to college while Wesley worked. SHE OFFERED TO HELP HIM GO TO COLLEGE. BUT AGAIN HE REFUSED.

”Ever heard of, you know, debt being in the best interests of our long-term financial future?”

“Nope.”

Oh wait! EVEN HIS FRIEND COOPER SAID THAT WESLEY COULD LIVE RENT FREE AT HIS PLACE TO LET WESLEY GO TO COLLEGE.

”You don’t want what? To try??” (yes that extra question mark is in there)

”No charity.”

Sorry, Wesley. Money doesn’t fall out of your fucking ass and you’re not getting handouts. Get a loan, go into the military, do something and pay for school if you want to go so bad. Quit bitching.

Because The Author LOVES Fat-Shaming: If you read this book, I would like you to point out a character that ISN’T fat. Wesley is the only “in-shape” character of this entire book and boy does the author like to make this clear. Everyone is a flat slob, including his own 14 year old daughter who he likes to also remind us who doesn’t have any friends, will always be made fun of, and should not be wearing what she wears because she’s too fat for it.

Okay, she’s a fat unhappy teenager. But a beautiful person, I think.

Oh, that’s not the only time.

I believe, she thinks that making herself look taller lends her the appearance of being less fat.

If his daughter isn’t safe from his rampage of fat shaming, what about his best friend?!

Like me, Cooper once had a pit-bull body. We used to hit the weights six days a week. While I’ve slimmed down, he’s kept his bulk, though a good bit of it has turned to flab. Our bodies have devolved in opposite directions.

What about others?

I should’ve accepted his friendship when he offered it. I know that goodhearted slob must be rotting away behind four walls of loneliness because he’s fat, I mean really fat, and a little smelly, and getting old, and he never started a family. I bet the few friends he had are married now and couldn’t care less about him. He has that pitiable Saint Bernard aura.

Trust me, there is more of this fuckery. I looked up the author and I saw he’s some muscle-bound dude and great, I’m glad that you’re in shape but you have no right to insult people including the daughter who seems to love Wesley. This guy is the biggest fucking prick and I bet if he even had custody of his daughter he would’ve been the most emotionally abusive parent. If you think such cruel things about your child do you really think that helps them? Do you think that’s going to motivate them positively?

Because The Author Is Blatant With His Racism: I swear one of the most angering parts of his book was Wesley’s clear racism; no, the racism that is littered throughout the entire book with Wesley and many of the characters who happen to talk. Wesley likes to hide—or explain—this racism with the excuse that he has two biracial children and his two ex-wives are black. Other than that, the narrative is frequently filled with mentions of race where black men are compared to animals with giant, threatening penises.

”I said I’m goin to the chapel.” He stared me down, still naked and brandishing three quarters of a hard-on, by the way.

NOT ONLY THAT, but the only black women are only mentioned in Wesley’s sexual relationship with him. Claudette, Wesley’s first love is described as beautiful and intelligent, but we are only forced to hear about her in all of their sexual endeavors as well as her early-age promiscuity. The author, or is it Wesley, even has the nerve to describe one instance of when he and Claudette had just finished having sex.

”Baby, might sound crazy but sometimes I forget you’re white.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know.”

But I think maybe I do know what she meant.

SORRY MISTER WHITE AUTHOR, I GUESS YOU LIKE TO FETISHIZE THE BLACK BODY AND MAKE BLACK MEN NOTHING BUT THEIR GIANT PENISES, SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE PRAISED AND SEEN AS THE PINNACLE OF SEXUALITY, I GUESS? LAST TIME I CHECKED BLACK MEN ARE NOT BREEDING ANIMALS.

Oh yeah, and when they don’t have dicks the size of tree trunks, they are completely ignorant or just plain stupid.

…the door finally swung inward and I was greeted by gilt teeth and gold chains. Yellow, that nitwit, dressed like a teenaged gangster. The smell of a recently consumed meal poured out the house along with the low, steady bumping of gangster rap in the background:

“Mother-fuck you, damn bitch-ass nigga.”

 I was completely disgusted with this ridiculousness. And don’t get me started on Wesley’s second wife, Cassandra who is literally described as some black-face minstrel performer.

My second wife had the darkest skin encountered in nature. So black it was almost blue. Her big brown eyes…would bug out cartoonishly whenever she was shocked or angry, which was often. Her narrow waist accentuated the noticeable verbosity of her derriere. Her breasts were ample, though nothing to write home about. We usually did it from behind. Doggy style, if you like.

Oh yeah, and she can sing well too!

Oh, and that woman could really sing. Jesus could she sing. She’d hum a few bars with that soulful voice of hers, just hum, and I’d have to stop whatever I was doing.

Probably his inner slave master enjoying some traditional negro spirituals. I can hear the ragtime music playing in the background. Oh! But what about his daughter? She’s half black. Well not really. She’s only attractive, but that is only because she has passable, Eurocentric features.

Nice nose. Pretty eyes. Olive skin. No zits. Cooper says ‘she could pass for being white’.

His son, however, can’t. At least that’s what I’m assuming, that’s maybe why he doesn’t love him.

Frankly, I don’t like my son. Maybe I love him, maybe I don’t. Regardless, I don’t like him. I just don’t like him.

Wesley and the author can go fuck themselves. But don’t let that racism put you off, Wesley and the author don’t mind flaunting their privilege to mock and copy from black culture—the same culture that Wesley (and the author) love to insult so much.

”What’s up homee?” he says ebonically. Our antiquated terms of endearment are spoken ebonically. It’s a holdover from our youth, from Da Hood.

The author constantly makes all of the black characters uneducated, speaking in slang and calling him honky and cracker and whatever dumb ass shit he can think of. In turn we got him and his friends mocking black culture, insulting young girls to try to “change their ways” and at one point he even had a white supremacist whose only issue is that he didn’t speak proper English.

Because I Smell Pork and It’s Not The Special: A stretch, but the fact that Cooper’s father was drunk driving and killed an innocent kid, Cooper (who is a cop) and Wesley go to smuggling in tobacco and nicotine gum so his father can pay off some Aryan Brotherhood. Not only that, but to get custody of his son, Wesley buys crack cocaine and hides it in his sons backpack to blame it on his ex-wife and her new boyfriend.

The worst fucking part? That is the end of the fucking story. THAT IS THE HAPPY ENDING. The happy ending that this piece of shit got his son through planting evidence while all his cop buddies just turned a blind eye because that’s what they do for each other. AND WESLEY IS ABLE TO GO TO SCHOOL WITH ALL THE DRUG MONEY THAT HE GOT FROM SMUGGLING IN WHATEVER THE FUCK IT WAS BECAUSE I STOPPED PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS BULLSHIT

Because Wesley is a “Nice Guy”: Wesley masturbates. Constantly. He likes to tell us about how much he masturbates and how fucking alone he is (in fact, it’s the reason he got with his second wife). But now he’s alone and bitching because he’s alone. Wesley is the guy that would complain about the friendzone. Wesley is the guy who will passive aggressively guilt trip into you dating him. Wesley is the guy who wears a fedora (sorry not sorry). He likes to think that just because he’s “smart” (I guess if you’re able to breathe without thinking you could be considered smart) and he is not a fat fucking Jabba the Hutt or whatever excuses he constantly made. His entire narration of himself was a fucking advertisement.

But sorry Wesley, I will not be another black female who you fetishize.

Growing up in a downtown white-trash ghetto, I had presented myself as an athlete, a jock, because it had behooved me to do so much more than if, for example, I had joined the choir—I did love to sing—or auditioned for a play with the drama club, where I probably belonged.

Oh and don’t get me started. This thirty-something year old can’t seem to get past high school. It was the peak of his life, sadly, and he will never let you live that down.

RESPECT HIM. HE WAS SO GREAT IN HIGH SCHOOL. RESPECT HIM. AND PLEASE, PLEASE NON-WHITE LADIES, PLEASE HAVE SEX WITH HIM.

Oh yeah, and he’s sooOOoOOOooOOOoOoOOoooOooooo deep.

My tenuously existing hovel, with it’s leaking pipes, dripping faucet, imploding roof and thin drafty walls, serves as an accurate picture of my soul…if I have a soul.

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Because The Author Isn’t Original: When I was about 20% in the book, I was thinking, “This book is like someone read Catcher in the Rye and thought they could write a book like that so they ate the pages and shit out these results to send to publishing”…and guess what! I was pretty much right! Wesley is a cheap, Vietnamese Pokemon Crystal bootleg version of Holden Caufield. Holden had teenage angst, bubbled within his intelligence and his nihilism. Wesley’s whiny bitch of an attitude comes from the fact that everyone is better than him and he doesn’t like it. He even gives his daughter a copy of Catcher in the Rye in which I shouted out “OH MY GOD”. He even gives a cheap ass “phony speech”….and he even uses the word phony several times in the book.

Me, I blame the upper class. I blame the snobs; I blame them for not being snobs, for not giving us any aspirations. They’re just like us only with bigger houses, safer neighborhoods. Seabrook was wrong about her Nobrow culture: lowbrow trickles up, sure, but there’s no highbrow trickling down, no throngs of enlightened proletariat lined up for some celebrated ballet or even the latest art house flick. Give me a break. We are bombarded daily with non-art that’s cranked out by automatons for people trained by television to have bad though consistent taste in everything so that marketing is that much easier.

Give me a fucking break. Gouge my eyes out now before I read more of this bullshit. I can read books and spew off quotes just like I can listen to the radio and adopt whatever fucking opinion the personality is puking up. That doesn’t make me smart, deep, intellectual, philosophical. And you know what’s worse? Being a pretentious ass by having this sort of attitude and looking down on everyone for not being an annoying bitch like you.

Because This Writing Is Atrocious: The formatting sucks. The author cannot spell if that meant that his book was going to be a hit (it wouldn’t even be a hit if he fixed these typos). The formatting was annoying to read and was filled with multiple punctuation marks (??). I believe it is evidence to prove that someone just slammed their head against a keyboard to write this book.

It was a struggle to finish this book and dammit if I don’t need trauma counseling after this. This book is a lie. You get maybe twenty pages of suicide while you get some broke ass, racist, misogynistic piece of shit character that would much rather care about getting laid than doing shit to get his kids.

Don’t get this book. Don’t buy this book. Don’t look in this book’s direction. Don’t use this book for toilet paper.

Actually, buy this book if you hate someone. Give it to them to piss them off.

And then you go read Catcher in the Rye.