What I Thought of Dumplin'

What I Thought Of Dumplin’

Dumplin' Film Poster

When the novel of Dumplin’ came out a few years ago there was a lot of hype but I never read it. I knew nothing about beauty pageants and they didn’t interest me so I left it at that…fast forward to 2018. After seeing a lot about the Netflix film and seeing the trailer I was intrigued. So, what did I think? 

When watching I actually got quite emotional which I didn’t expect. This isn’t a story about weight, of course Willowdean is fat but that’s not all there is to her. Ultimately, this is a story about family and love. I absolutely adored it.

I loved the fact that the pageant girls weren’t portrayed as being bitches in the film. I’m not sure if this is true of the book, but it was so refreshing not to have a whole book about girls hating each other for how they look. There wasn’t the cattiness and nastiness that we’ve seen time and time again.

I would have liked to have known more about the side characters, although I’m told there is a second book called Puddin’ which explores some of the other characters and um, yes please Netflix!

If you’re looking for a feel good film that isn’t about Christmas this is perfect. I recommended it to one of my best friends and she’s also fallen in love with it. I’m hoping we can both read the book too.

What did you think of Dumplin? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Book Review: Sadie – Courtney Summers

When Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is found dead, her world is shattered. After spending the last 13 years raising her the only thing on her mind is revenge. She’s going to hunt down her sisters killer and he’s next. Told through the perspective of Sadie herself and a Podcast host trying to solve the mystery of Mattie’s death and Sadie’s own disappearance.

This is a novel that has taken the book world by storm I have seen it over countless blogs, Bookstagram, Booktube (yeah, I really like books). I finally found a copy in London and had to buy it to see what all the fuss was about. It’s been a really long time since I’ve read a good YA suspense novel so why not?

I really enjoyed the way in which the novel was set out, switching between Sadie herself and Podcaster Matt gave an extra something to it. I’ve also been told that Macmillen recorded an actual podcast to go along with the book. From the two perspectives, you get to learn a lot more about Sadie and her life without it being forced on you. I don’t know if this would work time and time again, however, in this instance it did.

It was a real page-turner, I couldn’t put it down. When I had that book in my hand I was racing through with questions. What happened to Mattie? Is Sadie going to find the killer? Does Sadie know what she’s getting herself into here? I needed to know what was happening and for the majority of the novel, I felt like this.

There were some points within the novel that I felt things were just a little too coincidental and some of the twists and turns were a little predictable. That said, I really do understand how it got the attention it did. This is a fast-paced novel that has an interesting way of telling a story. For that reason, I really do think it is worth a look if this sounds interesting to you.

I feel that this is a 3.5 star read. I really, really, wanted to love it as much as every else has but the end just ruined it for me. Without spoilers, I just felt like it could have ended better. I still had so many questions and felt a little irritated by it. I wish I could say more but I don’t want to spoil it for you!

Book Review: A Quick & Easy Guide To Queer & Trans Identities – Mady G & J.R. Zuckerberg

We live in an incredibly diverse world, one that should be celebrated. That said, to celebrate it we must first understand the people in it. The LGBTQ+ community are, in my experience, wonderful people but often people don’t know or understand much past the L (Lesbian) and G (Gay) parts of the spectrum. That’s where this graphic novel comes in.

When searching through Netgalley, I came across this graphic novel and was curious as to how educational it would be. It covers such a wide spectrum to help people understand the way that people identify. Importantly, this also covers the difference between sexuality and gender – something many get confused.

I’ll admit, when I was younger I didn’t know much about Transgender people and the variations of gender before I was 18. It wasn’t something that myself or anyone close to me had gone through. Of course, I understood about identifying as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual but beyond that, I had a lot to learn.

This is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to learn more about complicated topics without being bogged down in history and politics. While those things are incredibly important, they can seem very overwhelming. This is a good place to start and is easy to digest for a beginner.

I gave this a huge 5 stars. This is a really accessible graphic novel that could educate a lot of people. The fact that this is a little different and has fantastic art style adds to the experience of reading. Being taught about gender and sexuality by snails? Why not. Honestly, why not? This would be a great gift for someone who wants to learn more but doesn’t know where to start.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Review: Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies – Edited by Scarlett Curtis

What. A. Book. In this new collection of pieces by activists, celebrities, artists and more importantly, feminists we can celebrate the F word. Challenging stereotypes, as suggested in the title, giving insight into the lives of women and so much more, this is a book that will knock your socks off.

The great thing is that this is also in collaboration with Girl Up. They are a charity that supports girls and young women to improve their lives in various ways such as education, leadership programmes and more.

I was getting this book as soon as I heard about it, but something else made me want to read it even more. You may have seen the controversy with Topshop. In their Oxford Street store an amazing pop up was created, within 20 minutes it was taken down due to its sexist owner (full story here). Not only did I go and buy my copy – I also stopped shopping at Topshop.

This is a book full of personal accounts, thoughts and feelings. You see, we all have our own feminism, hopefully with the same goal – equality between the sexes. While some in the book are meant to be humorous such as Evanna Lynch’s Cat Women, others, such pieces on Female Genital Mutilation.

My favourite piece in this is by Kiera Knightly. You may have seen recently she spoke out about the fact she didn’t want her daughter watching certain Disney films because of what they promote (full story here). Her piece talks about how women have been deemed the ‘weaker sex’. It’s a love letter to her daughter talking about the strength of a woman, not shying away from the toll that childbirth takes on the body, challenging sexism. I absolutely fell in love with it. It really was a standout piece for me.

Is it any surprise that I gave this incredible book 5 stars? This is one of my best books of the year (full list to come soon). Not only does this look at every aspect of feminism, but it is also full of diversity and looks at varied experiences of being a woman. This is what we need. If you have a feminist in your life (and hopefully you have many) this will be perfect for Christmas!

Book Tour – Tales of Ramion by Frank Hinks

Ramion. A magical place full of creatures, colour and stories that will excite your imagination.

When I was contacted and asked if I’d like to read these books I jumped at the chance. Now, I might not be the target audience exactly. No, I am not a child and I don’t have any myself BUT that only amplifies the magic of these books. I’m a 24 year old woman that was completely and utterly drawn in.

For this tour, I was sent 2 of the 4 books in the series The Dream Thief and Creatures of the Forrest. am I going to have to go and buy the other two? You bet I will be!

Firstly I read The Dream Thief where three young boys, Julius, Alexander and Benjimin and their cast Snuggles (who is also a Dream Lord) go on a quest to save their mothers dream. For me, this was reminiscent of a mix between the types of stories I read growing  by Roald Dahl and the magic world of Alice in Wonderland.

The story itself had a good balance of adventure and heart, which I think we all need more of in modern times! What is more impressive is that author Frank Hinks, created these stories from tales he would tell his own three sons.

Next up was Creatures of the Forest this time encountering more of the creatures that inhabit Ramion such as Venomous Vampires, Scary Scots and Mystic Mummies! This time, however, they are accompanied by Scrooey-Looey the rabbit.

This was a little darker I think, but in a way that children would find cool rather than terrifying. The magic and mischief these boys get up to would be a fantastic story for children and adults alike!

I will be honest and say that, initially, the drawing style wasn’t to my taste, it felt a bit messy. That said, as I carried on reading it grew on me and seemed to match the style of the way the stories were told, a little different and a little wild!

I absolutely adored these books and cannot wait to read the next two! I loved them so much I plan on getting them for my Godchildren as they get a little older…mostly because I don’t want to lend out my copies!

Thank you to Frank Hinks, Perronet Press and Midas PR for this opportunity in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: New Erotica For Feminists – Caitlin Kunkel, Carrie Wittmer, Brooke Preston and Fiona Taylor

Well, things are about to get steamy in here!  New Erotica for Feminists takes our wildest fantasies from equal pay to a reimagining of some of our favourite films in a feminist way and makes them a reality. An excellent mix of humour and satire this is going to get you talking, one way or another.

Ok, ok, this isn’t exactly the next 50 Shades, but it should be a bestseller. This is a collection that takes the worn out tropes of erotica and porn and turns them on their heads. Born from a conversation between friends joking about a perfect feminist world – and so New Erotica was born.

‘Imagine a world where erotica was written by feminists: Their daydreams include equal pay, a gender-balanced Congress, and Tom Hardy arriving at their doorstep to deliver a fresh case of LaCroix every week.’

I read this in a flash and was laughing out loud the whole way through. So much so, I got a few odd looks from my partner and so I had to explain what I was reading – I’m pretty sure it confused him even more. That’s the perfect thing about the collection, it doesn’t try and take itself seriously, it doesn’t attack anyone or anything. This makes a point because it makes you laugh at the same time. It doesn’t take away from the issues – but makes them more relatable.

This doesn’t take away for what we’re fighting for, instead, it injects a little fun and silliness. I can imagine if you’ve had a day of patriarchy fuelled BS this is the perfect book to come home too. Is it a literary masterpiece that will change the tides of modern feminism? Probably not but I think it will give the lift that we need in the current climate.

Of course, I gave this 5 stars! I was completely hooked and even though as of writing, I have just finished – I want to pick it up and read all over again. This is going to make an excellent Christmas present after I’ve bought my own copy of course!

A huge thank you to the authors, publishers and Netgalley for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.

What I Read in October

What I Read In October

October was a BUSY month (if you’re wondering why, check out my favourites here). With that in mind, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked! I did, however, read some absolute crackers, so let’s jump in.

I Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip by Alicia Cook is a collection of poetry with heart and a love for music. I really enjoyed the collection because of the honesty through the writing – I gave this one 4 stars.

Next up is the new collection of poetry and prose by Nikita Gill, Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul. A collection of Feminist inspired retellings and poetry with a beautiful cover? Umm yes please! One of my best friends fell in love with it and eagerly waited for me to finish. The idea of this and the execution was incredibly well done and I look forward to rereading this – 4 stars!

Following the excitement at YALC this year The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth was also on the TBR pile in October. I enjoyed this novel, there were some issues that I will cover in my review, but on the whole, I think it’s an important read dealing with sexuality, religion and family. I gave it 4 stars.

 

Next is my favourite book of the month, so much so that once you are done reading this blog you NEED to go buy it. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) is an incredible collection of essays from a variety of women on various topics to do with being a woman and a Feminist. My personal favourite was from Kiera Knightley. Full review to come but, of course, I gave this 5 stars.

Finally, we have a Manga, new territory for me! My Lesbian Experience of Loneliness by Kabi Nagata was a birthday gift and it was a brilliant story. Following a woman in her 20s as she tries to live with depression as well as figuring out her sexuality this was a great start – I can’t wait to read the second part when it comes out.  I gave this 4 stars.

And that’s it! That’s all the books I read in October – we’re creeping closer to the 100 book mark! What did you read in October? I’d love to know in the comments below!