Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #62

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Waiting on Wednesday, and meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Jill hasn't been active for a while, so Tressa @ Wishful Endings has adopted it! If you see posts by the name of "Can't Wait Wednesday," it's the same thing!

The book I'm looking forward to this week is Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger!

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Loved But Can't Remember Much About

Hey everyone and welcome back (or to!) my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Until this 2018, The Broke and Bookish hosted the meme, so give them so love as well! :)

This week's topic is "Books I Loved But Can't Remember Much About". For this, I decided to look at my 2014 and 2015 favorites shelf on goodreads. Not only was I not a critical reader in 2014 (or 2015, for that matter) , it's also been three to four years since I've read these books, so I barely remember anything. 

Here are some of my "favorite" books that I know next to nothing about anymore!

Monday, January 22, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Solomon

Title: You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
Author: Rachel Solomon
Series? No
Pages: 384
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: I received an e-galley of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Thank you! All thoughts and opinions are my own. :)
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Brushed Off Sexual Assualt in Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I want to discuss something pretty troubling in one of my most recent reads. Today, I'm writing about the sexual assault in Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

If you are unfamiliar with Oblivion, it is the retelling of Armentrout's Obisdian, but in the male lead's POV, Daemon Black.

When I first started reading this book, I knew that there was going to be aspects of the book I would have problems with. One of these aspects is the toxic masculinity that takes the form of Daemon Black. The toxic masculinity is pervasive. Daemon ogles Kat because he's a guy, and that's just the way it is, right? He shows off for her and purposefully intimidates her and makes her angry just for the fun of it. Because who cares about someone else's emotional well-being, if it makes Daemon happy? There's also the idea that Daemon just can't understand Katy (his love interest, by the way) or his sister, because girls are girls and guys are guys. 

So obviously, I already had issues with Daemon before I read this book (I've read the other books in the series before this one). But I decided to give this a go because

1) it's a quick read 
2) I have forgotten a lot about Obsidian and 
3) I thought it would be fun!

And don't get me wrong, it was entertaining. But more than anything else it was troubling, specifically the scene where Katy is sexually assaulted, and yet it's brushed to the side. 

Let me set the scene for you. Katy goes to homecoming with Simon, who Daemon despises. One reason is that Simon is known for being touchy, but the big reason is because Daemon likes Katy, and yet can't admit this to himself. 

At homecoming, this happens: 

"Simon's hand glided down the front of her dress, causing Kat to jerk back. Her angry expression was lost in a sea of faces and...well, that was it. I was on my feet before I even realized it, moving between dancers, my hands curling into fists."
page 263

So already we see Simon sexually assaulting Kat. Daemon interferes and ends it (yay!) but no one asks Katy is she's okay after she was touched in a sexual manner without consent. All the readers are led to believe is that Simon is gross and Daemon is the hero, and OMG I just ship them SO much EEK! By having Daemon interrupt, Katy's first experience in the book being assaulted is made into this romantic scene. 

And yes, I said first. Because this happens just a few short pages later when everyone at homecoming goes to a field party. Dee, Katy's best friend and Daemon's sister, promised to look after Katy, and yet no one knows where she is. When Daemon arrives, he and Dee split up and decide to look for Katy. Daemon stumbles upon this:
" 'Simon, stop!' Kat's shriek cut through the muted hum of music.

Instinct flared and I shot off like a bullet. A second was too long, but I found her and rage erupted inside me like a violent volcano. The son of a bitch had her pinned against a a tree. His hands were on her. His body. His mouth."
page 270-271
So in these couple lines Daemon finds Katy pinned down and being sexually assaulted. Daemon then alien-punches Simon, and gets Katy out of there. Which, yeah, Daemon did the right thing here. Even his inner monologue gained some respect from me.
"It didn't matter that I warned her about him. This wasn't her fault. She didn't ask for it."
page 271-272
 Yay to not blaming the victim!! Thank you!!

BUT then this happens. In Daemon's car, Katy tries to put on her seat belt, but it gets stuck. She's gets frustrated, and so Daemon helps her out. Nice, right? Well, that's what I thought too. Here's the scene.
"Leaning over the center console, I gently pried her icy fingers off the strap and tilted my head as I pulled on it. My jaw grazed her cheek and then my lips, and I liked to think that last part was accidental. But I wasn't sure..... The seat belt was twisted, and I set about straightening it. As I flipped the strap over, the back of my knuckles brushed across her chest...That hadn't been on purpose."
page 274-275
And then after this, there is ~sexual tension~ between Katy and Daemon. Now, I'm not saying that there can't be romantic scenes with them, and Katy probably needs comfort. I'm just a bit bothered how Armentrout uses these two times where Katy was assaulted and spins them into these moments where the reader is just supposed to fall in love with Daemon. Like, if you are going to have sexual assault in your book, why can't you make the scene all about that and how horrific it is, instead of using it as a means to introduce a romantic scene?

But it's not done yet folks!! Oh yeah, there's just one more thing that gets me riled up. After accidentally brushing Katy's chest, Daemon looks at her lips and thinks about how he wants to kiss her. 
"What I wanted was way wrong, way wrong. Kat has almost been assaulted, for Christ's sake."
 page 275
Almost??? ALMOST?! More like she had, twice!! By saying Katy was "almost assaulted," Katy's experience is undermined. What, is only rape sexual assault? Because Katy was sexually touched, without consent, twice. And according to Daemon, that doesn't count as sexual assault. 

How Armentrout handled these scenes upsets me. The scenes right after Katy was assaulted are romantic scenes between Katy and Daemon, which just makes them look like a plot device, and that's horrible. And then, Daemon Black (who is supposed to be the love interest!!!) says she was "almost" assaulted. This completely belittles the assault, and makes it seem like it wasn't  important, and everything is totally fine because Daemon came to the rescue.

THEN, on the way home, Daemon and Katy are stopped by some Arum, who are evil aliens made out of shadows. In this scene, Daemon almost dies and then Katy saves his life. So both of them have had horrible nights. They end up comforting each other, which is actually a really nice scene. But they only talk about the alien attack, not how Katy was attacked prior. By adding this alien attack in, there is already something "more important" than the sexual assault, and it's not mentioned that much afterwards. In my opinion, the sexual assault wasn't taken seriously enough. 

While I enjoyed Obsidian for the most part, these 30 or so pages struck out to me in the worst way possible. Victims and survivors (whichever one is preferred) of sexual assault and their experiences should be taken seriously, no matter what type of assault they experienced. If they were raped, that's horrible. If they were forced to preform sexual acts, that's horrible. If they were touched without consent, that's horrible. The list goes on.

ALL sexual assault is bad. Saying that Katy was "almost" sexually assaulted belittles people's experiences, and sends a bad message to the young teens who might be reading this book. Katy WAS sexually assaulted, and it should have been taken seriously.  *takes deep breath*

I want to take this time to give you some sites if you want to know more about sexual assault or want some hotlines. 

RAINN - Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (for US) This is the largest anti-sexual assault organization in America. 

800.656.HOPE (4673) - If you call this number (in the US) you will be routed to a sexual assault service provider in your area (RAINN)

If you are from a country outside of the US, feel free and add the numbers, cites, etc, to the comments and I will add them into the post!!

I also want to give some appreciation to Amy @ A Magical World of Words. Every Tuesday she is posting about how abuse is being romanticized, and she inspired me to right my own post here. Please check out her content, as she brings up serious and important conversations!!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #61

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Waiting on Wednesday, and meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Jill hasn't been active for a while, so Tressa @ Wishful Endings has adopted it! If you see posts by the name of "Can't Wait Wednesday," it's the same thing!

The book I'm looking forward to this week is Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston!

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mini Movie Reviews | The Shape of Water, Jumanji:Welcome to the Jungle, I,Tonya

Hi everyone and welcome back (or to!) my blog! I'm Genni, and I'll be doing some movie reviews for you today. All three of these movies should still be out in theaters, and I urge you to at least see one of these, if not all. We are only 2 weeks or so into the year, and I have already seen some wonderful films. Without further ado, here are my mini reviews!

The Shape of Water
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Rating: R

This is a film I know I'm going to re-watch so I can truly appreciate it all. Honestly, I have no words to describe how beautiful and well done this film is. There are so many scenes that stand out to me to the point where I feel an all consuming need to see it again. All the performances are amazing, but Sally Hawkins is flawless. She conveys so much without ever speaking, and her performance is what made the movie one of my favorites. The Shape of Water is heartbreaking, funny, disturbing, lovely, and endearing. I cannot wait to own this. it. Please. 

I give The Shape of Water an A+. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #60

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be participating in Waiting on Wednesday, and meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Jill hasn't been active for a while, so Tressa @ Wishful Endings has adopted it! If you see posts by the name of "Can't Wait Wednesday," it's the same thing!

The book I'm looking forward to this week is Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre!

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.