Books: A Tale of Two Mommies and A Tale of Two Daddies

   

What I really like about these two books,almost more than introducing kids to the fact that there can be two daddies or two mommies, is the defiance of parenting gender roles. 

It seems to me that gay marriages (or couples) would be inherently egalitarian – at least much more so than traditional heterosexual marriages. And this is definitely a step in the right direction. 

The art is cute and the rhymes are fun. The authors have done a great job in helping us to understand that even if you have 2 mommies or 2 daddies, you have 2 people that love you and take care of you. 

We need to stop being a world that hates or demonizes people for whatever reason. Steps toward that always take the form of understanding and that’s what these books do so well. 

Thanks to NetGalley and VanitaBooks for copies in return for an honest review.

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Comic Book Review: Rat Queens vol 1, by Kurtis J. Wiebe

comic2

5/5 stars

Wow. The Rat Queens kick ass. (And if you’re offended by that, don’t read Rat Queens.)

This book was well-written and hilarious. On the surface, the characters seem like caricatures, but as you read, they begin to develop real personalities. They have complex backstories and interesting motivations. I’ll definitely be checking out future volumes.

Highly recommended.

Book Review: Science of Parenthood

 Most of this book falls into the category of “it’s funny because it’s true.” 

It’s funny in spots, and a lot of the stuff is on point. But sometimes it seems like they’re trying to hard to be clever and they definitely tried to shoehorn too much stuff into a single book. They may have gotten quantity at the expense of quality. 

Some of it was so relatable – like dealing with other parents. 

And I can definitely say that Postpartum Discharge Disorder is definitely true: 

The paralyzing anxiety that hits both mom and dad as soon as they wave buh-bye to the nursing staff in the maternity unit and pass through the hospital’s sliding glass doors and out into the parking lot to buckle their newborn into his car seat for the drive home. One or more parents may be given to repeating, “Why would anyone let us take a baby home?” while banging their heads against a car window. 

It’s odd that none of the nursing staff ever want to come home with us for a few days with our first child to make sure we were doing it right. 

Bonus points for the problems with Pinterest and a mention of that evil little Elf on the Shelf. (Ours is named “Jolly”, BTW.) 

Putting a scientific spin on all of the stuff we have to deal with as parents was really pretty creative. And some of it made me literally laugh out loud. But I think the authors would have had a much better book if they could have distilled it down to the funniest ideas. 

Thanks to Netgalley and She Writes Press for a copy in return for an honest review. 

Superhero Book Review: Superpowered by Schannep

book24/5 stars

I loved, loved, loved Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid. (If you’re lost in this review because you don’t know what they are, you should be ashamed of yourself. Google them now.) I still have several of them, and even have copies of many of the clones. The TSR Endless Quest books, being of course my favorite. I mean, cmon – Dungeons and Dragons that you can play by yourself?

So this was a fun throwback to that time. And with superpowers! (As you can probably tell by the name of the book.) I remember keeping my finger at the last choice in case I made the wrong one (and in this way checking out all the storylines) – but being an ebook, this one does it for you! You can just go back to the last choice if you die – or there’s a handy index at the back that allows you to click directly to any section – if you remember the name.

This was a lot of fun. I don’t know how much of my enjoyment was based on nostalgia, but either way I really liked it.

Comic Book Review: Ame-Comi Girls, vol 1. by Jimmy Palmiotti

comic1What a waste of time. I mean, if you’re wanting to spend some time looking at half-naked women kicking each others ass, I guess it’s fine. But I’ve read too many good comic book authors and prefer some depth to my stories. Even when they are about superheroes.

The writing is not great. And the art…lets just say that with their skimpy outfits, there’s lots drawn for the male gaze. The perfect angles for lots of ass close-ups.

Oh. And within 3 panels of each other, Robin both worries about her hair and hates math. Plus they make uncreative misogynist insults: “Let me guess, you’re crampy? Want me to get you some chocolate?” and “she’s a dumb blonde” are on facing pages. Later, “You are embarrassingly stupid.” (Those last two to Harley Quinn.)

There was a creative reference to The Steve Miller Band song…but that’s about the only thing I liked.

And is it just me or do their costumes and hairstyles change from panel to panel?

Oh, well, they’re just girls. As long as they look sexy, right? Sheesh.

Should I not expect more from superhero comics? C’mon, DC! Really, can only men write female superheroes?

I wanted to read the next couple volumes, but not now.

Book Review: The Alchemy of Being Fourteen by Leah Williams

 5/5 stars

It’s fun to get excited to read a book even before you read the first line. In The Alchemy of Being Fourteen, the cover, the chapter art, the chapter titles, even the intro all scream READ ME! (Have you heard a better chapter title than “Polyglot Muse”?)

And the book itself does not disappoint. 

I love it when an author’s writing style can suck you into the story and almost make you forget you’re reading a book. Leah Williams writes her main (female) characters as smart. And real. I felt like these were friends of my daughter that I could meet in real life. It’s nice that YA books are not only the most diverse books with the most cutting edge stories, but that they do a really good job of reflecting reality. 

And, she does a fantastic job of showing you what it’s like to be in high school. 

It was like Dante’s Inferno except the seven circles of hell were different levels of starter-kit adolescent embarrassment on up to the patented, more potent, teen angst. 

She has an amazing flair to her writing. It really is the kind of book you don’t want to stop reading. And you know you’ve found an author that’s great at writing suspense when you find yourself holding your breath. 

So often in paranormal fiction, it ends up overtaking the whole book. This book is about the supernatural. But it isn’t. The conflict between the Praeta and Supra is there (read the book), but it’s not, like, the focus of the book. (Sorry, had to get one “like” in there.) It’s the conflict between Winter and herself; between Arden and herself. About coming to terms with who they are. As teenage girls. Adolescence sucks in so many ways. There are so many conflicting things going on. Leah Williams captures that perfectly, adding a fascinating subplot. In this way it’s like real life – you have the stuff you’re truly dealing with, and everything else just serves to make it more frustrating – or more interesting, depending on your perspective. 

Highly recommended. 

Buy it here. 

Comic Book Review: Heart and Brain by Nick Seluk

  3/5 stars

A huge collection of Heart and Brain web comics by Nick Seluk. 

Some of them are just spot on and hilarious, and make you want to yell, “True!” (Like when Brain says to Yeti in the night while Yeti is trying to sleep, “Hey, we forgot to do all those things today and everyone is going to be upset.”) 

Some of them are poignant and meaningful. (Like when Brain says to Heart, “Why do I keep following you?”) 

Some of them just aren’t that funny. 

But all of them get to the heart (ha!) of what it’s like when you’re emotions and intellect aren’t on the same page. Which they rarely are. 

And page 86 gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “They’re just jealous.” 

And, of course, there’s Batman. 

Whether it’s choosing between what you want to do and what you know you need to do, or just determining the best way to spend money, it is funny to see this tug of war play out a little more literally than usual. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for a copy in return for an honest review.