Author: tesscatiful

Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

➽ “And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.” The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue is the most enchanting release of 2020. I love a premise that sets up a question, one speculative element that creates a whole story. In V.E. Schwab’s latest adult novel, that question is: what if you were cursed to be forgotten by everyone you ever meet? In 18th century France, Addie LaRue is forced into a marriage she does not want. Willing to sacrifice anything to avoid a life in captivity, Addie makes a Faustian bargain for her freedom. She is willing to trade her soul for an eternal life living by her own rules, but The Darkness will not agree without a time limit. ➽ “You want an ending,” she says. “Then take my life when I am done with it. You can have my soul when I don’t want it anymore.” The Darkness is intrigued by her offer, enticed by a new game. He grants her wish to become …

Review: Why We Eat (Too Much) by Andrew Jenkinson

This is quite possibly my favourite Health book of all time. A bold claim, but the scope of this book, everything the author delved into and how brilliantly he explained everything was remarkable. And as far as non-fiction, goes I don’t think I have ever felt so compelled by a read. Dr Andrew Jenkinson is a bariatric surgeon and this book covers his perspective and research on the epidemic of obesity. It’s clear than Jenkinson is passionate about the subject, and it was refreshing to read a take that does not seek to blame the individual for their weight gain. Jenkinson acknowledges that there are so many important factors that contribute to weight gain that have nothing to do with willpower, laziness, greed, or all the horrible things obese people are labelled – which do far more harm than good. That said, for someone whose work and interest revolves around obese people, Jenkinson isn’t always that great at empathising with them. “The room darkened for a moment and I looked up from my notes. Mr …

Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Mere months ago, it was announced that the highly, highly anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games was to star none other than the prick that (basically) started them: President Snow. Now. I had a few feelings about this. Disappointment was one of them. And I wasn’t alone. The internet, in a rare (!) move, turned divisive: some sad they were not going to be in for the treat of revisiting favourite characters and beloved themes; some fuming over the prospect of taking a deep dive into the POV of a despicable baddie; others twirling their pretentious moustaches and claiming to be above it all (“Honestly, am I the only one looking forward to an expertly crafted villain story, especially in a time of such socio-economic unrest in this country – surely we should relish the opportunity to walk a mile in the shoes of a genocidal fascist? You know, to better ourselves or something?”) Good grief, Barbara, jog the fuck on. There is nothing wrong with a decent-to-villainy story, but if you’re walking into a …

Review: The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart by Margarita Montimore

“There would be bad days, there always would. But she’d collect these good days, each one illuminated, and string them together until they glowed brightly in her memory like Christmas lights in a mirrored room.” Oona Lockhart is conflicted. It’s New Year’s Eve 1982 and at midnight she will turn 19, with the biggest decision to make: should she move to Europe to study economics, or should she stay in NYC with her boyfriend and her band? And as the countdown to the new year begins, she makes one wish: I wish I didn’t have to chose. The clock strikes midnight … and she wakes up in 2015. She is 51 years old This is an absolute gem of a novel, all about a woman living her life out of order. What a premise! So completely my cup of tea, and the story was just as emotional as it promised to be. This one is not a plot-driven novel, and while there were times while reading I felt the bitter sting of missed opportunity, the …

Upcoming 2020 LGBTQIA+ Speculative Fiction I Can’t Wait to Read

It is a less than happy Pride month this year. Not just because of – *gestures at world* – this shit, but because a whole generation’s formerly beloved author chose Pride month to evolve into her final TERF form, spewing her transphobic hatred and breaking millions of hearts worldwide. This is your friendly reminder to stop supporting J. K. Rowling. Now, let’s move on and stop giving her any more of our energy. _ Whether you are trans, genderfluid, non-binary, or any identity of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow: you are valid, loved, and you have a place in the world. And LGBTQIA+ authors have a place in the literary world! It is my ultimate pleasure to shout and scream about the fantastic voices in the literary world, and their books I am so excited to read. Here are my most anticipated 2020 LGBTQIA+ reads in speculative fiction. _ The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska _ “A dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city.” _ …