Author: tesscatiful

Review: A 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.” _ …

5 Amazing Books to Help You Teach Your Child About Racism

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis on 14 November 1960. When she entered the school, every other child was removed by parents. Teachers refused to have her in their classrooms. The daily threats and protests persisted. An emotional story illustrated with beautiful watercolours, featuring the brave and strong Ruby, who grew up to become a prominent civil rights activist. _ _ _ Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison A gorgeously illustrated biography of some immensely important figures in black history, each with a thoughtfully written page on their life. Fascinating and easily understood by younger readers, this is a great book to enjoy with your child – both the young and the older have things to learn from a book like this! _ All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where …

5 Books I Panic-Bought during the Pandemic

This is your daily reminder to stay home, wash your hands, and don’t vote Conservative. Oh, and if you’re going to panic-buy, don’t hoard the loo roll – there are far superior tree-based products up for grabs. If there was ever a Perfect Time™ to support authors, it’s during a pandemic, a time when their primary income may have dried up. Oh, and bonus – books can be enjoyed for hours upon hour in an indoor setting! So, if you can afford it, treat yourself to a book or two you’ve been meaning to read. You’ve been so brave. You deserve this. Buy the books. So, what did I buy? Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill Was it, in hindsight, a great idea in the current climate to purchase a post-apocalyptic novel where humans are extinct and the robot race who destroyed them are following in the footsteps? Yes. Yes, it was. Sea of Rust packed a punch – with a likeable, ballsy robot protag and a very unique setting. I was drawn in …