Category Archives: Detour

Hi!

So, I just wanted to make a little video apologizing for the recent lack of consistency in reviews and posts. Basically, a lot of crazy circumstances were thrown together in a blender and tossed at me most unceremoniously and I let things fall through the cracks. BUT, slowly, starting to get back into the rhythm of things, laying some groundwork to help with more content in a timely matter, so basically…

Thank you for sticking around and I hope we’ll continue on together for a while longer still ūüôā

Tuesday Intros // A God in the Shed

Tuesday Intros: A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau

Hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea, Tuesday Intros shares the first paragraph of a book I’m currently reading, which at the moment, is another horror book,¬†A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau. So far, it’s really good and I can’t wait to get to the meat of things!

Regrets are the instruments by which we learn. We tend not to repeat the mistakes we truly regret. They may cause us pain, but regrets push us to better our lives. We regret how we treat our first love, but it teaches us to be a better partner. We regret being lazy in school, but it reminds us to apply ourselves in the workplace later. We may be troubled by our regrets, but we don’t carry them with us for the rest of our lives. Instead they become milestones, honor badges that remind us how we’ve grown.

Remorse, however, is a much deeper feeling. What wouldn’t we do to take back the circumstances that birthed those scars?

So, I had to include part of the second paragraph because it’s those two lines that really put into perspective the first paragraph, and I feel, what will be the entire story. The prologue itself had me scared to go to sleep, so imagine how the rest of the book will go! Cannot wait to finish this as it has so much potential!

What do you think? Would this paragraph hook you? What have y’all been reading?

Greener Pastures Playlist

Greener Pastures Playlist

For me, music and books have always gone hand in hand. One enriches the other. So, I thought it would be something nifty if I could start to actually put together playlists inspired by different books and characters.

Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt is a short story collection that touched my very bones. I was swept away by the Southern Gothic horror stories, the eeriness and unease. And so, in an effort to translate that very same feeling into music to keep the book’s feeling alive, I created this small playlist of wilderness and loss.

Full review of the book to come June 19th!

Six Months In

Six Months In…

Being six months into 2017, I thought it’d be a fun thing to take a look back at what my favorite books of the year so far have been. I haven’t read as many as I would have liked, and unfortunately, I’ve read even fewer that I’ve loved. These all just happened to also be new releases, which isn’t something I had in mind when I went through my list. Though they’re all fairly different from each other, I think they’re pretty good representations of what my reading habits have been, and what I’m looking for this year.

Now, in order of release date…


Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louis Gornall // Jan 3, 2017

This book got me SO HARD. It’s a YA contemporary novel that deals with the delicate topic of mental illness, specifically agoraphobia, ocd, and anxiety. At parts, it was hard to read because Gornall gets the illness¬†so right that it almost gets triggering. I have never related so much to a character before, having agoraphobia and multiple forms of anxiety. It’s a great read.

 


Little Heaven by Nick Cutter // Jan 10, 2017

Wow! My first horror book of the year, and the first book by Nick Cutter I’ve picked up and it just shook me to my core. Descriptions are so visceral you can almost feel, smell, taste the things the characters encounter. The plot is amazing with mounting tension that stays with you long after you finish the book. All I want to do now is pick up the rest of Cutter’s work to keep the creep going.

White Rabbit Society pt2 by Brendan Detzner // Feb 1, 2017

This was such a satisfying ending to a unique duology. White Rabbit Society is a magical realism type book featuring a lonely boy, an eldritch monster, and potentially, the end of the world. The pacing is great and the magic feels solid. It’s such a hidden gem, I really, really encourage folks to pick up both part one and two.

 


Gilded Cage by Vic James // Feb 14, 2017

A fantasy YA novel that weaves magic and politics. The worldbuliding is PHENOMENAL. The book is dark and brutal and what truly makes it fantastic is how well James manages to balance the different aspects of the novel. There’s romance, politics, family secrets. It’s only the first in the series, with the second, Tarnished City, set to come out in September, and I just cannot wait to see how the struggles continue.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco // March 7, 2017

Sweet baby Jesus, I so loved this book simply because Tea, TEA! I just want to know how the twist comes about. I mean, it isn’t really a twist, but I want to know how the two Teas, past and present, reconcile. How did Tea end up where she is. We don’t learn it obviously in this book, but we see the groundwork laid and it’s so juicy. There’s interesting magic, generous descriptions, and of course, a kernel of romance. PLEASE GIVE ME MORE!

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan // April 11, 2017

A contemporary thriller, I loved this book for the interpersonal drama. The conflict between who we used to be, and who we’ve become. What really sold me on the book was the BEST ENDING I COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED because so many books of this nature, with characters like Judith, end up being miserable and horrible and unfair. To see an uplifting ending gives me hope.


So, those were my picks for best of 2017 so far. There are a few honorable mentions: Feast of Dreams by Christian A Brown which is the second book in an amazing series, The Devil’s Bride by Penelope Stratton, and the book I’m currently reading, Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt – a fantasy novel, a romance, and a horror story compilation.

What are some of your faves of 2017 so far?
Lemme know so I can add to my ever growing pile of TBR books!

Tuesday Intros // Greener Pastures

Tuesday Intros: Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt

Hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea, Tuesday Intros shares the first paragraph of a book I’m currently reading, which at the moment, is Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt, a really great spooky read with really vivid imagery.

Sissa died last year, just shy of our hundred and thirtieth birthday. I ain’t talked much to folks since, excepting Mr. Pearl. Me and Sissa was both childless. But I’ve shook it off and traveled such a long way at my brittle age. I’ve come home to this nameless mountain pouring blood from its bowel.

The¬†second I read this paragraph, I was hooked. It’s so damn visceral with that last line, a mountain pouring blood. The short story this paragraph is from, Beside Me Singing in the Wilderness, is amazing.

What do you think? Would this paragraph hook you? What have y’all been reading?

Roadside Reader Does BookExpo

Roadside Reader Does Book Expo

This past Thursday and Friday, Book Expo America made its return to NYC and the Jacob Javits Center. I was lucky enough to have a reviewer/blogger badge and was beyond excited to attend! I imagined meeting all sorts of new people, discovering great, new reads, listening to fantastically informative panels, and in the end, I think my high expectations were to blame for my utter disappointment.

While I was at BEA, I did attend two panels that interested me, TOR presents Women in Science Fiction, and Why Fantasy Matters. The rest of the panels were simply not relevant to the genre Roadside Reader (or Pages and Pause Screen) focus on. It was then I began to realize that genre, specifically Fantasy (as an overarching umbrella genre), is actually a niche. I had immersed myself for so long with other fantasy nerds that I just accepted it as a thing for everyone. Still, that there were two panels there of interest among the business track of things was great. The authors were lovely and had great speaking points. I especially loved the Why Fantasy Matters panel for the mere fact that Victoria Aveyard spoke about how she structures her novels (3 Acts, 8 Sequences) and it just clicked in my head. Finally, I understand why sometimes a novel will just click for me, and why other times it’s beyond difficult for me to get into. I understand how I cam up with the 20% mark when reading to gauge my interest in it.

The rest of the expo was… interesting. I can’t say good, I can’t say bad. Just simply, not for me in the end. There were only a handful of new books that caught my attention (Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi¬†was the one that really grabbed my attention. Cannot wait to read it come October!) Other highlights were getting autographs (and an Advanced Copy of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco, sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper), whereas lowlights were aggressive attendees trying to scam the system.

It seemed to me that the main interest for the majority of the other attendees was simply to snag as many free books and advanced copies as possible, whether they actually cared for the book or not.¬†Multiple attendees I waited on various lines with over the two days were actively trying to get others to take books off of them, books they grabbed but then realize they had no interest in reading them and therefore didn’t want to waste bag space on them. These books almost always ended up abandoned on the floor. There were multiple instances of attendees cutting lines, jumping into the same line multiple times to grab more books. I just, I don’t understand it.

Honestly, I could not care less about receiving free books or even getting advanced copies. I mean, yeah, advanced copies are nice if it’s a book you’re interested in. But to simply get it because it’s there, that’s not me. I’m not one of those collectors that needs to have five copies of the same book simply because certain ARCs and finished versions¬†have different covers. I live in a tiny hole in the wall in NYC and am always moving apartments. Physical books, while always a joy, are also a burden since there’s never any space. Plus, although I am poor, I’m not destitute. If I really am desperate for a book, I’ll buy it.

I guess it all comes down to why I do this, why I review and run Roadside Reader. I do it because I like to read, I like to find new stories I might not otherwise have heard about. I do it to start a dialogue, one between myself and the book, but also with other readers. It’s why I started the Pages and Pause Screen podcast. It’s why I thought Book Expo America would be something fun to attend. I wanted to connect with others, to actually find new stories, new authors. Ultimately, all I walked away with was an understanding that perhaps big events like these aren’t about actively¬†engaging with others, with new content, but instead, are a Black Friday-esque spree designed to reduce professionals into bargain bin shoppers.

Will I go back next year? Nope, but I will keep searching for events that actively engage the book industry in important literary topics, while still showcasing new authors, new books, and strengthening the community that helps keep it all running.

Nessian Playlist

Nessian Playlist

For me, music and books have always gone hand in hand. One enriches the other. So, I thought it would be something nifty if I could start to actually put together playlists inspired by different books and characters.

As such, we’re starting off with one that is…. interesting. I say interesting because, while I wasn’t a fan of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I did fall in love with the pairing of Nesta and Cassian. I haven’t been able to get them out of my head. The songs I chose feel like they tell the story of their could-be relationship. Enjoy!

The Book of Strange New Things vs Oasis

The Book of Strange New Things vs Oasis

There are slight spoilers from the book and the pilot below. Read with caution. 

While flipping around through amazon prime video, I saw Richard Madden’s wonderful face. As it’s been a while since I’ve seen any of his stuff (he was Robb in the Game of Thrones series, also Ashley in Sirens), I decided to click on this new show, Oasis. Imagine my surprise when I see that it’s actually based off of The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber!¬†I read and reviewed that back in 2015 and really, really enjoyed it! I thought it was such an interesting metaphysical/sci-fi story, I still remember and think about it to this day.

So, I was really intrigued to see how they managed to translate the book to tv. Honestly, most of the time, I’m wary about the transition between mediums.¬†It’s so hard to beat a person’s own imagination when reading, to¬†fill out the world visually while keeping true to the story’s tone, let alone to actually keep the characters and connections true to origin. It barely works out for me. It’s one of the big reasons I hate/never watch the x-men films. Being a huge fan of the comics, to see things done in a way that doesn’t jive with me (hello? Darwin DYING???), I can’t. Yet, there are instances of where a movie will get it perfectly right. The Road is one instance.

Sadly, the Oasis pilot episode didn’t do it for me for one big reason: they changed an important part of the narrative. I understand why, but it is still disappointing. In the novel, when Peter leaves the world, his wife is alive and well. She is onboard with him leaving for Oasis. The world on Earth is… okay. Not great, not horrible. Just normal Earth like it is now. In the show, Peter’s wife is dead. He leaves for Oasis in response to her death (and to help his church).¬†As a result, the Earth is already in a downward spiral when he leaves. This destroys one of the biggest sources of… uncomfortablity and anxiety in the book. One of the main reasons Peter has for wanting to return to Earth.

So, why kill the wife? Why get rid of this side story that was so important in the book? Apart from cutting the cast and set locations down, the only reason I can think of is something that happens later in the book¬†— an affair between Peter and Grainger that takes place towards the end of the novel. As there is no Grainger in the show, I’m assuming it’s going to build towards Peter and Sara. Easiest way to keep Peter as a non-scumbag and keep romance in the show, simply kill the wife.

With the death of the wife, I seriously wonder where the drama is going to come from. Will they try to build it up between the suspicious activities on Oasis? Will the aliens be the bad guys? Where will the connection to Earth come from?

On its own as simply a space tv show, Oasis¬†was a pretty interesting pilot. It looked very pretty, but didn’t really seem to bring anything new or innovative to the table. It’s definitely no The Expanse. As a show based off of The Book of Strange New Things, it simply falls flat. If it gets picked up, I’ll watch the next few episodes to see how it goes, but I won’t hold my breath on it being amazing.