Author: Tess Oliver
Tags: Contemporary, Tats, Broken Puppy, Ex-Con, Man Bun
I’m not quite sure what’s so “hard core” about this book. I mean, it could have been called Perfectly Nice Man But Has a Record, Man-Bun, and Tats.
This was a Broken Puppy Book. He was a broken puppy. She was a broken puppy. They get together their little broken puppy pieces and make some kind of broken puppy collage.
Should I define Broken Puppy?
I would say it is under the umbrella of Puppy as a character type
In general, a Puppy is a character that makes you go awwwwwww. Like, if you were to imagine a puppy taking its little clumsy steps to you.
Aww! It’s trying so hard!
I would say Mr. Bingley is a Puppy. He is just so happy and friendly and he tries so hard!
Under the umbrella of Puppy, I would say there is also Moon Puppy, and Broken Puppy.
Moon Puppies are usually male, the nice guy who makes moon eyes at some girl and loves her from afar. They can be seen trailing behind her, with big soulful eyes and a tongue hanging out. It is not necessarily a bad thing. There are good Moon Puppies. Moon Puppies can also be dangerous, though, if their Nice Guy complex is too severe, or if their Moon Puppiness is a symptom of unhealthy obsession.
I’ve used the term Moon Puppy for particular friends that fall for someone quickly, but are slow to initiate a romance. Falling hard, tripping over themselves with their own infatuation, and putting the object of their affection on a pedestal are also signs of Moon Puppiness.
JGL in 10 Things I Hate About You is a good example.
Broken Puppy is something else entirely.
They can be either gender, but men are the best examples. People who try so hard, and yet they just keep getting kicked down! They get kicked down so much they start believing they are broken! Poor puppy! They don’t mean no harm; they are cute and fluffy. Who would do this to a puppy? Who???
Broken Puppies are great for pushing the Someone Needs a Hug Button. You just want to cuddle them and kiss their booboos and tell them they are adorable. With proper lovin’, Broken Puppies can grow up to be big strong Moon Puppies, forever grateful to you for putting them back together.
Or so the fiction trope goes.
A good example is Scott Summers of the X-Men fame.
Or, like, every angsty duke ever.
The book. So, it was, hmm, okay. Other than being Broken Puppy Porn, the dialogue wasn’t bad.
Creepiness factor is a solid 7. Our hero, an ex-con (who served time for an extremely mild mannered offense), starts a new life in the town where his cellmate’s ex-wife lives.
“I never intended to meet her, I just wanted to make sure she was alright.”
Uh huh. Syuuuure.
Was this written by a dude? The heroine has “sad eyes” and has horribly cliche conversations her sassy best friend.
If your flavor of hero is Protective At All Costs, this is the book for you.
Another pet peeve of mine happens in this book, which I call: The Hand-Off.
She goes straight from the arms of Evil, Murderous Ex-Boyfriend, to New Good Boyfriend in the space of half a breath. It is almost a two man con. Of course the good one looks so good. He’s up against a domestic abuser!
As my friend Ilana says, when facing a plot where the girl goes from almost raped to hopping into bed with the good guy, “can you just, like, not?”
I know we have to have some evil outside force, but does it have to be a domestic abuser? I don’t think it’s good to lean so hard into making him evil. It’s kind of like the Evil Racist: while the actions of this evil character are totally reprehensible, it is too easy to say there is something innately evil in them that makes them that way. The truth is that there are many shades of abuse (or racism), that can easily come from quote-unquote “good people.” Othering the negative aspects of humanity makes it too black and white, and can actually help to justify a lot of bad things. The truth is that we all have the capacity for evil, and engage in hurtful behaviors in different ways all the time. Awareness allows us to check ourselves, or catch it in others before things go terribly wrong.
“I could never lay a hand on a woman, much less do what he did.”
Give me a break.
Teehee what fun! Giggle giggle man bun and rock hard abs!
Good things about this book were: shirtless scenes, ferris wheel, muffins, cuddling, smell of cookies, racing bikes, surly father figure, carnival prizes, long walks on the beach, and a big ol’ friendly rottweiler.
Also, the sex was pretty hot.
Colo(u)r of Magic
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld #1
Tags: old school fantasy, magical, quest, not a romance, irreverent, British
Format: ebook and audiobook
This book was for my IRL book club. It encouraged me to ask the question:
“It’s not annoying that I hate everything we read, is it?”
“I find it endearing. It’s the one thing I can count on. Wendy will hate the book.”
Awww, I’m the curmudgeon of the group. I’m the book club version of Eeyore..or maybe Rabbit…just gleefully shitting on everyone’s parade. Shit everywhere! Hooray! 😀
*Shakes head.* God, I hope I’m not Rabbit. No one likes Rabbit.
I did not like the book.
The characters were flat, the women were lame and naked all the time, and the gleeful satire was too heavy handed and smug for my taste. I feel like I have either been overexposed to this genre to get the jokes all too well, or underexposed to not get the jokes at all.
I also feel a weird sense of contextual vertigo. It was written in 1983, when, I’m assuming, fantasy satires were very rare. So this would have been a revolutionary take on a thriving genre. But these days you can’t throw a rock without hitting a fantasy/comedy. These jokes have BEEN DONE, so I’d like to move on to more nuanced jokes, please.
My inner angry feminist managed to stand up and be heard while reading this book. The heroes are super strong dumb men. The women are scantily clad conniving sirens. The wizard is a Mary Sue. Pratchett is making fun of a genre by exaggerating well worn tropes, but not, like, in a bad way. If he were defying the tropes, they would be the opposite of the tropes, not the exaggerated versions.
And doesn’t it, like, make you mad? That characters of these different types are treated this way?
Humor with a side of social justice would be a strong guy who is smart, a woman who wears a lot of clothing. That’s obviously not what we are doing here.
Other opinions, in case you’re interested.
“Colour of Magic is AWFUL. Terry Pratchett doesn’t really hit his stride till Guards! Guards!, #8 in the Discworld series. Don’t bother with the first seven.”
“Yeah, you kind of have to play 10,000 hours of DnD before you get all the jokes.”
“I liked it. The characters were consistently flat. You could sit back and enjoy the hilarity.”
“I liked most that characters don’t develop as people. Rincewind is pretty much exactly the same as he was at the beginning.”
And no, I’m not going to read any more Pratchett.
First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Tags: Urban fantasy, paranormal, grim reaper, ghosts, friendly ghost sidekicks, tall dark and angsty, freaky ghost sexy times, paranormal, kickass heroine, private investigator
Format: paper book! audiobook
This is my podcast book. We will be talking about it next week with Ilana’s sisters! Coming at ya April 22nd!
I’m excited to hear what Ilana’s sisters thought of the book. I really liked it!
It’s very like Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series, and that’s great! Sassy, acerbic grim reaper/ private investigator/ police consultant doesn’t give a shit if people see her talking to dead people. She’s always getting hurt, starting off with a shiner from an abusive husband one of her clients escaped from. She’s got a sassy best friend, a grumpy uncle detective, a charged love/hate flirtation with a skip tracer, a couple of ghost sidekicks, a murder mystery to solve, and a mysterious paranormal protector to have a crush on.
All signs are go for an entertaining series!
The only *SCREECH* *pumps breaks* moment was when we are introduced to the paranormal love interest. He literally grabs her pussy.
I mean, what’s good for the president…?
Also, it was in OverDrive, which means there might be more editions coming to OverDrive in the future! Hooray! I’m excited to see how well this story plays out. The first book is pretty short, and ends on a cliffhanger, which means there is plenty of time for the author to fuck it up with bad writing. I’m interested in checking out the next book in the series.
New: Buy My Art!
Hey! Do you want to donate to the cause of Wendy’s Future Art Classes?
You should buy my art!
I’ve decided to start selling it, and also to start taking commissions. Visit my Art page for more!
I understand that I’m being extremely lackadaisical about the whole art selling experience. Please excuse. This is my first foray into selling the art that I make for fun.
I have a bunch of it!
Just like, IDK, contact me and we can work out something.
New Blog Category: Body Blog
So, I have been reading, listening to, and generally surrounding myself with body positive stuff, and it is making me think some. I have thoughts. However, Books I Read is not the right venue for these thoughts.
I’m (hesitantly) starting a new blog category called Body Blog, that addresses these things. I don’t think I’ll share on Facebook about it, yet, but I’ll mention it here sometimes.
The first official blog post was last weekend. I talk about Weighting and Waiting: the dissociative experience of living in a fat body.
On the Radar
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole
The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food by Evelyn Tribole
A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen
The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier by Carl J. Lavie
My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran **A Choose Your Own Adventure regency romance novel!!!*
Interesting/great article calling out racist tropes in fiction.
Also, I’m not exactly sure what “tag yourself” means but this Tag Yourself: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is hilarious.