July 14, 2018

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #9 Kali Wallace, Karen Foxlee, A.S. King


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long review - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, or in case I want to draw attention to some old ones I've already reviewed, I might as well give you the short version ;). Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random! So, here goes...

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

★★★★★

This is a diverse book, and a different one. With a diverse, different heroine.  A mixed race, bisexual teen with a plan for conquering the sky (I mean, becoming an astronaut) who wakes up dead (I mean, undead) under a few inches of earth, and discovers a world full of monsters, killers and dark magic - and monsters aren't the worst part of it. A once-human who refuses to let go of her humanity, who fights and pities and scares and suffers and fights again, and sends a powerful feminist message. And doesn't even need a label for what she has become - or for the kind of woman she used to be.
This book ticks so many boxes and you don't even see the squares.

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

★★★★

Rated 4.5 really.

Atmospheric, apparently quiet, with a lot boiling down the surface. I loved how different it was - an ostensibly simple, though tragic, story, that gains profundity thanks to the evocative writing. I loved how the main character doesn't care and yet cares deeply. The mystery I got figured out relatively early, but that didn't detract from my love for the story as a whole. It's up to you to decide if there's a magical realism angle (I didn't feel like it's the case, though my back cover says there is), but let me tell you, this book doesn't need magical realism to be, as my friend Kate said, "tragically, magically beautiful".

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

★★★★

Rated 4.5 really. 

At first I was bothered by the very short sentences (and it never fails to happen when I approach a book written in this style, no matter how many of them I've read already). After a while, I wasn't even noticing them anymore (see parenthetical above. But it only applies to really good books).
This is not a story. This is a bunch of different nightmares coming together. This is a dark Neverland without Peter Pan. This is an equally dark laugh. This is reality at its warpedest. This is warp at its realest. This is raw adolescent pain and dull adult cluelessness. This is a bunch of things that can mean nothing or everything or anything, depending on how you look at them. And isn't that what they call art?
By the end, I was flying in the invisible helicopter. I was believing in it. I'll never know who the bush man really is, or what he really stands for, but it's okay. He is a bunch of things that can mean nothing or everything or anything, depending on how you look at them. And it's okay.
And I may be overemotional lately, but darn, China almost made me cry in the end.
And I just wrote a pre-review in very short sentences.

Proper (and less surrealistic) review coming later. (Goodreads pre-review)

So, have you read/are you planning to read any of the above? And if you did, what did you think of them? Do you post mini reviews? Do you like to read them?

10 comments:

  1. I'm definitely adding Shallow Graves to my to-read list, especially given that - as you put it - the heroine "sends a feminist message", also glad to hear that it is a diverse novel. I Crawl Through It sounds fascinating, although I have been hesitant to pick up any more books by her. I read Reality Boy years ago, and while I enjoyed it, I was left unsatisfied for various reasons. Anyhow, great reviews as always!

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    1. Woo-hoo! So happy you decided to give SG a chance! I think it will appeal to your dark side as well πŸ˜‚ (I mean, the side of you who likes scary stuff LOL).

      I've read a sample of Reality Boy and it doesn't sound like my thing, but both Glory O'Brien's History of the Future and Still Life with Tornado are really good (though I have some issues with the first one, that I'll detail in a future review).

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  2. I think A.S. King is a brilliant writer. She uses magical realism better than any other author I have read.

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    1. She is! Though her books are not for everyone (I mean...more than other writers' books are, maybe πŸ˜‚). But to me, Nova Ren Suma is the queen of MR. Have you read any of her books? They're all brilliant, but I ADORED The Walls Around Us!

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  3. I'm a big fan of A.S. King! Have you read The Dust of 100 Dogs?

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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  4. Replies
    1. I think that, since you liked Deadgirl, you might definitely enjoy this one!

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  5. Shallow Graves is already on my TBR and you got me interested in Midnight Dress too. I love its simplistic cover. Awesome reviews, Roberta!

    Ronnie @ Paradise Found

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    Replies
    1. Both books are a bit underrated, which makes me sad. I hope you enjoy them! And thank you πŸ™‚.

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