The Black Flamingo – Book Review

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 416

Summary: A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

Review:

I have discovered recently that I really love books written in verse. When they are well written that is, and The Black Flamingo is really well written.

The Black Flamingo follows Michael who is half Jamaican and half Greek Cypriot who’s growing up in London, England.

You follow Michael from childhood to his time at University. As a kid he realizes he really wants a Barbie instead of a Ninja Turtle. He realizes very early on that he’s gay. He has a lovely friendship with Daisy and they grow up together and learn who they are.

Michael is an incredible main character. While the story surrounds his coming out, I think it also focuses on him struggling to figure out who he is. When some people think he’s not Black enough and others may think he’s not Greek enough, it makes the path to discovering who he is a little more complicated.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are half anything…
You are a full human being. It’s never as simple as being half and half.

Michael really comes into his own once he gets to University and starts participating in Drag shows. He finds how to love himself and not to care so much about what other people have to say about him.

I loved this story. Michael is amazing and this book is powerful in so many ways. I highly recommend it. Especially for any young person who feels like they don’t quite fit in or are on a path to discovering who they are.

I gave this book 5 out 5 metal horns!

Such a Fun Age – Book Review

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Published By: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 310


Summary: In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.

Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this story. I will say the little summary on Goodreads doesn’t do this book justice.

While the story does kick off because of the incident in the grocery store, it’s not till much later in the book that we circle back around to it. Most of the book is focusing on two pretty strange and somewhat toxic relationships that Emira finds herself in.

Her boss Alix (ALEX is her birth name but she changed it at some point.) was one of the most obnoxious characters that I’ve read in a really long time. I am not 100% sure if that was meant to be that way since this is the most toxic relationship that Emira has in the story. Alix has this white savior complex that really gets under my skin. She seems to keep counting how many Black friends she can rack up like it’s some kind of game to her. She also very clearly seems to favor her youngest daughter Catherine to the bright and inquisitive Briar.

Briar is three and Emira is her babysitter, but more than that she seems to be the only person in the child’s life that truly understands her. I loved their little relationship.

Kelly Copeland is a white man that was filming the incident in the grocery store, who then builds a relationship with Emira.

This book faces race issues head on. It’s not always blatantly obvious that someone is racist, and sometimes people with good intentions are really just doing things for themselves and to make themselves look better. This is the case with Alix. She is the absolute WORST!

Emira’s friends are also a tight knit group that are always watching out for her. I loved the friendship dynamics.

I think this was well written and makes many of us face the fact that maybe some of the things we do when it comes to race are really done for selfish and performative reasons and not to better anything for anyone else.

This is a book I would highly recommend to someone who’s not always a big fan of nonfiction but is looking to have something educational to read.

My only issue with the book is I think the characters could have been fleshed out a little more, and same is true for the story. The book isn’t that long, and I think the ending could have been a bit more well rounded.

Still a wonderful read!

I give this four out of five metal horns!

Why Do I Keep Doing This?

Hello there.

You may be asking yourself where the hell have I been, or why I haven’t really done much of anything with this blog for about a year.

I don’t have an excuse. I just lost interest in blogging. It felt like I was creating content for no one. That’s always a shitty way to feel about your content creation.

I also constantly feel like I have no clue what I am actually doing with this blog with my whole Metal and the Geek brand.

When I started Metal and the Geek, I had this idea in my head of what I wanted it to be and what I wanted it to become and I feel like I failed miserably at all of it.

I wanted this blog to grow. I wanted to start my YouTube channel and have it cover mostly books but expand into all of my other geeky loves.

I have started filming more consistently for my YouTube channel but I could have been further along if I had just stopped listening to my brain.

Booktube has grown so much in the time that I initially entered it and then disappeared from it. I feel like I am slowly finding my home on booktube, but it’s difficult when it all feels very cliquey at times.

I just honestly want to be able to make some more booknerd friends that I can shit talk bad books with but gush over all the great books out in the world as well.

I am sure you are aware that the world has been a giant clusterfuck. While it has been stressful in ways that I cannot express, it has also given me some time to film videos and figure out how I want to grow Metal and the Geek.

I filmed a Bookshelf tour: https://youtu.be/jPl0k5pvwYY

I made a video with book reccomendations based off of songs from my favorite band: https://youtu.be/Ei1P5Pvc3Dw

I don’t know, I love booktube. I am just trying to figure out my place in all of this.

I am also trying to figure out what to do with this blog, my instagram…just everything.

It may take me a bit more time to figure out my exact direction but once I do, It will be good! It sucks when you feel like you’re not good enough to be a part of a community, but I have started to shake off that feeling.

I hope you are all staying safe and keeping yourselves healthy both mentally and physically.

Stay Geeky. Stay Metal.

Saudade in Lisboa

Sitting on a bus heading back home from one of the most amazing weekends I’ve had in a long time, My thoughts are swirling.

Not in a bad way but in a “this year is ending and we are soon entering a new time, another year” kind of way.

I spent time with one of my absolute best friends and I have never laughed and cried so much. I miss her daily because in the misery of living in Germany she helped me. She kept me afloat and laughing.

I also had the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands live, Alter Bridge. I sang so loud and jumped so much that I had to pop out my inhaler twice. Then after the show one of my friends introduced me to Mark Tremonti. A man who’s music came into my life in a time of loss and a lot of pain. It’s poetic then that in a year of loss and struggling, I finally met him. I kept it together, turned and cried on Melinda’s shoulder.

Then talking to my friend I got a bit emotional. This past year was difficult for me in many ways and because he’s a good friend of my fiancé and I consider him a dear friend as well he knows of my struggles and the emotions took over and I cried some more.

My fiancé has been on the road for weeks and I miss him dearly. I’m sitting on a bus already missing my friends. Already missing that energy of screaming my lungs out at a show.

But this weekend felt refreshing. It felt like I have so many people who genuinely care for me. Who’d hurt if I ever hurt myself. I have a fiancé who’d flip the world upside down if it meant I would be okay and happy.

I think the world can be ugly. I think my struggles can sometimes feel like the end of the line but my struggles don’t define me. My tears don’t define me.

My love for my family and friends, my strength that keeps me afloat, and the laughter out of my lungs define the person I am, the person I am fixing and becoming.

I miss so many people and I miss so many experiences that have passed but man am I excited for the ones yet to come.

20 Books That Are On My Goodreads TBR the Longest

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These are the 20 books that have been on my Goodreads TBR list the longest. I don’t think I need to give a run down on what each book is about since most of them are pretty popular. You might be wondering what the point of this post is then.

Well it is a way to hold myself accountable for the pile of books I physically own and haven’t read, and the habit of just adding things to my Goodreads shelves. Goodreads is a messy place to begin with– terrible design, user interface is fucking awful, and the consistent need I feel to add books to my want to read list is ridiculous.

I mean it is a great to keep track of my reading, but it also feels overwhelming to see the amount of books I haven’t read.

I picked these 20 because while there were others in-between some of these, they were ones I am no longer interested in, which means ONE day I will delete it off my Goodreads list, but today is NOT that day.

What I will be doing starting next month is putting the names of these books on a piece of paper, and throw them into a jar or most likely one of my many coffee mugs, and each month I will pick one out to read, two if I am feeling courageous.

ALL of these books sound interesting to me, and I want to be able to get to them. More and more books are being released, and I get some review copies so I keep pushing these back. Time to pick these up! I have physical copies of a few of them, and what I don’t have physical copies of I will check Scribd or Kobo store.

Anyway…I will keep you all posted on my little reading adventure!

What Anxiety Is Doing to Me

I can’t breathe.

I can’t think.

I think too much.

I cry.

I scream.

I get angry.

I question everything.

I doubt everything and everyone.

I doubt myself most of all.

I panic and feel tired.

I feel awake and not tired at all.

I feel like I am losing, even though I barely try.

I feel like I am lonely even when I know you love me.

I feel buried and useless.

I get angry.

I scream.

I cry.

I think too much.

I can’t think.

I can’t breathe.

Why does anxiety do this to me?

Magical Readathon: N.E.W.T.s 2019 TBR

If you watch Booktube videos then I am sure you’re no stranger to the Magical Readathons but if you’re asking “WTF is that?!” then let me explain a little.

The Magical Readathon was created by BookRoast on YouTube. You can find her N.E.W.T.s announcement video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq7vFHcngYs&t=452s

We sat our O.W.L.s back in April, and I was going back and forth about I was going to take part in this readathon because so much is happening in August, but here we are and I am really diving in headfirst into the N.E.W.T.s.

My chosen career path is Mind Medic, so I have a shit ton of stuff I need to read.

I need to sit for Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Muggle Studies, Potions, and Transfiguration. The kicker is to get an O you need to read the prompts for each grade before getting to the O. The grades go A(cceptable) E(xceeds expectations) O(utstanding) O being the top mark.

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I need to get an O in Charms.

A- Read a book that you think has a gorgeous cover. I decided to go with Sorcery of Thorns. I just love the art on the cover.

SorceryofThorns

E- Read a Comic. For this, I went with Teen Titans: Raven

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O- Read a paperback book. I chose We Hunt the Flame because I have a floppy paperback of this book.

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I need an O in Defense Against the Dark Arts

A- Book that’s black under the dust jacket. I chose Suspicious Minds which I believe is a Stranger Things prequel.

SuspiciousMinds

E- First book you remembered from your TBR. For some reason Fahrenheit 451 popped into my head, so that’s what I will be reading.

Fahrenheit451

O- Book written by an English author or that takes place in England. I chose Strange Ink because while the author now lives in Australia, he was born in England.

StrangeInk

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I need an E in Muggle Studies.

A- Cover that includes an actual photo element. I picked Darkfever because I’ve been wanting to reread this book so I can continue the series.

Darkfever

E- Book set in our real world. I picked How Do You Like Me Now?

HowDoYouLikeMeNow

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I need an E in Potions.

A- Read your friend’s fave book. I will be reading The Raven Boys (finally) thanks to Melinda!!

RavenBoys

E- Book with cover with your Hogwarts house color. I chose The Girl the Sea Gave Back which TitanBooks will so kindly send to me.

GirltheseaGaveback

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I also need an E in Transfiguration.

A- Read a book with LGBTQA+ representation. I chose to read Wilder Girls. I do believe this has LGBTQA+ rep, but please correct me if I am wrong.

WilderGirls

E- Read a Book that’s not a first in the series. I chose Charmcaster because the Spellslinger series is hilarious and amazing!

Charmcaster

That is 12 books in total!! I am really pushing it here but I think if I focus my energy I can pull it off. Maybe.

Are you taking part in the N.E.W.T.s? What career did you choose and what do you plan to read? Comment to let me know!!

 

The Spider Dance Book Review + Blog Tour

The War in the Dark and The Spider Dance by Nick Setchfield were sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

SPOILER FREE

 

The War in the Dark Book Review

TheWarintheDark

This genre bending series starts with The War in the Dark. In this series you follow Christopher Winter in 1960’s Europe. Where Russian spies are real and there’s something lurking in the shadows that is just a bit more sinister. When I read the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued. It had a Da Vinci Code feeling to it with a dash of magic.

 

When you start reading you are instantly thrown into the action. It opens with Christopher Winter– or Winter as he is known throughout the book— confronted with a traitor who was handing over state secrets to the enemy. This is where the action kicks off.

 

I enjoyed this book, but I found that for a book that held so much potential with how the plot is described it fell a little flat for me. My main issue was with the characters. Even though every single one is supposed to have these different attributes and big personalities they all just felt like bland cardboard cut outs reading lines from a cue card. I did not really care what happened to Winter and he’s the main character.

 

In the last maybe 20% of the book it gets interesting and pushed me to want to read the next book because the plot twist is pretty intriguing. I do believe the author had this HUGE idea in his head for this book and didn’t spend enough time figuring out where to take it and how to bring it to life.

 

I gave this one 3 out 5 metal horns.

ratethree

 

The Spider Dance Book Review

TheSpiderDance

I don’t exactly know where to begin with this review because anything that goes too much into detail will be a hardcore spoiler for the first book, and I definitely don’t want to do that to anyone because I hate when it is done to me.

 

What I can say is that The Spider Dance was a lot more enjoyable than The War in the Dark. I feel like the characters were all a little more fleshed out. We start to learn a lot more about Christopher Winter’s past and how he got to where he is at the moment in the story.

 

We also get to witness a lot more of the supernatural/fantasy aspects of this story in The Spider Dance which explains why I found it a lot more enjoyable. While we spent a lot of time in the first book wondering about Winter’s past, in this one we start to see a bit more of who he was, and that in itself is a magical element in the book.

 

I think the thing that was missing in these books was maybe it needed a slight touch of humor somewhere, but you won’t really find that.

 

As a whole I would rate this series 4 out of 5 Metal Horns, I do believe it’s not a series for everyone though.

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YOU CAN WIN A COPY OF THE SPIDER DANCE! OPEN TO UK/IRELAND RESIDENTS ONLY! FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER TO FIND OUT THE DETAILS!! 

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