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.

The Girl in Red – Book Review

This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warning for this novel: Violence. Mentions of Rape & Assault.

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry is a Post-Apocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood retelling that may not have wolves but has a lot of men who act worse than wild animals.

A disease has taken out a large part of the population and the main character who goes by the name Red is trying to get all the way to her grandma’s house which is hundreds of miles away. She has to travel a brand new world where humanity’s ugliness has taken center stage. While a lot of people have gathered at quarantine centers, Red wants to hit the road.

This isn’t anything like the Young Adult fairy tale retellings that I have read in the past year, this book is dark, violent, and hits you right in the part of your brain that will strike fear into your whole body.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I didn’t know what to expect going in because I was feeling just a little burnt out on the fairy tale retellings, but this is a complete reimagining. The main character Red has a prosthetic leg from an accident she had at a young age. She is tough, smart, and most of all tries to be as logical as possible in this strange new world.

All she wants is to get to grandma’s house. All she wants is to survive and she will do absolutely anything to make it happen.

The book goes back and forth between her present situation and the past when the outbreak of the disease occurred. I think at first there was something about the writing that was throwing me off a bit but towards the middle and the end I had a hard time putting this book down.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fresh take on the retelling.

The Girl in Red gets four out of five Metal horns from me!

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Magic for Liars – Book Review

Any time there’s some element of magic involved in a story, it typically catches my attention.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey popped up on my radar while watching a book tube video. I had not heard a single murmur about it before this, and I instantly wanted to read it. So I did!

Magic for Liars Summary

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

Magic for Liars Review

I loved this book!

It had a murder mystery, it had magic, and it had the right amount of humor sprinkled in. I really loved the main character of Ivy. She’s pretty flawed, and the way Sarah Gailey wrote her, she felt so real to me. I wanted to be her friend, and her assistant in this case.

Don’t go into this thinking you’re getting some adult Harry Potter with murder. While the magic is there, the murder mystery and the characters are at the forefront of this novel. We don’t get great explanations as to how the magic system works in this world, and we don’t get to know much about the magical events until the end.

While I enjoyed the story, I called the ending right from when Ivy reaches the school.

That didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this novel AT ALL. I have been struggling for weeks to find a book that would really capture my attention and this did the trick.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, quick, and slightly magical read.

It did lose a star for the predictability of it, I still loved it very much!

This gets four out of five metal horns from me!

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October 2016 Reading Wrap Up

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Time for another monthly wrap up. October was a really great reading month for me. I sort of devoured quite a few books. I still have to write up a few full reviews, but I will give you a short run down of what I thought of each. So let’s begin.

My Lady Jane

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This book made me laugh quite a bit. It’s a historical fiction novel that took it’s genre straight to heart. It’s exactly why I loved this book so much. If I read a historical FICTION book looking for historical facts, then I might as well read a textbook. Fiction means it’s all made up, and man is this made up! It takes the story of the nine day queen, Lady Jane Grey and just freely runs with it. There’s a magic element to the story, there’s humor. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and think if you’re looking for a fun read that this is it!

Rating: ratefive

How it Went Down

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How it Went Down was such a heart breaking read for me. It tells the story of the aftermath of when a young black man gets shot by a white man. It’s told from multiple points of view, and you get to know the story through the eyes of different witnesses, and friends and family. I wrote a full review for this book and I think it’s an important read that should be shared with so many people. Sometimes you need to step out of your little comfort zone, and learn something new. Read this book!!

Rating: ratefour

Milk and Honey

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This was a book of poetry. Powerfully worded, and moving poetry. I don’t know what else to say because this book spoke to me on a very deep level. Even if you typically do not read poetry, I still recommend this book.

Rating: ratefive

The Princess Saves Herself in This One

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Keeping with the theme of the previous book I mentioned, this was also a poetry book, but this one spoke to my very soul! It was just so amazing that I read it twice. I HIGHLY recommend it, and really think every woman should give it a glance at least once. This is another one that I don’t know how to explain why I loved it, because it touched my soul in a very deep and personal level.

Rating: ratefive

Kindred Spirits

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This was a lovely little novella by Rainbow Rowell. If you’re a fan of her novel FanGirl then I would say you would love this too. It was a fun quick read, and I enjoyed the main character’s mini fangirl adventure. It’s based around the premiere of the new Star Wars film, and how she’s one of three people waiting in line for the first showing at her local theater. I don’t want to go into much detail, but I had fun with it.

Rating: ratefour

A Head Full of Ghosts

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A Head Full of Ghosts was such a good creepy read!! It was the perfect October spooky read, but even though October is done, you should still pick this up if you’re in the mood to get scared. The story focuses on two sisters, and the older one is showing signs of possession, or is she? It was a wonderful mystery and many scenes left me wishing I hadn’t decided to read it before bed. Check it out!!

Rating: ratefour

Rat Queens Vol.3

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Rat Queens quickly became one of my favorite graphic novel series, but I held off reading this one because I saw that quite a few people seemed disappointed by Volume 3. Not to be swayed by the general public, I decided to finally pick it up and read it. Sadly I have to say it was my least favorite of the bunch. Not only has the art changed but I found the writing to be lacking. I still recommend this series, but volume 3 is just not the best one of the bunch.

Rating: ratethree

Mockingbird Volume 1

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I am constantly on the lookout for badass mother fuckers, especially of the female variety because well I find myself in those characters, also all females are pretty badass and I feel we need more female driven stories. The writer of this series took to Twitter to talk about her female driven comic, and then was harassed so bad by anti-feminist trolls that she left twitter. It was how I even discovered this comic series which Marvel cancelled before viewing the sales of the paperback edition. Well thanks to those anti-feminist trolls, the comic hit number one on Amazon for Marvel comics. Maybe Marvel will reconsider now? Maybe not. But we need these female driven stories!! Comics are not just for guys and any dude who thinks otherwise needs to get a reality check. I really enjoyed this series, and highly recommend it!! Maybe we can save it!

Rating: ratefive

Black Butler Vol.1

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I’ve been trying to read different Manga, and seeing which ones stick. I enjoyed this strange story. I read it in German, because simple language works best for me at this point, but I still thought it was fun and unique. I may pick up volume two this weekend! If you want to recommend any Manga, please comment down below!!

Rating: ratefour

Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians

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Honestly, I don’t know if I can eloquently explain how much I just did NOT like this book, so I will probably take a less than eloquent path. I started this series with high hopes. I love Middle grade adventure series and this just sounded like such a unique idea. The unique idea is why this isn’t getting one star, and that hurts to say because I typically adore Sanderson’s writing. This was just trying too hard to be something that it isn’t. I found myself rolling my eyes quite a few times. It was difficult not to make Harry Potter comparisons when the main kid was raised outside of the magical world he belongs to (orphan), and then you had a side character who was highly interested by ordinary items, but they still confused him (sounds like Arthur Weasley and his fascination with muggle items to me) Don’t know, it just felt somewhat forced storytelling after the first 30 pages, and I lost interest rather quickly. I will not continue with this series.

Rating: Metal Horns

The Stranger Game

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This book was sent to me the publisher, but this in no way impacts my views.

I want to write up a full review of this novel because it certainly deserves one. I think if you are looking for a mystery novel with twists and turns, then you will like this fast paced YA read. I read it in one day, and I have no regrets. I will be posting a more in depth review soon, spoiler free of course!

Rating: ratefour

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

harrypotter1

Again? YES! Don’t judge me asshole!

I love this series, and recently bought the second illustrated edition. Was going to read it, and then thought to myself, “Well why not start a reread?” and so I did. It doesn’t take much convincing to read this series.

Rating: ratefive

In total I read 12 items in the month of October. I am not sure how much I will get to read in November but I am only 8 books away from meeting my goodreads goal for the year. What did you read this month?

A Head Full of Ghosts – Book Review

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Note: The publisher sent me a copy of this novel, this in no way impacted my opinion.

Summary: The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls the terrifying events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories begin to surface and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed.

Creeped out yet? you will be…

Review: You know the deal with my reviews, I keep them spoiler free because I want you to enjoy the novels as much as I do. So feel free to continue reading. This book was the perfect creepy read for the month of October, but it was generally a great creepy read. You will feel chills up and down your spine, and you will feel slightly unnerved. I went in thinking, “Well Stephen King thinks it’s scary, so maybe I should go unbox one of my teddy bears before I begin.” I didn’t actually unbox them, but I probably should have.

You know what’s the scariest part of this? That so much of the story revolves around those two sisters, Marjorie and Merry. Kids can be super creepy. (Remember the shining?) As I got deeper into the story, the more disturbing it actually became. The way Marjorie acts leaves you wondering “is she possessed by demons?” or is it really that she has schizophrenia that’s not being treated properly for a girl her age?  You well spend a lot of time second guessing yourself. You will THINK you know where the story is headed, but you have NO idea where it actually ends up.

I read this story many times right before bed, and if you are sensitive to these kinds of stories, I would say DON’T DO IT! Many scenes will leave you all out of sorts. Or maybe I can’t speak for everyone but it’s just how I felt sometimes, and of course if you’re reading a scary book, you want to feel that way. Humans, we are weird. haha

I will say that when the tv show aspect kicked in, that some things were a little repetitive, but it didn’t ruin the story at all. The ending, disturbed me, and really creeped me out, and once you read it, please feel free to contact me so we can chat about it because…it’s great in my opinion what Paul Tremblay did there.

I give this novel 4 out of 5 Metalhorns!!

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The Female of the Species – Book Review

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This book was sent to me by the Publisher. This in no way influenced my review or thoughts on this novel. This is spoiler free, and short and sweet as most of my reviews are. I don’t want my opinion on a novel to spoil the story.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is going to come for your emotions, your expectations, and your soul. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this–A story similar to Dexter where the killing is done to those who some may say deserve it? It’s so much more than that. This book takes you on the ups and downs of being a female in a world where many times that means you look like lonely prey.

You learn right away that Alex is a killer. Her sister was sexually assaulted and killed, and the man who did it walked free for lack of evidence. It’s a story we have all become a little too familiar with, but Alex takes matters into her own hands. She murders that man in a brutal way, and never gets caught. That’s where the story really kicks off.

The Female of the Species is told in three points of view. One being Alex, the other is Peekay, and then Jack. Peekay and Jack sort of bring Alex out of the shadows and the social isolation she’s placed herself in because she feels she cannot be trusted around other human beings at all times. One night and one incident sort of brings them together, and a few other side characters as well. This book examines rape culture, the female anger that we feel when we are not heard or when perps walk free when they should spend years and years behind bars, and a closer look at slut shaming and the affects it may have. You get the view of the angry, the innocent, and the guy who doesn’t realize his words and behavior are shitty. Taking a look at the “boys will be boys” line of thought.

The writing is magnificent and the different POV’s were done really well. I feel that this is a book that should be read by young men and women, and should not be taken lightly. The subject matter is tough to handle, but look at the news today, it’s all around us.

A quick note: The book says that it is ages 14 & up, but I feel that some of the crass speech and even subject matter may not be for every 14 year old. I would advise that people take the maturity of the younger teens into consideration before handing them this book.

TRIGGER WARNING: It’s been made obvious by my review that rape and sexual assault is the main topic. There is also animal abuse and child molestation within the pages of this book, so please be aware if those are triggers for you.

I give this book 5 out of 5 metal horns!!

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Warbreaker – Book Review

If you have been following this blog for a while, then you know that I don’t like to over share information about a book when I write my reviews because I’ve had a story spoiled before because a reviewer decided to chop down every detail of a book. I will give you a nice rundown and then my rating. Let’s jump into it.

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Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Book Review

Brandon Sanderson is probably best known for his Mistborn series. I actually did not love the first book in that series and almost never gave him another try. Then I read The Rithmatist, and suddenly I was in love with his writing style. That is when I decided to give Warbreaker a shot. Warbreaker is about two sisters. These two sisters are princesses and they live in a world where people who die in glory come back as gods known as the returned. These gods live in a pantheon in the capital city of Hallandran.

In this world the magic system is called BioChroma, and deals with breaths and colors. Sounds insane? That’s because Sanderson’s mind and imagination is on a whole other level than ours. It is a really intriguing and beautiful magic system, and that is something I remember even from the Mistborn book. He is just really amazing with magic systems and world building. The whole idea of the gods and the pantheon gave me Greek mythology vibes and that was really cool.

Now the story goes back and forth between Siri, Vivenna(the two sisters), Lightsong, and Vasher. I loved these characters but I have to say the self doubting god Lightsong is my absolute favorite. He’s got sarcasm for days, and really questions his own identity as a god, and questions people’s faith in him. While Vivenna and her uptight ways was possibly the most boring for a while. There are a lot of political aspects in this book, but once again Sanderson knows how to write this in an interesting way.

I did find this book at 652 pages to be a bit long, but that’s never really stopped me from reading anything, the problem here is that it is a bit slow paced for a fantasy novel. Which is where it lost a star for me. Other than that the story is wonderful, filled with plot twists and crazy characters. Also I hear this story sort of connects to the Words of Radiance story from Sanderson. I will let you read it to find out how it does that.

 

I highly recommend this book, and it’s made me really appreciate Brandon Sanderson’s writing and storytelling. This gets 4 out of 5 Metalhorns from me!

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Night Film – Book Review

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Night Film is a tough review to do without spoiling anything at all, but I AM KEEPING THIS spoiler free. It will be vague, and mysterious…kind of like this book.

Night Film Summary:

Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an enigma. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.

On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.

For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.

The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his grip on reality.

ONCE WE FACE OUR DEEPEST FEARS, WHAT LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE?

Night Film Review:

I will say this, this book had certain points and aspects that had me turning on every light around me when moving about the house at night. The characters were really interesting, especially Ashley, even though the whole mystery is around her and why she appears to have committed suicide. I read this book fairly quickly, or at least as quick as I could considering I had a lot on my plate. So you are going to wonder a little bit why my rating isn’t higher.

Well the truth is, while this book was creepy and I kept turning the pages wondering what was really going on, it also felt like it was over done. The book is quite long, and I think if I got to the end it was this glorifying “holy yes!! this is amazing!” I wouldn’t have minded all the filler moments in the book, but the ending pretty much ruined the book for me. It felt to me like Marisha Pessl also had no idea how to end it. It sort of flip flops a bit there. If you want a clear and concise ending, you may want to steer clear of this book. I kind of wish I had known that before diving in, but then again I still don’t actually regret reading this.

If you love mystery with a hint of horror I definitely recommend this book, but be aware that the ending may infuriate you. The writing was good, and it will keep you hooked.

I gave Night Film 3 out of 5 Metal horns!!

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