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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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The Spider Dance Book Review

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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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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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MidYear Book Freakout Tag

I just wanted to pop this up here in case anyone is interested in what I have read and want to read for the rest of the year.

 

  1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019?

Well this is a tough one to answer and not because I have read so many amazing books. I have read a total of 47 books so far and there’s only a handful that I have rated five stars, but so far I would say my favorite book so far is Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

 

  1. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019?

Hands down the best sequel I have read is Shadowblack by Sebastien De Castell. I need to continue this series soon because it’s so great and funny!

 

  1. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

There are a few but one that I own and haven’t had a chance to read yet is Aurora Rising. I am a little nervous going into it because I really did not like Jay Kristoff’s Likelike, but we shall see.

 

  1. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2019?

I think the two I am most looking forward to is Gideon the Ninth and The Bone Houses. I see so many people with ARCs and I this is one of the few times I wish I could get my hands on a copy of either one.

 

  1. Biggest Disappointment?

ELANTRIS! By Brandon Sanderson. I know everyone is in love with every single book he writes but this was boring and repetitive. It took me forever to get through it.

 

  1. Biggest Surprise?

A Curse So Dark and Lonely!! I have been really disappointed recently by the overhyped YA books, but I really enjoyed this one.

 

  1. Favourite New Author?

Sarah Gailey! I read her book Magic for Liars and loved it!

 

  1. Newest Fictional Crush?


    I don’t have any fictional crushes haha. I am 33 and kind of over crushing on ficitional characters.

 

  1. Newest Favourite Character?


    Daisy Jones! She’s a terrible person but also kind of a badass!!

 

  1. Book That Made You Cry?


    None. Haha I don’t really get too emotional when reading books. Is that a bad thing?

 

  1. Book That Made You Happy?


    The two Spellslinger books from Sabestien de Castell made me so happy! Love the characters and the humor.

 

  1. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?


    I finally got the chance to see The Hate U Give and I loved it!

 

  1. Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year?


    I have fallen behind on my reviews. You can find out why here: https://metalandthegeek.com/2019/06/09/where-the-hell-have-i-been/ 

 

  1. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?


    Hmmm I haven’t bought too many books but maybe my MinaLima edition of The Little Mermaid. So gorgeous.

 

  1. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?


    SO MANY BOOKS!!!!!!!! There are quite a few I need to review soon.

 

  • The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion
  • The Relics Series by Tim Lebbon
  • Red,White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

 

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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Daisy Jones and the Six – Book Review

**This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House in Exchange for an honest review** 

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2019. I was nervous going in and came out loving this author more than ever.

I will start this off by saying if you’re expecting another Evelyn Hugo, this isn’t for you. Also, in my opinion, that would be boring. We already have an Evelyn Hugo, we needed a Daisy Jones this time around. This book is gritty, it is unapologetic in the story it is telling, and it deals with some hard-hitting topics.

In Daisy Jones and the Six, you are following a bunch of musicians from a popular 70’s band, but the book is written in interviews. The format may throw some people off, but I loved it. As a teenager, I had this crazy obsession with Jim Morrison and The Doors, and this book just heavily reminded me of that time in my life. I love music, especially rock music, and this whirlwind look into the story of this fictional band was exactly my cup of tea. In fact, it’s my cup of coffee, cuz I prefer that to tea.

Daisy Jones is this overly priveliged rich girl whose parents don’t really care about her comings and goings. This pushes her into the crazy world of the LA rock scene at a very young age. When Daisy Jones finally comes together with The Six everyone is dealing with some serious issues mostly with drug and alcohol addiction (HUGE TRIGGER WARNING FOR THAT)

I loved this story. The dynamic between Billy and Daisy is great. It’s just something you’re expecting to get from two attractive popular musicians at that time. While this is done in interviews some of the secondary characters felt a little one dimensional to me, but Billy, Daisy, Karen, and Camila are THE BEST. I mean they have questionable morals I guess, and do some crazy shit, but I love how they pop off the page. At some points, I completely forgot this was a fictional story.

One of my favorite quotes from Daisy was this:

“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. 
I am not a muse. 
I am the somebody. 
End of fucking story.” 

And that’s Daisy in a nutshell.

Daisy Jones and the Six is out now!!

I Loved this book and it gets 5 out of 5 metalhorns from me.

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Reading Vlog on YouTube!!!

I am starting to update my YouTube channel on a more consistent basis, and I hope you will check it out!

You can find my weekend reading vlog here: https://youtu.be/Qf_rq21U5tQ

And you can also watch me roast my horrible teen poetry here: https://youtu.be/0VbkUk42eEM 

Make sure you like the videos and subscribe! Looking forward to growing my channel!