• Poetry Book Reviews

    If They Come for Us

    My goodness what an astounding collection of poetry! I was absolutely dazzled by this debut collection and I’m honestly ashamed that I was granted an ARC and did not get to reading it sooner. Asghar speaks to a generation of Asian American women with a great deal of understanding and empathy. There were several times where a poem hit close to home, particularly in the sections about needing to cover up one’s race and religion, or of the shame that comes with losing one’s native language. “you speak a language until you don’t. until you only recognize it between your auntie’s lips. your father was fluent in four languages. you’re…

  • Horror Book Reviews

    The Sign of the Beast

    What I admire most about Oates’ brand of suspenseful horror is that she truly understands the predatory nature of people. Mrs. S—— is definitely the predator in this case, taunting and teasing Howard mercilessly, making inappropriate comments about his physical development. The story seems very straightforward, that this Sunday school teacher is dressing provocatively to entice young Howard, but by the halfway point my assumptions were challenged. Similar to Miao Dao, The Sign of the Beast deals with the confusion and shame that comes with puberty and the sexual awakening of an adolescent. Howard feels embarrassed about the way he’s treated by Mrs. S—— yet finds himself desiring her sexually.…

  • Graphic Novel Reviews

    Speak: The Graphic Novel

    Speak was a young adult novel written in 1999 about the rape and subsequent bullying of a high school freshman. The novel is based partially on the author’s personal experiences and has received international praise. The book has won multiple awards and is on the ALA’s list of 100 most challenged books from 2000-2009. While I had never read the original book, it had always been on my list of books that I’ve wanted to read but have been a little afraid to. “It’s getting harder to talk. My throat is always sore, my lips raw, like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis. I know I’m messed up. I…

  • Horror Book Reviews

    Miao Dao

    Of the Dark Corners stories I’ve read so far I can tell already that Miao Dao will probably be my favorite and is by far one of the strongest entries in the series. I thought I knew what I was getting into when I picked this novella up – thinking it’d be a story about a supernatural killer cat, but what I got was so much more. To me there are two distinct schools of horror – those that are pure fantasy, usually monsters or some other form of paranormal activity; and then there is the kind of horror that is grounded in the real world, the type of every…

  • Josei Manga Reviews

    In Clothes Called Fat

    Noko is a binge-eater, she suffers from major depression due to crippling insecurity issues and the stress of being bullied at work. To cope with her depressive episodes she eats and eats and continues to eat until she can forget everything. As Noko’s binge eating spirals out of control so too does her weight, which makes her feel even more insecure about her body. Noko is trapped in a vicious cycle of shame over her body and gorging herself. She is emotionally dependent on her boyfriend, Saitou, who is manipulative and uses her. In order to solve her problems with other people Noko decides to lose weight, but in her…

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