The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls (No-Spoiler) Review

0book2

This was such an interesting story, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time. It had been hard to find (and pretty pricey!) but with the recent (and much more reasonably priced) addition of The Asylum to the kindle, there was no way I could resist snatching that baby up! Emilie Autumn has never shied away from discussing topics like mental illness and the history of abuse women have suffered throughout history in her songs and poems, and her book The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls sure as hell doesn’t shy away from it, either.

Fight_Like_a_Girl_Album_Cover_Emilie_Autumn
“Fight Like A Girl”

It’s hard to categorize this book into any one genre since it is written in a way that reflects the author’s actual time spent in a psych ward, but also tells the fictional and horrific (but sometimes darkly magical) tale of a fictional girl named Emily living in a Victorian era asylum. In the book, our author Emilie learns the tale of the Victorian Emily “with a Y” through mysterious letters she finds during her stay in the psych ward. I guess “Historical Magic Realism with a dash of Nonfiction thrown in for good measure” would be my best attempt at categorizing it? No matter, though, it’s just a really interesting story that discusses things most people choose to ignore concerning mental illness and the Victorian “polite society” so many people are quick to romanticize.

4135a57d1a9753ac6a3bbb4a90c155b64678d6adeff163c56acb074b8bdf6e1a

If you’re already a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music, I’m sure you’ll have a fair idea of what to expect within the pages of this story. She’s got a dark and witty sense of humor, and she can weave words in a way that will both enchant you and disturb you. This story definitely reflects that. It has moments that will warm your heart and others that will rip it right out of you again.

abf1a072c7460ac0be10d52a2421030d

I really enjoyed this book and by the time I reached the second half of it I pretty much devoured the remainder of the story in one sitting, refusing to pry myself away until I’d finished. I would definitely recommend it, but will warn readers that it does discuss dark subject matter concerning suicide, rape, the horrific treatment people were subjected to in asylums like lobotomies and forced-hysterectomies, all manners of abuse, etc. It definitely takes some artistic liberties, but that’s part of Miss Autumn’s storytelling I’ve always enjoyed, so I embraced the fantasy-like elements along with the more gritty and realistic ones. Definitely glad I finally got to read this one. 🙂

And just for fun, here’s a lyric video of one of Emilie Autumn’s songs that serves as a satire about the treatment of women back in the Victorian era when it came to mental illness (please keep in mind that women could be institutionalized for all manner of things including masturbation, domestic troubles with their husband or family, and other ridiculous reasons back then.) A lot of things in this song might sound far-fetched by today’s standards, but treating those in asylums like zoo animals for the public to behold was a very real and messed up thing back in those days. History definitely isn’t always pleasant, but it is something we can (and should) learn from so we can better treat our fellow man and learn from our past ignorance.

Advertisements

Saga Comic Binge Read

My boyfriend says I’m a monster because I always read his new comics before he does. I say, ya snooze ya lose. lol I’m sorry (no, actually, screw that, I regret NOTHING!) because when there are great comics to be read, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to read them. 😛 In all fairness, he takes forever to actually get around to reading them, and I keep my lips firmly sealed regarding spoilers of any kind. We have a system. It works. ❤

huge.9.45936
HIM: “You can’t keep reading my comics before I get to!”            ME: “Bitch, watch me!”

Our local comic book shop had some pretty good sales over the holiday weekend so he went ahead and added to his collection of Saga, picking up volumes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Needless to say, I descended upon those poor, helpless trades like they were newborn infants left out to the wolves. I read all of them while I was over, one after the other, until I had to stop at volume 7 to go partake in 4th of July festivities because ‘MURICA.

0d053408-3cc1-4483-b320-7cdcc906e1c5
Oh, I’ll be back for YOU, my pretty! *cackles*

This series is just soooo damn good. It’s one of those gems that really lives up to all the hype surrounding it. In case I didn’t scream my love for this series from the rooftops enough in this “Cute Comic Couple” post or my spoiler-free review regarding Volume 2, let me just say:

f25

I Dare You Book Tag

Big thanks to the lovely Raven & Beez who tagged me to do the I Dare You Book Tag. 🙂 These bibliophiles run a snazzy blog together, so if you’re a book-lover as well be sure to check them out! 😉

I’m shaking it up a wee bit and doing books AND comics for this because I love to read both. Basically, if it has pages, it counts in my eyes! 😛 So, without further adieu, let’s start this tag! 😀

1.) What book has been on your shelves the longest?

Ooh, interesting question. I’ve still got a few books floating around from when I was but a wee moth. Pretty sure I have a couple of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques floating around. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is another I’ve hung onto for as long as I can remember. (It was actually my mom’s book that she gave to me when I was little.)

where_the_sidewalk_ends1

2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Let’s see . . .  for novels: Last read was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, my current read is Soulless by Gail Carriger, and my next read is gonna have to be The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. Planning on plucking it up from my boyfriend’s library this weekend.

And for comics/graphic novels: Last read was DC Bombshells, vol. 2. Current read is Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt, vol. 1. Not sure yet what one I’ll read after that.

3.) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Oh, jeez. This is a tricky one. I can’t think of any I’ve read and loathed that everyone else was really into off the top of my head. Lame answer, I know, but it’s all I got for now.

4.) What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I have a mountain of a TBR list and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to all you wonderful book bloggers. I’m sure there’s plenty I’ll never get to unfortunately.

11241238-Everest

5.) Which book are you saving for retirement?

I’m assuming they’re getting at which book has the heftiest word count and thus will take up a lot of free time. Hmm . . . I doubt I’ll wait til retirement to read this one in its entirety, but I have this old encyclopedia of witchcraft and demonology that had belonged to my grandma and I’ve picked at it here and there because it’s so interesting, but that thing is a tome, and the font is very small so it will definitely take me a while to get through it once I finally set out to read it from start to finish.

6.) Last Page: Do you read it first or wait til the end?

Last page is called LAST PAGE for a reason. lol Why would I want to ruin the ending? It would take all the fun out of guessing what was going to happen.

7.) Acknowledgements: Are they a waste of paper and ink or interesting?

I think they’re great. They’re often pretty interesting to read.

8.) Which book character would you switch places with?

lol Bad things tend to happen to the characters in books I like, so I’m a little hesitant with answering this question.

13a255e207c919f4f2a19d040106dcaf

9.) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Sort of. It’s kind of like how you might associate a certain time with the point in your life when it came out. I mostly remember what stage of my life I was in when I read a certain book. I feel like that is such an utterly boring answer. lol

10.) Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

When I went through a really difficult time emotionally just over 2 years ago, a friend secretly purchased a couple books I had been wanting to read and mailed them to me with a sweet little note. She intended for it to be so secretive but it had her name on one of the papers in there so I figured it out. lol It still makes me smile to think about it because it was such a thoughtful and kind thing to do. The books were Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues and The Lies of Locke Lamora.

11.) Have you ever given away a certain book for a special reason to a special person?

I try to pick books I think people will enjoy (or that I know they’ve been wanting to read). I’ll never just go buy a book I hear is popular in the *hopes* that they might like it. Sometimes I do themes for gifts too, so you might get a couple books with some hidden theme around them because I’m a dork like that. lol

12.) Which book has been with you the most places?

Hmmm . . . I guess any of the books I have on my kindle. I’ve taken that thing with me so many places.

53569221

13.) Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Nope! Chances are if I hated it then, I wouldn’t be too keen on picking it back up again. 😉

14.) Used or brand new?

Either way! I’m just happy to get the book. Especially if it’s a great deal.

15.) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.

16.) Have you ever seen a movie that you liked better than the book?

I don’t know if I actually have. I feel like there was one time I told my boyfriend about before, but now it’s not ringing any bells.

17.) A book that’s made you hungry?

None, really. But Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes to mind when I think of scrumptious food in books. The Queen of Heart’s tarts and all the tea time goodies and whatnot. 😛

200px-Madhatter

18.) Who is the person whose book advise you’ll always take?

Cupcakes and Machetes. She has yet to lead me astray! 🙂

19.) Most read authors?

Well, I’ve read several trilogies by various authors over the years, so authors I’ve read more than just three books by would be: George RR Martin, Leigh Bardugo, and J.K. Rowling.

wrtieddsfsdfs.png

20.) Ship from two different books?

Ah, I don’t really have one as far as novels go, but if we’re talking comics I’m gonna do a Marvel/DC mashup here and say Deadpool and Harley Quinn. 😛

4890404-harleypool+32
Harleypool anyone?

As for tagging people, you guys know the drill: If it sounds like fun to you, have at it! 😀 If not, no worries. Anyone is more than welcome to join in on the fun!

Review (No Spoilers): Giant Days

So, I can’t say for sure if I believe in fate or not, but it certainly seemed to ring true with this weekend’s addition of Giant Days to my comic collection.

51zrjcyzdzl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who also loves comics. This means many of our date days involve excitedly perusing the many shelves of our local comic book shop and/or the library. This weekend it was all about the comic shop and I was a girl on a mission! I went with several recommendations in mind, many from The Brunette Book Worm Blog‘s recent post about some of her top comic picks. On this list was volume 1 of Giant Days, written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa Treiman with colors by Whitney Cogar.

And by some weird twist of fate, the woman working behind the register just so happened to select this exact title that was on my list to fill an empty spot on the shelf in front of me.With absolutely no prompting from me. It was uncanny!

not-sure-if-psychic-or-stalker-jpg

She was awesome and backed up the recommendation when I told her about it, so it was basically a done deal. Giant Days had officially earned its spot on my bookshelves. (Especially since my boyfriend was treating!) 😛

I am so glad I picked this little gem off the shelf. I feel like I must have devoured the first volume because I was eagerly turning the page to read the supposed next chapter and surely enough was confronted by the covers gallery and end of volume 1.

picmonkey-collage-gd-covers
I was so bummed I didn’t have volume 2 on hand. It was so fun and cute, and I loved the characters. It’s always great to see a story focused on strong female friendships, and that is exactly what Giant Days represents. Some people assume male writers are incapable of writing believable female characters, but to them I say “NAY!” because Giant Days is proof that this just isn’t the case as it
follows new friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they navigate their way through life at University. Each of our leading ladies is a different and believable character with their own talents and their own feelings and lives that they are trying to figure out.

So, enough about what I’m reading, what are you currently reading? Have you uncovered any recent gems of your own lately? 🙂

Birthday Comic Haul!

So this Monday is my birthday and thus this weekend was spent celebrating with (and getting spoiled by) my friends, boyfriend (and his family), and my own family. ❤

I definitely felt the love!

Since I review comics here from time to time I figured I would specifically share with you guys the comics I received and plan to read and review in the near future.

monstress_vol1-1
Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening

I have heard SO MANY good things about Monstress. The artwork inside is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to read this one.

29429565
DC Comics: Bombshells, Volume 2: Allies

Those of you who have already read my review of volume 1 know just how much I enjoyed it and have been looking forward to getting my paws on volume 2.

picmonkey-collage-sg
Spider-Gwen, Volume 0 and Volume 1

I’ve been curious about this series that explores what would have happened if Gwen Stacy had been bitten by the radioactive arachnid instead of Peter Parker. Now I’ll get to see for myself, and unlike the mistake I made when reading the New 52 Batwoman TPBs, I won’t make the mistake of starting with volume 1 when there is a volume 0 to be read first! 😉

rat-queens-vol-01-releases
Rat Queens, Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery

Like Monstress, this is another series I’ve heard several good things about. I mean, the comic is literally described as being a modern “violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!” Sounds good to me! 😛

So, what about you guys? Any comics you’re reading, excited to read, or have just recently read that you’d like to share your thoughts on? Feel free to comment below with your latest adventures in reading!

2017 Reading Plans

As is the case with many readers, I have this habit of obtaining more books to read while others continue to sit on the shelf yet to be read. I know, I know. First world problems, right?

8790781dfc3f1cccce04a7c8d080d057
The struggle is real.

Well, it’s time to focus on some of the books I already own and  put a major  dent in those. (Disclaimer: I am going to indulge in other books too,  I am in a book club after all, and a girl can only resist new books so much.) 😉

These are maybe a third of my poor, neglected books that I’m going to try to make my reading priority in 2017:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy, I just could not resist buying this book when it first came out. Not to mention, this novel with black-edged pages is pretty damn gorgeous-looking. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but I did. I judged it hard and took that baby home no questions asked. And yet for some reason, it remains unread (well, my bff happily read it, so at least there’s that.)

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland- This is the second novel of the White Trash Zombie series. (Another series with eye-catching covers. Especially the first one, My Life as a White Trash Zombie.)

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest- Another book I pined for and obtained only for it to wind up unread for far too long. Like, criminally long. Steampunk + Zombies = Why in the hell haven’t I gotten around to reading this yet??

Fevre Dream by George RR Martin- this book will be my first adventure with GRRM outside the world he wove for A Song of Ice and Fire. It will be pretty interesting reading something completely different by him.

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist- this is probably the book that has been on my shelf the longest among this list. Why? I can’t say. I really enjoyed the author’s other book, Let the Right One In. Hopefully I’ll like this one just as much.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- Alas, a book I started and got sidetracked with. A crime all too common for me. Once I finish reading this one I’ll have to watch the movie to see how it holds up to the book.

Watership Down by Richard Adams- Another that I’ll have to watch the movie for after I read the book. I saw recently that both Pierce Brown and Joe Hill (2 authors that have both written books on this list) gave it 5/5 stars so that seems promising.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill- I’ve read Joe Hill’s graphic novels that make up the series Locke and Key, and I’ve seen the film adaptation of his book Horns, but this will be my first actual novel I’ve read by him and I’m excited for it.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown- this one is especially important to finish up soon as I am borrowing it from the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes and would like to get it back to her asap. ❤

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch- A book I started reading over a year ago and was impressed with right off the bat, but somehow never finished reading. The shame. >__<

What are some of your reading goals for the new year? How are you fairing against your own TBR shelves of books?