Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman, and Sharing the Pain

BruiserA few days ago I read a book called Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman. The main character, a boy named Brewster, has the involuntary ability to take others’ injuries and pain onto himself… including their emotional pain. (Bruiser, get it??) As if absorbing everybody’s skinned knuckles and twisted ankles wasn’t enough, Brewster also takes on their rage, their grief, their worry. But there’s a defense mechanism: Brewster only absorbs people’s pain if he cares about them. The story follows Brewster as he meets twins Brontë and Tennyson, and begins to let both of them into his heart. Life is suddenly richer and fuller, but also more difficult and more painful.

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6 Fantastic Fairy Tale Retellings

In 1909, G.K. Chesterton wrote “Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

It’s 2016 now, and it’s pretty clear from the recent wave of fairy tale retellings that they’re still resonating with people: there’s still some magic left out there. Fairy tales combine a clear sense of good and evil with a (usually) happy ending, even if it can be pretty grisly (I’m lookin’ at you, Brothers Grimm). Continue reading “6 Fantastic Fairy Tale Retellings”

Review: Memories of Ash, by Intisar Khanani

Memories of AshI received an early review copy from the author in return for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my review.

I’m thrilled to be reviewing an advance copy of Memories of Ash! I love Intisar Khanani’s writing so much: I feel like she’s someone similar to me, who got fed up with the clichés and stereotypes plaguing YA. So she up and wrote the book she (we) wanted to read.

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Review: Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville

Perdido Street StationOne of the most astonishing books I’ve ever read, with so much I loved, and a few things that I hated. The worldbuilding was incredible: women with beetles for heads, where the males of the species are just mindless bugs; monsters that steal memories and whose dung allows people to relive those memories; desert bird-people whose only crime is stealing another’s choice; a gigantic, powerful spider who collects scissors… I’m in awe of Miéville. He’s my new writing hero.

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