october 3, 2017

Wow, hey. It’s been awhile.

I hope you’ve all had many adventures since I last spoke to you.

It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, and quite a whirlwind of a final semester, too. As I write to you for the first time in infinity, I’m back at my fave writing bakery, where I haven’t been since AUGUST. Yeah, it’s been that mad.

Basically there was Pitch Wars (and man that was all the emotions), then my last semester started, and I was lucky enough to land an editorial internship at St. Martin’s Press. A normal person would have left their job at the library, BUT I AM NOT A NORMAL PERSON. So I’m working two jobs. And life is wonderful. And I never sleep but it’s all good.

(I submitted my application to graduate the other night. IT’S OFFICIAL. I think. I mean, they can’t reject me, right?)

Comic Con is this week, so I’m super excited to score some books and search for Yuri on Ice!!! swag and buy more sweaters from The Colorful Geek. I am also thrilled I’ll get to see my friend Brittany since she’s going too, and I don’t think I’ve seen her since before the semester started, so that’s how nuts my life is right now. Comic Con is also my way to socialize.

So what do I usually talk about on here? AH, yes, books!

I just read THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo. Uggghhhhh. So amazing. The stories were so ingenious and satisfying and gut-wrenching and romantic and ALL THE THINGS. It might be my favorite short story collection ever, and I’ve now decided I want kids so I can raise them on these fairytales. And the illustrations! They are something else. The creativity in the construction of them blew me away. 100000/10 everyone must read it.

And I must say a VERY happy book birthday to THE LAST NAMSARA by my friend Kristen Ciccarelli! Seriously, this book is magical and heartbreaking and gorgeous–and it has dragons. So, like, yes. I’m so happy for you, Kristen!! She is the sweetest soul and deserves all the success that is coming her way. ❤ (I also get to squeeze her at NYCC, so yay NYCC for letting me see all my friends before I crawl back into my hole.)

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So if you need me, I’ll be frantically running around, revising, and forever crying over Outlander, always. I just got my mom hooked too, so that’s been fun. 😀

Take care, and be kind to each other ❤

Mic

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Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Wow, wow! It’s nearly the end of June which means we’re halfway through the year–this is madness!

So last year I did a post like this, but I came up with my own questions and categories. Today, I watched Piera’s video, and thought it would be fun to do this tag instead of doing another post on my own. The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books, and I’ve linked both their original videos here!  And though it is hard, I’m gonna try REALLY hard to stick to one book per answer 🙂

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Best Book Read in 2017 So Far
Hmm… probably STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor. The writing was just so beautiful and magical. And the story was just as good. Romantic, heartbreaking, brutal. I adored the characters and was so sucked into this world and the story. It was amazing.

I-Love-Magic

Best Sequel You Read in 2017
Looking through my Goodreads, I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year! I read a fair bunch of trilogy enders, but not book twos. But from the few I did read, one totally stands out to me: A CROWN OF WISHES by Roshani Chokshi. I’m in love with this book! The writing was gorgeous and Gauri and Vikram are my babies! The story was so good and addicting. I’d love a movie, just to see this lush world brought to life.

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Book You Are Excited to Read in 2017 But Haven’t Yet
This one is on the library, not me. I’ve had I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE, AND WE’RE OFF, and OUR DARK DUET on hold for ages, and the library still does not have its copies. Why must you do this to me D: I also want to really read Cindy Pon’s WANT, but that one isn’t even in the catalogue yet. There is one that is on me, though. I got ROAR in my most recent Fairyloot, and just haven’t had the time to read it yet. Woops.

give it to me

Most Anticipated Books for the Second Half of 2017
WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER by Leigh Bardugo.
FOOLISH HEARTS by Emma Mills.
RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer.
Yeah, I broke my rule. Tough.

hp suffer but happy

Biggest Disappointment 
I respectfully decline to answer, but they made me sad.

Book You Were Surprised How Much You Liked It
Most recently it was GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS. I’m not a Snow White fan and I wasn’t sure what a queer feminist Snow White retelling would look like. But it was INCREDIBLE. Seriously. I was hooked from the first line. It was so good and amazing and complete perfection.

awkward 2 (but it’s all TRUE!! <3)

New Favorite Author
Hmmm… perhaps Melissa Bashardoust, who wrote GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS, ha. But I did really want to have different answers to each question or else it’ll be boring. *thinks* Okay I’m gonna change my previous answer…

i do what i want

Book You Were Surprised How Much You Liked It
SONG OF THE CURRENT, DONE DIRT CHEAP, or THE GLASS SPARE. Woops, so much for only picking one. But I want to shout about all these books and I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to based on the remaining questions. Each of these books surprised me, cause I hoped I would like them, but I really wasn’t expecting much from them (except Song of the Current, really).

The Glass Spare was unputdownable from the beginning, and the characters were so good and the conflicts and romance and GAH MY HEART. Then Done Dirt Cheap totally snuck up on and I had to keep reading until I reached the end. And Song of the Current is the watery book of my heart! The world building was so fresh and Caro is amazing, and it was so empowering and awesome. Also A+ romance 🙂

OKAY GOOD. I have righted the order of things by breaking all my rules.

i'm awesome

New Fictional Crush
Thomas Cresswell. He’s not new since I met him last year in STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, but I appreciated him so much more in HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA. Like to the point where I was like, “If you won’t take him Audrey Rose, I WILL.”

But NEW, NEW, as in only discovered this year 😉 is Porter from ALEX, APPROXIMATELY. Porter is… Porter. *dreamy sigh*

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Some New Favorite Characters
Everyone already mentioned above for sure, and also the gang from THE HATE U GIVE. They were phenomenal. The voice in that book is overflowing. They were each so beautifully drawn and compelling.

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Book That Made You Cry
Oh, just a tiny book called A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN. Full on sobbed.

Honorable mention: THE NAMES THEY GAVE US by Emery Lord.

Book That Made You Happy
I mean, also ACOWAR, but we’re being different (esp since I just broke the rules AGAIN) SOOOO… THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED. So precious. The most precious. Precious, precious, precious.

gollum lotr

Book to Film Adaptation You Liked So Far
Uhhh… I haven’t seen any… I don’t think…

Fave Review You’ve Done
I don’t blog anymore, so I can’t answer this </3

Most Beautiful Book You Have
Okay, this probably has to be STRANGE THE DREAMER because the UK edition is a treasure. The blue stained pages, the cover! I don’t know if anything will top it.

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Books You Need to Read By The End of 2017
So everything I listed above in the anticipating and haven’t read yet sections, plus DARE MIGHTY THINGS, UNEARTHED, THE BELLES (I’ve got an e-arc :D), AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS, INVICTUS, probably some stuff I haven’t heard of yet… 😀

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And there we are! The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! I can’t end this better cause I have to jet to work. BYE

Cheers,

Mic ❤

June 16, 2017

Hello, blog! I seem to write to you at odd times of night.

What I’m Reading
Most recently, I just finished THE GLASS SPARE. It was my first Bookcon read and it did NOT disappoint. It did the exact opposite of disappoint. I completely adored it from page one. The writing was beautiful, the characters were so fully drawn and interesting, the romance/banter was 100000/10, the world had just enough slight details to make it feel rich and realized. I loved it so, so much. I especially loved the uneven power dynamics between Wil (MC) and Loom (cursed prince a la the blurb) and how that whole thing played out. It was SO good. Exactly what I’ve been looking for: complex, with Wil strong and firm and unwavering. You all must read this book when it’s out in October!

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heart eyes motherfucker

Also, damn, what a cliffhanger!! WHAT SET UP FOR BOOK 2 I AM READY.

In other news, I’m rereading the HARRY POTTER books. It’s magical. The end.

What I’m Doing
I’m actually in class for the summer. For the month of June I’m taking Italian 3 so I can do exit level in the fall and GRADUATE! 😀 I’ll also be taking my final two English classes, and then that’s it. I will be a college graduate. It’s so weird! But for right now I’m in class for three days a week, doing nine hours of conjuntivo and condizitonale and why are there so many freaking verb tenses?

I’ve also been to the theater, recently. I saw Bandstand, with one of my ultimate faves Laura Osnes. It was a really great show–highly underrated in my opinion. Basically, it’s about a bunch of vets after WWII and a military widow forming a band to deal with their trauma. They have hopes of winning a national song competition that’s supposedly all about representing the troops–but is it really?

It’s a great show, full of honesty and emotion. There was an older gentleman sitting in the row in front of me, and I saw him sobbing throughout the second act. I think it does everything right.

I also saw CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which is basically the most fun I’ve had at the theater in forever. Also underrated, especially since critics basically bashed it. I have no idea what show they watched.

I also went to the movie theater and watched WONDER WOMAN.

What an amazing movie. I cried so much. Like, just seeing badass women kicking ass together and training hard and pushing each other made me so happy my eyes leaked. And how beautiful a character Diana was, how pure and dedicated and true. She was true to herself no matter what and that was so gratifying and important to see.

And, of course, “I wish we had more time” *slips her the watch* *CUE MORE TEARS*

Oh, so good. I’m hoping I can see it again this weekend with Jess. (side note: Jess is in culinary school now! She’s living the dream!! #BestieIsProud)

As mentioned above, I was also at Bookcon earlier this month. That was an adventure. Here’s a shameless picture of my haul.

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I was up at 5:30 both days and on the train at like 6 so I could be at Javits super early and have a good spot in the queue line. It’s all about getting onto the floor in the morning. What a ride.

Here are some cool people I saw! ❤ ❤

I also spotted Chelsea Clinton signing, and that was REALLY COOL.

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I saw Krysten Ritter too and she’s actually so tall in person??? She just seems really cool.

How many times can I use cool? LET’S SEE.

A movie filmed in my neighborhood recently. Coincidentally, it was called:

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No, actually, they filmed around my corner. So I need to know what exactly this is and when I can watch it because COOL BEANS. Sadly, no hot actors fell madly in love with more, nor did a producer spot me strutting down the street and demand I be an extra in the film.

My friends and I also did an escape room thingy. Guess what–we escaped!! It was HARD, man. I totally felt like the weakest link, but I did discover a secret object and found the secret compartment and was a good secretary taking notes, so I feel like I contributed a little, but those two were completely on top of it and if I hadn’t been with them, I’d still be stuck in that room. Also, look at my cute Victorian prop hat 🙂

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What I’m Thinking About
Getting my Pitch Wars wish list done!!! I’m so excited for all the Pitch Wars stuff to start happening. Speaking of Pitch Wars, I did a query crit earlier, which you can find here. I also might have another one coming up so stay tuned 😉 I also definitely want to do crit giveaways leading up to the sub window, but those will all be done on Twitter.

AND ALSO THE KILLERS HAVE NEW MUSIC. THE KILLERS FINALLY HAVE NEW MUSIC I AM SO EXCITED.

What I’m Eating
I present you with:

What I’m Netflixing
I started Girlboss the other day. I only watched episode 1 and some of episode 2, but I like it!! There’s something about Britt Robertson that’s magnetic in this role. I’ve known her work for a long time, since she made the movie Dan in Real Life (so good, do watch if you haven’t!), and good for her making it happen.

I also just constantly watch random Gilmore Girls episodes. Because it makes me happy and it’s light but also balances the feels right and I just want another female driven show like Gilmore Girls. SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE ONE.

Also not what I’m Netflixing, but plain ol’ watching: I got caught up on Jane the Virgin. I love this show. I guess it’s the closest I can get Gilmore Girls. For once it didn’t end on a brutal cliffhanger! I’m excited to see what happens in season 4. Also, Jane and Rafael?? I thought I had given up on that ship happening. Can they stop playing with my feels? Also, to see them work in current social issues and the resistance is so important and legitimizing. I’m so happy we have this show and for all its success.

let me love you 3

(also omg Captain Swan got married and JMo is leaving OUAT and my heart is just full of feelings cause CS were my otp since 2×05 and that was FIVE YEARS AGO. I literally graduated hs and went to college with them and that is so goddamn special to me. This has been such an important time in my life and their story was there to make me happy and make me a better writer and make me feel things and distract me when I needed a distraction and boost me up with set spoilers of kisses and the fandom on tumblr have basically been so joyous and wonderful and I will miss you CS <3)

I also fell in love with the NBC show Timeless, which I watched On Demand. Lucy and Wyatt are my new slow burn ship and I need this to happen. It was quite dramatic when it got canceled and renewed two days later. But I’m so happy it’s sticking around, and seriously LYATT IS LIFE.

Lucy is a cute history nerd and Wyatt is an army vet with serious trauma, but on top of that he’s also a widow and he loves his dead wife so much, but then this amazing lil nerd comes into his life and she’s so bright and strong and he can feel himself wanting to move forward with his life, but he also can’t let go of this past and IT’S SO AMAZING. Also, the show doesn’t sugarcoat our history. It engages with discussions about racism and sexism and is surprisingly diverse. Timeless is just such a good show. It’s feel good, but also has moments that make you think. And the shipping. The shipping is A+.

What I’m Writing
Goddamn, this is a long blog post.

Long story short, I finished drafting and my first revision pass of a new YA contemporary called #ConcertBook (I blogged about it extensively last time). It’s with readers right now, and while I wait for their notes I GOT A YA FANTASY PLOT BUNNY I AM FULLY EXPLORING. I love it. It’s #monsterbook and I will not tell you anything about it except that it has the coolest pitch I can’t take it.

*yawns* Okay, I am sleepy now. It’s like 2am. I need to get into the blogging mood at better times of the day. Well, good night, and keep fighting the good fight, people! It’s more important now than ever.

With love,

Mic ❤

a year in books: 2016

The year is ending!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!

I read 199 books in 2016. I’m TRYING to get to 200 before time runs out, but I just dnf’d a book yesterday, so I’m trying to find something worthy being book #200. This is the most books I’ve ever read in a year, and I doubt I’ll be able to match it or better it in 2017, but we’ll see.

Without further ado, I made some categories for your enjoyment 🙂

It’s Shipping Time *heart eyes* *pushes faces together and whispers ‘just kiss’*

Badass Sequels 

Epic Series Starters

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME

Books That  Slapped Me In the Face aka Books I Didn’t Expect to Love

It’s Just CUTE 

Books More People Should Read *throws book at you*

How Did I Not Read This Sooner????? What is wrong with me?

Alllll byyyyy Myyyyyselfffff (Standalone Love)

Brutal Book Hangovers 

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NOTHING BEATS THIS HANGOVER

2017 books loved in 2016

Absolute Favorites

Some Bookish Reflections:

*Rereads: I reread SHADOW & BONE and SEIGE & STORM to cope with my CROOKED KINGDOM hangover. I started RUIN & RISING, but didn’t get a chance to finish it.

I also reread PETER PAN since I wrote a research paper on it for my Narrating Childhood class.

*Poetry: I started reading poetry this year! After taking Feminism and American Poetry, I went to B&N and just looked through the poetry section for some books. I picked up collections by Andrea Gibson and some others. I hope to keep discovering poets in the new year 🙂

poetry

*New Authors Discovered: This year I read books by Emery Lord, Kasie West, Marie Lu, and Sarah J Maas for the first time. I’m late to the party, but I’m here now!

*Series I Binged: Captive Prince trilogy, Throne of Glass (minus Empire of Storms–I’m trying to save it), and The Young Elites trilogy.

*Multiple Editions: For the first time, I understand the need to have multiple editions of the same book. I have 4 copies of HEARTLESS. One is the hardcover, two is the Owlcrate special edition, then I ended up with two arcs (with the box from New York Comic Con and a normal arc I got from #booksfortrade). I have a mini Heartless army.

*Favorite Book Events: Man, I saw a lot of people this year. Some standouts were Leigh Bardugo at Strand for the CROOKED KINGDOM launch. I’ve watched the event again via the recording the bookstore put on Youtube just to relive the glory.

 

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*fangirling*

I also saw Marissa Meyer at B&N for HEARTLESS. Basically, if you’re ever lucky enough to see Bardugo and Meyer anywhere, GO. You will not regret it.

In April I got to see Emery Lord at Books of Wonder. I got all her books signed, and it was such a wonderful night.

During the summer I finally got to see Stephanie Perkins, also at Books of Wonder. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, YEARS, so to finally meet her was just amazing.

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Alwyn!! ❤ 

I flew to Canada in March or April to see my friend Alwyn
Hamilton on tour! That was quite a trip. Sabaa Tahir was also on that tour, and I was like 40% there to be a supportive buddy, and 60% to meet Sabaa 😉

emery-lord
Emery Lord is cool

I met Courtney Summers! Ah, she was at McNally Jackson in October, I want to say, and it was awesome. Her books wound me in every way and she’s like a feminist icon to me. And she’s so lowkey compared to some other authors who go on massive tours, so I really didn’t think this would ever happen.

Crap, I was going to say I met Noelle Stevenson, but I just realized that was probably in

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Master class Schwab

2015.

I was at the THIS SAVAGE SONG launch at Books of Wonder! Victoria Schwab is another person you should definitely go see if you get the chance, because she will astound you with her wonderful brain. And she makes pretty words.

One event I DIDN’T get to go to was the MY LADY JANE one at Books of Wonder in June since I saw Florence and the Machine that night. I was so, so sad to miss it, but had a fantastic time at the concert. So I ordered myself a personalized copy from the store, and when I picked it up all the swag from the event was included. Hopefully the authors will be back in NY for their next Janie book in 2018.


That’s all from me for now! Have a happy new year, and let’s make 2017 a year of good books, and be the heroes we all need. ❤

Cheers,

Mic

december 9, 2016

Holy! Wow, I’ve been gone for awhile. Blame the semester and NaNoWriMo. But today was technically the last day of class (I say technically cause I actually go to my Narrating Childhood class one more time for peer review next week because the prof messed up her syllabus and is refusing to change it -_-), and I’m back to talk to you all!

What I’m Reading
Today, I just finished THE DARK DAYS PACT by Alison Goodman. Ha, it’s so funny to be writing this, because I remember writing about loooooving THE DARK DAYS CLUB months ago and freaking out here. I definitely loved book one more, but not because of a dip in quality of writing. The ship is still A+ perfect and full of emotions, and I love the core group of characters, our team, but I have mixed feelings about what generally happened in the book and how it played out. I’m excited I got to read it a little early, but now so sad I need to wait until 2018 for the last book! *insert that sobbing emoji here*

A few blogs ago I also said I’d be starting THRONE OF GLASS soon. I can report I am a woman of my word! I’ve read every book except EMPIRE OF STORMS just because I found out it ends on a cliffhanger, so I’m trying to spare myself the agony of waiting. I’m already waiting (im)patiently for A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (omg need this book need), and I don’t know if I can handle waiting for two Maas books. QUEEN OF SHADOWS ends at a pretty good place where it leaves me wanting more, but isn’t a brutal cliff I’m hanging off.

So my thoughts on the series? I really, really love from CROWN OF MIDNIGHT on. I went into the series wanting to get to CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, as I was told that’s an amazing book, but there were places in THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE and THRONE OF GLASS I was really hooked and invested. But then CROWN OF MIDNIGHT happened, and I was like “yes, boom, that’s it.”

But as for the beginning books, I totally shipped Celaena/Chaol, but I knew that ship was doomed from Twitter and my buddy Brittany. It helped to know that, or else I would have been so sad. I can’t imagine how all you Celaena/Chaol shippers from the beginning felt. Their dance in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was so beautiful– “for the first time in ten years, Celeana was home.”

For the latter books, omg Lysandra! LYSANDRA. Queen. Love. Her. Manon and her witchy tribe and her Toothless-esque wyvren thing. I love the epic ladies in these books.

What I’m Doing
I think this is the next section? It’s been so long since I wrote a blog I don’t remember my own format, haha. Besides papers and work and trying to crack 200 books for 2016 (I’m at like 183! I CAN DO IT.), I’m totally living on the egde…

… totally.

I was lucky enough to see some of the cast from the Broadway production of ANASTASIA perform recently. I love this movie so, so much, and can’t wait to see it on Broadway. The cast sound beautiful and Journey to the Past totally got me all choked up!

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My lovely friend Brittany made me a pie and we watched ZOOTOPIA, because it is the best movie ever. Fight me.

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I took MetroNorth upstate-ish to walk over the Hudson River!

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I saw the talented and lovely Marissa Meyer on her HEARTLESS tour. (I’m so excited for THE LUNAR CHRONICLES coloring book, too!) I love going to Marissa events, because they’re so different from other book events. And the fantastic Rebecca Soler who narrates the audiobook has been at the last few NYC tour stops, so it’s always spectacular to get to listen to her read. She’s like a walking movie. Here I am amazing them with my wit, ha:

I’m about to start coloring the THRONE OF GLASS series coloring book! In my Pusheen pj pants. Because obviously. The wonderful Kristen sent it to me, because she is, again, wonderful. AND, you should all get excited for her YA fantasy trilogy about dragons and epic ladies.

What I’m Thinking About
When my December Owlcrate Box is going to ship! haha I wants it!

gg blair happy

What I’m Writing
princesspilotbook aka sci-fi WIP aka the book of my dreams!!! So excited to one day be able to share this book with you–hopefully 🙂

What I’m Watching
THE ROYALS ARE BACK! Season 3! I love this show, and my ship Jaspenor. I’m so happy they’re back in my life.

I also managed to stay caught up with Jane the Virgin. I also love this show lots, and can’t wait for it to come back.

I need to finish season 2 of Outlander. It’s one of my plans for winter break.

also omg Teen Wolf 😦 #SaveStiles #StydiaForever “Remember I love you.”

parks dying dead

I also spent Thanksgiving Break watching Gilmore Girls with my Oy With the Poodles Already shirt. I have no regrets, but lots of opinions.

What I’m Listening To
~can you save my, can you save my heavy dirty soul~

Twenty-One Pilots, yessss.

That’s all from me! Hopefully it won’t be so long until I blog again, lovelies! ❤

Be kind to each other,

Mic ❤

october 26, 2016

Hi all! Today’s post is gonna be a little different. Last night I went to see Nova Ren Suma and Courtney Summers because I adore their words, but I also was using the event for one of my response papers for a class I’m taking this semester called Feminism and American Poetry. Like the nerd I am, I’m ridiculously proud of what I wrote, so I thought I’d share for anyone that missed the event and wishes they could have attended.

feminist-rant


 

Suma and Summers Talk Their “Beautiful and Brutal” Novels at McNally Jackson

New York Times Bestseller author Nova Ren Suma and ALA Award Winning author Courtney Summers were at the independent bookstore McNally Jackson last night, October 25, 2016, to promote the paperback releases of their latest novels, “The Walls Around Us” and “All the Rage,” respectively.

Events at McNally begin the same way. You step into the store, the roar of the city behind you instantly fading, sneak a peek at the crowded café and long for a warm cup of tea, marvel at the tables of books and resist the urge to touch each of them, and then you make your way downstairs. You meet strangers, readers, and bloggers, and editors all mingling. Eventually, the booksellers will appear to transform half of the lower floor into an event space. It’s a magic trick. Bookshelves disappear, hundreds of books vanishing with them.

Listening to Suma and Summers is no less magical. One would think these two talented women have known each other for years, as just a glance at Summers’ second book “This is Not a Test” yields a powerful blurb from Suma calling the at-the-time fledgling author a “ferocious talent.” However, there is a twist in the story. Suma and Summers had only just—finally—met in person the day before the event. Their relationship began online. They connected through Suma’s blog, on a post she had written about rejection. Summers could relate. She left a comment, and their friendship followed from there. Suma read pieces of the original post, laughing and grimacing at the purple prose and overdramatic “the rainbows have turned grey” sentiment of what rejection makes one feel.

They have been online friends and critique partners for ten years, a support system for each other. When asked what the best piece of advice one has given the other, Summers said simply that when Suma tells her she “can do it,” she can keep going, Summers believes her. I’ve seen female authors do events together before, but it is always different when the authors have worked together, and battled the hardest parts of writing—the doubt, the anxiety, the frustration—together. There is a special bond there. When recounting their meeting at the hotel the other night, Summers and Suma were both laughing, describing Summers’ elevator opening as Suma walked into the lobby, like a romance from a movie.

The women also talked about writing “beautiful and brutal” books about teen girls. Summers, while wearing a shirt that said Unlikeable Female Character, spoke about the large number of female characters in literature that have been written by men. They are portrayed as “objects,” as “mystical” perfect girls. Summers’ said she feels women read this work and have a disconnect to it, can’t recognize themselves in it. The crowd laughed in agreement, as if all remembering a moment they read a woman in literature written by a man who was more a goddess than a human. Summers ended with the notion female characters are different when women write women. Suma agreed, talking about teen girl culture, which she said is beautiful and brutal, to recall the earlier words of the moderator, and that “the teenage girl is so feared, powerful, and misunderstood.”

Suma also raised an interesting point when asked what her favorite scenes to write were. She said, without pause, she liked the violent scenes. “The Walls Around Us” certainly is a violent book, set in a juvenile delinquent center for teenage girls, with ghosts and murderous ballerinas. She self-deprecatingly said she does not know what that enjoyment of violent scenes means about her. But I think it raises the point Summers made earlier about men co-opting women’s stories and female characters. In the same way, men have controlled the rhetoric around violence in literature, and many times, women are victims of usually sexual violence. Men tend to be heroes, punching people in the face, handling a gun deftly, and skilled with knives while they save the girl. Or, they are the perpetrators and get to unleash every urge and desire they have. Women, when they do have the luxury of being a hero, tend to be sexualized, or she is the single one in a group of men. So there is something revolutionary of women writing violence, of taking control of the narrative around blood and letting teenage girls be more than victims, but terrifying.

While “The Walls Around Us” is an exploration of girls and violence, Summers’ “All the Rage” is about rape culture, sexual violence, and trauma. Summers was not able to talk much about rape culture, but she did say briefly that it was hard to write a book about these topics and look around at the world around her and see it mirrored so closely.

Feminist poet Anne Sexton also got a shout-out by Suma, when asked what books she loved as a teen. Suma said she loved “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as well, and those two writers tell you all you need to know about what Suma was like as a teen.

To close the evening, Summers said about writing, “It almost feels like magic.” It does, just like a crowd of strangers gathered in the basement of an indie bookstore over words on a page, or two women meeting each other after ten years of kinship online, or the notion that girls can be beautiful and brutal.

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