Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My Life as a Fictional Librarian: Special Program for Clowns

My Life as a Fictional Librarian

All was pretty normal until things started to get a little bit fictional. I know sounds like a tagline for a bad romantic comedy or action movie, but believe me this is no normal library.

I had of course heard of special libraries but this was a special squared kind of library.

The Beginning:

I was just out of college and needed a job ASAP. The problem is though they tell you that all these librarians are gearing up to retire, they never do. I had been on more than a couple of interviews and still nothing. One day while perusing the internet I saw one of those ads that just pop up it said:

Are you teeming with a plethora of potential? Do you get along with all sorts of people and personalities? Are you patient as well as good at teaching computer skill? If these all pertain to you then apply today to the Thaddeus Molehill Learning Library.

After so much failure I thought, hey why not try this out. After I sent my application in things started to get interesting fast…

Getting to the Interview:

I received a very fancy letter (it was actually closed with a wax seal.) After asking myself what this was all about because who heard of wax seals being used on anything anymore? I would soon come to learn that the Thaddeus Molehill Library was a myriad of very old school along with the new technology. When I got to the library I was greeted at the front desk by a rather short man with a prodigious beard.

It turns out that the guy’s name is Neil and he’s a Special Projects Library Assistant. He tells me to wait right there and the committee will be ready to meet with me shortly. Then five minutes later this chanting starts and a door down the hall just pops open. As I walk towards the door I think to myself, “What exactly did I apply for?”

The Interview:

When I walked in the room, there was a large table with five rather unique souls sitting around it. The first was a man in a full suit of armor, the second was a woman who seemed to be actually glowing a bit, the third was a very short man with a tremendously full beard, the fourth was a lady who seemed to be covered in a variety of flowers, and last but not least was a large man who I swear seemed to be made out of stone.

For a second I thought maybe I’d eaten a bad sandwich or something but then the stone guy stood up and introduced himself as the Director of the Library, Gregory Goyle. I am apparently very good at keeping a poker face or I went into a kind of trance because I started answering all their questions without batting an eye.

First Day of Work:

Today I figured out that to clock in I have to actually punch the time clock… Apparently this place loves being literal. I walked in the door and saw a gold clock actually go running by and then the Director yells, “Don’t let Kronos get away, you have to punch him!” I caught it and lightly punched it only to hear an automated voice say, “Now Clocked In.”

After that going to my desk seemed perfectly normal, then the first patron of the day walked in… Everything seemed normal when he went to the study table. A couple of minutes later though I heard a tea kettle whistle and noticed that a whole formal tea had appeared on the table and my coworkers were nowhere to be seen.

This is how I was introduced to Mr. Haber, a problem patron that many on staff don't like to deal with. I on the other hand thought he was very charming if not a bit odd. He started quizzing me on types of tea and then I helped him find a nice website where he could order all the tea his heart desired. After he left I turned around and saw everybody staring at me, then one of my fellow assistants said, "Wow, the new hire has skills."

Lost and Found:

Today a girl came to pick up her red hoodie from our lost and found. Then things got a little weird. I turned around to pick it up and the box was gone then when I turned again I saw just the sleeve sticking out so I pulled and then I heard a growling sound. After dropping it, out from under the desk bounds what looks like a small wolf holding the hoodie. After screaming the girl just looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about Wolfy he just wants to play.”

Special Program for Clowns:

The things I didn’t know before joining this very special library are vast but today was something special. I learned that there are more clown types than I thought possible and probably gathered up a plethora of nightmare fuel while I was at it.

I was put in charge of this program because I'm new and everyone else doesn't deal so well with these patrons.  The goal is to train Clowns, not clowns mind you but Clowns with a capital C. Believe me, there are no humans under these Clown’s makeup. The most positive outcome of the day was convincing many of them not to sharpen their teeth.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Review - To All the Boys I've Loved Before

5 out of 5 gnomes

This is one of those books that I’ve of course heard about and even bought on kindle but never got around to reading. Then I watched the movie version on Netflix and it was so freaking good/adorable. Both the movie and the book may lead to excessive smiling and actually laughing out loud-itis.

The family, concept, and the whole plot is just so well done. You think that you know where the plot is going but there are a heck of a lot of surprises in there too. 

I adore how close the family is. The sisterly relationship felt really authentic. You know the whole love them more than anything but still can get exceedingly mad at them.

Book Josh is a lot skeevier than movie Josh, at least in my opinion.

The movie and the book are just about equal in awesomeness and now I can’t wait to read the rest of the series and hopefully see more movies in the future.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review - Like Never and Always

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre

* Received from the author for review.

4 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

This is the kind of book that slowly creeps up on you and before you know it, you can't put it down. Part tragedy part maybe ghost part mystery part let's say complicated romance equals a book that will have you rushing to see what happens.

After a car wreck Liv wakes up in the wrong body so you'll definitely wonder what's going on right away.

There's plenty of surprises and suspense as Liv tries to navigate her new world. Her best friend Morgan had some very scary secrets and now she has to deal with the fallout.

The voice and complicated relationships including friendships are really well done. Go in expecting a bucketful of emotions and surprises and you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What's Your Next Read?

Here's my next read:

Received from the author for review and it looks like it’ll be a really interesting book.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Review/My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Kill the Farm Boy

Kill the Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell) by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

5 out of 5 gnomes

So chock full of punny goodness and funny wordplay. I for one was snort laughing my way through a good portion of this book. Plus now I'm contemplating how awesome bread/cracker based magic powers would be.

Before you know it you'll both be laughing at yet actually caring about all these characters. Toby especially really grew on me. All these characters have some great shining moments in the stories and a lot of funny ones too. Then there's Gustave, I never thought I would be so invested in the antics of a goat.

The chosen one of this story is very entertaining and they meet a heck of a motley crew along the way.

This story is full of surprises and multiple points of view. You'll find yourself questing for knowledge right along with this party trying to figure out what could happen next.

This funny punny book will have you looking at fantasy and all its usual tropes in a new way.

My Favorite Quotes/Lines:


“Hope it ain’t chickens,” she said. “Never trust ’em, what with their poky beaks. And their buttfruit. I tell you, sire, it’s unnatural, eggs is.”

“The healing potion, a cheap brand called NyeQuell, tasted of licorice and unconsciousness, but Fia had to stay awake.”

“…none of them had ever beheld the magical elven Morningwood before, home to the proudest stands of timber anywhere.”

“Taming the challenges of stately Morningwood would no doubt require two ready hands.”

“Pfauggh! Bran, and it’s dry. What’s the point of Morningwood if it can’t even make a muffin moist?”

“I’d rather see the gentle slopes of the Honeymelon Hills,” Argabella confessed. “All these towers and trees…Well, they do insist upon themselves, don’t they?”

“So, how was everyone’s night?” he asked, supposing that if he was going to be uncomfortable, they should very well do the polite thing and join him.”

“Unlike wizards, who boasted of the height and sturdiness of their towers, witches prided themselves on exhibiting only the perkiest cones.”

“He was simply one of the most dangerous creatures in the world: a person of small talent and large purse who was thoroughly certain that he deserved more.”

“He, too, pronounced it “deh-mez-nee,” but Fia knew that those who learned from books frequently mispronounced words that weren’t spoken often. She herself had thought picturesque was pronounced “picture-squee” until she was sixteen.”

“Sorry,” she said. “I’ll try to keep it down. Marmosets are tragically lactose-intolerant, and I missed the mouthfeel of a nice Styffy.”

“Magic is powerful. You can’t just go around eating everything that sparkles!”

“Perhaps that was the way of people: they just needed to matter.” 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review and My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Heroine's Journey

Heroine’s Journey by Sarah Kuhn

4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

Evie, Aveda, Bea and associates make for a truly awesome team.  I really adore this series and the way all the relationships have evolved so far.

There's a little bit of a time jump in this one (I don't remember how old Bea was in the last book and Scott and Aveda are already married (something I hope we see a short story of or something someday.))

Bea's character is definitely a lot messier than Evie or Aveda but that's also what I love about her. She makes bad decisions sure but if you really think about it though who wouldn't make some of these choices. She has quite the heroine's journey as the title suggests.

All the relationships are done really well. The familial ones are great especially that sister bond where one second you hate their guts but you would still do anything for them.

Bea's romantic relationship was a lot of fun too and very steamy. Especially a certain shower scene.

The porcelain unicorn scene as depicted on the cover and Pancake the one eyed dog are more awesome additions to this story.

The story is full of surprises and great super heroics. Plus the end of the story hints at an interesting future too. I was thrilled to learn this wasn't the last book in the series and that there will more to look forward to.

P.S. now I really do want to read the books that Bea and Leah described especially the dragon one and the wereporcupine books.

My Favorite Quotes/Lines:

“Do not insult the wereporcupine shifters, you condescending, misogynist, genre-snob garbage can.”

“…nothing says pizzazz like a shit-ton of glitter.”

"Other times, I felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of dysfunctional weirdos who couldn’t figure out their own lives but had no problem telling me how to live mine."

“But let the record show I firmly believe that the most obvious route is not always the correct route.”

“I feel like we’re having a moderately tense silence here. Are we having a moderately tense silence? This is a social cue I should be picking up on, yes?” Without waiting for a response, she rose from the table and flipped her ponytail over her shoulder. “I’ll leave you two alone,” she said. “Social cue understood.”

“Nate’s the weak link!” I called out after her as she headed for the door. “Total not-so-secret softie.”

“I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be. But I do know this. I choose joy. I choose love. I choose hope. And I can be anything I want.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review and My Favorite Quotes/Lines - A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

5 out of 5 gnomes

First Impression After Reading = What a Weird and Wonderful Book.

Wow, this book was fantastic, it's one of those books I really didn't want to end. The whole tone of the book is just so well done.
Esther and Jonah have some crazy chemistry even though they don't really have the best first meeting.
I adore the whole facing your fears aspect of it all and how fear has had so a drastic effect on everybody in her family. Plus the way she gets over some of these fears is pretty entertaining.
I love the more fantastical parts of the story too. Like questioning whether the curse is real or not and whether her grandfather really knows Death.
Then there's the ending which gives you a real WTF moment of maybe everything was true. Story really makes you think about cherishing what you have.

My Favorite Quotes/Lines

“The boy was sobbing quietly, so Esther did what you’re supposed to do when a complete stranger is showing too much emotion in your presence—she ignored him completely.”

“Esther generally avoided talking to people if it wasn’t completely necessary; she sometimes avoided people even when it was completely necessary.”

“You sneaky son of a bitch,” she muttered when she opened it.”

“Why is it I always end up wet when you’re around?”

“If something was once true but now wasn’t, was it ever true?”

“What other beautiful things had fear been hiding from her? What else had the curse long kept her from discovering?”

“Depression was a real sneaky asshole.”

“Little did humans understand that Death, too, was surprised by death sometimes.”

“…then I take them to my favorite place, and then I whip out my secret weapon.” “I sincerely hope the secret weapon is not your genitals.”

“All along she thought he thought he was saving her, but she could see it now; they had both, each of them, been saving little bits of each other.”

“Esther was always surprised by how easy Jonah was able to open locked things; she had a feeling he had the same knack with locked people.”

“This—apparently—is my sense of fashion.” “Good Lord.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mini Review - Say You'll Remember Me

Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

4 out of 5 gnomes

Once again McGarry excels at writing about families and how friends can be like family too. Along with plenty of emotions and a metric tonnage of drama.

Politics aplenty in this book and a view of how the justice system does/doesn't work.

Drix and Elle have some concrete chemistry but of course plenty of problems to deal with too. Their personalities and how their relationship develops will really draw you into the story.

The story is great and will have you rooting for them to succeed. It is really intense at times but you won't want to stop reading.

The only downside that took it down about a star is that it includes a particular trope that I loathe/hate/can't stand.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review and My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Vicious

 Vicious by V.E. Schwab

5 out of 5 gnomes

Truth be told I tried to read this book when it first came out but couldn't get into it. After seeing there was going to be a sequel, I thought hey, why not try it again.

I am very happy I went back to it. This book is intense yet surprising at the same time. There are so many shades of gray with these characters but that’s what makes it so very intriguing.

The structure takes some getting used to as it jumps back and forth in the time line. Once you do though you see that each chapter leads seamlessly into the next.

Like a certain song from the musical Hamilton a lot in the story could be described best by the line, "who lives, who dies, who tells your story." Perspective is key, one character especially believes he's a hero but what he’s doing and why is eminently more fanatical/terrorist-like than good. All the points of view though help fill in the many pieces of why these characters feel/act this way. 

Speaking of great points of view, I really adore Sydney and Mitch. Both of their personalities mixed with Victor’s make for a very interesting combo of characters.

Superhero aka ExtraOrdinary powers plus a lot of near death and actual death takes the reader on a hell of a ride. This tale of revenge will have you reading fast to see how everything ends.

My Favorite Quotes/Lines:

“That may be.” His fingers curled around the shovel. “But half the fun is trying.”

“ExtraOrdinary. The word that started—ruined, changed—everything.”

“Victor didn’t know what to say, so he said the most useless word in the world. “Sorry.”

“The body doesn’t survive on thoughts.”

“Victor Vale was not a fucking sidekick.”

“Victor surprised himself by telling her the truth.”

“Because you don’t think I’m a bad person,” he said. “And I don’t want to prove you wrong.”

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” “I get the feeling that’s not what Thomas Jefferson meant,” muttered Mitch.”

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human. The difference between Victor and Eli, he suspected, wasn’t their opinion on EOs. It was their reaction to them.”

“And whoever Victor Vale was, whatever he was, and whatever he was up to, the only thing Mitch knew was that he did not want to be in his way.”

“When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”

“But you’ll have to indulge me. I’ve waited so long to try.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Review - The Dangerous Art of Blending In

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

5 out of 5 gnomes

An Important/Intense Story

I could not put this book down. This story will tear at your heart but leave you with a lot of hope at the ending.

Evan has a lot to go through in this book. The abuse he suffers is terrifying and will have you worrying about the character.

Seeing this trauma just makes you imagine how often this happens in the real world too.

Evan figuring out who he can trust is vital to the story. The relationships, even the bad ones are all done extremely well.

Best Part: Now that, that was quite a coming out scene.

Seeing Evan be true to himself and the end of the book makes you imagine a very bright future.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review and My Favorite Quotes/Lines - The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

5 out of 5 gnomes

Oh, this series makes me laugh, cry and pretty much every feeling in between.

It feels both dark yet light at the same time. I know there has been death in this series and Riordan's books before but this book really hurts. I think it hurts so much because it will make you feel like just maybe none of the characters are safe.

Yet the humor and heart is still there too. I continue to feel that this series will forever alter the characters from previous series and this series too.

It feels like there's no way this ends well/happily for them but I'm continually surprised in each book. You'll find yourself just caring so much about these characters and not just the main characters, all of the characters. 

The characters and their quest will draw you right into the story.

Once again I adore this series and can't wait to see what happens next.

My Favorite Quotes/Lines

“Pretty sure?” Meg asked. “Like last time, when we walked into a bathroom and surprised a Cyclops on the toilet?”

“May the gods defend me from heroes with duct tape. And heroes always seem to have duct tape.”

“TRY THE FRAGGLE ROCK!” I yelled. “Fragaria,” Meg corrected. “WHATEVER!”

“Don’t think about it, I told myself. Dreams aren’t necessarily true. No, I answered myself. Only the bad ones. Like those.”

"That could be my life motto, I thought: He takes a lot of damage."

"The longer I was mortal, the more affected I was by even the smallest loss. I hated being mortal."

I tried not to weep or wet my pants. I succeeded at one of those. I’ll let you decide which.

"With the goddess of plants, insignificant-looking things could be very significant."

“The night is young,” she said. “We could all stab him together.”

"I’d never had a scar before. I wished I could see it as a badge of honor. Instead, I feared that now, whenever I looked down, I would remember the worst night of my life."

"I wondered, not for the first time, why we Greek deities had never created a god of family therapy. We certainly could have used one. Or perhaps we had one before I was born, and she quit. Or Kronos swallowed her whole."

"I found myself crying. It was ridiculous. Gods don’t cry."

"I blinked. “Is that an order?” “It’s a promise.”

"Perhaps this quest had ended on a suspended fourth chord. We still had much to do."

"I would be Apollo. I would remember."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review/My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Puddin'

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

* Page 349 aka where I actually wrote a note on my kindle yelling at a character:
                           “YOU ARE BEING RIDICULOUS!!!”

I love a lot of the quotes/lines from this book but not how the story fits together a lot of the time. I mean I do love the characters but the story just felt off at times.

The initial conflict is good but Millie herself is way way too forgiving about the incident that brings her and Callie together.  I don't know, it just kind of felt like especially at the end that there should have been more. I would have like to see more of both Millie and Callie's projects/plans. 

The bright spot in the whole story was the reinforcing of friendships and some new friendships. There's also one very cute relationship that starts up that could have been delved into/given even more space in the story that I really loved.

The whole third act could have been longer or maybe moved to the middle so everything had room to breathe/go more in depth. The dual point of view is done well. I just cared a lot more about one character than the other.

My Favorite Quotes/Lines:

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

“Maybe it’s different for everybody, but people like my grandparents? Their opinion of the world is shaped by the person who delivers their news. That’s real responsibility, and I don’t take that lightly.”

“Like my mama says, if it smells like bullshit, it probably is.”

"I try not to cringe. Dog-earing a book feels like a violation of some sacred unspoken rule."

"He chuckles. “Prepare for the life you want, mija, not the one you have, right?”

“Do something respectable,” she says. “Earn respect. Simple.”

“Well, I hear these things are very moisturizing,” I say. “And better to look like a serial killer than actually be one, right?”

“Y’all need to get on the damn internet or something. Amanda is asexual. Aren’t you, Amanda?”

“But I don’t do it to become some after-picture version of myself. I do it ’cause it makes me feel good. You know that, right?”

"If somehow each person in the world is only allotted a certain amount of good luck in life, I’m scared I’ve spent all of mine tonight."

“I don’t say things to make people feel good. I say them because they’re true.”

“Sometimes being fat and finding clothing is like trying to ice-skate in the desert.”

“No,” I say, my voice dead serious. “Not everyone wants to change the world.”

“I look at the five of them. These girls were never the friends I asked for, but they’re definitely the friends I needed.”

“And why is everyone always trying to take money away from libraries? Aren’t books sort of the reason we’re even in school at all?”

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Review/My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

5/5 gnomes

This book made me fall in love with Becky Albertalli's writing all over again. After reading all the books in the Simon universe it's great seeing how everything and everyone fits together.

I'm really happy that Leah got her own book and was happily surprised to see how everything ended up. Seeing Leah's point of view is great and explains a lot of what she was feeling in the first book.

Really adore the humor and love in this book. It's full of all the feelings pretty much. It gives you a look at characters that you know already and adds more depth to them all.

Overall the relationships and characters are so well done that you'll just fall right into the story and want these characters to all be happy.
My Favorite Quotes/Lines: and trust me this book is filled with a tonnage of great quotes.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

“I’m basically your resident fat Slytherin Rory Gilmore.”

"And I have no idea if she’s kidding."

"So, now I’m wondering how hard you can side-eye someone before your eyes stick that way. Permanent side-eye. It’ll look great with my resting bitch face."

“Am I the worst person?” “Well, no,” says Simon. “That would be Voldemort.”

“Oh my God, of course!” She hugs me, and it’s like hugging a flower. It’s like that with skinny people. I’m always terrified I’ll crush them."

"Maybe that makes me a creepy little vampire, but I can’t help it."

"And I’m the worst kind of Slytherin. I’m the kind who’s so stupidly in love with a Gryffindor, she can’t even function. I’m the Draco from some shitty Drarry fic that the author abandoned after four chapters."

“We love cussing. But we say the fucking g. I don’t want to hear that apostrophe, Mom.

“Wait, let me try again.” I clear my throat. “I guess, exclamation point.”

“Well,” she says, “it appears that Garrett made our prom dinner reservations at the American Girl Bistro.”

“I think you can rent dolls,” Bram points out. “For the meal.” “I’m renting a doll,” says Simon. “Guys, I’m so fucking sorry.” Garrett covers his face."

“You keep running away.” “You keep finding me.”

“That’s right,” Abby says. “We went above and beyond for you, Simon.” “So, you’re welcome,” I add. “I’m shook,” Simon says, and Bram pats him on the arm.”