New Release: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

I won this ARC from BookishFirst (Publisher: Saga Press) in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: July 16, 2019
Authors: Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
My BookishFirst Rating: 4/5

My BookishFirst Review:

Although I will admit this universe and timeline were a bit challenging for me to follow, I did find that I really enjoyed the way that the way the characters Red and Blue encountered each other in every instance. It was an interesting back-and-forth interaction between the two characters as they weaved through different timelines, leaving notes and letters for each other with feelings that eventually grew into love. The focus in this was less on the places that they went to, but more on the characters themselves that intertwined themselves into these different times. I found that as I kept reading, I looked forward to the setup of the scenario and wondered how they would work against each other to thwart those plans.

I enjoyed the mixture of light-hearted writing that pokes fun at various cultural items, while the serious parts kept me going to see what was going to happen next. I have just some big outstanding questions, and I wish that there was some kind of writing on this, but was how the timelines were set up. Are there just a bazillion of different timelines all existing at the same time? Are there ones off-limits to one side or the other? What would stop one side from going all the way to the beginning to mess everything up upstream? Although I had these questions (and would enjoy clarification on them!), I put them aside and just went with the story to enjoy what would happen to Red and Blue.

What I liked:

  • I enjoyed the read: it was poetic, yet not too much so that you drown in words upon words about the environment. The amount of information included by the authors set the scene and let the reader know what either Red or Blue looked like in that section. It wasn’t super wordy, and was straight to the point.
  • There was some really funny light-hearted poking throughout the novel. One of the chapters really got me — I don’t want to spoil it, but once you read it, you probably would get a kick out of it too. šŸ™‚ It’s pretty early on.
  • The characters developed! What?! I loved seeing how the characters changed over the chapters as they encountered each other over and over again.
  • The length of each ‘chapter’ was great. I liked how quick the authors were to establish the scene and the situation, then get to what we’re really after — the letters. Gimme gimme gimme!
  • I liked how the scenes were so radically different from each other. There was wilderness, prehistoric, cyberpunk, steampunk, etc… it was a lot of variety and I didn’t feel bored by the situations. I loved the mesh of sci-fi with everything else.

What I didn’t like:

  • It might be an issue on my part, but the time traveling portion really left me with a lot of questions that weren’t answered. They offered some breadcrumbs towards the end, but didn’t really offer enough on that part! I wish they offered some more information exactly on the time travel portion, even though I know the focus is on the character and relationship building.
  • I wish there was a little more after the ending — I felt like another chapter would’ve really hit the spot! Not going to spoil the ending, but just as a reader I wanted just a tiny bit more.

Who should read this?

I think both a teen and adult reader who enjoys sci-fi would take a liking to this read. You have to be a little forgiving as the focus is on the character building and not the world building, so if this is something that you can’t get past, it might not be the right read for you.

It’s also a quick read (I burned through it in a few hours over a day). So great for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time to enjoy a book!

Book Review Round-Up: June 9

OK, so I’ve had a bit of extra time to read more books lately (it helps when you read instead of browse social media). I have a few book reviews to post this week, so let’s get started!

As a note, all links posted are to each book’s Amazon page for order/pre-order.

Anxiety Management for Kids on the Autism Spectrum
by Christopher Lynch
Releases July 1, 2019

Rating: 5/5

I have quite a bit of experience around anxiety and the causes around anxiety, but wanted to get a deeper understanding of the differences for kids with autism. I have absolutely no background on autism, so this is totally new for me. This book was quite eyeopening: it clearly spelled out different circumstances where a child may break down, and goes into the possible reasons behind why it might’ve happened although it might’ve looked like it came on from nowhere. The author goes into a lot of the common reasons of anxiety and breakdowns for these kids, which makes a lot of sense with the background knowledge he supplies throughout the book.

I found this to be extremely educational. Even for a person with little to no background knowledge on the subject, I could easily understand what was being discussed. This could possibly be of use to other populations of kids who also have issues with anxiety, such as kids with ADHD or overly sensitive children, that can be easily overwhelmed. As a layperson, it also humanizes some of what we see in public when we see children who break down, and it isn’t always something that the parent can control.

Everything Below the Waist: Why health care needs a feminist revolution
by Jennifer Block
Releases July 16, 2019

Rating: 5/5

Holy cannoli! This book is chock full of information and so many bits of historical information around why healthcare is the way it is for women today. I really didn’t expect that when I requested this book, and I’m pleasantly surprised by that.

I have a public health background and did an internship at Planned Parenthood as a student, so these issues are near and dear to me. Jennifer Block did a great job at processing all the information and history around topics like birth control, abortion, and other women’s health issues like how women have typically not been valued in the health care arena. I actually learned a lot of new information, which was intriguing to me and makes me think about the current abortion restrictions; will we possibly see some of these brown bags come back in states that have incredibly restrictive abortion laws? (If you don’t know what this is about, get the book, because that really made an impact on me!)

This is a VERY information dense book. It may take some time to read, but it is a GOOD read for women to understand the historical reasons for the current state of women’s healthcare in the United States.

Drawing: Trees with William F. Powell
by William F. Powell
Released May 7, 2019

Rating: 5/5

I like to draw webcomics, yet I hate drawing scenery. This makes for boring comics.

I requested this book on NetGalley to see if I could really get some tips and tricks on drawing trees, and the artist definitely produced some good ways to handle drawing different types of trees and branches. This might be geared towards the physical artist with a pencil, but someone who is digitally learning how to draw can also utilize the steps in this book to create better looking scenes.

Thanks for reading this week’s round-up! I’m always looking for more books to read, so if you think something might be down my alley, just send me the name and I’ll take a look. šŸ™‚