The Monthly Hufflepuff | Where Did 2017 Go

I think that it was about half-way through November that I realised that I had completely forgotten about my October wrap-up, so I guess I’ll wrap it up along with NovemberΒ πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

πŸ’› Masked by J.D. WrightΒ β˜… – Yikes yikes and yikes. I went into a lot more detail in my review of course, but basically it had potential to be a fun read but instead it had a lot of problematic aspects

πŸ’› Danger! Women Artists at Work by Debra N. Mancoff β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… –Β Really interesting, fun and inspiring read, but I wish it had featured more women of colour and queer ladies. Frida Kahlo is featured, but her sexuality isn’t mentioned, so if you’re unfamiliar with her you wouldn’t know that. Maybe there are more queer artists featured in this, but at some point I got too tired to google every artist to see if she might be queer since until I quit none of them were (or at least it wasn’t known if they were)

πŸ’› Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – I have so much love for this book. It’s such a refreshing read: realistic, a wonderful friendship between a boy and a girl without any romance, a healthy romance that didn’t overtake the plot, family, fun antics… 10/10 would recommend

Me throwing Chasing Eveline at all of you

πŸ’› Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Prince #2Β – uhhh I don’t really remember this issue woops. I love Zodiac Starforce though and I’m definitely enjoying this sequel

πŸ’› Giant Days #31 and #32Β – Have I shouted at you guys to read Giant Days yet because please do. I barely ever laugh out loud while reading comics and Giant Days made me laugh out loud multiple times. It’s about three amazing female college students, their antics and their wonderful friendship.

πŸ’› Hi-Fi Fight Club #2 – woops another issue I don’t remember?? Again, enjoying this one though. It’s about girls working at a record store who have a secret club in which they solve mysteries and kick ass

πŸ’› Ms. Marvel #23 and #24 – LOVED this team up and I love how they’re currently exploring how the past arcs are impacting Kamala. If you aren’t reading Ms. Marvel yet what are you doing

what u doing fam

πŸ’› The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Universe β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β – SO. MUCH. FUN.

πŸ’› The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – For someone who’s been shouting for about four/five (?) years that I love Oscar Wilde I should really read more of his works. Thus I finally picked up The Importance of Being Earnest and I’m so glad I did. It was such a delight

πŸ’› Runaways volumes 1 – 8Β β˜…β˜…β˜… for the first 7 andΒ β˜… for the 8th volume – The first seven volumes were fun and these kids definitely grew on me. The problem I have with this comic is the pace. I felt it was way too rushed and it took so long for the characters to grow on me. They felt pretty flat to me and so did their relationships with each other (something I find the tv show is doing a better job of so far). Don’t even get me started on volume 8 I found it such a mess yikes. I don’t even want to consider it canon, especially with the way they treated Victor

πŸ’› Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – Ahhh such mixed feelings. I knew there was a lot of controversy about this one before going in and I definitely get where people are coming from. I can’t say anything about it without spoiling it though. My mixed feelings aren’t just because of that controversial thing* but also because it felt very insta-lovey and there were times were I got bored, despite that at first I really liked the writing style and the different formats. No scratch that, I’m in LOVE with the different formats. Controversy aside, this book is so artsy. Besides emails it also has really cool illustrations?? I wasn’t expecting that

πŸ’› Emma volume 1 by Kaoru MoriΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – Fun and cute, but nothing special

πŸ’› Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali (reread)Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… –Β For some reason I didn’t love it the first time as much as I loved it the second time around – I don’t know if it was the hype getting to me back then or my mood (sometimes I read/watch something and I feel a bit meh about it, but then the second time around I’m in love?? My brain is weird) or the fact that I wasn’t out yet and still struggling with my own feelings and couldn’t appreciate it as much as I could now. WHO KNOWS. Point is I love this book very much

πŸ’› Swan Song by Charlotte WilsonΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… Β – The way this one handles grief is very powerful and the romance is cute, but it didn’t blow me away

πŸ’› Lumberjanes #43 and #44 – What can I say about Lumberjanes without repeating myself? It’s still very much enjoyable, the magic and weirdness of it never gets old and I love my girls. FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX

πŸ’› Vengeance Road by Erin BowmanΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – Great action scenes, but unfortunately quite a few scenes in-between were a bit boring. Review will be up next week!

πŸ’› Karina’s Silver Shoes by Denise Marques LeitaoΒ β˜… – SO CONFUSING. I DON’T GET IT. AT ALL. If you want a few more details, you can find my review here

πŸ’› America #8 – eh I dunno? I really want to love this comic, and some of the issues so far have been really good, but this issue had a pacing problem which more of the issues have.

πŸ’› Lumberjanes 2017 Special: Faire and SquareΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – The girls and Jen go to a Robin Hood themed fair!! And there’s a pterodactyl!! Also they re-enact a telenovela to cheer up Ripley!! If you love Lumberjanes and haven’t read this special yet I’d definitely recommend it

πŸ’› Lumberjanes 2016 Special: Makin’ The Ghost Of ItΒ β˜…β˜…β˜… – It’s still fun because it’s Lumberjanes but I felt a bit meh about it?

πŸ’› DC Bombshells #56 – #59 – Whyyy am I so slow when it comes to this comic while it’s one of my favourites.

πŸ’› Paintbrush by Hannah BucchinΒ β˜…β˜… – Mixed feelings galore!! This could’ve been a fun, cute read, and in a way it was? But it also wasn’t? Character driven novels are great, except when you don’t like the characters #woops Full review should be up soonish

πŸ’› The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali (reread)Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – Still as cute and fun and wonderful and wholesome as the first time around!! Read my review here

πŸ’› What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly BourneΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… – Just what I needed oh my goodness. THIS WAS SO GOOD. Okay so it made me feel insecure about my writing, but it was also so empowering, inspiring and fun and just ahhh. ALL THE FEELINGS. GOOD FEELINGS. BUT ALSO RAGE BECAUSE SEXISM. Anyway I can’t wait to review this one

Favourites of the month: Chasing Evelyne and What’s a Girl Gotta Do?

πŸ’› Reviews: Β Doctor Who Myths and Legends | Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith | Masked | Chasing Eveline | Swan Song | Karina’s Silver Shoes
πŸ’› Writing: Recipe: How to Make Your Own Writer | When Books Make You Feel Insecure About Your Writing
πŸ’› Travel: London Day 1 and Day 2

Holidays!! Last month of 2018!!* Last full month until I leave for Manchester!!

Can you tell I’m freaking out a bit!!**

I mean obviously I’m excited but ahhh I’m also panicking. I don’t know yet how much I’ll blog. Like I said in my last weekly wrap up, I hit a bit of a blogging slump last week. This week I’m actually doing fine? So who knows what will happen. The most important thing is that I’m enjoying myselfΒ πŸ™†πŸ»

* Where did 2017 go?? What happened to it?? Why is time going so fast??
** A bit?? A bit?? Try a lot

How has your month been? Are you freaking out over 2017 almost being over? Any exciting plans for the holidays, and for 2018? What was your favourite book of the month? Let me know in the comments!

Masked // Wasted Potential, Abusive Relationships, White Superhero Named G*psy and More

Author: J.D. Wright
Genre: Superheroes | It’s advertised as YA, but this is NOT for a younger YA audience
Series: Superheroes UnderCover #1
GoodreadsΒ rating: 3.62
My rating: Β β˜…

 

Vada’s To-Do List:

– Turn 18 (check!)
– Register super name
– Order supersuit
– Attend superhero indoctrination
– Graduate high school
– Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the helpβ€”and hindranceβ€”of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy…DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Because this is going to be a long one

Since I love superheroes, I was really looking forward to this one. The preface only made me more excited, since the author wrote that since there aren’t that many superhero books, ‘especially with female readers in mind’, she decided to write one.

When the story starts it immediately gives us a look at Vada and her superhero family (who I absolutely love by the way), celebrating Vada’s 18th birthday, which is also the day she can officially become a superhero. Soon we meet her best friends Henley and James, the latter also having superpowers but wanting to be an agent, specifically Vada’s, instead. Things were looking up and I was definitely enjoying it, until one of the villains showed up and made a very crude comment that I didn’t see coming at all. While Vada is 18, the tone of the book still felt pretty young to me. NotΒ that young, but not mature/old enough for me to expect language like that. Crude language like that is found multiple times in the book, and there are also graphic sexual scenes (at some point there’s even a straight up sex scene?? Which really weirded me out because minus these sort of scenes it really read like a YA book – which it’s also advertised as)

I’m not saying that the more mature content in general ruined this book for me. Though the way it was written is not my taste at all (too graphic) and I definitely don’t want to read an actual sex scene. I could’ve done without it, but if these scenes didn’t come out of nowhere, fitted the tone of the book and weren’t about an abusive couple maybe it wouldn’t have ruined the book for me this much.

This abusive couple, two villains, were pretty much my biggest problem with this book and kept me from really enjoying this. From the moment these two meet, I felt very uncomfortable.

[Spoiler] couldn’t stop the shiver she felt under [spoiler]’s intense gaze. When he swept his eyes over her, he seemed to almost be…Β absorbing her. Every hair on her body stood at attention. On one hand, she felt violated by his gaze and wanted to slap him for it. On the other hand, she secretly enjoyed the attention.

This girl is having a hard time at home and is constantly lashing out, trying to see how far she could get with her parents. She also has an unrequited crush on someone who doesn’t even know she exists. What I got from this is that she really wants someone to pay attention to her and love her. The guy she falls for though? Not the right person. He doesn’t have a good influence on her, is predatory, manipulative, possessive, objectifies her and it’s pretty clear that she’s afraid of him:

Whatever the reason, she wouldn’t disobey him. He was gentle with her most of the time, but if she ignored his message, she would surely pay for it later when they were alone.

YIKES. But it gets worse!

[Spoiler] favoured spanking, and she’d ended many nights with rosy red ass cheeks. She wouldn’t give him a reason to use the spankings as a punishment.

Look, I’m not saying the author is condoning or even romanticising their relationship. But it’s also never really pointed out that it’s not a healthy relationship and they’re still together by the end of the book. Of course they’re villains, so maybe the author thinks it’s obvious that this isn’t a good relationship, but look at how many people ship Harley Quinn and the Joker and think that’s #goals. I also considered that maybe this relationshop is a nod to that one, as there are several other DC Comics references, but that doesn’t make the way this relationship is written as okay.

That being said, the girl herself is pretty problematic too. She has the power to make people do what she wants:

”I can make them say things, give me things, do things for me… do thingsΒ toΒ me…” She licked her lips and thought about the young man from next door and how he had bent to her will just two nights ago.”

Of course, she is a villain, but this is rape??

Besides these two villains, I also had some other problems with this book. Like James slutshaming Henley for the way she was dressed. While the friendship between James and Vada was really refreshing and fun to read, that slutshaming comment (and the fact that his first design for her supersuit was really sexual?? And when she tells him she won’t wear that, he says ‘it was worth a try’??) kept me from enjoying it.

Then there were the other superheroes besides Vada and her family. Honestly I enjoyed this book most when it was written from either Vada or Orion’s POV. Not that that says much. To be honest I think it mostly had to do with my relief of not having to read about the villains. Anyway, the other superheroes! One of them is a white girl who’s described like this:

Majestic took a brief moment to study the girl next to her, who was wearing a layered dress and strappy gladiator-type sandals. The entire ensemble started with a tan ruffled top, then changed to dark purple, lightening as it went down. The bottom layer was gold. Bells hung from her skirts and jewelry dangled on both arms and ears. The final touch, in lieu of a mask, she wore a sheer purple half-veil that somewhat masked the bottom half of her face, from the nose down.

Her name?

*whispers* Merlin

Just kidding. Just got serious Merlin opening vibes. All kidding aside, her name is G*psy

That’s a slur that you shouldn’t use. It pains me every time they use it on The Flash (I know that’s her name in the comics, but use her real name! Give her a different superhero name! I don’t care! Just don’t call her that) and it definitely pains me in this book, especially when it’s a white girl dressed like that who decided to call herself G*psy. Also her superpower is that she’s a psychic because of course.

I have some other problems as well, but I decided to write them down as a list because #yaylists!

πŸ’›Β Can authors please stop writing about people purring unless they’re part cat or something
πŸ’›Β SERIOUSLY HOW DO PEOPLE PURR WHAT DOES THAT SOUND LIKE SOMEONE DEMONSTRATE IT FOR ME I’VE BEEN QUESTIONING THIS SINCE SARAH J. MAAS
πŸ’›Β Vada’s debut as a superhero is constantly called a debut, except this one time when it’s called a coming-out party?? Dude?? No??
πŸ’›Β Both main superheroes are white, while their agents aren’t. In fact, said agents are the only ones in the book who aren’t white
πŸ’›Β No YA book can do without your stereotypical mean girl of course *eye roll*
πŸ’›Β ‘If she never had to hear [her mother] moan over her father’s multiple infidelities again, it would be too soon. She’d chosen to marry the bastard, after all. Whatever she reaped was what she sowed.’ Because let’s blame the victim here!
πŸ’›Β ‘Turning happened when a super stayed in suit for too long and essentially became the alter identity. They lost touch with who they had been before and usually never found it again. Supers who turned were destined to stay that way forever. It usually happened to villains more than heroes, but it did happen to both. It was what Vada had been afraid had happened to [spoiler].’ Gurl she raped someone pretty much at the beginning of her career as a villain. Also I thought this explanation was a bit… cheap? And stupid? It’s not like you’re a completely different person when you’re in your suit. It’s like how we all act differently in different environments. I’m not the same person with my friends when I’m with my grandfather. I always saw the dual identity of superheroes the same way.
πŸ’›Β The murders could’ve been an interesting mystery if the story had only been told from Vada and Orion’s POV, and not also from someone who knew what was going on. Bye bye murder mystery

But you know what the worst part of this book is? IT HAD SO MUCH POTENTIAL. It could’ve been such a fun read! Vada’s superhero family is so much fun and I loved their scenes together. The siblings had pillow fights, supported each other, teased each other. The parents were actually involved, cared about their kids, protected them, made sensible decisions and were just good eggs. They had inside jokes!! There was female friendship and if James hadn’t made comments like that their friendship would’ve been great to read about. Also superheroes!! Superheroes are fun. But the graphic sexual scenes, the focus on such an abusive couple and having to read from their pov, the inclusion of a white superhero named G*psy, and just so much more, really kept me from enjoying this book.

What really rubbed me the wrong way is, that the author says she wrote this because there aren’t that many superhero books with girls in mind. This is such a harmful book for girls. If you want superhero books/comics for girls, read Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Squirrel Girl or Not Your Sidekick (which I haven’t read yet but I’ve heard good things so I’m positive I can recommend this). I appreciate the thought, but the execution? Not so much.

Have you read Masked? What did you think? Any superhero books that you would recommend to me? (Besides Heroine Complex which I absolutely love and Not Your Sidekick which I need to get my hands on asap). Let me know in the comments!Β