Gross Anatomy by Mara Altman

Title: Gross Anatomy

Author: Mara Altman

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The timely, funny and deeply relatable essay collection that celebrates the wonder of the human body and introduces Mara Altman as the love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach.

Mara Altman’s volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn’t have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn’t it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it’s like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.

Divided into two sections, “The Top Half” and “The Bottom Half,” with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman’s book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe—as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits.

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

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Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

Title: Then She Vanishes

Author: Claire Douglas

Pub Date: June 2019

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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THE ONLY THING MORE SHOCKING THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST.

Everything changed the night Flora disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared?

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Free to fall

When we first meet North, I was a bit put off by his attitude. He was against the mainstream usage of Lux seemingly without any reason. The usage of Lux was normalized and took over the world, so sarcastic attitude towards it seemed off, and I didn’t like it. He had his chosen lifestyle and Rory had her, and I felt like he was feeling superior to other people who use Lux to make decisions. His overall attitude is condescending, but Rory likes him anyway and a romance quickly flourishes. Too quickly for my liking. Everything is way too intense way to quickly, and the words of love and sacrifice for others cause are declared after only few meetings.

The author also falls into common tropes of wealth girl, who gets into prestigious school because of her wealth, uses makeup, flirts and is a total opposite of our main character, who is not rich and slightly self conscious about her body. However, all this was quickly overshadowed by and amazing intrigue. Rory bit by bit finds out more about her mother’s history and is on her way to find out a disturbing truth behind the app Lux. The story is fascinating and fast paced. I was hooked on the story and it was hard to put down.

The story of society addicted to their devices and being dependent on an app to make any decision in their life is a scary vision and not something that is absolutely unimaginable. We are more and more dependent on the contact access to internet with its unending supply of information and entertainment. It’s only a matter of time before some company attempts to ‘ease’ our life from the burden of making decisions. Hopefully it will not turn out like in the book.

The Beholder by Anna Bright

Title: The Beholder

Author: Anna Bright

Pub Date: June 4th 2019 

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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A lush, sweepingly romantic YA debut perfect for fans of The Selection or Caraval

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.Lush landscapes, dazzling romance, and captivating intrigue mark the first leg of this stunning alternate historical duology with richly drawn characters and unexpected twists at every port.

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Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

Title: Don’t Touch My Hair

Author: Emma Dabiri

Pub Date: May 2nd 2019

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Straightened. Stigmatised. ‘Tamed’. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never ‘just hair’.

This book is about why black hair matters.

Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women’s solidarity and friendship to ‘black people time’, forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.

The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

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The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Title: The Flatshare

Author: Beth O’Leary

Pub Date: April 18th 2019

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
 

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

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Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

Title: Maresi

Series: The Red Abbey Chronicles #1

Author: Maria Turtschaninoff

Pub Date: 2014, English translation: 2017

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Maresi came to the Red Abbey when she was thirteen, in the Hunger Winter. Before then, she had only heard rumours of its existence in secret folk tales. In a world where girls aren’t allowed to learn or do as they please, an island inhabited solely by women sounded like a fantasy. But now Maresi is here, and she knows it is real. She is safe.

Then one day Jai tangled fair hair, clothes stiff with dirt, scars on her back arrives on a ship. She has fled to the island to escape terrible danger and unimaginable cruelty. And the men who hurt her will stop at nothing to find her.

Now the women and girls of the Red Abbey must use all their powers and ancient knowledge to combat the forces that wish to destroy them. And Maresi, haunted by her own nightmares, must confront her very deepest, darkest fears.

A story of friendship and survival, magic and wonder, beauty and terror, Maresi will grip you and hold you spellbound.

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