Saturday Smalls — March 30th, 2019

March 30, 2019

This week’s mini review round-up includes 2 novels & 2 graphic novels!

PERfunctory AfFECTION by Kim Harrison

AUTHOR: Kim Harrison
GENRE: Horror/Paranormal

Meg wants a normal life, if she could just overcome the debilitating anxiety caused by the car accident that scarred her boyfriend, Austin. Meg pushes outside her comfort zone to befriend Haley, who is everything Meg wants to be: charismatic, confident, and perfect. When Austin expresses worry that Haley is changing Meg too fast, Meg kicks him out of her life. Or she tries.


I can’t tell if Kim Harrison’s writing style isn’t for me or if this was just the worst possible introduction to her work, because so many of my friends LOVE her, but this writing style threw me off from literally the very first page and never got any better. I skimmed through the first few chapters and was just disliking every moment of it. Normally, since it was an ARC, I’d try to power through and only DNF after a good 1/4 of the book or more was over, but I’ve been in and out of a slump lately and I’m not willing to risk slumping again for this. 🙁

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

In Another Life by C.C. Hunter

TITLE: In Another Life
AUTHOR: C.C. Hunter
GENRE: Contemporary

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they’re kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.



I can’t do it. This is awful. The writing needs serious work, the plot is unrealistic and overly melodramatic, but most of it, these characters ARE TERRIBLE. In the first 5% of the book, there were four mentions of the main character’s breasts, and neither she nor the love interest seem to be capable of going more than a page without referring to how “hot” everyone thinks Chloe is. She’s tall and skinny-but-curvy(!) and beautiful with her “great B cup breasts”, WE GET IT. Oh my god, I don’t remember the last time I cringed this much in such a short span of time.

On top of the general all-consuming obnoxiousness, Chloe is an asshole. I get that life is hard for her, but that gives her no excuse to slut-shame other women’s outfit choices or to act like her dad’s new girlfriend is the only one worthy of blame (when the woman is evidently barely legal, and her dad is a middle-aged man — might this not be a great time to point out how predatory this has the potential to be, instead of just blaming it all on “that whore bitch” girlfriend?). I just can’t do this. This is awful and I will probably never try another book by this author because I literally wanted to throw my kindle across the room a few times over how annoyed I was.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

TITLE: In Real Life
AUTHOR: Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
GENRE: Sci-fi

Anda loves the MMo Coarsegold Online, but things become complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.


If you’re a gamer, you definitely have to check out In Real Life, but I think it would be a great read for people with no gaming experience, too! While it does take place partially within the game, and involves a lot of MMORPG action, there’s not a lot of “insider” jargon to ruin the experience for someone who hasn’t played a game like ‘Coarsegold Online’ before. At its core, it’s more of a story about learning to recognize our privileges and empathize with people who have it worse off than us, as well as recognizing bullying and how to stand up and fight it.

There’s also some lovely diverse rep in this graphic novel, with a fat protagonist and some great POC rep scattered throughout. I highly recommend giving In Real Life a try if you enjoy contemporary graphic novels or stories about gamers and video games!


Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill

TITLE: Princess Princess Ever After
AUTHOR: Katie O’Neill
GENRE: Fantasy

When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They’ll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all.


That was absolutely adorable. I love Katie O’Neill’s stories and artwork so much, and this one is no exception. I love that she’s creating these beautiful stories full of diverse characters (queer girls, QPOC characters, fat rep, and more) that readers of any age can fall in love with, and I have to say I especially loved Captain Amira and little Oliver. ♥



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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

Leave a comment
    1. In another life sounds horrendous. I’m sorry you had to go through that :(( I’ve heard of Katie o’ neill because of her book, the tea dragon society! I might have to try her works some time :-))

    1. I dno’t game, but I’m still interested in ‘In real life’ 🙂 Also princess princess ever after looks cute!

    1. I took out Princess Princess Ever After from the library after loving The Tea Dragon Society last month! I can’t wait to read it!
      And In Another Life sounds terrible! Which is a shame because the premise sounded so good. But I’m absolutely not interested anymore!

      1. Yaaaay, I hope you love it! I really wanna read her newest one but I’m trying not to buy books and I think it has about another month before I can place a hold on it from another branch in our system (six month waits, boo).

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