Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hamilton: The Revolution

Hamilton (Hardcover), Books
by Jeremy McCarter and Lin Manuel Miranda

So, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure this is going to fit in our normal review format.  I'm pretty sure that anyone who has clicked on this particular post is already going to be a fan of Hamilton, so there's no point in hiding spoilers (and to be fair, any spoilers are technically more than 200 years old so I think we're past the point where we need to "hide" the more titilating moments.

This book takes all of the songs, adds Lin Manuel Miranda's footnoetes (which are amazing if you care about rap, hip-hop, fun facts or joy), as well as sections taht explain how the show was written.  Obviously, the songs are what you would expect (I cried while reading some of them, the same way I do when I listen to them...), the footnotes give you a small insight into Lin Mauel Miranda's writing process which was phenomenal.  He covers everything from his musical inspirations to the original lyrics, to just general fun facts.

The more memorable parts were actually the section before each song.  The sections focus more on how the show was made: the process of writing the songs, finding the right actors, adjusting sections to make them more powerful, figuring out the choreography.  Basically the sections focus on the magic of storytelling on stage.

This is the point where I fully admit that I have listened to the soundtrack more times than I can count, and that Sam and I occasionally text each other segments of songs to keep each other interested at work.  This is a book that should only be picked up by people who are in love with the show, or are interested in the process of getting a show on Broadway.

It doesn't change the fact that learning about cast dynamics and how the techies worked together was endlessly fascinating (again, I must admit I did theater when I was younger so yet again this hit every happy bone in my body), but there were also sections that were a little bit heartbreaking (of course, at the end of the book, surrounded by songs about losing children and having trouble with dealing with teh life after that).  I cried so many actual tears.

This book is 4 out of 5 shots, mostly becuase while I unabashedly love this, it doesn't change the fact that this is definitely a book meant for people who already love Hamilton, (and I can't believe that I forgot to mention the pictures.  They were AMAZING.  For anyone who can't imagine the show and want a very basic framework for what it looks like, holy shit get this book.).

To read this book, go for a Sam Adams.  Because it's literally referenced in the show, also Sam Adams is a founding father so BAM.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Codex Alera: Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

Codex Alera:
Book One: Furies of Calderon
By Jim Butcher



Let me  tell you. About the one and true goddess. About the fire and the sword, dat ass and dat Mohawk. About the heart and the soul. Good people I’m here to tell you about Kitai today *choir hums*. Shidddd I just typed her name and got a body chill. So. So. Sosososo bae.

anyway Codex Alera is an epic fantasy series about a quintessential frontier farming family thrust into the maw of war and destruction. Count Bernard, his sister, her nephew, Tavi (da GOAT) have to battle the natural spirits that abound adjacent to them  at the edge of the wilderness. They encounter “barbarians” of all type:
the marat—pretty human but real closely spiritually linked to certain animal groups, horses, (these giant ass wombats called) gargants, and wolves.
Icemen – sound it out, that’s what they are.
The canim—an incredibly complicated race of dogpeople who hate regular humans, aka “demons.” More on ‘em later…

The series features and capitalizes on your typical political strife, but it’s complicated by their “crafting”. No, theyre not making belts and fuggin wallets; by “crafting” they are harnessing natural elements such as earth, wind, fire and water to (IAMCAPTAINPLANET) make their lives easier and to make war. These wilde spirits or “furies” create the name of this series and every non-barbarian not named Tavi has them (except for Kitai. I haven’t forgotten her, I just teared up when I brought her up the first time. And again now that I mention her. Meet me in the spoliers. Sweatergawd). His aunt and uncle, his classmates, and errybody’s lovers, bastards, and slaves are potential players in the complex game of chess that arises. When an alien foe forces the disparate characters to untie, hilarity and beautifully explicit warfare ensue.

So I’m only allowed to talk about the first novel in this series since this post is ostensibly is about the series entirely.  Suffice to say that this is a great first edition in a six-nivel series that kept me engaged, interested, and guessing what happened next. Page after page, book after book, I wanted to know how these mofuckers were gonna use these furies to defeat the mofucking Huns on some Mulan shit. Trust when I say: Tavi and crew GOT DOWN TO BIZNESS.


Rating: 4.69 shots of everclear, just cause you’re gonna be blown away and might be a  vord-zombie by the end

Pairing:  your surprise favorite drink. For me it’s a “Sweet Baby Jesus” peanutbutter stout because I  didn’t wanna like it but found myself missing it because the new beerz I tried after it aint have no girth, no body, and because I imagine it’s what Kitai tastes like. Sue me.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty


Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

What I Drank Prior: a 12 pack. Yes. I am a young skinny 27 yo woman and I am still functioning.

Spoiler-free overview:
So there's this chick named Serafina. She's weird. No one knows she exists except her dad. This middle-grade novel is wonderful. Basically people start going missing and she has to figure out why. I love it.

Spoiler-free thoughts:

Characters: I love them. All of them. They're so real. They have these real life problems and insecurities that don't jsut "go away" after a pep talk. That's one of my biggest pet peeves is when mental ilness just goes away. ANYWHO these caracters are well done (dude i'm super drunk).

Plot: While the plot was benign and childish it was supposed to be. This is middle grade. THink of HP 1 through 3. Problem, puzzle, heroes solve, heroes win. That's this book. BUT it was executed in a way that was pretty unique. Pretty great.

Writing Style: Also pretty great. Nothing super literary but also awesome in some ways. I have plenty of quotes written down because they make me happy and stronger. I efel like middle grade does that more than other genres do. anyway READ IT.

What to pair it with: Something warm. A Hot Tottie for example. I looooooved this. super warm and fuzzie.

Rating: 4/5 Shots only because it was predicatable. I TRULY loved this book. read it please

Monday, November 7, 2016

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco



Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

What I drank prior: at least 8 beers and a half bottle of wine. you think i'm lyin? it happened.

Spoiler-free Overview:
Hokay, so. Obviously this is about Jack the Ripper. He's a scary dude. This YA retelling is about the girl that tries to take him down. She's a girl, in 19th centruy england, trying to learn how to be a medical examiner and do autopsies. SHe's all like, teach me bruh. Her uncle's like.... K. Dad doesn't like it. Mysteries happen, she tries to fix it.

Spoiler-free thoughts:
You guys, i wanna like this book. Stalking Jack the Ripper sounds super duper fun. But its basically a mystery that you can predict from the beginning.

Characters: Okay, fine. I LOVED the characters. Like legit, all of them are wonderful. Kerri does a great job developing characters that I fell deeply in love with. and it makes me really really embarrased that i did.

Plot: Look. THe plot was super predictable. It just was. I was talkin with parker about it and i knew before the 50% mark who Jack was. sorrrryyyyyyyyy

Writing Style: I liked that they had photos of various points in the story. They helped me figure out what was going on. ALSO, her wtriting style was good enough for me to fall in love with the characters. So. Yeah.


What to pair it with: Miller lite. Its fine. Like, it will do the job, it will get you drunk, but its not great.

Rating: 3/5 shots. That's all I got.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Every Heart a Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Quick notes.  I drank plenty of wine, and a little bit of beer, and a gin drink before writing this.  Also I technically read this book for a book club and talked through a lot of my feelings already with my friend Emma (THANKS EMMA!) so this might be a little more intelligble than normal (though no promises).

Spoiler Free Plot:
So this book is about the people who come back from their fictional worlds... the harry potter once he's kicked out of hogwarts, the Pensieve children after Narnia.  It's a school for all of the people who no longer fit into the normal world.  They are separated into high logic and high nonsense (rules versus nonsense?) and the great thing about this book is that all of the worlds are the slightest bit creepy.  It's the sort of thing where if you aren't perfectly suited for hte world it's going to strike you as fucking strange (a la there's a world where everyone runs on rainbows and a spider world which thank you but NO!!!!!!).  Nancy, our main character, has come from the Land of the Dead, where it's expected that you can keep preturnaturally still...  She comes back to a world full of colors (as opposed to the mostly black and white world she spent so much time in) and has trouble adjusting.  This book suffers from a few of the more traditional "I'm not like other girls" issues as well as the "most of the boys are meatheads."  Basically it suffers from the kind of boring archetypes that you see in a lot of books which I think is mostly due to the fact that this book is less than 200 pages long.  In the end the book is fascinating more for the world that it builds.  I wanted to know so much more about the various fantasy worlds that the kids were rushed into, and how someone who wasn't perfectly suited to a world would be treated.... There was a lot to think about here that I really enjoyed.  Honestly, there was a whole murder plot, but I found that a lot less interesting than the background detaisl..

Basic info.  Nancy came from the Land of the Dead.  She makes friends with Sumi, who comes from a High Nonse3nse world, as well as Kade (a logic world), Jack (Jacqueline) and Jill, twinse who went to a world that seems to be made up of monsters (think a world with dracula and the scientist who created Frankesnstein) as well as Christopher (who makes cbones dance?  it's kind of awesoem and definitely a bit weird)... my favorite thing is that the fairy worlds are all a little bit off.  Likethey sound like awesome places to be, except for a detail or two... The worlds are perfectly suited for the people who went to them but woudlnt' work for anyone else... It's kind of fantastic.  Because I always felt that Narnia woudl have been fine with whoever made it through the wardrobe, where as these people did seem perfectly suited.

Spoiler-y Explanation:

I loved this book if only for all the questionst aht it borught up about the world that it existed in.  I wanted to know everything about the minor characters.  I wanted to dive into the different worlds and understand the difference bbetween high logic and high nonsense and the difference between wicked and honest worlds and the axies of rhyme and reason and all the ridiculous stuff that his book brought up. I wanted to know about the other schools (for the people who didn't want to return to their worlds, and what the non-truamatic people dealt with while they were there).  I want to exist in this world to see what would happen to the people once they grauduated.  I literrally want a whole series of books in this world, which is why I give it a 4.5 out of 5 shots.

This book needs something appropritately whimsical.  Honestly, the main character is obsessed with pomegranate juice so I feel like it needs to incorporate that... Maybe a Pomegranate Cosmo.  The thing that fancy people order but slightly different because, pomegranate.  I'm gonn have to keep thinking on this and might add an update but I feel like Pomegranate Cosmo fits this one.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales



The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales

What I Drank Prior: All of the beers and then some wine. Sufficiently drunk I promise. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? (my friends say thats mean)

Spoiler-free Overview:
ok so I'm gonna try really hard to explain this book. So, tehre are two POVs... One on the Regional Office's side, the other tryna take 'em over. Thigns happen. Its basically an office that is under attack from the very people that it trained in the first place. Its crazy. Legitimately crazy. Robot hands? Super powers? Weird fuckin oracle shits? All of it.

Spoiler-free Thoughts:
Okay, so i finished this book and was liek "what the actual fuck just happened?" DId the quote go in the right spot there? not completely sure. BUt that's how i feel about it. The book was weird AF but so good.

Characters: Okay ,so there was thsi character named Rose and she's basically me. LIke, i copied and pasted some of her thoughts into a chat with Parker and he was like "yup, das you" and i had some trouble dealing with that. its tough having someone else in your mind. Its just odd.

Plot: Okay, so I'm reallly and truly not sure the plot. Is that.... weird? I loved it. I loved that i finished this novel not knowing what the plot was. Its weird.

Writing Style: It was wonderful. I loved it. ITs one of those things you write in a highschol yearbook "you rock don't ever change"

Spoiler Thoughts:

What to pair it with: Loopy vodka shot. The vodka that tastes like foot loops? only because this book is WEIRD AF.

Rating: 4.5/5 Shots. ALL of the shots. they only lost .5 shots because i still have no idea what happened only that i loved it. That sounds horrible but i LOVED it.