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Bitsy's Books

Note: I'm uploading my books from Goodreads and since there are like 200+ it's going to take awhile. The uploading seems a bit wonky too, so hang with me as I fix things. Also there may be spoilers until I can make all the appropriate tags.


I'm an ex-English Major who, sick of reading classics after college, decided to read all the trashy books I didn't before because I was too snobby. Since graduating, I've entertained myself with comics, YA, and romance novels, finding out they can not only be decently written, but superbly written. I've since recovered from my classics aversion, but I'm now more open-minded reader willing to read from any genre. If a book has kick-ass heroines and/or witty banter and/or takes place in a different time or place (including fantasy settings), I will most likely fall in love with it. My favorite authors are Jane Austen, Shakespeare, E.M. Forster, Meljean Brook, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hartman, Catherynne M. Valente, and Aliette de Bodard.

Currently reading

The Blue Fairy Book
Andrew Lang
Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet
Jennifer Homans
Teeth: Vampire Tales - Tanith Lee, Garth Nix, Ellen Datlow, Catherynne M. Valente, Christopher Barzak, Kathe Koja, Ellen Kushner, Suzy McKee Charnas, Jeffrey Ford, Emma Bull, Terri Windling, Kaaron Warren, Nathan Ballingrud, Steve Berman, Cecil Castellucci, Melissa Marr, Genevieve Valentine, Lu Overall: 2.5 StarsI'm burnt out on vampires for the foreseeable future, but since I've made it my quest to read everything Catherynne Valente has ever written, I just read the stories of authors who I like/am interested in. Sadly, out of the stories I read, the only story worth reading was Valente's. Everything else felt like a rehash of stories and tropes I've read before. There may be other nuggets in this collection I didn't read, but I think only die hard vampire fans will enjoy this.Favorite: In The Future When All Is Well by Catherynne ValenteWorst: Everything else I read (except the Clare/Black story)"Bloody Sunrise" by Neil Gaiman1 StarI've never read Gaiman and this is not the work to convince me of his brilliance. It sounds like an emo-poem of some vampire-obsessed 14-year-old. I'm sure Gaiman is talented, but this poem doesn't showcase it."Vampire Weather" by Garth Nix1.5 StarsAmos has lived in his isolated village his whole life as protection against the vampires. However, when he meets an outsider girl, his life changes forever.This story was well written, but it's unoriginal. This is the second story I've read this year set in an isolated religious community where a boy's developing sexuality over some spesul girl has negative consequences. But instead of some ham-fisted knock-you-over-the-head theme, this story was just pointless. Unless the point is sexy girls are evil because the female character made no damn sense and acted more like a plot device than a person. And the cult in the story resembled the Amish a little too closely. The Amish aren't a cult and are very friendly, so the correlation made me uncomfortable."In The Future When All's Well" by Catherynne M. Valente5 StarsScout, a high-risk (for turning into a vampire) teen, muses about how the world has changed with vampires and contemplates her future.Leave it to Valente to take something overused and make it fresh. Scout's voice is the most authentic teenager voice I've read, probably because she's judemental and bitchy and *GASP* swears. She appears immature at first, but as the story progresses, she is able to see through bullshit and is wise beyond her years. The story is about accepting change and reading through the lies society will tell. Of course, there is Valente's trademark knowledge of folklore and the occult, her unusual but true insights, and black humor. Valente, in one short story, does YA better than most YA authors. I haven't seen such a thoughtful exploration of vampires since Team Human. "Transition" by Melissa Marr1.5 StarsSuffering from serious headaches, Eliana starts living the fast life to escape the pain. However, her suffering may be connected to strange vampiric fantasies...Once again, decent writing, but plot I've seen before wrapped in every bad YA trope. Sooper spesul female protagonist who does nothing profound and is kinda boring, but is treated like the fucking messiah? Check. Weird territorial jealousy and "mate" talk found in every cookie cutter paranormal romance? Check. Plot devices stolen from other popular vampire properties? Check. Creepy patriarchal overtones (male lead making life-altering decisions for her, him causing her to have sexual fantasies because God forbid she know where her vagina is before a man shows the way)? Check. Protagonist "punished" for having sex and using drugs? Check. An ending done first and better in "The Most Dangerous Game?" Check. Check. Check."The Perfect Dinner Party" by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black3.5 StarsBrother and sister vamps invite an their next unsuspecting victim to dinner. However, things don't go as planned.I think Cassandra Clare is crack to me, because while her stuff never lives up to expectations, I find her emensely readable. The set-up was interesting and I loved the narrator's voice - I really got a feel for who the character was in a short amount of pages. There were a lot of interesting ideas and intruging characters (even if they seem a little Louis/Claudia/Lestat-ish), but the story was over before it really took off. I think maybe a novella might have been a better length. This story had promise and ambitions, but didn't quite deliver on any of them.