Adorable Fat Girl in Lockdown
Author: Bernice Bloom
Published: May 9, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 9-11, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Mary Brown is in lockdown. She’s worn nothing but pyjamas for weeks, and is living on a diet of cake and wine. She’s rarely up before midday and spends her time watching every box set that she can get her hands on. Then: she has an idea… instead of just eating the cake, why doesn’t she judge it? She should organise a World Cup of Cakes.
With Juan, her trusty sidekick, she sets up the competition with meticulous detail, and the whole thing goes viral. Featuring: home dyed hair, talking to potatoes, Piers Morgan, internet shopping, an amorous neighbour, an angry ex-boyfriend and birdwatching. Oh, and loads of cake.
Mary Brown, the Adorable Fat Girl is back! This is a series of novels by Bernice Bloom and you can either read the books as standalone novels or read them in the order they were written. I have read several of them and plan on reading more. Mary is similar to Bridget Jones (both are even British!) but Mary is actually very overweight. But she knows it and chooses to live her life the way she wants, and that involves eating!
This time around Mary and Juan are in 2020 and currently experiencing living life in lockdown due to COVID-19. She is just living life relaxing as much as she can: getting up midday, staying in pajamas, and eating cake! All of a sudden she comes up with an idea to create the World Tournament of Cakes and to put it on You Tube. She takes it very seriously and then something unexpected happens: The competition goes viral and before Mary knows it, she and Juan are getting all sorts of attention!
This is the sort of novella that we all need right now: Something fun to read that leaves you laughing out loud at times and experiencing other fun emotions. The situations Mary finds herself in are really unexpected.
What cakes are in the World Tournament of Cakes, and ultimately which cake wins? Will you agree with the winner? You will have to read and find out.
If you haven’t given Bloom’s Adorable Fat Girl series a try, do it! You will not regret it. We can all use a laugh right now.
Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for XYZ by William Knight. This one shows the differences in the generations out there (X, Y, and Z). **There is also an international giveaway going on!**
Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.
When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.
Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?
XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.
XYZ: One Man, Two Kids, Ten Devices, and an Internet-Sized Generation Gap
Author: William Knight
Published: July 13, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 16-25, 2019
XYZ covers three generations of people and the author determines the generations as these:
Generation X: ‘Gen X’ Born 1964-1980
Generation Y: ‘Millennials’ Born 1981-1996
Generation Z: ‘Zoomers” Born 1996- Present day
These years of generations vary based on who you talk to. I was born in 1980, so I am fortunately NOT a Millennial in this case! I like to define myself as Generation Confused: I don’t fit in with GenX’ers, but I am definitely NOT a Millennial! I thought Millennials were younger (IE: in their 20’s and not as old as they actually are, what a shock to me).
This being said, I am not the target reader of XYZ. I would say the target reader would be a male middle ager/GenX’er, same as our protagonist Jack. Any male reader of that age would identify with him: Reaching middle age and feeling alone and all of these younger ‘workers’ and the things they do with their phones: emojis, ‘jazz hands’, constant need for social media connection versus real life connection, etc. Jack 100% does not fit in! Besides work, Jack’s family life is in disarray. Until this book I had not heard of ‘jazz hands’, so this was a new one on me! Am I already out of touch at 39!?!?
It can be a funny novel and reading about the younger workers, I just rolled my eyes. What is the world coming to!?!? Are younger people all about the digital age, and forget about ‘real life’ where we all actually exist!?!?!? Omg…… I AM getting old! XYZ is an entertaining read that will appeal to the older Gen X’er, and maybe those younger.
Fair warning: There is foul language throughout the novel, so that might deter some readers.
But don’t give up hope for Jack: There is a satisfying and happy ending!
About the Author:
William Knight is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting, progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology in the late nineties.
“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms :-)” says William
The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller, started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay. Jazz hands!”
Win $10 Amazon voucher and a signed copy of XYZ
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
The Envious Siblings and Other Morbid Nursery Rhymes
Author: Landis Blair
Published: Today, October 8, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Eight gleefully macabre vignettes by an award- winning comics artist, as delightful as they are deadly.
Inspired by the dark imagination of Edward Gorey, Envious Siblings is a twisted and hauntingly funny debut. Comics artist Landis Blair interweaves absurdist horror and humor into brief, rhyming vignettes at once transgressive and hilarious. In Blair’s surreal universe, a lost child watches as bewhiskered monsters gobble up her fellow train passengers; a band of kids merrily plays a gut-churning game with playground toys; and two sisters, grinning madly, tear each other apart. These charmingly perverse creations take ordinary settings—a living room, a subway car, a playground— and spin them in a nightmarish direction.
Envious Siblings heralds a brilliant new cartooning talent, and will captivate readers who have thrilled to the lurid fantasies of Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Charles Addams, Shel Silverstein, and Tim Burton.
I was surprised and excited to get this book in the mail. I received a free arc copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m torn between saying that I’m totally gonna read these stories to my kids and horrified that I would even consider that! I truly enjoyed this stories and found them imaginative and entertaining! Obviously I couldn’t recommend that all people read these to their kids, but hey, I wouldn’t mind reading them to mine. The rhymes are cute and the artwork is macabre but not explicit.
Overall, this is a great collection and I think a wide range of audiences would really enjoy it.