Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Commute by Erin Williams

An intimate and powerful visual exploration of the blurred lines between yes and no, consent and assault, and the daily decisions women must make between being sexualized or being invisible

About Commute

Thank you to Abrams ComicArts for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

✦ ABOUT THE AUTHOR✦
Erin Williams is a writer, illustrator, and researcher living in New York. She’s the coauthor of The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People and The Big Activity Book for Anxious People.

✦ SYNOPSIS✦
In Commute, we follow author and illustrator Erin Williams on her daily commute to and from work, puncuated by recollections of sexual encounters as well as memories of her battle with alcoholism, addiction, and recovery. As she moves through the world navigating banal, familiar, and sometimes uncomfortable interactions with the familiar-faced stranger she sees daily, Williams weaves together a riveting collection of flashbacks.
Her recollections highlight the indefinable moments when lines are crossed and a woman must ask herself if the only way to avoid being objectified is to simply cease to draw any attention to her physical being. She delves into the gray space that lives between consent and assault and tenderly explores the complexity of the shame, guilt, vulnerability, and the responsibility attached to both.

✦ THE FEMALE FACE OF SHAME ✦
In her book, Erin talks about an uncomfortable reality and the way she accepted the truth about herself. Erin represents many women who have experienced exactly the same thing. Almost every woman has been taken advantage of by some guy and after she felt shame. And now, Erin ecourages these women to talk freely about that subject. She tells us that it is natural to feel this way, but she also says that we should stand up for ourselves. There is something intriguing about the power of women that makes them so unique.

✦ SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN ✦
There is one big, ugly truth. Men view women as sex objects. No matter how much we try to reject that fact, it just exists. It’s our reality and the author of this book shows us that. Erin tells us her story about relationships with guys. Each one of them saw her as a sex object. This sexual objectification reflects on her self image in a way that she was constantly searching for male approval. She invites guy to come over her place, but she doesn’t feel anything.

✦ IT IS OKAY TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF ✦
Many women do not talk about female shame or any kind of abuse. Women are raped, treated badly, or were neglected and some of them just remain silent about that. They think it is something natural – the way it should be. The truth is that it is NOT natural and it should NEVER be like that. They deserve much, much better things and Commute is all about that. The author wants us women to be united and always support each other.

✦ OVERALL ✦
I really enjoyed reading this book and it was so emotional experience for me. Just the way Erin talks about her battles freely is so uncomfortable for me, and I admire her for her strength. It takes a lot of courage to talk about your life openly, especially when you have been through so much.
I also loved the illustration in the book and I can’t wait to order the final copy – it will be printed in color and I am beyond excited! Also, this book is not for young readers because there is some explicit content. I definitely recommend this book to adult readers who like to read self-help books.

My rating: 4/5 ⭐
Expected publication: October 8th 2019 by Abrams ComicArts

Posted in Bookish Talk

August 2019 TBR Pile

Happy August, book fellas! I still cannot believe that July is behind us – time flies indeed. In my previous post, I was talking about the books I read in July. Some of them I really liked and some of them I wish I hadn’t read at all. All in all, July was quite interesting and enjoyable.

Now, it’s time for me to make my August TBR pile. I must admit that I am horrible at planning and everytime I plan on doing something – I fail. It’s like the Universe doesn’t want me to schedule anything, uggh! I am also worried a little bit because I will have some very important events this month (at least two of them) and both of them are happening in the last two weeks of the month.The important thing is that this time I will try my best and hopefully by the end of the month I will say: Yes, I have made it! But, we shall see…

Considering the fact that it’s summer, I will read some light reads and some of them will be self-help books. I am that type of reader who depends on seasons – during summer I tend to read something light (romance, contemporary YA), and during winter I like to read some other things.

Commute by Erin Williams
This graphic novel is going to be my first August reads and I am beyond excited about it. It’s the first graphic novel that I’m reading and I just know I’m going to love it! Or maybe hate it. I checked it out and it seems to be that there are only two types of readers – the ones who loved the book and the others who hated this book. I hope I will be in the first group. Anyway, I’ll let you know.

That cover tho! It’s gorgeous

An intimate, clever, and ultimately gut-wrenching graphic memoir about the daily decision women must make between being sexualized or being invisible.

From its covers

The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson
I started reading this one in the last week of July, but somehow I didn’t get to finish it. I’m like maybe four chapters into it and it’s very interesting. It’s about the teenage girl, Skye, who doesn’t want to live in Dodge. She feels like she had enough and all she wants is to move out. The only thing that can save her is her art school that has already accepted her. Now, all she needs is to survive one more year without causing any major problem. It seems easy, but her secret from the past could change everything.

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura
I must be honest about this one, I only picked it up because I found it somewhere on somebody’s list of recommendation. Plus, its plot sounds intriguing, so why not to give it a try! Basically it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl, CJ, who is not sure about what to do with her life. Her Mother has it all – and she knows what’s the best for her daughter. However, CJ feels like a failure and she doesn’t live up to her mother’s expectations. She finds herself a hobby- flowers arranging. CJ helps her aunt Hannah, but she doesn’t agree with her about the meaning of flowers. Everything is just almost perfect until her mother decides to sell the shop.

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith
I am so excited about this one – I saw its covers and that was it. I just had to buy it. I can’t wait to read it because it sounds like a great story. It’s about a transgender who fell in love for the first time and it tells about the way it changes them. You see what I’m talking about? WE LOVE IT ALREADY, RIGHT? I will (hopefully?) tell you more about it in one of my following posts.

Just get up: And Manifest Your Inner Genius by Isaac Samuel Miller
This book is supposed to be an ARC and I hooope that it will arrive sometime in August. As far as I know, it’s is some kind of biography/self-help because it talks about the author itself. It shows up the way he fights his way out of a life of crime, drugs, mediocrity, and poverty. It sounds great to me and I would like to read this book. Also, I will always support budding authors, I have huge respect for them.

These books found its place on my August shelf and I will try so hard to read them all. That would be great!
What is on your August TBR?

Posted in Bookish Talk

Summer Recommendations

Our July is slowly ending which means that the first half of this summer is already behind us. And to be honest, I don’t know how to feel about it. I really like summer and sometimes I don’t want it to end, but I’m also in love with autumn and everything that comes with it.

But, let’s not be sad – we have the entire August for our summer reading and in this post I want to share my favorite light reads. If you are looking for something to read at the beach while drinking your lemonade, then here are some suggestions for you.

  1. I Heart Hawaii by Lindsey Kelk
  2. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  3. Going La La by Alexandra Potter
  4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  6. Cherry Red Summer by Carina Bartsch
  7. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  8. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  9. I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk
  10. Love and Hate by Lara Wilde

These are some of my favorite books and I think we should read them during summer. Most of them contain some romantic story and they have brilliant descriptions, you will never get tired of them.

What are some of your favorite summer reads?

Posted in Bookish Talk

How to deal with Book Hangovers

I do not get book hangovers.
– said no book lover ever

Do you know that feeling when you finish a brilliant book, and you just can’t move on to read something new? Well, congratulations – you are one of us! You experienced a book hangover. This kind of hangover is very common among bookish community, which includes readers and, sometimes, authors. The symptoms of book hangovers are very clear – crying and lying on your floor or in your bed. You’re asking yourself ‘WHY? OH WHY IT HAD TO END,’ referring to the book you’ve just finished.

Image via @wordpress.com by Ermiliablog https://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/__book-hangover-memes/

If you are experiencing a book hangover, what to do? Here are some tips that will make your hangover bearable.

First thing first – It might sound silly, but go and find a new book to read. And good luck!
I know it is very difficult and you just don’t want to read anything else, but you have to! You are SO going to read something new, and you are going to love it. And you are going to experience the book hangover all over again.

2. Spend 24 hours in your room searching for appropriate memes that will express your feelings. Let the world know how much you are suffering right now. Go and tell your friends about your feelings, they must hear you out.

3. If you simply can’t accept the fact that you will have to read something new – then try reading some fanfiction. They are great and, more importantly, they are based on the book you love. It’s all about your old, favourite characters.

4. Try rereading your favourite book. Start it from the very beginning and hope that this time it will be different and that your book will never end.

5. Write a review. Because telling the world about how you feel is never enough. Why not to leave a note (review) about your feelings. It’s a smart thing to do.