Tag Archives: snarky narrator

Whitney Taylor’s Definitions of Indefinable Things – Snarky, Savage, Hopeful

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Whitney Taylor’s Definitions of Indefinable Things – Snarky, Savage, Hopeful

It’s hard to write a funny book about depression.  First, well . . . Duh – depression is depressing.  Second, humor can make depression look a lot less painful than it really is.  I felt like Whitney Taylor managed to walk the thin line between the two in Definitions of Indefinable Things.  It is hilarious, but it is also pretty honest about the realities of depression. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of that balance, so this is a solid four star read.


Goodreads Summary

This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.

My Thoughts

I like my leading ladies savage and snarky, and I’m not sure any character is more savage and snarky than Reggie.  Watching her navigate the ridiculousness of her life is so worth your time.  The thing I liked most about her is that, while she lashes out, she really does have a heart.  She cannot overcome her innate goodness, even when spewing venom.  Now, this is an unflinching look at depression. If you have never had it, you will walk away understanding exactly how it feels.  If you have, I think you will recognize the black hole.  But what really makes this book amazing is that it is also a look at life getting better.  It isn’t a fairy tale. Things aren’t perfect or quick, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  So, don’t skip it just because you don’t want to read something depressing.  This book is so much more.  While the language and situations are frequently mature,  I think it will speak more to my high school students about the unbreakable human spirit and believing in the good things life has to offer.  I’m adding it to my classroom library wish list.  Grades 10+.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You

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The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You

Every snarky geek girl needs a copy of this book.  Actually, every snarky girl needs a copy of this book, even if they don’t have the credentials to be considered a geek girl. Why?  Because this author gets it right – she has to be one of us, or at the very least, a friend of one of us.

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Goodreads Summary

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.

My Thoughts

Trixie is definitely prickly, but under that exterior beats a heart.  She can’t resist a chance to banter with her nemesis, and she doesn’t hold back the punches, but when she finds out that her frenemy takes her words to heart, she is determined to right her wrongs.  I loved the loyalty and the feelings and the funny that this character has to offer.  She is authentic and spot on.  Bonus: The plot isn’t bad either.  There is a mystery and some teen dating drama, a high pressure school for genius and some library/bathroom/supply closet make-out sessions – no one walks away without a prize on this one.  And while this book does have a geek element, you don’t have to be versed in a Joss Whedon or Dr. Who to get it (though that helps).  Themes and thoughts are universal enough that a few Star Wars references won’t leave you feeling out of the loop.  I clearly enjoyed this book, and I know others will as well.  It is definitely going on my high school classroom library wish list, and I can’t wait to recommend it to those snarky girls in my classes.  Language and situations are appropriated for ages 14+, but grown up geek girls will enjoy it just as much.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A firey and snarky granddaughter and a forest full of hungry horrors add up to a lot of fun in Alyxandra Harvey’s Red

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A firey and snarky granddaughter and a forest full of hungry horrors add up to a lot of fun in Alyxandra Harvey’s Red

While Red does have a forest, a grandmother, and a wolf, this isn’t a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.  It is a scamper into a forest full of magical and mythical creatures who can eviscerate you in ways you’ve never imagined.  It is about a secret society where membership is hereditary and you either live or die by the rules, but you never escape.  This was fun and entertaining, and if it was the equivalent of literary junk food, pass me the m&m’s.  



Kia is . . . firey, literally. When her secret abilities land her in hot water, she is sent to live with her grandmother, a housekeeper for a wealthy and private man who lives on an isolated estate. Cue the snobby, distant, and irresistible son and the jealous “friend” who thinks she has exclusive rights to him (as if) and it adds up to a pretty hellish punishment. Problem is, Kia hasn’t even seen what stalks the woods behind the mansion, and she has no idea what lengths everyone will go to in order to make sure she never does. Kia is a snarky and fun narrator who manages to gain reader empathy without coming across as weak. The story is fairly fast paced and manages to juggle moving the plot forward while developing a superficial but believable romantic relationship. All of this, though is secondary to the fun hiding inside that forest — you won’t believe it, but you’ll sure want to! This was a very intriguing setting, and I would have liked to have spent more time there. There isn’t a whole lot of depth, but I was having enough fun that I didn’t care. Fast and engaging, creative but familiar enough for readers who don’t enjoy exhaustive world building.

Goodreads summary for Red

I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.