Review: Almost Adulting by Arden Rose

“We’re tough as shit and we’re going to make it.”

In Almost Adulting — perfect for budding adults, failing adults, and eaters of microwave mug brownies — Arden Rose tells you how to survive your future adulthood. Topics include:

  • The importance of being your own best friend in life. And treating yourself with kindness.
  • Dealing with trichotillomania and discussing mental health issues.
  • Modern romance and her two-year relationship with Will Darbyshire, who’s book, This Modern Love, I coincidentally reviewed a few months back. Including discussions of their first encounter, their budding romance leading to something more, and all things in between.
  • The perks and cons of online friendships and online dating, along with talks of long-distance platonic/romantic relationships.

“With the right level of judgment and discernment, you can find a best friend, or a boyfriend, without ever leaving your bedroom.”

  • Adulthood and not fitting into said category just yet.
  • Body image and body positivity.
  • What Rose learned through all her crying jags, which lead us to the topic of emotions and mental-health well-being.
  • Frankly discussing topics related to sex, from education, masturbation, birth-control, and practicing safe sex. I personally think this was one of the best pieces because of how open and heart-to-heart it felt.
  • The author’s struggle with OCD and disordered eating, which she put in to remind us to take care of our physical and mental well-being.

But above all I cherished this book when Arden Rose talked candidly about her thoughts and feelings. Her honesty is inspiring. However, this lead me to having a bit of trouble with Almost Adulting in certain pieces when the writing leaned towards giving generic and nonspecific advice. That is to say, I appreciated this book more when it focused on being memoir-y and not advice-y.

On that positive note, I also loved the notable humor thrown in here, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Since I’m not that familiar with the author’s work on Youtube, I had no idea what to anticipate going into this book. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I got out more than a handful of laughs.

Like this moment where she had to decide the future of her relationship:

“I wanted to do more than text him occasionally about the new Game of Thrones episode. So we made a real date. I was going to be in London. He was picking me up at my rented apartment in West Hempstead. He had my address. This was the point of no return. Either I went on this date, or I would have to fake my own death.”

Or this comical paragraph on connecting with people online:

“I find it hard to make deep connections with people. I like meeting people casually at parties; I love a good party friend. But the moment someone gets out their Oprah face and tries to dig into my soul, I immediately scuttle into the corner of my brain far away from all in-depth conversations. The opposite is true when I’m chatting with someone online. I know that sounds crazy, but I find it easier to be honest and forthright with my opinions when I have a computer to hide behind. I’m like an emotional troll”

With all that I adored, however, I quickly came to notice how in certain essays Arden Rose’s thoughts are quite contradictory, which consequently made for an impassive read. The more rambling and jumbling pieces came across like the author couldn’t gather her opinion on a specific topic.

But to end this review on a positive note, I did appreciate the dandy illustrations scattered throughout:

Almost Adulting 1-- bookspoils

Almost Adulting 2-- bookspoils

Almost Adulting 3-- bookspoils

Almost Adulting 4-- bookspoils

Almost Adulting 5-- bookspoils


Almost Adulting 8-- bookspoils

3.5/5 stars 

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Almost Adulting, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Advertisements

Skam Book Tag: The Boy Squad | Original

Guess who’s back, back again for round two because they’re still obsessing over this legendary Norwegian tv series called Skam… And this time around I can clearly point the blame of my fixation on the fact that the trailer for season four still hasn’t been released. Plus, filming for said season started recently, so I was bound to start all over with my profound love for the show.

Now, considering the fact that I’ve already created a book tag centered around my favorite girl squad, in this sequel/companion of sorts I decided to focus on the boys and highlight their characteristics. (AKA Skam has taken over my life Part II.)

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you want to buy any of the reads I mention in this post, just click on the books below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

  1. William Magnusson: your favorite “stop walking around like a fucking cliché” read.

As Noora Sætre likes to remind us, William is a walking cliché whose intentions aren’t the clearest at the start. Which is why I’m still unsure of what I think regarding those two together (particularly after season three). But regardless of that fact, I decided to go with Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David to fit this question. 

Like I wrote in my review, this is a YA romance set it in the Philippines, exploring one of my favorite tropes: hate to love. And it has so many Noorhelm parallels – with the addition of pranking one another – that I was practically giddy with excitement.

“She stared at him the whole time, a little smile playing on her lips. Upon catching her, he placed the spoon he’d been using on his empty plate and caressed her lower lip with his thumb. Because he could. Her lower lip felt soft and warm. He wanted to kiss it for the foreseeable future.
Her smile grew wider. “I like looking at you.”

Like, does this not remind you of William and Noora… And speaking of, I recently discovered this video edit of them, and I legit ended up having to wipe away my unasked-for tears (it was 3 a.m., but still).

Also, I couldn’t figure out for the longest time who Thomas Hayes, the actor who plays William, reminded me of until it finally all clicked when I recalled Andrew Garfield’s role in The Amazing Spider-Man. Now, I can’t unsee the resemblance:

2. Chris Schistad: your favorite fuckboy character.

To be frank, I don’t have any strong emotions concerning Chris. I mean, I do know that his whole fuckboy façade is just something I don’t click with it. However, since his name twin, Chris Berg, is one of my favorites, I loved him for a split second when those two met:

It really was one of the best introduction scenes.

But circling back, I’ve been thinking a bit about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, since the third book is set to come out soon. And I thought it fitting to put Lara Jean’s love interest, Peter Kavinsky, down for this question, especially since both Chris and him seem to be having quite the trouble with ex’s, girlfriends and the like. My interest is peaked as to how their character arcs are going to come to a close.

“You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

P.S. I have to laugh whenever Chris is referred to as “Penetrator Chris” because I’ll inevitably end up thinking of this quote: tumblr_mp6u8smnak1rcwz0co1_500

It took me ages to come up with a character as easygoing, enlightening and utterly lively as Eskild, but then thankfully Charlie Liang from Queens of Geek came to mind. She’s the queen of everything I love seeing discussed in books, from intersectional feminism to encouraging her friends to believe in themselves and standing up to anyone trying to erase her bisexuality. And I think the beauty of her character – in addition to bringing  humor and light to any scene –  is that she can get sincerely supportive at just the right time, similar to Eskild.

“Like, sometimes I don’t think I’m being a girl right. I have an undercut and wear clothes I’ve bought from the boys’ section, and I don’t wear makeup or do my nails. I watch horror movies and play video games and burp and swear and don’t talk about my feelings or any of that crap. I’m like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, only before the makeover.”
“So?” Charlie shrugs. “Gracie Hart rocks. Besides, there’s no one way to be a girl, Tay. You don’t need to fit yourself into what society tells us a girl should be. Girls can be whoever they want. Whether that’s an ass-kicking, sarcastic, crime-solving FBI agent or a funny, gorgeous, witty, beauty queen—or both at the same time.” 

These are some serious friend goals right here.

So if you like the idea of strong friendships, diversity, swoon-worthy romance, or running through zombie mazes, participating in SupaFan contests and filming collabs…  you should definitely check out Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. 

4.  Isak Valtersen: your favorite angsty coming-of-age gay – or LGBTQIA – read.

tumblr_oik4mptxiz1r9zdazo3_400

To answer this question, I had to go with a recent favorite film called Moonlight, which I’m technically counting, since I read the screenplay as well as watched it on the big screen. (And I just love it so much that I’m desperate to bring it up anytime.)

As the blurb of the film states, Moonlight is a chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

And since I’ve raved a lot about this brilliant game-changer in my review, I’ll try to keep it short and simple in here. Covering issues of race, discrimination, sexuality, m/m love, coming of age, and so much more. This character-driven film had me positively enamoured in a matter of seconds, similar to Skam.

5. Even Bech Næsheim: your favorite straightforward read about mental illness.

Though it’s been awhile since I last read it, I’ve found myself thinking about Hannah Hart’s Buffering a lot lately.You might recognise Hart from her wildly popular YouTube channel, but going into the book I didn’t have any prior knowledge about her save for that fact. But since I loved memoirs and nonfiction essays, I decided to give this one a go back in November. And the choice to read Hart’s essays remains to be one of the best ones I made that month; it lead me to a whole lot of other memoirs that I now consider favorites.

“Selfishly, I wanted to write this to feel less alone. Selflessly, I hope it helps you feel less alone too.”

This collection of narrative essays deliver a fuller picture of her life, her experiences, and the things she’s figured out about family, faith, love, sexuality, self-worth, friendship and fame. But what stayed with me the most was when Hart talked about her childhood growing up with a schizophrenic mother and their relationship nowadays. Mental illness and mental health are two topics heavily and frankly discussed in Buffering, and I’m forevermore grateful for how she opened up her heart to the readers.

6. Magnus Fossbakken: your favorite character desperate to get some action.

I have only one read in mind for this question, but since it’s set to release in April, I’m still desperately waiting to have it in my hands. The book in question is, of course, Becky Albertalli’s second novel: The Upside of Unrequited.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

The blurb alone has my heart fluttering and my lips grinning from ear to ear. Plus, the promise of exploring sisterhood, humor, love,  Jewishness, and identity seems to be right up my alley.

7. Jonas Noah Vasquez: your favorite best friend character.

Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything more reassuring and unproblematic than the friendship in We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

This contemporary read deals with both quiet and loud topics such as loneliness, grief, friendship, f/f love, heartbreak, and all things in between as you can read in my review. But at its core, this book is about the friendship, love and compassion between Marin and Mabel. And their interactions were so honest, inspiring and achingly real, just like the ones we see with Jonas on screen.

“I look at her. I wish her everything good. A friendly cab driver and short lines through security. A flight with no turbulence and an empty seat next to her. A beautiful Christmas. I wish her more happiness than can fit in a person. I wish her the kind of happiness that spills over.”

I still can’t get over how the above passage manages to be both pure of heart and strong of spirit. I wholeheartedly recommend you give this book a go.

  1. Mahdi Disi: your favorite character with iconic one-liners.

Saving the best for last, Mahdi has uttered some of my favorite lines in season three. So when thinking of someone with a similar taste in humor, not a character sprung to mind, funnily enough, but Scaachi Koul’s dad. I recently read her hilarious collection of essays in One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, and whenever Koul mentioned something her father said, I cracked up laughing. And then later, upon recalling some of his comical quotes, I’d end up nearly in tears.

Take for instance this moment when her father was introduced for the first time to Scaachi’s older (by thirteen years) boyfriend:

“They shook hands. Papa led him into the kitchen, where all serious family matters tend to take place. He offered Hamhock tea. “You look good,” Papa said. “For someone your age.” 

There’s a lot more where that came from. And as I mentioned in my review, I would not mind reading a book solely about her parents. Speaking of, I don’t dare leave without having even talked about the mother, who’s one of the most inspiring ones out there.

“My dad first saw her at his cousin’s house—my mom was her friend—and was flustered by her beauty. Ask my dad and he’ll wax poetic about my mother’s cheekbones, her rich eyes, her long hair, how he needed to get to know her. My mom didn’t even know he was there.”

This is the level of cool, calm and detached I aspire to achieve.

On that note, however, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the scene where the boys™ are helping Isak text Even, and then proceed to panic when they realize he’s actually coming over.

THIS IS PURE GOLD. MY HEART IS SO FULL.


And that concludes the second part of my Skam book tag, thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed perusing this tag as much as I enjoyed making it. And funnily enough, I’m still not sure whether this’ll be the last part, since season four is supposedly on its way soon… (And I just need to know who the main will be.)c7timmsu8aaeaf4(I’m rooting for Sana Bakkoush!!)

As always, you’re more than welcome to answer this tag for yourself, and be sure to link me so that I can read your answers as well!! Plus, if you’re interested in reading more, you can check out my first part of the Skam book tag centered around my favorite girl squad.

Review: The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 15-- bookspoilsIn the Empire of Migdal Bavel, Cherry is married to Jerome, a wicked man who makes a diabolical wager with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in one hundred nights, he can have his castle–and Cherry.
But what Jerome doesn’t know is that Cherry is in love with her maid Hero.The One Hundred Nights of Hero 1-- bookspoils

I genuinely feel like this graphic novel was made just for me. It contains nearly everything I’ve grown to love in books, such as tales of families, Gods, humans and human-ness, love and betrayal, kings, dancing, moons, sisters, empowering women that support one another, a loving f/f ship, dissing disgusting men (I lived for this!!), and so much more.

Also, so many of the tales Hero told to keep Manfred’s dick in his pants were some of my favorites: from the League of Secret Storytellers to the story of falling in love with the moon to a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. These strange and fanciful tales full of bold, clever and crafty women completely enamoured my heart. It also reminded me a lot of Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath & the Dawn with that I always wanted more and more of the tales told by the narrator.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 9-- bookspoils

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments:

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 3-- bookspoils

 

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 4-- bookspoilsI was so pleasantly surprised by the subtle humor thrown in here!

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 12-- bookspoils

 

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 5-- bookspoilsThe art in here with its dark lines and colors really managed to enhance the gloomy atmosphere in certain tales.

And on to my favorite story from this graphic novel: the story of the moon and a mortal man falling in love.The One Hundred Nights of Hero 6-- bookspoils

 

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 7-- bookspoils

 

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 8-- bookspoilsThe reason why I cherished this story so much was mainly because of Sokka and Yue from Avatar. I watched their love story years and years ago, but to this day it remains one of the most tragic ones out there for me.

Honestly, my heart breaks a tiny bit every time I recall their adoration and tenderness for one another.

But moving on to the actual story and the love between Cherry and Hero:
The One Hundred Nights of Hero 10-- bookspoilsI was immensely proud of Cherry in this moment. To see her stand up for her love and beliefs was beyond gratifying. Also, A+ for her clapback.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 11-- bookspoilsYES!

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 13-- bookspoilsTheir ending, however, left me a bit bewildered. I can’t quite gather if it’s a tragic one or not… I mean, they’re still together, but also not really?? To be completely honest, I don’t even know what’s exactly went on, but… the art is beautiful:

The One Hundred Nights of Hero 14-- bookspoils


All in all, I’m beyond grateful to have finally read this epic graphic novel by the immsenly talented Isabel Greenberg. And I’m hopefully onto The Encyclopedia of Early Earth next!

4.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying The One Hundred Nights of Hero, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!