Review: Firebug by Lish McBride

I have completed a book from my pop culture homework assignment! Firebug is the tale of Ava, a teenager who can start fires with her mind. She is the main assassin for the Coterie, which is like a mafia for magical people. This is not something she wants to do with her life. For one, the head of the Coterie, Venus, killed her mother. For another, she’s a member for life and can’t ever get out of her contract. It’s not awesome. She’s met some good people in her time in the Coterie, though. Ezra, a shape shifter who turns into a fox and Lock, whose mother is a dryad, so he is part dryad, are her team and help her when she goes out on assassin missions. They’re both amazing and I really enjoyed the dynamic between the three of them. The main thrust of the story is that Ava is asked to assassinate someone and she doesn’t want to. This kicks off all kinds of shenanigans. I was riveted. Couldn’t stop listening to this audio book.

This book was excellent. I devoured it. I can’t wait to dig into book two (after I finish my challenge, of course). Beth did a really great job picking this for me. I liked it so much.

Review of Witches, Midwives and Nurses by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English

I feel the best way to express how I feel about this book and it’s content can best be summed up by this gif.

The way that women have been excluded in not just the medical fields but been excluded from the own knowledge about our own bodies is pretty disheartening and infuriating. How much knowledge have we lost because men didn’t like that woman were doing something that they could not or not willing to do themselves. Instead of learning from or trying to understand their knowledge they pushed them out completely. They accused them of witchcraft, they called them unnatural. They made people who would have benefited from their expertise afraid to use them. And for what? To keep power? It’s true that a lot has changed since when women were being burned for witchcraft and even more from when this book was originally published. However it’s 2019 and women are still not fully in charge of our own bodies. Every day a new law is passed that regulates our bodies and limit our medical resources. Lies about our bodies are shared as facts and all because men didn’t want to share space with women. We live in turbulent times but I have faith that the women today have learned from the women from the past and we have no interest going back and will not be excluded from the discussion again.

What I’m Listening to Now: Firebug by Lish McBride

I already absolutely hate one character and love another one (which, according to my book math means he’s the one that’s going to die) and am already in my head preparing the, “I know he’s pretty but here’s why he sucks and you should DTMFA” speech I would give the main character if she ever came over to my house for tea. (Am I the only one that does this? Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this…)

Quick Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

You know how often the book is so much better than the movie? Well this was exception to the rule because I have to say I like the movie better. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the movie multiple times and am fans of Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. I don’t know but the book was kind of blah. A lot of descriptions with not a lot happening. No wonder they made so many changes to the movie. They both follow sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens who both have had some bad luck in love. Sally is widowed early on in the book just like in the movie. She is also focused on being normal even though everyone else in her family are okay with being themselves. Gillian is still the wild spirit that runs away from home and ends up in an abusive relationship with Jimmy who ends up dead but that’s kinda of where the the similarities end. The book takes place primarily in Long Island then in their Aunt’s house in Massachusetts. Maybe that’s what I didn’t like it as much because the Aunt’s were not in it as much as they are in the book. Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing are kinda the best part of the movie and without them the book is kind of lacking. The urgency that is felt with the dealing the spirit of Jimmy isn’t there. There is no build up of the romance between Sally and Gary Hallet. He doesn’t even appear until the last 50 pages of the book. As for a book about witches there really isn’t much witchcraft going on. I was a little disappointed in it but at least I can always watch the movie.

Quick Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

There is so much to love about this book. A beautiful friendship between two teenage girls. Hannah and Gemma’s are true partners as they support each other even after secrets reveal. A new lesbian romance between Hannah and new girl in town Morgan. It comes with all the butterflies and insecurities that comes with all new loves and to juxtapose that. The sting of the end of your first relationship. Hannah and her family leave in Salem and yes are witches but have to keep their identity a secret because you know they are witches. Hannah is still nursing the heartbreak of ending her first relationship with her ex Veronica, who is also a witch. When things start to happen that could expose them, Hannah is determined to figure out what is going on before anyone else gets hurt. Hannah’s family are elemental witches, who can control the elements. Not all witches are good because there are blood witches too and Hannah and Veronica had a run in with one on a class trip to New York. There are also witch hunters too. The aren’t any of the former in Salem and apparently the latter was thought to be extinct. Well both maybe both are not true. Hannah is a good person. She loves her family and her friends. She is your typical normal teenager. I enjoyed reading her POV. She’s not trying to save the world, just her own. You can’t help but find some of her dubious choices justified even when you know it’s not a good idea. There are a few loose ends that I do hope will be tied up in the next book. All and all this was a good way to start off my Pop Culture Homework Assignment.