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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin | Blog Tour

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual assault, violence, domestic abuse.

I've been talking about Foul is Fair in some capacity or another, online and off, for months now. And nearly every time, the words I've used to describe it have been sharp: it "routinely gives me chills with just how razor-sharp it is" or it's "prose balanced on a knife's edge." I've talked about a writing style that cuts, that eviscerates, that pierces that's well-honed. It is brutal, and ruthless, and devastating, and so, so sharp.

Foul is Fair gives a fresh, clever, feminist take on Macbeth that still works perfectly on its own, without having read Macbeth. I don't think it's a coincidence that the fact that it's a retelling isn't even mentioned in the synopsis; it's not necessary to know, to be familiar with, but if you are, ooh, boy, does it add layers to the story! I was consistently surprised how well Capin reworked the plot of Macbeth and made it fit a modern revenge story without feeling forced. Everything has different significance, Macbeth's "ambitions" and Lady Macbeth's bloodlust, it all means something else, but it all slots so neatly together it's like it was meant to be. That Elle and her "coven" would ruthlessly pick off the privileged boys who drugged and gang-raped her is prime revenge fantasy territory, but the way the relentless drive of Macbeth lends itself to the goal is serendipitous.

And though it is a bloody, brutal book, at its heart it's the story of a girl who's hurting, and Capin doesn't forget that. Though yes, it may be unrealistic for the coven and Elle to orchestrate murders so effortlessly and in such a short period of time, it lends an immediacy to the story, and to Elle's pain — the bruises from her assault haven't even faded. Her pain and her anger (and her coven's, for her) is a live, raw nerve-ending. While some readers may find it hard to willingly suspend their disbelief (and their morality; gotta suspend that a bit, too) that, not only does Elle manage to accomplish all she does, but that no one recognizes her after so recent an assault, I think most readers will ignore the logistics in favor of cheering Elle on in her quest for vengeance.

I think some readers will be put off by the "on-stage" violence (and the satisfaction Elle takes in seeing her dark will done, and the general confrontationalness of the pain and horror that permeates the book. Still other readers may be put off by a sense that the book is over-written or purple-prosy. It is highly stylized, but for me, that was one of it's draws, and not a detraction, but YMMV. But for those it works for, those who like dark, dark books and relentless, risk-it-all revenge tales, or even just really clever retellings of classics, I don't think you can get much better than Foul is Fair. On par with the ruthlessness and relentlessness and unflinchingness of Sadie, which is also put out by Wednesday Books, so I think they've got us covered in the 'uber-dark, fed-up teen girls who are ready to burn the world to the ground' market.

And I'm here for it.

As I said, I've been talking about this one for awhile, and I think I'll be talking about it for awhile more to come. This is the type of book to stick with you (I literally had dreams about it), and the type to make for one hell of a group read/discussion book.

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin
Contemporary Thriller, Literary Retelling, 336 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Wednesday Books
Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Hannah Capin lives in Tidewater Virginia. She holds degrees from the Indiana University School of Music and Columbia University. When she isn't working on her next book, you'll find her sailing, singing, or scheming with her friends. She is the author of THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB and FOUL IS FAIR

Friday, January 31, 2020

#30DayBookBinge, Round10! + FREE PRINTABLES!

Since the ORIGINAL 10th #30DayBookBinge was a fail on my part (back in October), and what *should have been* the next book binge should technically be going on right now, I guess you could say things got a little out of whack. But I'm just gonna roll with it! So the next 30 Day Book Binge is going to be for the month of February, which yes, does not have 30 days in it! 😂
But it 's a leap year, so we're close. Just consider that you're getting a day off for good behavior. ;)

30 DAY BOOK BINGE is a quarterly reading challenge in which the goal is just to read something every single day for 30 straight days. What you read (books, poetry, the newspaper), the format you read it in (physical, digital, audio), and how long you read for are entirely up to you! The goal is just to make daily reading a habit, and to maybe knock out some reading goals in the process.
You can share your progress, your reading picks, ask for encouragement or give some of your own on social media with the hashtag #30DayBookBinge.

Now, as always, I like to sweeten the pot by giving you some special, limited edition printables to go along with each round of the Book Binge. These are created by me, specifically for each round of our "challenge," and they are 100% free for you to download and use.*

In the printable pack, you'll find:

  • a February 2020 calendar, in this month's pink & berry florals theme
  •  a TBR tracker in 2 versions ("Twenty Books to Read in 2020" and blank, so you can decide the theme yourself) 
    • the blank bookshelves printable is available as a single letter size (approx A4) illustration, or a 2-per-page bullet journal size (suitable for A5 or larger, with room for margins). The "Twenty Books.." version prints with the sticker pack, below.
  • a set of digital stickers, which you can print and cut out to use in a planner or bullet journal. Included designs:
    • the "Twenty Books to Read in 2020" bookshelf printable, mentioned above.
    • 5-Star Rating stickers, for you to rate the books you read
    • blank and colored book illustrations
    • a 30-box daily reading checkmark tracker
    • colorful days of the week labels
    • book "reaction" stickers and decorative heart stickers
    • and a decorative corner-page sticker in the month's floral design, to match the February calendar!
  • All files are available as PDFs and PNG files, so that you can use or print them in whichever format you're most comfortable handling (or resizing, as needed). 

I hope to see you around during our 10th (tenth!) 30 Day Book Binge, and I very much hope you enjoy the free printables. If you like them or make use of them, please let me know!

Happy reading!

*These digital files are for personal use only. Please do not reupload these designs, remix them, or use them in a commercial capacity. You may save and print as many as you'd like for personal use, though. And feel free to share them with friends!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Introducing THE FAVORITES CLUB + February Pick!

.. I mean, I don't know how much of a "club" it is, because at this point, it's just me, but YANNO. A really exclusive club of 1. ;)

My goal in 2020 (and in life from here on out) is to rediscover the joy in things, and The Favorites Club will (hopefully) be a step in that direction. Its purpose is to allow me to make time for things I love, and to focus on sharing that love with all of you, encouraging you not only to give those things I love a chance, but also encouraging you to make time for things YOU love, things that bring you comfort, and things that you may get new, fresh enjoyment out of, even though the story itself is not new to you.

This project will probably morph a bit as it goes on, because the intention is that it not feel like work or obligation, so if you have ideas to incorporate or things you'd like to see, please let me know. Also, if you have a favorite -- especially a childhood favorite -- that you think I should read, or you'd like to buddy read / co-host with me one month, please reach out!

This month's pick is CASTLE WAITING, which is a graphic novel bu Linda Medley featuring fairy tale characters, cozy homey scenes, and a good dash of absurdity - all things I love!
And it turns out that it's now finally available on comixology and in paperback!

"Castle Waiting is the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, it is a fairy tale that's not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil -- but about being a hero in your own home. The opening chapter tells the origin of the castle itself, which is abandoned by its princess in a comic twist on "Sleeping Beauty" when she rides off into the sunset with her Prince Charming.
The castle becomes a refuge for misfits, outcasts, and others seeking sanctuary, playing host to a lively and colorful cast of characters that inhabits the subsequent stories, including a talking anthropomorphic horse, a mysteriously pregnant Lady on the run, and a bearded nun.

Linda Medley lavishly illustrates Castle Waiting in a classic visual style reminiscent of Arthur Rackham and William Heath Robinson. Blending elements from a variety of sources -- fairy tales, folklore, nursery rhymes -- Medley tells the story of the everyday lives of fantastic characters with humor, intelligence, and insight into human nature. Castle Waiting can be read on multiple levels and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, especially young girls."

Monday, January 27, 2020

Backlist Love (16)

You know I love me some forgotten gems! Here are 3 graphic novels that have been out for a little while now, that you may have forgotten that you meant to pick up - or maybe that you never even heard of to begin with, but that are totally up your alley!
Let me know your thoughts on them in the comments, and if you have suggestions for similar books, or future themes for Backlist Love, let me know!


Saturday, January 25, 2020

"Currently" "Reading".. sort of

I sort of disappeared over the last few months, but in that time, I was reading, I swear! The problem is, I wasn't *finishing*... Here are all the books I'm "currently" reading, and maybe will even finish soon. Possibly. Hopefully?

(Also, sorry for not posting this here on the blog sooner! In case you missed it, I've posted 2 other videos recently on my youtube channel, as well, which will be making it over to the blog over the next couple of days. But if you won't want to wait, you can check them out at youtube.com/BookRatMisty)


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