Size Doesn’t Matter (96): Where Am I Now?; Iron Cast; One Salt Sea

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (96): Where Am I Now?; Iron Cast; One Salt SeaWhere Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson
Narrator: Mara Wilson
Length: 7 hrs, 22 mins
Published by Penguin Audio on September 13, 2016
Genres: Memoir
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
three-stars

For readers of Lena Dunham, Allie Brosh and Roxane Gay, this funny, poignant, daringly honest collection of personal essays introduces Mara Wilson—the former child actress best known for her starring roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire—as a brilliant new chronicler of the experience that is growing up young and female.

Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and a little out of place: as the only child on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, the sole clinically depressed member of the cheerleading squad, a valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and one of the few former child actors who has never been in jail or rehab. Tackling everything from how she first learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to losing her mother at a young age, to getting her first kiss (or was it kisses?) on a celebrity canoe trip, to not being “cute” enough to make it in Hollywood, these essays tell the story of one young woman’s journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. But they also illuminate a universal struggle: learning to accept yourself, and figuring out who you are and where you belong. Exquisitely crafted, revelatory, and full of the crack comic timing that has made Mara Wilson a sought-after live storyteller and Twitter star, Where Am I Now? introduces a witty, perceptive, and refreshingly candid new literary voice.

Based on how much I enjoy Mara Wilson’s twitter feed, I expected to be really into Where Am I Now?. I thought it would be really funny and hard-hitting, and in some ways it was definitely the latter, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected.

Mara comes pretty close to the tell-all aspect of a celebrity bio that is generally what I’m hoping to get, if I’m honest. I never knew she dated Zac Efron when they were both young, for example. Individual stories were interesting, like her work on the films as a kid, though she was so young she can’t remember a lot of it. Where Where Am I Now? lacked for me is that I actually didn’t really find any of it funny.

Maybe I’d have been more into it if it hadn’t jumped around so much without any clear reason. The subjects weren’t really grouped by subject matter so far as I could tell, but Wilson jumps around in time, from her time as a child actor to college to elementary school to high school to middle school to child actor to college, and it makes it tough to follow.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (96): Where Am I Now?; Iron Cast; One Salt SeaIron Cast by Destiny Soria
Published by Amulet Books on October 11, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
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Goodreads
four-stars

It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose "afflicted" blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.

Ever since I  saw the gorgeous cover, I knew Iron Cast had to be mine. I mean, yes, the description is total Christina bait as well: diverse humans with powers in the 1920s. Hello, yes, please and thank you. Iron Cast sounds like an excellent readalike for Libba Bray’s Diviners series, and it so very is. If you’re waiting the two to three years between books in that series, Iron Cast will be an excellent temptation to your bookish palate.

Ada and Corinne are both hemopaths. Ada’s able to create emotions in people through her violin and her voice. Corinne can conjure up illusions that fool not just the eye but all the senses with a few stanzas of verse. In a world that hates hemopaths (think the mutant registry idea of X-Men), Ada and Corinne have come from two very different backgrounds to find safe refuge at Cast Iron, an iron-free bar (because hemopaths are sensitive to iron) that hosts illegal hemopath shows, starring ours truly. On the side, they run cons to help the owner come up with enough money to keep the bar going. In Iron Cast, Ada and Corinne take on the folks rounding up hemopaths for testing at a creepy asylum and whoever it is that attacked the Cast Iron gang.

The plot’s awesome, quickly and consistently paced. The world building isn’t massive, but I think it’s comprehensive and fits with what the two third person limited narrators would know about their world. Iron Cast‘s a fun read, though it doesn’t have the incredible scope of Diviners. Like Diviners, though, there’s a diverse cast. Ada’s black and Portuguese. Her boyfriend, Charlie, is black as well. There’s also a gay couple in the main cast. It’s not quite brimming over with diversity, but the portrayals are lovely. I really like the whole cast. The only beats missing from Iron Cast for me were the emotional. I really enjoyed absolutely everything, but it never crossed into love. The romances are cute, but do not get enough screen time or banter to really invest me in the relationships. View Spoiler » The best relationship in the book’s definitely the friendship between Ada and Corinne, followed by Corinne’s relationship with the Cast Iron.

The ending closes off the main plot threads, but I feel like the door’s still a bit open for more in this world. I have no idea if there are plans for that, but I, for one, would be down for more books about this crew. Either way, I’ll definitely be checking out Destiny Soria’s next book.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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Size Doesn’t Matter (96): Where Am I Now?; Iron Cast; One Salt SeaOne Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #5
Published by DAW on September 6, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery
Pages: 354
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
four-stars

October "Toby" Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it's time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She'll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away.

Oh, October, you are to be greatly pitied, for you are written by Seanan McGuire, who is pitiless in what she does to you. Another October Daye book and once again Toby’s put through the wringer, physically and emotionally. This girl needs a vacation.

In this installment, Toby’s once again hunting for kidnapped children, this time to prevent a war between the sea fae and the land fae. Time is short, as ever, and things are going to get personal for Toby, because obviously McGuire doesn’t believe in going easy on her. The start was a bit on the slow side, but as usual the book got unputdownable as the story progressed.

A lot of really big stuff happened in One Salt Sea. Toby’s been mostly ignoring her daughter, Gillian, thinking it for the best for everyone, but she has to deal with that relationship. View Spoiler » The romance in this one annoys me for reasons that are mega-spoilery and perhaps surprising. View Spoiler » It was cute though View Spoiler ».

Because of that romance spoiler, this is the first in the series to not improve upon the prior book in my opinion. Even with that issue, though, this is still a really great paranormal book.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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3 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (96): Where Am I Now?; Iron Cast; One Salt Sea”

  1. Gillian says:

    SHE DATED ZAC EFRON?!?! OMFG.

    Okay I neeeed to bump Iron Cast up the list.

    A CHARACTER NAMED GILLIAN. For a split second I thought you were talking about me haha
    Gillian recently posted…The Triumphant Return of…The Shippy Awards!My Profile

  2. Damn! You’re already on Toby Daye #5?! I listened to the first one on audio forever ago when I was brand new to audios and it didn’t go well for me. I’ve been wanting to re-read book one in physical but have yet to get around to it. Glad to see you’re enjoying them though. 🙂
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – Always: A Novel by Sarah JioMy Profile

  3. Leah says:

    Iron Cast is waiting in the wings for me courtesy of last month’s LitJoy Crate. Must. Read. It!
    Leah recently posted…{Waiting on Wednesday} Stranger Than The LostMy Profile

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