Synopsis: The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. After that, he really doesn’t care.
But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus – the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known; the sort of man even the Father of Lies can’t trust.
The thing about me that seems to puzzle people the most – people who know me, who believe what I tell them – is that I can write the most profound things without actually meaning them. I can persuade people of things I don’t believe myself, or (more usually) simply don’t care about.
In The Devil You Know, the smartest man on earth sells his soul to the devil to finish his life’s work. If you’re thinking that this is another tale about how making deals with the devil is never a good idea, all I have to say is don’t count this guy out!
There are only two characters in this story: the devil and the smartest man on earth. Here, the devil isn’t your typical evil being. He is actually kind of a decent guy who likes tea and classical music. Hell is set up as a bureaucracy, and the devil is just an agent doing his job. He also likes reading works of philosophy and is a big fan of Saloninus who happens to be his latest client.
If anyone is evil it’s Saloninus, but I’m not even sure you can completely call him evil. He is a philosopher and scholar who comes off as egotistical because he knows he is the smartest man alive (and probably ever). Saloninus is trying to understand immortality and alchemy, two constructs the other-worldly beings don’t want mankind to know about.
The whole plot of the story is Saloninus throwing the devil off and stringing him along as he works on his life work while the devil tries his best to be accommodating. The devil is supposed to give Saloninus whatever he wants until he dies. I think the devil and Saloninus’ relationship shows that nothing is inherently evil. Systems can be manipulated to do evil things. I actually felt sympathy for the devil who was just trying to do his job.
High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.
Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.
Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.
Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?
Your body is no one’s business but your own. We are more than just our bodies. We are the sum of our abilities and accomplishments and hopes and dreams and friendships and relationships. It’s what we are inside that matters.
You would think with a quote like that, there’d be a ton of plus-size body positivity, but I have never been angrier while reading a book in my life. I don’t know how many times I cursed (in my head or quietly to myself…) the characters out, rolled my eyes, or furiously scribbled down pissed off notes while reading. I hardly liked any characters, hated most of their decisions, and found so many aspects extremely problematic. At first I was hell-bent on giving this book 1 star, then I bumped it up to 2 stars because for some reason I was still able to make it until the end. But then, as I laid in bed a little more calm but still sooo very angry, I thought I would give this 5 stars. Because the thing is, everything in Fat Girl on a Plane is on point, and I wonder if I hated it that much because it hit so close to home. I ended up giving this 3.5 stars because even though I’ll never say this is my favorite read, I without a doubt think it’s an important read.
Fat Girl on a Plane is an own voice novel about Cookie, a plus-sized aspiring fashion designer. The narrative is told in 2 timelines: when Cookie is fat and when Cookie is skinny. While Cookie is fat, she blogs for school under a spoiled brat who constantly fat shames her, and while Cookie is skinny, she’s made it into fashion design school and is on her way to fulfilling her dreams. I think this narrative choice is clever because as a plus-sized woman myself, personally I often think, “Well, when I’m skinny I can…”
Again, this is not a fluffy read. This is a make-you-feel-uncomfortable-and-pissed-off-for-a-purpose read. There are so many problematic and depressing aspects to this story, and if I didn’t read this on my phone I would have thrown it across the room over and over again.
First, Cookie has so many unhealthy relationships. She has a best friend who is “always there” but is constantly making up excuses for why the girl he’s interested in treats Cookie horribly. Then she has a super model for a mother who people always compare her to and who believes Cookie is a waste of space. And finally Cookie has a fashion icon for a boyfriend who fat shames a girl when they first meet, takes Cookie away from school to work and have sex with during the school year, refuses to put any kind of label on their relationship, and is at least twice her age. To be honest, I think age is nothing but a number, but the guy refers to himself as her “uncle” so in this case the guy is an authoritative figure having sex with someone with less power.
Next, Cookie has so many problematic thoughts and habits. She eats hardly anything to stay skinny, she believes no one would want to sexually harass her when she’s fat, she believes dating attractive jerks isn’t settling for fat women, and so much more along those lines.
But the thing is, speaking from my own experiences (doesn’t mean it’s everyone else’s!), everything that happens to Cookie and everything she thinks about, no matter how problematic they seem, are some of the most personal feelings, thoughts, and insecurities a person can ever feel. These are the insecurities that people push away and never talk about because of the shame these feelings bring about. It’s difficult to admit that you think so low of yourself that someone wouldn’t want to touch you. No one wants to talk about how they know it’s not okay, but dating an attractive jerk makes them feel like they’re more attractive than they feel they actually are. No one wants to talk about how they feel like they have to be more amazing than everyone else so that others see more than just the fat.
So again, I rated this book higher but not because of my personal enjoyment. I think this is such an important and eye-opening read. I just think I’ve been triggered way more than I thought I would be because talk about putting your deepest, darkest thoughts and insecurities on display lol.
If you didn’t already know, I suck at reading challenges and readathons. Actually, lately that’s a lie. I didn’t blog about it, but I did complete my O.W.L.S. and last month’s Reading Rivalry. Regardless, I mentioned it sometime before, but I met my friend Sandra through the #booksfortrade tag on Twitter and we’ve been screaming about books in caps ever since! Sandra’s friend creates a pretty laid back challenge for her every season, and I thought it would be fun to attempt to join her! There are 12 challenges that you have to complete in 3 months. Easy enough, right?
Here are the challenges and my TBR full of books I’ve been meaning to get to this year.
1. Wet Socks: Choose a book where a character has a chronic illness.
For this I’ll be reading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. One of Dalinor’s sons has a chronic disease of the blood.
2. Dead Leaves: Choose a book with a murder that happens on another continent than yours.
Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier is set in Ireland and it seems like it could get dark so I think there’s a possibility for someone to kill someone lol…
3. Don’t Forget Your Studies: Choose a book with less than 250 pages.
I am going to read The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang for this challenge! I honestly have no idea why I haven’t read this yet.
4. Short Days: Choose a book with a red or orange spine.
The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta is orange all around. I was fortunate enough to win this in a raffle and am excited to get to it!
5. Pumkin Spice Latte: Choose a dark fantasy book.
I thought maybe Sandra’s friend didn’t like pumpkin spice lattes since she asked for a dark fantasy. Turns out, she actually loves them, so now Sandra and I are both confused. I picked Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski for this one. It’s about time I got back to this series, especially since Geralt has been cast for the Netflix adaptation.
6. 暖かくない (a-ta-ta-ka-ku-na-i) (not warm): Choose a horror book set in Japan or that’s inspired by Japanese culture.
I purchasedGoth by Otsuichi at Worldcon, and it happens to be the perfect fit for this challenge. Asian horrors usually terrify me, so maybe I will read this in Hawaii when I’m close to all my family. >.>
7. Blodet drypper (blood is running): Choose a thriller book set in Norway.
Sandra and her friend are from Norway, hence the challenge. I’m waiting for a new recommendation from them because the first book they chose was over 600 pages long, and I don’t think I can commit to it. You’ll see what I choose when I read it!
8. Dead Bodies: Choose a classic horror book.
There’s so much talk about women in science fiction lately, so I’m choosing Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the mother of science fiction.
9. Cozy Blanket: Choose a book with a pretty cover.
I guess I want to cry sometime soon because I chose Hashi Mamoru Inu by Takashi Murakami. It’s about an old man who’s been abandoned by his family and decides to take a road trip with a dog who shows him the light at the end of the tunnel.
11. I Want to Sleep: Choose a book you read last year.
I want to re-read all of the SJM books before the last book comes out so I chose Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas since it is the next book in the series in my re-read.
12. F*ck Everything: Read a book that has inspired a game or is inspired by a game!(The challenge for Sandra: Read The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski & play The Witcher 3 before the new year)
I was going to continue on with The Witcher with a second book on this list, but I remembered my brother bought me The Legend of Drizzt by R. A. Salvatore in May. I won’t be reading the whole trilogy, but I will get to Homeland.
I hope I complete this challenge ><! Are you interested in any of the books on my list? Feel free to join in on the challenge and check out Sandra’s videos!
Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey and currently hosted by Sam on Goodreads. Come check out the group and join the fun!
First off, I got the place I was trying to get! Yay me! No more 1.5 hour commutes to school for me!
Today I’ll be joining in on T5W again. Apparently I missed out on the other friendship questions, but I’m sure I’ll eventually get to those in freebies. I actually haven’t read many books with a huge group of friends, but I was luckily able to come up with a few.
If you saw my tweet about my fantasy-like encounter with Seanan Mcguire at Worldcon, you may think I’m being biased…and that would be sorta kinda true. But I do really adore the Wayward Children, especially in Beneath the Sugar Sky. I just love how a group of children who don’t feel like they fit in anywhere have a place where they can be proud to be themselves. I also like how they find comfort in each other.
Ahhhh these airsick lowlanders are such treasures! If you haven’t read The Way of Kings, one army uses bridgemen to run ahead and place bridges across chasms for the soldiers to get where they need to be. As you can probably tell, it’s a dangerous job and people constantly die on bridge runs. The members of Bridge 4 don’t start off as the most likable of characters, but I always found myself rooting for them. They’re also hilarious! It’s super funny whenever they affectionately bash one another.
As you can probably already tell, I love a group of entertaining misfits with troubled pasts, especially when they’re characterized well. I don’t think any member of The Dregs doesn’t have something someone can relate to, and that’s why I care for them so much.
4. The Fairy Tail Guild from Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
Fairy Tail has a huge cast of characters, and I can honestly say I like every one of them. There are many characters I couldn’t stand in the beginning who are now my favorites. I used to be obsessed with an MMORPG called Lineage II and formed many close relationships with my former clan mates. I love the Fairy Tail guild because they treat each other like family, and I without a doubt believe your online clan mates can become as close as family.
I may or may not have been excited for this week’s topic just because I finally had a reason to post this beautiful fanart of my favorite characters from a book I read in 2018. Alabaster, Syenite, and Innon are not just friends. They are also in a polyamorous relationship. I think anyone would be lucky to have someone care for them the way the characters in this group care for each other. You can even see their admiration when they’re not near one another.
I hope you enjoyed my picks and featured fanart! What are some of your favorite group of friends? Let me know!
Hey everyone! It’s been awhile, I know. I am finally able to type again, and I FINALLY *fingers crossed* got a place to stay closer to campus assuming the background check stuff goes well. Thank you to everyone who wished me well while I was recovering! ^^
I’ve got a lot to catch up on, so I’m starting off with combining my July and August wrap-up. After July, I finally convinced myself I needed to stop reading what I think I should be reading and just read what I felt like reading because according to the last few months of ratings, I wasn’t enjoying myself. I read only 3 books in July… but 12 in August! Let’s just assume there will be a review and rating to come for everything here lol ><!
In the Devil You Know, a great philosopher makes a deal with the devil to extend his life so that he may finish his life’s work. Hell is set up like a bureaucracy, and the devil is more like your average guy working at the DMV. He doesn’t seem that evil. In fact, the man who sells his soul seems much more intimidating. A quick and interesting read you can knock out in a couple of hours. Highly recommend!
3.5 stars. I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier while reading a book! This was not the fluffy, body positive book I was expecting, though I probably should have done my research before reading. Instead, this book is about the reality of being a fat woman trying to navigate through life. All Cookie’s insecurities and decisions she makes because of her insecurities hit a little too close to home, and I ended up so incredibly upset when I finished. HOWEVER, I think this is an important read because too many people just don’t get what extra worries people have when they’re fat.
I’m going to have to come up with some sort of rating system that let’s me rate a book on enjoyment as well as the book as a whole because this was such an addicting read, but there were many things that could have been done better. I enjoyed the first half of the book where Rin is a poor dark-skinned Asian girl trying to make it in an elite military academy full of rich heirs. I also enjoyed the martial art scenes and Rin’s eventual “group of friends” (spoilers so that’s what I’m calling them lol). But during the last half, Rin served as more of a witness to another character’s glory and eventual downfall. I don’t think the ending makes sense as is. Maybe if it was expanded by 2-5 more chapters I might be able to come to terms with the end. With that being said, I’m still eager to get my hands on the next installment.
I listened to this on audiobook after hearing that there were many references to it in The Poppy War. I wish I read The Art of War before because The Poppy War seems much more impressive now that I know many of the references. Also, I listened to the edition with Aidan Gillen from Game of Thrones as the narrator. Just imagine Littlefinger reading The Art of War to you. What an experience!
This was really good. It’s also self-published so I’m glad I read it! I was first introduced to this through Petrik’s review of The Blood of Whisperers, the sequel series to In Shadows We Fall. It’s an Asian inspired fantasy that features and empath prince who is imprisoned for sorcery. Not gonna lie, I was interested because of the cover and the prince’s name (Endymion like Prince Endymion from Sailor Moon haha…). Anyways, In Shadows We Fall features Endymion’s mother, an assassin queen. In the beginning, she is told of a prophecy that says she and her children will die. Another short novella that I highly recommend. I’ll definitely be continuing on with the series.
I have no clue why I even chose to read this, but I feel like I gained some IQ points after reading it. It talks about human progression as a result of societies’ need as a whole to progress. Also! It emphasizes that humans’ ability to think abstractly and daydream is key to our survival. Fiction is good, people!
Oh man, I hate to say this, but I liked this waay more the first time I read it. I’m trying to re-read the series before the last book comes out, but Celaena is so annoying. Everything is about her even when it doesn’t involve her. I’ve read about some pretty amazing assassin’s since my first read of ToG, so my assassin bar is set a little high. This was still a fun read, especially if you’re looking for romance in your fantasy! Also, I’m now team Chaol after being team Dorian because, Dorian, you had no business even talking to Celaena!
The Ice Dragon is a middle grade book set in the same world as A Song of Ice and Fire. I believe it takes place in the time of the Targaryens. This book features a cold young girl who is able to ride the Ice Dragon. A new book for my favorite shelf. I wish GRRM wrote ASOIAF like this. It’s still lyrical and atmospheric without droning on and on about the history of the world.
3.5 stars. I had so much fun reading When It’s Real by Erin Watt, that I knew I would be reading their next book. This is kind of a cute romance with heavy themes. It’s about a girl who’s trying to move on her life after the death of her sister and a boy who’s trying to move on after 3 years in juvie. You can probably guess the plot, and if you think it’s too predictable, it actually happens. There’s just something about Erin Watt’s novels that make them so charming! I even purchased The Paper Princess for when I need another romance fix.
I loved this anime in high school so decided to read it when I saw it at my school library. Nana is a coming of age story about two young women both named Nana who decide to live together. They are as different as they come. The first Nana is boy crazy. Her life basically revolved around boys. The other Nana is a singer for a punk rock band and had a long time relationship with her previous lover. The first volume is about the first Nana. I’m not a an of her character, so I didn’t enjoy this volume, but I completely adore the other Nana so I know I just need to push through.
I DID IT! I conquered the beast, and it was amazing, and I am obsessed. OBSESSED! I obsessed about this so much a non-reader friend decided he had to pick it up and another friend joined me while I read it. I KNEW this would become my favorite Sanderson once I read it. The world building is incredible! I like how Sanderson goes into a ton of detail, but everything unfolds when needed. It’s a 1000 page novel, but the writing never felt like it dragged on. Also, man, Kaladin and Dalinar became some of my all time favorite characters. They’re the kind of characters that make you want to go out and do something good in the world. If you want to fangirl about The Stormlight Archive with me please do! I LOOOVED it!
The obsession continues! I gave this one 5 stars, too, but I enjoyed The Way of Kings more. Sanderson expands an already large world in the second book, and Shallan and Pattern stole the show! Shallan’s magic is probably the most interesting magic systems I’ve read about. Serious question, though: how do you convince a stick to become fire? o.o I enjoyed this less because Kaladin was a little too angsty for me, and I don’t always like how Sanderson’s male characters fall for their lovers. I’m not the biggest fan of people falling for the girls who “aren’t like anyone else.”
3.5 stars. I think if I didn’t have to read this before Oathbringer, I would have enjoyed it more. I read this right after Words of Radiance only because I wanted to get to Oathbringer. This book is literally full of awesomeness! It’s about Lift, a side character in Words of Radiance who is being chased by someone named The Darkness. Lift and her spren are adorable! I want a spren just like Wyndle!
There you have it! If you’re wondering, yes, I am now reading Oathbringer lol. How was your reading month? Have you read anything I read? Did you come up with a way to convince a stick to become fire? I’d love to hear from you all again!
Just wanted to update you all. I was at first busy because my living arrangements for the fall semester fell through. Then I got tendinitis so can’t use my left hand (typing this one handed lol). I’ll be on Twitter and sometimes IG, but for now no typing for me ><! I’ll see you all and get to comments/replies when I can later!