Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Tour Review: The Tell-Tale Heart by Jill Dawson

Title: The Tell-Tale Heart
Author: Jill Dawson
Genre: general fiction
Series: N/A
Pages: 256
Published: February 10 2015
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
Rating: 2.5/5

After years of excessive drink and sex, Patrick has suffered a massive heart attack. Although he's only fifty, he's got just months to live. But a tragic accident involving a teenager and a motorcycle gives the university professor a second chance. He receives the boy's heart in a transplant, and by this miracle of science, two strangers are forever linked.

Though Patrick's body accepts his new heart, his old life seems to reject him. Bored by the things that once enticed him, he begins to look for meaning in his experience. Discovering that his donor was a local boy named Drew Beamish, he becomes intensely curious about Drew's life and the influences that shaped him--from the eighteenth-century ancestor involved in a labor riot to the bleak beauty of the Cambridgeshire countryside in which he was raised. Patrick longs to know the story of this heart that is now his own.

In this intriguing and deeply absorbing story, Jill Dawson weaves together the lives and loves of three vibrant characters connected by fate to explore questions of life after death, the nature of the soul, the unseen forces that connect us, and the symbolic power of the heart.

Literary fiction is often a hard sell for me. I like the ideas that can be explored in varied, meaningful ways and Jill Dawson does so here with The Tell-Tale Heart. It's the story of an older heart transplant recipient, Patrick, and that the recent life of his donator and the donator's ancestors in a labor riot in the 1800s. It's an interesting premise and an interesting story, but there was no emotional connection for me to anything or anyone depicted. 

I liked the book most when Patrick wasn't involved. He's pretty much a wash of a character -- judgmental, weak-willed, entitled, rude, and misogynistic. I was much more interested in the life of his counterpart Drew Beamish, the kid whose heart ends up in Patrick, and Drew's ancestor Willie Beamiss. The fact that the novel focuses much more on Patrick than his counterparts was disappointing to me. Patrick's storyline has potential -- characterizing Helen and Alice, especially -- but Patrick himself is a cold fish made colder by his reluctance to be a decent person.

I can deal with unlikeable characters, and often love them, but I have to have something to glom onto to really care about the story.  Drew has a lot of potential in his confused teenage life, but his sections, like Willie's, are too short to make that much of an impact. For all that though, The Tell-Tale Heart is readable and offers a new perspective in the lives of organ donors and recipients. That angle carried the most empathy into the story and what kept me reading.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Tour Review: Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley

Title: Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran
Author: Marion Grace Woolley
Genre: historical fiction, retellings
Series: N/A
Pages: 288
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
Rating: 3/5


A young woman confronts her own dark desires, and finds her match in a masked conjurer turned assassin.

Inspired by Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, Marion Grace Woolley takes us on forbidden adventures through a time that has been written out of history books.

"Those days are buried beneath the mists of time. I was the first, you see. The very first daughter. There would be many like me to come. Svelte little figures, each with saffron skin and wide, dark eyes. Every one possessing a voice like honey, able to twist the santur strings of our father’s heart."

It begins with a rumour, an exciting whisper. Anything to break the tedium of the harem for the Shah’s eldest daughter. People speak of a man with a face so vile it would make a hangman faint, but a voice as sweet as an angel’s kiss. A master of illusion and stealth. A masked performer, known only as Vachon.

For once, the truth will outshine the tales.

On her birthday the Shah gifts his eldest daughter Afsar a circus. With it comes a man who will change everything.

A dark, odd little book Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran is attention-grabbing from early on. The story of Afsar, a daugther of the Shah set in the 1850s in Iran, there's a lot to love about the novel. It's certainly atmospheric, creative, and distinct. The writing itself is lush and full of visuals and unique imagery. The courts at Sari and in Tehran pop from the page, as does Afsar and her counterpart, Le Comte de Mort Rouge. It's a darkly fascinating journey with two damaged people and Marion Grace Woolley is a skilled storyteller.

A retelling/reinterpretation of the famous Phantom of the Opera in a new locale is refreshing and fully allows Marion Grace Woolley put her own stamp on the famous and often-told tale. Vachon is recognizable from his earlier incarnations, but the author definitely molds him in a distinct manner. Afsar, who says she has "been written out of the history books" is the main character and narrator (I did some googling and am unsure if this would be the correct historical corollary for her character if not her characterization). She is a difficult character to both like or relate to. She's interesting, though, and her arrogance is both frustrating and a key plot point to her own downfall.

The writing itself is the highlight of reading the novel. The issues I had stemmed from the pace and the lack of any real plot to propel events toward anything meaningful. Throughout the book Afsar and Eirik give into their baser urges and desires, if not the in way anticipated, and compete as often as they cooperate. However, there's no overarching plot to guide their actions. They do as they want just because they want. And while they aren't the best of people (ask Sheyda or Ludovico) I needed more than "baser instincts" as a reason for the story.

An intrigui9ng mix of retelling and historical fiction, Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran is disquieting but impossible to looka way from. As Afsar and Eirik encourage each other to new and more dangerous heights and depths, Mario Grace Woolley's story emerges as a adept and engaging novel. Fans of the original, or of darker historical fiction will find a lot to enjoy in this easily read and imaginative story.







Review: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes by Cory O'Brien

Title: Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology
Author: Cory O'Brien
Genre: Non-fiction
Series: None
Pages: 304
Published: March 5, 2013
Source: Gift
Rating: 4 out of 5

All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified. Wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words. Skeptical? Here are just a few gems to consider:

� Zeus once stuffed an unborn fetus inside his thigh to save its life after he exploded its mother by being too good in bed.

� The entire Egyptian universe was saved because Sekhmet just got too hammered to keep murdering everyone.

� The Hindu universe is run by a married couple who only stop murdering in order to throw sweet dance parties…on the corpses of their enemies.


� The Norse goddess Freyja once consented to a four-dwarf gangbang in exchange for one shiny necklace.

And there’s more dysfunctional goodness where that came from.

OK, so like you know that post on Tumblr, the one where the girl explains the Minotaur myth and it's super funny and easy to understand and everyone's like, "omg this is amazing, why aren't ALL myths TOLD LIKE THIS?!?" Guys, ALL THESE MYTHS ARE TOTALLY TOLD LIKE THAT.

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes is worth a read, not just for being laugh out loud funny, but for actually being an interesting critique on oral traditions. Mythology was originally passed by bards, the kind of people who were either drunk or performing for the drunk. So while we think of mythology as this stuffy thing historians or your history teacher prattle on about, at the time, they actually were told a lot like...well an overly excited twenty-something on Tumblr.

The first thing that attracted me to the book are the bonkers chapter titles, which themselves went viral for awhile. (If you have a teenager who likes history and social media, buy this and be the cool adult in their life for awhile.) Things like "Ra and Sekhmet, or: How Beer Saved the Universe" and "Sex 4 Gold" should give you a pretty good idea of the stories you're getting. It's filthy. Just gobs of semen jokes. There are stories about nothing but poop and testicles. The illustrations are like a pack of 13 year old boys were turned loose with sharpies. Yet, while crude, it's not mean.

The Greek and Norse stories are my favorites, because I'm most familiar with these stories, so there's humor in knowing what the author changed and what was ABSOLUTELY in the originals. There's a great mix of other cultures represented, from Egypt and other African nations, (which the author does a good job of not lumping into one THIS IS WHAT AFRICA THINKS mush,) to China, Japan, and Hindi. There's even a small section of modern American myths like Pecos Bill and Scientology.

Each story ends with a "moral", that is a total bastardization of the actual message, like:

"if you are not ready to be a father
consider all of your options
before skipping directly to cannibalism"

or

"apparently women ARE currency
but the exchange rate of women to gold
isn't actually that great"

Delightful.

If I have one critique, it's the epilogue. The author decides to argue that our current science is it's own kind of myth, so we should be nice to the religious and everyone should get along. Hmm, no.

If I have two critiques, I understand presenting many creation myths to show the similarities in multiple cultures, but the jokes got repetitive after awhile.

In all, I really enjoyed Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes. It's not the most detailed look at mythology. It's not the most accurate. But it is the funniest, and you'll probably be WAY better prepared to drunkenly explain how Zeus turned to lightning and killed the mortal he was banging. You know, next time that comes up.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Title: The Sculptor
Author: Scott McCloud
Genre: graphic novel, supernatural
Series: N/A
Pages: 496
Source: publishers for review
Published: February 3 2015
Rating: 4.25/5

David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding  what  to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier!

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.

The Sculptor was my first graphic novel ever -- at age 27, no less. And, having raced through this tome in just over a day desperate to see how it all plays out, I don't know if I can continue exploring within this medium. I have no idea how anything that comes after will match my experience reading The Sculptor -- in terms of plot, character, emotions, everything. I was definitely not expecting to be carried away as much as I was, but with David and Meg and Ollie, Scott McCloud has created something pretty damn wonderful. It's heartwrenching and funny and sometimes just fun, but also full of honest emotion and human struggle. It's not always pretty but it holds a lot of meaning.

The myriad emotions at the heart of The Sculptor shape the story in so many small but meaningful ways. David's frustrated passion and stubbornness, Meg's giving heart and depression, Ollie's yearning for love and misguided attempts... all spoke to me so much and carried each on their own individual paths. These are imperfect people trying their best -- and though David's story seems to be ending with the deal he makes in the first section of the novel, he learns a lot and changes authentically throughout the nearly 500 page course of the novel. And while David is the main character and the focus of the novel, he nearly loses all attention to Meg, his love interest and so much more. Meg is complicated and messy and imperfect; ferociously, amazingly opinionated and at the same time fragile.

What I loved about these characters is that they aren't mere caricatures. Meg isn't the trope she seems at first, and neither is David. Meg so nearly was a MPDG but McCloud gives her plenty of depth and a magnetic personality all her own. David seems to fit the bill of "obsessed failing artist" pretty closely but McCloud doesn't let his main character stagnate. Watching David try and fail, try and fail before figuring ~things~ out is cathartic and relateable -- and also totally believable for all the special abilities he is granted. He has talent, but like Meg, he is imperfect and makes mistakes along the way while trying so so hard to fill his definition of success. They grow as people and they grow together; I defy you not to get major feels as their relationship matures and deepens.

The Sculptor is heartfelt and heart-wrenching and nearly perfect. It's good in so many ways it became almost painful to leave the characters behind after the ending. The urge is to race through and absorb as much as possible but with Scott McCloud's art, it's really worth it to take your time and really pay attention and truly get to know Meg and David and their version of NYC. The visual medium worked so well for me here that I can't be anything but impressed with this novel as a whole. Some parts were a taaaad predictable (the eventual relationship, the inevitable regret, etc.) but I was also completely surprised by a turn late laaate into the story.

Scott McCloud was a a great author to introduce me to graphic novels as a medium for stories. The Sculptor may veer a tad close to a few established fictional tropes but his deft authorial touch saves what could sound rote on paper into something truly unique and lovely.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Recent Bookish Acquisitions

So it's been another great couple weeks for books. I did pretty good on not buying any until the last week or so. But I was also sent A LOT of great books from generous friends and publishers. 2015 is off to an excellent start.









The Tell-Tale Heart by Jill Dawson (sent from TLC Book Tours)
Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley (another from TLC Book Tours -- it's a Phantom of the Opera retelling!)
Joyride by Anna Banks (sent from MacMillan)
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson (sent from TLC Book Tours)



























Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt - Once Upon A Crime Family #1 (sent from Bloomsbury)
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson (sent from MacMillan)
Withering Tights - Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #1 by Louise Rennison (sent from Morgan @ Gone With the Words!)
Half Bad - Half Bad #1 by Sally Green (sent by Christina@ Christina Reads YA!)
Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold - Broken Hearts and Revenge #2 by Katie Finn (sent from MacMillan)
The Heart of Betrayal - The Remnant Chronicles #2 by Mary E. Pearson (sent from MacMillan)















Women Who Broke the Rules: Dolley Madison by Kathleen Kull (sent from MacMillan)
The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time #4 (bought - new covers for this series means I must own them all)
The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time #5 (bought - see above)
I Was Here by Gayle Forman (bought because Gayle Forman)
Doll Bones by Holly Black (bought -- hardcover for $1.99? How could I resist?)
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner - The Queen's Thief #2 (another steal for $1.50. Couldn't resist.)
Sculptor by Scott McCloud (sent for 01Second Books)
Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd (sent from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours)
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (sent from Roaring Books Press)

So I did pretty good -- both in restraining myself and being spoiled by the mail.

Any new releases or buys you're especially excited for?


(Thank you thank you MacMillan, Bloomsbury, TLC Book Tours, HFVBT Book Tours, Christina, Morgan, 01Second, Roaring Brook, aaand Ryan's Wallet)


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Discussion Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen


Title: Beastkeeper
Author: Cat Hellisen
Genre: middle grade, retellings

Series: N/A
Pages: 208
Published: February 3rd 2015
Source: publishers for review
Rating: 3.5/5

Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever. 


Lyn: Hi! Thank you for doing this. I really love co-op reviews.

Jessie: No problem! It’s been a while since I’ve talked with you GI ladies about books.

Lyn: Yeah! We need to snag you a bit more.

Did you get a chance to finish the book?

Jessie: Yes! Finished this morning.
I really liked it, buuut I didn’t LOVE it.

Lyn: Yah! So did I. I slacked off to read ACOTAR.
Same! It was good but it was a bit too sad and violent

Jessie: GAH I HAVEN’T EVEN OPENED THAT BECAUSE IT’S SO FAR AWAY AND ALL MY FRIENDS ARE READING IT I HATE YOU ALL.

Lyn: And we love you!
Jessie: Yes! I don’t mind the sad parts but it just never really made an impact? I never really empathized. Something in the writing was too.. distant. Removed.

Lyn: I get what you mean. I think that was the main issue. I wish I had known the characters a bit more, like the dad and the grandparents.
The story was lovely and the writing was fantastic. I felt that the world building and the characters needed a bit more attention.

Jessie: Yes! So little of them is shown — like the mom. I get that she misses her mom because she was her mom, but make the character more… real.
Agree wholeheartedly. Cat Hellisen is such a good writer that I am so sad to have not connected more. But her talent cannot be denied.

Lyn: Exactly! I wanted to feel the loss a little more. These people were strangers to me, so I really didn’t feel the loss myself.

Jessie: Yep. There were just surface reactions and no real emotional feel.

Lyn: I really hope she keeps writing! Her prose is so beautiful and spot on.
I am glad that someone else felt that the characters needed a little more substance.

Jessie: Have you read her first novel? It’s YA and longer with great characters.
I also really liked how she changed up the Beauty and the Beast story. Girl for a beast, romance is not quite what you think/expect..

Lyn: No! I thought this was her first. My mistake. I am going to have to go get that one.

Jessie: It’s called When the Sea is Rising Red. Odd little book.
 But I loooove it. 

Lyn: Oh! Yes! That was one of my favorite things about the story. She reversed the roles. Hooray for not applying the beauty to the woman right away!
This is terrible. I actually own that book.

Jessie: Aahahahaha #bookbloggerlife

Lyn: I love how she treated romance in this story. It was a real kick to see an author do something a little different. To use her own words! She brushed off some of the fairy tale sugar.
Right? So many books. This is so terrible.

Jessie: She did. Which is why I liked the darker aspects — even for a MG — and also how she figured things out on her own. She had to work for it — it wasn’t just some simple reveal from Freya/Inga.

Lyn: She was certainly far from helpless. And I loved how dark the tale turned. I didn’t expect that out of an MG novel.
She took a fairy tale trope and turned it not a fairy tale. More like a Grimm tale.

Jessie: Me either. I thought it would have a little bite, but this definitely had TEETH.
(hahaha I find myself hilarious)

Lyn: lolololol. You beast!

Jessie: I’m a real bear when it comes to humor

Lyn: You are so cheesy. You make me howl with laughter

Jessie: You get real PECKISH when I am funnier than you

Lyn: We are so adults.

Jessie: No I am not you can’t make meeeee

Lyn: Before I forget to leave it off, I was very sad about the animal cruelty. It was just so sad to me.
On a better note, I was happy that there was no main villain, and the surprise twist honestly took the air out of my lungs.

Jessie: Ah yes. That was a tad much.
YES! I also enjoyed that. I love when a twist is pulled off without being too leading/allowing readrers to figure it out waaaay ahead of time. Not the case.

Lyn: I agree! So many times, I see it coming. When this twist popped up, I had to read the passage three times just to make sure I wasn’t getting that wrong.
I loved the message about forgiveness and how tough it really can be to a young person.

Jessie: How she admitted it was hard but did IT ANYWAY.

Lyn: So many times, forgiving someone and moving past it is like a cake walk. Easy, sweet and overly cheery.

Jessie: Sarah was great. In so many ways but that was one of her best moments.

Lyn: This book really showed how it is honestly so hard to move past something that hurt you and rebuild your friendship with someone.
I would have given this book 5 stars if I had just knew the characters a little more.

Jessie: Mine is a solid 3.5 but I can agree.

Lyn: Because I like that the author didn’t treat romance and first loves like some sacred thing. With her story, she was able to send a message that love can wax and wane, and sometimes love isn’t enough to overcome some darker things in your life.

Jessie: YEA. Like how Eduoard was human sometimes after!

Lyn: Same here. 3.5 stars. But I do hope more people read it. It was something completely different and fresh.
YES! I applaud and author for pointing out that love isn’t concrete or black and white.

Jessie: Same here. I will give my ARC to my sister’s 5th grade class.

Lyn: So many times, love falls right into the grey area
Aww! I think there are going to be some happy little girls. Just because they are kids doesn’t mean that they deserve only fluffy happy novels. You need something to clean off your reading pallete. One cannot live off of dessert books constantly.
I am a huge supporter of giving kids some hard topics. Fifth grade is a perfect level. If I recall, that is the level where they really start to delve into some of the less savory parts of US history, such as slavery and the bill of rights.

Jessie: Yes! “Dessert books” is such a good way to describe them. HEA are fine but life is not always that way.

Lyn: I am going to start using this more often.
Anything else you want to cover? I let my fingers get carried away.

Jessie: I approve!

Lyn: YAH Jessie Seal of Approval!!

Jessie: No I think I am good!
We pretty much had a lot of the same reactions.

Lyn: Yah!
We are one and the same!

Lyn's rating: 3.5/5
Jessie's rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Review: Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Title: Trade Me
Author: Courtney Milan
Genre: Romance
Series: Cyclone #1
Pages: 279
Published: January 19, 2015
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 5 out of 5

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

Courtney Milan writes the best historical romances in the game, filled with Victorian feminists, subversions of tropes, and enthusiastically consensual sex scenes, so despite hating the blurb that conjures “FSoG knock-off” in my mind, I knew she’d earned the benefit of the doubt. This is good, because I have never read anything like Trade Me.

Tina and Blake’s story straddles the line between traditional romance and New Adult contemporary. There’s a romance through-line: meet cute, forced to spend time together, big mis, HEA, but there are large parts of the story that aren’t focused on the romance. Both characters have massive amounts of character development for a romance novel.

Tina is a Chinese immigrant whose mother spends every last dime she has fighting for other persecuted refugees. She’s no lawyer, though. She’s a grocery store cake decorator who delights in ending up on NotCakeWrecks. This has given Tina a more than healthy respect for money, as she struggles to keep their lights on, her sister medicated, and food in her own mouth. She’s pre-med on a full scholarship, but every day is a struggle as she works multiple jobs and studies into the early hours of the morning. There’s no rest or her whole family will fall.

Blake initially seems like the cocky billionaire stereotype, but we quickly learn that not only is he an insanely hard worker, he’s a complex young man dealing with a lot of stress and grief. He never throws money at a problem, (well, once,) but instead works and learns and tries to improve all the time. He didn’t earn his money sitting on his butt, he’s an inventor and designer and takes pride in his job, which requires a lot of time and attention. (Did Christian ever go to work?)

The trade is amazingly fun to read, as I think everyone likes to see the hero humbled a little bit, but it’s also made very clear that you can never really switch lives. Blake can wash dishes and eat rice and apples, but he’ll never really know desperation. Tina’s idea of an impossible luxury is buying a mango. She can’t relax even with Blake’s allowance, lest the other shoe drop.

The love interests have great chemistry. They talk a lot about their feelings and fears and never belittle the other. My only complaint is despite Blake showing over and over again that he cared, Tina kept coming back to, “this, this is the time he’ll say something awful/ be embarrassed by my life/ get bored and I’ll be able to let him go”. It just felt a little repetitive. The sex scenes are hot, but the best scene is a simple picnic with fruit and sunshine.

Like many romance novels, there aren’t a ton of side characters. Tina’s parents factor in pretty frequently and she has a sassy roommate, Maria, who will be the star of the second book. (Quick aside, Maria is trans. Not hinted at. No queer-baiting. This is canonically stated in the text. And she’s going to be the star of the second book. Can you all grasp how massive this is? Four for you, Courtney Milan. You go Courtney Milan!) On Blake’s side, the only character who matters is his dad, Adam Reynolds.

I could write a whole novel about how Adam is the most amazing side character of all time. He’s funny and crude as hell and unlike other billionaire daddys, loves his kid beyond all logic and reason. His secret was intense and not something I saw coming. Keep an eye out for his bonus article at the end of the book, which probably shouldn’t be so insightful with so many naughty words.

Read this book. Support authors with diverse characters, fully fleshed out backstories, and a plot beyond fucking. (And great fucking, too.) It’s funny and sexy and smart and features flirting over legal briefs. Someone goes to the hospital, someone else goes to jail. There’s no fake BDSM. And the white boy’s Mandarin is appalling, which I appreciate because Mandarin is hard as fuck. IT’S PERFECT, OK?

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