“We Are the Ants” Book Review

Henry Denton is the unpopular kid in school known as “space boy” because he’s constantly abducted by aliens. When the aliens give him a chance to save the world by pressing a button, he’s torn on what to do, but really, he’s leaning toward letting the world die.

CW: Homomisia, bimisia, ableism, racism, abuse, assault, miscarriages, suicide, self-harm, bullying, amisia, rape
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Short Review:

The story was cute, unique, quite deep. It read in a more literary fashion and had a strong narrative voice. It was unnecessarily long-winded and tried to be a bit “edgier” than necessary. Also, there was some fun diversity, and then some stuff that was handled not so well. Overall, though, a fine, mostly contemporary read with some interesting turns, a very somber mood, and lots of introspection.

Long Review: Warning – May Contain Spoilers

The Good

Henry’s voice is strong throughout the whole story, and to be honest, it’s a voice I relate to. Henry is heavily depressed. His boyfriend (who was one of like three people who actually cared about him) committed suicide, and now he’s left to navigate this strange world without him. All in all, Henry is a cynical, condescending asshole, and I really connected to that (particularly from my high school days).

The characters were interesting and they all felt real. None of them were really great people, but they all held a lot of humanity.

There were also a lot of things handled well in terms of diversity. We had a realistic portrayal of Alzheimer’s, depression, and suicide. We had a girl baby getting a blue bedroom. We had two characters asking each other for consent before engaging in sexual activity. All of these were refreshing and much needed in YA.

The ending is vague and leaves a lot of stuff unanswered, and while I know most people hate this, I actually really liked how it was handled. I know a story did well if it makes me not care that my questions are unanswered.

The Bad

The story was way too long. This whole book could have been condensed into a hundred pages shorter and it would have had everything you needed. There was also a lot of repetition, particularly involving Henry’s thoughts about Jesse. Yes, it makes sense for him to be constantly thinking about Jesse and contemplating the reasons behind his suicide, but it really wasn’t the sort of thing that needed its own scene five+ times throughout the book. Because these scenes had next to no action, we find ourselves just drowning in Henry’s guilt, which really made the story drag.

The Problematic

This story was particularly hard to read because for everything it did well, it did something else poorly. We’ve got stuff ranging from casual ableism to the “repressed gay is a bullying asshole” trope to an unnecessary rape/sexual assault scene. This book is ownvoices for gay rep, so the exploration of this trope was within the author’s lane, but it’s one of those tropes that honestly just rubs me wrong.

We also have things like bimisia and fatmisia, which can be justified when considering the nature of the MC (a condescending asshole), but the amount of ists and isms and other problematic content throughout the story starts to weigh on you, and I had to question a few times whether the author did them on purpose or if he just got lucky. The nature of the content wasn’t enough to discredit the rest of the book, but it was enough to make me rather uncomfortable while reading it.

Conclusion

It took me a while to get through this one, but overall, I did enjoy it. There were a lot of interesting takes in here and I did feel represented by some of the rep. Be careful going into this one, though. Don’t take the content warnings lightly, and while I’ll probably read for from Hutchinson, I admit I’ll be a little on edge to see how he handles his content in the future.

Advertisements

Hooks (Short Story)

There was nothing romantic about body sweat coating skin like a fresh layer of rain, hair sticking to skin like a dirty mop trailing filth along the linoleum, and thighs chafing despite three layers of deodorant in globs like clay between them.

But Ally was a goddess that summer.

Continue reading “Hooks (Short Story)”

Blog Hop

Welcome to the world of C.T. Callahan where you can find short stories, book reviews, artwork, and the novel Plastic Wings.

img_3610

When seven-year-old Evie Weiss discovers a strange, sickly boy in her otherwise familiar forest, she has no idea what it holds for her world. He is a dark angel, one of a race of humanoid beings that feed on humanity and tear Evie’s world down around her.

Years later, as humanity mounts a counter-attack against the dark angels, Evie remembers the boy in the forest and finds herself torn between her loyalty to her own people and feelings of compassion for these strange creatures that first captivated her as a child. It is the quest of one girl to unite two worlds so separated by war, but how can she close the gap between two races so determined to hate each other?

Grab a copy of Plastic Wings from Three Little Books Co.

 

Santa Muerte Book Review

Author: Lucina Stone

Publisher: Story Merchant

Synopsis:

THE YEAR IS 2030. IN A DRAMATIC, final attempt to free her inner demons, twenty-year-old Daniela Delgado tempts fate and winds up on a strange farm in 1923. With an olive complexion due to her Mexican/Italian heritage and a fresh pixie cut, she is mistaken for a “boy of color.” Her only shot at survival now is to play it cool, pose as “Danny,” and figure out how to get back home to her two, loving moms. And then she meets Daphne—an abused, motherless farm girl in desperate need of freedom and a friend. Having escaped Daphne’s father, the two of them are now roaming the streets of New York City disguised as a young aristocrat and her male servant. They’re running out of money, and ideas. And Daniela thought living in 2030 was tough. But her solar powered smart phone works. And there’s someone within range. She pings them. A selfie of an attractive male comes in with the text: I’m Lain. Who the f— are you? Even in that moment, Daniela knows this can’t be safe, but what are her choices? They meet Lain at a speakeasy on the Lower East Side. When Daniela reveals her last name, Lain says the only Delgado he knows is Anaya—the head of the Santa Muerte Coven of witches in Merida, Mexico. And then he hints that Daniela is a liar, even though she rocks a man’s three-piece suit like no woman he’s ever met. And as for her tattoos? Don’t get Lain started…. Despite the intrigue, Daniela adds Lain to the list of folks Daphne and she must outrun to stay alive. But as they plan their trip to Mexico, they soon discover that list is much longer than they thought. And they uncover a few other things, too, about Daniela’s true identity….

Rating: ⭐️

Continue reading “Santa Muerte Book Review”

Announcement

Hey everyone! We want to start by thanking everyone who has embarked on this journey with us. It’s been bumpy but exciting, and we’ve learned a few things that have led us to making this announcement:

  1. The climate in this community for diverse books is cold, and until that climate changes, there will always be barrier to entry for diverse authors/books to enter the market.
  2. Publishing and the reading community as a whole still have trouble processing the importance of diverse books and continue to see them as second rate literature.
  3. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to better promote diverse books, and this involves giving diverse books the same opportunity that non-diverse books currently have in the market.

We originally started the Little Voices Diverse Book Box as a way to promote established diverse voices and introduce previously undiscovered writers to the community. We now realize that the book community at large has yet to prioritize diverse books, which has, unfortunately, led our endeavor to fail.

After much consideration, and due to a lack of authorial and community interest, we’ve decided to close the Little Voices Diverse Book Box. We’ve come to the conclusion that change will have to happen elsewhere, and our time would be better spent creating a warmer climate where a box like ours would be better utilized.

If the news of our closing saddens you, we urge you to support joyful reads, mirror book box  and other diverse book boxes that are still out there. As a community, we need to show more appreciation for the diversity that already exists and celebrate it however possible.

Three Little Books Co. will remain open and continue to bolster diverse books. We’ll also be updating our selection of bookish goodies to better contribute to diversity in the community. If you’re the author of a diverse book and would like to work with us on creating bookish goodies to promo your work, email us at inquiry@threelittlebooks.co.

Once again, we want to thank everyone who’s supported us and wish you the best of luck in your diverse adventures. We won’t be giving up the fight for diversity and we hope you won’t either.

Pencil Sketches, Markers, and More

Original Characters

IMG_4874

 

Evie Weiss from “Plastic Wings”

Desiree Jolie from “The Order of the Knights of Emiliani”

IMG_4791

Leon from “Ripple”

IMG_5087

Diego Lima from “Granted”

Fan Sketches

Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray in the show “Shadowhunters”

“Clizzy” from the show “Shadowhunters” (request)

Amy Pond from the show “Doctor Who”

Aria Stark from the show “Game of Thrones”

IMG_4736

Chuuya Nakahara from the anime “Bungou Stray Dogs”

IMG_4825

Alois Trancy from the anime “Black Butler”

IMG_4826

Izuku Midoriya from the anime “My Hero Academia”

IMG_5711

Mila Barbacheva from the anime “Yuri!!! On Ice”

IMG_5063(1)

Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Ladybug from the show “The Miraculous Ladybug”

Digital Art

Fan Art

 

 

From the anime Yuri!!! On Ice

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 2.52.56 PM

From the show “Voltron Legendary Defender”

 

 

From the anime “My Hero Academia”

Sitch Print Portfolio (5.5x8.5).jpg

From the movie “Lilo & Stitch”

 

Art from the MCU

 

 

From the Anime “Sailor Moon”

IMG_0012

Book Art for “What if it’s Us” by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

 

 

Original Art

 

 

Christmas gifts

Plastic Wings Giveaway Art

Art for my novel “Plastic Wings”

 

 

Pride Art

 

Character cards from my “Are We Human?” short story collection

 

Book cover designs

 

Miscellaneous Art

Pettiness and Poor Author Etiquette

Something interesting happened to me on Christmas Day. I opened up the Goodreads page for my book Plastic Wings and found that I’d received my first one-star review. Given I’ve only received positive feedback since publishing, I wanted to know what I did wrong, if my book was problematic, and what I could think about doing differently in writing the sequel.

Interestingly enough, I found that the one-star review was from a quite popular, traditionally published author who hadn’t purchased my book (I run my own book sales, so I know how many people and exactly who the book has been sold to). I’ve never spoken to this author before in my life, and really, the only thing connecting my book to her was the fact that I’d written a blog post about a week prior listing books that attempt to be inclusive but are really more damaging than not. Go figure.

I bought the book a while back and was super excited to read it until I was informed that it was problematic by a friend and trusted blogger. While I was gravely disappointed about it, I already owned the book so I was planning on reading it anyway. Never mind.

When I originally planned out this post, I was going to keep her identity a secret because it felt rude to announce it. I’ve changed my mind for several reasons:

Continue reading “Pettiness and Poor Author Etiquette”

The Girl From Everywhere Book Review

Author: Heidi Heilig

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Synopsis: Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own. via Amazon

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Continue reading “The Girl From Everywhere Book Review”