Review: Netflix’s Sweet Tooth (2021)

Sweet Tooth is a Netflix original series adapted from the comic book of the same name by Jeff Lemire. It is about Gus, a hybrid boy (half deer and half human) in search of his Mom in a world ravaged by a virus with no known cure.

CHRISTIAN CONVERY as GUS in episode 107 of SWEET TOOTH Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021

I seldom watch series anymore because I find them too taxing at times, or they start really good but then they’ll end up messing it up somewhere. Sweet Tooth, fortunately did not suffer from that.

Now, the premise is obviously quite ‘interesting’ to say the least, since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic but somehow the tone of the series feels hopeful. It is very enlightening in a way which I will be discussing shortly.

Gus, wonderfully played by Christion Convery is in a adventure with people he met along the way revealing not only his point of view of the outside world, but effect he has on people.

STEFANIA LAVIE OWEN as BECKY, CHRISTIAN CONVERY as GUS and NONSO ANOZIE as TOMMY JEPPERD in episode 105 of SWEET TOOTH Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

There are a lot realizations of the characters here and it’s so cool that we’re able to see those perspectives. I particularly loved Bear’s character played by Stefania LaVie Owen. Bear is the leader of the Animal Army whose mission is to save the Hybrids. Her idea of the Hybrids healing the planet is a quite interesting point of discussion saying that the humans are destroying the planet and the Hybrids are some sort of part of an evolution that would become a catalyst for change, healing that is. This I find interesting because it feels like with the Covid19 we’re experiencing now, there are people like Bear who thinks that this is nature doing some cleansing which for the record, I find disgusting if you put it in that context because these are real people we are talking about. People dying, with loved ones, friends, and people with dreams and aspirations.

ANIMAL ARMY MEMBER, STEFANIA LAVIE OWEN as BECKY, MIA ARTEMIS as TIGER and ANIMAL ARMY MEMBER in episode 103 of SWEET TOOTH Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021

Going back to the show lol, not only it is for adults, it is definitely for the whole family. The setting was in the US, but it was shot in some of the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand due to Covid. CGI were used for the characters and locations but the flow of the story itself is really good that one would barely notice those things. It is absolutely a feast for the eyes. One thing is for sure – budget is not an issue here and it shows. I mean, Robert Downey and wife Susan are the producers so, no problem in that department.

Overall, this series is definitely worth investing your time as it has a very satisfying run and with its ending making you yearn for more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Cast: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Adeel Akhtar, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez, Aliza Vellani, James Brolin, Will Forte, Sarah Peirse, Neil Sandilands, Naledi Murray, Amy Seimetz

Sweet Tooth is now streaming on Netflix.

Book Review: Something Wild by Anna Martin

Some of Anna Martin’s books are my go-to rereads that include Cricket, Tattoos & Teacup, and the Another Way series to name a few, and according to my archive, it’s been almost five years since I’ve posted my last review of one of her books which is entitled Five Times My Best Friend Kiss Me. Hah! It just feels like yesterday no?. Okay, that was a long intro – but anyway, I just want to put that out first as a disclaimer that she is one of my favorite authors before you continue reading my review of this book.

The setting of the book is basically very Jurassic Park-esque, where in Dinosaurs actually exists (or survived) in a group of island within the South Pacific. A community of scientists lives in one of the tiny islands here and two of the said scientists, Kit Sterling and Logan Beck who happens to work together every now and then are our two adorable main characters. Kit works in the lab while Logan does the patrolling of the island and gathering stuff for the lab team.

The world-building here is amazing. As mentioned above, it’s very Jurassic Park, and though I’m not very into dinosaurs, I could easily imagine these creatures and the setting with the way the author described them – the colors, the sounds, the scenery – the author is really good at this.

I really do liked that Kit and Logan’s relationship was established early on in the story. We didn’t have to wait for so long for them to really come together, or just be adult about it. I liked that here. I liked the side characters too – Kit’s two moms, Kit’s bff and of course, the baby dinosaur DIzzy. Super adorable!

The pacing of the story may have suffered a bit because there’s not much to go on in the case of the poachers and their accomplice. After the discovery of who the ‘traitor’ was, the whole thing felt like an afterthought and it becomes a a fairy tale ending. Don’t get me wrong, I loved me a happily ever after ending but I just want some oomph in the story – I want more tension. Overall, it’s an easy and enjoyable read.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 22nd 2019)

About The Author
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Although her most recent work is in the LGBT romance genre, in the past Anna has worked on a variety of different projects including short stories, drabbles, flash fiction, fan fiction, plays for both children and adults, and poetry. She has written novels in the Teen or Young Adult genre, Romance and Fantasy novels.

Anna is, by her own admission, almost unhealthily obsessed with books. The library she has amassed is both large and diverse; “My favourite books,” she says, “are ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood.” She also owns multiple copies of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park books and re-reads the Harry Potter novels with almost startling regularity.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading and creative ass-kicking provided by her closest friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept any responsibility for anything Anna has written.

Book Review: How to Walk like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2) by Eli Easton

Date of Publication: Novemner 13, 2015
Publisher: Pinkerton Road,
Characters: Roman Charsguard, Matt Barclay

Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.

Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If the town doesn’t kill him, sexual frustration just might.

The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man? 

This story is a follow-up to the author’s highly unique and entertaining book, How To Howl At The Moon. Just to give you a quick background, the story is set in Mad Creek – a little town where the population mostly consists of ‘quickened’— they are dogs who have gained the ability to become human. I mean, dogs! Do I need to explain more?! Hah!

If you’ve read and loved the first book like I did, you’d absolutely enjoy Roman and Matt’s story! I mean, this is the second book in the series, though it can be read as a standalone.

Roman is just all kinds of adorable! He’s just so precious and I loved that we see his vulnerable side from the get go especially when he’s talking about his human companion, with him being a K9 dog. It’s just so beautiful and sad at the same time. I loved his interaction with Matt, and I loved how Matt, a former marine who’s trying to live up to his father’s expectations adopt to his eccentricities before even finding out about the quickened.

We also get to see old and new characters here which is a delight because we get to explore more of this cute little town of dog shifters! I mean, tell me who doesn’t like dogs, right? lol . This book ais an absolute must-read for its feel-good characters with wonderfully written plot! I can’t recommend this series highly enough

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tickled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

Her website is http://www.elieaston.com
You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

Book Review: Bossy by N.R. Walker

Date of Publication: March 4, 2021
Publisher: BlueHeart Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Romance
ASIN: B08XPVDGXM
Characters: Michael Piersen, Bryson Schroeder

Michael Piersen isn’t up for complications. He’s one of Sydney’s fastest-moving career-focused corporate realtors, and the only thing he has time for is one-night stands with zero fuss.

Bryson Schroeder’s back home from two years overseas with plans to leave his family’s hotel empire and begin his own business ventures. Out with friends to celebrate his return, he sees a gorgeous blond man across the bar, and with merely a smile and a raised eyebrow, they leave together for a night of incredible chemistry.

The rules are clear: no names, no details, no complications.

But one night becomes one more night, and eventually the arrangement suits them both for weeks . . . until their professional and personal worlds collide. With their hearts already on the line, Michael and Bry need to decide just how complicated they want to get.

N.R. Walker’s Bossy takes us back to the tale as old as time of boy meets boy for meaningless sex until feelings started to catch up. It is an old trope but knowing the author’s ability to write sweet, angst free with a side dish of hot romance – you know damn well what you’re about to get into!

Bossy was very reminiscent of the author’s Sixty Five Hours novella (another favorite reread of mine) and it’s just an overall feel-good read with tension being dealt with realistically – where the characters are being adult about it. There was no unnecessary eye-rolling drama. Instead we get something straightforward, something mature which some authors tend to forget to do with these kind of storylines. The author didn’t choose to go the same old pattern, instead she reminds us that as adults – this is how we deal with things and I loved that aspect very much. Such an easy, breezy and a fun read. This is very highly recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way. She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal. She’s been writing ever since.

Book Review: How To Be A Normal Person by TJ Klune

ebook, 290 pages
Published October 16th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press

Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.

Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.

Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.

But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

I’ve read this one back in December of 2015 and I just remember loving it so much back then. Mind you, this is one of the first few books that I’ve read where one of the characters is asexual. Back then, I was not that educated about the term and I still am not the best person to talk about it but I loved that TJ Klune created this such character in the series. Disclaimer though, he’s not the MC. The main character is called Gustavo Tiberius!

Gus’ personality is lovable but there are times that he gets too preachy while most of the time, he is hysterically funny or two high-strung.

Listen, I loved the representation right here but Casey’s asexuality was a bit odd for me because the author boxed him in a way that says since he’s asexual – he will no longer be engaging in anything sexual. Like what I said, it was just odd for me.

Pastor Tommy’s moments (the MC’s dad) are my favorite moments. Then there’s the whole debacle about “We The Queens” – I loved them and the characterization was just pure genius! The call center calls are very funny at the beginning but they’ve become repetitive overtime.

TJ Klune’s humor for me is mostly a hit, but there are times in this book that it is almost crude for me. Overall, this one is fun. King of long for its plot but fun altogether.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About The Author
TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include the Green Creek series, The House on the Cerulean Sea and The Exraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important–now more than ever–to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

tjklunebooks.com

Review: Ordering Anime Figures from the Mandarake Website!

Last February, I’ve posted my experience on ordering anime figures from the AmiAmi website and this time I will be sharing with you another credible website where you can get buy not just anime figures but also dolls, books, magazines, cards, and a whole lot more under the same spectrum.

MANDARAKE was established in 1987 as a pre-owned manga dealer in Nakano Broadway. Now Mandarake is known as one of the largest manga and anime stores in the world.

Placing an order through the Mandarake website is pretty easy. First, you go to their website: https://www.mandarake.co.jp/ and choose your preferred language – available languages include Japanese. English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and I believe the other one would be Russian (this needs some verification though). Creating an account is very easy too – the website will prompt you to create one before being able to check out: Here’s the link where you can sign up: https://my.mandarake.co.jp/pre/?lc=en (this is in English, so feel free to change it.)

It’s very easy to navigate, you have the option to choose the category on the drop down if want to zero-in on your search but what I do is I usually keep it on “All Items” which gives me more opportunity to see more related products. The thing about Mandarake is that it will show you all of the related products based on the keyword you entered, so this is when you try to filter your searches because it will show you EVERYTHING – including the sold out items from all of their 14 locations nationwide that includes Sahra, Nakano, Complex (Akihabara), CoCoo (Akihabara), Shibuya, LaLaLa (Ikebukuro), Nayuta, Nagoya, Utsunomiya, Umeda, Grand Chaos (Osaka), Fukuoka, Kokura and Sapporo.

Now this is very important because each store actually has separate shipping since they will be coming from different location so if at one transaction for example, you placed orders from three multiple stores, you will be getting three different shipping quotation about a day, or two after placing your order.

Here’s their complete FAQ page for your reference: https://earth.mandarake.co.jp/help/faq-en.html

I’ve only placed multiple order once because I don’t want to missed the opportunity to get the item that I’ve really been looking for a long time and I guess, to make it worth my money I also added small items in it. I was so glad that the shipping was very minimal. The website offers DHL Express, EMS, Registered SAL and Air Small Packet as shipping option and I usually choose EMS, and I’d get the item in about a week.

Here’s that one multiple order I was referring to:

I really just wanted the Nendoroid Petit Edward Elric but I’ve decided to add these cute Bandai Demon Slayer straps because of their size and I pretty much guess that it won’t make a difference on the shipping since it will be placed in a smaller box via EMS based on the guidelines. I was even able to sell them locally for about $27!
And here’s the other order from another location (Shibuya)

You see, it really is very easy to use the website and receiving a bootleg is almost zero. As they’ve mentioned on their FAQ page – all of their products are carefully checked by their staff with the help of their own large database.

So for those of you are who are looking for ‘affordable’ figures (at least more often than not) – Mandarake is another place you can go to, just have to be very careful and wise when placing your orders!

Book Review: Who We Are (The Seafare Chronicles #2) by TJ Klune

Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 323 pages
Published October 31st 2019 by BOATK Books (first published April 26th 2012)

Picking up from where the author left the story in the first book – Bear, Otter and the Kid are now settled into their new house called the Green Monstrosity. The names says it all folks!

Anyhoo, this little family of three still have a lot in their hands as they face their future together. The Kid is skipping a grade, attending therapy and meets his new bestfriend. Otter is still big, now works at the local studio and designated himself as Bear and the Kid’s protector. Bear on the other hand is as protective with the Kid but a lot has change as well in him aside from his diarrhea of the mouth. Anna and Creed are still working out their unlabeled relationship and Mrs.Paquin still rocks!

This book is totally way funnier and more indulgent if I may say, compared with the first book. It’s also a lot lighter in vibe and characters coming into full circle.

The coming-out dinner with Otter’s parents was just downright funny it’s almost slapstick. Ah! Indulgence! Indulgence! But I f–ng loved it! “Coitus, Drunken….oh my lawd! LOL”

oh, and my guess from the first book regarding Jonah turned out to be right. It was painfully predictable but that makes the story okay because the author didn’t drag it.

Now that Mrs. Paquin has planted a seed in my brain about Bear, Otter and Creed’s threesome – I can’t seem to get it out of my head! LOL

This book is really such a great follow up to Bear and Otter’s love story that by the end of it, I almost feel melancholic saying bye bye to them. I now couldn’t wait to read the Kid’s own story!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include the Green Creek series, The House on the Cerulean Sea and The Exraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important–now more than ever–to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

tjklunebooks.com

Book Review: Bear, Otter, and the Kid (The Seafare Chronicles #1) by TJ Klune

Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 375 pages
Published November 1st 2019 by BOATK Books (first published August 11th 2011)

I’ve just realized that I don’t have the review of this book right when I was searching my blog for TJ (or T.J) Klune and I could’ve sworn that I’ve read a few of his books already. Apparently, I have it on my Goodreads profile so here’s a little review throwback showing up this year. I’d just like to post this first while I’m working on my review for The House in the Cerulean Sea which I’ve recently finished. So here it goes…

This is my very first book by T J Klune and I’m totally aghast of not catching onto it sooner. He’s got some mad skills! He’s witty, direct, a bit self-indulgent at times but that’s when you know you’re up for a good ride.

The title of the book is a bit strange and sounded silly but once you started it, you’ll find that it’s neither strange nor silly. The book was told through Derrick McKenna’s (Bear) perspective starting on how her mother abandoned him when he was about to turn 18 and was left to be the sole care taker of his six year old brother Tyson (Kid). As the story progresses, we meet the people supporting Bear on what seemed to be a dire situation for a barely legal adult to carry.

This support group includes Creed (Bear’s best friend), Anna (Bear’s on and off again girlfriend), Mrs.Paquin (Bear’s 70 year old sitter) and Oliver aka Otter (Creed’s big bro). Unexpectedly, Bear initially finds himself leaning more towards Otter for emotional support which eventually led to Otter running away to California leaving Bear devastated beyond measure. Three years later, Otter is back and will do everything to make it up to Bear. Their reunion proves to be more than just making up for Otter’s abandonment. Bear also needs to face the truth about himself, fight for the Kid and the man he couldn’t live without.

I really do like the first person point of view narration and I really enjoyed the book except for the final few pages which was a bit depressing to be honest. I also find it a bit anticlimactic and the confrontation’s a bit subdued for my taste.

(Oh, I’m also guessing that Jonah has something to do with Bear’s mother sudden appearance)

The book is truly a beautiful journey with these nice people who are all awe-inspiring!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include the Green Creek series, The House on the Cerulean Sea and The Exraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important–now more than ever–to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

tjklunebooks.com

ICYMI: Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz Announced!

If you’re fan of the multi-awarded and celebrated book, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by the oh-so-talented Mr. Benjamin Alire Sáenz, you’d be glad to know that the most awaited sequel is finally just a few months away from our grabby hands and reader apps!

In sequel entitled Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World they must discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that seems to challenge their very existence.

Ari has spent all of high school burying who he really is, staying silent and invisible. He expected his senior year to be the same. But something in him cracked open when he fell in love with Dante, and he can’t go back. Suddenly he finds himself reaching out to new friends, standing up to bullies of all kinds, and making his voice heard. And, always, there is Dante, dreamy, witty Dante, who can get on Ari’s nerves and fill him with desire all at once.

The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves in a world that doesn’t understand them. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own.

The highly anticipated sequel is set to be release on October 12, 2021, with this awesome cover below!

I’ve already pre-ordered my copy and I cannot wait to read it!!! Make sure to preorder your copy now!!! Link below!

Book Review: The Capital (The Knight and the Necromancer #1) by A.H. Lee

Date of Publication: March 23, 2020
Publisher: Pavonine Books
Genre & Theme: Fiction & Literature, LGBT, Gay, Fantasy, Romance
ASIN: B085N89TD9

Roland is the premier knight of the realm, leading troops in a bloody war. Sairis is a necromancer with a price on his head, eking out a lonely existence. When they meet under false pretenses, their mutual fascination is obvious. But can their attraction survive the revelation of their identities?

I really enjoyed this one particularly because the world building with necromancers, knights, magicians, demons and all may have been rehashed a million times already but the way the author tells her story feels fresh and quite unique. I was very much immersed with the world she created for the characters.

Speaking of characters, I do loved the dual POV that we’ve got here because with so many things happening in the book and questions arising each chapter, we get immediate answers from the characters themselves.

We have Prince Roland, back at the capitol to see his sister ascend to the throne after the untimely death of their father and we have the young and shy necromancer, Sairis confused as hell as to why he was at the kingdom’s capital to begin with. Lol. Okay, I was kidding. It’s just how I would describe my initial reaction to his predicament in the book.

This first book isn’t that long and I really enjoyed reading about the majority of the characters that were introduced here and the development of the MCs blooming feelings towards each other. There’s a cliffie at the end but I thought this being the start of the series is pretty solid.

(Note, I’ve read the rest of the series after reading the first one.)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author
A. H. Lee writes steamy fantasy with LGBTQ+ characters. Her books nearly always include a talking cat.

You can learn more at https://www.abigailhilton.com/a-h-lee