Aida Fox Reviews now on Reedsy Discovery

I’m so happy to announce that my readers may now read my reviews on Reedsy Discovery! This platform also allows for me to receive monetary tips in the amounts of $1, $3, and $5. Nothing is expected, and every single cent is appreciated!

Once I have more experience with the platform, I’ll blog more about it. I have no complaints so far! If anyone has questions about my experience applying to become a reviewer or anything, feel free to comment.

The Engine Woman’s Light by Laurel Anne Hill

You can find my review here. I was paid for the review (my first one ever!) by OnlineBookClub.org.

Not for nothing, OnlineBookClub is a decent starting point for people who want to learn about writing reviews and want to experience the process of writing a review by a deadline, submitting the review to an editor, possibly needing to revise the review because the editor said so with constructive criticism, and then submitting the review to be published.

You Are Not What We Expected (ARC) by Sidura Ludwig (3/5)

A cute little story collection ends up being what I expected.

This book is, indeed, what I expected.

How did I predict the landscape of this book?

The title blares self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe that’s just me.

You Are Not What We Expected is a short story collection in which the stories indirectly share characters, not unlike an ensemble film.

An aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the setting, a Jewish community. I enjoyed looking up some of the Hebrew words and discovering some to which I was not privy. If you read this book, just know that I had a hard time not picturing Isaac, my favorite character, as Junior Soprano with George Costanza’s voice.

It’s very likely that the story two stories after the one you just read will have the literary equivalent of a reverse shot of a scene you just read. Don’t get me wrong, this is a clever literary device! It would just be cooler if I didn’t predict it the employment of said clever literary device.

Yes, I did enjoy the book at first. However, I knew my journey with it would come to a premature end when I realized that the stories followed an annoyingly similar formula. Sometimes you can enjoy the formula if it’s mixed with the right flavor of writing, but this one didn’t have it for me.

There are some moments, at least one per story, that took my heart strings and served them a good yank. Alas, the yank was in the vein of a kid sibling tugging hair and not the pull of a book that could keep my attention.

Thank you to Edelweiss+ for the ARC!

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Only happy reading.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (5/5)

I read House of Leaves. It’s unsettling and disturbing and you should read it.

House of Leaves kept me, at the age of 27, from sleeping after I finished the book and had to turn on every single light in my room in order to fall asleep.

This is by far the most disturbing and unsettling book I have ever read, and it’s one of my very favorites, but it will be a long time before I pick it up again, if ever.

“Is it really that scary?”

To a more sensitive reader, perhaps. Horror is my favorite genre, so I’m probably not the right person to ask.

An example:

The first time I really thought, “Ohhh snap…” was at the introduction of the dimensions of the house. Bear with me. It’s not really a spoiler, and I truly despise spoilers; I wouldn’t do that to you, dear reader. Ready?

The inside of the house measures larger than the outside of the house.

Think about that. Or don’t, if your brain is beginning to hurt.

Once I realized that’s what the book was getting at I promptly closed the book, blinked a few times, then reread the page I was on about three times.

Then there’s the typography of the book. College students, beware — there are footnotes galore, and I know for some that may well be one of the most frightening parts of the book! I certainly had a few footnote-induced twitches of the eye. Towards the end, the type gets…interesting. I won’t even try to describe it to you, dear reader, that you’ll need to see for yourself.

Oh, and this was Danielewski’s first novel. Yeah, I almost abandoned my writing dreams after learning that tidbit.

This book is truly one-of-a-kind; one of my favorite reviews of this book describes it as “insufferably postmodern, maddeningly hip, and utterly in love with itself.” It would seem that folks love to hate and hate to love this book.

The Guardian recently published an article about House of Leaves, and the following paragraph stood out to me not only because it revealed to me that there’s a House of Leaves book club, but because of the personification of the book:

“Dreebs Thornhill is a moderator of the House of Leaves book club, a Facebook group with more than 7,000 members and counting. She agrees with Danielewski’s personification. “House of Leaves is a living, breathing thing,” she says. “It’s one of those things you can’t relax with until you’ve discussed it with someone else.”

If you’re looking for a light read, this is absolutely not for you. Drop it right now. However, if you seek a complex and intellectual title, I highly recommend House of Leaves.

Approach this book with an open mind, no expectations, and maybe in a well-lit room before the sun goes down? Just a suggestion.

Follow me on Twitter for #LiveTweetingCurrentlyReading and many short reviews, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and my Goodreads reviews.

Only happy reading.