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Month in review

Reviews
Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson
Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event by Jeff Lemire
The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
Ghostbusters 101: Everyone Answers the Call by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
Habibi by Craig Thompson
If You Find This by Matthew Baker
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene
Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
Patina by Jason Reynolds
Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki
A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene
Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin
Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
The Terrible Two Go Wild by Mac Barnett, Jory John, and Kevin Cornell
Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

Miscellaneous
December 2017 Sources
December 2017 Summary
Five stars in 2017
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 01)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 08)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 15)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 22)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (January 29)

Road Essays
The transformative power of the cornfield: magic in the Marvelous Land of Oz

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


The Refrigerator Monologues: 01/22/18

cover art

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente is a novella in a series of interconnected short stories. They are set in an afterlife purgatory for the women killed by superheroes and supervillains.

Each story comes in two parts: a present day, life after death or time in purgatory, and the life before. Most of these deaths comes down to the toxic masculinity of the typical big comic book publisher's worlds. Women have been scarce in comic books, though more so since the grittier, edgier "realism" that started in the 1990s. They have been often relegated to being damsels in distress or to dying to force the hero to become the hero or regain his desire to be the hero. Valente has populated her book with women who represent these tropes.

I think if I were more invested in the big publishers and the big superhero comics (and their numerous film franchises) I would have gotten more out of this book. As is, I just didn't care. Valente's complex, poetic language just lengthened the process of slogging through another life and death I couldn't relate to.

A better, shorter, similar story (and told in comic book form, no less) is the Black Hammer series by Jeff Lemire.

Two stars

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