[Small Stitch Reviews] May 21st

Whatever for Hire Cover.jpg

Whatever for Hire by R. J. Blain

A paranormal romance novel with jokes everywhere and a minor enemies-to-lovers relationship between the main characters, what makes Whatever For Hire fall flat for me is the copious use of the g-slur. Yes, that g-slur. The main character Kanika is half-Egyptian and half-Rromani (but also, maybe not even that considering the hints that the literal devil kept dropping), but did this book have to be rife with the g-slur being dropped willy nilly all over the place on top of Orientalism out the butt? (Aside from Kanika, all of the Egyptian characters were evil, teenager-selling, forced-marriage-having assholes so… problem much?)

Whatever For Hire could’ve been decent but instead, it was kind of a mess where the little moments that I disliked wound up adding up fast.

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Ship It by Britta Lundin

Ship It, as you can tell from the title, is about shipping and fandom. It’s about Claire, a teenager who watches a Supernatural-esque primetime drama and ships the main characters. When she actually gets a chance to talk to one of the two leads on the show at a convention, things go pear-shaped when she brings up shipping and representation and he kind of… doesn’t react well.

I know a lot of people that liked Ship It in my group of fandom nerds who also read young adult fiction. I wanted to like it too. I even requested it on NetGalley because I thought it’d be amazing.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into Lundin’s debut novel even though I tried my hardest. I’ve been stalled at 40% for a few weeks now and while I might eventually return to it, right now I’m not that into the portrayal of fandom or fans. While Lundin’s writing is fun and full of snappy banter between the characters, I found it incredibly difficult to care about most of them or what they were going through.

I also, honestly think that with everything I’ve been going through in fandom, this kind of book would’ve been a good read for 2013!Stitch or younger – you know, before I got in the thick of things with the discourse.

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About Zina

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.
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