Uprooted: Sarkan

“Flowers were blooming everywhere: flowers I had never seen, strange blooms dangling and others with sharp points, brilliantly colored, and the room was thick with their fragrance, with the smell of crushed leaves and pungent herbs.”


Sarah Reviews: The Upside of Unrequited


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right? 

Date Started: July 28th, 2017

Date Finished: July 29th, 2017

Recommended By: Book Twitter

Trigger Warnings: N/A

Rating: 5/5 Stars!

The Good: This was such a charming and delightful read with amazing characters, and excellent narrator, and an internal but still compelling plotline. Molly is an incredibly relatable character–even though I’m quite a bit older, I still related to a lot of her thoughts of struggles, from being fat to not being in a relationship to the stress of growing up. I think many, many teens will be able to read this book and deeply connect with it. The representation was absolutely amazing (I’ll get into that later), but the humor and the pacing was all just so spot-on. I’m so happy I picked this one up!

The Bad: Most of what’s “bad” is subjective, and none of it ruins the book in any way. I think the vulgarity and detailed discussions of sex might be overwhelming to some readers; I know I would have put it down when I was fifteen or sixteen because it would have made me uncomfortable. That said, I think it’s incredibly accurate to the way teenagers talk, and Older Me had no personal problem with it. This is book is also very firmly set in 2015, with lots of pop-culture references and modes of communication that belie its setting. This really works in its favor right now, but down the line I’m worried the book would date itself. That’s not really a “now” problem, though, and because I’m reading it now, I enjoyed the relatability of the setting.

Representation: OKAY THIS BOOK IS LIKE THE GOLD STANDARD IN REP out of everything that I’ve read this year (that’s talking variety, not necessarily, detail–The Hate U Give, for instance, is very important for black representation but doesn’t have a wide variety of intersections). As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are so many intersections in this book I was almost getting whiplash, and I was thrilled. And it wasn’t just that the intersections were blink-and-miss-it; they weren’t sob-stories but they still very much impacted the characters’ lives. Molly doesn’t moan the whole time about being fat and there’s blessedly little emphasis on what she eats or wears, but it’s still a part of her identity that impacts how she relates to the rest of the world. Microaggressions occur and are called out, but everyone is allowed to be human. If anyone really wants to know how to do diverse representation well, this book is what you need to read. It was amazing, and I’m so inspired by it!

Favorite Line: “I don’t want to intrude. I don’t want to vag-block you.”

“Molly.” Cassie laughs. “You can’t vag-block someone in a frozen yogurt shop. A frozen yogurt shop vag-blocks itself.”

“That is true.”








Somewhere along the way fanart become worth more than fanfic to fandom.

Artists have Patreon accounts where people pay real money to view their art early or to access special pictures like scraps or tutorials.

Whereas writers are expected to produce more and more, faster, for nothing in return. No one wants to see our “scraps” and writers who do provide Tips and Tricks often get crap for “policing” how people write.

And it falls into the prevailing notion that somehow writing is something easy, something anyone can do.

This isn’t an attack on fanartists. You deserve to receive some sort of compensation and accolades for your work. And so do fanauthors.

Writing fic is hard work. Yes, anyone can type out a story, same as anyone can pick up a pencil to draw, but what makes the difference, what makes a good piece is the experience and talent of an author. It’s all the stories no one saw, it’s all the writing books we’ve read, it’s the classes we have attended, all rolled into a package that works weeks, months, years to bring the fandom their fic. Yes we write for ourselves but we also write to contribute to fandom – just like artists do.

We’re just the same – artists and authors – and we deserve the same respect for our work.

Thank you so much, OP. And thank you to everyone who remembered us on Fic Writers Appreciation Day.

Let’s be clear, writing takes for-fucking-ever to do and it’s hard, lonely, strange, isolating, exhausting work. There is no art that is easy to make. NONE. All art is hard and deserves recognition if it has made you feel something or you enjoyed it. 

Allll of this

As both an artist and writer, I have to say that I’ve been struggling and asked to write fanfic faster than I can produce, and I’ve been producing more art than fanfics because it is faster and easier to produce and more people come in. It drove me away from writing and honestly it does help when both sides are appreciated. As everyone else said, both take really long to create, and all should be deserved of recognition.

I can say writing is a lot more exhausting than drawing, but that’s my personal opinion.

^^^^^ this for days

I’m not saying artists have it easier, you guys legit blow my mind and I worship the ground you walk on
But people pay for fan art while (most) people still don’t consider writing fan fiction to even be a skill.
I’ve STOPPED telling people I write fan fiction because they just roll their eyes and ask if I write anything real.

Like, sorry if my 50k, heavily researched fan fiction with an original plot and excellent dialogue isn’t as “real” as the original six page story you wrote in tenth grade

A GODDAMN MEN. I’m so glad you wrote this OP. Something similar has been pinging around my brainspace for ages and ages and I couldn’t figure out how to say it. It’s like, here, take my soul and my heart and my ideas and my creativity and just *have it*, for nothing. Because I want to talk to you, because I want to connect with you, because we share the same fandom language. And somehow, in the last 3 years or so, Fan Authors have become the strange little hobbyists in the world of fandom, quality doesn’t matter, care doesn’t matter, research and talent and learning about writing doesn’t matter. 

Which – if a writer writes a story and no one reads it, does it exist in the fandom? One wonders, and it makes it hard to continue screaming into the void if all you get back is the echo of your own voice, sometimes. 

This is striking a cord with me. Like, it’s tough because fan fiction writers legally can’t sell their work, but I’ve become painfully aware of how I make nothing doing this, despite the time and energy I put in. That’s hard to sustain when bills need paid. It’s why I put up my Ko-Fi yesterday, despite my slight embarrassment about it. I’ve never felt UNappreciated, but at the same time I’m a little too keenly aware of this gap between work and reward. I’m so amazingly grateful to all my followers, but I had to swallow some bitter medicine yesterday and it’s kind of still on my mind.

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Hey everyone! If you’re on my main page now, you might notice a little button over with my Official Links on the sidebar. It’s my new Ko-Fi account!

As many of you know, I’m a graduate student by day, and it is not exactly a well-paying gig. Because of the way the semester goes, I will not be paid again until the beginning of September. Unfortunately, I have bills to pay before then. In what free time I have I cobble together as many little odd-jobs as I can manage (driving for Uber, donating plasma, grading exams, you name it), but I also spend a lot of time maintaining this blog. I love it so much, and I would hate to have to set it aside because of financial concerns.

No one should feel any obligation whatsoever to contribute, but if you have a couple of dollars you’d like to throw my way to show your appreciation, I would be incredibly thankful. It’ll help alleviate a little bit of the stress and ensure that I can still keep up with regular book reviews, blog posts, and monthly content. 

Thank you all so much! You’re all the best. 

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