I really busted out all the stops for our trip to the Sweet Tooth Hotel today. I even put on my fake eyelashes!! It was worth it because we ended up taking a bajillion pictures. An hour in an art installation with only five rooms seemed like a long time, but it flew by. It was fun and there was such a wide variety of interactive art. Utterly charming and I only wish I had several hundred dollars set aside for the gift shop.


We had a lovely time[1]. It was fun thinking up poses, taking pictures of each other and playing pretend at being a model. I do wish my hair hadn't gotten so messy because of the heat, but it wasn't too bad. We ended up exploring a lot of Uptown after that, eating lunch at what I'm pretty sure is a posh apartment food court.

The rain came down hard in the evening. We picked up my cousin and took her around to a couple stores she'd wanted to visit, including a gigantic bookstore[2]. While there, I ended up becoming engrossed by this book called Queen of the Tearling and ended up picking up books one and two. I would have probably grabbed book three, too, but there wasn't a trade edition available and I hate having a set that doesn't match. I saw a very harsh review of the book (that I don't agree with in the least) when I opened up Goodreads to add the book to my list. I'm not sure why, but whenever I look at a book on there, it's usually a bunch of 1-star reviews listed first. Considering the book overall has very high ratings, it's quite odd.

I have some complaints about diversity. The book does mention black people (who are apparently rare) but where is everyone else? Or maybe they're just under completely different names. This book is a dystopian novel that disguises itself as high fantasy. It's pretty fascinating even though I can't seem to figure out exactly where (or when) it's set. Maybe it's not meant to be set in our current world and timeline at all, but the references to America and Europe seem a little too much to ignore. That being said, I'm pretty sure the heroine is of mixed race at the very least, so maybe she just doesn't tend to describe people very specifically. Mostly there's bits about people's accents and hair/eye color. She has only mentioned skin color a few times. Maybe it's intentionally vague, who knows. I'll keep an eye out to see if this improves in the latter books.

All that being said, it's a fascinating story. I love the heroine Kelsea and her badassery. I love the very modern takes on sex work, gender equality, and socialism. Even when she makes bad or impetuous decisions, they make sense to me (or at least I can understand her POV) and I just adore Kelsea. The series is giving me major Twelve Kingdoms vibes. I was hooked from the first. I've finished binge-reading book one (which I think is a pretty commendable feat, okay, the book is long) and will start on book two as soon as this blog post has been submitted. I have this horrible habit of getting too lazy to finish a book/show/movie and reading summaries on Wikipedia to get closure without any effort, but I'm trying to stay unspoiled for this so I can fully enjoy it. Still, I'm getting pretty antsy and I'd better try to pick up the third and final book tomorrow or else I'm not sure what will become of me.

  1. I shared some photos here on Twitter! ↩︎

  2. I work for the chain, but not at this particular store. ↩︎