Tag Archives: daniel kraus

Pumpkin Spice Latte Book Tag

I saw Ren Strange’s take on the Pumpkin Spice Latte book tag and thought it was so cute and fall-ey that I had to do it myself. Normally I’m not a book tag person (not against them, I just don’t think to do them), but this one hit me in just the right way. I think that might be because my reading selection changes a lot in the fall; I feel much more in the mood for spooky and paranormal reads, obviously, as well as fantasy for some reason.

So if you’re looking for a little fall reading inspiration, keep scrolling!

Pumpkin Spice Latte: A book everyone likes to shit on but is delicious

It makes me so sad that this book has poor reviews, which I chalk up to an unlikable MC. This book was a total binge-read, and the atmosphere, writing, and magical ambiguity were right up my alley. I received it as an ARC, but I’ve considered buying a physical copy—that’s how much I liked this.

Fall is My Favorite Season: A cliché you can’t get enough of

Slow burn. Arghhhhh I love this trope so much.

Sweater Weather in the AM and T-Shirt Weather by the Time You Get Out of Work/School: A book you thought was one thing but was completely different by the end

I was promised aliens by the cover, and this book did not deliver. What it did provide was too many characters and a lot of navel-gazing. Sad pass on this one. 😦

Spoops: Spooky books on your TBR

Um, I feel like half of my TBR is spooky; this girl looooves her horror. So I’ll pick three.

I love Daniel Kraus’s voice (he’s the author of The Shape of Water), and I’m all about aliens at the moment due to my WIP, so I’m super excited for his YA thriller with aliens which releases next year. I’m praying that I’m picked off the ARC list.

I’ve heard a lot about this author, and I love the retro cover. Very excited to dive into this book now that Halloween season is almost upon us.

I still haven’t read anything by Nevill (he wrote the book behind the awesome movie The Ritual), but I am always here for a cult story.

Tarot Reading: A five-star prediction

My Beauty and the Beast research continues, and this retelling just sounds so good, and I’m just so certain it will be great.

Sephora Sage & Crystal Set: A book that means well but missed the mark by a landslide

Like When the Sky Fell on Splendor up above, I desperately wanted to like this book, but clunky sentences, too many characters, and not much plot made for a very rocky read.

What’s on your TBR for fall? Any spooky or autumnal-feeling reads that you recommend?

The Shape of Water by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo del Toro

Man, it must be kind of a strange spot to be in for an author to 1) be really good at writing and storytelling; 2) sit down for breakfast with a famous director; 3) have said director broker a deal where he crafts your unformed book idea into a movie that wins Best Picture, while you get to write the book at the same time; 4) understand (because you’re really good at writing and storytelling) that the movie is actually total crap and didn’t deserve Best Picture, while your awesome book gets sidelined by the stigma that it’s a lame movie adaptation.

Imagine me, reading Kraus’s fantastic book, then finishing it and heading to YouTube immediately to rent the movie. (I should have learned my lesson from Bird Box that this will always result in disappointment.) I can’t wait to see the opening bit in the rainforest! I thought to myself as I punched in my credit card information. In my mind, I was conjuring up gritty, surreal jungle scenes à la Apocalypse Now. Which is a fucking great movie, by the way. I am not a movie hater, I swear!

I don’t care how many awards the Academy threw at The Shape of Water; the movie is garbage from start to finish. The characterizations are the definition of surface level. Characters make bizarre choices, such as making out with a chimp-like creature that just devoured a cat, or giving up crucial information that will kill others when they themselves are about to die, so why not take your secrets to the grave and die a hero?

And while watching all of this horror unfold, I had to wonder, how many of these awful story choices did Kraus have to write into his book because he knew the movie was coming out? How much better could the book have been if he hadn’t been dealing with the movie deal? As things are, I can only give this book four stars, because some of the questionable aspects of the movie are also part of the book.

But it’s still very, very good. Kraus has such a unique voice that makes each scene absolutely transportive. It was so refreshing to read a book by an author with a wiiiiiiiide vocabulary; I had my dictionary app in hand many a time while reading! And the characters that are so surface level in the movie are allowed to unfurl to a full-fledged form in the book. I particularly enjoyed Strickland’s character, detestable as he is.

Perhaps most importantly, what felt like bestiality in the movie was a much more nuanced relationship in the book. I’m in full Beauty and the Beast research mode for my current work-in-progress—that was the whole point of reading the book in the first place—and it delivered in spades.

So basically, I will definitely be picking up more work by Kraus (he has a YA book about aliens coming out next year, which is soooo up my alley right now!), but del Toro and I are officially done.