Category: What I’m Reading

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January 31, 2018

Jenn Recommends, What I’m Reading

Favorite Stories of 2017


(Shush, it’s still technically January, I can still do year-end retrospectives!)

Let’s be honest: 2017 was a hard year. I had a number of personal highs, sure, but on the whole I will not be looking back on it with any great fondness. So it was important for me to find books and movies and TV series that lifted up my experience, and while I didn’t set any records for quantity of new media consumed, I was overall quite satisfied with my reading/watching choices. Let’s just dive straight in, then, a roundup of my favorite new-to-me fictional worlds.

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September 3, 2017

Jenn Recommends, What I’m Reading

Jenn Recommends: Superhero Books!


While the most common forms of superhero storytelling have always, of course, been visual (comics, movies, TV), there has been an uptick in superhero novels in the last decade or so, as well. And though it can be tricky to pull off, there are a number of them that I think have done an astounding job. Below are some of the books that fueled and inspired me while I was working on The Private Life of Jane Maxwell.

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June 7, 2017

Personal, What I’m Reading

Wonder Woman of My Heart


Turns out that I was not, in fact, prepared to watch a solid, female-led superhero movie as a woman.

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February 20, 2017

Storytelling, What I’m Reading

Gameplay, Storytelling, and the Choices We Make


Recently I downloaded a new game to my phone: Choices, by a company called Pixelberry.

I did this in part because I skimmed an interview with one of the Pixelberry team members, and it caught my attention, but mostly I downloaded it because I am a sucker for choose-your-owns. I cannot even count how many I’ve played through. Fantasy games, mostly, because that’s obviously where the storytelling method really became popularized, so I guess another thing that drew me to Choices was that a lot of their stories WEREN’T. They had one fantasy “book” (and it’s accompanying sequel) in their app, yes, but there were also several mysteries, and a number of romances. And hey, I like seeing how storytelling methods apply to genres they aren’t usually used for, you know? And it was nice to see a normally male-centric game type being marketed toward a distinctly female audience. Overall, I was really predisposed to like this app.

I’m not even going to use this space to get into my game-level disappointments with it. Things like the micropayment system it uses and how it uses it, or the fact that these really aren’t so much choose-your-own stories as… slightly tailor a predefined narrative arc to your preference. Instead, I’m going to talk about the one “book” that I played all of the way through, all 17 game “chapters” worth, a romance called The Freshman. Because, um. Wow. Buckle up, folks, this is going to get feminist-ranty.

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