Bout of Books 11.0 is finally here!

so excited


Bout of Books is a no-pressure, weeklong readathon, and it is the best. You can still sign up here. And if you have any questions, I’ve been dubbed a Bout of Books Expert (see the super official badge to the right), so feel free to ask in the comments or get at me on Twitter (@SarahSaysRead). I’ll be participating here with daily updates (this will be a sticky post, so it’ll be at the top post on my blog all week), on Instagram, and on Twitter. I have my books sorted out, my posts for the week ready, my jalapeno poppers (my must-have readathon snack) waiting in the freezer. I’m ready!

Let’s take a look at my possible reads this week.




  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (finish, about 120 pgs into it already)
  • Contagious by Jonah Berger (have this on Oyster too, about 30% through it already)
  • Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (read a least a couple more chapters)
  • Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks (graphic novel)
  • How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer
  • Rat Queens (comics, issues #4 to #7)
  • Wraith (comics, issue #1)
  • Legendary Star Lord (comics, issues #1 & #2)
  • Y: The Last Man, Volume 4 (graphic novel)
  • Fables, Volume 1 (graphic novel)
  • East of West, Volume 1 (graphic novel)
  • random Kindle novellas


  • Comment on new blogs every day
  • Join in on at least 1 Twitter chat
  • Read at least 1000 pages total (not counting comics, I guess)
  • Update here daily
  • HAVE FUN (of course)


MY UPDATES – (I’m using a slightly modified version of the Bout of Books template)

Number of pages I’ve read today: 181
Total number of books I’ve read: 1, +1 comic book
Books I read from: Bad Feminist, Wraith issue #1
#todayinsixwords: Roxane Gay is my pretend BFF.

I expected to get a little more reading done than this, but between the Twitter chat and going out for coffee with my little brother and then eating dinner and watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory, I wasted like 5 or 6 hours not reading. Oh, and I commented on 15 new-to-me blogs! Yay! Not a bad day! Unfortunately, I have to work the rest of the week. Booooooo.



Number of pages I’ve read today: 119
Total number of books I’ve read: 1, +1 comic book
Books I read from: How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky
#todayinsixwords: Shocked I read 100 pages today.

So, back to work. I read some on my lunch, and more when I got home… and then I meant to read more of my book or a comic, but I got pretty tired. I managed to visit 11 new-to-me blogs, but wasn’t as active on Twitter or anything as I would like. Not sure that will change for Wednesday – I’m looking at a 12-hour work day, so we’ll see how it goes.




Number of pages I’ve read today: 99
Total number of books I’ve read: 1, + 5 comic books
Books I read from: How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky, Rat Queens #4 – 7
#todayinsixwords: Not too shabby, fun Twitter chat

I got out of work earlier than I thought I would, so I got some extra reading time at home. Caught up on my Rat Queens comics (YOU GUYS, THEY’RE SO GOOD), and then hopped online for what was a wonderful Twitter chat. Thursdays are date night, so my page count won’t be very high, but that’s okay, because I like hanging out with the honeyman :)




Number of pages I’ve read today: 12, ouch.
Total number of books I’ve read: 1, + 5 comic books
Books I read from: How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky
#todayinsixwords: Oh well, it was date night.

So I was super distracted when I was on my lunch (damn you Twitter and such) and then after work it was date night (which was ordering pizza and playing the crap out of Borderlands 2 together). So yeah, no reading after work, but time with the honeyman is more important :)




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Number of pages I’ve read today:
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Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud




You guys may have noticed I’m a little comics-obsessed lately. But I still had questions, and I heard this book getting a lot of praise, so  I got it from the library. I got a lot more out of this book than I planned on.


understanding comics intro


This was a REALLY in-depth look at comics, and the different techniques they employ. There is a slight bit of history, and some discussion on how comics are a “genre” or form of media that are kind of looked down upon – this was published in 1993, but I think that still applies. I’d love to see an updated version of this book, given the recent explosion of superhero movies and increased interest in comics and graphic novels.

I’d also love to see Scott McCloud do more of a “how to read comics” kind of books. While Understanding Comics is really informative and thought-provoking and I plan to buy my own copy, it didn’t exactly answer my questions – such as how to know where to start reading (for example, I want to read Deadpool comics, but where the hell do I begin?? Does it matter?), the differences between comics and graphic novels, and so on.

He DOES have another book called Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form, published in 2000, that I really want to read. It apparently tackles issues like sexual and ethnic representations in comics, creator’s rights, and more.

Whether you’re curious about comics, a newbie to comics, or a long-time fan of comics – I think this is a really worthy read.


Sarah Says: 4 stars

My Local Comic Book Shop



About a month ago, I made my very first trip ever to a comic book store. I went on and went to the one closest to me, and I think I picked well. I basically love it.

My first time in was with the honeyman, because we were on vacation together and because I rarely like going new places on my own. The comic shop is located in the downstairs area of a building, there ruining the images in my head inspired by The Big Bang Theory‘s comic shop, and I felt a little awkward at the close-quarters at first, but eventually I relaxed. It’s actually pretty well organized, and I was able to snap up the first issues of Ms. Marvel and Rat Queens, two comics I had been hearing a lot about on the internets.

Since my first time, I’ve been back there twice. The guys that work there (own it?) are very friendly, and didn’t at all make me feel like I was some silly girl. (I get that this is a ridiculous presumption, shut up.) I shared what comics I’ve been getting in to, and got some good recs. I started a pull list for Ms. Marvel and Rat Queens, and ask that they order me a volume of Deadpool to start reading. And from what I understand, their discount on your pull list is pretty great 20% to 30% off of whatever is in your box when you come in, depending on how much is there. They also offer discounts on regular merchandise in the store, including trade books, which is fantastic.




I could easily spend hours looking around in there, if I let myself, and I could VERY easily spend too many of my dollars. But I love having a comfortable place to go for comics. I love that I have comic book peeps to ask questions to. And, imagine my delight when I went on their website and discovered that they have a podcast! I downloaded a bunch of episodes and can’t wait to listen to them this week. I’ve been thinking about trying to find a good comics podcast, and then I stumbled on that. WIN.




For anyone of my readers who is annoyed with all the comics-related talk on my blog… suck it up. I can’t help it. I’m kind of addicted to comics now, and I only want to throw myself deeper into them. And now that I have a local favorite comic book shop, nothing is stopping me from trying to catch up on decades’ worth of comic-y goodness.

Have you been to your local comic book shop? What was it like? What comics are you into right now?




Sarah Sunday!


Hogging my spot on the couch, chilling behind the lap top, an owl wearing glasses necklace, and my current read



Hey guys.

I actually don’t have too much to update… other than work was busy this week and I worked close to 50 hrs, so I’m behind in reading and commenting on blogs and I’m going to try to catch up on that tonight. What else…

  • We saw Lucy for date night. It was interesting… but I feel like it was a cool premise and that they didn’t really know where they wanted to go with it. It was awesome seeing Scarlett Johansson just basically killing a bunch of bad dudes though.
  • The movie theater we went to had fancy red leather reclining seats, and the tickets were actually cheaper than most movie theaters, so that was cool.
  • I have been glued to Twitter this week because of the horrible events in Ferguson. This exact situation is why I will never understand the people who try to claim that racism is dead, or that affirmative action (in police forces, especially) isn’t needed. I wish there was something I could do to help the family of Mike Brown, and the community there… they have my support.
  • I have been reading Bad Feminist, and it is brilliant so far. Finally, I feel like someone is speaking my language when it comes to feminism (and other issues).
  • I also really recommend the $1 Kindle single, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
  • I went to the comic book store again on Saturday. I love going there and being surrounded by comics and asking if they can order me things. I bought the trade of East of West, the first two issues of Legendary Star Lord, and the first issue of Wraith by Joe Hill (yes, it is a new-ish comic series based on NOS4A2). AND I found out that my comic shop has a podcast, and I’m really looking forward to listening to that. I’m going to do a post about my local comic book shop later this week, hopefully.
  • The Bout of Books readathon starts tomorrow, and lasts all week. YES. I need this. I took tomorrow off of work just to get a good solid day of reading in. And because it turns out I still have like 7 vacation days for the year, which is awesome.

Alright you crazy cats, I have a ton more stuff to do before tomorrow. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!


















Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory



Alright, I know I’ve mentioned Chew on here before. But now since I finished volume 8, I’ve been wanting to do a proper review of it. I mean, I have nothing else to do until volume 9 eventually comes out. The wait is killing me.

Reviewing a currently-not-finished comic series seems weird, but I’m going to try it out. Chew is, without a doubt, my favorite comic series. So maybe this will be easier than I think.

Tony Chu has a gift. He is a cibopath – he gets physic impressions or visions from whatever he eats. He bites into an apple, and knows where it was grown, was pesticides was used on it. He eats a hamburger and gets flashes of how that cow was killed. He takes a bite out of a corpse, and he will probably be able to find the killer. This makes him a wonderful federal agent for the most powerful law enforcement division in America – the FDA. See, when the avian flu killed 23 million Americans, chicken and other bird meat was outlawed – making black market food crimes a new, big problem. The downside of Tony’s power? Basically the only thing he can eat without getting some horrible psychic impression is beets.

You guys, this series is filled with people who have FOOD-RELATED SUPERPOWERS. Someone gets smarter the more he eats. Someone else can see the future of whatever person they take a bite out of. Someone else is able to speak the language of whatever nationality’s food he’s cooking. It is the coolest thing.

Besides the awesome, weird superpowers, I really like the characters. Chu is a good cop, but he’s nervous with the ladies and it’s adorable to watch him try to be flirty. He has a main love interest, Amelia, who is spunky and powerful in her own right. His partner John Colby is gay, enjoys illegal chicken, and adds a lot of hilarity. You eventually meet Tony’s twin sister, Toni, and she’s a riot. I got attached to these characters really quickly. The series has even made me tear up a time or two.

The artwork in the series is some of my FAVORITE. It’s funky and beautiful, and there’s always a lot of humor in the images… funny posters on the wall, tongue-in-cheek labels on packages, goofy store signs, etc. See below…



ALSO, I am super, super excited that there is going to be an animated Chew TV show - and Glenn from The Walking Dead is voicing Tony Chu. AND Penny from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is going to voice his love interest. My excitement levels! I can’t even.


Says Says: 5 stars, forever



how to build a girl


Emily is hosting this lovely readalong of How to Build a Girl (THANKS EMILY!), and if you’d like to pre-order a copy of this you should head on over to Odyssey Bookshop to do that. And if you’re not readalong-ing with us, be aware – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

So here we are, the end of the book!

smile face

  • Rob talks about how all Goth chicks “have a bit of chubble” – what a massive asshole.
  • Johanna plays her father’s horrible music tape for her co-workers, and then tosses it.
  • Johanna decides to do speed.
  • The whole giant catastrophe of Tony Rich… I can’t even. I just can’t.
  • Johanna has a fantastic night with John Kite, passes out, gets upset, then starts cutting herself.
  • I enjoy that she decides to learn some NWA lyrics so she has an excuse for the scars, later on.
  • Johanna states that she is now for things – not against them.” Dude… you can be both. You have to be both.
  • The family’s benefits were cut because Johanna got a job. CALLED IT. And I guess she had been helping out with bills and such, so that’s good.
  • Johanna is moving, Krissi is coming with her (“To make sure you’re okay, and you don’t accidentally write your shopping list on your arm with an ax.”), and she still feels like she has to get her dad famous.

Overall… I don’t know how I feel about this book. I really, really loved the first 2/3 or so, and then my enjoyment kind of decreased from there. I’m kind of bummed that there was no real conflict with her dad, and that there was no big revelation about Krissi being gay. I really ended up liking Krissi the best out of anyone, because it turns out he’s smart and kind of hilarious. I’m curious to see what another Moran novel would be like… one that would be not so closely related to her own life.

I’ll probably sum up my final feels in a non-spoiler-y review later on.

Thanks again to Emily for hosting, and to HarperCollins for making the readalong possible!! And of course to all of the other bloggers participating. You guys make readalong-ing the best.

bye gif


Sarah Sunday!




The last two weeks have kind of flown by. I’m gonna go bullet-style because there’s just a lot and also, I spent all my energy on a 5-mile run/walk this morning (which is not bragging, it’s more of a yay-I-did-something-physical today kind of thing, because damn… I need to work out more):

  • We saw Guardians of the Galaxy!


the guardians

I already want to re-watch it. It was fun, and I laughed a lot. And I was skeptical when they announced that there was going to be a sequel before the first movie even freaking came out, but now I’m really psyched to see it. Come on, 2017! I did start to read some of the comics, and I’m confused that two characters, Adam Warlock and Quasar, were left out… I’m wondering if they’ll be added in the second movie. Anyways, I highly recommend it.

  • I really need to use Oyster more. I’m still in my free period of it, but I just don’t read on my phone that much. And I WANT to utilize Oyster more, because it was such a fantastic selection of books. Seriously, KINDLE FIRE. I need one. (I have been trying to make it a point to read a bit on my phone here and there… before work, or any waiting time, etc.)
  • BookRiot is lauching a site just for comic books! It’s going to be called Panels, and it’ll be up in the fall, and I’m EXCITED. I am completely addicted to comics lately.
  • I think I read faster on my Kindle. Maybe it just seems that way, because I can read it in bed, but it seems like a get through a book a bit faster when I read on it.
  • Labor Day weekend we’re going to have a Borderlands 2 weekend with our friends (the ones we have game night with every week). We’re going to stay at their house for the whole weekend, orders tons of junk food, and play Borderlands 2 together with two XBOXs, two TVs, and two games so that we can each have half a screen while we play. It’s going to be amazingly awesome.
  • I sent a letter this week to the judge assigned to dealing with my grandmother’s estate, stating that I’d like to officially disinherit myself and don’t want anything from her will. My grandma passed away over two years ago, and her will is still in probate because of how she wrote it and who deserves to get something out of it… It’s a mess. I’m done. And I feel hugely relieved.
  • Work has been slow. Which in a way, is kind of nice. But in another way, it kind of sucks. I think I actually prefer being busy at work. And I’m missing just a little bit of the overtime.
  • Gabby has been super lovey lately. Which obviously I’m a fan of. She’s such a weird cat, but she really just likes to be around us.
  • Have any of you read anything by Morgan Llywelyn? I visited my dad this weekend, and he went on and on about one of her books and insists that I have to read it (Lion of Ireland was the one he was recommending). She seems like a big historical fiction writer… are they good?
  • We’re starting to re-watch The Big Bang Theory, because I want to watch them all before season 7 comes out on DVD next month. It’s such a great show. And I recently listened to a Neil deGrasse Tyson podcast that featured Mayim Bialik (she plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the show) and they talked about how one of the great things about the show is that all of the characters have some sort of social issue, or they fall somewhere on the autism spectrum (Sheldon) – but they don’t try to diagnose or medicate the characters. These are all characters who the world would categorize as nerds, who maybe have a bit of OCD or some other sort of anxiety – but the show doesn’t pathologize them. Instead, they all have active social lives, they have rewarding careers and love interests, and are surrounded by friends that love them, and that’s an awesome thing. I’ve never actively thought about that before, but it is definitely one of the things that make me love the show. Also, I just love that it’s a group of people who love science, comics, video games, sci-fi – and it’s just FUNNY. Anyways, so yay. I’m excited to be watching them all again.
  • Also, I really really want to watch Cosmos. I think I’m going to re-activate my Hulu account just so I can start it. Because I love space and science and physics, and I also love that Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth MacFarlane put it together. Good job, guy that is usually known for making Family Guy. You are cooler than I originally thought.

I’m rambling now, and I really need to write the last How to Build a Girl post. I want to read, but I might as well just keep blogging since Gabby is hogging the couch right now. Cats.

How’s your weekend goin?


Comics I Really Want to Read Next

I’ve been getting more and more into comics (which, for the purposes of this discussion at least, includes graphic novels). I’ve sought out and read a lot of the stand alone ones, and the autobiographical ones – Maus, Persepolis, Blankets, Habibi, etc. From there, I started branching out into series – Chew, Manhattan Projects, Saga. I need to write reviews for a lot of these, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet – part of me is still working out how I want to review comics in a series that isn’t over or completed yet.

Since all of that is hard work, I’m hoping to manage reviews for the comics series I’ve been reading sometime this month. But for now, let’s look ahead to the comics I really, really want to get my hands on next.




[Deadpool: By Daniel Way: The Complete Collection: Volume 1 (Product Image)]

deadpool animated GIF


Next time I’m in my comic book shop, I’m going to ask the guy there to order me the big volume editions of the Deadpool comics so I can read them ALL. I’ve been wanting to read them for ages, but that movie scene leak has be EXTRA excited (although the movie is stuck in development hell because of how to rate it, and there is a really great article on why it could be PG-13 and still amazing). I like crazy, psychotic, not-nice characters. The Joker is super fascinating. Kahn (in the second new Stark Trek movie) is a beast. I like FUNNY. And Deadpool is hysterical. He’s morally ambiguous and interesting. And he’s very unique in the comic world because he’s aware that he’s a character, which leads to him continually breaking the fourth wall and moving around the comic book world.




It is ridiculous that I haven’t read this comic series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Chelsea has been gushing about it for ages now, and I STILL haven’t got around to it! I really like Joe Hill. I believe it’s about the Locke children, and something how them discovering keys that do… things. This is really a must-read series for me, but I think I’ve been holding off on them because even on Amazon, a new paperback volume is almost $20. And my comic book shop didn’t have the trade volumes in… maybe I’ll have them order that for me too.




Honestly, I have no idea if this series is any good. I saw issue 6 or 7 in my comic book shop, but they didn’t have ANY of the back issues, which I think is a good sign. I’m just super excited at the idea of a steampunk comic series. I’m going to be eagerly awaiting a trade volume for this… or, once again, bothering my comic book store guy to see if he can get the single back issues anywhere.




Another one on my radar because of Chels (for reals, she has the best recommendations you guys). I’m going to be buying the trade collections of this, because I think there’s three out already and that’s too much to try to collect all of the single issues. It’s about the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and the artwork looks really fantastic. I’ve learned that artwork is VERY important, especially when there’s a lot of characters – it makes it easier to tell them apart.


Alright ya’ll, those are the comic series I’m seeking out next. Read any of these? Have any other suggestions for what to look out for?



The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell




“The mission, he thought, probably failed because of a series of logical, reasonable, carefully considered decisions, each of which seemed like a good idea at the time. Like most colossal disasters.”

I’m still trying to sort out my feelings on this book. Don’t worry, they’re mostly good – it’s just so much to process and muse over. And I could sit here for half and hour and try to summarize it, but the inside jacket does a really good job -

It is the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads and twenty-first century scientific missions to a newly discovered extraterrestrial culture. Sandoz and his companions are prepared to endure isolation, hardship and death, but nothing can prepare them for the civilization they encounter, or for the tragic misunderstanding that brings the mission to a catastrophic end. Once considered a living saint, Sandoz returns alone to Earth physically and spiritually maimed, the mission’s sole survivor – only to be accused of heinous crimes and blamed for the mission’s failure. 

I first heard about this book on the BookRiot podcast several months ago and had it on my radar since then, so when I saw this copy at the used library bookstore for $2, I snatched it up. I’m glad I did. It’s not what I was expecting… I think I was expecting more science, or more of a dystopian factor, but instead it was a beautifully written examination of culture, spirituality, and human bonds.

The book alternates between before and during the mission to Rakhat, and after when Sandoz is the only one to return. I enjoyed seeing how the other planet was discovered, how the mission was put together, how the crew was chosen, and how they approached a completely alien culture once arriving. Also, a lot of bonus points to this book for showing how space travel can be possible when a group of determined people put their mind to it. All of that was interesting, even if it left more technical, scientific aspects out. But I think that even more than that, I enjoyed Emilio. Emilio is such a wonderful character. When we first meet him, he has returned from Rakhat and he is completely wrecked, physically and emotionally – but we don’t know why. Watching him evolve and go through different adjustments in his faith was fascinating, and just so beautifully done. (And this is coming from someone who expressly doesn’t like religion.) Finding out exactly what happened on this mission and to Emilio is what kept me turning the pages, wanting more.

The other characters are all likable as well – I don’t think there was anyone I didn’t like, and there were some that I grew quite attached to. But Emilio and his story are what give this book a life and uniqueness that I’ve never really seen anywhere else. Imagine my delight when I went online to read more about this author and found out that there’s a sequel, called Children of God. I have to hunt that down as soon as I can.


Sarah Says: 4 stars



how to build a girl


Emily is hosting this lovely readalong of How to Build a Girl (THANKS EMILY!), and if you’d like to pre-order a copy of this you should head on over to Odyssey Bookshop to do that. And if you’re not readalong-ing with us, be aware – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.


“In the long days, the unnerving, violin-like screeching of worry can firmly sat up with the thought, “By nine p.m., I shall be partying.” And besides, I’m drinking for practical reasons. Having spent all my money on my computer, I walk home from gigs, down the A449 to our estate, and the alcohol keeps me warm, and means I do not stint on the top notes when I sing.”

there there


I am CONCERNED for this girl. Johanna’s kind of a hot mess, diving fully into her Dolly Wilde persona – drinking too much, walking home drunk and alone, and finally doing things with the boys. She comes home from a gig in which she adorably thinks “I’m in a kiss!” and has a drunk father to drunk daughter heart-to-heart. AGH. But then we get this:

“Whenever Dadda tells me the stories of what it was like when he was young, I shiver again in relief and glee that I am here, now. I do not think I would have been me at any other time. I would not have been allowed.”

And damn it, Caitlin Moran, crap like this is what totally leads me to love Johanna, even when she kind of makes me want to pull my hair out and yell “NOOOOO, BAD DECISION” at some of the many things she does. Like agreeing to try to get her dad an “in” to a music career. Oy. And not writing reviews about bands she likes (DON’T BE A FAN). A tad over-dramatic there, girlie. You can absolutely write about bands that are good – just don’t write a freaking love letter to them and then have it published.

I love that Krissi loves rap.

just doin his thing

just doin his thing


Johanna nails how awesome awesome kisses are:

“He’s kissing me in a way that could save the lives of the dying. He has my face in his hands, and there’s a lazy, urgent joy in the way he moves – I’m pretty sure there can’t ever have been any kissing better than this. There can’t ever have been any kissing before. We are inventing it, in these last ten minutes.”



And then she instantly makes me feel completely sorry for her brand new sex life, in which she talks about how great sex is because you get ALL of a person’s attention, which she used to have to pretend to die to get. And then about how her purpose to to make men come. And then how she writes letters to John Kite vividly describing the sex she’s having.

Clearly, Johanna has some self-esteem issues. This is nothing new, it’s kind of a main theme of the book – that she likes herself, but in general, never thought she would get the kind of attention “pretty” girls get. I just wish that her self-esteem issues weren’t leading her towards such a self-destructive path. Which I guess makes this a good book for teen girls who might be going through that? Sure.

On the one hand, I am totally okay with women having casual sex and good for them, if they’re being healthy and smart about it.

On the other hand, it concerns me that Johanna says she wants to be introduced as a “legendary piece of ass”. And that throughout this relatively descriptive section, she hasn’t mentioned condoms once. Please, please let there have been condoms.

And then she says things like “I’m a Lady Sex Adventuress! I’m a Pirate of Privates! I’m a swashfuckler!” and I think that she’s going to be okay. I hope.

Johanna talks a bit about how only the men come in all the porn she’s scene (jesus, I can only imagine the amount of spam I’m attracting by writing this post), and I know Moran’s written about that before so… snore. I don’t care. And it kind of bugs me that Moran’s non-fiction is overlapping so directly with her fiction yet again.

And then this section ends with the chapter about Al, the apparently hugely endowed guy, and… I don’t even know what to say. It was kind of funny. It also made me uncomfortable, because aside from s/he said jokes, I don’t really talk… like this. And because SERIOUSLY Johanna, please tell me there were condoms involved here. I am WORRIED. Johanna only has one more section to really get her shit together and be safe and more herself.

I enjoyed her calling the cat a vagina-ruiner, though. That was amusing.