A strange little yellow book full of strange scenarios that every single one of us can relate to in some way.
Ya Mum is short vignette style stories that give a sense of art and deeper thought to everyday occurrences that are always seen but often ignored.
From dumped shopping trolleys to a lonesome shoe. Social distancing in Morrisons to an unpleasant discovery in a pub toilet.
Armed with the perils of hangovers and dubiously stained mattresses, author Ben Tallon sees our world a little differently. He sees beyond the basics, he turns the arse-end of British life into something story-worthy.
I see this book as a ‘loo book’ or stocking filler. A book that you find yourself reading out of morbid curiosity, nodding in agreement and surprise at just how relevant it is.
It’s a strange little yellow book, and I recommend it for shits and giggles. It offers a perspective of this crappy world with its crappy people that’s nothing quite like yours.
About the author:
Ben Tallon is a writer, illustrator and host of Arrest All Mimics podcast. He grew up laughing at farts in Keighley, West Yorkshire and is fascinated by the dirty underbelly of British culture.
Thank you to author Ben Tallon for sending me a signed copy.
‘We call them Bunnies because that is what they call each other. Seriously. Bunny.’
I’m a bit all over the place with this book. I’d call it a ‘yo-yo read’. It’s sickly sweet, ugly pretty, cutely foul and oddly addictive. I was up and down throughout, with awkward ‘do I even like this’ moments. On numerous occasions I was indeed loving it in all its twisted hilarity.
Samantha Heather Mackey is an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at Warren University. In fact, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort – a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other ‘Bunny’.
But then the Bunnies issue her with an invitation and Samantha finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door, across the threshold, and down their rabbit hole.
Bunny was an unusual choice for me as it’s got Young Adult/Fantasy genre written all over it – not my usual choice. But this book feels like it not only blends genres, but bends them too. Into very uncomfortable positions.
It’s as funny as hell in places and has a fair few horrific scenes. On Goodreads someone described it as ‘one of the most demented books I’ve ever read’. I dig a bit of weirdness in my books, so my FOMO got the better of me!
I’m a member of The Ladies of Horror Fiction Group on Goodreads and there was a choice of books for September to vote for. Bunny won, so I thought, oh why not, let’s do it! I’m glad I did, but I’m still not sure I even liked it much!
I’m in the UK and the story is American, so I found certain things that I didn’t connect with. The education system in the USA is something I know nothing about. Also certain pop culture went over my head, so perhaps things were a bit lost on me.
The quirky characters were cracking, the humour was dark and dry, it was shockingly funny on countless occasions. It was written in such a way that is felt ‘chatty’ and flowed from page to brain* very easily.
*whilst mashing it up repeatedly.
The Sunday Independent quotes it as ‘Mean Girls with added menace’ and I completely agree.
At three quarters through I felt it was just playing with me. My feelings went from ‘this is weird’ to this is ‘REALLY effing weird’. Then ‘it’s so hilarious but still weird.’ Then ‘uh-oh, I’m getting a bit bored of the repetitive bits in the middle here.’ And the final part was just ‘whaaat??? – I’m not sure I even ‘get it!’
Talk about rollercoaster! It’s like nothing I’ve read before ever. But I think I liked it.
Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it? I would, yes. But it’s definitely not for everyone. Maybe it would sit better with an American reader, and certainly would be more appreciated by someone twenty years younger than myself.
Apparently the rights are sold to AMC for a possible TV-film adaptation. I think it would be better on screen, I’d watch it, but only because I’ve read it.
It comes across as a weird, fantastical teen/YA story, with elements of horror that is cleverly put together. I enjoyed the characters and their strange behaviours, the writing was extremely good but overall I’d say it is an above average ‘Bunny Tail’ deserving of 3/5 bunnies.
I’ll leave you with a couple of lines which made me pull a right dodgy face;
‘A pause so pregnant it delivers, consumes its own spawn, then grows big with child again.’
‘She looks at us all in her probing, intensely gynaecological way.’
A Two Ronnies-esque play on book titles Blogpost. Here’s some of my favourite Indie Publishers combined with some books that are on my shelves in a special bookish ‘News Flash’. With a final shout out to a fabulous online book shop.
Good morning/afternoon/evening. Here is the news 🤓 🤓
Today’s top stories:
News just in! There’s been a report from a couple of local ladies about a sighting of something unusual in their back garden.
Our reporter has just informed us that they said they’ve spotted what appears to be a BLUE MOOSE wandering around, eating their carrots. They said ‘WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE and usually it’s a BUNNY that steals our produce. We don’t know what to think during these strange times anymore.’
Our next story is focusing on the ridiculous amount of books that Lisa from OwlBeSatReading has accumulated over the last few months.
When interviewed she said ‘I don’t know how it gets like this. There seems to be an INFLUX of great authors at the moment, I end up in some kind of book LABYRINTH, struggling to find a way out! I often blame OTHERS but I know for certain I just get the HORNS for new books.’
Next an exclusive story, perhaps to take with a pinch of SALT. The theory behind ‘second breakfasts’.
Although small in stature, we spoke to a group of men (?) about their lives and how it evolves around mealtimes.
One, who wishes to remain anonymous said, ‘you can simply call me Mr HOBBIT, as I don’t want to bring unnecessary attention to us all as we’re on a secret journey at the moment. But I will say there’s never a time when we’re not FAMISHED. You could say we’re bounders really, but we’re certainly not UNBOUND!’
When questioned further, he said ‘we’re going there and back again, that’s all I’m willing to disclose at this stage’.
More on that story later.
Our next bulletin has had a few locals very perplexed. A new housing estate has recently been built and some have experienced a lot of ‘strange goings on’. Here’s EMMA, who lives opposite WUTHERING HEIGHTS to tell our reporter more.
‘I was pegging out my washing early one morning when I caught something in the corner of my eye. I’m no fan of ancient religions, big or SMALL GODS for that matter, but I am convinced I saw A MODERN FAMILY getting into their car and one of their kids was wearing A HEAD OF ZEUS!’
Our reporter asked to look from where she saw this bizarre occurrence and pointed over to her SANDSTONE patio, saying ‘my washing line is strung between those TWO TOWERS, so it’s a good viewpoint. I’ve set up CCTV because I think I’m going mad’.
We’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds.
And finally, as we bring today’s report to a close, bringing you a MYRIAD of bookish oddities, I’d like to end with this lovely story.
Our final article is a heartwarming story about a pile of books found by a chap who’s had an unlikely escape from who knows where. He goes by the name Uriah. URIAH HEEP.
He was in the park walking his dog last Tuesday when he stumbled across a stack of books all wrapped up in a lovely red bow! Uriah tells us more.
‘I remember seeing a postcard in the local post office from a bloke called Bert who’d sadly mislaid some books and he’d be keen on getting them back. Apparently they were for his friend Rose. They may of been for ROSEMARY’S BABY as she’d recently had a wee nipper. Anyway, I’m so happy I could be the bearer of good tidings, I took great pleasure in returning BERTS BOOKS’.
So that brings us to the end of today’s news. Thank you for joining us.
It’s a goodnight from me and a goodnight from him. GOODNIGHT.
Afternoon everyone, today I bring to you certain situations I’ve found myself in told in the medium of book covers.
This perfectly represents me when I’ve just put fresh bird food out into the garden and that damn squirrel rocks up and nicks the lot. I hate that little bastard sometimes and wish I were a Crow with a baseball bat.
Sometimes I just sit on the bed and stare. Sometimes I sit there debating whether I can be bothered to paint my toenails. But mostly I sit there thinking ‘is 7pm too early to climb in and snuggle up?’
Back in the day when I worked on the High Street I’d be waiting for the bus in the pouring rain with 400 other poor sods, who were desperate to stay dry and get home. Usually someone would piss me off by jamming themselves into an already full bus stop. I miss those days like a hole in the head.
I feel like being pretty today, let’s do a proper makeover. Can I do winged eyeliner at 46 and a half? Can I hell. Usually looks even worse than this to be honest.
I definitely did blow out that Yankee candle before I came out didn’t I? Didn’t I???? Me with my thoughts of uncertainty.
So there you have it, I’m a bit of a book weirdo. But you probably knew that already! Thanks for dropping by and have a great day