I put off reading Half a Crown for ages. I loved the first two books of the series, Farthing and Ha'penny, but the world established within them is so...moreI put off reading Half a Crown for ages. I loved the first two books of the series, Farthing and Ha'penny, but the world established within them is so dark that engaging with it a third time required some gearing up. I'm so glad I did -- the final chapter of the Small Change series does not pull its punches nor does it disappoint.(less)
Part One - Why Games Make Us Happy is awesome. The book's true strength lies in describing games that already exist and examining their appeal. Why do...morePart One - Why Games Make Us Happy is awesome. The book's true strength lies in describing games that already exist and examining their appeal. Why do we play games? What makes games better (more appealing) than everyday life? I am not a gamer, but as I read each chapter, I wanted to run out and try the games described. (This time electronic gaming will take -- hope springs eternal, despite my history of frustration and abandoned gaming platforms.) I loved the definition for games used throughout the book, and I liked the idea of applying a gaming mindset to everyday challenges.
Part Two - Reinventing Reality and Part Three - How Very Big Games Can Change the World, however, made me feel less optimistic about the possibility of changing the world with games. Mostly because the games described in those chapters, the games overtly trying to Do Something, sounded... well, lame. For the most part, they read like Very Special Episodes of the gaming world, with the fun lost beneath the message.
But, hey, practice may make perfect. If the ideas in Reality is Broken are already circulating in the game design world, perhaps games are evolving that meet real world needs - without feeling a bit too serious.(less)
A fairly entertaining read, set in an interesting alternate centennial U.S. The magic is interesting, especially the local witches' struggle to compet...moreA fairly entertaining read, set in an interesting alternate centennial U.S. The magic is interesting, especially the local witches' struggle to compete against 'patent magic' from mail order companies. And there's at least a nod to Native American magic users. (Though I feel that the holy woman Kome singling out Emily as essentially the heir to her powers (view spoiler)[and giving her life to aid this newly met witch, especially when she has a daughter/apprentice within the Miwok, (hide spoiler)] is sketchy.)
Unfortunately, there's a dislike-turns-to-love romantic storyline which didn't work for me. Stanton never wins me over -- and I'm not the one he's belittling -- so I don't understand why Emily should fall for him. Reasons of plot, I guess. Although this is very clearly the first book of a series, I don't think I'll be continuing on.["br"]>["br"]>(less)
My sister's been talking this particular classic up to me for literally years. Frankly, there was no way it could measure up! I finally made time for...moreMy sister's been talking this particular classic up to me for literally years. Frankly, there was no way it could measure up! I finally made time for it due to plans to see the recent theatrical version. Nice descriptions of mountains?(less)
Contains some awesome stories, about a wide variety of 'geeks' reflecting a range of comfort with the appellation. I would have loved to adapt Sara Za...moreContains some awesome stories, about a wide variety of 'geeks' reflecting a range of comfort with the appellation. I would have loved to adapt Sara Zarr's "This is My Audition Monologue" into an Individual Oration piece back when I was a geek on speech team.
Only one consideration if you're looking at the ebook version -- the tiny writing on some of the comics is almost impossible to read, and the images can't be enlarged (at least not on a b&w reader).(less)
The language is beautiful. The setting is practically another character. The siblings are all interesting, but unlike so many children's books that in...moreThe language is beautiful. The setting is practically another character. The siblings are all interesting, but unlike so many children's books that involve unsupervised kids running wild, the absentee-parenting was heartbreaking.
Read for bookclub, and I held off on rating it until after the discussion -- I had the feeling that this was one where the discussion would sway my opinion. The question was: up or down? Ultimately, I ended up staying at three, though a high three -- the language alone probably deserves a higher rating, but I spent the second half of the book curled around my copy in unhappy anticipation of all the ways things could go wrong. (view spoiler)[Not all of them did. Ultimately, I would say the book has a relatively hopeful ending. But the things that do go wrong were bad enough. If you're the kind of person who finds trigger warnings useful, you might want to ask someone before reading this book. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was one of those books that 'everyone' was talking about which inevitably inspires a "yeah, yeah, I'll get to it response from me." On a whim, I...moreThis was one of those books that 'everyone' was talking about which inevitably inspires a "yeah, yeah, I'll get to it response from me." On a whim, I started reading it on a lunch break. By forty pages in, I was as hooked as everyone had promised.
Katniss is a wonderful character. Spiky, imperfect, a survivor. She is believably, relatably selfish, but has moments of nobility and compassion. Hopefully, The Hunger Games marks a trend in flawed, active characters and not just dystopic futures.(less)
My original, two-thirds-finished review follows below the asterisks. Now that I've reached the end of the book, I agree with everything my frustrated...moreMy original, two-thirds-finished review follows below the asterisks. Now that I've reached the end of the book, I agree with everything my frustrated self said earlier. Grey is terrible. Just terrible. There's no backstory in the world that's going to make me okay with his behaviour outside of scening. (Alternating reading this book with a book that features women killing abusive spouses only made my "Red-Flag! Alert! Alert!" reaction all the stronger when Grey would pull his next dick move.) He is possibly also the world's worst dom. The writing is terrible, the kink (what little there is) is boring, and the characters should just avoid one another forever. In fact, I'm not going to read the follow-up books, so I can pretend that that's what happens next.
*** Gah. Ok, LOOK. I am reading this because it seems like everyone with double X chromosomes is required to form an opinion of it this summer. I am halfway through and truly questioning every. single. fan.'s taste. Grey is not a mysterious, sexy dominant. He is an asshole. A Dom who does not understand "no" even outside of a scene is not forceful and intriguing; he is a walking red flag. A person who attempts to cut someone off from their friends is not a person anyone should date. A person who withdraws emotionally when someone fails to cater to their whims is the opposite of sexy; he is a dangerous toddler. (And no, the hinted-at, possibly-tragic backstory does not excuse anything, even if it winds up explaining some things -- which I seriously doubt.)
I am more than willing to read stories that incorporate fantasy BDSM scenes which do not match the real world requirements of "safe, sane, and consensual." But there damn well ought to be something more interesting going on than someone failing to clean her plate at a restaurant when those guides go out the window. Run, Ana, run! (UGH, I KNOW YOU WON'T; THERE ARE TWO MORE BOOKS OF THIS.) And to be frank the kink so far has been both mild and uninteresting.
I have little to say about Ana, because she is ... surprisingly not present for the POV character. Her virginity is a big deal? I guess? I've only just finally hit a chapter where she shows signs of personality, but I worry it won't last longer than her next oh, my... holy shit! For a sexy or articulate interior life, please look elsewhere.
I rather wanted to like this book, because the initial media saturation included so much "gasp, women read porn" hand-wringing. Women are people -- a healthy interest in sex is not newsworthy! (Fanfiction: also not shocking!) But at this point, I am still reading out of sheer bloodymindedness rather than interest. And alternating pages with better written books. I can finish this. I can.(less)
1) I read this because I needed a break from the slog which is Fifty Shades of Terrible and wanted a reminder that I do like the erotic romance genre....more1) I read this because I needed a break from the slog which is Fifty Shades of Terrible and wanted a reminder that I do like the erotic romance genre.
2) "Pillow Talk" by Maya Banks is available separately as an ebook. As I enjoyed it significantly more than Shayla Black's "Her Fantasy Men," I recommend going that route. ("Pillow Talk" is the four star story. "Her Fantasy Men" on its own would have warranted a low three.) "Pillow Talk" shows the organic growth of multiple romantic/sexual relationships out of an existing, somewhat-kinky couple and their friends, complete with stubbed metaphoric toes and grown-up conversations leading to the resolution. "Her Fantasy Men" has a sexually-reserved woman falling into bed with her sexy neighbour, her boss, and her childhood best friend over the course of a week, and a happy poly ending that seems a bit pasted on.
3) I find polyamory stories without any bisexual attraction/contact a bit weird? Though fascinating, in a way. Both stories are about women forming simultaneous relationships with three guys (hence the name of the collection), with all three guys in the room and involved during at least one sex scene in each story... but no attraction or even contact between any two guys. (Though in "Pillow Talk," the guys are at least depicted as close, albeit platonic, friends. In "Her Fantasy Men," they view each other as rivals pretty much all the way through.) An example of infinite diversity in infinite combinations? Or maybe just YKINMK...(less)
Although it started off very cute, I lost interest as it proceeded. I finished the novel mainly out of curiosity about a subplot. I enjoyed Juliet whe...moreAlthough it started off very cute, I lost interest as it proceeded. I finished the novel mainly out of curiosity about a subplot. I enjoyed Juliet when she was dealing with her business and interacting with her friends. Unfortunately, I did not find her interactions with the guys particularly compelling. (Plus, Cal's decision to make a move only after it seems like Juliet is well and truly taken with Gideon is a dick move. So I was already inclined not to like one of the leads.) Worse, too much relationship development happens between chapters. Most of the forward motion between the characters happens off page, leaving me a bit unsold on their unusual relationship arrangement - particularly along the Cal-and-Gideon front, who are thrown together out of affection for Jules. If you want me to believe they fall for each other as well, you're going to have to show some of that!
Totally bought this for the cover picture, and the conversation I had after finishing it lead one friend to tell me, "you should read better things!"...moreTotally bought this for the cover picture, and the conversation I had after finishing it lead one friend to tell me, "you should read better things!" Not fair, I do! But sometimes, I also read "trashy" romances, and sometimes, they turn out to be exactly that.
I loved the premise. Rockabilly girl is hired to do a BDSM photoshoot for an art book and falls for one of her co-models. And that is almost what I got - except I forgot to account for the terrible BDSM etiquette that permeates the romance genre, which means that Addie signs a contract with apparently zero specifics, scenes are not discussed in advance, and soft limits are totally ignored - but it works out because romance Doms are psychic. ALSO, I'm sorry, but if her contract says there will be no sex, I rather expected that there would be no sex on the set (Kinky BDSM, yes. Steamy longing, yes. Sex, no). Granted, there was not PIV sex, but there was DEFINITELY sex. Good lord, was there unquestionable sex. And yet, all three characters seemed willing to pretend that unless a penis enters a vagina, then sex is not happening. Yes, three - don't forget the photographer.
I didn't hate it, but it was not what it says on the tin. Sometimes, I wish romance cover copy were better at hinting at the actual content/dynamics of any given book. Though now that I know these are ~fantasy~, don't-try-this-at-home BDSM books, I might read another in the series.(less)