Growing up, Clare Campbell had a rough life. Her older brother has severe schizophrenia that causes h ♥ || Twitter || ♥ || Facebook || ♥ || Instagram || ♥
Growing up, Clare Campbell had a rough life. Her older brother has severe schizophrenia that causes him to have violent outbursts. As a child, she was often shunted to the side so her parents could focus on his needs first and foremost. And to top that off, she has a number of dark secrets that make her hometown of Clarkeston, Maine less than savory.
When her parents are murdered by someone who is mentally ill, Clare is forced to come back to Maine for the first time in the better part of a decade. She's also reunited with her brother, whom she now has power of attorney over following her parents' deaths.
As weird as it feels to be back, Clare can't help but notice that things are somewhat...stranger than she remembered. Almost sinister. People are having mental breakdowns left and right. The local psychiatric ward is full. And the government has quietly insinuated itself right into the heart of Clarkeson.
Whispers of quarantine, prions, and infectious disease soon have Clare on edge, and with good reason, too. Because she and her brother are right in the middle of this blow-up, and there's nobody around to save them.
I love a good plague story, and this one was damned good. I don't know if you guys are familiar with prions, but they're scary little fuckers. These misfolded proteins are the microscopic terrorists responsible for bovine spongiform encephalitis, or Kreutzfeld-Jacobs disease, or mad cow. For non-fiction reading on prions, I heartily recommend THE FAMILY THAT COULDN'T SLEEP--assuming you're okay with the idea of every cheeseburger you've ever eaten becoming a ticking time bomb of neural degeneration and inevitable death, that is.
A CURE FOR MADNESS started in one direction and then took a totally different, genre-swapping tack. Which was okay, actually. The genre it switched to is a favorite of mine, as evidenced by some of my top-rated books. And while part of me is a bit disappointed that this wasn't a Gillian Flynn-esque family psychodrama after all, I think it was a pretty good story overall...except for that ending, which I wasn't happy with. It felt too cheery, too hastily tacked-on. I got the impression that the author intended to end this story a different way but then had a change of heart, which is a bit disappointing because I'd donned my big girl panties and was fully prepared to cry.
I should note that I wasn't particularly pleased with the way mental illness was handled in this book. I don't really like sensationalized mental illness. Most people with schizophrenia aren't violent. I think McIsaac tried to show that people with the disease aren't violent for the sake of violence, but are actually trying to defend themselves (and their loved ones, sometimes) from their delusions, but I'm not sure that lesson really sank in as effectively as it might have. But this is a minor qualm, because unlike some stories, I do feel that McIsaac made an effort to research what she was writing about. (And also, certain artistic licenses might be warranted, as you will see if you read this book...)
I really disliked ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, so I'm not sure if I'd like this one. It seems like it might make me just as angry for the same reasons...butI really disliked ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, so I'm not sure if I'd like this one. It seems like it might make me just as angry for the same reasons...but who knows? Maybe it'll surprise me....more
FUTURE SHOCK is proof that you shouldn't write off an author based on one book (or series). Example: ♥ || Twitter || ♥ || Facebook || ♥ || Instagram || ♥
FUTURE SHOCK is proof that you shouldn't write off an author based on one book (or series). Example: I disliked this author's "More Than..." series so much that I almost deleted this book from my reader without even opening it based on that fact alone.
But surprise, surprise, this was actually a decent read.
Elena has spent her whole life in and out of foster homes. Her only claim to fame is her eidetic memory, which can't even get her a job at a McDonald's knock-off. Then one day, she's approached by scientists working at a firm called Aether who propose a very chilling experiment to her and a couple other kids: go into the future, observe, and bring back technology--and they'll be made richer beyond their wildest dreams.
As anyone who's ever read a single time-travel book knows, traveling into the future never bodes well. Especially not when there are scientists involved who are lucratively or personally involved in the situation. And FUTURE SHOCK definitely has a creepy, scientists-are-evil vibe to it. I kept thinking about Phillip K. Dick. And that movie, Paycheck, with Ben Afleck.
FUTURE SHOCK is actually surprisingly creepy at parts, and at times reminded me of the Fear Street books I used to read and devour as a teen. I thought the countdown that was introduced at one point really did a good job of driving the pace and picking up the tension.
The reasons this book isn't getting a higher rating are as follows:
1. The opening was reallly slow.
2. There's an unnecessary romance, which doesn't even go that far but is necessary because this is YA and all YA must have romances now apparently. And then there's this almost-sex scene that suddenly cuts off abruptly because they can't because reasons (which was good, because it looked like they were going to attempt it unprotected--boooo).
3. The ending was a pile of suck. It can be summed up as follows: "Whodunnit? No, seriously, whodunnit? Maybe shedunnit! Maybe hedunnit! OH LOOK OVER THERE! MORE CLUES! LOL JK THOSE AREN'T THE REAL CLUES. LOOK HARDER."
4. Elene really didn't have much in the way of personality. All that mattered was that she had tattoos (Divergent-y bird tattoos), was hot, and Mexican (meaning she likes Mexican food, and occasionally uses words like Papa and Mama when she remembers that she's Mexican).
Liz has a secret fantasy to be a submissive in a BDSM scene, but she's not sure whether this is just ♥ || Twitter || ♥ || Facebook || ♥ || Instagram || ♥
Liz has a secret fantasy to be a submissive in a BDSM scene, but she's not sure whether this is just a sexual fantasy that she wants to read about in ebooks or if she actually wants to participate herself. Her friend, Connie, an active participant in the scene herself, decides that the best way to know for sure is to take her to a Dom auction. She and her Dominant husband have the perfect man in mind and are willing to chip in to help her bid.
SUBMISSIVE SEDUCTIONS starts out as an incredibly sexy read, with some of the hottest scenes I've ever read in a book of this genre. Then...things happened. One of those things was personal preference -- I don't find any kind of butt stuff sexy. And I'm not talking spankings or anything like that. I'm talking actual, bona fide butt stuff. If you like reading about butt stuff, I'm not judging (I like reading dub-con), but yeah, it's in here. It's there.
My other qualms are less personal, more inherently problematic. First, Liz starts off very judgmental, saying things like "unlike the others, Master Gareth was someone I would feel comfortable going out to supper with, or bringing home to meet my mom" (16), and at first I thought that 'the others' referred to the Doms as a group, but then I wondered if it maybe referred to the whole club in general? In any case, it's kind of close-minded of her. Especially since the Dom arrangement was only for one night, it's not like she's shopping for husbands here.
At first, I really liked Gareth. He sounded very sexy and the scenes with Liz were, again, hot. He's also a professor and when he's not BDSMing his way around, he wears glasses. Hot.
But right when Liz and Gareth agree to meet for coffee to see if they're going to continue their arrangement, there's a two month skip. It literally goes from "Hey, let's have coffee" to "HEY WE'VE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR TWO MONTHS NOW." And I'm sitting over here like, "Wat." I found that frustrating, since the developing part of a romance is usually one of my favorite parts if done well, and I was especially looking forward to seeing them test each other's limits.
Then we get a scene where the author confuses the word 'perineum' with the word 'premium':
[I] licked a swipe along the back of his balls and along his premium (92).
But Liz is frustrated because even though she and Gareth have been dating for two months, they haven't had sex. Actual, penetrative sex. Which is a little weird, but some people like to wait for a bit. Not Liz, though, and apparently she is NOT OKAY with people who do. To make matters worse, Gareth's wife died relatively recently, and Liz thinks he isn't getting over her fast enough. It never occurs to her that he might still be grieving; she assumes he's afraid of commitment.
I'd been completely oblivious to the fact that he'd still been grieving. I thought he'd simply been too scared to move on (113).
Then there's this weird scene where Liz takes Gareth IKEA shopping and has him assemble the furniture. While he's busy with that, she changes into Domme garb, starts calling herself Mistress Elizabeth, and basically starts...acting like a Dom. Because she thinks he could use a break from being in control. But actually, it's a scheme on Liz's part to force him to sleep with her. Because she thinks if she's commanding enough, he'll have sex with her. Otherwise she'll break up with him!
Then she accidentally says I love you, scaring Gareth into using his safe word. She goes to a bar to sulk, and gets hit on by a Dom. She's tempted but says no, and right when the man is about to leave, Gareth sees him, gets pissy, and says, "You better move your ass. If I see you even looking at my girl again, I'll fuck you up so hard you'll wish I'd killed you" (111). DUDE. What gives you the fucking right? Who goes around spouting bullshit like that who isn't a high school bro or a deranged psycho?
That was when I decided that I'd probably had enough of this story. The weird sex, the abuse of D/s roles for personal reasons & personal gain, and the increasingly erratic and inconsistent characterization just became too much for me. Which is too bad, because like I said, it started great.