**spoiler alert** You know, I read this book about five years ago and I loved it. Flat-out loved it. The book was recently handed back to me by a frie...more**spoiler alert** You know, I read this book about five years ago and I loved it. Flat-out loved it. The book was recently handed back to me by a friend (we trade bags of books as we finish; it beats having to go to the library or spending heaps on buying something new) and I thought hey, I'll reread this! I'll see if it's as awesome as I remember!
This was my reaction as I finished the book up today: lol.
I mean, I'm all for size-acceptance in fiction. I'm not what anyone would call Kate Hudson skinny and I would rather have a finger removed than give up my lifelong love for cheeseburgers. Therefore, size-acceptance in fiction is awesome because it tends to make you feel positive about the things you believe to be your 'flaws'. Let me make this really clear, though: this book is not a book about size-acceptance.
Jemima J is about a woman named, duh, Jemima J. She lives in London and she likes chocolate. She describes herself as overweight. She's unhappy about it. She's also in love with a hotter-than-god-and-the-sun office dreamboat who pays virtually no attention to her. One e-boyfriend later, Jemima is well on her way to Kate Hudson proportions much to the chagrin of her evil roommates (seriously - who the hell would live with bitches like that?) in preparation of a trip to LA.
Lo and behold, LA boyfriend is not all he's cracked up to be! He closets his love for larger ladies and cheats on his present buxom beauty with a newly-thin Jemima. This is not the first time you will say WTF, mate.
Naturally, things end with office crush encountering Jemima and only seeing her for who she is after she shrinks down to a size zero.
If this doesn't all put you off, please be informed that in one hilariously insulting scene, a coworker takes a picture of Jemima to an in-office photoshop guru to have her face planted on that of a thin woman. Yeah, it went there.
The only thing that keeps this book from blowing like a blowing thing is, perhaps, Jane Green's writing. That is if you can get past her bizarre writing - Green inexplicably shifts into narration in the middle of Jemima's headvoice. I don't get it, either. But guess who's going to have twinkies for dinner?(less)
I'm definitely upset that I read this after Lost Hero - it was a dwindling let down in the wake of such an awesome novel...moreI don't even know what to say.
I'm definitely upset that I read this after Lost Hero - it was a dwindling let down in the wake of such an awesome novel.
Red Pyramid was conceptually genius: a starter novel in a new series involving - you guessed it - children and mythical Gods. As an occasional googler of Egyptian mythology and the owner of an honest to god Eye of Horus tattoo and the Mummy boxset, I decided to consume this book after Lost Hero. I was under the mistaken impression that I was saving the best for last.
Look, it's not bad. The characters are likable enough. We're introduced to a brother and sister duo that scarcely know each other who are forced to follow home their Uncle after an explosion of the Rosetta Stone unleashes an evil Egyptian god. We learn that the siblings have until the Demon Days to rescue their entombed dad and send this fiery fucker back where he came from and that baboons only eat foods that end in the letter O.
So, yeah. Theoretically, it should be good. It doesn't lack for adventure or action, but for some reason, reading this book was like wading through quicksand. It might have something to do with the amount of information that you were inundated with. Perhaps this is because we're more familiar with Roman and Greek gods - that is, if your school made you read the Iliad like mine did - and the tidal waves of information are too much to handle without multiple readings. Perhaps it's because I can only count the truly enjoyable moments of the book on one hand (the Elvis suits coming to life, fo' sho).
I'm not a slow reader by any stretch of the imagination. Rick has always left me angry that I've finished his books so quickly because I always want more, more, more. I only got through this book, I'm afraid, because I entertained myself by reading the whole thing out loud to my dog in a Scottish accent (he, too, was bored to sleep).
I don't know if this book deserves three stars, but I'm maintaining hope that book two doesn't leave me feeling like I could have better spent my time listening to the Slap Chop rap on youtube.(less)
When I first heard that there would be a new series to follow Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I was like: uh,...moreOh, Rick Riordan, you've done it again.
When I first heard that there would be a new series to follow Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I was like: uh, no. After closing the Last Olympian for the first time (because it's not the kind of book you read only once), I had two thoughts. The first: holy crap, that was awesome. The second: no way will Rick Riordan ever be able to top this. Shame on me for not having enough faith.
The Lost Hero is about a kid named Jason who, inexplicably, has no memory and knows more about Roman mythology - as opposed to the Greek themes previously explored in the Percy series - than he rightly should.
There are several things that I love about this book. The first is that it's not a view from a single person that we receive - we get into the individual headspaces of each member of the trio - Jason, Piper, and Leo. This is good for several reasons - one, it allows the reader to explore more of the camp, two, it allows the reader to get to know other godly parents.
I almost hated reading this. After doing so, it make the Percy Jackson series feel a little myopic by comparison. That's not to warn anyone off of reading either series, but reader beware. Rick Riordan is just going to get bigger and better. Deal with it.(less)
I either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After having...moreI either read an interview or saw one with Stephenie Meyer who remarked that she got her plot to Twilight from a dream that she once had. After having read this, I can say in all certainty that if she got the idea from a dream, it was at some point after reading this series. Look no further for her source material, here it is.
Just a few of the parallels that I noticed: Stefan (Edward) can read minds. Stefan and Elena fall splendidly and exquisitely in love with each other despite the fact that there's little narrative to their love story. Stefan wants to stay away from Elena because he's a killer, and so on, ad nauseum. Credit L.J. Smith here, though, considering that she was the one that did it first and she did it better (although I'd say not much, since I'm being honest).
Particularly in the first novel, "The Awakening", I found the main character - Elena - to be selfish, spoiled, and revolting. Perhaps it's because the popular, pretty girl foil is simply something that I can't related to, or perhaps it's because the idea of making my friends swear in blood that they won't stop until they 'get me' a boy is totally and completely absurd.
In the second book, Elena is a touch more palatable, but that might have been because the story as a whole got marginally better, leaving less time (but still ample, believe me) for Elena to wax poetic about the unexplainable love for Stefan that seemingly flourished after one kiss.
I'll give this three stars because it did get better in the end, but a more realistic rating would have been two or two and a half.(less)
**spoiler alert** In all honesty, if this hadn't been a free book (my friend runs a used bookstore and is forever refusing to allow me to pay for tran...more**spoiler alert** In all honesty, if this hadn't been a free book (my friend runs a used bookstore and is forever refusing to allow me to pay for transactions; I pay her in cake), I'd have been upset that I paid money for it.
I'd been thinking about snagging this book forever. Like almost everyone else I know, I love John Green. I love John Green so much that after I finish this review, I'm shelling out a twenty-five dollar donation to read his self-proclaimed 'terrible' novella entitled Zombicorn. Therefore, reading this book was a no-brainer, though I wasn't familiar with either of the other writers involved. Additionally, I'm a sucker for a good holiday romance. Good holiday romances these were not, though.
Maureen Johnson's story is first - "The Jubilee Express". It wasn't entirely memorable. I remember the basic premise was a girl traveling because her parents were incarcerated for not leaving a line in which they had been waiting for a collectible winter figurine thingum. I remember that the train stopped and the girl inexplicably got off the train and headed to Waffle House where she met a stranger who she goes home with. Overall forgettable. Sorry, Maureen Johnson.
Next was John Green's "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle". As I suspected when I first picked up the book, it was my favorite of the three stories. What was likeable about this story for me was that it departed from John Green's usual schtick of geeky-awkward boy falling in love with a quirky girl filled with wanderlust. I can't say that I enjoyed it better than I did, say, Paper Towns, but it was an interesting peek outside of John's niche. He should try it again sometime.
"The Patron Saint of Pigs" by Lauren Myracle was last, thank god, because if it hadn't been, I sincerely doubt that I would have been able to plow through the rest of the book. Like John Green, based on this novella, Lauren Myracle seems to have a niche, too - cultivating extremely annoying characters. The main character, Addie, was narcissistic, whiny, and a total bitchtaco. She cheated on her boyfriend and whined and cried because her friends tried to approach the subject of getting her boyfriend back realistically - guess what, bitchtaco? Boys don't want you back if you cheat on them. If I ever met a person like Addie in real life, I think I'd find a gun and shoot her. Needless to say, I will not be reading anything else by Lauren Myracle.(less)
I picked up Dead Witch Walking in the wake of finishing Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. Having perused both Wikipedia and Goodreads for a gene...moreI picked up Dead Witch Walking in the wake of finishing Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. Having perused both Wikipedia and Goodreads for a general synopsis of the story, I felt confident that I was going to love the series and that it would also soothe the ache of not getting another Sookie Stackhouse novel until May of this year. This was a bad idea for two reasons: 1.) Gauging the content of one set of novels, however similar, against another (especially since it was the first in a series - sometimes it takes time for author's to get their sea-legs with a new character or world), makes it impossible to do an objective reading and 2.) I was, naturally, completely disappointed.
I didn't violently hate Rachel Morgan as much as I've hated other female protagonists. Don't get me wrong. Rachel definitely had her annoying moments, namely whenever she grabbed on to someone and growled 'cookie' at them. I know that Kim Harrison was probably just try to emphasize Rachel's bad-assness or whatever, but I thought it was really annoying and stupid. If I met someone that did this in real life, I'd probably punch them in the temple. Something about Rachel that confused me was her inexplicable fear of Ivy. I get it, she's never lived with a vampire before, but as an IS runner, I have to assume that she had been in contact with all manner of dangerous creatures beforehand, which made the whole fear of Ivy thing really weird. Ivy was okay, too. I think I probably like her more than Rachel. The clear star of this whole book is Jenks, though. Jenks and Mrs. Jenks, and Jax, too. I want four hundred thousand words on the Jenks family in which they fight a fairy war and they decorate their tree stump with scrap yarn and cleaned lids of aluminum cans for mirrors!
Anyway, I think Rachel was kind of stupid. She would get injured, go out and get injured some more and go out and get injured some more. I get what she was trying to accomplish, so I don't know that I'd put her in the 'dumb heroine' category just yet, but she was really sort of moronic in places.
I didn't mind the lack of love interest so much. I can forgive a lot with a good plot. Unfortunately, lacked that, so it would have been nice to have some guy in the picture to make this book a lot less boring.
The world-building was okay. It took me a long time to get through this novel and I think it was because in places, Kim's writing was a little weird. And, for whatever reason, it bored me for about seventy-five percent of the book. I liked the witchy/spell-casting parts. I liked the general concept of a world in tatters because of a virus spread by genetically-engineered tomatoes since it's at least marginally plausible (seriously, kids, they're already selling genetically engineered fish at your local grocery store).
The biggest problem that I had with the book was the triggery content. The mink scene made me physically ill. I rescue abused animals. The dog that was formerly in my user photo was an abused dog, too. I got him from the kill-shelter on the day he was supposed to be euthanized. He had two broken legs and he was absolutely petrified of all people. He's great now. He's more than great, actually, considering he gets steak every Saturday night and we make him his own cheeseburgers whenever it's red meat day in our house. The point is, I can't stomach animal abuse, even in fiction. I'll stop watching films if animal abuse is even implied. This scene where Trent keeps Rachel locked in a cage and allows Jonathan to essentially poke, prod, and beat at this mink - even though she wasn't really a mink - disturbed me to the point of tears. Even more disturbing was the graphic violence described in the rat-fights; animal fighting is a particularly triggery thing for me since I just got two rescues that were used in dog fights. I just thought it was really unnecessary to the plot when Trent could have easily locked Rachel up as a human and tortured her. It was sick.
The second triggery thing was the shape-shifting demon, asking Rachel if she was afraid of rape. Enough said. I think it was disturbing and I think the book would have been better without it and the gratuitous violence against animals.
I'm giving this a two. Had it not been for those specific scenes, I'd give it a three and I'd be mildly interested to see what happens next in the series. That said, I sincerely doubt I'll be reading the next book in the series or anything else Kim Harrison has written.(less)
Katie Ellison is a moron. And that's the nicest thing that I can say about the so-called 'heroine' of this steaming load of crap.
The story is based ar...moreKatie Ellison is a moron. And that's the nicest thing that I can say about the so-called 'heroine' of this steaming load of crap.
The story is based around the lies and life of one girl that I can find no redeeming qualities in, even after her transition into truth-telling after living a life weaving stories for her own nefarious purposes. The entirety of the book reads like a thirteen year old girl's diary, evoking the me, me, me mindset of a spoiled brat for whom enough is never enough. Additionally, Katie is surrounded by a hive of like-minded, vapid friends who on more than one occasion justify her bad behavior and facilitate their own.
The resolution isn't much better. In true fashion of a person who truly believes that the world revolves around them, Katie comes out as a liar publicly, causing the ruin of a community event because she's too selfish to make peace with the people she's hurt privately, thus nullifying this bullshit martyr act of hers.
The love story. What can I say about the love story? Which love story are we talking about? In addition to being a liar, Katie is also a cheater. She cheats on the boyfriend that she lied to get, she cheats on the boyfriend that she's cheating on boyfriend number one with, which makes her transformation into a seemingly monogamous being for this new-old guy in her life totally unbelievable, essentially ruining any possible reason for anyone wanting to read this book.
If Meg Cabot had killed off every character in this book in a massive bus accident, I might have given it more than one star. Thanks, Meg, for teaching young girls that you can lie, cheat, and manipulate people and you can still have a perfect, happy ending.(less)