Garrett chose that moment to join the conversation. “I appreciate your forethought,” he said, his tone distant, as if his mind were elsewhere. “Not as...moreGarrett chose that moment to join the conversation. “I appreciate your forethought,” he said, his tone distant, as if his mind were elsewhere. “Not as much as your fore-parts, but still…” I twisted around in my seat to face him. “My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.” I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.” After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?” I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.”
Now, if that little quote didn’t convince you to read First Grave on the Right, nothing I write will, either.
There's a new generation of UF authors who are slowly but surely rising to the throne. The names that instantly come to mind are Nicole Peeler, Jaye Wells and now Darynda Jones. I think it’s a lot harder to succeed these days than it was for Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs or Ilona Andrews, for example. It has become very difficult to find something new and exciting to read in the ocean of new UF novels. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve seen it all and a completely original story is now a distant dream. I guess there are two ways around that obstacle. The first is finding something never before used, which is (as I’ve already said) almost impossible. Nicole Peeler did it, sure, but she IS a college professor, and all professors are generally awesome. The second would be developing a great sense of humor (if you don’t already have one) and using it to distinguish yourself. That’s the path Darynda Jones chose, and she was extremely successful. The best way to start a book is with a laugh. Jones obviously knows this. By making the reader laugh on the very first page, the author achieves two important goals: he/she makes the MC instantly likeable and because of that, the reader keeps turning those pages.
I’ve read a couple of reviews comparing Jones to Janet Evanovich. Having just recently finished Wicked Appetite, I think that the only thing they have in common is that they are both hilarious. Although First Grave on the Right certainly is a fun read and Jones undoubtedly has a fantastic sense of humor, she does not have Evanovich’s courage to just let go: abandon all rules and reason along the way. But unlike Wicked Appetite, First Grave on the Right has a solid story that holds all the humor together.
I chose Soulless from my never-ending TBR list because I wanted a light, undemanding read, but instead I found a great story with bright, intelligent...moreI chose Soulless from my never-ending TBR list because I wanted a light, undemanding read, but instead I found a great story with bright, intelligent humor and quite an unusual heroine. While it most certainly won’t enter the canon of literature, I think it will provide a solid entertainment to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal romance. In her family, Alexia sticks out like a sore thumb. She’s 25, half-Italian, with dark skin and a large nose – all highly undesirable traits in a future wife. But when she finds herself in the middle of a paranormal mystery along with the Alpha werewolf Lord Maccon, she quickly discovers her life is about to change for the better.
One of the best parts of this book was Alexia discovering her sexuality. She grew up with a healthy dose of curiosity AND her father’s enormous library so she isn’t completely in the dark, but some things still manage to surprise her – like kissing with tongue and certain parts of Lord Maccon's anatomy - particularly their size. Knowing she will forever remain a spinster – what with her nose and her preternatural Italian father – she decides to make the most of Lord Maccon’s sudden interest in her. The way in which their relationship grows is believable, heartwarming and at times hilarious.
I just have to add that I seriously dislike the term steampunk. I think it’s stupid and unnecessary. There, I had to get that off my chest.
”If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your thing.” - T-shirt
Don’t worry, Darynda Jones succeeded. Twice.
The second time around our favorite g...more”If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your thing.” - T-shirt
Don’t worry, Darynda Jones succeeded. Twice.
The second time around our favorite grim reaper gets into all kinds of trouble. She has three cases to solve and a messy love life to deal with. The man of our her dreams is in danger and Charley will move heaven and earth to help him. Who wouldn’t?
Reyes is even more mysterious now than he was in the first book when we knew nothing about him other than how incredibly handsome he is. (view spoiler)[Wow, that IS the understatement of the year. Reyes is not handsome, he is... HA! Wouldn't you like to know?! (hide spoiler)] I can’t say I was entirely comfortable with some of his choices in this book, but that didn’t stop me from being just as pathetic as those women who were writing him fan mail and paying a fortune for photos of him in the shower. He is Reyes Alexander Farrow after all, and if you’re furrowing your eyebrows in confusion, that only means you haven’t read these books.
Darynda Jones still relies on humor to make her book unputdownable. Maybe some of you will think that’s a bad thing, but her fans, including me, wouldn’t want it any other way. Admittedly, there were times when I felt that she overdid it, especially around chapters 4 and 5, but she soon got right back on track.
”As a matter of fact, my toes were recently christened in an odd game of Spin the Bottle and one-too-many margaritas.” “Could you introduce me?” I hefted myself upright and wrestled off my socks, wiggling the bed just enough to elicit soft gasps of agony from Garret. “You’re such a whiner,” I said, lying back beside him and lifting my feet. “Okay, starting with my left pinky toe, we have Dopey, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Queen Elizabet the Third, Bootylicious the Patron Saint of Hot Asses, and Pinky Floyd.” After a thoughtful moment, he asked, “Pinky Floyd?” “You know, like the band, only not” “Right. Did you name your fingers?” I turned an incredulous look on him. I was a master of incredulity. “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
All in all, this book was exactly what I expected it to be – light, funny, with lovable characters and the ultimate bad boy. It had family drama, secret agents, a silly best friend, nightly adventures in bunny slippers, missing persons, shootouts, and an ending that made me want to read more.
First Grave on the Right was the book I picked up and reread every time I felt sad, tired, or just in the mood for a few good laughs. Second Grave on the Left will serve the same purpose, at least until February 2, 2012. when I’ll trade it for a younger model. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I keep going back to re-read this every two months or so and it's always just as funny as the first time. It takes about 20 minutes to read, it's free...moreI keep going back to re-read this every two months or so and it's always just as funny as the first time. It takes about 20 minutes to read, it's free and it's guaranteed to improve your mood. You can download the ebook on Goodreads book page or you can read online here: http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/r...
Go read this, people. It will make your day! (less)
There's a reason why satire isn't among the most popular literary genres. It has to be extremely well written and you need to be open to that...more3.5 stars
There's a reason why satire isn't among the most popular literary genres. It has to be extremely well written and you need to be open to that type of humor for it to work. But if you do like that sort of thing, and if the author is someone you can trust to be funny without being (too) offensive, you’re probably in for a great reading experience.
When the Kiev zoo suffers yet another budget cut, they start looking for people willing to take zoo animals as pets. Viktor, being a solitary and somewhat eccentric writer, chooses to adopt a penguin named Misha. Together, he and Misha move into a small apartment where they spend the next year struggling to make ends meet. Viktor occasionally sells a story to the newspaper, but there are months when they barely scrape by. So when the newspaper editor offers Viktor a strange, but intriguing and well paid job, he is quick to accept. What the editor needs is someone to write obituaries in advance, seeing as he was caught unprepared on more than one occasion. When someone famous dies, the newspaper needs to have a touching obituary ready for print. It is now Viktor’s job to make a list of the most influential people, gather information about their lives, write an obituary and sign it with a vague ‘A group of friends’.
”What we’re after is a gifted obituarist, master of the succinct. Snappy, pithy, way-out stuff’s the idea. You with me?” He looked hopefully at Viktor. “Sit in an office, you mean, and wait for deaths?” Viktor asked warily, as if fearing to hear as much confirmed. “No, of course not! Far more interesting and responsible than that. What you’d have to do is create, from scratch, an index of obelisk jobs – as we call obituaries – to include deputies and gangsters, down to the cultural scene – that sort of person – while they’re still alive.”
His job may not be something to write home about, but Viktor soon discovers that he excels at it. He is so good, in fact, that he starts getting requests from other clients as well. His only problem is that his works are not getting published since no one has actually died. But that is something a friend and client of his, Misha-non-penguin, might be willing to fix - even without Viktor’s knowledge!
What could be the favorite pastime of a bored writer and his pet penguin with a depressive syndrome? That’s easy – ice fishing! This entire novel is an orgy of absurdity. Nothing in it makes any sense at all! The only thing that makes sense is how much I enjoyed reading it and how much I’m looking forward to reading Penguin Lost.(less)
You can (and should) read Retro Demonology for free HERE.
A hippie couple calls the Guild about a first level demon (Biblio-Fiend) and Riley is sent to...moreYou can (and should) read Retro Demonology for free HERE.
A hippie couple calls the Guild about a first level demon (Biblio-Fiend) and Riley is sent to go catch it as part of her training. It’s the first time Riley’s allowed to hunt a demon without her father, who is also her mentor. It turns out that the Biblio demon showed up because the couple owns a copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost - it’s only natural that all Biblio demons want to destroy those! Poor Riley is forced to read parts of Moby Dick until the demon passes out. (view spoiler)[You have to admire her methods. I’d probably pass out, too. (hide spoiler)]
I loved The Demon Trapper's Daughter, or Forsaken in the U.S. even though most people didn’t, and I wish I’d known about Retro Demonology in time. I only found out about it today through a friend of a friend here on Goodreads. My only problem with this short story is that it's too short. :) Fortunately, Forbidden (Soul Thief) will be released on August 5th. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I’m at a loss on how to rate this book. It’s really in a league of its own. I was tempted to give five stars, but I just couldn’t do that out of respe...moreI’m at a loss on how to rate this book. It’s really in a league of its own. I was tempted to give five stars, but I just couldn’t do that out of respect for Feed, The Reapers Are the Angels, Raw Blue and other books that blew me away and changed me forever. But in all (un)seriousness: this book is five star material and it’s absolutely hilarious!
You know those comedies that don’t make the least bit of sense? The ones you watch fully aware that they are stupid, and yet you can’t help laughing your ass off? That’s sort of how this is. The story has more holes than Swiss cheese, so if you’re looking for a serious YA zombie novel, you definitely won’t find it here. In fact, this book should come with a warning on the front cover: Abandon logic all ye who enter here! But the characters were adorable and they made me laugh out loud on almost every page. That alone made it worth reading.
Kate Grable is a science geek and the student trainer. She tends to minor injuries and hands out Gatorade to the players. Her job would be a lot easier if she wasn’t taking care of the worst football team in existence. She also has to watch her crush, Aaron, get beaten every single time he plays. They hit Aaron really hard; I heard the whoosh! his lungs made when all the air was forced out. I wanted to beat the heck out of the JV guys for that, except I wouldn’t know what to do in a fist fight without a manual.
Kate soon discovers that the desperate Coach has been giving illegal shots to some of his players and that those same players are turning into zombies. She has to use all her knowledge and available weapons to prevent her brother, Aaron and her friends from becoming zombies as well.
The next time you need a few hours of pure fun, read this book! I promise you won’t be sorry. (less)
The first review I wrote consisted almost entirely of incoherent gushing. This one is pretty much like that, but I did manage to include some useful i...moreThe first review I wrote consisted almost entirely of incoherent gushing. This one is pretty much like that, but I did manage to include some useful info. Don’t expect much, though. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way about a book.
As a dedicated reader, I don't think I've ever connected to a story quite this much. There are so many books that are close to my heart for some reason or other, but there was never one so achingly familiar and mine. And it wasn’t just one character that I felt close to, but parts of every character and every situation. I recognized some of myself in Julie’s dedication to her studies, in Celeste’s quirks, in Matt’s courage and hidden vulnerability, in Erin’s absentness and denial. It was nice to be able to read a story and really understand.
I’m making it sound like a sad book, aren’t I? Well, it’s not. This is a book you want to read when you're feeling a little nostalgic and disconnected from the world. It will pull you right out. Flat-Out Love is surprisingly witty. During the first 80%, I thought I could describe it as my favorite summer read. However, the last 20% showed me that it’s so much more than that. Every emotional reaction the story evoked was very strong: when I laughed, I laughed so loudly that I woke the neighbors; when I cried, I sobbed like I was facing the end of the world, and in the end, I melted into a huge puddle of goo.
After moving to Boston to start attending college, Julie found herself living with her mother’s former best friend Erin and her seemingly perfect family of intellectuals. She soon became emotionally attached to every member of the Watkins family, especially the oldest brother Finn, whom she never met in person, but communicated with regularly via email.
”Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Leo Tolstoy)
I think there are two types of dysfunctional families: the ones that yell and the ones that are quiet – the latter being so much harder to portray. Character development is what Jessica Park should really be proud of. Her characters came alive for me, they became living, breathing people with problems, quirks and a sense of humor. Who could resist Celeste, a scarily intelligent 13-year-old who won’t leave the house without Flat Finn, a cardboard cutout of her oldest brother? Or Matt, a math geek with horrible T-shirts and a sense of humor that’s right up my alley?
Flat-Out Love completely changed my mind about self published books.I hope all of you will read it soon so we can gush about it together. (less)
Soon after her 17th birthday, Eloise started seeing Faeries everywhere. Unfortunately, that means they can also see through the glamour that’s been hi...moreSoon after her 17th birthday, Eloise started seeing Faeries everywhere. Unfortunately, that means they can also see through the glamour that’s been hiding her. She is wanted by Lord Strahan, king of Faery, and she has no idea why. A fierce warrior named Lucas shows up claiming that he is pledged to her, which makes him honor-bound to defend her, but Eloise is unsure whether she should trust him or not. Her best friends Jo and Devin are there to help her every step of the way, and even try to save her when Strahan finally succeeds in kidnapping her. Conveniently enough, Jo has been Touched at some point in her life, so she also has the ability to see the Fae.
Unfortunately, Stolen Away is a pretty generic YA paranormal, made better only by Alyxandra Harvey’s bright sense of humor. Even that, however, cannot compete with the humor in her vampire series, The Drake Chronicles, simply because she failed to create another character that would be nearly as amusing as Lucy. Jo had definite potential, she is stubborn, audacious and very smart, with a big mouth that refuses to close even at the worst of times, but she still doesn’t have Lucy’s warmth and I didn’t really believe her loyalty to Eloise like I believe Lucy’s loyalty to Solange and the rest of the Drakes.
It made sense for Harvey to create two very different couples. Eloise and Lucas, who do everything right, never break the rules and, truthfully, never show that much passion, and Jo and Eldric, both rebels and both full of confidence and fire. I’m quite sure that Eloise and Lucas will have their fans: those who enjoy a steady, non-turbulent romance without too many uncertainties and will-they-won’t-they moments. While I didn’t really feel anything more than mild affection for them, Jo and Eldric had me jumping up and down in my seat and rooting for them wholeheartedly. Another thing I really liked is that there wasn’t even a hint of a love triangle, even though I kept expecting it to rear its ugly head as soon as Devin entered the picture. It’s usually the nerdy best friend that ends up being hurt in these things, but Devin was refreshingly uninterested in either of the girls.
So to conclude, I can always count on Alyxandra Harvey to make me laugh. While Stolen Away certainly isn’t her best work, it’s still a pretty good choice when you just want to relax and have some fun.
A Little Night Magic is an adorable, fluffy, rainy day comfort read. It’s not exactly urban fantasy, but it’s not paranormal romance either. It remind...moreA Little Night Magic is an adorable, fluffy, rainy day comfort read. It’s not exactly urban fantasy, but it’s not paranormal romance either. It reminded me a lot of Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie: a light sense of humor, so many fabulous characters and just a touch of paranormal to make things more interesting. If I had to describe this book with just one word, cute is what I’d say.
Olivia is a small town waitress. She spends her days serving waffles, hanging out with her three best friends and pining after Tobias, the adorable night cook who keeps sending her mixed signals. Just as she decides to leave town forever and books a flight to Europe, a strange old lady helps her discover that she has power she never even dreamed of. It’s nothing earth-shattering, really - she has the ability to make inanimate objects come to life - but it’s enough to draw some pretty powerful enemies. While she’s trying to figure out what these new powers mean for her, where exactly her father is and why Tobias seems so determined to stay away when he obviously has feelings for her, a practitioner determined to steal Liv’s magic is getting closer by the minute. When you have an enemy who makes strong potions and casts vicious spells, the power to turn your phone into a bat suddenly seems even less significant.
This is one of those books you’ll most likely forget as soon as you finish reading the last page, but you’ll probably reread it at some point too. It’s a book that’s supposed to be based mostly on humor, but unfortunately, it fell flat more often than not. These books do have their advantages, though, and they are just what I need from time to time. A Little Night Magic is a perfect choice for when you’re tired an unable to concentrate, and when you just want to relax with a cute, predictable and utterly relaxing read.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a very strange book indeed. I’m sure some of you read the blurb and thought: Not another cancer book! Reall...more3.5 stars
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a very strange book indeed. I’m sure some of you read the blurb and thought: Not another cancer book! Really, are books about teens with cancer the new black?! Yeah, I thought so too. It turns out that this book has very little to do with cancer. It has more to do with several other, completely unrelated things like filmmaking, high school social structure, odd friendships and nagging parents. It’s certainly not a sob story. The only tears I’d shed while reading it were caused by laughter.
My point is this: This book contains precisely zero Important Life Lessons, or Little-Known Facts About Love, or sappy tear-jerking Moments When We Knew We Had Left Our Childhood Behind For Good or whatever. And, unlike most books in which a girl gets cancer, there are definitely no sugary paradoxical single-sentence-paragraphs that you’re supposed to think are deep because they’re in italics.
This is where I would normally write a lengthy plot summary, but I’m afraid my usual reviewing patterns simply won’t work for this book. Greg Gaines is a normal, awkward teenage boy who prides himself in the fact that he doesn’t belong to any of the usual groups in high school, but is on friendly terms with everyone. He only has one real friend, his complete opposite, Earl. When a girl from his school gets leukemia, Greg’s mother makes Greg spend time with her, and as much as he doesn’t want to, he’s too afraid of his mother to say no.
Greg Gaines, our main character, assumed the role of the author, which led to a lot of self-deprecating humor (and made me think that he was also, at least partly, an author surrogate). Although I’ll be the first to admit that his observations about his own writing were often hilarious, I did feel that the whole thing was overdone at times. A good joke can only be good for so long before it becomes downright annoying. Here’s just one example: And that’s part of the backstory for me and Earl. It’ll probably be relevant later, although who really knows. I can’t believe you’re still reading this. You should smack yourself in the face a couple of times right now, just to complete the outstandingly stupid experience that is this book. That is just one example in which an invisible line was crossed and Greg’s story stopped being funny and became eye-roll inducing. That doesn’t mean, however, that this book didn’t have incredibly funny moments. It is, after all, based almost entirely on humor, and the kind of humor that actually worked for me most of the time. It is what kept me reading even after I realized that there isn’t an actual plot to speak of. The fact that it took me a while to even notice says enough about the kind of narrative we’re dealing with here.
I honestly think that I’m not the intended audience for this book, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. In many ways, it provides a realistic insight into a teenage boy’s mind, and that’s something we (I) don’t see enough of. Do I think you should read this book? Definitely. It’s not a book that you’ll read compulsively, so it’s best to pick it up when you’re otherwise preoccupied. It’s one of those books you can abandon for a while and go back to whenever you feel like it. There are times when that’s exactly what I’m looking for: a light, fun read that will allow me to focus on other, more important things. (less)