The Storyline Agnes is not your normal chick-lit heroine. The fact that she’s known as ‘Cranky Agnes’ could give you an idea. The fact that she’s used...moreThe Storyline Agnes is not your normal chick-lit heroine. The fact that she’s known as ‘Cranky Agnes’ could give you an idea. The fact that she’s used a frying pan in more ways than just cooking (I’ll give you a hint, one guy now has a metal plate in his head) could also give you another idea. There’s also an incident with a meat fork but I won’t spoil the fun for you. Or maybe it’s the mental conversations she has with her therapist.
”Fuck you,” Agnes said, bent over the edge of the cake. Angry language, Agnes. Fuck you, too, Dr. Garvin.
I think it’s a combination of everything, actually.
Agnes leads a quiet, simple, life as a food writer engaged to a quiet, simple man named Taylor. Her quiet, simple life takes a sharp 180° the day that she’s held at gunpoint for her dog. Yes, she’s held at gunpoint because they’re trying to steal her dog. Her life is soon thrown into even more upheaval when a hitman, Shane, is sent to protect her. People keep coming after Agnes, trying to steal her dog, trying to kill her, but who’s sending them? What follows is a rollercoaster ride that’s entirely way too much fun.
"Somebody might be coming to the house who might be dangerous." "Really?" Agnes said. "Because that almost never happens here. With advance notice. Should I get my frying pan?"
Final Thoughts Agnes is going down as one of my favorite book characters of all time, definitely. She’s a single girl, who loves to cook for her friends, she’s preparing to hold a wedding at her house, and she’s a food writer… I mean, at face value she’s just a normal girl. Agnes cannot be taken at face value and that’s what I loved most, the fact that I was completely surprised at how crazy and lovable she was all at the same time.
This book was downright hilarious, was extremely enjoyable, the characters were all amazing (I especially loved Shane), and… why exactly have I never read anything by this author before? Will definitely be correcting this, pronto. (less)
Expected publication: November 27th 2012 by Archaia Entertainment Tales of the Macabre was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Archaia Entertainmen...moreExpected publication: November 27th 2012 by Archaia Entertainment Tales of the Macabre was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Archaia Entertainment.
The cover of this collection caught my eye on Netgalley and I actually wanted to check it out before I even knew that Poe was involved. Once I knew that though, I was sold. This was a fantastic collection of macabre stories from the illustrious Edgar Allan Poe. Stories included are: Berenice, The Black Cat, The Island of the Fay, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Oval Portrait, Morella, and Ligeia. This was a real treat for me as I hadn't read any of these except for The Fall of the House of Usher. There was also an essay written by Charles Baudelaire on Poe's life and works. In addition to these short stories there are fantastic illustrations from Benjamin Lacombe that (if possible) managed to make the stories even creepier. This is one collection that I would love to own. I loved the illustrations and love Poe, it's a fantastic combination.
The fact that Benjamin is a fan of Tim Burton is definitely evident in his personal works. You can even find a depiction of Edward Scissorhands he's done which I love. I highly recommend checking out his website, it's is well worth the visit to check out his other works. Amazing, to say the least.
And so it begins… the book I’ve wanted to read the second I found out about it. And I’m so very happy to say that...more“The seven deadly sins are bullshit.”
And so it begins… the book I’ve wanted to read the second I found out about it. And I’m so very happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed, displeased, or dissatisfied in anyway. This book is not; however, for the masses. For starters, this book is not an autobiography of Corey Taylor’s life and is not some in-depth heartfelt retelling of his life of sin. It may be a retelling of his life of sin, but it’s far from heartfelt. It’s honest, straightforward, brutal, and in your face. It’s definitely off the wall and all over the place; but that’s what makes it great.
“This book is a few parts flight, a handful of fancy, and a lot of why there is such a thing as freedom of the soul.”
This book is not only entertaining and funny as hell, but Corey Taylor’s thoughts and opinions were pretty damn great. This is where the honest and in your face comes into play. His thoughts and opinions totally go against every typical conformist belief and will more than likely succeed in offending many. I on the other hand, think he’s brilliant.
“So the misguided acts of my past have brought me to the virtues of my present and will hopefully lead me to the grace of my future. But I do not consider them “sins.” I consider the mistakes, capriciousness in the face of youthful abandon.”
The few reviews I have read on this book show people complaining about the lack of depth and how he’s one big narcissist and needs to be more socially responsible. Number one, this is Corey fucking Taylor and he’s wearing horns, smoking a cigarette, and drinking on the very front cover. What’d you expect? Number two, the man is only speaking the truth. He may be a little crazy and may not be the socially responsible human being you’d like him to be, but personally, I’ll take this Corey Taylor any day. He’s hilariously entertaining and I hope he continues writing in the future.
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!(less)
"...rich people did fine and dandy as long as things were going their way, but the minute the shit hit the fan, they fell apart like paper dolls left...more"...rich people did fine and dandy as long as things were going their way, but the minute the shit hit the fan, they fell apart like paper dolls left out in the rain."
The Devil All the Time spans decades and showcases several unforgettable individuals. We're first introduced to Willard Russell, an extremely religious man who sacrifices animals to his 'prayer log' in hopes that it will keep the cancer from taking his wife. His son, Arvin, is irrevocably changed by this period of his life. We're also introduced to a preacher that believes he possesses the ability to bring people back to life, but when he kills and his ability abandons him he is forced to flee. And lastly is the couple that travel the country picking up hitchhikers, killing them brutally, and taking pictures as mementos.
'Only in the presence of death could he feel the presence of something like God.'
The Devil All the Time is comprised of some of the most perverse characters I've likely ever read. Incredibly violent and brash in both characters and the story itself. There is suicide and rape and several brutal killings of both humans and animals but it somehow manages to not ever get to the point of gratuitous; rather, the actions of these individuals were conducted with a casualness and almost flippant manner that was fitting for them.
The desperation and overall mindset of these individuals in this small backwoods town (Knockemstiff, Ohio - which is actually a real town where Donald Ray Pollock himself grew up) was astounding. No one seemed to have big life plans, they all seemed to be extremely simple people. Except for the perverse ones.
'...he pulled the trigger and a wad of wet, gray brains show out the other side of the college boy's head. After he fell over, blood pooled in the sockets of his eyeballs like little lakes of fire...'
I'm not usually one for religious stories but these were tantalizing yet so shocking; my eyes were likely the size of dinner plates every time I was reading. It was quite like watching a train wreck, I couldn't have torn my eyes away even if I tried (or wanted to). These seemingly unconnected story lines come together in a way that surely shocked the hell out of me. This was a completely enthralling story, I hope we can expect more from Mr. Pollock. Big thanks to Rory for the push to finally read this.(less)
I saw this book being offered as a giveaway months before its official release date and as soon as I read the summary I wanted to read it so bad. I di...moreI saw this book being offered as a giveaway months before its official release date and as soon as I read the summary I wanted to read it so bad. I did not win the giveaway unfortunately; however, once I got my hands on it I started it immediately.
The story's main character Emily Wilson is trying to survive a broken heart as her husband has just left her for another woman. Trying to pick up the pieces of her life and feeling altogether lost, she decides to spend a month visiting her great-aunt Bee on Bainbridge Island in Washington State to try to get her life under control and to start researching her next book. While there, she discovers a red velvet diary dated 1943 written by an unknown individual. The story written in the diary has her intrigued and she doesn't even realize that the story actually involves her and a decades old family mystery.
I couldn't put this book down, it had me from the very beginning. The writing was flawless and the characters were described beautifully. After reading this I immediately went to try to find more of this author's work-had no idea this was her debut novel! Highly recommended and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more by Sarah Jio.
This is one of my most favorite books... ever. I read this novel before I watched the movie and being a John Grisham fan I was expecting something ver...moreThis is one of my most favorite books... ever. I read this novel before I watched the movie and being a John Grisham fan I was expecting something very different - but was not disappointed in the least bit. This novel had me laughing so hard and so consistently. This is a must read for anyone who loves to laugh, trust me, it does not disappoint. :)(less)
Ashfall was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Tanglewood.
Expected Publication Date: October 11th 2011
Ashfall was one of the most well written boo...moreAshfall was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Tanglewood.
Expected Publication Date: October 11th 2011
Ashfall was one of the most well written books I’ve read in a long time. I was so enthralled with this book that I read it a little bit at a time because I wanted to relish this book and all that it was about.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy learning to survive on his own after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts. With the electricity out, the sun hidden behind a cloud of ash, and the obligation to remain indoors to keep from breathing in the deadly ash, Alex has to learn quickly what it takes to survive on his own. He takes shelter with his neighbors after his house becomes uninhabitable; however, after witnessing an intensely traumatic event he takes off on his own in hopes he can get to where his parents are: over 100 miles away. Alex doesn’t blink at the prospect of traveling 100 miles until he realizes that he’s going to need to do this on foot.
The Good Everything, and I mean everything, about this novel was spot-on amazing. The relationship between Alex and Darla was so heartbreaking and realistic. At the point in the novel where Darla joins him on his journey to find his parents, they have become emotionally dependent on each other because they’re slowly realizing just how lonely the world has become. Watching Alex grow and develop in the novel was also pretty moving. Here’s a kid who at the beginning of the novel who was excited because his parents had left him home alone for the weekend for the first time in his life and he could do whatever he wanted. By the end of the novel that ‘Alex’ is long gone. The one thing that I found so incredible about this book was the complete and utter realism of the book. There’s no fluff to this story and you can truly imagine every single scenario actually happening. Overall, the story of survival and strength is a beautiful one.
The Bad I was so overwhelmed by the end of this novel that I couldn’t express my opinions and views into sentences. This is not bad. This is me explaining that it took me about a month to finally be able to sort through all my thoughts in order to write my review and to be able to determine wholeheartedly that I enjoyed everything about this novel.
I loved at the end that the author Mike Mullin included information about the research he had done and how he had combined several scientific findings to create what he believed to be a realistic possibility if a Yellowstone supervolcano were to actually happen. Yes, it freaked me out a little (okay, maybe more than a little) at the prospect of something like this really occurring (and yes I totally freaked out at my complete lack of preparation for the end of the world). In the end though, this will now be one of my favorite books ever and I’ll be waiting anxiously (but not patiently) for the next chapter in the Ashfall series.
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!(less)
This was my first Stephen King novel and I absolutely loved it. I hadn't seen the movie either yet did know about the preface so I was able to truly e...moreThis was my first Stephen King novel and I absolutely loved it. I hadn't seen the movie either yet did know about the preface so I was able to truly enjoy this novel. The story of Carrie is so heart-breaking yet so shocking. Stephen King's writing is utterly flawless... I became an immediate fan. (less)
The Storyline “In this most beautiful green wood there lived a tribe of funny little people who were quite different from the rest. They had funny horn...more
The Storyline “In this most beautiful green wood there lived a tribe of funny little people who were quite different from the rest. They had funny horns growing out of their funny heads and funny boots on their funny feet, and with these boots – and this was funniest of all – they could walk upside down under the branches of the trees. Oh, it was a happy and peaceful life that these little men led – until the humans came.”
And so begins the story of the Gremlins who were torn from their homes when the humans decided to build a factory for airplane production. The Gremlins knew it was time to act and ‘to get revenge for the loss of our homes. We will make mischief for them, and we will harry and tease the men who fly them, until we obtain some satisfaction for all the harm that has been done to us.’
The pilots finally figured out a way to appease these pesky Gremlins: feeding them Transatlantic-special-deliver-airmail stamps. By feeding them this delicacy, they were finally able to talk to the Gremlins and explain why they tore down their home and that it was to save their homes from all being destroyed. The pilot asked the Gremlins to help and that if they assisted and were victorious that they would give them a patch of forest back to them to be their new home.
Interesting Facts This was actually the very first children’s book that Roald Dahl ever wrote. ‘The Gremlins’ is a story set in the 1940’s when we were in the midst of WWII. This story was originally meant to be a film by Walt Disney but was dropped and never completed but the book was still published. This is considered to be a quite rare book as fewer than 5,000 books were published worldwide.
Thoughts This was an adorable book that I stumbled upon. Highly recommended to anyone given the opportunity to read it!
The concept alone is amazing yet so simple. Not everyone reacts to the same diet the same way; that's why Atkins doesn't always work for everyone. The...moreThe concept alone is amazing yet so simple. Not everyone reacts to the same diet the same way; that's why Atkins doesn't always work for everyone. The concept is that your individual blood types react differently to specific foods and that by eliminating certain foods from your diet you can help your body in leading a healthier lifestyle. The one and only 'diet' book that I've found that actually works. I highly recommend this to anyone who truly strives for a healthy life. I know from personal experience that following the O Blood Type diet was a lifestyle decision that I should have made sooner. (less)
’I am one in a row of specimens. It’s when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I’m meant to...moreInterested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!
’I am one in a row of specimens. It’s when I try to flutter out of line that he hates me. I’m meant to be dead, pinned, always the same, always beautiful. He knows that part of my beauty is being alive, but it’s the dead me he wants. He wants me living-but-dead.’
The Collector is the story of Frederick Clegg, an extremely odd and lonely man who also collects butterflies. He’s obsessed with a middle-class art student named Miranda Grey and as he continues admiring her from a distance a plan slowly starts developing in his mind that he would like to have her; like one of his butterflies. He makes preparations by buying a house out in the country, purchasing assorted objects and things he knows she will need, convinced that if he can only capture her and keep her that she will slowly grow to love him.
The first part of the novel was told from Frederick's point of view and it was rather alarming at his thought process. In his mind, there is nothing morally wrong with what he intends to do (and what he actually ends up doing). He recognizes that Miranda is a human being as he takes care of her and provides her everything a human would possibly need, but she’s inevitably nothing more than an object or a collectible item to him. He doesn’t mean to harm her at first; however, it’s evident that as time progresses, he enjoys having power over her and almost finds humor in her attempts to escape.
The second part of the novel was told from Miranda’s point of view through diary entries that she hides underneath her mattress. She writes about G.P. often, a man she met and who ended up having a huge impact on her thoughts and ideals. To Miranda, G.P. was everything she wanted to be and his opinions and thoughts became a set of ‘rules’ for her. At first I had a hard time determining the relevancy of these recollections, but it essentially just became another disturbing piece of the story to see how influential G.P. and his ‘rules’ really were to Miranda.
’He’s made me believe them; it’s the thought of him that makes me feel guilty when I break the rules.’
It was almost expected, however still just as shocking when it becomes glaringly obvious that Miranda slowly begins to take pity on her captor. She starts feeling bad for the harsh things she says to him and she also unconsciously prevents herself from doing him excessive harm during an escape attempt as she feels that if she does she’s descending to his level…It was as if she had simply accepted her situation, and that was the most heartbreaking part.
’And yes, he had more dignity than I did then and I felt small, mean. Always sneering at him, jabbing him, hating him and showing it. It was funny, we sat in silence facing each other and I had a feeling I’ve had once or twice before, of the most peculiar closeness to him—not love or attraction or sympathy in any way. But linked destiny. Like being shipwrecked on an island—a raft—together. In every way not wanting to be together. But together.’
The third and fourth parts of the novel were the most disturbing parts of the entire book. Suffice it to say, it gave me goosebumps. It was not the ending I had anticipated, but I still felt that the author was successful in creating the everlasting effect I believe he intended. Obviously, you understand the severity of Ferdinand’s actions; however, not until the end do you fully understand just how abnormal he really is. This was certainly not a happy book, but one that I’m glad to have read and one that I will likely not forget.(less)
This was an exceptionally written story that managed to suck me in with the very first line and I simply couldn't read fast enough. For a book with ov...moreThis was an exceptionally written story that managed to suck me in with the very first line and I simply couldn't read fast enough. For a book with over 550 pages this went extremely quick.
Ismae is seventeen years-old and just has been sold to the local pig farmer for three silver coins. As he inevitably forces her into his bedroom after the local priest has married them, he sees her body for the first time. And the scars that adorn it. After he locks her in a closet, she is assisted by the same local priest that married her and the local herbwitch responsible for the scars on her body and they ferry her out of town and into safety. Unable to fathom what she should be expecting, she arrives at the convent of St. Mortain, the god of Death. Ismae is told that she was sired by the god of Death himself and that he has bestowed gifts upon her of great value.
"If you choose to stay, you will be trained in His arts. You will learn more ways to kill a man than you imagined possible. We will train you in stealth and cunning and all manner of skills that will ensure no man is ever again a threat to you."
Hmm.. become a bad-ass assasin or go back to the pig farmer. Decisions, decisions.
Duval is a mysterious man who is a favorite to the duchess, but his loyalties are in doubt. Ismae is ultimately sent back with him to court as his mistress. It was obviously inevitable that these two would end up been all lovey-dovey but I was okay with that. Duval was a good match for Ismae in my opinion. At first, I didn't much care for the 'little-girl' mode she went into around him. The girl is an assassin who has killed men in cold blood and she went all weak-kneed everytime he touched her... but I suppose that could be attributed to the fact that she spent more in practicing on poison making than she did in her 'womanly arts' classes. :) I think this ended up making the story work better in terms of realism because regardless of the fact that she is an assassin, she is only 17 and has yet to encounter a man that was decent to her and if she didn't act the way she did I think her actions would have closely resembled that of a robot instead of a real person. Her vulnerabilities are intriguing.
'I can dodge a blow or block a knife. I am impervious to poison and know a dozen ways to escape a chokehold or garrote wire. But kindness? I do not know how to defend against that.'
I really did love Ismae. She was charming, unintentionally funny, a natural bad-ass, she hides weapons under her skirts, and kills people with jewelry. Enough said. The initial pacing of this story was incredibly fast and it flashed forward 3 years later to when she is a trained assassin within the first 50 pages. At first I was disappointed that we didn't receive more of a backstory on Ismae, but then again, she was raised the daughter of an abusive man who was a turnip farmer. How interesting could it have been?
I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, if it's done right. I've read some pretty dreadful ones. This was a historical fiction with touches of fantasy that blended beautifully in my opinion. I was a bit timid going into this because I haven't read too many YA historical fictions and the ones I have I wasn't impressed. That's the thing with this one though, it may be labeled YA but it's very maturely written. All in all I'm pretty blown away at how much I enjoyed this. I was enthralled throughout the entirety and was pleasantly mystified as to what the outcome could possibly be... which is quite rare. So many books these days lack that 'surprise' factor. By the end though I was practically heartbroken once it was over as I had become so emotionally invested in what happened to these people... I'm so excited for the next book to come out. I think it will be interesting learning more about Sybella after the glimpses we had in this installment. I can't wait!(less)