This book started out as a three-star book. It was humorous, and the writing style was witty and engaging. I liked main character Deb's observations oThis book started out as a three-star book. It was humorous, and the writing style was witty and engaging. I liked main character Deb's observations on weddings, mud runs and the like.
The mermaids pushed it firmly into two-star territory. The introduction of the fantastical element was abrupt, rather jarring, and not entirely well handled. Main character Deb started getting a bit preachy, a bit less likeable. But the book still had legs - it could still go.
The ending is what made this a one-star book. What. The. Fuck. What a cheap, utterly worthless way to end a book. If I tried that shit in my sophomore creative writing class in college, my professor would have flunked me after laughing in my face. And I would have deserved it. Not cool, Lydia. I would have thrown this book across the room if I hadn't been listening to it on my phone.
Read instead: The works of Carl Hiassen Big Trouble and Tricky Business by Dave Barry...more
This book was...surprisingly hilarious. Caitlin Doughty brings to life the everyday activities of a crematory - plus some philosophical ruminations onThis book was...surprisingly hilarious. Caitlin Doughty brings to life the everyday activities of a crematory - plus some philosophical ruminations on our relationship to death and how that relationship may be broken in the modern age. Although not for the squeamish, this is a quick, fun read that also makes you think. I will certainly be looking up Doughty's group - The Order of the Good Death - on Facebook!
The Good: *While some may think of it as "preachy," I really liked the author's reflections on "the death industry" - and her condemnation of what it has done to our relationship with death. I personally have been thinking about requesting a green funeral for myself, so this is an area of personal interest.
*I liked the humorous tone and the zany cast of characters. This book made me chuckle often, which I did not expect from a book on cremation and its various foibles.
The Less Good: *The chapter on babies was a bit intense for me, as a new mother. Not gonna lie, I had to go watch my baby sleep for about five minutes after that.
Similar titles: Stiff Working Stiff Six Feet Under Putting Makeup on Dead People...more
A collection of stories from the Geek Side. Characters include LARP-ers, theater geeks, Rocky Horror fans, and a baton twirler. All experience, to varA collection of stories from the Geek Side. Characters include LARP-ers, theater geeks, Rocky Horror fans, and a baton twirler. All experience, to various degrees, the agony of not fitting in -- all grow, sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small.
Like most anthology collections, this was a mix of the good and the "meh." As an actual, card-carrying geek, I found some of the stories simplistic and misrepresentative. On the other hand, some were just great stories. My favorites were "Secret Identity," "Quiz Bowl Antichrist," and "The King of Pelinesse" -- they had the most heart. ...more
Scott, aka Bright Boy, has bee the sidekick to Phantom Justice since he was a child, but lately he's been growing out of his role -- and his costume -Scott, aka Bright Boy, has bee the sidekick to Phantom Justice since he was a child, but lately he's been growing out of his role -- and his costume -- in a rather obvious manner. Being Bright Boy has suddenly become a burden for Scott -- he has no friends at school, Phantom Justice is distant and unsympathetic, and everyone is making fun of his 'wardrobe malfunction.' When Phantom Justice's old foe Dr. Chaotic breaks out of prison, Scott finds out that Chaotic's sidekick is someone he knows, and what she tells him makes the boundaries between hero and villain seem much thinner than before. What is Phantom Justice hiding from Scott? Can he make sense of it before he becomes a target?
This book started out great -- the author has a great sense of humor and a wonderful narrative voice. I was chuckling to myself picturing Phantom Justice's Batman-esque dramatics. The setup with Bright Boy finding out Monkeywrench's true identity and how that opened him up was also great. But the ending just killed it. Killed it dead in a mess of contrived and sudden plot twists and cliches. It was tragic. Still, mostly a fun read, if a disappointing finish.
Recommended for fans of: Teen Titans Amazing Agent Luna...more
Lamar loves to bowl and his life is looking up -- fine girlfriend, even a chance to make serious money, albeit with known bad-boy Billy Jenks. But wheLamar loves to bowl and his life is looking up -- fine girlfriend, even a chance to make serious money, albeit with known bad-boy Billy Jenks. But when Lamar's feud with his big brother Xavier reaches a tipping point, will his bid for revenge ruin all the good things he has?
This book had the potential to turn after-school-special schlocky, but Crystal Allen's excellent sense of humor kept that from happening. The positive message of the resolution may seem a bit hackneyed to the old and cynical, but to the kid who likes their books to be reassuring and non-dark this book is a blessing. And the message: "You can make mistakes but then work to make things right" is a good one.
Recommended for fans of: Bud Not Buddy Nothing but the Truth by Avi...more
Ben Wolf finds he has only a year to live, and decides to try to pack all his dreams into that one year -- without telling his family or friends. AlonBen Wolf finds he has only a year to live, and decides to try to pack all his dreams into that one year -- without telling his family or friends. Along the way he confronts the complexity and pain of life on earth, in the microcosm of "Podunk" Idaho.
It is a testimony to Crutcher's skill as a storyteller that -- despite the protagonist being an irritating smartass kid with delusions of wisdom -- I couldn't put this book down. Don't read this book for the vague, pop-philosophy ramblings abolut tolerance and destiny, read it for the story of a brave and kind boy facing the ultimate reality with grace and courage. All "dying teenager" books have a certain level of annoyingness, but Crutcher manages to make this story funny and touching rather than maudlin, and that, sir, is a triumph....more