You ask, “is this another book about evil plants????” Why yes, yes it is. You say, “but it’s been done before (and probably better).” To that, I say:
This one adds a little twist. Not only are there terrifying plants that might kill you, there are also deadly bugs
No, not that kind of bug. Huge, evil, swarms of bugs hungry for human flesh
Caitlin Chaisson appears to lead a charmed life. She is an heiress who lives in a sprawling mansion called Spring House outside of New Orleans and is happily married to a local hero . . . or so she thought. While witnessing her husband’s tryst with the party planner at her birthday party, Caitlin decides she is going to end her life and slashes her wrist in the mansion’s gazebo. Rather than dying, Caitlin’s blood awakens a dark force that has been lying in wait for over 150 years. It is now up to Caitlin’s estranged best friend, Blake, and her hired man’s daughter, Nova, to figure out the mystery of what exactly resides in the ground at Spring House.
Although there are definitely scarier “plant books” around (specifically The Ruins), this one is more of a mystery rather than an out-and-out horror story and it wasn’t too shabby.
I had not read Christopher Rice until recently due to . . . REASONS . . . but I’m glad I gave him a chance. He writes a good, fast-paced thriller with flowing dialogue and great main characters. He also doesn’t waste a boatload of time/pages dealing with what I like to call the “non-believer syndrome” in preternatural stories. Rice believes in having Character A tell Character B some weird shit is going down and making Character B trust Character A enough to believe there must actually be some weird shit going down. He cuts to the chase and wraps the story up efficiently. Obviously there are some books that demand more pages, but The Vines wasn’t one of them and I’m glad Rice left it at its current length rather than add a bunch of unnecessary filler.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
As someone whose only venture outside of the United States was making the hop, skip, and jump from San Diego down to the vendor market in Tijuana as a small child, the idea of reading someone’s travel log has really never been my idea of a great time.
(Sidenote: You know what sounded like a super great time when I was on that vacation? A dog and pony show. What little kid doesn’t love dogs and ponies. Boy, did I spend the rest of the day internally cursing those bastards (a/k/a my family) for refusing to take me to see the show – and to do so without even giving me a proper explanation why??? Worst. Family. Ever.)
Anywho . . . I decided to give Go Home, Oaxaca. You're Drunk a shot because (1) it was free, (2) it was written by a totally non-pushy friend who only made like one post offering it up to anyone who wanted to read it, (3) it was free, (4) said non-pushy author friend is funny, so I hoped his book would be too, and (5) it was free.
Being as I am a cheap bastard, the price was definitely spot on, but the great news is I got waaaaay more than my money’s worth. Jason is funny and has a delightful, dry, double entendre-filled wit that had me chuckling out loud on several occasions. He’s also more than a little self-deprecating, which was wonderful to see rather than the typical “asshole American” who ventures outside the good ol’ U-S-of-A thinking the rest of the world should cater to his every need. In fact, Jason is so polite that he attempts to learn various niceties like please and thank you when he travels abroad. Me? I’m going to stick to the actual important phrases like: “Where’s the toilet? I’m about to have explosive diarrhea.”
Recommended to? Well, obviously to people who enjoy traveling/reading travel journals. Also, to people like myself who don’t go anywhere but the couch, but miss the antics of Anthony Bourdain. What else are you going to do? Sit around and watch stuff like this?????
Yes, the author is a friend of mine. No, I didn’t let that influence how I wrote this review. I’m a human – not a Fiverr ...more
WARNING: I’M GOING TO SPOIL SOME OF THIS ONE, SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
I finished Elizabeth Is Missing all the way back in September, but never wrote a review. Those of you who know me are already aware that I’m always behind when it comes to posting reviews, but this one fell off the radar for a different reason . . . A reason I like to call the “meh factor.”
^^^^selfie of my reaction upon finishing this book^^^^
However, after having a conversation about this book earlier today I figured I might as well yak up some kind of nonsense to finally get this one off of the “read but not reviewed because I suck list.”
The synopsis is that Maud (view spoiler)[MAUDE! I LOVE MAUDE!!! (hide spoiler)], an elderly grandmother, is falling victim to dimensia and has become a bit obsessed with finding her friend Elizabeth who has gone missing. In her state of confusion, Maud also begins to remember another person who went missing in her life decades ago, her sister Sukey.
Here’s the problem . . . it’s pretty obvious from the jumpstart that Elizabeth is NOT missing – she’s either in a nursing home or dead. Wasting TONS of pages and doing the ol’ wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey back and forth through different era narration in order to cover both Elizabeth and Sukey’s disappearances doesn’t work when half the book is wasted on such an obvious “mystery.” I also figured out the deal with Sukey super-early as well (but I read a lot of mystery/thrillers so this happens on the regular for me and might not for you). The blurb promised me this book would be “darkly riveting” – but unfortunately it was not. It was simply the sad (and sometimes frustrating) story of an elderly woman as she succumbs to dimentia. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that this was nominated as a Best Debut on the Goodreads Choice Awards. If this is on your “to read” list (along with 500 other books, if you’re anything like me) I’d say bump it to the back of the line. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
John Hartigan has served the police force well and his retirement is deserved, but when he gets word that little Nancy Callahan has been kidnapped he can’t just hand over his badge and gun without attempting to save her. Little does he know that his final moment of heroism will haunt him for years to come . . .
For all of you who know me in real life, follow my blog, or are friends with me here, you are probably well aware that I’m quite proud of my supernerdery. I know a lot about nothing important and love to share my pop culture Rainman abilities with anyone who is willing to look/listen. That being said, I now come to you all and admit that until this point I’ve been a total poseur. Although I take my tiny Sheldon Cooper (seriously, he’s the “got it, got it, need it, got it” kid when looking through the various boxes) to Planet ComicCon annually
my personal geekery was missing one huge piece – I had never before read a graphic novel.
Since I have more than a bit of an obsession with all things Sin City (when Starz was added to our cable package a couple of months ago I used the “on demand” option and watched the first movie EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. for a month straight until my husband threatened to stage an intervention on my behalf), I figured it was high time to go big or go home.
I was sooooooo not disappointed. Frank Miller reached such a level of perfection with the graphic novel version of Sin City that hardly a word was needed to be changed before its transformation to the big screen. Sidenote: The one thing that was changed was the “grandfatherly” Hartigan being cast with the totally un-grandfatherly Bruce Willis. For that, I am eternally grateful : )
(and dare I forget to mention a certain pair of boobs someone else who might add to the enjoyment factor for others while watching the movie version)
From the characters, to the dialogue, to the artwork
That Yellow Bastard was everything I hoped it would be.
“I see a beautiful gigantic swimmer swimming naked through the eddies of the sea, His brown hair lies close and even to his head, he strikes out with courageous arms, he urges himself with his legs, I see his white body, I see his undaunted eyes, I hate the swift-running eddies that would dash him head-foremost on the rocks.
What are you doing you ruffianly red-trickled waves? Will you kill the courageous giant? Will you kill him in the prime of his middle-age?
Steady and long he struggles, He is baffled, bang’d, bruis’d, he holds out while his strength holds out, The slapping eddies are spotted with his blood, they bear him away, they roll him, swing him, turn him, His beautiful body is borne in the circling eddies, it is continually bruis’d on rocks, Swiftly and out of sight is borne the brave corpse.”
from The Sleepers by Walt Whitman
Before I begin an actual review I’m going to be really rude and say this yet another case of a horrible "official" synopsis. Danny’s mother isn’t single and his family isn’t middle class – in fact, his father is one of the driving forces behind the story and the family is very much lower/working class people. The blurb is what draws the audience to new books, it’s pretty important to get the basic facts correct. Grrrrr.
That being cleared up, the rest of the synopsis is true. This is the story of Danny Kelly – a promising young Australian swimmer who is discovered at a competition at the local pool. Danny is given a full scholarship to a prestigious private school that focuses on training athletes for various Olympic events. It is there that Danny will have to learn to deal with success and failure, being good enough for some, but never good enough for all (including himself), figuring out who/what to be proud of and what should make him feel shame.
This was a notable book. I’d never heard of Tsiolkas (or his previous book, The Slap) before and simply picked this one up because I got it for free. I love a good coming of age story, and this one was exceptional. All of the details of life as a swimmer added depth to the story, the past to present narration was made fresh with the story being told in both third and first person (depending on whether you were hearing “Danny” or “Dan’s” story), and to read a solid homosexual main character? One where being “homosexual” is not the defining (or only) factor of his personality? Those kind of stories are way too few and far between.
I won’t go so far as to say this is a book for everyone. It’s very “book clubby” (for lack of a better term) and I can picture a series of Q&A/talking points being added to later editions at some point. There aren’t a lot of plot twists or outrageous scenes to propel the reader – Barracuda is very much driven by how remarkably well-written it is. Its simplicity and raw emotion are what make it so striking.
Oh, and I can’t wrap this up without saying PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE make the song by Heart stop playing on a loop in my brain now that I’m done with this book!!!! Please???????
Here we are with round #2 of The 100. I still haven’t watched any of the television series, but I did discover that I will indeed sell myself out and read the next book in a series if I’m offered the chance to do so for free. I’m such a cheap date : (
The world building from Book 1 is complete (and by complete I mean the “new world” is getting close to being on the dunzo list) and our pilgrims are settling in to life in the Hills of Virginny. Most importantly, though, people are making out.
Like seriously making out.
You’d think with only 100 original colonists there would be a problem of finding so much strange to lock lips with, but these kids are proving there’s always someone kissable. Especially in a crisis. Missing sister? You should probably make out with someone.
Friend just took an arrow through the throat? You know what would help ease your pain? A solid make-out session.
You betrayed your bestie/boyfriend/family/whoever before you came to Earth? Who cares! You know what the world needs? More kissing!!!!
You might all be dying of radiation poisoning? I know what’ll cure that!
What else should I have expected when it was revealed the “theme” song for the past bazillion centuries has been Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven is a Place on Earth?
“When you walk into the room You pull me close and we start to move And we're spinnin' with the stars above And you lift me up in a wave of love Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth ? Ooh, heaven is a place on earth They say in heaven love comes first We'll make heaven a place on earth Ooh, heaven is a place on earth”
I mean, this is so bad it’s somehow good.
Now, to the credit of the writers, tv producers, and whoever else is responsible for this series – I get that I’m not your target demographic. And while I don’t think I’ll ever end up getting on the old Hulu or Netflix in order to find previous episodes, I can see how the show could be super popular and I'll admit that the books do have a lot of action (and not just of the tongue variety). I assume this pony will be ridden long past its demise and the books will continue to be churned out at an inhuman pace (much like with The Vampire Diaries). To quote a television show I do watch religiously:
“Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in “Butte Fockers!” *sighs* Yeah, that’s right - “Butte Fockers.” As long as you keep paying to watch we’ll keep farting ‘em out."
So go ‘head Kass Morgan, go ‘head get down. Heck, I might even keep reading – and I can guar-an-tee I’d be tuning in to watch the show if your “100” looked a little something more like this:
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
What’s your favorite scary movie, errrrrrr, I mean book?????
It all starts with Grace, a 6th form student at boarding school who has never quite lived up to her super-surgeon-father’s expectations. In an effort to make a name for herself, Grace decides to become one of the “100 Society” (an elite group of art students who can manage to tag 100 various locations throughout the city) and recruits a group of friends to help accomplish this monumental task. If they fail, they risk expulsion – succeed and they’ll become legends.
None of the friends could have ever predicted how high the stakes would get when a new tagger appears leaving the ominous message “Let the Games Begin,” which winds up being more than a little reminiscent of:
Now it’s up to Cassie to figure out who leaves the Reaper mark, before he wipes the group out one by one.
Seriously, throw everything you think you know about gooooood books out the window and appreciate this one for what it is – a mash-up of several different scary movies (only not quite as awesome – hence the 3 Stars).
This book was pure guilty pleasure type of entertainment for me. We’re talking about a cast of dumb broads who run UP the damn staircase rather than out the unlocked front door when the bad guy is coming for them
and couples who watch their friends get maimed/killed, but still think it’s been a “not so bad” week and that it’d be saaaa-weeeeeeeet to “do it” rather than finding the psycho who has promised to murder them all
and even though the killer was prrrrrrreeeeeeeetttttty dang obvious to me from the get-go, I still enjoyed the shit out of this one. Much like I did with:
Recommended to????? Anyone who could picture Jennifer Love Hewitt’s heaving breasts while reading this review or wished Ryan Phillipe would be in some more movies where he takes his shirt off : )
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!!! ...more
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS (MUCH LIKE THE SYNOPSIS) - BUT I’M DOING YOU A FAVOR BY SAVING YOU FROM READING A GIANT CRAPFEST
Sometimes it’s perfectly A-okay to judge a book by its cover. The cover of Keep Your Friends Close should have been my first clue that I would not end up raving about the high quality of the story contained inside. Oh well, live and learn.
The remainder of this review is brought to you by
Seriously. This book was like the worst of the worst of Lifetime movies . . . or maybe an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael back in the 80s. Only on those programs are you told of the story of a happily married couple who receives a visit from an old college pal only to have said friend look for the soonest opportunity possible to drop to her knees and “pleasure” her bestie’s hubs in the kitchen with such prowess he IMMEDIATELY falls in love with her, kicks the old ball and chain to the curb and lets the new bimbo grift the shit out of him.
And guess what else? She might have done it B – E – F – O – R – E - ! ! ! ! !
The only good things I can say about Keep Your Friends Close? It was short and I read it fast. This is my second attempt at Paula Daly and I’m pretty certain it will be my last . . . Unless I have an exceptionally bloaty-feeling, mood-swinging couple of days and opt to crack open a book rather than watching movie classics such as “Death of a Cheerleader” or “Co-Ed Callgirl”. ...more
I picked The 100 up because I’m a bookaholic and I can’t control myself as one of NetGalley’s “read now” selections. All I knew going in was that this is currently a television series on the CW Network. Now, I’ve watched enough of the CW to know that (excluding the delicious train wreck called “Makeover Day” on America’s Next Top Model) the viewership (which, at times, includes myself) tends to land in one of the following camps:
Random percentage who love not only one of the Salvatore brothers, but also love Klaus.
Just me? Naaaaaaaah, I didn’t think so.
So when the premise for The 100 was the populous residing on a (soon-to-be uninhabitable) space station for the past 300 years due to Earth being evacuated after a nuclear holocaust, and the only for the survival of civilization is in the hands of 100 guinea pigs juvenile delinquents – I was intrigued. However, it being a program on the CW network, I wasn’t really expecting it to be the next Lord of the Flies like the publishers would lead me to believe. Heck, I wasn’t even holding out hopes for something like this:
(Get it? LORDE of the Flies? Ha! I kill me!)
When it comes to The 100, make sure you go in with low expectations. Are they lowered? Okay, lower them even more until you reach something a little more along these lines:
There’s not a whole lot of action to be had in this first book (unless your definition of “action” means tonsil-hockey). However, it wasn’t completely terrible either. Think of this as a giant introduction – you’re dealing with backstory and character history/development of FOUR narrators (plus their families/significant others), along with world building, etc., etc., but there’s not a whole heck of a lot covered with respect to the nitty-gritty of what happens to “the 100” after their arrival on Earth. That’s what Day 21 is for (well, that’s what I’m hoping it’s for). Good news is, Day 21 is also available as an instant read on NetGalley. Crossing my fingers for a little less talk and a lot more action in in the next installment.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
This one made me feel some . . . things when I first started. Mainly:
At some point can’t an author just write something like “I met Joey two weeks after I moved from NYC. I never would have guessed he would become such an important part of my life” and then get on with the story? Instalove that is so instant they fall in love before even saying hello makes me want to . . .
Not to mention why the f*&^ was this Wizard of Oz backdrop even being used? Just because Dorothy Must Die sold a bunch of copies, doesn’t mean we need a whole slew of books that have not even a hint of Dorothy except for the MC’s name and leading off the chapters with quotes from Frank Baum’s classic.
As you can tell, this book did not make me a happy camper. Luckily, I found a new friend
and he took some of the angry away, told me to get over my self, accept the book with all its faults, and just READ the damn thing. So I did.
Melt is the story of Dorothy (the rich girl) and Joey (the kid from the wrong side of the tracks), how they fall in love (instantly – blech), and how Dorothy eventually comes to find out the truth that lies behind Joey’s troubles with drinking, fighting, and breaking the law.
This one gets 2 Stars for potential rather than delivery. The Oz crap never stopped bugging and I never grew to like Dorothy, but Joey’s story was heartbreaking and real and the stream of consciousness delivery was effective in making the reader feel his pain. It wasn’t great for me, but I am wise enough to know that there is an audience for this book who will love it. I was just not meant to be a part of that audience.
Sidenote with respect to Joey’s voice: It read like Marv from Sin City. There’s a very good chance I could have ended up giving this 1 Star, but I loooooooove me some Marv.
ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
I can’t remember the last time a book really pissed me off. I often see reviews where it seems like readers have been almost searching for a way to be insulted by what they’ve read. As the well-intentioned social worker said in Girls Like Us: “not every word a person says is an insult. Try not to fight the world and everybody in it.”
I tried. I really and truly tried, but good grief I seriously was insulted by this book. I spent the weekend trying to talk myself off the ranty ledge, but at this point I’m saying screw it and just going with my initial reaction and I hope that the point of what I’m trying to say comes across in written form without being offensive to you as readers.
Let’s start with the synopsis:
Biddy and Quincy have been forced together throughout high school since they were both in the classes for “speddies.”
Biddy, blonde and white, was deprived oxygen at birth, has problems with “conventional” learning (i.e., reading/writing/arithmetic), and was handed off to her grandmother because her mother didn’t want her (sadly, her grandmother didn’t want her either, but felt an obligation to Biddy since she was her blood).
Quincy, a girl of mixed race, was hit in the head with a brick by her crackwhore mother’s abusive boyfriend. She was taken from her mother and has spent her life being bounced around the foster care system. Quincy knows how to read and do arithmetic (it’s always just been hard for her to connect her thoughts in the written form), but the physical deformity she was left with was substantial.
Once Biddy and Quincy graduate (or “time out,” basically) of the public school system, their assigned social worker tells the girls they will be sharing an apartment. Can two girls from such different environments overcome their pasts, deal with some awful circumstances in the present, find some common ground, and move forward in the world together?
Okay, the premise for this book had me hook, line and sinker. There were even some seriously hardcore emotional scenes that made me feel things. However, I couldn’t ever get past the two main characters – I have never been so put off by written narration in all of my reading.
In a book that is supposed to be a vehicle to make people realize that just because someone looks or learns differently, they shouldn’t be made to feel as though they are “girls like us,” the author has chosen to make two girls from two completely different backgrounds with two completely different handicaps have the EXACT. SAME. VOICE. And not only do they have the same voice, they have the most offensive accent in the history of writing (FYI - This is the part where I’m terrified I’m going to offend someone because I don’t know how to word this correctly, so I used Wiki to find the *hopefully* correct terminology I was looking for), the Southern American English accent. This is the accent which has traditionally been overused to indicate that someone is stupid or is “white trash” or is a servant, etc. and I just can’t let it go that it was used for these two young women. No matter how many emotions the book was able to evoke from me, the overwhelming one was anger.
“Sometimes books imitate life. And sometimes books imitate lives that imitate books.”
How do I even summarize 100 Sideways Miles? Rather than blubber all over the page, I’m going to use the author’s own words to tell you what it’s about: “A story involving alien visitors from outer space, an epileptic kid who doesn’t really know where he came from, knackeries and dead horses falling a hundred sideways miles, abandoned prisons, a shadow play, moons and stars, and jumping from a bridge into a flood.”
Dear Andrew Smith,
I mean, your destiny.
THIS book is a prime example of why I get really torked off when people say Young Adult selections are only for young adults. Pigeonhole yourself into believing that bunk and you’ll miss out some great stuff. Stuff like what comes out of Andrew Smith’s head. He’s damn good. He writes honest, relatable, believable teenagers in realistic situations. He makes you laugh and he makes you cry (sometimes simultaneously). He’s not a believer in insta-love, but he does recognize that 17-year old boys will experience “insta-lust.” He writes an excellent best friend. He makes old codgers like myself feel young again. “Imagine that.”
"Life goes on. Twenty miles per second." It only took me about half a million miles to read this book - I just couldn’t put it down. This is my third go ‘round with Andrew Smith and it’s easily the best. His words are like magic:
“We sailed along, wrapped wholly and firmly together, flying twenty miles, twenty miles, twenty miles, twenty miles. And in that turning, unfolding, opening, I forgot everything about me.”
For maybe the second time in the history of Goodreads, I'm changing my initial rating of a book and floating my review. I don't really give a shit if you don't like this book - I liked it enough for everyone. I liked it so much that I constantly think about it whenever I hear a creepy noise in the dark or think how terrifying it would be if I had to face potential superbadawfuls blindfolded while walking to the creek behind my house for drinking water and I find myself continually recommending it to anyone who asks me for a creepy read. So, there you have it. #bump #promiseIwon'tmakeahabitofthis #becauseitmakesmewanttokillpeople #readmorebumpless #devilhorns
I hope not, ‘cause that’s how you’re going to be living out the rest of your days. The world as we knew it no longer exists. First, the people started dying – then the internet, phones, power, and water systems all went down. Then we all learned to barricade our doors, cover our windows, and stop going outside except when absolutely necessary. Of course, when obtaining water means venturing down to the creek behind your house – you find yourself outside A LOT. No matter what you do, you must wear your blindfold and never look at what is waiting outside your doors . . .
Malorie has lived this lifestyle for years and has raised her children the same way. Always blindfolded, always terrified, always knowing there is something waiting outside. Until one day, it was no longer outside . . .
Now Malorie and the children must risk everything in order to make it to a potential safe haven that may or may not exist.
Bird Box is the embodiment of a psychological horror – because all the horror you experience is going to be created in your own head. You will (literally) never be able to see the bad guy coming . . . because the characters remain blindfolded the entire book. Any time you find yourself losing your shit, it will be because your brain thinks it is hilarious to f*&^ around with you.
Per usual, the only thing I knew about this book before starting was that a lot of people were reading it all of a sudden. What do I think now that I’m finished??? What a debut! So many times I find the “super bad awful” in horror novels to be extremely lackluster, so I found never knowing who (or what) the transgressor might be to be a very effective approach. My brain kept telling me that everyONE and everyTHING was the bad guy and I found myself on the edge of my seat during several pivotal scenes. I look forward to reading more by Josh Malerman....more
“What does it take to unwind the unwanted? It takes twelve surgeons, in teams of two, rotating in and out as their medical specialty is needed. It takes nine surgical assistants and four nurses. It takes three hours.”
If you are at all familiar with my reviews, you’re probably well aware that I’m a “big meany” when it comes to doling out 1 Stars and super stingy when it comes to granting 5s. I’m here to tell you that Unwind knocked my damn socks so clean off my feet I would easily grant it a 6th Star if it were allowed. You’re probably wondering what made this story so different from the other gazillion YA dystopian stories out there, huh? In a nutshell???? EVERYTHING.
Connor has always been a troubled-child and his parents just can’t deal with him any longer. Risa is a ward of the state who no longer has a place in the system. And Lev is a “tithe” – the 1/10th that his family must give to their church. The fate of the three is to be “unwound” – a compromise the Pro-Life and Right-to-Lifers made into law wherein parents (or the state, as the case may be) can choose to have 99.44% of a child between the ages of 13 and 18 transplanted into the most deserving (and highest paying) recipients. Unwind is the story of how unfortunate coincidence leads to Connor, Risa and Lev meeting and their attempt to save themselves from certain fate.
So not only is the “dystopian” subject matter fresh, but there is no awful “world building” to muck things up either. The “world” is the United States – the only difference is that the Second Civil War has been fought that created the “unwinding” law to begin with . . .
“A conflict always begins with an issue – a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn’t matter anymore, because now it’s about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.”
Another bonus? The characters aren’t sparkly sissies. They kick SERIOUS ass. Connor is a “bad boy” (not in an annoying stereotypical way – just in the way that it doesn’t need to be explained that if the poo hits the fan he will jump right in to the mix). Rissa is definitely no shrinking violet. In fact, “she’s a bit annoyed that she’s not included . . . It ought to be a Bonnie-and-Clyde kind of thing. The rumor mill is definitely sexist.” Lev goes through a total transformation. And, let’s just say there are plenty of other characters and surprising twists and turns along the way too . . .
The best part of all about the characters? NO INSTALOVE!!!!! In fact, there are only THREE PARAGRAPHS – that’s right PARAGRAPHS – that are “romantic” at all. Unwind is all about surviving . . . these kids could give a flying fart about getting laid.
As for the unwinding itself?
“No one knows how it happens. No one knows how it’s done. The harvesting of Unwinds is a secret medical ritual that stays within the walls of each harvesting clinic in the nation. In this way it is not unlike death itself, for no one knows what mysteries lie beyond those secret doors, either.”
Have no fear – you’ll find out everything you never wanted to know about unwinding.
And the best part of it all (well, for me at least) – YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES!!!! Obviously you can if you want, but I hate when books are in a series and I was 100% A-Okay with the ending of Unwind and just pretending that it’s a stand-alone novel.
Like I said, Unwind blew me away and gets all the stars. It gets the first 5 for the alllll of the aforementioned items and I’d give it another if I could because I can’t remember the last time I read a YA book that could spark actual conversation between kids and parents about some serious grown-up topics like when life begins and abortion and organ donation and stem cell research and on and on and on.
“You can’t change laws without first changing human nature.” ...more
I know there are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of people reading some very different tentacle stories, but for now I’ll just stick with good old fashion horror. Of course, the tentacle monsters in this story did come from the sky, so there very well could have been some anal probing that Tim Curran just decided to leave on the editing room floor.
According to Goodreads, this little tale was 234 pages long, but I read it in like one hot minute. Either the page number stat is wrong, or Curran really knows how to pack a wallop that keeps the pages flying. This baby was seriously high octane . . . (wait, high voltage????? yeah, all the action sprouts from a simple little lightning storm, so definitely high voltage) thrill-ride.
I won’t give everything away here, but if your idea of some quality fun is mixing a 1950s “B Horror Movie”
with the a modern day alien classic
You might like this one more than a little bit.
And the monsters? They kick ass and take names . . .
serious ass . . .
(Technically I think this one is probably a squid, but tomato/tomahto – you try finding relevant octopus .gifs on 4 hours of sleep)
The only reason Blackout didn’t earn all 5 Stars from me is for the lackluster ending, but now you’ve been warned, so hopefully it will save you some disappointment and you’ll remember that the other 97% of the story was AWWWWWWESOME.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
Dee has planned an amazing weekend anniversary getaway with her boyfriend Luke (and, unfortunately, also his brother Mike who has to tag-along in order to keep Luke’s parents from getting suspicious). When their car runs out of gas, the concert becomes their last concern. Instead, the three find themselves stranded on a back road . . .
“Now all we needed was a skinny, pale girl in a bikini, a big guy in a mask sporting a chainsaw, and a sheriff turned zombie and we had the makings for a perfect horror movie.”
Realizing they have about a snowball’s chance in Hades of someone discovering them before they freeze to death in the frigid confines of the truck, the trio sets off toward the town lights they can see in the distance. There they discover . . . well, nothing. No open businesses, no traffic, no people to be seen at all. The only thing indicating anyone was ever there is the blaring emergency siren.
After spending the night in an abandoned house Dee, Luke, and Mike are discovered by a local – a teenaged boy who tells them if they want to make it out of town alive they better follow him. He leads them not down the empty streets, but rather through the nearby fields.
You all know what happens when you go through the crops in a scary story right???? Oh you don’t? Well, it’s general stuff like this . . .
or this . . .
Right. And let me tell you the threesome has no idea what’s in store for them once they meet the town’s leader.
“I knew what to do if the man with razors on his hands attacked me in my dreams. I could tell you which way to run if an awkward kid rose from the lake, fully grown and wearing a hockey mask. I was even prepared to get off the damn plane when seven random kids from some stupid French class went nuts over the fear of it crashing. But I had no idea what to do when faced with a self-proclaimed prophet and his entire batshit town.”
^^^^Awesome quote is awesome
I asked for an ARC of Creed (and was promptly denied, thank you very little NetGalley) a loooooooong time ago. This book stayed on my radar because it was being marketed as a “Young Adult Horror” – a genre which I feel has been done pretty terribly so far, so I marked the release date on my calendar and figured I’d forget about it until the reminder popped up. And then I saw something strange on my Facebook. Someone I went to high school with posted a status update about her upcoming book . . . Creed. First thoughts? "Oh shit. This person either knows or will soon figure out that my hobby is reviewing books and there’s always the potential of me hating her product." Buuuuuuut, I’m nothing if not brutally honest and since Creed had been on my radar for a good 6 months before its actual release I had to read it.
Luckily for me, it didn’t suck. The duo of Leaver and Currie definitely have some writing chops and Creed was a fine debut. The development of the creepy atmosphere was intense and although the characters may be considered “stereotypical” for horror story standards (i.e., the taking the backroads that ensure there will be no cell phone signal and the running out of gas), they were believable. Because Creed is geared toward young adults, I also thought it pushed some “no-no zone areas” awesomely (dealing with a potential religious cult and the gore factor in general). Sidenote: For grown-ups reading this story, you might have to remind yourself that you are not the target audience for this book. If you’re expecting an over-the-top slasher type of horror like The Hills Have Eyes or Wolf Creek you’re going to be disappointed. Leaver and Currie (and other YA Scream Queens) are bending the boundaries of YA Horror, they’re not trying to completely break them. As an old lady, I found Creed to be less of a horror and more of a quality suspense story. I also thought the only hope for any escape might be something like this . . .
Well, rats. Maybe my expectations were just too high after falling head over heels in love with The Rosie Project last year. Maybe there wasn’t enough magic left to make a worthy sequel. Whatever the case, I’m bummed I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ THE ROSIE PROJECT AND INTEND TO DO SO, BACK AWAY FROM THIS REVIEW IMMEDIATELY. THERE IS ZERO WAY TO AVOID SPOILING THE FIRST BOOK AND STILL BE ABLE TO WRITE ABOUT THE SECOND.
Still here? Okay, here we go …
This is the continuation of Sheldon Cooper’s Don Tillman’s story. Now 41, he and Rosie have been married for 10 months (and 10 days, if you want to be technical – which we know Don always wants to be technical). The couple are residing in The Big Apple where Don is an assistant professor at Columbia and Rosie is finishing up her Ph.D. Rosie is about to inform Don that they have a little “something to celebrate.”
And there’s where our problem begins. While Don remains Don and is completely over-the-top adorkable, getting himself into laugh-out-loudable (new word – add it to the dictionary, Merriam-Webster) pickle after pickle due to his inability to interact successfully with most other humans, Rosie loses her charm and basically becomes a straight-up bitch (I’m sure there are more refined phrases I could use to describe Rosie, but she peeved me off, so I’m not going to). It was impossible for me to read this as just “entertainment” when I was so angry with a main character and none of Don’s antics were enough to keep my spirits up once Rosie entered a scene. That’s not to say Don was without faults . . . Don was FULL of faults. That’s kind of the whole point ; )
WARNING #2: THE FOLLOWING IS REALLY A SPOILER WHICH I HAVE SPOILER-TAGGED IN AN ATTEMPT TO NOT RUIN THIS BOOK FOR EVERYONE. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
(view spoiler)[Rosie commits the ULTIMATE sin of any woman – let alone a married one. She decides (even though she chose someone like Don for a partner and therefore supposedly accepted him as-is, including all of his quirks) that it is “her body, her choice,” stops taking birth control without consulting Don, gets knocked up (even though she’s finishing up a Ph.D. program and then immediately plans on turning around and beginning medical school and has ZERO plans on who will care for the baby/how they will pay for the baby), and then gets mad at Don for not jumping for joy about the situation. It made my heart hurt. It made me think that the author really dislikes women as he puts forth this "surprise baby scenario" as something the average wife does on the regular. It ruined the magic for me and made me soooooo sad. (hide spoiler)]
I’ve sat on this review for a few days now because my head told me to give it a low rating, but my love for Don told me to keep it high. I’m settling for a 3, but not with a completely clear conscience. If I thought about it any longer it could easily become a 2 (or a 4 – I'm telling you, I have some serious multiple-personality disorder on this one). I won’t be throwing in the towel on Graeme Simsion just yet, but I sure wish he would have given me a little bit more of a “Shamy” vibe like I had been hoping for . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!!! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
After reading Fangirl last year, I found myself fascinated by the world of FanFiction and began searching Goodreads to find a “good” FanFic in order to see what all the fuss was about. I realize there are plenty of fics which have morphed into bestsellers (although for the life of me, I can’t understand why), but I wanted an honest-to-goodness written from obsession love, can’t get enough of these people so I’ll do it myself, with a good “what if” scenario to mix things up from the inspiration. You know, kind of like how my good friend Tina Belcher rocks it.
Long story short, I ended up stumbling upon Dusty and decided to give it a go. At over 1,200 pages, this was obviously a labor of love and I was digging the premise (i.e., what if, rather than being a sparkly bloodsucker – Edward’s darkness came from drug addiction), but it’s not like I’m one of those “TwiMoms” or anything. Okay, full disclosure, I totally went to see “Twilight” at an over-21 movie theater and got hammered on “blood bags,” but that just makes me a girl who likes to get her drink on, not a fangirl.
Anyway, I muddled through Dusty and thought it had potential should it ever come under an editor’s red pen. When I saw that Innocents had been created, I figured what the hell and clicked the old one-click. What did I find?
So. Much. Teen. Angst. And guess what? This mother*^%$r hasn’t been edited AT ALL. Rather than cutting any of the hundreds of unnecessary pages, Innocents is just the first 4,572,619 282 pages of Dusty.
It’s pretty horrible . . . and (for me, at least) not horrible in the ways others have stated. I didn’t mind reading about EdwardThomas/Dusty’s downward spiral into drugs or the progression of Bella Leighlee and Thomas’ relationship into a sexual one. The problem I had was the writing – for the love of god the writing is sooooooo bad.
First, we have the excessive nicknames for our female MC:
Second, we have the obligatory references to how everything/everyone smells:
“Chocolate chip cookie and playtime scented” “Cotton candy, corn dogs, and just-cut grass” “Unlawful” (I bet Old Spice is ALL OVER this one) “Baseball sweat and dirty play clothes” “Smoke and lily flowers” “Sweet grass, trouble, and vanilla” “Pure, unreserved mischief" – be careful about enjoying this one too much “The scent of teenage boys: sweat and clay-dirt, cut grass and leafy green.” Uhhhhh, I have a teenage boy – he's even a baseball player, but he sure as shit don’t smell like that. It’s more like: “Marshmallows, summertime, and cake, dark rain and wet grass” “Vanilla and pot and nighttime and meadows and smoke and Thomas”
Finally, there are these giant, rambling paragraphs about “love” (I flagged a shitton of these, but I’ll only post one – don’t say I never did you any favors):
This book is exactly what the cover says – an encyclopedia. If you are the owner of a very small and über annoying dog like me, I recommend not dropping it whilst said tiny critter is prancing around your feet lest you end up in the next edition as the “Great Puppy Killer of ’14.”
If you’re looking for in-depth coverage of your favorite bad guy, then this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking to scare the shit out of your new neighbors with an abundance of horrifying knowledge about a lot of different criminals, or you’re seeking some quality material to peruse while sitting on the “porcelain throne,” then this is probably a good choice.
Let’s face it, as morbid as it is to admit - murderers are fascinating.
LIAR! You answered that question waaaaaaay too fast. That means you probably are.
Have you ever insulted an author’s baby bo
Are you an internet troll?
LIAR! You answered that question waaaaaaay too fast. That means you probably are.
Have you ever insulted an author’s baby book?
Have you ever dared to have an unpopular opinion of an obviously GREAT work of art that you were too stoooooopid to understand?
If so, you need to read this book immediately in order to see the error of your ways. No longer will your abuse be accepted. And don’t even get me started on trolls who take destructive actions like having the nerve to warn someone that they are violating a website’s Terms of Service. That behavior will no longer be tolerated!
Have you ever been a troll's victim like in the examples above? Well, then you too need to read How to Survive an Amazon Forum Troll Attack. This book will provide the sage advice necessary to stop these attacks. From the basics like throwing an adequate temper tantrum, to extreme (yet completely necessary) measures like instigating legal action against the horrible trolls who are attempting to damage your reputation, this book covers it all.
If there is a God in heaven she will make sure everyone knows this review is written tongue-in-cheek (just like the book itself). If there is not, this will become Exhibit A with regard to troll-like behavior. ...more
WARNING: IF YOU DID NOT LIKE HARPER’S ISLAND CLICK AWAY PRONTO ‘CAUSE THIS STORY REMINDED ME OF THAT STORY AND I’M GOING TO HARPER’S ISLAND THE POOP OUT OF THIS MO-FO
Still here? Okay, let’s get on with the show.
Upon starting And Then There Were None, I found myself feeling extremely . . . giddy. WTF is wrong with me? Normal people don’t get all smiley when they begin a book where everyone and their dog is going to get murdered. I need professional help.
Generally in the summertime I follow a couple of traditions faithfully:
1. I read a lot of nonsense while sitting poolside (preferably with a smuggled-in piña colada or margarita in hand); and
2. I drive my husband nuts with my annual viewing of Harper’s Island. (I have no clue how we’ve stayed married so long – he doesn’t like Harper’s Island, he doesn’t like Sharknado – I should be nominated for sainthood.)
This summer I’ve kind of broken free of the confines of Rule #1 - not saying I haven’t read some fluff, but I’ve been heavy handed in choosing more thriller/horror novels. Maybe it was the abnormally cool temps that not only kept my toes out of the water, but also helped me keep my wits about me?
Whatever the cause, I’ve had some serious quality reading experiences over the past few months. Endless thanks to twelvejan [Alexandria] for bringing this classic tale to my attention. I had read a handful of Poirot stories back in the Paleolithic Era, but found them to be just “okay”. After reading And Then There Were None, I think it might possibly be Agatha Christie’s best work.
Ten strangers, each with a skeleton in the closet, are summoned to an island by a host who only appears as a voice on a recording accusing the guests of murder. What follows is the death of each person
Until no one is left.
Okay, so maybe the murders aren’t that gruesome, but we are talking about a 75 year old book here. I was amazed at how well it stood the test of time and how it had me gripping the edge of my seat in anticipation. And though, at the end of it all, you may claim to have known who the murderer was all along, you mustn’t forget all the times you changed your mind (because your choice of killer was one of the 10 little soldiers who happened to fall).
Recommended to? Anyone looking for a quality murder mystery.
Now for a couple of wishlist items:
1. It’s time for Harper’s Island 2.0. Come on CBS, you know you wanna . . .
2. Someone plan a murder mystery party and invite me. My only requirement is that I get to wear a wedding gown and have the murderer chase me through the woods.
You say you don’t live near any woods? No problem – you can have the party at my house. Just make sure you warn everyone that there are some REALLY weird looking dogs that occasionally hang out around the doghouse.
“When I was a little girl ghosting was a sheet of paper and a drawing in black ink.
A crudely sketched ghost, with a Tootsie Roll taped on.
A fun Halloween prank. You slipped it under a neighbor’s door, ran away, giggling.
“You’ve been ghosted!”
But now ghosting is: this can’t be happening, screams like knives in your ears, pooling glistening blood. Everywhere.
And death, bellowing hot and loud in your face.”
I had no idea this book would be written in stream of consciousness verse form until after I requested it.
Trust me when I say I was more than just a little concerned that I would immediately decide to hate it for this reason alone. Luckily for me, I’ve read enough ARCs on the Kindle with jacked up formatting that I was pretty much able to ignore the structure (thank God it wasn’t written in iambic pentameter!) and started to hone in on the words.
This book is the reason I am addicted to requesting ARCs. You never know when you’ll end up experiencing something pretty great – and then you see that you’re the first of your friends to read it. Bonus!
Ghosting brought back memories of the first time I shared a moment with real, flawed kids . . .
and had to explain to my mother that THAT is what teenagers are really like. They aren’t perfect. They have real-life worries. They are sometimes sad. They are HUMAN.
Faith, Maxie, Anil, Emma, Chloe, Felix, Brendan, Faith and Walter are some of the most realistic teens I’ve ever read. Teens who do stupid things like drink and do drugs – or really stupid things like “ride the whip." Teens who have witnessed things they should never have to. Teens who are just trying to find their place in the world.
Ghosting is a prime example of why I continue to read YA. As a mom, it made me want to smack some of these kids - and then give them a huge hug. It made it want to simultaneously ground them from ever leaving the house - and then give them the opportunity to spread their wings and experience life. This book ripped my heart out and pieced it back together. I hope Ms. Pattou finds herself on the top of the bestseller list and knocks the wind out of the sails of all those not-so-great books that give YA a bad name.
Recommended to? Anyone who wants to sparkle in a different way . . .
“I feel as if gulal has been just thrown all over me. That I am drenched with color. A walking talking incarnation of radiant Technicolor.”
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
Noted forensic psychologist Dr. Sheridan Doyle (Danny to his family) has been called back to his home town in order to check on his aging grandfather. He never planned on discovering a dead body at the legendary (and reportedly haunted) gallows where a group of miners were hung generations ago. He never could have imagined getting involved in solving the mystery of this death, or that he would have to revisit his own ghosts before he can get back to the life he has created for himself in order to escape the past.
Long, long, ago in a kingdom far, far, away there lived a young girl who read everything a certain celebrity told her to read.
Yes, Liz Lemon, I am indeed talking about the Queen of All Things. Oprah led me to a little tale called Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell that completely mesmerized me. I had forgotten all about Ms. O’Dell, but when One of Us popped up on NetGalley I knew I needed to request it immediately . . . and after reading it, I’m left feeling kind of “meh”. I hate that!
There’s nothing blatantly wrong with this story. In fact there are a lot of things that most people will find good: – good, solid characters in Rafe and Tommy; a good potential killer on the loose; a good crazy momma backstory – plenty of good stuff.
Unfortunately (for me at least), there were some bad things to go along with the good – bad “mystery” (as I knew what was going on the entire book); bad, shallow characters in Danny and Scarlet (and not in the shallow way they are always namedropping which designers they are wearing at any given time – I thought that served a purpose); bad that there were no unexpected twists and turns.
Maybe it’s because I read a pretty remarkable mystery/thriller right before reading this one, or maybe it’s because the “mystery” moniker was applied incorrectly in this case and this should have just been categorized as something simple like “book club” . . .
Calm down, Liz.
Whatever the case may be, this ended up being just “okay” for me. Have no fears, though, I (much like my friend Elizabeth Miervaldis Lemon) still remain faithful to the Church of Oprah.
My apologies for any typos or grammatical errors that may have been missed. The inspiration for this review came from a previously forgotten, but delicious once discovered, bottle of Shiraz.
ARC provided by NetGalley. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
I started out this book with an unfair disadvantage. You see, I’m a sucker for road trips. Road trips in movies, road trips in books – I’m in, and I’m probably gonna like it at least a little bit.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a family road trip . . .
or a bachelor party road trip . . .
or an unlikely duo in a series of misadventures road trip . . .
or a fight for your life road trip . . .
or a dumb (and dumber, or is it dumber-er???) road trip . . .
(Are you all singing MOCK. (mock) ING. (ing) BIRD. (bird) now? Yes??? Ahhhh, my work here is done.)
Bottom line is I loooooooove road trip stories. Combine that with a romantic comedy and add the triple-whammy of the “main character might die at any given moment” plotline and it was on like bing-bong, Jack.
If you’re like me and saw this pop up on EVERYONE’S feed a few weeks ago, but thought “I’m not really in the right frame of mind to read a story where one of the main characters croaks and then become a big ol’ boo-bag around my family for the next week” (like I did), well have no fear. I’m spoiling this part of the story and I don’t even care – the main character does not die. No, the end of Kumquat won’t leave you regretting the fact that you (yet again) failed to purchase stock in the Kleenex Corporation before starting a tearjerker. Kumquat is definitely not a tearjerker.
What it is instead is the most wonderful boy meets girl story and the adventures that transpire during their quest for one epic hot dog . . .
Let me back it up to the beginning. You see Todd and Amy have an adorable meet-cute at a horrible film fest and, after getting to know each other a bit (mainly getting to know about how boring and predictable Todd’s life is and about Amy’s sooner-rather-than-later demise), the two decide to be spontaneous and road trip it (platonically, of course . . . or not?????) from Florida to Rhode Island for the best hot dog in the world.
Sidenote: Hot dog purists will probably want to flambé me for this, but I’m stating on the record that the best hot dog in the world is smothered in the greasiest chili known to man and is served at a little place called Dixon’s Coney Island in Galesburg, Illinois. (Those with weaker constitutions will probably suffer from diarrhea for a week after eating this concoction, but trust me when I say it’s totally worth it.)
Okay, back to the review:
Along the way, Amy and Todd receive a heaping dose of Murphy’s Law and everything possible goes wrong. From stolen cars to crazy hitchhikers to a possibly ruptured brain aneurysm to the consumption of a hot dog that may not be all it was cracked up to be, Kumquat is a ride you won’t soon forget.
Good gravy how I loved this book – so cute, so funny, so WRITTEN BY A HORROR NOVELIST????? Seriously. Jeff Strand writes horror . . . and the most charming little rom-com???? Still hard to wrap my brain around that one, but it’s proof that a good writer is good at writing. Period.
Recommended to: Anyone who wants to put a little love in their heart.
Fiona is a successful, middle-aged, Family Court judge who finds herself being confronted by her husband about his desire to have an affair. In the midst of her marital turmoil, she must also preside over one of the most important cases in her career – that of a 17-year old Jehovah’s Witness who wishes to take his chances of surviving leukemia without receiving a life-saving blood transfusion due to his religious beliefs. Can she save both her marriage and this young boy’s life? Is it her duty to attempt to save either?
I had been very hesitant about delving into another work by Ian McEwan after reading (and re-reading and re-reading) Atonement - a book that remains one of my favorites to this day. Although many have called it overrated and pretentious and have complained about the excessive detail with respect to places and objects and the lack of detail with respect to the characters, to me Atonement remains a nearly perfect, albeit tragic, love story.
(it is also one of the best book-to-film adaptations I’ve ever seen)
When I saw an ARC of The Children Act was available (and when, to my surprise, I was approved), I figured it was time to get over my fear and give McEwan another go. After all, if he wrote something on my favorites list I would probably at least like his other stuff, right? Wrong. Now I know what all of the Atonement bashers were talking about. The Children Act is pretentious and filled with undeveloped characters and drones on and on (and on and on and on) about every minute detail seen when walking down a street, but nearly zero detail when it comes to matters of importance.
I’m sure there are many who will read this and talk about the beauty of the portrait that is painted by McEwan’s words. Those people are free to consider me stupid, because it just left me cold. And not cold in a good way, like exploring the coldness of Fiona and Jack’s marriage or the coldness it must take for one to sit the bench in Family Court or the coldness a person must have in order to let a loved one die in the name of religious belief. There was so much potential in this novel, but sadly it all got lost in the details (of things like rocks or a piece of music or some other nonsense that I could really give two shits about). I’ll always love McEwan for writing one of my favorites, but after this disappointing experience I don’t believe I’ll attempt any of his other books.
ARC provided by NetGally in exchange for an honest review ...more
Have you ever read a book that you could not (with a clear conscience, at least) recommend to anyone? Ever read something that made you feel like you should turn yourself over to the authorities because only psychotic criminals would be interested in the subject matter you just exposed yourself to? If so, then you've probably already read The Girl Next Door.
When Meg and Susan’s parents die, they are taken in by their aunt rather than becoming wards of the state. Moving into a relative’s house in a quaint little suburban town with safe schools and a neighborhood full of other kids to play should have been the best case scenario for two orphans. Yes, it should have been – but there is a darkness inside the Chandler family home that is brought to light with the addition of two girls to the household.
These are the types of stories you see blips of on the evening news (or massive months-long coverage by “respected journalists” like Nancy Grace or Jane Velez-Mitchell). They are the stories you claim to watch only because you care so much about the fate of the missing/found victim. They are stories that if you follow too closely make you feel like a sociopathic voyeur.
This book takes you into the torture chamber and insanity that you know exists each time you see another story like that of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. It’s a book that totally goes there with a no holds barred attitude about what could happen if a young girl was placed in the home of a complete nutter. The author breaks every barrier of what is “okay” to write about, but does it so well that you can’t stop turning the page. EVERYTHING that is horrible and taboo is covered in this story, so don’t say you weren’t warned if you decide to pick it up. As for me? I’m going to go finish the rest of my “forgetting medicine” now . . .
Advance apologies for the profanity laced .gifs. I have a case of the Mondays.
At the ripe old age of 44, Rosie really wasn’t spending her days dreaming about having a little bundle of joy.
No, Rosie had bigger fish to fry. Problems like dealing with her long-time boyfriend Jonathan’s teacup obsession and his multiple proposals (first, to get married after being a couple for 15 years and second, to move across the country in order for Jonathan to accept his dream job of managing a teacup museum) as well as the problem of her aging Grandmother and the random “caregiver” she’s moved in to her house. Rosie finally decides to take control of things, sends Jonathan packing to California on his own and moves in to Grandma “Soapie’s” house to find a reasonable solution to dealing with her failing health. She never would have guessed an unprotected moment one night morning would lead to yet another little problem . . .
or that she would find herself falling for Soapie’s live-in helper, Tony.
This was a perfectly decent little book, but it didn’t do anything to rock my world. It's a story that’s been told a time or twelve before, so if you’re a fan of the “gets knocked up by a complete jackass, but then finds love in the arms of an adorable cab driver gardener” like in
you’ll probably like The Opposite of Maybe.
My problems? It was way too long. This could have easily been wrapped up in 300 pages rather than 400. Also? Jonathan was a total douchewad. I kept waiting for Rosie’s hormones to take over and give him the tongue-lashing he deserved. Something kinda like:
but it never happened.
Also? When dealing with the whole “time to have the baby” in an already clichéd romantic comedy, it’s common knowledge there has to be an over-the-top delivery scene. Rosie was kind of a hot mess, so I was hoping for some giggles when it came baby time . . .
but once again, it didn’t happen.
In addition, things got muddled up (unnecessarily) toward the end with the story of Rosie’s deceased mother. By that time I was counting down to the finish line and really didn’t need another plot twist.
The couple of redeeming factors that kept me interested were (1) (as I stated in one of my status updates) the description of Tony brought delicious imagery into my brain:
and (2) Soapie started off as a foul-mouthed firecracker of a granny
but unfortunately morphed into kind of a hateful old bag the more we got to know her.
At the end of it all, that left The Opposite of Maybe as just “meh” for me.
ARC receveived from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review...more
I’m not the type of person who requests an ARC just so I can have an opportunity to shred it to pieces. I don’t have as much free time to read as I would like to begin with, so the books I request are books that I hope to enjoy. Although I’m not a super sappy type of gal, I mix plenty of romance into my reading repertoire – and although I never really "like liked" What Might Have Been, I was prepared to give it 2 Stars and call it a good day.
Until . . . the same conversation between Evan and Sarah (or Evan and Sarah’s friend Grace) about how one night of passion (followed by the dude leaving the COUNTRY for a freakin’ year) was not just a one-night-stand, but in fact it was the most insta-loviest of all insta-loves and Evan and Sarah were MEANT TO BE TOGETHER, OH WHY OH WHY CAN’T SARAH SEE THEY ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!?!?!?!?!?!?!. Followed up with the same conversation between Sarah and Evan (or Sarah and her friend Grace) about how she’s engaged to another man, but she’s confused whether she really wants to marry him and he’s kind of a giant jagoff, but she said yes to his proposal and she can’t just not marry the guy even though she doesn’t even like him, right? And there’s no way Evan really knows he loves her because they only had one night together, but it’s totally normal to accept a marriage proposal from a different dude you don’t really care for and have only been dating a whopping THREE MONTHS because he asked first and OHMYGODI’MGOINGTOSTABMYSELFINTHEFACEIFTHEYKEEPTALKING!!!!
After the 17th replay of the same two conversations, I felt like I was reading the equivalent of the background loop on old Hannah Barbera cartoons. You remember that, right? (Say you do even if you don’t so I don’t feel like such a geezer.)
Not to mention the fact that Evan was a musician and I was supposed to probably find him all super sexy kind of like this:
but he was a saxophonist, so the only image my brain was willing to conjure was this:
Which is awesome, but I’m fairly certain most normal girls don’t want to bang Duke Silver like I do. At the end of it all, I think I was supposed to end up feeling all feely like at the end of “The Graduate” (I swear I’m seriously not nearly as old as my reviews would lead you to believe):