I mean, it’s not always the case, but when it comes to romance series that focus on different main characters each book I try my darndest to not throw the baby out with the bathwater before giving an author another chance. Unless said author made me want to kick a puppy or something because their stuff was complete crap. That wasn’t the case with Talia Hibbert and the Brown Sisters series – I thought Chloe was insufferable in the first book and her beau Red definitely didn’t make me want to drop my panties anytime soon, but there was some potential there for sure.
This second go ‘round featured Chloe’s sister Dani agreeing to a fake dating bit of tropey yum yum with Zaf. And it had everything I felt was missing in the first book. I looooooooooved Dani and wanted to bang the weiner right off of Zaf. Not to mention this was seriously LOL sort of funny at times. Pretty much everything I expect in a fluffy summer selection wrapped up in one of these adorable cartoony covers. I’m giving it all the stars because it was just the escape I was hoping for.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
It's time for the Summer Reading Program! You know what that means? Kelly forces herself to venture out of her comfort zone and earns free swag while doing so! This year the library is challenging readers to "Live the Fantastic" - which meant absolutely nothing to me so I had to go look at the recommendation list to see what the heck I was even supposed to be picking up. The husband happened to be in the room with me - because WE. NEVER. GET. TO. ESCAPE. EACH. OTHER. at this point of quarantine and the convo went a little like:
ME: I'm busy trying to sign up for the library reading thing so STFU.
HUSBAND: [undeterred] Oh, what books are you picking?
ME: Looking at the selections now - hmmmmm, looks like Circe is one of the options.
HUSBAND: Isn't that the book you've been using as a mouse pad for the past month and a half?
ME: I thought I told you to STFU.
So yes, Circe is not only a book I've been misusing, but one I received for free and still failed to read in a timely manner. I am the worst. I also don't like to read something just to talk trash about it and I thought for sure this would not be my cup of tea. But as this post proves, I looooooooooove free shit so there's zero chance I was going to turn down the offer of a copy for the paperback release.
Now here's a weird thing. I was raised in a pretty devout Catholic house - like we didn't just not eat meat on Fridays during Lent like those halfway Catholics, we NEVER got to eat meat on Fridays. And I had to go to catechism for eternity and church on Sundays (and every holy day of obligation in addition to weekly attendance) with a trip to the confessional booth beforehand in order to receive "the body of Christ" and if I was bad my punishment was generally both a swat with the wooden spoon as well as having to say the Rosary. Anyway, pretty Catholic. And that meant mythology and stories of the Gods were complete and total blasphemy and I was not allowed to read them. I do remember watching Clash of the Titans or Jason and the Argonauts (whatever movie Lisa Rinna's husband was in) at school, but I guarantee if a permission slip had been required before viewing I would have been sitting in the hallway with the poor Pentacostal kids who weren't allowed to watch ANYTHING.
All that being said, I thought Circe was some Egyptian queen like Cleopatra because I am uneducated and everything I know about mythology I learned from Percy Jackson as a grown-up. This should not have been my idea of a good time. But you know what? Madeline Miller can really tell a story. I breezed right through this in a couple of days and while I did find the occasional slow patch, for the most part I was really interested. I don't know if my ignorance was a help or a hindrance when it came to my enjoyment level, so I can only say that most of my friends seemed to really dig this one as well so I don't think you'll be wasting your time if it's on your TBR.
Book 1 on the quest for more crap complete!!!! This year there is a LIGHT UP GLASS option. Gamechanger!
Now, on to some more mythology (this time in Norse form), a graphic novel set in outer space, a real fish tale and a story about a haunted house (I think - haven't read the blurb, but it has a house on the cover, kill in the title and all my horror lovin' friends have read it).
Despite being a true purveyor of trash television, I come here confessing to all of you that I have never watched even one episode of either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. From what I can see via the commercials, SNL pretty much has nailed it on the head when it comes to its skits regarding this franchise. The females became super famous for things like . . . .
The only excuse I have for not being addicted to this garbage is that it is too time consuming and in the evenings my family takes over all of the remote controls for various sportsball and shoot-em-up type of viewing while I read. When I saw this book (and that cover – such a cute cover) offered up for an early peek I couldn’t resist. And as a chubby gal, I am ALL. ABOUT. the inclusion of plus-sized leads in my romcoms. I kept picturing . . . . .
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, One to Watch is the story of Bea, a size 20 influencer (I know, internet famous = barf, but she’s not a total asshole so it’s okay) who rages out on the interwebs about the lack of diversity in fake dating shows like Main Squeeze only to be offered a chance as the next star. Can a girl who only signed up to change the narrative and take her brand to the next level find love?
I read this in a couple of hours out on the deck one Saturday before temps started reaching hot lava levels and thought it was a perfectly fine way to kill some time.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
This should have been a winner for me. I love rom coms. I love chick lit. I love cartoon covers. I love when the characters are authors or booknerds. So what happened? Well, January and Gus and their summer at their neighboring beach houses happened. This book kind of got lost in what it was trying to be and ended up being a mish-mash that simply fell short and by the time I let go of my issues with it, sadly it was just a little too late for a full redemption.
Things started off poorly for me due to the fact that for a goodly chunk of this book I couldn’t get these two assholes and their ridiculous internet feud out of my head . . . .
I pretty much avoid reading stuff by either of them because they come off as such twats and they don’t deserve my time (or especially my money). The fact that the leads in this book were pretty much clones of those two as the “great American novelist” for him and the “chick lit romance bestseller” for her did not aid in my enjoyment level whatsoever.
Oh my word you broken record. We get it already. It’s not like you’re 12 so get some coping skills and it’s not like you were even close so how the hell could this possibly shatter you so much??? See a doctor, homey.
The romance (a/k/a smexytimes) was aiiiiiiiight so this 2.5 will get rounded up simply for not making me want to invest in a chastity belt or poke my own eyeballs out due to gross intercourse.
But like Shelby stated in her review, a serious level of irk was generated with the other broken record message that . . . .
First, you just got a G.D. beach house bequeathed to you so STFU – you’re not homeless. Second, if you are seriously a bestselling author you should have at least five dollars in the bank. And third, if you don’t???? GET. A. FUCKING. DAY. JOB. There is nothing that aggravates me more than “authors” who cry all over Goodreads and Go Fund Me and Patreon that it is our duty as readers/fans to pay their bills so they can “create” while we go grind it out at various not-dreamy 9 to 5s. Having this chick whine about her money issues made me want to lump her in the badly behaving author category like those people.
Obviously YMMV and you’ll probably love this like everyone else did.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ...more
I requested this thinking I was a total longshot at getting approved. I mean this Kevin guy might have a career in writing, know what I’m saying? If you know me you know I’m not super big on books in a series so I’ve been awaiting the day Kwan would break out of the Crazy Rich Asian world and introduce us to some new characters. I about pooped myself when I received the approval and couldn’t wait to start. Especially after coming off a book high with The Heart’s Invisible Furies I was 100% interested in something light and fun in order to cure my book hangover.
This may not have been a Rachel and Nick story, but from the cover alone I knew I was going to get to experience the opulence my real life contains zero of. You know what I’m talking about . . . .
That was like “pass the smelling salts please ‘cause momma ‘bout to pass out from excite.” You might want to take my rating with a grain of salt, because I am absolutely biased here. That being said, I read a lot of modernizations (usually P&P, but I do mix it up with Shakespeare retellings and others occasionally) and thought this one was well done and oh-so-much fun. It doesn’t come out until July (sorry), but that’s the perfect time to soak up some sun and read about rich people vacationing in Capri and the Hamptons anyway so add it to the TBR if you need to treat yo self.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
In case you missed it, my life has become an endless feeding session of these young humans who are being held captive in the house for at least another 30 days. Luckily I receive an expired meat delivery courtesy of the Walmart truck a new cookbook every couple of weeks so they don’t rip my arm off like one of my homeboy Joey E.’s tigers. In order to prevent me from punching someone in the face when my at-home workday ended and my dinner making sessions begin, I started taking my own precautions . . . . .
Captain’s Log – Day 873 of Quarantine: My existence has become an endless feeding session of the young Earthlings residing in this dwelling. So many requests for food. So many dirty dishes. So little alcohol . . . . .
Anyone else relate? At this point with all of this “family togetherness” by the time evening rolls around I pretty much am like . . . . .
And only occasionally toss a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread and this cookbook on the kitchen counter for those days I really can’t take one more second of communicating with the trolls I created inside my own body.
Seriously, though, this may be my favorite cookbook I’ve ever received. When I got married, I pretty much could burn water. And before my husband was my husband he offered to cook chili for me and it turned out to not even be opening up a can of Hormel, but a SEASONING STARTER you are supposed to add to your ground beef/tomatoes/beans/onions/etc. that was pretty much just tobasco sauce and chili powder. (Talk about fire in the hole!) We could have used a little kitchen helper like this. Every recipe is definitely easy (and yes, you fellow oldies will find many to be kind of “duh” creations – “Nuts on a salad? Who would have ever imagined!?!?!?!?!). However, please remember we are living in a time where people pay a shitton of money for things like “avocado toast” not realizing it’s smashed avocado on a piece of toast with some salt and pepper . . . .
And I was pushing 40 before I knew you could make a halfway decent egg in a microwave so we ain't all Ina Gartens, bro. I love that these recipes are simple. I love that they are designed for one or two people. I love that this incorporates breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, snacks, desserts (tell me your life didn’t change with the first Pinterest mug cake you could make only for yourself and eat in the quiet gloaming after sending your hellions to bed). I love that they are cooked in microwaves and on hot plates and require little to no kitchen apparatuses (apparati????) in order to get a finished product.
This might be just what the youngster in your life needs before venturing out on their own. Mine will have to buy one for himself, though, because I’m keeping this one.
And once again to (literally) put my mouth where someone else’s money was – I made the creamy tomato soup last night . . . .
(This pic for the ‘Gram shows a couple of $10 items that have become staples in my kitchen that I highly recommend to young’ins. I made my grilled cheese and ham the old fashioned way in a pan because I am pretty much Paula Deen when it comes to any excuse to use butter . . . . .
But this sammich maker has been the bomb dot com. I also didn’t know how much I needed an immersion blender in my life until I got one. Not only is it mommy’s little helper when it comes to soups and smoothies, but have you found yourself with no ability to grab a Frappé on your one required day at the office due to state-wide shutdowns? No problem. A little coffee, a little cream, a little ice, this blender and a can of Reddi-wip for a quick huff the top is nearly as good and won’t cost you $7.)
Copy provided by Callisto Publisher’s Club in exchange for an honest review....more
After watching the marriages of all of the other couples belonging to their friend group “The Core Four” disintegrate, Mtch and Jessica come to the conclusion that perhaps desperate times truly do call for desperate measures and decide the solution to a happy marriage might come in the form of a . . . .
So I owe both NetGalley and Matthew Norman a giant apology since I’m the one who requested an early copy of this, held on to it for an age and then actively avoided it because when I finally got around to reading the blurb (you know your girl is all about a cover, and this was a good one), I assumed it would not be my cup of tea. I have no idea why I decided to take the plunge yesterday, but holy crap am I glad I did. I read this author once before (Domestic Violets) when the library didn’t have the book of his I actually wanted (We’re All Damaged) and was a bit underwhelmed. This time? Oh yes indeedy are the comparisons to Jonathan Tropper spot on and I effing LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED this. After wrongreadng a book on Saturday (due to a plethora of reasons, I’m sure, but bad dialogue was definitely one of them), this little diddy was a breath of fresh air come Sunday and I sat on the deck for the afternoon and sucked it right up. I loooooooooooove dialogue driven stories – especially witty dialogue that just flows without attempting to try too hard – and this one was near perfection. I also love realistic marriages and children and ensemble casts so this had soooooo many things going for it. And yes, the subject matter of cheating is absolutely one I generally avoid, but this book covered this hot-button issue with feeling and humor that made my end-of-book reaction simply . . . . .
I requested The Familiar Dark without knowing anything about it other than I really dug The Roanoke Girls by this author and was up for whatever she had to offer next. When I discovered it was a story about a mother’s quest to find out who murdered her 12-year old daughter in the Ozarks region of Missouri and the ancillary players would be found in titty bars, trailer parks and consist of “entrepreneurs” who adjusted their sales from meth to heroin based on the growing demand, well . . . .
I know many people find it difficult to get a not-so-positive review to a book they received for free, but I am not one of those people. Especially when it comes to something like cookbooks that come with such a heavy price point. I am all for anything with the tagline “Easy” or “5 Ingredients” or “30 Minutes” and on and on, but I also think if people are going to purchase a cookbook rather than simply Googling recipes, it should be one they plan on falling back on time and again. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t that cookbook. From teaching how to make things that are easily purchased in stores (maple flavored breakfast sausage) to recipes that simply aren’t great (chocolate chip cookies made more like a Hello Dolly with sweetened condensed milk but missing the delicious coconut) to meals your family is sure to complain about (plain chicken breast thrown in a 425 degree oven), this simply didn’t have many appetizing selections . . . . .
I know they can’t all be winners, but for this unpolished turd of a cliché with hardly a story propelling it forward to have come from the mind of the man who created Hap and Leonard and who is capable of writing some seriously stellar grit lit is practically a crime. If you’re looking for some modern noir, might I recommend dipping your toe in the lady pond and picking up Sunburn, because this one????
If you know me you are aware that I’m not much of a television watcher. Especially since the invention of subscription services - mainly because I’m terrified that I might become one of these people . . . .
At this point in quarantine I’m finding myself easily getting through a book in a day and since I am an old lady my eyeballs be B.U.R.N.I.N.G. and begging for a reprieve. Now comes dilemma #2 – the husband and I have remained (fairly) happily married for nearly 25 years due to the fact that we accept that we are complete opposites and don’t attempt to fix things that aren’t broken. I’m the reader, he’s the television/movie watcher. We come together for the occasional Survivor episode, but he pretty much just wants to watch shoot ‘em ups or films where only about five other words aside from “fuck” are used in the dialogue and me???? Well . . . . .
The good news? Kindle not only provides me easy breezy reading at the push of a button, but I just discovered there’s also a Netflix app. Now we can sit in the same room, he can watch his mafia hitman do their thing and I can watch movies meant for teenagers.
And when I find myself needing moremoremoremoremore of the light and love while I’m trapped at my computer waiting for work requests to be emailed? That’s where books like this come in. A tried and true trope of “dating on a dare” turned into a possible lurrrrrrv match. This time starring two boys. It’s just the thing my old miserly heart looks for in a teenage romcom so I thought it was adorable.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Apparently my reaction to pseudo-quarantine is to make sure everyone in the house is stuffed like Thanksgiving turkeys. I also think I accidentally bought a 10-lb bag of potatoes rather than 5-lb, but for the sake of me not looking like an idiot let’s go with the first reason.
So anyway, through no fault of my own aside from the fact that I am nothing if not a carer and nurturer, I ended up with enough leftover mashed potatoes to feed an army. Then this little beauty arrived and I discovered that when the kids asked what was for dinner, rather than saying Shepherd’s Pie which results in a reaction like . . . .
All This Could Be Yours is the story of an estranged family who gather together (or avoid even further, in the case of one) at the family patriarch’s deathbed. This is dysfunction at its best as everyone comes to terms with either being raised by or married to a guy like . . . . .
Jamie Attenberg isn’t an author for everyone, but she’s an auto-request for me. Her stories aren’t necessarily life-changers, but boy oh boy are they full of characters you won’t soon forget and pages that practically turn themselves. If you like drama of the nuclear family sort, this may be a winner for you.
Sorry for the lack of “oomph” here. What can I say????
But it turns out it is either sinus or inner-ear driven and not something I can spread around the office to all of my unsuspecting co-workers. It did, however, make me super pukey, effed my balance up pretty efficiently and made it nearly impossible for me to read during my eight hours of freedom. I know what you’re thinking . . . .
Samesies. I also had already blown through all of my various Househos on the DVR so I commenced with a marathon of Love It Or List It and dug out a stack of freebie cookbooks I’ve been acquiring for the past couple of months and failing to ever peruse or review.
Let’s start with the title of this one. Oh Lord, there would be so many complaints. Trust me . . . .
A more appropriate name for this might be the “Comfort Food Family Cookbook” because it had every single thing I want to eat when I need to turn my frown upside down and while I agree this was pretty comprehensive when it comes to nutritional value and did offer some alternatives when possible, zero effs were given when it came to only providing recipes free of gluten/carbs/dairy/meat/everything else that I find delicious.
I am a total cookbook hoarder (complete with one of those rolling carts everyone was buying a while ago located in a prominent position in my kitchen) and I’m giving this 5 Stars because I will use it over and over again. I love the idea of recipes for everything from Sunday pot roast to beef and broccoli all being conveniently located in one book.
And to prove that I’m not just a hoarder, but actually a real June Cleaver who also cooks dinner for the fam the majority of the time, here was last night’s selection:
I bumped The Honey Don’t List to the top of the queue thinking it had already been published and I was late to the party. After I finished I realized it doesn’t come out until mid-March so yay to me for being such an overachiever. Christina Lauren is a duo that I request every time I see a new release. While their stories don’t necessarily knock my socks off, they are always a decent way to kill some time – especially when life gets too lifey and I need something light.
This kicks off with a fictionalized version of HGTV’s resident sweethearts. Married 26 years with two adult children, Rusty and Melly Tripp built a home remodeling dynasty in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on nothing but hard work and turned it into the Comb + Honey brand found at local Targets and Walmarts nationwide. Melly is known for making the most of a tiny space by utilizing modular design – I automatically thought of the tiny house shotgun bungalow with a retractable staircase . . . . .
Enter James and Carey – Rusty and Melly’s personal assistants. Their job is to basically babysit the duo in order to keep the truth of their failing marriage out of the press until the launch of the new series.
Notice how I talked ZERO about the main characters who are destined to fall in love? Yeah, this one will either work for you or it won’t. It was light on the romance as well as the angst and kind of written for a specific audience – those who are obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines (a/k/a me). I read it from start to finish yesterday and had a fine time doing so. I thought James was a bit of a pussy, but since I’m a gal who generally seeks out grunting cavemen motorcycle riders to be my book boyfriends, you should probably take that opinion with a grain of salt.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a little late to the party on this one and didn’t get around to reading it before its Pub Day. But as I always say: better late than pregnant never. For those of you who don’t dip your toes in the Young Adult pond, Foul is Fair is what would happen if . . . .
The story here is one of revenge after Elle goes to a party in order to celebrate her Sweet 16, is violated and comes out reborn as Jade. For those of you who are squeamish, please note no graphic details are provided and all atrocities happen off screen. That’s not to say this is a book for everyone. Those of you who would be triggered should be well aware this isn’t for you. The same goes for the writing. You’ll know right away if you are going to hate it.
This was a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge winner amongst my friends. I think I need to admit straight up revenge stories just aren’t my jam. And when a shoutout to an old fave like Heathers is added to the marketing campaign I can’t help but hope for a bit of dark humor. This was a solid first experience for me with this author, but maybe my hopes were set a bit too high. I think I need to check out her first book – a high school version of Henry VIII and his six wives.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
I mean my level of crazy isn’t exactly the same as most people’s level of crazy (except for my Goodreads friends – they all batshit too). But great news! I haven’t had this much fun with someone locked up in a house since . . . .
That being said, I could absolutely see every single one of the big reveals coming well beforehand. Luckily it didn’t diminish my enjoyment at all. Read this when you are looking for an escape. I picked it up after having a couple of real butthole days at work and it totally turned my frown upside down. Yes, it’s 100% farfetched and ridiculous and whatever else Ron 2.0 might say about it, but hey . . . .
I didn’t bother reading the entire synopsis. I thought this was going to be a fake date trope since I was aware the jumping off point of the story was Bridget being an attorney and Matt being a summer clerk who somehow ended up as her date for her brother’s wedding. I also figured that Matt could possibly be my new book boyfriend because . . . . .
Ummmmm, no perverts. Because he was going to be smart. In my head this was totally going to be a weeeeeeee little bit like The Proposal. Funnily enough, it ended up being a “we got a whoospie marriage in Vegas” trope (not a spoiler, it totally says so in the dang synopsis and on the effing cover, but why would I ever look at those things????). I’m okay with that sometimes, but this one also had him coming from money and her not being good enough for his family and a couple of douchey exes and a spilling of a heavy personal secret at a dinner table that then had to be dealt with and a “maybe we should try to be married” even though the two pretty much never even had any conversations and just banged. Bottom line . . . . .
Sadly this one wasn't a home run for me. Obviously YMMV and I would certainly not attempt to steer anyone away from reading it. I will anxiously await Ms. Christopher’s next release and still be the first in line begging for a copy.
ARC provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review....more
And with a best pal who always has my back, I’m sure to be at the front of the line when it comes to requesting an early copy. As the blurb states, Hard Cash Valley once again takes readers back to Bull Mountain, but this time the focus isn’t on the Burroughs clan. This go around deals with a fella named Dane Kirby, a part-time employee of the GBI who gets called in to an investigation down in . . . .
Featuring a dead small-time criminal who bit off more than he could chew and (more importantly) a “beat the clock” sort of search for the dead dude’s missing little brother who is being tracked by some seriously bad hombres due to his uhhhhhhhhhhh special abilities . . . . .
Not much more can be said without spoiling all the fun, but let’s just say this kid wasn’t counting cards, the local Farm (as well as the people who run it) ain’t exactly what those of us in flyover country are familiar with, there’s a whole bunch of characters who get introduced and all of them have more to offer the story than first impressions would offer. My notes say “every character is amazing aside from poor depressed Dane.” Not that Dane didn’t have stuff to offer – it’s just not stuff like this . . . .
“Tater – Boner – Rooster – everyone up here sounds like they were named after cartoons. Is there a Tweety Bird out here, too?”
Now Ned looked offended. “Watch your mouth, Velasquez. Tweety is good people. No need to trash talk good folk.”
So as I said above, aside from Debbie Dane Downer and an ending that got just a weeeeeee bit sappy, this was everything I could have hoped for. The fact that I read it in one sitting and upon finishing went around my house declaring things like . . . .
Per the placeholder below, I have a bit of a thing for Colin Jost. In all honesty, though, I kind of have a thing for SNL performers period. I have talked ad nauseam about my lifelong affinity for the Not Ready for Primetime Players and how some of my fondest childhood memories involve shoveling late-night Pizza House paper thin crust pizza and Italian beef sammiches into my mouth while watching Eddie Murphy rise to fame. By the time I was old enough to actually understand the jokes it was an era most would consider pretty great with the likes of Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, Phil Hartman, Victoria Jackson, Mike Meyers, Kevin Nealon, etc. And then there was magic. Sandler, Spade, Rock, Schneider, Meadows and the incomparable Farley. In all actuality, while there have been some clinker seasons, who can argue that the groups listed above didn’t provide the hardy-hars or that others before and after didn’t do the same? I mean the original cast with Belushi and Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner and Garrett Morris? Brilliant. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph finally shutting up the douchecanoes who were still trying to argue that “women can’t be funny.” Priceless. And this current batch of kids like Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day, Chris Redd and Kate McKinnon ain’t nothing to shake a stick at either. There’s also this new guy who I think has potential *wink* . . . .
Dear Kenan, I hope you make ten million dollars a year and please never leave. You are everything.
Anyhow, so I watch a crapton of SNL and I try to read any and all former/current cast member memoirs that come out as well. I am what you might call a superfan. I want to hear all the details about being a part of my favorite show and I want zero filter used while dishing (David Spade wins this category). Jost’s book scores high with me for the following:
10. Despite not being an entry about SNL – as mentioned below he does talk about how many times he has pooped his pants in his adult life . . . . .
9. When it comes to talking about guest stars who were awful, everyone seems to clam up. Not Jost. He flat out says the worst person he ever had to work with “had the initials R.C. and then after the R is an “ussell,” and after the C is a “rowe”” . . . .
6. He willingly admits his fails like the eight episodes of Weekend Update he co-hosted with Cecily Strong (who is GREAT on SNL, they were both just really terrible together attempting to do the fake news) and hosting the Emmy’s. (To his/Che’s credit, they actually proposed a few bits that were potentially hilarious but vetoed by the powers that be.)
5, 4, 3, 2. He is responsible for skits that made me laugh so hard I woke my sleeping children up . . . . .
And #1. Relationship goals. No, not Scarlett Johansson. If anyone thinks that marriage will last, then I have some oceanfront property to sell you in the middle of the Sahara. Nope, I’m talking about the real deal . . . .
They are the reason I stay up until at least 11:15 before dozing off due to my old age and watching the remainder of the show with my morning coffee on Sundays. It will be interesting to see where the show goes without Jost’s involvement. Fifteen years is a long time and his input will be greatly missed. Not to mention the fact that he's such a tall, delicious glass of egg whites ; )
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley.
I have been in love with Colin Jost for the past six years and his intro declares he will tell a story about shitting his pants as an adult. The fact that I'm not auto-5-starring this should prove what an upstanding, honest member of society I am ; ) Now, get over here you creamy slice of provolone cheese so I can read you....more
In theory Blackwood should have been a slam dunk for me. I mean the damn thing starts with a kid walking in on his dad attempting to hang himself. Now if that ain’t bleak, I don’t know what is and y’all know I love bleak. Add in some questionable drifters and a small Southern town with a creepy vibe and this sucker should have been everything I was looking for. So what went wrong???? At first I thought . . . . .
Because this is the third Michael Farris Smith book I have attempted that I just couldn’t seem to connect with on a deeper level. Please note 3 Stars is a dang fine rating for someone as judgey as myself, and I will absolutely continue reading him because there’s nothing at all wrong with his storytelling. Not to mention the fact that I blew through this sucker in a few hours since he’s also not an author who wastes time with a bunch of filler. I simply can’t help but compare Farris Smith to other grit lit authors who blow my socks off time after time in order to give him more stars. Bottom line? I think my experience can once again be chalked up to the quote one of my trolls made infamous. Now . . . . .
^^^^tearjerker survival kit – copious amounts of snacks, Kleenex, tea (to drink and save the bags to put on your puffy eyeholes), warm fuzzy cuddly thing, etc.
In yet another display of how much I channel my inner Cartman on the regular and do what I want, let’s get real unconventional and “review” two books at once. I read these about a week or so apart. They have similar covers, they both have the modus operandi of destroying the reader via emotional manipulation, they both deal with a cheating aspect of sorts, both had female leads who were more than a bit self-centered. However, I loooooooooved You Were There Too and did not enjoy The Light We Lost much at all.
The Light We Lost was my mother-in-law’s book club book last month. They pick all sorts of stuff – sometimes I have read them, sometimes I have no desire to ever read them, sometimes I go ahead and get them from the library as was the case here. I didn’t know anything before beginning aside from the fact that it was a romance and I thought that was a pretty odd choice for a book club selection and that it begins with two people meeting in NYC on September 11th and then follows their story for 13 years. I have no idea if the ending was supposed to be a shocker, but I knew immediately upon starting what the “big reveal” was going to be to due the style of delivery used by Jill Santopolos. I also wanted to punch the narrator Lucy right in the babymaker and that never makes for a good time. I appreciated 9/11 simply being used as a jumping off point that brought two strangers together rather than some horrible manipulation at the end, but sadly there was plenty of attempted manipulation still to be had.
The flipside was You Were There Too. I received an advanced copy of it basically because I am a greedy whore who wants all the free things. I then completely missed the release date and forgot I even had it until people started posting pictures on Instagram and I saw it staring at me from across the room on my “shelf of shame.” As I said above, Mia was more than a bit focused on numero uno as well, and yet somehow I didn’t want to physically harm her like I did poor Lucy. I actually didn’t foresee all the reveals of this one – even the ending that could easily be predicted by most snuck up on me because I was so invested in the story. The “I’ve met you in my dreams” is what I call tropey yum-yum so this had that going for it as well. And most of all, it made me have the feelz. In order to maintain my street cred, Imma go ahead and blame that one on . . . .
When I first heard the plot of this book was about a young black woman being confronted by a security guard due to him believing she may be a kidnapper I immediately dismissed the idea of reading it because I thought “that is stupid – most people would just assume she was the nanny.” And then I realized I either had to read it or drink a gallon of poison because did my brain say that due to my subconscious already having that information? Or was it due to me having some sort of implicit bias that would automatically categorize a 20-something black woman as some sort of hired help (that’s where the poison comes in)? And would I feel that way about young women of any color who were accompanying a child of a different race? What if it were a 30-something? Or a 40-something? What if it were a man? What if I’m not “woke”?!?!?!?! (Just kidding – I am well aware that I am not woke *sad face emoji*)
Anyway, that’s the type of things this book makes you think of. Hot button topics like race and socioeconomic status and perception and appearance vs. reality are all tackled within the pages, but not done so in a heavy-handed manner. You see the goings on from each character’s individual perspective – including all of their biases. And those characters are all flawed. From the vapid Alix (I’m not even going to address the stupid pronunciation of her name), to Emira and her state of arrested development, to their male counterparts, to their friend groups. It was a real thinker (but again delivered with humor) that one minute had me “aww how cute-ing” a scene (for those interested I’m referring to the Kelley and Emira exchange on the bus where he declares her to be his girlfriend), that by the end of the book had me wanting to grab that poison again because “holy hell that was maybe not so cute after all.”
Reese’s Hello Sunshine Book Club has been a fairly consistent deliverer of what I like to call “Saturday Reads.” They have kept me not only interested but also invested and are light enough to get through in an afternoon. Such a Fun Age would easily be another 4 Star selection, if not for the addition of Briar bumping it up to the full monty. If you know me you know that . . . .
(Probably not someone who should have had a couple of my own, huh? Hindsight is 20/20 and I like mine okay since I have molded them into mini-assholes much like myself, but other people’s kids? Blech.)
Anyway, every couple of years a kid comes along that I’d like to meet. The last one I can remember is Frank and now there’s Briar. Not only did her description conjure up an angelface like . . . .
If you are of the ilk that is offended by everything it’s probably best to just stay far farrrrrrr away. The protagonist here isn’t your average gal, her family is not your average family and their issues aren’t your average issues. There’s plenty to get butthurt about. For the rest of you with more open minds who are willing to take a risk, hopefully you will find yourself in the same boat as me and completely smitten by this story . . . .
My legend will show people that, even if you are not gargantuan, you can still be strong and brave and help others in your tribe.
And find yourself so wrapped up in the lives of characters such as Zelda . . . .
It’s a little hard to ignore a series that has been around for 25 years. That being said, the “In Death” train is one I never boarded. When offered a freebie of this FIFTIETH book in the series with the tagline “there’s never been a better time to discover [Eve Dallas’] world than right now,” I figured no time like the present to give it a whirl. Mainly to see if my theory that readers can jump in at any time to books like this (or Stephanie Plum or Kinsey Milhone or a vast amount of others) and not be completely lost is accurate. The answer????
J.D. Robb actually spends less time than anyone else I’ve read summarizing the whos and whens of her series, so obviously she’s pretty comfortable that her fans are ones who have been invested from the start. A newbie who knows zilch before beginning would need a minute to realize that people rely on their “link” rather than their phone, but the same principal applies . . . .
In the case of the In Death books, they are police procedural types of mysteries with Detective Eve Dallas being the mastermind who gets the bad guy. This time around Eve is trying to figure out the whodunit behind a series of poisoned envelopes . . . .
Really the only disappointment I had was that Eve’s husband Roarke who I always thought was supposed to be a real panty-dropper came off as an L-7 Weenie who wasn’t really necessary at all unless it was to give Eve a quick fade-to-black bang session.
Many thanks to the Macmillan Reading Insiders Club for the advanced copy in exchange for this review....more
I’ve noticed a lot of commentary the past month or so regarding what people are reading – whether it’s venturing out of their comfort zone because all of this lockdown time has provided ample opportunities for reading or, alternatively, those who are remaining firmly planted in their wheelhouses because the world in general has become different enough. I have found my tribe in those who have come out of the closet and admit they enjoy looking for something in the dark rather than the light, the crazy rather than the cozy, the stabby rather than the snuggly, the . . . well you get the picture.
Jennifer Hillier is an author who falls into that category. She starts off with a simple enough storyline that’s already not for the weak of heart – a kidnapping at a local shopping center by a person dressed in a Santa suit. The chances of ever discovering the whodunit are obviously next to nothing, but the mother hires a private investigator anyway as a last resort when the case goes cold. A year later that mother (Marin) finds out allllllll sorts of stuff. Not about her son, but about her husband Derek’s affair. And she decides that if she can’t do anything to get her child back, she can do whatever it takes to save her marriage.
See what I mean with that first gif? She’s just batshit. Hillier’s mind goes from 0 to 60 and while her stories may be over the top and crazy, they walk the knife’s edge from getting too Lifetimey and campy. Really my only “gripe” about this is . . . . .
I Was Told It Would Get Easier is all about how . . .
Parenting teenagers is something of a shit show.
Jessica and her daughter Emily are taking a week long trip with a group of other parents and children to tour various East Coast colleges. The intention was for a bonding experience, but not only do Jessica and Emily seem to no longer speak the same language, but Jessica is dealing with multiple work crises and Emily is waiting for the shoe to drop regarding a cheating scandal at her high school.
While I'm sure you don’t have to be a parent to enjoy this one, it sure adds another dimension due to its relatability. Finding a balance between work and home life, raising a “normal” kid in a world full of overachievers and other types of parents . . . . .
Oh Roxy. With all of your “goddess” and “Venus” and “grrrrrl” (and not like the “grrrrrrl lemme tell you” but like every time a female was referenced) talk I should have really wanted to punch you in the face. But dangnabbit you made me laugh so I was able to simply chalk it up to . . . . .
Despite most of the “if you liked, then you’ll loooooove” comparisons completely missing the mark, I never learn my lesson and fall for that trick almost every time. (I also request nearly every book with a house on the cover or the mere hint that it will be about some sort of hillbilly criminal element, but that doesn’t apply here so we’ll save that discussion for another occasion.) The shout-out to my darling Bridget is actually not a terrible one here (I have no idea why my other pal Bernadette was thrown in because huh? wha????) as the “letters” Roxy pens to her ex-boyfriend Everett are actually more “Dear Diary” style since she delivers very few of them. And as I mentioned above, her antics often made me chuckle. From attempting to take down the “man” (a/k/a Lululemon), to finding herself possibly joining some sort of fingerbanging sex cult, to dating 30-year-old skateboarding manboys, to battling the tweakers and the mobile meth lab parked next door, to becoming a better friend, to maybe growing up – all while attempting to . . . . .
Roxy could certainly be pegged as a millennial Bridget.
I wish I had the capability of slooooooooowing down rather than plowing through books or reading more than one thing at a time because I think I would have enjoyed this even more in smaller doses. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it, because 3.5 Stars obviously means I did. Rounding down because of a spoilery issue at the end regarding Roxy’s decisions on dating. ACTUAL SPOILER AHEAD – DO NOT CLICK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW.(view spoiler)[The one thing Roxy made pretty clear throughout the entire story was that she wasn’t fond of children. There was absolutely ZERO reason for her to feel bad about saying no to a date with someone who had kids. While I understand that one date does not equate marriage/step-parenting/etc., I also understand why she wouldn’t even want to waste her time and risk the potential of catching feelings for someone she couldn’t see herself with for the long-term. There is NOTHING selfish about a woman (a) not wanting to have children or (b) not wanting to co-parent someone else’s. (hide spoiler)]
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
Charlotte Duckworth is a new to me author that I think I may have discovered over on the ‘Gram. Ironic, since this is a story about an influencer. Thanks to technology, long gone are the days when . . . . .
Nope. Nowadays anyone can get a paycheck and be internet famous if they try hard enough. Violet is living proof. Her handsome husband, beautiful home and charming children have propelled her to the top of the heap when it comes to Mommy Vloggers. Lily and Yvonne don’t know each other at all, but are both faithful followers. When Violet’s social media presence goes dark, well . . . . .
I mean, who would just leave the internet? Something terrible must have happened, right?
Okay, so I seriously dug this book – mostly due to my morbid fascination with people’s relationships to social media. I will be the first to admit I just don’t get it. I think this is one time where my age truly shows. Obviously I have some social media, since I’m posting here. I also have a Bookstagram. But I don’t have Facebook, Twatter, Snapchat, etc. and I only post about books. I don’t post every meal I eat or my workout regimen (ha! work out. that’s funny), and I certainly don’t post my children’s images on my public pages because they didn’t sign up to be a part of my account and I never want strangers trolling them like they have trolled me. I don’t feel obligated to spend “X” hours or have “X” friends/followers or any of the like. In fact, I’m pretty likely to unfollow/defriend/block people who complain about how the internet is so demanding of their time, how they should get paid in more than free books (seriously??? free books is liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife), or how they are so speshul, but the “algorithm” is oppressing them. #barf. I will also admit I followed a handful of “Mommy” accounts on Instagram back when I originally joined because they focused on home décor and it was Christmastime which is errrrrrrrythang to me. However, I only continue to follow one because one irritated me with her constant posts of an insufferable child who was not cute whatsoever (I’ll take my Mother of the Year Award whenever it’s ready) when I signed up to see what bargains she could find at Target, Hobby Lobby, etc., another posted all day every day about herself while her youngest child begged for her attention and she ignored him (she’ll take one of those awards too), and I’m getting ready to kick the remaining account to the curb due to general lack of content in lieu of what I would consider “home movie” footage (obviously that account is probably the most like Violet and feels she has to post constantly or risk losing her fanbase/paycheck). All that being said, while I don’t understand the obsession people get with strangers, I totally see it all the time so the premise of this book didn’t seem like too much of a stretch for me. Now, the big reveal was pretty farfetched, but C’MON - that’s exactly what it was supposed to be. Like the best sort of Lifetime Murders and Mysteries I could have asked for.