Upon receipt of a disturbing letter from her cousin claiming she is being poisoned by her husband and trapped in a house full of rot and evil, Noemí is sent on a bit of a fact-finding mission in order to get Catalina any help she may need. Her arrival reveals a house on a hill a bit like . . . .
Apparently this wasn’t a big hit for everyone. Color me surprised because I thought it was exactly as advertised - Lovecraft meets the Brontës. That cover alone is worth the price of admission. And yes I know I know I complain about face covers all the time, but these “ladies in pretty dresses” covers are simply the bees knees. I will say this is a slow roller that builds itself up to a frantic pace for the climax, so if you aren’t sucked in by the atmosphere, you definitely aren’t going to have a great time. Also, I apparently wrongread even when I think I’m reading it right so take my rating with a grain of salt.
I can’t remember where I originally saw this book a couple of weeks ago, but I knew if the library had a copy I definitely had to check it out. I mean just the idea that Annie Freakin’ Hall could become addicted to Pinterest like me was a mindblower. I love a catchy title and coffee table books full of pretty pictures so this was an absolute win for me. That being said, we certainly do not share the same design aesthetic. Really, the only thing I have in common with Diane Keaton is . . . .
I’m not exactly what you’d call a Jane Austen fangirl like the folks in this book club, but I do have a sort of an unhealthy relationship with Pride and Prejudice along with any and all of its gazillions of retellings. So why did it take me so long to read this book? Well, basically it’s all Fern's fault. Have you ever been terrified of reading anything else by an author after having sort of a lifechanging moment with the first thing you read by them and you just can’t imagine their other stuff even being able to hold a candle to the other book’s greatness? Yeah, that’s pretty much what my problem was with this – despite it having a title that pretty much guaranteed the story within would provide at least a modicum of enjoyment for me.
It may have taken years, but I finally decided to nut up and read this out on the deck earlier this year when it wasn’t hot enough to fuse my underwear to my ass. I don’t know what I was scared of. It was exactly what I hoped it would be with characters who I would love know in real life. And while it certainly does not compare to We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves it shouldn’t have to. They are totally different stories that I wouldn’t even categorize in the same genre.
Remember back in the olde days of yore when you used to be able to leave your house and go do things that weren’t “essential”???? Yeah, me either. Just kidding. But here’s what I did back in those olden times . . . .
Using only an Allen wrench for 27 hours to assemble something until your skin peels off all of your fingers only to discover you’re missing three to seven vital parts in order to obtain a finished product should probably be part of the Geneva Conventions regarding torture.
But I digress. Despite my own IKEA phobia, the title and cover of this little beauty was EV.ER.Y.THANG. and deserves all the stars. After seeing one of my friends liken the storyline to my favorite gang . . . . .
I thought for sure it was going to be a winner. Unfortunately, I didn’t walk away with Scooby Doo vibes (but if you’re looking for that, go snag a copy of Meddling Kids). Instead I felt like this was sort of a layman’s version of House of Leaves. It was okay, but just okay for me. I have WAAAAAAAAAAY higher hopes for The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires which I just received from the library.
(THANK YOU LIBRARIES EVERYWHERE FOR GETTING US ALL THROUGH THIS QUARANTINE VIA ELECTRONIC BOOKS!!!!!) ...more
I probably never would have read this one had I not asked for recommendations in order to complete the library challenge. Many thanks to my pal Vivian for putting it on my radar. It’s getting all the stars.
Little did I know the story itself could have easily been inspired by those snarky little snaps that I find so amusing.
Aspiring author Alice is a modern day “housewife” (not necessarily by choice, but you’ll find out more about that if you read the book). She and her husband Nate have just moved from the Big Apple to suburban life, bought a fixer upper and are hopeful Alice will soon be barefoot and pregnant . . . .
When Alice stumbles upon a box of old magazines, Nellie’s family cookbook and is later gifted a pile of letters from Nellie to her mother that the neighbor has saved for ages, she begins channeling her own inner domestic goddess and finds inspiration for her potential book. But the more she reads, the more she uncovers . . . . .
I really didn’t expect this book to suck me in the way it did, but boy howdy did it. From the dual narratives to the “helpful hints” on how to be a good wife rather than some shrieking harpy to the recipes, I just couldn’t stop turning pages. I actually have a recipe box rather than book with notes like the ones in here, had to call my mother-in-law for backup at 5:00 a.m. the first Thanksgiving I cooked on my own because I had no clue what the eff “oleo” was (that was before Google since I am a dinosaur), and 100% have been horrified by the vast amounts of gelatin-based “salads” and “high-end” appetizers my Grandmother chose to pass down just like some contained in this book . . .
“It’s called ‘Hollywood Dunk.’ An appetizer from the fifties.”
“What’s in that?”
“Deviled ham. Chives. Onion. Horseradish. It’s chopped up deli ham mixed with mayonnaise, mustard, hot pepper sauce, and salt and pepper, and then you blend it a bit. Then you add the chives, onion, and horseradish. Oh, and the last thing is whipped cream. Can’t forget that.”
“Why would you make this? To eat?”
(In case you want to make this sure-to-be-delicious concoction for your next Bunco gathering, you serve it with a big ol’ bowl of chips.)
I definitely don't think this will be a winner for everyone, but I was completely enthralled by the whole dang thing and I’m giving it all the Stars. ...more
If you know me, you know I was raised to believe that you don’t talk about politics or religion outside the family home if you want to maintain relationships. That being made clear, if you feel the need to defriend/unfollow me for posting something up about this book, I’ll have zero problem with it.
I will fully admit I have wanted to get my hands on a copy of Shade ever since I heard about it. I will also do something I never thought I’d do and disclose to you that I did not vote for Obama. Either time. (Just in case people were starting to gather their pitchforks and torches to tell me what a “Libtard” I am.) Not that it’s really anyone’s business, but I’ll even give you the reason. The first time was simply due to the fact that I’m from Illinois – born and bred and there has been nothing but corruption in that state my entire life. I wasn’t about to vote for a Junior Senator who may have been as phony as a three dollar bill just because he knocked my socks off with one speech and Oprah told me to. The next time was for the simple fact that I consider myself socially liberal and fiscally conservative and so does Mitt Romney. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. (Nice knowing some of you.)
If you know anything about Pete Souza you know he’s not necessarily just another “snowflake” either. Before photographing the Obama White House he did the same for Reagan. Now, Souza most certainly was an Obama fan, but that doesn’t negate the near necessity of releasing his little slice of history. This book shows the complete mockery electing a narcissistic, mentally unstable reality star has made of the Presidency. While I may not have agreed with all of Obama’s ideas and/or policies, I never doubted that he knew just how important his role as President was. Trump??? Well . . . I think this image says just about everything . . . . .
This book is full of examples – both in the form of Tweets and “fake” news – demonstrating just how out of touch with the pulse of the nation the current President is. No matter your politics, it should serve as a reminder that the next time you go to the polls (whether it’s to pull red, blue or other) you should try to vote for someone who at least attempts to . . . .
A reviewer copy was provided by Little Brown in exchange for this review. I have thumbed through this enough times at the local bookstore to know that it would receive 5 Stars so the freebie had zero bearing on my rating....more
We pretend that never happened and instead . . . .
I’m forty-eight – almost forty-nine – and after twenty-five years my marriage just blew up in my face. On a good day, I take a sledgehammer to my house between swigs of white wine. I’m a total mess.
Depending on what you consider “hysterically funny” this may be a flop for you. I can say it definitely made me laugh every time she smashed the crap out of another piece of furniture (or “grew a meadow” in the backyard) and I absolutely fell in love with both Diane and her best pal Claudine. While (as far as I know) my husband isn’t planning on leaving me due to the fact that I’m “boring” (as if), I found this book completely relatable. Aside from one thing – you cheat on me mother&^%er?????
Actually, it would be hard to convince the PoPo that he just happened to fall on that butcher knife, so I’d probably have to get a good lawyer, but that’s beside the point.
Mad props to the translation as well, as that is something that doesn’t always work for me and I don’t think one step was missed with me not being able to read this in the original French. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended to other “boring” wives ; ) ...more
I would have not even heard of this book if it weren’t for the glowing reviews by JanB and Marialyce, so I’m going to channel my inner Golden Girl and tell them “thank you for being a friend.” I’m not going to say a whole lot here, but encourage you all to go to their pages because they are way better at words than I am.
What I will say is if some random bookseller had tried to push a story told by two sisters and one granddaughter that timehopped sporadically from the 1950s to the present the odds of me actually leaving the store with said book would have been slim to nill. And if that bookseller added on the fact that the focus was going to be about brewing craft beers??? Well . . . .
There’s definitely a lot of beer talk in this too. From the various types hops to measurements to brew times and temps. But I’m telling you it didn’t bog me down at all. And if a girl who cut her teeth on $.75 ‘Stones (in a jelly jar rather than a can for the classy set) didn’t give a rip about all this hipster nonsense regarding stouts and IPAs, well then I highly doubt the rest of you will either . . . .
I can’t really pinpoint exactly why this one worked so well for me. Maybe because I was raised by salt of the earth types of women like these (one who ran a local fruit and vegetable market – one who rose before dawn to run the local donut shop). Maybe because I can relate to family members who can go years without speaking. Maybe because I’ve always had to provide an honest day’s work to earn an honest day’s dollar. Maybe because in a world where feminists are often labeled as “feminazis” it was refreshing to see a group of gals who simply fought the good fight and truly did break the glass ceiling without that even being their main intention. Maybe even more so that a man wrote these characters so there’s hope that everyone will eventually just “get it.” Maybe because it made me have feelings without making me feel like I was being manipulated into having them. Maybe because it made me grateful for finding folks like the ones mentioned above who bring books like this into my life. Whatever the case, I loved it . . . . .
“Watch me double backflip on a half-pipe for Jesus.”
CeCe thought she and Ethan were a perfect match – so much so that she offered up her V-card to him. When Ethan decided to end things in order to become a “born again virgin” CeCe was willing to do anything to get him back – including attending Camp John 3:16 . . . .
The only problem? CeCe isn’t what you’d call a Christian. Luckily, her lifelong bestie/neighbor Paul is (or at least used to be) and was willing to tag along. What neither of them bargained for was Ethan having a pre-established “camp girlfriend” and needing to fake a romantic relationship of their own in order for CeCe to maintain her well-planned cover . . . .
“They won’t kick you out for not knowing as much Scripture as they do. But they might try to baptize you.”
“Joke’s on them. I took care of that before we came.”
“You? Got baptized? Where did this take place?”
“You have to promise not to laugh in my face.”
“Okay, so you know that guy who hangs out on Wilson and East? The one with the long beard who wears a THE END IS NEAR sandwich board?”
“I think I can see where this is going . . . .”
Let’s be real honest here and say going into this I was aware that I would probably be willing to be very forgiving before giving this a 1 Star rating. I mean, that cover? That title? That shoutout to Saved in the blurb?????
But that quickly passed when I realized that this is quite possibly the best YA book I’ve ever read when it comes to talking openly about consent and sex (and abstinence) and antiquated beliefs about “asking for it” and how the three most important words that are said between two people before/during/after they have sex probably shouldn’t be “I Love You” but rather “Is This Okay” or “Are You Okay?” It’s about taking control of your own body and the choices you make with respect to what you feel comfortable doing with it, and it gets every single star for being presented in such a humorous/non-preachy way. Because, come on . . . . .
Riggle had to move in with his uncle at the local trailer park after losing his over-the-road trucker dad in an automobile accident followed by his mom succumbing to her grief and committing suicide. This is the story of a week in Riggle’s life when he not only receives a 5-day suspension from school for supposedly having a vape pen full of THC, but also the week when his uncle goes missing.
Unlike yesterday’s review, this is a book that is being marketed as it should be – Young Adult. Again, kids aren’t stupid. Hell, they probably know more about dealing with real-life issues than many adults who either live in a comfort bubble or who have grown complacent. There’s no reason to hide them from the darker side of life and with a title like this you flat out know . . . .
However, since it is YA it does retain a little bit of hope – unlike most grit lit selections I pick up.
I’ve never read this author before (but I did buy a copy of Motherfucking Sharks because - DUH). As the placeholder “review” below indicates, whenever there’s a trailer park on a cover or even a hint that some bad shit might go down due to drug dealing or usage, I’m pretty much like . . . .
Seriously. This is pretty much guaranteed to be 5 Stars from Mitchell. Also, it's by the guy who wrote Motherfucking Sharks so if things go well I might have to invite him over to the dungeon my spare room while he writes his next book....more
The jumping off point to this story is when Jessa-Lynn finds her daddy has blown his brains out on the specimen table in the family’s taxidermy shop. From there we meet the other members of the family – brother Milo whose wife that left him also happened to be Jessa-Lynn’s girlfriend, Milo’s daughter Lolee (who was pretty much the daughter I’ve never had), his stepson Bastien – back from rehab and a man of dubious means, and their mother – recent widow turned pornographic taxidermy artist. These were my people. What can I say . . . .
Ha! Not really. I’m about as basic as they come. However, I’m also pretty much white trash so I fell head over heels for all of these quirky misfits. I mean, if there was ever a book designed for me it would be one about a dysfunctional family who owns a taxidermy shop, right?!?!?!? For realz . . . .
With my father gone, gag taxidermy paid the rent. I pinned antlers to rabbit heads stuffed with foam cuttings, shellacked frogs propped at miniature card tables, boiled a million alligator skulls, mouths stuffed with pointy teeth painted blue and orange for UF football fans. I turned ducklings into mermaids, fish tails shimmering green-gold.
STFU John Oliver! Dear Florida: Never stop being you.
At the end of the day this was a bizarre little book about getting through the grieving process and finding yourself. Definitely not a book for everyone (very detailed in description of creating a mount – not to mention the way some of the animals were acquired), but Mitchell and I liked it enough for everyone. Just look how happy it made him . . . .
Or, at minimum, you are someone with a decent memory because it is very similar to the poem by Wallace Stevens. If you feel so inclined to Google said poem, you’ll find that Wiki says . . . .
The poem consists of thirteen short, separate sections, each of which mentions blackbirds in some way.
Such is the case with 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. Intertwined vignettes where our MC (and, more importantly, her body) interacts with friends, co-workers, children, sexual partners, store clerks, her mother, her husband, the perfect Diane von Furstenberg dress, other women, etc. We watch as Lizzie morphs into Beth who then changes to Elizabeth who then becomes Liz as she grows from high school aged to adulthood and from fat to thin. We see how she views herself through these various ages and stages as well as how others view her via different perspectives being presented rather than Lizzie’s alone.
I picked this up pretty much immediately after reading the über bizarre Bunny because it was undeniable this was an author who could write . . . I just wasn’t smart enough to get all that she was putting down. This one, however? Holy crap. Talk about powerful and obviously someone who JUST. GETS. IT. Not to mention all the emotion is delivered without resorting to tragiporn or some pathetic trope or making us wallow in a billion pages. Mona Awad????? You are amazing.
Before we get started let’s get real clear on some things. Aside from my addiction to The Real Housewives In Every-Single-City-On-The-Entire-Planet franchise, I don’t watch a lot of television programs. The ones I do often find myself tuning into? Well, they tend to have some similarities. I like fellas like these . . . .
My name is Kelly and I am addicted to the trailer park lifestyle. In theory Trailer Park Noir should have been a hit. Not only did it have a winner of a title and irresistible cover art, but the residents of the Riverside Mobile Home Park were just the type of folks I hoped to meet. Struggling single mother with a special-needs daughter, widowed PI with a booze problem, slovenly property manager, internet pornographer, methamphetamine manufacturer, dead person. You know, my kind of crowd. And the beginning and the ending of this book were what generally result in 4 and 5 Star ratings for me. So where did things go wrong in the middle???? Well to begin with, while I’m not personally “triggered” by many (okay, ANY) things, when it comes to items I feel others would potentially want to be warned about, it’s pretty much . . . .
To me there’s a HUGE difference in writing about topics that you know will limit your audience (i.e., ANY book in the “grit lit” genre) and writing about a topic with the intention of turning off your readers. There’s not a fine line between gritty and squicky, there’s a giant cavern. Books like this or The Traveling Vampire Show leave a bad taste in my mouth because I question whether the taste level has been turned so far South as an attempt by the author to mask their inability to write well or because they get off on telling these types of stories. Either one is going to result in a low rating from me. Trailer Park Noir gets a bump from 1 to 2 due to its potential to be better than it was (and that title and cover, obvi). ...more
Obviously I had to read it. But now that it’s over I’m not exactly sure what to say. I stumbled across another review that said this book was so far up its own ass it wasn’t even funny. I’ll give you that Bunnyis a book that is up its own ass, but that’s kind of the entire point . . . and it's most certainly pretty funny.
Please don’t get to thinking I suddenly believe myself to be smart enough to pick up on alllllllll that was being put down, but I did read a pretty bigly chunk of this with a smirk on my face because it was exactly what comes to my mind as soon as the term “MFA” starts being dropped around places such as Goodreads. I even chuckled a time or two while reading about the Ivy League elite’s creative struggles . . . .
“Now Eleanor, I hope you’re not writing about a boy too,” Fosco says. Eleanor suddenly smiles. “Of course not, Ursula. I’d never be that stupid. But as it turns out I brought the wrong story,” she says looking at me. “My mistake.”
And I can totally relate to how hard it is to get shit done with a bunch of stupid Bunnies fucking everything up and when not-so-boyfriend-material book boyfriends keep coming along to ruin a potentially good time. The only thing that would have made this better was if it were a musical. That would be absolutely . . . .
I have to confess I wanted to read this simply out of morbid curiosity. Despite my addiction to terrible reality television, the one thing I’ve never been able to stomach are weight loss shows. I’ve never understood why someone would subject themselves to “motivation” like this . . .
And how in the hell 90% of the participants would ever be able to keep the weight off when not living in a controlled environment with a personal chef, no McDs/Taco Bell available, no job to go to or kids/spouse to deal with and working out umpteen hours a day . . . .
Those shows just depress me. Buuuuuuuuut, as a fat woman, I’m still fascinated by new and notable releases that feature fat women. Especially when the premise is to address the pink elephant in the room head on . . . . .
This is the beginning of our experiment. What would these women do to lose weight? Would they degrade themselves? We knew the answer immediately. The next question was this: How far would they go?
And let me tell you, this author really delivered some real wallops in the form of letting you into the mind of a heavyset person . . . .
How are you supposed to understand. That I think about my body every minute? That I worry about my thighs more than about the state of the world?
Everyone hated a fat woman, but none more than she hated herself.
Clothes made the woman. Naked made the shame.
This book was pretty good . . . until it wasn’t anymore. The second half kind of fell apart. Not to mention . . . .
Like the smuggest of men, the scale mocked her. Scales seemed so damn masculine, particularly the machines in doctors’ offices, standing above her with their air of superiority, their broad shoulders meant to keep her in place, the metal scornful as she stepped on, smirking when the numbers settled.
Not everything has to include man hating. FFS, dudes aren’t the ones who have been buying Cosmo all these freaking years. We women do a pretty good job all on our own fat shaming each other....more
Celadon Books was kind enough to send me a review copy of this just in time for Mother’s Day. Now, if you know me, you know I’m an easy sell for books like this. My desk at home features a shrine selection for my former cats and dogs who made their way over the Rainbow Bridge and you’re all aware of my other hobby. Pretty much there’s a book for everything and I think these are great little bits of fun to give either solo or in addition to the ever-present “scented candle” . . . .
“We’ve said we’ll give it till the end of the month and then . . . “
“And then what?”
“Then we kill them.”
Starting in the present where there is, in fact, a dead body and immediately reversing eight weeks into the past so the reader can learn exactly who is dead and how they came to be that way, Louise Candlish’s newest release might make some reminiscent of Liane Moriarty’s approach to storytelling in Big Little Lies. Simply put, this is my wheelhouse. I freely admit that as soon as I see a cover with a house in it, I’m all like . . . . .
The reason behind me wanting to read Scrublands unfortunately also ended up being the reason behind it falling short for me. That reason? Jane Harper. You see, after reading The Dry and The Lost Man I decided I couldn’t get enough of the Australian Outback and clicked the ol’ library request button lickity split when I found out about this one. The premise was a real good one too – a (literally) dried-up town in the middle of nowhere suffers from even more than drought when the local man of the cloth stands on the church steps and starts blowing his congregation away. The story follows journalist Martin who is sent to the town to follow up with a human interest story on how the folk there are surviving, but winds up involving himself in mystery upon mystery regarding secrets that no one wants to come out.
Other than the fact that Chris Hammer isn’t quite the same caliber of storyteller that Jane Harper is, there were a couple of other problems with this book.
I know it makes me sound stupid, and heck I’m more than willing to admit I am, but I am a firm believer that it is a rare occasion where a mystery/thriller requires more than 350 pages to get the job done. Things need to be kept nice and tight in order for the pace to move steadily. When a bunch more pages (around 150 in this case) are added????
This story went from nice and tight to everything and its dog getting thrown into the mix with the additional “mysteries” and (not very well developed) characters resulting in a glacial progression and a Kelly and Mitchell who felt a bit bogged down by the end of it. And of course it's a series . . . .
Since I received an early copy, common courtesy says not to divulge too much and ruin things for everyone else. Buuuuuuuuuut, Imma do it anyway because I don’t think it’s fair for readers to spend their dollars on books that they didn’t know contained subject matter that they would have steered clear of if they had known about it, and I don’t think it’s fair for authors to get blasted with 1-Stars due to readers picking up something they should have never touched with a 10-foot pole. But first, let’s briefly go over what this book is even about, shall we?
How Not To Die Alone focuses on 42-year old Andrew. Andrew works for the council as an organizer of “pauper’s funerals.” When someone dies with no apparent next-of-kin, it is Andrew’s job to sort through their homes (no matter how Hoarder-y or disgusting they may be) in search of contact information for any long-lost family or friends (or at least some stashed cash to help cover the burial costs). It’s a perfect fit for Andrew as his job provides plenty of time away from the office and less interaction with others – which is great when you accidentally created a fake wife and children due to not paying attention during your interview (years ago) and failed to ever correct said accidental fib. All that changes when new trainee Peggy is hired and assigned to job shadow Andrew. Funny, friendly, and full of life, Peggy makes Andrew see things in a whole new light.
Okay, so the thing that a lot of people are going to take exception to (myself included) is Peggy is married and has children, but is, at minimum, emotionally cheating on her spouse throughout the duration of this book (not to mention despite Andrew’s family being imaginary, as far as everyone is concerned he’s married too). I’m telling you I’m just not okay with some things. Married co-workers grabbing lunch together during the workday is questionable enough for me when there is clearly a sexual chemistry between the two, but going out to dinner sans spouses? Hell nah. That’s a date, bro, and also known as grounds for divorce. Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I also think I'm the target demographic for this book and have a sneaking suspicion I'm not the only one with antiquated beliefs who will be interested in checking it out and find themselves a bit put off with this portion of the storyline.
But here’s that pickle I mentioned. I still loved this book. I mean, yeah I put it down/took a breather several different times and was very happy my husband wasn’t around to see the R.B.F. to the nth degree that was occurring as Andrew and Peggy’s relationship evolved, but at the end of the day the blurb was spot-on. This absolutely was “darkly funny” and “life-affirming” and, despite there being DOZENS of taglines on books out there saying they are “for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine,” this one might actually fit the bill. I fell in love with Andrew and Peggy and the end result????
Oh, it’s just so perfect. And the insides pretty much match the outside. It’s just a jumble of truly “little weirds” conjured up by Jenny Slate’s oddball brain. (Spoiler alert: I had no clue she was such a wordsmith, but wowza does she know how to use gajillions of the entries that can be found in the nearest Webster’s.) Basically, this is the literary equivalent of . . . .
To her new stand-up special on Netflix – I simply adore her and I adored everything about this book – so much so that I’m breaking the rules and posting a taste despite receiving an advanced copy . . . .
A Tender Thief
One time, my dog sneaked six licks of coffee from my mug. I caught him on the sixth and I’m certain that he would have gone all the way. But I did catch him on the sixth. After he’d had his coffee he went and he stretched out on the armchair and spent a long time by the window, and I thought, “At least he knows how to have coffee properly, even though he is a thief.”
Buy the book if you want, don’t buy the book if you don’t want, I don’t really care. I’m just happy to have these little weirds in my own life. However, you all should do yourself a favor and watch Jenny define a “Shit Show” . . . . .
Meet Autumn. Six months ago she was struck with a feeling and pulled off some divine intervention that ended up saving Declan’s life. Ever since she’s sorta been stalking keeping an eye on him in order to make sure no danger comes his way. Pretty much she’s his self-declared guardian angel. A chance encounter brings the duo face-to-face and Autumn learns that . . . .
I first discovered this author courtesy of a stabby little agoraphobe who lived in a placed known as 6E. Later my mind was pretty much blown when I realized Moonshot wasn’t only a potential candidate for the OhHowILoveClaytonKershaw spankbank, but by the same author. Talk about a switcheroo! AND THEN! Then she melted my underdrawers clean off with Sex Love Repeat. Whew! Just thinking about that one . . .
Where was I? Oh yeah, I was at the point where I was a megafan so as soon as I saw this title (and most adorable cover ever, amIrightoramIright?) I had a mighty need. My wish was granted 48 hours before release and I since I was left to my own devices for a few hours last night before resuming my chauffeuring and maid services for my children I was able to read this whole thing in about a hot second. So now all of you only have to wait ONE MORE SLEEP until you can get it! And you need to get it. I mean, if you are like me and are looking for an escape during this hectic time of year in the form of a funny romance with loveable characters and smexy smexytimes and even maybe a couple of feelz thrown in for good measure.
All the Starz.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
The leading lady is even named Andie and she gets mad props for pointing out the one glaring fault of Pretty in Pink . . . .
I realize Andie made this prom outfit all by herself, and she was combining two very different styles, but the dress Iona gave her looked sort of cool on its own. This thing looks like it was sewn together by an ape.
Well, that and the fact that DUCKIE should have been picked at the end, but in my head I have just rewritten that part of history. However, with respect to the aforementioned quote I can only say: THANK. YOU. ANDIE.
The premise here is that Andie finds herself on a loop repeating the same day over and over again during her Senior year in high school. She believes she won’t be able to move on until she experiences “true love’s first kiss” but along the way she also finds herself helping her fellow students blur the lines of her oh-so-very-John-Hughes-movie-sorts-of-stereotype-high-school.
I’m obviously not the target demographic for this one, so I’m going to stick to a middle-of-the-road type of rating and round up to a three. As a mom I absolutely hated Andie’s mother and would like to give her negative eleventy trillion stars and I also didn’t like the idea that Andie started each day by attempting to be someone new. Young girls don’t need more of that message – just stay true to who you are and eventually you’ll find your people. And now I’ll excuse myself so you can all say what needs to be said behind my back – things like . . . .
Normally I wouldn’t be posting a review so many months in advance of a book’s release (heck, let’s face it – normally I end up failing miserably and reading half of the ARCs I receive after their release date), but there was zero chance I wasn’t going to talk about this one on Valentine’s Day.
The story here is about Annie. Ever since she was a little girl she has dreamed of the moment she would meet-cute her one true love. She was always sure it would come in the form of a true “a ha” moment – with a man who may or may not live on a houseboat, possibly with a child, maybe after tragically being widowed. Either that or it would be in love to hate form via e-mail correspondence or some form of social media where she sparred unknowingly with the man who was to be her soulmate. But has Annie become so wrapped up in the fantasy that she won’t be able to recognize the real thing when she sees it???
As I told my husband, I have been waiting for Tom Hanks to come for me for the duration of our 22-year marriage (and after going on a .gif hunt for this maybe I’ve been waiting for Meg Ryan too????). There was zero chance I wasn’t going to do whatever was necessary in order to obtain this title. There was also zero chance I wasn’t going to then proceed to crap my pants in fear that I would hate it/it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Luckily there was absolutely nothing to fear. Waiting for Tom Hanks was EXACTLY what I wanted it to be: a classic PG style rom-com, only in print format rather than projected on the silver screen. (However, please note this should immediately be optioned and someone should be calling Chris Pratt’s agent to see how many zeroes he would like at the end of his check in order to play the male lead.) If nothing makes your Grinch heart turn to goo like moments like these . . . .
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Oh, and Berkley? As you know, this was a two-book deal. No pressure or anything, but if I don’t get the second one as soon as it is available?
A very short while back, my friend Bill was reading this selection and I was pretty sure I needed it in my life too. I gave Real Dan a big shove nudge in its direction too. I figured I would keep an eye out for a $.99 sale or until someone rewarded my oh-so-very-good-all-year behavior with an Amazon gift card come Christmastime and then treat myself. Lucky for me . . . .
But it’s more like where the saké drowns and the comedy porn chases your blues away because Dan got hammered and drunk-purchased this little beauty that he then kindly lent to me. (Isn’t he the best? Answer is yes he is.)
The story here starts with Ralph and Julie, a married couple. Things were perfectly okay in their relationship, until they brought a friend into their bedroom with them . . . .
Then it seemed Ralph couldn’t do anything without his little buddy guiding him along. When Ralph discovers Julie has been on internet dating sites trying to find some replacement smex, he does what any nutcase rational person would do and approaches a stranger to participate in some bad (emphasis on the BAD) intercourse with his wife in order to prove that old adage the grass isn't always greener . . . . but things don’t go quite as planned.
Ha! Who am I kidding? I love it! This story is exactly what it claims to be on the cover: a filthy comedic thriller. What it has in common with Strand’s other stuff? His signature dialogue-driven narrative. He’s one of the best at people doing the talky talky with each other, for sure. This won’t be for everyone – because it absolutely is porny and OTT, but if you’re brave enough to venture out of the “Strand is a HORROR writer” comfort zone, you might find his best stuff falls into other genres.
Undying gratitude to Dan for the lend. Let me know if I ever need to wear my biggest T-shirt in order to hide a gun in my pants for you! ...more
Julia kinda has a hard time sealing the deal and not talking herself out of it when opportunities arise. Spending the summer with her spinster aunt in Durham, Julia has a whole new approach to things . . . .
“Scrolling through the stock pictures on the tourism part of the website, I saw one of a man and woman laughing at a candlelit dinner. Another showed a couple wearing bright T-shirts and lounging in each other’s arms and staring at a hot-air balloon in the sky. I thought, This is where I’m going to lose my virginity. It would be like going to another country; I would be completely anonymous.”
And now Imma let the blurb do some of the talking . . .
“For readers of Rainbow Rowell …”
Wait, what? Okay, not really. I think they’re trying to hook lovers of Attachments, but since that is Rowell’s lesser-known story this would probably backfire horribly and wind up horrifying a bunch of Eleanor & Park fans instead.
“… and Maria Semple”
Okay, that’s more like it. Just be forewarned that it’s less of the sheer brilliance that made up Where’d You Go, Bernadette and more of the Today Will Be Different or This One Is Mine vibe/humor.
It truly is “filled with offbeat characters and subtle, wry humor ... is about the primal fear that you just. might. never. meet. anyone. It's about desiring something with the kind of obsessive fervor that almost guarantees you won't get it. It's about the blurry lines between sex and love, and trying to figure out which one you're going for. And it's about the decisions—and non-decisions—we make that can end up shaping a life.”
With the focus on a pretty stereotypical millennial who MANY will find extremely hard to like. I appreciated her irreverent wit, however, so maybe you will too????
P.S. If anyone would like to hire me for an “if you liked this, then you might LOVE this” kind of job, I’m super available and obviously I will name-drop a shit-ton of books in one place : )...more
I wanted The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls for the title alone and was beyond shocked when I received an advanced copy back in October . . . . which I then promptly made sure to not read due to the blurbage that stated it was for fans of An American Marriage. Uhhhhhhhhhhh. With the release date quickly approaching I figured it was time to put on my big girl panties and let the chips fall where they may.
I opted to bite the bullet when I got home from work last Thursday (a night that I usually have alone, but thanks to endless ice/rain/sleet/hail/thundersnow (yes, that’s a thing) I had the family with me). Luckily a snow day for Friday had already been called and the hubs had a very important Iowa Hawkeye basketball game to watch so it was pretty much like no one was there anyway. It was a good thing too because I read this book cover-to-cover in the course of that evening – becoming so wrapped up in the lives of the Butler family that I totally ignored my own.
The story here begins with Althea and her husband Proctor being sentenced to the federal penitentiary for food stamp and charity fraud. What unfolds is the history of three sisters and a brother who grew up in a family who firmly believe in the principal . . . .
“The past is the past.”
The reader discovers the Butlers are a group who should have had someone willing to have a moment like this with their daddy . . . .
I will admit that there were some things I wanted to know moremoremoremoremore about – specifically Althea and Proctor's crimes. However, I fully understand that since those two characters were incarcerated it would have been more than a little far-fetched for them to share any additional details that had not been provided/alluded to. (Inquiring minds still want to know/are disappointed they don't, though.) But really, at the end of the day? Family drama is my siren song - 4 Stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
Now that I’ve logged on I realize only one of my GR friends has read this selection and she didn’t even rate it because it didn’t work for her either. It was Instagram that was flooded with this one since it was a Book of the Month selection awhile back. What a great feeling to be able to tell myself (at least for a minute) that I read something right ; )
Seriously, though, I’m obviously a lemming and if something shows up on my feed enough (except here, because somehow the GR recs are totally on crack and they need to tighten that game up) I’ll take the bait. I’ve also confessed about eleven trillion times that I either (a) don’t read blurbs at all or (b) only read the first line or two – and duhhhhhhh, I’m a fast reader so it’s not like I really feel like I wasted my life on something even if I don’t fall all over myself about it.
Ghosted is the book that proves I should stop doing everything I mentioned above and completely change the way books get added to my TBR. I immediately dismissed the “when Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love” because Eddie then went missing and I was super psyched for some . . . .
Ugh. This was NOT. FOR. ME. I really want to give it 1 Star because it was truly turrrrrrrrrible and the worst form of tragiporn full of every cliché you could possibly throw in to one book and sooooooooooooooo not a romance I could be a fan of (and trust me, homegirl has been getting down with some romance books lately – and not just the hide-the-salami kind either). I’m going to be generous and give it 2, though, because I should have at least scrolled the first page of reviews and noticed all the 1s and 2s instead of blindly jumping off the cliff....more
I have to confess that I had to look up Kevin Hearne due to my unfamiliarity with his stuff. I still have no clue who Delilah S. Dawson is. What I do know is this book had some pretty killer swag that I wish I would have been a part of even if the book didn’t end up being a winner for me . . . .
Sadly, though, Kill the Farm Boy ended up being a fail. Not only did it seem to drag on and on without a lot of content to propel it, but apparently I’ve grown too old to endure endless fart and boner jokes. Well, maybe some fart stuff will always be funny . . . .
It appears the marketing blurb has been changed a teensie bit, because I’m positive when I decided I want to read #fashionvictim it was said to be “The Devil Wears Prada meets American Psycho.” Having now read this book, I can only say . . . .