Sick of me yet? If so, I don’t blame you. The BLOCK button has been conveniently moved right up to the top of the page if you need it.
Anywho, I read this one awhile back but am always looking for something entertaining to listen to during my commute so I downloaded the audio version when I saw it at the ol' liburrrrrrry. Samantha Irby’s delivery might not be for everyone, but that’s perfect because I already declared dibs on her quite some time ago. She’s hilarious, crass, dry and droll and that’s what makes her my . . . .
Bonus: Half the book is about some ratchet-assed half dead kitten that was forced upon her and made her life a living hell as it plotted her demise. Samesies . . . .
(Photo of The Childish Gambino courtesy of my co-worker/former fosterbabymama/crazy cat lady who forced him into my life and slammed the door before I could throw him back at her. The only thing worse than a bookpusher is a catpusher LOL.)...more
Apologies that you’re going to be seeing Christmas book reviews so late (knowing how I review, probably in February or March), but when I take a vacation I really take a vacation and don’t log on/post reviews so it is was it is.
Wow, this kind of has a low rating. It was also a mixed bag with my friends. But for me?????
I mean I haven’t been told I suck turtles in like MONTHS now guys.
First off, it starts with a 911 call reporting someone has been shot . . . . WITH. AN. ARROW. Ummmm yes please. Also, reminiscent of the hen party gone bad in In A Dark, Dark Wood. But this one promised it would be darkly funny so not really the same? Whatever. My brain makes connections the way it wants – I’ve given up trying to fight it.
In case you aren’t aware, the premise here is that Claire, Matt and their daughter Scarlett – oh and Scarlett’s best pal . . . .
Are going to have a combined Christmas with Claire’s boyfriend Patrick and Matt’s girlfriend Alex. It’s the epitome of co-parenting and as Clark once said it’s sure to be the “hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Fucking Kaye.” Or as Matt says . . . .
“If barking royals like Prince Andrew and Fergie can manage it, we should be OK. We’re all normal, right?”
Okay, so The Adults had like my FAVE.O.RITE. things. # 1 . . . .
Seriously. Nothing makes me feel like I’m not so fucked up like reading about other people who are not so fucked up either . . . wait, that’s not right. Or it shouldn’t be, but much like the Griswolds or the McAlister’s – these people put the FUN in dysfunction. They aren’t perfect, but they’re trying their best.
For realz. Christmas is my crack. Normally I’d have like eleventy thousand photos to prove how much Christmas spirit I barf out all over my house in the form of overly decorated trees in every room, but I seem to only have this one . . . .
Look at that quote^^^. LOOK AT IT!!!!!! Did you look at it? Why the eff wasn’t I all over this when it was an ARC? I mean I realize I’m not super late to this party since it was just released ten days ago, but still . . . especially since it was a BOTM selection as well. Thankfully I jumped on the library right away, begged and pleaded while holding on to the pornbrarian's leg as she drug me around the suburban branch and was first in line when it was finally obtained. I have a feeling the wait list is probably about as long as my arm at this point. But about the book . . .
Okay so Natalie and Will are both aspiring attorneys whose first-date small talk consists of figuring out how to get away with murder. (Confession: I read zero blurbs about this so I was totally ready for another Strangers On A Train knockoff.) Fast-forward to the present where the two have been married for ages, have an eleven-year-old son and have fallen into a pattern of work and home that’s pretty much a snoozefest – despite the fact that she’s a criminal defense attorney for a living. Needless to say, that old conversation from the past has long since been forgotten. Until something happens in their community that calls for . . . .
Okay so that’s all I can give you without giving too much. I will say that there were some hints about as subtle as a skillet to the back of the head about a certain something that made my brain decide if this didn’t end the way my brain was thinking I was going to be super pissed, but then . . . .
This was awesome. I loved that there weren’t 50,000 twists and turns, I loved even more that mistakes were made and things didn’t add up and normal people didn’t somehow become criminal masterminds. But most of all? I looooooooved Natalie. Good lord she’s my number one fictional gal pal for 2018 fo sho! I gave this 4.5 Stars over on Instagram this morning, but that’s just stupid. It deserves all 5....more
Warning: You may get super irritated by how buttholey Caleb is, but I didn’t because he had reasons – THAT WERE ACTUALLY EXPLAINED BEFORE I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF MIRACLE OF ALL MIRACLES!!! I did get super irritated by the terrible take on a Scottish accent. Still a fun little time killer that I wouldn’t ever discourage anyone from reading. Also, I’m really digging Berkley’s cartooney romance covers that are all a little similar to each other. It’s like you already know if you might dig it just by looking at the outside even though the authors/stories aren’t alike at all.
ARC provided by Berkley Pub in exchange for an honest review....more
I know, right? And also, that’s not the part that sucks. The part that sucks is that I should give this alllllllllllllllllll the high ratings because it has a plot – actually MULTIPLE storylines if you can even wrap your head around that fuckery – and yet . . . . I can’t. Why? BECAUSE GET A MOTHEREFFING EDITOR ALREADY! Not since Uncle Stevie have I experienced an author who is so unwilling to take a whack to her “baby.” Sidenote: If you’re looking for some assistance in that area, well . . . .
It’s 30 below today – perfect time for another overdue book review. Especially one that is set in the wintery wonderland known as Mistletoe, Maine.
Holly White finds herself the exception to the rule of the old adage “you can’t go home again” after being dumped by her fiancé right before her wedding. However, there’s no better place to turn a frown upside down than her family’s Christmas tree farm and café. In fact, the only downside to the entire town is the President of the Historical Society who spends her days . . . .
And fining people for atrocities such as “failing to use a historically accurate paint shade” when they attempt to spruce up their homes/businesses. Yep, Margaret Fenwick is a thorn in everyone’s side. The question is, who in town decided she was more than a nuisance and determined it was time to . . . .
Okay, this was a pretty good cozy mystery. If you follow me, you are well aware that I am an addict a lover of all of the Christmas things so the title, cover, location, etc., etc., etc. were all perfect. I wasn’t annoyed by Holly’s curiosity since her own father was involved, and really she didn’t go as far over-the-top as some other leading ladies in books like these I have read – plus she did her snooping with the local authorities being in the loop for the most part. Speaking of local authorities, Sheriff Evan Gray is a pretty good choice when it comes to a potential love interest. Oh, and dare I forget the icing on the cake when it comes to a “cozy” – the MC’s career. Always cutesie, always the most speshul of all the speshuls that ever speshuled, Holly’s handmade jewelry simply FLIES off the shelves . . . .
I grabbed this because I’m always searching for something easy to listen to during my commute. Confession time: I never watched Freaks and Geeks (and neither did any of you because it was cancelled for lack of viewers despite being critically acclaimed, so just stop lying about it) or Dawson’s Creek. Really the only things I can recall Busy Phillips being in were White Chicks and Cougartown. I didn’t realize she was the exact same person in real life that she played in those roles . . . . .
The only thing I can say now that I’ve finished? Self-awareness and accountability are real things. It’s a shame an almost 40-year old woman hasn’t figured that out yet and instead seems to be A-Okay being wholly unlikeable with zero redeeming qualities. But at least she’s internet famous, right? #sarcasm...more
First of all, every other bazillion review on this site saying this book is the perfect Christmas romance is 100% accurate so you don’t even have to bother scrolling any further on this shitshow of a gif festival. I didn’t know anything about One Day In December when I decided to read it other than the following:
1. It had the word December in it and that’s pretty much enough for me;
2. It was both a Book of the Month AND a Reece’s Book Club selection which makes me kind of look like this . . . .
Now I have to confess, when I started reading this and Laurie and Jack’s eyes met through the windows of a bus where they shared but a moment of kismet before being whisked out of each other’s lives I was totally feeling the vibes of . . . . .
ARC provided by Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review . . . . but since I need instant gratification I actually ended up reading a library copy before I even got the hard copy in the mail....more
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
But then a miracle of all miracles happened and our fearlessful leader Ron 2.0 not only finished this book but managed to write a review nearly instantly rather than his usual 18 month turnaround time. And then we agreed on it . . . . .
Ron points out in his review (go read it, he’s way gooder at the word thing than I am) how this is grit lit without the grit and that is spot on. From the title, cover and blurb I think we were all expecting a little more David Joy and a lot less Barbara Kingsolver, but the oh-so-very- eco-warrior-y undercurrent was pretty hard to ignore.
I think the easiest way to differentiate between this story and our usual reads about the potentially shady underbelly of Appallachia is that while all of the writers may have resided in the mountains at one point or another – they haven’t all lived in them. It seems to seep out of Joy and Brian Panowich’s pores onto the page while this selection delivers information in a nearly textbook type of detail that paints a clear picture, but does so without a whole lot of feeling.
If you are a fan of descriptions of the land rather than action involving the people who live there, this may be a winner for you. I, on the other hand, really channeled my inner Ron the entire time I was reading. Perhaps because the pace was so slow the issues pretty much jumped off the page, or perhaps because a scientist somehow not only finding himself banging what he thought was another scientist who just so happened to be a mule on the side AND ending up in the pokey AND somehow ending up miraculously turning into a real Billy Badass and doing a superbadawful making some scurrrrrry guys real mad so he has to hide AND then thinking maybe said bad guys were maybe in the business of stealing bear paws and gallbladders for a couple hundie a pop despite the fact that their general line of work dealt with millions AND even though he was like HBIC in asswhooping when he was in the joint gets concussed immediately the first time he even talks to a redneck AND being an outdoorsy science man in his previous life but having no idea what a ghillie suit even is but somehow being able to make a homemade one – well, all that had me saying . . . .
Especially with Like Lions just around the corner : )
Coming soon to a Goodreads near you – a Ron 2.0, Shelby and Kelly buddy-up. Who will read it right? Who will read it wrong? Who doesn’t really have time to read it at all (*cough Shelby cough*)? These questions and more will be answered on this upcoming episode of . . . .
Combined with the fact that everyone else in a book can act like a complete dimwit and do things that are stupid and/or dangerous and I’ll still love it - EXCEPT if that person is a police officer. Occasionally it flies, but usually that gets on my nerves.
The story about Lauren Tranter’s twins will definitely leave readers asking . . . .
Elevation isn’t what you would typically expect from someone known as the “Master of Horror.” It is, however, most definitely a story you might expect to hear from your favorite relative – Uncle Stevie. Simply put, it’s a puff piece. A little feel-good story about not judging books by their covers and finding a higher plane (either figuratively or perhaps in this case quite literally).
Back in the olde days of yore this probably would have been nestled somewhere in a collection of other novellas rather than being released as a solo work. The lack of quality wouldn’t have been as noticeable because the quantity would have made up for it. If you have a great library system like me or are a King completionist, it’s worth the little time it will take to read. If you’re neither of the above, you might want to jump into your time machine and listen to some Depeche Mode instead . . . .
People are people so why should it be You and I should get along so awfully
So we're different colours And we're different creeds And different people have different needs It's obvious you hate me Though I've done nothing wrong I never even met you So what could I have done
I can't understand What makes a man Hate another man Help me understand
An image of the cover of How Not To Get Shot should be listed under the definition of the word tragicomedy, because this is about the best example I can think of. Hughley is obviously a believer in the “gotta laugh so you don’t cry” mindset as he covers some of the most depressing subjects via laugh-out-loud satire. From police shootings to poverty to protests to current and former administrations – Hughley is not afraid to tackle any topic.
Obviously the people who need to read this in order to “get woke” probably won’t ever even know it exists. Others will instantly 1 Star it or label it “reverse racism” – and I’m not even going to get into that for fear of my brain exploding. Don’t want to read this? Don’t. I’m pretty sure it won’t break D.L. Hughley’s heart. If you do want to give this a go, however, you’ll find not only is it funny, but it’s also well researched and smart. I also highly recommend the audio over the print version. Hughley’s delivery adds so much to the funny. Especially when it comes to our current President’s attributes . . . . • Gaudy and loud • Incompetent • Lazy • Emotional, flies off the handle • Angry • Unintelligent—not bright • Lots of kids by different people • Cheats on his wife • Talks a lot of shit
All the shit you ascribe to black people! He does all of that shit.
(He also says the F-word oh so very well.)
Now you can decide if you’re too much of a snowflake to read this. *wink* ...more
I didn’t get it. Luckily I post my opinion on the internet, so I was able to see what a complete fucking idiot I am courtesy of some other reviewers. What can I say? I am an idiot. Or I was – because this time around?????
I knew what was going on the entire time it was going on. Annnnnnnnnnd I even knew the extra summin’ summin’ was coming at the end. I still have questions about why though. I’m more than happy to discuss under spoilsies in the comments, but I know y’all is a bunch of lookie-loos who will click the tag if I put it here and the whole thing that makes this work is the “getting there is all the fun” kind of aspect. Be warned that this is NOT horror, however. As another reviewer said, it’s more like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Junior and Hen have lived in the boonies since they got married. She works at an office – he works at the local grain factory. They are simple folk who lead a simple life . . . until a representative from OuterMore turns down their drive and makes Junior an offer he can’t refuse – to potentially be part of the first resettlement on Mars.
I believe Iain Reid has an education in philosophy and it shows here in a story about mind vs. matter and questions of consciousness. Don’t let that scare you away because his writing style is easy to read. My pea brain also found amusement in the fact that he chose OuterMore to be founded by someone who first became known for creating self-driving automobiles . . . .
^^^In case you aren’t familiar, my buddy Eric will tell you that’s Julliard Massage – the founder of Ricki Lakes ; )
Foe is a prime example of why I try not to be one-and-done when it comes to authors unless they engage in some serious asshattery. Reid’s first hit was a giant miss for me, but this one gets 4 Stars. Go figure....more
“He doesn’t need therapy. He just needs someone to love him.”
Multigajillionaire Pen Raleigh has died, leaving his company, home and entire fortune in the hands of the last in the line of Raleighs - Bernie. Spoiler Alert: I fell in love with him almost immediately . . . .
“My personal policy toward most of humanity resembles the Army’s policy regarding homosexuals. I won’t ask; please, don’t tell me.”
For whatever reason, my brain cast my favorite Drunk Historian as the lead . . . .
Making me hear Allan McLeod’s voice in my head the entire time I was reading which only increased my level of adoration. I’m now officially declaring Bernie as my book boyfriend and I dare any of you to try and take from me because . . . .
I asked the library to buy a copy of Last Will after falling in love with all things Wavy and Kellen with the release of Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. I don’t know why it took so long for them to purchase this one, but when they finally did I found myself terrified to read it. I mean lightning doesn’t always strike twice, know what I mean? As the days ticked by, the deadline for this selection to go “poof” off my Kindle approached, and a blizzard that happened to match the cover hit like a sign from above, I figured it was time to finally bite the bullet. What I found was my kind of love story . . . but very much NOT your typical romance. Full of quirky, broken people, this is a story about healing and acceptance and finding yourself and making a family. It won’t be for everyone because there’s not a whole lot of action to propel the story along. You truly have to fall in love with these people or it won’t be for you. A dry sense of humor probably wouldn’t hurt either because Greenwood is pretty hilarious in a very understated way. I was lucky enough to be approached for an advanced copy of this author’s next release – which again had me terrified upon receiving the offer. At this point, though? I think it’s pretty safe to say . . . . .
It wasn’t at all what I was expecting since I didn’t read the (way too long) blurb, but it was still pretty amazing. Briefly put, this is the story of Chula and Petrona who are growing up in Colombia during the ‘90s. Chula is a seven-year old who has been born into a life of privilege, living behind the safety of gates thanks to her father’s earnings in the oil industry. Petrona is a young teenager from the slums who has been hired by Chula’s family as a maid. Behind everything in the background is the cat-and-mouse game which is finding Pablo Escobar.
You may find your reading experience to be similar to that of a memoir, and you wouldn’t be wrong since this is fiction inspired by the author’s own upbringing. The story here focuses mainly on Chula, her life and her observations of what is going on around her with entries provided by Petrona about her life away from the estate (Petrona’s story probably would have earned 72 Stars and had me hospitalized from fangirling myself to death). While the writing and language aren’t that of a child, Chula’s view of the world and its goings on most definitely has a childlike naiveté.
I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone who is looking for a different sort of coming-of-age story set in a time and place unfamiliar to many of us that focuses on the where just as much as it does on the what and why and how. ...more
According to my profile page I am currently reading TWENTY-FOUR books. That is a boldface lie. I NEVER read more than one book at a time and since I was on vacation all last week I wasn’t even listening to an additional book to count as a plus one. I’m starting to tackle Mount Need To Review with this one because the Hallmark nonstop Christmas movies are my kryptonite and not only did this happen . . . .
I thought Candace Cameron Bure was my one and only when it came to these effing movies, but I was sorely mistaken.
Anywho(ville), this was exactly what it claimed to be – a gender/bender version of my fave - P&P. If I had watched the film before reading the book I would have declared it a 5 Star Hallmark holiday selection because Darcy was so much more likeable in film format, Luke was an up-and-comer in his own profession, the pacing was waaaaay better and there was no bonus bullshit thrown in at the end that I hate. However, since I did read the book first I was a little bummed that the powers that be decided to “pray the gay away” or whatever the heck they want to call it and made Bingley not only straight, but also a woman . . . .
Does everybody else struggle with finding something to say about 2 and 3 Star books as much as I do?
To begin with, this was yet another selection I immediately requested from the library simply because it was all over Instagram and had a pretty cover. I actually perused the blurb a tad for a change before reading and saw that it was supposed to be some psychological thriller about a voyeuristic neighbor who finds a peephole that allows her to spy on her downstairs neighbors. Now if you know me you know that made me all like . . . . .
The story here is presented by our narrator Frances. Currently confined to a hospital bed while she slowly deteriorates from some form of wasting disease, Frances recalls one unforgettable summer spent at a dilapidated manor home she shared with another couple – Peter and Cara. They had been hired to document everything within the interior, she had been hired to research its garden architecture. At least one, if not all, would prove to be an unreliable narrator.
Sounds great, right? And really it is . . . just not in the way I was expecting. There weren’t many thrills contained in this thriller, but somehow it didn’t really end up mattering much to me. The writing was absolutely lyrical, causing me to somehow picture a time like this . . . .
Okay, not really, but next year? It’s on like bing bong starting November 1. I’m like 99.99999% sure it was Bonnie who mentioned this title, but old lady brain sometimes tells me things that aren’t actually true. I do know the discussion had been regarding Lifetime Christmas Movies and my affinity for them and that this was promised as one of those films in book format. And it totally was!
This was the second in a series about the Comfort Food Café, but it worked just fine as a standalone. The story here is about Becca who avoids . . . well pretty much any human interaction that she possibly can . . . but ESPECIALLY at Christmastime because she’s a real . . . .
Yet another selection that I didn’t even manage to mark as currently reading – or listening to, as was the case here. Fail!
This was a recommendation from the library software and, even though it wasn’t great for me, it did pretty much fit what I gravitate toward for my listening pleasure. The problem I have with some of these is my unfamiliarity with the authors. Thus was the case with Okay, Fine, Whatever. I was intrigued by the idea of a middle-aged woman trying things that took her out of her comfort zone because I am a middle-aged woman who is terrified by the idea of being taken out of my comfort zone. I appreciated her willingness to talk about her anxiety and (hopefully) make people understand that while people like me might be assholes, our inability to be the life of the party is not always asshole-based. I also liked that she wasn’t going to do crazy stuff like jumping out of airplanes or climbing a mountain. Buuuuuuut (you knew that was coming, right?) I thought I was going to be getting a little more. I had never heard of Courtenay Hameister before or her radio show Live Wire (they still do radio shows? Whodathunk it.) and from the cover alone I thought I would at least be getting a little . . . . .
Sadly what had a promising start soon devolved into “look, even chubby 40-somethings can get a boyfriend if they try real hard.” There was a LOT of sex stuff in this – fellatio class, going to a sex club, having sex with polyamorous dudes. Obviously I am a lover of both the sexytimes books as well as the funny memoir, but not in this case. Also, dear publishers, be careful when you tell someone a book is “pee your pants funny.” Trust me, at 40+ and after birthing some chillins it ain’t supah hard to get me to take a wee in my drawers – this one didn’t even come close. ...more
Ha! I keed. It truly is Lord of the Flies meets [insert battle to the death book/film of your choosing here]. More specifically it is about . . . .
What happened in FantasticLand during the thirty-five days dubbed “The Battle of the Tribes.”
Here’s the deal: In the Fall of 2017 Hurricane Sadie was being tracked off the coast of Florida. It was anticipated she would be a wreaker of havoc, but no one ever anticipated her effects would be felt so far inland and just how powerful she would become. Basically, the only thing that could have been worse is . . . .
While the National Guard, local authorities and all humanitarian efforts were focused on the coastal regions, 326 employees of FantasticLand were left to their own devices. Weeks later, 207 were evacuated. This is the story of what happened, told in interview format by the survivors. It was oh so very . . . .
(If you haven’t seen that movie, you really need to rectify it immediately or there’s a possibility I will defriend you. j/k. *cough* maybe *cough*)
This was everything it should have been. Gory, nauseating, action-packed and a story that didn't miss a beat from the first page to the last. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurved it....more
The Chalk Man was kind of a mixed bag amongst my friends. The dissenters in the ranks all seem to have the same complaint – Uncle Stevie wrote it better. I say to them, this is nothing like his stuff, I mean his are set in Northeastern America and this is very much . . . .
But for me that was where the similarities ended. C.J. Tudor definitely has a voice of her own and expresses it oh-so-well in this debut novel. There’s nothing quite like a mystery that I don’t have solved within the first 15-20% to make me a believer as well. And the wibbly wobbly timeline? Handled with ease. This is a toss up if it will or won’t work for you. I loved the nostalgia, I didn’t mind the homage to The Master – mainly because it didn’t strike me as a poor imitation – and I loved that I didn’t really have to loooooooove any of the characters to still be interested in their story. It didn’t pull punches with the gore either (headless corpse say whaaaaaaa?) and was paced perfectly at a succinct less-than-300-pages length. All this equals a Kelly and Mitchell approved reading experience!
It took me four months and being approved for Tudor’s next book to serve as motivation to finally puke out this review. Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley, and I am obviously the reason I can’t have nice things . . . .
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
The premise here was a potentially fun one: three average girls are gifted a potion guaranteed to make them “Pretty.” My brain was swimming with visions of horrible comedy film good times from the past . . . .
Unfortunately, this was a complete and total fail for me. I don’t even know this woman, but Lisa Mossie says everything that needs to be said in her review so I’m linking it here. As for me? This gave me an anti-book-hangover – meaning I hated this so hard I think it gave me cancer I wasn’t even able to pick up a new book at all yesterday. I’m still not feeling it today either so I think Imma put up a Christmas tree when I get home and see if that cures what ails me. When the best thing about a story is . . . .
When this popped up on my feed awhile back I immediately went to the library to see if it was available on audio – while simultaneously wondering how I had missed reading it back in my Zombies4Eva phase. Well, turns out I had read it but since I am a moron I had completely forgotten all about it. So unlike me, right? It also turns out back in the day I was even worse at reviewing than I am now because I straight up compared this to Zombieland. I’m surprised a hoard of townsfolk and their pitchforks didn’t show up on my front yard for that one! I guess it’s because they were both funny approaches to the undead? Or I used to smoke crack and have forgotten all about that too . . . .
Whatever the case, Shady’s back – back again – this time listening to a story I already read years ago. So what is the story, you ask? Sarah and Dave show up for their weekly marital counseling only to discover the “perfect” couple that has the appointment immediately before theirs nom-nomming on the good doctor. The two decide to call it a day and head home to . . . .
Moment of truth: I am still actively avoiding Boyne’s mega-hit-with-all-my-friends The Heart’s Invisible Furies because I’m afraid I’m going to be the dissenting opinion and I don’t want to be stoned to death in the public square. I also have to confess that despite buddying up with my kid for The Boy In The Striped Pajamas a few years ago when it was a required read for school, I didn’t remember Boyne being the author so it was pretty much like he was brand new to me (and also, the latter was a YA book so my two experiences were truly apples and oranges).
I decided to roll the dice and request this from NetGalley after seeing many comments both here and Instagram regarding what a vile main character it contained. And yes, I was totally prepared to fall in love with him. Upon being approved I did what I do best - sat on it forever instead of reading it. But then it was chosen as a Book of the Month selection and I decided to bite the bullet. So what did I think of Maurice????
Ha! Just kidding. He really was awful. I will say that I immediately knew where the story was going (the first part had just a teensie bit of an Apt Pupil vibe that was impossible for me to ignore). It doesn’t appear that was the case for everyone, however, and some were completely blown away by Maurice and his attitude of . . . .
“I want to be a success. It’s all that matters to me. I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed.”
Luckily it didn’t matter even one iota that this wasn’t full of shock and awe for me. The storytelling was brilliant and the only reason I’m holding out on a full 5 Stars is because I feel like I need to save at least a half for if I ever get brave enough to try The Hearts Invisible Furies.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
And that should be enough to let you know if you want to take a roll of this dice with this one. There are no “sort of” Wes Anderson fans (and if anyone tries to tell you they “kinda” like his movies you should (1) ask them to name three of them as a test and (2) then cut them out of your life before they tell you a lie that’s actually harmful). The story here is of Frances, her son Malcolm and a little fella called Small Frank. Frances and Malcolm have lived high on the hog in the Upper East Side forever, but are being forced to change their lifestyle due to lack of funds . . . .
“What did you think was going to happen? What was your plan?”
“My plan was to die before the money ran out. But I kept and keep not dying, and here I am.”
This is a book that will constantly have you saying . . . .
“I have been swimming here for more than eighty years.”
I have zero clue how The Lido ended up on my to-read list. None of my Goodreads friends have read it and I know it wasn’t from the library software because currently that believes I’m studying hard on becoming either a methamphetamine manufacturer or a serial killer. Maybe it was one of those advertisements that appear in the middle of the feed here that make you think your friends have read it? Maybe???? Whatever the case, I think it was the cover that got me because I am nothing if I’m not the cheapest date imaginable. I do know that I have checked this book out . . . only to return it almost instantly two times before now. Why, you may ask? Because the blurb compared it to A Man Called Ove and that was pretty blasphemous to me. Now that I’ve read it? Yeah, it’s kind of like Ove. Only this time our senior citizen is a female and rather than wanting to kill herself she wants to keep everything she loves alive.
On the surface Rosemary’s goal is to stop a condominium development from going up and removing the community pool. But get a few pages in and you get the history of Rosemary and George’s 64-year marriage. It was so very Up. You know what I’m talking about???
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