Actual footage of my reaction when I realized I was once again going to be a naysayer on yet another Taylor Jenkins Reid megahit . . . . .
I should have known better than to tempt fate after my miserable failure with Evelyn Hugo, but it was all over the Instagram and I am an easy mark.
I’ll be more than willing to take some of the blame for my experience here and say that from the cover/description I had definite opinions about what I was hoping the story would be like. Mainly in the form of . . . . .
And a playlist such as this on a loop in my brain . . . .
(#nailed it on that second one – thanks Brain!)
So what was the problem?????? I was expecting - at minimum . . . . .
Truth be told I wanted sex and drugs and all sorts of bad decisions. What I got instead?????
How was no one else not completely bored with this? What a snoozefest! I was sure the high ratings were going to end up being just a Bookstagram thing because most of those young’uns are young enough that they might not realize this story/the delivery really wasn’t a fresh idea and was 100% done before . . . .
But most of my fellow oldsters over here loved it too. I’ll just go suck some turtles, I guess.
All that smacktalking aside, there is one thing about Daisy Jones that is deserving of all the Starzzzzzzz and that is the audio. Making it to the end of this selection had I opted for the print version may have ended up being one of the greatest struggles of my life (first worlder here), but the full cast audio was amazing. Too bad I hated the story they were reading to me : (
Seriously, though, who my age didn’t have a crush on . . . . .
And while I never got the appeal of Benjamin Bratt from a looks standpoint, after hearing him talk to me for infinity (because this thing never effing ended), I have this to say to him . . . . .
Somehow after double fails, Maybe In Another Life is still calling my name. If that one ends up as a wrongread like these other two have, someone take me out of my misery if I ever mention reading another book by this author....more
To say I was not the correct audience for this book is a serious understatement. Don’t even call me a wrongreader either because the blurb was responsible for making me think it was going to go all . . . .
With a story about a dude who maybe killed his wife on the river and the two young fellas who happen to stumble upon him both with and without his better half accounted for that also included a side dish of . . . . .
To amp up the adrenaline.
What I didn’t expect was for nothing – and I mean NOTHING AT ALL – to happen for the first 25% of the thing aside from descriptions of flora and fauna, both surrounding the lakes/rivers where the story is currently taking place or about the ranch and maple tree farm (okay not really a farm, but only serious tree tappers are boiling freaking syrup all night) where the two main characters grew up. Oh, the berry picking and fishing and the list of what they had packed and how to pack it in a canoe and how to sit in a canoe and the name of the type of paddling they are doing in the canoe and also the name of the person who designed the paddles for their canoe and on and on and on . . . .
If you read and enjoyed Bearskin or think . . . . .
Is a great movie, this might be another winner for you....more
All I knew about The Beach before beginning is that it was a movie I never watched starring little Leo that was released about 72 years ago and that it seems to be on many “if you want to call yourself a bibliophile, you better read this” type of lists. Now that I’ve checked it off my reader’s bucket list I’m a bit at a loss for what to say. This is a story that had A LOT of things that I typically enjoy.
Potential utopia that eventually turns . . . . .
A narrator who continually has you asking . . . . .
Idiots abroad who stumble across a giant pot farm . . . .
So why the mediocre rating? Well, it also had some things that I don’t typically enjoy such as a lot of underlying political/social messages the author was trying to get across . . . .
And that unreliable narrator mentioned above? What was his name again? Richard? Yeah . . . . .
More like Douche LaRouche.
Not to mention his fall into insanity or wicked trips or whatever the eff was supposed to be going on had me like . . . .
And I know it was supposed to be because he was obsessed with Vietnam via movies and whatnot rather than actually being there, but it was still stupid.
In a strange turn of events, I actually liked reading about the place more than about the people this time around. Which goes to show I might be the most unreliable narrator of them all since I just totally flamed a book for being too descriptive about the setting....more
A better title for Dream Sequence might have been Much Ado About Nothing, but I think that one may have already been taken.
Kristin is a wealthy divorcee from Philadelphia who spends most of her time redecorating her home in the style she is accustomed to and writing correspondence a couple of times a week. Henry is a British actor who has starred in the hottest show on television for the past several years and is now looking to land an artier type of film role. They are both pretty smitten with the same person – and that person just so happens to be Henry.
I guess this was a literary version of a book about obsession???? I obviously wasn’t smart enough to get it. All I know is there were a lot of words and descriptions of things, places, feelings, etc. but pretty much nothing ever happened.
Let’s just be honest. This wasn’t a huge winner for me due to a couple of reasons . . . .
Ouch. No not that one. Well, not that one exclusively.
1. If a blurb leads me to believe I’ll be reading about a stalker, I pretty much want to be in the head of said stalker. Being introduced to Kristin only to have her go poof almost instantly and not reappear until the SIXTY-SECOND PERCENT mark was a bummer; and
2. There is never going to be a character so in love with himself or with such a desire to be famous and seen than Maurice in A Ladder to the Sky. This was just a case of bad timing and I apologize to Adam Foulds for not being able to fully appreciate whatever he was trying to offer up with Henry.
I really didn’t enjoy this at all, but am giving it 2 Stars rather than one because I truly believe there is an audience for this book. Sadly, I just don’t seem to be a part of it : (
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Once again I am the dissenter in the ranks amongst my friends and their high ratings. However, at 3.68 this book doesn’t have a high rating from the masses in general so maybe I didn’t read it completely wrong??? I also chose to pick it up during a time when my attitude was like such . . . .
So maybe that can shoulder part of the blame. Thanks work for being so extra last week, you turd!
I really wanted/expected this to turn my frown upside down. I mean, you know your homegirl likes the stalkers. And all the comparisons to a certain someone being dropped had me expecting You 3.0 - only . . . .
The Perfect Girlfriend had potential. Hell, it started out with our main gal breaking into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment while he was out of town. Her lack of self-awareness even made me chuckle at times . . . .
“I have seven missed calls from Nate and one from James. It feels like harassment.”
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, it was really slow going for me – the ridiculous(™Ron2.0) was off the charts – which would be A-okay if things didn’t go from farfetched over-the-top storylines to ones that . . . .
Also? I would have MOTHER.EFFING.LUUUUUUUUUUURVED it if Juliette had actually been (view spoiler)[obsessed with her former schoolmate rather than Nate and the opener was simply a red herring before she Single White Femaled her to death (hide spoiler)]. That would have been a fun twist I didn’t see coming. Buuuuuuuuuut, it didn’t happen and what did happen just left me feeling meh.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
“A John Doe has an exact identity. It’s just yet to be discovered.”
Well looky looky I completed the Winter Reading Challenge and received my major award . . . .
My final stop on my “Passport to Everywhere” was everyone’s favorite dream vacay destination . . . .
And with a Pulitzer Winner even! I know what you’re thinking, and my response to you is . . .
Or not because I read this one supah wrong and thought it was booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring (and also if this can win the Pulitzer then why didn’t The Interview win the Oscar????). Whatever the case, I read it and even wrongreading counts when it comes to getting free swag so yay me . . . .
Many thanks to my awesome library for creating these challenges (and handsome rewards) each year. I poo-pooed the notion of this theme when I first saw it, but have now traveled to Sweden, Alaska, Fallujah, Russia and North Korea because of it and removed books from my TBR that would have remained there indefinitely if it weren’t for this forcing of my hand.
What my face would look like if any of you were to approach me and ask: “Wellllll, did you love it as much as I did?!?!?!?!” . . . .
Because I am a terrible liar. Sorry I read this one wrong, everyone. Your billions of 4 and 5 Star reviews shall serve as evidence of my failure.
First, to all of you who were aware how hesitant I was to try this after my experience with A Man Called Ove and who promised this was really not a hockey book, I have this to say . . . .
It is 173% a hockey book – nearly exclusively for the first 38%, but really FOR.EV.ER. because “it’s a hockey town,” yo! And heaven help if they stop reminding you about that fact for one flippin’ page.
Next, here are some notes I made:
“If this another motherfucking book about a girl who goes to a party and gets raped by an overprivileged white boy who then either ends up killing/threatening to kill him or the boy who loves her/the bullied fat kid/her bestie/her daddy decides to kill/threaten to kill him on her behalf Imma burn the fucking building down.”
I didn’t burn the building down! Yay me . . . .
However, I am T.I.R.E.D. of these books. The subject matter at hand shouldn’t be a tired trope. Especially from an author who presents the viewpoint that “no one tells you it can be with someone you know.” Fuck you, dude. EVERYONE knows that it’s most likely going to happen by someone you know and unless you live in a “Beartown” where no one teaches anything other than hockey, that’s what you learn growing up.
Obviously I didn’t like this. I didn’t like the stuff mentioned above, or how un(or under)developed the OH-SO-MANY characters were, or that there always seemed to be HUNDREDS of pages left to read because the pacing was non-existent, or that it was so devoid of emotion. (I noticed that the same translator who was used in Ove was not used here. Maybe he can shoulder part of the blame?) I considered bumping up a half Star simply for Ramona . . . .
And Bobo . . . .
But JFC, at some point I have to stop rewarding clichés, ya know?
I think I need to cut ties at this point, appreciate the one beautiful story I read by this author and not sullen my own memory of him further.
Sorry I failed you all . . . yet again. The good news is I killed two birds with one stone – or hockey puck as the case may be here. I read a book I actually received as an ARC, but never opened because I was terrified of being the wrongreader (#nailedit) and I was able to check Book #1 off for the library’s Winter Reading Challenge by traveling to Sweden in my head for this selection . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley (over a year and a half ago – whoops) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! ...more
Upon realizing the buddy read of Bear Skin wasn’t going to be a winner for me, I was fully prepared to . . . .
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 . . . .
But don’t be dissuaded, Ron . . . .
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 . . . .
(Oh, and note to all: I’m totally calling this thing Foreskin and saying it’s a porny the entire time we read it to see if I can make Ron’s head explode.)...more
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
Sidenote: Am I the only person who finds it strange that King felt the need to narrate this himself or that bookpushy “blog” posts have become commonplace from his people . . . .
WTF? We aren’t called Constant Readers for no reason, dude. If you write it, we will come. Save the spammy self-promotion for the “Pumpkin Farmers” and overpriced self-pubbed authors of the world.
EDIT: No comment regarding this winning “Best Horror” in the Goodreads Choice Awards. ...more
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
Simply put, that’s my whole problem with The Real Lolita. This is a book that doesn’t have much book to it. There are few documents remaining to provide detail and the main players are all deceased. Heck, even the person who this is about is dead by the halfway point and my Kindle copy was wrapped up at 76%. The remainder of the story is full of quotes like the following . . .
“Here’s the point in the narrative where I would like to tell you everything that happened to Sally Horner after Frank La Salle spirited her away from Atlantic City to Baltimore, and the eight months they lived in the city, from August 1948 through April 1949. The trouble is, I didn’t find out all that much.”
As the author herself states . . .
“Inference will have to stand in for confidence. Imagination will have to fill in the rest.”
That just doesn’t cut it for me when it comes to a true crime novel. And the links between Nabokov’s and Horner’s tales are all based on presumptions as well. I mean, excluding the very upfront admission by Nabokov himself that Horner did inspire/breathe new life into the ongoing twenty-year project which was trying to give Humbert Humbert’s voice something to talk about. But the supposed symbolism and such were once again 100% speculation.
Like many other authors or students of literature, Weinman chooses to portray Nabokov as a bigger predator than the actual criminal himself. And like so many others, she has no proof behind any of her theories. I’ll happily admit Nabokov makes my hinky meter ping as well. His writing does tend to gravitate toward the same subject matter. But was he a pedophile or hebephile or ephebophile or simply fascinated with writing about the taboo? Most likely the latter.
It’s also abundantly clear how Weinman feels about Lolita - going so far as to reduce it to a “daring little sex novel.” She chooses to brush over the fact that this is a classic, subject matter notwithstanding - focusing on it selling a lot of copies rather than being a book entire literature courses are dedicated to studying. The baby is also sort of thrown out with the bathwater as fans are labeled as pervy wrongreaders who, for decades, were too stupid to realize Lolita was actually a victim and that in the present should simply keep their (and all other) copies firmly placed on bookshelves rather than encourage others to read at all, to which I say . . . . .
If you want to read about Sally Horner but aren’t lucky enough to have a public library like mine and share a similar beer budget which doesn't allow you to buy allllllll the books, I recommend skipping this one entirely and going for Rust and Stardust instead....more
“Can you come with me up to New York?” “For what?” “To see Donald Trump.” “What about?” “He’s thinking of running for president.” “Of what country?”
If you have ever bothered tuning in to the fake news, or read any failing publication or interacted with another human being in the past few years at all, nothing contained within the bindings of Fear will be new to you. I’m not a “let’s talk politics” on social media type of person and I’ve already blurred the lines of my own comfort zone enough by opining on Fire and Fury. I don’t have much more to say about this one . . . . pretty much because they are the same damn thing. Of course Woodward is a “respected” journalist so he claims to present a book full of facts and sources. Yet somehow it seems he just can’t wait to dive in to Pissgate and once again relies on using “deep background,” which although apparently mostly recorded (maybe) still relies a lot on the “I was in the room and heard this guy say this about this” type of telephone game sourcing rather than direct information.
At this point the only thing I’m interested in is what I quoted above. How the hell did we even elect someone like this into office . . . .
Are Americans really so stupid to believe in a snake oil salesman like Trump? Were they just so opposed to the status quo that they were willing to not only rock the boat, but potentially blow the whole motherfucker up in order to be heard? Was he simply the lesser of two evils? I know that’s what Hillary was for me.
As soon as Trump threw his name in the ring I told my husband he never planned on winning. I will stand by that statement until the day I die. Running for President was simply a marketing ploy for Trump. He wanted to revamp his brand and there was no bigger platform in which to do so. His appearances proved it – wheeling steaks, water, etc. onto various stages – remodeling a former post office into a luxury Trump hotel within walking distance of the White House. What I want to know is at what point things changed and he decided he wanted the big prize. I never believed the polls – partly because until a few months ago I still had a landline which received 99.99999% polling calls while our cell phones received about .00001% so I knew there was not a diverse section of society necessarily being reached, at least in my neck of the woods – but also because were people ever really going to admit they were voting for Trump? That’s what’s great about our election process – anonymity. It appears at least some of the powers that be felt the same – requesting donation money be diverted to Republican Senate campaigns generically and away from Trump. But at some point I think Trump began drinking his own Kool-Aid. I will never believe that on election night he expected to lose. What I do think is he had no idea how government operates or what was ahead. It’s clear he still doesn’t. He simply wanted to win and make everyone admit that he’s “the best.” Eventually Trump will no longer be President and actual sourced information will be divulged. Hopefully I’ll stop taking the bait on these damn books in the interim. Until then my new hope will remain that in addition to being 35 years old and a natural born citizen of this country, we also implement a “must be able to pass an 8th grade civics exam” as a requirement for running for Head of State in order to avoid a debacle like this in the future....more
First off, if you are allergic to books of noise then you best remove this from your TBR right now because it only works in audio format. The whole charm of listening to a couple who has been together nearly two decades is that they talk over each other and finish each other’s sentences and interject and add color to what the other is discussing.
I will also say if you are like me and #teamronswanson all the way, this might not end up being great for you either. Despite being a woman of a certain age who has been around for Will and Grace to be shoved in my face not once but twice, I have watched maybe two episodes. Maybe. Maybe only one. And I can’t remember anything about it. I appreciate the Karen character and have seen plenty of clips. It’s obvious Megan Mullally is funny, but the only way I know that firsthand is from when she guest starred on Parks and Rec. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told is Mullally heavy and I didn’t find her nearly as charming as she finds herself. The fact that Offerman is so willing to let her drive the train probably is what makes him the perfect husband. However, for an Offerman fan it leaves the narrative a little lacking. I think I’ll give his solo stuff a listen and see if that works better or if I’m simply a superfan of the fictional version and not of the real human himself. I know that’s the case with the couple together so they will forever remain Ron and Tammy . . . .
Despite not being hip enough to have ever watched any “webisode” of anything . . . ever, as a middle-aged woman I most certainly responded to the siren song of “from Executive Producer Amy Poehler,” became a Broad City instafan and discovered . . . . .
I mean really, these gals are my tribe . . . . .
There was zero chance I wasn’t going to pick up Abbi Jacobson’s collection. And when I heard it was about her going on a solo cross-country road trip?
Unfortunately, I also expected this to be FUNNY since, you know, Jacobson is a COMEDY WRITER for a living. I didn’t expect free association/stream of consciousness and I was unaware that the whole idea of the trip was inspired due to a breakup. It’s disappointing to report that I may really only be in love with one member of this duo . . . .
I also realize you are not supposed to discount or dismiss someone else’s heartbreak, but because I am a horrible old lady who has been married 147 dog years I will freely admit that it was my knee-jerk reaction to do so and I was more than a bit bummed that this didn’t live up to my expectations. I will say, however, if you frequently find this happening in your life . . . .
The “Sleep Study” chapters may be worth the price of admission.
Bonus: Jacobson might have the most pleasant speaking voice/delivery I’ve ever subjected myself to whilst commuting (and yes, I realize the print version contains “illustrations” of some sort, but really – skip it, audio is the way to go on this one). ...more
I had a feeling I would be the dissenting opinion on this one right from the start when the author performed a Google search for some stolen cufflinks based off of a sketch (not an actual picture) and swore she found the exact items (for a bargain price of $8 even) and that she would be able to identify the original owner/identify the perp due to the fact that “names starting with the letter N” weren’t very prevalent on the Top 100 Baby Names list at the time and also thought it was perfectly reasonable to Ziploc baggie the things and present them to the police (because DNA evidence would still be present 30 years later??? Zoinks). I stopped watching Nancy Grace once my firstborn started sleeping through the night and I wasn’t held prisoner by the lack of viewing options at 2:00 a.m., thank you very much.
I feel I need to disclose that I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Patton Oswalt’s book . . . . that I still have not read because he broke what is left of my dried out rotten apple of a heart when his wife died unexpectedly and he shared how shattered he was and I can’t bear to even think about picking the damn thing up to this day. That being said, I understand why getting I’ll Be Gone In The Dark to print was so important to him. But it’s MY belief that reviews should be honest - and honestly??? I don’t get the hype. I don’t think McNamara’s writing is particularly brilliant unless you are interested in what type of clothing and music were popular at the time of a crime rather than details of the cases (not to mention the fact that she only wrote half of it before she died, making it EXTREMELY choppy); the timeline itself is 100% disjointed and hops from past to future to past again without rhyme or reason; despite the “EAR” or “ONS” or “EAR/ONS” being responsible for 50+ crimes hardly any are covered in this book; and last, but certainly not least, McNamara doesn’t seem to have had too much insight into the case at all, but rather an obsession/borderline addiction where conjecture rules and fellow couch commandos are considered experts (if you’ve ever been on a site like Websleuths or the like, you’ll know the exact opposite is true).
Bottom line is: I don’t think this would have ever been published were it not for her husband being famous and making it happen as part of his grieving process. Good news for everyone involved is that the Golden State Killer wound up being caught which gave I’ll Be Gone In The Dark new life and a sort of cult following and very few people who want to go on record as “poo poo-ing” it due to McNamara’s untimely death. Obviously I drank the Kool-Aid because I read the thing too. I’m just also willing to shit on everyone else’s sundae....more
Carol is “dead” – her evil husband (who was TOTALLY Justin LaMonte in my brain). Sidenote (yes already a sidenote): Do y’all know who Justin Lamonte is? Probably not because you’re not ancient, but if you too are old you might remember him as a super douchebag from North and South . . . .
Anyway, Justin Lamonte Dwight wants to get Carol in the dirt stat so he can have all of her dollah dollah bills yo. Buuuuuuuuut he’s in a race against time as Carol’s former beau was sent a telegram regarding her “death” and is coming to save the day – which again made my brain take a trip on the wayback machine and James Moxie was all Jessie from Kathleen Turner’s novels in Romancing the Stone . . . . .
But should have probably been more like this . . . .
Because you kind of get beaten over the head with the fact that he’s an outlaw Josey Wales.
I have to admit I had to give a little bit of the side-eye to that very necessary plot point because . . . . .
Would the maid really notify this long-lost love that Carol told her about for like two seconds before eating the dirt and falling into one of her spells/comas/narcoleptic limbos that Carol was dead???? Probably not, but she has to here or there’s zero book.
And that’s my problem with most of the book. Ideas that weren’t fully thought out, characters who REALLY weren’t fully fleshed out and a synopsis that was way more interesting than the end result turned out to be left me feeling seriously meh throughout my entire reading experience. I should have known this might be a miss for me after not only having a bit of a rough go of it with Black Mad Wheel, or as I like to call it . . . .
But doubly so when it was pretty clear this story would take place in the Old West which makes me all . . . .
However, all I can ever think about when I see Malerman’s name is Bird Box which pretty much results in me being like . . . . .
Unbury Carol did not end up being the book for me, but Josh Malerman definitely knows how to words good so as soon as I see his name again I’m sure my reaction will be . . . .
Head’s up for any of you who are thinking this is going to be a horror: Prepare yourself because it sure as pig shit isn’t. And speaking of all the talk about pig shit, Mitchell has this to say about that . . . .
I say don’t turn it into a drinking game or you will quickly discover the following is a huge lie . . . .
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Party planner extraordinaire Margot has had to deal with plenty of mini emergencies and unexpected glitches during events, but the one thing she never would have predicted was that she would be (quite literally) tackling a real life angry bird situation . . . .
To make matters worse, once word begins to spread about the gala disaster, Margot loses not only her dream job, but also her loan approval on a new condo she was planning on purchasing. Right when she’s about to give up hope, Margot receives a phone call from a long lost relative, Aunt Tootie . . . .
Making her an offer she can’t refuse . . . . basically because it’s the ONLY offer on the table. What’s the offer, you might ask? Come down and help with the family business . . . .
“The locals just call it the Bait and Bury.”
Yep, you heard that right. Bait shop slash funeral home. Margot plans on only staying as long as it takes for people to forget the little snafu, but reuniting with a family she didn’t even know she had, new friendships, a potential for romance with a handsome local and the charm of the South might just change her mind.
I think I had my expectations set just a little too high for this one. After having a pretty howling good time reading about Naked Werewolves combined with this being about a Yankee who finds herself transplated to the deep South had me thinking in shades of . . . .
And while there was plenty of . . . . .
Along with some humor . . . .
“The first time you tangle with moonshine is like dancin’ with a good-looking carnie. Sure, it feels great at first, but you wake up sore and soaked in regret.”
It just felt REALLY forced. Margot wasn’t a great character which could be excused if Kyle was, but he was a big drip too. Then there were his children . . . .
Neither did Margot! But of course Kyyyyyyyyyle’s children were different – even though they were pretty insufferable little bastards, if you ask me. And then there was the being beaten over the head by Margot’s daddy issues . . . .
That freaking storyline was on a damn loop.
It sucks that this one wasn’t a hit for me, but I’ve been assured Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs will deliver what I’m looking for. We shall see, but let’s not forget that . . .
“What’s the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?”
First things first for all of you who have been following along . . . . .
IT’S A MAJOR AWARD! I read the required five selections for the Winter Reading Challenge and since I have no ability to limit myself – especially when it comes to mysteries and thrillers, I have a whole bunch more checked out/on hold at the library.
13 Minutes came on my radar due to a comment my friend Erica left somewhere (maybe Without Merit???? I can’t even remember my children’s birthdays without a reminder pop-up at this point so there’s zero chance I’m going to recall what YA selection we were talking about when this came up). The story here is about “the Barbies” a/k/a The Most Popular Girls In School . . . .
Natasha, Jenny and Hayley used to spend their time handling important issues such as . . . . .
And making sure their classmates always remember who rules the school . . . . .
But when Natasha - the leader of the mean girls - is found in an icy river, everything is turned upside down. Did Natasha attempt suicide? Or did someone try and kill her? If so, who??????
I’m completely baffled that Erica enjoyed this more than me. We must have pulled a real Freaky Friday because normally something like this would be right up my alley and she would be the one to poo-poo it. I guess my main issue was that I’ve read the twist contained in the pages of 13 Minutes a time or twelve before and I’ve read versions of it that were executed way better than this. At minimum, at least those other stories didn’t drag the glaringly obvious “whodunit” out for 100 flipping pages. It probably didn't help that the other book I read by this author kind of blew my mind. So even though this should have been a big winner for me it ended up being just “meh.”
Parental Guidance Warning: All these children do is drugs and have sex . . . .
This is yet another book with a fairly high rating that I found to be “meh” so I’m going to channel my inner Old Man Potter before I even start . . . . .
In the land of Goodreads 2 Stars means “it was okay” and that’s exactly what this was to me. I didn’t hate it, so I can’t give it 1 Star, and I started reading with my morning coffee on Sunday and was finished before lunch (while also doing all of the chores I hate and cooking muffins for my growly children) so, if nothing else, it was a quick read. It’s also one that if I say too much I will spoil, so I’m simply going to say when it comes to the storyline . . . .
There was also ZERO character development or feeling in the writing. It was like listening to a record at the wrong speed – it went too fast and had no depth. YMMV, obviously. This was my first experience with Renee Carlino. It appears I might have better luck Swear On This Life so I’ve put that one on hold and will get to it whenever my turn comes around. ...more
To say my expectations may have been set a bit too high when it comes to this release might be the understatement of 2017. Little did I know that by the time I was able to get my hands on a copy, what had been so hilarious to watch on SNL throughout the campaign and during the early days of the administration . . . . .
Would start to lose its charm when the world was faced with tragedy and we learned that we elected someone who could not even pass a civics test . . . .
Who definitely did not have “the best words” when it came to the #metoo movement . . . .
And who believes there are “good people” who belong to the KKK/neo-Nazi organizations, but twists everything a day or two later to fit whatever rhetoric the knuckle-dragging 30% who still approve of him want to hear . . . .
Last week the Fake News posted a quote from Senator Lindsay Graham that there’s a 70% chance The Donald would wage war on North Korea if there’s another nuclear missile test or 30% unprovoked. It’s kind of hard to laugh at this point . . . .
The least they could have done was try to keep some of the gems they hired for that drained swamp around for laughs . . . .
Instead of replacing them with less funny humanoids in the revolving door which is this presidency.
Maybe if someone had taken Trump’s phone away from him, I would still be able to think of this book as a parody. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Even sadder is that I turned in the paper version thinking the audio would be the way to go, only to discover Alec Baldwin reads about a third of the thing. Your mileage obviously may vary, but Trump has so out-Trumped himself at this point that there’s a good chance (if he knew how to write in more than 180 characters) he could have penned this himself.
At this point all I can say with regard to Trump family parodies that bring the funny is: THANK GOD FOR ERIC!
So let’s talk a second about my newfound dabbling in the world of audiobooks. I have long-since learned the words to every single song in the historySo let’s talk a second about my newfound dabbling in the world of audiobooks. I have long-since learned the words to every single song in the history of the world and wanted something different for my morning commute instead of this . . . .
(That is 100% the look my husband gives me when I insist on singing too!)
Anywho, please note said commute is still not very long so, at best, I get through one “part” of an audiobook each weekday. Despite having both an e-version as well as a paper version of an advanced reader copy of After You for over two years (Dear Publishers, never give me anything because I truly am the worst), I couldn't bring myself to read it. I knew I had to be far enough removed from Will's death in order to give this a chance. When a combination of me finding out a third book in this series was soon to be released as well as the audio popping up as both available and recommended to me on the library website I figured what the hell - it was probably time to bite the bullet.
I had every intention of giving After You 2 Stars because Jo Jo Moyes obviously has a ginormo set of cajones to even attempt to follow up the perfection of Me Before You. But then ELEVEN FARKING DAYS of listening went by (I know my reading log doesn’t reflect that, but it’s because I’m stupid and forgot to add it) and everything that was magic about the first book was tainted and cheapened and Louisa wasn’t adorable and quirky, but instead insufferable and pretty much a failure at being a grown-up and then Lily (FUCKING LILY!) showed up and I have never wanted to smack the crap out of a child as much as I did her little entitled ass and all of the men were vile and WTF happened Jo Jo – your husband cheat on you or something?!?!?!?! Not all men are awful FFS! Anyway, this was just gross. I am crossing my fingers that this was the “filler” book (although 100,000,000% unnecessary) in Lou’s story so she can get here happily ever after in #3. This one, though????
On a positive note, the narrator (Anna Acton) had the most pleasant voice and I would love to listen to her read again. Just not a big stinking pile of turd like this one. ...more
As soon as I saw “It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls” I was sold. I was also 100% positive I would love this. Not to brag or anything, but . . . .
With descendants of the original Salem witches as the girls who rule the school I immediately pictured . . . .
And was so excited I almost peed my pants . . . .
Bonus was the bitch squad were all super fab and also included hot boys so my brain went all . . . .
DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!
I was sure this would be the reading equivalent of one of the numerous programs on the CW to which I am addicted. (See above regarding not judging me.)
Where was I again? Oh yeah, then I started reading and, well . . . .
We’re talking straight up . . . .
It should NOT take me four days to read a book. ESPECIALLY not a 350 page YA book. But when the pacing is slower than me sucking a turtle, the person doing all of the superbadawful the most obvious cliché in all of obvious clichés and the love triangle (because duh OF COURSE there was a love triangle) featured a dead dude . . .
Yeah. Dead. Anyway, all of the above = a not-so-happy Kelly and Mitchell on this All Stabby’s Day . . . . .
Boy oh boy did a certain pig head go into this with seriously high expectations after reading All Is Not Forgotten. It’s a bummer this one didn’t work so well.
Per usual, since this is a mystery/thriller not a lot can be said without potentially ruining someone else’s good time. The basics are three years ago Emma and her sister Cass disappeared in the night. Emma’s abandoned car, purse and keys were found at the local beach. Nothing belonging to Cass was located. Fast forward to the present where Cass shows up at her house, leaving everyone asking . . . .
What follows is a wibbly-wobbly timey wimey tale of what happened to the two girls – not only during the three years since they went missing, but also about their entire upbringing . . . . .
“Aren’t I a good mother? The best mother you could ever want?”
The main problem I had with Emma In The Night was that I found it super boring. I don’t necessarily mind an unbelievable story behind a mystery and I definitely don’t mind unreliable and/or unlikeable narrators. What I do mind is feeling like a book that was barely over 300 pages was more like 500 due to the trip to Dullsville it took me on. Normally when I read a book, I’m in it - like 100000000%. Even books I hate I tend to become fully vested in for the simple fact that if I’m going to rage out, I better be able to explain what made me ragey. When I find myself taking breaks to put another load of laundry in the machine or start thinking about what sounds good for dinner, it’s not a great sign.
Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!...more
I put this one on hold after seeing my friend Christopher’s very concise review and glancing at the synopsis enough to see that Hope is someone who no one remembers. Literally. That was enough for me. And now?????
It appears that Claire North has quite the cult following so please don’t troll me. Although this was my first experience with Ms. North (or Ms. Webb, depending on the book), I think it’s pretty safe to say her writing style either works for you or it doesn’t. Obviously my rating indicates that it didn’t work for me. At nearly 500 pages, I found this to be waaaaaay too verbose in relation to the amount of story being delivered, the dialogue felt stilted and since Hope was forgotten almost instantaneously once out of someone’s sight, most of the scenes were pretty much like . . . . .
With a touch of this thrown in for good measure . . . . .
In my defense, while perusing the glowing reviews I found several that talked about how this was a young adult selection and that Hope was in her teens. Uhhhhhh, there is a big ol’ segment regarding “a letter, from myself, to myself, written when I was twenty-four years old.” I will gladly admit I read this wrong, but it seems like some others did too....more
My advance apologies to Alissa for the lack of turtle gifs, but really my feelings on this one can be summed up quite easily with one image alone . . . .
It appears I don’t drink the John Green Kool Aid anymore. And obviously it must be me because this follows the standard Green formula of smarter-than-the-average-bear, straight, white kids navigating puberty with some sort of debilitating disease thrown in for good measure. I’ll take partial blame for having my hopes set on this sort of experience . . . .
But when the blurb tells me this highly anticipated novel centers around a few kids and a missing recluse a la D.B. Cooper, nostalgia can’t help but kick in. What I got instead was 300 pages of being inside of Aza’s head with not much story. Bonus was I got to feel like a huge dickhead the entire time I was reading because I COULD. NOT. STAND. this child. I know I know I’m a heartless bully, but FFS, you have like THE MOST SUPPORTIVE MOTHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE, a best friend who accepts you with all of your quirks, a potential boyfriend who YOU keep giving mixed messages to so he’s totally confused whether you’re just buds or something more and to top it all off you acknowledge you’re kind of crazy (do not get offended, crazy people are the first to use that term as Aza and everyone around her does here), but you also only kinda sorta take your medicine sometimes. Nope. I ain’t doin’ it.
Here’s the quote everyone should take from this one . . . .
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life – “it goes on.” And you go on, too, when the current is with you and when it isn’t.
^^^That right there is the truth. The world won’t stop (or even slow down) just because you need it to. Use your support system. Take your medicine. Make it an easier place for you to navigate. You might just find it’s not all bad.
Now let me hightail it on outta here before the superfans find me . . . .
Part of me is a little terrified to read this because I ain't as sweet as I used to be so I'm not sure I'll still drink the John Green Kool Aid ..... but since I've been told I "suck turtles " it's almost like he wrote this just for me!
Speaking of turtles, I found a pic of Shelby's ....
I really should have followed the advice of America’s favorite T.V. dad on this one . . . .
I just couldn’t help myself, though. I mean look at that cover. Adorable! And then when I discovered it was about not only one of my favorite things . . . .
But also about a super-rich family who lost all of their money and whose only hope to regain their fortune was by returning to China and laying claim on some old-but-not-forgotten land, I was hoping for something along these lines . . . .
Sadly that wasn’t what I ended up getting.
The Wangs vs. The World had a lot of potential. The patriarch, Charles, had “turned shit (or in this case urea) into two hundred million dollars’ worth of Shinola” by creating a cosmetics empire . . . .
Before losing his ass (and house, cars, jewels, clothes, you name it) due to a bad business decision. When Charles was presented as sort of a stereotype/cardboard cutout of a character, I wasn’t too concerned. I figured the story would focus mainly on his three children. Then I met them . . . .
And the son was even worse! An unfunny want-to-be comedian. #snore
The only saving grace was the stepmother, Barbra . . . .
Ha! I’m kidding. She was super blah too.
It’s a shame this book fell so flat for me, but it did. It’s probably a good practice that any time a publicity statement labels a book as “hilarious” said book actually contain at least some humor. If you’re looking for something over-the-top and funny, pick up Crazy Rich Asians instead. That one was a hoot. ...more
In this case, sadly the book wasn’t quite what it seemed either. Per the placeholder “review” below, you can see proof of why it is important to have good titles, pretty covers and an eye-catching synopsis in order to hook readers. Especially a reader like me who doesn’t even bother reading a whole blurb before hitting the request or one-click buttons or running straight to the nearest cash register.
When I glossed over the summary for Desert Flowers the following jumped out at me . . . .
themselves and their five daughters
middle of nowhere
must do what they can to protect themselves
And my brain convinced me there would be some of this . . . .
Mixed with a bit of this . . . .
Which would translate into me doing a lot of this . . . .
Without spoiling things, please note this book was about NONE OF THOSE THINGS. Obviously I have to take a portion of the blame for this being such a fail for me. However, when there is absolutely ZERO character development – other than kind of a squicky “farmer’s daughter” type of vibe, no explanation of the why behind the main plot point and a story that could have easily been told as a 50-page novella since it absolutely no depth beyond surface level, I refuse to give more than 1 Star. Bottom line? This thing was . . . .
The only bright side was it was so simplistic I read it in a couple of hours.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Fever Pitch had been on my TBR since Jesus was a toddler due to my love for Nick Hornby. I avoided it since I was well aware the combination of soccer superfandom and autobiography might not prove to be a winner for me. Somehow (I believe when I was looking for a “sporty” book to read at one of the kids’ various games) this cycled back around on some list I have long since forgotten and I requested the porny librarian to obtain a copy – which she did pronto because she is well aware that . . . . .
What I did not realize was this was the inspiration behind the Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore flick of the same name – they just flipped the script to make things more ‘Murican . . . .
Which I can TOTALLY relate to as a lifelong Cubs’ fan . . . .
I don’t remember particularly enjoying the American film version of Fever Pitch, but knowing these were based on the same story I bumped the book up on the TBR thinking it would at minimum bring me some LOLz with Hornby finally dropping the charade and admitting he is the inspiration behind all of his loveable losers . . . .
I was assured by the list which cannot be named that Fever Pitch would be a guaranteed winner for even those who detest soccer because it would bring so much funny. Sadly, that was not my experience. With every entry revolving around the events of a specific game and players’ names being dropped every other sentence, it became obvious immediately that Hornby is pretty much this guy . . . . .
Which was way over my head since my only experience with soccer (or football) comes from watching my freshman in high school play - something I really can’t wrap my brain around because how the hell does a kid make a team and then become a starter for a sport he hasn't played since he was 3 years old when he earned the nickname “Bobby Boucher” due to his constant water drinking and non-playing???? Oh yeah, probably because everyone else “played” like this . . . .
Fever Pitch earns 2 Stars rather than 1 because Hornby is a brilliant writer and there’s simply no denying it. When personal touches such as familial relationships or battles with his own demons were brought up, it was magic. Unfortunately, those moments were like specs of pepper in a sea of salt and didn’t serve to heighten my enjoyment much at all. Don’t take my word for it, though. I’m so stupid I’ve been reading this in snippets for nearly a week and failed to ever mark it on my “currently reading” list. Also, if you are a fan of English soccer anywhere between the early ‘70s to the early ‘90s, this could definitely be the book for you....more