Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: Tell Me How This Ends Well

Tell Me How This Ends Well Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Ok so I'm not allowed to request another book I might possibly enjoy until I right a review for this book. Honestly I couldn't finish it. I really thought I'd like it. I mean, I'm Jewish, I celebrate Passover, my dad can piss me off, I can be super snarky. It's the makings of a match made in book/human heaven and yet... Nope. I just couldn't make it through. I found the main character obnoxious and just didn't care enough to follow through. Sorry. I really hate writing negative reviews too because I think there's enough mean stuff in the world without adding bad reviewedbut that's my honest opinion and I really just want another book to review that I'll hopefully enjoy more. Sooo that's all folks.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Every Heart a Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was totally nuts but in a good way. At least to me it was in a good way. It was just such a crazy little story. Think 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' only it's a home for children who each visited their own peculiar versions of Wonderland. That is basically the best way to sum up this novel, well also there's a murder mystery woven through the story. This book is 160 some pages of magically bizarre uniqeness. I think it's probably not for everyone but those it calls to will absolutely love it. I look forward to reading the next 'Wayward' book

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

From the get go you can feel the theme of "forgiveness" being stuffed down the main characters through with increasingly less subtlety. You only have one father and you need to make good with him, Blah...blah...blah. Naturally his new wife is super nice and her dad babbles on about how he missed her and keeps photos of their old home to remind him of her, her mother has met someone new and is happy. Blah. Blah. All of this is irrelevant to the real matter at hand, if you create a life and dedicate upteen years to raising this child and then you just up and abandon them to live on a different continent on the other side of an ocean.... you SUCK!! Period. Yet, not a single person in this novel seems to grasp that this behavior on part of a parent is irresponsible and unacceptable, they actually seem to hoist judgment onto the young girl for not forgiving her father. Children should not be told to be the bigger person compared to their unreliable parent. Maybe the father should have stuck around for the few years left before his daughter graduated high school and been a real father. I mean he didn't just leave his wife, or even just move to another city/state he freaking move TO ENGLAND!! **whoosa** And now, for the sake of full honesty I finally slammed this book shut with about an 1/8 of the story left. I was just entirely way too infuriated with the premise. There's a chance that this story redeems itself in that last bit but I would be genuinely shocked if that happened.

I would definitely give this author another chance since my discontent with this novel is obviously very entwined with the specifics of the plot but I just couldn't get on board with so much going on here.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Conversations with Friends

Conversations with Friends Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really just couldn't get with this book. I pretty much constantly swung back and forth between boredom and annoyance. There was a distinct lack of likable people in this novel and while all characters of every book need not be likable, it is nice to have at least one person to get you through the pages. The protagonist of this novel was the worst! Ok, not the worst, she wasn't planning world domination or anything, she was just a self-absorbed, yet not very interesting portrait of a human. A human who is far more intriguing to herself than anyone else. The sort of person that had she been real I would have thought "yeah, she would write a book about herself." Banal. If I had to sum this book up in a word it would be 'banal.' Again, just not for me, but I'm sure it could work for other people.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review: Spindle Fire

Spindle Fire Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spindle fire is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose fairy tale, which, for whatever reason has always been my favorite. I really enjoyed this book, it's beautifully written with lyrical prose without out being overwhelmingly purple. The story does start out a little slowly and about 50-75% of the way through you realize that this will unquestionably be part of a series because there's no way there's enough pages to resolve everything that's being introduced to the reader. Ok, anyone who took notice of the Goodreads title up there would also realize this was the opening leg on a series, but that group of anyone's did not include me. So anyway, even though this novel initially has a bit of a slow pick up I think it does build up to a very magical and intriguing story that left me wanting to know what will happen and I am definitly planning to get my hands on the next volume which to me is the definition of a good book. So 4 stars from me.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: What to Say Next

What to Say Next What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book it was an easy read. I shouldn't say "easy" because it touches on topics that life situations that are in no way easy, more accurately it is a quick read. I absolutely adored Buxbaum's tell me three things to the point that I actually did my grocery shopping with headphones in because i didn't want to stop listening to my audiobook. What To Say Next is written with the same humor even when touching on topics of grief, neuro-psychological conditions, familial betrayal, and the some of the more disappointing aspects of the DSM-V. All in all What to Say Next is pretty typical of a YA contemporary novel but an enjoyably cute story and I'd recommend it especially if you've enjoyed other novels written by the author.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Made for You

Made for You Made for You by Melissa Marr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this was a solidly good YA thriller. Nothing groundbreaking but not poorly written either. After failing to murder the current high school 'IT' girl a serial murderer turns to trying to communicate with her through his killings as he becomes increasingly obsessed with her. There is an unnecessary plot theme regarding small town aristocracy in the small southern town that is the stories setting. This idea of local southern snobbery comes across lukewarm as a plot device that was never quite followed through with but kept getting brought up. Also, the narration switches throughout the novel between the the killer, the 'it' girl and her best friend. The best friends narration was entirely unnecessary and was more distracting than anything. Otherwise this novel was entertaining enough for me to consider reading more of the authors work.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility

Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book. I tried to like this book. I did my best to ignore it's flaws as they appeared. An Austen retelling with an adorable cover, the literary bar was not set high in my mind. This novel simply had to be adequate enough to allow me gleefully binge on pages of Jane mind candy. I've read some pretty horrible re-imagined Austen in my time and I adored every word of those mediocre stories. With this novel I just couldn't. The author didn't develop characters so much as she hammered the character's intended traits into the story over and over till. The plot and dialogue we simple and obvious and came across as scripted rather than natural. Even internal dialogue was unnatural and came across more like a stage monologue that any sort of natural inner discussion. Over explaining everything in order to "enlighten" the reader. Showing definitely lost out to telling in this novel... showing was completely railroaded by telling. The characters were so over the top in their "good" or "bad" roles to the point of being cartoonish. The story's 'hero' was a war veteran amputee with no family and in site of all that sympathy inducing back story he still managed to come across as a whiny, self-pitying, push over. None of the characters were particularly likable at best the were superficial and insipid at worse they were extremely annoying, extremely horrible, or both. This book just wasn't for me.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Lord of Shadows

Lord of Shadows Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lord of Shadows was pretty par for course. If you enjoyed the other Shadowhunter novels then you will most likely enjoy this book too. Ms. Clare has a special way of creating characters and setting that allows a readers to sink into them and enjoy. There are some books where I very much like the plot but the the slower areas of the book feel like a burden to get through. With the Shadowhunter books I never really get bored, even with the slower parts because I genuinely like the characters and the way they interact with one another which allows even the most mundane events to still be pleasant to read. That pun wasn't originally intended but we'll leave it there for good measure. Sometimes when I find a series that already has several volumes I'll try to read straight through but then find myself needing to take a break, often even when I really like the series. With Ms. Clare's Shadowhunter book I never I always experience the opposite. With every new release I recall how much enjoy her writing and want to start all over again from the start. Wrap up: basically if you've read the other parts of this series and are a fan then this book should not disappoint. If you haven't read the other books by lordy don't start here you'll be hella confused. My only tiny complaint is that this book did seem to be really heavy with the love triangle/threesome relationships. No body seems to be 100% certain on who they feel what for. Still loved the read though.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: The Star-Touched Queen

The Star-Touched Queen The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were many things I liked about this book. I think it had a very creative and original premise and it did an amazing job of creating a story using Hindi culture/fairy lore/mythology as backdrop. Stories based on fairy tales and folklore are some of my favorite and I personally have encountered many novels whose tales have a South Asian cultural influence. The author was VERY detailed in her descriptiveness and attention to detail as far as building a setting goes unfortunately at time it was to a fault an and all that articulately. More than once I found myself questioning (what does this even mean?) author's use metaphors. I also felt like the author's graphic attention to detail slowed down the story quite a bit and in my opinion the to no benefit of the story.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: What Girls Are Made Of

What Girls Are Made Of What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"As long as there have been women," Mom told me, "there have been ways to punish them for being women."

"There is no such thing as unconditional love. I could stop loving you at any time.

OK so my feelings on this book went completely topsy turvy from start to finish. Which is actually a pretty impressive feat considering the book is only 183 pages. If I'd been asked to rate the book at 10, 20 100, 115 pages I I'd have probably given Arnold's work a single star and brushed it off a bad but somehow in the last 20% of the book the author manages to tie everything together really well while also eliminating the over the top emo feel that the story seems to take for the first parts of the book.

Arnold bounces the reader wildly through current time and flashbacks, metaphorical stories of chickens and virgin martyrs and conversations with parents and about parents. It's a wild ride but in the end it confronts the beliefs our society instills in the female mind. Why girls are left believing they have to meet someone elses expectation to be worthy of their love. Whether it be a physical expectation, a behavioral expectation, or a completely ambiguous psychological expectation.

Arnold tells a quick but fierce story that demand the reader acknowledge the truth that no one should have to be "sugar, & spice, & everything nice," in order to be lovable or feel good in their own skin.

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Review: Tell Me How This Ends Well

Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson My rating: 1 of 5 stars Ok so I'm not allowed to...