Thursday, August 17, 2017

END of Summer Reading 2017

It's come and gone and every public library can take a deep sigh of relief. Summer Reading is finally over and I don't have to worry about entering all my entry forms online. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait to see if I won.

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree 

Flyy Girl (Flyy Girl, #1)I remember completely relating with Tracy. She seemed just as confused and lost about boys as I was. I thought she was such a great character for a young black girl to read about and see herself in. I still think this is a great urban classic but Tracy isn't really the best role model. I found her to be irksome and stupid in my second reading. This book is very dated with the slang and descriptions of wardrobe but it does an amazing job of showing that nothing really changes. A coming of age tale is relevant no matter the era.

The Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food FreedomI heard about this lifestyle change through the grapevine and I decided to check it out. It's a very interesting read and after studying it for the past three weeks, I've decided to complete it. My start date isn't until October because of upcoming vacations but I've already invested in some new pots and pans. I'm going to be cooking like crazy. I am very excited to see how this will impact my life. I wonder what I will miss and what I won't. I will say this; the very first item I'll be reintroducing to my diet will be red wine.

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls
I felt like this book was trying too hard. I found Evie's relationship with Suzanne to be very interesting but the book buried it under metaphors, similes, and adjectives galore. Every thing that the author could describe, she did. It made the listening experience tedious. The voice actor used a breathy voice and it annoyed me so much. I hated to hear her speak character's dialogue. Her narration wasn't as bad. This book could have been better executed but there's nothing to do about it now. I can only hope that her next novel tones it down with the exaggerated style of writing.

Soul Eater, Vol. 10 (Soul Eater, #10)
Soul Eater Vol 10 by Atsushi Ohkubo

Do I really believe BJ has been murdered? I don't want to. He was a great new addition to the story and I liked his interactions with Marie. I wanted them to get back together. I have no idea what's going on with Black Star but seeing him get his ass kicked was much appreciated. He's becoming my least favorite character.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
And now I see why this is a classic. Dan Stevens does an excellent job of bringing this novel to life. His voices for each character weren't muddled or forgettable. He makes sure you know exactly who's talking and listening for every little detail. Detective Poirot is a completely engaging protagonist. He's smart, quick witted, and likable. The ending had me clenching my fists in eagerness to find out who killed Ratchett on the train. It was a satisfying conclusion and has me heavily considering reading the entire Hercule Poirot series. 

The Regulars by Georgia Clark

The Regulars
I really wanted to like this book. I was in the mood for a lighthearted read, something funny and quick to read through. This book felt like I was getting a lobotomy. It was just so boring. I didn't like any of the protagonists and didn't care about any of their issues. The style of writing and plot progression felt very juvenile. I've been told this is a great beach book but if I was reading it on a beach, I'd be tempted to throw it into the water. This is the author's first adult novel and I feel like it shows. I won't be looking for her other work but am hopeful that her next adult novel will build on her talents and have the right tone that she's looking for.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer Reading Part 3

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty So I was recommended this book by my boyfriend and I'm offended that he thought I'd like this. To be fair, I am a huge erotic fan and an even bigger fan of retellings of classic stories. This particular one did nothing for me. I was put into a bad mood from the very first chapter, when Sleeping Beauty isn't even awake for her deflowering. That colored the rest of my reading experience. I didn't care for the Prince and felt his arrogance unwarranted. I felt that he didn't heard the right to be making Beauty into his sex slave. Her Stockholm syndrome did nothing to endear me to her. I found her inner narrative annoying and tedious. The spanking scenes all felt repetitive and not sexually appealing at all. I just didn't like this book.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
I had listened to parts of this memoir last year but never fully through. I'm glad I came back to it because it's a great collection of essays. Lawson is beyond relatable. I hear her life stories and find little pieces of myself reflected back at me. She read her own audio book and her voice really brings the book to life. There was even a bonus chapter at the end, after the epilogue. I am excited to go back and read her first book.

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Journey (A Dog's Purpose, #2)I was so close to giving this book 1 star but the ending pulled it through for me. I hated the voice of CJ and Gloria. Their character arcs were annoying and I found it hard to care about them. CJ had so many problems in her life, many self inflicted that it felt hard to have sympathy for her. The last few chapters were the saving grace of this novel. It finally comes full circle for the dog and he completely understands his purpose. I was not surprised to find myself crying when the dog's soul or conscious or whatever finally moved on. It was such a touching ending to the book series.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

This was where the story picked up for me. I'm fully invested in Harry's journey to defeat Voldemort. The audio book does a fantastic job of sucking me into the book. Harry is a bit more likable and the absence of Hermione was almost agonizing. It's so obvious to be now that Rowling was setting up the romance between her and Ron. He was the most the most distraught when she was petrified. The battle between Harry and Tom was epic. I wish he was the final villain instead of the damaged and freakish present Voldemort. It's always nice when the villain is handsome and charming. Makes you love to hate him.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review for One Fire by Rachel Kramer Bussel

On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories

This book was just beyond amazing. My favorite kind of erotica has always been under the romance umbrella. You get the sweet and the nasty all rolled into one. Below are my favorite stories:

Sensitive to the Touch by Donna George Storey
-stocking fetish
-loved the relationship and unexpected reaction to the kink

Just Knowing by Kristina Wright
-quickie in the woods
-loved the jealous ex angle, wish this were a full length romance novel

Lily’s Last Stand by Delilah Devlin
-couple finding the spark again
-wife and husband have great chemistry

The Sweetest Thing by Giselle Renarde
-short, sweet story
-toy play, makes me wanna invest in a rabbit

The Exhibition by Malin James
-a couple on the verge of breaking up or getting back together
-hot sex scene
-love mixed signals adding to their passion but being quickly resolved

Approaching Hardcore by Jacqueline Applebee
-love the twist with the threesome being with another woman
-love the subtle comedic tone
<3 p="">
A Place as Beautiful as This by A.M. Hartnett
-hot, hot, hot

Con Artist by Veronica Wilde
-love the cosplay theme

Barbed Love by Tamsin Flowers
-interesting and unique story
-felt that the pool boy was unnecessary

Art of Darkness by Heidi Champa
-great setting
-makes me interested in sense depravation during play

The Dance by Rachel Kramer Bussel
-interesting plot
-comedic intro to the unsuspecting couple
-hot sex scenes, made me blush

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Reading Part 2

7 ate 9 by Tara Lazar

7 Ate 9This book is bursting at the seams with puns so parents will enjoy reading this to their kids. It'll make both child and adult laugh and have have good time trying to solve the case. The art is clean and simple, helping add mystery to the case. Private I is a good detective, I'd come to him with a crime anytime.

Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim

Cat on the BusThis is mostly a nonverbal book, a picture book in its original form. A stray cat is cold and hungry when it gets on the bus and finds a forever home. The art is very pretty. I wouldn't recommend this for a bedtime story since there are next to no words but it's a great visual read for smaller kids who might want a cat of their own.

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari JumpsFor a debut picture book, Cornwall seems like a natural. Jabari just finished his swimming lessons and is now ready to tackle the diving board. But once at the pool, he's hesitant to take the dive. His dad lets him know that it's okay to be scared and to take a deep breath. It's a great story for kids that need a little encouragement to face their fears. The city landscape has to get a shout out; I found it extremely interesting that the buildings were newspaper clippings or pages from a book. It looked very cool.

Brick by Brick by Charles R. Smith Jr

Brick by Brick
The poetry writing was unexpected but I still liked it. It made the book story time friendly. I would recommend this for older children, around 6 or 7. It's a great conversation starter between children and adults on the subject.

One-Punch Man vol 8 by ONE

One-Punch Man, Vol. 8

It's been too long since I've read this series. Saitama is just a great character. I love the way he plays off of the other characters. The action scenes are a little clearer to understand. This volume was much shorter than I would have liked but the bonus stories were hilarious.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer Reading Part 1

It's all on the line people. My job's grand prize for summer reading is a PAID DAY OFF. I need this. I WANT THIS. I've been reading like a madwoman to secure my top spot. Unfortunately, it's a random picking. But the more I read, the more chances I have of winning.

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)Again, I watched the movie before reading the book. But to be fair, I did not know it was a book until after seeing the DVD. I'm torn between which one was better. On one hand, the film was cute and well acted and had a happy ending. The book felt a bit dragged out and the ending had me in tears. So it all depends on what mood you're in. The voice actor did a great job with Bailey. I was lulled into a trance by his unassuming voice. The time he spent with Ethan went on a little longer than I would have liked. I found his other lives to be way more interesting. It was fun to see them reunite though. This is where the movie and book offer two different endings. The film made me happy and satisfied. The book made me cry and also satisfied. Both offered a feel good experience.

I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

I Will Not Eat YouThis dragon sucks at being a dragon. I'm glad he didn't eat the boy and they know play but the last line says that could change in a heartbeat. The sequel will have Theodore finally devouring the boy, killing the playful mood lol.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner

The Diary of  a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and PicturesThis book is very triggering but I still found it interesting and not traumatizing enough to stop reading it. Minnie is not a likable or relatable character. She's the worse stereotypes of a teenager rolled into one. Despite everyone around her taking advantage of her and abusing her, I found it hard to feel sympathy. It's a dramatization of real life events but I oddly was disconnected from it. I enjoyed the movie adaptation much more.

Friend or Foe? by John Sobol

Friend or Foe?
The title questions remains unanswered in this children's book. The mouse wants to know if the cat is friend or foe. But the mouse never finds out as the cat and mouse switch their homes by accident. The art is great and helps add to the tone of the story. I don't see this as a very good bedtime story though. It'll push your kid into an early quarter-life crisis.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Welcome to Night ValeI had heard about this podcast but never listened to it. This book makes me wanna binge listen to the entire thing. This was deliciously strange and disturbing and hilarious. I loved the voice actor, which I think is the same one from the podcast. He really had me engaged in the story and thoroughly creeped out. My favorite chapters where the radio broadcasts from Cecil's show. The story itself was amazing but I felt it lost some steam towards the end. Diane and Jackie were strong protagonists that had me rooting for them to solve the mystery.