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review 2019-01-01 08:20
My Friend Dahmer
My Friend Dahmer - Derf Backderf

I read this for one of my summer classes. We had to read and annotate 10 comics/graphic novels. Here's the annotation I wrote for that class:

 

Before he was one of America’s most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer was just a kid growing up in Ohio. In My Friend Dahmer, Backderf frankly examines his childhood friendship with Dahmer and events that led up to Dahmer’s first murder.

 

In the text, Backderf bolds certain words throughout the book. There seems to be no logic to the words he bolds. At the beginning, this style choice is distracting, and the purpose behind the emphasis on certain words never becomes clear. The artwork in the book is highly stylized, very cartoon-y and caricature-like. In the more explicit scenes, this works in the book’s favor. The style lets Backderf illustrate some of the more gruesome aspects of the story, such as the dead animals, while keeping the images from becoming too grotesque. There is also an interesting road motif throughout the book. It seems to emphasize the point that this story is not about Dahmer’s murders, but rather the path that leads to them. It shows that he was on this path for a long time.

 

My Friend Dahmer is an interesting read. With the current interest in true crime, there is no doubt that it will be a popular choice for a while. It does not seem like an essential title for all graphic novel collections, but it is a relatively new title and time will tell if it earns a place in the canon or not.

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review 2019-01-01 07:30
New American Best Friend
New American Best Friend - Olivia Gatwoo... New American Best Friend - Olivia Gatwood

The poems are better when performed, but the book is good too.

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review 2018-12-31 00:06
The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister by Meghan Quinn
The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister - Meghan Quinn

 

Am so tired of hearing people say that nice girls finish last. Meghan Quinn throws that adage right out the window with Julia. She's the girl that constantly gets overlooked, until the day somebody got caught looking back. It's love at first sight for golden boy Bram Scott, when he sees his best friend's sister for the first time. The guy with all the right moves, proceeded to fall flat on his face. Now that he finally has her in his sights, all bets are off. He knows what he wants and will use any means necessary to get it. Failure is not an option. He's playing for keeps. The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend's Sister uses humor to knock down stereotypes and deliver some valuable truths. Quinn is good at laughing her way right into a heart with her at times unconventional, but always irresistible characters.

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review 2018-11-26 12:26
Trial
Not So Happily Ever After - Christina Phillips

This book is #3 in the British Bad Boys series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  It is not necessary to read these in order, but it is enjoyable.

 

Mackenzie AKA "Mack" is still reeling for her feelings for her brother's best friend - when he appears at her door.  They are to help a mutual friend, and not ruin the careful truce that has been declared.  Can that actually work?

 

Will is not sure what to do or say.  He really wants a future with the girl that is just out of his reach.  He also wants a future where he gets to choose.  Maybe the strength will come by standing by the side of the woman who can make it all happen.

 

This was a great story.  I loved the banter with these two.  I really love this trope and hope to see more.  The book has all sorts of heat and sparks between this couple.  The pace moves along well.  I enjoy this series and hope to see more.  I give a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2018-10-08 14:25
Endless Book With no Payoff
The Little Friend - Donna Tartt

This book is not worth reading. If you are considering it, just know that after reading 640 pages, you still don't find out who murdered Robin Cleve Dufresnes. You are stuck jumping around to a myriad of characters with no real ending in sight. When you do get to the end you are going to want to throw this book across the room and ask was that it? There is no character development. The flow is non-existent. We jump back and forth among different times in this book and between characters so it's really hard to even recall who is who and who did what to who after a while. 

 

"The Little Friend" is supposed to be about the aftermath of the Cleve family trying to put themselves back together after Robin Cleve Dufresnes is found murdered in the front yard. The book starts off on his last day and we get to see why so many in the family loved Robin. When he is found murdered, there is an initial investigation that turned up no suspects. The death left Robin's mother, Charlotte, devastated and the woman for all intents has turned into a living ghost. Robin's father, Dixon, who didn't really care about his family at all prior to Robin's death, disappears to another state entirely and only returns home for the holidays. It really is Charlotte's mother and her aunts that take over raising her two daughters, Alison and Harriet. After the prologue we get into the here and now and find out that Alison is 16 and Harriet is 12. 

 

If you have to call someone the main character of the book, it would be Robin's younger sister Harriet. Harriet decides that she is going to solve the mystery of who killed her brother. When her family's maid, Ida Rhew talks about how Robin was always fighting with a local boy named Daniel Ratliff. Ida and others have looked down their noses at the Ratliff family and there are hints that he was jealous of Robin. Harriet through no evidence at all decides that Daniel murdered her brother so she is going to kill him. No this makes zero sense and since Harriet barely seems to like anyone in this book, it's odd she decided she is going to avenge her brother who has been dead for 12 years. 


Harriet is annoying. Tartt shows her nastiness throughout this book. And then something changes and we are supposed to feel for her when the family's maid quits. Eventually this turns into a coming of age story for Harriet, but then we go back to the ridiculous subplot with her trying to kill Daniel. Tartt does foreshadow that Harriet's life gets worse after this summer and she can pinpoint the exact time when things started to go badly for her. Her side kick in arms to this mess is a boy named Hely. Hely sucks and is focused on either making Harriet take notice of him and or annoying her throughout this book. Hely agrees to help Harriet with the killing of Daniel because he has zero sense too.

 

Besides following Harriet and her misadventures, we also follow Harriet's grandmother, Edie, and the aunts, Libby, Adelaide, and Tat. The book jumps around between them and also Daniel and his family too. If this has just been a book focused on a southern family in the 1970s it maybe would have worked, instead we have the murder mystery plot with a hundred other things going on. 

 

The book setting is the 1970s in Alexandria, Mississippi. There is some instances where I thought I was reading "The Help" when we get into the dynamics of white children and their black maids. Harriet doesn't seem to pay any attention to her family's maid, until through a series of misunderstandings, Harriet causes Ida Rhew to get dismissed. Her great aunts don't really get why she's upset, except for one, and Harriet refuses to say goodbye to Ida Rhew and we find out regrets it for the rest of her life.


The ending was just a mess. Things happen. There are red herrings. And then the book clunks to a close. 

 

 

 

 

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