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review 2017-04-26 14:34
Review: A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay
A Paris Affair - Sam Taylor Mullens,Tatiana de Rosnay

Short story collection. Breakdown of the stories:

 

1. Hotel Room - yeah I saw that ending coming a mile away, but Karma came with a big bite.

 

2.The Texts - really stupid story about a wife who calls an advice line looking for help regarding her cheating husband. Ends up with the wife berating the advice giver with such misogynist bullshit (ie the cat lady stereotype).

 

3. The "Baby Monitor" - this situation has been over used to the point of comedy. Wife catches hubby cheating on her with her friend via the baby monitor. Wife threatens in a very calm way that she is going to take a meat cleaver and kill the friend.

 

4. The Red Notebook - insecure wife cheats her way through five years of marriage because her husband is dull and unaware of her cheating ways even though she has purposely left clues. She does this hoping to get a rise out of him and have wild angry sex with her husband. Her plan is ridiculous and fails spectacularly - turns out he has been cheating on her the whole time and has a notebook full of women's names, dates, and places where he cheated. Wife finds the notebook and is overcome with grief at her husband's cheating. He leaves her one final note. The hypocrisy is immeasurable in this story.

 

5. The Answering Machine - the wife is a moron who can't work an answering machine in 1992. She finds out her husband is having an affair via a message left on the machine. She also finds out she is pregnant and just knows it is a girl, so she is not leaving her husband, although his cheating makes her depressed. Another unoriginal plotline.

 

6. The Au Pair Girl - incredibly racist friends share lunch one day and one friend admits she has caught her husband cheating on her with the 18 year old nanny. She is talked out of having an affair with her husband's best friend when the other woman mentions her cheating incident involving condoms. The friend is too embarrassed to buy condoms, ask the potential lover to wear one, or put one on him during the seduction. I can't believe I am reading this story (published in English in 2015) in 2017.

 

7. The Strand of Hair - wife decided to leave her cheating husband but destroys all their possessions and leaves a note to demand a divorce.

 

8. The Woods - wife follows her husband as he gets a blow job from a prostitute. She leaves her wedding ring on the hood after the husband looks up and sees her staring at him and the prostitute. 

 

9. The Passwords - this was a much different story than I expected and one I really enjoyed. Attention male professors in Paris: Don't sexual harass or academically ruin an American student after she turned down your offer of sex or you will pay the consequences.

 

10. The USB Key - the twist is the cheating husband is in love with man. He can't take the lying anymore, so he records his confession to her on the USB and leaves it with instructions for the wife to watch. The wife decided she wanted to stay married to him even though the husband has admitted he is gay and wants out of the marriage, so she is holding the son as ransom for the husband to stay married to her. I felt like she is doing this to get back at the husband and for her own selfish reasons. I honestly felt for the husband  - he has known of his sexuality but his family pressured him into not believing in his homosexuality and forcing him into a life of a straight man. Now his wife is doing the same thing to him.

 

11. The Brunette from Rue Raynouard - the brunette in question is a doctor, a sex therapist. The husband has been seeing her as a patient to help him deal with his stupid wife's affair that he found out about. Wife is super paranoid that the husband is cheating on her. But it is not like that....in the end, the married couple kiss and make up. *eye roll*

 

 

Overall, wealthy (or at least well-to-do) pretty white people want to create some drama in their boring lives - this is the number one reason I don't read literary fiction. So many stories involve women who cheated or were cheated on right after they had kids (so many babies in these stories). A parallel theme to the cheating spouses were the fact that they sucked as parents as well, aside from keeping a lover on the side.French men were given such a ugly treatment from the author, they should feel very offended; words such as "rutting beasts" are used to describe French men in general for example. There were layers of classism, racism, and huge amounts of internal and external misogyny colored the stories to the point where the author made these characters into cartoons. And there was no originality to the plotlines (screwing the nanny is nothing new, just ask Ben Affleck or Jude Law). I only liked the one story (about the American student) and I really felt for the gay trapped in a marriage with a woman who doesn't want to give up her status or appearances as a married woman. 0 stars. 

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-04-25 20:06
Bout of Books Cycle 19 Declaration Post

Man, this read-a-thon snuck up on me, with Dewey's read-a-thon coming in later than normal and gearing up for the RT convention. But here is my declaration of intent to participate in Bout of Books cycle 19. This will be my fourth BoB challenge and after this cycle I get to sign up as a BoB expert!

 

Since I will also be traveling home from the convention and playing booklikes-opoly, I don't know how many books I will end up reading or how many challenges I can participate in. I am just going to post my work in this cycle here on BL, with a wrap-up done here and on my blog (which needs to be updated like whoa!).

 

 

If you are a new follower of mine, 1) hello, welcome, and thanks for the follow and 2) here is some obligatory verbiage and link to help you understand just what the heck is Bout of Books -

 

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
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review 2017-04-25 15:20
Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts: The Obsession (Hardcover); 2016 Edition - Nora Roberts

This book is a mix of Boonsboro trilogy, the ...In Death series, the television show Criminal Minds, and category Romance. This is not a good mix, but the book ended up being okay.

 

It started off with such potential. Naomi Bowes, age 11, follows her father into the West Virginian woods one night and finds out his secret. This secret is rescued by Naomi and her father goes to prison. Her childhood/teenage years are spent in NYC with her uncles, her younger brother, and her unstable as fuck mother - those years were not all bad, and the uncles gave her and her brother a stability and warm family life that was severely missing since day one of their lives. However, shitty people are going to be shitty, and Naomi develops social anxiety and ends up becoming a bit of a loner.This part of the story was page-turning and rich in story telling.

 

Then Naomi, age 29, decides to settle down and take up residence in Sunrise Cove, Wa. She buys a huge, neglected house and begins renovating (via contractors/subcontractors), decorating, refinishing furniture, landscaping, painting, and basically lives the life of a HGTV show host. And she complains incessantly about all the noise while she needs to work.  On top of the boring house renovations, there are endless talk of photography; her work isn't all that imaginative (for example, the photos she takes of the band read really corny to me). All this boring talk of house renovations, cooking demonstrations,  and photography take up 3/4 of the book. It was the Boonsboro trilogy all over again. This shows that Roberts needs a new editor, one with strong enough opinions and backbone to start culling the tedious parts of the book and use these topics to enhance character development.

 

The suspense element comes into play again in the last 50 pages; there is a copycat killer that takes inspiration from Naomi's father's crimes. It takes Naomi far too long to figure out the new killings are related to her; she becomes quite the dim bulb after starting a sexual relationship with Xander. I figured out who the new killer was pretty early on - the big clue came at the end of the first part of the book, at least 250 pages before the first murder in Sunrise Cove. So there wasn't much suspense for me; the climax of Naomi meeting the copycat killer last all of two pages - in a 453 page book, the big suspense element was 2! pages. Her brother did most of the heavy lifting in finding who the killer was, but it was more like an episode of Criminal Minds (terminology, suits and ties, big black SUVs) than a display of Mason's detective skills. Definitely not worth the time invested in reading the mystery.

 

Of course, the mystery involved two serial killers, sexual sadistic serial killers at that. This is prime ...In Death territory and this book comes with typical ID tropes - MC has nightmares related to the murders, the victims are all women who were raped and tortured for days before dying (TRIGGER WARNINGS: graphic descriptions of rape and torture), and of course, almost all the victims were surrogates for the MC. And there are a LOT of women; Naomi's father had close to 50 victims and the copycat killer had close to 26 victims. It was overkill.

 

The characters were not really likeable; Naomi got bitchy about helping a stray dog, Xander is an alpha-hole, Jenny was too friendly. The worst character was Xander - he bossed Naomi around too much to be seen as a real partner to Naomi. He also said a lot of sexist bullshit and looked at Naomi as special because she didn't do "girly" stuff. **EYE ROLL** Also, he has very little back story, same goes for Jenny and Kevin and other townspeople, except for Marla who got the evil slut treatment (another ID trope).

 

If you do read this book, skip at least the second part and most of the third part to avoid HGTV overload. 

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review 2017-04-25 13:11
Header 2 - Edward Lee
Header 2 - David G. Barnett,Edward Lee

You can't take this type of fiction seriously as Mr Lee has his tongue planted firmly in his cheek telling this tale of rednecks seeking revenge on the mafia.
He also manages to introduce some very imaginative ways for folks to die and skitters well past the line of what is morally acceptable in story telling, be warned, sick, twisted and a lot of fun.

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text 2017-04-25 04:14
100% done with Dark Asylum by E. S. Thomson
Dark Asylum (Jem Flockhart) - E. S. Thomson

 

I started reading this last weekend after being so excited to get started, but unfortunately my mother-n-law lost the last wee bit of mobility she had on the day I started it and as her primary carer I had to abandon all chance of reading anything until I could get her sorted into a new routine and adapt to the extra care she now needs.

 

I finally got to pick it up again this afternoon and flew through it in one sitting. I was a bit apprehensive because I loved the first book in the series, but I'm glad to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was every bit as good as the first.

 

Review to come.

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