logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: 4-point-5-stars
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-08-23 03:03
Lola Review
Lola: A Novel - Melissa Love

Lola, by Melissa Love, reads like a television drama. If you're a fan of shows like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy, you should like this book. That being said, the book is not without its problems.

If you're a medical professional of any kind, this book is likely to have you rolling your eyes or fuming more than half a dozen times. The medical inaccuracies were ludicrous and easily fixable. Nothing consulting a nurse wouldn't have fixed. The problems are as follows (slight spoilers ahead):

#1. Character has finger cut off and reattached and contracts sepsis all under 24 hours. I was a CNA for five years, and during that time I was trained and became a certified phlebotomist. I drew plenty of cultures in those five years. Cultures, the tests used to diagnose sepsis, take 24-48 hours to grow results.

#2. The symptoms of infection take hours to develop. Even if they tested this character the minute he hit the ER, there's no way he could have been diagnosed and admitted for sepsis because they would have had no reason to even check for sepsis.

#3. I'm sure there are shitty hospital employees out there who do not give a shit about HIPPA rules and regs, but who gives out a patient's diagnosis and personal info to someone who's only asking for a fucking room number?

To paraphrase:

Person: "Hey, I'm looking for so-and-so."

Hospital personnel: "Right. He's in room what's-its-fuck and by the way they were able to reattach his finger and he was admitted because he has sepsis."

Person: "Great. I'm so-and-so by the way."

Hospital personnel: "Oh, cool. He's been asking about you."

If you've never worked for a hospital, none of this is going to bother you. Needless to say, it bothered the fuck out of me because I was enjoying the realistic feel of the book. It took me over half the book to get back into the story because I was pissed that the author couldn't be bothered with simple fact checking.

Another thing that took me out of the story was zero mention of smog. It's always clear blue skies and gorgeous vistas in this book. I lived in California for 15 years, was born and raised there. The sky always looked like a smoky bar unless the Santa Anas had blown through. This might sound like me being nit-picky, but not mentioning smog in a story set in southern California is like writing about Egypt without mentioning sand.

Finally, as far as accuracy is concerned, I've been a member of three different gyms in my life. None of them allowed you to keep items in their lockers overnight, much less for several days. That being said, some might. So I might be wrong, but I doubt it. Lockers in gyms are prime real estate, and I don't believe any company would risk tying up lockers by giving them permanently to customers. Besides, they would eventually run out.

All of that killed my rating for this one. The story itself is a five-star read, as is the quality of the writing. A little more research would've made this a runner for my book of the year. I loved the characters, especially Lola and Lucy. If the author decides to write a sequel, I'll definitely pick it up.

In summation: Lola is a terrific story that is well-written yet horribly researched. All of the problems in this book are easily fixable, but it didn't seem like anyone wanted to be bothered with checking the facts. If you can ignore the impossiblities and inaccuracies, you should dig it, but my life-experience ruined the book for me. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC, which I received for free in return for the honest review you've just read.

Final Judgment: Donald-Trump levels of fact checking.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-08-12 23:11
The Hungry Moon Review
The Hungry Moon - Ramsey Campbell

This was my first experience with Ramsey Campbell and a buddy read with the ever-patient Thomas Strömquist. I came to the 80's and 90's English horror game late in life, somewhere in the ass-end of my twenties. While everyone was reading the Ramsey Campbells and the Brian Lumleys and the Clive Barkers, I was over here reading Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, and Dean Koontz, back when Koontz was considered a horror author because of such successes asPhantoms and Strangers. I think the only 80's-90's horror author I read in the 90s was Stephen Laws, and I remain a fan of his to this day, even though I don't think he's writing anymore. If that's accurate information, that's a real shame. Laws is/was terrific. Look him up.

The Hungry Moon does some things right and others things that are not necessarily wrong but whacky as fuck. I think the biggest disappointment I had while reading this was a significant lack of character development. If I'm to spend 300+ pages with a group of characters, I want to feel something for those characters. In this book, I couldn't tell half of the characters apart, and those I could pinpoint upon seeing their names were very one dimensional. I can tell you with 100% certainty who Diana and Nick were, and Mrs. Scraggs and Godwin Mann, but everyone else was basically a toss off. We have the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker... I kid, but there is one character who is called the butcher throughout the book. The guy's a literal butcher, as in a cutter of meat for the public, and he has a pretty good size role for a toss off, but he is only ever called the butcher. I love how the dude's not worked in days and Campbell describes him as always smelling like old blood. Does anyone in this town shower after work?

Other than the character development, the writing is fantastic. It's atmospheric as hell, too. Several times Campbell managed to give me goosebumps, which isn't easy to do. The descriptions of scenes in the dark were nerve wracking and some of the best I've read in any genre, in any decade, period. (I wonder if this book was Tim Curran's inspiration for Blackout.) Ramsey has some serious chops and is, in my personal opinion, easier on the eyes that Clive Barker's bloated prosaic meanderings. Campbell seems to say twice as much with half the words as Barker. If I were to have to choose a novelist, English or otherwise, to compare Campbell to, I don't think I could. No one comes to mind. I've never read anyone who writes quite like this guy. For that reason alone, I'll be sampling more of his work.

The ending is a total and complete copout, though. Campbell takes the easy way out and just makes some shit up on the spot. I know what you're thinking. This is fiction. Of course he made something up. But that's not what I mean. The ending is very Stephen King. But we'll discuss all that in the spoiler discussion, because the ending isn't the only thing Campbell seems to borrow from King.

In summation: Whenever I set this book down, I was never drawn to pick it back up, but I wanted to know what happened, so I forced myself to. When I did jump back in, I could only read about 20-30 pages at a time. Not sure why. It wasn't a difficult read, and I loved the writing style, but something was off. I chalk it up to me not having anyone in the book to care about. *shrugs*

Final Judgment: A well-written scary book about some faceless folks.

Spoiler Discussion: There are spoilers for some Stephen King books in here too.

How many things did Campbell borrow from Stephen King? Lemme count the ways...

1. Shapeshifting spider creature. Even though IT is not a spider creature, only a shapeshifting creature stuck in the form of a spider, it's still odd that another author would recreate the idea only a year after King's book was published.

2. Dumbfuck psychic bullshit that comes out of nowhere. I think I go back to Under the Dome for this one, where a character is suddenly given a vision of where the bad thing came from and is suddenly psychically linked because reasons. I know King has done this a lot in his career, but that's the most recent use of that bullshit that I can think of.

3. Main character just gets lucky in the end with how to kill the monster even though there no fucking reason for them to be doing what they are doing. Diana start chanting some shit because... well, because I don't fucking know why. She just suddenly thinks it's a good idea and starts belting something. We don't know what because Campbell doesn't tell us, even though he spent the majority of the book drafting entire songs word for word. ("Harry Mooney" anyone?) Why couldn't he write something for Diana to sing? Fuck if I know.

One thing Campbell sure as shit didn't borrow from King is the character development, but I guess he had to stop somewhere.

Thanks for joining me. If you would like to continue the Spoiler Discussion in the comments below, be a friend and use spoiler tags.

(spoiler show)
Like Reblog Comment
review 2015-06-14 00:00
The Gray Wolf Throne
The Gray Wolf Throne - Cinda Williams Chima

The Seven Realms series continues in this third installment, however this has to be my least favourite so far. A major plot point was revealed in the blurb and it really took away from the reading experience and the moment it happened. It is true that you could see it was going to happen anyway, but I still would have preferred to go in blind. I recommend that you avoid reading the blurb when going into this one. All you need to know is that the story picks up right where The Exiled Queen left off. Raisa is on the run, Han is searching for her, and there are enemies everywhere.

 

The dual point of view is still in effect here, but this book focuses more on Raisa than Han, an aspect I thought I would enjoy as I greatly prefer her character. But it turned out Han’s struggles were much more interesting than Raisa’s so I was left unsatisfied. The Gray Wolf Throne is very character driven, even more so than The Exiled Queen.

 

It was sad to see the end of Oden’s Ford, as I really enjoyed the setting, and there wasn’t really any firm setting here. They moved around a lot and unlike in The Demon King, it didn’t work.

 

The first half of the novel was the best. It was pretty intense, with both Han and Raisa on the same path, yet separated. It was action packed, and I felt it had a good balance with the slower scenes. The plot was engaging and constantly moving forward (although pretty slowly it seemed) yet it didn’t have any strong build up or climax. This definitely was more of a bridge book to set up for the sequel. While I enjoyed the read, it was disappointing. There are still some fantastic moments, and if you have liked the first two books then you should definitely pick this one up. I’m hoping that this is all build up to an explosive finale! And if you haven’t tried this series yet, go ahead and give The Demon King a chance. It’s an excellent, refreshing young adult fantasy!

Like Reblog Comment
review 2015-05-24 00:00
Paper Towns
Paper Towns - John Green

Really, once you've read one John Green book, you've read them all. Paper Towns is a somewhat less tragic version of Looking For Alaska. It was still a good book, even a great book. It made me laugh and it made me go "Hmmmm" and it made me sad. But, when I finished it I realized that ultimately I didn't get much out of it. The characters weren't memorable the story wasn't memorable the setting was very unmemorable. Paper Towns and Paper Stories. The one thing I really took away was an intense desire to take a spontaneous road trip.

Overall, I did enjoy the reading experience, and the book as a whole. (Especially the road trip bit.) I'm definitely interested in seeing how it will be adapted into a movie.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2015-05-22 00:00
Knife Edge
Knife Edge - Malorie Blackman

Once again, Malorie Blackman has ripped my heat out and smashed it to a pulp within the space of two pages. That ending was horrific.
This was an excellent sequel to Noughts and Crosses. It continued to not only be an intriguing story in itself, but deal with heavy real world issues. However, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first. The plot wasn't quite as good and I really missed you-know-who.
I loved the way the characters were portrayed. It was a bit painful to read at times, as they were all very messed up because of the events in the first book. I especially enjoyed reading from Jude's point of view. True, he is a hate-filled rage monster but you also see a bit of the goodness in him, and how he really does believe he's doing the right thing. It was very intriguing.
I loved that I had no idea what was to come. It really made this an exciting read and I completely devoured it. Can't wait to read the next one!

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?