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review 2018-04-06 07:21
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 3
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now - Erica Henderson,Ryan North

DNF: Page 49

 

I checked out this book while I was doing my Comixology free trial and the work did not click with me.

 

The artwork was a bit offputting for me. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't like the art style because of how the facial expression was drawn. Most of the characters share the same goofy looking faces in the panels I read. I don't mind silly facial expressions for a few scenes, but frequently seeing them becomes old.

 

The main thing that I couldn't stand in this book was the writing. I'm willing to deal with art styles I don't like if the story or writing is intriguing and entertaining (Higurashi and Umineko visual novels for example). Unfortunately, the comic's writing was the weakest point. It tries too hard to be funny and quirky. The worst part would have to be when the writer points out stuff to the reader like this example: "From Wikipedia. You can tell because this looks a lot like a Wikipedia entry." Lines like that example happen a lot in this comic from the panels to the margins at the bottom of the pages. I don't find those funny, and it breaks me away from the plot. 

 

This comic was not for me. 

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review 2018-04-05 14:04
DNF-Sorry Ripoff Hunger Games, Justice League, and Watchmen
Renegades - Marissa Meyer

This one pains me a lot. I have adored The Lunar Chronicles and even though some people didn't like Meyer's standalone Queen of Hearts book, I loved "Heartless" as well. This one....that's a no from me. I just DNFed this at 27 percent or page 152. When I saw that the book went up to page 566 I just lost any urge to continue on. There are too many characters in this book with multiple names. The lack of development besides the "heroes" and "villains" characterization was sad. After the 100th information dump I threw in the white flag of surrender and decided to move onto another book.

 

"The Renegades" is Meyer's newest offering to the Young Adult genre. This seems to be a mash up of Justice League, Watchmen, and the Hunger Games. That's a lot of mash-up.

 

Apparently in this world we have the so-called Renegades (vigilantes) with super powers who ended up ruling Gatlon City. However, the villains (the Anarchists) don't want The Renegades ruling things cause free will or something. I don't get it myself. Things seemed pretty bleak there based on what little of the information dumps I could let sink into my brain.

 

So what I read so far is there's a secret group of heroes that don't want the Renegades to know about them, The Renegades (now considered the Renegade Council) and the Anarchists. The Anarchists are trying to take out the council. And now there is something called the Trials that they are getting involved in and I tapped the hell out at that point.

 

There are too many characters with multiple names. I once had a conversation with a friend who was dating a dude with three names. Our conservation went like this:

 

Me: What do you mean he has three names?

Friend: Well he has his government name, the name he uses at his job, and his undercover name.

Me: What the hell? First, why wouldn't he use his 'government name' at work?

Friend: Well he doesn't care for it.

Me: How is he cashing checks if he's not using the name that is on his social security card?

Friend: Oh you can use a nickname and still get checks cashed it doesn't matter it the names don't match.

Me: Since when???

Friend: Well even with that I don't like the whole undercover name thing, it sounds sketchy.

Me: What do you mean it sounds sketchy? It freaking is! Unless he's Batman he doesn't need an undercover name!

 

Then this whole conversation turned into us discussing Batman and who is the best Batman, but long story short she dumped the dude because he was going by three names. And when I got to the part of the story when one character was going by three separate names within a single paragraph I was done. 

 

Nova, or Nightmare, or Insomnia (I can't with this mess) was the one who wants to kill The Renegades since she blames them for not saving her family. Yeah, let's not blame the people who sent them to murder her family. It is such a weak motivation I rolled my eyes at her. 

 

Adrian, or Sentinel, or Sketch (shaking head in disgust) is the son of two of the Renegades. The only interesting thing about him is he has two dads. So good for Meyers for showing a family like this. Other than that I don't care. 

 

I can't tell you anything about anyone else, the book so far has mostly focused on Nova and Adrian. Since this is a Young Adult book I am sure they are going to fall in love since Nova is going undercover to compete at the Trials. I just don't have the energy for this book right now.

 

The writing is not good. I don't know what possessed Meyers to have so much stuff in this first book. Based on what I found, she has the second book (this is a duology) coming out in November. Good luck to her since that is a hard pass from me. I saw a lot of DNFs for this one on Goodreads. Most people just couldn't take the constant information dumps and characters with multiple names. 

 

The flow is not good at all. It felt like I got nowhere yesterday and I read this to the 27 percent mark. I don't know why some people think length equals quality, but it does not. 

 

The setting of this world doesn't even make any sense. Meyer tries to set things up in the beginning with a prologue I laughed my way through, but I still had so many questions. I don't know if finishing the book would clear that up or not, but I refuse to continue reading to find out.

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review 2018-03-28 00:54
DNF at 50% mark.
The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals - Jeannelle M. Ferreira

All my friends are going nuts over this book, and while I can see why, I finally decided that it's just not my thing. I really liked the reseach into historical detail and the wonderful dialogue and banter, and of course I'm in favour of crossdressing lesbians on a general principle, but the book itself left me cold.

 

I found the style overly spare and lacking in feeling. I often love books where a lot of the emotion and characterisation is between the lines, but for some reason this one left me completely cold. I often felt that the big emotional scenes were skipped over and then discussed in aftermath, and things sometimes seemed to happen out of order, but I really couldn't tell what the timeline was, so who knows. I wanted more feelings from both the main characters, and more consideration of why they acted as they did (why did Harry change her mind after the Big Plot Twist around the half way mark, for example). I just never got enough of a feel about either of these women to care what happened to them, or if they got together or not.

 

Which is too bad, because my standards for liking a book about crossdressing lesbians in Regency England are not super high. This should have sailed over them. I just... didn't like it.

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review 2018-03-20 17:10
DNF at 30% mark.
The Girls in the Picture: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin

I think I should have just read a biography of either or both of these women, because they led extremely interesting lives which the book managed to make fairly dull. I wanted way more about actually making movies, and less angsting about boys, and a lot of the writing felt overwrought and melodramatic. It kept skipping over actually making the movies and what that was like into other issues.

 

The author backed herself into this weird smarm corner of saying the main character was completely fine with gay people, and then immediately insisting that she didn't get lesbians at all because who doesn't like cock, amirite? By the way, the character really likes cock, and isn't gay at all. Look, I don't mind stories about two women having a friendship rather than a romance, but the notgaynotgaynotgay(but not homophobic!) dance got old a long time ago. I felt like I'd fallen into Xena gen fic from the '90s. At the same time, the author had the same characters not blinking at the racism in the industry in general and Birth of a Nation in particular. So I'm not sure why period-typical racism was okay, but period-typical homophobia was not?

 

I did like some of the discussion about being a woman in a male-dominated field, which mostly managed to stick to period language and not sounding like it was cut from modern day. But so much of it was telling not showing, as we very rarely see the dynamics on set, or the sets at all, just hear about them after the fact. I looked at some reviews to see if it picked up, but apparently the middle is even more draggy and about boys, so I bailed.

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review 2018-03-12 00:11
To the Book Gods You Go!
The People We Hate at the Wedding: A Novel - Grant Ginder

This is a terrible book. Don't read it. DNF at 38 percent. Back to the library you go. I swear you can have books with terrible characters doing awful things. But you can't have terrible characters, writing, and a ridiculous plot. At this point the half sister could be eating kids on the side, and she wouldn't suck as much as the mother (Donna), son (Paul) and (Alice) daughter in this book.

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