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review 2017-07-06 16:35
Review: Waste of Space
Waste of Space - Gina Damico Waste of Space - Gina Damico

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is the second book I’ve read recently with a satirical tone which seems to be poking fun at the absurdity of “reality” TV.  In this reader’s opinion, this is the better book. It’s funnier, and there are an abundance of characters who needed to be punched on lots of different occasions, but it is utterly gripping.

 

The premise of this one is pretty straight forward as explained in the synopsis. Ten random kids thrown together on what they think is a spaceship, and sent into space. Which is really a big ass soundstage in the Californian desert somewhere with a host of spectacular special effects, built by a team of scientists. Lead by an executive producer who’s a gigantic moron but clearly thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread.  

 

The casting is the worst type of stereotyping, and personalities will almost clearly clash, with maybe two or three characters who were actually likeable. It’s impossible to recap much without being spoilery.

 

Of course with this sort of premise, it’s not long before things go hideously wrong. There is a slightly snarky tone to most of it, it’s told in a series of reports and interviews and such of what happened after it all went down. Nothing is as it seems, behind the scenes things unravel fantastically, and the viewing public are utterly fascinated. It’s the type of terrible TV show that you find yourself unable to stop watching no matter how obviously fake it is and how obviously bad it is.

 

I did find some of the characters to be really surprising, showing a really surprising side to themselves. There were a fair number of them who were idiots. There was also some great twists to the plot as well.  Nothing too deep. It was quite silly in parts, and quite funny. Very entertaining.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2017-06-25 16:57
Erstwhile 3
Erstwhile #3 - Gina Biggs,Louisa Roy,Elle Skinner

Disclaimer: I backed this project on Kickstarter.  My name is listed on the thank you page.

 

                My mother asked me while I needed comic book version of the Grimm tales.  While, I suppose, I don’t really, but I am glad I have this.

 

                Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy, and Elle Skinner take lesser known Grimm tales and adapted them.  In many cases, the main characters are depicted as minorities, and there are interracial relationships.  The stories themselves are set in a wide variety of places.  Many of the tales have a woman or a girl as the main character.  There is also a drawing on other media.  For instance, Mother Holle would be at home in a Miyazaki movie.

 

                It is to the volume and Elle Skinner’s credit, that the volume starts strong with a version of “Beauty and the Beast” – “The Singing Springing Lark”.  Unlike many variants, though the trend is changing, Skinner makes the family more supportive of the Belle character. 

 

                The one that I was surprised to see was “King Thrushbeard”.  I worked on annotating “King Thrushbeard” for Surlalune.  The tale is a patient Griselda type, where a proud princess is taught humility by, basically, being abused by her father and husband.  I have to give Louisa Roy credit for she does an excellent job with this story and sticks to the general plot while giving it a modern test.  It has a very good ending.

 

                My favorite story is “The Twelve Huntsmen” done by Elle Skinner.  In part, this is because I have always loved the story, but here I am so happy to see a princess who is beautiful but who is not skinny and who has freckles.

 

                Gina Biggs’ version of “Sweetheart Roland” is well done too, keeping the darkly romantic feel of the story.

 

                Highly recommended.

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review 2017-06-24 14:50
Home School and First Aid
Acep First Aid Manual - Gina M. Piazza,American College of Emergency Physicians

At the beginning of this month, we were staying in Virginia in a hotel (we were visiting family) and on the last morning of our stay, the fire alarm went off and taught us that our Fire Plan was good for the house, but not for a 6 story hotel with fire alarms blaring at an ungodly hour ("I only recognize on 5 o'clock a day" Hawkeye from M*A*S*H) and the kids were just unable to function...they went on remote to the elevators with us yelling at them (to be heard over alarms) to come to the stairs and then to the nearest exit (they were headed for the main exit). We made a plan for traveling and have followed it since. 

 

So when I was at the library checking out books for my summer of books (I start planning school for next year over the summer) and I found this book. I remember that every time I go to get my certification from the Red Cross, there have been changes. Most things stay the same, but there are many things that are changed, so I think this book is going to be part of our school this year. 

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review 2017-05-18 08:00
Review: Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham
Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong: The perfect laugh-out-loud comedy - Gina Kirkham

Published by: Urbane Publishing (18 May 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1911331711

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 4*

 

Synopsis:

Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It's time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong?

 

Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum's much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America.

 

Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham's humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.

 

Review:

Based on the author's experiences as a police officer, this book is funny yet touching in parts. Mavis herself is larger than life, getting herself into all sorts of mischief and is all the more likeable because of it. I'm not sure she's entirely believable, but that doesn't seem to matter one bit. 

 

I like that we get to see both sides of Mavis - the police officer and the mum/daughter. Her interaction with her fellow officers is great, I love the banter; it's like taking a step back in time into one of the British comedies of yesteryear. The interaction with her mum is fantastic too, had me laughing out loud!

 

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a giggle, likes humorous books and likes a moving story. Thanks to Matthew at Urbane Publications and NetGalley for providing an ARC in return for my honest review.

 

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review 2017-05-09 07:16
I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks
I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks - Gina Sheridan

Ok, I thought this collection of anecdotes from librarians was hilarious.  Hilarious enough that I laughed out loud several times and tortured MT with more than a few of them.

 

I know a few readers thought some were having fun at someone else's expense, but honestly I didn't really pick up on that.  The one chapter devoted to a single, named, person was included with that person's full knowledge and blessing, so I was ok with it (if she was, why not me?).  That might say more about me than the book though, so ymmv.

 

It's a small little book, but it packs a lot of chuckles. 

 

"I laughed so hard I fell asleep."

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