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review 2017-11-20 16:33
The Most Dangerous Place...
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel - Lindsey Lee Johnson

1. This author has a degree is writing and used the word "gentle" as a verb. He gentled his voice. That's just unacceptable.

 

2. I must be super out of touch because there were teen slang terms in this book I have never heard before like "jaws" and "chag". Wtf do those mean?

 

3. Blatant homophobia. For San Francisco, these kids sure do seem to call everyone a "fag". Again, not cool.

 

4. Wow, this whole book was a giant teen drama trope. Teacher/student screwing; the new, naive teacher that wants to save all her students; suicide; bullies; stoners; out of touch parents. 

 

This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special either. It was mediocre.

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review 2017-11-19 01:13
I probably should have quit while I was ahead...
Something's Brewing at Joe's - SJD Peterson,Wayland Johnson Chase

I first read this book back in early July of this year and I guess I went into this thinking that this story might work better for me on audio...it happens. What doesn't happen very often is that things go from well...bad to worse. 

My original feelings about this story haven't changed. So here's my original review if you want a refresher...

There's more than just coffee brewing at Joe's, that's for sure... 
Murphy and Joe first meet when they hook up at a club shortly after Murphy has arrived in Tampa. Neither man is looking for more than a little no strings attached stress relief.

Joe's frustrated with his 'forced' vacation and he's decided that a night out for a few drinks, some dancing and with any luck a little something more with a hot body is just what the doctor ordered. 

When Murphy moves to Tampa on the promise of his dream job being told that said job is on hold is not what he's expecting to hear. He doesn't want to go back to Michigan only to hear a chorus of 'I told you so's' from his family and friends and decides that he's going to find something to keep him afloat until things get sorted out, but being a little frustrated and stressed out over the news pushes him to decide he needs a night out to relax, unwind and just forget about everything for a few hours. 

Needless to say there wasn't a lot of personal information exchanged during their one night stand so it's no wonder that Joe's more than a little surprised when he returns to his coffee shop and finds out that his assistant Kallie has hired someone to renovate the upstairs apartment that Joe's been talking about fixing up for as long as Kallie can remember and that someone turns out to be none other than Joe's one night stand Murphy. 

Both men decide this isn't going to be a problem...after all they're mature adults right? And just because Joe wants a repeat of what he and Murphy shared and Murphy's determined that things need to stay strictly business...*spoiler alert* willpower...Murphy has none...seriously NONE!!! his determination didn't last a day...wait, I'm not even sure it lasted an hour forget a day. As soon as these two laid eyes on each other again it was game on.

Now I realize this kinda' leads to the thought of 'what the hell?' these two can't keep their hands off of each other and there's roughly 200 pages here, but there's more to this story than just a case of boy-meets-boy, boy-jumps-boy and they all lived happily ever after because let's face it that's sweet but pretty dull when you've got 200 pages to fill, so luckily there's that job...you know the one that Murphy moved to Tampa for...yeah, it's a bit complicated and makes things a little tense between Murphy and Joe. 

I really enjoyed this part of the story...or at least the idea of it and to a degree the execution of it worked. More often than not when a story has this type of plot line to it I like a bit of tension and conflict...more so than what was here and while this was ok, for me it would have worked better if things had been not quite so easily resolved. 

So along with that, here's the reason this one only got 3 stars from me...it was the sex...seriously 'you know you have too much sex in a story when one of the MCs is complaining that the other MC 'broke his wanker'? and then cuts him off for a couple of days because 'said wanker' is sore...ok, he tried but it was Murphy and as I've already said "Willpower...he has none." I can honestly say I'm not sure that I've encountered a lot...if any stories where an MC is complaining about too much sex and trust me there was...even the bunnies of the world were cringing...forget jealous I'm pretty sure they were with me wondering 'How the hell does anyone have this much sex and accomplish a damned thing?' Thankfully some of it...just some mind you, was not actually on page for which I am grateful because I can honestly see how poor Murphy's wanker got broken...just sayin' 


I honestly figured at the very least this was going to remain a 3 star read for me...what I wasn't counting on and please believe me when I say this is a really, really subjective opinion here, but bizarrely enough this one got knocked down a notch because try as I might I just couldn't get past the narrator's voice. Now it's not that it's bad or that I couldn't understand him or any of that and honestly I can see where other people will probably be thinking that maybe Karen's a little cray, cray, but the thing is for me there were times when I'm sure that Joe and/or Murphy were meant to sound all sexy and passionately growly and to me it was more like an angry, ragey growl. In other words for some reason the emotion that was being conveyed wasn't the emotion that I was picking up on...hopefully this makes sense. 

So anyways, not to belabor the point I'm just going to summarize by saying Chase Johnson was the narrator for this one and for whatever reason this narrator's voice doesn't work for me and if I'm listening to what's suppose to be an intense, intimate scene between two people it just yanks me out of the story when I feel like one of those people is really angry rather than really passionate...it's me and I'm totally owning this one folks...like I said very, very subjective opinion here. 

I highly recommend checking out the audio sample if this one is of interest to you. After all, you never know...you may find you really like this narrator's voice and really that's all that matters at the end of the day is what works for any of us as individuals.



*************************


A audio book of 'Something's Brewing At Joe's' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-11-18 19:10
Reading progress update: I've read 148 out of 268 pages.
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel - Lindsey Lee Johnson

I do not ever remember high school being this damn dramatic. And I was bullied like no tomorrow. But this? This is ridiculous. 

 

I am glad Molly was mortified by Ellison's manuscript, though. Good God, the little excerpt we were given was a lesson in misogyny. Not to mention it wasn't even a veiled attempt to write about himself as the main character. He just did, right down to the belt he wore. That's bad writing 101: never make the main character you. They can have a couple of your traits, but never make them you. It's sloppy and boring. Ellison was a creep anyway so it figures he would be egotistical enough to write himself like that. What a dick.

 

This book is better than All at Sea but about on par with The Mothers so far. Meh.

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review 2017-11-18 10:21
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

 

So my reasons for DNFing this book the first time were valid; it was not just because of my reading mood or some other factor. This time I wasn't even enjoying the book at all. The first time reading it, I liked the first several chapters and then it started to get boring.

This time, everything was boring and annoying. I DO like Maureen Johnson, but this book does not do it for me. The relationship between Avery and Mel does not feel authentic or even written well at all, whether this is own voices or not. Not only that, their romance and Nina's romance with Steve felt so sudden and on the verge of being instalove.

Not one of the three girls were likeable. Nina was pretty mean about how she thought of other girls, especially her roommate. The girls called people by mean nick names like "Strange so and so" and thought badly of them. There was even a joke about someone they know being a retard. Nina wished her roommate had been taken to a mental hospital. When she first meets Steve, all she cares about is that he's hot. She calls him "crunchy" as in a hippie sort of way, but since he was hot, she could over look that.

I know the word "problematic" is being used a lot in the book community and sometimes I think it gets thrown around all willy nilly, but this book did strike me as problematic in ways. If I were more elegant in explaining how I feel, I could probably go on about the small little things that bugged me.

So to sum up in a not so elegant way, what bugged me: Girl hate (girls hating other girls), unrealistic relationships, instalove, cliche, super cheesy, mean girls, mean/cruel terms being used about other people, Nina's superficial thoughts about Steve, Nina's mean thoughts about her roommate (yes, I know her roommate was unusual, but still...)

Maybe the story gets better? Maybe the characters grow? I don't think I will ever know, because I can't force myself past the first 115 pages for a third time.

*I DNF'd this book a while ago, but wanted to give it another chance, because I enjoyed Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes duology and hoped I would like this the second time around.*

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review 2017-11-15 04:24
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

 

"The Jubilee Express" by Maureen Johnson - 3/5 Stars
I liked the story, thought it was cute-ish, but did not like how the main character stereotyped cheerleaders. It was another one of those "I'm not like those girls" type of thing. I really hate when people do that. Just because someone is pretty, wears make up and likes to be perky and do cheers, doesn't make them a bad person or make them less than you. That goes for any person/group who is different from you. Don't be so quick to judge. It was also annoying how the author basically said all cheerleaders are named Amber and Madison. Of course, I know nothing about cheerleaders, so...

I was really cringing throughout the story, because I was expecting her to cheat on her boyfriend; the story just gave that vibe.

Luckily there was no cheating

(spoiler show)

.

I liked Stuart as a character. He seemed genuinely like a good person.

The whole thing with the Christmas village was different.

I like the writing style and think it would be fun to expand it to a full length novel and really expand on the character developments, and have it not be so instalove.

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"A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle" by John Green - 1/5 stars.
Did John Green really write this? It was horrible and gross. Are boys really like that about cheerleaders? Anyways, it just made me feel a little disgusted how the girls are being treated/are viewed because they happen to be cheerleaders. Also saying "that's so gay"... ugh, and it was used more than once. I also did not appreciate the dig at Lindsay Lohan. Sure the likelihood, Lindsay will ever read this is slim, but it's a pretty crappy thing to do. She's still a person and the story basically called her a slut. "Legs always open." So John Green lost a little of my respect.

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"The Patron Saint of Pigs" by Lauren Myracle - 2.5/5 stars.
The main character was really painful to read. I mean, I guess she learned her lesson in the end, at least I hope so. I didn't really care much for it, but I did like the ending somewhat with everyone coming together.

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