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review 2018-06-24 21:58
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
Lying in Wait - Liz Nugent

This takes place primarily in the 1980s, in Ireland. On the surface, Lydia, her husband Andrew, and her son Laurence appear to have a perfect life. The whole family lives in Lydia's family home, a beautiful mansion. Lydia is a stay-at-home mom who is devoted (overly so) to her son, and Andrew is a respected judge.

This happy life is a facade. Andrew and Lydia hired Annie, a prostitute, to help them with a problem, and when Annie tried to blackmail Andrew he choked her and Lydia finished her off. Lydia proposed that they bury Annie in their garden, a perfectly safe spot since of course they'd never sell off her family home. Unfortunately, the family also has money problems, brought on by Andrew placing his trust in the wrong accountant. Cracks are beginning to appear in their pretty little life, and those cracks widen when Laurence sees news reports about Annie and begins to suspect that his father had something to do with her disappearance.

I picked up an ARC of this during a recent conference. Although it's been out since 2016, it looks like it was released in hardcover earlier this month.

I read this hoping for an exciting and tense thriller. What I got was sometimes achingly slow pacing, characters I didn't care much about, and boredom. I thought this would be about Lydia and Andrew's increasingly futile efforts to hide their part in Annie's murder. I suppose there was a little bit of that, but the story mostly turned out to be about Lydia and her deeply unhealthy attachment to her son (no incest, but there were a couple moments when I worried that that was where Nugent was going with all of this). Everyone's secrets poisoned everything around them, and the ending was just depressing.

There is no justice and goodness to be found here.

(spoiler show)


The book alternated between chapters from Lydia, Laurence, and Karen's POVs. Karen was Annie's sister, and probably the most sympathetic of the book's more prominent characters. Although I disliked her actions where Bridget was concerned, I wanted things to work out well for her.

Too bad this wasn't that kind of story.

(spoiler show)


I felt some sympathy for Laurence, who was clearly being suffocated by his mother, but that sympathy eventually evaporated. He was more like his father than his mother - he actually had a bit of a conscience, but it didn't stop him from doing horrible things and then finding ways to rationalize most of it later. I completely gave up on him when I got to the chapter from his POV about the first time he met Karen. This took place a lot later than the publisher's description led me to believe it would, by the way.

The bulk of the book was pretty boring. Despite the fact that Andrew made several enormous mistakes, he and Lydia didn't have to work nearly as hard to hide their tracks as I'd have expected. As time passed (the story took place over the course of about 6 years, I think), it seemed less and less likely that the mystery of Annie's disappearance would ever be solved. The story finally became more tense and interesting near the end, as everyone's lies started to unravel. Unfortunately, the ending was a disappointment.

I'll end this with a warning for readers for whom weight and weight loss in fiction are an issue. At the start of the book, Laurence is fat and bullied because of his weight. Throughout the rest of the story his weigh yo-yos. The descriptions of his weight loss bothered me - he struggled with a relentless appetite, but that appetite had a tendency to magically disappear after he started dieting, and deciding to diet also magically gave him the energy and ability to exercise.

All of this was actually addressed later on in the story, but it took a while, and until then readers had to put up with the implication that all Laurence needed to do to lose weight was exert a bit of willpower.

(spoiler show)

There were also lots of mentions of Laurence feeling repulsed by his own weight and of Laurence worrying that the women he was with were repulsed by his weight.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-06-09 18:58
The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI): "The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III - Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family” by Peter Byrne
The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family - Peter Byrne


"This is the mystery: when we measure the position of an atomic particle we record it as existing in a definite place, not in all of the many places it occupies according to its smoothly evolving wave function. The emergence of a single position from the set of all physically possible positions is inescapable; it creates a logical discontinuity, a gap, a fissure, an interruption in the flow of the Schrödinger equation; it creates a problem.”

In “The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III - Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family” by Peter Byrne



I suspect that the reason why the Copenhagen and Many Worlds interpretations of QM are the most well-known is that they are the easiest to explain in classical terms, and therefore most accessible to those who have not already completed an undergraduate level course in QM. You can also find a discussion of the different interpretations in The Road to Reality, by Roger Penrose, but it is heavy going and not recommended unless you have a background in Physics (or Math) to degree-level.

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-06-03 16:20
The Displaced - Excellent Anthology of Refugee Writers
The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives - Aleksandar Hemon,Marina Lewycka,Ariel Dorfman,Viet Thanh Nguyen,Fatima Bhutto,David Bezmozgis,Porochista Khakpour,Vu Tran,Joseph Kertes,Kao Kalia Yang,Dina Nayeri,Maaza Mengiste,Reyna Grande,Novuyo Rosa Tshuma,Lev Golinkin,Joseph Azam,Thi Bui,Meron Hader

Viet Thanh Nguyen serves as editor for a short but impactful collection of essays about refugees and the refugee experience. I read a lot about immigration. I'm not entirely unaware that many of these stories are actually about refugees, but it's interesting that people often morph themselves into "immigrants," when in fact most of our families came from a refugee experience at some point. My father's family came in dribs and drabs to both coasts (and ended up with numerous spellings of our last name) because of the potato famine in Ireland. Nobody calls our family "refugees" but they were. It was just an easier time to be that when they showed up and pretended to have degrees in things like medicine... (true, but much too long a, story) So, given all of that, it's a willful political act for these writers to reclaim the identity of refugee -- especially given their successes and acceptance now in their new homes.

The tragedy is how these new homes forced people in a variety of ways to deny their original national identities. Some are more obvious than others, but all carry an almost unexplainable burden to the individuals, and I'm pretty sure to their new countries as well. 

Many, but not all, of the writers are now living in the US, and all of them are successful, educated, prize-winning, feted authors. Interesting how willing countries are to claim these refugees now that they have proven their worth. They've come from all over the world and they have personal experiences that frequently left me tearing up. The overall effect is rather devastating. I'm not going to review each piece, because they are all worth reading more than once.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-07 05:47
Don't trust booktubers, common sense media, goodreads choice awards. Don't even trust this review.
A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J. Maas

 

 

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One more time I want to warn readers, teachers and parents that this series isn't YOUNG ADULT. Distrust any booktuber, goodreads reviewer/editor, and "prestigious" site that tells you otherwise.

If you are a teacher or librarian Distrust the information on genre and recommended age that comes from the publisher Bloomsburry Children's. Also distrust Kirkus reviews, Booktubers and bookbloggers who say this is Young adult, Common sense media and The Goodreads choice awards for Young adult. More on that at the bottom of my review.

THIS SERIES IS EROTIC/NEW ADULT NOT YOUNG ADULT. If reviewers tell you this series isn't new adult they're lying through their teeth. The result of those lies is that books with erotic content are currently labeled as CHILDREN'S BESTSELLERS or recommended to 12 YO readers.

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Is the author and publisher of this book really selling books with erotic/explict content to young kids without warnings? In the USA most copies of this series come with no warning of explicit content. I applaud writers that write erotic content, just don't sell it to young children. This is from booktopia, an Australian retailer; It recommends the most erotic book of the series to readers AS YOUNG AS 12.

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UPDTE MAY 20TH
Audible is recommending this book along with the first book of the series to 13 YO. However they are recommending the most explicit book of the series to 11-13 YO kids

That's why you shouldn't trust publishers to give the correct information on genre and recommended age in YA books.

**Don't trust MY review either**

**Do your own research and tell me why this series shouldn't be considered PARANORMAL EROTICA, PARANORMAL NEW ADULT, FANTASY ROMANCE or ADULT ROMANTIC FANTASY. **

You can start by finding out:
How old the main characters are?

I'll tell you, but don't believe me, find out for/by yourself.
Protagonist is 20-21 (like Anastasia Steel from fifty shades of grey)
Her sisters are even older
the rest of the cast is several hundreds year old
Isn't YA an age-based classification? Then why is this series labeled as a YA book?

How explicit the sex is

You can find that information on my A COURT OF MIST AND FURY REVIEW updates. My ACOMAF review hasn't been censored by goodreads employees yet as my TOWER OF DAWN(another new adult book by this same author)review was. My Tower of dawn review has 273 likes so it should appear in the main page of reviews. Goodreads is hiding it. That sucks because it's the responsibility of parents (not of Goodreads, not of the publishers and authors) to find out about the content of the EXPENSIVE books they buy for their underage kids. But how are they going to find that information when so many booktubers, common sense media and Goodreads members are hiding it?

You can also find the information about erotic content of this series on the american hardcover version of a court of mist and fury.
Pages 21, 22 (view spoiler)

Pages 471, 472, 473, 474. 475
(view spoiler)

Pages 530, 531, 532, 533, the orgasm that shatters the mountains: (view spoiler)

Pages 538 and 539 (view spoiler)

DISCLAIMER AND TRIGGERS WARNINGS:

♣ IF YOU DON'T LIKE READING EROTIC/EXPLICIT CONTENT and don't tell me that you can skip the sex scenes, Most of us don't pay full hardcover price for skiping half the book ;)
(view spoiler)

♣ IF YOU THINK YOUNG ADULT IS A GENRE THAT SHOULD REMAIN CLEAN

♣ IF YOU ARE 12-17 YO WHO DON'T LIKE TO READ EXPLICIT SEX SCENES

♣ IF YOU DON'T LIKE LOVE TRIANGLES And MULTIPLE MALE LOVE INTERESTS
Book 1 we have a love triangle: Tamlin vs Rhysand (view spoiler)
Book 2 We have a love triangle: Rhysand vs. Tamlin but it's really uneven (view spoiler)
Book 3: NO LOVE TRIANGLE! (view spoiler)

♣ IF YOU DON'T LIKE ABUSIVE LOVE INTERESTS AND ABUSIVE WOMEN
-Tamlin love interest of book 1? ABUSIVE!
-Rhys, secondary love interest of book 1 and (view spoiler)ABUSIVE!
- The sisters? Everyone talks about how Tamlin should apologize. When will the sisters apologize? (view spoiler) ABUSIVE!

♣IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHEN sexual assault victims ARE THROWN UNDER THE BUS TO MOVE THE PLOT FORWARD. CAREFUL WITH DANGEROUS RAPE MESSAGES
It happens so much on New adult and adult literature (game of thrones, the girl with the dragon tatoo, the second book of the outlander series) a sexual assault victim gets the "oh-you-were-raped?- don't- bitch- about- it- and- move- forward treatment. So many books trivialize the worst aspect of PTSD and sexual assault and try to "sovle it" either with revenge or the magic romantic relationship that will make everything go away. Or the experiences just get ignored and brush aside! This happens to Mor, a secondary character in the 3rd book who is a rape survivor when (view spoiler)To be fair, I can understand the circumstances, doesn't mean I have to like that kind of story line, especially when that's something that good editing could have taken care of. That kind of disrespect for rape was unneccessary IMO. It didn't move the plot forward and it's out of character for Rhys to act like that. I love Rhys and didn't like the way SJM made him act.

♣ IF YOU BELIEVE ANY BOOK YOU PAY FOR SHOULD BE PROFESSIONALLY EDITED
I'm not a grammar nazi and my spelling is terrible, but I can tell you, even some fanfiction I've read has a more polished editing than this book. There's the overuse of words like mate. There are also problems with pace, repetitiveness, flow and consistency of the voices when changing from a narrator to the other and from a first person POV to a 3rd person POV. The characters sound too modern. The worldbuilding is not high fantasy at all. The setting of this series is pretty much like a modern series. All these are things that a content editor and a proofreader could have taken care off, but the publishers rushed publication lowering the quality of the editing and the writing. Even so they are selling this at full ebook price.

My ratings for the series so far

A Court of Thorns and Roses ACOTAR 3/5 because abusive relationships, false advertising (it's new adult dishonestly marketed as young adult) and love triangle. My review is currently censored and hidden from the third page of review. It should appear somewhere between page 2 and 3.
A COURT OF MIST AND FURY ACOMAF4/5 because I didn't appreciate the explicit sex scene with OM, but I highly recommend this book to my friends who don't mind safety issues and like explicit scenes in slow-burn-romance. This book is EROTICA (according to the goodreads description of the genre) marketed as YA.

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A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN ACOWAR 2.5/5 because poor editing, f bombs, repetitiveness, unnecessary sex scenes and dangerous messages. No, glorifying revenge and abusive women isn't female empowerment. No, in most marriage it isn't always the woman's choice, it's always the choice of both of them. My review is currently censored by goodreads.

Sources of my pictures:

AMAZON CANADA CHILDREN'S BOOKS ADVENTURE

AMAZON CANADA CHILDREN'S BOOKS FANTASY

AMAZON AUSTRALIA CHILDREN'S BOOKS LOVE

Booktopia A COURT OF MIST AND FURY RECOMMENDED AGES

EROTICA GENRE DEFINITION ACCORDING TO GOODREADS


ACOMAF RECOMMENDED TO CHILDREN 11-13 on audible




WHY YOU SHOULDN'T TRUST BOOKTUBERS AND THE YA GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS REGARDNG THE CONTENT OF THIS BOOK?
Because, a vast majority of booktubers have failed so far to mention that this book series contains erotic/explicit content in their booktube reviews even though they always discuss "young adult books". It could be unintentionally. It could be intentionally. The reason doesn't matter. They're contributing to the false advertising.

A few booktubers are being published or aspire to be published by the same IMPRINT of this new adult series. Others booktubers and bookbloggers seem to want good relationships with the publishing industry. They won't say anything that can hurt the marketing agenda of the big publishing houses. Note: Bookables, Benji Alderson and Polandbananas have mentioned this series is new adult , so of course a lot of booktubers are somehow honest . Distrust only the ones who call this series young adult.

On the other hand, The goodreads choice awards editors ignored the shelving system when they selected the categories for the goodreads choice awards last year. In the goodreads feedback group they told me that's how editors select categories: based on shelving.



At the time of the awards this series was shelved primarily as fantasy and romance by GR users, but still the editors made it compete on the young adult category. Not in romance, not in fantasy, in young adult.



This review isn't meant to discouraging people from reading/buying the book. On the contrary. I'm inviting you to read this series if you don't have problems with sexual content and abusive relationships. Despite all the problems I have with the false advertising I enjoyed the trilogy . But again I'm warning you

♣ NEVER trust the information that you see on Goodreads, Common sense media. and booktube. Do your research.

Life is too short and TBR piles are too big to just ignore the kind of information that can help us decide what we will read next. Goodreads shouldn't try to hide that information.

For a series that is supposedly about women's choices, when Goodreads, Booktubers and Publishers hide this information from young girls they are taking away their right to decide when or if they will read erotic content. Not to mention they're contributing to the book being sold in the Children's section of multiple retailers.
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