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review 2014-08-01 11:14
But Where's The Bear?
The Good Girl - Mary Kubica

The cover and title typography says “I’m smart and edgy! See that reverse ‘R’? It probably means something related to why the blonde chick wants you to keep quiet. Don’t you want to know why?” And you know I’m all over the smart and edgy with the hint of smart, edgy mindfuck.

The blurb says “An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller” among other things and who cares if my computer is telling me ‘addictively’ isn’t a word? Fuck you, New Oxford American Dictionary! A rich, pretty girl gets abducted by a stalker into a cabin in Winterfell, Minnesota to extort money from her rich daddy judge! I gave 5-fucking-stars to The Dark Duet! I am so going to enjoy the Stockholm out of this motherclucker! You don’t know me! 

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review 2014-07-18 07:50
Hashtag LoveHate
Into the Shadows - Carolyn Crane

"There are so many layers to our fucked up layer cake, I don't know how to untangle it," she said.
"You don't untangle a cake, baby," he said. "You eat it."



For all the love I have for Carolyn Crane's Disillusionists Trilogy, I'm a little ashamed to admit this is my first of hers outside that series. While this didn't necessarily disappoint, I'm hard pressed to call the high points winning over the lows. It was good in the sense that the things I didn't agree with didn't make me want to quit but still left an aftertaste that wasn't all that pleasant.

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review 2014-05-30 16:47
Surprise! RAPE.
Gilted - Jill Flannagan
Maybe someday they would find a way to put away their mutual hurt away.

Today on Booklikes: Awkward Adventures in the English Language.

Truthfully, with a minimal amount of alcohol, a dash of pixie dust and maybe a dozen cupcakes, I can imagine the book Gilted was trying to be. And it wasn’t that bad, that imaginary book. This book on the other hand is an entirely different story.

The cover gives a fantasy-thriller vibe and I was easily drawn towards the prospect of a con artist targeting a politician in a honeypot scheme. What I wasn’t ready for was the rambling narrative, poorly constructed sentences, inconsistent characters details, the barely-there construction of this plot’s fantasy aspect and the unexpected rape. 

I am quite disturbed that this made no mention of that little plot detail in the summary (even perhaps as a warning?), seeing as its a widely identified trigger among readers. But what was worse was how it was gratuitously used as a plot device in the story.

This was about Ash Gilt’s attempt into conning money from favoured gubernatorial candidate Charles Appleby. She poses as his personal assistant and fuck buddy to help finance her incarcerated brother’s upcoming murder trial. Not only does Ash come from a family of con artists, she also has an ability to influence people’s emotions along with being able to compel and manipulate memories and “taste” feelings and personalities. Unfortunately, Appleby has certain proclivities in the bedroom that renders Ash’s abilities useless (because she gets scared *eyeroll*) so she had to manipulate the situation but for a price. Right in the middle of her plans, Ash finds herself inexplicably drawn to Lee Hierne, Appleby’s friend whom he hired to dig up and cover potential PR bombs threatening his campaign. 

First question, if Ash has the ability to manipulate people’s emotions to her whims: WHAT’S THE POINT OF THIS ENTIRE BOOK? Seeing as it was a major plot point, I expected a little more development on that aspect in this heroine’s character than this served. Why did she have to pretend she’s the governor’s PA, suffer through unwanted BDSM sex and rape? Why couldn’t she have just walked up to the guy, he IS on a campaign after all, and did her mental juju making him give her money? Choosing mind powers in fiction is bound to create plot holes because the scope and infallibility of that skill makes it impossible to create any equivocal conflict that the character needs to overcome. I mean, seriously.

It was difficult to sympathise with a heroine like Ash, a self-proclaimed doormat when it comes to her family with self-esteem issues in one chapter but feeling no remorse at her manipulative and scheming ways since she knows in her heart, that she’s a good person. Because she’s willing to have herself raped in order to get money to help her asshole brother in prison for no apparent reason other than he’s family. I suppose it was a sorry attempt at giving her some complexity, this skewed morality and core values, but she really only ended up contradicting herself most of the times. 

Lee is just the most unswoonable hero I’ve come across in a while, I’m not even sure this book was trying. He has strange tendencies, caressing computers and whispering at speakers (I don’t even know why that statement was put there! To creep me out further?) He hears drum music whenever he sees Ash walk away.

…the glass afforded a view and out of the corner of his eye, he saw Miss Sex on Legs walk. The ba-da-boom music played in his head as she approached the door.

He classifies women into fucks and colleagues except Ash, probably because he really likes the beat of them bongos when she walks by. But he doesn’t like rough sex, he only wants to make sweet, sweet love to these “fucks” and I guess that’s where the “reformed” in the “reformed millionaire bad boy” figures in. But stranger still, he openly admitted to “having violent Bobbitt-like thoughts about Charles’ member all night” after finding out that he raped Ash. Some may find that being alpha-adorable, but I just wanted to consult the Bro Code and what it says about a Bro thinking of another Bro’s dick at night. It was all very strange. I kinda want to send him to Anne Stuart’s Gamma Hero Boot Camp to learn how to be the kind of hero he aspires to be.

The narrative was rambling, drifting back and again to the same issues tackled in the space of three pages. The sentence construction was just so fucking painful to read that just deters me from even considering picking up the next book in this series.

Charles was divorced, he could fuck whoever he liked. He was a Democrat, for Chrissakes. He could gallivant nude in public with only a sock on his tallywhacker and still get elected. He was handsome, popular and a Democrat.

Hey, I seem to have forgotten, is Charles a Democrat?

I was hoping for an Urban Fantasy-Ides of March type of story from Gilted… clearly I’ll be needing more alcohol, cupcakes and pixie dust to convince myself that this was ALMOST that story.

Review Copy courtesy of Wyrd Publishing thru Netgalley.

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review 2014-05-06 09:40
Fast, Far and Away
Anonymous: HarperImpulse Romantic Suspense - Dani-Lyn Alexander
"I'm not a yo-yo. You can't keep bouncing me back and forth. You want me, you don't, you want me, you don't..."

When it comes to books of this length, I usually just count my blessings when it comes to rating them. This... this is a challenge to say something nice about.

Because at the heart of Anonymous is a poorly planned mystery with weak red herrings and deplorable characters trapped in a ridiculous conflict, cursed with the worst excuse of a "shocking" plot twist in the history of ever. 
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review 2014-04-30 06:02
I Can Feel My Brain Draining From My Pores.
The Breakup Artist (The Artists) - Nichole Severn

I have a relatively high tolerance in terms of DNF-ing books. No matter how shitty it gets, I try to stick it out so I could give it a decided rating and review by the end. 


I don't think I've ever wanted to DNF a book as short as this one. Not even its length could be counted as a blessing as it only served to highlight how bad this was because it felt a lot like 400 instead of 48 kindle pages.


Demi Shepherd is a break-up artist. As in she gets hired to by people to break-up with their fiancees, spouses, boy/girlfriends, wives, husbands, etc. Things get complicated when the man who hired her to break-up with his fiancee ended up dead in her hotel room and $50,000 ending up mysteriously in her bank account. From working with a ridiculous job title to becoming the lead suspect in a murder, Demi realizes the frame-up job on her goes deeper than it appears as she finds herself of the run from money laundering dirty cops with the help of the inexplicably hot and mysterious Jack.


I'm not going to try and pretend there's any redemptive value to this book so I'm just going to start posting my questions about this story:


Question 1: Why does this job exist? Whatever economic shakedown happened that prevents douchebags from good old break-up through text? Or email? I feel Taylor Swift wants to know as well.


Question 2: How difficult is it to relay to someone that he/she is getting dumped that it would require a mentorship program? Because Demi has a mentor whose help she sought while trying to escape. The poor woman got scarred and burned by someone who went batshitty batty upon receiving the news.


Question 3: This quote from a disgruntled dumped:


"You know after Heather had you break up with me, I started drinking," Gary stopped a few feet away, expression hardened, eyes on fire. "I lost my job. My house. Everything. She even took the kids. All because of you."


I'm confused. When I requested this book I thought Demi's role as a Break Up Artist is to scheme a ruse with her client that will force the client's spouse to dump him or her. Instead, her job really is just like a messenger of sorts. So my question is: Did the human race get infected by some virus that renders them stupid and illogical, hiring people to break up for them and in return, the dumped blames the Break Up Artist and not the dumper? Because I can totally get onboard with that.


Question 4: Did we really need to name the fucking purse when we can't even keep track of the characters' whereabouts? Seriously, there was one scene where she's watching her apartment on TV, the next scene she's in front of the apartment as if she teleported there. 



You know what? I think I figured it out. I think this is a sci-fi/dystopian book.


It just hasn't realised it yet. 


I'm gonna give it a bit of time, let it have its existential crisis.



Review Copy provided by the publishers thru Netgalley.

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