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review 2017-12-11 05:44
It Ended Badly: 13 of the Worst Breakups in History
It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History - Jennifer Wright

This was good!  I wasn't sure at the start, because it's pretty clear the author geared her narrative towards women (or men, but really, women) who were battling their way through breakups while reading this book.  But it's easy to get past that and just enjoy the history and the wry humour.  And omg were these people awful.  You expect Nero to be horrible, but - and maybe it's just my general ignorance of Roman history, but not this weirdly horrible.  And Oskar Kokoschka... holy cheese whiz weird, although I think I found it even more bizarre that everybody let him get away with his flavour of weird without seemingly batting an eye.  By the time you get to Norman Mailer, his horribleness almost seems bland by comparison.  Almost.  

 

This is popular history in its purest form, but it's lively and entertaining while it's being informative.  The source list at the end is a little web-link heavy for my taste, but I'm going with it; I learned a lot and little of it had to do with how these people broke up with their exes. 

 

I have this in print, but borrowed the audio from the library and while I was a bit hesitant about the narrator at the beginning, I soon changed my mind.  Hillary Huber's performance starts off sounding a bit monotone, but I soon found it works really well with Wright's wry humour and occasional sass.  I particularly enjoyed her narration in the car as it was both calming and often hilarious.

 

I definitely recommend this (in audio or print) if you're looking for light, breezy and educational.

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review 2017-12-10 23:18
It's always the last place you look...
The Last Place You Look - Kristen Lepionka

 

Book Title:  The Last Place You Look

Author:  Kristen Lepionka

Narration:  Allyson Ryan

Series:  Roxane Weary #1

Genre:  Crime Fiction | Mystery

Setting:  Belmont, Ohio

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  4.2/5

Main Characters:  4.3/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  4.3/5

Pacing:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4.5/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5:  3.5

Total:  4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

It took me awhile to get hooked and to keep the characters straight because there are quite a few.   I listened to the last five hours or so, over the course of one day, even finishing the last 20 minutes in the car with earbuds in, while my husband drove to go get something to eat.  I had to know the ending. 

 

The Last Place You Look has a very flawed main character, who likes to drink, a lot…which may be why she didn't suspect "who" it was earlier on, like I did (but I couldn't remember their name, of course).  I really liked the way everything tied together by the end, it was very cleverly done.

 

Will I continue this series?  I just might…

 

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review 2017-12-10 16:33
Another Shot (Heartsville) by J.H. Knight Review
Another Shot - J.H. Knight

The town of Heartsville means something different to everyone who lives there. For Aaron Forester, it’s a gay-friendly buffer between himself and the rest of the world. After being outed in high school and bullied to the point of violence, his family uprooted their lives and relocated to the small hamlet. He’s moved on from all that and now owns a popular café in the bustling shopping district. But after twenty years of happy living, Aaron’s past creeps up on him in the most unexpected way. 

Brad Collins only has one regret and he’s carried it with him since he was a teenager. When he moves to Heartsville and gets set up on a blind date with the most adorable, engaging man he’s met in a long time, he couldn’t be happier. But Brad didn’t expect the guy to be the person he outed in high school—whom he’s now falling in love with. 

Aaron and Brad hit it off instantly—in and out of the bedroom. But after a long overdue apology and a small serving of resentment, is their fledgling relationship worth another shot? 

Review

 

Hmmm. The blurb does give everything away but I don't mind that because it keeps the story low angst.

 

This is a decent read and the most interesting thing about it is the idea why we are cruel when we are young.

 

The romance is lack luster because the book kind of ends when the real relationship would begin.

 

Still a great setting and cast.

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review 2017-12-10 06:45
Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Mad Hatter's Late Night Tea Party (manga, vol. 2) story by QuinRose, art by Riko Sakura, translated by Angela Liu
Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Mad Hatter's Late Night Tea Party, Vol. 02 - QuinRose,Riko Sakura

Alice comes back to find Blood threatening Julius. She refuses to go back to the mansion with him but does agree to visit. When she visits, she, Elliot, and the twins decide to have a picnic lunch together (Blood is too "tired" to go). Blood

deals with some rival mafia, but not before Alice is kidnapped as bait. She's sure she isn't important enough to Blood for him to come get her, but he does. After that, he finally explains who Vivaldi is to him. The volume ends with Alice trying to figure out what Blood's "type" is: she's worried she's too young-looking for him, not sexy enough.

(spoiler show)


This was a vast improvement over volume 1, but it was still essentially a rehash of the first English-translated Alice in the Country of Hearts release and at least one other entry in the franchise that I can't currently recall.

This felt like someone looked at the first volume and said "we need a do-over." The beginning even recapped how Alice arrived in Wonderland. It was kind of weird, actually.

This had nicer artwork than the first volume, but story-wise it still crammed a lot into one volume. For example, there were little creepy bits that indicated that Peter and Nightmare were teaming up to keep Alice in Wonderland, steering her to the point of taking her ability to choose away from her. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough space to both include this stuff and also explain it, so I imagine it'd be terribly confusing to newbies. Actually, I'd only recommend this to Alice in the County of completists like myself.

Am I done with this franchise yet? I think I have a little more to go, but it'd be nice to know how much. I feel like I need a guide of some kind.

 

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

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review 2017-12-10 06:37
Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Mad Hatter's Late Night Tea Party (manga, vol. 1) story by QuinRose, art by Riko Sakura, translated by Angela Liu
Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Mad Hatter's Late Night Tea Party, Vol. 01 - QuinRose,Riko Sakura

This speeds through Alice's arrival in Wonderland, leaving the palace, staying at Julius's, and ending up at the Hatter Mansion. Alice has sex with Blood. It's supposed to be a casual relationship, but she

feels hurt when she starts to think that Blood only keeps her at the mansion to spite Vivaldi. Blood's feelings turn warmer, but Alice can't bring herself to believe him, especially after seeing him with Vivaldi in his garden. She leaves to go back to Julius's place, but Blood pursues her there.

(spoiler show)


This is garbage. Very nearly incoherent, with hardly any story. It speeds through too many things too quickly, and I shudder to think of a newbie to this franchise picking it up. If it was written for franchise veterans, then a lot of stuff should have been left out so that Alice and Blood's relationship could be developed more. But if it was written for franchise veterans it was also largely unnecessary: this was basically a much sloppier and more condensed version of the first Alice in the Country of Hearts release in English, right down to the scene with Blood and Vivaldi in Blood's garden. It contributed nothing new.

There was zero decent relationship development, and it didn't give readers a very good feel for the characters, other than the very basics. It also contradicted itself. It said that Peter abandoned Alice after taking her to Wonderland, but she's with him at the Palace right from the start of the volume.

I read this right after My Fanatic Rabbit, and one of the things that struck me was how different Alice seemed. My Fanatic Rabbit was a Yen Press title translated by Ajino Hirami, while The Mad Hatter's Late Night Tea Party was a Seven Seas title translated by Angela Liu (who, if I remember right, might have handled most, or maybe even all, of Seven Seas' Alice in the Country of translations). The Alice of these two volumes had more of a mouth on her than the Alice of My Fanatic Rabbit.

At any rate, this was probably the worst Alice and Blood pairing I've read so far. The volumes with this pairing are usually pretty good, if only because they dig into Alice's past more than many of the volumes with other pairings do, but this just felt like a cash grab. It would have been too confusing for a franchise newbie, it didn't offer anything new for franchise veterans, and, even though it introduced sex way earlier on than I'm used to this series doing, even that felt tepid. Unfortunately, the artwork wasn't good enough to carry it either - it felt like a riot of screentones.

 

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

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