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review 2017-11-05 21:44
Still prefer the Twitter account.
More Very British Problems - Rob Temple More Very British Problems - Rob Temple

The Very British Problems continue, except abroad. If you're familiar with the Twitter account and especially if you're familiar with the first book then you'll know what this one's about. Wisely Temple gives a different spin on this one, focusing on what it's like to go abroad for vacation (holiday). 

 

There are some funny observations, some that will make you cringe in sympathy, some not so fun. Along with the similar illustrations of the first book. And so forth. 

 

There really isn't anything new. I suppose what I really appreciated was that Temple includes what it's like at the office before and after the trips and dealing with the issues of pre and post holiday. Office culture often pops up in his tweets so this was nice to see.

 

Not much more to say about it. Again, not sure if these observations popped up in his tweets but if you're followed VBP for any amount of time there isn't much that is out of "character." I wanted to support the author though and it's not available at the local library. Recommend a bargain buy or borrow if you can find it.

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review 2017-09-14 11:42
Review: Bad Girl Gone
Bad Girl Gone: A Novel - Temple Mathews

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

Oh dear. This was a hot mess of a book. I really didn’t like it much at all. For the post part it was okay, but then something at the end made me really want to throw something at it.

 

This book tells the story of teenager Eileen “Echo” Stone. Echo has a pretty decent life. She has two loving parents, and her boyfriend of 2 years, Andy, practically worships the ground she walks on. Then one day Echo wakes up in a mysterious location after blacking out, a sort of boarding house/orphanage surrounded by weird and mean kids of various ages and a strict matronly type lady over seeing everything.  

 

Echo is very confused and tries desperately to convince everyone she’s not an orphan. So with the help of the good looking Cole, the only person being nice to her, Echo manages to escape and runs home. Only to discover to her shock and horror – a car passes right through her. She’s dead. And has no memory of how she died or the last few months of her life.

 

The plot of the novel revolves around Echo solving the mystery of her murder and coming to terms with her memories of her life – she’s not the good sweet girl she seems to think she was.  She also has to learn how to be a ghost. The place she’s stranded in is a sort of a half way point, the other kids staying there are all ghosts like her, who have been murdered. They have to find their killers and dole out justice before they can “pass over”. Each ghost has a unique ability. Echo learns this quickly on her first revenge outing with the other ghosts. Echo’s power is (unsurprisingly) the rare and unique ability to take over human’s bodies and learn their memories and secrets. Only one other ghost has been able to do this in the last ten years or so.

 

The plot doesn’t actually sound too bad. The different abilities of the other ghosts and their backstories were mildly interesting. The actual story telling came across to me as kind of bland and rather boring. And I can’t actually say I liked any of the characters. Echo was a brat. She came across as moody and entitled and more often than not I found myself wanting to slap her. Granted, it can’t be easy seeing people you used to know and discovering you’re not as well liked as you thought, and discovering disturbing things about yourself you had forgotten. But I really just had no sympathy for this girl.

 

The boyfriend was madly in love with her and is understandably heartbroken. Echo is watching him go through this, she can’t communicate with him. And his parents and everyone else are already telling him she wasn’t so great – get over it. Hard to do when you’ve been crazy in love for some time. And of course the really popular mean girl who snubbed Echo has her sites on him and Echo is jealous. Again, understandable. But after two or three interactions, she finds herself enamoured with Cole.

 

At the same time she’s feeling very guilty about it. You can sort of see why she might feel conflicted. She’s had the same boyfriend for years, he’s still alive and grieving, but she’s sharing smoochies and new experiences as a ghost with a hot new guy. It’s a fairly interesting predicament, love triangle with a paranormal twist. Problem for this reader is I just hated the characters and as I said earlier due to my severe dislike of Echo I had little to no sympathy for her.

 

The actual plot itself as Echo uncovers what happens to her, is quite intriguing and to be fair, quite surprising and disturbing when the truth about what happened is revealed. I didn’t actually guess or see it coming. The investigation is really what kept my interest as Echo and Cole with the help of the other ghost kids dig into Echo’s past and look at the suspects.

 

This is a bit of a big spoiler for the end of the book but it really pissed me off and I want to rant about it.

 

After solving the murder, Echo still hasn’t moved on. She’s decided she needs to say goodbye to the people who loved her. Mom and dad and boyfriend Andy. Okay. Makes sense. However, she’s decided the way to help Andy move on without her is find him a new girlfriend. Not to say her goodbyes, leave him alone and let him grieve, hopefully in his own time he’ll accept things, deal and move on. It’s only high school, he has his whole life ahead of him. No, Echo decides that he needs a girl to help him. He’s been flirting tentatively with Dani, the mean popular girl. So Echo decides she’s going to “help” them get together with her ghost powers.

(spoiler show)

 

Dani and Andy have a date. Dani has a more out-going style of dress and makeup tastes than Echo. So Echo spies on Dani as she’s getting ready. Dani’s really excited – but Echo knows Andy likes her to dress a certain way, do her make up a certain why. This really really pisses me off to no end. Why should any girl have to change their appearance to suit what their boyfriend likes if they like things done a bit differently? If he doesn’t like the way she dresses or how she does her make up, then it’s his fucking problem and he can deal with it or find someone else.

(spoiler show)

 

 

 So Echo hides the clothes and makeup she knows Andy won’t like. And Dani doesn’t seem to freak out or anything. She goes on the date in the clothes and the subtle make up Echo left for her. And it’s a success. So successful that Echo with her ability of possessing people has finally hit on the idea of possessing Dani so she can be with Andy again.  Why this didn’t idea didn’t circulate before in Echo’s mind is a bit beyond me. Especially since she’s been possessing people throughout the story to learn their secrets. Which would have made for a more interesting plot, with the moral implications of this decision. Which she deals with fairly rapidly.

(spoiler show)

 

 

This particular part made me really hate the book, which I already didn’t like much. It was definitely an interesting idea, the story and characters just didn’t work for me at all. It’s concluded but left with a possibility that it could be a series. I certainly wouldn’t read any more of this.

 

Not for me at all.

 

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for approving my request to view the title.

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text 2017-08-17 15:09
Reading progress update: I've read 234 out of 288 pages.
Send for Paul Temple - Francis Durbridge

the book is a blast, thrill-a-minute, and I've whizzed along with the fun so quickly that I'm going to finish it ahead of schedule and have Friday to worry about, before starting my Dance of Blades buddy read on Saturday; I could start that one a day ahead, but I don't want to. sooo...something short to start tonight, and get through, hopefully, before Saturday dawns...ahhh, I have just the ticket! and, bonus, it fits in nicely with the mini-theme I did not realize at first that I had going: books with men's first and last names in the title...Jake Ellis (graphic novel), Paul Temple, and next, how about a fellow called...Jack Mortimer! (plus the Jake Ellis sequel, if I really need it). things do sometimes work out grandly (or not).

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text 2017-08-17 02:30
Reading progress update: I've read 148 out of 288 pages.
Send for Paul Temple - Francis Durbridge

tantalizing. that's what this book is. it is...tant-aliz-inggg! and I like it. I like that I am feeling my most tantalized in a tantalizingly long time.

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text 2017-08-17 00:36
Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 288 pages.
Send for Paul Temple - Francis Durbridge

cheers for Paul Temple--apparently doesn't believe in coincidence, knows malarkey when he hears it, and seems to be very, very clever. gosh, maybe he really is a......Great Detective!!

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