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text 2018-05-15 05:35
Backlash
Backlash - Sarah Darer Littman

I literally hate this book with every fibre in my being. This is literally the most ridiculous portrayal of cyberbullying that I have ever had the misfortune of reading of my own two eyeballs. I literally don't even know where to begin.

First off, the writing in this is literally so ... mediocre? It literally reads like mediocre fanfiction. And full offense this author literally hasn't spoken to a teenager after 2010 and it shows. I'd feel bad for saying it but I'm getting so tired of adults who have literally no idea what the teenagers of the modern day are like and writing them as whatever stereotype they have in their head. I would've let this slide if this had been written in like 2009 but this was literally published in 2015 so like ... get with the times.

People my age don't use Facebook all that much anymore, at least they don't use it in the way that it's portrayed in the book. Nobody puts you on blast and tells you to kill yourself on a Facebook post in the year of 2015. They just don't. They'll do it on a spam account on instagram or on their snapstory but even then they'll be shady about it, they won't ever mention any names.

Which someone would know if they had ever actually spoken to someone between the ages of 13-20.

Moving on.

All of these characters are like caricatures of human beings, not to mention they're all fucking sociopaths. Everything is so exaggerated to the point that it literally wouldn't work this way in the real world.

Lara is literally so annoying and I should probably feel bad for saying this considering her situation, but she was a fucking idiot. I get where her self-esteem issues came from, seriously I do, but I feel like the way that they were handled was so poorly and it honestly didn't feel like it came from somewhere deep. Maybe it's just me but I literally do not understand why someone would give two shits about the opinion of any boy, especially one they've never met in person. I don't know what it was but her situation just didn't feel real to me.

You mean to tell me, this girl goes from being perfectly fine for weeks and months on end and enjoying life ... to attempting suicide because one boy told her the world would be a better place without her? I don't know, maybe I don't know enough about this type of thing yet to be able to judge whether or not it was realistic, maybe someone really can make a complete 360.

Her sister Sydney is literally ... so self-centered. Her sister literally tries to kill herself and this girl thinks her life is hard because she can't make it to her audition. How fucking hard it must be for you to have a mentally ill sister. Why doesn't she just put on hold so that you can have some attention for five minutes. God she was so annoying but as annoying as she was, she was also one of the only sane fucking people in this book and that wasn't all that hard to achieve since everyone was batshit insane.

Bree is a fucking sociopath, I feel bad for saying this but honestly this girl deserved everything she got and I can't believe the book actually tries to make you feel bad for her. Boo hoo you dumb bitch you didn't make the cheerleading squad get on with your life Christ. Literally who even fucking thinks it's an appropriate thing to create an entire fake account so you can emotionally damage someone you used to be friends with. I literally can't put into words how fucking insane that is.

HER MOM WAS EVEN WORSE.

This woman, instead of scolding her daughter and punishing her for being a literal terrible human being decides tO JOIN IN ON THE CREEPY CATFISH FLIRTING TO BE PETTY AT LARA'S MOM BECAUSE SHE'S AN UNFULFILLED MIDDLE AGED WOMAN. 

The only decent, sane person in this entire book is Liam who calls out his sister for her absolutely insane behaviour and tells her that she's a literal piece of trash.

Look I get it, cyberbullying is a big thing in the age of technology and it's important to talk about ... but this book does a really bad job of it and I feel like if anything, makes it seem a lot simpler than any cyberbullying situation would be.

This book is terrible and I didn't even bother with the last 20 pages, thank you for listening to my TedTalk.
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review 2018-03-02 19:49
I'm Bored - Michael Ian Black,Debbie Ridpath Ohi
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I'm a little conflicted about this one. It's a fun, entertaining, hilarious, engaging book, but in the past week, I've read it over and over again with a few 3-5-year-olds and now they all love to say how bored they are. But I still think it's a great book, because any book that kids demand you read over-and-over again until you almost never want to see it again has got to be good.

I'd say this is a good book for older children. You know, the ones who say "I'm bored" all the time. the ones this book was meant for. It has a great message about children and boredom. Downside to reading it to younger kids is that I basically just taught them all to say "I'm bored" all the time (I'd like to publicly apologize to all of the parents of the children I work with). The message at the end is pretty subtle and it can easily be missed by young children.

I loved how random the picture were. Every time I got to the first potato page, the kids I read it to were like "Potato?" The looks on their confused little faces were great and the way their eyes widened because they wanted me to keep reading so they could find out what was going on was priceless.

This is also a great book to take turns reading. The text is within the pictures and is usually physically near the character who speaks the line. My kids had a blast taking on the lines of the potato. 

This is a pretty great book and I'm not afraid to admit that I enjoyed it just as much as the kids did.
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review 2017-01-02 08:07
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart - Peter Swanson

George is having a midlife slump and then his girlfriend from college, who he hasn’t seen in 20ish years, walks into his local bar, needing him to help her out of the mess she’s in.

 

This book felt like a noir movie, but I just couldn’t buy into it. I found the story to be slow, predictable, and trite. This book has two time lines, and I thought that the college time line worked a lot better, which caused the story to drag more for me. George was such a dull character to me that having him as a narrator was painful. Also George at 40 something was basically the same character as George at 18. One thing I did enjoy was the open ending of this story, I was glad to write in an ending that I found less painful than this book.

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text 2016-05-06 20:43
Reading progress update: I've read 37%.
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley (2015-08-07) - Andrew Michael Hurley

Still waiting for this one to get going and wondering why Stephen King recommended it so highly. I hope there's a payoff by the end.

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review 2016-04-29 05:37
These Shallow Graves
These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly

Josephine Montfort is just your average turn of the century upper crust girl who wants more from life than marrying an wealthy man and churning out children.  Following her fathers unexpected death she sets out to find out how her father could have died cleaning a revolver. The more she finds out, with the help of a hansom young reporter, the more she sees that there are more things in play than she could have ever expected.

 

Okay this book was fine, it wasn't great though. While the book got better and more interesting as it went it just never really got there. One exciting sequence near the end doesn't make up for the rest of the book being pretty painful. The mystery element was super predictable, the romance was put together much better, but anything meant to evoke emotion felt like I was being beaten about the head. The writing was very tell not show, and heavy handed. Also Jo is unbelievably naive, this is a girl who wants to be a Nellie Bly style reporter, someone who she has said she's read but yet when she gets into the world she seems to know absolutely nothing about the world outside of garden parties.  I enjoyed some of the side characters (Eddie, Oscar, Fay, and surprisingly  Grandmama) while others seemed like throwaways (Her friend from school, Bram, and her Cousins).

 

Eddie and Oscar and the Tailor's crew are the only things that sort of saved this book for me. It's always weird to me when I find the side stories more interesting and important than the main story line in this case I think it's because it's one of the only places I didn't feel like I was being force fed the story. 

 

This book is compared to Libba Bray's work which I get because I got hard core Gemma Doyle trilogy vibes from this book though it isn't at all supernatural and isn't remotely at the same caliber.

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