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review 2014-07-05 18:42
Fun but not much else
Kiss Kill Vanish - Jessica Martinez

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Kiss Kill Vanish while fun, is actually a pretty weak novel overall. It’s entertaining and in spite of its length, a pretty quick read, yet it lacks a lot of things to make it more. More than just a fun quick read. It lacks good characterization and a strong believable plot.

The sad thing is that all of us who had buddy read this (Glass,Tanja and Emma) were majorly disappointed. We all had high expectations and while all of us gave it 3 stars after reading, once we got to discussing, we all kind of just exploded and ranted and it turned out, we had more bad things to say than good.

Instead of writing a review though, we wanted to go with discussion questions to help us organize our thoughts more. This will serve also as a way to reflect more on the discussion we had.

How did you feel about Valentina as a character?

Valentina was one of the most annoying characters I have ever encountered. She was confused about what she wanted and in all honesty, no matter what her situation was, I'd always think of her as a spoilt brat. She seemed to be not only very condescending and judgmental but also largely hypocritical. Plus, I really just couldn't understand her. It made sense for her to run away within hours of experiencing a certain event, abandoning her family in the process, yet she found it hard to wrap her head around certain other things. She was such a messed-up character and worse, she never underwent any character development. At the end of the day, she was the same as she had been before. Not changed for the better or for the worse… and definitely not likeable.

Also, as someone who believed in justice, her character... really rubbed me the wrong way. She was a teenager and she needed to get off her high horse. SERIOUSLY. Her actions were childish and ugh I had to resist the urge to slap her in the face…. (I am not sure how that would be possible but still).

Was the plot well developed and believable?

NOT AT ALL. It was all over the place and not nearly as well developed as it could have been. Of course it was fun, books with the ‘on the run’ trope tend to be, but it wasn’t the least bit believable and that was what killed the book.  There were too many loop-holes and too many conveniences and not enough explanations. Plus, Valentina was a pretty sheltered female lead in spite of her circumstances and she always figured everything would work out. She never bothered to actually think things through or flesh out her plans properly. She jumped into things without thinking and that really bothered me.

On top of everything, the ending was rushed. We got to the juicy bits and then BAM it’s over.

Was the romance more than a plot device?

Nope. The romance in this book was a total plot device.  My feelings towards the love interest were pretty 'eh', too. It went from ‘omg please don’t tell me he’s the love interest’ to ‘awww how cute’ to ‘how pathetic’. This guy seemed to be too involved with a girl he knew almost nothing about. It was ridiculous. Plus, he did seem like her puppet: she would say jump and he’ll ask, "how high?" Some of his actions were clear indicators of that, but I cannot go into more detail without spoiling. Really, the only purpose his character served was to help the story progress and their romance was basically a plot device in my opinion. Well, it would be more appropriate to say Marcel’s character was a plot device. He didn’t really have any purpose aside from helping the story progress. He underwent one huge chunk of development, but now that I think back, I am not sure how believable that was, either. You cannot change overnight… even if it’s a result of a tragedy.

Describe Emilio in one word.

ZOMG (SEE TANJA.. I DID IT!)

To sum up?

Read this book if you’re not too concerned about the believability of some things and are just looking for something fun.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-10-14 14:19
Come Alive (Experiment in Terror, #7)
Come Alive - Karina Halle
It’s one thing to bring the woman you love back into your life. It’s another to try and keep her there.


I have one hell of a bad habit. I almost never read the blurb before starting a book. Yes, I do read it before adding the book to my tbr shelf. I do trust myself completely to know that when a book ends up on my tbr shelf, it’s worth reading. So, again, I do not bother with the blurb because I like to be surprised.

I should have read the blurb for Come Alive.

Come Alive is told from Dex’s POV.


I SHOULD HAVE READ THE BLURB FOR COME ALIVE.

Bah. Too late now.

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review 2011-10-14 00:00
Review: Not Everything Brainless is Dead by Joshua Price
Not Everything Brainless is Dead (Book 1 of The Absurd Misadventures of Captain Rescue) - Joshua Price

SERIES: The Absurd Misadventures of Captain Rescue, #1

 

BOOK BLURB:

When Captain Rescue's city is overrun by man-eating zombies, he and his arch nemesis must band together to thwart mankind's undealiest threat!

The adventure begins after Dr. Malevolent knocks off the most prominent bank in the city. The super villain gets far more than she bargained for, and over the course of the ensuing shenanigans, zombies are inadvertently unleashed. The outbreak spreads like crazy, and arch enemies embark on a journey to discover who, in this universe or the next, would commit such a dastardly act.

Will Captain Rescue and Dr. Malevolent find a way to put a stop to this apocalypse, or will the undead eat them alive?

"Not Everything Brainless is Dead" is the hilarious entry to Captain Rescue's absurd misadventures, and the first book of a series that is meant to feel like a novelized comic book. A second adventure, "Past, Future, & Present Danger", is also available.

 

MY THOUGHTS:

When a zombie epidemic breaks out, Captain Rescue, a bumbling and childish superhero, and his nemesis, Dr. Malevolent, band together with a ragtag group consisting of a bunny-costume-loving henchman, an overzealous cop with a penchant for guns and SHOUTING EVERYTHING, an intelligent zombie who surprisingly isn't looking for a brain snack, and a plethora of expendable lackeys. They all work together to make their way through a city full of zombies and find a way to end the infestation.

First, I have to say that the series name, "The Absurd Misadventures of Captain Rescue", keeps reminding me of that children's book called "The Adventures of Captain Underpants" for some reason. And at times, it was probably about the same level of silliness. Also, Captain Rescue was often very childlike, so I guess it fits. Keep in mind though that this is a parody so silliness is par for the course. The plot was thin and more a backdrop for the humor, but again, not uncommon for a parody.

The character I liked best was Freight, the ex-cop who has to SHOUT EVERYTHING HE SAYS! There was even a short time when he didn't shout everything and I actually missed it. I also liked Stubbs, the intelligent zombie, though I don't recall it ever being explained why he ended up more coherent and self-aware than the average zombie. Dr. Malevolent--who happens to be female and it took me awhile to get used to that--was acceptably snarky and a good foil for Captain Rescue's stupidity and silliness.

Parodies come in different flavors. Sometimes they suit me and sometimes they don't. Humor is very subjective. This one was more of the silly slapstick variety, which I think does better in a visual medium (think Mel Brooks or Airplane movies) that can take advantage of a sight gag. Though it gave me a smile occasionally, it just didn't tickle my funny bone like I thought it would. I actually ended up putting this book down for awhile to read some other books and was not that inclined to get back to it. I did end up finishing it but I felt I had to push myself through it. I also felt the writing style was a bit awkward and didn't flow well at times, which caused me to backtrack and reread sentences.

Now when it comes to parodies, I give a little leeway for inconsistencies as things don't always happen in a logical way. However, there were some instances where I think it was just simply an inconsistency that was overlooked rather than an aspect of the parody.

My biggest issues were the typos and other errors. Some readers have mentioned that the typos were infrequent, but in my experience they were quite frequent and it got to be very distracting. And I don't mean a handful of typos that you might get in any book. It was more like 75+ and that is a conservative count. I got this book in a giveaway in exchange for a review, but if I had paid for it I would not have been a happy camper. I don't feel this book was ready for prime time (I even read an updated version, not the initial release) and it would benefit from a good outsourced edit and proofread. Apparently, this has not been a problem for some readers, but if you are more sensitive to being distracted by errors then you might want to take this into consideration.

Word Count: approx 54,148
Kindle locations: 2883
EPUB length: 167 pgs
PDF length: 185 pgs

Source: LibraryThing Giveaway

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review 2009-04-01 00:00
Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter
Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter - Joe Maguire I read enough of this book to last me a while. The book is basically a refutation of Anne Coulter's works up to Godless. Anne Coulter is already hard enough to read; not because she is difficult, but because she is so vicious (from rudeness to personal attacks) and full of lies that one has to exercise restraint not to throw her books against a wall if one has half a brain and knows how to use it. What Maguire does is look at what Anne has written on various topics and then refute it with the actual truth. He used Anne's words pretty much to help bury her. The problem for me is that I have to read parts of Coulter, which illustrate his points, and eventually, this can wear you out as a reader. Needless to say, if you are a fan of Anne Coulter, this book, nor any other, will likely change your mind, no matter the evidence. And Maguire does do a good job of providing the evidence. If you are against Coulter, then this book may well provide some needed ammunition.
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