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review 2018-08-07 21:50
Purr M for Muuuuuuuurder
Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery - T.C. Lotempio

Well, my dad means well when he sends me stuff. And usually he gets me. He sent me a Golden Girls collectors magazine once, and a cat shirt, and a book about a cat saving Christmas. But this book is just...wow. 

 

I don't read mysteries, for one. And I really don't do cozy mysteries because I find them campy and easy to figure out. But the 52 pages I read of this was like a bad Lifetime movie. Or maybe Hallmark. 

 

I mean, we start out with a conflict with the cat rescue and Baddy McBadguy.

 

 

Rich white Southern man in a 3-piece suit, Italian loafers, and a pit of money for all I know. Beak of a nose, beady eyes, weaselly fellow. Hates do-gooders and only worries about money. Wants to shut down the rescue. It was so straight out of a cookie-cutter Disney Channel movie I couldn't believe it. 

 

The McCall sisters are more of the same stereotypes. One is a jilted former New York exec. The other is the hometown bomb shell who stayed behind to run the family businesses. 

 

All we needed was a motorcycle riding Michael Shanks to show up and we would have a made-for-TV movie there, but I digress. 

 

 

Mmmm.

 

Wait, what? Oh, the book.

 

Anyway, the writing was stilted and stiff. The author didn't have a grasp of modern technology, and the dialogue was forced. The McCall sisters made immature decisions for grown business women, and that's what made me hang it up. When a book places characters in unrealistic positions and has the characters do unbelievable things just to move the story in a certain direction, it shows poor writing. People act a certain way and have certain natural reactions to things, and I am finding more and more that authors do not get that. And I am an author. Like this story: these ladies go to confront  Baddy at his business, they can't find him, it's way early in the morning and dark in the building. Normal people would effing leave. Not these brilliant ladies. They wander inside, using their cellphone as a flashlight, and proceed to just snoop. I closed the book when they had found the office, turned on the lights, saw nobody was there and decided to OPEN A LN ARMOIRE FOR NO REASON. They were there to see a person, not spy. There was no reason to spy, yet the author thought it was a great way to make the women end up caught in the murder web of the book. But do grown women really act this way? I certainly don't. 

 

Two stars, but subtract half a star for the cellphone flashlight stupidity.

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review 2018-08-05 18:01
Blonde Ops
Blonde Ops - Natalie Zaman,Charlotte Bennardo

Omg, I could barely finish the first chapter. Barf. Bec, the main character, is a rich girl kicked out of her prep school for numerous reasons. She's also a hacker with a grudge against authority. Her mother is your typical power-suit wearing business woman with no time for her daughter. Her daughter is clearly troubled and she can't even spare a single hour for her. 

 

As Cinemasins says, SKIP!

 

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review 2018-07-30 01:57
The Star-Touched Queen (minor spoilers)
The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi

Okay, so I am not reviewing this blasted book. I will tell you exactly the problem with it shortly and concisely. All the bad things could have been avoided from the beginning if Amar had simply told his lovie love "Yo, we used to be married and madly in love. I'm the ruler of death basically, and you were my queen. But we had a fight and you left to be reincarnated as a human, so you lost your memories. I'm here to get you." 

 

An entire book could have been avoided with COMMUNICATION.

 

The only redeeming factor was the sarcastic flesh-eating horse demon at the end. 

 

I fucking hate books where they play the "let's all keep a shit ton of secrets and then be shocked bad things happen" game.

 

But the world itself was pretty. And the horse. Loved the horse.

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review 2018-07-12 04:06
The Soldier's Scoundrel (The Turner Series #1) (Audiobook)
The Soldier's Scoundrel - Cat Sebastian

Story: 3.5 stars

Narration: 5 stars

Overall rating: 4.25 stars, rounded down

 

That cover looks like it belongs in a gay Halloween magazine, and it's the main reason I avoided this book for so long, despite everyone telling me that the story hiding beneath that hideously cheesy cover is actually good. And now I can join their number and say that the story is actually really quite good. Brilliant even, and if it were for a couple of my pet peeves that appear here, it would have gotten a higher rating.

 

So let's get the pet peeves out of the way first:

 

~Smexy times after an injury. *sigh* I just went through this with the last book. At least it was more realistic here, being "just" a flesh wound. 

~Gay-okay history. Like many an M/M historical romance, they want all the modern conventions like HEAs but don't want to put up with things like taboos. There is some consideration given to the fact that sodomy was a crime in these days, but that sure didn't stop Jack and Oliver from being reckless at times. But more than that, I would expect more of the side characters to have a more negative reaction to their relationship than they do. Look, people have a hard enough time finding that kind of positive reception in today's world, much less the 1800s. Is it too much to ask for more realistic reactions, even if they would be depressing as hell?

~The term "dating" wasn't coined until 1898 in America. Pretty sure a noblewoman of the early 1800s in London wouldn't be using the term. She would say courting. That one little word really threw me out of the book.

 

Those matters aside, I really enjoyed how Sherlockian this was. Nearly 99% of the mysteries out there involve murder from the get-go - even all those Sherlock knockoffs. But there are just way more mysteries to solve out there than that, and this story has a classic case of stolen letters kept by a married lady from her one-time suitor. 

Why would she have her own letters though? If she mentioned why or how she got them back from her former suitor at some point in the story, I missed it.

(spoiler show)

 

Jack Turner is a rogue, street tough and no-nonsense. He helps women who have no one else to help them (so long as they can afford to pay), and he'll do so by any means necessary, though he does have his limits. He has no time for stuffy aristocrats. Oliver Riverton is the youngest son of an earl just returned from war and desperate for the ordered life of society after the chaos and destruction he witnessed during the war. When he finds out his sister had paid Jack for a job, he's determined to make sure his sister hadn't been taken in by a charlatan. Instead, he gets entangled in Jack's world, in more ways than one.

 

Jack and Oliver are perfectly matched and I enjoyed watching them circle each other as they got to know one another. Lust was pretty immediate, but they don't fall into each other's arms right away. Trust needs to be built, and they need to start seeing each other as people instead of just assumptions based on class, or lack thereof. Jack's determination to keep the upper hand and constantly failing to do so was amusing, and Oliver is just naive enough to be charming but savvy enough to not be annoying, which is not an easy combination to achieve. They've grown up in different worlds that have different laws that govern them, and they actually learn from each other how to see the world in different ways.

 

Gary Furlong, who does the narration, did a fabulous job. He managed to convey the POV switches with ease and kept the MCs voices distinct from each other. I could visualize the story just as easily listening to him as I could have if I'd read it myself. He even managed to make some of the sex scenes fun - though I still thought there were a few too many of those. 

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review 2018-06-23 19:31
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent - Bill Peet

Title:  Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Sea / Adventure / Pirates / Traveling


Year Published: 1975


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Intense Scenes)

 

 

Sea

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is an adventurous book from Bill Peet about how a friendly sea serpent who at first wanted to wreck a ship to have fun, ends up trying to protect a ship full of passengers looking for a new land. “Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” may be tough for smaller children to read but older children would most likely enjoy the adventurous scenes contained in this book. 

Bill Peet’s writing is extremely inventive and exciting as he writes the story about a sea serpent that is willing to risk his life to protect the people on a voyage for a new life. Bill Peet is extremely inventive whenever he uses various words such as “doldrums” and “bedraggled” to make the story more clever and dramatic. Also, the idea that Cyrus is more like a friendly sea serpent rather than a vicious one makes the story more creative as people usually believe that sea monsters are meant to be scary. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful, especially of the scenes where he illustrates the sea as a calm ocean for the water is beautifully blue and during the storm scenes, he makes the sky dark and the ocean smashing viciously at the Primrose. 

Sea

Parents should know that there are many advanced words in this book and that this book may be a bit too long for younger children to handle. Some of the advanced words mentioned are “pilings,” “doldrums,” and “bedraggled” and young children may not understand what those words mean. Parents should write down the advanced words down on a piece of paper and define them so that the younger children would understand what the word means and therefore, it would make it easier for them to read this book. Also, the length of this book is a bit too long than any normal children’s book and that may be a bit too tiresome for some small children to handle, so parents should read at least a few pages a day so that children would not get too tired of this book. 

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is a wonderful story about the power of friendship and how it is better to help people rather than be cruel towards them and children would easily enjoy this book for ages. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the advanced words and the length of the book may be a bit too challenging for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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