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review 2017-03-02 19:27
Terrible things happen when a storyteller falls in love
The Storyteller - Andrea Tomić

read in January 2017



I recieved a digital ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Big thanks to author Andrea Tomić!

"This story is for all of you who sometimes feel like lost souls, sitting in sofa next to the window, covered in the warm blanket while you are reading familiar, and yet unknown words.(...) And you will learn soon enough that terrible things can happen when a storyteller falls in love."

This is a story many of you had already heard before. Two people who can't be together fall in love. As the author heself said, this story is a cliche. Oh boy, but what a beautiful one. What makes this one stand out is not only a little bit different take on a usual story, as Daniel and Rachelle are both very aware of their situation. What Tomić does here is take the essence of your average cliche romance and mocks it while putting our main characters in the same situation.
This is beautiful story about two people who really loved eachother. It is filled with a rollercoaster of emotions, characters you will love and hate and, most important of all, good story. Or stories, as we get to read those Daniel tells Rachelle.

This book is not for those who look for something new and revolutionary, because it isn't and it isn't even trying to be. This is for "dreamers, lovers and lunatics." This is for all of you who are looking for an enjoyable, emotional read and for those who are still looking for love that can be found in fairy tales.

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review 2016-10-20 18:22
Death By Cliché
Death by Cliché - Bob Defendi

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher.]


I'm on the fence regarding this novel, as some parts were fun, but some others made fun of gamers in a way that I would expect from someone who doesn't play—as in, clichés that weren't so funny as demeaning.


Damico, game designer, finds himself trapped in a tabletop RPG scenario, as a non-player character, after he got shot in the head by a loony Dungeon Master. (Which in itself is a bad cliché already, but that may be me being a wee bit sensitive after years trying to debunk myths in my hometown, like "oh you're a gamer, so you must be weird and deranged". Meh.) It's only a game, right? Right. So it doesn't matter if all those cardboard characters—peasants, the Evil Overlord, the buxom tavern wench...—get to die, because they're just ink on paper, or in the head of the game master. Except they're not, not exactly; and conversely, if they are, does it mean that Damico is dead, and nothing more than ink as well?


And this is one of the strong points of "Death By Cliché". Sure, it's nothing the literary world hasn't seen before (what is real, what defines reality, what defines humanity...), yet it doesn't matter: it remains an interesting theme. The humorous approach doesn't detract from this kind of "serious" questioning, and at the same time is enjoyable, because, well, it's fun.


The clichés I'm a bit undecided about, as mentioned previously. The book is packed with them, which is totally expected with such a title and premise, and some of them work really well. If you are, or used to be, a gamer, odds are you've encountered a lot of them, whether places, situations or people. It pokes fun at the tired fantasy tropes (the evil lord, the long days of travel—sorry, I'm not a "travel fantasy" person— the fabled Artefact, the cliché large-breasted tavern girls, and so on). Plenty of themes to play with, and it's obvious the author had lots of fun with those. Also, the feeling of reliving some old gaming sessions, or discussing those with an old friend. I'm positive that every gamer, at some point, even the most serious/storytelling-type/roleplaying ones, gave in at some point to some jolly good cliché or silly action. This is part of what makes such games funny, after all.


Some tropes didn't work as well for me; but then, they're clearly the ones that tend to make too much fun of gamers in general, and can easily be construed as more derogatory than mere fun. You know, the "oh but it's just for fun, don't get angry" thing, to cover a hurtful comment/joke. That's the kind of the impression I got.


The writing style was often tongue-in-cheek, sometimes deliberately breaking the fourth wall. I tend to like this, so it made me smile. I couldn't care less about the chapter quotes, though; the first three or so were cool, the rest quickly became tedious.


Conclusion: As expected, a lot of clichés, that may have been exploited better; but all in all, it was a fun ride.

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review 2016-06-27 08:00
Death By Cliché
Death by Cliche - Bob Defendi

First: I don't know why this book is shown with this non bookish cover.


Damico is a game designer who gets shot in the head for disagreeing to publish the worst game ever. To his annoyance he doesn't end up dead but instead wakes inside said game. It is worse than Hell, especially since it's filled with every trope ever.


Of course, the title kind of gave it away, if you don't want to read clichés stay far away from this book. However, from time to time, this book offered a nice view to this clichés. At other times it worked less well. I found the story also a bit repetitive and could only read small parts in one read otherwise I would get slightly annoyed by it.


All in all, I have some mixed feelings about this book and still haven't really decided what to think about it...


Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2015-12-01 20:41
A Cliche Christmas by Nicole Deese
A Cliché Christmas - Nicole Deese

Let the Christmas reads .... BEGIN!


I listened to this on audio and it was kinda cute. Wish I could've connected more. All in all it is a good book with a nice message. An okay read for me. 2.5

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review 2015-11-23 16:18
Too Much Melodrama
Knowing the Score - Kat Latham

I like what I've read so far of this series, and Latham's writing style is snappy and entertaining, but I struggled with this book because the main characters' tragic backstories, especially the heroine's, were just too tragic. I struggled to willingly suspend my disbelief with respect to both characters -- not that these bad things could happen to happen to them, but that they would shape the characters the way they did.


Caitlyn, the heroine, is a 27-year-old virgin. The first two-thirds of the book, the conflict is about why she's untouched, and whether she's going to lose her cherry with the hero. When they finally do the deed, it's sudden and anti-climactic. (Which, to be fair, is actually pretty true to real life, now that I think about it...) From there, the plot devolves into accidental pregnancies and miscommunications, only to be all tied up with a cliche epilogue.

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