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text 2017-02-22 05:13
Fiasco and WTF
Venom and Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy) - Shannon Mayer

Uff da, this is some silly stuff.

 

Venom and Vanilla started with a bang. We're introduced to Alena on her death bed, cut down by a communicable disease that's so virulent that she's flown out to Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle to die isolated and alone. It's a sad, slow beginning, nostalgic for her simple life and small rebellions. Alena was a member of the Firstamentalists, an almost cult-like religious group who brooked no contact with the Supernaturals: vampires, werewolves, etc. Of course, fiction being what it is, the narrative lack dictates that, in order to cure the fatal disease rapidly killing her, Alena must become a Supernatural. 

 

I actually loved watching a protagonist struggle with her religion. Alena holds to her principles, even though she'd long questioned them, long past my expectations. While I found her childish refusal to do anything close to cussing annoying -- for fuck's sake, donkey butt has nowhere near the frisson of asshole -- I commend the commitment to character. Alena is a good girl, a religious girl, and she's not going to shed her convictions just because she's like a giant snake or there's a hot vampire or whatever. 

 

But that's about where I stop my praise, because this novel is such an absolute fiasco. Alena is turned into an ancient Greek monster by Merlin, THE Merlin, of all people, to be murdered by Achilles, who is apparently a thing, and Zeus works for Wal*Mart, plus there are vampires and naga and werewolves and satyr and god knows what fuck all. Oh, and there's a standard dystopia where Supes are second class citizens dumped onto the other side of a wall (oops, sorry Canada, you're now the dumping ground for supernatural creatures). 

 

This is one of those stories that is so far gone that I enjoyed it, just waiting for whatever bananas ass shit was going to happen next. Lightning shootout in Wal*Mart? Fine. Naked girl fight in a Queen Anne neighborhood attic? Sure. Casual slut shaming while reveling in the lead's nascent sexuality? Whatever. A house-sized snake fighting minotaurs? I guess. So much random shit happens, SO MUCH. SO MANY characters hide footballs, and not even stealthily, but like right in front of you like you don't have eyes in your head. It's so blatant it passes over insulting into something else completely. 

 

Anyway, I guess what I want to say is that the reader for the audio is fucking amazing, and I think she's the only reason I finished this thing. Her name is Saskia Maarleveld, and I really like her voice. 

 

The End. 

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review 2016-07-03 13:19
The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco (Book Club Mystery, #1)
The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco - Laura DiSilverio

Not bad; a pretty good first mystery in a new series that centers on Amy-Faye (ugh), an event planner, and her fellow book club members/friends.  When one of the members dies unexpectedly and the death is ruled suicide, Amy-Faye and her friends question the validity of the ruling.

 

I liked the characters, the setting and the mystery.  The writing felt natural, as if the author knew what story she was writing, instead of writing to fit someone else's parameters (like a marketing department).  I like that Amy-Faye was smart, but didn't think herself so smart she could do better than the police; in fact, she spent quite a lot of time reporting everything to the police.  I liked that friendship played a big part in all parts of the story and there was a delightful lack of "evil nemesis".

 

What I didn't like so much was the ending of the book.  It could be a good ending about the strength of friendship, but it could also be a setup for a love triangle, which frankly, would ruin this series for me before it hardly got started.  I'm willing to read the second to find out.

 

(This one is a happy surprise for A book that's been on your shelf for more than a year in Summer Book Bingo.)

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review 2016-06-15 12:27
Emily Sparkes and the Friendship Fiasco - Ruth Fitzgerald

I saw this series pop up on Goodreads, and also Twitter, quite a few times, so I decided to check it out. Boy, I am glad I did, because this book made me laugh so much.

This book was hilarious, our MC is just fantastic (well not always, but often she is), the friendship and whom she friended, well I could see that coming from a mile away (especially after some parts). The parents were so-so. They had good intentions, but sorry, just because you have a baby doesn't mean you can just ignore and act so meh around your other kid. You got 2 kids now, take care of them both. Do your laundry (so she has clean clothes), make sure there is food, listen to the kid if she wants to talk, etc.. Bella (our MC's best friend) was really funny, and I loved how she adapted quickly to her new life in Wales.

In the beginning I was a bit annoyed with our MC and how she treated people. I know she wants friends (and also a partner for the trip), but come on girl, no need to act like this. I don't even see what was so good about that new girl. But then again I can imagine that one might not want to be the partner with a gross boy who apparently isn't so nice.
As the story continues I started to really like the girl and I could see that her life also wasn't the easiest. Worried about her parents (and also angry for not giving her attention and even making some bad remarks), her best friend moved to Wales, there is a new girl in her class, another friend did something (but we later find out more about that and also what really happened). So yeah, I could imagine that she might be acting a bit off. Anyone would. Plus the fact that this girl is 11 years old.

I laughed out loud about several things, from the part where she had to go into Gross-Out's van. Or the part near the end with the whole trip and what happened there (poor Emily, poor Zuzanna). And then there were countless of other parts that had me in stitches. My book at the moment is a bit stuffed with papers so I can remember what parts were exceptionally funny.

I loved the way this book was written as a diary (and also the little comments when the day just seemed to go on).

The ending had me laughing, oh dear, I do hope those parents never find out who Bella's best friend really is. :D

All in all, even with a bumpy first beginning, I loved the book and I am definitely going to check out the other books.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com

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