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review 2017-04-07 21:55
House of Royals Audiobook
House of Royals - Keary Taylor

House of Royals was an interesting read for me. It has been a long time since I have fallen in love with a vampire novel as easily as I did with this one.

 

Keary Taylor wrote this lovely story. This is the first book in a seven-book series so far. It is about a girl named Alivia. She is a 22-year-old girl who just moved to the south after her father someone she has never met died and left her everything he had in his will. I will not go into more detail than that because I feel that every bit of the story is a giveaway.

 

Now, I listened to the audio book so I will get into details about how I thought the narrator did.

 

First, let us talk about the actual writing in the book. I really enjoyed the writing flow of how Keary wrote. It wasn't too fast or too slow. The main character Alivia I really enjoyed her. I found that I was really invested in the well being of this character. Although, I will say this about Alivia, I felt that was really wasn't reading a story of a 22 year old woman, but more of someone who was in their late teen years. Not saying that the character was not relatable. She was. I just felt that I was reading about a teenager. Closer to the end of the novel did I feel that I was reading about a 22 year old young woman.

 

Now on the narrator. When it comes to audio books I am really critical on the person who reads the novel. They can make or break an audio book. I have listened to a lot of audio books in my time.

 

I LOVED the woman who narrators this novel. Her name is Renee Dorian. The way she read this novel had me hooked from the very first paragraph that she read. Renee had a lot different voices when she was voicing for all of the different characters. This gives the narrator big brownie points from me. When any narrator can do this I know that I am going to enjoy the book. I am looking forward to hearing her narrate the rest of this series.

 

Oh wait I forgot to tell you that this book is free on the Kindle. I bought the audio book as an add on for $1.99. You can't beat that in my opinion.

 

I will have to give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

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review 2016-06-22 00:11
Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell - Tucker Max

My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world.
--from the Introduction

Actual reader feedback:

"I am completely baffled as to how you can congratulate yourself for being a womanizer and a raging drunk, or think anyone cares about an idiot like you. Do you really think that exploiting the insecurities of others while getting wasted is a legitimate thing to offer?"

"Thank you, thank you, thank you -- for sharing with us your wonderful tales of drunken revelry, for teaching me what it means to be a man, for just existing so I know that there is another option; I too can say 'screw the system' and be myself and have fun. My life truly began when I finished reading your stories. Now, when faced with a quandary about what course of action I should take, I just ask myself, 'What Would Tucker Do?' -- and I do it, and I am a better man for it."

"I find it truly appalling that there are people in the world like you. You are a disgusting, vile, repulsive, repugnant, foul creature. Because of you, I don't believe in God anymore. No just God would allow someone like you to exist."

"I'll stay with God as my lord, but you are my savior. I just finished reading your brilliant stories, and I laughed so hard I almost vomited. I want to bring that kind of joy to people. You're an artist of the highest order and a true humanitarian to boot. I'm in both shock and awe at how much I want to be you."

"You are the coolest person I can even imagine existing. If you slept with my girlfriend, it'd make me love her more."
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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review 2016-04-25 21:17
Michael Lewis's The Big Short
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine - Michael Lewis

The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

 

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time. [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-02 05:36
Book review - A Christmas Gift by Stella Wilkinson
A Christmas Gift - Stella Wilkinson

November 28-December 1

Holly and Caleb had been best friends as children, growing up on the same street, but as teenagers they couldn't be further apart. When Caleb unexpectedly asked Holly to help him pick out a Christmas gift for his girlfriend, neither of them anticipated where it would lead.

Review - This was such a cute Christmas story it's short but I wished it was longer because I loved the whole boy next door girl next door thing this is about Holly and Caleb they use to be friends as kids but then Caleb joined this wolf pack thing but Caleb needed help getting a Christmas gift for his girlfriend amber so he asked Holly for help but then the next day Amber bothers Holly about the whole him and holly being together but she's just a bitch who only likes Caleb because he has money . Holly gets a makeover and goes to Caleb's family christmas party and Caleb's brother flirts with Holly and then Caleb and Josh get in a fight yikes the next day Caleb comes to Holly and tells her he likes and and gives her the bracelet and he broke up with amber then holly kisses him it was really cute I loved it .

Book quotes- And I suddenly realized that was you . The difference between you and Amber . You are the garnet : Darker and softer , with more depth , more beautiful somehow .

There's only one thing I want for christmas . Just you will you be my gift , Holly?

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review 2015-10-09 22:11
Review: Lady of Devices
Lady of Devices - Shelley Adina

I can’t in good conscience say that the plot of this tale is “believable.” But the pieces fall together so nicely that suspending my disbelief was surprisingly easy. I suppose this is because the setting and the characters do all the heavy lifting, with actual plot taking a backseat to the development of the world.

 

Claire Trevelyan, the titular Lady of Devices, goes from well-to-do finishing school graduate with hopes of attending university to the den mother of a gang of pickpockets within a matter of days. On the surface, this summary sounds silly, but Claire is a bright and resourceful heroine and makes you believe in her. I’m a little afraid some readers will accuse her of being a Mary Sue, but Adina does a good job of establishing Claire as someone who works for her successes, and isn’t just magically gifted because she is the heroine.

 

Lady occasionally reminded me of another female-centric steampunk series, Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, though the similarities are probably due to sharing ground in a very small literary subgenre. Both works feature a practical, no-nonsense heroine who is somehow held back from joining the ranks of bored Victorian society wives, either due to physical or social limitations, but who proves to be incredibly resourceful and finds her own idiosyncratic way of doing things. In Carriger’s series, Alexia is relegated to the shelf of spinsterhood on account of her unconventional looks and her unwillingness to suffer fools. Adina’s Claire is also not a great beauty and is more interested in intellectual pursuits than is “proper” for a well-bred young lady. Like Alexia, Claire has a mother who is more concerned with appearances and the status quo than her daughter’s actual welfare. Both act out against the strictures of society as embodied by their mothers, and lead adventurous lives against the grain of feminine expectations. Were this actual Victorian fiction, Claire would be anachronistic, but for the purposes of steampunk adventure, she presses all the right buttons (just like Alexia before her).

 

Adina does a superb job blending alternate history—steam powered devices, electrical weapons—with a Victorian setting that feels very authentic. This is where the Magnificent Devices series deviates from the style of Carriger’s series, since Parasol Protectorate used steampunk only on a superficial level and was much more about the paranormal (which doesn’t feature at all in Devices). The nuances of social strata and the contrast between the classes feel very real; Adina obviously did her research, even if Claire’s ability to walk between the different spheres may stretch credulity a bit. Especially worth noting is the effective use of dialect; it’s a tricky thing in the best circumstances, but the cockney street slang of Claire’s gang rings true and never feels forced. The author may describe fashion in a little more detail than is necessary, but in a society so focused on decorum, it doesn’t detract from the overall effect.

 

Before this starts to sound like a complete gush-fest, I have to admit this first volume has some weaknesses, though none of them are deal breakers. The story has important plot moments, but much of the time it feels like set-up for the later entries in the series instead of a story all its own. There is also a quality to some of the events that make the stakes feel both real and unreal, with certain moments of tension being very effective, and others being too obviously a set-up for later events and thus having very little payoff. Also, the cover is misleading. It’s pretty in a generic kind of way, but doesn’t fit Claire’s get-down-to-business character at all.

 

Minor quibbles aside, this was a great popcorn read and helped me out of a fiction reading slump. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the next THREE volumes in the series.

 

(If any of this struck your fancy, this first volume is available for FREE at Amazon)

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