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review 2016-10-24 00:25
Drama, drama, drama
Faithful: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

Arc Provided by Simon & Schuster through Netgalley

 

Release Date: November 1rt

 

Here's the thing, I am starting to realize that Alice Hoffman's writing is like a drug to me: I am addicted to it ( why? Idk. Faulty wiring in the grey cells... depression. Who knows?), but it really messes with me. And not in a good way. Because through imagery and beautiful phrasing the author embellishes ugly scenarios. The worst is that lately, her books seem to be dominated by weak people and by their socially inapt families, and the fact that through some convoluted fairy tale scenarios, most people overcome their issues.

Unless you're killed: Alice Hoffman's characters have a high mortality rate. Mostly due to cancer,(strangely, in some parts of the world, cancer is already seen as a chronic disease, but not in A.H's novels), but there's also drugs, and finicky parrots that suddenly decide to fly (yeah, I still haven't got over that one) leading their owners to death.

 

The writing as always is great... although there was some repetitions that could have been avoided. Like Ben's last name. Over and over... and over.

 

But that is not the main reason why this book left me mad as a wet cat.

These are:

1) Use of trigger warning situations only for the shock value of the thing

A friend who is a comma, is bad enough. Survivor's guilt, is bad enough.

Attempting suicide is already too much. Did the author really had to had a rape scene in a psychiatric ward?

(spoiler show)

So that Shelby got to say "I was fucked" over and over. And for me it wasn't used as a form of dissociation. If "that" was the idea, then the whole thing was poorly done.

 

The whole thing becomes even more problematic, after she tells her mother what happened, and the mother doesn't do anything about it. That's right, for about two years Shelly does whatever she wants, falling into a deep depression.

And like I said the rape is never properly addressed, so yeah for me, that was really badly done.

 

2) At the beginning of this review I use the term "weak people". Let me explain: I am not trying to diminish the character's pain. Thing is, bad things happen in life. People die. Family die and we never get over it. That doesn't mean all of us are going to do drugs. That doesn't mean that we're going to enter a relationship like some sort of parasite. Especially if that person likes you. Most of the times we just go on with our lives.

 

3) Due to the synopsis, I thought this would be more friendship oriented than it ended being. Shelly and Helene are supposed to be best friends, but at beginning, the characterization that the author makes of the two of them felt so heavy handed, "good girl/party girl; good student/couldn't care less about it; reserved/kind of sluty (hopefully this word will be removed from the final story), that I was left completely baffled about what I was reading.

 

4) The use of a physical image associated with cancer to create pity

After the accident, Shelby shaves her head. She even says that people look at her with pity because they think she has cancer. Maybe if the author hadn't said something of the type, I couldn't care less? But she did, and from that moment on, my hatred for Shelby started growing. She wanted to blend in the background? In that case, average appearance normally does the trick.

 

5) Alice Hoffman and romance normally don't walk hand in hand.

Obsession, insta attraction and following disappointment, yes. Thing is I had imagined many roads for Shelby and Ben. For a moment I thought, "okay, the author creates the most wonderful Ben's". Read "Practical Magic".

I was happy, or at least I was hoping for a possibility of happiness. And then the author had to choose a "new adult" approach to ruin things.

 

6) The new adult romance vibe

You know why I mostly can't stand new adult? It is because of the way abusive/toxic relationships are dealt.

Stalkerish vibes?

Away you go.

A guy deciding what is best for you?

Yeah, no.

Dark, brooding, been in prison vibe?

Hell no, Give me a Ben. Even if it started out messy.

 

7) The cancer card

That's right! Who cares if the story line was already fucked up as it was? The story wouldn't be complete without someone dying from cancer... in a few pages.

 

8) Another death, because the death tally in this book still wasn't long enough.

YES I KNOW DOGS DIE! ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE FOURTEEN YEARS OLD! MY DOG IS FOURTEEN AND A HALF AND HE IS DYING! LEAVE THE Fictitious

ANIMALS ALONE!

(spoiler show)

Really, stop with the soap opera!

 

9) No magical realism. There was this supposed "angel" (stupid me was thinking something along the lines of "Turtle Moon") who ended up being a Mr. Know it all, stalkerish type.

Just No.

Truth is, had this been written by any other author ( that not one of my favourites) I probably wouldn't have even finished it. As it is, I feel as if I've read some weird as fuck soap opera. And I hate soap operas.

Guess it is time for me and Alice Hoffman's writing to part ways.

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review 2016-09-30 00:44
The Chocolate Temptation - Laura Florand

DNF at 44%

I'm done! Patrick is such a manipulating asshole, and Sarah is just a f****k doormat ( why? Because she's Asian? :/) that at this point I just can't force myself to read another page.
And don't even get me started on sexual harassment accusations: she works under his orientation, and he has been playing with her!
So, yeah, no. You fooled me well, Patrick. I thought you were a sane/ funny kind of person.
Instead you're a manipulating psycho. -_-

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-10-28 02:23
Bella and The Pig - Part II
Bella and the Beast (Cinderella Sisterhood Series) - Olivia Drake

Arc provided by St. Martin's Press through Netgalley

Release Date: November 3rd

 

 

DNF at 41%

 

Confession time:

This story provoked such a reaction in me _ and no, it wasn't a good one_ that even after deciding to DNF it, I am still mad as... hell.

 

Yes, I am not being impartial, because back in the day when I started reading historical romances, most guys behaved as atrociously as this did does, and I would read them and like them.

 

Thing is, we're in 2015 and violence against women is still the main cause of women's death. More than cancer.

Being a woman our days still means that you're probably going to receive inferior wages compared with guys.

It also means that you're probably going to be subject to sexual abuse.

And to read something that tries to romanticize this type of behaviour in our time and age, really gets under my skin.

 

I've honestly been going over and over in my head, trying to find a way to write this review without going into a rant, but I cannot.

 

I can't get over the fact, that during the first interaction between Bella and _ I've come to think about him as the Pig _ Alwynn, he lifts up her skirts so than he can see if she was a specific tattoo (the one you see on the model's ankle) . Now, you're probably thinking: Oh, its just the ankle. It could be worse...

But it is, because not only did she not consent to it, soon enough he is grabbing her leg, and thinking about he would like to do with parts of her anatomy.He has all the power, and she has to submit to his whims.

Not hot. Not sexy.

_______

_____________

__________

To make matters even worse, Bella and all the other characters _ from what I read _ just felt flat to me.

I read a review in which the reviewer basically tells that if you liked the Mummy, especially Evie, you were going to love this.

I am not a fan of horror movies. I don't like to see scarabs eating people's... faces. -_-

But I've seen that movie a couple of times because I like the characters.

 I loved Evie's personality. Even Rick's. And I loved their romance.

Bella is no Evie.

No.

 

So, let me recapitulate:

I hate the guy.

The woman is a nitwit who is supposed to be strong and brave but instead feels like an Anastasia.

Then I can't stop thinking that this book should be called "Bella and The Pig".

The guy has just gone to a brothel.

The guy returns home after frequenting said brothel, and decides "what the hell, I should f***k Bella as well".

She tells him no.

He decides to ignore her attempts to free herself from his unwanted attentions, because surely that's just her maiden sensibilities arising.

She pulls a dagger to his throat _ YAY! _ but only because she came second to the brothel scene. -_-

 

No. No. And no.

Not sexy. Not hot.

 

I want him tramped by a horse carriage.

And I want her shaken until her brain cells get back into place!

 

There: this is what this book has made me feel. I cannot be more honest than this.

I can deal with brooding, ill mannered Beasts. What I can not do, is stand abusive borderline rapists.

Also to call this a retelling of Beauty and The Beast is really, really pushing it.

 

First book that I've read by this author, and the thing is, I have been curious about the first book in this series for a long time now.

Now, not so much.

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review 2015-02-24 02:21
Kill it with Fire :/
She's No Idol - Jay Clark

 

Arc provided by Mcmillan's Children Publishing Group


Release Date: March 24th


 

Arc provided by Mcmillan's Children Publishing Group

Release Date: March 24th



Well....I'll be... darn :/
You see, I find myself in a bit of a predicament, mainly because everything I feel like saying about this story... would not be polite, which in some sort of cosmic response would be more than appropriate, because this isn't a polite book.

This is more like a f****d up one, where the characters are supposed to be deep and intense, and because of that who cares if one of the main characters uses words like, "retarded", "that Asian", "the Asian "..that rare breed of slutty Asian (..), "slut" and "whore"
_________
Wait, I care!
Its offensive, and it makes me wonder how in HELL did this managed to be published?!
I understand that even idiots deserve love, and as so, Juliette and Abram are pretty much perfect for one another.
Juliette may be more _lets say _ active in the offensive comments department, but Abram doesn't seem to have a compunction to what she says, and also goes along with the "that Asian" remarks.
The thing is, Abram could be interested in Julliette _ I don't know why in fact...apparently they had never talked to one another prior to their parents death _ and point out to her, that she was being a jerk with all that racists comments..but he doesn't, and later on, to make matters even worse ends up falling into a slut shaming situation.
(just because he doesn't say it aloud, it still counts)

As if all of this still wasn't enough, what had me practically screaming is that _unless I'm mistaken_, this book's target audience are teenage girls... who will be reading a book full of crap about women... when instead this should be directed at boys who don't know shit about them.

Amongst the many off-hand remarks casually thrown that made me want to gag _trying to keep up with the book's mentality, yay! _ are:
The comment that Juliette does, on how could Abram have been so patient for their make out session, when her body isn't you know? Perfect, because there's so many available sluts around!
Oh, and the one in which she asks herself why can't she be a whore for two seconds?
Oh, and the one in which she says she's on the pill purely due to some health issues, not because she's a whore!

Is this some kind of unspoken rule?
Does every single female leading character written by a guy have to be made into a mental case?
Yes?
Does it feed the White Knight syndrome?
Oh... I see... in that case, mission accomplished.

Misogynistic BS
When one reaches the end of book and starts evaluating characters and behaviours, one thing pops out. And that is the fact, that with the exception of Abram's mother and "facebook" aunt, the other female characters with bigger roles "aren't nice people" according to our troubled teens :

There's Juliette's mother who was a conniving bitch who cheated on her father poor indolent bastard who apparently didn't care about anything while his wife was alive, and as if that wasn't enough she also got her daughter addicted to pills, because nothing says "I love you honey" as: Here, take one of my Adderall's!
Apparently the mother had no problem in sharing what was hers with her daughter: clothes, shoes, belts, pills :/
Bad mother.
____

Then there's the "ASIAN slutty girl"_ARGH! REALLY? You don't see nothing wrong with this?
This girl,_we are told_ apparently lets Abram copy on classes _which makes her stupid_, also according to him she's a sex freak because she wanted his penis _which makes her naive_...but he succeeded in resisting her wiles! Because that's what teenage boys do..they save themselves for the LOVE of their lives at the age of seventeen ( I guess this is some sort of Christian fiction?)
In fact I can totally see Abram saying something along the lines of this to "that Asian girl":
*No, you shall not have my dick! I am saving my dick for Juliette!* ~sarcasm~

And here's slut shaming... directed at a "character" that never makes an appearance. We never see the girl as anything more than a recipient for Juliette's offences.

Finally there's Juliette and her mental basket popping pills and checking guys _well one guy...because if she checked more asses that would probably make her you know, slutty_ asses... case, because let's face it girls, there's nothing more appealing than this!!
(We get a lot of references to Abram's "fashion statement"~sarcasm~...oh and in the case that that wasn't the idea, there's this wonderful thing called BELTS.)


HOT, right ladies?
:/
______
So, yes, the only woman worth of anything in this book is Abram's mother, which leads me to this very important point...
Guy's mothers are sacred.
Everyone else... isn't... except, if you're a mental pixie girl case, in which case guys will be falling hard for you!;)
Why?
R: No idea. I guess it was in the script.

The writing is meh.
The plot... where was it?
The character development is missing in action.
The changing pov's are annoying because both characters sound the same!

A basic story on how the love of a good man boy will redeem a lost woman girl featuring a bat-shit load of crap, prejudices, and many other YA nonsenses.

p.s- I am very much aware that after this review, I'll probably never EVER be approved for any other arc provided by this publisher.
This is my honest review/rant.


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review 2014-12-27 23:24
Ye Gods!
Ticker - Lisa Mantchev
      Arc provided by Amazon Children's Publishing through Netgalley
                                        
    DNF at 34 %
 
I blame it on the pretty cover.
If it weren't for it, there's no way I would have requested this on Netgalley, not with the avalanche of one star ratings that this is getting!
But no...I decided to be stubborn.
Also, this explains why you only had to click on the request button to be approved. :/

Here's what I could understand from this story...
________
________
O_O
________
?????
_____
?
I guess it attempts to flow in that light, quirky tone of the TV series "Pushing Daisies". Remember it?
But instead of pies,and a pie maker that brings people to life, we have strange contraptions, with even strangest names! And you have no idea what they're for. Because there's no explanation!
I don't even know why I am making that comparison, because the series was GOOD.

The setting is somewhat steam-punk(ish)...I guess...at least it attempts to, but there's just not enough description, world building, characterization, nothing!
So we have strange words, and strange expressions like:

“What the blanketed codfish are these?”

"Dear Cogs"

Silly and impossible things:

The Ripley’s Personal Aethergraph strapped to my ribboned leg garter fired to life, a welcome distraction. With a series of clicks, the RiPA tapped out a message.

Defiant in the face of my fears, I marched from the room and made my way downstairs via a slide down the banister. Difficult to do when wearing a bustle skirt.
Difficult, but not impossible.


I would really, really like to see this last one up-front.

The characters are like puppets and they act and dress accordingly..

I didn't find any "friendliness" on the part of the so called "friend"..

No spark from whom I believe will be the love interest...they bantered, and now he has given her some bracelets with diamonds _also, there might have been some stalking involved _ and that makes her part of "the task force" or whatever..

Some Latin names are also used to the mix, just to give it that lovely and casual "Roman taste"...
The brother doesn't show any brotherly affection...well, there's some disdain, I guess, maybe because it is fashionable?
Then there's the bisexual friend who has blue hair and beard, because...in another lifetime he was a Smurf? o_O

He’d inherited his good looks, cheerful demeanor, and eye for the ladies from his father.
His weakness for infernal, newfangled contraptions and rakish gentlemen came from his mother.
 
 
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