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review 2016-03-15 15:41
Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

I had the good fortune of previewing an advance reader copy of COUNTING THYME. Thyme Owens’s life is turned upside down when her younger brother needs a new cancer drug, and her whole family moves from San Diego to New York City for his trial treatment. Although she’d do anything to help her brother recover, Thyme’s character is tested and revealed by such a big move in the midst of middle school. Melanie Conklin’s debut novel is powerfully written with fine attention paid to the emotional details. The characters feel real and believable, and the central crisis of her brother’s illness is handled with skill to avoid sentimental melodrama. COUNTING THYME is a moving and engaging read that delivers in the end.

Source: www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/317524/counting-thyme-by-melanie-conklin/9780399173301
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text 2016-01-07 21:23
I'm 39% done with Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell
Sutphin Boulevard - Santino Hassell

Oh my God, this freaking hurts! 


It really really does. I'm already getting this hollow feeling in my gut that tells me to either get the hell out of dodge - or watch the train wreck happen. It actually scares the crap out of me what else might come before I'm through.


Done with one third of the book and I'm already a little exhausted by all the desperation, exhaustion and bone-deep pain.

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text 2015-12-19 07:27
Health Issues Worsening Because of Counterfeit Prescriptions
Counterfeit prescription pharmaceuticals are widely recognized as a growing public health risk and a serious concern to public health officials, private companies, and consumers. According to studies, almost 70% in a developing countries order their medicines through online pharmacies with available doctors who can give immediate prescription basing their findings on the symptoms given through the patient’s comments.

World Health Organization (WHO) has released warnings on the effects of the prescribed drugs on a patient’s health. In review of the records, these counterfeit prescriptions resulting to the purchase of medicines which are at most times unfit for the person’s ailment have already caused death to thousands of lives in some of the world’s most impoverished countries.

In an interview with Mark Wang, spokesperson of The Peterson Group, non-profit organization campaigning against the proliferation of counterfeit medicines, he stated that authorities should not only focus on counterfeit medicines bearing little or no active ingredient in curing a specific ailment. He emphasized, “We should also be vigilant of prescriptions issued online. It may be that the drugs prescribed are legit and can be bought from legitimate sources but it may not be the right medicine for that patient’s disease”.

Indeed, a lot of buy-bust operations are done with fraudulent manufacture of counterfeit drugs but there is not much news about illegal prescriptions online.

Wang also added, “It may also be possible that the ‘doctor’ prescribing these medicines is not a real physician at all”.

In most developed countries, only less than 1% is reported to be victimized by prescription counterfeiting because of tight security measures among internet usage and market controls as well as the regulations imposed on physicians which the public is aware of. Even so, patients in developed countries are not exempted and can be affected by counterfeit drugs and deaths linked to them. These deaths are increasing in number annually in the United States, United Kingdom and even more so in Africa, Asia and South America where the laws on online trade are still vague.

In Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia and Beijing, China are pointed as the main source of counterfeit prescriptions. India is also included in the list with a lot of Indian online pharmacy closed down after found to prescribe illegally through website comments.

Counterfeit drugs are, by definition, not subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as legitimate medications. The drugs often have incorrect amounts of active ingredients, if those ingredients are present at all, and are illegal in developed countries.
Source: giulcosta.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/health-issues-worsening-because-of-counterfeit-prescriptions
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review 2015-11-10 00:00
Six - Tara Spears

Well, this was different. Good different, but different.

You get to meet two single dads, both somewhat lonely, both have their own issues. And then they meet each other and things get interesting. Especially the tango between the sheets - or on a chair - gets really, really interesting.

What surprised me the most was how big parts of the story came out of effing nowhere, and still worked for me. I was so certain I knew how things would go down, but let me tell you, they sure as hell took a turn or three I did NOT see coming! Which is pretty awesome for a free, somewhat short story I picked up "by accident". 4 stars all around, with a little cherry on top for all the surprises that kept me so entertained!

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review 2015-11-03 00:00
Shelter - Ashley John

This is gonna be painful.

First of all, I want to say that I like Ashley John. He said some smart and insightful things at times when they were needed to be said. So, it's not an issue of personal dislike.

But, maaaan, I feel like I've read a completely different book than everybody alse. Everyone, especially people I follow, respect and somewhat worship, loved it. And in a way, I can see a lot of potential for the love here. Elias is one MC with baggage. His family is the complete opposite of what family should be, although his sister had some redeeming qualities. Caden is sweet and caring, has a great family. His issues are more on the... philosophical side? Well, let's just say, he is my picture perfect nice boy, with a relatively sheltered life, who has been loved and cherished for who he is most of his life, and it showed. That's not something negative, it was just the complete opposite of Elias. Like I said, the potential was there. Not saying that the plot ideas were bad, maybe a little over the top, but not bad. Then there was reality and the very real execution of the ideas. At which point I'm going to hide the ranty spoilers, just in case you're not in the mood for bitching.

First of all, the location. A very small town, almost a village, where everybody knows you, and you can walk from one end to the other on your own two feet without any problems. This little, small village is also home of THE super-mayor, controlling and intimidating everyone and everything, hosting a huge ball, having a massive glass-steel-home with guards and the whole nine yards. Wow. Some village that is. CONSISTENCY, anyone? I had issues with it throughout the whole book.

The mayor. I was constantly thinking of Regina in Once Upon a Time, although Regina at least had somewhat plausible reasons for acting like the control-freak bitch she was. I mean, hello? Evil Queen. But Elias' mother? What the actual fuckity fuck? She was portrayed like the super-duper villain. Almost like a cartoon and with no motivations, no real explanations, just a whole lot of crap on top of more crap, and some evil mojo. I was NOT convinced.

The sister was better. Even though I felt for Elias in the beginning, because he just wants help and his sister acts like she couldn't care less about him, she was also the one person in this book that actually felt real to me. Because, if you like it or not, when a loved one betrays and hurts you again and again and again, you will build up some walls and a whole lot of distrust and defense mechanisms. Doesn't make her acceptance or ignorance of how Elias was treated his whole life any better, but like I said, at least she felt real to me.

The Magical Dick. Beware, ladies and gentleman, of the magical dick in books. This is one of my absolute no-go's. NOT OK. Here we have Elias, fresh out of rehab - again - feeling like crap and still an addict - because you are not healed after rehab - and with a whole lot of issues. And in the beginning I was okay with how it all developed. He was not instantly okay, he was tempted, he felt weak, he tried to substitute one deathly substance with another. It might not have been the most accurate description, but I'm not reading romance books because they all portay reality so well. My real issue probably started halfway through the story. Because once Elias and Caden were fucking - pardon, making love - it all was just fine and dandy. Which, okay, isn't even that far off in the beginning. Right after rehab, falling into a new relationship, feeling all the love for one person, needing them as an anchor, is not unrealistic. But not experiencing the crash afterwards? Battling addiction with only one person as real support, and without learning to actually stand on their own two feet again?! No. Way. It's jsut not possible. Granted, love can survive something like this, make the addict feel stronger and/or more willing to fight. But it can NOT substitue for everything else. Which is exactly what happened here. And it pissed me off royally.

The Writing. It did not work for me at all. It's not really bad. It just didn't touch me. There were some constant repetitions that annoyed me, and parts of the dialogue felt too stilted and akward. Most of all, I felt like things were told to me rather then shown, and in a very simple way too. Like I couldn't understand what the author wanted to tell me without him spelling it out specifically. Which is really not what I'm looking for in a book. For example, you don't have to tell me again and again how hard and cold someone acts, looks AND talks - I get it. I even get it if you just show me the actions and leave the actual words completely out of it.

So yeah, I was so not happy with this book. I probably should have DNFed it, but I didn't want to. Firstly, because it came with high praise from people I adore. Secondly, because I could see the potential - in the story and the writing - and I was hoping for better chapters. Granted, they didn't come, but I still wanted to try.

So now here I am, grumpy and unhappy, writing a really grumpy and unhappy review. And feeling like the odd one out. But, it can't be helped, so I'm giving it 1.5 stars rounded up to 2, because potential was there, execution just rubbed me the wrong way. Hard. With a metal sponge.

Now I'm done. I promise.

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