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text 2017-03-10 20:39
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Lights, Love & Lip Gloss (Hollywood High Book 4) - Amir Abrams,Ni-Ni Simone

These books are fast paced page turners. Ni-Ni Simone really knows how to keep it interesting. I would give her books four stars for the inventive language alone. Even though their home lives are anything but ideal, they use all the energy to wild out at school and with their frenemies. 

 

UPDATE

 

Rich and Heather have no idea that the news, just revealed, will be their worst nightmare. I can't wait!

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text 2017-03-10 17:39
Reading progress update: I've read 87%.
Put Your Diamonds Up - Amir Abrams,Ni-Ni Simone

This is the third book in the Hollywood High Series. These young girls are rich, but not all that glitters is gold. They have no loyalty, discipline, scruples and have learned, at a young age, that money changes and buys everything and everyone. I love the frenemy relationships and the language. Oh, the language is hysterical. After finishing book three I will continue with four and five. Book five was released at the end of February.

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review 2015-08-26 01:56
Review of a Really BAD Vampire Book
Promise Me - Tara Fox Hall

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. — Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

What must it be like, to be born in 1601, a destitute dirt farmer, desperately trying to feed a wife and child? Completely illiterate, superstitious, held under the thumb of the rich, little more than a slave. Then, to find oneself suddenly immortal, seen as a demon, unclean, a monster in god’s eyes and those of your family. To make connections, fall in love, only to see the object of your affections wither and die time after time. To exist the next 200 years in the same crushing poverty and ignorance, until the world begins to turn, and opportunity begins to appear. And four hundred seventy five years later, to exist in a world completely at odds with the one you knew for so long. A world of cars and planes and space exploration. A world where intelligent, educated women are not inclined to take any crap from the men who used to rule their worlds completely?

 

“With some bitterness, he wondered why he was fighting so hard to survive. His life had been pointless for the last half century. Modern books and novels talked about how fun it was being a creature of the night’ so romantic and glamorous. What a crock of s**t.”

Four hundred seventy five years. Only to wind up poisoned, sprawled on the side of an isolated quarry road, alone. Well, until Sarelle comes along, with her front end loader, and her two dogs, Ghost and Darkness, to load him up and carry him to her basement. Well, she thought he was just a human . . . until she saw his teeth the next morning. Hum. A real live vampire. Sar is a kind woman, the type of woman who rescues animals off the side of the road at her own peril. So, she feeds him. But she swears she won’t be like all the silly little girls out there. She is, after all, a grown woman, over thirty and a widow. She will feed him, give him a place to stay, then send this vampire, whose truck is loaded down with silenced handguns and sniper rifles, on his way. She won’t be some stupid fan girl, fainting and squea­­ling at the thought of a sexy vampire.

 

Until she is.

 

Part way through the story began to lose coherence. From a good start, the author begins to throw in unnecessary plot points willy-nilly, as if she had lots of ideas she suddenly decided she wanted to explore. Humor disappears and histrionics ensue. There were flashes of story line that appeared, and then just as suddenly disappeared, like a shark flashing by under the surface of the water. It became somewhat of an overwrought mess of genre-specific tropes, with no real point at all. Contiguous to the breakdown of the story line, character personalities began to devolve, and distressing mannerisms and dissociative personality disorders began to appear where there were previously none. Sar goes from being a strong, capable woman, maybe not willing, but fully capable of blowing away an intruder with her own handgun, to a fluttery mess, standing around twisting her hands while her lover fights off a demon, intent on murdering them both, all the while said lover is screaming for her to run. “You might need me!” Yeah. Not so much, when all you can do is stand there and hop from foot to foot and whimper. Pft. Of course, in a lot of ways, Danial isn’t any better – just saying, “Watch out for other vampires at the party,” not, “If my brother the King of the Vampires demands to kiss you, turn him down because . . .” is just plain stupid. Secrets and lies. Lies and secrets. So, don’t get mad at her when you don’t give any real guidance, just vague generalities! Again, pft.

 

There are some really well-written parts, especially as we learn more about Danial’s history, from a poor peasant in rural Spain to well-off security company owner in modern day America. But the rest of the story broke down for me, for all the reasons listed above and more. I don’t normally read vampire novels, but the thought of a human woman who could stand up to the supernatural world and be strong was appealing – though the whiny, schizoid mess that began to appear two days later put paid to those expectations. It wound up being typical ‘sparkly vampire’ tropism. I checked into the others in the series, and the whole hysterical, overwrought mess turns into every bad romance novel stupid trope in the book. Bah. Not recommended. There are MUCH better series out there!

 

I received this book from ReadingAlley.com in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. All thoughts are my own.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-04-29 18:20
Fun Read
Hysterical Realms (Alternate Hilarities) (Volume 3) - Giovanni Valentino,Dan Stout,Jay Fuller,Mike Reeves-McMillan,Deborah Walker,Laura Thurston,Kelda Crich,Leo Norman,Lela E Buis,TR Clark,Michael W Lucht,Garry McNulty,Phil Richardson,Arthur Carey,Clay Sheldon,Ken MacGregor,Gwendolyn Kiste,Branden Linley,Dus

Hysterical Realms is a collection of short stories parodying fantasy, fairy tales, and paranormal literature. I’m usually very careful around spoofs because they can be just too silly for my taste, but this anthology was very funny. I particularly liked “Parking for the Apocalypse” by Branden Linley. It’s about four horsemen of Apocalypse coming to Austin, Texas, to bring about the end of days. Only they can’t park their chariot, which is why they can’t start their Armageddon. And so they bicker and keep on driving around, and Famine is always hungry and always talking about stopping for some fast food, and Death quietly does not want the world to end because he has some side deal with Taxes. It’s hilarious.

 

Also, some stories in this collection had unusual twists. For example “Dungeoneering for Dummies” by Clay Sheldon describes a city where delving into dungeons is as widespread as hiking or mountaineering. There are professional dungeoneers. There is also a professional organization for them called The Heroes Guild, and its senior member is harassed into coming up with tips and tricks for beginning dungeoneers. His main tip is to not delve into dungeons because it’s dangerous. I loved it.

 

I also found reading these stories relaxing. Since I knew the characters would be okay at the end of each story, I didn’t stress. I would recommend this anthology to anyone who wants some light-hearted reading.

 

I was given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-03-21 23:44
The Last Days of Summer
Last Days of Summer - Steve Kluger

This is the rare book I've told my husband he has to read, it's non-negotiable.  Brilliant, funny, poignant.  It's also one of those rare books that has a summary that exactly captures the flavour of the book itself.

 

But it GUTTED me.  I was laughing like crazy and then suddenly I wasn't.  I considered dinging it 1/2 star for this but it doesn't deserve it - the story couldn't have ended any other way and still have the same gravitas.  Then, I read the "About the Author" at the end and well... gut.ted.

 

If you like baseball (loving baseball works even better) and the era of the 40's and don't mind a fair amount of strong language coming from the mouths of 12 year old boys, and truly enjoy laughing, this book is perfect.  The vernacular used is in keeping with the time and place, but it might be a bit confusing - the slang isn't always easy to translate, although the context clarifies most of the obscure ones.

 

In my love of books, I put this one up with 84 Charing Cross Road.  Even if I ended up gutted.

 

SPOILER ALERT:  Great conversation in the comments below - but the conversation is riddled with spoilers and since we currently don't have a way of clearly marking them, take this as a general blanket warning that reading the comments will likely give away significant plot points.

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