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review 2015-07-21 07:30
it is with great relief that that I throw this onto the DNF pile
No Stopping Train - Les Plesko

Apparently this author (RIP) didn't think plot was terribly important.  His writing was lovely and sometimes evocative, but nothing happened.  I stuck with it for about 200 pages, and was curious enough to go discuss it at book club.  Apparently it wasn't just me and I gladly dropped the unfinished book into the return bin on my way out of the library. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-01-25 23:00
Paper Towns - John Green

I feel like I got roped in by actually liking The Fault in Our Stars when I thought I would not and this is what I got roped into: this book.


I am currently quite annoyed and spoilers are going to abound here, so heads up.


I hate Margo. Not like "Oh, she isn't a whole lot of fun and I wish the main character wasn't so weirdly into her" but in an Umbridge-level rage-inducing fury of disgust.

I debated giving The Fault in Our Stars a four (I am still debating this). I debated giving this a one but then I reminded myself that I liked some of these characters and remember the road trip? The road trip was super funny and made me laugh out loud! But then I remembered Margo and back down it went.


I should have been worried when at the beginning of the book when she disappears and her parents are all like "Well, she does this all the time just to be a huge pain in our collective asses and also she is 18 and kind of crazy, so we are going to assume she is doing okay and let her live her life now" and I immediately agreed with them that at some point the book and I were going to part ways.


"Because if it doesn't happen to you, it doesn't happen at all. Isn't that it, Margo? Isn't it?"


"Maybe I am the most horribly self-centered person in the history of the world."


You are. You absolutely are, Margo.


My major problem--my only problem, even--with this book is how central she is. The other characters are interesting, the writing is good, often hilarious and even verging on great, I am having fun on this weird road trip and tracking down the mystery of where she has gone and following all the "clues". But she is always on the edge, just dripping "super special snowflake" all over everything.


I was genuinely hoping she was dead and that the end of the story would be about teaching Q that he should appreciate the (good!) friends he has and not go crazy searching for someone whose head is stuck so far up her own ass that she is incapable of being a friend, let alone anything more. On some level, that is how it ended, admittedly, but I would have happier if, since we were forced into her company once again, he had not just forgiven her bullshit so easily.


Ben was moderately annoying at times, but didn't bother me too much. I like Lacey, whose words to Margo were never rude as far as I can tell, even when Margo repeated them like they were and who is willing to go on this adventure at a minute's notice and who proves herself a useful person in planning it. Q's obsession with Margo was annoying, but I appreciate that he managed to grow out of it to some extent, at least. He has better friends than he deserves.


Radar was awesome. I really liked him. He was clever and wise and willing to accept people as they are. I wish he was the protagonist, but that probably wouldn't have worked because he didn't need this whole adventure to learn the lessons Q did.


The idea that we create people in our heads instead of actually knowing the real people, the idea of paper people created out of our desire to understand someone without actually bothering to really understand them, was intriguing. I just wish there was a lot more payoff in the end than the real Margo, who didn't seem that much different than the Margo anyone but Q had imagined.

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review 2015-01-18 15:42
an interesting re-read
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

This was a page turner my first time through.  Having foresight of all the bombshells and lobbyists, I could focus on character development and the construction of the story.  I definitely noticed some things that went right pat me before.   Nick is a prick and Amy is a psycho bitch.  The ending was drawn out too long, the author should have ended it just when Nick deleted his manuscript.   

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text 2015-01-11 21:43
Literary Listography - Fictional Characters I wouldn't get along with
Literary Listography: My Reading Life in Lists - Lisa Nola,Holly Exley
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe
The Laughing Corpse - Laurell K. Hamilton
Wuthering Heights - D.K. Swan,Emily Brontë
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy - J.M. Barrie,Peter Hollindale
Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld, Book 8) - Kelley Armstrong

I got this book before Christmas, and I have been slowly filling it in (and I mean slowly).  So everything so often I will post what is a start (or something) of one of the lists.


1. Heroine The Twit from Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. - talk about your bad dog owners.


2. Anita Blake from the Anita Blake Series - I don't have a penis.


3. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights - dog killer


4. Peter Pan - Sew your own damn pockets!


5. The Twit from 50 Shades of Grey - I mean she falls asleep reading Thomas Hardy!


6. Hope Adams from the Otherworld Series - I love the series, but I hate Hope Adams.



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review 2014-12-11 05:28
Tried too hard to be shocking that it forgot to be interesting
Tampa - Alissa Nutting

For all intents and purposes this book is a one star. However, I am generously adding a half star and rounding up for reasons that I will explain further on. In general, this was me reading Tampa:

First, let it be clear that this isn't a one star because I was horrified at the subject matter. After all, I have read Father Figure, and that had 10 times the creepy factor. I like to take on challenging reads to explore what happens when something goes wrong in a human. It can be interesting to observe the twisted, rationalizing and often inventive thought processes of those with personality disorders. Tampa had a terrific concept, the portrayal of a sexual predator where the victims are adolescent boys. In fact, such boys are jokingly called lucky instead of victims. However, it does happen and these so call lucky bastards can suffer as a result*.

Instead of a nuanced exploration of a woman attracted to adolescent boys, we got a very one dimensional character who was all about catching her prey. When we first meet Celeste Price, she has arranged her life so that 1) she lives comfortably and 2) she has lots of 15 year boys around her. As the school year begins, she sets in place her plan to cherry pick a boy to be the object of her desire. No second thoughts, no conflicted feelings, no self-doubt, no attempts to change. I felt like the author wanted so bad to shock her readers, she relentlessly threw at you this sort of barrage: "I WANT SEX WITH BOYS... I HAVE SEX WITH BOYS... EVERYONE AROUND ME IS STUPID... AND UGLY... I AM SO BEAUTIFUL... MY HUSBAND IS STUPID AND RICH..." (the caps are intentional, if just felt that way). I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something interesting to happen, and it really didn't and I was left feeling like this

Much is made of Celeste's beauty. Certainly she uses it to her advantage in seducing her teen boys, that's understandable. However, my head exploded when her attorney literally said"your honor, my client is too beautiful to be in the general population of jail." Granted, I am neither a judge nor a lawyer, I haven't even managed to get past voir dire to sit on a jury. But I am pretty sure an attorney wouldn't say that their client is "too beautiful" to a judge, or if they did, it would be in code. After a little poking around, I learned that Tampa’s protagonist was modeled after a real life boy chasing beauty,Debra Lafave. And her lawyer didn’t exactly say she was too beautiful for jail, but he did say "To place Debbie into a Florida state women's penitentiary, to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole, is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions."** So the extra half star is awarded to this book for the author trying to keep it real. And guess what, she got house arrest and probation. Too pretty my arse.


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