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review 2014-07-14 05:48
Pure Garbage
Rules of Attraction - Simone Elkeles

 

Carlos Fuentes is probably the biggest asshole out of the Fuentes brothers.

 

 

 

 

In fact, if you want to have a drinking game for Rules of Attraction, more than likely it would be him being an asshole.  Though you’d probably be dead.

 

Funny thing, Simone Elkeles drinking games have a tendency of doing that.

 

Killing any participants of drinking games.

 

 

Because everything she does wrong is so over the top wrong.  I almost think she’s unintentionally trolling with these books.

 

 

While not as overt with the stereotypes as the other two books in the series, it’s probably the most covert of using horrible stereotypes.  Mainly the fact, that Carlos Fuentes is the definition of a stereotypical Latino Alpha male.  And it sucks big time.

 

He reminded me a lot of Ramon.

 

 

 

Ramon if he was French and a Disney character.

 

 

Who is Ramon, might you ask?  The most egotistical and offensive  contemporary romance novel character I’ve ever made.  But at least Judith McNaught had the excuse of the time period she wrote her book in.

 

 

Elkeles doesn’t.

 

 

I wondered if she was trying to have an even more jerk of a character than Alex, because if that was the case oh how she did succeed.

 

Carlos makes Alex look like a gentleman.  And if you’ve read my previous review…well, you know how I feel about Alex.

 

 

Apart from Carlos though, this book was better than its predecessor.  Though bland, Kiara wasn’t terrible.  I did think she caved into Carlos a little bit fast, but at least she wasn’t an outright idiot and racist like Brittany.   I also have to begrudgingly say that I liked her family and b.f.f.  Elkeles didn’t completely fail on that part of the novel.

 

But the whole gang aspect.

 

 

It’s just a rehash of the first one.

 

 

And it happens again in a more ridiculous fashion in the third book.

 

 

Is it really that hard to think that other social issues might exist amongst teens of Latino origin besides gang violence?'

 

 

You know, Katie McGarry contemporaries-though somewhat repetitive all have different issues to explore.  I’m sure that there are just as many issues to explore with Latino teens as there any other teens.

 

 

Though try telling that to Elkeles.

 

 

Overall Rating: D+ I liked Kiara and her family.  Carlos and the plot though…sucks big time.

 

Source: howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/how-my-stomach-got-pumped-the-rest-of-the-perfect-chemistry-series-by-simone-elkeles
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review 2014-07-14 05:46
Oh Please
Chain Reaction - Simone Elkeles

 

By this point you’d think that that asshole Carlos had probably whipped out any sort of sensibilities I might’ve had.  But even though I might make a joke about how reading these books could send a person into liver failure, I don’t actually drink when I read them.  I just don’t have enough money to pay the hospital bills and more importantly I have to sort of review them for you.  But if you thought Carlos was bad…well, Luis is just as bad as worse.

 

 

 

Well, it really depends, do you prefer out right in your face assholes or sneaky bastards.

 

If you hate sneaky bastards more than this book is really going to piss you off more than Rules of Attraction.

 

 

It’s also going to piss you off if you hate generalizations that fuel stereotypes.

 

 

Oh yeah.

 

With Rules of Attraction  I got annoyed with Elkeles’s little remarks about Mexican American culture, but compared to  Chain Reaction this was nothing.

 

The female lead, Nikki, is Latina.  Which should be instant points for Elkeles its not based on the poor generalizations the character occurs:

 

 

1) She must be saucy because she’s Latina.

 

 

She might claim she’s a full blooded American, but I’d bet my left nut she’s got some Mexican blood running through her feisty veins. (25)

 

 

2) She must know Spanish because she’s Latina.

 

In regards to knowing Spanish: “All the Mexicans I know do,” he says. “Hell, a majority of Mexicans I know don’t even speak English.(213)

 

3) Because  Nikki lives in a fairly affluent neighborhood, doesn’t know Spanish, and doesn’t know how to make tacos she’s dissing her heritage.

 

 

 

 

Yeah…

 

 

I wish I could say that despite the gross generalizations the rest of the book made up for this.  But it didn’t.

 

 

Not at all.

 

 

Oh, where do I begin?

 

 

Okay, I know what I’m going to do.  I know that she’s a fictional character, but I’m going to advise Nikki to seek out a divorce lawyer when she marries Luis because girl-he’s lying to you now and he’s not going to change his mind.

 

Seriously.  I mean, if you really wanted to get drunk you could just take a drink every time Luis did something semi-douchey to Nikki.

 

 

Actually, you’d probably be dead so that’s not a great idea.

 

 

But maybe if you divided it by lie….

 

 

Yep, dead.

 

 

So, how can you possibly get through this installment having a drinking game and not killing yourself.

 

 

Not possible.

 

 

Because every bothersome detail, it’s going to drive you crazy.

 

 

The good news is that this book is mercifully short.

 

 

Though I really wish Nikki would’ve kicked Luis’s ass to the curb. Or at least yell at Mama Fuentes for being a horrible mother (really, someone needed to do that).

 

 

Oh, and did I mention that there was a painful Lifetime message of not having sex before marriage thrown in there complete with an over the top life time event.

 

 

Yeah.

 

 

Don’t even bother with this one.  Your sanity will thank you.

 

 

F

 

 

 

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review 2014-06-23 00:41
Sober Vs Drunk
Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles

I don’t get it.  I really don’t get the hype over this book.  Sober or drunk.  Usually, if you’re inebriated you like something more than you would if you were sober.  I mean, look at that book trailer.  I’d hate it if I was sober, but when I’m drunk it’s hilarious.

 

 

However, the actual book, not so much.  In fact, I’m going to write this review from the perspective of a sober reviewer and a drunk reviewer to prove this to you.

 

 

Sober Reviewer: Well, If You Wanted Something to Get Rid of a Boggart…

 

 

You can’t read this book sober.

 

 

 

 

Well, you can.  But unless you have a filter to be unbelievably oblivious you’re going to get annoyed, offended, and your eyes are probably going to get stuck with the amount of rolling they’ll be doing.

 

 

It’s always best if you pour a glass of wine at this point (it’s hard to stay sober long while reading this book).

 

 

It is obvious that Elkeles has never lived in an area where there is a large population.  Or if she did she never listened to these people talk.  I’m laughing at the sort of Spanish the characters are speaking and my Spanish is horrible.  The whole depiction of the Latino culture is laughable.  Oh yes, everyone and their mother from Mexico must be in a gang or work in the service industry….rolls eyes.

 

 

Just like every white person, according to Elkeles, must be rich.

 

 

 

 

Both Brittany and Alex are racist towards each other.  Brittany looks down at Alex for being a gang banger and makes some less than politically correct remarks and assumptions about him because he’s Latino.  And at one point, Alex calls Brittany Snow Girl just based on the color of her skin and makes other innuendoes about her becuase she’s white (he out right says that’s the reason he’s saying these things too).

 

It’s stupid. And stupidity seems to fester in every aspect of the novel.

 

 

For example, at one point of the novel Brittany gets tired of being sexually harassed she asks her teacher to switch partners.  And the teacher tells her no and basis Brittany’s disdain for Alex on his race/socioeconomic class. When there’s no such mention (at least on this particular point) about race or socioeconomic class.

 

 

 

 

That’s how best to describe this book: ridiculous.

 

 

Every single plot point, character, and even description was ridiculous.

 

Take for example the fact that the first description of Alex is of an Abercombie model.

 

 

Ridiculous.

 

 

And at this point a sensible person would’ve slammed the book shut and  if they wanted to read a contemporary romance in the vein of Perfect Chemistry without the offensive-ness they’d  pull out a Katie McGarry novel.  However, an person who lacks sense (like yours truly) would continue to read the book but with a glass of wine.

 

Final thoughts (while I still have brain cells), this isn’t how diversity in YA should be.  Diversity is something that we should influence in YA.  However, the sort of diversity (if you can call it that) in Perfect Chemistry  should be something we never try to achieve.  It’s stereotypical and sort of disgusting with the way Elkeles portrays Latino culture. It sets stigma.  And that’s the last thing that publishers should want to achieve when creating diverse books.

 

 

 

Smashed Reviewer: I Need Another One

 

 

You know what’s funny, this book isn’t really looking better after a few glasses of wine.  The shots of tequila and margaritas really didn’t help too. Neither did the wine.  Or the hot sauce.  Though I had to be helluv drunk to think hot sauce was alcohol.

 

 

 

 

At least I’m not frowning as much.

 

 

Though it’s probably difficult to actually pay attention to the book.

 

 

I don’t think Alex is cute.

 

 

Well, for one thing he’s not a real person.  But as a book crush, he sort of blows.

 

 

He was a dick.

 

 

I mean, insulting poor Brittany like that.

 

 

But she was really stupid too.

 

 

 

 

Maybe two stupid people make a smart person (look this up).

 

 

Actually, that probably goes against some law in Physics.

 

 

I guess I really shouldn’t care about them being together because they’re so obnoxious.  But I do have to read about it.

 

 

Much like I had to read about gang violence that didn’t make sense, even though I was drunk.

 

 

Must pour another glass of tequila.

 

 

Ah, that’s better.  So, let me get this straight you can wear gang regalia to a zero tolerance school and not get called out on it.

 

 

Man, my mom’s school is going to get sued then.

 

 

Another shot of tequila.

 

 

And how can one believe they’re not going to have to sell drugs if they’re in a gang?

 

Who cares more drinks?

 

 

Better.

 

 

Better.

 

 

Damn it.  It’s still not working.  Logic is still there, god damn it, even with all of the booze.

 

 

 

 

And it’s still making me crazy too.  Like I don’t understand how Alex came back even though he was out of the gang and could’ve moved anywhere but had to go through the branding thing.

 

 

Then again, I don’t know gangs.

 

 

But clearly neither does Simone Elkeles.

 

 

Well, her knowledge of gangs is about as much knowledge as she has on Spanish.

 

 

That’s not saying much.

 

 

Okay, it’s actually a big insult since Ms. Elkeles believes that anyone who speaks Spanish uses the word mamacita every other sentence (obviously not reading this article).

 

 

I’m getting bored right now and could really use another drink so I’m just going to sum this up for you in one (okay, maybe a couple) of sentences:  This book sucks.  Es muy malo.  The end.

 

 

In other words, it blows man.

 

 

The (F)ucking end.

 

Source: howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/sober-vs-drunk-review-perfect-chemistry-by-simone-elkeles
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review 2013-01-16 00:00
Imprudent Lady
Imprudent Lady - Joan Smith Snappy and charming enough, a slapstick cousin to Austen-style Regencies. I had much sympathy for the bookish, retiring heroine who comes into her own, an innocent who's not afraid to say clever things. Not sure why the author had to be the "but she's not a feminist!" drum, as that seemed a bit slapped on. The hero vacillated between genuinely charming and insufferable/controlling, at least enough that you could get an inkling why the heroine put up with his nonsense. You might question her choice in doing so, but you could see why he appealed to her.

And then there were the comic supporting characters - the overbearing cousin (in no small comparison to Mr. Collins), the unsuitable suitors, etc. Their over-the-topness pulled the book up into deftly-handled froth, instead of just empathizing with the heroine when she shuts the hero down for being awful and/or awfully ridiculous.
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review 2012-06-20 00:00
Imprudent Lady - Joan Smith Imprudent Lady - Joan Smith I had never heard of Joan Smith, even though she has a bazillion romance titles on Amazon. When one of my favorite Amazon reviewers (who goes by the sobriquet Old Latin Teacher) wrote that this book was the next best thing to a Georgette Heyer, I became curious.

Well, Old Latin Teacher was right. This is a charming, witty story of a rake and a bluestocking, with delightful characters and sparkling dialogue. There's no sex, which I miss, but hey, I've got an imagination. And annoying Uncle Clarence (a painter who doesn't realize that he has no talent) is one of the most hilarious, original characters I've encountered in a long time. It's almost worth reading the book just for his scenes.
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