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review 2017-01-19 04:07
Cruel Mercy (Detective Sergeant McAvoy) - David Mark

This is the third book by David Mark that I have read. I went back and checked some of my past reviews and I found one thing in common. He likes to start off his books coming out of left field. You start reading and you have absolutely no idea what in the heck you are reading about. This I can truthfully say. Because this is the third book and the third time this has happened. Ha!

So, I will alert you that you should read the first part, put it in a file in the back of your mind, because it will be explained to you later on in the book. Then there will be a little light bulb over your head and you will say Aha, that's what that was.

At first I was like, what in the heck is this Pentinent dude or thing - that will be explained.

I think DS McAvoy is one of the most bumbling detectives out there. He's so big that every one is scared of him. Little do they know, he's probably just as scared. There are some pretty good laughs in this one. It's also pretty gory, creepy, full of mobsters, lots of killing, boxers, perverts, and weirdos. It will definitely keep you on your toes trying to figure out what happened to the three boxers that came to the U.S. from Ireland. One of which is related to McAvoy's wife and is the reason he is there, looking for him.

Poor McAvoy does end up in the wrong places at the wrong time sometimes as well as those boxers. This was a great book and I am glad that I got the chance to read it.

Thanks to Penguin Group for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-09-23 15:47
So... I Met a Vampire - Paul McAvoy

I received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.

Those on Goodreads will have seen my updates while I was reading this book, it was a bumpy road, and I have to say that while the idea, and the ending were pretty great, I didn't like how it was executed and there were several things that were just odd and weird. Not only in regards of the characters, but also in regards to how the story jumped around.

One of the problems was the main character and her supposed vegan diet. The book starts off in the future (after the accident), and she is clearly stating that she is trying to be a vegan. However, she doesn't mind eating eggs. This is not being a vegan, if you eat eggs you are just some type of vegetarian, I believe the name is ovo-vegetarian.
However, in the past it is quite confusing. On the one hand you have the before the accident past, where she is eating eggs and stating she is trying to be vegan. However, after the accident and during that challenge part, when asked by Devon, she states she is vegan, nothing about trying, and she even knows she shouldn't eat eggs, or milk or anything like that. And she clearly refuses it.
So girl, could you please decide? You can't be trying to be a vegan, then you are vegan, then trying to be vegan. And you should not eat eggs if you are trying to go vegan.

Next is her amnesia, which was so highly unbelievable, because immediately when she gets to the police, she starts remembering everything, and yes, everything, without any stimulants or prodding. Just like that, she remembers everything. While it helped getting us to the parts of the story, it was a bit too convenient for my liking. I don't mind amnesia, but make it a bit more realistic.

She is also contradicting herself. She is telling someone that she died, found herself in an office with the reaper. However... in the beginning part of the story we see her dying, she sees a figure, someone who urges her to come along and only after a few pages of that, are we in an office. :|

I also didn't like the character that much. At times I really liked her, but I was really confused by how she reacted. At times she was really shy and timid, at other times she would suddenly curse and talk like a teenager with a big attitude and a need for trouble.
At times she is really smart, but at other times she does the stupidest things ever. Like making a deal with that person? Why?

The story itself, and how Jesse found herself alive again, was pretty short. It only took about ~40% of the book. The rest is how it started, and what happens after all that. While it was nice, it was a bit meh, it also felt off. I was like yay, we are finished with the story, now Jess can continue to live her life. Though I had the feeling there was a catch, and yes there was. The rest of the story was even more unbelievable than the first part (which is kind of magical), though it was a lot more exciting. And yes, I know, I know, this is a book about magic, about reapers, vampires, but it just felt odd how we went from point A to point Q in an instant.

And that is also a problem I had, the story jumps around a lot. Mostly it follows a straight line, but often it would just jump off that line and bound to other things.

I also wish that the whole reaper thing was explained more. Seymour is a really interesting character, and I wonder why he had 2 easy challenges and a third that was totally screwed up. I also want to know about his penance and what he did to become a reaper. He was by far the most interesting character of the whole book.

The ending was pretty good, and it was really interesting, though also a bit weird, I know that she has a gift, but this is quite magical. She just got better, she is still having trouble with stuff, and then she can do all that? Wow.

I did like the idea of vampires, reapers giving every millionth death a chance to live again, I liked the idea of a paranormal office, but I feel it could have been executed a bit better.

Oh and I definitely have to give credit to finally having a vampire story without any romance. Yes, you heard me right, this is a vampire book, without a hint of romance. Thank Lord for that. I could use one. Most of the vampire books these days have romance, either small or huge, and I could use a break from those.

Review first posted at http://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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review 2015-09-22 00:00
Ruthless People
Ruthless People - J.J. McAvoy Okay, let's get the ugly out of the way first. Even though I really liked it, the book was far, far, faaaar from perfect.

Some issues I had with it include:

1) Did the author, or anyone for that matter, care to proofread the book? There were typos everywhere and even a couple of grammar mistakes.

2) The cursing became hilarious after the first dozen fucks and bitches and motherfuckers and every combination thereof. It became a turn off since you could no longer take their threats seriously because the word "fuck" came out of their mouths every two words or so.

3) My Italian is very basic so I can't really judge on more than the fact that even I noticed that some of the phrases were not actually correct. You'd think the author or editor would at least care to make sure the few foreign phrases used were actually right. Do not make characters bilingual or multilingual if you can't take the time to make sure even the most basic phrases are absolutely correct. Just... don't. Now, I don't know any Irish so I have no idea if there were any mistakes in there, I would bet there are though.

4) "Family is the most important thing". How many times was this brought up during the book? SEVERAL. SEVERAL TIMES I TELL YOU. Yet, with the exception of perhaps one character or two, everyone doesn't really show to give a damn about family. They all care about their spouses (technically family but not blood) more than their actual relatives. Liam went around threatening to kill pretty much everyone short of his own mother. Melody, well same goes, although I'm not sure she was actually raised in this mindset. Declan and Neal also seemed to only really care about their wives more than anyone else. Even Evelyn (THE MOTHER) was pretty much like "You can touch anyone you please BUT my husband. He's off limits." so she didn't care that much about her own children. What even??? Again, I wouldn't really care if they didn't bring up the importance of family so much. What a bunch of hypocrites.

So well, those were my main issues, and given all of that you'd be wondering why I gave the book four stars when I've slapped better written books with one or two stars.

The answer is simple. This book was extremely entertaining to me. While the typos did bother me, and the cursing had me rolling my eyes (and I didn't care for the sex scenes, which comprised A LOT of pages), I could not put it down. I know that for most mafia nerds the book had a lot of inconsistencies but I didn't really care. Yeah, it was unrealistical as hell, but so what? It might have bothered me more if it hadn't been so much fun to just go along with the crazy.

For a bunch of characters that I really didn't like (With the excepetion perhaps of Coraline and SOMETIMES Declan) they really managed to pull me into their story.

Melody was a bitch. There's really not much else to say about her. She was just unnecessarily mean to a lot of the characters. But you know what? It's been a while since I last read about a female character who truly dngaf. It was...sort of nice. (In a: "I-wish-I-never-meet-someone-like-you-in-my-life, you-colossal-bitch.")

I didn't care for Liam. For a while he was nothing more than your typical alpha male wannabe with daddy issues and a not so secret soft side. *yawns* But I didn't hate him either, and that went a long way.

Neal and Olivia were boring.

Evelyn and Sedric were kind of amusing. I liked them well enough.

Coraline. Oh my precious and sweet child. What are you even doing there? Coraline is honestly the only actually "good" person you'll find in the book.

Declan. He is my favorite male character in the book, although I did hate what he did and how he acted in some parts What's with his random and creepy crush on Melody? It seemed OOC for him tbh, I was reading Coraline and Declan at the same time and I did not understand how he could even THINK of being with Liam's wife. It just didn't make sense. And then he goes and tells her to her face? are you stupid? what happened to you, Declan? I thought it was absolutely unnecessary and only served for people to hate Melody even more. She's treated like there's no one more beautiful and sexy in the world and that is such bs. GTFO.

I think I've rambled on enough. I liked the book for the same reasons some people disliked it.

I enjoyed the violence, the gore, how unapologetically awful the main characters were, how they are not redeemed but instead they push at you to try and hate them, and then they make you wonder if there's something wrong with you as well because you are enjoying it so much.

It was different, it was refreshing, it was original. For once, the title of a book actually delivers. Most everyone in this book was just that, ruthless, and they didn't give a fuck.

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review 2015-08-29 07:09
Sugar Baby Beautiful by J.J. McAvoy
Sugar Baby Beautiful - J.J. McAvoy
Sugar Baby Beautiful begins when Felicity goes to a "sugar party" one night and catches the attention of the CEO of Darcy Entertainment, Theo Darcy. After the party, they make a simple arrangement. Nothing but sex. But as these two get closer together, and Felicity tries to keep her distance, Darcy isn't having it. 
And when things get even more complicated, like the past coming back to haunt each of them life gets a whole lot harder. 
 
This book blew my mind... That's the simplest way to put it. It starts of extremely intriguing, and then just sucks you in further has the story progresses. But when you you think you have it all figured out and everything's going to be great, "BAM" a huge plot twist just thrown in and you're left reeling right along with the characters. 
It was really good! The story line was great, even with the crazy plot twits. 
And of course both of the characters were freaking awesome! The story made me laugh, cry a little, and yell at certain people in the story from time to time. 
And the thing that really makes the book great, it's a refreshingly new type of plot that I've never discovered before now. Kudos to this author for being awesome! 
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review 2015-06-22 16:29
Pain as a Starting Point - Kerry Kerr McAvoy

I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

One of the nice things about this book is that while it is the third book in the Living Life 2 The Fullest series, it is in no way dependent on the first two books and can be read separately.

Now I know I am not the target audience for this book as I am neither spiritual nor religious, however the topic interested me and I was curious about what insight the book held coming from a psychologist. Due to this, I was a bit disappointed.

While I appreciated the helpful suggestions in the test such as playlists, optional readings, practical exercises, daily discipline exercises, and suggested prayers, the actual analysis and content of the book wasn't all that unique.

As a psychology major I was hoping to identify with McAvoy and her perspective as a licensed psychologist applying her knowledge to spirituality in combination with theology and the bible. However, the biblical knowledge and theology were greatly flawed and the psychological elements were sparse and held little insight.

As far as psychology went, there wasn't all that much that was helpful. At one point, McAvoy even states that, "Although psychology attributes the causes of our emotional issues to early childhood difficulties, it is clear that sin has had a powerful impact on our fragile sense of self" (81-82). Yes, please, continue to tell me my depression is due to the fact that I'm a sinner. That is very helpful.

She then goes on to include a whole chapter demonstrating why we psychologically need God. This basically turns into her describing psychological needs such as trust, empathetic attunement, and security, and then filling that need with God.

Furthermore, her knowledge of the bible and Theology were a bit confusing. Like when she discusses an unchanging God that humans attribute such "human flaws, such as irrational anger, greed, and jealousy" (24), but that these attributes as misguided because he's God and so unlike us that we really can't understand him. McAvoy seems to just be ignoring the whole Old Testament and the fact that God apparently called himself a "jealous God". And also that whole bit with Abraham and Isaac, which McAvoy discusses, but only in a positive light in order to show true sacrifice and devotion to God.

I think the use of personal examples was good in demonstrating some of the concepts that McAvoy applied, but the entire message of the book was not very helpful.The whole message of the book can be summarized in the line "From our limited perspective his actions will not always make sense, but, like David, we will be able to trust in God's sovereignty as we come to know him better" (24-25). So basically trust in God, he works in mysterious ways. Not much insight there.

Overall, the book was a bit of a disappointment for me personally. I was hoping to get a unique perspective on pain and loss, but was left with a bunch of religious cliches.

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