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review 2017-03-29 04:53
The Fill-in Boyfriend (Review)
The Fill-In Boyfriend - Kasie West

When I first read this in 2015, it was the only book I gave five stars that year. Admittedly, I wasn’t reading as much as I would have liked, and I’ve been in a hardcore reading slump since then, but still—one five star book is a little disappointing. I never wrote the review because things got in the way and I didn’t make time, but as I started looking back on my experience with this book, I started to worry that maybe I didn’t like it as much as I’d remembered. Maybe it was just the kind of book I needed at the time. Maybe it wasn’t all that great after all, and I was looking at it through rose-colored lenses.

 

That worry resulted in me picking it up again today to see how I really felt about it. And guess what? I loved it just as much as I did the first time! I read it (again) in one sitting, and I fell in love (again) with the characters and their stories. This is my first encounter with Kasie West, and I’d always been meaning to read so many of her books, but The Fill-in Boyfriend really sold me on absolutely everything. It is the perfect summer read—heck, it’s the perfect it’s-still-winter-even-though-it-should-be-spring-now read, too. It is the perfect chick-lit romance without shoving insta-love or cheesiness down your throat. I highly, highly, highly recommend it, and I’m so grateful that it will always be on my shelf for those days when I just need to escape reality and dive into something satisfying.

 

What I Liked: Spoilers!

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text 2015-12-31 21:05
Finished!
Fires of Invention - J. Scott Savage

Okay, I pushed through the last hundred pages so I could finish today. I only had one more real complaint about this whole book, and that's that Trenton is so quick to believe he's been found out. There were probably at least four or five times that someone alluded to perhaps knowing what he was up to, and he practically breaks down and tells them everything. For instance, his parents are like, "You've been sneaking around with a girl." OMG, they know about Kallista! "*smiling broadly* Let's have her over for dinner!" OMG, they're going to grill Kallista about our secret plans! "Don't you have a girlfriend?" Oh... they don't know anything.

 

Same thing happens with Angus a few times. "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING." HOW??!!!! "DON'T THINK YOU'LL GET HER TO LIKE YOU." Why would I be trying to get Kallista to like me?? Maybe I should ask him that out loud. "WTF, who's Kallista, I'm talking about Simoni, wait, who IS Kallista, should I be concerned about this?" SHOOT I MISUNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING, REWIND, REWIND.

 

Anyway. Sometimes it was frustrating to watch Trenton almost give himself away so many times because he constantly jumped to conclusions. If I were him and doing a bunch of illegal crap, I would probably respond to accusations like these with something like, "What did you find out?" instead of "HOW IN THE WORLD DID YOU FIGURE OUT MY SECRET PLANS?!?!?" You know. It's better sneaking.

 

All in all, pretty solid and enjoyable, all things considered. It sets up the series pretty nicely (although the ending seemed a little too nicely packaged). 

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text 2015-12-31 16:46
204 of 311 (66%)
Fires of Invention - J. Scott Savage

Was that supposed to be climactic?

 

Trenton and Kallista just got into a fight because she was being an idiot (like usual). Trenton threatens to quit working with her on the project, and even throws some serious shade, which is all resolved in a few sentences. 

 

I don't know, I figure we've just had a time skip of several months, they've been friends for quite awhile now--is this really the first time she's gotten so frustrated? Is this the first time Trenton has said he'll quit if she doesn't stop acting like such a brat? I know it seems like I'm nitpicking, but I feel like a little more drama in either of the characters' reactions here could have made the situation more believable. 

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text 2015-12-28 04:55
117 of 311 (38%)
Fires of Invention - J. Scott Savage

So far, so good. I mean, it's not groundbreaking or exceptional in any way, but it's fairly well written, and I'm interested in seeing where the story goes. Sometimes it's a little frustrating because I can't picture the mechanics of things very clearly (for instance, the tool Trenton and Kallista are trying to put together), but I don't know how much to blame on the writing or myself. Oh well. Right now I'm feeling three stars because I don't feel anything one way or the other. 

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text 2015-12-21 18:29
Finished!
Calvin - Martine Leavitt

Okay, so I dropped everything else to read this book for the book prize I'm helping to judge. But I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes, and for there to be a young adult (technically middle grade, I guess?) novel about Calvin and Hobbes made me geek out a little bit.

 

Calvin deals with heavy themes and a pretty lighthearted manner. Of course, I appreciated the humor from the comics, and when Calvin begins to question everything he sees provides a legitimate insight to how his disorder affects him. It was well-written, although I wish it was longer and went more intimately into the characters and their stories, because right now, we're barely scartching the surface. The love story between Calvin and Susie felt forced because I didn't know either one of them well enough to believe in it, and it felt a little more like insta-love than true love, you know? 

 

Also, I can't say how well the schizophrenia was handled, because I don't know anyone personally who has been disagnosed with it. I wonder if it's significant that the doctors say Calvin has auditory hallucinations, but he actually does see Hobbes on a number of occasions--all occasions, actually, even when it's just a flicker out of the corner of his eye. And the idea that you can take a trip across a frozen lake and that will *mostly* cure your mental disorder was probably not intended by the author, but that's the way it kind of came across.

 

Anyway, all in all, it wasn't long enough for me to develop a significant attachment to anything, although I did enjoy it while I was reading (one sitting in an airport).

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