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review 2018-07-21 20:28
Nothing But Trouble (Irresistible Billionaires #1) by Ashley Bostock
Nothing But Trouble - Ashley Bostock

 

Turns out the billionaire wasn't the only thing that was irresistible. Bostock turned a humorous tale of heartache into a deeply moving life lesson. Nothing but Trouble tackles a woman's quest for independence, even as her world is falling apart. Her redemption comes in the form of a hot billionaire with a chip on his shoulder and an emptiness in his heart. She teaches him how to hope, he reminds her how to dream and together they find the courage to try. Ashley Bostock reminds that the road less traveled could put us right where we were meant to be.

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review 2018-07-07 18:50
Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're In Trouble! (ToadWitch #2) by Christiana Miller
Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're In Trouble! (The Toad Witch Mysteries Book 2) - Christiana Miller
After being possessed by ancestors who were up to no good, Mara's now pregnant with a witch, possibly demon child.  Mara may want the baby but that doesn't mean Paul, her boyfriend who is struggling from post possession disorder is on side. If that were not enough, Gus, the man that she can always count is obsessed with the remains of Lord Grundleshanks - a deceased magical toad. Aunt Tillie knows that things are about to go desperately wrong but can Mara figure it out in time to saver her best friend?
 
Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie We're In Trouble is the perfect book to pick up to relax on a beautiful lazy S afternoon.  It's light and it's fun and an extremely easy read.  Don't go into expecting anything earth shattering and you should have a good time with it. 
 
Miller did more world building in this second outing for Mara and Gus and we learn that Devil's Point is actually quite aptly named.  Sure, living on top of a hellmouth means that Mara and Gus can work magnificent spells now but maybe just maybe there's a reason there are limits to a witches powers.  Even though Mara and Gus have only recently gotten over their latest bit of trouble with the supernatural, Gus's stubbornness means that they are full steam ahead because after all, rules are meant to broken right? 
 
What makes this book interesting is the constant bickering between Gus and Mara.  They are like wild siblings who love each other but cannot seem to stop snarking. I love that Gus completely supported Mara's choice to keep her baby and even offered to step into the role of father figure in place of the deadbeat Paul,  even though Gus constantly wishing for a boy was somewhat irksome to me. 
 
I really want Gus to have his own life separate from Mara. As it is, he's already picked up his life and moved to Wisconsin because Mara did. Then there's his obsession with every morsel of food Mara puts in her mouth barbecue she's pregnant. It's a stark contrast to Mara's assertions about her body. Throwing out all of Mara's favourite foods because he didn't think she should eat them any longer is crossing a line. Then there's the issue that Gus finally got a boyfriend and of course, it's the devil. They both agree that they want happiness for the other and while their relationship is great, Gus being so intertwined in Mara's life turns him into GBFF and that's a trope. It is further problematic that Miller just had to come up with a reason for these two to kiss. Ummm nope. Let Gus be the gay man that he is. 
 
Mara showed real backbone when she stood up to Paul declaring that since the baby was in her body that it was her choice.  It's not often in media that we have such strong declarations of female reproductive freedom.  I will however say that Miller only chose this stance because Mara had chosen to keep her baby.  Media is generally speaking reluctant to take this tact when a woman is choosing to have an abortion.  I liked that Mara not only justified her decision by claiming her body but that she also told Paul he could choose the level of his interaction with the child.  

 
As for Paul, him going through post traumatic possession disorder while played for laughs at times is actually very important. Quite often, in this genre, characters go through unspeakable things and they seem to just magically bounce back from trauma after trauma with no ill effects. Paul recognising that he needed to seek mental healthcare when dealing with the after effects of having his body possessed is really important, even if he couldn't tell his psychiatrist the whole truth about what was troubling him. Where Paul's trauma did fall down was his concern about the baby having hooves or horns. Yes, to the medical staff it made him seem unstable and it was absolutely played for laughs; however, given that he was possessed by a demon, it's not an unreasonable concern. 
 
 
 
 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/06/somebody-tell-aunt-tillie-were-in.html
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review 2018-07-05 08:43
The Trouble with Thirteen
The Trouble With Thirteen - Betty Miles

Well, that was an embarrassingly devastating re-read.  It's been ... a number of decades (which I refuse to think about), since this book was relevant to me, but I couldn't resist when I found a copy.  I remembered nothing about it save it was one of those books I read as a pre-teen.

 

This isn't so much a story, as it is a snapshot of a moment in time that's nothing but constant change for any tween, but poor Annie and Rachel get hit with a trifecta of monumental changes all in a few short months.  Best friends and neighbours since nursery school, Rachel's parents are divorcing and moving her to NYC.  This is a snapshot, as told from the POV of a 12 year old, of the way life's changes are often completely outside your control, happening whether you like it or not.

 

Honestly, this book made me a weepy, sniffly mess.  I can't believe how relevant it is at its core after almost 40 years.  There's a conversation on a landline, something most kids won't recognise today, but the rest of this very short story entirely focuses on the things that are timeless: friendship, jealousy, guilt, sorrow, it's all here.  There're no quick answers or fixes offered, just a very empathetic narrative that doesn't talk down or preach (although I suspect the writing style would be considered too simplistic in comparison to today's titles).  I'd have no hesitation giving this to my nieces if and when it's relevant - along with a packet of tissues, just in case.

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review 2018-06-15 01:04
Wedgieman and the Big Bunny Trouble (Step into Reading) - Charise Mericle Harper,Bob Shea
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A very funny book about a superhero named Wedgieman and a giant bunny. This is a very silly and humorous book in the same vein as Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants/Super Diaper Baby/Dogman. Wedgies and poop jokes galore. It has the same dumb humor as many of Pilkey's series. Take the villain, whose name is Bad Guy. You know it's dumb, but it is still satisfyingly funny. 

This is the first Wedgieman book I have read so I didn't really get the transition from Veggieman to Wedgieman or why he gives himself a wedgie at the end, but I did enjoy the book (and plan on reading the previous books as well). 

A funny, entertaining read.
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review 2018-06-14 10:43
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave - Darynda Jones

I love this series - especially the later ones - and even though I enjoyed this one enough to read it in one sitting today, it was not one of her best.  Mostly because the plot(s) were utterly transparent.  There was never any doubt in my mind what Reyes was looking for, or what would happen when he found it (although the third member of the showdown was a delightful surprise).  There was never any doubt in my mind who was responsible for the killings either, although the 'other' murder plot, while not central to much of anything, was interesting and its resolution unexpected.

 

There are also a few story elements that keep getting repeated in the books - honestly, it's like hell has a revolving door - but Jones still manages to write a captivating, and hilarious, story that expands on biblical mythology while honouring its structure and its spirit.  So in spite of not being everything it could be, it was exactly what I needed today.  

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