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review 2017-01-31 01:24
The Galloway Road by Catherine Adams
The Galloway Road - Catherine Adams

Renna is a young mage on her way to her first job. Her traveling companions include a pair of musicians specifically requested by Renna’s new employer, plus Brett, the mercenary hired to protect them all. Brett is closed mouthed about himself and his past, and Renna has secrets of her own. However, none of that may matter if they can't manage to survive the Galloway Road’s deadly horrors.

This story takes place over the course of 11 days and mostly features the group traveling from one inn to another. The beginning was boring, dull, and a little confusing, although the Galloway Road’s creepy atmosphere eventually grew on me, as did Renna and Brett (sort of). A word of warning: some of the descriptions are gruesome. The Galloway Road is called that because it's lined with gallows and gibbets. Sometimes the people Renna, Brett, and the musicians pass are dead, and sometimes they're not. Honestly, if I had been Renna or the musicians, Galloway Road alone would have had me questioning the wisdom of agreeing to work for Lord Galloway.

Okay, on to the characters. The musicians made so little of an impact on me that I had to check the story just to make sure I had the number of characters right - I had thought there were three musicians, not two. Brett was an intriguing character, apparently competent and yet prone to self-destructive behavior (he’d been banned from at least one or two inns because of his drinking). Renna...was just there. I never felt like I really knew her beyond the most surface level. I did gasp at the big revelation about her, but that was in large part because I hadn’t noticed any sign of it in her behavior or thoughts up to that point. This bugged me a bit, because the event had happened so recently. I suppose it could be explained away as emotional numbness on her part, but still.

The main reason I got this story was because it was one of Less Than Three Press’s recent releases in their “asexual” category. Renna was asexual, possibly homoromantic depending on the specifics of her feelings for her best friend. There was a hint of something that might have been ace-related angst - at one point, Renna wondered if she was “stone-hearted, cruel-hearted” (37). It was a bit ambiguous, though, and might have also been inspired by the thing that happened shortly before she was hired by Lord Galloway. I honestly don’t know.

I appreciated what this story tried to do, but overall my reaction was just “meh.” I didn’t care enough about the characters for the ending to have the kind of emotional impact that it should have had. Also, I hate to say this, but I laughed a bit during some of the events in the tomb. I know that stuff was probably supposed to be horrifying/scary, but I kept imagining B-movie special effects.

Rating Note:

I might have opted to give this 3 stars if I had rated and reviewed it right after finishing it. However, my thoughts have had time to settle, and I think 2 stars is more appropriate. There just wasn't enough there in terms of content, characters, or world-building.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-11-05 00:05
I Was a Famous Rock Star - Alexandra Ainsworth

DNF @ 50%

 

I don't know if it's fair to rate this book or not since I didn't finish it but I didn’t enjoy it at all so I am rating based on that.

 

So I started reading this book without reading any reviews or looking at any rating just based on the blurb and it was a ridiculous slightly boring book and the writing wasn't that much but I said I will stick with it and finish it and maybe it will get better but then I came across this line

 

My tool stiffens and expands, and pull closer to Mateo, aiming for just that bit more of friction....

and then I was like


 

MY TOOL the author is actually referring to his penis as HIS TOOL WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!!!!


So I made the right decision to stop reading this but then I thought I would look at the epilogue and I was like

 

 

Because it wasn't even an epilogue it was ridiculous and I am glad I DNF this book before I got an aneurysm.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-18 21:27
Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me
Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me - Becky Jerams

This book started out good and pretty cute, as Scotty develops a huge hero-worshipping crush on Vincent, the misunderstood "scary" guy on campus. Scotty's being bullied and Vincent is the only person to stand up for him (except he's not) and scare the big mean bully away. The getting to know you parts were sweet and filled with puppy crush cuteness. But then everything quickly got bogged down in teen melodrama and one ridiculous movie-at-eleven scenario after another. It was like Nick at Night on crack or something. It just got weird and completely unbelievable.

 

I'll try to keep this simple.

 

Likes:

 

  • Olive - Scotty's BFF is her own woman. She's not going to be swayed by teen lust. She's head girl, darn it, and she's getting things done.
  • Alexis Mae - She gets some really great character development which was a little unexpected considering how cliched she was written for the first half of the book.
  • Scotty's mum - We don't get to see her much, but she's super supportive of her son in every way, as a mom should be
  • Young love - Like I said, the first third of this book is pretty sweet
  • The RPG group - I wish we had seen more of them! One scene highlight Scotty's nerdiness is just not enough.

 

Dislikes:

 

  • The bullying story arc - This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's not a dislike for the obvious reasons. I actually liked how this was being handled while Scotty was being bullied by his super-in-the-closet ex-boyfriend Taylor. But at some point, everyone starts to buy into Taylor's "my dad made me do it" excuses and Taylor doesn't do anything to redeem himself except feel super duper bad about his lot in life. Oh, cry me a river. I mean, I'm glad Scotty found it in him to forgive Taylor after all that abuse and terror, but the whole "let's be friends" thing just felt weird and apologist to me. This isn't The Red Sheet-level of bully apologist so I guess it could've been worse. 
  • The big misunderstanding - Scott lies a lot in this book, and while he thinks he has a good excuse for it, he's also lying to himself about it. Which is understandable. He's ashamed of his former relationship with Taylor and wants to pretend it never happened. I think we've all be in situations like that. However, when Olive and Vincent finally find out about his lies, he expects them to forgive him almost immediately. Um, no honey. You're not owed forgiveness either just cause you feel really bad about it. So shut up your face and give your friends time to come around on their own.
  • Actually, Scotty in general got on my nerves a lot in the second half of this book. There's this scene where he calls out the school administrator/principal/head mistress/whatever her title is about the special treatment Taylor gets for being a star athlete and his dad being super loaded, yet they do nothing about his bullying. Um...how can they when you don't tell them about it? And even in that scene, he still back pedals and changes the subject and still doesn't tell them about it. Scotty has a bit of a special snowflake complex going on.
  • Nick-at-Nite on crack - This is the worst. I wasn't in the in-crowd in high school. I was a band geek. I knew who the popular kids were, at least some of them, by name and sight but that was all. My school was pretty large, over 2000 kids, and you didn't even know all the kids in your own grade, which in my high school was 9-12 grades. So the whole rumor mill thing and the "OMG there go Scotty and Vincent aren't they so cute" thing was just eye roll inducing. Does this actually happen in any school ever? It's such a TV drama thing. As is the photograph thing, and don't even get me started on these idiots' inability to open their phones and call the cops when students are being choked half to death in plain sight. Like, really? Where are the teachers in this school? And what school in their right mind lets students decide if another student should be punished for hitting them? That should have at least gotten him detention. There was just a lot of non-sensical cray-cray going on in this book.
  • The editing - Love your commas. Embrace your commas. Use your commas. Most of the time, the implied comma was easy to figure out, but there were one or two sentences that could be read in entirely different ways if that comma wasn't meant to be there. To use an old comic strip example, there's a big difference between, "I would never all you stupid," and "I would never call you, stupid." Sometimes, you really need that comma. There's also the whole "my Mum" and "his Dad" thing that drove me bonkers, and I could not find anyone among my British friends and acquaintances to confirm that this was a regional thing. The use of all-caps instead of italics was part and parcel for the teen drama, I guess.
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photo 2016-04-22 01:09

Rest in Peace, Prince. 1958-2016 I've honestly not had much motivation to read anything today, just listening to his discography because I grew up with his music playing in my childhood home.

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review 2016-02-18 05:09
If music be the food of love...
Island of the Heart - Sara Craven

This was a ho-hum read for me. I didn't like the characters all that much. Flynn is a mean jerk for most of the book. I can deal with a jerk hero who seems to be head over heels for the heroine and that's why he's a jerk. In this case, it was hard to believe he was so crazy in love with Sandie. His excuse for how he was treating her was pretty darn lame. Sandie seems very immature. I really didn't like that one point she seemed like she was considering having an affair with Crispin even though she knew he was married. I just can't stomach adultery and while Sandie is young and inexperienced, I disliked that she was even thinking about getting with Crispin for a hot minute. Other than the characters not being likable, there's really not enough substance to this story for my tastes. While music is always an appealing element to a story, the music didn't add that much to it for my tastes. I am a pretty big fan of Sara Craven, but this one left me underwhelmed. It wasn't terrible, just not anything that stood out in this book for me.

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