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text 2016-11-18 06:09
Yeah, no
Unborn - Amber Lynn Natusch

Unborn pretty much exemplifies everything that I find unpleasant about paranormal fantasy; not sure why I finished it. First off, we have a lone woman, an exemplary special girl who has untapped powers surrounded by a whole bunch of dudes. Then said dudes spend all kinds of time treating other women like shit, and this is somehow a reflection on the women and not the dudes. Then, and this is my special favorite, most of these dudes are the main girl's brothers, but they persist in treating her like a sex object, and this is funny. Because incest is funny. Why are you being such a buzzkill? 

 

Oh, and it ends on a cliffhanger. I know, right? 

 

This is the sort of book that makes me appreciate this book's antecedents, stuff like Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Fever novels. I made some fun of those at the time, but actually the way those series navigated some seriously problematic shit was pretty deft. BDB has the whole dudes-only feel, but the banter is honestly amusing, and the whole thing ends up being an exploration of masculinity that doesn't have to hate on every woman but the protagonist. Fever, well, Morning turned the cliffhanger into an art form. Unborn does neither of these things well. 

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review 2016-09-07 16:00
Little Tails in the Jungle by Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci
Little Tails in the Jungle - Frederic Brremaud,Mike Kennedy

This novel just felt incomplete. Not only was the story lacking (in which they did nothing but go around and point out things they saw around them) but the illustrations were off. It felt as if there where two different styles of graphic novels going on throughout the story. Don't get me wrong, both drawing styles were nice, but putting them together did not do the story any justice.

 

 

1.5/5 Stars

Granted this story is not meant for me, but even children would find it a difficult novel to appreciate due to the lack of story and poorly rendered images.  

 

Received through NetGalley for an honest review.

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review 2016-09-06 16:20
The Secrets of Evelyn Taylor by Pauline C. Harris
The Secrets of Evelyn Taylor - Pauline C. Harris

It was just an okay novel. I really wanted to like this book, but I just had too many problems with the writing. While not perfect, the first half was well written. I was enjoying the story until, halfway in, it it just seemed to go downhill quickly. My main issue was the reasoning of the characters. They just seemed unrealistic or made no sense. I wanted more from the plot, but was given an easy and boring way out of the situation.

 

2/5 Stars

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text 2016-04-04 20:46
I Have Made a Terrible Mistake
Londonistan - Melanie Phillips

I read the introduction to this book (a long 12 pages) Sunday night and realized I made A GRAVE, TERRIBLE MISTAKE. Melanie Phillips came off as the British version of US political pundit Sarah Palin,  complete with word salads that gave no meaning...to entire paragraphs.

 

I may lean towards the liberal side, but I do have conservative friends and I would not wish this circle jerk logic on them. Those 12 pages were painful to read and I just don't have the stomach nor the blood pressure medication to read further. You have to be a fan of Ms. Phillips newspaper columns and television appearances in order to swallow anything she wrote in this book.

 

Ms. Phillips and I do agree on one thing: we both intensely dislike George Galloway...so there is that.

 

Not even a DNF, more like a Did Not Start

 

 

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review 2016-01-01 19:55
The Garçonnière by Ali MacLagan
The Garçonnière - Ali MacLagan

“The past is not dead. It's not even the past.” William Faulkner.

This video was taken a few days ago. A teenaged girl of color took out her phone in class and refused to leave. The police were called, and, when the girl refused to leave her desk, the officer choked-slammed her to the floor and dragged her across the floor. He could easily have broken her neck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UQY8...

This is one of a million examples of recent racism, but it resonates particularly with this book, because at one point Joseph, the slave, is beaten for refusing to do something fairly minor. Today, a black person can be brutalized - even killed - for a small bit of stubbornness, with no repercussions. In fact it happens all the time.

I feel for the author of this story, because I can tell that she did a lot of research and tried hard to depict the horrors of black slavery in the U.S. Sadly, she was blind to how she was trivializing those same horrors, and the story is unintentionally painfully racist. Others have discussed why in detail, so I will just bring up one aspect that hit me especially hard. Joseph is in a completely powerless and dependent position with respect to Henry, from beginning to end. Every bit of safety, comfort, life necessities, and health depended on Henry. It felt more like lifelong Stockholm syndrome than a romance – and this is never addressed. 

This story was written for the Love is an Open Road event sponsored by the M/M romance group on Goodreads, and unfortunately, none of the beta readers or the LOR editors who looked over the story saw it either. It was only when the story was published that the racism in the story was spotted and made public, the outcry began. 

Here I think the MMR group did the author a severe disservice. Instead of saying, “it was obviously quite unintentional, and we failed to spot it too, but this story is racist and we need to acknowledged that and remove it,” they closed forces and told those offended to get out of the group and stop disturbing their beautiful minds. Now the author will forever be known for this offensive story, rather than it being a footnote in her career. Most people would have forgiven her – and the MMR group – for making a mistake and correcting it is soon as they realized. What is much harder to forgive is the choice they made to ignore how much they were hurting people and “get past it” by shutting down all conversations relating to the problem on the MMR group.

Edited to add: in case anyone missed it, there is an excellent discussion of this book here:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

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