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review 2016-04-11 23:06
Into The Dim
Into the Dim - Janet B. Taylor

*DNF 330 PAGES* (I had less than 100 pages left. That's right.)


Honestly, were it not for the ire I had for the maligning of a historical figure, I would have probably enjoyed this quite a bit. Not because it was that good, but the writing was engaging and it was pretty fun, with a kinda Timeline (movie) vibe going for it. However...

My biggest issue was what the author decided to do with Thomas a Beckett. She made him out to be the most vile slimy, greedy, Jew-hating, nun-slapping monster. That was really bad and made me quite upset, but the final straw that made me not only a little bit sick but wanting to throw the book out the window ala Pat in Silver Linings Playbook leading to a rage-quit is when he hands over a Jewish girl to some lecherous creep and condones him raping her.






*blaring horn covers loud swearing*


No. Like, what un-Godly version of history is this??? Maybe, maybe, if there was an author note saying "hey, I totally changed a bunch of historical figures and here's why I decided to go that direction in my alternate history" but THERE ISN'T THAT HERE.



To add insult to injury, Eleanor is practically worshiped as this bad-ass wonderful queen who went shirtless at a battle and wow, that's so amazing and she is the golden role model for girls and guys and everyone.




Beyond that, Hope is a super special snowflake, but while I didn't overly care for her, that actually didn't bother me a whole lot until she lost any likability once they went to back to the past and her inner Eleanor fan-girl came out. The two characters I actually liked the most were Phoebe and her techie boyfriend Doug. They were both cute as a couple and likable on their own. Didn't care much at all for "Crayola eyes" (I am not even kidding) Raisin Bran,

who I nearly immediately called as being not only A. from the rival time-traveling gang but also B. Celia's son. I mean, seriously, as soon as the rival gang was mentioned, I guessed it.

(spoiler show)


The time travel aspect was kinda fun to read about, and at least tried to be buy-able, what with ley lines and Tesla's inventions and whatnot. However, I had to disappointed with how our characters acted in the past. They try (though not really) to avoid using modern language, and while I understand why the author did not actually have their dialogue in Old English, what I found frustrating is how often they A. slipped up and B. (infinitely more frustrating) it was treated like it was still normal for the time period.

Exhibit A.

"No way," I whispered incredulously, forgetting my medieval speech for a moment."

Okay, fine. Except that she has been using contractions left, right, up, and down this WHOLE time.

Uggggggh. This could have been so much more, or the very least, a passably fun ride, but the issues were too big to ignore. Actually, it was decent until they went back to the past, and then everything pretty much went to heck.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-08-25 05:55
Hold Me Like A Breath
Hold Me Like a Breath: Once Upon a Crime Family - Tiffany Schmidt


Well, that was disappointing.

First off, this cover is breathtaking. I mean, truly beautiful, though what it has to do with the book, I have no idea. The title is also eye-catching and what a play on words! That, thankfully, does fit the book exceedingly well.

All right, let's get down to business. This sounded like it would be incredible. I tried to prevent myself from getting overly excited for it, which ended up just as well, since it was a total dud.

The idea behind this story and the general plot is really quite something. The Organ Trade, a big old crime family, and a girl who can bruise from a touch. Add to that a logical retelling of the Princess and the Pea. I mean, the potential. Alas, it lived up to none of it and ended up being mediocre, at best.


Among other things, Penny's whole family is murdered; she's on the run, fighting for her life; attempting to discover who murdered her family; trying to prevent those same people from trying over the Family business; AND trying to keep herself safe not only from the people chasing her down, but also her disease. Sounds busy and suspenseful, right? Nope. Because even among all this, Penny somehow finds time to fall head over heels in love with Char, and cutely flirt/date him for half the book after her parents and brother are murdered. And Char is also the heir of another Family, which I had so been hoping to avoid. Also, there's a bunch of shit about Garrett, Penny's long-time crush, short-time boyfriend, whom she moves on from instantly after seeing Char. (More on this under "Romance".) But the Family/Organ business eventually comes back into play, when it is discovered that, oh shocker, Garrett Ward's family, Penny's family's bodyguards, are the villains. Betrayal!! *yawn* Their last name is Ward, how is this a surprise?


Ugh, why? So Penny goes from day-dreaming over Garett, her brother's best friend, to literally dreaming and mooning over Charlie, the hottest guy she's ever laid eyes on, within a few pages. And then wibble-wobbles back and forth briefly. And it was all so unnecessary and boring to read, not to mention mushy. It's almost as if the author wasn't sure what to do with Penny 100 pages in and decided that another love interest (from a rival Family, no less) would be the bestest thing to do. *facepalm*


I think the thing with Penny is that she is realistic. She's been sheltered her whole life, practically never leaves her family's estate, and just wants some freedom. She is whiny, naive, and makes a lot of stupid-ass decisions. (Attempting to run off with Garett after Carter's death, almost killing herself several hundred times, despite painful knowledge of her condition, etc) And to be honest, I'm not sure that I can blame her very much for a number of these things. But there's not denying that it was annoying to read because I wanted her to A. stop worrying about boys and B. focus on her family and keeping herself safe. The fact that Penny is alive at all is astonishing, quite frankly. By every single right in the universes, real and fictional, she should be dead. Anyways...At times, I empathized with her: her crippling disease, the murder of her whole family, but really, I found it hard to connect with her emotionally.

I didn't like Garett from the start and, while he wasn't as terrible as I thought he would be, he was still scum. I mean, sure he wanted to keep Penny safe, but his family killed hers and he did, oh, jack shit to do anything about it. But at least he semi-redeemed himself my taking a bullet at the end to save Penny. But still. And oh, your name sucks, Garett.

Charlie didn't really have a purpose, other than love interest and a nice intro to the Zhu Family. But other than that, he, as a character, and not a plot point, fell flat.

Penny's family was so little utilized. All we really get is snapshots and memories in a photo album, when I wanted the real deal. But by all accounts, for all their many many faults and illegal dealings, they meant well and weren't terrible people. I should have liked to have seen more of them. (I pretty much stopped caring, to be honest, when Carter was killed off.)


Not a whole to say here. The prose was simplistic, but generally avoided being childish. Nothing to commend, and nothing to complain about either.

Fairytale Retelling???:

Um, what fairytale? The author goes on and on about it being a retelling of the Princess and The Pea and makes a truly compelling and interesting case for it in her Afterword. However, so far as I could tell, there was only one element of the original fairytale in the book: the one scene at the end where Penny sleeps on the tall cushy bed of a box spring, and a mattress, and a bazillion blankets and is bruised by....something, but we don't really know what. But even though that is indeed the crucial moment in the fairytale, for the two pages it takes up in the book, it felt more like a homage or a nod to the fairytale than an actual retelling.


What this book had going for it in originality and basic story (ie. the description) it sorely lacked in execution. The potential was wasted, and I found it hard to care about Penny. Definitely won't be coming for the unnecessary sequel. (Though I'm sure the cover will be gorgeous.)

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review 2015-07-09 05:51
The Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel
Titan's Curse: The Graphic Novel - Rick Riordan,Gregory Guilhaumond,Attila Futaki,Robert Venditti

I know I should just give up on reading these but... they're so short, I can't help it. Plus, it was literally laying around in my house and within reach of me on the couch.

So I think that maybe the art, overall, is marginally better in this one than The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel or The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel, but still pretty atrocious. This time around it was horrible because the faces were so inconsistent. At one point, Percy looks like a 30-year old man. And Thalia was all over the place. At times, she looked super masculine and I actually thought she was a dude, though I couldn't figure out who. I swear she had a goatee. In another panel, the goatee was gone and she looked like a girl. Mainly Percy and Thalia throughout the book changed faces and appearances like 10 times. It was absurd. And no, I double-checked to make sure I wasn't mixing them up with each other or a different character. The thing is that when Futaki is not drawing faces, his art is not half-bad. Unfortunately, there is a cast of characters in this series.

The story is fine (though The Titan's Curse has always been my least favorite of the PJATO series) and continues to be well condensed and transformed to fit a short graphic novel. But yikes, the art.

**Did I miss the part in the book where Percy gets a ride from his mom, like it says happens in the description????

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review 2015-05-12 21:59
Ever After High: Briar Beauty's Story
Ever After High: Briar Beauty's Story - Shannon Hale

Gah, no. After finally reading any part of the Ever After High series, I am so glad that I never tried to read the first book. It is like a tween Valley high girl lives in some strange form of a Barbie world but with, like, fairytales... and stuff*.

*Terrible puns.

Also, this has mostly 5-star ratings?????

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review 2015-05-12 21:56
Ever After High: Raven Queen's Story
Ever After High: Raven Queen's Story - Shannon Hale

I liked this one marginally better than Briar Beauty's Story, simply because I appreciated that Raven was rebelling against her fate and seemed like a half-way decent character.

The puns are absolutely appalling, the style of writing is too tween for my taste, and the dialogue is painful. I have no hexitement* concerning this series, nor will I ever.

*This is exactly the sort of thing I detest.

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