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review 2016-08-27 09:30
That was disappointing
Wake Up Married serial, Episodes 4-6 (Volume 2) - Leta Blake,Alice Griffiths

After such a good start the second half of this six part serial was a huge let down. For a romantic comedy with mobsters, the book and its authors ended up taking the mobsters way too seriously. And all the fun disappeared once the characters started having long difficult discussions—not a bad idea in itself, just the execution of those discussions sucked. And the final conflict felt manufactured.

 

So, yeah. Read the first volume (parts 1-3) and imagine your own happy ending for Will & Patrick. Or, you know, don't.

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review 2016-08-07 20:33
I read it so you don't have to
Night Watch - Josh Lanyon

I knew what I was getting myself into when I clicked that buy button and yet I did it anyway.

 

If you haven't noticed, I've had issues with Lanyon's work ever since I stumbled on an old book that had the characters spouting that reverse racism is a thing. Or something like it. Thing is, Lanyon spins a good yarn, if you ignore the whitey lenses of privilege, and I keep hoping maybe I'm wrong. I'm not. 

 

Yeah, this is a sweet four star novella of two adult men spending a non-explicit night together and possibly finding a new start while waiting for a escaped prisoner to get caught or come after them.

 

But Lanyon can't leave well enough alone and (s)he has to make a dig about police violence and young unarmed dead persons. Race isn't mentioned, but considering this novella is published in 2016, you have to be willfully blind and/or privileged not to see what (s)he's getting at. Sure, twelve thousand words in a romantic novella isn't going to solve police brutality and racism in America, but Lanyon didn't have to be as dismissive as this:

 

"'Are you serious? Do you really think the majority of cops approve of shooting unarmed civilians? Of shooting kids? Do you really think guys like me want to see a departmental cover-up?'

 

In the face of his quiet scorn, I felt a little ashamed. 'No. Of course not.'

 

'There are some bad actors. We all know it. And there are some guys and gals who would be better cops if they had better training. We all know that too. But most of the men and women I work with are out there cleaning up the human garbage the best they can with the tools they've been given—and putting their live on the line every single day to keep people like you safe to write the truth however you see fit.'"

 

And then the narrator muses how he was wrong but not completely, and how much he likes his police protector for being able to argue the subject dispassionately. And they agree it's a sore subject for the both of them.

 

Sore subject indeed.

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review 2016-04-26 08:43
Lesbian bashing, fat shaming, complete lack of empathy...
Breakfast At Tiffany's - Truman Capote

And E says Capote didn't like people much. I wonder why.

 

Anyway, what little impression the titular novella and the other three short stories left was distasteful and ultimately forgettable. Luckily, I won't have any problem putting this out of my mind.

 

Although a blonde Audrey Hepburn is a weird mental image.

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review 2016-04-22 20:52
Shaun of the Feed
Deadline - Mira Grant

Although everything could be explained with his grief over George's death—you know what I mean—it still felt too much like the author didn't really want to change the narrators. Like she hadn't really wanted to tell the story from Shaun's point of view but wished she'd could have kept using George's voice. Shaun was a rounded character in the first book, his own man with certain questionable attachments and characteristics, but here he felt like a shadow of George. And not just because he was grieving.

 

Of course the end twist explains why all this is, but you know what, I'd rather have skipped right to it, instead of suffer through an inferior installment. Shaun deserves better.

 

I didn't check the characterisation fail box on my shelf-list, but it was a close thing.

 

Narrators were good, so good in fact, that I had to double check the names to make sure they weren't the same people as in book one.

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review 2016-04-11 09:43
A genderbending fairytale reimagination has spoken...
The Duke of Snow and Apples (Entangled Select) - Elizabeth Vail

...but not to me.

 

This is one of those books where the characters are good, the story is decent—as decent as is possible with any simple fairytale—the worldbuilding is quite interesting and it's original enough to make anew something old. Sure the writing is a bit too descriptive for my taste but that's often the case with fantasy books. The ending is engaging enough that I practically devoured the last 25% mostly because I'd become to care about the characters by then.

 

And yet, I'm not moved beyond three stars.

 

There was too much slogging through in the beginning and too many times I stopped to wonder why Frederick and Charlotte hadn't been caught yet. I just couldn't connect.

 

Maybe if this had been a fantasy novel with romantic elements instead of a genre romance with fantasy elements the rating would be higher.

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