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review 2016-10-15 08:57
Fifteen-year-old me would've loved this.
Marrying Mister Perfect (Reality Romance Book 1) - Lizzie Shane

Thirty-something me has no patience for gutless heroines pining after oblivious idiots.


I still love tropes pining and angst, but first give me a character I can stand to watch pine. Give me someone who isn't afraid of living and going after something she wants and give me a real reason why she should pine in silence instead. Don't give me "for four years she was his doormat and loved every second of it because of his kids." 


The rating wavered between one and two stars, but I've read worse. Much worse. 

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review 2016-07-02 07:54
What was that?
Blonde Roots - Bernardine Evaristo

In theory, this book should be brilliant. In practice, it's not. And I can't quite pinpoint why the alternative history doesn't work for me.


Is it because, although Evaristo changed the location names—still highly recognisable—she kept every oppressive symbol white people have used and created against black people in this world? Or is it because the characterisations are terrible? There are some really good moments, but mostly it's probably because the characters have been harnessed in the service of THE MESSAGE instead of driving the story forward through all the real horrors of slavery.


Probably. Bah, I don't know. Read it yourself and tell me a better theory.

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review 2016-05-19 09:05
From Hooked to Meh to Nope
Timebound - Rysa Walker

First things first:



I listened to the audiobook and I do like Kate Rudd's voice even if I don't think she can really do good accents or male voices. I mostly adapted to her style and it worked for the story. I don't know if I'd seek for more books she's narrated—probably not—but I wouldn't skip on a book because she's voiced it either.


Then the story:


I actually had to pause and restart this audiobook because I felt like I was missing something important at the beginning. It turns out this really wasn't the case as Walker uses ample time to set up the world and story simply because time travel as a concept is just that confusing. Others have called this a pacing issue and info dumping, but I can't say I noticed as I was listening to the audiobook.


I did, however, notice how the author introduced new characters who became super important to the protagonist in a blink of an eye, even if I didn't label and file it under "characters too stupid to live" until later.


Other things that did bother me, were the main character and first person voice narrator calling a character "Pudgy" long after she'd learned his name. This fat-phobia resurfaced when Kate's—the time travelling protagonist—boyfriend took her home for dinner and she made a comment about how thin Trey is despite all the food his family's Guatemalan housekeeper keeps pushing at him and everyone at the table.


Speaking of secondary POC characters. I completely missed Charlayne's (African American, thankfully the author tweeted me and set me right *wipes forehead & flicks fingers*) description, but then again she only featured in a handful of scenes. She's supposed to be Kate's best friend and motivate her to keep time jumping, but it's not like she has her own personality on the page. You could even call her the token black character and you'd be right.


Other than a vague feeling of something not being quite right and the use of words "blood as pure as mine" when Kate's talking about her time travelling gene, I can't really pinpoint my problem with race in this book. An expert—which is to say a non white person—could tell you more.


There's a love triangle in this book and series.


If you need to know more, keep reading.


One of the love interests is another time jumper from an earlier time who is supposed to be a villain to some but is quite obviously helping Kate in her quest to correct the time shifts. Thing is, I couldn't care less about Kiernan Dunne and he's obviously supposed to be the one who ends up with Kate. Kiernan is from the past and in love with another version of Kate from another timeline, but when has that stopped a creative author?


I did however like Trey, one of the insta-love contenders of the year and a contemporary guy from one of Kate's changed timelines. Unlike with Kiernan, Walker actually shows how Trey and Kate grow closer and could be good together. And I figured he'd be the one she'd have to sacrifice to fix things, which made me like him all the more right up until the point where he insisted that all she had to do was to smile at him for him to fall in love with her again. It wouldn't matter what she'd say.


And I just can't with that. Neither can I with the fact that Kate's supposedly ready to have sex with Trey just after she's been threatened with rape. I was expecting that particular discussion to happen but I'd hoped the mere threat to her life would've sufficed to prompt it. After all, they might never see each other again after Kate's next time jump.


As for the big bad, I liked that it was basically a family feud combined with religion. It gave me ideas and hopes, which I do not trust the author to fulfill or win me over with her own interpretation.


I just wasn't sure about that until the author tweeted me.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-04-28 21:21
Everyone deserves better than this
Blackout - Mira Grant

I said about Deadline that Shaun deserves better. In here, it's all about Shaun and his pain and frankly, all of the After The End Times deserves better. Everyone else's pain was pushed aside and Georgia's journalistic guilt crisis seemed to come out of nowhere.


I didn't mind the—I meant it about the spoiler tag—incest revelation and I was kind of expecting it after Shaun said in his book that "sex hadn't been a thing in post-George world" (paraphrasing) or before that if we're honest. I did mind the throwaway line about George and Shaun getting DNA tests before to make sure, as if that'd make it okay. They're still breaking the taboo—as George acknowledges—but the only way their DNA matters is if they're planning on procreating. And neither of the adopted Masons strikes me the kind of a character interested in cribs or midnight feedings.


I minded missing the emotional beats in the character arcs and focusing on the governmental crisis that fell on its arse like a clown in a circus. Except with less practiced grace.


As for the narrators. Paula Christensen continued to be brilliant and Michael Goldstrom was not. Well, he wasn't bad but I liked Deadline's Chris Patton better and Goldstrom's voice just wasn't right for Shaun.


P.S. I was eyeing the Newsflesh novella: Countdown, but I'm not anymore.

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review 2016-04-16 19:41
A cute Australian gay romance
Rustic Melody - Nic Starr,Book Cover by Design

If only this book had ended the way it started, as a sweet, relaxed and easy romance. Unfortunately, a few things didn't work for me and I ended up gritting my teeth through the resolution. I didn't hate the story, I was just so disappointed, because I expected more based on the lovely beginning.

First of all, less sex would've been nice. An explicit sex scene immediately after another explicit sex scene added nothing to the story and felt more like padding to the word count than plot progression. Or character growth.

Nothing Adam did or decided felt like it was coming from him. First it was that infodump phone call from his sister that made me question the author's ability to move the story forward naturally and then it was Joey's mother planting the thought of taking care of her son. After that I doubted if Adam really loved Joey and I felt like he was being manipulated into a relationship.

There was also the dual hospitalisation. Instead of using the first to force the confrontation between father and son, the author again manipulated Adam into a situation where he would get to vacillate a little longer. And I get indecisiveness: this wasn't that. This was the author hitting points on a plot map instead of letting story evolve naturally through the characters' actions.

But you know, none of this might bother you. There's a chance you'll love reading gratuitous gay sex and two sweet guys finding each other.

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