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text 2017-06-26 17:05
Reading slump, maybe

I don't know if I'm in a reading slump or if my current reads just aren't working for me. At any rate, I've been playing games more than reading lately. I'm at least trying to get some of my review backlog taken care of, but that's slow going too.


Steam has their Summer Sale going on right now, and I wish I could buy up my whole wishlist. I figured out what the total would be if I did and...no. But I did get some goodies and spent the weekend trying out one of them, Sunless Sea. So far, my first captain committed suicide by pirate rather than face eating her crew (or being eaten by them - the ferret was acting particularly menacing near the end), and my second captain foolishly took on an enormous shark with the game's default weaponry. My third captain is doing fairly well at the moment, which makes me nervous. I keep waiting for him to accidentally make a bad deal, or get surrounded by monsters he can't run away from, or something equally awful.

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review 2016-07-09 21:24
The Missing Butterfly by Megan Derr
The Missing Butterfly - Megan Derr

I picked up this audiobook on sale.  I was a bit leery of a contemporary Megan Derr novel, but I thought I'd give it a try.  My verdict is nope - only fantasy from this author from now on. I am starting to think I should just not read contemporary at all unless I have a very good reason.


I think The Missing Butterfly is supposed to be a modern day fairy tale of the Cinderfella sort, without any magic.  Everyone is gorgeous and talented, and several are very rich (I could see more books in this series being set up the entire time I was listening). Lots of wish fulfillment for the deserving young MC. But for me it was all frosting and no cake - no suspense or real plot or antagonist to be found.


One thing that bothered me:  the women characters came in exactly two flavors - the giggly gossipers who are way too involved in the male characters' love lives, and the horrible bitches.  I know Megan Derr can write good female characters, but not this time.


The characters were all pretty two-dimensional.  I don't mind that so much in fantasy, because they have interesting talents that come out in scary situations, and that keeps my attention. (Of course three-dimensional characters and an interesting plot is ideal, but you usually can't have everything).



Lots of people love this, so I might be casting some residual book slump shade on this book.  I suspect people who like fluffy rock star stories would have fun (though there isn't much actually rock star activity in the book). 



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review 2016-06-11 20:55
Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon
Winter Kill - Josh Lanyon

***beware of spoilers until I get the spoiler tags cleaned up***


My reading slump continues.  Even Josh Lanyon has let me down!  I don't always love Josh's books, but usually it is because one of the main characters is too much of a dick.  I can, usually, count on the mysteries to make sense and the LEO characters to be reasonably intelligent and good at their jobs.  Not here.


Adam is both TSTL and psychic all at the same time. There are two points at which he figures something out with no rational basis I could see.  First, he see a picture of a young women when she was a girl, standing with two older boys.  At a glance Adam determines that the picture wasn't given to her, that she stole it, and that she has a crush on one of the boys.  Second, he meets the bad guy for the first time and 


immediately knows he is the Roadside Ripper, because he doesn't tell them his former trucking route and he is annoyed by Adam

(spoiler show)


But even though Adam is apparently psychic, he is also appallingly incompetent.  Before the case starts,


his team manages to short out a kidnapping victim's father's car, and Adam fails to stop one of the kidnappers from shooting the father, even though he is in the back seat of the car at the time

(spoiler show)


He also


gets kidnapped by the Roadside Ripper, even though he knows (psychically!) who it is.  He just opens the door and gets coshed

(spoiler show)


Rob isn't psychic - just incompetent and touchy.  For example, he gets mad at Adam for 

asking someone about his son's love life.  This is apparently so insensitive that Rob is going to leave Adam behind for further interviews - even though he didn't bother to tell Adam the son has been institutionalized.

(spoiler show)


Josh also sets up a romance that can't work, at least not yet, and then makes it work with some really improbable behavior. 


So, yeah, my reading slump continues.  Rats.



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review 2016-06-11 20:01
Bear, Otter, and the Kid by T.J. Klune
Bear, Otter, and the Kid - T.J. Klune

Sigh.  I guess everyone loves this but me.I waited a long time to read it, because I am not that crazy about contemporary romance, and New Adult books tend to be too emo for me. But everyone loves it and it supposed to be funny, so.


Everyone who loves this book (which is practically everyone) should just skip this review, because I am just going to rant with no attempt at fairness.


Kinds of characters I don't like:


Characters who continually inflict angst on themselves by being stupid

Characters who continually inflict angst on everyone they know by being stupid

Characters who tell stupid, pointless lies

Characters who tell stupid, pointless lies to EVERYONE

Characters who stay just as messed up as they started and never figure anything out or get better or smarter

Characters who are furious at friends or lovers for things they do themselves

Characters who don't come clean when it is the obvious right and smart thing to do


Yeah, this one has all of that.


Plot and story elements I don't like:



Continuous flashbacks and flash forwards

When boring stuff is told in excruciating detail

When interesting stuff isn't told at all

Slapstick humor that doesn't even make me smile.


And yes, it has all this too.


I think part of the problem with this book for me was that I listened to the audiobook.  Every flaw was magnified because I couldn't ever skim or skip.  Every time Bear was just about to come clean with someone, something would interrupt.  This happened at least a half a dozen times and I had to be there for every word every time. A character would say "hey" and another character would say "hey yourself" - this must have happened at least ten times, and after a while it was like a screeching clang in my ear - someone would say "hey" and I would just brace myself for "hey yourself."


I probably would have DNFed this, except there was the promise of a dramatic courtroom scene where we would find out what the hell Bear's mom was doing and whether Otter's ex had anything to do with it - but no, no courtroom scene or any other form of resolution.


I am having a reading slump where everything I read is annoying me, so I am going to label this "reading slump" in case I want to come back and reconsider.  I will never like this book, but maybe it won't make me mad that I even read it.


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text 2016-06-08 19:39
The Worst

I'm still struggling through a reading rut. I've started and/or completed a few things, but not like "usual" for me. This wouldn't be a big deal except honestly I really, really need to find something that really sucks me in, because the more time I spend in the real world, the more I hate it. I'm full of anger about so many things and reading usually helps keep that under control. The Stanford case, the dude-bro responses to reasonable complaints about the Apocalypse poster, politics, high-profile abuse cases, someone straight up telling me that women and men have achieved equality and that 3rd wave feminists are "destroying everything the earlier feminists did for us"... The real world sucks, I don't like people, and I really, really need books to save me.


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