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review 2017-09-28 23:01
Malay flavored YA
The Ghost Bride: A Novel - Yangsze Choo

Ghostly, entertaining jaunt. Foreign setting, lots of fantasy, family intrigues and romance. Teens and young adults would be a good audience for this one.

 

I liked it well enough, though I wanted to thump some sense into Li Lan several times. And she does the distressed damsel quite a bit. And some issues are managed in somewhat simplistic ways. But it was a speedy read, and I had a good time.

 

 

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review 2017-09-07 22:55
Intense ride
In the Woods - Tana French

I have to say, this one really swept me on the undertow. My brain is a bit fuzzy after all those hours of intense reading. Classic book hangover.

 

The next thing I have to say, is that the prot is a huge egotistical dick. Funny, charming, engaging, likely quite intelligent, given his job. And in this cluster-F of a case for all around, the most fucked up person of all.

 

Which is a bit funny, given that his issues are the only ones that are not relevant to the case in the end.

(spoiler show)

 

I also though a lot about what I remember from my childhood, and how much gets lost in the years. I get this anxiety to start keeping a diary.

 

And kept sounding that King's quote in my head

 

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12 - Jesus, did you?

 

There is a lot I'd like to comment on, but it'll be spoilers all around, so really, really, REALLY don't click if you have not read the book.

 

Going on what I was marking as I was reading:

 

- That first transition from third person to first was a wowzer. It's jarring because it's detached, and it implies a certain level of fucked up. And it aligns with the dancing around that he does throughout the case.

 

- Ryan about his college-mates, on his diary. Not a people person, huh?

 

“a herd of mouth-breathing fucktard yokels who wade around in a miasma of cliché so thick you can practically smell the bacon and cabbage and cow shite and altar candles.” Even assuming I was having a bad day, I think this shows a certain lack of respect for cultural differences."

 

- On regulation having excavations reporting human remains over the nine feet line, just because it still cracks me up:

 

"I suppose they figure that anyone who has the enterprise to dig down more than nine feet without getting spotted deserves a little leeway for sheer dedication."

 

- Fast tracking through the archaeological site:

 

“Fair enough,” he said, and started pointing. “Neolithic settlement, Bronze Age ceremonial stone, Iron Age roundhouse, Viking dwellings, fourteenth-century keep, sixteenth-century castle, eighteenth-century cottage.”

 

*snort* Your run of the mill little town, then? And of course, the shitty politic-economical reality

 

"the fucking government is going to bulldoze this whole site and build a fucking motorway over it."

 

- Sam's toast. I was snickering over the part he didn't know. It's magnitudes grimmer humor after all is done.

 

- Ryan has this moment (over Rosalind, of course)

 

"I wanted this girl who was like no girl I had ever known,"

 

I'm really starting to HATE that line. WHAT are all the girls like? How is any girl DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER GIRLS? WHY should being different make you BETTER. It implies that a woman, a common woman, a normal woman (whatever that means) is NOT good enough. AND FUCK THAT!!

 

At any rate, by this point, I didn't know whether to tear my hair out, shout, or thump him with his own book. Cassie warned him. He was so concentrated on his own, he did not realize she was not showing him her soul scars just for a lark.

 

- As we wrap up:

 

"I am intensely aware, by the way, that this story does not show me in a particularly flattering light."

 

Ya think?

 

But before you decide to despise me too thoroughly, consider this: she fooled you, too. You had as good a chance as I did. I told you everything I saw, as I saw it at the time.

 

Nice try Ryan. No dice. Maybe I'm too jaded. I pray I'm never played by psychopath (I confess over the years I've had some serious doubts about one woman I was casual friends with, the memories still make me fidget sometimes) graduated to the homicide leagues, and his pile of reasons are neat, weighty and high. And still. Man, you blew up you life yourself. Systematically.

 

This was, in the end, the most hideous realization of all: Rosalind had not, after all, implanted a microchip behind my ear or drugged me into submission. I had broken every vow myself and steered every boat to shipwreck with my own hand. She had simply, like any good craftswoman, used what came her way.

 

- The two trio parallels, of course.

 

- Sophie's verdict (I cackled)

 

After a few dates, though, and before the relationship had really progressed enough to merit the name, she dumped me. She informed me, matter-of-factly, that she was old enough to know the difference between intriguing and fucked up. “You should go for younger women,” she advised me. “They can’t always tell.”

(spoiler show)

 

The thing is, for all the personal vs character stuff (which sounds ranty but actually enriched the experience for me, lol), I had a grand time. I could not put it down. It is strong in voice. It has hilarious passages, and lovely ones (specially on friendship, as adults and as children), and of course, disturbing ones. And it is absolutely gripping.

 

Whew! Done. Sleep now.

 

 

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text 2017-09-07 16:35
Reading progress update: I've read 300 out of 429 pages.
In the Woods - Tana French

This poor fool... this stupid bastard. He's burning all his bridges, and letting the devil lead, and doesn't even realize it. I want to beat his thick head with the book to see if he wises up before all goes to hell. It's getting harrowing because I suspect he'll have that cold water-bucket coming down on him too late.

 

 

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text 2017-09-07 08:07
Reading progress update: I've read 173 out of 429 pages.
In the Woods - Tana French

“You’ll find a way,” I said. The idea of her as a secretary was ludicrous; what the hell was Devlin thinking? “A scholarship or something. It sounds like you’re good.”
She ducked her head modestly. “Well. Last year the National Youth Orchestra performed a sonata I wrote.”
I didn’t believe her, of course. The lie was transparent—something that size, someone would have mentioned it during the door-to-door

 

Man! You are being a naive moron! Dicing on other women? Disliking them if they are secure, or have another male's attention? Saying her sister told lies, and then telling them herself? Painting herself as a victim? You are suffering from male blind-spot.

 

 

 

And shit, my theory is off, and it's looking like it's a lot more uglier than doing the clean-up for little sis.

(spoiler show)
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text 2017-05-28 01:45
Reading progress update: I've read 36%.
Passage West - Ruth Ryan Langan

Wow. First, and unrelated to what I was about to post: That. Cover. Talk about unapologetic.

 

Onto the moment of idiocy that has me ranting: Bad Guy pretended to go hunting alone to catch heroine unaware. Ruggedly good guy finds angry bad drunkard about to rape heroine after knocking her about. It's the second time he catches him in the act, the first on a different girl. He has a gun on his temple again. Does Good guy pull the trigger on the rabid beast and let the dessert take care of the carcass? Of course not. That would be just reasonable and smart. What would we read about if the heroes weren't too stupid to live (can you feel the massive eye-roll?)

 

"Start running, Barrows." His commanding tone sent a shiver of fear along Flint’s spine. "And don’t ever stop. If you cross my path, you’re a dead man."
Without waiting for Flint’s reply, Rourke holstered his gun and dropped to his knees beside Abby. Behind him he could hear Barrows scrambling over rocks in his eagerness to put as much distance between himself and them as possible.

 

Forget any future risk. Right now, the guy could have a gun! *throws arms up* 

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