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review 2016-03-25 22:52
Drama llama: The epic conclusion
Skim - Mariko Tamaki,Jillian Tamaki

Yes, I've reached the end of my journey with Jillian Tamaki. I just finished her first work with her cousin Mariko entitled Skim. One thing is for certain...Tamaki has the corner market on teenage angst. (As you can probably tell, I'm over the angst.) The story follows a girl named Kim who is your typical teen who believes she's a practicing witch. (Normal for Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer so...) You might be wondering why Kim is nicknamed Skim. Me too. The explanation given didn't make much sense to me so I'm not going to even bother telling you. In Kim's school there is a preoccupation with suicide and depression. Most of the other students believe that Kim is at risk and as a result a lot of unwanted attention is turner her way. She develops an unconventional relationship with someone (I'm vague to avoid spoilers) and her relationships with others suffer. SO MUCH ANGST. I did enjoy this one more than This One Summer but it is by no means the best graphic novel I've ever read (that honor goes to Through the Woods by Emily Carroll). If you like manga type illustrations then you might enjoy this one for the aesthetic value alone but if you're looking for a WHOA kind of book then you might want to keep looking.

 

Photo source: http://theliterarysisters.wordpress.com

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-10-05 01:35
Some "kinky fuckery" here, mixed with some crappy writing and an irresponsible omission.
A Marriage of Inconvenience (The Attic Series) (Volume 1) - Elise Hepner

So a friend of mine on facebook (who shall remain nameless, mostly because I haven't told her yet that she owes me $2.95 for the cost of this book) shared a truly excellent book ad the other day.  There was a beautiful shot of a man's arm in a french-cuffed white shirt, a heroine named Izobel, and a quote that was straight out of "Alpha/Dom speeches 101".  It had me.  And when my friend said she'd had a look at the sample and it was promising, that was all it took for me.  CLICK. 

 

And two hours later?  I'm done the book, I'm annoyed, borderline offended, and thinking that was $2.95 and two hours of my life I'll never get back. 

 

This should have been good.  Elise Hepner has taken two of my favourite tropes (marriage of convenience and best friends boinking) and mashed them up with a measure of kink thrown in for good measure.  Pretty standard for a contemporary romance these days, and I was looking forward to reading what this author's take on these standards would be.             

 

What I got was a disjointed, choppy, cheat of a story, with two-dimensional characters and flat dialogue.  The entire premise of the book was based on a need for the marriage in the first place, and 3/4 of the way through the book the premise is erased - just like that - and never mentioned again.  Not only that, but an icky, almost offensive connection between BDSM and the hero witnessing his mother's murder that had me thinking someone needed to take Bash to a psychologist, and quick.

 

Izzy and Bash have been friends forever (except for that time between middle school and high school that they weren't, and really who cares, but the author thought we should so she stuck in a weird flashback to start her story) and apparently Izzy is in love with Bash.  Don't know why really, even with all the telling the author does.  I never got the connection between them, never saw the foundation for what was to come. 

 

Somehow we are able to determine that Izzy's mom has cancer, is quite ill, and is in hospital having chemo.  Also somehow, through the garbled conversations and inner-voice meanderings of these two, we are told that Bash and Izzy have decided somehow to get married to make her happy before she dies. They share a couple of heated kisses at the hospital and somehow there is a wedding ceremony.

 

The wedding night doesn't happen, as Bash takes off from the romantic, rose-petal-strewn hotel suite and goes to some Dom/Sub club called The Attic where Izzy catches up with him in a "scene".  Then the book got weird.  For me, anyway.

 

There are flashbacks to Bash's mom's death - at the hands of a boyfriend who beat her for his own pleasure - which has somehow molded Bash's sexual proclivities.  This was where things got creepy for me.  I don't mind a little bit of BDSM in my books;  I've read that stupid 50 Shades, and virtually every contemporary you pick up nowadays has a hero who likes a bit of rough play.  What I DON'T like is when the hero is described as having a "not-so-secret love of BDSM", but his behaviour as portrayed by the author is closer to that of a sadist.  He considers himself a monster, and tells Izzy so. 

 

It just got worse for me after that.  Their first sexual encounter is rough, and Bash spanks the shit out of her.  For a first-timer, I found it a teeensy bit hard to believe that all it took for her was a bottle of champagne and a couple of hours surfing bondage porn on the internet to discover that she was really a sub and wanted to be bruised during sex.

 

And when he takes her to the club where they ARE the scene?  That was where the author lost me.  He puts her head in a STOCK for crissakes, flogs her, puts on nipple clamps and yanks on the chains, has some big-time anal involving a dildo (after never even having TALKED about that type of sex), drips hot wax all over her and jerks off onto her back. That's pretty serious for only her second time having that type of sex.  And also?  No mention of a safe word.  At any time.

 

Now, I'm not much of a serious student of BDSM but I've learned a couple of things since "the book that shall remain nameless" came out:

 

1)            BDSM seems to be all about the sub's pleasure.  The dom gets pleasure from giving pleasure to the sub, the sub relinquishes all control to the dom. Of course, that's pretty simplistic as I believe there is a lot of stuff about control, blurring the line between pain and pleasure, anticipation and most of all TRUST involved in that type of thing.  None of that was done here.  Bash seemed to have a need to cause pain (for some unclear, creepy, psychologically-fucked-up reason) and Izzy seemed to think that she would endure whatever she needed to because she loved him (and OH! she discovers that she likes it.)

 

2)            YOU NEED TO HAVE A SAFE WORD.  If I've got my head and wrists in a fucking stock, you've put clamps on my nipples and decide to splash melted wax on me, you better fucking believe there should be a word for me to scream at you to let you know I've had enough.  I would have thought this was basic, and I'm surprised that an author of erotica would overlook this.  It's irresponsible, IMHO.

 

There were other problems I had with the book as well - in addition to the bait-and-switch with her mother's illness (aw shucks! They switched the biopsies! I'm really fine and not dying and probably didn't need all the chemo I just had!)  Bash is referred to as a workoholic by Izzy. Um, doing what? Don't think he went in to work during the entire span of the book. He drives an expensive car, and dresses well, but doesn't every contemp romance dude? And what does she do? Details, that's what was missing.  Substance, depth,  character, emotions.  Wasn't feeling it.

 

As a matter of fact, I wasn't feeling anything by the end other than somewhat annoyed.  And wondering if I actually did practice BDSM, how PO'd I would be at the portrayal of my "likes" in the bedroom being linked in a novel to a boy watching his mother being beaten to death by a sadist because it pleased him.  I also wondered if Jenny Trout has read this - and what she would have to say if she did.

 

Can't recommend this one.  I didn't buy the romance, I didn't buy the characters, and I sure a s*** didn't buy the dom/sub aspect (although what I will say is that those scenes contained the best writing in the novel). And where was the frigging SAFE WORD????

 

1 1/2 stars, rounded up.

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review 2015-04-06 01:04
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Skim - Mariko Tamaki,Jillian Tamaki

I like most stories with mixed protagonists, so Skim delivered there. However, the rest of the story didn't capture me. I did like watching Katie and Kim's relationship develop, but there was so little of it in the book.

 

I think if I were in high school or under duress I would have enjoyed the story more. But as it is, I just didn't connect with Kim and her story.

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text 2014-07-28 19:36
Under-Hyped Reads Readathon Wrap Up!
The War at Ellsmere - Faith Erin Hicks
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller
Skim - Mariko Tamaki,Jillian Tamaki

For more information on this check my other post: http://msbooklover89.booklikes.com/post/937329/under-hyped-readathon Basically it was a readathon that went on for one week hosted by RamblingsofanElfPire on Youtube where you read books that have under 5,000 or at least 10,000 ratiings on goodreads!

 

I didn't even think I was going to join in, but I did and managed to read a book and 2 graphic novels. I planned to read one other book and another graphic novel but didn't get around to it. I started rereading The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks instead - I just needed one of his books in my life :) These are the books I did read:

 

2 graphic novels:

 

1. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks (2.5 stars)

- This one was just okay - typical high school setting/read but I do want to read more of her work!

 

2. Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (2.5 stars)

- Another one that was just okay - I definitely liked their other graphic novel, This One Summer much better but will continue reading their work!

 

1 book:

 

1. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (4.5 stars)

- I am sooo glad that I finally read this book! I've heard about it in the blogging community and got it on my kindle when it was on sale. Glad that this readathon pushed me to read this beautiful book! :)

 

I didn't get a chance to read the other graphic novel I planned, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong nor did I read the novel, Distant Waves on my TBR. I may still read Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong before it's due at the library. I started Distant Waves and liked it so far, I just wasn't in the mood to read it so will pick it up eventually! But I still call it a success since I at least got to read one really good book that I don't know when I would have gotten to it!

 

Hope you all had a great reading week!! Hoping to squeeze in one more book before the month is over :)

 

- Jess

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text 2014-07-23 20:25
Under-hyped Readathon
The War at Ellsmere - Faith Erin Hicks
Distant Waves - Suzanne Weyn
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller
Skim - Mariko Tamaki,Jillian Tamaki
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong - Prudence Shen,Faith Erin Hicks

The Under-hyped Readathon is hosted by Charlotte from RamblingsofanElfPire on youtube that already started on Monday July 21 and ends on Sunday July 27 where you read books that are underrated and have preferably under 5,000 ratings on goodreads or at least under 10,000 ratings! I'm sorry I am getting this up so late, I wasn't sure whether I was going to partcipate or not because I wasn't sure I was going to find any books but luckily I have :) You still have time to join in on the fun and read a underrated book or 2 before this ends - check out the links below! :)

 

My TBR:

 

1. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks (772 ratings)

2. Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn (3,463 ratings)

3. Where the Star Still Shines by Trish Doller (4,571 ratings)

4. Skim by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki (4,196 ratings)

5. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks (1,482 ratings)

 

Updates:

 

Day One: At this point I was already reading something else, Landline by Rainbow Rowell (5,811 ratings) and finished that on Monday! I mean it has under 10,000 ratings so it counts right? I mean it's not like Rainbow Rowell is that popular right? I mean this isn't just her new book that came out on July 8th... :D

 

Day Two: Read the War at Ellsmere - graphic novel that I randomly picked out at the library! It was okay, typical high school story but I really liked the illustrations! (3 stars) I also started two books, Distant Waves and Where the Star Still Shines and am currently less than 20 pages into each of them!

 

Day Three: I will continue on with reading Distant Waves and Where the Star Still Shines! Maybe even pick up Skim if I am in the mood for a graphic novel!

 

Goals: I hope to finish the books I have on my TBR this week! I do have a few other books I wanted to read for August (that are more popular) so I don't think I'll read any more underrated books this week!

 

Have you read any of these? What are your favorite underhyped books?

 

****************************

 

Links:

 

Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/137329-the-under-hyped-readathon

 

Charlotte's twitter: https://twitter.com/Charli952

 

Jeff & Jamie from Ermahgerd Berks Giveaway: http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?blog=12291909&group=0&frame_type=b&frame=1&click=0&user=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTeEcSPbZBI&list=UUkgaRrw2KnkO__pJH6khuVw
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