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review 2016-05-14 06:33
Blur (Review)
Blur - Steven James

(Minor disclaimer: It’s been…more than a year since I finished this book. My memory is fuzzy, but I took notes on the book and have my various status updates online to help me remember my exact feelings about this book. I gave it its rating when I first finished it, so that at least is accurate.)


I had high hopes for this when I first began. The prologue captivated me, and I’m a sucker for young adult mysteries—and ever since Thin Space by Jody Casella, I have been captivated by the possibilities of ghost stories and how much they can surprise me. This is what I expected heading into Blur, especially after such a promising beginning. However, my expectations soon began to unravel (much like Daniel’s grip on reality, actually), and I found myself less and less enthusiastic the farther I delved into the story—exactly the opposite of what should happen when reading a mystery.


I do believe James is capable of writing a captivating story, and the basic elements are there; the execution here is what becomes foggy, and the details weigh down the story’s ability to truly succeed. The main character, Daniel, was just too perfect, and there were issues with the plot of the story that never resolved. I did enjoy trying to figure out the mystery, but at the same time, there were several “plot twists” I was able to guess early in the story, which disappointed me at the end.


An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (And again, I’m so sorry it’s taken so long. You saw the publication date was 2014, right?)


(Read the rest on my blog!)


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review 2015-07-12 20:03
Chocolate Snowman Murders (Mini Review)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders - JoAnna Carl

I'm just writing brief comments here and checking this book of as "read" without writing a legitimate review for it. This won't be published on my blog, or anywhere other than here, so you can count it as a status update if you want to.


I just didn't like this book. The main character, Lee, had too many people obsessed with her and she herself was obsessed with passing judgment off on others. The ending was predictable and sad, but I was too angry about everything else to really pay attention to it very much. 


My question, though, is why exactly is women's chick-lit, like this, so awful, boring, and judgmental? The idea has only just occurred to me as I sat down to write this brief comment. It seems to be a stereotype now that books written "for women" that are busy and don't have much time to read are usually terribly written, terribly executed, and just terrible on every level. I'm wondering why that is. Why are books like this popular with anyone?


I don't see the likability factor, especially in this one. 

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text 2015-06-03 08:17
141 of 269 (52%)
Bake Sale Murder - Leslie Meier

This one is somehow tougher than the other book. It doesn't feel like some chick-lit murder mystery. Not when you off-handedly throw in a fourteen-year-old boy's suicide attempt.


What makes me angry is that the whole neighborhood just gossips about everyone else. And when Lucy's (the main character) daughter comes in, she asks what happened and Lucy just flat out tells her, "Tommy tried to kill himself. He tried to hang himself." I sure hope any parent with half a brain wouldn't go telling kids, FRIENDS, something like that. It's deplorable. That girl is going to tell her friends. And the whole school will end up knowing that this little kid was hopeless enough after his mom was murdered that he wanted to end his life.


And what does Lucy, our grand heroine, do? She assumes he tried to kill himself because he must have killed his mother. No, it's not like it's not surprising that there are teenage boys who get bullied, picked on by their dad, hazed by their teammates, have their mom brutally killed (then told by a random stranger) and they somehow think the world is hopeless. Lucy is an imbecile. She honestly has no idea what she's doing when it comes to being tactful. And she's probably going to write about it in the newspaper, as if that's exactly what would help the situation.


I can't stand it. I just can't stand the insensitivity. 

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text 2015-05-31 04:14
59 of 269 (22%)
Bake Sale Murder - Leslie Meier

So far, better than Chocolate Snowman Murders by a LOT. Although one of the women in the neighborhood, Willie, is seriously getting on my nerves. She doesn't like one of the girls on the cheer team with her daughter because she's curvy. Are you kidding? What kind of curves damage your personality? And now she's on about the girl hanging out with this other guy when her mom isn't home--and it's kind of creepy that she's even noticing something like that. Apparently promiscuity is "catching." 


This book is full of more judgmental middle-aged women who think they're fabulous and everyone else is doing everything wrong. Please tell me this isn't what being an adult is like?

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text 2015-05-23 05:55
77 of 216 (36%)
The Chocolate Snowman Murders - JoAnna Carl

I'm sorry but really--


"I'm sorry, Mary. I just wanted to say you look very pretty tonight."


I was surprised by Amos' comment. Mary could have been pretty, but she wasn't wearing makeup, her hair was badly cut, and her fluffy dress was much too childish for a woman in her early to middle twenties. I would have loved to turn Mary over to a good stylist for a complete redo. (emphasis mine)


What is this lady's PROBLEM?? It's impossible for this young, shy, and quiet girl to be pretty because she has a bad haircut, doesn't wear makeup, and likes to wear fluffy dresses? Excuse me, but as a girl in her early twenties (twenty itself, to be precise), I know plenty of girls my age who look fantastic without makeup, and who don't need a fancy haircut to be beautiful. Let alone her "fluffy" dress, which is described as looking somewhat like a prom dress. (Did Mary go to prom? Guess what, Lee--IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY MATTER.)


I just get so angry when books try to justify a certain type of beauty, and the main character (who gets angry when people assume she's a conservative because she's from Texas) makes the worst assumptions about people based on their looks. It's so frustrating and disheartening to see this kind of bashing go on in novels.

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