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review 2018-01-20 00:00
Laws of Attraction
Laws of Attraction - Sarah Title Laws of Attraction - Sarah Title Is a 1.5 harsh? Perhaps.

What's really too bad is I feel I've read two middle of the road books from her and there's potential to have a breakout, stand apart book for me. Apparently, the opposite also holds.

This book did nothing for me. And I'm not convinced it was even well written. It felt like a bunch of scenes slapped together with no arc. Let me explain (and don't read further if you, like, care to find out for yourself):

Girl has sworn to BF that it's time for one night stands and no more nice boring guys. And no lawyers!
Boy walks into a bar to meet some old college friends. They have lame nicknames. Guy has beard and is wearing flannel, thus the ultimate conclusion is lumberjack. They click, woohoo! And he seems like a good candidate for a drunken sex-fest. So she accompanies him back to his posh apartment (he's subletting) evades some questions about his profession (why? Because he's a lawyer and all the ladies come round for lawyers and he doesn't want to be wanted for that ya know?), and the p-in-v is rushed and occurs on page...11.
Can you guess what happened then? There's a hotshot.... genius (they mentioned a few times) lawyer starting. But oh no. It's mister one night stand. He's shaved so he's a bit difficult to recognize. And now he's a lawyer and a genius, which are two no-nos. Her family is made up of geniuses, see, and she's not close with her family. And they don't respect her profession as a law librarian. Anyway, he seems a thorough lawyer, and he is new so he asks her questions. Her responses to these questions, are, well, bitchy. Even if you have told associates that, if he's asking you a question...I mean..do you get to give him the brush off? (This was after he attempted to ask her on a date-but no. Because genius lawyer. It's also why she doesn't like him. Makes sense.) I didn't interpret this as him seeking her out-just trying to keep it professional.

Here's the thing. I have no sense of the main characters. I have a better sense of secondary characters and then the story attempted to build on that. It..didn't work.

More plot points...Then she catches him singing horribly late in the library. Without protection, after being a utter bitch to him, yet still attracted to him, he goes down on her and gives her 3 orgasms.

Then he asks her to Thanksgiving. To fend off his mom who is forever setting him up with women. He said this is cause he's a catch...and she scoffs. At this point, I think, yeah, he seems annoying to work with but he's not a bad guy--is he? But she goes, they get snowed in. Or was it rain? I was so bored I think my eyes were just moving across the page. They have some pot brownies to relax and he brushes her hair back and she makes her move. And they do it. And then decide to be dating. YAY!

But he's got work to do. There's a conflict of interest but only kind of but they take a break (she offered he accepted) for appearances...some shit goes down with his sister. there's a dog. Her sister and the hero have a nice heart to heart and when his sister asks what he likes about Becky (the heroine's name, I almost forgot) he says a whole bunch of stuff that the author didn't show the work for in the book and he realizes he loves her. Grand gesture. Love confession. The End. Oh, there's another dog.

Didn't like this couple. Didn't like the story. Didn't like the heroine, didn't like the hero.

It was short though.
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review 2017-11-29 00:00
Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees' Songs, One by One
Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees' Songs, One by One - Mark Arnold,Michael A. Ventrella

Some rock ‘n roll histories are designed to tell the stories of significant performers, genres, composers, producers, or record companies that shed light on the backgrounds, influences on, and legacies of their respective subjects. Some rely on considerable research, interviews, or their own experiences to go behind the scenes to show how popular music was made. Some of these histories go beyond the music and reveal much about the culture of the times and and are more than an exploration of a particular band or performer.

Other books have a more specific focus with a much more targeted audience. Such titles are often written by devoted fans and are usually meant to interest fellow aficionados of a particular group or personality. Such is the case for Looking for the Good Times—it’s obviously meant for Monkees fans who don’t mind reads based on personal opinions and not so much critical analysis.

Following a concise history of the group, The book looks at the complete Monkees song canon arranged in chronological order based on recording dates. The authors believe this order also helps show the evolution, or devolution depending on your point of view, of the band as it changed more than some listeners might think. The authors include pretty much every song issued during the 1960s run, many tunes issued on various compilations in the subsequent decades, some tracks the authors never heard but apparently found listed somewhere, alternate takes, rehearsal jams, and some rehearsal bits released on one post-break-up collection or another. A sample “analysis” should illustrate what the book is all about:

VALLERI (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
Monkee involvement: Vocals by Davy Jones
Recording dates: August 6,1966; August 27,1966; December 26,1967; December 28,1967
Highest chart position: #3 single
Original release date: March 2,1968 from 7" single and THE BIRDS, THE BEES

Mark: I love, love, love this song and its brass. I also love the flamenco guitar even if Nesmith really isn't playing it. The version I love best is the fade-out version from this album rather than the abrupt cold ending.
A first recorded version appears on the 2006 MORE OF THE MONKEES DELUXE EDITION CD. This is one is basically the version heard on the TV show, which originally appeared on MISSING LINKS, VOLUME 2 (1990). It's a little more lax than the punched-up single version.

Michael: I don't share in the love for this simple little song. In fact, Michael Nesmith is reported to have said that this was the worst song ever. I don't think I'd go that far. The performance is pretty good, and the horns improve the song tremendously from the earlier version done for the TV show, but the words are simple and the tune basically consists of the hook and then two lines, repeated in various ways.
This song fits much better in 1966 when it was first recorded, before the show even debuted. They redid it here and added horns, and it is a better version but it still sounds dated, since music had changed so much in that short period of time.
This was their last hit single, released at the tail end of the TV show before the summer repeats kicked in.

While promo for the book touts interviews with folks like Gene Cornish (The Rascals), Ron Dante (The Archies), Tommy James (The Shondells), Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits), and actor Butch Patrick, these aren’t interviews but are instead short anecdotes and remembrances by fellow travelers of ‘60s popular culture. Not essential reading, but little bits of fun. Just like the introduction written by Howard Kaylan of The Turtles.

Clearly, interest in the music of The Monkees will be what draws readers to this volume, or not. Unless you’ve devoted the same amount of time to listening to all those hours of Monkees records, out-takes, deep cuts, and alternate versions, readers will likely learn all sorts of trivia they didn’t know before. Me, I decided there’s a large body of Monkee music, especially the Missing Links collections, that I have missed and should try out. Others might like to compare their own knowledge with the authors. For example, the writers don’t seem to know Buffy Ford Stewart, the widow of ex-Kinston Trio member John Stewart, inspired "Daydream Believer," and recorded her own version of the song with Davy Jones in what many believe was his last recording session. Oh, and she really was a homecoming queen.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the title to this book—“Long Title?” Well, a not-so-important observation. If you’re a Monkees diehard, here’s a little nugget for you.

This review, in a slightly different form, first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Nov. 29, 2017:

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text 2017-09-19 15:39
When Michael Met Mina
When Michael Met Mina - Randa Abdel-Fattah

So no one working on this book has read Skellig?

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review 2017-09-16 00:00
Falling for Trouble
Falling for Trouble - Sarah Title Falling for Trouble - Sarah Title These books are cute, but VERY chick-litty. I'm going to continue to read them because they make me feel warm & fuzzy. Recommend? eh, not necessarily.
Good town and cast of characters
Weaker on the relationship between MCs-although chemistry was certainly was there.
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review 2017-08-06 00:00
The Undateable
The Undateable - Sarah Title The Undateable - Sarah Title A unique premise and likeable characters, along with my favorite kind of arguing-all-the -time through their attraction couple make this book a solid 3-3.5 stars. It was a well-executed book overall, though at times it felt a little long.

It may have been higher, but I really love the development of a relationship in a book, and theirs was built while the heroine was dating other men. This left me with fewer butterflies and anxious moments than I tend to like in my romances (this might be chick lit, honestly). I appreciate low conflict but this was a little tepid as far as that goes. The real moments and genuine characters did save the book, besides it being an easy, sweet, and fun.

I plan to continue the series.
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