logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: too-stupid-to-live
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-11-18 23:37
Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia Book 1) Anne Tenino 4.5 Stars Review
Too Stupid to Live: Romancelandia, Book 1 - Riptide Publishing,Tobias Silversmith,Anne Tenino

t isn't true love until someone gets hurt.

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now — possibly — ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong...can they?

 

Review

This isn't a perfect book but its delightful and if you are a romance novel nerd like I am it is a must read for the meta commentary on the genre, the love of the gerne, and the playfulness Plus, it is a sexy romantic love story.

 

Same and Ian. I love that Ian isn't attracted to Sam at first because he is shallow but really more because he isn't attuned to himself yet. A great deal of this book his Ian's journey to become emotionally connect to himself and others after having lived a closeted life and believed the cultural lies told by hyper masculinity.

 

His journey is moving as his is falling deeper and deeper in love and lust with Sam. I am so happy Ian is already seeking therapy and continues to do so as the plot develops. I love his relationship with his cousin and the developing relationships with the people at his new job.

 

He tries and grows and does great romantic gestures and emotionial bravery and this makes him a wonderful deserving hero for Sam even when he struggles.

 

Sam is everything I love. A nerd, socially awkward bookworm with great friendships and a loving heart. He is super smart and his thinking of the world through romantic novels themes is at once funny, charming, and wise. He is brave and takes risk as Ian learns. Sexy as hell.

 

This is a well plotted book with great charters and love you can believe in. I liked the second book in the series much better after reading this one and can't wait for a third book.

 

The flaws are slight really. A weird lack of setting in an extra place. Western US not California. We never get to see Same as a grad student, writer, and teacher...just as a reader, friend, and waiter. This leaves some depth out of the novel that matters.

 

This will be a long time comfort read for sure. I am resisting the urge to reread right now!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-05-19 09:05
From Hooked to Meh to Nope
Timebound - Rysa Walker

First things first:

 

 

I listened to the audiobook and I do like Kate Rudd's voice even if I don't think she can really do good accents or male voices. I mostly adapted to her style and it worked for the story. I don't know if I'd seek for more books she's narrated—probably not—but I wouldn't skip on a book because she's voiced it either.

 

Then the story:

 

I actually had to pause and restart this audiobook because I felt like I was missing something important at the beginning. It turns out this really wasn't the case as Walker uses ample time to set up the world and story simply because time travel as a concept is just that confusing. Others have called this a pacing issue and info dumping, but I can't say I noticed as I was listening to the audiobook.

 

I did, however, notice how the author introduced new characters who became super important to the protagonist in a blink of an eye, even if I didn't label and file it under "characters too stupid to live" until later.

 

Other things that did bother me, were the main character and first person voice narrator calling a character "Pudgy" long after she'd learned his name. This fat-phobia resurfaced when Kate's—the time travelling protagonist—boyfriend took her home for dinner and she made a comment about how thin Trey is despite all the food his family's Guatemalan housekeeper keeps pushing at him and everyone at the table.

 

Speaking of secondary POC characters. I completely missed Charlayne's (African American, thankfully the author tweeted me and set me right *wipes forehead & flicks fingers*) description, but then again she only featured in a handful of scenes. She's supposed to be Kate's best friend and motivate her to keep time jumping, but it's not like she has her own personality on the page. You could even call her the token black character and you'd be right.

 

Other than a vague feeling of something not being quite right and the use of words "blood as pure as mine" when Kate's talking about her time travelling gene, I can't really pinpoint my problem with race in this book. An expert—which is to say a non white person—could tell you more.

 

There's a love triangle in this book and series.

 

If you need to know more, keep reading.

 

One of the love interests is another time jumper from an earlier time who is supposed to be a villain to some but is quite obviously helping Kate in her quest to correct the time shifts. Thing is, I couldn't care less about Kiernan Dunne and he's obviously supposed to be the one who ends up with Kate. Kiernan is from the past and in love with another version of Kate from another timeline, but when has that stopped a creative author?

 

I did however like Trey, one of the insta-love contenders of the year and a contemporary guy from one of Kate's changed timelines. Unlike with Kiernan, Walker actually shows how Trey and Kate grow closer and could be good together. And I figured he'd be the one she'd have to sacrifice to fix things, which made me like him all the more right up until the point where he insisted that all she had to do was to smile at him for him to fall in love with her again. It wouldn't matter what she'd say.

 

And I just can't with that. Neither can I with the fact that Kate's supposedly ready to have sex with Trey just after she's been threatened with rape. I was expecting that particular discussion to happen but I'd hoped the mere threat to her life would've sufficed to prompt it. After all, they might never see each other again after Kate's next time jump.

 

As for the big bad, I liked that it was basically a family feud combined with religion. It gave me ideas and hopes, which I do not trust the author to fulfill or win me over with her own interpretation.

 

I just wasn't sure about that until the author tweeted me.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-03-01 18:29
The Last Of The Firedrakes
The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles, #1) - Farah Oomerbhoy

**An copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

How? HOW does this have such high ratings and favorable reviews? 'Cos this was so bad, you guys. Oh, I should have DNFed. There's an hour of my life I won't be getting back.

It started out, not promising perhaps, but not totally terrible, in a generic fantasy story marginally better written than if written by an average 12 year old sort-of way. And it continued in this vein for the next 350 pages or so, with the addition of about a bajillion hackneyed cliches, an honest to goodness Pixie Hollow (with accompanying names eg. Penelope Plumpleberry), and a terribad romance. Let's look at the story, noting some of the cliches, shall we??

(Okay, not all of this will be totally 100% chronological. I'm only human. And I was speed reading.)

Aurora, an orphan, lives with her horrid adoptive aunt and uncle and cousin. Her uncle sells her to some baddie, who takes Aurora to a magical land, where Aurora discovers she is not only royalty but has inherited both of her parent's powers; she is both a mage AND an immortal fey, the combination of which is practically unheard of. She is also literally the most powerful fey-mage since the bestest and most awesomeest fey-mage whose names escapes me but basically he was super important and powerful. Her aunt wants her dead so she can take over the throne with absolutely no competition from the true heir. (But the "true heir" was in an entirely different fricking WORLD before the aunt brought her to Avalonia.) She falls into Insta!love (she actually refers to him as the love of her life, and her soul mate *gag*) with the Black Wolf, a dashing tall dark and handsome dude who runs around the kingdom doing who knows what but he's got this big huge reputation and he is actually the crown prince in disguise (I didn't see that coming AT ALL) and a total smarmy ass-hat. Aurora can talk with Pegasi, and she has one named Snow, and every scene with those two was dripping in awful saccharine pretty princess Pegasus power hour writing. Aurora is sent to a magical boarding school to learn how to control her powers, and where she encounters an Avalonian version of Draco Malfoy named Damien Blackwater, if memory serves, who blathers on about his pure "bloodline", is a general twat, and whose family is secretly in cohoots with Morgana. (At which point, I was jabbing at the Ipad screen at the rate of probably 20 pages a minute, just scanning the pages, because I was pretty confident there was nothing worth reading past that.) Aurora moons over Rafe, and they make out a bit but it never seems like it comes from any place of actual affection and it's written TERRIBLY. (This, and what was going on plot wise, had started to induce groaning and facepalming.) And then I think we are learning more about this special book of Abraxis that Morgana wants so she can control Dragoth (who is a demon?? I forget) but there are four keys you need to open the book, and she only has one. And then Aurora is an idiot (see below) and opens a portal (to hell?????) and lets Lilith (...like....that Lilith???) into Avalonia, and I don't know, Lilith is gonna use Morgana as a host body, because her wraith form will dissipate or she's weak in wraith form, or something like that. And that's mostly the end.

Aurora is also incredibly stupid. She's on the run from people who want to kill her, but instead of trying to get to someone who can help her, she begs to stay in Pixie Hollow (or whatever it was called) to sightsee the fairy market. Which gets raided by the Shadow Guard and she gets captured. Aurora also decides NOT to tell on one of the girls at the boarding school who let the Shadow Guard in, and is basically a big fat traitor, because.....that would be...tattling??? Oh gosh, there were so many instances of her stupidity, but here's another goodie. Aurora is told that bringing Snow back to life would be "dark magic" aka VERY VERY HELLA BAD DON'T DO IT and she fricking does it, because she neeeeeds Snow back. Well, guess what, Aurora? I hope you're happy that you using dark magic opened a hell portal.

(spoiler show)



Anyways, up till the last 60 pages or so, it was pretty darn bad, but it would have probably gotten two stars, because it was basically just a poorly written generic fantasy amalgamation of tropes and tween dreams when you'd daydream in your backyard about secretly being magical royalty. It wasn't something I would ever recommend, but as a wee girl with very few standards I might have even enjoyed it. Until Aurora and Rafe's gag-o-matic tripe of a "romance" was two-sided, and the plot went completely haywire.

Also worth mentioning is that this reads VERY middle grade, from plot to characters to the writing style, but then some bits felt more like they belonged in a YA? I think maybe this is one of those weird little books that was meant and marketed as YA but comes off as extremely childish and MG.

Thank goodness it's finally over.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-02-22 13:22
"Elements of Chemistry," by Penny Reid
Elements of Chemistry: Parts 1-3 - Penny Reid

This book is an unfortunate victim of bad timing. When Penny Reid opted to name her arrogant, billionaire venture capitalist protagonist Martin Sandeke, I'm sure she had no idea who arrogant, millionaire venture capitalist jackhole Martin Shkreli was. Yet by the time time I read it, Martin Shkreli had launched himself into infamy by price gauging AIDS patients and being indicted for securities fraud. It didn't help that Elements of Chemistry's Martin is repeatedly called "Jerk Face" by the book's heroine and described as having a "jerk smirk." Therefore, every time I read Martin Sandeke's name, this is what I pictured:

 

Martin Shkreli smirk

Not so sexy, right? And even though Martin Sandeke is described multiple times as blue eyed and "truly a magnificent specimen" of manhood, insanely fit because he's a rower, I just couldn't shake the image, which really, really made it hard to root for Martin's happy ending.

Setting that aside, I really like Penny Reid's humor and her unabashedly smart, often geeky protagonists. Elements of Chemistry employed the witty, laugh-out-loud funny banter I so enjoy in Reid's work, and I got caught up in the romance in the first two parts of this book. I loved that, despite her inexperience, heroine Kaitlyn always knows what she wants and how to advocate for herself, and her no-nonsense honesty is so refreshing. I love her relationship with her best girl friend, Sam, who is a fully-drawn character in her own right and not just there to decorate the plot.

But Elements of Chemistry is also a good example of why I don't usually read New Adult. The tropes are just so tired. Who knew there were so many tormented billionaire bad boys with dysfunctional childhoods in the college dating pool? I do not understand the literary appeal of the billionaire bad boy. Spoiled, entitled children are about as sexy as, well, this guy:

Shkreli smirk

 

(* Exception: Courtney Milan's Trade Me does a pretty good job of turning the billionaire trope on its ear. )

Then there's the fact that New Adult protagonists are usually total Mary Sue's and Gary Stu's, and this book is no exception. Kaitlyn is drop dead gorgeous but she doesn't know it until her roommate introduces her to the magical concept of eyebrow shaping. Her mom's a senator and her dad's a medical dean and her grandparents were nuclear physicists, and poor Katy struggles because she likes science but she isn't a prodigy until, she sits down at Martin's piano and whoops! Turns out she's a musical prodigy who just picked the wrong major. Martin is not just a rower -- he's the youngest, fastest, bestest collegiate rower ever. He's not just heir to a multi-billion dollar communications empire; he's also an inventor and an entrepreneur in his own right, holding several patents before he even graduates from high school. While I can see a certain escapist fantasy appeal in such perfect characters, I think their perfection detracts from the story. I'd rather read about characters I can relate to, who struggle through adversity or have real, immutable flaws, as we all do.

The worst flaw of Elements of Chemistry is the way it falls apart in the third part of the book. Kaitlyn and Martin have broken up and gone separate ways, and after eight months their paths cross and they decide to try to be friends. Obviously, the reader knows this is stupid, but despite their Mary Sue/Gary Stu brilliance, the protagonists descend into more than a hundred pages of being Too Stupid to Live. It is especially frustrating because Katy and Martin's communications had always been so forthright and honest up to that point, and to find them still trying to be honest but stupidly missing each other again and again was just maddening.

Even with its many flaws, though, this was a quick and entertaining read. I don't regret the time or money I spent on it, and I will definitely read more of Penny Reid in the future!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-01-02 11:12
A hint of idiocy can't void my enjoyment
If It Ain't Love - Tamara Allen

This was a little bit of depression era fantasy--things really worked out a little too easy for the couple---for the gay romance readers. I think the depsessing start went a long way to earn the guys their HFN.

 

Other than that, not the kind open and trusting characters I'd choose to write or read about but I guess that optimism is required for a novella. Cynics need more work anx pages.

 

Just what I needed to start the year.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?