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review 2018-01-02 03:42
Vacationland by John Hodgeman
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches - John Hodgman

John Hodgeman throws away centuries of WASP tradition and tells everyone what he's <i>feeling</i>. The silver lining is that people can finally talk about how horrible Maine is. The water is freezing, the beaches are sharp, the lakes are bottomed with Lovecraftian horrors, and the people hate you.

Despite all of that, Hodgman carries over some of the charm of the region into his humorous essays. Where he falls apart is the whole white privilege thing. It doesn't matter how often you deprecatingly point it out, there's still something distasteful about reading about the problems of having enough money to hold onto additional houses for sentimental reasons.

There are also some problematic stories about recreational pot, which is like listening to someone talk about how much beer they drank in college, and other stories that need something more than what Hodgeman put into them to make them rise above their subject matter. That is a super-vague criticism, but its all I've got at the moment.

The positives are that even in those downer-essays there are nuggets of humor and insight that made me roar with laughter. Hodgeman is a funny guy, and this is a successful funny book.

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review 2017-12-23 00:18
Kisses, Cute Boys and Cliché - A 'Meh' Christmas Short Stories Book
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Its Christmas soon and what better way to be in the festive mood than to read a book about the season of giving? So far, I had two and I pick them up one year after the other but I never read them and they were on my shelve for until last Friday I read one of them and I pick this one. So I started to read this last week Friday and managed to finished it early morning today. Here's the thing - I love short stories. They are precise, simple and short. Can be fun, dramatic, romantic and whatever that was meant to be in a genre. So when I read My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, I was looking forward to 'TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES'. As it turns out - it should be change to 'Twelve ROMANTICHoliday stories' instead. And as I know, its under young adult and although I do want to read Christmas stories, I should have bought 'A Christmas Carol' instead. My fault because I should have known what I am getting myself into.

 

The question is - is this book worth reading? As you can see the rating above from this review... mehhh.

 

There are a total of twelve short stories here from today's known young adult authors and so far, all twelve of these stories has the same kind of formulate story you must have read or even watch on television. I mean, there are some nice funny ones and I do enjoy Holly BlackKiersten White and Ally Carter ones but the rest, I just didn't feel it. The worst one was Laini Taylor because to tell you the truth - at the beginning of the story I had no idea what was going on. Its cheesy, its cliché and it gives no reason why the girls want to kiss the boys first. Although The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer and Polaris is Where You'll Find Me stays out of its modern themes, every single one of these stories must have 'a kiss with a guy' in any way it has to be written. Seriously, I felt it is forced upon. Why? Because... the guy is cute. That's the reason. Whether the guy is a figment of imagination, a God, an elf... the male counterpart is cute. For me, that's what I remember most.

 

Did I hate it? Not really. Did I love it? Not really. Its just not really the kind of holiday stories I was expecting to be cliché about. Would I recommend this? To teen readers (girls) who love cute guys. Other than that, no.

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text 2017-12-21 23:52
End of Year Book Goals!
A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas
Lord of Shadows - Cassandra Clare
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan
Emotions - Arnie Cantarero,Arnie Cantarero,Kiyomi Sakamoto

2018 is just around the corner and I have some bookish goals I want to tick off the list before 2017 is finished! 

 

1. Restart my Blog! Done! I've been wanting to do this one for a while but my hectic schedule hadn't allowed me to. I'm glad going into 2018 that I will have an active blog once again! 

 

2. Finish Emotions #2 Done! Earlier this year Arnie Canterero sent me a paperback copy of his sci-fi novel, Emotions to read and review. I LOVED it! And graciously, he also sent me the second book - which hasn't been released yet. I LOVED it as well! I finish the sequel last night! 

 

3. Finish ACOWAR To be completed...I started this book months ago when I finished ACOMAF. Nothing is wrong with the book, it was amazing, I was just so busy that I could never find the time to read a 699 page book. But I've got nothing but time now so I'm so excited to finally finish this book (and series?). 

 

4. Finish Lord of Shadows To be completed...The last time I read a page from this novel was five months ago. What's wrong with me? I don't know. Since I've been caught up I've ready every Cassandra Clare book within the first week is has been released (er...let's not talk about the Bane Chronicles). But, when LOD came out I was busy I believe finals were around the corner for me. And then...I'm not sure what happened. I just never read it. I love Shadowhunters, I love Jules and Emma, I love Carstairs, I just couldn't finish reading. Somehow, I haven't been spoiled completely. So, before the end of 2017 I am forcing myself to finish this book. 

 

5. Reread My True Love Gave to Me To be completed...I read this book when it came out two(?) years ago and loved it. In fact, if you scroll back through my posts I did a review of it. It's the perfect holiday novel so I would love to reread it, or at least reread the stories I enjoyed the most. 

 

 

Aaaaaand that's it! What goals do you have for the end of the year? Let me know below in the comments and good luck! 

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review 2017-12-07 16:59
First essay is the best.
We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America - Brando Skyhorse,Lisa Frazier Page

Book didn't appear on my radar until I spotted Ron Charles' review and was intrigued by the premise. You may recall the saga of Rachel Dolezal and about how she self-identified plus others who have claimed they "feel" they identify with or belong to another group. In Dolezal's case she specifically identified as black but this essay collection isn't just limited to race.

 

We begin with Brando Skyhorse, who grew up believing he was Native American, had met his "father", etc. It turns out this was an entire fiction created by his mother and he discusses how that affected him as a child, as an adult, in professional and personal settings, etc. He has written a memoir about it but I have not read it so I could not say if here's any repeated material. The essay, though, was the best. It was sometimes very compelling and fascinating but it also felt a little too long.

 

Which is what the book felt like too. I read the next few and then skimmed over the rest. I hate essay collections and that's no different here. This definitely gave me food for thought and it was an interesting collection topic-wise. But ultimately I prefer long form journalism or memoirs vs. essay collections.

 

I wanted to like it more but it's too uneven. This could very well be a case of a book format that is just not for me. It's available now so check it out at the library or bookstore.

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review 2017-12-04 13:00
My True Love Gave To Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Here is an old review of mine, perfect for the holiday season!

 

An overall rating is hard to come by, because I feel like it is not fair to everyone. I rated stories for many different reasons. The lower ratings do not come down to bad writing by any means, but to my tastes, and what type of stories I like. I applaud all these writers and thank them for creating this collection of stories. I will give this a score of 4/5, for all the stories I really enjoyed and all the writer's hard work.

1.  Midnights by Rainbow Rowell *****

This is the first thing I have read of Rainbow's and it gave me a really good heartwarming feeling. I wish there was more story for the characters in this short story. 5/5 stars. I read this story on 12/12/15.

2.  The Lady And The Fox by Kelly Link **

2 stars does not mean I disliked it, but that it was okay. It was a bit too odd for my tastes. 2/5 stars. I read this story on 12/13/15

3.  Angels In The Snow by Matt De La Pena ****

I thought this was cute and I loved the parts the cat was in. I did think the romance part felt rushed. 4/5 stars. I read this on 12/14/15

4. Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han ***


I like the writing style, but the story fell short for me. I felt like there should have been more to it. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/16/15

5. It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins *****

It is no surprise that I really liked this story. I love her writing style. This had me in all smiles and gave me the warm fuzzies. 5/5 stars. I read this on 12/16/15

6. You're Temporary Santa by David Levithan ****

I liked the story. There was a sadness to it though. 4/5 stars. Read on 12/18/15

7. Krampuslauf by Holly Black ***

I enjoyed it, though not as much as some of the others. 3/5 stars. Read on 12/18/15

8. What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth by Gayle Foreman ***

I liked it, but not the romance. Too rushed. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/19/15.

9. Beer Buckets And Baby Jesus by Myra Mcentire ***

One year later, I am resuming this book during December/Christmas time. I really enjoyed this story, but I think I am not a super short story sort of person because I really wanted more details and for it to be longer. However, it was cute. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/02/16

10. Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White *****

I loved this story. It was cute and sweet, had drama and a happy, romantic ending. 5/5 stars. I read this on 12/02/16

11. Star Of Bethlehem by Ally Carter ***

Interesting concept for a story, though its been done before. I feel with more details, it would be better. 3/5 stars. I read this on 12/03/16

12. The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor ****

I really enjoyed this one and thought Taylor's writing style was wonderful. 4/5 stars. I read this on 12/03/16

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