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review 2017-06-06 02:51
Mad/Chloé Esposito
Mad: A Novel (Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know Trilogy) - Chloé Esposito

In this compulsively readable debut, set between London and Sicily over one blood-drenched week in the dead of summer, an identical twin reveals the crazy lies and twists she'll go through to not only steal her sister's perfect life, but to keep on living it.

Alvie Knightly is a trainwreck: aimless, haphazard, and pretty much constantly drunk. Alvie's existence is made even more futile in contrast to that of her identical and perfect twin sister, Beth. Alvie lives on social media, eats kebabs for breakfast, and gets stopped at security when the sex toy in her carry-on starts buzzing. Beth is married to a hot, rich Italian, dotes on her beautiful baby boy, and has always been their mother's favorite. The twins' days of having anything in common besides their looks are long gone.

When Beth sends Alvie a first-class plane ticket to visit her in Italy, Alvie is reluctant to go. But when she gets fired from the job she hates and her flatmates kick her out on the streets, a luxury villa in glitzy Taormina suddenly sounds more appealing. Beth asks Alvie to swap places with her for just a few hours so she can go out unnoticed by her husband. Alvie jumps at the chance to take over her sister's life--if only temporarily. But when the night ends with Beth dead at the bottom of the pool, Alvie realizes that this is her chance to change her life.

Alvie quickly discovers that living Beth's life is harder than she thought. What was her sister hiding from her husband? And why did Beth invite her to Italy at all? As Alvie digs deeper, she uncovers Mafia connections, secret lovers, attractive hitmen, and one extremely corrupt priest, all of whom are starting to catch on to her charade. Now Alvie has to rely on all the skills that made her unemployable--a turned-to-11 sex drive, a love of guns, lying to her mother--if she wants to keep her million-dollar prize. She is uncensored, unhinged, and unforgettable.

 

My mouth hung open throughout the reading of this book, which definitely pushed its limits.

 

I laughed out loud so many times while reading this and my boyfriend probably has a bruise from the amount of times I poked him in order to get his attention because I just had to share the amount of hilarious things that were written.

 

Alvie is abrasive. She's over the top. She's ridiculous. She's absurd. You're not meant to like her. I loved her--I loved to hate her, really. I cannot fathom so much as contemplating the actions that she took or having her priorities and desires, but she sure cracked me up.

 

I felt like the latter half kind of got too much for me--I enjoyed the lighter side of things, but the mafia did get involved, there were guns, and there was blood. I laughed less and was open-mouthed more with incredulity at the absurd events that were taking place. Very few of the characters in this book were actually as they seemed or as I had predicted them to be.

 

The plot similarly became ridiculous. The book started off as a more explicit sort of Kinsella novel with a less likable protagonist and much stranger scenarios, but then turned into a kind of mystery, then to a thriller, then just to an absurdist telling of a story.

 

Put your judgemental side away and read this book right now--it's sure to have you in hysterics. I'm cautiously but eagerly anticipating the next book.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-04-17 12:57
Booklikes-opoly: Pick out a book for me to read

Okay, the way I think this works is that I have to read whichever book the first person to comment picks. I haven't read any of these before, although I've read other books in the series for a couple of them and have watched an anime adaptation of another one.

 

The options:

 

Baccano!, Vol. 1: The Rolling Bootlegs - Ryohgo Narita 

 

Baccano!, Vol. 1: The Rolling Bootlegs - Ryohgo Narita - An English translation of a Japanese novel. I've never read it before, but I've seen the anime based on it and enjoyed it. It's set in the U.S. (New York, according to the back of the book) during the Prohibition era. The anime includes people who have been made immortal by a special wine, plus loads of violence.

 

Only the Ring Finger Knows: The Left Hand Dreams of Him - Satoru Kannagi,Hotaru Odagiri 

 

Only the Ring Finger Knows: The Left Hand Dreams of Him - Satoru Kannagi,Hotaru Odagiri - Another English translation of a Japanese novel. This one is m/m romance. I read and reviewed the first book in the series late last year. I though it was overall terrible, but entertaining.

 

Star Surgeon - James White 

 

Star Surgeon - James White - Sci-fi, part of the Sector General series. It's doctors and medical mysteries in space.

 

Resenting the Hero - Moira J. Moore 

 

Resenting the Hero - Moira J. Moore - I think this one might be the longest one of the bunch. It's fantasy with a magical system that involves bonded pairs. There's humor and I think a little romance. Danielle's Reading Adventures liked it.

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review 2017-03-21 08:00
Kasper Mützenmacher's Cursed Hat
Kasper Mützenmacher's Cursed Hat (Life Indigo Book 1) - Keith R. Fentonmiller

I’m not sure how to classify Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat, it is at the same time so many different things. Based on the title, one would guess a fantasy novel about the ‘cursed hat’ which is also a teleportation device. Based on the cover, a second world war novel about Nazi Germany. But in the end, it was more than even a combination of those two.

 

Spanning most of the lifetime of Kasper Mützenmacher, the story for me fell apart to several distinct pieces. First there is Kasper and Isana, then Kasper as a single father (with Rosamund), then America. They all felt like really different pieces for most of the time. I liked the story best when they were still in Germany, the American part felt rushed, with certain things that just happened so quick that it didn’t feel synchronised with the rest of the story (although some of it is explained through the -plot convenient-  curse).

 

While I enjoyed the book, and am certainly curious towards the rest of series (not in the least because I’m wondering what it will be about as this seemed a rather closed story), there were some things I didn’t like. One was the ending, it was rather absurd and I didn’t think it gave a good closure to the Klaus plot. Another was the curse placed upon the Lux women, because I didn’t get why they would have to be cursed as well. Seemed Apollo sure liked to curse families until eternity…

 

This book is probably quite different from the rest you’ve read this year. Would recommend to those who like to read something else for a change.

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-12-17 08:00
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale Of Mirror And Goliath
The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath: From the Peculiar Adventures of John Lovehart, Esq., Volume 1 - Ishbelle Bee

Read near the end of 2016, but it is certainly a contender for the weirdest book of the year for me. It is difficult to place it somewhere, but if I had to, it would be some kind of adult fairy tale. I really liked the cover.

It starts out rather like a horror tale. Mirror grandfather, being mad, tried to kill her to conserve her soul in a clock. It turns out that a lot of children are disappearing by the hands of a certain cult. But since the story is told from different POVs and not chronologically, it will be of extreme importance to keep your mind with this read.

It certainly was strange. It was very interesting, and I cannot say I've read something similar before, but at times is was borderline absurd and because the story switched so often between many characters (all of which had their own weird stories) some parts of it felt a bit rushed.

I'm glad I already have the second book in the series, with an equally nice cover!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2016-12-13 20:00
Amish Vampires In Space
Amish Vampires in Space - Kerry Nietz

When I first heard about Amish Vampires in Space I was sure it was supposed to be some kind of a spoof. Quickly, I found out that in fact it was a serious science fiction novel concerning Amish, vampires and space.

Immediately my expectations were much higher, to have this kind of story and not mean it as a spoof, it was supposed to be really good. A novel that was just okay wouldn't do. So maybe I'm just judging this novel too harsh.

Although I still don't really understand why the Amish joined the space ship and the vampires seem at first quite random, it was an okay book. It was indeed what it promised: Amish Vampires in Space. What it didn't do was add something extra to it. It was alright when I was reading it but I didn't feel anything for either the story or the characters.

Additionally there were some weird things. For example, at some point an Amish woman wonders why her husband hasn't called her, while she has never used a phone herself. This seems a weird thought under those conditions. There were some more of these things and also the end, I somehow saw it coming...

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