Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Title: A Dog's Purpose
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Genre: Fiction
Published: July 6, 2010
Pages: 319
Goodreads

Synopsis

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? 

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose? 

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

Review

My children have been begging for months upon months for us to get a dog. I have been very resistant to this idea because EVERYONE knows that when kids get a dog, it always ends up being mom who gets to walk it and clean up after it and all that other not-so-fun stuff, and I am a cat person. So my son thought he would sucker me into agreeing to getting a dog by giving me a copy of this book to read (because he knows how much I like to read). 

Now I'd have to be real hard-hearted to not read a book given to me by my eight year old, and I'm not that hard-hearted, so I cracked the cover of this book to see if it would enlighten me as to what a dog's real purpose is other than being an expensive shit factory. Spoiler alert, it didn't. 

I mean, I suppose the story was cute enough, especially while the dog was Bailey, and I can understand why my kids would want a dog from that portion of the book, but boy did it leave out a bunch of the work that goes along with raising a good dog. And if the dog's purpose is to ultimately come back when my son is a lonely bitter old man, we're just going to have to hope that my son never ends up becoming a lonely bitter old man because this book did not convince me that cleaning up a dog's shit is worth that. Sorry son. Mission failed. 

I give this book 2 slobbery dog bones. 

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About the Author

W. Bruce Cameron is the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, The Dog Master, and the A Dog's Purpose series. In 2011 he was named Columnist of the Year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He lives in California.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of A Dog's Purpose, just click any of the following links. 

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

Title: The Dirty Book Club
Author: Lisi Harrison
Genre: Chick Lit
Published: October 10, 2017
Pages: 320
Goodreads

Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Clique series comes a novel about the importance of friendship, and, of course, the pleasure of a dirty book.

M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect—she has her dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in New York City. But behind her success, there is a debilitating sense of loneliness. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she trades her cashmere for caftans and gives it a try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria, and an ocean that won’t shut up.

One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris with her friends to honor a fifty-year-old pact. And in lieu of a goodbye, she’s left a mysterious invitation to a secret club—one that only reads erotic books. Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives… and as they open up, they learn that friendship might just be the key to rewriting their own stories: all they needed was to find each other first.

Review

I heard a rumor that a member of my book club was masquerading as THE Lisi Harrison to write a tell all memoir about the club, and frankly, that's not cool. First of all, she's not the real Lisi Harrison. And on top of that, she could have at least been upfront with us about what she was doing so that we could decide if we wanted to be included in her little story. I don't even care that she's marketing it as fiction, because after reading it, it is super obvious that this book is about our book club. And honestly, I'm livid right now. 

See, she basically paints me as this huge slut, and that's totally not accurate. Just because I sleep with a different guy almost every weekend and have taken to calling all of them bae to ensure that I don't call them by the wrong name, is no reason for her to look down on me. Not all of us have cobwebs sprouting between our legs like she does, just saying. And what she said about Steph's husband, totally uncalled for. Seriously, she's lucky she already moved and left the book club or else she would be dealing with us, and you do not want to see a pissed off Amanda after a couple glasses of wine. 

My advice to you, don't buy this book unless you want to read a whole bunch of lies and half-truths written by a bitter, salty old hag. She's just jealous that she can't hang with the rest of us. 

I give this book one floppy dildo. 

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About the Author

Lisi Harrison worked at MTV Networks in New York City for twelve years. She left her position as senior director of development in 2003 to write The Clique series. That series has sold more than eight million copies and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two hundred weeks, with ten titles hitting #1 and foreign rights sold in thirty-three countries. The Alphas was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and Monster High was an instant bestseller. Her latest YA series is Pretenders. Lisi lives in Laguna Beach, California, and has been a proud member of her own dirty book club since 2007.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of The Dirty Book Club, just click any of the following links. 

Origin by Dan Brown

Title: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Thriller
Published: October 3, 2017
Pages: 461
Goodreads

Synopsis

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

Review

I found a copy of this book abandoned in a locker at a train station when I was on my way to Barcelona. There was a post-it note on it, but it was written in Spanish, so I haven't a clue what it said, but I assume it was "Free for whoever wants this book." It was a rather handy find as I had forgotten to bring a book with me, and had a rather long train ride to look forward to. 

So long story short, I spent my train ride reading this book. It had me so enthralled that I almost missed both of my connecting stops (I didn't, but I almost did). Anyway, by the time I got to Barcelona I'd finished reading the book and it was a rollercoaster. But then, I got off the train and there was a dude there holding a sign with MY name on it. Now, I wasn't expecting to be meeting anyone there, and dude looked kind of sketchy so I pretended to be a Russian prostitute to evade his attention. It totally would have worked too if stupid Becky Johnson from high school hadn't been at the train station and called out my name when she spotted me. Since the jig was up, I was left with no choice but to run as if there were bulls chasing me. 

So I ran up and down tiny side streets and alleys that were barely wide enough for me to fit through, but sketchy dude stayed on my tail the whole time. Finally, I just couldn't run any longer because frankly, I'm a wee bit out of shape. I think he was glad when I stopped too though, because he was absolutely panting up a storm. Anyway, after he caught his breath, he told me he simply wanted his book back. He never did tell me how he knew my name though. 

I give Origin three Picassos. 

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About the Author

Dan Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and, previously, Digital Fortress, Deception Point, and Angels and Demons. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Origin, just click on any of the following links. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Make Your Own Sex Toys by Matt Pagett

Title: Make Your Own Sex Toys
Author: Matt Pagett
Genre: Self-help/crafts
Published: February 1, 2007
Pages: 128
Goodreads

Synopsis

Giving new meaning to the expression "take pleasure into your own hands," Make Your Own Sex Toys is a witty yet practical guide featuring how-to directions for 50 inventive DIY accoutrements. Readers can whip up the Knitted Willy Warmer for cold winter nights, get turned on with the Electro Stimu vibrator, or assemble the Mutual Member double-dildo to cheer up a lonely friend. Practical information plus easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams ensure professional results even for the crafting novice. With quick-reference sidebars, crafty improvisation ideas, and handy shortcuts, Make Your Own Sex Toys is sure to get the creative juices flowing.

Review

I was gifted a copy of this book at my bachelorette party. And can we just talk for a minute about what a bunch of cheap asses my friends are. Instead of buying me sexy lingerie or actual sex toys for my bachelorette party (like most people do), they bought me this freakin' book instead, expecting me to do it myself. I thought marriage was supposed to be the end of doing it myself, but apparently I was mistaken. 

Now I'm not the type of person to let a book go to waste, so I read this anyway, hoping that it would give me some good ideas for cheap sex toys to spice up my new husband's and my love life (you know, after the honeymoon phase was over of course). After spending fifty thousand dollars on the wedding of his dreams, we just weren't going to have a lot of wiggle room in our budget, so anywhere I can save a buck or two is a good thing. 

And I wish I could say that this book has some great ideas, but I can't say it honestly. I mean sure, The Willy Warmer is kind of neat, I guess. But I'm not sure how well they stand up to the test of time because my husband keeps asking me to make more of them and I can never find them around the house when I go looking for them. And I tried the pleasure beads myself and ended up in the ER having splinters removed from my va-jay-jay. Pro-tip, do not insert wooden objects in your body. 

I'm honestly really disappointed that this book doesn't have better ideas in it, because my love life took a serious nosedive pretty much the minute we got home from the honeymoon. We haven't had sex in almost two months, and our wedding was only three months ago. I've spent more time doing it myself since getting married than I did before I met my husband. When we were dating, I thought his desire to abstain was a religious thing, and I totally respect that, but now I'm beginning to think that maybe there's something wrong with me. I really just wish he'd look at me the same way he looks at his best friend, Matt. 

But for now, I'm off to enjoy a cucumber (tip #34). 

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About the Author

Matt Pagett is an author, artist, and illustrator living in Brighton, U.K., whose work has appeared in numerous books, magazines, on record covers, and gallery walls.

Alternate Reviews

You're just going to have to check the reviews on Amazon for this book. No self-respecting book blogger would review a book like this. 

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Genre: Thriller
Published: July 11, 2017
Pages: 342
Goodreads

Synopsis

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. 

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Review

I found a copy of this book at a cabin in the woods that I was staying at with a few of my best girlfriends for a weekend. It was Valari's idea for us to get the cabin in the woods, and for some reason everyone else went along with it even though a cabana on a beach would have been a much better choice if you ask me. 

Anyway, since we were in the middle of the freakin' woods and there was nothing to do but drink and talk, and the other ladies are major lightweights and had all already passed out for the night, I decided to occupy my time reading this book. Big mistake. Huge. You see, I'm pretty sure that reading this book set off the horrifying chain of events that I endured that weekend. 

Sure, we were safe that first night because the sun was starting to rise as I was finishing the book, but Saturday night was a bloodbath free-for-all. It started when Judith went outside to get some more firewood. She was gone for so long that Bekah and I went to look for her, thinking maybe she'd tripped over something and hurt herself, she's rather clumsy you see. We found her in the woodshed with an ax through her skull. 

I tried to convince the rest of the girls that we needed to leave, right then, but we'd all been drinking and no one wanted to risk getting in an accident by driving drunk, which I couldn't really argue with, but I insisted that we all stay together for the rest of the night because everyone knows that you don't go anywhere alone in a horror movie. 

Things were going great until Sofia needed to pee. I insisted that I go with her to the bathroom, but she swore she'd be fine and didn't need a babysitter. After she'd been gone for twenty minutes, we broke down the door to find her suffocated by the shower curtain. We never even heard her scream. 

After that, Bekah and Valari took my warnings a little more seriously, but not seriously enough. When Bekah's phone battery was about to die, she went to her room "just for a second" to grab the charger. It's not like we even had service in the cabin, but apparently she needed a charged phone for something, reading an ebook maybe. The killer had other plans for the charging cable though. Apple gets a lot of crap for how flimsy their charging cables are, but the killer had no problem strangling Bekah with hers. 

With just Valari and me left, we weren't taking any chances. We sat our butts down on the couch in the living room with no intention of moving. But then the lights went out. Obviously we needed to go check the breaker box, and neither of us was going alone. But that's where we saw him. It was dark, just a small sliver of moonlight coming in through the window, glinting off the butcher knife in his hand. I knew what I had to do. 

I used all my force to kick Valari's knee from the side, shattering it and sending her to the ground. Then I ran, and ran, and ran until I reached the road and managed to flag down a passing car. I can only guess what happened to Valari. I just hope the killer made it quick for her. 

I give The Final Girls one bloody knife for being the precursor to the worst weekend of my life. 

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About the Author

Riley Sager is a pseudonym for an author who has been previously published under another name. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley is a writer, editor and graphic designer who now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Riley's first novel, FINAL GIRLS (called "The first great thriller of 2017" by Stephen King), will be published in 2017 in the United States, the United Kingdom and more than twenty countries around the world.

Visit Riley at www.rileysagerbooks.comwww.facebook.com/rileysagerbooks and on Twitter @Riley_Sager.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Final Girls, just click any of the following links. 

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Logan's Story by Sarah Robinson

Title: Logan's Story
Author: Sarah Robinson
Genre: NA Romance
Published: December 4, 2015
Pages: 198
Goodreads

Synopsis

The first book in a brand new series from bestselling author Sarah Robinson, Logan's Story is a glimpse into the famous rockstars past and how he achieved his fame. Before the lights, stage, and music, Logan Clay struggles to figure out who he can trust and whether or not love comes with guitar strings attached. 

Logan Clay has the talent, and he's put in the time. 
All he needs is that one big break,
just one chance to prove he has what it takes to be a rockstar. 
But his musical dreams are further away than ever...

And then she walks in to his life,
offering him everything he's ever wanted - fame, fortune, and music. 
There's no question that he's going to take the chance,
or that he wants to take her at the same time.

But everything is not what it seems.
Will it be too late when he realizes his one big break 
was actually a deal with the devil in a short skirt and neon colored hair?

Review

This book was assigned as required reading for my band class last year. It seemed like a really weird requirement because I'd never had assigned reading for band before (you'd think the focus would be on playing music) but I didn't really have much choice in the matter. I'm honestly still not really sure why we were supposed to read this book for band class, there was never a test or anything. We didn't even discuss it in class. I'm beginning to think that our teacher was high when she was writing the book list. 

But since I did read the book, I figured I might as well write a review for it and at least get something out of the deal. So I spent a huge amount of time while reading trying to figure out why my band teacher wanted us to read the book, so I may not have been paying as much attention to the actual story as I should have, and that's on me, but I have no idea what this story was about. From what I could gather there was a dude who wanted to be in a band and thought this chick was the path to that (dumb) and then she basically double crossed him in the end because bitches be crazy. But it's not like any of that stuff would affect me because I'm already IN a band and I'm the crazy bitch so...

Ultimately I guess our band director wanted us to learn to only rely on ourselves for our success and not even bother trying to rely on others, which seems like a kind of strange message because you can't really have a band made of one person, so we're going to have to rely on other's all the time. I'm just still so confused. 

Overall I give this book 2 out of tune guitars. 

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About the Author

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

Subscribe to her newsletter at www.subscribepage.com/sarahrobinsonnewsletter

Visit the author's website for more information about Sarah and her books: http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Logan's Story, just click any of the following links.

Paper Hearts by Ali Novak

Title: Paper Hearts
Author: Ali Novak
Genre: YA Romance
Published: July 4, 2017
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Synopsis

“When I met Alec Williams, I nearly fainted. Totally embarrassing, but how often does a regular girl get to meet a famous heartthrob?”

Felicity has been living in the shadow of her best friend Lucy since they were kids. But things change when she is introduced to a quiet guy named Alec. At first Felicity is intimidated by his fame, but as the two grow closer she starts to realize that Alec just might be the guy of her dreams. No other guy has ever made her feel so alive. 

The only problem? Lucy has different plans for Alec—plans that start with prom. 

Felicity quickly realizes that she will have to make a decision. Will she choose her best friend who has always been there for her, or the mysterious boy that she can't stop thinking about? Whatever her choice, someone is going to be left broken hearted.

Meet... The Queen of Hearts.

Review

This past year on Valentine's Day a copy of this book mysteriously showed up in my locker and frankly, that kind of pissed me off because no one but me is supposed to even know my combination. I certainly didn't give it to anybody, and yet someone else has it. You can be sure my father will hear about this. 

So since the book randomly showed up in my locker, I thought maybe there was a message inside that I was supposed to get, so I decided to read it. The thing is, I didn't really get around to reading it until just now, and I was apparently supposed to read it back then. I'm absolutely kicking myself right now because I could have gone to prom with Ryan Masterson, who happens to be like the hottest guy at my school. I don't understand why he, of all people, would use a book to ask me to prom. I mean, I didn't think he even knew how to read. 

So while I was reading this book, I was keeping my eyes peeled for the secret message. The fucking thing didn't even come until like three quarters of the way through the book, and again, I'm only just now reading the book to begin with. I'm pretty sure this is all the author's fault somehow. 

But anyway, the moral of the story is that if you find a copy of this book in your locker when you didn't put it there, read it right away because someone hot is probably trying to ask you out to prom. 

I give this book one missed prom date. 

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About the Author

Ali Novak is a twenty-five-year-old Wisconsin native and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s creative writing program. She started writing her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was only fifteen, and since then, her work has received more than 130 million hits online. When she isn’t writing, Ali enjoys traveling and Netflix marathons with her husband Jared. You can follow Ali on Wattpad, Twitter, and Instagram @Fallzswimmer.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Paper Hearts, just click any of the following links. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Under the Spanish Stars by All Sinclair

Title: Under the Spanish Stars
Author: Alli Sinclair
Genre: Romance
Published: February 1, 2016
Pages: 352
Goodreads

Synopsis

Charlotte Kavanagh’s beloved grandma Katarina Sanchez is gravely ill, so when she begs Charlotte to travel to her homeland in AndalucĂ­a to uncover the truth behind a mysterious painting, Charlotte agrees.  Taking leave from her soul-destroying job and stalled life in Australia, Charlotte embarks on a quest through Granada’s ancient cobble-stoned streets and vibrant neighbourhoods. There she meets Mateo Vives, a flamenco guitarist with a dark past, and through him she quickly becomes entangled in the world of flamenco and gypsies that ignites a passion she had thought lost. 

But the mystery surrounding the painting deepens, reaching back in time to the war-torn Spain of the 1940s and Charlotte discovers her grandmother’s connection to the Spanish underground. Who is her grandmother, really? What is Mateo’s connection to her family history? And why is finding answers to a family mystery turning into a journey of self-discovery for Charlotte?

Weighed down by secrets, betrayals and shattered relationships, Charlotte finds herself questioning the true meaning of heritage, family and love.

Review

I found an abandoned copy of this book on train I was taking to Spain, so I thought that it must be an informative guidebook. With that in mind, I stopped what I was reading to dive into this book. It is NOT a guidebook for nights out in Spain, so I felt like the entire thing was just a freakin' lie! 

In spite of the fact that the book wasn't what I thought it was going to be, it did end up sucking me in and making me hungry to try some real, authentic Spanish food (thank goodness I was already on my way to Spain!) It even made me want to visit some of the places talked about in the book, unfortunately I wasn't headed for Granada, so I didn't manage to visit any of them on my trip. 

The part of the story that really got to me was the mystery about Charlotte's grandma, and her role in the resistance during WWII. I absolutely love WWII era historical fiction, so that aspect of this story almost completely redeemed it for me after my initial disappointment with the contents. It definitely contributed to getting me sucked into the story and keeping me flipping the pages until I almost missed my stop on the train, which would have been awful. 

I could have done without the romance aspect of the story, because it was just a bit too fanciful for my tastes, and I wish there had been more talk about different places to see and eat in Spain, especially outside of Granada (Majorca would have been super helpful for me) since that's what I thought I was getting when I picked the book up. But for what it was, I guess it was already. 

I give Under the Spanish Stars three tasty tapas. 

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About the Author

Alli Sinclair is a multi award-winning author who spent her early adult years travelling the globe, intent on becoming an Indiana Jones in heels. She scaled mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafted the Ganges, and rode a camel in the Sahara. Argentina and Peru became her home for a few years and when she wasn’t working as a mountain or tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls dancing the tango, salsa, merengue, and samba.

All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories capture the romance and thrill of exploring new destinations and cultures that also take readers on a journey of discovery. 

Alli volunteers as an author role model with Books in Homes, promoting literacy and reading amongst young people.

To find out more about Alli, please visit www.allisinclair.com

Alternate Reviews

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Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Title: Jude the Obscure
Author: Thomas Hardy
Genre: Classics
Published: 1895
Pages: 310
Goodreads

Synopsis

In 1895 Hardy's final novel, the great tale of Jude The Obscure, sent shockwaves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the institutions of marriage, education, and religion. But he had, in fact, created a deeply moral work. The stonemason Jude Fawley is a dreamer; his is a tragedy of unfulfilled aims. With his tantalizing cousin Sue Bridehead, the last and most extraordinary of Hardy's heroines, Jude takes on the world and discovers, tragically, its brutal indifference. The most powerful expression of Hardy's philosophy, and a profound exploration of man's essential loneliness, Jude The Obscure is a great and beautiful book. 'His style touches sublimity.'—T.S. Eliot.

Review

I bought a copy of this book because I heard from some very smart people that it's the biography of Joood - Hooligan from Platypire reviews. Clearly she changed the spelling of her name some, but that makes sense for anonymity purposes and all that. And I know what you're thinking, this book was written in the late 1800s, it couldn't possibly be about someone as young as Joood - Hooligan, but obviously you're not aware that she's a Time Lord and can't be bothered with all that wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. Proof that she's a Time Lord? When this book was written about her, she was a he. It's pretty obvious if you ask me. 

Now I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out why a Time Lord would allow someone to write a biography about them, even someone as exalted as Thomas Hardy, but it soon became clear that the autobiography is full of holes, because Jude was not really well known back then (which makes it even stranger that someone would want to write a biography about her/him in the first place, but I guess maybe s/he told Thomas some rather interesting stories that just didn't make it into the book). If you ask me, Jude comes across as a rather boring and very uninteresting character, which aside from the Time Lord thing completely matches up with my feelings about her/him in this time. I mean, s/he's on a quest for platypire world domination (which s/he obviously started in the late 1800s), but basically no one of importance even knows s/he exists. S/he probably should have chosen any other moniker than obscure back when s/he was palling around with Hardy. I mean, that's a real rookie mistake right there. 

In the end, I feel that this has given me some new insight into Jude, which will come in handy for my future plots against her/him, but this book was a real bore to read. I cannot recommend it, unless you wish to join me in defeating her/him, in which case, study this book, and then get back to me. 

I give Jude the Obscure two Daleks. 

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About the Author

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in his novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens is another important influence on Thomas Hardy. Like Dickens, he was also highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society.

Alternate Reviews

Sunday, August 13, 2017

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko

Title: As Wings Unfurl
Author: Arthur M. Doweyko
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: July 19, 2016
Pages: 280
Goodreads

Synopsis

Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Purple Heart, and an addiction to morphine. He stumbles through each day, looking forward to nothing and hoping it will arrive soon. When he attempts to thwart a crime, he is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover that people are once again calling him a hero, though he feels undeserving of the praise.

Apple returns to work and meets Angela, a mysterious woman who claims to be his guardian. Immediately, he feels a connection to her, which morphs into an attraction. But he soon discovers that Angela is much more than she seems.

Apple and Angela are swept up in a conspiracy that stretches through time and space. Together, they must fight to save everything they hold dear from an alien race bent on destroying humanity.

Review

I found a copy of this book on my parents bookshelves, probably because my dad is a huge science fiction nerd, and because the cover is mostly blue, I decided to steal it. I'm sure my parents won't miss it. They haven't noticed any of the other books I've swiped from their shelves in the past few months. 

I had a hell of a time getting into this story, which really sucks because I usually really like science fiction. This just didn't really feel like science fiction to me, except for the stupid aliens. But even that part of the story is set in the past, so it clearly didn't happen, and it's not ever going to happen because that time has already passed in the real world, which takes away about ninety-five percent of the fun stuff in science fiction. I mean, the possibility that we're going to have super cool spaceships and laser guns and live on other strange worlds is the reason to read science fiction, if you ask me, and this book really doesn't have any of that to it. I mean, shit, the only aliens it even talks about are trying to kill us. I guess I should at least be thankful that this dude named Apple saved the world from the aliens that the Men in Black won't let the world even know exist, but I just have a hard time accepting that it wasn't just a nuclear power plant meltdown that I saw. I mean, that's what the dude in the suit said it was. 

I will say that this was at least a fast read even though I had a hard time believing any of it. So for that I give it two cool spaceships. 

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About the Author

As a scientist, Arthur has authored 100+ publications, and shares the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for the discovery of Sprycel, a new anti-cancer drug. He writes hard science fiction, fantasy and horror. His debut novel, Algorithm, which is a story about DNA and the purpose of humanity, garnered a 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA) and was published by E-Lit Books October 2014. He has published a number of short stories, many of which were finalists in RPLA competitions. A number of his short stories have garnered awards, which include Honorable Mentions in the international L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest and First Place in P&E Readers Polls. His recently completed Angela's Apple, a novel about angels who are not angels, won 1st place as Best SciFi Novel at the 2014 RPLA and will be published by Red Adept Publishing. His current project, Henry The Last, is about the last human being, a Lakota Indian cyborg. He lives in Florida with his wife Lidia, happily wandering the beaches and jousting with aliens.

You can find more about him, read his edgy science blogs, or enjoy his art work at www.ArthurMDoweyko.com

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of As Wings Unfurl, just click any of the following links. 

Reaped by Gracen Miller and Tina Carreiro

Title: Reaped
Author: Gracen Miller and Tina Carreiro
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: January 26, 2017
Pages: 266
Goodreads

Synopsis

WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Reaped is told through the eyes of the dark side. We understand the mythical and religious spin within this book may be hard for some to read. So if you fit that mold, please don’t be tempted to open the book. If suspending belief is something you have a hard time with when religious aspects are involved, please refrain from reading. This work of fiction is not to be taken seriously. This book was written from our creative view and intended for entertainment purposes only. The book was not written to be incendiary or inflammatory. So before you pass judgment, remember, that’s reserved for God. 

God ordered her to reap him… 

Forged by her father’s hand to reap at His command, Solas was God’s most skilled Reaper. Killing on command, she had never questioned His directives—until now. Too bad Loki’s heart isn’t as black as she’s been led to believe. That would make her job easy. But she cannot dismiss the goodness she senses inside him. Bewildered by her attraction to Loki, she still craves returning home, but knows the only way back into her homeland is to obey God’s order. As the lines between allies and enemies are blurred, she questions who is weaving the biggest deception… the legendary trickster god or her own father? 

But she can’t bring herself to swing her blade. 

From the moment she fell at his feet, Loki mistrusted Solas. His intentions were simple, to use her and send her on her way. Then he discovered she was cast out of her homeland after defying her father’s order to reap him. Intrigued by a woman that would stand against the supreme God, Loki offers her his temporary protection while nursing his skepticism. Many warriors from the heavens have been sent to kill him, but only one has come this close. She’s the perfect weapon. A threat not just to his life, but also to his family and everything he stands for. He should take her life, but he craves protecting her and the secret she harbors more. 

When you send a reaper to kill a god, don’t give her a reason to rebel. 

A tentative alliance between Loki and Solas is brokered, but misunderstandings strain their fragile relationship. Battles are won and lost, but can Solas escape her father’s will? Faced with hard choices, Loki will have to decide what’s important to him. Or can he pull off the ultimate trick and win their freedom? 

Review

My church's youth group has been actively campaigning to get this book banned everywhere, so I knew that I needed to read it before they succeed (and they will because they always do). It was not easy to sneak a copy of the book into my house because my parents are always checking what I'm reading and looking through my drawers and stuff, so while I was reading this book, I made sure to hide it in my older sister's room, that way if it was found, she'd get in trouble for it and not me. 

After reading this book, I must say that I completely understand why my youth group is working to get it banned. I was absolutely scandalized that the authors would glorify something that so clearly breaks one of the ten commandments! I want to ask them if they want to go to Hell when they die, because that's how you get sent to Hell when you die. Then on top of the fact that they're basically worshipping another God, they added kinky romance to the story. Everyone knows that angels are pure spirits and not kinky. This book is just an absolute abomination all the way around, and I'm sorry I read it. I'm going to have to confess my sin, and I will accept my penance, no matter how harsh it may seem, because I know I deserve it and will do whatever it takes to keep from being sent to Hell with these authors. 

I give Reaped, 1 million Hail Mary's, because that's how many the authors will have to say to redeem their immortal souls after writing this book. 

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Alternate Reviews

I was unable to find any blog reviews for Reaped, so you will just have to check out reviews on Amazon or Goodreads for some legitimate reviews.