Sunday, June 11, 2017

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: 2005
Pages: 425
Goodreads

Synopsis

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. In just a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever...

Review

I received a copy of this book on my sixteenth birthday, but the present didn't say who it was from, which clearly means one of my "friends" thinks that I'm ugly and doesn't have the guts to tell me to my face if you ask me. But they always say to never look a gift horse in the mouth, so I read the book anyway. 

I had a hard time relating to Tally, probably because my parents didn't have the money to get the plastic surgery to make me pretty, although the accidental nose job I got myself when I was fifteen helped a little bit, but it was countered by the accompanying burn scar on my right thigh. Like my parents wouldn't even let me dye my hair blonde like all the other girls in my class, and it took coating my hair with my own blood in a car accident to convince my mom to even let me dye my hair red. So I had an easier time relating to Shay, because I eventually had to convince myself that I didn't want to be pretty like everyone else anyway to help in my efforts to pretend to be happy. 

So I fully understood Shay's decision to run away from home and all the pretties. I mean, sure, she said she wasn't sure if she wanted to become a pretty, but that was probably just a front to cover up an inability to make it happen. We don't even know what the authorities do behind the scenes in this world, and like, Shay's parents probably weren't willing to make the sacrifices that would have been needed for Shay's operation (I bet youth has to be sacrificed somewhere.) And I don't think Tally is a very good friend for not being more supportive of Shay. I realize the authorities put her in a shitty place, but she still could have rebelled. Katniss Everdeen would have. 

So, like, I give this book a 3 out of 5 because it was entertaining, but it kind of brought back some real bad memories for me. 

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About the Author

Scott Westerfeld's teen novels include the Uglies series, the Leviathan and Midnighters trilogies, and the so-called "NYC Trilogy": So Yesterday, Peeps, and The Last Days. Scott was born in Texas, and alternates summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City. His next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

Alternate Reviews

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The Mummy by Anne Rice

Title: The Mummy
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Horror
Published: 1989
Pages: 480
Goodreads

Synopsis

Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.

Review

While vacationing in London, I found a scroll on which this book was written tucked away in a rather large and conspicuous cranny in an old church. I mean, I probably should have left it alone, but no one saw me take it, so is it really theft? 

Anyway, I've never read a book in scroll form before, and the paper that it was written on was rather flimsy. It also used a whole lot of emojis, so some of my translations may have been a little off, but I still got the basic gist of the story I'm sure. (Side note, did you know that platypuses were quite popular in ancient Egypt? Also butt plugs, but I'm sure the two are not connected.) 

So there were parts of this book that confused me. Like when Ramses is reawakened at Big Ben, he's doomed to roam the Earth forever trying to drink the blood of virgin rabbits, but this isn't his first reawakening. Like how can someone who is going to roam the Earth forever be reawakened more than once? It makes no sense y'all. And then trying to bring back crazy cat lady Cleopatra was just dumb, and kind of cruel. Forcing his love to live his same cursed life hunting virgin rabbits for sustenance is absolutely not the sign of true love. If my husband did that to me, I'd stake him myself, and the fucker would deserve it. Then I'd chuck his body into a church so that he could never be reawakened again. But that's just me. 

So anyway, I give my translation of this scroll, 2 out of 5 unicorns because aliens have big feet. 

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About the Author

Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Anne has spent more of her life in California than in New Orleans, but New Orleans is her true home and provides the back drop for many of her famous novels. The French Quarter provided the setting for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. And her ante-bellum house in the Garden District was the fictional home of her imaginary Mayfair Witches.  

She is the author of over 30 books, most recently the Toby O'Dare novels Of Love and Evil, and Angel Time; the memoir, Called Out of Darkness;and her two novels about Jesus, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. (Anne regards Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana as her best novel.) ---- Under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure, Anne is the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she is the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Anne publicly broke with organized religion in July of 2010 on moral grounds, affirming her faith in God, but refusing any longer to be called "Christian." The story attracted surprising media attention, with Rice's remarks being quoted in stories all over the world. Anne hopes that her two novels about Jesus will be accepted on their merits by readers and transcend her personal difficulties with religion. "Both my Christ the Lord novels were written with deep conviction and a desire to write the best novels possible about Jesus that were rooted in the bible and in the Christian tradition. I think they are among the best books I've ever been able to write, and I do dream of a day when they are evaluated without any connection to me personally. I continue to get a lot of very favorable feedback on them from believers and non believers. I remain very proud of them." 

Anne is very active on her FaceBook Fan Page and has well over a million followers. She answers questions every day on the page, and also posts on a variety of topics, including literature, film, music, politics, religion, and her own writings. Many indie authors follow the page, and Anne welcomes posts that include advice for indie authors. She welcomes discussion there on numerous topics. She frequently asks her readers questions about their response to her work and joins in the discussions prompted by these questions. 

Alternate Reviews

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Reaping the Harvest by Robbie Cox

Title: Reaping the Harvest
Author: Robbie Cox
Genre: Fantasy
Published: February 28, 2013
Pages: 203
Goodreads

Synopsis

On his way home from a moving job, Rhychard Bartlett heard a scream and ran to help. That action changed his life forever and tossed him into a war between the Way and the Void. Given the Guardian Sword, assisted by an ellyll who only stands two feet tall, and bonded to a mind speaking coshey the size of a Newfoundland canine and a taste for pepperoni pizza, Rhychard must stop the demon Vargas from carrying out his plans. Once he finds out what they are, of course. In the meantime, he longs for the girlfriend who left him because he suddenly had too many secrets. Not only must he save the day, but he also must convince Renny Saunders he's not the cheating lover everyone thinks he is.

Review

This book magically appeared on my bookshelf one day, I think. I don't know. Maybe I bought a copy of it at my thrift store and just forgot about it completely. That has certainly been known to happen before. In any case, one day it was on my bookshelf and I needed a book to read and decided to give this a shot. 

Alright, so I think this story is about a man who travels between worlds, one that is like ours with smart phones and shit, and then one that's super medieval with swords and crap. But obviously he can't tell people about that because they'd think that he's freakin' crazy, because that's freakin' crazy. 

This book has a whole lot of action, but I didn't really feel drawn into it. It was almost like I was watching from another world (you know, this one). I just don't think I'll be continuing reading this series after this because there just wasn't that much that appealed to me, and that's really weird because normally I would be super into anything remotely fantasy related. I think it's the fact that Rhychard was still trying to live his normal life too that really pulled me out of the fantasy of the story. It just didn't work for me. 

If you're a fan of time-travel type stories, you'll probably like this book, but I just don't apparently. So I would suggest caution before starting this book, but that's just me. Obviously you can do whatever you want, especially if the book magically appears on your bookshelf. 2 out of 5 stars. 

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About the Author

Robbie can be found on his back porch enjoying a cigar, a scotch, and a good story. He derives pleasure from his large family and his crazy group of friends that provide the inspiration for his blog The Mess that Is Me. He writes fantasy, erotica, mystery, and memoirs and when he is not writing, he is out Messing through adventures with those he cares about.

Alternate Reviews

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Kissing Sassy by Gracen Miller

Title: Kissing Sassy
Author: Gracen Miller
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: August 30, 2016
Pages: 140
Goodreads

Synopsis

Wild and free, Cajun thought he was content.

Cajun Wolfe doesn't have time for trouble in five-inch stilettos, but that's what he gets in the form of Hollywood's leading lady. When Olivia Scott waltzes into Blue Creek's shifter bar seeking his expertise for help with a stalker, Cajun's convinced she's a thrill seeker and he scorns her request. Soon he realizes he might've just met his match in a human, who also happens to be his mate. Olivia's not just sassy, stubborn, and unpredictable, she has a temper to match his too.

Then Olivia showed him what he was missing.

Olivia Scott has had it with arrogant men. Cajun scoffing at her genuine need for help is the final straw. Determined to find another that'll take her seriously, she storms off only to be attacked in the parking lot. Playing the part of unlikely hero, Cajun defeats her assailants. Meeting her mate in the form of a snarly wolf-shifter with a bad attitude is rotten luck. He's also a weakness she can't afford.

Trouble never looked so fun...
Their troubles are only beginning. A new danger arises and Olivia's secrets are revealed. Can Cajun convince her to gamble on a mating so inconceivable it might just be a pairing that'll save the world? Or will all be lost?

...or came with so much baggage.

Review

I picked up a copy of this book at this tiny hole-in-the wall bar in a tiny town I can't even remember the name of. I feel like it referenced water somehow, something like Purple River, Orange Pond, something like that. Anyway, I probably should have just left it where it was, because I didn't really like it all that much.

Maybe I'm weird, but I never really understood the appeal of wolf shifters. I mean, they're just so freakin' hairy. Really, what is the appeal in that? Also, what happens if they shift mid-coitus, and why does that NEVER happen in a story? Am I really supposed to believe that at the height of passion these shifters don't lose control of themselves and shift? I just don't buy it. 

So all that shifter nonsense aside, the chemistry between these two felt forced and unnatural (and that had nothing to do with the fact that Cajun is a freakin' wolf shifter). And I can usually accept the insta-love idea when shifters are involved, but Olivia should have felt it too, and it just didn't come across that way to me. And the idea that them doing the dirty would save the world is just absurd. Like seriously. 

I wish I could recommend this book to you, but I just can't because I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and felt like they were forcing things that shouldn't have been forced. If you're really interested in a shifter book, I suggest looking elsewhere. 2 out of 5 stars. 

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About the Author

Gracen is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a "normal" person in southern society. When not writing, she's a full-time mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She has an unusual relationship with her muse, Dom, but credits all her creative success to his brilliant mind. She's addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels and movies, Alabama football and coffee...addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She's convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and when blending coffee and writing together it generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs and Dom's aggressive demands. To learn more about Gracen or to leave her a comment, visit her website at www.gracen-miller.com.

Alternate Reviews

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: January 1, 2013
Pages: 371
Goodreads

Synopsis

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Review

I found a copy of this book just sitting underneath a tree next to a rather peaceful looking lake one day, and since I would have hated for the elements to destroy it and there was no one else around (the nearby parking lot was completely empty when we arrived), I assumed the owner would not be returning to retrieve their book, so I put it in my bag to take it home with me. I forgot all about it for a few weeks until I started to hear some strange noises coming from my bag. It sounded almost like whispers. I tried to ignore it, but those whispers were rather persistent. 

Once I finally gave in and started reading the book, it was liked I'd been sucked down a rabbit hole. I literally could not put it down until I had finished reading it (this seems to be happening a to me a lot lately). I felt like I was actually part of this story. I grabbed a bucket to try and help Alyssa drain the ocean. I busted out a base drum to help her wake up the Mad Hatter and company, and I even acted as bait to subdue that freakin' bandersnatch (the doctor says I'll hardly have any scars at all after my wounds heal). By the end of the book, I was freakin' exhausted, and I didn't even get one of the guys. Freakin' Alyssa took both of them! Greedy bitch. 

This book gets a Queen of Hearts on a scale of Ace to King. 

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About the Author

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child. 

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Alternate Reviews

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Soulkiss by J. Thompson

Title: Soulkiss
Author: J. Thompson
Genre: Mythology/Erotic Romance
Published: May 4, 2015
Pages: 219
Goodreads

Synopsis

It all started with a dream. He was handsome , sexy and had a body to die for. 

He swept Arianna off of her feet with his charm and made her feel loved, cherished and protected. 

Only one problem He wasn’t real This man, this oh so perfect man didn’t exist, he was but a figment of Arianna’s over active imagination, a culmination of her day dreams and deepest fantasies. Or was he… 

A double date soon turns to disaster, starting a chain of events that’s thrusts Arianna into a world so different from her own, testing her courage, her heart and her soul.

But is she strong enough to battle through and save the soul destined for her.

Review

I had a dream in which I was reading a copy of this book, and then when I woke up, it was in bed with me and I don't have any idea where the heck it came from. It's almost like it was destiny or something for me to end up with it. But what do I know. 

I decided since I had it, I might as well read it. But then something really strange started happening while I was reading it. Things that I was dreaming about started happening. Like I got a wicked strong craving for some nachos with that super delicious and probably about 100% fake canned cheese, and then they just appeared in front of me. And I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I ate them. And things like that just kept happening over and over again, so I decided to test it out on purpose. While I was reading, I started thinking real hard about Chris Evans, and suddenly, there he was, right in front of me. So I ate him (they didn't need him for any other Avenger movies did they? 'Cause he definitely won't be able to make it if they do. Oops.) After that I was pretty much full so I stopped thinking about food. 

But then I got sucked into the book Jumanji style. Thankfully I was simply sent to Ancient Greece where I was sold as a concubine to a wealthy wine merchant and not stuck in a jungle with mosquitoes the size of my head. Boy would that have sucked. And I gotta' say, Chris Evans was the last good meal I got until the end of the story (you'd think the Greeks would have fed their concubines better). 

So my final analysis, stop reading this book after Chapter 12, because Chapter 13 was where everything went wrong. IV stars. 

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About the Author

R J Thompson is a freelance writer of fantasy fiction, and is author of the cats section on the Fur for life pet’s website. R J has always loved history so using her wild imagination and tying in her love of history and fantasy she started writing. With her debut novel Soulkiss ready to publish R J has her sights set on producing some more mythical inspired novels along with a future series based on some hard assed demons. She has many hobbies which include jewellery making, cross stitch and paper crafts, but also works out with her husband at their local gym. As well as this they both attend Caveman training, when R J isn’t writing.

Alternate Reviews

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I Just Want to Pee Alone by Various Authors

Title: I Just Want to Pee Alone
Authors: Stacey Hatton, Robyn Welling, Susan McLain, Karen Alpert, Julianna W. Miner, Anna Luther, and more.
Genre: Parenting Humor
Published: February 27, 2013
Pages: 204
Goodreads

Synopsis

Motherhood is the toughest – and funniest – job you'll ever love. Raising kids is hard work. The pay sucks, your boss is a tyrant, and the working conditions are pitiful – you can't even take a bathroom break without being interrupted with another outrageous demand. Hasn't every mother said it before? “I just want to pee alone!” I Just Want to Pee Alone is a collection of hilarious essays from 37 of the most kick ass mom bloggers on the web. Including: People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Insane in the Mom-Brain, The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, Baby Sideburns, and Rants From Mommyland. Read hysterical essays like: Embarrassment, Thy Name is Motherhood A Pinterest-Perfect Mom, I am Not And Then There was that Time a Priest Called Me a Terrible Mother So She Thought She Could Cut Off My Stroller.

Review

I was given a copy of this book at a baby shower (not mine). I was just standing there next to the present table, and someone walked up and gave me a present. I was totally shocked for a minute because I didn't think guests at baby showers were supposed to get presents, but then I just ripped right into the package and discovered this book. People were giving me really strange looks for the rest of the shower, but I probably just had a booger hanging out of my nose or something. 

I was able to totally relate to the stories in this book, which is really weird because I don't even have kids or pets, and yet there is ALWAYS someone in the bathroom watching me pee (they usually leave me alone when I'm dropping a deuce, I'm sure you can imagine why.) All I want is just a little bit of time to myself to pee and read a chapter or five in my newest book. Is that really too much to ask? (Apparently, because I never get it!) 

While I thought these stories were all funny, they all felt like really manufactured. Like who has kids that are that awful? When I'm a parent, you better believe that my kids won't behave like the kids in these stories behave. There will be no melt-downs in the dairy section of the grocery store, and my kids will always be perfect angels when we go out to eat. I tell you what. Honestly, once I have kids, I'm probably going to write a book about how to be the perfect parent. I might even just start writing it right now, because I already know pretty much everything there is to know about parenting. 

So I give this book a deuce, because it did make me laugh, but I just can't respect the authors because they clearly don't have their shit together. 

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Alternate Reviews

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Taming Her Tycoon by Yahrah St. John

Title: Taming Her Tycoon
Author: Yahrah St. John
Genre: Romance
Published: December 20, 2016
Pages: 224
Goodreads

Synopsis

She's the ultimate temptation 

In high school, Naomi Brooks had a major crush on Lucius Knight—much like every other girl. So it's oh-so-satisfying to have the sexy corporate raider eager to buy her organic-products company years later. This man doesn't know how to lose. And he's making it clear that he wants Naomi's business as well as her body… 

Even when Naomi was a rough-and-tumble tomboy, Lucius was drawn to her. Now that she's bold, sexy and confident, she's even more alluring. He's willing to play dirty to convince her that a liaison can be mutually beneficial in and out of the bedroom. But that gamble, and an explosive family secret, might cost him the only conquest that truly matters: her heart.

Review

I picked up a copy of this book in the self-help section of my bookstore, so I thought that it was going to be a how-to manual for the taming of actual tycoons. Ever since reading 50 Shades of Grey, I've been trying to snag my own troubled millionaire, and thought this book would help me out. Sadly, it didn't. 

Because this book is not a freakin' self-help book. Whoever put it in that section at the store is a jerk. They got my hopes for nothing. I mean, sure, the blurb probably shouldn't have given away that this is just a normal romance novel, but reading blurbs is for squares and I ain't no square man. And once I got started reading the book, I thought maybe in spite of the fact that it was a romance novel, it might still have some good tips for me, but the best tip was to have gone to school with a guy who runs his own profitable business and who also has the hots for you, which rules out EVERY. SINGLE. GUY. I went to school with. I mean sure, they all have the hots for me, but they're pretty much losers. 

So now I've wasted 5.43 hours reading this book, and I'm no closer to bagging my billionaire. But I guess on the bright side, I don't have to worry about getting a divorce from my current husband just yet (#SilverLining). 

So for what it was, this book gets 4 stars, I guess, but my real rating is -3 stars because it wasn't what I was expecting it to be, and that pisses me off, so it doesn't deserve any stars, and I actually want to take some extra stars from it to give to other books in the future that might help me in my quest. 

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About the Author

Yahrah St. John is the author of twenty published books, fourteen with Harlequin Kimani's Romance line and three e-books. In May 2014, St. John won the 2013 Best Kimani Romance from RT Book Reviews for A CHANCE WITH YOU. A graduate of Hyde Park Career Academy, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northwestern University. Prior to becoming published, she wrote twenty stories and plays. St. John is also a member of Romance Writers of America. St. John is an avid reader of all genres. She enjoys the arts, cooking, traveling, basketball and adventure sports, but her true passion remains writing. St. John lives in sunny Orlando, the City Beautiful. For more information, please visit: www.yahrahstjohn.com

Alternate Reviews

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dwellers of Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown

Title: Dwellers of Darkness
Author: Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Published: February 27, 2014
Pages: 344
Goodreads

Synopsis

Some days feel like years, but in Ember Brycin’s case just the opposite is true. Em would be 22 now—if she were human. She’s not. She is a Dae—part Demon and part Fay—with a little Dark Dweller thrown in to make her more of a freak.

Life has become further complicated for Ember since returning from the Otherworld. Besides being continuously hunted by the Seelie Queen, Ember is at the top of the Unseelie King’s list, after breaking her oath with him. No one breaks a vow with the Unseelie King without extreme consequences.

Adding to Ember’s problems is a certain Dark Dweller whose mood has become violent and cruel. As much as she’d like to deny it, there is an undeniable connection between them. Eli is sexy, gorgeous, and frustrating as hell. She also knows he is holding something back, something that could change their relationship forever. 

But her problems go way past him. As the tension for war mounts between the Seelie and Unseelie (Light and Dark), the tension at the Dark Dweller’s compound escalates even more as they prepare to obtain the Sword of Light—the only weapon able to kill the Queen. 

But is Ember the answer to the location of the sword? Is she the one to fulfill the prophecy? As usual nothing is ever what it seems.

Review

A copy of this book was dropped off on my doorstop on a dark and stormy night. The moon was full and the werewolves were howling. I didn't want to open my door, but my doorbell was ringing incessantly, so I thought maybe someone was in danger. When I opened the door, there was no one there, just this book banging against the buzzer. It was so weird. 

I didn't think it would be prudent to ignore the book for long considering how insistent it was to get in the front door in the first place, so I started reading it right away. Worst idea ever! I had nightmares for weeks after that, and I'd only read the first two pages. But then I started to get really confused, because apparently this is the third book in a series. Like why couldn't the creepy book that showed up out of nowhere have at least been the first book in the series. Really bad planning on the part of whoever enchanted the book in the first place. Unless this was part of a diabolical plan to get the book super low ratings, in which case it's brilliant. 

I really wanted to like this book because the cover is quite pretty, but like I said, it was confusing because it's the third book in the series and I have no idea what went on in this series up until now, and I don't really understand the creatures. Seriously, what the heck is an Unseelie? I just got no details. I even tried reading some reviews of the book to see if they could give me some insight, but all they'd say is "This book picked up where the last one left off." Well that's just great for those of us that aren't randomly sent copies on dark stormy nights, but what am I supposed to do? In the end, I just really couldn't get into this book, so I didn't like it at all. 

Overall I give this book 1/2 of 5 stars, only because I'm really not allowed to rate it a flat out 0. 

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About the Author

Stacey Marie Brown is a writer of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. She volunteers helping animals and is eco-friendly. She feels all animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.

Alternate Reviews

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The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: The Hazards of Skinny Dipping
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Genre: NA Romance
Published: May 17, 2013
Pages: 248
Goodreads

Synopsis

This isn't a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I'd be happy to recommend one, but I don't have that kind of story to tell. Instead my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It's the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it's also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along.



Review

My mother gave me a copy of this book in high school (which is really weird since I graduated in 2002) because I was something of a wild child and I guess she hoped that this would curb my crazy tendencies. She apparently didn't read much past the title though, as she seemed to think that it was basically a self-help type book warning about the actual hazards of skinny dipping. Boy was she in for a surprise when this book just led me to more skinny dipping. 

Because instead of finding a cautionary tale inside these pages, I discovered a story that made the prospect of skinny dipping sound so much more exciting than my friends made it sound. The best part about skinny dipping according to my friends is that sometimes tiny fish swim into your nether regions, and I'm just not a big fan of that idea. But this book showed me that skinny dipping can lead to a horrible sexual experience with an actual living human being, which is so much better than tiny fish in my hoo-ha. 

I really related to Juliet in almost everything, except for almost everything described in this book. I pretty much never actually got to hook up with a guy I had a crush on, but on the bright side, I've also pretty much never had a bad sexual experience with a guy I had a crush on. And my first year of college? So boring it was barely worth remembering in the first place. 

Rating
Format: 7
Plot: 4
Character Names: 10
Overall Rating: 7 

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About the Author

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Presidential Intentions by Douglas J. Wood

Title: Presidential Intentions
Author: Douglas J. Wood
Genre: Political Fiction
Published: January 31, 2014
Pages: 294
Goodreads

Synopsis

An overachiever who is driven by an ambition to succeed, Samantha Harrison has set out to be the first woman president in United States history. With her devoted husband Ben behind her, she begins her campaign with Zachary Watts, a determined campaign manager with questionable ethics. As her campaign begins to take shape, Samantha is forced to deal with a crumbling home life as she continues her quest to hold the highest office in the land. Forced to decide what she's willing to lose to win, Samantha's choices will ultimately determine who's standing beside her in the end. Highlighting Samantha's personal conflicts and burning desire to win, Presidential Intentions creates a gripping political drama that examines the personal cost of realizing her dream. With an innocent naivety on the human capacity for evil and certain blindness to the things around her, Samantha might achieve her goal; however, she might never truly know what it costs her. A mesmerizing and thought-provoking look into the interior of U.S. politics, this complex novel has a lasting appeal that will keep readers thinking long after the book is through. Written for anyone interested in politics or the rise of women, Presidential Intentions appeals to political junkies everywhere as well as anyone immersed in women's issues in business and politics. The first book of its kind to profile a woman presidential candidate's life, this engrossing story tells the story of the sacrifice required in the quest to become the first woman president in American history.

Review

I heard that Hillary Clinton read this book as part of her preparation to run for president in 2016, so naturally I needed to get a copy for myself to prepare for my own political aspirations that I have yet to actually take any steps towards achieving, but that's beside the point. I'm sort of regretting that decision now that the election is over because clearly it didn't do anything to help Hillary out, but hindsight is always twenty twenty. 

As a running-for-president-as-a-woman how-to book, this absolutely freaking fails (see above). It does nothing to teach you how to be both strong and likable as a woman. It doesn't teach how to speak passionately about the issues you care about without being considered shrill or emotional. And it doesn't even touch on the subject of what to do when the opposition party has been running a 30 year smear campaign on you that some members of their base eat up like a big ol' plate of biscuits and sausage gravy. No, this book is about a perfectly likable woman whose husband just can't handle the fact that she's trying to do something important with her life. Talk about fragile male ego. You know if the tables were turned he would expect her to drop everything and support him whole-heartedly. 

And I can admit that my feelings about the book were absolutely skewed by the 2016 presidential race. Had I picked it up two years ago, I would not have felt as passionately about the events in Samantha's life, a feeling of unexplainable dread anchored in my gut throughout the whole story. I guess it was just poor timing on my part there. But I was still mostly disappointed because it sucked as a how-to book. 

Overall I give this 62 million votes for Trump stars. 

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About the Author

Douglas J. Wood is a partner in the law firm of Reed Smith LLP and has more than 35 years experience representing the entertainment and media industries, including individuals and multinational companies in motion picture, publishing, advertising, marketing, promotions, unfair competition, intellectual property, and e-commerce matters. Mr. Wood serves as legal adviser to several worldwide trade organizations and is General Counsel to the Association of National Advertisers and the Advertising Council. He is the chief negotiator for the United States advertising industry in labor relations and collective bargaining with SAG-AFTRA and the American Federation of Musicians, the unions representing actors and musicians who perform in commercials. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (www.gala-marketlaw.com), a network of law firms located in more than 50 countries with expertise in advertising and marketing law.

Wood received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island and has three law degrees - a J.D. from the Franklin Pierce Law Center, a Master of Laws from New York University, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of New Hampshire - and is listed among the leading global specialists in advertising law in Chambers and the Legal 500 (2007 - 2012), selected for inclusion in the 2007 - 2012 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of advertising law; and is listed in the 2007 - 2012 editions of Super Lawyers.

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: August 20, 2013
Pages: 481
Goodreads

Synopsis

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

Review

I got a copy of this book in the mail, and while it was probably just a simple computer error or something, the postmark indicated that it was sent in January of 2061, but that's impossible because it's only 2017 now. 

I had a really hard time getting into this book at first, because I kept getting distracted by the excessive use of italics on words. It seemed like there was at least one word italicized on every single page, and some pages had more than one. I'm a big fan of using italics to add emphasis to words, but when you're italicizing that much, the emphasis disappears. 

But then I started to really pay attention to the italics, and I realized that they were part of a secret message. Someone is very clearly trying to warn us of dangers in the future. I don't want to give away the whole secret, because I don't want the powers that be to know that we're on to their plan, but there will be mime-crimes, epidemics, invasions, death, and safe insanity. Just be on the lookout for it, because it's coming y'all. This book says so in it's secret message. Once I realized that this book contained a secret message from the future, it got so much more engaging. 

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 future stars. 

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About the Author

Samantha Shannon was born and raised in West London. She started writing in abundance when she was twelve, started her first novel when she was fifteen, and studied English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, from 2010 – 2013, graduating with a 2:1.

In 2013, she published The Bone Season, the internationally bestselling first installment in a seven-book series of fantasy novels. Its first sequel, The Mime Order, was published in 2015, and she's currently editing the third book in the series, The Song Rising. She is also working on a high fantasy novel. Film rights to the Bone Season are held by the Imaginarium Studios, Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox.

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