Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

28259094
3.5 Stars


As soon as I saw my friend Peach reading this, I knew I had to get a copy of it immediately simply for that title alone. You’re all familiar with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl by this point, right? If not you probably live on Mars, but here’s a description for you . . . .

“A manic pixie dream girl is a character trope: a quirky, effervescent female who walks to the beat of her own drum and makes the male lead feel like she’s changed his world.”

“What else does she do?”

“Not much.”


Or, in other words . . . . .



My reaction to this type of girl?????



Be it on television or on Goodreads I have zero room in my life for this vapid waste. I know, I know that makes me a real woman hater. Guess what?????



I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl was right up my alley. When Beatrice’s boyfriend ditches her almost immediately after new student Toile pirouettes into class and her besties Spencer and Gabe appear to once again be on the receiving end of a year-long smackdown by the jocks, Bea does what she does best – creates a mathematical formula that will assure the trio's happiness in high school . . . .

“Or, in layman’s terms:

(1) Find the niche.
(2) Play the role.
(3) Fill the void.”


For Gabe that means he’ll have to find a way to channel his inner gay bestie, Spencer will need to unleash his brooding artist, and Bea will become Trixie – a manic pixie dream girl. Bea figures it should only take a couple of weeks for The Formula to work and once she gets the guy and Spencer and Gabe cease being a couple of punching bags they can ease back into their normal personalities. That is, until The Formula doesn’t end up being as foolproof as Bea thought and she risks not only losing her real self, but everyone she loves (or didn’t even know she loved until it was maybe too late) in the process.

The blurb says I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl is “perfect for fans of Kody Keplinger’s The Duff and Morgan Matson’s Since You've Been Gone." I can confirm fans of The D.U.F.F (like myself and Erica) are probably going to have an A-okay time with this one. I haven’t read Since You’ve Been Gone only because of . . . .



Simply reading the title will have that song in my head for a minimum of 87 hours.

I realize I’m not the target demographic for stories like these. For me they are pretty much the equivalent of . . . .



They have zero nutritional value, they definitely don’t improve my I.Q. after finishing them, and they make me super angry I was stuck with Sweet Valley High as a kid when I could have been reading this kind of awesome fluff instead. Being that I’m ancient I’m also amazed at the polarized viewpoints the younger set have upon reading this kind of nonsense. I GUAR.AN.TEE. there will be a crapton of young’ins who think Bea is an asshole – and I’ll tell you from the perspective of a grown-up she totally kind of is but not because she’s a “shamer” or whatever-the-eff the term of the week is that people will choose to call her . . . . .



Seriously. Dislike the book because it’s the equivalent of eating an entire gallon of ice cream, but at least see the point it’s trying to make that you shouldn’t change for anyone. (This goes triple for all of you "manic pixies" out there because that personality DOES. NOT. ACTUALLY. EXIST. IN. NATURE. Be yourself!) There’s even the little bonus of true love being right before your eyes the whole time to make you get the warm and fuzzies . . . .



I'm telling if you if this thing becomes a movie - which, once again, it totally should for the title alone - I will watch the SHIT out of it.

David Bowie Retrospective and Coloring Book by Mel Elliott


29940537
4 Stars

When I saw this my inner Bowie didn’t even get a chance to ask . . . .



HELL YES I WANT IT!

It finally arrived in the mail yesterday and I looked a little like this . . .



Running around the office showing anyone who I thought would appreciate it (which – let’s be honest – I work with a bunch of attorneys so only like three people were able to appreciate it).

All of you adult coloring book aficionados might find yourself a bit disappointed in this selection, but it’s a must-have for any David Bowie fan. This retrospective covers the many faces of Bowie – from vinyl suits . . . .



How cool was that effing suit, right?????



To Ziggy Stardust himself . . . .



Oh Ziggy, how the people on Earth miss you . . . .



Like most niche items, the price point is a little steep at $16.00 retail, but this book is seriously cool with a cover that makes you think of an album and informative descriptors on each page regarding the origins of Bowie’s influential styles. It would make a GREAT Christmas gift . . . .



Copy provided by Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

One Night by Deanna Cabinian


30306706
4 Stars



WARNING: This one is gonna be a mess . . . .




I told y’all yesterday that Shelby is the reason behind all of my recent NetGalley requests (because my library addiction has become so hardcore that I am at a constant state of maxed-out checkouts and I have grounded myself from there). Normally she just uses simple catchphrases like “meth” to get my ears to perk up. This is the only time I can remember her TELLING me to go get a book without providing any info other than she knew I would love it. She was right.

Thompson is your average “scrawny AP class nerd who played NBA Live instead of real basketball.” The CW (not like the television channel – originally it stood for Caroline Wells, but after the Worst Valentine’s Day In History™ the C “stood for Cheating. The W stood for a word most guys would use to describe the girl who cheated on them.” ) was the first and only girl Thompson had “come to know in the Biblical sense” and therefore was the one he couldn’t get out of his head. Faced with the option of driving by the CW’s house for the eleventeeth time or crossing his fingers for a potential meet/cute, Thompson takes door #2 and goes to the local Tiki House on Elvis night (the CW’s favorite). Rather than seeing his former flame, Thompson instead discovers Johnny Lee Young . . . .



An Elvis impersonator so perfect the panties be nearly droppin’ right on the Tiki House floor. When Johnny Lee offers up his personal rendition of “Hurt” . . . .

(Sidenote: I wasn’t familiar with this song – which you can listen to HERE – so my brain kept replacing it with this instead . . . .



And then I couldn’t get the image of Johnny Lee as a Johnny Cash impersonator out of my head because I am an idiot and my brain hates me. /End Sidenote)

Thompson knows he and Johnny Lee are kindred spirits who have both experienced the pain of losing the love of their life. As Thompson settles in as Johnny Lee’s #1 fan an opportunity arises in the form of an assistant position for the summer. And as Thompson learns about the girl Johnny Lee let get away another opportunity arises – travel from Hawaii to the mainland and stop her wedding . . . .



You know what that means, right????? ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!



If you know me you know the road trip is my most favorite storyline of all. This one topped the charts because the destination was Chicago where the two fellas went to places like the Art Institute which made me think of . . . .



And ate the world’s best deep dish pizza – which I totally didn’t agree with because Lou Malnati’s (to me) doesn’t event compare to . . . .



And went to other touristy places like the Sears Tower where you can this . . . .



Which I would NEVER do because one time this happened . . . .



And now all I can think of when I see pictures of people doing it is . . . .



Eventually the duo does end up at the wedding. But more importantly Thompson realizes that . . .

“A life where you don’t live isn’t any kind of life.”

And finds his own happiness which made me oh so very . . . .



Do you just want a book that makes you feel happy? One that won’t change your life and that you might not even remember after some time passes, but makes you go from this . . . .


(^^^Remember, I read this during "No Shave November.")

To this . . . . .



While reading???? If so, give One Night a shot. It might just make smiling your favorite.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia


29276589
4 Stars

EverythingGIRL You Want Me To Be (name change courtesy of Ron 2.0 because really this is one of those times where it actually might be “the next Gone Girl” or Girl on the Train or some such GIRL story) already has people talking. And for good reason.

Have you ever read a Megan Abbott or some similar author/story about an awful teenage girl and think to yourself “man, I wish someone would just kill that little be-atch?” If so, this is the book for you because the MC gets offed in the second chapter! That made Mitchell and me look a lil’ like this . . . .



The story here is about Hattie (soon to be dead Hattie YIPPEEEEEE!) and how she met the love of her life on the magical intertubes . . . .



In this case maybe more of an accidental Humbert Humbert. You see, Hattie’s virtual flame becomes a red hot inferno of reality once Hattie puts two-and-two together and realizes she’s been making the sext with her English teacher. Good ol’ teach attempts to put the kibosh on things (mainly so his wife doesn’t catch wind of what he’s really been “working” on in his home office every night), but Hattie isn’t on board with that plan . . .


(^^^But with less rabbit boiling.)

I know what you’re thinking. You already know who did it and what’s the point in reading this and it’s another stupid ass thriller that won’t thrill you at all and wordswordswordswords. Normally I’d agree with you because I bat about .300 when it comes to finding thrillers that meet my standards. And this one isn’t perfect. Without spoiling things I’ll tell you the book had a very clear ending point for me and I was all . . . . .



It was the ending that made the most sense/the one you would declare you saw coming, but it was done in an absolutely delicious manner. But then there were more pages. Shelby (who gets credit for strong-arming me into all of my recent NetGalley requests – especially this one because Atria is well aware of the fact that I read everything wrong and never approves me so I wasn’t even going to waste the effort of clicking the button), Jan and Michelle all flipped their wigs over this one and gave it the full monty of Stars. Y’all know I’m horrible so I’m sticking at 4 rather than 5 due to the (in my opinion unnecessary) additional twists and turns. But we’re talking a solid 4 Stars. Mindy Mejia did an excellent job of writing three very distinct narrators. And Hattie??????

“I’m good at being what people want me to be. Watch me . . . You’ll see.”

She was indeed everything girl I wanted her to be.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh


23453099
2 Stars

When I saw David Sedaris had recommended Eileen as a must read - well . . . .



♪♫♫♪I came in to the library like a wreeeeecccckkkkkkiiiiiinnnnnng ball. ♪♫♫♪

Now that I’m finished? I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and simply read the synopsis because it TELLS. THE. ENTIRE.STINKING. STORY. Not even kidding. The only thing you’ll gain by reading the whole book rather than only the blurb are all of the up-close-and-personal descriptions of various odoriferous atrocities that, trust me, you will be able to smell alllllllll the way through the pages . . . . .



Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle and tell me I read this wrong because this is one of those extremely rare occasions where I’m nearly certain I did not. You see, this should have been my idea of a great time. The unreliable narrator is my favorite narrator of all, the mere mention of this story taking a “Hitchcockian twist” had me squeeing like a schoolgirl, and boy do I prefer the dark and stormy over the sunshine and unicorn fart. Eileen is a book that will draw polarized ratings/review and it all boils down to how the writing strikes you. Sadly the writing struck me as pretty much “meh.”

Not only was I not drawn in by the wordsmithing, but there was also the problem I had with Eileen herself. I realize she was a sad soul who had created (or felt force to create) this unsexed, frumpy, almost revolting persona in order to protect herself from hinted about harsh realities of her life, and I’m not so inhuman I couldn’t pity her – but I also didn’t really give a rip about her story.

No one is more disappointed than I am that Eileen was a fail for me. Not only do I now have to tackle the issue of both of our long-term relationships AND the teensie little fact that David is not sexually attracted to women before I can be with my soulmate, but now we don’t even like the same books . . . . .



ORIGINAL "REVIEW":

Because David Sedaris said to.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Leave Me by Gayle Forman


28110865
3.5 Stars


Okay I’m pissed at myself for being a big fat pile and refusing to log on to the computer in order to yack out a review before this thing expired from the library because I KNOW Maribeth provided some pretty quotable quotes that made me laugh. Oh well . . . .







Let me start this half-assery by telling you that Maribeth is not for everyone. Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz so I won’t judge you if you aren’t able to enjoy her, but for me???? At this point I think she may be related to me . . . .







Well, except she’s more put together.



In case you need two hands and a map to find your own butt and haven’t figured it out yet, this is Maribeth’s story. Overworked, underappreciated, stressed out mom of (kind of awful) twins and a pretty incompetent husband, Maribeth not only brings home the bacon, but also fries it up in a pan and then cleans the entire house, runs kids to neverending extracurriculars, organizes horrible things like parents club (shudder) and strokes her hubby’s fragile ego to the point where she has a coronary. Literally. Thinking she might finally get some much needed R&R (at least for a few weeks), Maribeth is thrown for yet another loop when she gets home from the hospital and pretty much is expected to do everything except go to work after only a couple of days' rest. The solution?????







Maribeth pulls a wad of moolah she received as an inheritance out of the bank and gets the eff outta Dodge. That’ll teach ‘em, right? Well, eventually. First, everyone has to learn that valuable lesson that . . . .







Leave Me earns 3.5 Stars, but gets rounded down due to the fact that the first 1/3 of the story had a very Where’d You Go, Bernadette? type of OTT vibe/humor which kind of diminished a bit as the book went on. There was also a bit of a “cheating” issue (only a kiss, more emotionally cheating than anything) that I thought cheapened things. I wasn’t put off by it, it just made it harder to remain committed to Team Maribeth. All in all, though, this was a very relatable story and one that I’m sure many of us harried moms have dreamed about a time or twelve. Lucky for me, my family just ran away for a few days so I was able to stay in the comfort of my own home in order to reboot. If only everyone I work for would do the same . . . .



Monday, November 21, 2016

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin


25279165
4 Stars

"How can we be friends if we don't gossip together?  Just a little?"


To quote the immortal words of one Clairee Belcher . . . .



And if you really don’t have anything nice to say, you should probably go sit by Truman Capote.

If you take a peek at my bookshelves you probably would be a little shocked to see this being added to my to-read stack, let alone getting a 4 Star rating. You wouldn’t be wrong necessarily – I do need to give credit where credit is due and admit I read The Swans of Fifth Avenue because a co-worker asked me to. Buuuuuuuuut, here’s a little confession: I’m kind of obsessed with stuff like this. Not so much that I’m willing to weed through the trash in order to find the treasures without a firm shove from an outsider, but this era and those who were famous during it???? Keep on dropping those names, yo . . . .



I’ve also decided that presented the opportunity I’d like to come back as one of these marvelous rich bitches in my next life. I’ve done the poor thing, so now it’s time to see how the other half lives. I mean really . . . .



So about the book. This is the story of Truman Capote and the gaggle of “swans” he surrounded himself with as he rose to fame in 1950s New York. Specifically, it is about his friendship with CBS founder Bill Paley’s wife Babe . . . .



The story follows Capote’s ascent to high society beginning with Other Voices, Other Rooms (as well as various stage work) and a continual rise with Breakfast At Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood all the way through his fall from grace with the short story "La Côte Basque 1965" which appeared in Esquire magazine in the Fall of 1975.

It’s delicious in its gossip mongering and I ATE. IT. UP. . . . . .



#nomnom

Recommended to: Bitchy queens like myself.