Sunday, November 30, 2014

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

4 Stars
"Call me by your name, and I'll call you by mine."
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If you want to read a real review (you know, one that actually has some quality to it), I recommend clicking over to Nick or Julio's instead of this one.

Still here? Don't say I didn't warn you.

Call Me By Your Name is the story of an all-encompassing love affair between a teenaged boy and an older guest who is spending the summer at his family's home. For Elio, this is a time of exploration and acknowledgment of never-before-felt emotions and attraction. For Oliver, it is a time of attempting to stave off his desires of what he realizes should be left as a mutual infatuation. For both it will be a life-altering few weeks which will change their lives forever.

I'm not too hard to please when it comes to books - I read every genre and I don't require Pulitzer quality writing in order for me to enjoy a story - but this writing???? Swoon worthy . . .

"All I prayed for was for time to stop. Let summer never end, let him never go away, let the music on perpetual replay play forever, I'm asking for very little, and I swear I'll ask for nothing more."

I wanted to chew up every word and digest it. I found myself slowing down in order to make my reading experience last longer . . . and that rarely happens for me.

I'm not a huge fan of traditional "romance" novels - sure I like the occasional RomCom or piece of fluffy nothing to read by the pool - but I prefer my love stories to have a bit of heartbreak and a lot of substance if I can find it. Nick and Julio's linked reviews above turned me on to Call Me By Your Name and, lucky for me, the story did not disappoint. I expected a "decent" book with some depth, but didn't expect was to be blown out of the water. If you're looking for something hot and steamy, this probably is not the story for you . . . but if you're looking for intense, raw emotion that will leave your psyche bruised and battered by the last page, this is a winner.

And, speaking as a not-quite-young, married, straight lady - Call Me By Your Name is a tale that proves . . .

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

3 Stars

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Two U.S. Marshalls have been dispatched to Shutter Island - a location much like Alcatraz which houses an inescapable fortress for insane prisoners. The job of the partners is to find a female patient/murderer who has disappeared, while also having the unfortunate timing of having to battle a hurricane simultaneously. What the duo initially came to investigate and what they actually end up discovering are VERY different things.

I read Shutter Island waaaaaaaay back in May, but failed to ever write a review because I SUCK at keeping up because I feel like Dennis Lehane should never get lower than 4 Stars. Lehane's writing is so above-par that giving him a measly 3 seems blasphemous.

However, it's a 3 I must give. I actually never even knew Shutter Island was a movie until I brought this library book home (I like to stick to only raunchy comedies and B-grade horrors for my viewing pleasure, apparently) and my husband told me how good it was. And it was good . . . but not great. Although the writing once again was stellar, I knew everything that was going to happen - and that's pretty unforgiveable to me when it comes to giving a high rating for a mystery/thriller. At some point there has to be some unexpected twists and turns, and that just wasn't the case with Shutter Island. (FYI - I'm also one of "those people" who ruined "The Sixth Sense" for all when I immediately knew the ending - and shouted it out because no one would have believe me if I hadn't - so if you're not good at figuring out what's up, you might be blown out of the water with this one.)

I've still never bothered to watch the movie, and although I'm sure the book is better - because seriously the book is almost ALWAYS better (excluding YOU Forrest Gump!!!) - I have a feeling Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't disappoint. Heck, just browsing through the various .gifs had me knowing exactly which part of the book the scene was from, and that is VERY cool.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever (Fever, #1)
2 Stars

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Ahhhhh, stop yelling at me already and let me explain.

It seems everyone liked this book. I’m talking everyone. EVERYONE. Except me. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

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Okay, not really. This is obviously a case of it’s not you, it’s me. Maybe I’m too mature for stories of the supernat . . . BWAHAHAHAHA! I couldn’t even type that without laughing. I don’t really know what went wrong, so I’m gonna play it safe and blame it on Sookie Stackhouse . . .

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After riding out the horribleness which became the Southern Vampire series, I just wasn’t prepared to deal with yet another vapid waitress.

You see, Mac is a simple waitress from a simple small Southern town whose simple life gets flipped upside down when her sister gets murdered. Annnnnnnd of course Mac has to take it upon herself to travel halfway across the world in order to become an amateur Sherlock Holmes and find out “whodunit.” The problem? Well, Mac is an idiot. I mean, she made Sookie seem like a real braintrust, which is simply terrifying. Mac spends most of her time coordinating her ensembles with her nails, and don’t you know . . .

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Yep, Mac referenced pink so much I thought I was going to barf Pepto Bismol.

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Along the way, Mac meets a mysterious alpha male named Barrons who (like me) finds her insufferable, but (unlike me) somehow doesn’t follow his instincts to step aside and let her be murdered. Turns out that’s a good thing as Mac has some special powers of her own. Powers that detect the hidden Fae that walk amongst the normies and as well as the ability to sense hidden Fae Objects of Power (OOPs for short).

Sidenote: My brain insisted on replacing OOP with O.P.P. – which is a VERY different thing. That song is still playing in my head. Are any of you even old enough to remember Naughty by Nature? Probably not *insert sad face* so here’s a little image that will show you how the song goes . . .

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Okay, back on topic. Barrons recruits Mac in order to find the Sinsar Dubh – the most powerful of all of OOPs that can destroy the world as we know it. Talk about some serious pressure.

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Get it? Anyone? Bueller? Under Pressure – Queen and David Bowie??? Hilarious!

Alright, so this book didn’t work for me and didn’t like it, but I didn’t completely hate it either. Some things I enjoyed?

1. The writing wasn’t horrible and although I really don’t like first person narrative, I did like that Mac’s voice was well aware of the fact that she was telling a story that already happened. Seriously authors, if you are writing from first person it’s pretty obvious that person ISN’T DEAD, so don’t try to bullshit the reader into getting all nervous about whether they’re going to make it out alive.

2. Mac admits she’s a useless Barbie in times of crisis.

3. The setting. Although the world building was pretty lame for me, I’m assuming it gets better since there are a crapton more books in this series. However . . . Dublin???? That’s good – assuming Mac and Barrons ever leave the f-ing bookstore.

4. Mac’s superpower of detecting bad guys? She vomits. LOLOLOLOL. I got a kick out of that.

5. And last, but obviously not least, BARRONS. Duh, right? I haven’t yet read any reviews of this series, but I’m assuming there’s a lot of Joe Manganiello gifs to be had. For me, though? It was all about this dude . . .

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and anytime I can’t get the image of Oded Fehr out of my head is a good time.

To all my homegirls out there who have read/are currently reading/or are re-reading this series – I’m sorry it didn’t work for me. I’m always the oddball : (

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

99 Days
3 Stars
A story about a love triangle? And I liked it? I’m pretty sure I’m going to Hell for this one. Let me check the good book to make sure . . .

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Yep, the Bird Bible says I should get my handbasket ready ‘cause I’m going to burn for eternity.

99 Days is the story of Molly Barlow and the Donnelly family who have been friends forever. At some point Molly’s playdates with the Donnelly sister, Julia, and her two brothers . . .

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morphed into a different sort of playdate with Patrick Donnelly. The two were a couple forever, it seems . . . . Until Molly started thinking about attending a boarding school that was offering her a running scholarship, Patrick decided to break things off, and Molly found herself falling into the arms of Patrick’s brother, Gabe, for comfort.
 I know, right? Everyone else is probably already hating this. Buuuuuuuut, in Molly’s defense . . .

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and she quickly realized she had made a huge mistake. Molly thought her little snafu would be a secret she and Gabe kept forever . . . until her author mother decided to steal a little “inspiration” from her daughter’s situation and penned a bestseller that outed all the details to the world. Molly fled town, choosing to attend boarding school after all, but now school is done and there are 99 days before college begins. She finds herself back in the same small town, still hated by Julia Donnelly and still caught in the middle of the two brothers . . .

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I get that a lot of people aren’t going to like this book. I really do. There’s a good chance that I could have not liked it if I had read it at any other time, but things worked out the way they did. I had a real crappy week and needed something fluffy to get me through it. 99 Days happened to be at the right place at just the right time. And while I won’t say that it had quite the same amount of magic that How To Love had, there’s just something about Katie Cotugno’s writing and I really dig that she is willing to be so up front and just go there with taboo subject matter in YA romance stories. I’ve read enough of the “who will she choose” B.S. plotlines like in The Hunger Games and Twilight and on and on and on where the boys all sit around and wait for the girl to decide. I was soooooo ready for the ugly truth of what happens when a person decides to “dip their toes in a couple of different swimming pools,” if you will. 99 Days dealt with the love triangle issue in such a realistic way. Molly realized she was a selfish butthole and knew things would eventually blow up in her face . . . but she couldn’t stop herself from having feelings for both brothers. And you know what? I liked it.

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ARC received through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Monday, November 24, 2014

Seed by Lisa Heathfield

4 Stars
“Nature made us. Nature knows us. Every movement, every thought, Nature sees.”Hmmmm, let’s see how many people I can offend this week, shall we????

So, if this . . .

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and this . . .

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and this . . .

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all had one wonderfully messed up baby, it might come out looking a little something like Seed.

Seed is the story of Pearl Duggar - I mean, just Pearl. She lives in a utopia– a tiny community called Seed which provides everything she could ever wish for. The people who live in Seed work the land and the crops they produce provide not only nourishment for the residents, but also a surplus which is sold to “the outside” in order to purchase necessities that cannot be made inside of Seed’s confines. And all of the goings on at Seed are supervised by their charismatic leader, Papa S. At 15, Pearl has finally become a woman and now anxiously awaits the day she will become Papa S.’s newest companion . . .

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But when a family from “outside” arrives – Pearl finds herself questioning everything about the lifestyle at Seed and all that she has been taught.

“How do you know what you need if you’ve never seen it?”

This little book kind of blew my socks off. I had zero expectations upon starting - Seed was offered up as a freebie and the premise sounded decent enough to give it a shot. I always try to make it a point to read as many new authors as possible (but generally there comes a point – usually WAY earlier than November – when I’ve read enough crappy first-timers and throw in the towel in order to return to familiar names). Lisa Heathfield’s first go ‘round sure didn’t disappoint, though. Seed was well written with good character development and a unique storyline. It grabbed my attention with the first paragraph and held it to the last page. I’m all for young adult books that break boundaries and open up discussion about things that happen outside of our own personal little utopias – and this one does just that. A very believable look at how easy it could be to fall into a “cult mentality” if you never knew anything else.

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

You by Caroline Kepnes

5 Stars

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Before I even get started, let me say this is not a book for everyone. Hell, it might not be a book for anyone except for Snotchocheez and myself. There is no middle-ground to be had here. This book is offensive and the characters are all vile and I expect opinions to be extremely polarized. And I totally respect that . . . but please have the decency to not troll my review and tell me how wrong I am or that I’m a pscyho. I’m already aware of those facts. Now on with the show . . .

You walk in to the bookstore where I work. Rather than picking up the shitty Dan Brown’s and other bestsellers that all the no-brainers are reading, you choose Spalding Gray and Paula Fox. You’re not only attractive – very reminiscent of Natalie Portman – you’re also intelligent. And as we exchange pleasantries while I’m checking you out (your books, that is), you prove to be witty as well. “If we were teenagers, I could kiss you. But I’m on a platform behind a counter wearing a name tag and we’re too old to be young. Night moves don’t work in the morning, and the light pours in through the window.”So you take your bag and go on your way . . . and I take a glance at your credit card receipt before shoving it through the cash drawer. “Guinevere Beck” – an usual name. “You are Charlotte’s Web and I could love you.” “The internet was designed with love in mind. It gave me so much of you . . .”

So there you have it. Joe is a stalker - a textbook example of the scariest version of one at that. He sets his sights on Beck and is willing to do anything to make her his. And I really loved him. No, not in the “boy do I wish I had some f*&^ed up weirdo in my life who would break into my house and sniff my underpants” kind of love him, but I couldn’t stop reading his story. Caroline Kepnes managed not only to write the most revolting character I’ve ever loved (move over, Herman Koch, you ain’t got nothin’ on this gal), but on top of it all she wrote him in FIRST PERSON. I hate first person narrative . . . but I loved this book.

Kepnes even managed to make me forget he was a total psycho on occasion. At times he was so relatable, and his opinions were spot-on . . . like when he and Beck went on an IKEA shopping spree together:

“Life at IKEA is not like life at IKEA in the movies. It’s a dystopian nightmare come true where all furniture is cut from the same hunk of cheap-ass wood, where all rooms were furnished with items that came out of the exact same factory at the exact same time. It smells like body odor and Febreze and baby shit and farts and meatballs and nail polish and more baby shit – doesn’t anyone get a babysitter anymore? – and it is loud.”

Joe is the only man I know who not only willingly references 500 Days of Summer, but dreams he could have a magical IKEA moment like JGG and Zoey Deschanel had in that movie . . .

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Through all the crazy (and let me tell you there is A LOT of crazy), I held out hope for Joe – just like he held out hope for himself.

“Happiness is believing that you’re gonna be happy. It’s hope.”

And for a bit it looked like things might work out (after all – Beck was no prize in the normal department herself).

“We are a dream couple, we are what happens after Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks finally kiss, after cancer-free Joe Gordon-Levitt and sweet shrink-in-training Anna Kendrick eat their pizza in 50/50. We are Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke after U2 finishes singing 'All I Want Is You'.”

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But then Beck discovers his secret . . . in the form of a used tampon he saved - along with other not-so-normal keepsakes - and I realized there was never going to be a normal. And that I’m probably going to be considered certifiable for even admitting I enjoyed this book – let alone wishing for some kind of happy ending. I admit it. I’m nuts. This book made me crazy. It turned wrong into right and bad into good and I couldn’t stop reading it. I was mesmerized. It gets 5 Stars and it’s easily going down as one of the Top 10 books I read in 2014.

All I can think now is that it’s weird enough to admit to loving a story like this, but to be Caroline Kepnes and actually have this thing COME OUT OF YOUR BRAIN???? Oh, she has to be the most delicious weirdo I’d ever care to meet. Her writing is brilliant and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pronto by Elmore Leonard

3 Stars
When 99.99999% of the entertainment value of your reviews is .gif based, things like this:

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tend to happen quite frequently and some reviews just flat out fall through the cracks of your pop-culture-infused brain. Thus was the case with Pronto. I’m always fighting the losing battle of correcting some of my literary shortcomings and reading authors who I know I want to read and should be reading, but somehow still haven’t (and yet somehow I always find time to read this year’s Twilight or 50 Shades - God, I suck). This Spring it was Elmore Leonard’s turn. I started with a guaranteed “like” in the form of Run Punch and then it came to my attention that there was a little book called Pronto at the library. Said book just happened to be inspiration for one of my husband’s favorite television shows, which he claimed was worthy of . . .

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Me, being the extremely clever lady I am, decided to give the book a gander, then surprise my husband with my vast knowledge of all things Raylan Givens and perhaps even enjoy the final season of Justified with him. And that would have been great . . . if I had liked Pronto a whole lot more.

The premise, although perhaps a bit stale and overused, was entertaining enough. Raylan is a U.S. Marshal who has been assigned to retrieve a runaway bookie before he gets whacked. You know, typical cat and mouse type of chaser with a broad thrown in for good measure in order to spice things up with the MC. Leonard even decided to throw in an Italian background to class things up a bit. My problem? From what I’ve seen from the Justified commercials, Raylan is all sorts of awesome . . .

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And he’s funny to boot . . .

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But in book form, he was a total a bit of an idiot. Luckily Leonard used a wide cast of characters that helped save the day and his writing was above-par, but all-in-all I was still left with a “meh” reaction to the book as a whole.

Oh and in case you’re wondering – I never bothered watching any of the television show with my husband – and he was A-Okaaaaaay with that idea. There’s a reason we’ve stayed married for a billion and a half years – I don’t poop on his parade when he’s watching shows like Sons of Anarchy or Justified or The League (but I totally call them his “stories” like he’s an old lady watching her soap operas to get a rise out of him) and he doesn’t poop on mine when I’m watching Bob’s Burgers and 30 Rock re-runs.

And now I’m only FIFTEEN reviews behind. Yay me! I deserve an internet break ; )

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fog Warning by Edward Lorn

Fog Warning
4 Stars

“The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.”

                                                  Carl Sandburg

Dr. Brent Cummings has had some . . . . ummmmmmm, problems in the past. Problems he moved thousands of miles away from in order to escape. But those problems pale in comparison to the new problem he’s faced with . . .

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Yep, the good ol’ Doc just so happened to stumble across a murdered woman in a local park. Or did he?????? Is the fog that surrounds Brent an indicator of ghosts (both past and present)?

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Or is it simply a side effect of the nearly constant drug-induced state in which he lives???

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I’ve had a bit of a struggle trying to get a review puked out of my brain on this one. You see, no matter what I say I’m going to be doing Fog Warning a disservice. Per a discussion I had here on Goodreads recently – my definition of horror is seriously not the same as everyone else. I didn’t consider Fog Warning to be a horror at all – it was more like a super creepy mystery with a lot of f*&^aroo mixed in for good measure. Kind of like The Sixth Sense - you know back in the days when we all thought M. Night Shyamalan was best thing since sliced bread and not a one trick pony? The main difference between Fog Warning and The Sixth Sense??? I had no freaking clue what was going to happen next in Fog Warning. I also didn’t expect to find myself chuckling on more than one occasion at a potentially crazy and definitely drug addled MC. But I did. Lorn proves once again that he doesn’t need many pages to create deep characters. Characters who should be soooooo unlikeable, but somehow aren’t. This is the third Edward Lorn story I’ve read and I think I can officially say I’m a fan.

Because there is always a chance it will come up. Yes, I’m kinda friendly with Edward Lorn. No, he didn’t give me a free copy of his book (the bastard). I paid for it with my own hard-earned nickels and dimes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank (Crank, #1)
1 Star
This is the story of Kristina and the downward spiral her life takes once she decides to dance with “the monster.”

First things first . . . Apparently I missed the memo that said everything “disturbing” should be written in free verse form. Note to writers: Using this method does not make your work “poetic” or “better,” so stop doing it if you’re not good at it.

On to the actual story . . . I know Crank was supposed to bring to light all the dangers of drugs and how using will destroy your life and blah blah blah. Unfortunately (to me at least) it read like an old “scared straight” type of story (kind of like a Reefer Madness, if you will) . . .

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I realize I’m an old adult and this book is geared for young adults, so this problem could easily be mine alone, but I just couldn’t ever get on board with feeling any kind of sympathy for Kristina or her family. I know Crank is supposedly based on actual events, but it didn’t read true to me at all. The lack of caring, concern or any type of involvement with Kristina at all by the mother was extremely disturbing to me as a parent. We’re talking about a child – not some 30-something year old burnout here. Seriously, if your teenager is an average P.I.T.A. hormonal drama mama, but otherwise picture perfect kid who then does a complete 180 and morphs into someone you suspect is on drugs it is YOUR JOB as the parent to try and solve the problem using any means necessary. Hell, it’s your job to stop it before it even starts. If you think you are sending your child to an ex with a major habit, you DON’T SEND YOUR CHILD THERE. Violate your custody agreement, call Family Services and have his dumb ass investigated, do anything it takes to keep your kid away from that person. Writing a book about what happened and cashing in upteen years after the fact is the most “disturbing” thing about this whole novel. Everything else just made me feel like this . . .

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind (Unwind, #1)
5 Stars

“What does it take to unwind the unwanted? It takes twelve surgeons, in teams of two, rotating in and out as their medical specialty is needed. It takes nine surgical assistants and four nurses. It takes three hours.”

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If you are at all familiar with my reviews, you’re probably well aware that I’m a “big meany” when it comes to doling out 1 Stars and super stingy when it comes to granting 5s. I’m here to tell you that Unwind knocked my damn socks so clean off my feet and I would easily grant it a 6th Star if it were allowed. You’re probably wondering what made this story so different from the other gazillion YA dystopian stories out there, huh? In a nutshell???? EVERYTHING.

Connor has always been a troubled-child and his parents just can’t deal with him any longer. Risa is a ward of the state who no longer has a place in the system. And Lev is a “tithe” – the 1/10th that his family must give to their church. The fate of the three is to be “unwound” – a compromise the Pro-Life and Right-to-Lifers made into law wherein parents (or the state, as the case may be) can choose to have 99.44% of a child between the ages of 13 and 18 transplanted into the most deserving (and highest paying) recipients. Unwind is the story of how unfortunate coincidence leads to Connor, Risa and Lev meeting and their attempt to save themselves from certain fate.

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So not only is the “dystopian” subject matter fresh, but there is no awful “world building” to muck things up either. The “world” is the United States – the only difference is that the Second Civil War has been fought that created the “unwinding” law to begin with . . .

“A conflict always begins with an issue – a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn’t matter anymore, because now it’s about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.”

Another bonus? The characters aren’t sparkly sissies. They kick SERIOUS ass. Connor is a “bad boy” (not in an annoying stereotypical way – just in the way that it doesn’t need to be explained that if the poo hits the fan he will jump right in to the mix). Rissa is definitely no shrinking violet. In fact, “she’s a bit annoyed that she’s not included . . . It ought to be a Bonnie-and-Clyde kind of thing. The rumor mill is definitely sexist.” Lev goes through a total transformation. And, let’s just say there are plenty of other characters and surprising twists and turns along the way too . . .

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The best part of all about the characters? NO INSTALOVE!!!!! In fact, there are only THREE PARAGRAPHS – that’s right PARAGRAPHS – that are “romantic” at all. Unwind is all about surviving . . . these kids could give a flying fart about getting laid.

As for the unwinding itself?

“No one knows how it happens. No one knows how it’s done. The harvesting of Unwinds is a secret medical ritual that stays within the walls of each harvesting clinic in the nation. In this way it is not unlike death itself, for no one knows what mysteries lie beyond those secret doors, either.”

Have no fear – you’ll find out everything you never wanted to know about unwinding.

And the best part of it all (well, for me at least) – YOU DON’T HAVE TO READ THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES!!!! Obviously you can if you want, but I hate when books are in a series and I was 100% A-Okay with the ending of Unwind and just pretending that it’s a stand-alone novel.

Like I said, Unwind blew me away and gets all the stars. It gets the first 5 for the alllll of the aforementioned items and I’d give it another if I could because I can’t remember the last time I read a YA book that could spark actual conversation between kids and parents about some serious grown-up topics like when life begins and abortion and organ donation and stem cell research and on and on and on.

“You can’t change laws without first changing human nature.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Revival by Stephen King

4.5 Stars

While I was reading this happened . . .

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And now that I’m done and ready to write a review, I’m thinking “why the f*&^ do I do this to myself.” There’s no way I’ll be able to give this book the review it deserves – flagging the crap out of it is just like a salt-in-the-wound type of reminder of that fact. That leaves me with the question of “where to begin?” The most obvious place would be the beginning . . .

Jamie Morton is just a boy when he meets Charlie Jacobs. Charlie has been hired to be the new preacher and the entire Morton family quickly find themselves smitten with everything about him (as well as with his wife and baby). But when tragedy strikes, Reverend Jacobs’ faith in God vanishes and he delivers what is forever known after that day as the “Terrible Sermon.”

Decades pass and Jamie finds himself transformed from a teenager with an infatuation with an old hand-me-down guitar to a 30-something musician who, in the immortal words of Neil Young, has “seen the needle and the damage done.” A chance (if you believe in chance) encounter at the Oklahoma State fair with a carny called Dan Jacobs offers Jamie an opportunity to get clean and turn his life around. And then???? Well . . . “SOMETHING HAPPENED.”

Years later Jamie finds his path crossing one more time with a man now known as “Pastor Danny” and his “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” of sorts. A revival, if you will . . .

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(Since we’re dealing with Stephen King I think it should probably be clear to most of you that at some point during this book the proverbial shit also hits the fan.)

Sooooooo, now that I’ve written all THAT, I should probably talk about my reaction at some point, huh? How did Revival make me feel?

It made me feel like I was home.

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Not only did Jamie’s big, boisterous family remind me of my own, but by the end of the book (and over 5 decades of Jamie’s life), I felt like he was an old friend. For the most part, Revival read like a memoir to me – and it may not sound like a compliment since this is a King novel, but believe me when I say it is. King showed what King does best –great characters. As much as I’ve loved his most recent stories, I must admit I did not fall in love with the characters. That was so not the case with Revival. Not only did I love Jamie and Charlie, but I loved Jamie’s parents and siblings and Patsy and Tag-Along-Morrie and Hugh and on and on and on and on. An added bonus was that King didn’t bother attempting to delve into a deep “relationship” plotline. (You’ve gotta admit, for someone who has been married for eternity, he’s pretty shitty at writing couples.)

The only reason this book isn’t receiving all 5 Stars from me is because of what I thought was kind of a lackluster climax. Now now now, put down your pitchforks. I realize the consensus of other Constant Readers is going to differ from me on this point and feel that the near-ending (once you read it, you'll totally know the part I'm talking about, but there's no way I'm spoiling anything here) was the end all/be all of the entire story and that’s fine. I just didn’t find all the added hoopla at the end to be necessary. All that was really required was what the good book tells us . . .

"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

I know there are many who have not appreciated King’s past few releases. To you I can say, THE KING IS BACK – LONG LIVE THE KING! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. As for me and my feelings toward the master? I say keep on rockin’, sir, and remember "ALL THAT SHIT STARTS IN E."