Thursday, April 30, 2015

Boring Girls by Sara Taylor

22750458
1 Star
 
Everyone else liked this. Seriously? Is this a prank? Did I read the same book you did???? I want to exchange this one for the one you all read, ‘cause my version was a real pile of shit.

Obviously I’m taking the road less traveled and posting a hate-a-riffic review. Consider yourselves warned . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

“I thought you were sick of boring girls.”

I am. Good lord believe me, I am! Let me just wrap this bitch up real quick and I’ll never speak of them again. Here goes. Boring Girls is the story of Rachel, a teenaged girl trying to discover/express herself via clothing/music/make-up/hairstyle/etc. who always felt alone until she met fellow outsider, Fern. (Now is the time where I need to borrow some of your eyeballs, ‘cause after the deadly duo began their friendship I rolled mine so many times they’re stuck in the back of my head and it’s damn hard to type this review when I can’t see.)

Okay, so the girls meet, they bond in the solidarity of their lonerishness, etc. and since they both like to listen to heavy metal music, they figure they should probably play metal music and decide to form a band (*eye roll*). Said band is filled with kids who have never really played before, but of course are immediately amazeballs (*eye roll*) and definitely are awesome like this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

and not like this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

And even though Rachel has been absolutely cursed (*eye roll*) with parents who dared to give a shit . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

she somehow always manages to convince them to let her do whatever she wants. Even though she’s only 15 years old and the stuff she wants to do isn’t always safe (*eye roll*). Which leads us to the superbadawful and finally at the SIXTY-SIX FUCKING PERCENT point we get to the damn moment that will be the catalyst for the epic “revenge story” promised (*eye roll*). More awesome stuff happens - like being asked to go on tour, because that’s generally how things work for girls who want to pull the stabby-stabby on their perpetrators a bunch of nobodies who form a band in a podunk town – they conveniently get offered things like “gigs” and tours and record contracts without really working for them (*eye roll*).

I should’ve known when I scrolled by a couple of comparisons to another real piece of crap that was just released that this probably wasn’t going to be the book for me. However, I already had the ARC so it was a done deal that I would have to read it. I hated everything about this story. The entire thing seemed so contrived. From the horribly forced dialogue and situation set-ups, to the non-stop detailing of EVERY. SINGLE. MUNDANE. ITEM. – until the superbadawful . . .

“I can’t get into what happened after he put his hand over my mouth. I really can’t.”

OF COURSE YOU CAN’T (*eye roll*).

I’m sure all of the “feminists” out there are going to just rave about all of the “girl power” that is supposedly coming out of this story . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Here’s the problem – when said girl power type of vibe is coming from a female lead who I wanted to punch in the face it doesn’t work out. She was completely delusional – and not in a good way like the sociopathic unreliable narrators I love to hate hate to love. It is a continual theme in this novel that Rachel is being dismissed/treated poorly in life the metal industry due to the fact that she is a woman.

“If more people treated assholes like assholes, then everyone could be a hero too.”

Dear Girls With Personalities Like Rachel: You’re not always treated wrong just because you’re a woman – sometimes it’s because YOU’RE A HUGE FLAMING ASSHOLE AND NO ONE LIKES YOU. Everyone would feel the same even if you had a penis . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

To top everything off, this book is another that claims to be soooooo “dark.” That only works if you’ve only read sunshine and rainbows and unicorn farts before this. It’s not dark. It’s angsty and whiny and blech. It presents the most ridiculous messages. Things like “it’s totes cool to kill some dudes who raped you rather than ever attempting to go to the cops/a hospital, but smoking is gross and you shouldn’t do it.” Is this real life???? And people liked this? No. Just no.

Dallas Commercial Photography

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

162085
2 Stars
 
A week or so ago one of my new friends on Goodreads asked what was taking me so long to finish Pretty Little Liars. Truth is, I finished it in one day waaaaaaaaaaaay long ago, but my reaction was . . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

so I never got around to writing a review. Want a sneak peak into the world of Mitchell and Kelly and how to tell if they didn’t like a book????

Dallas Commercial Photography

Yep. Not a note, not a highlight, not a comment, nada. This time the problem stems from one issue and one issue alone . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

In case you don’t already know (since there are like eleventy trillion of these books and also a television series), Pretty Little Liars is the story of a group of girls whose frenemy, Alison, disappeared during a slumber party. Fast forward three years and each of the girls begins receiving notes/emails/texts threatening to divulge some dirty secrets. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn.

Now, if I were able to jump in the way-back machine I would probably dig on this series. Not to mention the t.v. show. From my addiction with all things of the 90210 and Melrose Place varieties as a tween, I’m fairly certain I would just lap this shit up too. However, since I’m 1,000 years old, reading/watching Pretty Little Liars makes me feel more than a bit like this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

So yeah. This one gets a low rating because I really just didn’t like it. The writing wasn’t great and it was just sooooooo predictable so I can only muster up a 2 Star.

Dallas Commercial Photography

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

23340891
4 Stars
 
“Lizzie Borden took an axe . . .”

Dallas Commercial Photography

Bridget Sullivan knew it wouldn’t be easy to work for the Borden family. The gossip about how strange, demanding, and downright cruel they could be has been whispered from one end of town to the other. However, being the Borden’s maid is a job that will not only allow Bridget closer proximity to her future husband, but also pay better than any other bringing Bridget ever closer to her goal of paying for her sister’s passage from Ireland and officially starting life as a married woman in the States. Imagine Bridget’s surprise when she discovers that, although more than a bit clingy, Lizzie is nothing like what the rumor-mill has led her to believe. In fact, in a house filled with strange Lizzie is the bright spot with her friendly disposition and willingness to help Bridget complete nearly any chore. Is there more to Lizzie than meets the eye????

“If you’re going to survive in this house, you’ve got to know who you’re truly living with.”

Full disclosure time: I attended high school with one of the authors and this is the third book of hers that I have read. Of those three books, one was a YA dystopian, one was a YA horror and now Sweet Madness - a YA historical fiction. If you follow my reviews you should already know by now that I don’t pad my ratings because of my familiarity with an author, but I do want to take a second to tip my hat to these two ladies who have taken on three different genres and done quite well writing in each. I also want to note that although I know one of the authors, I obtained my ARC from Edelweiss - not from Lindsay Currie.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let me disclose one more thing. The story of Lizzie Borden is one I may have just the teensiest obsession fascination with . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Everyone should be interested in Lizzie’s story. Did she or didn’t she? Was she sane or was she crazy? Did she act in cold blood? Was it self defense????

Dallas Commercial Photography

Seriously . . . and yet somehow, maybe????

Don’t let the YA tag on this one fool you. Leaver and Currie definitely are working to break the mold of the stereotypical young adult novel. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, or just someone like Mitchell and me who can’t get enough of reading about the old hatchetry of the brain whenever possible, this is a title you should check out.

Speaking of Mitchell. What are you doing with that axe there, buddy?????

Dallas Commercial Photography
 
ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sexual Healing by Matt Shaw

24201816
4 Stars
 
I’m fairly certain I grabbed this one for free on Amazon at some point. Mitchell and I just assumed the little WARNING sign at the bottom would be the same one we’d seen time and again on Shaw’s other stuff letting us know that the story contained inside would be of the extreme horror nature. Ummmmm, yeah. We should read better (Trolls, you were right all along – I do read things wrong). Turns out Sexual Healing was an EROTIC novel . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

God I’m awful when it comes to reading the dirty books. But a dirty book was what Mitchell and I were about to read, which left us both repeating . . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Okay, that’s a lie. This is Matt Shaw we’re talking about here. OF COURSE we were hoping for creepy. And while I’m terrible at reading/reviewing erotic novels, I assumed if there was any porn to be enjoyed by me it would probably be Matt Shaw porn. Maybe my husband would even get lucky and get to see me in my sexy lingerie . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Alright, that’s a lie too. Mitchell and I read this at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday while eating donuts and drinking coffee. Nobody is interested in making the sexytimes with a woman who spends her morning hanging out with a dead pig head.

Anyway, turns out Matt Shaw can probably write just about anything. Sexual Healing was the story of Jake, a man who has been alone and on a downward spiral for the past five years since his wife died of cancer. While perusing the offerings of the interwebs he happens to come across a high-end call girl who is a ringer for his dead wife. Jake decides to fork out some cash and see if he can get some closure, get his life back on track, or at least get . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Of course, since this was a Shaw story, it also contained just a bit of his patented style of twist . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Recommended for those of you who like to have a plot in addition to your bow-chicka-wow-wow.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay

22716561
4 Stars
 
DEAR VEGANS – PLEASE BACK AWAY FROM THIS REVIEW. I PROMISE YOU THERE IS NOTHING FOR YOU TO SEE HERE.

If you know nothing about/are a beginner at cooking on a smoker, Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto is the cookbook for you. My husband was kind enough to volunteer his services in order to make this a legit review, but like I do with most everything else in my life, I’m going to take his contributions and make a complete mockery out of them. Ready? Me too!

First step, if you don’t enjoy the process of outdoor cooking (bees? skeeters? ugh. pass.) you will need to find yourself a servant boy husband who is willing to tend to his meat all day. That shouldn’t be hard to do, right? Ha! I’m hilarious. Here’s a picture of my husband tending the grill . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

I don’t know who those bitches are in the background, but they better get the f*&^ out of my yard!

Once you’ve found your sucker ahem, I mean soulmate, have them go rustle up a nice big slab of meat for cooking . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

I keed, I keed. I would never murder Booker T. Django, on the other hand? Perhaps. However, for this review we’re using a hunk of pork butt . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Hold on tight, those suckers are slippery! Once you’ve caught your pig, you’ll need to slaughter it . . .

[IMAGE DELETED DUE TO ITS EXTREME GRAPHIC NATURE]

The next step is seasoning the meat to your liking (FYI – I have zero originality so I have totally stolen and modified Paula Deen’s recipe for rub, which contains the same ingredients this book will tell you about - my husband cheats and uses this - he also likes to slather the whole thing in mustard first) until you get a little something like this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Once all that is done it's time for the boring stuff actual cooking. The husband begins with a charcoal stack and then adds his expertly prepared wood (*that’s what she said*) . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography
Dallas Commercial Photography

which results in what is apparently professionally known as “clean smoke” – probably since it’s so clear you can’t even see it (aren’t I a genius????) . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

You then let that little piggy who went wee wee wee all the way home cook for infinity until the handy-dandy meat thermometer says it’s done, while continually checking on/tending to the needs of the smoker (this is the part where you noobs realize you need to buy the book in order to make sure you don’t f*&^ everything up). Note: If your pig can still do this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

it needs to cook longer.

At the end of infinity the day, you should end up with something that looks a little like this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography
Dallas Commercial Photography

That will satisfy not only your gluttonous teenager, but also the pickiest of child, and which will obtain a reaction from your wife something kinda along these lines . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

It’s up to personal taste whether you want your pulled pork sammiches Southern style with a big ol’ dollop of coleslaw, or topped with a little bbq sauce . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

No matter what, if you did it right (or married the right fella) it should be delicious and have you retrieving your “Thanksgiving Pants” before you sit down to eat. Bon app├ętit!

Dallas Commercial Photography

Endless thanks to the hubs for all of the hard labor he put forth in order for me to post this review. Luckily I get paid zeroes of dollars for reviewing so I’m totally willing to split the profits 50/50 with him ; )

ARC provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

21535767
4 Stars
 
WARNING: IF YOU CONSIDER SOMETHING THAT IS DISCLOSED ON THE FIRST FREAKING PAGE OF A BOOK TO BE A “SPOILER” – YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST MOVE ON.
Dallas Commercial Photography

Seriously – first page:

“Here, there be dragons.”

but reviewers have been trolled for mentioning it??? That’s pure crazy right there. Alright. Now that that is out of the way, let’s get on with the review.

EDIT: I just noticed the new cover has a f*&^%$g DRAGON TAIL on it. Dear Trolls, Your argument is invalid.

WELCOME TO JURASSIC PARK!!!!

Dallas Commercial Photography

Errrr, I mean THE GREAT ZOO OF CHINA!!!

A zoo of epic proportions and filled with specimens we humans thought were only able to be conjured up by our imagination – or by George R. R. Martin . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

After journalists like CJ Cameron and various other VIPs tell others about their tour, The Great Zoo will make Disneyland seem like a joke . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

The Great Zoo of China received a mediocre response from most of my friends here on Goodreads. Leave it to me to be the oddball. What’s a girl to do? I don’t generally read reviews of books I plan on reading (especially ARCs), but I did skim several this time and noticed a running theme. I think my rating might be so high because from having seen their reactions I was already well aware that this would read more like a tribute piece to Michael Crichton – or a FanFic of Jurassic Park, if you will, and I was able to appreciate it for what it was. And holy shit did I appreciate it!

To begin with, the world (a/k/a zoo) that was built was beyond phenomenal. I never got bored reading about how this gargantuan project came to fruition. Although I’m always thankful for any reminders of this . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography
(YAAAAASSSSSSSSSS!!! THAT’S ME!!!!!! I VOLUNTEER! I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!!!!)

there aren’t enough words in my vocabulary (shut up, Ron 2.0) to describe how thrilled I was that the hero in this story was of the sort who lacked a penis (Hulkboy, if you make a joke about Goldblum lacking a penis I will fly to your house and cut you). Said female hero participated in kicking 100% of all the ass and made sure she also took names.

Speaking of kicking ass - Once the proverbial dragon shit hit the fan? This sucker was jam-packed with non-stop action. Sidenote: Did you know if something bites you in half the force is great enough to make your own intestines shoot out of your mouth? I didn’t either (and have no clue if it’s true), but I do know THAT. IT. IS. AWESOME. when it happens in a book. I can’t remember when I’ve read something with a body count this high. We’re talking hundreds of humans and dozens of dragons. WONDERFUL! I mean, sooooo sooo sad (not).

What can I say? If this is on your TBR know that it is very close to its original inspiration. And I mean VERY close . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

so just have fun experiencing the magic you felt the first time you read/watched Jurassic Park all over again.

Also make sure to always be thankful for things like luck dragons . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

and the fact that real-life dragons don’t know how to breathe fire . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

. . . or do they?
 
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!
(and sorry it took me so long to read this one)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

16164271
5 Stars
 
“Keys turn both ways . . .”

Me =

Dallas Commercial Photography

but, you know, less lumpy.

If you follow my reviews you already know that comic books – graphic novels? – whatever the f*&^ is the politically correct term – are something new I’ve recently added to my reading repertoire. I was lucky enough to snag all six volumes of Locke & Key from the library at once. However, as soon as I sat down with Welcome to Lovecraft I found myself mesmerized, kinda like this guy . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

and knew there was no way I was going to rush through them. After receiving an overdue notice from the library for Alpha & Omega I figured it was probably time to suck it up and finish. And now I want to go back and start all over. This is definitely a series that I will be purchasing for my own bookshelves.

This last volume was absolutely perfect. No i is left undotted, no t is left uncrossed. All of the mysteries of Key House are explained and a most unlikely hero emerges, which left me just . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

Per usual, the artwork was brilliant and mesmerizing with all of the detail . . .

Dallas Commercial Photography

I can’t forget to mention the writing? Maybe this is why the term “graphic novel” was started. Locke & Key truly read like a novel . . .

“Death isn’t the end of your life, you know. Your body is a lock. Death is the key. The key turns . . . and you’re free. To be anywhere, everywhere. Two places at once. Nowhere. Part of the background hum of the universe.”

And if none of that has worked to convince you that you should probably give this a shot – how about a little “Anarchy in the U.K.”????

Dallas Commercial Photography

What a long, strange trip this has been Mr. Hill and Mr. Rodriguez. I can’t thank you enough for taking me on it.

Dallas Commercial Photography