Friday, September 22, 2017

Words On Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton


25695640
5 Stars




“J. K. Rowling is a fucking genius. Anyone who doesn’t think so is crazy.”

^If the above doesn’t make all you nerds fall in love with Adam, you’re probably wasting your time here.

Alright. This is it. This is my #1 YA of the year. Pretty bold statement since there’s still 3+ months to go, but I’m putting it out there. I also just finished this (locked in a spare office on my lunch hour while skipping a “team luncheon”) and am already barfing this “review” out in order to get it on other people’s radars. Bonus is since I’m the first of my friends to have read this, it means my rating is the right one. I know, I know, you’re allowed to have your own opinion and give this low stars if you feel like it . . . .



I’m not sure where to start (or where this will go aside from a giant ramble), so let’s begin with our daily debriefing on the various ways in which I am an idiot. Today’s example is how I asked for (and was denied, of course) this book simply for the cover and title. I didn’t bother reading the synopsis. I just wanted it. I assumed it was going to be “Megan Abbot-y” type of mean girl story about – you guessed it – words on bathroom walls. Kinda like this . . . .



Whoops. Not accurate. At all. What the book was about, I mean. There’s a very good chance my kid wrote that about me on a toilet stall.

Words On Bathroom Walls is actually about Adam, a boy who was diagnosed extremely early with schizophrenia and is currently participating in a drug trial with an experimental new treatment. Told in journal format as entries to his therapist, this is Adam’s story as he deals with being crazy. Oh, and save your pearl clutching and being “triggered” at the use of the C word. As Adam would say . . . .

“I prefer ‘crazy’ to ‘mentally ill.’ Sounds more dignified.”

While it does at times seem as if mentally ill is the new black, Words On Bathroom Walls feels fresh and new. It tackles the most obvious issues with the stigma of being “crazy” head on . . . .

“When you have cancer, people are sympathetic. They feel something for you, and people even hold races to raise money for your cure. It’s different when people are afraid of what you’ve got, because then you get some of the sympathy but none of the support. They don’t wish you ill – they just want you as far away from them as possible.”

And does so with loving, concerned parents (who are actually in the picture and not just some blip on the radar!!!!), friends – both real and hallucinated – who will always be there, and a real high school romance that develops over months rather than the “insta” variety that made me feel as warm and fuzzy as a Taylor Swift song (well, before she went all batshit) . . . .



Maybe I’m getting ready to start my period (TMI? Naaaaah), but it made me feel all the things. And when Adam knew just the right thing to say . . . . .



I found myself a bit emotionally compromised . . . .



Then this happened . . . .



I’m in love with this book. I think I’m gonna sleep with it under my pillow tonight.

Bone White by Ronald Malfi


32920015
4.5 Stars

“Up is down, down is up. Bigfoot is searching for me now.”
I passed Bone White up when it was offered over on NetGalley due to having a pretty “meh” experience with Little Girls by this author. But then a bunch of my friends started reading it and loving it and giving it crazy high ratings and well, you know me . . . . .



I was 100% prepared to be the dissenting opinion and wrong-reader of this one, so imagine my surprise when I got sucked in just like everyone else.

The story here is of Paul, a man who ends up in a remote area of Alaska searching for his missing brother after seeing a story on the news about a local who showed up in town, confessed to murdering eight people and led authorities to their bodies. When it turns out Danny isn’t one of the deceased, Paul decides to try and track him down in the last town he was seen - Dread’s Hand . . . .

“Blink and you’d miss it: a town, or, rather, the memory of a town, secreted away at the end of a nameless, unpaved roadway that, in the deepening half light of an Alaskan dusk, looks like it might arc straight off the surface of the planet and out into the far reaches of the cosmos. A town where the scant few roads twist like veins and the little black-roofed houses, distanced from one another as if fearful of some contagion, look as if they’d been excreted into existence, pushed up through the crust of the earth from someplace deep underground.”

Faced with less-than-cooperative civil servants and even more uncooperative townsfolk, Paul is on his own when it comes to discovering what happened to his brother. And that’s when things really get interesting . . .

I’m well aware that I’m a weirdo, but I wouldn’t categorize this as a horror. That should probably be taken as a compliment by the author, because my brain has a twisted definition of what “horror” is and I tend to not be real impressed by the things that go bump in the night. At the same time (without giving anything away), Bone White did end up having one of the only “big reveals” that doesn’t end up feeling campy to me. The only other thing it could have been that would have scared the hell out of me?????



Ha! Anyway, I would file this as a mystery. The desolate location and “Deliverance-esque” locals (without the butt rape) is what provides the make-your-butthole-pucker-type-of-creepy – not some monster. I mean, have you ever watched one of those Alaska reality shows? I like being alone, but that is a waaaaaaaay different kind of alone. I can’t believe this sits at little over 100 ratings on Goodreads. With October right around the corner, I hope more people add this to their TBR. It would be perfect for a cold, Halloweeny-type read. Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. Go check out what these amazing people had to say instead. They words much better than me . . .

Char
Jan
Kimberly
Bill
Michael
Melissa

Many thanks to the big liburrrrry for having this one at the ready when I had my “this is America, I want it now moment.” And look at the new thing to do there . . . .



I mean, not for me to do there. I’m perfectly fine being slothlike and obese. But other people who enjoy being around other people can do yoga on the roof. Fancy!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker


33357295
5 Stars

If you follow my reviews you know that I generally try to make something from any new cookbook I receive. This one actually arrived a couple of weeks ago and I even have all of the ingredients ready to make this . . . . .



But Mother Nature has decided to be a real turdburger and it’s been about 12,000 degrees with 1,000,000% humidity since it got here so I’m saying screw it and my family is living on cereal until the heat wave breaks. (If you’re just dying with anticipation to see what kind of godawful concoction I can churn out, you’ll have to settle for the Great Goat Sacrifice of 2016. Oh, and YOU’RE WELCOME Cubs fans – my family’s misery is what ended a 108 losing streak and 71-year-old curse.)

Tomorrow is the first official day of Fall and *crossing fingers* sweater weather will be here any second. Of course, with sweater weather brings my most hated basic white girl obsession of them all . . . .



But today we’re going to ignore all that and focus on the glory which is Martha.

I’ve been a Martha Stewart fan since Jesus was a toddler. That being said, I’ll be the first to admit that back in the day I didn’t really tune in to her show for the food – since it was super uppity and I am super trailer parky – but I luuuuuuuuurved all the dang craft segments. Martha is the reason I know what a “cloche” is and how I should shove a bunch of miniature shit in one in order to make a tiny “winter wonderland.” Speaking of tiny, just when I thought I was really kicking ass with my “Hobbit Haven” . . . . .



Martha one-ups me by making a fairy garden with Mary Effing Poppins!



All the above is to say that I’ve been a superfan since way back when Martha came off with this kind of air about her . . . .



But when she came out of the pokey???? Now that is a girl I want to hang with . . . .



I’ll be 100% honest and admit I was a tad bit apprehensive at the idea of Martha Stewart tackling a crockpot recipe book since she isn’t what you’d necessarily call relatable. However, the very first line addressed the giant pink elephant in the room . . .

“To tell the honest truth, I have never, ever, really used a slow cooker.”

Awesome. OF COURSE YOU DIDN’T! You’re Martha (Fucking) Stewart FFS! Since she’s Martha (Expletive Deleted) Stewart, she knocked this one out of the ballpark. Her (way more advanced palate than my family’s) had her attempting things like slow cooker versions of Vietnamese Short-ribs or Chicken Tagine, while also (maybe surprisingly) going with tons of basics such as . . . . .



Or . . . .



It has stuff my kids would happily gobble down . . . .



As well as stuff they wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, but that I will eat when they piss me off in order to fart them out of the house . . . .



Basically, obtaining a Martha Stewart item for zero dollars was pretty much my only bucket list item when it comes to reviewer copies. I am so happy it did not disappoint. It had everything I want in a cookbook – pretty pictures, ingredients that are either already in my pantry or easily obtainable and most importantly EDIBLE recipes. And really, the $26.00 price point isn’t horrible either compared to other, lesser-known, foodie books I’ve obtained in the past.

Endless thanks to the publisher for making all of my wildest dreams come true!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

This Is War Baby by K. Webster


28094098
5 Stars

When I first saw this over on NetGalley about 124 years ago, I reeeeaaaallllyyyyy wanted it – mainly because the title made me think it was going to be this type of story . . . .



Per usual, I was late to the party and by the time I went to request a copy it had gone poof in the night. Then a couple of my friends read it and not only proved that my brain is a complete and utter failure because this was most def NOT a Mr. and Mrs. Smith revamp, but that there also included an unreadable part featuring a garden vegetable. But I ain’t skeered. I’m just like this cat . . . .



And now that I finished????



Ha! I keed. I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to cucumbers now.

Seriously though. I kinda almost want to give this 5 Stars . . . .



I mean, it was just soooooo bad that it was good. From “slurpy” oral sex to awful smexytalk like such . . . .

“I want to make you orgasm over and over again just to see the look on your face.”

This was a trainwreck I couldn’t pry my eyes from and my reading experience was pretty much the equivalent of . . . . . .



Aside from cucumber butt play and really bad dialogue, you’re probably wondering what War and Peace was even about. Well, pull up a chair and get comfy ‘cause it was pretty much about ERRRRRYTHING and I’m going to SPOIL THE CRAP OUT OF IT FOR YOU. Still here? Okay, let’s do this.

It all starts with Baylee getting some slurp done on her hoo by her boyfriend who can’t seem to locate the little man in the boat (probably because he’s so drooly) when a masked man barges in the room, knocks ol’ Moral Oral out and snatches (hehehe snatch) Baylee off to a cabin in the woods. Once unmasked, she discovers the kidnapper is none other than the neighbor fella she has always thought was kinda hot. Neighbor fella thinks the same of Baylee, but he also needs some money so he plans on selling Baylee to a sex ring and then kidnapping her back. But first (!!!!) he has to “train” her . . . . .



And don’t you know that ho has one of those daggum “traitorous bodies” that makes her have an O-Face even when she’s getting pounded like a nail by a super raper. Soon her two weeks of schooling is over and she finds herself auctioned off to the highest bidder . . . .

“You are never allowed to touch me. Ever. Are we clear?”

And I was like: OH HEY THERE WEIRDO!!!!



Apparently he just wants a companion and Baylee is willing to stay if “War” will help grease some palms and get her momma a new kidney on the black market or whatever means is necessary to keep her from croaking. But you know they is going to road trip to pound town too!

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering “War” isn’t some post-zombie-apocalypse name or some shit. It’s just short for Warren – which if you are cool at all you will automatically associate with . . . . .


#RexManningDay)

Back to our story. So Baylee and War finally do the bang bang, we find out the superbadawful that turned him into a superfreak, Cucumber Fan No. 1 shows back up right when I’m pretty sure [Baylee’s about ready to discover she’s preggers with his bebe kid (hide spoiler)] and then he [ TOTALLY SHOOTS WARREN!!!! (hide spoiler)]. Fade to black. Cliffy ending. BWAHAHAHAHA SO LAME! I LOVE IT!

By the end I was totally channeling my inner Dino Jess . . . . .



There aren’t enough thank yous in the world to offer up to my book fairy for this one. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!!

Fuck it. I’m giving it 5 Stars. Suck it, haters.

Don't You Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

18820442
4 Stars

“My life. It’s not right. It didn’t begin like yours. It won’t end like yours either.” 
When my kid brought this home from high school for his nightly required reading, I was all in for a buddy read. Not only because both my kids have been a bit scumbaggy in the past and fibbed about reading when actually they were smuggling iPhones/Pods up to their rooms or sitting on the toilet staring at the wall rather than attempting to expand their minds, but mainly because . . . . 



(If you don’t know the significance of the above image/you didn't immediately get an earworm just from reading this title, you are waaaaay too young to be my friend and also probably the target demographic for this book.)

But then the unthinkable happened and the KID ACTUALLY FINISHED BEFORE ME. And the reason? Because I couldn’t stop reading pornography long enough to catch up to him . . . . 



That’s all in the past, though, right? So let’s get to the book. Welcome to Gardnerville . . . . 

“A place with no disease where everyone lives past one hundred doesn’t sound like paradise to you?”

“That’s only half the story. The rest is the reformatory and fourth years and kids turned into monsters.”
 


Skylar’s sister Piper was one of the aforementioned fourth years. She was a kid who turned into a monster. Now she resides in the reformatory and Skylar needs to get her out before this fourth year’s events begin.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this without giving everything away. I will say, it earns its Stars by feeling original, well written, and containing moments that the cool kids would have this to say about . . . . 



(All the cool kids still say stuff like that, right?)

Anyway. Although I did see the “twist” coming, it didn’t really bother me because the getting there was pretty fun and the fact that my kid really got absorbed in the story? That makes all of this stuff . . . . 



Not matter so much. Kudos to you, Ms. Quinn. You get 4 of the Starzzzzzzzz. 

P.S. Oh, and Ron 2.0? You’ll be happy to know the youngest manchild is currently reading Winger. And he loves it because he is not a wrong reader like you ; )

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley


6538757
2.5 Stars

Indy has been in love with her best friend’s brother Lee ever since she was a wee little girl. When she was a teenager she threw herself at him (pretty much literally) for the last time. That’s when he told her she was like a sister to him. For the past decade, Indy has avoided Lee as much possible, but has never fully been able to due to their families' combined celebrations of birthdays/holidays/generic Sunday backyard BBQs, etc. When Indy finds herself in a real pickle featuring one of her employees (who just happens to be everyone in town’s favorite coffee guru) and a bag of diamonds, Lee plants himself firmly in her life. She also finds out when it comes to how he used to only view her in a “sisterly” manner, that . . . .

“That was then, this is now.”

This had soooooo much potential. If you’re like me and have suffered through eleventy thousand Stephanie Plum stories, but can’t quit because they are your crack, you would have probably been all giggly schoolgirl upon starting this one too. Basically, Indy is a moron just like Stephanie. She gets kidnapped and blown up and shot at, etc., etc., etc. The difference here? SHE BANGS RANGER. Now, it takes a while to get there, but Lee is totally Ranger and they totally bang. (And you can just go ahead and spare me if you even are thinking of getting pissy and saying this isn’t like the Evanovich series because Kristen Ashley has in her mothereffing BIO that Evanovich is one of her inspirations.) So what went wrong?????



Ashley should have taken a bit more inspiration from Evanovich and realized that there was not enough story here for 400+ pages. I can get over the very loose “Rock Chick” gimmick – seriously girlfriend listened to rock music, wore denim miniskirts, bangles and big belt buckles and had a claim to fame of getting a little handsy with a guitar hero . . . .



To say the “Rock Chick” moniker was a bit of a stretch is the understatement of the year. Oh, and let’s talk about those clothes . . . .



Good Christ, I don’t need a description of every godblasted outfit the woman wore each day. There’s an old saying: “the devil’s in the details.” If that’s true, then Old Scratch must’ve had a front row seat during the writing of this one.

Some of you are probably asking why didn’t I just cut bait and DNF instead of letting it annoy the shit out of me for nearly three days? Well, because (1) KA really triggered the ol’ sploosh zone for me with one of her previous offerings, (2) this one had some of the aforementioned things going for it as well as having a pretty LOL-able bad guy . . . .



Think I’m kidding????

“He was short, had to be in his fifties and had jet-black hair with white at each temple. He looked like what I would guess a young Grandpa Munster would look like, except a lot more creepy and definitely scary, but not in a comic way.”

(3) It made me chuckle a few times. Not only because Indy was a loveable idiot, but also because of stuff like this . . . .

“Wear sexy panties tonight,” he said against my mouth. “I don’t have any other options except commando.” Lee’s arm tightened spasmodically right before he murmured, “Christ.”

Not to mention (4) I was not blessed with the ability to not finish something. Mainly because . . . .



It probably goes without saying that I won’t be continuing on with this series. I’m sure that won’t hurt Kristen Ashley’s feelings one little bit since she has a mass of fangirls. Seriously, I don’t know how y’all do it. I get that these are self-pubbed, but for Jeebus' sake at some point you have to . . . .



I can't imagine the eye twitch I would develop if I managed to get through SEVEN more (FFS!) of these things.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken


34214847
5 Stars


I decided to read Fraternize after a certain someone’s name kept popping up all over creation due to him being an excellent human being and after watching sitting in the same room during Sunday Funday when this happened . . . .







I can’t imagine the person who would still not know this – but in case you need written confirmation, YES I am 100% disgusting and was totally able to take something wonderful that happened during a tragedy to make me horny for some porny . . . .







The story here is about Emerson who has dreamed of breaking the mold of who can become a professional cheerleader ever since high school. When Emerson finally lands a spot on the Bucks’ squad, she is elated. She knows she can keep up with the grueling pace, and as for the no fraternization with the football players policy? No problem. Especially since the only two who pay her any attention are her former best friend who now hates her and another who has a reputation of being kind of like this . . . .







If you would have ever told me that I would be this smitten with one of these types of stories . . . .







I would have told you to get your head checked. I’m not going to spoil anything here, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that this isn’t your typical love triangle tale. Now, there’s probably plenty of people who will still be put off by it, and those people should just go ahead and remove themselves from my space because the way this plot point is used here is NOT OFFENSIVE. There was one teensie little thing that is overused a lot in romance novels that I never enjoy, but it didn’t turn me off in the least. I just wanted to hurry up and get to the addressing of the giant pink elephant and then move on because the rest of the story?????







Emerson was quite the breath of fresh air of a leading lady who had real life shit to deal with and didn’t much sweat the small stuff . . . .



“Go shower. You smell like whiskey and bad choices.”



And the men? Remember up top when I said I wanted to picture bangin’ JJ Watt? Well, imagine my surprise when I was introduced to Miller . . . .







Followed by Grant . . . .







Kudos to you Rachel Van Dyken. Please now allow me to channel my inner Jason Derulo and ask WILL YOU MAAAAAAAAARRY MEEEEEEEE?







All the stars and I seriously CAN. NOT. WAIT. for the second in this series to come out. So fired up . . . .







ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley! And for any of you who are curious – NO I DO NOT KNOW THIS AUTHOR. I simply stalk the intertubes (and have a friend who assists me and sends me PMs in case I miss something) for all of her new releases like any sane person would do because I lurv her.