Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

16102004
1 Star

I have no words to describe this horrible thing, so I’ll do what I do best and use pictures . . . .





There’s simply nothing good to say about this whore of a book.

I decided to take a break from Mystic River being that it was Valentine’s Day and maybe a selection that makes a person want to stick their head in the oven wasn’t the best choice if my husband was looking to score. I had downloaded this one a week or so ago when it popped up as a “Recommended To You” option on the porny library’s website. Oh porny librarian, I have some serious disappoint. I can’t believe you won’t order my oft requested stepbrother porns but you spent my hard-earned tax dollars on what I have now discovered started off as yet another Twilight fan fic.

Basically the “story” – and believe me that is a S.T.R.E.T.C.H. because this sumbitch has zero plot is that Chloe is Bennett’s assistant. You get zero, zilch, nada of any type of character building or storyline before these two start banging on like page two. You only know they hate each other. Uhhhhhhhhh. I hate one of my bosses and I sure don’t let him see my underwears to prove how much. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, now that I think about it, those granny drawers might traumatize him pretty good. Also, in case it hasn’t become clear over the past year I’m no longer a prude and have seriously enjoyed the secretary and bossman storyline before . . . .



However, as much of a buzzkill it may be, a plot is a requirement for me when dealing with a flown blown novel (and a series at that – JEEBUS!). You want to publish an Alexa Riley-ish 30 page bangfest? Cool. But not 320 pages of it. Even Dr. Seuss could put forth a better effort than this . . . .



Dear Chrstina Lauren . . .



It probably goes without saying that my husband got zero play last night. However, after he fed me this as my special Hallmark Holiday meal . . . .



He didn’t want to be in the same room with me anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kathy Griffin's Celebrity Run-Ins by Kathy Griffin


29503760
1 Star

When I saw Kathy Griffin was FINALLY putting pen to paper and releasing a “Celebrity Run-In” book I was on it like white on rice. In case you can’t tell by my oh-so-very-youthful (not) profile pics, I am a geezer. B.C. (Before Children) I even used to watch sitcoms so I have followed Kathy since waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in her Suddenly Susan days. When that finally ran its course and Kathy was back to grinding on the comedy circuit, I watched all of her specials and when My Life On The D-List premiered, I pretty much decided we should be best friends. It probably goes without saying that I had high hopes for this book. But . . . . . .



Unfortunately, it did what I was terrified it would do – made me not love Kathy so much. Kathy Griffin is a woman who could have easily shot her entire career in the foot when she chose to yell “SUCK IT JESUS, THIS AWARD IS MY GOD NOW!” after winning an Emmy. She revamped her career via reality television due to her obsession with all things celebrity and her pop-culture knowledge was out of this world, making her show not only funny but relatable. This book proves she’s either now completely out-of-touch or that she drinks enough of her own Kool Aid that she can’t be bothered knowing pointless things. Examples: (1) Never heard of Breaking Bad before Cranston was up for his first Emmy as Walter White and (2) A story which comes off as sour grapes about a make-out session with Brian Austin Green (yep, I’d still hit that – blast from the past yo) that she ends by saying “I heard he married a hot chick.” Seriously????? It’s Megan Fucking Fox – even straight middle-aged women who shall remain nameless want to bang her . . . .



Then she admits to being friends with people like Rachel Ray. The E.V.O.O. lady?????



How is that even possible? Kathy’s career is based off of talking shit about annoying celebrities. I almost had to tie my arms to my chair to keep from punching my computer monitor while searching for a Rachel Ray gif!

Speaking of talking trash – if that’s what you are hoping for, you will probably find yourself disappointed just like me. The title isn’t misleading – it is truly about “run-ins.” The stories one or two page blurbs consist of “this one time I saw so and so at this award show” or “one time when I went a restaurant whose its was there.” There are zero juicey tidbits and basically, any time Kathy isn’t treated as a speshul snowflake she determines it’s because the other person is a dick . . . while being a person who has made an entire career out of being a dick. This makey no sense to me. On the flip side (even though there is absolutely zero “meat” to any of these little snippets), all of her “best” encounters are with celebrities who apparently fawn all over her and all of her hilariousness. Yawn.

The exception:

Kathy’s dog Larry went MIA and ended up at Kal Penn’s house. Kathy failed yet again because she should have totally tried to bone that sucka as a reward.



Pretty much each story where she attempts to really dish and dismiss involves no-details-given (of course) paragraphs of how much she dislikes someone. Such as:

Jon Hamm. She hates him because he is “cold and somewhat disrespectful” to her. No shit, Sherlock. He’s MOTHERFUCKING DON DRAPER. Have you ever seen any of his roles? I don’t think that’s method acting. I’d actually be floored if he weren’t a total douchebag.

Elisabeth Hasselback. A fucking moron. ‘Nuff said.

Anna Kendrick. Who Kathy sort of accosted a party and who was polite enough to allow introductions, but eventually asked Kathy to back off so she could visit with her cousin from out of town. Dear Kathy, you were the dick in this scenario and since I am seriously not a fan of Anna Kendrick it has to be true if I’m saying it.

Ashton Kutcher. A co-host at some charity function who refused to speak to her when they weren’t on stage.

She disses on Miley, but since it’s pretty obvi Miley has zero shame and owns all her shit it’s not even fun.

And the one time I could have totally jumped on her bandwagon? She pussied out!

“To this day, I can’t tell you if Rahm Emmanuel is a prick or just a guy doing his job.”

If you're from Illinois you know the answer to the above starts with a capital P.

Wait, she pussed out twice by not having an actual Bieber story, but instead bashing Usher for “unleashing Justin Bieber on the civilized world.” Well, you know what the Biebs would probably have to say about that???? Something like Kathy should go and love herself. And also . . . .



Final rant: Nothing says something bothers a person more than them saying “it doesn’t bother me one bit” – which is exactly what Kathy Griffin says about being snubbed by Will Ferrell (who was her student along with Cheri Oteri at The Groundlings before they invented “The Cheerleaders”). People aren’t obligated to like you. Maybe his “snub” is him taking the high road. Seriously, if you don’t like it, go back to your giant mansion next to Kim and effin’ Kanye . . . .



I’ll end this on a positive by sharing the most interesting tidbit I discovered from this book: Kathy was an extra on the set of the Pepsi commercial where Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire. For you youngsters who thought this was perhaps only an urban legend, it was not. Pepsi Cola did indeed burn Michael Jackson up . . . .



And now he’s drinking 7-Up. Well, not really since he’s dead.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale


20706257
4 Star

My Goodreads’ buddies have been trying to get me to read The Thicket before it even came out (because an ARC was available for request), but I resisted because . . . . .



Well, partially. Also because I really am not a fan of westerns. Even though Ron 2.0 assured me this wasn’t a real westerny western and Shelby had 5-Starred it, I didn’t end up requesting this one until I became addicted to the library’s Read to Reel Challenge and discovered this fine gentlemen has been cast in a hopefully soon-to-be-made film version . . . .



The story here is about Jack Parker, an almost grown man who is on his way to live with an aunt in Kansas after his ma and pa die from the pox when his granddaddy is killed and his sister is kidnapped by bad guys. Recruiting the help of a gravedigger, a dwarf, a whore and a hog, The Thicket then becomes about . . . .

“Our job is to rescue her, kill the hell out of the man who stole her, and collect a reward.”

If it came to my enjoyment of the story, this one would rate fair to middlin’. I wasn’t lying when I said I don’t like westerns. And while this one was on the cusp of being not too “westerny,” it still featured chasing marauders and complaining about crotch chafing from horse riding enough that my attention waned a bit. However, there is just something about Joe Lansdale that is impossible not to love. Mainly the fact that he demonstrates that he believes . . . . .



Even though the subject matter was a tad more serious, The Thicket definitely had a bit of a Blazing Saddles vibe to it and I have no option but to give it 4 Stars because Lansdale can write like nobody’s business and Shorty will go down as an all-time favorite character. Also because if I don’t my drinking buddy said he won’t be friends with me any longer . . . .



Plus this book proved something Mitchell has been telling me for years . . . .



And at this point I’m pretty sure he’s not just stating it for trivia, but as a threat.

Still reading the Winter Reading Challenge theme because I can . . .

 

Friday, February 10, 2017

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

24948069
4 Stars

This book was an extra bonus in a care package from someone you’d never expect to send me something. Ha! Just kidding. It totally came from Shelby. Now we’ve both read it so hold on to your butt Susan Elizabeth Phillips . . . .



While this one didn’t get allllllll the starz from me like it did Shelby, it did earn 4 and I also read it a little wrong which I will explain momentarily. (Sidenote for the one of you who might be interested: The Hating Game was the other book sent to me with this one and I creamed my pants all over it. If you want to read what grouchy old twats choose when looking for the sexuals, now you have two options.)

Let’s quickly discuss how I read this wrong. First, I don’t read blurbs. That means I had no clue what this was about and thought it would be a super porno. (Dear Author, your covers are some of the worst I’ve ever seen and you can really write. Make them not ugly. Kthanxbye.) Second, I can’t think of one professional football player I find attractive so having one as the leading male doesn’t get my motor running. In my head they all look like Clay Matthews . . . .



Blech. Or, I guess in this case dude was a retired quarterback so he probably would have looked more like one of the Manning brothers . . . .



Those couple of things aside, this was a really cute book. Piper has taken over her deceased father’s private investigation company and has been hired to keep tabs on the aforementioned ex-footballer Cooper. When her cover is blown Piper finds herself hired by Coop in order to see if the employees of his new nightclub are on the up-and-up. Add in some side stories including potential danger to Cooper (dun dun dunnnnnnnnn), a Middle Eastern prince, a maybe not-so-dead neighbor’s husband and you’re in for some quality fluffy good times . . . .



Piper was a more capable Stephanie Plum (fuck off if you don’t like the comparison – after reading eleventy trillion Plum novels she’s the automatic go-to when it comes to characters like this) and her interactions with Cooper were a hoot . . . .

“Wear that blue dress tonight, and try to look sexy. As far as Logan and his crew are concerned, you’re a special hostess.”

“That makes me sound like a hooker.”

“As soon as he sees you, he’ll know you aren’t.”

She couldn't decide if that was a compliment.


Love hate relationships. I lurrrrrrv them. You know why? Because they lead to angry sex . . . .



Or in this case . . . .

He gave a hoarse cry. And it was over. Before it had even begun.



BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Don’t worry, he gets to make up for his shortcomings. Warning: The sex was all fade-to-black style which made me like . . . .



Holy blue balls, Batman!

Anywho, Spring is right around the corner. If you need to add some books to your poolside Want To Reads, this is a winner. I’ll even help you out. Who wants it? Assuming I don’t think you’re a person who is interested in turning me into a skinsuit, I’ll pay this one forward and mail it to someone who wants to save a couple of bucks.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wait For It by M. O'Keefe


28476289
4 Stars

Apparently this is “Romance Week” on Goodreads, but since I was a victim of the Bowling Green Massacre Great Kindle Tragedy of 2017 (and also still addicted to the damn library challenge I already completed) I’m behind on my game. Sh3lly was kind enough to put this one on my radar last month and once I saw it was the next in the series that contained Burn Down the Night I was like . . . .



For those of you who know me, you know I don’t enjoy books in a series . . . . EXCEPT (pay attention, Ron) when the “series” is porn one like this where each novel works as a standalone and the only thing that makes them cohesive is a character might know another. The reason I have never read the first two books in this series is because it appears they are one continual storyline, and momma only got time for a few hunnit pages about any particular couple when it comes to her smut.

When I saw this was about a single mother of three, I was – well . . . . .



I have my own children and I like them most of the time just fine, but I pretty much despise everyone else’s and don’t want to waste my ladyboner reading about dirty diapers and snotty noses. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut since 5 Stars from me is like a Yeti sighting and I had given the previous book the fully monty I was willing to roll the dice. Boy am I glad I did! No disappointment here . . . or not much.

Wait For It was about Tiffany, the aforementioned single mother of three. She married a real douchenozzle who knocked her around the local trailer park until she finally decided she had enough. She goes to her buddy for help (who appears to be the focus of Books 1 and 2) only to find herself crashing a Christmas party and confronted by the ex’s brother Blake. Thinking Tiffany is some white-trash gold-digger who might be presenting illegitimate bastard children off as his brother’s, Blake makes Tiffany a deal she can’t refuse - $10,000 to disappear before his mother sees what the cat dragged in. Tiffany isn’t willing to sell her soul to the devil for cheap, however, and tells him to make it $20G instead. Fast forward a year and the two crossing paths again. Blake sees Tiffany in a true light this go around – a hardworking mom willing to sacrifice anything to make a safe home for her children. But Blake has his own demons too and spends most of his time making sure Tiffany knows . . . .



Unwilling to admit he might be developing feelings for his ex-sister-in-law, instead he offers her much needed cash to go to dinner with him. Not for sex, just dinner which caused a very strong reaction of . . . .



Luckily Tiffany’s sister was there to point out . . . .

“You think I should feel like a whore?”

“You’re kind of living the definition, Tiff.”


And that’s why I love this series. I realize the plot was completely far-fetched, but the dialogue and the emotions rang so true. I also love O'Keefe's female leads. They are broken characters for sure, and this story could have easily went in a “50 Shades” direction where the magic penis was there to fix everything while creating yet another controlling sort of situation, but it didn't . . . .



It took a looooooooooooooooooooooong time for these two to do the bibbity dibbity, but when they did that bitch took charge and oh my lort was it good. Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud . . . . .



4 Stars because the ending was rushed in a HEA that was stupid.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

12497
5 Stars


No Country For Old Men has an unprecedented FOUR POINT THREE TWO rating amongst my Goodreads friends so what’s even left to say at this point? Allow me a moment to let the book speak for itself . . . .

“Do you love it? I guess you could say I do. But I’d be the first one to tell you I’m as ignorant as a box of rocks so you sure don’t want to go by nothing I’d say.”



The story here is of Llewellyn Moss, a single-wide dwelling welder living near the Mexico-US border with his child bride who is out hunting one day attempting to put some meat on the table and runs across a bunch of (dead) bad hombres, a pickup bed full of bricks of heroin and a satchel containing two million dollars in used bills. Rather than leaving what was most definitely not well enough alone, Llewellyn takes the money before thinking things through, marking him as target numero uno for the baddest mahfah you ever don’t want to meet, Anton Chigurh. Entwined amongst this storyline is that of Sheriff Bell, an old timer who has watched his corner of world deteriorate over the years due to the narcotics trade.

I don’t know how to “sell” a Cormac McCarthy so I’m not even going to bother. He is definitely not “normal” . . . .



McCarthy is incomparable to any other author and is very much a love him or hate him type of storyteller. There is no world building – you are plunked right into the middle of a scene while it is taking place. He also has a deadly allergy when it comes to using quotation marks, so if you can’t follow along without the proper punctuation guiding you, you will find yourself struggling. His stories are not for everyone as they are super light and fluffy. Ha! Just checking to see if you’re actually reading this crap. That was total B.S. – dude is about as bleak as they come. I’m telling you, even Mitchell was pooping his nonexistent drawers when faced with the bad guy in this one . . . .



He probably had a flashback to when he was a young warthog that I just couldn’t relate to . . . . .

(view spoiler)

If you aren’t brave enough to tackle McCarthy’s writing, opt for the film version instead. It won all the Oscars which filled Tommy Lee Jones with glee . . . . .



Surprisingly, I had not ever seen this movie (but in the weirdest of coinky-dinks it happened to be on the night I finished reading so it’s at least now made it to the DVR). It’s probably a good thing too because although Josh Brolin is a quality actor, I picture him in the lead of “scientific motorcycle maintenance journals” (wink wink) and would have been easily distracted from all the stabby going down . . . .



Book number something or other in the Library’s “Read to Reel” Winter Reading Challenge

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley


18111281
2 Stars

A Long Way Home will probably end up as a selection on all the lists featuring inspirational stories and here I go giving it a 2 Star. What can I say?????



The first sign that this isn’t a great book is the fact that the blurb isn’t a blurb, but rather the opening pages of the story. That should have served as my warning, but I was all about reading errrrrry book that went from “Read to Reel” and I didn’t even bother looking into this one at all before requesting it. Plus, the movie has received about eleventy Oscar nominations so it had to be decent, right? Wellllllllllllllllllllllll, the story was . . . . it was just terribly written and could have easily been an article in a Newsweek or Time type of publication rather than a nearly 300 page book.

The story is of a boy named Saroo, who at five years old becomes lost from his family and winds up on the other side of India. Not knowing his last name and only that the he lived in a place that sounds like “Berampur,” Saroo is labeled lost by the Indian government and winds up adopted by an Australian family. As an adult Saroo becomes a bit obsessed and uses Google maps to walk the various train tracks in hopes of spotting something familiar that will reconnect him with his past . . . .



There you have it. It’s quite clear immediately that Saroo Brierley is no writer (and if I’m calling it out, you know it must be bad) and the fact that he was only five years old when he became lost meant hardly any details of his story were remembered. This could have been a much more detailed tale if it wasn’t so one-dimensional and used contributions from his families (in both Australia and India) as well as the juvenile detention facility and orphanage to help make it feel more complete.

I have a feeling this is one of the rare occasions where the movie will surpass the book. I mean, just look at this child . . . .



I hate kids and I even kind of want to kidnap that one.

Book #9 (????? I’m starting to lose track) on the Library’s Winter Reading Challenge

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney


28016509
2.5 Stars

Look at here it’s another addition to the category of . . . . .



And when Ron Howard buys the rights to your novel before it even gets published you don’t even have to pussyfoot around. This one gets compared in the blurb to both Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train. (Two stories which have absolutely nothing in common, but who gives a shit right? Those name drops sell themselves!)

Per usual when it comes to these “if you loved ______________, you’ll really love this” comparisons, I found this one to be just aiiiight and absolutely not at all like its predecessors.

The Girl Before is told both in the “Now” and in the “Then.” The “Then” focuses on Emma and the “Now” features Jane. Both women had some sort of superbadawful they were trying to get over when an opportunity to reside at One Folgate Street presented itself. While each woman’s first instinct was to be wary of a landlord who made them answer an invasive questionnaire and would still probably turn them down, they each opted to do so for personal reasons – which eventually had them answering the question . . . .

“Do you know what a restrictive covenant is?”

To which I replied . . . .



I deal with that shizz errrry day and it’s boring as hell. Luckily this story wasn’t as boring as my job. One Folgate Street was a home designed to take care of all of your creature comforts via a smart program known as “Housekeeper” . . . .



But it was also a house with some skeletons in the closet . . . or at the bottom of the staircase/buried in the backyard, if you will. The Girl Before definitely isn’t anything that’s going to change your life, but it was an o-kay mystery thriller with some fairly decent twists and turns and it reminded me a bit of a blast from my past . . . .


(A book I’m terrified to read because everyone seems to hate it even more than they do the film.)

In fact, things were going along swimmingly until the point where this happened . . . .

“Yes Daddy. Yes.”



2.5 Stars it is.

So enough about the book, let’s talk about the movie for a second. Dear Ron Howard, even though the leading ladies in this story are described as Audrey Hepburn-esque brunettes, do me a solid and use the fact that these two women are interchangeable to your advantage . . . .





One’s even your own kid so you should be able to sign her up for cheap.

And if you need someone to make a cameo as the dead wife????? Look no further . . . .



(You can send my casting fee to kellyandthebookboar@paypal.com. Thanks in advance.)

Book #10(?????? I think) in the Library Winter Reading Challenge – “Read to Reel.”

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