Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

2 Stars

A REVIEW VIA GIFFERY (even more so than usual):

As soon as I saw “It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls” I was sold. I was also 100% positive I would love this. Not to brag or anything, but . . . .

With descendants of the original Salem witches as the girls who rule the school I immediately pictured . . . .

And was so excited I almost peed my pants . . . .

Bonus was the bitch squad were all super fab and also included hot boys so my brain went all . . . .


I was sure this would be the reading equivalent of one of the numerous programs on the CW to which I am addicted. (See above regarding not judging me.)

Where was I again? Oh yeah, then I started reading and, well . . . .

We’re talking straight up . . . .

It should NOT take me four days to read a book. ESPECIALLY not a 350 page YA book. But when the pacing is slower than me sucking a turtle, the person doing all of the superbadawful the most obvious cliché in all of obvious clichés and the love triangle (because duh OF COURSE there was a love triangle) featured a dead dude . . .

Yeah. Dead. Anyway, all of the above = a not-so-happy Kelly and Mitchell on this All Stabby’s Day . . . . .

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

3 Stars

Abby and Gretchen have been friends ever since Abby’s 10th birthday party. Let’s just talk about that party for a minute. Who in their right mind would (1) plan their party after someone has already sent out invitations for another party? Margaret, that’s who . . . .

And (2) who would attend some lame ass horse party when they could do this instead . . . .

Apparently everyone #sadface. But seriously, what was with the stereotype all girls loving all things horsey back in the ‘80s???

(Countdown to girl from elementary school who was obsessed with horses discovering this review and trolling me for life in 3, 2, . . . . )

Anyway, poor little Abby. It didn’t even matter that Gretchen brought a lame ass children’s bible as a gift, they were BFFs as soon as they skated under the sparkling lights of the disco ball on that roller rink.

Fastforward to high school and two girls who really only argue about one thing . . . . .

That is until a seriously strange acid trip that leaves Gretchen a little different than before . . . .

Now Abby will have to do whatever it takes to save her . . . . .

I picked this up because . . . well, duh, it’s almost Halloween, but mainly because of the cover. Look at the majesty which is the cheesy VHS horror rental at your local Blockbuster (#ripblockbuster). It was exactly what I was looking for while I counted down the seconds until the premier of the new season of the best 1980s deliciousness since the actual 1980s . . . .

If you are actually looking for “unspeakable horrors” like the blurb states, you need to look somewhere else. On the other hand, if you want to feel a little nostalgic in the form of chapter titles that are also well-known ‘80s hits, references to Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream, The Thorn Birds, Flowers in the Attic, puka shell necklaces, and on and on while you experience some campy good times, this one might be a winner. The story does drag a bit when it comes to the teen angst and nonsense in lieu of the barfing of pea soup, but eventually readers do get the scene they’ve been waiting the whole book for . . . .

This also appears to be marketed as general fiction. Maybe because it’s set in the olde days of yore??? Be forewarned that this is NOT going to scare you and should probably have been cross-marketed for both teens and geezers.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

2 Stars

Save your judgment because . . . . 

I had a pretty specific M.O. when I started this . . . . 

Followed with . . . .

For some reason I thought I had read some Penelope Ward before. Apparently I haven’t, but I have read some Vi Keeland and they appear to collaborate on stuff every now and again so maybe my old lady brain only kinda failed me instead of completely failed me. #shrug 

So back to the book. Normally I try to live my life via the sage advice of the Steel Magnolias . . . . 

This time I’m going to go with the age-old if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I picked this up for only one reason – filthy sex. I didn’t expect it to attempt to have a story. What I got instead was like zerosmut and a terrible first half that had my eyes rolling so far back in my head I thought I’d never get them straightened out. But the second half was actually fairly decent . . . . minus the still no dirty sexuals for me to perv out on. Apparently I read it wrong because I took a gander at other reviews and it seems everyone hated the second half but liked the first. It’s okay, I’m used to wrongreading at this point. At least I can say I have read a "taboo" romance and I will definitely check out more stuff by this author in the future. The next time a stepbrother story gets waved in front of my face, though?????

Thanks to my pervy book fairy for this hook up. Since I have zero shame I totally asked the porny librarian to buy this about 27 times, but that ho ignored me.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

5 Stars

“I hope . . .”
The moral of the story? You have to crawl through a lot of shit in life before you reach Zihuatanejo.

Uncle Stevie will always be known as the Master of Horror, but it’s my belief that his not-so-scary stuff is where he truly shines. Hands down my favorite story ever, that just so happened to be converted into one of my favorite films as well. If you’ve not yet experienced it, you’re missing out on what my husband and I have dubbed “getting Shawshanked.” It’s one of those films that you can’t help but pause on when scrolling through the channels on the boob tube “just for a second.” That second turns into watching whatever remains of the film, and quite possibly crying a time or two. The book spares the reader the heartbreak which is Brooks, and offers the best miscasting of all-time with this “red-haired Irishman” . . . .

Another fabulous narration by Frank Muller which could only have been topped if it were Morgan Freeman doing the reading . . .

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

3 Stars

To be 100% honest, there’s probably very little chance I would have ever read The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett if it weren’t for it being THE BIG LIBRARY READ. These events pop up quite frequently when I log into my favorite addiction, but I’ve never participated. Mainly because I’ve generally already read the books – like with Exhibit A that is going on through the other (*cough porny cough*) library system . . . .

I’m also aware that I did this wrong and I was supposed to join in on discussions somewhere and interact with everyone else reading this book, but let’s get real . . . .

You can mark my friends list here as Exhibit B if you need proof that even my interwebbing is pretty introverted.

All that aside, Lizzie Lovett ended up being a fairly decent read and I’m glad I “participated” (if you can even call it that – maybe “read along” is a better option). I’m clearly not the target demographic for this one, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment much at all.

The story here is about Lizzie Lovett (duh), the “it girl” in high school when Hawthorne Creely was a Freshman. Fastforward to Hawthorne’s Senior year where she has just heard that Lizzie went missing while camping with her boyfriend. Things haven’t changed much for Hawthorne in four years. She’s still a “misfit” in the high school hierarchy who spends all of her time with her one friend. The same can’t be said for Lizzie, however. It seems she has reinvented herself every year or so since graduating. And this time? If Hawthorne’s theory is correct, it may be the biggest change yet . . .

Be forewarned that Hawthorne might drive you a little batshit. She can be exhausting. On the other hand, she's kind of hilariously tiring . . . .

"I've spend most of my life being forced to participate in schemes I don't want any part of."

"Like what?"

"Like when you thought the world was going to end and wanted me to steal supplies from my parents' store."

"Oh yeah."

"Or when you were convinced that there was a serpent monster in Tappan Lake."

"I was a little kid."

"You were twelve."

3 Stars . . . . .

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Body by Stephen King

5 Stars

The premise is simple:

“Do you guys wanna go see a dead body?”

The end product is quite possibly the best coming-of-age story ever written. This is what the saying “boys will be boys” is about. It’s about going on an adventure, and saying swear words when out of your parents’ earshot, and trying a cigarette just so you can say you did, and standing up to bullies, and most of all it’s about friendship. Because really?

“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?”

I decided to give this one a listen after forcing it on my oldest son in order to make sure he’s actually reading when he says he is. There’s a good chance he’ll choose to be contrary simply to hurt my feelings since even the most decent teenager is still pretty horrible. The good news is I was able to pull a double-whammy and make the youngest listen too on the way to and from his baseball tournament this weekend. He arrived a little late to the party when Gordy and the boys were getting ready to meet Milo Pressman and the notorious “Chopper” and was on the edge of his seat during the train dodge. He completely blew me away when he complained as I hit strategically hit pause at a certain point in the story so we could hear it in full the next morning. And what a morning we had! A total barf-o-rama full of cackling and full-blown guffaws.

An obvious must for any Constant Reader and, as far as I’m concerned, anyone else as well. Truly an actual contender when it comes to the “like this or we can’t be friends” option. It’s that good. And the movie is one of the best book-to-screen translations in the history of filmmaking. Perfection.

Endnote: This was my third audio book and I finally found a winner. Frank Muller’s voice was just like butter. The only thing that could have been better is if it would have been Richard Dreyfus doing the narrating : )

Held by Kimberly A. Bettes

4 Stars

I think I might need a bottle of Courvoisier to help me bleach my brain of this. FOUR STARS!

(P.S. JaHy I missssssss you! Come baaaaaack : (

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

4 Stars

Be forewarned. This review????

For approximately 152,847 years my GR friends have been trying to get me to read The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Since I am terrified of all of my friends here I’ve stayed far far away so they won’t hurt me if I hate it (I have already failed them once with Darkfever). This one popped up on the library’s “recommended you to since it’s been a minute since you read some trash” window and I took the bait like a good little fish. And let me tell you, things went swimmingly (see what I did there?).

There’s a chance you have to be a dinosaur to truly appreciate the beauty of this epic family tale. Lucky for me I was born in the Mesozoic Era! When I was a wee little girl my most favorite thing to do on Friday nights was have a sleepover at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house where we would all gather ‘round the ginormous 19 inch television set in order to watch . . . .

I dreamed of the day when I would be able to kick the dust off of my smalltown life and get whisked away to a place like Southfork in order to rule the place with an iron fist like I just knew I was destined to do. And while the Bradford family made their money in bourbon rather than oil, this was just as delicious as my old favorite primetime soap and I ate the damn thing right up. So much so that I was practically screaming down the hallway about how much fun I was having during my lunch hour while I was reading it. Of course, since 99% of the people around me are fetuses, their reaction was sort of like . . . .

If you grew up on the guilty pleasures which were Dallas or Dynasty or Falcon Crest or Knot’s Landing, there’s a solid chance this might work for you too. It had all of the money, the sex, the secrets and the dialogue those provided. Stuff like . . .

“You are a bastard.”

“Not according to the dictionary. My parents were well and truly married when I was conceived.” He cocked a brow. “Which I don’t believe you can say about your own daughter, can you.”

Really, the only thing it needed more of was this . . . .

There is a solid chance that I’ll return to this series for the next book. I mean I just have to know what the deal is with Max, right? And Edward. Poor broken Edward. This whole damn family, man . . . .

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter

3 Stars

You want to know what happens when you’re a person of a certain age who started this book about two girls who reside in separate mobile home communities right around the same time Mr. Slim Shady got folks woke with a one-man rap battle against our POS . . . whoops, I mean POTS? You fold laundry and do dishes and cook dinner and copy and collate and draft and format and file for days on end whilst singing . . . .

(By the way, I learned how to add text to .gifs so now the entire interwebs are my oyster)

In what may be the most fitting title in the history of titles, Ugly Girls is about exactly what it says - U.G.L.Y. white trash. Now before anyone gets all up-in-arms about me libeling these poor innocents, allow this househo to explain the term . . . .

It has nothing to do with residing in single or doublewides. I’m from Middle America – I know plenty of people who live or have lived in a trailer. No, Perry and Baby Girl (Dana before she decided to redefine herself and thug out) are morally bankrupt. They spend their free time jacking cars for joyrides before dumping them in the wee hours of the morn. Their friendship is one formed out of convenience rather than an actual liking of the other. And their most recent hobby????

While the book spends time detailing not only each girl, but also their home lives, everything is a build up to when Perry and Baby Girl will meet Jamey, their internet friend.

I’m the first of my friends to have read listened to this, so I’m not really sure how others will like it. I will reiterate that it is U.G.L.Y. If you are thinking there’s some sort of redemption arc for these children, you need to think again ‘cause it’s just not the case. That worked for me here. Some stories just can’t have a happy ending.

I feel like it may have had a bigger impact if I would have read it too. Not only am I a total noob when it comes to audio books, but I can read a book of these size in a few hours and really get wrapped up in it. Listening to it in 30-minute fits and starts increments probably didn’t do it any favors. As this was only my second audio experience, I obviously can’t compare narrators. That being said, Kathleen Early’s delivery just was a little off for me on this one.


My second audio book!!!!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

5 Stars

“I love that kid,” he said. “Get in line.”

If you would have told me a book about a quirky nine year old kid would end up being one of the best things I’ve ever read, I probably would have assumed you were smoking some wacky tobacky. But then I met Frank.

Frank comes to us via way of Alice – an assistant at a publishing house who has been assigned the potentially daunting task of being live-in help while reclusive author M.M. Banning writes her highly anticipated second novel . . . 30 years after writing her first. It’s a guarantee whatever Mimi churns out will be a bestseller, and that’s a good thing because courtesy of some swindling “investment advisor” she’s flat broke. She just needs to focus 100% of her energy on putting words on paper so someone needs to watch her son Frank.

In today’s world of labels, there are probably a ton of reviews trying to pinpoint exactly where Frank lands on the spectrum. Back in the dark ages when I was growing up, he would have simply been called “precocious” or “eccentric.” Once you spend a little time with Frank you’ll soon realize his personality and character traits are undefinable and there’s absolutely no reason to try and put a label on him.

This is one of those occasions when the book needs to do almost all of the talking so you realize what you’re missing out on by not letting Frank into your world as well . . . .

“What’s wrong with you?”

“The jury’s still out on that one,” Frank said.

Frank spends his days in top hats and tails and is “a devotee of film. Of mathematics, not so much.” You can’t touch his things – or him for that matter – but “that didn’t keep the kid from becoming an honorary citizen of my personal zip code.” He also “loved being bundled up and pressed against things; he was a big fan of tight spaces.” Humor is something that doesn’t come easily to him, so he prefers to be told “knock knock when you’re trying to make a joke” so he knows . . . .

“What else was there to say? His fingernails are dirty? He stumbled into our century through a wormhole in the space-time continuum? I’m worried he’ll julienne me in my sleep?”

Truly, what else is there to say? Let’s just give you a little taste of Frank so you can see for yourself how much you need him in your life . . . .

Like the time he decided to hitchhike home from school . . .

“I know it’s wrong to indulge in criminal activities, but I do like those black-and-white-striped suits and matching caps that convicts wear. They’d make excellent pajamas. Do they let you keep them once your time is served?”

“Convicts wear orange jumpsuits that zip up the front now. The cut is not slimming, and a redhead like you should steer clear of head-to-to orange,” I say.

“I will never hitchhike again.”

Or when the principal decided that Frank’s attire was a distraction that needed to be changed . . .

“Surely no one can want me to go out in public in a shirt meant to be worn as underwear.”

“Lots of kids wear T-shirts out in public and think nothing of it.”

“Lots of kids chase me around the playground, too, but that doesn’t make it right.”

Or when he returned to school after Christmas break with a whole new outlook . . . .

“Where are you going?” Frank asked.

“I’m walking you to class,” I said.

“That won’t be necessary,” he said. “This time I’m prepared for the worst.”

“You’re really brave, Frank,” I said. “I’m proud of you.”

“Thank you,” he said. “It’s easier to be brave when you’re carrying a knife.”

“Get back in the car.”

Of all the gin joints in all the world, I’m so glad Frank walked into mine . . .

“You need to fill the house up with more like him. You need to fill up the world.”

Words cannot express how thankful I am that I follow Margitte. Her review is the reason I ever even heard of this little slice of perfect.