Monday, December 31, 2018

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life (Audio Version) by Samantha Irby

5 Stars

Sick of me yet? If so, I don’t blame you. The Goodreads BLOCK button has been conveniently moved right up to the top of the page if you need it.

Anywho, I read this one awhile back but am always looking for something entertaining to listen to during my commute. Samantha Irby’s delivery might not be for everyone, but that’s perfect because I already declared dibs on her quite some time ago. She’s hilarious, crass, dry and droll and that’s what makes her my . . . .

Bonus: Half the book is about some ratchet-assed half dead kitten that was forced upon her and made her life a living hell as it plotted her demise. Samesies . . . .

(Photo of The Childish Gambino courtesy of my co-worker/former fostermom/crazy cat lady who forced him into my life and slammed the door before I could throw him back at her. The only thing worse than a bookpusher is a catpusher LOL.)

Fight Or Flight by Samantha Young

3 Stars

I’ve been on vastaycay for a week, absolutely no one is in the office today and I’m eleventy-three reviews behind so my apologies for these little bits of nothing Imma barf out.

Fight Or Flight is the story of Ava and Caleb’s not-so-meet-cute while each is attempting to grab the last upgrade on their flight – followed by the entire flight being cancelled – followed by . . . .

“I’m not going to sit here and lie that last night wasn’t great sex – okay, fantastic sex. But I still don’t like you.”

It 100% should be read like this . . . .

As this one-night-stand possibly becomes more.

Warning: You may get super irritated by how buttholey Caleb is, but I didn’t because he had reasons – THAT WERE ACTUALLY EXPLAINED BEFORE I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF MIRACLE OF ALL MIRACLES!!! I did get super irritated by the terrible take on a Scottish accent. Still a fun little time killer that I wouldn’t ever discourage anyone from reading. Also, I’m really digging Berkley’s cartooney romance covers that are all a little similar to each other. It’s like you already know if you might dig it just by looking at the outside even though the authors/stories aren’t alike at all.

ARC provided by Berkley Pub in exchange for an honest review.

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

4 Stars

It’s the last day of the year and I’m still 20 reviews behind which throws my 2018 tally off, will make me start the new year already behind, and various other unmentioned first world problems I’m sure. Bottom line is, anything I churn out is going to contain even less helpful content than the usual. I’m starting with What If It’s Us because not only did I just read it (after a typical Kelly-vs-Library-this-will-expire-in-less-than-24-hours “Challenge Accepted” moment) so it hasn’t yet slipped through the cobwebs which make up my brain matter, but also because I was TOTALLY prepared to be the person who hated it due to all of the “shipping,” and NOTEVERYONEISAFUCKINGHARRYPOTTERSUPERFAN and stop acting like such a victim all the time and 16-year-olds who freely roam New York City with little to no parental supervision and various other “Mom” issues as I am clearly not the target demographic for this novel. But then . . . . .

“Six days ago I met Arthur at a post office and the universe reached out with both arms to pull us together.”

And goddammit . . . . .

This was adorable. A gay teenage Nora Ephron movie in print format.

Friday, December 21, 2018

For Better And Worse by Margot Hunt

5 Stars

“I doubt it would be easy to take a life. But I think if you had to—I mean, if we had to—we could absolutely get away with it.”

Look at that quote^^^. LOOK AT IT!!!!!! Did you look at it? Why the eff wasn’t I all over this when it was an ARC? I mean I realize I’m not super late to this party since it was just released ten days ago, but still . . . especially since it was a BOTM selection as well. Thankfully I jumped on the library right away, begged and pleaded while holding on to the pornbrarian's leg as she drug me around the suburban branch and was first in line when it was finally obtained. I have a feeling the wait list is probably about as long as my arm at this point. But about the book . . .

Okay so Natalie and Will are both aspiring attorneys whose first-date small talk consists of figuring out how to get away with murder. (Confession: I read zero blurbs about this so I was totally ready for another Strangers On A Train knockoff.) Fast-forward to the present where the two have been married for ages, have an eleven-year-old son and have fallen into a pattern of work and home that’s pretty much a snoozefest – despite the fact that she’s a criminal defense attorney for a living. Needless to say, that old conversation from the past has long since been forgotten. Until something happens in their community that calls for . . . .

Okay so that’s all I can give you without giving too much. I will say that there were some hints about as subtle as a skillet to the back of the head about a certain something that made my brain decide if this didn’t end the way my brain was thinking I was going to be super pissed, but then . . . .

This was awesome. I loved that there weren’t 50,000 twists and turns, I loved even more that mistakes were made and things didn’t add up and normal people didn’t somehow become criminal masterminds. But most of all? I looooooooved Natalie. Good lord she’s my number one fictional gal pal for 2018 fo sho! I gave this 4.5 Stars over on Instagram this morning, but that’s just stupid. It deserves all 5.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

2.5 Stars

“We could have been called reapers, but our founders saw fit to call us scythes—because we are the weapons in mankind’s immortal hand.”

Welcome to the future - a near utopia where disease and death have ceased to exist and where The Cloud has somehow morphed into a sentient being. In this world, it is the responsibility of a select order known as Scythes to “glean” people in order to control the population. Whatever the percentage was in the past for a cause of death, remains the percentage in the future – accident, old age, childbirth, etc. – the act is simply performed by another rather than being a solo performance.

EV.ER.Y.ONE. loved this book. I mean the sucker has a 4.36 Goodreads rating FFS. So what went wrong for me? Well, probably my general outlook on life . . . .

Just kidding. Maybe. Unfortunately my real problem with this falls squarely on the shoulders of a little story known as Unwind. This poor book just couldn’t compare. As my friend Eddie says in his review, it’s hard to lower your expectations after reading something sooooooooo good and it’s hard to pull any feelings out of my cold dead heart when I donated them all to that previous selection. This one just fell flat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

3 Stars

How many of these old ass reviews can I possible have left, you might ask? Well . . . . .

Or at least it seems. I read Bitter Orange nearly a month ago but never posted anything due to the fact that . . . .

Does everybody else struggle with finding something to say about 2 and 3 Star books as much as I do?

To begin with, this was yet another selection I immediately requested from the library simply because it was all over Instagram and had a pretty cover. I actually perused the blurb a tad for a change before reading and saw that it was supposed to be some psychological thriller about a voyeuristic neighbor who finds a peephole that allows her to spy on her downstairs neighbors. Now if you know me you know that made me all like . . . . .

The story here is presented by our narrator Frances. Currently confined to a hospital bed while she slowly deteriorates from some form of wasting disease, Frances recalls one unforgettable summer spent at a dilapidated manor home she shared with another couple – Peter and Cara. They had been hired to document everything within the interior, she had been hired to research its garden architecture. At least one, if not all, would prove to be an unreliable narrator.

Sounds great, right? And really it is . . . just not in the way I was expecting. There weren’t many thrills contained in this thriller, but somehow it didn’t really end up mattering much to me. The writing was absolutely lyrical, causing me to somehow picture a time like this . . . .

Only to have some sort of reminder jolt me back to the reality that I was really supposed to be in a time. . . .

If you’re looking for something atmospheric, this might be a winner for you. If you want to really feel like you’re in on the peepin’ of the neighbors, I might go with Watching You instead.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin

2.5 Stars

Upon realizing the buddy read of Bear Skin wasn’t going to be a winner for me, I was fully prepared to . . . .

But then a miracle of all miracles happened and our fearlessful leader Ron 2.0 not only finished this book but managed to write a review nearly instantly rather than his usual 18 month turnaround time. And then we agreed on it . . . . .

Ron points out in his review (go read it, he’s way gooder at the word thing than I am) how this is grit lit without the grit and that is spot on. From the title, cover and blurb I think we were all expecting a little more David Joy and a lot less Barbara Kingsolver, but the oh-so-very- eco-warrior-y undercurrent was pretty hard to ignore.

I think the easiest way to differentiate between this story and our usual reads about the potentially shady underbelly of Appallachia is that while all of the writers may have resided in the mountains at one point or another – they haven’t all lived in them. It seems seep out of Joy and Brian Panowich’s pores onto the page while this selection delivers information in a nearly textbook type of detail that paints a clear picture, but does so without a whole lot of feeling.

If you are a fan of descriptions of the land rather than action involving the people who live there, this may be a winner for you. I, on the other hand, really channeled my inner Ron the entire time I was reading. Perhaps because the pace was so slow the issues pretty much jumped off the page, or perhaps because a scientist somehow not only finding himself banging what he thought was another scientist who just so happened to be a mule on the side AND ending up in the pokey AND somehow ended up miraculously turning into a real Billy Badass and doing a superbadawful making some scurrrrrry guys real mad so he has to hide AND then thinking maybe said bad guys were maybe in the business of stealing bear paws and gallbladders for a couple hundie a pop despite the fact that their general line of work dealt with millions AND even though he was like HBIC in asswhooping when he was in the joint gets concussed immediately the first time he even talks to a redneck AND being an outdoorsy science man in his previous life but having no idea what a ghillie suit even is but somehow being able to make a homemade one – well, all that had me saying . . . .

But don’t be dissuaded, Ron . . . .

Especially with Like Lions just around the corner : )


Coming soon to a Goodreads near you – a Ron 2.0, Shelby and Kelly buddy-up. Who will read it right? Who will read it wrong? Who doesn’t really have time to read it at all (*cough Shelby cough*)? These questions and more will be answered on this upcoming episode of . . . .

(Oh, and note to all: I’m totally calling this thing Foreskin and saying it’s a porny the entire time we read it to see if I can make Ron’s head explode.)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman

2 Stars

For anyone out there who wants to claim people who don’t enjoy Nick Offerman’s writings only fall on that side of the fence because they want a “Ron Swanson” book rather than a Nick Offerman book, I have this to say . . . . 

Seriously, though, Nick Offerman IS Ron Swanson. At least as far as his character traits go. He grows a great mustache, he enjoys eating animal carcasses washed down by fine brown liquors, he builds shit and he’s married to Tammy. The difference between Nick and Ron is Ron had Greg Daniels to make him funny and Nick isn’t a particularly humorous guy. This book would be great if you’re one of Offerman’s family members, a former classmate, acquaintance, etc. because there’s a very good chance your name has been dropped somewhere. If you’re a regular Joe like me whose only “in depth” knowledge of the man behind the legend is you’re kind of from the same neck of the woods and definitely know what it means to walk beans, you might find this a little meh when all is said and done. I appreciated his take on hot button topics such as politics and religion – and especially liked that he made his point without beating a dead horse about it – but at the end of the day it felt like I had been listening to him talk about pretty much nothing for around 11,000 years by the time the audio was wrapped up. On the bright side, he has a marvelous speaking voice. I highly recommend listening to him as part of the ensemble reading cast of Lincoln in the Bardo if given the opportunity.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley

2 Stars

Since I have still not managed to break past the 20 Reviews Behind mark, the end of the year is quickly closing in on me, AND I’m reading yet another KA book currently since I just can’t help myself, I’ll make this short and sweet with a solo gif. Briefly put, Fire Inside is the literary equivalent to a Zayn Malik song ‘cause it’s all about . . . .

It had all of the trademark Kristen Ashley bullet points such as trembling legs and dripping vaginas and barfy nicknames and 42,000 pages when 150 probably would have sufficed and weird abbreviations such as . . . .


Oops, I lied. There’s another gif.

And despite the leading male having a name that made me want to get all sorts of upside down . . . .

I still didn’t like this one a whole lot. But that’s the great thing about these series. At least one of them will provide for a good time . . . .

One Day In December by Josie Silver

4 Stars

First of all, every other bazillion review on this site saying this book is the perfect Christmas romance is 100% accurate so you don’t even have to bother scrolling any further on this shitshow of a gif festival. I didn’t know anything about One Day In December when I decided to read it other than the following:

1. It had the word December in it and that’s pretty much enough for me;

2. It was both a Book of the Month AND a Reece’s Book Club selection which makes me kind of look like this . . . .

3. Crown Publishing was willing to give me a copy since they apparently haven’t realized I’m a nutcase yet; and

4. My motto in life is . . . .

Now I have to confess, when I started reading this and Laurie and Jack’s eyes met through the windows of a bus where they shared but a moment of kismet before being whisked out of each other’s lives I was totally feeling the vibes of . . . . .

If I would have bothered reading anything - anywhere about this dang book, I would have realized that I should prepare myself for a ten-year timeline that was more like this holiday fave . . . .

No matter what, this story was all sorts of squishy holiday feeeeeeelllllllzzzzzzzzz. What are you all waiting for????

ARC provided by Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review . . . . but since I need instant gratification I actually ended up reading a library copy before I even got the hard copy in the mail.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Phillips

1 Star

I grabbed this because I’m always searching for something easy to listen to during my commute. Confession time: I never watched Freaks and Geeks (and neither did any of you because it was cancelled for lack of viewers despite being critically acclaimed, so just stop lying about it) or Dawson’s Creek. Really the only things I can recall Busy Phillips being in were White Chicks and Cougartown. I didn’t realize she was the exact same person in real life that she played in those roles . . . . .

The only thing I can say now that I’ve finished? Self-awareness and accountability are real things. It’s a shame an almost 40-year old woman hasn’t figured that out yet and instead seems to be A-Okay being wholly unlikeable with zero redeeming qualities. But at least she’s internet famous, right? #sarcasm

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

4 Stars

Like so many others out there the holidays can sometimes get me feeling blah. Not like seasonal depression or can’t-get-out-of-bed kind of depression, more like just . . . . “meh.” In an effort to combat that, I do things like going balls out on Christmas decorating well before Thanksgiving, making giant Sunday dinners with all the fixins as soon as the leaves start to change in case I turn into a “please just go get Taco Bell” kind of Mom between Thanksgiving and the New Year and tipping the scales heavier than usual when it comes reading/watching things of the feel good rather than the stabby variety. Thus is the case with Bridget Jones and her diary.

I’m not a big re-reader (but I am HUGE re-watcher). My family always knows I’m about to go spelunking in the basement for decorations as soon as I’ve watched Christmas Vacation (usually as close as possible to the day after Halloween) and it becomes hot cocoa, cookies, snuggly blanket and cozy reads season with the annual viewings of Serendipity and Bridget Jones’ Diary. There’s just something about moments like these . . . .

Oh and just in case you’re wondering if I’m a pod person, I assure you I’m not. In my world it’s not officially Christmas until this happens . . . .

Greatest Christmas movie ever. Period.

It seems ol’ Bridge is a fail for the newer generation. The only thing I can say is this is not a story that’s meant to be taken seriously so if you’re not in on the joke, it definitely won’t work for you. Put yourself in the mindset of geriatrics like me and Bridget . . . .

“I am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatized by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body is up to it if left to its own devices.”

Realize that Bridget’s inner dialogue regarding weight, alcohol and cigarettes is more of a “first world problem” type of confessional rather than an “I’m going to go stick my head in the oven because I’m a morbidly obese drunk with lung cancer and no one will ever love me” admission.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Verity by Colleen Hoover

4 Stars

Following a tragic accident which has left best-selling author Verity Crawford a shell of herself, her husband Jeremy hires Lowen Ashleigh to complete the contracted final three books in Verity’s famous series. Brought to the family home in order to sort through Verity’s office, Lowen is soon to find out just what makes Verity tick. What she discovers will leave readers saying . . . . .

This one gets earns its Starz because . . . .

(1) Hoover released this independent of her contract with Atria (and Atria was cool enough to let her do it) in order for it to be a Kindle Unlimited option, therefore costing tons of readers zero dollars;

(2) Despite having a loyal fanbase who want all the things, the price point for non-KU nutters (such as myself) was kept to an affordable $4.99 when most authors who have reached this level of fame would be slapping a minimum of $12.99 on the sucker;

(3) It was released a week and a half early just because she was tired of waiting and that made me laugh because I too am a firm believer of the “ThisIsAmericaIWantItNow” mindset; and

(4) Most importantly of all . . . .

CoHo didn’t just say she was going to write something that was different from what her fans were used to – she wrote something so awesomely squicky even Mitchell wants to become a CoHort.

To me, it doesn’t matter if I saw some things coming or if I wasn’t completely satisfied with whatever random thing I wasn’t satisfied with. The fact that this person who has found success via angsty romances was willing to go pitch black and potentially lose allllllllll of her readers??????

I mean, for real yo. You go Glen Coco.

If you too like to experience the darker side of love, this might be a winner. Good news is you won’t have to be one-and-done with Colleen Hoover either because she wrote another not-so-lovey type of love story awhile back called Too Late and the best part about that one? It costs zero dollars for errrrrrrrrybody.

Bought it with my own dollars as soon as it was released because there was zero chance I could have waited for the library to get a copy.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Tripping On A Halo by Alessandra Torre

5 Stars

Actual surveillance footage of what I looked like while reading this book . . . . .

Meet Autumn. Six months ago she was struck with a feeling and pulled off some divine intervention that ended up saving Declan’s life. Ever since she’s sorta been stalking keeping an eye on him in order to make sure no danger comes his way. Pretty much she’s his self-declared guardian angel. A chance encounter brings the duo face-to-face and Autumn learns that . . . .

Or, in this case an “O Face” ; )

I first discovered this author courtesy of a stabby little agoraphobe who lived in a placed known as 6E. Later my mind was pretty much blown when I realized Moonshot wasn’t only a potential candidate for the OhHowILoveClaytonKershaw spankbank, but by the same author. Talk about a switcheroo! AND THEN! Then she melted my underdrawers clean off with Sex Love Repeat. Whew! Just thinking about that one . . .

Where was I? Oh yeah, I was at the point where I was a megafan so as soon as I saw this title (and most adorable cover ever, amIrightoramIright?) I had a mighty need. My wish was granted 48 hours before release and I since I was left to my own devices for a few hours last night before resuming my chauffeuring and maid services for my children I was able to read this whole thing in about a hot second. So now all of you only have to wait ONE MORE SLEEP until you can get it! And you need to get it. I mean, if you are like me and are looking for an escape during this hectic time of year in the form of a funny romance with loveable characters and smexy smexytimes and even maybe a couple of feelz thrown in for good measure.

All the Starz.

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