Friday, February 27, 2015

Beautiful You

This book got more absurd the longer you read it. Penny isn't special, she's failed the bar four times and gets coffee for lawyers. One day at work she runs into the world's richest day. Unbelievably, he takes her out for dinner and slowly seduces her. Penny is the luckiest girl in the world. She soon finds that he is also AMAZING in the bedroom. He gives her, her first of THOUSANDS of orgasms. The only downside? Penny discovers that the toys and lotions Maxwell is using on her are going to be mass produced. Penny is a test subject for a line of Beautiful You products that will soon change the very fabrics of society. The sex toys are amazing. Too amazing. Women only want to pleasure themselves, nothing else is important, friends, family, hygiene all thrown to the wayside as they search for more batteries and more Beautiful You toys. As society begins to crumble, Penny suspects that something is "wrong" with the products and she may be the only one to stop it. Absurd, eye opening, and funny. Claassic Palahniuk.

Word to the wise, this book is dirty and erotic. If you listen to the audiobook like  I did you might want to make sure your windows are rolled up at all time, you don't want people to give you weird stares. Just saying.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ms. Marvel

The hype surrounding this comic was well justified, I couldn't put it down, it was, simply put, one of the best comics I've read in a very long time! Kamala Khan isn't anything special, she's a teenage girl living in Jersey and trying to come to terms with her Pakistani heritage. She desperately wishes to be thin, blond, popular, and to have superpowers just like her role models do. One night she gets her wish but she quickly discovers that there is more to life than being popular. She has to decide what she wants and who she really is. In the meantime she pairs up with her best friend Bruno to stop a bad guy, The Inventor, and in the process try to avoid getting grounded by her parents. A remarkable and empowering read, suitable for everyone!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


This book sounded soo promising but quickly infuriated me. Talented Bulgarian pianist Thea, learns that she once had a sister, even though her parents never let on. When it comes time to choose a college, Thea shocks her parents by choosing far away Princeton, the very same school her sister mysteriously died at fifteen years prior. Having gone her entire life never knowing about her sister, Thea now wants to know what little she can about her. First however, she must transition to a foreign school, keep up with the demanding workload, and practice the piano like there is no tomorrow. As if she didn't have enough on her plate she meets a mysterious boy at her first concert and a whirlwind romance ensues. Things quickly become mysterious though and everything starts to point back at her sister. Mixed with Bulgarian folklore, tragic romance, and beautiful piano prose this story would make an excellent movie. However, I didn't like it because I could not STAND the two men she was into. Rhys seemed like such a controlling jerk, worse then Christian Grey and Sparkly Edward combined. The fact that Thea puts up with his bullshit made me hate her. Intriguing plot, I liked the mythical undertones and the piano bit, but I pretty much hated the characters.


I've always had a morbid fascination with the sex industry. For some reason I enjoy reading the unsettling "better them than me" memoirs and biographies of
artists, druggies, eccentrics, murderers, pimps, cults, gang members, whores, criminals, musicians, alcoholics, inmates, porno stars, Mafiosi, etc. My fascination with the not so squeaky clean, sordid stuff of life ensured that I enjoyed this story of sex, lies, and redemption.

Annie Lobert didn't have a perfect childhood, it wasn't bad but it wasn't great. Instead of attending college she moved to the city and worked on acquiring money. Instead of staying at secure office job, she and her friends set their sites a little higher. When they learned how easy and profitable it was to turn tricks they entered into a life of prostitution. From Hawaii to Las Vegas, Annie honed her trade eventually taking on the name of her alter ego, Fallen. She was the best in the business but the years of abuse by her pimp, degradation, and multiple arrests began to take it's toll. It took her years to get out of the trade, battle her addiction and find God. Her story isn't easy to read but it's empowering that she was able to battle her demons and turn her life around. She founded a ministry in Las Vegas called Hookers for Jesus and currently helps other women escape sex trafficking. As this memoir can testify, the truth is usually scarier than fiction.

I received this book for free from First Look Bloggers in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tank Girl: Vol. 1

I was inspired to read this ridiculousness after my friend Tim showed me the movie version. It sparked my interest and I had to know more about this beer swilling, kangaroo screwing, tank loving, she devil. The comics did not disappoint. I don't know how I made it this far into my life never having heard of Tank Girl. She's ridiculous and nearly defies definition. She's the most badass chick in Australia and she kicks butt and takes names second. She lives for the moment and has no agenda beyond her own personal enjoyment. I will definitely be checking out the rest of the comics. The characters are bat shit insane, the story line is barely follow-able, and the inside jokes and little notes are a real treat. Soo glad I got introduced to Tank Girl. Better late than never!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Coin of the Realm

An action adventure that would do great as a movie, but at points lost me in the book (although, it is possible I read too fast). Dubin's novel is a compelling and gripping quest filled with plot twists, revenge, romance, hidden motives, and a priceless treasure.

Rick Weisman is used to drifting around, he's not sure what he wants out of life. When his Uncle Eli bestows him with the priceless Zevi coin, Rick literally has no idea what to do with it. He feels plagued with too many choices so he retreats to the sea and joins a shipping crew heading across the ocean to Africa. While on the ship his future starts to become more clear and he finds himself fighting to get more answers. When they arrive in North Africa his quest really begins and he must fight for everything he holds dear. What does he truly want most?

Brought to life in vivid detail, this story captures the seafaring life, the exotic atmosphere of North Africa, the slave trade, and many other minor details that lend itself to the larger picture. The rich detail make the story that much more compelling and believable and you find yourself lost in Rick's struggles. In my race to get to the conclusion I may have sped-read over some mildly important details because by the end I had a hard time getting a few of the character's stories and motives straights, but that was easily remedied. Just learn from me and pay better attention :)

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Bungalow Mystery

Classic Nancy Drew. Near death escapes, unheard of independence, sharp sleuthing skills, easily solvable mysteries, and overly confident criminals are just a few of the signature elements that contribute to Nancy's continual success. While vacationing with her best friend, the two girls get stuck in a storm, sink their boat and nearly drown. Thankfully a girl their age hears their screams for help and the girls have made a new friend for life. As they gossip and get to know each other their rescuer, Lauren, tells them her sob story about how she is an orphan and she must soon meet the couple her mother entrusted her to. As the summer vacation progresses, Nancy notices a lot of things that don't add up about Lauren's new guardians and does some sleuthing. She quickly manages to get into more life threatening trouble but discovers that something is really wrong.

Predictable, but amusing. For fans of strong female leads and Scooby Doo.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Grave Peril

I love, love, love, this series. It just continually keeps getting better. just when you think that wizard, Harry Dresden, can't possibly find any scarier creatures to battle, he proves you wrong. Grave Peril follows him as he tries to find and stop a bunch of ghosts, riled up by "the nightmare." Harry also introduces us to his newest sidekick, Michael a knight of Christ. Together the two find out that they bit off more than they can chew and they have to act fast to stop the nightmare before it starts going after the ones they love. Totally engrossing, and as always, beautifully narrated by James Marsters. I cannot wait to read the next book in the Dresden Files!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Night Circus

This is one of those few books that almost defy description. It was lushly beautiful and the vivid scenery, clothes, circus, and people will stay in your imagination long after you've stopped reading. Simply put, it may be the most enchanting book I've ever read. It's about a circus, a duel between two young magicians, a clock-maker, the atmosphere of wonder, dreams, and soo much more. No descriptions can possibly do this book justice. It's a book I'm sure I'll come back to again and again, to read and to see in my dreams. Reading this evokes soo much imagination. I long to see Le Cirque des Reves more than I've ever longed to see a fictional place. An absolute must read, a feast not only your imagination, but your senses.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Grace Revealed

Greg Archer's memoir has been touted as the Polish version of "Eat, Pray, Love" and I can kinda see that. Archer's memoir is an exploration of his family's tragic past, starting with the deportation of his family from Poland to a slave labor camp, to homelessness, death and despair, salvation in Africa and finally a journey to America. Archer brings to life one of the most under-reported atrocities of the last century, Stalin's horrid treatment and murder of millions of Poles. It's really eye opening. As a history student who's traveled to Russia, I thought about how glossed over this MAJOR event has always been. Stalin was responsible for more deaths than Hitler could ever begin to take credit for, but Stalin didn't ever seem to catch nearly as bad a rap. Archer's story starts in California and over several years finally end in Poland finding the Church his family attended. Greg Archer is witty but I felt like half of his memoir he was poking fun of himself or talking about how awesome all his celebrity encounters were (he was an entertainment journalist). It was a little distracting, but not awful by any means. I thought he did great research and really empathized with his family's plight. An eye opening read and great memoir.

I received this book for free from the publisher in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Return of the Key

Imagine Legend and Labyrinth with a pinch civil rights and self acceptance. That's basically the heart of this book. Eliza, a teenager of mixed races, has had a hard go at life. Believed only to be accepted by her family, she flees her small island to seek refuge with her aunt and grandmother while racial tensions fill her home town. The new quiet town she finds herself in may be no safer than her last home, for people keep mysteriously disappearing. Armed with her new friend Gwen, the two discover a hidden realm whose entrance has been mysteriously opened. Together, along with two faeries, they must help save the realm from hidden enemies, return a stolen key, all in order to make it back home. Can Eliza have enough faith in herself to complete the journey?

Filled with lush detail, inventive creatures, scenarios, and schemes. This book is great for young fantasy readers.Themes of identity, self-confidence, and loyalty will resonate with readers. A great fantasy adventure novel for teens grades five and up.

I received this book for free from the author, in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pride & Prejudice

What a classic. No matter how many times you read it, it never gets old. Though not quite as good as Sense & Sensibility (in my humble opinion), I still "greatly esteem" this book. Mr. Darcy is and always will be my favorite fictional character. Thank you Mr. Darcy for setting the bar so high that I know without a doubt I will die a lonely cat lady surrounded by empty boxes of wine. Pride & Prejudice can be summed up in one sentence, "Two people who strongly dislike each other end up falling madly in love despite their initial prejudices." Even though I spoiled the entire plot for you, you should still read it. Ladies, you will have new standards for men and gentlemen... you will hopefully learn how to properly woo a lady. Also... the only movie Mr. Darcy to nail it is Colin Firth, don't even try to argue with me on that one!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Little Women

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 16 CDs. 19.25 hrs. Dreamscape Media LLC. 2014. ISBN 9781633793828. 

One of the most beloved American classics of all time is beautifully and eloquently brought to life in this lively recording filled with passion and spirit. Four sisters in nineteenth century New England grow from little girls to respectable young women. Each sister carries unique hopes for their futures, but Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy learn that life often has other plans in store for them. Their coming of age stories are filled with hilarity, humility, friendship, heartbreak, and duty. Characters come alive with their own unique voices and mannerisms, flawlessly narrated the by talented voice actress, Susie Berneis. A classic that has easily stood the test of time and is once again brought to life. A must for young women and fans of American literature. ​- Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

The Romantically Challenged Man

I don't know about you, but I have yet to encounter a Romeo. I had a high school boyfriend that came close to sweeping me off my feet, because nothing says I love you like a case of crush soda (get it?! he had a... crush... on me...), scratch off lotto tickets (my guilty pleasure), a bag of chex mix (my even guiltier pleasure), a dozen roses, and a gold unicorn necklace (because... why not?!). To date that's been my top Valentine's Day. Has anyone had any better luck? Or do I just have impeccable taste in men? Some men just need a little nudge in the right direction. Their heart may be in the right place but if they show up unprepared to the most romantic date night of the year then chances are they are going to have one pissed off lady (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything).

Man Crates is a company that specializes in creating awesome themed gifts in wooden crates that need to be opened with a crowbar. Grilling sets, snack kits, and gambling packages are just a few of the things that can be selected. How nice would it be if they had a Valentine's Day date kit for the romantically challenged man?!? If I were to pick the top five things that men need to sweep women off their feet this Valentine's Day they would be:

1. A Cookbook - Nothing is sexier than a man who can cook. Nothing! Romantic homemade dinners are infinitely better than going through the hassle of making reservations, expensive food, and being sat next to weirdos. A man who can cook a dinner is a rare and glorious thing. Add some mood lighting and wine and you are set my friend!

2. Flowers - Roses may be a little overrated (and insanely expensive on Valentine's Day), but a nice arrangement of flowers is ALWAYS welcome. Ladies love to get something beautiful, and nothing is prettier than a man handing her a bouquet.

3. A Massage Candle - Not only can this candle set the mood with its soft flickering light and smell, it doubles as a massage lotion. That's right ladies, nice warm, scented massage lotion. Also, what better way is there to get your woman to take off her clothes?

4. Beard Balm (or oil or mustache wax) - Let's face it, if you're manly enough to use a crowbar you should probably have a pretty sweet beard or mustache. Also, you should probably be looking your finest for your lady.

5. Romantic Music Mix - This should include everything from cheesy hair band ballads to Elvis to Mumford and Sons. Keep is eclectic and romantic. Music just adds an extra layer of sexy to the evening and should not be forgotten.

What have I forgotten? What's your ideal Valentine's Day date? Please share, I'm intrigued :)