Friday, April 21, 2017

Smells Like Weeia Spirit

The third installment in the Weeia Marshal's series is where the novels really seem to hit their stride. Danni Metreaux is finally in her element as the Paris Marshal, she knows the city, it's weeia residents and has gotten the hang of having a partner. Smells Like Weeia Spirit starts off with some unexpected guests. A Syrian mother and her two children have come to Danni seeking asylum, unsure of the protocol she houses them in her old apartment despite her bosses orders. Soon after that a weeia healer calls saying that someone has died under mysterious circumstances. To top it all off, a pushy headmistress calls and demands the marshals help with some weird incidents occurring at her elite weeia school. Danni and Sebastian can't catch a break, there is hardly any down time (although they do find some time for some delicious french cuisine). As if they didn't have enough on their plate there are odd reports of other weeias acting strange and showing off their superpowers in public. Are all these events related? Can Danni keep her boss and her conscious happy? Is the solution to their problems right under their nose? A wonderful installment and honestly probably my favorite one to date. Elle Boca goes above with her descriptions of Paris, the food, and their culture. Truly a pleasure to read and contains a nice little mystery.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Down Town

Great artistry and fun new story from Jim Butcher. I liked this graphic novel much better than the first one I read, mainly because some more of my favorite characters were in this one: Molly, Mouse, Marcone, his sexy vampire brother. They were all illustrated pretty close to how I figured them in my head and they talked and acted just like they do in the novels. A fun short little story with illustrations to back it up. I need to read all the graphic novels in this series!

Homesick for Another World

A bizarre collection of short stories, each more unique than the one before. From alcoholic high school teachers to creepy old neighbors to alien children, Ottessa Moshfegh's collection of short stories will intrigue you with it's dark humor, perceptive look into the underbelly of humanity, and wonderfully developed flawed characters. Storytelling at it's finest.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things

Dickinson, Amy. Strangers Tend To Tell Me Things. 7 CDs. unabridged. 9hrs. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478912514. $30.00. 

Amy Dickinson pulls the curtain back on her personal life and treats readers to a glimpse inside the life of the woman behind the world famous daily "Ask Amy" advice column. Finding it easier to give advice then it is to take it, Dickinson relates a deeply personal memoir about love, loss, and coming home to her quaint town of Freeville, New York (see her previous bestseller "The Mighty Queens of Freeville"). Poignant, emotional, funny, and relatable, "Ask Amy" writes a moving memoir that will appeal to anyone whose ever suffered through divorce, middle age, child rearing, aging parents, falling in love, and more. To err is human and Amy makes mistakes and hilarious mishaps (which she gleefully relates) so that her readers don't have to. Narrated by Amy herself, who brings poise, laughter, and personal experience to the telling of her story. For fans of women's relationships and memoirs. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Striptastic

For some reason I've always been drawn to sex worker's memoirs, prostitutes, strippers, pin ups, burlesque dancers; you name it. Jacqueline Frances second book (the first being a hilarious memoir) is part graphic novel, part stories, part tips, part everything stripper. She draws hilarious comics to go along with her sections, whether it's about the different kinds of tippers, the tools of the trade, stories from strippers all over the world, surveys, advice, funny stories, etc. It's a fairly quick, funny, delightful read and is perfect for strippers, friends of strippers, or anyone just plain curious about the stripping lifestyle. I can't wait to see what magic Frances comes up with next!

One Day We'll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter

I was hooked from the get go. Having just read Shrill and other memoirs by Jenny Lawson, Mindy Kaling, etc. this was the perfect fit for me. This memoir by Scaachi Koul, a first generation Indian immigrant living in Canada was heartfelt, hilarious, and impossible to put down. I read it in less than a day. I especially loved the stories about her parents and her zany yet loving, upbringing. I grew up close to a loving Indian family so I know a smidge about their culture, food, and festivals and Koul's stories took me back. Koul also talks about hard subjects like: rape, alcoholism, gender bias, growing up ethnic in a white neighborhood, and struggling with body image. Each chapter is filled with wit, wisdom, and lil' nuggets that will get you thinking. Definitely keeping around for a re-read.

Just Mercy

This was one of the most moving, heartfelt, and uncomfortable books I have ever read. I could not put it down. It angered me, it saddened me, it made me want to do more with my life. I knew aspects of the justice system; namely death row, racial inequalities, and juvenile sentences were broken, but I didn't realize how badly broken. This opened my eyes in a way nothing else has for a long time and it should be required reading. Bryan Stevenson has led his life helping people on death row get counsel, overturning hundreds of wrongful convictions, crusading for rights of the underprivileged and mass incarcerated populations of our society and is the type of person we should all aspire to be. He formed the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama and has saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of wrongly convicted people. As he often mentions in the book, "I believe that each person is more than the worst thing that they've ever done." So simple and so powerful. The stories of his clients that he shares are heartbreaking and humbling and more than once I was turned into a sobbing mess. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Welcome to the Jungle

A nice quick read to satisfy the longing I get for more Dresden Files in between books. This short story takes place as a graphic novel which is kinda cool, but I also kinda didn't love it because I picture all the characters in my head very differently (which is why I haven't checked out the TV show yet). Harry Dresden is called in to investigate a mysterious death at the zoo. It looks as if the night guard was murdered by the gorilla but hings aren't adding up. How did the gorilla get out or back in for that matter? The guard emptied his entire gun, where are the bullets? Something is fishy and Dresden the finest (and only openly practicing) wizard in Chicago is on the scene to help out his pal Lt. Murphy. A Fun, quick read.

The Notebook

I will admit that I only vaguely remember seeing the movie when I was in high school, at a sleepover, and hopped up on Jolt Cola. I remember the kiss, the rain, and the end (which is different in the book!). With that limited knowledge in mind I picked up this quick read (I finished it in less than two hours) and had virtually no expectations. I'm not the biggest Nicholas Sparks fan but this book wasn't awful. Was it great? No. Was it way too good of a romance to be true?  Yes. But overall, it wasn't a horrible way to pass the time. An old man in a nursing home reads out of a notebook to an elderly woman every day, the middle of the book is the story contained in the notebook and it's book ended by the "present day" story of the old man. The story he reads to her is about ill fated romance and the rekindling of youthful love. It's emotional, slightly unbelievable, and good fluff. I think I prefer the movie (Ryan Reynolds, hubba hubba) but I won't know until I actually rewatch it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Light My Fire

In high school I was a huge fan of The Doors and Jim Morrison's poetry, but I never really knew much about them. I knew that Morrison died young under mysterious circumstances and I liked the psychedelic beat they had, but I had never even seen the Oliver Stone movie version. Reading this book was enlightening. It's a memoir from the drummer of The Doors, Ray. He recounts his childhood, the forming of the band, and it's fast road to success. It's mainly about his relationship with Jim, the iconic front leader and superstar. It's well written, flows nicely, and tells of the group dynamics (or lack thereof sometimes) and only occasionally goes into bitter rants about Oliver Stone (he portrays Morrison as a raging selfish drink in his movie and Ray takes offense). Included are some pictures, some funny stories, behind the scenes on some of their most popular songs, and some truly deep insight. All around good music biography. It's honest, heartfelt, and got some serious groove.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Yellow Birds

Wonderful, haunting, heartbreaking, chilling, compelling, and beautiful hardly begin to describe this novel. Literary giant, Tom Wolfe, described it as "The All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab wars." Powers paints a vivid picture of what it was like to serve as an American soldier in the middle east and then come back and deal with the trauma of what you've experienced. Chapters are told in non-linear timelines and the author goes back and forth, from before the war, during and after. It all leads up to - what happened to Murphy, the 18 year old soldier he promises to look after? The war scenes were graphic but I thought the most emotionally grueling was the trauma of coming home and trying to figure out how to live again. How to re-enter society and deal with all the hell he saw abroad, I really felt for him. Raw and gripping!

Fish Girl

As a child I was obsessed with David Wiesner's gorgeously illustrated children's novels (Jumanji, The Polar Express, Zathura, etc.) and as a teenager I was completely taken with Donna Jo Napoli's young adult books, especially since the majority of them were fairy tell retellings. I re-read Sirena (a book about a mermaid coincidentally) soo many times in middle school. When I saw that these two literary power houses had teamed up to write a graphic novel I knew I HAD TO READ IT! Fish Girl is by n means complex, but it's simplicity is wonderful and inspiring. Fish Girl lives in a giant aquarium by the beach and helps Neptune put on a show for the humans who come in from the boardwalk. It's a lonely existence and she only has her octopus and the fish to keep her company, if she's lucky Neptune will tell her a goodnight tale while she gathers coins at the bottom of the tank. One day a little girl sees her, really sees her and nothing is ever the same again. A wonderful quick read. I found it absolutely refreshing and wonderfully drawn.

Talking As Fast As I Can

A cute little memoir narrated by Lorelei Gilmore herself. In this relatively short (it may have seemed shorter than it was since she is such a fast talker!) memoir Lauren Graham talks about growing up, getting started in acting, her breakthrough role in Gilmore Girls, some good times on the set of Parenthood, writing her first novel and finally her return to Gilmore Girls. It's a fun beachy read and I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook version because her narration of it, helps make it seem more real and personal. Plus she's got a great voice and she's not afraid of breaking out into song. Her little insides to Gilmore Girls helps make me appreciate the show that much more. Slightly above other celebrity memoirs, but not by much.

The Zookeeper's Wife

Not set up as a typical fiction novel, this true story is pieced together like narrative non-fiction with imagined dialogues and thoughts. Even with that caveat it was still a wonderful story. A little disjointed in places, but overall the flow is great and the many pieces of this giant jigsaw come together with Ackerman's skilled writing. She tells the story of the Polish zookeepers who fight not only for their beloved animals but for those suffering around them in Nazi occupied Warsaw. Over the years they help shelter and feed hundreds of Jews and even allow some of them to reside in their house with their family. It's a touching story and I hope that they do the movie version justice.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Roosevelt's Boys

John C. Horst makes his historical fiction debut with Roosevelt's Boys, a saga of not only the Rough Riders, but the nurses and loved ones left behind in the Spanish War. While Roosevelt's Boys wasn't a huge departure from Horst's beloved westerns, he still manages to keep his distinct storytelling and penchant for creating impossibly likable characters. Told through multiple perspectives, two brothers head off to the Spanish War to fight for adventure and glory leaving behind a feisty fiance, a spinster sister, a Hopi farmhand, and a dour father. We are also introduced to three nurses; a nun, a black woman, and a beautiful German girl. These character's lives intertwine repeatedly throughout the story, although their experiences vary. By the end of the war, those who have survived have become different people; more hardened, loving, and eager to live life to the fullest. The "little war," though often overlooked, was anything but little to those who lived it. Horst does a commanding job of bringing his characters to life, fleshing out their histories, and giving them depth. It's clear that he also did a great amount of research because the attention to detail is staggering. It all ties together wonderfully in this hard to put down war saga. For fans of historical fiction, war sagas, and westerns, with a touch of romance to entice the ladies as well. Another home run for Horst.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Shrill

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! Literally I heart it soo much. It was very empowering, inspiring, and heartfelt and it made me think differently about myself, my body, and my gender. Lindy (and I'll admit I had no idea who she was until I read this book) does a wonderful job relating to the reader different instances in her life and her career that helped her become the feminist she is today. She talks about rape culture in comedy, abortion, body image, obesity, self worth, family, and more. She is a strong humorous writer and can make you laugh as easily as make you cry. Definitely a great book for women and those struggling with body weight, self confidence, and feminism. An all around win that I will definitely read again and recommend!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Virtue of Death

More romance than supernatural, this beach read will appeal to chick lit lovers and those who like a little bit of paranormal love sprinkled in their stories. Sera and her best friend Cheryl were turned into earthbound angels at the age of 18. While they mainly live normal lives (Sera owns a successful bakery), at night they spread their wings and fly (literally). Sera helps comfort people in their final moments and takes them to the other side, while Cheryl can perform miracles. They love their lives but it does make having a love life impossible. What guy would believe that Sera is unable to stay out at night?!? Despite her cozy existence Sera is lonely, her one romantic endeavor ended years earlier when she attempted to tell her boyfriend the reason she had to leave at night, as a result he had her committed to a psych ward for believing she was an angel. Being so burned Sera isn't looking for love, but it finds her anyway. When a local columnist reviews her bakery and only gives it a so so review she discovers that the journalist behind it is the sexy bachelor she just ran into at a wedding. One things leads to another and she finds herself falling head over wings. Is he the one? Can she ever make him believe the truth?

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

This is Your Brain on Sports

I may not be an avid sports watcher, but I'm certainly becoming an avid sports reader! I'm certainly a novice when it comes to the world of sports, I only know a little, but if you give me a good book to read or an inspiring sports movie I suddenly transform into the biggest fan. This book had me hooked, I will gladly be a little cheerleader for this book, it was utterly fascinating! From underdogs to the attractiveness of quarterbacks to professional athletes making bad coaches and the t shirt cannon. This book discusses the science behind so many things that we don't even really bother to think about. It's truly eye opening. I learned so much about rivalries, effort justification, hot headedness and more. Even though it's nonfiction, it reads easy and is never overwhelming. Each chapter discusses a new topic and there are plenty of charts and funny asides to get readers laughing and thinking. Loved, loved, loved this book!

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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Buttception: A Butt Within a Butt Within a Butt

I didn't know a 34 page book could be soo inspiring and so over the top bizarre, but I should have known better because... Chuck Tingle. Buttception contains three "novellas" that are all loosely connected. I'll try my best to wrap these up (ha) quickly and neatly and convince you to read this in the process (because why wouldn't you?!?).

Anally Yours, The Unicorn Sailor
Tuck has just been dumped by his girlfriend and everything sucks until he spies a strapping male unicorn sailor on his walk. Before he knows what he's doing he goes over to talk to the unicorn and asks him to dinner. There is immediate connection and sparks are flying, but much to Tuck's dismay the unicorn has to leave that very night to set sail on a year long sea voyage. They promise to write to each other and they do. Their letters get more and more passionate, "Just below his signature, Hunter [the gay unicorn] has left the pink marking of his puckered butthole, pressed against the page in a perfect starfish after applying a liberal helping of lipstick." Finally they re reunited and have passionate gay unicorn sex on the beach. As a surprise the unicorn (who has suddenly become a billionaire) buys a private island for the two of them and the only other inhabitants are a bunch of worker clones who resemble the unlikely lovers.

Pounded in Butt by My Own Butt
Kirk is a scientist trying to replicate the success that the gay unicorn had in making working drones. After dozens of failed attempts and a mixture of his DNA, a hawk, and a piece of his butt he is finally able to create a clone! His gorgeous butt has beautiful wings and a great sense of humor. Kirk can't believe he's falling for his own butt. After one date they decide they want to try anal. Because who doesn't want to pound their own butt? "...I push my living ass down onto the bes and watch as he spreads his majestic wings out behind him. For a living butt, his physique is quite impressive and I laugh out loud when I realize that I'm only complimenting myself." They live happily after after.

Pounded in the Butt By My Own Book "Pounded in the Butt My My Own Butt"
Buck Trungle is sick and tired of being sick and tired. He's a lonely author that can't get out of the shadow of all the books he's authored. One day he discovers that he's getting sued, by his own book! Pounded in the Butt By My Own Butt just wants some recognition, how come the author gets all the credit? Where are his royalties? The two decide to meet up without lawyers to see what they can do. Instead they find themselves instantly attracted to each other. One thing leads to another and suddenly the author is boning hos won book. "...my book pulls out of me and I drop down onto the floor before him, kneeling in tribute before my alpha book lover.


Space Raptor Butt Trilogy

Some books defy explanation. I will try my damnedest to make sense of this insanely weird niche dino gay erotica masterpiece. If you're new to the game there is an emerging trend for dinosaur erotica, while mostly released in eBook format you can occasionally make regrettable print purchases on Amazon (which I obviously did). Chuck Tingle is a "writer who defined a generation with his sensual brand of homoerotic thrillers" (taken from the back cover). Space Raptor Butt Trilogy is one of his more "well known" works as it was nominated for a prestigious Hugo Award (it started off as a joke, but momentum took off). The trilogy consists of: Space Raptor Butt Invasion, Space Raptor Butt Redemption, and Space Raptor Butt Ascension. Each "story" (sorry for all the quotation marks, I can't help myself!) is roughly only 10 pages, this book is only 37 pages long so it makes for quick reading. I'll try to do my best to quickly break down each story:

Space Raptor Butt Invasion
Astronaut, Lance Tanner, finds himself alone on a distant planet due to budget cuts. Unbearably lonely, he first thinks he's hallucinating when he spies another space suit clad figure in the distance. When the figure comes over into the space station and takes off his helmet to reveal a raptor astronaut, Lance is initially worried but the two form a friendship that eventually turns into romance full of hot gay dinosaur sex.

Space Raptor Butt Redemption
Lance and his raptor lover return to Earth and immediately find themselves under scrutiny. A trial is set and Lance is charged with being too "weird" in space and receiving funding from an evil corporation that steals unicorn tears. The reality is, the people of Earth are afraid of interspecies romances. Lance brilliantly defends himself against a corrupt lawyer and when he wins over the crowd and the judge he brings out his raptor lover and they make mad passionate love on the courtroom floor for everyone to witness and marvel at. The judge even starts weeping it's so beautiful. "I'm here to make sweet, sweet love to this raptor and show the world that even in space, love and positivity and hope and openness conquer all. If you all want to shut down the space program because of this then so be it, I'll still be in my back yard trying to build rockets and getting pounded in the ass by my raptor."

Space Raptor Butt Ascension
Lance and his raptor lover fly to the raptor's planet to see if in the future the humans can move there since Earth is dying. On the way they discover a stowaway, the leader of a bad organization who just escaped from prison. When they arrive on the friendly dinosaur planet they are greeted warmly by the dinosaur president. Suddenly a commotion breaks out as the bad stowaway tries to wreak havoc on this new planet. Since the planet runs on love the only way for Lance and his raptor to save the day is to start having wild passionate sex in front of the president. "Orion approaches confidently with his prehistoric alpha male swagger, then climbs down on his knees directly behind me." The love they create (and splatter everywhere) saves the day and they have made new friends on a planet that can save humanity.

Ridiculously insane and over the top. So obviously you should read this and anything written by Chuck Tingle. Trust me, you won't regret it (much).

Mexico

I've been on a short story kick and was definitely in the mood for this. Some of the short stories in here were slam dunks and others were odd ducks, with rushed endings and bizarre plots. For example, the opening story is beyond bizarre and flirts with cannibalism, drug lords, and ancient Aztec gods. All of the stories revolve around Mexico City and many of the characters are Americans or whites living in the city, viewing it through their lenses. Most, if not all, are crime stories as they apply to every day people; teachers, painters, journalists, students, mimes, etc. A lot of gang violence, drugs, rival Narco leaders and more. Dark, gritty, unexpected, this was an interesting read.

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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

1984

You know... I'm not entirely sure that I actually did read this as a child. I swore I did, but I think I may have been confusing it with "Brave New World." Reading this as an adult living in a Trump run country was extra terrifying and made the book that much more powerful. This is one of those classics that is absolutely timeless. It only gets better with age. One of the finest examples of a dystopian future that I can think, Orwell does a masterful job painting a bleak picture and casting a poor hapless soul as the protagonist. Winston is not quite happy with life under Big Brother. He goes through the motions but he wishes things were different, he has no freedom because - "Freedom Equals Slavery." I don't want to say too much more and spoil the plot, but suffice it to say that this is required reading!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Princess Diarist

My opinion may not be popular on this book but I'm going to say it anyways. I did not love this memoir. It was a little choppy, pretentious, and didn't even talk about the filming of Star Wars near as much as the description implied. We hear all about the affair with Harrison Ford but that's about it. The middle portion of the book is her diary she kept while 19 and it's very flowery, and waxes poetic about Mr. Ford. She doesn't even come across as likable as I wanted her to be. I'm sounding like a jerk now, talking ill of the dead, but this book just didn't do it for me. Maybe hardcore Star Wars nuts will love it, but me... meh. It doesn't make me want to check out her other books later. It's well written, I just don't care for her words.... because I'm a monster.

Kansas City Lightning

A fascinating look at Charlie Parker's beginning. I assumed (wrongly) that this would be a full biography of Parker's life, but it stops before he truly hits the big time. It traces his rice in Kansas City, his hoboing to Chicago and then to New York to see the world and prove his worth, and ends with his eventual return to Kansas City. Included are many pictures, interviews with his first wife and a wonderful array of Jazz history and culture so that the reader can gain a better understanding of how Parker created a unique sound all his own while studying the Jazz masters of the day. A wonderfully informative book that makes me wonder if it's the first in a series. I want to know about his rise to fame, not just the beginnings!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Haven

This was my first and most likely last Kay Hooper book. I didn't realize that it was in the middle of the series until too late, but really I wouldn't have known if not for goodreads. It doesn't matter if this was a standalone or a series, this book sucked. Character development was minimal, the plot was laughably bare, and too much of everything was obvious. I straight up did not care who lived or died in this. Emma Rayburn fled Baron Hollow when she was a teenager and ever since she's been plagued with nightmares and dark visions. Her special crimes unit (full of psychics and shit) sends her back to her hometown to uncover why she really ran away and while there a body turns up. Oh no! Ugh., I can't use anymore brainpower on this one. Soo not a fan!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Disaster falls

A heart-wrenching memoir of loss, grief, guilt, and pain as a father re-counts the tragedy of losing his eight year old son. What was supposed to be a fun family trip soon turned into a nightmare when their youngest son drowned while kayaking on the Green River. Almost numb with pain, the author recounts with clarifying and insightful detail the emotions (or sometimes lack thereof) experienced by him, his wife, and their only remaining child. Spanning over the course of a few years, this memoir is a glimpse into the tragedy that many families experience everyday. A wonderful, but heart breaking memoir that beneficial for everyone to read. Not everyone experiences grief the same way and reading this will help readers with that cold hard fact.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Things We Lost in the Fire

A fascinating, dark, and intriguing glimpse into the modern day lives of Argentinians. Told in short stories, Mariana Enriquez, brings the mundane, the dark, the unimaginable, and the supernatural to the forefront. Each story is unique; the characters flawed, questioning, and wholly real. From a haunted house, jealous friends, river monsters, to burning women. This collection is not for the faint of heart, but it is so very rewarding and beautifully written and translated. In the same vein as Stephen King and Joe Hill, these haunting short stories will have readers hooked and questioning. Definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Our Numbered Days

It's been a minute since I picked up a poetry book, but after having seen the viral video of Neil Hilborn reading his poem OCD, I knew I had to read more. He has a very evocative, brash, alluring style that I find most appealing and his poems cover a variety of topics. I very much enjoyed this collection, even though you can tell some are meant to be listened to, not just merely read. Reading this has made me inspired to fit some other poetry in, I need a good palate cleanser from time to time. I would definitely recommend this and his online videos to get a feel for his style and rhythm.

We Are Okay

I'm going to be completely honest, I initially picked up this book because of the badass cover. It's intriguing, I had to know what it was about. I discovered a quick read (like 2 hours only) about a young girl who flees her old life in California to start anew at a college in New York. Told in alternating timelines (the past summer and the current Christmas break); Marin struggles as her estranged best friend flies out to see her for three days. They haven't spoken since Marin fled California and questions need to be answered, relationships discussed. There is good suspense as the reader tries to figure out what actually happened to Marin and wonder as to what she's going to do with her life. This book also explores themes of homosexuality, art, independence, and family. All around a quick, good read.

Alone Together

An exceptionally well researched book that explore technology and the unintended effects it's having on how we interact with others and ourselves. Broken into two parts, the first half explores the robotic movement and the second half discusses networking online. I really wish there was a new updated edition (this was published in 2010) because so much has already changed. Advances in social media, online privacy (or lack thereof), and robotic developments. Turkle does a wonderful job discussing the pros and cons of our technological advancements and brings forth many soul searching questions. Is our morality changing? Our we becoming less satisfied with our lives? How do we present ourselves online?  Is social media what determines our happiness? Are we becoming more fake and competitive? Wonderful and depressing read, a little outdated even though it's only 7 years old, jus goes to show how fast technology is advancing!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Evil

Four siblings rule the hallways at their high school. Popular, beautiful, feared for their temper; the Bradens incite awe and wonder. But there is more to them than meets the eye. Kellen is the undisputed leader of the bunch, commanding and authoritative, the only one close to matching him in strength is his younger sister Shay who refuses to admit her strength. Caught in denial about how different she is, and soon caught up in a steamy romance, Shay has more on her plate then bargained for. A standalone paranormal romance featuring strong family ties, anger issues, a torrid love affair, and some soul searching. Narrated beautifully by Jorjeana Marie who does a masterful job relating Shay's inner turmoil and the Braden family drama with her smoky, sultry voice. Filled with teenage angst, romance, and paranormal eccentricities; this young adult novel is intended for more mature teens and could also be classified as new adult.

Steelheart

This is one of those books that almost defies description. The cover and summary didn't grab me, but the first chapter certainly did. It's a dystopian novel with superheros and badassery. I know I won't be able to adequately describe it, but it was certainly gripping, exciting, and entirely unique. I'm absolutely reading the sequel. This book will appeal not just to young adults (for whom it's attended) but for adults as well. This would make an awesome movie, the characters are unforgettable and unique, an all around win!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Grimm Woods

Fun premise, especially for those who like cheesy 80's horror films and snappy young adult dialogue. Scott is less than excited to start his first summer as a summer camp counselor at a storybook themed camp. He cheers up though when he realizes that the counselors are all young hot, horny, and ready to party. Just as he's about to get into the swing of things all hell breaks loose. Counselors are being brutally murdered in gruesome ways depicted in the old Grimm's Fairy Tale book. To save themselves, Scott and the other counselors are going to have to learn the morals to the gruesome fairy-tale murders in order to stay alive. What sick freak is killing all the counselors? And to what end? Full of witty dialogue, gory murders, and fun. Probably of most interest to young adults.

I received this book for free from iRead Book Tours in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shoe Dog

An inspiring and fascinating memoir from the creator of Nike. Phil Knight spares no details in this in depth look about how he created the Nike empire as a young naive guy in his 20s. It was anything but smooth sailing, equal parts business and personal, this memoir touches on all the struggles the young fledgling company had in its first 2 decades. It pretty much ends in 1980 when the company went public, because that is when the company finally took off. Brilliantly narrated to convey the emotions and excitement of the Nike culture. After listening to this book I have soo much respect for Nike and its creator. I've always seen it around, it's one of the largest companies ever, but I've never appreciated how hard they worked to get to the point they are at now. Insanely inspiring, they've definitely got a new customer.

Vampira

A fascinating look at the mysterious life of the cult classic scream goddess, Vampira. Although not much is known about her life, author W. Scott Poole did a great job fleshing out what he good and writing about the history of the decade, women's rights, and the culture of the time. Filled with fascinating photos and interesting tid bits, this retrospective is on more than Vampira, it's about the culture of the fifties in which she emerged and how she shattered all the stereotypes and housewife tropes. It reads as if it's a long scholarly essay, but it's worth plowing through to learn some interesting facts about her association with James Dean, Elvis, Marlon Brando, Ed Wood, Orson Welles, and Liberace. Intriguing, but it could have been wrapped up a little more concisely.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Night Gardener

A pretty solid book for upper elementary/ middle schoolers, and honestly it was soo well written and creepy, that I think this absolutely could be adapted into a creepy as hell adult horror book. Two Irish orphans find themselves in an isolated crumbling down house working for a sick family. They're not technically getting paid but at least they have a place to stay and food to eat. While working at this remote house, Molly and her younger brother, Kip, begin to realize that something is horribly wrong. Someone is breaking in at night, everyone has nightmares, and they're all slowly getting sicker. Plus, the tree next to the house is menacing AF. Slowly they learn about the ominous night gardener and realize that sometimes the scariest stories are the true ones, ones that you keep yourself from believing. Genuinely creepy at parts, this book will attract a variety of readers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer

I've read a lot of stripper memoirs (I have eclectic reading tastes) and this graphic novel memoir didn't really do it for me. This memoir takes place in Canada during the 1980's, Melody and her dead beat boyfriend are broke and unemployed so he pressures her into being an exotic dancer while he peddles dope. Melody starts off as young and naive and quickly grows jaded and tired of her boyfriend's lying, cheating, and stealing.Not enough to leave him though. There are multiple "chapters" and each tells a small story. One involves the cops, another involves, puppets, yet another an orgy, you get the picture. While interesting, I had a hard time feeling sympathy for Melody. The drawings are a little amateur but fit well with the story.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bitch Planet

I loved everything about this comic! Women deemed "troublemakers" or "problems" are sent away from Earth to live on a prison colony dubbed, "Bitch Planet," far away from the straight laced men who expect obedient subservient women. A new batch of prisoners sent to Bitch Planet are given an opportunity to fight for their freedom. The leader of their group is unsure, but what choice do they have? Even if the system is rigged they want to show the men that they are not to be taken lightly. Filled with an amazing cast of characters and an amazing storyline. I definitely can't wait to read more of them!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Heart Shaped Box

An amazing new take on the typical old ghost story. Imagine buying a ghost on the internet, as a fluke. Something fun to add the ol' occult collection in your house. Some fun little trinket to start off a good story with. It's not like you'd receive an actual ghost. Right? This is the conundrum that rock singer Jude Coyne finds himself. Middle aged and living with a hot young goth girl, his best days are behind him. He has his dogs, his personal assistant downstairs handling the odd reunion requests and fan mail, and a hot roadie warming his bed. Life is good. Until the little heart shaped box containing a ghost shows up in the mail. Suddenly it isn't so funny anymore. This ghost is out for blood. Jude's blood. Any anyone dumb enough to try and help him. Genuinely creepy, and engaging. This ghost story kept me hooked until the very end. Jo's father must be proud. He's one hell of a horror writer.

Beauty

Wonderfully innovative concept for a new comic series. Everyone is obsessed with beauty. So much so, that when an STD that makes the infected shed weight, grow cheek-bones, smooth complexions, and turn all the infected into beautiful supermodels, everyone wants to get it. Within a year 200 million Americans are infected with the beauty. Groups are against it, groups are for it, and a special government group has been created to try and stem the flow of transmission and to keep an overall eye on the infected beauties. Suddenly, without warning, the beauties start internally combusting. The government tries to keep it hush hush, but it's only  matter of time before it gets leaked. What can the beauty squad do to help everyone? And what will happen if they too get infected? Dark, beautifully illustrated, and creative, this was an amazing beginning and I can't wait to keep up with the series.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

A wonderful and eye opening read through the mind of a fifteen year old autistic child who is determined to discover who killed his neighbors dog. Told with candor, wonderful explanations, drawings, and logic, Christopher's view of the world is fresh and different. Hating to be touched, severely lacking in empathy or humor, he approaches life with a clinical different way of thinking. Christopher learns a lot about himself, his limitations, and what he's truly able to overcome if he doesn't overthink it. Definitely worth a read.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Buffy, the High School Years: Freaks and Geeks

I saw this cover art and was immediately drawn to it. Plus, who diesn't love Buffy?!?! Upon reading this series debut though, I wasn't very impressed. The graphics are more anime, I wanted more along the lines of the cover. Plus... I think I'm a little too old to be reading about this level of high school drama. Granted it was cool to see Giles and Buffy and Willow and the whole gang in a new storyline, but I don't know if I liked it enough to follow it up with the next in the series. We'll see.

Sexcastle

Amusing, wonderfully drawn, and full of wit. Sexcastle will amuse readers. Simply, yet skillfully drawn, the characters leap to life from tha page and are memorable enough in themselves. The comic opens with Sexcastle getting released from prison. Having served time for murdering the president, he has vowed to turn away from his life of killing and wants to do nothing but live a quiet life. He travels a long way until he finds a sleepy little town and a position as a flower shop salesnmen. Before he can get too cozy though, he realizes that there is a big player in town and it will be harder then he thought to remain non-violent. Funny, and campy, the book is immensly better than my description.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Enter by the Narrow Gate

A wonderful mystery debut that promises to be a fantastic series. In the same vein as Tony Hillerman and other southwestern mysteries, with a touch of Brother Cadfael; this suspenseful whodunnit set in New Mexico will garner lots of fans.

Father Fortis is on sabbatical at St. Mary's and arrives just after a young nun is found brutally murdered. Soon after his good friend Detroit Detective, Lieutenant Worthy, is sent out to investigate a missing girl. Father Fortis decides that it is no mere coincidence that the two of them find themselves in the Southwest at the same time immediately after an unsolved murder. Lt. Worthy is determined to stay focused on his missing persons case but is soon drawn in by the mysteriousness of the nun's death. Could the missing girl and the dead nun be linked? If so by what? Full of intrigue, religious oddities, and good ol' fashioned sleuthing, this novel reads fast and is impossible to put down. I can't wait for the next installment!

Monday, February 13, 2017

White Knight

Another solid Dresden Files novel. Not my absolute favorite, but I loved seeing more of Ramirez and Thomas.A bunch of witches have gone missing or have mysteriously killed themselves and Dresden and Murphey decide to investigate and put an end to whatever is terrorizing part of the magic community. Of course, it ends up going way deeper and darker than they imagined and lots of old players are re-introduced. It's fun and violent, and full of laughs. I particularily dug the end of it. Now on to the next one! Slowly, but surely I'll knock this series out!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Just Kids

Gorgeously written, the prose is lyrical and evocative in it's own right. Patti Smith's memoir about her early relationship with photographer and artist, Robert Mapplethorpe, during the late sixties and secenties in New York is a treat for anyone. Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Patti Smith and I knew nothing about Mapplethorpe, but afterwards I felt as if I knew them intimately. Patti does a wonderful job plotting the trajectory of their friendship, their time as lovers, and their work as artists. The drugs, the art, the music, the style, the culture, the emotions; all are encased in this tiny little memoir. It's like looking into a time capsule, everything is captured so well. The creative process behind their art, the accompanying photographs, the depth of meaning behind the unsaid and said. A wonderful read, well deserving of the national book award.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

Heartbreaking and painful, but beautifully rendered, this novel of a school shooting and it's aftermath through the eyes of four students will have readers hooked. Alternatively told through the omniscient "we" and through individual lenses of four yearbook club staffers, the whole story is slowly pieced together, where each of them were in the building, how they were affected, how they grieved, and how they came together to try and chronicle an indescribable event. As if the aftermath of the shooting that claimed over 20 students wasn't enough, a string of house fires ignite throughout the community, only affecting the parents and families of those that lost teenagers in the school shooting. These four, courageous, broken, questioning teens try to piece together their own and their community's sorrows. A wonderful read, not for the faint of heart.

I received this book for free from Librarything Giveaways in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Addicted

Full of sex and scadal and written slightly better than "50 Shades of Grey" this erotica would have appealed to me more had there not been copious amounts of cheating and ridiculous plot twists at the end. On the surface Zoe has the perfect life: an adoring husband, a great job, a huge house, and wonderful kids. She loves her husband but their sex life is very lacking. From an early age Zoe was fascinated with sex, she couldn't wait to do it. She finally lost her virginity to her childhood sweatheart (now husband) and has always been faithful (yet unfulfilled) until she meets a young artist who sweeps her off her feet and and into the bedroom. She doesn't love him, but for the first time in her life her sexual needs are being met. Soon she gets another lover, and then another. And she realizes that her addiction to sex is spiraling out of control. She loves her husband, but she loves sex too. Zoe decides to finally get help, but from there things only get more complicated. The end is a little much, but I still want to see the movie adaptation of it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Clean Room: Immaculate Conception

Even though I'm not 100% sure what exactly is going on, I'm intrigued by this dark and beautifully illustrated comic. When Chloe's fiance suddenly kills himself and leaves behind a self-help book by his side, she is determined to find if the two are linked. Little does Chloe know that the head of the self-help Empire, Astrid, has more power, prestige, and hidden secrets then she ever could have imagined. Determined to get to the mysterious clean room housed at Astrid's headquarters, Chloe doesn't take no for an answer and unleashes unimaginable horror. Fun, I want to see where this series goes.