Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review #163: My Boring Ass Life by Kevin Smith

My Boring-Ass Life is by Kevin Smith. Goodreads says:

Anything but boring, the creator of Jay and Silent Bob shares his x-rated thoughts in his diary, telling all in his usual candid, heartfelt and irreverent way!

Lewd, crude and hilariously rude, Kevin Smith pulls no punches in this hard-hitting, in-your-face exposé of, er, his rather dull and uneventful life… well, not always dull. In between watching his TiVo, he manages to make and release Clerks II, relate the story of his partner-in-crime Jason Mewes’ heroin addiction, get a tattoo, serve on a jury... and get caught stealing donuts from Burt Reynolds

Thrown in are his views on the perils of strip clubs, the drawback of threesomes, the pain of anal fissures, his love-affair with Star Wars and so much more!

To be honest, I did think while going into reading this book that I might not enjoy reading a few years' worth of inane blog posts. And granted, Kevin Smith does warn that the posts are very inane and boring, and you do get that in the very title of the book. But I wanted to read this anyway, and guess what? It was boring! I just knew around 40 pages in that I would not be able to make it through over 500 pages of these posts. Not to decredit Kevin Smith, because he did make the inane semi-interesting. I just knew in my heart and mind that his genius sense of humor was not enough. I mean these posts were really inane, to the point where I almost fell asleep. Luckily, this is not the only book he's written, and I can't wait to read Tough Shit, because that seems to be a lot better than this was. Who knows, I might even return to this someday.

I'll next be reviewing Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Currently Reading #17

With the last review of the previous list written, the time has come for a new list to rise up out of the depths and take the old list's place.

This list's theme is Non-fiction, specifically memoirs/autobiographies. I have been wanting to do this one for a loong time, and I can not wait to get into these books :)

So here I present, the books:

1. My Boring Ass Life - Kevin Smith
2. Nerd Do Well - Simon Pegg
3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling
4. Guts - Kristen Johnston
5. License to Pawn - Rick Harrison
6. The Accidental Billionaires - Ben Mezrich
7. Tough Shit - Kevin Smith

So there ya have it folks! These books look amazing, and I can't wait to dive in :)

Until next time, viva la literature!      

Review #162: Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

Greetings everyone! It's been a little over a week since the last review, and it feels like forever. I have a bunch of stuff for y'all today, and I hope you guys like it :) On with the reviews!

Dark Descendant is the first in the Nikki Glass series by Jenna Black. Goodreads says:

Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . . Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy. But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . . .

Godsdammit! This book sounded awesome when I first read the summary. The premise reminded me a little bit of the Sabina Kane series, which is one of my all time favorite series. Then of course I read the book, and eeverything went down the drain. To be fair, it wasn't really the story that made me stop reading. No, it was the characters and the writing that prevented me from even forcing myself to continue reading this book. The story was ok, ableit it went very fast, shooting past my mind before I could play catch up. I just could not follow anything that was going on, and that is a baad thing. The story also felt poorly written, not always cohesively written.

Nikki was a horrible character! Just horrible. I despised her voice, because she just felt shallow and hollow. I could not connect with Nikki, and I felt like she was a stereotypical, overblown badass with hollow attitude and snark that did not feel genuine. The other characters were just as poorly written, themselves being overblown stereotypes with horrid personalities. No one felt real in any way shape or form.

Ms. Black's writing was absolutely bad in this book. She wrote the characters so so poorly, and her world building felt like utter shlock, that it frustrated me to the point where I almost chucked my Nook at my wall. I will give her another chance with her Fairiewalker series, HOPEFULLY that book will be much better than this shock of a book.

With all of that said, we are at the end of yet another list. I shall be putting up the next list in a few minutes.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review #161: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Hey everyone! Hope y'all enjoy this review :)

The Goddess Test is the first in a series by Aimee Carter. Goodreads says:

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

At first, this book frustrated me. Something was just off, and I couldn't explain why. But as I continued reading, I really got into The Goddess Test. There was just something enjoyable about this book that made me smile. Plus I literally could not for the life of me predict any of the plot twists, and that in itself is amazing. I know there are a lot of issues with this book, but for some reason I just loved every second. With that said, I do have issues with this book. The slut shaming for example. Even though I admittedly was a bit annoyed at the behavior of the character who was slut-shamed, but I still was bothered that the shaming occurred. Also after the book was over, and I read the list of who was which God/Goddess in the manor, I was kind of perplexed at the villain. I won't go into details, but the God/Goddess the villain is supposed to be made no sense when it came to their reasons as to why they were the villain. I also didn't like Kate's personality all too terribly much.

Speaking of Kate, lets chat about our intrepid heroine. As I've said, I didn't like her personality too much. The problem was there was a lack of it. I felt like Kate was like so many other heroines from dozens of other YA novels. I also did not like that she really slut-shamed that unnamed character. I also didn't like some of her motives behind her choices. She also spent a lot of time in her own mind moping and over-analyzing everything, especially her relationship with Henry. Now we come to Henry, the romantic lead. He definitely fit the Brooding Hero archetype. He also had the formal cadence that remind me of a certain beloved vampire. He was ok at best, but I didn't really find him all that romantic. His brooding got in the way of him truly becoming a great character, and even though there were some sweet moments, I felt like the romance was one-sided on Kate's side. The other characters were okay at best.

The writing was surprisingly good. Ms. Carter's style is smooth and easy to read. While she did not do so well with her telling of Greek Mythology, she somehow cast a spell on me that made me fall in love with this book, despite all of my issues with it. That's a pretty damned good feat if you ask me.

Thing is I won't be reading the short in between novella or the second book, because I read some reviews by bloggers that I trust, and from the looks of it nothing improves in book two.

I'll next be reviewing Dark Descendant by Jenna Black. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review #160: Oh. My. Gods by Tera Lynn Childs

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed St. Patrick's Day :) Anyway, I have this review for y'all, hope you enjoy it :)

Oh. My. Gods is the first in a series by Tera Lynn Childs. Goodreads says:

When Phoebe’s mom returns from Greece with a new husband and plans to move to an island in the Aegean Sea, Phoebe’s well-plotted senior year becomes ancient history. Now, instead of enjoying a triumphant track season and planning for college with her best friends, Phoebe is trying to keep her head above water at the überexclusive Academy. If it isn’t hard enough being the new kid in school, Phoebe’s classmates are all descendants of the Greek gods! When you’re running against teammates with superpowers, dealing with a stepsister from Hades, and nursing a crush on a boy who is quite literally a god, the drama takes on mythic proportions!

I got this book when I first was getting into Tera Lynn Childs' work. I was excited because this book looked great when I first saw it, and looked like it was gearing up to be fantastic. Unfortunately the story went down after page one. Honestly, the story felt contrived immediately, with the quickie marriage completely unrealistic even under these circumstances. I couldn't follow anything that was going on, and everything happened waaay too quickly.

I'm sorry, but Phoebe was a horrible character. Her voice/POV bothered the hell out of me, and irritated me to the point where it made me quit reading. She is possibly one of the single most whiny characters I have ever read about. I swear, her whining knew no freaking bounds. I could not handle how her character was written. One of the worst things about it is that the character was written as knowing she was saying mean things to her mom and stepfather, yet she said them anyway, without apologizing. I just, I couldn't. The other characters were just not memorable, and Phoebe ruined this whole book for me. 

I'm sorry Ms. Childs, but I won't be continuing this series. Thankfully I can't wait for your next Fins book :)

I'll next be reviewing The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bad Book Round-Up 3/13/12

*Sigh* I really, really, really did not want this to happen. I hoped against a wild hope that this post would not occur during this list. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed. Without further ado, here are the books:

Pantheons by E.J. Dabel:
 This book looked so awesome when I first saw it. It just seemed like it had such a great take on the Greek Gods, with some fresh style and a great story. The opposite ended up happening. I mostly thought that the main character of Isaiah was a crappy protagonist. It felt like he had such a massive superiority complex, didn't involve himself in the story, and just had a bad voice to read. I couldn't get into him as a character at all. All of the characters were stereotypes, which bothered the hell out of me. Everything just went south X_X

Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner:
 For a minute there I thought this book was going alright. But then I realized I didn't like Helen at all. She also had a superiority complex, although it was more subtle. I know why she was supposed to have one, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. Again, the characters were annoying stereotypes, the writing was leaning towards bad and it was all around not very enjoyable.

Helen of Troy by Tess Collins:
 Yet again, I did not like the main character. I thought she was a b*tch, who was completely unlikeable and had no redeeming qualities. I also didn't like her husband Rudy. Again, the writing was bad. It didn't flow and felt hokey. 

Well there ya have it folks, hopefully the rest of the list won't be like this xD

Until next time, viva la literature!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review #159: Asphodel by Lauren Hammond

Asphodel is the first in the Underworld Trilogy by Lauren Hammond. Goodreads says:

Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.

Once again, this novel was not very good. I thought the premise was interesting, but that's about it. I wasn't really interested in anything, apart from some parts during Persephone's time in the Underworld, and the ending, the very ending. Apart from that, this novel had nothing that drew me in. I just kept turning the page (electronically), waiting for SOMETHING to happen. Sadly, that was not the case.

I thought Persephone was a whiny git. I mean come on, she's supposed to be over 5,000 years old! She just felt like a whiny teenager, and had almost nothing that indicated her age. I know that's not necessarily a bad thing, but honestly, you would never know how old she truly was if she didn't mention it, which it was mentioned constantly. Also her love with Hades felt a bit insta-loveish. Hades had no personality or substance. Come to think of it, none of the characters had substance. I wasn't connected to anyone at all.

The writing was pretty craptacular. It did nothing to draw me in, and the world wasn't fully developed. 

I'll next be reviewing Pantheons by E.J. Dabel.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #158: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Destined is by Jessie Harrell. Goodreads says:

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

This novel wasn't very good. I loved the premise, but mostly because I like the Psyche and Cupid myth. Apart from that, not much was terribly interesting, this was just mostly played out like a soap opera. Also I was perplexed at the characters speaking like modern people. I mean the story took place in ancient Greece, I'm sure the speech patterns were not exactly the same as they are today. I know, that's a small thing to nitpick about, but it really bothered me. If you are going to set your story in a different time, then please at least try to make the speech patterns at least similar to what they were supposed to be. 

Psyche was ok. She was your typical spunky, determined heroine whom shocked almost everyone around her with her fiestyness (sp?). I did like her a bit near the end, but that was about it. Come to think of it, all of these characters were pretty stereotypical. There was no true growth, and there was almost no original personality in anyone.

The writing was decent at best. Like I said, I'm really peeved that Ms. Harrell used modern speech patterns with the characters. Admittedly, I did like how she built her world. That was probably the only thing I truly liked about this novel.

I'll next be reviewing Asphodel by Lauren Hammond.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #157: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief is the first book in the blockbuster Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Goodreads says:

After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

This is my third time re-reading this, and it is still awesome! I loved every single solitary minute of this book. It is action packed, the dialogue is wonderful and well written, and the characters are also very well written with some excellent growth and development. The story is excellent, and I loved Riordan's take on the Greek Gods. Every second is able to suck you in, from the very first sentence you want to know what happened, refusing to leave the book for a mere second. I loved the quest Percy and his friends went on, I loved the interactions with the Gods, just every thing about The Lightning Thief if bleeping amazing.

Percy is possibly one of my all time favorite characters. His voice is pure awesome and I was rooting for him the instant I read the first chapter. He is sweet, smart, funny, and all around wonderful. I know he's 12 in this book, but he is still fabulous. I was rooting for him to find the bolt and rescue his mom. Plus, his relationship with his mom is super sweet. It kind of reminds me of my relationship with my mom, because we're also super close. I also loved his relationship with Annabeth. You can really see their relationship develop from the beginning to the end. Annabeth on her own was fantastic. She was witty, sharp, and could go wit for wit with Percy. I also felt for her due to her past, which broke my heart. She is one of the best female characters I have ever read, and I can definitely liken her to Hermione from Harry Potter. Grover was also fabulous. He was hilarious, making me giggle at times, and I loved it every time Riordan talked about his satyr self. His friendship with Percy is great, and you can really tell they care for each other and would do anything for each other. I adored when they were cracking jokes and went back and forth. Other characters such as Chiron were excellent. Every single character, no matter how much time they had in the book, shone. From Ares to Medusa, you are invested in every single character and enjoy it when you discover someone new. 

Damn, Mr. Riordan is freaking talented. He literally hooks you in from the first page, and doesn't let go until you are finished reading at 4 in the morning. If this is my third time reading this and I'm still this enthralled, you know this book is genius, which it is. He build his world fantastically, making his version of the Gods stand out very well. I honestly love his writing style, which is smooth and brilliant.

I'll next be reviewing Destined by Jessie Harrell.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #156: Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Hey everyone! I have some more reviews for y'all tonight, and I hope you enjoy them :)

Oppression is the first in the Children of the Gods series by Jessica Therrien. Goodreads says:

   Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.

For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.

Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her.

Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to centuries of traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

This book was pretty fricking awesome. I loved the authors take on the Gods, their origins and their present. The take was fresh and completely intriguing. In this world the Gods weren't really Gods, but people with extraordinary abilities, whom the ancient Greeks mistook for Gods. I loved the story itself, with Elyse going on her journey, and her quest concerning her friend Anna One thing keeping this book from being truly amazing was the insta-love. I hated how quickly Elyse and William fell in love. I know I know, there is a major component that make them get together so quickly, but still. It felt like this: Meet, talk, boom in love! I wish their relationship developed better, slower. Also William had controlling tendencies at times, which pissed me off.

Elyse was a pretty awesome character. I loved reading about her history, and her friendship with Anna. I think her friendship with Anna was my favorite part of the book. You could feel their friendship leap off the page, it was so natural. I loved Elyse's determination, and watching her figure things out and try to carve out her own path. Despite her insta-love relationship with William, she was a strong protagonist. William was alright, and I'm not going to lie his ability at first made me giggle. Like I said, he had controlling tendencies which really angered me. I also thought he was a bit too clingy to Elyse. Kara was an awesome character. She felt so real to me. She was conflicted, evil yet sweet, horrible yet she nice. I really went back and forth on how I felt about her as a character. She was probably my second favorite character. I also loved William's friendss, especially Nics and Sam, whose relationship made me smile and giggle. Ryder honestly scared the shizz out of me. I got chills every single time he appeared. 

Ms. Therrien is a great writer. She really immerses you in this world pretty quickly. Like I said, I loved her fresh take on the Gods, and she built her world extremely well. It must have taken a while to think it all out, and I commend her on that.

I'll next be reviewing The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Currently Reading #16

Well everyone, it's come time for another Currently Reading List. I'm really really excited for this one, so I'll just introduce it.

This List's theme is: Greek Mythology!!!! Like I said, I'm really, really excited for this list because, fun fact, I am a HUGE Greek Mythology fan. Ever since I was little, I've been enraptured and obsessed with the Greek Gods and anything to do with them. (Another fun fact, my favorite Goddess is Artemis ^^). So it is with great excitement that I present this lists books!:

1. Oppression (Children of the Gods #1) - Jessica Therrien
2. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) -Rick Riordan (This is a re-read)
3. Destined - Jessie Harrell
4. Asphodel (The Underworld Trilogy #1) - Lauren Hammond
5. Pantheons - E.J. Dabel
6. Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess #1) - Esther M. Friesner
7. Helen of Troy - Tess Collins
8. Oh. My. Gods (Oh. My. Gods #1) - Tera Lynn Childs
9. The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1) - Aimee Carter
10. Dark Descendant (Nikki Glass #1) - Jenna Black

These books look amazing! I can't wait to read them all :O)

Until next time, viva la literature!          

Bad Book Round-Up

Well y'all, it's time for another Bad Book Round-Up. It is with my head hanging low due to sadness that I write this post.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford:
 I wanted this book to be good so badly. From the cool plot to the awesome reviews some of my Goodreads friends gave it, it sounded like a surefire hit with me. Not so. The writing was lacking, and the characters were unlikeable. I wasn't invested in anything at all. X_X

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth:

Another book I had high hopes for. Once again I was drawn in by the premise and stellar reviews. And once again it wasn't so. I could not STAND Cameron's voice. It was so dull and flat I could have fallen asleep while reading. Plus she seemed so nonchalant about her parents death at first and that felt really unsettling. It's a shame because this book was shaping up to be amazing, and it wasn't. :(

So there ya have it folks, too books that were terribly disappointing, and also the end of another Currently Reading list. I shall post the next one in a few minutes.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review #155: The Daughters by Joanna Philbin

The Daughters is the first book in the Daughters series by Joanna Philbin. Goodreads says:

The only daughter of supermodel Katia Summers, witty and thoughtful Lizzie Summers likes to stick to the sidelines. The sole heir to Metronome Media and daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, outspoken Carina Jurgensen would rather climb mountains than social ladders. Daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own music breakthrough. By the time freshman year begins, unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has come to expect fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer that believes she's "the new face of beauty," Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media's spotlight.

This book was pretty damn decent. Not without its problems, I really liked this book. Although like Ten Miles Past Normal, I felt everything happened too quickly. From Lizzie's burgeoning career, to her love story, etc, everything felt too f()()king short. I wish everything was more fleshed out.

Lizzie was alright. I feel like she had major mood swings and made poor choices/bad assumptions, but overall I kind of liked her. I know what it's like to not feel pretty, and it definitely feels like that, so that was definitely a realistic characteristic. Hudson and Carina were also great characters, although I thought they were a bit too pushy/forceful with Lizzie and her career. On top of that, they made the same bad assumptions Lizzie made, and simply agreed with her instead of trying to be reasonable and see things from other perspectives.  Other characters felt a bit too over-exaggerated.

Ms. Philbin's style was fine. Since she herself is a daughter of a famous celebrity (Regis Philbin is her father), I feel like she got that aspect right. However, I feel she tried too hard to write from a teenager's perspective. I could see where Ms. Philbin was straining to come up with things teenagers would say, and that downgraded this book a lot. I don't know whether or not I'll read the next book, so stay tuned to find out.

I'll next be reviewing Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #154: Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph

Shrinking Violet is b Danielle Joseph. Goodreads says:

High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class.
But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out - doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T - and to everyone's shock, she's a hit!
Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest -- and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize - Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare...

Oh man, I wanted to like this book so badly. When I first heard about Shrinking Violet, the premise really drew me in. I couldn't wait to start reading. And then it all went downhill. I didn't like the way the story went, and how cartoonish certain characters were. Plus I feel like we were in Teresa's head waaay to much.

Speaking of Teresa, I didn't really like her. It's not that she was too shy, I just didn't like her as a character/person. She could be kind of mean, and too self-isolating, despite her extreme shyness. She just didn't click at all with me, and I wish she was written better, because she didn't feel realistic. Her mother also felt unrealistic. She was so over the top and cartoonish, I wanted to scream out in frustration (mind you I was reading this late at night, so that would have been an issue xD). None of the characters felt real to me, and none were relatable in any single way.

I felt like Ms. Joseph's style was not good. It did not mesh with me and barely hooked me into anything.

I'll next be reviewing The Daughters by Joanna Philbin.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #153: Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Hello my wonderful friends! Once again I have a bunch of stuff for y'all today, and I can't wait to post the reviews! So let's get to it :)

Ten Miles Past Normal is by Frances O'Roark Dowell. Goodreads says:

Janie Gorman is smart and creative and a little bit funky...but what she really wants to be is normal. Because living on an isolated goat farm with her modern-hippy parents is decidedly not normal, no matter how delicious the homemade bread. High school gives Janie the chance to get on par with her suburban peers, but before long she realizes normal may not ever be within her grasp--and that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Between joining a jam band at school (and finding she has flair with a bass guitar), befriending a wild-child senior named Emma, running afoul of the law, and falling in like with a boy named Monster (yes, that's his real name), Janie discovers that growing up gets complicated...and that normal is entirely overrated.

This novel was very cute. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but still good. One thing that really bothered me was how short this book was. What I mean is that the time-frame felt too short. A sub-sect of that is how quickly Janie fell in love with Monster. It went like this: Janie meets Monster, Janie hangs with Monster, suddenly Janie and Monster are in love. I just wish their falling in love took a bit more time, and was more fleshed out. But back to the main issue, I thought everything happened in a bout two weeks. Janie wanted to be normal, made some new friends, found out she loved guitar, comes of age through various trials and tribulations, and learns being herself is the best thing. While I love the message, like I said about Janie and Monster's relationship, I wish the story took more time to develop, but unfortunately it didn't. Like I said, this was a cute storty filled with sweet and sad moment. I just wish those problems weren't problems.

Janie was a prett cool character. I liked her style, and her voice was easy to read. At times it felt like she was whining, but in a way you can chalk it up to just starting High School, which is hard for anybody that age. I liked following her, albeit very short, journey of self discovery. Monster, the love interest, was a bit odd. I can't describe it, but he was definitely odd. Despite that, I thought he was an awesome character and great for Janie, despite the setbacks. I also liked Verbena, who was a kick-butt character and fun to read. Janie's parents and best friend were fleshed out a bit, but ultimately felt like caricatures to me, not truly characters.

I felt like Ms. Dowell's writing style was a bit too simplistic. Plus as I said, she squished the time frame of the novel into a short amount of time.

I'll next be reviewing Shirinking Violet by Danielle Joseph.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review #152: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Greetings fellow book lovers! I hope you are all well today. Here's today's review!

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen. Goodreads says:

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends—the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art—and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

When I first heard about this book, I was SUPER excited. It was billed as Pretty in Pink mixed with Anna and the French Kiss. One of my favorite movies mixed with one of my favorite books? Sign me the hell up! Unfortunately, this book was not as epically amazing as I thought it would be. Aside from the French tutoring, there is nothing in this book that is comparable to Anna and the French Kiss. I did love how TFAoToD was a lot like Pretty in Pink, save for the best friend being in love with our protagonist and some other parts. The story was just meh, which as I said, is extremely disappointing. The story was just not as good as I thought it would be, plus the author took roughly half the book setting up the premise. I'll get more into it in the writing section. I thought the plot was a nap-inducing for some parts and just contrived for others. And once Ella and Alex finally get together, their love story/no one knows their dating aspect goes entirely too quickly for my taste. Like I said, for a book whose blurb is built around the two people from different ends of the wealth spectrum secretly dating concept, the books spends very little time on it. TFAoToD is more about Ella learning to accept her flaws, accepting that her idol was a flawed being and just plain old accepting herself. While that is fine and good, I wanted to see more of what was promised, not what was delivered. I'm sorry for going on this huge rant, but I was sorely disappointed in this book, and I have a bad taste in my mouth from it.

Ella was your typical artsy girl. She was secretly in love with the love interest, yet had a crush on her long dead artistic idol. I don't know, I thought she was incredibly flat, save her her awesomely nerdy banter with Alex, Frankie and Sadie. Her journey of self acceptance and her love with Alex really did not captivate me at all. Alex was also the typical rich kid with a secret heart of gold. While he was incredibly cute and as I said, his banter with Ella was good, he had no distinguishing qualities. Frankie and Sadie on the other hand, were excellent. While Frankie could have been turned into a stereotypical gay best friend, he wasn't, which is fantastic. Frankie was a beautifully flawed, caring sweet and funny best friend who stood on his own and was so real. I loved his character, and how Ms. Jensen added an air of mystery to him and his past. The same goes for Sadie. While her insecurity annoyed me at times, I loved how much she cared for her friends, and just how sweet she was. Man I wish Sadie and Frankie were my friends, I think we'd hit it off famously. The mean girls made me want to hit them, or at least give them a taste of their own medicine. I did love Ella's family, who also stood on their own and were real and awesome. 

Ms. Jensen was a pretty decent author. Like I said earlier, she took her sweet time developing the love story, and the complications that arose with it. I'm glad that Ms. Jensen put so much thought and effort in creating the set up, but in doing so she left little room for the romance/Pretty in Pink aspect to develop. I mean, if you are going to make the blurb about the love story/Pretty in Pink aspect, you would think Ms. Jensen would focus on it more. I'm sorry, ranting again X_X. I did think she hit it out of the park with Frankie, Sadie and Ella's family. Other than them, Ms. Jensen was a pretty mediocre author, who made a LOT of pop culture references, which became a crutch her writing could lean on. 

I'll next be reviewing Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell. 

Until next time, viva la literature!