Monthly Archives: August 2015

Born to be Awkward by Mike Bender

You know those links on Facebook that pop up with Awkward Family Photo’s? I never can resist clicking them. I love seeing that someone else’s family is just as screwed up as mine.

This book is an ode to the babies of the world that were doomed at the start.

For instance: That aunt that always says she is going to eat your face?

Then the older sister who wants you taken back to the stork.

Some of these kids do fight back though..

Booksource: Blogging for books in exchange for review.

Deadly Messengers by Susan May

Deadly  Messengers by Susan May

3.5 stars

Kendall Jennings writes freelance stories to pay the bills. She does the fluff type pieces like the ones that tell you how to get Angelina Jolie lips in just five days. (I need this info)

A near by mass murder entangles her in it’s web and she ends up getting the exclusive story from one of the survivors. She isn’t thrilled with writing about the murders because violence turns her stomach. She keeps going though because it’s helping her career and paying those never ending bills.

Then another mass murder occurs, this time at a nursing home. The killer is a different person as the first massacre ended in the death of that killer. Now it’s happening again.
Kendall meets up with the detectives that are investigating the crimes, Lance O’Grady and his partner Trip.
O’Grady hates journalist due to some stuff that has happened in his past. So he is not thrilled that Kendall keeps poking her nose around.

Then a mother goes nuts and kills members of her family with no sign of any problems leading up to the massacre.

O’Grady knows that these murders cannot be coincidence. Not when they are all taking place in the same small area.
The last question, truly the most frightening when, after all these years, O’Grady thought he’d seen everything evil. Was this the new evil?

Is it all tied into a similar mass murder scene at a fast food restaurant that Kendall starts digging into?

Or can a grieving father’s research into the anti-depressant SSRI’s that so many of us take be leading people to commit these horrible crimes?

Or is it something worse?

I really enjoyed this different take on a serial thriller. May does a good job with keeping the story interesting and her writing is pretty good. I didn’t care for the sorta romancy way that Kendall and O’Grady were acting at times but I’m a hateful old heifer.
May even makes fun of it herself in describing her thoughts as Kendall thinking about a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Not bad at all though.

Booksource: This book was author gifted to me. Susan May actually took the time to read my profile and saw that I had shelved this book on my “to-read” shelf. She sent me a very nice message asking if I was interested in reading it.
Yes, please to authors that act this way.
This did not in any way influence my review. Because like I said I’m a hateful old heifer and I review the way I want.

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

I love to be told a story and that’s exactly how this book feels. Told by a narrator that speaks in an old southern voice, I had thought when starting the book that I would get irritated by it. It ended up being oddly addictive and it fit this book perfectly. The voice used is telling the story about what happened to an outsider. You will want to pull up a chair and listen it to it.

Set in Crow Hollow a small town in the Appalachian mountains, the story starts with a group of teenagers going somewhere that is not allowed because it’s one of the girls birthday and she wants a special night to impress a boy.
I’d like to tell you more about Scarlett Bickford’s eighteenth birthday, how her and her friends somehow managed to salvage things and have the night they’d all wanted. But I can’t do that, friend, because that’s not how it went.

They ended up with teenage drama causing them to have a bad night where a diamond bracelet stolen from a parent gets lost in the night. Waking up the next morning they know they have to get that bracelet back.
They find burned tracks that are bigger than any footprints that they have seen before and follow them. They end up at Alvaretta Graves’s small cabin. The local witch Alvaretta is not someone these kids have met up with before but their parents have history with her.
Ain’t only sins of the father that come to visit in these parts, friend. The sins of the mother will get you just the same.

The kids end up running for their lives after being cursed by Alvaretta. Upon their return to Crow Hollow their curses have come true and it sets off a panic in town that starts to simmer under the towns peoples lives to a boiling point where you know that people are going to end up dead.

Is there a demon helping out Alvaretta? Is this just the result of mass hysteria? Those questions kept me turning these pages.

But then:

This book is so very good in parts and deliciously creepy, it does tend to drag in so many places. I think if the books many pages were cut in two it would make a better story. There was just too much telling that went into the story.

Some places have a feel to them, like there’s a heaviness to the air. You can’t see it with your eyes but you know it in your gut, and what your gut says is those places are not made for humans at all, but for things best left alone.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

The Veil by Chloe Neill

The Veil by Chloe Neill

2.5 stars

On an equally sweltering day in October seven years ago, the Veil-the barrier that separated humans from a world of magic we hadn’t known existed-was shattered by the Paranormals who’d lived in what we now call the Beyond.

New Orleans was ground zero for this war.

When the war was done, Containment-the military unit that managed the war and the Paranormals-had tried to scrub New Orleans not only of magic but of voodoo, Marie Laveau, ghost tours, and even literary vampires.

*cough* I don’t see a problem with getting rid of those vampires.

Claire Connolly loves New Orleans, she fought in the war with her shop owner dad and now that he has passed away she runs the antique/merchandise store. Then one day she realizes that she has a touch of magic.

Humans with a touch of magic are called sensitives, they are sent to Devil’s Isle with all the other paranormals to live. They can not leave there so Claire hides her talents to avoid a trip there.
Until she has to save a girl being attacked by two “wraiths”

(Wraiths are some baddies that sensitives can turn into if they don’t expel their magic correctly)

Enter our supposedly hot guy…Liam Quinn is a bounty hunter, he catches wraiths and paranormals and escorts them to the Isle to be contained. But he wants to help Claire. (Of course he does)
Liam Quinn clearly enjoyed a good fight-and battle looked pretty good on him. I made a really bad face when I read that line.

They find out that someone or something is trying to break the Veil that protects our world from the magic critters taking over.

There is a bunch of world building going on in this book and I did expect it since it’s going to be the first book of a series. Will I continue the series? Probably not. I didn’t care for any of the characters. In my view they were just cardboardish and boring.

Maybe the series will redeem itself later on. I’ll peek at my friends reviews as it goes on and decide then. Let them be the guinea pigs.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

Armada by Ernest Cline

Armada by Ernest Cline

I like to think I’m sorta with it as an adult.

I read books that my teenagers like. I run from adult responsibilities. I love some pop culture stuff. I make fart jokes with my tweenish age son.
I’m totally on board with the cool stuff.

Until I met this book.
I absolutely and totally hate it. I know I should make myself finish it since I received a copy as an arc. I’m not doing it. You can’t make me.

I loved Ready Player One so much that it is one of my favorites that I’ve read this year. This sucker is going on top of my most hated for the year.

You have this: My father had drawn circles around the entries for Iron Eagle, Ender’s Game, and The Last Starfighter, then he’d added the lines connecting them all to each other-and now for the first time I finally understood why. All three stories were about a kid who trained for real-life combat by playing a videogame simulation of it.

And that boys and girls is the gist of this book.

Now that really does not sound like the worst book ever. But then you take and put in a pop culture reference in almost every frigging paragraph and it wears on your every loving last nerve in a frucking hurry.
Don’t believe me? This is from the blurb-that I stupidly waited to read after I started the book.
Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before-one whose every page in infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

*gags*

Not only do we have continuous pop culture forced down our throat at ever possible moment. You also must throw in every cliche known to young adult books on top of that. I did not finish this book but so far into it I saw the whole bullying storyline, single mom/dead dad, lonely boy who is going to be the hero, and insta-loving. As a matter of fact the insta-loving is when I said to hell with this book. I actually gritted my teeth it was so bad.

Then, as if that weren’t lame enough, I added, “I’m not old enough to drink, anyway.”
She rolled her eyes at me. “They’re about to tell us that the world is ending, you realize?” she said. “You don’t want to be stone-cold sober for that shit, do you?”
“You make a compelling argument,” I said, taking the flask from her.
As I raised it to my lips, she began to chant, “Breakin’-the-law-breakin’-the-law.”

I did get some stuff done while reading this book though. I cleaned my entire house, I even cleaned drama kitties litter box. It was way more fun than this book. And my ass is lazy.

Book source: Blogging for books in exchange for review.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green

That’s me, realizing I was about to give a big one star to a super popular book on Goodreads.

It didn’t stop me. This book was beyond stupid.

Miles is a little nerd boy from Florida, he is going away to boarding school hoping for a new life or maybe his “Great Perhaps”. The Great Perhaps comes from a minute reference to some poet. Thrown in to this book to make it all edgy and shit. Fail.

Once he gets there his roommate (the requisite character that is so poor but super smart) befriends him. The Colonel aka Chip takes Miles (now known as Pudge) under his wing and now he has friends!

Including the super special Alaska, she is the beautiful, cool and allusive girl. She is moody and spontaneous. Of course, the boys all love her milkshake..including our Pudge.

That smoking line? It’s from the book. *head-desk*

Then another thing..and this was a big one for me. John Green, you have enough dang money that if you are going to write southern characters at least try, TRY!!! to get them halfway right.
You just put every stupid stereotype known into the characters that are southern for this book. You made them all sound stupid.
If they didn’t go to this wonderful boarding school that erased their accent they sounded like ignorant hicks.
I hate to tell you honey, but last time I check Florida is also in the south. They have accents too.
You lost a star just for not taking the two seconds to research southern speech. I’ve lived here my whole life and I have never heard someone speak like you had several characters speaking.

Anyways, for me. This book glorified the whole “oh I’m so dark” “don’t you want to be me” shit. FOR ME (view spoiler)[It glorified suicide even though Alaska technically did not commit suicide. (hide spoiler)]

My southern ass will give this book a big ole “hell to the no.”

(I really need that sarcasm font)

For all the little fangirls and trolls that I’m sure I’ll being seeing really soon. Here’s a message for you.

and bite me.

Book source: Library

Seeing Evil by Jason Parent

Seeing Evil by Jason  Parent

When we first meet Michael Turcotte he is a very young boy and Samantha Reilly is the detective on the case of his parent’s murder.
Fast forward and he is now a freshman in high school. He is living in foster care but has kept in contact with Samantha.

Michael is a very quiet boy and tries to stay under the radar at school. He doesn’t have any friends because that would bring attention to him. He just exists. One day he does attract the school bullies though and they target him for abuse. Later on he has a vision of one of the bullies being killed.

He tries to find someone to believe what he saw. He tells the principal, his foster parents and Samantha. It’s hard to believe when something like this takes place so no one really takes his vision seriously.

Then it comes true. Michael is angered that no one even Samantha took him seriously so that now a teenager is dead.

Samantha begins to think that Michael is right about the visions because he told every detail of the vision. So what does she do?
She takes him to a missing woman’s house with her to interview the husband. Michael has another horrible vision when the man touches him.

Now this part I didn’t care for. You just don’t involve anyone that is not law enforcement in a case like that. Especially a teenager. I hated that part in I Hunt Killers books. However, Jason Parent does pull that storyline through in a believable way.

Another viewpoint in the story is from another teenager. A girl named Tessa. Who like Michael is very introverted and keeps to herself.

She keeps to herself because she is forced too. Her “Father” is a frigging monster.

This book reads really fast because I wanted to know what was going to happen. It blends the paranormal part of Michael’s visions perfectly.
Recommended.

Book source: Gifted copy.

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

I guess it’s fitting that this book is my 1000th review here on Goodreads. It’s a personal one so if you don’t like that kind of thing don’t read my review. I’m not attention whoring on it. This review is for me. I thought I had no triggers when reading, this book proved to me that I’m wrong.

Ava is married to Mitchell Carson. We see that he is a bit controlling over her when the book begins. She has a new baby (Sam) and has recently adopted Jack who is from a previous marriage of Mitchell’s. She knows that Mitchell doesn’t care as much for the new baby since he really wasn’t ready for a new child but she pushes onward. Even after Mitchell sends in her resignation to her job as a school guidance counselor.
They end up getting in a big argument over the fact that Ava can’t seem to do anything right. She doesn’t manage the couple of hundred dollars a month that he gives her for groceries, gas and other household duties, she spends too much time with the boys, so many things that she just doesn’t measure up with. She in a fit of anger asks if they need time apart.
Mitchell reacts to this by moving out. He gets even more aggressive towards Ava. Then he calls and wants the boys for a few hours. Ava agrees and then when the boys aren’t returned she calls him. He is not giving the boys back. He files for divorce and total custody.

Then a whole new side of Mitchell starts to emerge. He calls every lawyer in the area so that Ava can’t use them. Except for the one new guy Graham who has some demons of his own.
Mitchell is a big wig at the college so he has lots of pull. The judge automatically sides with him and his lawyer (who happens to be the judge’s buddy) Ava is excluded from her boys.

It escalates even more when Mitchell starts telling people including Jack that his mom is having an affair and that she is a drunk. He even does things to set her up to make her look even more unstable.

Ava at first will come off as weak to some readers. I however, have been in her position so I felt for this character the entire story. She does not bad mouth her soon to be ex-husband. She just wants her boys to have a stable happy life.

There are multiple viewpoints that the story is told from Ava, Mitchell (you get inside the monster of this man-even to the fact that he believes his behavior is completely fine), Graham (her attorney), The psychiatrist that the court appointed to help decide on custody arrangements and eight year old Jack. Jack’s point of view did read much older than his years but in cases of divorce and child custody children age faster than normal so it didn’t take away from the book for me. His thoughts revolve around his younger brother Sam and how to save the world and fix everything as one of his heroes. The superheroes found in his comic books.

Whenever I’d get mad or upset, she’d give me a stick of gum instead of a lecture. Like, to say, instead of freaking out, wait five minutes, think about things. Whatever’s wrong might not seem so bad then.

Now if you follow my reviews you know I can read just about anything. Serial killers? Piece of cake. Gory horror, doesn’t even give me pause.
This book? It gutted me. I had to actually stop reading so many times because tears blurred my vision. Last night my husband asked me why I was punishing myself by reading this book.

I wanted someone even if it was a book character to get their happily ever after even if it was fictional.

It’s been over two years since I’ve spoken or been able to see my daughter. It’s been the hardest years of my entire life. My ex-husband also painted a tainted picture of me. Did I have a clue? Not at all.
Don’t think it can’t happen to you.
We had been divorced for over ten years. We had attended extensive parenting classes that told us to never talk badly about the other parent that it would come back to bite you in the end.
I never did. I can honestly sit here and type this with a completely clear conscience of that. He on the other hand. Every time one of my children and I would have an argument and he found out about it he would make sure they knew he was the “cooler” parent and that they could move in with him at anytime.
Two years ago my daughter got mad because I freaked out about something that she was doing. I thought that we had worked everything out. Little did I know that he was picking her up at school and working to gain custody of her.
We went to court several times and I was painted horribly. I had always been very close with her and I admit that I was so crushed during that time period that I wasn’t completely thinking straight. That’s what this woman in this book went through also.
You never imagine that you can be manipulated by the courts and a lawyer that is friendly with the judges. Guess again people.

My story is long and drawn out and I’m not going into particulars. I do think that parental alienation should be a crime. I think the courts should investigate further when these cases come up. Not just for the parent with the most money or connections. Love can’t be bought.

Anyways. This book. I hope to everything that this author is not writing from experience. She does an amazing job of it if she’s not. She writes like she knows this pain. She gets five stars from me. Not because I liked the book-Like I said it was painful for me and I had nightmares last night. But BECAUSE SOMEONE NEEDS TO KNOW THEY AREN’T THE ONLY ONE GOING THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

Source: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for review.

The Fold by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines

Mike’s a small town teacher. He just wants a normal life. The thing is Mike has a gift/curse/secret. He has an eidetic memory.

Calm down Reid fangirls. He looks more like this.

His memory skills are super charged. The guy is a walking computer. He sees it in his head as ants moving information around.

I don’t think I want any ants in my head but this part of the book had me hooked.
Then his friend who heads some government agency or such wants him into his organization. Why? To go out and objectively “look” into an expensive project that he is funding.
The project? These guys have set up a “Fold” that lets you transport/teleport to another place.

So very cool! And very sciency! I like!

I started reading this book yesterday and I was hooked. The writing was so good and it kept my attention. Then my husband decides we need to go to the grocery store. He mumbled something about needing to eat instead of read all the time. I usually just ignore him but the boy child was looking at me funny so I caved.
Once I got back I picked the book back up. I was at around page 270 and I think someone snuck in and changed books on me…Because the book did this:

I mean really?!?!?!
(view spoiler)
You can’t give me such an awesome book and the throw in that towel. I wanted MORE! More goodness not crazy shit.

I’m thinking a five star for the book before page 270 and a two star for the rest. Average 3 big old stars.
I didn’t hate it but I thought the book deserved better.

Book source:blogging for books in exchange for review.