Needs More Heart Pullage Less Teenage Angst: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

35144326

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

Source: GoodReads

I get so tired of DNF’ing.  Seriously, my second DNF of the week.  I’m put out with it.  But after almost 200 pages of this one-I did give it the good college try-I couldn’t waste any of my time to it.

Perhaps, I was being too daring YA high fantasy and I usually do not mix.  They are heavily trope-y, and while I do have my fair share of tropes that I love the tropes often used in high fantasy aren’t my cup of tea-I mean, how many long lost princess stories can one have?

Bring Me Their Hearts intrigued me.  The idea of a heartless MC has intrigued me since Once Upon a Time did Cora’s backstory.

giphy6

Of course, Once Upon a Time being the show it was fucked the whole idea up.  But it was a great premises, and I looked forward to seeing how something similarly would be handled in book form.

However, Zera was probably one of the most immature brats I’ve seen in awhile in YA.  And mentally she’s suppose to be 19, so I really can’t blame her behavior totally on youth.  I mean, I’ve read 13 year-old protagonist with more maturity and grace than her.

I think with a character like Zera you expect angst.  But I didn’t really get the sort of angst I was expecting.  I was thinking I would get more gritty actual angst, than YA I’m a surly teenager angst.  I mean, come on, girl has her heart ripped out, is essentially some witch’s slave, AND her entire family was killed she should have issues more than the fact she can’t wear her so called slutty dresses.

giphy7

But I digress…

The crux of this novel goes into the standard typical forbidden love trope that high fantasy loves to play with.  I’m not a particular fan of this trope.  It’s not that it can’t be done right, it’s just that it usually isn’t.  Also, when you describe the love interest in a term that’s best used for plants and furniture makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth….

His face is his father’s, too, sun-kissed oakwood, and yet his eyes are his mother’s-piercign dark iron and sable darkness, and every part of me hates it-hates the fact that someone who’s to inherit so much power and wealth is striking as well (4)

Yeah, that was only four pages in.  The writing is this God awful throughout the entire book-well, the 200 pages I read.    I mean, look at this beauty

Two witches stand before us, radiating power; a bald man in an immaculately pressed gold-threaded suit and a woman with short, impossibly blue hair and a flowing gauzy dress that hides little of her midnight skin.  Both of them are so tall-though not as tall as Nightsinger-and with that same eeriness about them that gives me goose bumps (31)

Do I really need to fucking know that one of these witches has blue hair?  Seriously. Aggressive descriptions like this annoy me and weigh down the book.

It doesn’t help  that the interactions in the book seem unrealistic at best.  Like, the witch who has Zera’s heart…honestly, doesn’t seem that much of a bad guy.  But Zera detests her.  And then we get two other witches with one being just a complete a-hole.  Is this suppose to make me sympathize for the witch who has Zera’s heart because it seemed like a complete cop out to me?  Same as trying to save the children by killing them and making them zombies.

giphy8

Yes, save a child and make it them your own personal zombie solider.

Yes,  I said zombies.

Because Zera is a quasi zombie.  It’s really the best way to describe the heartless.  Though, she calls herself a monster.  I was like dude, just say zombie.  She has to eat raw flesh not to be totally out of control and I have to say it is an interesting twist if it ever amounted to anything.  But out of the 200 pages I read, the only thin I really ever saw was Zera getting stupid Princess Diaries 2 etiquette lessons and frilly dresses.  And no, just no.  I honestly, thought I was reading a recap of Throne of Glass for a bit with how pointless these scenes were.

Look, I like dress porn as much as any girly girl does, BUT when I am on a very limited reading schedule and its just adding unnecessary fodder to a book that is already filled with necessary fodder, I get annoyed especially when we’re almost 200 pages into a fucking book and little has been done developing any of the side characters.

The blurb heavily hints that romance is going to be a primary focus of the book, after all there is some weird sort of court ritual going on here.  BUT 200 pages into the book and you barely see interaction between Lucien and Zera.

I just didn’t like this one.

Maybe someone else will enjoy it more than me.  Maybe Zera stops being incredibly annoying .  Maybe Zera actually sort of deals with the fact that she’s a glorified slave and doesn’t have montages upon montages of dress porn.  But you know what, I didn’t care to stay to find out.  I don’t get to read as often as I used to, and when I do something this isn’t going to hold my interest.

Overall Rating: DNF

Advertisements

How to DNF In 77 Pages: The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R Shrum

35804626

Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.

After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.

Source: GoodReads

Oh, boy.

giphy3

I’ll be fair to this one it’s shit, but not shit in the sort of way where I’m raging.  It’s just bland shit, where I can really say I hate the love to hate trope.  Especially when it involves misogynist  assholes like Reid who I still can’t understand how the blurb thought it was reasonable to describe him as cute.

Reid is pretty much the defining reason why this trope can fail so hard.  Let me be frank, the enemies to lovers trope is one of those tropes I hate an ironic love/hate relationship with.  When done correctly it works amazingly (see It Happened One Autumnwhen it fails it can be worse than the very worse Dramione fan fiction (I shouldn’t be admitting that I even ventured into reading those but whatevs).

giphy4

Reid falls into what make me get my belly full of Dramione fan fics.  He is obnoxious.  A budding “well, actually” bro on the internet.  Within ten pages of meeting our MC he tries to destroy our MC but it’s all in the name of competition ya’ll so that’s okay.

The MC’s not that much better.  I really don’t know much about her other than she has the latest Star Wars merchandise which I guess is suppose to make he relatable.  Fun, really not related to this review fact, I have never seen Star Wars which is kind of weird considering what a huge Indiana Jones nerd I am.

You really didn’t need to know that.

Overall, the set up of the book really reminded me of Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous except there was no actual TV show here.  Still though, the formula stayed eerily the same.

And quite honestly, if you’re going to write the book like an actual recap of Chopped I’d be much better off actually watching the show or going on Previously TV or some other TV recap site on the internet and read their recaps.

giphy5

Seriously, what is the point of that?  Yes, I’m sure the cooking competition was suppose to show conflict but when your just giving us a blow by blow of what happens, not giving us a culinary point of view or anything…

Holy shit, I’m starting to sound like I could be one of those obnoxious judges on The Next Food Network Star I really need to stop it.  The point I’m trying to make though, is there was a lot of telling in this book not a lot of showing.  It felt stunted and very manufactured.  It didn’t really  anything about it that made it memorable or made me excited.

Again, it’s a shame.

I like reading about food.  This book took place in Savannah.  I went to Savannah last summer, I would’ve liked to relive that.  However, the book could’ve taken place anywhere.  Never mind that Savannah actually has a pretty big foodie scene,that would’ve been fun to explore.  No this book makes its self a fucking Chopped recap with a love interest that should just go ahead and get neutered because he is an obnoxious asshole.

What do I know though, other than I DNF’d this fucker.

Overall Rating: DNF

 

Bet On the Sanderson Sisters Not These Dweebs:The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

35297394

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Source: GoodReads

Just because this book involves three sister witches that are resurrected do not think it’s going to be like Hocus Pocus.  That was my mistake.  This book sucked.  Hocus Pocus does not suck.  It is campy, awesome, and probably one of my favorite Halloween movies.

giphy

This book does suck.  It annoyed for more than too many reasons to count.

The premises had everything I would want in a book.  The blurb makes it look like going to be atmospheric, that it’s going to be full of history, that there will be shades of female empowerment throughout the book…

Get those dreams out of your head, dear readers, because you ain’t getting it with this book.

Oh, there is a cake maker who makes forget me cakes that seem to feature lavender.  There is a lot of lavender eating in this book, which I really don’t understand.  I’m not a huge fan of lavender in food.  I like it in bath bombs and laundry detergent, but in food it can easily become overpowering.  Hearing about it just makes me gag a little.

But besides the mystic cake maker there really isn’t anything mystic about this small town by the island besides three people being murdered every summer and as a result they use it as a tourist attraction.

giphy1

Does that even compute with you?

I mean, it doesn’t to me.  If three people are randomly going to be killed every summer, I MUST have to go to said town to get killed right?

Um, no.

Then again, nothing computes in this book.  The big twist for instance.  It really didn’t work for me, really didn’t work.  Or make sense for that matter.  And then the way everything was resolved…it really left a nasty feeling in my mouth.

The one thing I got out of this book after I finished reading it was that this book really does not give a shit about consent.   This is felt very early on in the book when inappropriate advances towards the MC are used to facilitate a “meet cute” moment.

This is NOT a meet cute moment.  This is disgusting.  I don’t know why authors think that such a scenario would facilitate romance.  I guess they think the reader’s are going to go for the knight and shining armor type.

Note, that’s not the case at all.  When you are in an situation like Penny was at the beginning of the novel the last thing you’re going to look for is romance.  Even if your “savior” is a nice enough guy, you’re not going to want to instantly hook up with him because he eliminated a douche from your line up.  Trust me, it’s going to be the furthest thing from my mind and I’m sure the minds of most people who end up in that particular situation.

Yet, in YA books it’s ALWAYS used as a fucking meet cute.

While I don’t want to go into spoiler specifics-since the book was only released a couple of months ago-I do want to point out that this isn’t the only time where consent is flippantly handled.  Much of the book ignores the issues of consent in it, and it really soured the book more which I didn’t think was possible.

Because the pacing in this one sucked, ya’ll.  Sure there was the occasional cliff hanger murder thrown in here and there but it was more or less mentioned in passing and was always off screen.  The big climax of the book really didn’t work for me either it was just sort of random and didn’t really work.

I still don’t even get how the whole curse thing came to being.  And that might be my own fault since I started singing the skim song during this book.

Don’t know what the skim song is.  Well, since I am feeling in a generous mood I’ll give you a few lyrics.  Note this can be sung to “The Merrily Old Land of Oz”, “Skim, Skim, Skim, Skim, Skim, Ska, Skim, Skim/That’s How You Get Through All  This Shit by Skimming Skimming Along.”

And I was singing this song a lot through the book.  I didn’t care for any of the characters.  They all were cardboard at best.  The relationship between Bo and Whoever the MC was just didn’t work.  Bo was pretty much the random hot guy that comes into town with a secret.

It just didn’t work for me.

I just can’t believe the hype this book is getting.  It shouldn’t be getting this hype.  It shouldn’t be getting a Netflix deal.  It’s not worth it people.   I guess I can see some media company just using the essence of this book and making something great out of it, but for a direct interpretation itself.  Not so freaking much.

Overall Rating: Fail.  Fail.  Fail.

 

It’s Not Terrible: Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

32333026

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

Source: GoodReads

I really feel like I’m the odd one out with Jenna Evans Welch.  I know a lot of people love her contemporaries, but I am just not part of that team.  Love and Gelato while not terrible, was not a wow read for me.  And unfortunately, Love and Luck sort of followed the same pattern, though I do think there were misogynist undertones in the book that made me want to puke.

Why did I read this in book in the first  place…well, it is nearing the seventh anniversary since I visited Ireland so that’s why.  I wanted some nostalgia, so kill me.  And there were several places in the book that I visited though my recollections were a lot different than Addie’s.

DSC00983

Seven years ago I was spending my summer with the highs in the 50’s and 60’s. After last week it doesn’t feel exactly real.

Digressing, digressing.

Anyways, back to the book.  The general gist of the book is that Addie and her Douche Brother and Family are attending her aunt’s wedding the two of them get in a fight on the Cliffs of Mohr and don’t die and their mother gets pissed and condemns each of them if the other fucks up when they go to Florence.  Only they don’t go to Florence because the first book takes place in Italy and this one takes place in Ireland ya’ll.

DSC01093

The Cliffs of Mohr, not exactly the sort of place you’d want to fall off of a hill on. Also, the day I went wasn’t exactly idyllic wedding weather.

Instead, we get an Irish road trip.  Which is yay I guess?

Side digression, I got completely car sick any time I traveled in Ireland.  Which was mostly through bus and some really weird cab rides.  I think it’s because the whole driving on the other side of the road thing.  And then driving up mountains when you’re used to driving in the coastal plains of Texas thing.   Just thinking about being on a road trip across Ireland makes me feel slightly barf-y right now.  Perhaps, that’s why I never did the whole Ring of Kerry tour-even though I know I sort of missed out.

Honestly, the road trip seemed like it went incredibly fast to me.  For example, I can’t imagine just spending an hour in the Burren.  Grant it, my memories of the Burren consist of me getting slopping wet and later ending up getting an infection that lead to me getting pneumonia in the fall but digressing AGAIN…

DSC01073

Me at the Burren  with terrible hair,slopping wet, and going to be hating myself three months later when all I can eat is popsicles.  But at least I have a nice scarf, so that’s all that matters. 

The same goes with going to Cork.  I loved Cork more than Dublin, which I personally think is overrated much like New Orleans-but I ‘m digressing yet AGAIN.  The fact that a mere visit to these places can be described in a few pages and the trip can go onto the next place sort of flummoxes my mind.

I get it, it’s a book.  But I really hate how pretty much this was a point by point book and didn’t take time to relish its surrounding.

One the biggest things that I was able to pick up from my short six weeks in Ireland was to savor things, to take your time and I just didn’t feel like this book did that.  It was more or less pain by the numbers get to the ending of the book.

As far as the characters go, I was sort of meh about Addie.  I hated that it was acted like she made this huge mistake during the book and that her brother had a right to be mad at her.  Honestly, her brother needed to be slugged in the jaw for acting the way he did towards her.

It drove me crazy throughout the book.  The fact that Ian’s (the brother) feelings were more important or stated to be more important-though, indirectly stated-throughout the entire thing drove me crazy.  It took the focus off of what happened to Addie and quite honestly I was a little disgusted by it.

The love interest, Rowan, I was a little meh over.  I really didn’t know why there even needed to be a love interest in this book because for the most part it was about the two siblings hashing out their weird fight.  Rowan wasn’t God awful by any means he just felt unneeded and unnecessary as did the connection with the protagonist of the first book.

God, you can tell I’ve read a lot of books because I completely forgot about the protagonist in the first book and had to reread my review just to know the basics-pretty much, I found the first book to be rather meh as well.

I think what I found so disappointing about these two books is that they should’ve been fantastic.  Summer time is always the perfect time to read a book about traveling because when it’s 112 outside-yes, it was 112 this week-you’d like to imagine yourself somewhere else like Ireland where it’s currently 65 outside (and yes, I have Galway’s weather on my phone because I’m that type of person).  And as the contents of this blog has  probably revealed I like light, fluffy, contemporaries but this book.  So did not work.

I think this book suffered from trying to pigeon toe itself around the heartache guidebook.  It’s a similar problem I’ve seen suffered from other books, the one I can think on top of my head being How to be Popular.  

By trying to revolve the book around this guidebook, I felt like there were many things that were lost.  Again, we’re in Ireland we need to go off the beaten path a little bit.

At the end of the day though, this wasn’t exactly the worst book I have ever read.  Have I read better, oh yeah, but it wasn’t a total time sunk.  I knocked it out one  very hot evening when my thermostat wouldn’t go down from 85 despite being set at 77.

Overall Rating: A C+ it doesn’t quite do Ireland justice but it’s not going to kill you to read it.

Don’t Fuck With Only You: My So Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

22524101

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

Like an expertly choreographed Bollywood dance scene, Nisha Sharma’s off-beat love story dazzles in the lime light.

Source: GoodReads

Well, this weekend sucked when it came to terms of reading.  After reading my last read, I was in the mood for no bull shit which unfortunately meant for My So Called Bollywood  Life it got thrown halfway across the room after fifty pages.

detjpz4v4aeinxg

Side note, that’s  actually a pretty far distance from me.  I took the photo on my couch and threw the thing as far as I could, which I know is sort of pathetic but the fact it was thrown this far shows how angry I was.

Going into this, I knew I’d probably would be dealing with a TSTL heroine.  I mean, it’s sort of stated in the blurb of the book that she’s going to be stupid beyond belief.  But I was also under the impression this book was sort of going to be like that early 90’s movie Only Youwhich for those unaware is when Iron Man and Aunt May were dating IRL and decided to do a movie together so that they could pretty much go on a free vacation to Italy.  Anyway, Aunt May is sort of TSTL in the movie and thinks that based on a random fortune teller and a Ouija  board that she’s going to get hitched to some dude named Damon Bradley.  Of course, hijinks result of that and there’s lots of kissing.  Lots and lots of kissing.

giphy12

My So Called Bollywood Life tries to do that same sort of plot.  However, rather than coming off oddly charming like Tony Stark  and Aunt May did it just comes up as unbelievably dumb.  Also, it lacked the kissing.

Also, the MC has a bit of a Carrie Underwood moment at the beginning of the book that is beyond idiotic.  In fact, in the fifty pages I read she seems to be in Carrie Underwood mode the entire time even though it’s stated that her douche of a boyfriend and her were on break because he cheated on her.

And honestly, it’s pretty explicit by page fifty she doesn’t care for this douche she just wants to fulfill the prophecy like she’s freaking Voldemort or some one.

Just don’t bother with this one.  I feel like this review is fairly short, but there’s not much to say about this one but a waste.  I honestly picked it up because Only You (the Iron Man and Aunt Mae movie) is one of my favorite rom coms and I liked the Bollywood angle that this one supposedly had.  But other than the chapters being headed by a nondescript comment about a film, there’s really nothing about Bollywood about this one.

Also, don’t fuck with Only You.

Such a disappointment.

Overall Rating: DNF

Her Name Should’ve Been Tinkle: From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon

36373464

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Source: GoodReads

I loved Menon’s debut but man her sophomore effort, I really, really, hated it.  There’s no other way of putting it.

giphy7

One of the things that bothered me the most about From Twinkle With Love was that I was never really able to find myself attached to either its characters or plot.  It just felt flat.  Also, Twinkle….gah, she annoyed me.

The book itself sort of has a little bit of Princess Diaries meets Boy Meets Girl feel to it.  I just realize I’m referencing two Meg Cabot books, surely that most be a good thing since I love Meg Cabot books, right?

Um, no.  At least not in this case.   Twinkle annoyed me.  Sahil annoyed me.  Twinkle’s idiotic parents and grandmother annoyed me.  Her best friend annoyed me.

giphy8

Everybody annoyed me.

Most of the story is told through Twinkle’s POV in letters to famous female directors.  A cute idea, but honestly after awhile I thought why not just have it be a regular diary.  There’s not really any connection to any of these directors except that Twinkle wants to be a famous director like them.  Even in Beverly Clearly’s Dear Mr. Henshaw, after awhile the main character drops addressing the letters to Mr. Henshaw.  It just seemed redundant after awhile.

Funnily enough, the lack of evolution with the salutation is also sort of synonymous with the lack of character development when it comes to Twinkle.  And God, I want to call her Tinkle throughout this review.

You know what, fuck it.  We’re going to call Twinkle Tinkle because I keep calling the idiot Tinkle in my head throughout the entire duration of reading this shit.  Did I mention that I hate this bitch?

giphy9

Based on that sentence alone, you can tell I’m not in a good mood.  Honestly, I felt frustrated throughout the entire reading process.  This was just not an enjoyable experience to read.

Usually, I am a fan of first person more than third person, but this is one case where first person did not work.  In fact, I actually preferred Menon’s first book which was in third person-that is a rarity for me.

Tinkle and I just did not get along.  I couldn’t connect with her.  At first I thought maybe it was because the narration sounded really young.  I know I’ve addressed this issue in the past in my blog, if it’s really a fault in the novel or not.  And in this case, I think it is.  I just had a hard time believing that a character with this maturity level was capable of being in a relationship and for that matter completing a movie.  She sounded at most she should’ve been twelve.  Actually, come to think of it, I know twelve year-old’s with better social skills than Tinkle.  Again did I mention I hated Tinkle….

giphy10

On paper, what Tinkle discusses throughout the book are good things.  I like books that discuss gender issues and diversity, but the gender issues was really more or less just randomly dropped a couple of times and that was it.  More of less, it was just used to give Tinkle’s movie original and give it credence and it annoyed me.  Especially since there was so much sexist behavior going on with the love interest, who even though he says he’s a feminist is just really an “Actually” guy.

God, I hate those fuckers.

giphy11

Sahil gets pissed because Tinkle because she thought her secret admirer was his brother not this random dude who obviously has a crush on her.  And it’s like her fault for thinking this and as a result we get the thirty page boo hoo scene of how it’s all Tinkle’s fault her life is shit.

Well, it might be in part but Sahil and Maddie are fucking idiots too.

I’ll get to the Maddie mess in a minute, after I eat some more of this watermelon sorbet infused with saki I made.  I need something to get this vile shit fest out of my head.

Watermelon sorbet

I needed a lot of sorbet after this book.

Okay, so yeah Sahil is a dick who has an inferiority complex because of his identical twin brother and Tinkle is somehow the bad guy.  And look, I don’t even want to defend Tinkle throughout all of this because she annoyed the shit out me…but portraying her as wrong in all of this GMAFB.

Anyway, now we’re on to Maddie.  If I was actually drinking while writing this review or eating watermelon sorbet I’d be rip roaring drunk right now because the book annoyed me THAT much.  That being said, Maddie is a terrible friend, terrible person.  Not really much else to say about her than terrible.

Not really much to say about these characters but terrible.

Terrible is the theme of the book, and it doesn’t only apply to characters but plot as well.

This book pretty much is about nothing.  However, unlike Seinfeld it fails at perfecting the art full of nothing .  I was so, so, freaking bored.  This book was a lot of tell and not a lot of show.   Really, nothing happened.  I was just told that Tinkle was making a movie, and somehow her movie was a success even though the production of it sounded more amateurish than when my AP US History class had to do a video presentation over the 20th century.  And that’s saying something.

I just wasn’t impressed…at all.  Which is sad, because again I really liked this author’s debut.  I just can’t recommend this one without grimacing.

Overall Rating: A C- and THAT’S being generous.

 

The Corgis Disapprove (Well, Mine Do): Royals by Rachel Hawkins

35997816

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Source: GoodReads

It’s Royal Wedding weekend which meant that during my Benadryl induced insomnia last night, I caught part of Harry and Meghan’s wedding that I later watched via DVR.  I have to say Meghan was so on point with that dress.  Unfortunately, I was less on point when  I decided that Royals would be perfect reading material this weekend.

Instead it was rage inducing, me to using the below gif.

giphy4

This book, people…skip it, please.  If you want to read something with royalty read The Princess Diaries series again, The Royal We, A Prince in Disguise, I can go on but I  won’t.  Hell, you can even watch on of the various Hallmark movies that have been made and they’re better than this shit.

Okay…so what has pissed me off.  Pretty much that there love interest in this book is a misogynist asshole   who blames the MC for getting assaulted by his drunk ass best friend.  Seriously, it’s her fault that she was kissed against her will  and that said best friend passed out drunk on his ass in her room.

Do you see why I don’t like this book?

giphy5

And what really bothers me is that at the end when said scumbag best friend is put in his place, it’s not for coming on to the MC or other girls randomly.  It’s for declaring his love to the MC’s sister and her fiancee accidentally overhearing it.

Did I mention that said best friend is a minor while his attacker has at least graduated from college?

Yeah…

Oh, and said attacker is a prince.

Yeah….

And that all of this is pretty much brushed under the rug within twenty pages.  Just like the non-existant romance and anything else involving this storyline was resolved pretty much within twenty pages.

But there’s a sequel, but without this character as the lead I’m suspecting.  And which I really care about because this book was so poorly crafted I’m not checking out the follow up.

Obviously.

Especially if the would  be rapist gets his own book.

Because seriously, going into a stranger’s room forcing them to kiss them and probably forcing them to do more if you didn’t pass out drunk isn’t exactly attractive.  Neither is a douche who defend’s said best friend’s behavior but apparently Hawkins felt it  deserved a pass.

No it did not.

Overall Rating: Total failure.  This book just gives me a headache.

giphy6

 

Like An Embarrassingly Bad But Good Fan Fic: Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

31076583

The Winter Solstice. In a week. I was still new enough to being High Lady that I had no idea what my formal role was to be. If we’d have a High Priestess do some odious ceremony, as lanthe had done the year before. A year. Gods, nearly a year since Rhys had called in his bargain, desperate to get me away from the poison of the Spring Court to save me from my despair. Had he been only a minute later, the Mother knew what would have happened. Where I’d now be. Snow swirled and eddied in the garden, catching in the brown fibers of the burlap covering the shrubs My mate who had worked so hard and so selflessly, all without hope that I would ever be with him We had both fought for that love, bled for it. Rhys had died for it.

Source: GoodReads

I bet Sarah J Maas wrote fan fic at one point.  Fan fic where cannon characters are flipped on their head as being evil, and cannon baddies are fannon heroes.   You know like where Draco Malfoy is revealed to have been a good guy all along while Ron is a Death Eater bastard(there are a ton of Dramione fan fictions out there that follow that trope, it’s sad I know that and I really hate Ron so I don’t mind them). While this was made exceedingly apparent in the second book in this series-which I annoyingly enjoyed way more than I should’ve, becuase hello character assassination galore- I feel like it’s exemplified here because this installment is an unnecessary epilogue that is purposely written so that it can sell the next series in this mega series.  However, unlike a certain other author who was actually a fan fiction author that I’ll try not to reference too much so her fan bots won’t attack me, I sort of like this series and this book so I’m only mildly annoyed.

giphy2

However, I have my eye on you Sarah J Maas.  You have one trick pony tendencies and this book shows it…

And so do all those Throne of Glass books-side note, I have told you guys I’ll try to read that series but I swear someone is just going to have tie me and hold me hostage before I actually do.  I just haven’t been able to work myself up to doing that especially since I found the first book annoying…

And I’m digressing again.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

I think that’s because there really isn’t a lot of new for me to say about this series.  I enjoyed the first two books, sort of had meh feelings about the third, and sort of have meh feelings about the novella.  I know the series is problematic, and from the reviews that I read that have pointed out the criticisms regarding these books-I get ya’ll.  I’m honestly surprise I enjoy it as much as I do, since I just cannot get into TOG-one of these days I swear I’m going to read another book and give it a try, I mean they are on my shelves…

The point is this is a guilty pleasure series for me.  I will probably continue on only because I am interested in seeing the spinoff series, but I could easily see this thing going into full Cassandra Clare territory (yes, I said the name)  in obnoxiousness-it’s already halfway there.

giphy3

Fans of Feyre and Rhys’s eyeball worthy floor play, will likely enjoy this one.  For me it was just meh at best.  I know that their will banter with Rhys saying something suggestive, Feyre calling him  prick, and them having sex on some sort of unsanitary surface that should have you cringing but Maas thinks is romantic.

Yeah, I know I’m a  Debby Downer who’s a little germ obsessed.

Shrugs.  I really don’t care.

At the end of the day though, I found this to be rather inoffensive if expected.  I mean, I could tell his book was pretty much setting up the next arc of the story.  I had a suspicion where Rhys and Feyre were going to go with their relationship, as well as a suspicion whose story is going to be told next.

So there really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

While I do find the romance at times to be cringe worthy, I was okay with it.  I probably could’ve done less with the Tamlin bashing though.  God, I get dude is a douche but he is really old news now unless he’s going to be redeemed and get his own series of books (which I honestly feel meh about since he was a huge douche especially in the second book).

Regardless, if your a fan of this series you’ll probably want to read this one.  Sure, you can skip it, but if you really like the series you’ll probably want to have picked it up at some point in time.

Overall Rating: A B- like I said it was pretty much  a tacked on epilogue of smut, but uber fans are going to like it.

What Was the Point of This?: Love, Pizza, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

13033520

Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?

Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame.

Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering–fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.

Source: GoodReads

Well, I finished this book.

giphy

So that’s a plus.

But God, what a waste of time. I literally felt that nothing.  Oh, stuff did happen.  There was a reality TV contest with characters that were flatter than the creepy bow twins on the latest incarnation of Master Chef Junior (and yes, I know the bow twins are just kids but  their stylist really needs to be canned for making them look like they should belong on the set of The Shining), a couple of cute boys who’s main characteristics was that they were cute and either culinary institute student or the MC’s B.F.F. who makes her enter the contest.  Oh, and yes the MC was Italian and Greek and that was her big thing besides her butt which she called “the tank” but other that…

Nope nothing happened here.

I feel like I need to back up on things Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous came out a few years back and was sort of on my radar but ended up in the pits of TBR pile.  I’ll admit it, I like cooking shows.  When I was in undergradthe Food Network was pretty much on 24/7 when I was in my dorm room just because it was entertaining enough  to block out noise but not too entertaining for me to get distracted when I wrote essays about why Oprah should run for president (yeah, I actually did that-we were suppose to pick a person who we thought would likely get elected back in 2008,  this was pre-Obama’s running announcement ) and the various Shakespeare plays I was forced to read because I was delusional enough to be an English major.  I still watch cooking shows today-which mostly consist of Gordon Ramsay yelling at people because for some odd reason it is cathartic for me to listen him to yell at incompetent jackasses (probably because I can’t do that myself, even though I purposely became a lawyer to  yell at people-’cause I’m not a nice person, ya’ll).   So, seeing it in book form totally going to go for it.  And a few years back a couple of books we’re introduced this being one of them and Taste Test being another.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Taste Test either, but unlike this book there was a semblance of a plot and it didn’t feel like 250 pages had been a complete waste of time.  This book though, that’s the feeling I got.  As you probably saw from the introductory paragraphs of this review.  The book had 1D characteristics at best which is a shame.  Yes, I get the MC has Greek and Italian heritage that she lost her mother and is torn in a love triangle between the boy next door and the hot cooking whiz she shares two lines of dialogue with-but Williams never made me care about them.  Or for that matter, she never resolved that plot.

giphy

She never resolved anything.  Okay we’re heading to major spoiler territory now.  So if you’re one of those weirdos who actually cares about things like that you probably don’t want to read the next paragraph because it’s going to be a very spoiler filled rant…

*

*

*

*

giphy1

The book just ends exactly how it starts.  The MC doesn’t win.   There’s really no explanation for her loss.   She’s just back to working at her dad’s restaurant except she’s okay with being called Sophia now (okay, I didn’t get the whole not liking Sophia thing to begin with anyway).   And she’s sort of involved with both boys at the end of it, but sort of not (just like the entire book!).  She doesn’t really learn anything about herself, he new friends problems are never explained.  And I never did find out if Phillip was related to the producers or not (I assume he was because that’s the only way someone who can’t cook a fucking egg could’ve won a cooking contest).  Not that that was ever discussed.  The book just mentioned that this random minor character named Phillip seemed to win all the time and cooked horribly and no explanation was ever made for it, so I’m saying he’s related to the producers.

Phillip’s non-existing storyline seemed to be one of many that filled this book.  From the quasi romances going on.  To the long lost aunt.  To the burn book that the producer’s started.  To the contestant with the maybe eating disorder.  To the contestant with the romance with Phillip.  To the fragmented sentences of this paragraph.  There were that many plot holes.

The book just really seems to be going nowhere and it’s a fucking shame.  There was a lot of potential with Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, but at the end of the day the book was more than a little bit of a let down.

Overall Rating: A C.  I have read worse and at least with this one it was painless short-I read it in the span of two hours.

 

 

Die, Dude Brow, Die: Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

Chaotic Good Comps14.indd

Cameron’s cosplay–dressing like a fictional character–is finally starting to earn her attention–attention she hopes to use to get into the CalTech costume department for college. But when she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans.

When Cameron’s family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town–her main destination for character reference–is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.

At her twin brother’s suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she’s shocked at how easily she’s accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her bro Cooper, dragged along for good measure.

But as her “secret identity” gets more and more entrenched, Cameron’s portfolio falls by the wayside–and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.

Source: GoodReads

I really liked Chaotic Good, but I felt like it was missing a certain oomph.  This was one book where I wanted 200 more pages than the mere 250-ish pages I got.  However, what I got I can’t complain about too much.

Though, is it so wrong that I want a certain character to die a slow death.

giphy10

This book hit home in a lot of ways.  Any woman has probably encountered a dude bro (aka a misogynist asshole)  at some point in her life.  It’s like an experience that we all experience but all wish we could  have not experienced- I  sort of equate it to  having a period except misogynic assholes just don’t tolerate biological women but ALL women and  birth control cannot make misogynists  tolerable, though it can prevent their existence technically I guess.  God knows you have  if you’ve ever been told to smile, been honked out when you’re jogging, or for that matter have been told you’re not a real fan because you’re female and might like aspects of a series or game that those of the masculine persuasion might not because you know dude bro’s opinions are so much better than yours…

I could go on, but you get the picture.  Chaotic Good tries to conquer misogynist assholes and while I do feel like a lot of important aspects were raised, at the end of the day I wasn’t so satisfied with how everything was dealt with.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  I probably wouldn’t be satisfied unless Brody was castrated and they made a section at his store for nincompoop dicks, but I’m ahead of myself.  I think what really bothered me about Chaotic Good was that everything just clicked into place seemingly easily.  Up until the last fifteen pages, it seemed like Cameron’s life was one big dumpster fire.  But a picture of her gets liked by some costume designer, the dude bro gets an exorcism, and her twin brother and his boyfriend like her again, so everything in hunky dory.  Life just doesn’t work that way…

Also, really, why are you friends with that dude bro, Cameron?  He is the type of guy you block on the internet and run, run away from.

Besides the ridiculous fast wrap up, I did like the book though.  Although, the whole premises could’ve been avoided with Cameron ordering her comics online to avoid dude bros.   God knows, I order stuff on the internet just because I’m too lazy to drive, and I have also ordered stuff online come to think of it to avoid annoying people.  It is so much easier than wrapping my breasts up, stuffing my hair in a beanie, and going around as a guy just to avoid  assholes.

Honestly, I wish rather than having the whole I’m going to avoid the misogynist at the comic store that Cameron would’ve just been androgynous looking or gender queer.    God knows, it would’ve been refreshing and a lot hell more realistic than this complicated scheme that could’ve been avoided by just Amazon-ing it, BUT hey it’s fiction, so..

I will say I do love the gender bending trope.  It’s a timeless favorite of mine ever since I saw that old black and white film, Some Like It Hot, it’s just that a lot of times the situation that has the character flipping genders doesn’t really make sense as in Chaotic Good.

Other than the suspension of logic, I liked the book.  The romance wasn’t my favorite but it worked.  Honestly, I could’ve passed on it either way, but it wasn’t terrible.  It sort of reminded me of the Penny/Lenard relationship on The Big Bang Theory which wasn’t really my favorite ship but it had it’s adorable moments.  I liked the D&D crew too save for Brody, who really needs to die a slow death.

God, I hate Brody.  I wish there was a way to block a character in a book.  I have to give Gardner credit though for making me hate that asshole.

I didn’t like that he was still part of the group at the end though.  He really shouldn’t have been…

I guess overall, I liked this book.  I was just hoping that some things would’ve been fleshed out a little more.  It seemed to me that this was a story that could’ve dived into the meat of things more than it did.  What I got I liked but I just wanted more…

giphy9

Overall Rating: A solid B.  The book is timely.  I liked that it did address issues.  I just wanted more.