Mini Reviews: The Cure for Insomnia Shitty Romances Part I

So, one of the things they don’t tell you when you’re studying for the bar ( a test that makes the N.E.W.T.s look extremely pleasant) is that you’re going to find yourself too tired to function but unable to fall asleep.

What to do when you’re in this situation?

Read a couple-okay a lot of shitty romance novels.  Or write a blog post if you find your fingers twitching like mine are tonight.

Okay, so not all of these books are bad.  Some of them are alright.  But they’re romance novels and well….I’m going to do a brief review on each of these books I read in the past few weeks at two in the morning since Lifetime Movie Network is only airing movies about seventeen year old girls who do stupid things that don’t include dating a vampire.

Is that James Scott?
 

The Deal: This TSTL girl marries this rich guy.  And leaves him when she finds out that he’s still contacting his former mistress like any sensible person would do.  Of course, he claims its a big misunderstanding.  Even though anyone with half a brain knows better.

Mini-Review:  Ugh.  Just ugh.  This book made the heroine seem like she was jealous and stupid even though she had every right to be upset with her hubby.  And I really hated her too.  She was just so stupid.  I think a lot of people might blame its faults on the Harlequin structure.  You’re only getting a hundred and eighty pages of story-one of the reasons I bought it since I know I could finish it in one sleepless night.  But seriously, short doesn’t mean cutting corners.  Good writers will know how to convey chemistry and story between two characters no matter what the page count.

Rating: I want my Dollar Back

The Deal: Your typical secret baby storyline.  Which makes no sense whatsoever because you’d think these two good friends of our hero would grow a pair and realize how horrible they are.  But it’s not until one of the good friends is dead and that his widow decides to spill the beans.

Mini-Review: An somewhat enjoyable (if very predictable) romp.  I’ve read worse.  But it’s really not worth anything.  I really hate romance novels that take place in Texas.  I think it’s because they always pretend Texas is like the Australian Outback or whatever minus the Kangaroos.  Or maybe I thought that because they described the hero looking like Hugh Jackman (mmmm, Hugh Jackman).

Verdict: It was worth it’s two bucks.  Kept my mind off of things.  And Hugh Jackman look alikes are always wanted.

I thought this guy was on a soap opera.  The main reason I bought this  besides the fact it was dirt cheap.

The Deal: This billionaire (yes, he’s a billionaire but we’re never told how he got his fortune or if he goes crime fighting at night like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark) stays at this ghetto B&B that our obnoxious heroine who’s a quasi baby killer owns.  The deal is he’s there because the fertility clinic messed up and the woman’s son is really his.

Review:  OOOH, I’m almost tempted to write a full blown review on this POS.  It’s terrible.  The characters lack chemistry and we get a real awkward sex scene that you can tell Lindsay thinks is hot.  Our characters are both asshole’s too.  Though the baby momma, er…surrogate, is slightly more intolerable.  Since she is a quasi baby killer.  Long story short, she lived in an abandoned house with a lot of other drug addicts and passed out while some other couple’s child croaked in front of her.  The guy’s not that much better, he’s a major douche with thinking the kid automatically belongs to him because he has his blood.  But considering the fact the kid’s so young and isn’t cognitively aware yet I can throw him a bone.  While his insta wife…not so much.

Verdit: Ugh.  Just ugh.

The Deal: Are obnoxious heroine is baby cray cray.  And gets this boneheaded idea she needs an idiot for a sperm donor, so she pretends to be a hooker and seduces him (twice) before getting knocked up.  He of course finds out and gets all he man on her.  Before they go down to his home down South.  Where all the cliches are used to the fullest.

Mini Review: It’s alright.  Once you get past its ridiculous plot (seriously, a physicist pretending to be a hooker) it’s pretty boring.  I thought Cal’s family was a bit offensive, but whatever.  It worked.  The romance was your typical asshole gets with slightly obnoxious woman.  Though I hated the whole idea that Cal thought he had a right to sleep with Jane just because they were married when the marriage was supposed to be a marriage of convenience of sorts.

Verdict: It was worth the two bucks.  I wouldn’t read it again.  But I don’t regret reading this one, per say.  I might check out more of Phillips’s work.  Or I might not.  Sort of on the fence about that.

The Deal: Sean doesn’t want a sexy secretary because they all want him to marry them (me thinks he’s really afraid about getting slapped with a lawsuit), so Allie dresses like she’s Agnes Gooch and they actually have a fairly decent relationship that I could get behind…until he finds out that she’s hot and shallow city here we come.

Mini Review: Honestly, if the reveal and post reveal would’ve been handled better this could’ve been fairly decent.  That being said, those two things made Sean look like a possessive jerk.  I wish he would’ve loved Allie before she showed her true colors.  And for that matter, I didn’t get why he couldn’t see past the disguise?  Was he that stupid.  The ending seemed like the author was under a deadline and just threw something together.

Verdict: Buy it for the first half.  Roll your eyes at the second.

Well, that’s it for part one of these mini-reviews.  Part two such literary classics that include:

*A woman who’s Ralph Fiennes look a like husband pays her negotiates their marriage of convenience

to have sex with her.  And buys her diamonds and talk to her about emotional shit.  And she still doesn’t think he loves her.

*A prince who ditches his girlfriend because she can’t get preggers.

*Another secret baby plot that gets even more unoriginal that it’s original.

Judge a Book by Its Cover: Royal Edition

All I’ve been hearing about is that royal baby.  And since it’s almost born in August,  I’ve decided that for August I’ll be looking at some YA book covers with a royal theme-note, this edition is coming out a little earlier since I won’t be blogging probably the rest of this week and the following week because of the test of doom.

What the Cover Says: Prince Chuck and Princess Diane got a divorce and decided to split up their girls-Willa and Harriet (twins).  Willa lives with her mother and works at her hipster coffee shop in Seattle and is an aspiring graphic designer.  Harriet is sick of going to state dinners and would rather be working on her line of fashionable pet clothes (because everyone’s corgi deserves to look chic).  Both girls get sent to an art’s camp and meet for the first time and decide to switch places.  However, complications arise when Prince Chuck become engaged to a Carmela and the girls must work to get their parents back together ASAP before the palace is turned into a home for wayward chickens.

And Lindsay Lohan could so play Carmela in this version.  Man, I forgot how she looked without all the fake bake.

What the Book is Really About: This snooty princess finds out she has a look alike who is so desperate for money she pretends to be her.  And, well, the snooty princess somehow ends up in the middle of nowhere crying and the poor girl ends up in the palace.

Verdict: A little too literal.  And what’s with the newsboy hat.  Why were those ever in?

What the Cover Tells Me: The prince is in need of  a wife.  And Miranda is the royal match maker.  Not officially.  But she did have her own show on Bravo where she paired those two A list celebrities who have been dubbed the new Brangelina.  So why wouldn’t she be called in to pair up playboy Prince Pretty Boy?  Of course, Pretty Boy (Paul to his friends) might have no intention whatsoever of finding a good woman and finding his happily ever after.  But Miranda isn’t the type of girl to give up even if she has to make herself the perfect girl for Paul.

What the Book is Really About: This is actually two books in one.  I vaguely remember buying it to read on the plane when I went on a trip a couple of summers ago.  I didn’t get past the fifth chapter.  This really annoying girl has this lame prince ask her out on a date.  That’s pretty much it.

Verdict: I like the dress and the shoes.  The bag needs to go.

What the Cover Tells Me: Emme could’ve been a princess.  If her mom would’ve married her dad.  Instead, she’s just his bastard daughter who lives in Nebraska with her stepdad (the rutabaga farmer) and her mother who sales hay sculptures on Etsy-those child supports dad sends does wonder to their finances.  One day though, out of the blue, her mom gets a call that her dad wants Emme to come to the palace.  But why after all this time?

Seriously, rutabagas.

What the Book is Really About: A country bumpkin’s celebrity cousin moves to her town and causes havoc on her life.

Verdict: Can we pose a little more lewd?  Seriously?  I’m just glad that dress was covering everything up.

What the Cover Tells Me: Valerie wants to be a princess.  Novel dream, she knows.  The closest she is ever going to get to princess material is if she gets a job at Disney World.  However, reality TV answers her dreams with Princess for Hire where one young woman will become a princess.  But why does Valerie suspect there’s a sinister catch to all of this?  Especially since everyone is acting like Stepford Wives.

The inspiration for this summary.

What is the Book Actually About: Essentially this girl finds out she has this special power to transform in to any princess she wants.  I have to wonder if that includes animated characters.  Because I would so go for Ariel’s life, after she got her voice back and defeated the sea witch.  Two words: Prince Eric.

Verdict: Lazy.  It looks like bathroom vanity only more pink and I don’t have pearls.

What the Cover Tells Me: Alexandra (Ali) hates being a princess and has decided that she is going to get herself banished.  However, her efforts might’ve gone a little to far since it appears she has destroyed the world.  Can Ali fix what she did?

What the Book is Really About: A girl gets a role in a movie and finds out that she’s a look alike for a princess.  Things however take a disturbing twist when it turns out that the kingdom might be rebelling.

Verdict: Safe and boring.  Honestly, I would probably pass over it its so blah.

Little Life Lessons from YA Books

1) You are guaranteed to meet your soul mate the first day you start your totally lame new school.  More than likely he’ll be a jerk to you or has a reputation of being a douche.  You however are “special” and will find out that’s not the real him.

2) You consider yourself to be an average girl even though everyone tells you you’re really pretty or you describe average as looking like a Barbie doll without a zit in sight and a figure that while you consider it “average” is actually not what most people will consider average.

3)  Your perfect guy will look more like a twenty-five year old than a sixteen-year old boy.

4) Insta love is real.  It helps if you have no hobbies or personalities because then there can’t be a discord in personalities.

5) Arch-enemey will look like a Barbie and be sexually active.  Her boobs will of course be a sign of her evilness.  But never fear, your one true love will see past them.  Or if he doesn’t he can’t help it, those boobs have mind control powers.

6) Everyone is secretly special.  This can mean many things it can mean that your last in the line to the throne, a special never before paranormal creature, the one girl who can save a corrupt society, or you just have the magical power of “love” that can turn a player into a monogamous dutiful boyfriend.

7) Everyone’s parents are totally lame.  You just don’t understand why they don’t want to be with you and why they think money is the way to your heart.  Though that new car, the live in suite, and no curfew rules are really rad.

8)  The best  best friends are the ones who only want  to talk about you and the boyfriend.  Never mind they might have problems or heaven forbid they have a love life of their own.  Bonus points if said best friend is a token character.

9) There’s another boy interesting you who is almost the same as the boy your in love with, save for the fact that they’re mortal enemies and you’re obviously not that really into him.  But of course you’ll struggle for most of the book about this.

10) Your life is always at least a trilogy.

Frigid: J Lynn (Jennifer L Armentrout)

I like the abs, but really button your shirt up.  It’s snowing!

General Summary: Sydney and Kyler are b.f.f.s who don’t do the whole friends with benefits thing.  Is it because Sydney has been deemed frigid that one time she had sex and Kyler is like the Tony Stark on campus minus the billions of dollars and technology?  Um, no.  They just haven’t admitted the fact that they are obviously in love with each.  The instant cure for man ho, you know?

Review:

You know, I had to think about this one.  It’s not a bad book.  It’s not even awful.  It’s just that it’s New Adult and at this point I might as just throw in the towel when it comes to that genre.

Because it’s such a freaking cliche.

Seriously, all New Adult books are essentially the same.  And I’m starting to wonder if that’s what hte appeal is your’e reading the same book.  Don’t believe me.  We’re going to analyze Frigid  as your typical NA book rule.

Heroine:  Sydney is a good girl, check.  She’s lost her V card which is surprising for NA but considering she only had sex one time and was called frigid (which we’re constantly reminded of) she essentially fits into this category.  She’s pretty boring like most of the characters are.  Has no real ambition other than getting a man.  Oh, wait she talks about getting a doctorate but she doesn’t really specify and its only till the very end of the book we learn she wants to be a shrink.

Hero: Yep, Kyler is a man ho complete with hipster ink.  We are constantly told this as well as the fact that he uses protection.  But of course he forgets with Sydney that one time.  But that’s okay she’s on the pill never mind that…hey, it’s NA STDs and the fact that the pill isn’t perfect when it comes to preventing pregnancy is not even worth mentioning here.

Plot: What plot?  Just sexy good times.  And Armentrout follows the sex scenes in the typical NA route as painfully bad.  Though I’m just starting to think her sex scenes are bad in general since that was the biggest fault I had with Obsession.   Alright, there was a lame attempt at a subplot here that worked a tiny bit better than the non-existant plots in other NA books but still…

Relationship Pacing: As in typical NA books we have two characters who shouldn’t be getting together anytime soon making out right away, having the best sex of their life ever, and then a misunderstanding happens they mop, and OMG get back together.  Seriously, the pacing in these books really any NA book drives me insane.

An Unrealistic Look on College Life: Because anyone can major in business and get into veterinarian school. Um, you do realize that it’s harder to get into vet school than med school?

To be honest, this isn’t the worst NA I’ve read.  It’s actually pretty tolerable.  Probably because I have accepted at this point I’m never going to get anything new and original just polished versions of any AU Twilight fan fiction that has Bella and Edward doing it on a university.

That’s sad people.

I really don’t understand why New Adult can’t have an actual, decent, plot.  Is that too much to ask?  College is an exciting time in people’s lives.  You know, there’s more to it than just meeting some dreamy looking boy with lots of tattoos.

The sad thing is YA paranormal is less cliche than NA right now.  And that’s really, really, sad.  Because even with the shitty world building that goes on with a lot of these books there’s actually a plot with NA it’s just bad sex scenes that I skim over.  Okay, well, there was technically only one scenes where they had actual coitus but there was a lot of other sexual stuff going on here that just had me rolling my eyes.

I’m just going to say it New Adult is soft porn.  Disagree with me all you want, but when you have no plot and the romance just consists of the character describing their anatomy and taking their clothes off that’s what you have.

And I really can’t blame Armentrout (that much) for this book.  It’s decently written and when the characters weren’t discussing how the other character looked in their underwear it was a fairly decent read.  I liked the chemistry they had.  But we didn’t get much banter.  Honestly, it just sort of read like it was phoned in.  And maybe that’s what you have to do to be successful at NA.  Read a couple of Twilight fan fictions and either Beautiful Disaster or Fifty Shades of Grey to get an idea of how NA college life works then do your own version with very little variation.

Honestly, it’s just sad.  And makes me weep for a genre that could be very interesting. Note to self, write NA book about a science who….actually has more of a plot other than having a relationship with a guy who’s going to need to be getting laser treatments for his hipster ink in ten to fifteen years.

Best Feature: Chemistry.  The characters had chemistry when we weren’t subjected to painful sex scenes written by Armentrout. If Sydney talks about how frigid she is one more time… Okay, so yeah, the characters do share chemistry.  And you can tell that they actually have a real relationship with each other prior to the insta lust which is sort of nice.  But really, having them sleep with each other that fast?  No.  Just no.

Worst Feature: No Originality.  As I said before, my biggest complaints with the New Adult genre is that it’s so formulaic there is never anything new with these books.  And this one is no exception.  It isn’t exactly terrible, if you like the NA formula you’re going to love this one.  But it was boring.  And yeah, Armentrout did try to give a plot to this one.  But it is very weak and more like a sub-sub plot than an actual plot.  Sort of pathetic really.

Appropriateness: Um, yeah.  Younger Lux fans should not venture into reading this book.  Most of the book is devoted to sex so I really can’t recommend it there.  There are f bombs dropped occasionally and some violence.

Blockbuster Worthy: Um, what would the movie be about?  Really.  I can’t even cast.  Well, I could but  I just don’t want too.  Besides, my perfect Kyler is unfortunately no longer with us (RIP Cory Monteith)

Overall Rating: I’m giving this one a five.  I gave it a solid three stars on Good Reads, but I rounded it up.  If you like New Adult you’ll probably like this book if you find the whole genre to be based off of shitty Twilight fan fiction like me you’ll probably be rolling your eyes.

The Rock Star’s Daughter: Caitlyn Duffy

By the cover, I would’ve thought this book would’ve taken place on a cruise ship.

General Summary: After her mom dies Taylor is sent off to live with her dad who’s a rock star who’s married to a Rachel Zoe wannabe and they have a kid who’s allergic to dairy and Taylor’s pretty much held up in hotels all summer.  And yeah, that’s basically it.

Review:

I got this on a whim via Amazon.  It was free and I was trying to get to sleep.

It did the trick.

This isn’t necessary a horrible book.  Well, the first three fourths aren’t horrible.  It’s just sort of meh.

You know what your’e getting.  The unexpected Cinderella story that only illegitimate spawns of celebrities get to experience.

You know, somehow I don’t think that’s how it works.  Having a celebrity dad who doesn’t acknowledge you all your life and then rushing to pick you up from Child Services just managing to get you out of there without any paperwork or having to get a lawyer involved….

Oh, wait, what did you say Stephenie Meyer…

Yeah, it’s fiction.

Okay…

Logic aside though, this book was sort of mess for other reasons.

Like the fact that it has no plot.  At first I thought cool, this story will be sort of like What a Girls Wants the father daughter relationship will be developed with a cute romance on the side.  But nope, all we got was a start at these things then the dad acts like a complete tool (and yeah, he’s a complete tool, no explanation other than that) and the love interest is, well, remember Josh from The Princess Diaries, well, imagine him as your hero.

The romance turned out to be the lamest attempt of a romance in YA.  The characters lack chemistry and half of the time I expected there to be some sort of Cassandra Clare incest twist there that just made me want to barf.

Yeah, I thought they were siblings even though it was reiterated throughout the book that they weren’t.

That’s sad people.

It’s still gross though mainly because of what her dad does with….

Not going to spoil it.

Really, the only likable adult character here was the Rachel Zoe stepmom and that’s kind of iffy at best since at one point she was characterized as being super nice and the next wow….super bitch.

But she honestly was the most stable influence that Taylor had in her life and that’s sort of sad.

What’s really sad is the fact that Taylor seems to except the fact that the instability from her mother and father is okay.

I really had issues with how Duffy whitewashed the mother’s abuse.

While it was true she didn’t hit her kid, her mother was a bad parent.  I mean, seriously, she drained her kids college account for plastic surgery.  And instead of trying to let her daughter have a relationship with her father, she essentially sabotaged it.  And we’re told that’s okay?  Great parenting?

Sure, I didn’t think Chase was that great of a parent either, though you’d think otherwise till the last fourth of the book.  I really thought he was trying and then….

I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting a cookie cutter ending.  I get that families can be dysfunctional.  I expect it.  And I actually applaud Duffy for not ending everything tied up with a big bow.  But (and this is a huge but)  dysfunction shouldn’t be pimped.  The parental figures weren’t good.  In fact, they were pretty terrible and saying that the mother was mother of the year material after all that shit…well, it made a fairly mediocre rating go to the dogs.

Best Feature: Fluff Concept.  I love books like this.  The summary is perfect to read when you have insomnia and want something to get your mind off of a

Worst Feature: My Drunk Mother Who Stole All My College Tuition and Lied to my Face is Mother of the Year.  Um, yeah.  That’s pretty much the little life lesson we learn in this book.  Let me be frank, I thought Taylor’s mom and her dad to a degree were abusive.  Sure, they didn’t hit her, but they did neglect her.  And her mother spent all of her college money on plastic surgery and keg parties.  I’m sorry, but no.  Just no.  And why wasn’t her dad more involved?  Couldn’t he like get the court involve and say she wasn’t using her support payments the way they should be.  Ridiculous.  Just ridiculous.  And the big lightbulb moment  at the end that the woman who died because she drank too much when she threw a party like she was Hugh Hefner or someone-minus the bunnies-was really a great mother because she kept Taylor away from her dad (who really isn’t that bad for a celebrity) just had me rolling my eyes.  Taylor, your mom wasn’t a strong independent woman she was a selfish bitch.

Appropriateness: There’s teen drinking, drug use, an OD, dads sleeping around, and men over the age of thirty wearing leather pants.  Pretty PG-13.

Blockbuster Worthy:Disney Channel maybe.  It’s okay.  But as far as girl finds out her dad is a famous rock star, I’d recommend My Double Life.


Taylor: I don’t know.  Maybe Kelly Missal.

Overall Rating: Three out of ten.  It was free, but I can see why it was free.  It wasn’t a complete waste of time, it had its moments.  But it’s one of those books I’m going to quickly forget.

The Elite: Kiera Cass

Seriously, the hair and the dress clash.  Though the mother really does look eerily like Bonnie Wright.



Disclaimer: Obviously, I do not own the Disney princesses.  If I did I would be at Disney World right now living the dream instead of writing this during one of my very limited study breaks.



And now a word from the Disney Princesses…

 
We here at the Magic Kingdom full of princess want to make something clear to you, America Singer is not a princess.  Because I’m the only princess that likes to read or one of the only few that can read I’ve been dubbed to discuss this fraud of a princess.

All I have to say, Beast (or should I say Adam because that’s what Disney Wikia says his human name is) better buy me a whole library after reading this.

Sigh….

What is a princess?  A princess isn’t just someone of royal birth.  Here at Disney there has to be something special, something unique about you that makes you search for more.  In my case, it was my intelligence.  Most women in my time period were happy being Gaston’s bimbo.  I was not.   Another example, Ariel wanted to be human in a world full of fin lovers.  And even Snow White, was…well, pretty and ran away from home.

Okay, maybe America is a little more competent than Snow.  Um, or maybe not.

Because really, Snow cares about those dwarves.  I suppose you could make a claim America cares about her maids or maybe that Marlee girl, but that’s just to tell her how pretty she is and how Maxon loves her.

She doesn’t even know how interact with other girls without being mean to them.  Obviously, she’s never seen Sophia the First.


Then there’s the history of her kingdom.  Her world.  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.  I know I come from fictional France where people speak English unless they’re saying Bonjour!

But we still had social issues.  With women being told they couldn’t read.  Princes not knowing how to take care of their kingdoms and being changed to hairy monsters leaving the rest of us to go around singing  and wanting something more.

Well, it made sense in my movie.

I think a better princess’s world to talk about would be Mulan’s.  Fictional China, though slightly offensive, was well formed.  The fact that the society was male dominated was heightened throughout several of the plots and subplots of the movie.   Conflict arouse becuase of society’s rules-i.e. Mulan felt like an outcast because she couldn’t get a man and cut off her hair because women weren’t allowed to join the army.  To sum it up, there were reasons for her actions.

In The Elite….


Not so much.

Much of the world building seems thrown together and none of it makes any logical sense.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading too much Plato lately or have watched the news (yes, we get CNN at the Magic Kingdom-don’t tell anyone), but the way Illea was formed, the way its society works, its history is illogical.

And yes, I’ve heard the Stephanie Meyer it’s fiction excuse.  And living a fictional existence myself, I am entitled to call bull shit on this one.

Heavens, did I curse?

Don’t tell The Mouse, okay?

Alright, it’s back to scholarly Belle.  How is this book illogical? Well, my dear readers let’s talk about how Illea was formed.  Or should I say how the United States fell apart.

China overtook America when the US didn’t pay their debts.  Counterintuitive much?

But America didn’t pay back their money, shouldn’t China invade?

Um, not if they want their money back or don’t want to get nuked.

Seriously, China would not be stupid enough to do that.  Plus, do you really think the UN would go along with that?  And hello, America has nukes?

Must I reiterate that.

Probably everyone would be dead if the two started battling each other.

God, I feel like Jeff Golblum from Independence Day.  So, not becoming for a Disney princess.  If that’s not bad enough, then there’s the actually forming of Illea.

The explanation is weak at best.  A former country that was brought on freedom, is probably not likely to accept a caste system just because some dimwit who claims he’s king says so.  There’s usually no social political issues at work here other than the king not liking you.

Really?  You don’t think you’re going to have any oppression other than these random  Rebels who have apparently no power base but run around amok.  Completely random into the palace.

Multiple times.

Multiple times!

I’m a princess.  I’m supposed to like fluff, but this is just too much  You know what we do at Beast’s (I meant Adam’s) castle when we have intruders well  throw them in the dungeon.  And you don’t get out until your daughter decides to take your place…

Trespassers don’t get past the Beast.

And you know what, Illea really needs a Beast. That kingdom lacks authority.  You’d think that a king like Clarkson who likes to kick his son around would be a bit of an authority figure but no….He just barks a bit and then everything is okay.  Which makes you wonder…

Or would make you wonder if something happened in this book.

Really, nothing happened.  You know how every princess has an adventures.  My adventure was falling in love with a beast and dealing with a crazy stalker, Cinderella had to deal with that evil stepmother, and even Pocahontas had an adventure-sort of- though it mostly consisted of looking like she was a perfume model. What is America’s adventure?

Sitting around getting groomed all day and reading a dead king’s diary that’s just sitting around there for her to read even though it’s more incriminating than The Pelican Brief (now, that’s a good book).

I guess wouldn’t mind so much if the rest of the book wasn’t so misogynic.

We princesses get a bad rap for being anti-feminist which I think is ridiculous.  I mean, sure we might all get the guy and live in a big castle and not have to worry about getting a real job, but  we all (well, most of us) have goals and ambitions.

Well, more than this girl.

And you know what really annoys me, America doesn’t realize how backwards she is.  While she rambles on and on about how the king who wrote his diary objectified his daughter to something that was similar to what America herself was going through, America doesn’t recognize that her parents essentially did the same thing to her.  It was perfect moment for reflection and instead of utilizing it Cass…well, excuse the horrible pun, castrated it.

This moment should’ve been a part of realization.  Instead, Cass uses it as a stupid plot point.

I really don’t understand why people think America Singer should be a princess.  Princesses aren’t just supposed to look pretty.   Maybe we Disney princesses seem overly old school in our frilly gowns, but honestly we’re pretty kick ass.  Even old school princesses had their moments.  Cinderella, for example, had the gall to go to the ball.  Aurora snuck out.  Snow White ran away from home.  And you have to say there are other princesses out there fictional and real princesses that kick ass.  Princess Leila, Princess Mia, Princess Diana.  Those are only a few.  All three of these women did more than just look great.  And while Mia and Leila were fictional characters, they influenced a lot of people.

Really, America,  you are not a princess.

Awesomly Lifetime: The Pregnancy Project (Where Statistics are made out to be Stereotypes)

So, two o’clock at night and I can’t sleep and my mind’s too fried to do anymore MBE questions you guys know what that means…..Lifetime movie time!

Last week I rewatched the gem known as The Pregnancy Project  and it reminds me why I freaking hate that movie and why I will probably never ever read Gabby’s book because she just lacks logic.  At least in the movie.  I mean, seriously the whole project is just stupid.  The movie tries to hammer in my head that people have stereotypes about girls who get knocked up in high school but that’s not the case.

At all.

What I believe in is statistics and reality.  Seriously, you have a kid in high school do you really think it’s economically feasible to go to Harvard.

Whatever though let’s look at the oh so patronizing movie that makes discussing real social poverty issues taboo.

Melodramatic Summary: So Gabby gets this cockamamie idea that it would be the perfect social experiment to pretend to be pregnant.  Seriously, hasn’t she ever watched daytime television?  Faking  a pregnancy is not that revolutionary.   However, Gabby goes has these monologues about how people make unfair stereotypes about pregnant people and it’s just…well, ridiculous.

Review:

So you probably guessed it by now, I really don’t like this movie.  In fact, it’s probably one of least favorite lifetime movie.  The only one that’s just as patronizing and stupid is The Party Never Stops, but at least that movie has some quasi likable characters.  Not some little tart face that wants us to learn a lesson.

I really don’t get Gabby’s project.  I really don’t.  Maybe it’s because I know many teen mothers and honestly those stereotypes aren’t stereotypes as much as reality. Raising a child is hard.  And it’s not like you’re going to be able to move on with your life once you go through labor.  If you decide to keep the baby you have to raise that and that takes time.  Meaning, you probably can’t go to an Ivy League and take an eighteen hour course load.

Heck, one of the girls I know just got her degree this year after being in undergrad for eight years because she had to take care of her daughter.  And she lived with family, so it wasn’t like she had as many bills to pay.  Just imagine, if you don’t have support system how long it’s going to take you to pass.  So yeah, Gabby, Harvard bound isn’t really a reality when you have a baby unless you’re like that other Lifetime movie.

Also, let’s  talk about being pregnant.  I really don’t get how she was able to fake a pregnancy.  Especially the way Lifetime faked her pregnancy.  Maybe if I read the book the real Gabby’s plan was probably smarter than this one whose paper mache montage belly=instant success.

And I’m sure the real Gabby wasn’t a bitch to the rest of her family, her boyfriend, her friends or anyone who called her out for her shit.  Or at least I hope she isn’t.  Once again, benefit of the doubt.

I think that’s what really annoyed me the most about this film that it made me annoyed with a character who’s probably a very nice person in real life but just seems like such a little tart on the small screen that I want to take her.

And I really, really, don’t like watching movies that teach me lessons.  I’m studying for the bar, the last thing I want when I’m trying to get to sleep but can’t because of my anxiety is learning why I shouldn’t think a teenager is dumb because they lacked the common sense to go to a local drugstore and pick up a box of condoms.  And okay, I know it’s more complicated in that.  I know some teens are afraid of social stigma of dealing with nosey Blanche at Walgreens.  But I think the embarrassment of buying condoms is a lot better than dealing with an STD or pregnancy.  And I know that sometimes people use protection and it fails but come on…this movie doesn’t even try to touch on these issues.

Instead it’s all about you don’t look at me the same because I’m pregnant and that’s wrong…

Well, you don’t look exactly the same because of a baby bump and of course teenagers are going to talk.  A baby changes a lot of things.  There’s going to be talk about these changes.  About your love life and all of that.  Because it’s high school.  Other people are targeted just for getting a bad haircut.  Your principal did not need to support your stupid PSA.

Oh, yeah.  The administration goes completely along with this idiocy even lies to some of the teachers at the school becuase of this “social experiment’.

Yeah, barf.

And you want to know what the most hilarious thing is, the one actual (real) teen pregnancy in this movie is about as stereotypical as you can get-foster kid who’s towards the bottom of the class.

I swear this movie has me wanting to do well…this

Lifetime Squee: I could say Gabby’s boyfriend in the movie, but he really want’s doing it for me.  Probably because he was a poor Taylor Lautner look alike and I don’t like Taylor Lautner.  So, yeah…no eye candy in this one.  Gabby’s brother is a jackass too, so it’s not like I can lust over him.

OMG Lifetime Moment: When Gabby rips off her fake belly which is in the first two minutes of the movie.  Oh, and the whole making a fake belly scene.  It’s so stupid I had to put it in here.

Overall Rating: No Dean Cains for you.  I really, really, hate this movie.  A lot.  I think it gets even worse with the rewatch.  I honestly have been tempted to read the book only because I want to see if Gabby’s decisions are more logical than this movie.  I sort of doubt it though because I really can’t believe Lifetime would come up with something so stupid, but who knows.

Raiders of the Lost Bookshelves: Meg-A Readers Edition

After readingAwaken  I realized I’ve been reading Meg Cabot books for over a decade  I vaguely remember picking up Princess Diaries after  reading about the movie in some magazine, I want to say American Girl, but it’s been twelve years so….yeah.  Anyway, over the years I’ve collected lots of Meg Cabot books with lots of covers and with the way covers go in and out of style I have some well…rather interesting ones to look at.  Today, I thought I’d look at some of these covers since, you know, this is technically an my entry for the very awesome Meg Cabot Blog Hop.

What Does the Cover Tell Me: It’s pretty literal.  I get the message it’s a diary about the princess.  The background is also pretty plain too save for the tiara.  I actually think these covers have held up pretty well for the most part save for the ultra girly colors.  Grant it, book three might be a little cheesy but I’ve seen worse.
What’s the Book About: A girl finds out she’s a princess and unlike most girls she hates being royalty.
Has the Actual Story Hold Up: Yes.  Except a few of the pop culture references are out of date.  But overall,  I still enjoy reading this book.  I really think it was ahead of its time.  Most of the YA books that were released around the time Diaries was released were about a) teens dealing with crisis (either dead parents, eating disorders or pregnancy, b) were packaged serials,  or c) creepy memoirs.
I know this book was only published a few years ago, but before Princess Diaries was published this was the sort of crap you’d see in the YA section at the book store.  
Does the Cover Hold Up: I will say this is the one pink book I can take with me out in public and not feel embarrassed.
What Does the Cover Tell Me: Not much.  Just that it’s a romance novel that has some bad flower arrangements.  It could be contemporary or historical.  It’s really not that very telling.
What’s the Book About: All Payton wants to do is to be on a boat.  However, proper regency ladies aren’t supposed to do that or be in love with ship captains that are engaged.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Um, yeah.  I really liked this one.  It’s just so much fun.  And yeah it’s a little unrealistic but it’s a romance.  Plus, the heroine is a take action sort of gal.
Does the Cover Hold Up: It’s alright.  It’s nothing special.  I think an awesome story like this deserves better.
What Does the Cover tell Me: This book is going to take place on 4th of July?  Is this Meg Cabot’s version of Independence Day.  Is Samantha Madison going to have to save us from the aliens like she saved us from that uber Billy Joel fan? Um, no.
 
What is the Book Actually About:  Sam and David are ready for the next step or are they?  Honestly, I should warn you this one is a bit like a PSA but it’s a Meg Cabot PSA so that makes it very tolerable.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Actually, a lot better than I expected.  I’ll be honest.  This is probably my least favorite Meg book.  But I really appreciate it now a lot more than I did when I actually read it. In a genre full of slut slamming and promoting the virginity myth, Ready or Not gives some valuable information to teens concerning protection, sex, and just general healthy relationship advice.  Is it a little preachy, at times yes.  But I really like what Meg was trying to do here.  And I appreciate this book a little bit more every time Alexandra Adornetto publishes a book.
Has the Cover Held Up: It’s okay.  It’s not great.  I mean it’s pretty unremarkable, but you can bring it to an airport with you.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Is that supposed to be the moon?  And why does Jean have a glow about her and why is she wearing that ridiculous dress that makes her look like she should be about twenty-five instead of sixteen or whatever.  But I remember shiny=pretty in those days, so it’s not that surprising.
What is the Book Actually About: Jean is a forced to move to a new town in typical YA MC fashion where she finds out that her perfect extended family is hardly perfect after all.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Yeah, it’s sort of your stereotypical paranormal, but it still fun in that campy Meg Cabot way.  Plus witches that don’t drastically change their appearance for a boy (well, sort of).
Has the Cover Held Up: No.  Revamp.  Revamp.  Revamp.  This cover to me is confused looking and it needs some updating really would help it.
What Does the Cover tell Me: It’s the librarian’s ball at Hogwarts.  And Mindy has decided to dress as some lady in red in literature because she wants to show off those toned shoulders of hers.  And why is she headed towards the restricted section?
What is the Book Actually About: It’s the sequel of Insatiable  where soap opera writer turned demon hunter Meena has to face her vampire ex and try to figure out what the deal is between her and that Thor look alike, Alec.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Pretty good.  I sort of want a third one, but I was very satisfied with this ending.  I know a lot of people didn’t like who Meena ended up picking but I was Team Neutral so it really didn’t bother me. Though I really wish Meena would get a job at another soap opera.  This is me being bias though since my childhood dream job was to be a soap writer.  I even had a whole character named, Kasie,  made up who had been married five different times, had five children with six different fathers (it’s a soap opera after all) and she moves to town to get with the eighty year old patriarch who is actually a rival to her long lost father and her daughter is about to marry an arms dealer who her son…yeah, I watch way too much General Hospital. 
Has the Cover Held Up: It’s okay.  I really don’t think it mashes up too well with the first book, but by itself it’s not terrible offensive as time has past.  I love the dress.
What Does the Cover tell Me: It’s a Hans Underwear ad (note the way his hands are cupping her butt).  Actually, I remember reading some of the promotional stuff that Meg had for this book and she said something about it being her butt touching cover.  Which is pretty funny.  It does make a statement thought he background itself is a little loud to me.
What is the Book Actually About: A girl finally gets caught up in her lies while competing in a beauty contest of all things.  And what I really like about this book is even though Katie is competing in a beauty contest she still eats cookies.  Yay, for cookies!
Has the Actual Story Held Up: I haven’t read it in a while but I remember it being cute not that memorable.  But it might be more relevant today considering our cultures obsession with bad reality TV shows involving pageants.
Has the Cover Held Up:  Not so much.  I really didn’t like this cover to begin with.  I think if it was just the butt touching photo it would be okay.  The background cover just looks too bright.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Ugh, I really hate these covers.  Why is Suze wearing a midriff?  They were only popular in those late 1990’s movies where Drew Barrymore pretended to be in high school when really she’s a lowly copyeditor and falls in love with that dude from Alias.  And is that supposed to be Paul and Jesse in the background?  Uh, no thanks.
What is the Book Actually About: It’s the conclusion to the best YA series ever.  Yes, even after eight years this is still my favorite YA series.  If you haven’t pick it up now, what are you waiting for?    The book is about this girl who moves to California and falls in love with a hot cowboy who’s a ghost.  How can you not like this book?  Oh, and it has a love triangle that’s actually not creepy in the way most love triangles are creepy.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Um, this is my favorite Meg Cabot book.  Need I say more?
Has the Cover Held Up: Not really.  I never really liked these covers though (I have cartoon phobia-thank you Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies), so I was sort of happy with the revamp for the omnibus editions.  Though the girl in a dress look really is cliche.
What Does the Cover tell Me: I actually thought this book was going to be about a fallen starlet before I read the summary.  And honestly a Meg Cabot book about a celebrity who went off the deep end could be sort of awesome.
What is the Book Actually About: A girl gets a brain transplant sort of like that movie Who is Julia? that Mia always talks about.  But instead of a model getting put into the body of an ordinary woman, a normal looking girl gets put in the body of a model.
And of course there’s also this book where a girls mind is implanted into a chimp.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Oh, yeah.  This is another one that hits home more now than it did when I originally read it.  One of my biggest peeves in YA and really in the media in general is self image.  And I think Meg touches on these issues in such a great way without being preachy.
Has the Cover Held Up: It’s honestly still on trend.  It’s not my favorite though because I expect I’m going to get a book about a celebrity hitting rock bottom and having to move in with her parents who own a llama farm in Vermont.  Which is a book I actually sort of would want to read.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Ugh, another cartoon cover.  Curse, you Simon Pulse for making this a trend!  On the other hand, my copy actually has a sticker that it’s a book from the Kelly Ripa book club.  Who knew Haley Vaughn had a book club?  Or for that matter read Meg Cabot.  This is actually still one of my favorite contemporaries though.  And the sequel to this book has fantastic recipes that I used to make…you know, when I had time to cook.
 
What is the Book Actually About: This gossip journalist is tired of her job (honey, you’re a gossip journalist you could be doing much worse) and one day her neighbor is mugged and she meets her nephew becuase, well, someone has to watch the old lady’s Great Dane.  And sparks fly.  But there’s deception going on at the same time.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Um, yeah.  Totally.  Though it’s more than a little ridiculous.
Has the Cover Held Up: Barf!  Cartoons that aren’t graphic novel/anime.
What Does the Cover tell Me: Ugh, Simon Pulse romantic comedy puke look alike was my first thought until I saw Meg’s name by it.  Seriously, I am glad the cartoon phase has gone away.  It needed too.  Then again, I’ll probably be raving about it when it becomes popular again.    Honestly though, if I didn’t see her name I’d think this some lame rom com about a girl learning how to ride motorcycles with the quasi lame new guy at school that the book tells us we’re supposed to love but…yeah.
What is the Book Actually About: A burnt out psychic ex boyfriend comes to find her in hopes she finds his missing sister that we didn’t know existed in the past four books.  Oh, and how did Jess get into Juilliard if she couldn’t read music?  For reals.  I really wondered how she would survive her music theory classes.  My sister has a masters in music and she still hates theory I can only imagine how someone who doesn’t know how to read music…digressing.
Has the Actual Story Held Up: Yes.  Definitely.  Though it’s not my favorite out the series it was the perfect way to conclude the series.  And plus, for what Jess decides to do with her non-psychic  career my mom does the exact same thing and I can actually see Jess being good at  that. Actually what I really like the most about this book is I think Meg wrote it for the fans.  The series had originally got cancelled after book four and finally she was able to convince her new publishing company to buy the rights so she could write a fifth book.  And you just have to appreciate that.
Has the Cover Held Up:  No.  No.  No.  Let’s forget the Simon Pulse cartoon phase ever existed.
On a side note, I’d like to thank The Romance Bookie and Little Miss Drama Queen for hosting this blog hop.  Glad to participate and check out their sites for some great giveaways.

Spies and Prejudice: Talia Vance

 They’re not even trying to hide the fact that the MC is obviously a Veronica Mars ripoff. 

General Summary: Berry Fields (Seriously, that’s her name.  And no, her parents aren’t celebrities) works as a private eye and overhears some douche say she’s only somewhat doable despite the fact he hits on her practically from page one.  Oh, and she’s also trying to figure out her mom’s death.

Review:

Ugh.

I’m annoyed.  This book started out as being solid enough.  Not great, but I didn’t expect greatness.  I expected a fun, fluffy, read based off of my favorite classic.

It used my favorite classic as a gimmick.

And to make matters worse, it twisted the knife further in the wound by making the Veronica Mars part of this book suck too.

Sigh.
As far as the actual form goes the book isn’t bad.  It was easy to read.  I got through it in two days and considering my reading time is cut down to an hour to an hour and a half a day it’s pretty amazing I got through it in two days.  That being said, fast prose will only get you so far in life.
I think the biggest flaw this book had was its false advertising and then the fact that Vance didn’t know how to pace things.

Ah, pacing how it alludes this book.

Too much time was spent on the actual set up, Berry being stupid, and suspecting everyone’s dad of murder.

Yeah, that’s pretty much 85% of the book.

And yes, everyone’s dad is suspected at one time or another of murder.

But there’s….

Not going to go there because of spoilers.  But the ending was just so ridiculous my mouth is still hanging open and not in a good way.

If this was the only issue, I probably would be pretty forgiving.  Writing a mystery is tough.  In fact, I’d say that next to word building, mystery plotting is probably one of the most difficult tasks to do when writing a book.  However…it just wasn’t the mystery element that was a flop.

It was the fact that the book sold itself to be a Pride and Prejudice retelling and other than using the same character set up-i.e. girl’s best friend falls in love with rich boy who’s snooty hot best friend disapproves but girl can’t help but find herself drawn towards snooty hot best friend after being forced to be around with him for 2/3 of the book-there’s really nothing remotely in common between this book in the Jane Austen classic.

Let’s talk about Pride and Prejudice.  It might appear to be a romantic comedy, but in reality it’s a commentary on manners that have spawn many a bad modern retellings that I eat up like bad candy (seriously, Lifetime make one of these retelling into a bad movie I would appreciate it).  While most of these retellings are pretty bad, they usually try to have the same spirit of the original novel.  Darcy doesn’t outright pursue Elizabeth.  Elizabeth isn’t a bitch.  Bingley is spinless.  And Jane is so nice you think she’s really a robot.

This book doesn’t follow through the formula.  And while you might think that’s a good thing, it’s not when you hear Darcy throw some extremely lame pickup lines to Elizabeth.

Even the Wickham plot doesn’t make much sense even though we do get a quasi fist fight between Darcy and Wickham.

 
I should tell you that the fist fight is just about as lame as the whole I’m going to hold a gun to your head and threaten to shoot your dog instead of you scene.
You know I love my pets, but if someone is holding a gun to you I really don’ t think they are going to threaten your Beagle (or in this case, Saint Bernard).  No.  They’re going to threaten you.  And honestly, hasn’t anyone heard of Beethoven that series of movies where that dog beats up bad guys? You don’t mess with Saint Barnards.

Best Feature:  Um, the sales pitch.  While the book doesn’t fall through on it.  The sales pitch makes it something I want to read and that’s how it probably sold, so you have to do give credit where it’s due.

Worst Feature: False advertising.  I thought this was going to be Veronica Mars meets Pride and Prejudice which would’ve been great.  Instead, the characters are only slightly based off of the Austen characters-just enough where Vance could cash in on that fanbase- and had a really, really weak mystery which would have the real Ms. Mars laughing.

Appropriateness: There’s some violence, I think they might’ve said a couple of curse words, and there’s some kissing.  Typical YA.

Blockbuster Worthy: Um, not really.  If I want to watch Veronica Mars I’ll watch my DVDs or wait for the movie. If I want to watch Pride and Prejudice  I’ll watch either the Firth version or if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll watch the fictional fantasy fulfilled version of it (a.k.a. Lost in Austen).  There’s really no reason to cast.

Overall Rating: Three out of ten Darcys.  I started out thinking I’d give this book a six or a seven, midway through a five or a four, and it just continued deteriorating.  It was enjoyable enough, but I sort of regret buying it.  The Pride and Prejudice connection was very loose and the end was a cheap shot.  Overall, I cannot in good conscience recommend reading this.  You’ll just get angry and want to go all Catherine de Bourgh on this book.

Raiders of the Lost Bookshelves: Simon Pulse Romantic Comedies

Oh, Simon Pulse romantic comedies.  An obsession that occurred because of a band trip.  Much like Avon True Romances, Simon Pulse Rom Coms were invented for the YA audience who wanted to read their mom’s romance novels (in this case contemporary romance)  but were too embarrassed to buy them because your nosey next door neighbor owned the book store and frowned on “improper” literature.  Let’s look at a few of these squeaky clean fun reads, shall we?

What I remember: There was a princess craze.  I fail prey to it and bought this book.

Blame Meg Cabot and Julie Andrews for this short lived trend.

Is it Worth it: It’s an okay read.  The main character, Val, is a normal girl sort of bland who falls in love with a prince who’s blander than Prince William but looks like Tom Sturridge (or at least that’s who I had in my head when I read this book).

Highlight of the Book: The breakup of Val’s parents marriage.  Dicey stuff. And yay for nontraditional families.

Surprising Thing: There are two sequels to this one.  One wish I read the other I just ignored its existence.

What I Remember: I remember buying this after my school had this lame match making fundraising.  The girl in this book is way better than my school at matching people.
Is it Worth it: Um, no.  I remember really getting annoyed with the main character who has some massive body image issues.  Funny the cartoon is a realistic depiction of a teenage girl.  Can you say annoying?
Surprising Thing: This is worse than Toliver’s The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren (an earlier Simon Pulse rom com).
What I remember: A girl goes to NYC with little money and plans.  Getting jilted by her ex boyfriend and ending up working at a sketchy version of Victoria Secrets where she ends up designing a successful underwear line.
Is it Worth it: It’s okay.  I read this on a bus trip and it engaged my mind better than the movie we were watching.  But it’s not really worth buying.
Surprising Thing: She works at a skeezy underwear store.  And yes, this is a YA book.
What I Remember: Something about a girl being annoyed she’s forced to wear an Alvin and the Chipmunk suit (okay, beaver suit) all summer long instead of the being a mermaid.
Not this sort of beaver.
 
Is it Worth It: I barely remembered it, so no.
Surprising Thing: Beaver suits,enough said.

What I Remember: A road trip, a stupid main character who joins a band contest, and how to unrealistically survive in Miami on minimum wage.

Is it Worth it: No.  Unless you like band contest and unrealistic cheese.

Surprising Thing: The characters aren’t much deeper than the way they’re depicted on the cover.  And yes, Enrique is that creepy.