Not Another YA Superhero Book: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

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Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Source: GoodReads

YA superhero novels are becoming more common than they used to be.  A few years back, I remember wanting desperately for such a novel to exist and finding none.  Now there are a few to pick from.  When I heard that Marissa Meyer had a superhero themed book coming out I hit the preorder button and had no regrets.

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Okay, I was a little bit wary.  Until last year, Meyer was definitely a do-no-wrong author, but I was not a fan at all of Heartless.  And I was a little skeptical about this one coming in.

I was pleasantly relieved to find that I liked Renegades.  I didn’t love it, but I liked it.  However, there were a lot of cliches and plot holes in this one and an extremely slow beginning that drags.  So, so, much.

That being said though, I do plan on picking the next installment up next year.

The general gist of the story is that there are two groups of superpower people, the Renegades and the Anarchists.  I think the best comparison would be to the X-men and the Brotherhood, with some minor variations.  However, one of the characters uses a helmet much like Magneto and I was like really Meyer…

Okay, that aside there are some tragic Batman-ish backstories going on in this book and the two leads have sort of a Batman and Catwoman relationship going on.

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The world building is okay for the most part.  Again, I will say that there were several plot holes in the book.  Where I had to wonder why certain characters were too dim not to realize certain things about other characters.  I mean, because some of the secrets that the characters were hidden were fairly obvious.

Then again, the super hero genre has always been generous with having oblivious characters.  I mean, Lois Lane clearly can’t see past Clark Kent’s glasses so I shouldn’t be giving Meyer’s characters too much grief for being stupid.

Still though, it does frustrate me as a reader that Meyer doesn’t even address some of these things.

If you can look past the plot holes though, the book is pretty decent.  Renegades has a fairly diverse group of characters an not one of them is tokenized.  The relationships for the most part are fleshed out, at least with the leads.  The supporting cast isn’t as strong as it was in Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, but they are still decently form.  If this series was going to be longer than duo-logy I could see several of the characters being explored more.  As it was though, I thought the two leads were pretty decent and I sort of liked that they were mirror images of each other in an odd way.

Despite the plot holes my other issues with the book was that it was ridiculously predictable.  Even the cliffy at the end didn’t phase me (much).  I’m guessing there will likely be some twists thrown in the sequel of the novel.  The pacing probably didn’t help since the first 250 pages of this book were glacier slow.

Side note, when I first read Cinder and when I read that abomination better known as Heartless, these issues were prevalent too.  Cinder was difficult to read the first time around because of how slow it seemed, Heartless was even worse.  This book has that same slow start.but it holds my interest like Cinder did.  However, I do think that overall Cinder is a better book.

I know that sounds sort of harsh, but I do think that Cinder was a slightly better book than Renegades, even though this book was written much later in Meyer’s career.   Maybe it’s because Cinder was a retelling so some of the lack of originality (in plot twists) wasn’t as groan worthy as it was with Renegades.

In all, if you’re a superhero fan or a Meyer fan, I’d recommend this one, but it’s hardly awe inspiring by any means.  I’m hoping that the conclusion to the duology will sort of do the series justice, but right now I’d hardly say it was anywhere near Lunar Chronicles levels.

Overall Rating: A  solid B.

 

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Research, Hallmark, Research: Christmas Festival of Ice

Hallmark has finally done it.  It has made me want to completely rewrite one of their horrible movies.  At this point, I’ll admit that about 85% of the movies they air are crap.  However, I usually am not forced to watch Hallmark productions where the MC is a lawyer.   However, my luck was out with Christmas Festival of Ice.

And I can tell you after finishing this one, I feel for all you pediatricians, vets, actresses, teachers, and any other occupation Hallmark has shit on.

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If you don’t keep up with my Twitter, you should be notice that a lot of my Hallmark watching has been condensed to live Tweeting horrible movies (well, semi live Tweeting since I DVR-Equity it-thanks, Professor F for coining that term) there’s so many Countdown to Christmas crap-tacular films I can’t do full reviews for all of them.

However, there are some…well, there are so that just make me upset enough that make me write a review and this is one of them.

If you read my blog entries about Hallmark movies, you know I find them deeply flawed.  They’re in this own little bubble of privilege beyond privilege that only someone as foul  as DJ Tanner herself can love them-note, I actually have had to block people on Twitter when talking about things because I have been told I’m “mean” and wrong (we’ll get into what I’m supposedly wrong about later).

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Anyways, the premises of this one is pretty simple.  Every year Hallmark has to do some movie about ice sculpting.  I guess there is someone related to a higher up who has an ice sculpting fetish.  Honestly, maybe it’s because I’ve always had a green Christmas, but I’ve never associated ice sculpting with Christmas before.   But Hallmark does, and in this designated movie a law student-turned later in the movie law school grad-decides to get her ice sculpting fetish on with a guy who lives in a van down by the river who sales Christmas trees on the side when he’s not make the big dough from ice sculpting.

He’s hot, I guess which compensates the fact that his job is seasonal, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

For about the first hour or so of the movie, we’re told that this chick Emma is a law student.  And it’s at Christmas time, and I’m like girl this movie should be called That-Stupid-Chick-Who-Failed-1L-Because-She’s-More-Concerned-With Ice-Than-Torts.  Okay, I actually simplified the title to How I Failed 1L Year.  It’s not great, but it’s better than the alternative.   So, of course, I was obsessed with how this chick was not studied when my three years of law school was pretty much considered to be hell during the holidays.

But halfway through the movie, were randomly told that the MC took the bar and is waiting for her results (before Christmas?)

Um, no.

That’s not how it works.  The exam is taken in July and February respectfully.  Even the states that get their results back last-usually California-get them by mid November.  The reason why, people who fail have to register in time for the February exam.  They have to enroll in BARBRI or Kaplan which usually starts in December (near the time this movie takes place-agian, I know because I took the bar in February for one state).  Furthermore, you’re not going to get a text to tell you if you are going to pass or not.  You’re going to be sitting obsessively refreshing the state bar’s website until they post their pass/fail list.  Trust me, I’ve done it twice and it’s not pleasant.  If you don’t want to be refreshing your browser you’ll get a letter a couple of days letter.  Again, not a text.

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It wouldn’t take Hallmark a fucking lot of work to do this.  I mean, all they would have to do is Google the fucking thing.  They probably could’ve had a God damn intern do it during revisions.

But gun-ho Hallmark fans were arguing about this with me.  Because apparently Hallmark knows the schedule of bar exams a lot better than anyone who has ever waited for their bar results.

And stating the MC is a law student to waiting for her bar exams…Yeah.  You can’t take the bar if you haven’t graduated from law school yet.

God.

Or for that matter, apparently you don’t need a license to do a deposition let alone do it unsupervised.  And that your mom is immediately going to name you partner after you pass the bar exam.

Would it just kill Hallmark to do some sort of research?

There are people who actually believe everything they say is true, like that lady  on Twitter who told me all law offices had American flags featured prominently throughout their offices (they don’t).

You want to know what is in my office: law books, a desk, some old chairs, bookshelves, Chihuahua pictures, a candle, and can of Lysol, and a couch.  Oh, and last week I had it decorated for Halloween with a big spider hanging from my door.  No American flag in sight.

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One of the pictures I have in my office of baby Brainy.

Hell, none of the attorneys at my office or are sister office have a flag in their office.  The law office I worked before didn’t have a flag.  And neither did the office where I volunteered right after I graduated.  I’m sure they’re in some offices, BUT they’re not a mainstay.

So no, random Twitter person.  You are wrong a law office doesn’t need an American flag predominately applied amongst Christmas stuff in their office.

I know I’m obsessing, I tend to have those tendencies, but it just really bothered me how Hallmark doesn’t care one shit about doing any form research.  I mean, I’m writing my NANOWRIMO story right now, and I’m marking areas where I know I’ll need to go back and at the very least Google something.

It also bothered me how Hallmark threw away an accomplishment such as passing the bar exam, getting three years of law school for freaking ice sculpting.

I don’t kid you.  The climax of the movie results with the main character realizing she doesn’t want to be a lawyer and would rather cut ice for a living (not that there is really much of a living for that except for tacky weddings, but again I digress) and move in with the guy that sells Christmas trees and has a weird ice fetish on the side.

I joked with my sister that he lives in a van down by the river, but in Hallmark cannon he probably has a cute Cape Code decorated out from Pottery Barn complete with a  Golden Retriever.

I don’t know how he would be able to afford it though, since selling Christmas trees is sort of cyclical work.

I know, I’m digressing.  And I can hear the naysayers, it’s just a movie.

But God, I couldn’t believe how selfish how beyond disgustingly privilege this character was in the climax.

I know people who have worked their butts off in law school and didn’t have the fortune of passing the bar or getting a job, let alone a partnership.  Or for that matter, I know people who couldn’t get into law school because of financial difficulties.  But this chick, doesn’t give one shit about anyone.

And her parents acted completely unrealistic.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe her mom was like, “Oh, ho, hum, it’s fine that you do ice sculpting as a living.  In fact, I put $10K down for your hobby.  We’ll forget you spent seven years being able to get your JD and that we spent thousand upon thousands of dollars for you to be able to study and take the bar.  And hey, let’s forget that I’ve pretty much been letting you work at my office and I’ve been paying you so you can get a coffee roughly every 7.5 minutes in the movie in a new coat.”

Yeah, but that’s what happens.  Sort of.  She doesn’t mention the coffee thing, but that is what happened.

Look, I could go into more details about this movie but it’s fairly predictable.  The acting was blah.  I’ve seen another movie with the actress in it, My Summer Prince (even reviewed it) and she did about as decent as a job as she did in that movie.  But the thing is, the character was just insufferable.  And I really don’t blame it on her, but the writing.

Would it kill Hallmark to differ from their usual format: ambition for a woman is a bad a little?  I mean, passing the bar becoming an attorney is a big accomplishment.  They could’ve written the storyline a little bit differently to make it work.  Emma could’ve found a passion for her community, used her law degree to run for office or something-rather than just giving mommy to give her a hand out so she could make sculpted ice cubes.

I’m sorry, so many things about this movie annoyed me.

I am not stupid.  I have alluded to it several times in the fact that Hallmark has privileged protagonists and this is one of the worst offenders I’ve seen in awhile.  I think it’s because I lived the situation.  When I graduated from school, I didn’t come from an affluent family I had to work for what I got and this chick just throwing everything away disgusted me…

It disgusted me how lazy this movie was.  How the writers couldn’t even just do a common Google search to know when bar results would be released.  To know that you couldn’t be a freaking law student when you took the bar.

It disgusted me on so many levels.

It disgusts me that a lot of people think that Hallmark is who the world operates.

It disgusts me that they keep pushing out the same slightly repackaged shit with the same lessons about how women who have goals other than popping out munchkins and having a career is bad.  How women’s career should only be as good as their significant others and that they’re not happy unless they have a significant others.

Look, I’m all about the feel good movie.  After watching this travesty, I watched After the Ball on Netflix.  That movie is cheesy, but it works.  You want to know why, while the main character got with a cute guy.  The movie wasn’t about her giving up who she was, it was about her getting what she wanted.

I don’t recommend this movie.  It’s about a spoiled, privilege, brat who is going to find herself living in a van by the river.

Skip.

Total fail.

Studying for Torts (This Book is an Issue Spotting Novel): The After Life of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

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On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

Source: GoodReads

Note this review is going to be pretty spoiler heavy because I’ve got issues with what occurred in this book-you really think you couldn’t screw up with A Christmas Carol (but you can apparently).

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One of the things you learn to do very early on in law school is issue spot.  Pretty much all your exams in law school are issue spotting.  And for the most part, if you finish an exam in the three hours or so you’re given to finish it that’s not exactly a good thing.

You also use this skill on bar exams and in actual practice as well.  So, it’s sort of hard to turn off when you know..it’s the weekend and you decide to chill for a bit to get away from your crazy clients.  And you read  a book and am like-hell, this could be a torts essay right here.  Also, there’s some criminal law issues cross referencing it.

Yeah…not exactly a good thing for a book.  Especially when said reader reviews books, but that’s how I felt when I was reading The After Life of Holly Chase.

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Originally, when I was issue spotting this one I though-hey, it might be fun to write you know a legal style memo or what not over this book review.  But guys, memos are long and when there are multiple torts involved like in this case it would probably be the length of a full length novel.  Plus, it would be super boring with me citing case law or made up case law that you either wouldn’t be interested in or like she’s butchering the law for the sake of being mean to a book.  But just if you’re interested Holly Chase and her father  could probably charge Project Scrooge with kidnapping a minor as well as suing them for the following torts: false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, possible negligence issues.   There’s probably lots of employment issues as well (it’s mentioned she’s being intentionally under paid).  I could go on, of course, but I won’t.

And we’re not going to analysis them.  Just know that based on this issue spotting, I thought that Project Scrooge was just as shitty as the person they were trying to reform (Holly Chase).

That’s right, Holly Chase is despicable.  And honestly, I don’t see  her growing that much throughout the course of the novel except that she finally gets rid of her bad dye job at the end of the novel.

So the general gist is that Holly was Scrooge one year and failed big time, because hey-emotional blackmail didn’t work for her.

Because at it’s core that’s what A Christmas Carol is.  Emotional blackmail intended to scare a greedy old miser into reforming himself into a somewhat better man.

I actually enjoy the original Dickens work and watch two or so versions per year.  Of course, one of these versions is the hilarious Blackadder version where there’s kind of a reversal effect, so I’m always looking for a good retelling (note, if you haven’t seen that version you need to watch it, it is available on Hulu).  But here, I couldn’t help but think that Project Scrooge was filled with assholes.

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I’m not joking.

What they do to Holly  is pretty terrible.  Yes, she is a terrible person, but the fact they let her live through this quasi purgatory/hell for five years and emotionally manipulate her is just wrong.   In fact, all of the interactions in this book were pretty much set up and weren’t even really real to begin with.

On second thought maybe it’s not Holly I’m so mad at them about, but about how we the readers were duped into all of this.

At the end of the book there’s this twist that I absolutely hate.  That all of this was more or less a version of the future and Holly goes back to her old life after pretty much committing suicide so this guy she falls in love won’t bite the dust.

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First of all, not going to go into how wrong that scenario is BUT I ABSOLUTELY FUCKING HATE THE DREAM/ILLUSION TROPE.

I’ve always hated the trope ever since I saw The Wizard of Oz for the first time.  Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why Hand decided to go in this direction.  It helped close a lot of the loose ends with this book, but at the same time it sort of failed quite epically.  Any ship that was built up, was worthless.  We didn’t get to see the payoff to any of them, since they didn’t really exist.  And one of them just ended on an extremely awkward note.

It was almost as if the author wrote herself into a corner and couldn’t figure out how to get that particular ship to work and didn’t even want to bother any further.  Even though that ship was the reason the character changed.

It just made me as a reader mad because again no payoff for the ship that the author spent at least a good chunk of the book building.  And you know what, until the end I really didn’t even care for the ship that much.  That tells you how much all of this sucked.

The book is going to be adapted to a movie per the author’s website, and I can tell you if I didn’t like that ending in a book it’s going to be worse on the small screen.

I also didn’t feel right as a retelling.  A good rule of thumb for A Christmas Carol retelling is the Scrooge.  And God does Holly suck at it.  Yes, she’s a self absorbed little twit, but while the Scrooge character of Dickens fame gradually changes throughout the course of his hauntings.  Holly doesn’t change really, until the end of the book.

Yes, there are some romantic moments in the book and moments where she’s not totally being an a-hole, and where she occasionally treats her assistant like a normal person, but for the most part.  Total a-hole.

I think her reformation was more or less when we got flashbacks about when her mother died, how she stalks her ex best friend who moved to NYC, and how she will go and sit and watch her dad’s newest movies at the movie theater.

But did I feel sorry for her, nope.

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I can really see this book working as a TV movie though.  It seems like it was written for that medium.  If you like cheesy holiday stuff, you might like this.  Just be aware that any emotional attachment towards any ship will be yanked from you at the end.

Overall Rating: B-

 

Hallmark Movies Are Suppose To Be Movies: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

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Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

Source: GoodReads

Everyone who reads this blog, knows my dirty little secret that I watch Hallmark movies.  You know, that I think most of them are shit.  That they preach horrible outdated views about women and what their roles are supposed to be-i.e. homebodies who have no ambition other than to bake banana cupcakes at the local cafe and give birth to a dozen or so loud poorly behaved babies-but I still keeping watching the movies mainly because of one reason…

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Pss, if you can’t see the gif the answer is abs.

Hallmark movies usually star soap opera veterans and/or male models who are usually very fit and therefore make for nice eye candy even though the movie might overall reek (and they usually do).

Hearing that Melissa de la Cruz had been hired to write some movies for them I quasi cringed.  My relationship with this author is so so.  I really loved her Blue Bloods series when it first came out, but since I’ve been reviewing books I have found her usual tropes cringe worthy and insulting.

Seriously,  small towns do not have Bloomingdales.  For most of my life I lived in the fourth largest city in the US, and we did not have a Bloomingdales.  So don’t tell me that podunk Ohio is going to have one nearby.  That’s not how things work.  I know, I lived in a itty bitty town for about two years and the most corporate thing they had was a Walmart.

It sucked.

In addition,  people in their late 20’s do not become instantly rich without help.  Or becoming a partner at a financial firm without connections.  Unless you are extremely naive or young, you will be rolling your eyes with this sort of shit and it happens all the fucking time that I read the book-though to be fair I only made it through about 30 pages.  But with model gorgeous men in addition to the gay b.f.f. who happens to be a world famous movie star that’s randomly staying in podunk-ville for Christmas.  I just had to get a drink to maintain my sanity.

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And then after having about six drinks, I was like I’m going to shoot my liver from reading this shit because it is just like an annoying Hallmark movie if it was written by a 12 year old who had to tell me every other page that her character was wearing Kate Spade pajamas.

I mean, I have a pair of Kate Spade pajamas myself but I don’t think they’re like the greatest thing ever where my audience needs to know abut them ever other page or what other brands my clothes are.  Or that I buy them (like this character apparently does) without trying them on.

I mean, who does that?  If I’m dragging my butt to the actual store, I’m going to try on to make sure that expensive ass dress fits.

With Blue Bloods, at least there was a purpose to that sort of thing.  The characters were rich girls in New York, and to be fair as the series progressed the brand name dropping ceased a little.  And I thought that was done in part to show the progression in character development.   But these are grown ass adults talking about their pajamas…

Okay.

Also, I’m the same age as the MC and she acts like she’s about a decade older.  I’m sorry.  But she made 29 feel ancient.  It didn’t help that there were innuendos that there’s something wrong with you if you  haven’t popped out and kid and got hitched.  You know, some people don’t want marriage and family right away.  To be fair though, Darcy is an insipid tart, but after about three pages of this shit I had enough of her.

It didn’t help that the Lizzy Bennet character (Luke Bennet) is pretty much your stereotypical Hallmark jerky douche who “loosens’ up the MC into liking small town life.

Enough of that shit.

This book is doing a disservice to one of the greatest novels and romances ever written and I just want to give you a Mr. Darcy look of disdain for it ( a gif will have to suffice).

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Look, I know Hallmark movies are bad.  As previously stated,  I watch them for the abs.  I was hoping that getting fresh blood like de la Cruz meant they would be getting fresh stories.  Like maybe one where the woman decides not to get to the chump and goes back to the city where she finally notices that the nice nerdy guy she’s friends  with is actually quite the catch and he is not remotely rude or an asshat to her. What I saw with this book was a poor Pride and Prejudice retelling stuffed with Hallmark tropes.  It’s NOT the retelling the audience wants or deserves, and I’m not going to pain myself trying to get through it.

I think it’s sort of official that I am not a fan of de a Cruz’s stuff anymore.  I have a few of her books in my shelf that I’ll get to at some point, but quite honestly it’s not going to be a top priority and at this point I feel like I’ve said all I wanted to say about her writing.  It’s a shame though, because she DOES have some good ideas.  The execution though is usually horrible and quite juvenile.

Skip this shit.

Overall Rating: DNF

And the Golden Charlie Goes To: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

Source: GoodReads

Starfish was one of those books I felt raw after I read it.  I highly recommend it, but the book can be trigger inducing.  It touches on issues of childhood sexual abuse, attempted suicide, and emotional abuse.  If you can read through all those harsh issues, its a great read.  But it is a doozy.   It will leave you feeling emotionally drained, but at the same time the book ends on a hopeful note.

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One of the things I like best about Starfish is that it deals with an issue that is timely for all ages, when plans go array.   Though, honestly, I wanted to shake Kiko for only applying to one school.  And them not letting her know until a week or so before graduation seems a little over kill but…

I’m ignoring it.

There’s actually a lot of things where I sort of had to give a passing glance through throughout the book to enjoy it.  A lot of easy passable coincidences that happened too easily for my liking, but it was easy to overlook when this book hit me at an emotional level.

The core of this book is Kiko’s growth, and that growth had to come directly from her and not anyone else in the book.  She doesn’t have a savior.  Yes, she does have help along the way, but ultimately its up to her to decide what to do with her life.

And I think that’s what I liked best about Starfish.  I could ignore all the coincidences because in the end it wasn’t randomly meeting an old friend or finding a mentor that pulled Kiko up from her problems.  It was herself, and while she had made progress she still had issues.

Admittedly, I did think some things were over the top.  The mother characters depiction especially.  Yes, I get she was a narcissist, but I can tell you from growing up with one that her mother seemed a little too extreme.

While some of the classic narcissist behavior was there, the mother was too obvious.  Her gas lighting wasn’t that skillful and she didn’t come off remotely charming.  The narcissist that I know can hide his true colors, and if you didn’t know him you would think he was this really outgoing, caring guy (which he’s not).  With this character,   everyone knew she was toxic, which isn’t exactly the way narcissists operate on.  She is definitely a contender though for a Golden Charlie, if there ever was one.  It amazes me that she was able to get custody, let alone full custody of these kids through the book.  Everything was just so messed up on so many levels.  Then again, I don’t know much (okay, anything) about Nebraska family law but I can’t seem it deviating two much from the two states that I do practice in.

I also found the romance in this book a little meh.  I started out hating it, but in the end I grew found to it.  Again, I think why I ended up liking it, was that it wasn’t the relationship that was saving the character from her problems but herself.  After I realized that’s what was going to happen, AND they didn’t get together right away.  I started liking the relationship more.  Still though, I could’ve dealt without it and it wasn’t my favorite thing about the book at all.

In all I do recommend Starfish.  There were some problems with it, but if I look over the coincidence make way for a plot twist, and while I did find the mother to character to be a bit on the extreme side, it was a worth while read.  The character’s evolution throughout the story really made the book for me, and it’s an oddly empowering story.  Again though, it is trigger inducing so if any of the above referenced themes bother you, you might want to considering at least going into this one with those things in mind.

Overall Rating: B+

 

 

It’s a Family Thing: Kissing Max Holden by Kathy Upperman

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Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea…

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

Source: GoodReads

Books that deal with cheating and infidelity always have an ew factor to them.  And Kissing Max Holden is no exception.

First of all, I was reluctant to read this one in the first place because of that, its imprint (Swoon Reads has had a lot of misses for me), AND its hideous cover and title.  However, I found myself oddly liking and hating the book at the same time.

In the end I gave it a middle of the road rating, though it’s more of a higher middle of the road than lower book because it was ridiculously readable.  But God, was I frustrated with the characters throughout reading this book.  Seriously, I wanted to scream at every single one of them for being repugnant assholes.

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I think the cheating is the obvious factor.  But the cheating was more of a result of really weak characters who had a lot of issues.  At least I guess I should give them props for having issues, rather than being perfect caricatures.  But God if not everyone in this book was an asshole.

Asshole Number One: The Title Character

I did not find how Max Holden was this guy that everyone wanted.  Throughout most of the novel, he was a mess.  I really don’t know what Jill found interesting about him other than the fact he probably looks like a young Captain Hook via OUAT.  Because seriously, dude is a disaster for most of the book with him being constantly drunk, having a girlfriend, and just being a dope in general.

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He drives drunk twice in this book.

That in itself should make him unattractive.  He also cheats on his girlfriend who we’re told is a bitch so that makes it okay, but no it doesn’t.

Asshole Number Two: The Main Character

She knowingly cheated with Max (multiple times) and is super judge-y.  Also, she’s a hypocrite.

Asshole Number Three: The Main Character’s Father

He is a controlling dick throughout most of this book.  He also is a hypocrite.  AND did I mention he drained the main character’s college savings account so that he and his new wife could undergo fertility treatments.

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No.

Just no.

If you do not have enough money to pay for fertility treatments and have to use your other child’s money in order to pay for such treatments, you don’t have the money for a second child.

Those actions were just too repugnant of me not to be outraged for the MC.  And no, MC don’t try to downplay it by saying when you looked into the baby’s eyes you melted into a pool of baby love.  It just doesn’t work that way.

That’s your future.

Be pissed.

If that was my father and stepmom I’d still be pissed and I’d probably be resentful of my $10,000 petri dish sibling.

But hey, I’m a Slytherin so…

Asshole Number Four: Stepmom

See money on fertility treatments rant.  But she can apparently afford fancy dinner parties, Pottery Barn nurseries, and Nordstrom maternity wear.

Need I say more.

Asshole Number Five: Becky

Becky is the girlfriend that Max cheats on.  She is depicted as an asshole, so that the cheating between Max and Jilly didn’t look too bad.

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Note, it didn’t work.

Honestly though, even though everyone and their mother seemed like assholes in this book, I did enjoy this one.  I don’t know why exactly.  Looking at it post read, I should’ve liked it a lot less than I did since everyone was annoying and honestly I don’t think the character really developed or Max changed enough where the ship was tolerable.

And I’m trying to think about something good to write now.  Because really the book wasn’t that realistic.  The way infidelity was handled her was sort of confounding.  It was okay for one party, but not for another party….I don’t know, it sort of left me with a weird feeling.

But again, when I closed the book I didn’t hate it.  It was readable and even though I didn’t like the character or thought that certain members acted a little unrealistic, I still found it to be an enjoyable enough read.  But I don’t exactly know why.

If you don’t get mad by infidelity and double standards, you could foreseeably pick this one up.  Like I said, it’s not that bad.  It’s just full of assholes.

Overall Rating: A B-

Rom Com Horror Fusion: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

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Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Source: GoodReads

I applaud authors whenever they step out of their comfort zone, though I’m also a little skeptical.  Which is what describes my feelings when I saw that Stephanie Perkins was writing a teen slasher novel.

If you’re not familiar with Perkins’s work,  she has previously written three incredibly fluffy rom coms and has contribute two stories to two anthologies that focus on seasonal romance stories.  Needless to say, seeing that she was writing a horror driven story was a little unexpected.

Though, if you kept up on her blog you would know she had a penchant for such movies.

Anyway, overall after I finished There’s Someone Inside Your House, I was feeling a bit meh.    It wasn’t the worst book ever by any means, but I really think had it not had Perkins name attached it might’ve not been picked up.

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I’ll start with the good stuff.  This novel has a set of fairly diverse characters and they’re not token characters by any means.  The main character, for example, is biracial and her best friend is transgender.    They all have fully formed personalities and the interactions for the most part flow fairly naturally.

I will give Perkins this, her strength always seems to be her characterizations. Each of these characters for the most part seems fully formed.  Yes, I felt more disconnect than I did from her other books since the book was in third person, but I still felt like these characters could be real people.

I wasn’t such a fan the ship though.  I think, in part, because I felt it was rushed.  I guess this might’ve been in part because I’m so used to Perkins’s rom coms where the ship is the focus of the book.  But even then..the characters go from having an awkward conversation in a grocery store to having sex in a corn field ridiculously fast.

It just felt really fragmented if you want to be honest about it.

In general, the book felt very fractured.

I’ll be blunt, I’m not a huge fan of horror movies unless its a black comedy horror movie like Arachnophobia or Serial Mom, but in order for any of these movies to work the suspense has to be built up appropriately.   That’s why Hitchcock was as successful as he was with his classic suspense films.  Here, the suspense was minimum at best.  I mean, the killer was a random character that was revealed halfway through the book and I really didn’t care.

Honestly, this book should’ve gone in two ways.  It could’ve gone really dark or black comedy sort of dark, but it went neither here.  Instead, it was not that humorous and while the killer was creepy, he was fairly generic and the plot didn’t intrigue me enough.

And as for the deep dark secret that our heroine has….um, yeah.  I really had a hard time buying all that.  And her parents…again, yeah.  I had a hard time buying they were that heartless.  I guess it was possible, but yeah…it just was a bit eye roll worthy.

I really don’t know if I’d recommend this one.  Even if you are a die hard Stephanie Perkins fan, I don’t think you’re going to be a fan of this one.  It’s not bad, it’s just sort of blah.  Again, I think it’s one of those books that if it didn’t have a name attached to it, it would be thrown into the slush pile.  There’s nothing really original or intriguing about it, but was it terrible?

Hardly.

It’s just one of those books I know that I’m really not going to remember which is sad.  Again, I love when authors try new things, but this just does not seem to work for me which is sad, I’ve been waiting pretty much since 2014 for Perkins to release something else.

Hopefully next time, it will be a cute and fluffy rom com.

Overall Rating: A C.  The writing was halfway decent and it was readable, but it was also definitely forgettable.

Golem Children, Bad YA Books, and Apple Cider: Falling for Vermont

Click here to see trailer.

Hallmark is getting into the season.  Meaning, instead of showing summer time movies they are now making the most of their fall footage before they start airing exclusively Christmas movies for three months.

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I decided since it is fall and it’s still 100 degrees where I was, I would at least enjoy fall by watching one of these movies.  However, Falling for Vermont is probably one of the worst Hallmark movies I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot of bad ones).

This one tells the story of a successful YA author whose books are only read by second graders who gets into a car accident, loses her memory and becomes a prisoner of sorts to a small country doctor who is unfortunate enough to share Donald Trump JR’s hair dye and has two very unfortunate children-one who I swear is the worst child actor I’ve seen in awhile, and that’s saying something.

The movie starts off with Angela (the MC) at a BEA sort of thing being greeted by a seven year old that’s supposedly in cosplay but isn’t.  The scene is awkward beyond belief.  Considering that most YA books have some element of sex and/or violence in it it is sort of cringe worthy to think a kid losing their baby teeth is reading it.  But unfortunately, this does happen.  I remember when I went to the movie theaters to see New Moon it was filled with young kids.  Obviously, their parents had not read Breaking Yawn because if they had they would’ve avoided taking their kids there and having to tell them that babies do not eat their mother’s womb like Resnotsme did.

We are cut to Dr. Trump JR who is doing a cheery checkup on a seven year old complete with fall decorations.  You’d think he’d realize that a lot of his patients would be allergic to the fall foliage.  God knows, my allergies have been terrible this year.  Hw then picks up his kids and his mother (or mother in-law, didn’t figure out who it was) tells him he needs to get laid again so that their kids can have a mother figure.

Note, the children instantly give me children of the corn vibes.  Especially Dr. Trump’s daughter.  Again, probably the worst child actress that I’ve seen in awhile.  Though to her credit, the writing doesn’t help.  Hallmark has a series to make children sound very creepy.  Throughout her first interaction, we learn that she likes are MC’s very generic YA series about time traveling.  It sounds oddly like that dumb series I read last year where that idiot goes to Scotland and gets trapped in Henry II’s court.   I have the sequel somewhere and one day I’m going to force myself to read it.  I’m dreading that day.  Honestly though, that book is better than this movie which is sad.

Anyway, MC has a meltdown about not being able to go apple picking  at Not BEA and ends up taking a car and going to Vermont and gets into a car accident and loses her memory.  Note, she has head trauma but she clearly is able to walk around town clueless until the bumbling sheriff sees her and asks if something is wrong (he apparently doesn’t see the car that she crashed).

Obviously, it is.  This guy though doesn’t care.  Why should he.  He doesn’t do anything except for the be Dr. Trump JR’s b.f.f. throughout the movie.  You know the one he’ll occasionally throw a basketball with and talk about lady issues with for like thirty minutes so the viewer gets “emotion” from him.   Also,  the character is the only POC in the movie and therefore the token Hallmark character.

Note, Hallmark has a horrible problem with diversity.  Occasionally, there might be a movie with a Latina lead but other than that nope.  And forget about a QUILTBAG person having a role of anything more than token gay best friend who give the MC a sad makeover which usually consist of merely giving her hair beach waives and dropping the teacher’s cardigan for a blazer or whatever.

Anyway, the MC finds herself emerged into small town Vermont life and soon becomes Dr. Trump JR’s default wife by making him sandwiches and writing his dumb kid’s play that’s probably pretty much the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

Seriously, the little brat won some contest to write a play for the town’s fall festival and it ends up being pretty much something you would see in a bad PSA sketch that your school would force you to watch-pretty much a girl is looking for lost concert tickets and learns who her “real” friends are.

And you know what, the amnesic author thinks its good.  I can totally imagine myself reviewing her time traveling series and I can see myself saying that its shit.  In fact, I’m going to rewrite the scene right here:

Golem Child: Elizabeth, is my play any good?

Elizabeth: Um, do you want me to be honest?

Golem Child: That means it’s really good, right?

Elizabeth: Oh, honey….it’s good effort, but I hate to break it to you if you show this crap the only way people will like it is in the way they like The Room.

However, now that I think about it, maybe Elizabeth/Angela didn’t have enough common sense to know it was bad.  She did write a Twilight ripoff after all.

Anywhoo, while the MC haplessly ends up becoming Dr. Trump JR’s quasi wife we are shown footage of autumn leaves.  I think this is to get us to warm up to the slightly captive MC falling in love with the shoe polish hair dyed doc.  It didn’t work though.  I found the ship detestable. Scenic canoe trips or not.

Pro tip, if you are going to have your character have a romance don’t do it when they have amnesia.  Or just when they are diagnosed with having amnesia and you’re a medical professional helping the MC out.  It comes off as creepy and not endearing, Hallmark.

Whatever though.  They look good enough together, so things are going well.  Until, the MC sees her shitty book and gets her memory back.

I can just imagine it her seeing the shitty book and realizing I wrote this shit.  God, what is wrong with me.  No wonder she doesn’t hightail it out of dodge yet.  I mean, if you wrote a Twilight rip off with time travel would you really want to admit it to the world?

Okay, she has money.

So never fucking mind.  I’d probably admit I wrote that shit too if it could pay off my student loans and let me put a down payment down on a house.

Anyway, she finally admits who she right during golem child’s horrendous play because at this point she knows that bad PSA plays are even worse than Twilight rip-offs and she doesn’t want to be stuck with this annoying family anyway.  And at that point, her sister and boyfriend who didn’t give jack shit about her throughout the movie find her.

Of course, she most go back to the evil bad city she realizes what’s important and goes back and makes and sandwiches for Dr. Trump JR and his kids in Vermont and the little golem child conveniently watches them make out because why not.

This movie is awful.  From my recap/review you can see I was not impressed with the writing or acting.  After you watch enough Hallmark movies you realize they’re fairly formulaic and insulting.   Seriously, they all fall in one of the predictable routes:

A) Big city girl gets stranded into a new town and ends up straddled to either her loser ex or some guy with baggage that keeps him from leaving town and she has to make a decision of whether to continue to be  a productive member of society or settle for the douche.

B) Girl hooks up with a prince.  Admittedly, I like these, but again has to leave her life for the prince.  At least in these cases it makes a little bit more sense.  But I would like at least in one of them for her to keep her career.

C) Middle age woman (i.e. she’s usually on in her early thirties tops) has a crisis in which she tries to figure out if her marriage and kids were the right choice for her.  She finds out they are and usually finds out that she’s having another little rugrat at the end.

Of course, there are some variants.  But these are the three main plots they have and it just makes me sake my head.  While family and kids are important, I wish these movies would address that you can have a substantive career as a woman as well.  At the end of the day, I just feel like its saying ambitious women=bad which makes me angry.

Falling for Vermont is probably one of the worst if not the worst Hallmark movies I’ve seen.  It’s been awhile since I actually sat down and watched one of these things, so maybe that’s why I find this particular one to be a dozen of a stinker.

Anyway, I can’t recommend it.  I also don’t know how to rate this.  I used to rate on the Dean Cain scale but I find him to be so repugnant on so many levels, I can’t do that anymore.  So, I’ll just give it a standard letter grade now of an F.  If we’re doing a Hallmark curve though it might be a C.   Regardless, I don’t recommend.

Needs More Intersectionality and Less Douchey Love Interests: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

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Moxie girls fight back!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes and hallway harassment. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, so now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. Pretty soon Viv is forging friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, and she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Source: GoodReads

Before I start off this review, I should mention the elephant in the room, the Kirkus review.  Fuck that.  Honestly, if I would’ve wrote this book that reviewer would’ve probably had an even more sourer review because I thought the douchey love interest/s were in part the worst part of this book.

Let’s talk about what worked first.  Feminism.

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For the most part I think Mathieu did a fairly good job with exploring feminism.  I did wish that some areas would’ve been fleshed out more especially dealing with intersectionality issues that appear in feminism.  While issues with race were sort of  dealt with, there was not one QUILTBAG character in the book which made me frown a bit.  In fact, the closest thing we get to having a QUILTBAG character is one of the male douches calling one of the characters as lesbian as an insult.

The small town element was spot on though.  Mathieu is from South East Texas and being originally from that area,  she has does it spot on.  The sad thing about this book is it takes place in Rockport- the area that Harvey’s eye directly hit so I just sort of winced a little bit when I read that.  However, that aside, many of the  interactions with the students and the administration were stuff that I could relate to when I was growing up.  For example, I remember being harassed by these jerks on the football team in front of their God damn coach (who was my Physics teacher) and it wasn’t until my father pretty much threatened to sue the school that anyone did anything about it.  Thanks, Coach, for not doing your fucking job.  You were a fucking bad teacher too just showing us Bill Nye the science reruns the entire semester too, come to think of it (also, Bill believes in science so you might not actually like him).

Moral of that story is that sometimes it’s good to have a slightly scary/psychotic parent who school administrators are scared of and who makes his living yelling at people so he’s actually pretty good at it (yelling at assholes that is).  And yes, you can make a living do that.

Honestly though, it’s  sad when you have to get a parent to threaten litigation to get someone to actually fucking do something and even then it only worked halfway.  They would still act like jerks when they thought they could get away with it.  However, it happens a lot and the situation established in Moxie was unfortunately believable.

I also liked that there was clear character growth.  I did think that Viv treated Emma horrible throughout part of the book, but I did like the fact she acknowledged this and grew from it.  I wish she would’ve dropped the douchey boyfriend with the bad haircut though because he was a total mansplainer and Bernie Bro in the making.

Seriously.

Anytime, a guy did something horrible he told her to stop overreacting and that not all guys are like that.  And don’t believe the girl when she says someone tried to rape her because you haven’t heard the guy’s side of the story.

In other words,  he could totally work for Professor Umbridge’s Department of Education (oh, wait that’s not Umbridge, that’s Betsey Devos but they are so much alike even share the same fashion sense….)

Digressing.

Seriously though, I am done with mansplaining and character like Seth want me to gouge  his eyes out.  It also doesn’t help that excuses were made for him so that he and the MC would get together.

Her mother literally tells her that Seth is a guy and he doesn’t know better ’cause that’s who guys are.

Right…

I’m pretty sure human decency exists regardless of what sort of junk you have down there, but that’s just me.

It also doesn’t help that the mother also gives a lecture about how you can date people with other political views even though they voted for reprehensible things because that’s not who they are as a person. And adults know that.

DISAGREE. FUCKING DISAGREE.

I’m sorry, you vote based on what you believe.  Your beliefs influence your actions.  The 2016 election showed that and the outright and blatant displays of hatred that has happened in the country since that turd of a president of ours has taken over is more proof to why I will NEVER EVER date a  conservative and why I don’t like being told that I should give them a fucking chance.   Because obviously they didn’t give a damn about human decency when they voted in November, instead they irrationally hated a woman  who was probably the most qualified candidate for president in a long while.

But I’m digressing…and to be fair, when I read this I was still angered by an article I read earlier this week in The Federalist ( here’s a related article not going to directly link to that trash)  so that probably was part of the reason I saw red.

Still though, I didn’t buy that jack shit argument and as a relatively mature adult I can say that if you voted for Trump or for that matter are still planning on voting Republican I would not date you in a million years.

And yes, I know I live in Texas and my standards are probably too high according to the mother character in this book.  But I don’t mother fucking care.  I don’t want to be stuck with douche which is what it looks like the mother character and the MC are doing in this book.

Okay, I really ranted on that longer than I had attended.

I also wish the best friend who said that feminism was a bad thing would’ve got schooled a little more.  I also fucking hate it when people are like feminism ew.  Seriously, guys, seriously.  Learn what feminism fucking is.

Problems aside, I did think this one had some good messages.  Was it the best feminist centric book I’ve read this year, probably not.  Like I said, it could’ve dealt dealing with more intersectionality issues and not stuffed the creepy romances down our throat.  But other than that it was enjoyable.  Just not my favorite Mathieu book.

Overall Rating: A very solid B.

Fucking Just Google It: Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey

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In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.

My name is Mallory Sullivan.

My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.

My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”

Everybody else says I’m a freak.

And they kind of have a point, because I haven’t left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.

But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.

First, I have to leave my room.

Source: GoodReads

Awhile back (think a couple of years ago) I read this self published book called Cinder and Ella and I ripped into it.  And when I mean, ripped into it.  I went off on it big time because of the author’s obvious lack of research about committing someone.  Look, I know not everyone’s been to law school BUT it’s not that difficult to Google what commitment proceedings will entail.   There was no research done in that book, and I felt like I was having a flashback to that reading experience when I read Love and Other Alien Experiences. 

I’ll give Love and Other Alien Experiences this though, it had a cute ship going for it.  If it would’ve exploited the ship and not have dramatized and poorly executed the mental health stuff out I could’ve really enjoyed this one.

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I think that’s what makes me so angry.  A lot of times in YA I hate or don’t get the ship, but here I totally get it.  I wanted it damn it, even though the MC online acts completely different than she does in her narration and IRL interactions.

But man, the banter that was going on in the online chatroom was cute.

What wasn’t hot, again, was the rest of the story.  I don’t know what made me angrier the indifferent mother, the incompetent shrink, or the ridiculous online school bit with the stupid internet timer.

Um, yeah, that was just dumb and annoying.

Which is a good way to describe the mother character in general dumb and annoying.  She has no idea how to deal with daughter’s mental illness.  When her daughter tells her she wants to try to go to school again, the mother things its perfectly acceptable for her to walk to school alone despite having agoraphobia and anxiety issues.

And it’s not even like the mother was busy or anything like that, she was sipping coffee and listening to Michael Buble while her daughter had a panic attack while walking on her way to school. Plus, I should mention said MC has a brother who could’ve taken her too but plot point (I guess).

The shrink’s no better she was like ho hum do you really think you’re ready to go to school ho hum, um okay.

Yeah, both are POS adults in my opinion.

It gets worse though.  After Mallory (not surprisingly) has said panic attack her mother threatens to send her to a place to deal with other kids like her (aka an institution).

Lady, you definitely get a Golden Charlie nomination for that if not the damn award for 2017 (note to self, I actually need to give a Golden Charlie on my end of the year wrap up, I talk about them all the fucking time it seems).  For those of you who haven’t been regular followers of my reviews, a Golden Charlie is an award I give to YA’s worst parents named aptly after the OG poor YA parent, Charlie Swan.

The shrink is also one of those people who gives shrinks bad names.  She constantly pressures the MC to do things, without even acknowledging what sort of progress she makes.  For example, when the MC tries to talk about her online relationships the shrink rolls her eyes at her and says they’re not “real” relationships and then forces her to go outside.

Obviously, this shrink does not know how agoraphobia works, neither does it seem the author since Mallory can at times go outside with no fear whatsoever because the plot needs it.  Oh, and did I even mention how the agoraphobia was triggered?

I didn’t.

Well, Mallory mistakes a guy as her absentee dad at the Cheesecake Factory and can’t live down the embarrassment.

You can stop rolling your eyes now.

Honestly, did it clue the author to Google the condition and how actual shrinks treat it?

Also, the home school/being embarrassingly connected to the school via a web cam.  Again, research much?  There are a lot of online accredited home schools that would’ve just been easier for the MC to attend .  I just felt like this book was either 1) poorly researched or 2) ignored the obvious just for the plot and it drove me crazy.

If you’re able to look past these things you might be able to enjoy it.  As I said, it had a cute ship I just couldn’t handle these sorts of major faux pas.  There are lots of people suffering from mental illness.  Chances are either you or your family member suffers from something, and it just disgusted me how easily characters in this book were threatening to commit someone.  It’s just not that easy.  Trust me.  There are a lot of rules in place that even trying to find out if your love one is in treatment and is taking their medications can be a difficult if not impossible task.

Which is why I ended up throwing this book against the wall and hissing a lot of expletives under my breath and decided to rage write this review after working all week and having a poor reaction to allergies that caused me to take a Benadryl.

Yes, I wrote this review even though I should be drooling on my pillow right now because that’s how pissed I am about this book.  In a way, I think I am angrier with this one than Cinder and Ella.  While it is true that Cinder and Ella  in a lot of ways was worse than this book in its handling of mental health issues, this book annoyed me more because aside from that issue it had potential.  And I think that’s where it failed me the most.

Overall Rating: From me it’s a total flop and a F.  I could’ve given it a higher rating, but I’m not this book just made me too angry and admittedly it’s the first book I’ve thrown at the wall in awhile.