Archive for October, 2013


It’s true, there are some people that would be better off just deleting their social media for good and shutting their mouth to everyone except their mother/wife/sister/uncle/cousin/grandfather/long lost twin. That should most particularly apply to people who have something to lose, like a reputation. Social media can be a great thing in the literary world. It can bring readers and authors closer, to the point of becoming friends and allies in the book wastelands. But it can also be a disaster. More than once I have followed someone I admired and loved on Twitter and then immediately thought “God, what a jackass!” and I just couldn’t enjoy their work as much anymore. Sometimes a little bit of mystery and distance is necessary for the author/reader relationship to be amicable.

So, with that, John Green…pack your shit and get the fuck out of social media!

Don’t like the book you just read, don’t worry you’re just reading it wrong! The book doesn’t owe you anything so you should be more generous!  At least, John Green says so. And since he is the infinite authority on reading, well let’s all just bow down and worship at the altar of His Holy Assness.

And unfortunately, he has a history of this kind of thing.  See here, again with the “read generously.”  Hey John Green, I got an idea. How about I read and review however the fuck I want and you and all your author friends put your big girl panties on and deal with it like a grown up.

I haven’t read Allegiant yet, but I plan to. In fact, I informed my husband that we ARE going to the bookstore this weekend for me to pick it up…it was not a request. I loved Divergent, I was a bit more lukewarm on Insurgent. I have yet to decide what I think of Allegiant but I am hoping for the best. I desperately want this series to end well, not necessarily happily ever after but an ending that makes sense to me.  And please, dear Goddess, don’t do another Mockingjay ending! I can’t survive another one of those catastrophes.

So John Green, enjoy my pedestrian opinion and please generously consider taking your opinions and placing them in your anus. Oh and before I forget, interrupting your ever so genius tweet with “they’re just, like, wrong!” makes you sound like a 13-year old girl and automatically discredits anything you say after that.

Cracked by Eliza Crewe

crackedCracked by Eliza Crewe

Expected Publication: November 5th, 2013 by Strange Chemistry

Pre-order this book at: Amazon / B&N / Books A Million / Book Depository 

 

Synopsis:

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.

 

Rating: 4 star

 

Review:

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Strange Chemistry!

This book was such a delightful little read, I was very surprised by it. I really have only a handful of complaints and even those are hardly worth mentioning. Cracked is written in the first person, from Meda’s perspective. Sometimes first person can be a problem if the narrating character is not very likeable, so I was a bit apprehensive for a few minutes. But it quickly became apparent to me that this was not going to be the case here. Meda was delightful. Funny, quirky, sarcastic, and wonderfully evil. Her inner dialogue made me laugh so often. For example, narrating an argument between two other characters as a tennis match. It shouldn’t have been as funny as it was but I couldn’t help it.

The plot was intriguing although admittedly it started off a bit thin. I started to get a little bit worried that there wouldn’t be much to it, but about halfway through it started to really pick up. The last part was both slightly surprising but also exactly how the book should have gone. I was a bit surprised that we got a happily ever after with a bit of a bitter aftertaste. To be honest, I figured it would just be a happily ever after,so it was a nice change that it wasn’t entirely so.

Although Meda was fantastic, the other characters started off badly. They seemed a bit unimportant and I had a hard time connecting with them. This resolved itself by the end and so I have to say it was a marginal problem at worst.

My one biggest complaint was this line, “I released a breath I hadn’t known I was holding.”  Ugh, can authors PLEASE stop using that phrase1 Never once in my life have I been holding my breath and thought “well by God, I didn’t realize I was holding that breath!”. It just doesn’t happen so please stop using it. However, at least there were no color changing eyes in this one. And since the rest of the book was so great I have to just overlook that small annoyance.

nightlifeNightlife by Matthew Quinn Martin

Expected publication: October 21st, 2013 by Pocket Star

Pre-Order this book at: Amazon / B&N / Books a Million

Synopsis:

For centuries an ancient evil has slept beneath the streets of New Harbor. This Halloween, it wakes up.
An action-packed debut horror novel from talented new writer Matthew Quinn Martin, Nightlife pits a feisty bartender and a mysterious loner against bloodthirsty terrors as alluring as they are deadly.

Nightclub bartender and serial heartbreaker Beth Becker might be a cynic. But when her best friend goes missing Halloween night, Beth knows it’s up to her to find out what happened.

Her quest will take her on an odyssey through the crumbling city of New Harbor, Connecticut. Along the way she meets a homeless prophet warning of something he calls the “Night Angel”-a bloodthirsty creature that feeds on the forgotten. And she will form an unlikely bond with a hunted stranger who knows all too well what stalks the streets at night.

Rating: 4 star

Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author!

This book was both exactly what I expected and not at all what I expected, which is a rather strange sensation I’m sure you can imagine. I am always looking for a good vampire book but I want that vampire book to be something unique. That is why I am still giving this particular niche a chance, I want something different and new! In a sense, this book provided that. But also a lot of cliches.

Characters – Jack Jackson was a complete cliche if I ever saw one. The solitary man who has dedicated his entire life to hunting down the thing that caused him to lose the love of his life, working alone and very antisocial in his quest. But after awhile I didn’t really even mind the clicheness of it because I thought Jack was kind of funny. He made me laugh a few times and I really liked his character. Beth was a pretty good character overall but again, pretty cliche. The stubborn, tough, rough around the edges girl who tends to push everyone away from her but ends up being the unlikely sidekick of the previously mentioned antisocial man on a mission. And yet again, I found that I didn’t really mind the cliche. Beth was interesting and fun, and pretty kickass in her own right. Now she did have a certain amount of the required horror book idiocy about her but it was minor and short lived. None of the other characters really made much impact on me since they seemed so incredibly expendable. When they were around then they were decent enough but then they just are gone and I hardly noticed they were gone.

The plot was fairly interesting in that a bunch of vampires (or whatever they are) have camped out in this little town and are feeding on the homeless population…at least until that can’t sustain them anymore and they go after more risky targets. Jack comes roaring into town, runs into Beth, and together they go to fight and demolish the evil creatures. This was all great. Add it in a shadowy organization that seems intent on…well I’m not sure exactly because they are hardly mentioned at all. What made the plot all the more enticing for me was the origins and true nature of these vampires. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it before. It was very unique and I loved it. I also loved that for once in a book like this the characters seem to be aware that other vampire books, movies, etc exist and have seen them. That doesn’t happen often and frankly it baffles me as to why.

By the last page I was really enjoying this book. I wish that we had heard more about “The Division” (previously mentioned shadowy organization) because it seems like that was going somewhere to just get left hanging. The ending was satisfying and not entirely a happily every after but pretty close. And it had enough of a set up for another book that I wouldn’t mind reading the sequel, but if I never read the sequel then the ending was a satisfying one for a stand alone book. This book gets one and a half thumbs up from me, add in more of The Division and it could be a full five stars next time.

sex workers uniteSex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to Slutwalk by Melinda Chateauvert

Expected publication January 7th, 2014 by Beacon Press

Pre-order this book at: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository / Books A Million

Synopsis:

A provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom

Fifty countries treat sex work as a legitimate job, and it has been legalized (with restrictions) in eleven others. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that continues to criminalize prostitution and, as Melinda Chateauvert reveals, these laws have put sex workers at risk. Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite puts prostitutes, hustlers, call girls, strippers, and porn stars in the center of civil rights struggles. Although their presence has largely been ignored, sex workers have here been recast as key activists in struggles for gay liberation, women’s rights, reproductive justice, union organizing, and prison abolition. By foregrounding labor, Chateauvert reframes sex work as work and argues that sex-worker rights are ultimately human rights.

Rating: 2 star

Review:

I gave this book my very best, I went into it with the most open of open minds, and I just didn’t like it at all. Now, let me explain a little about myself here. I believe that prostitution and sex trade work will exist no matter how illegal we try and make it. It always has existed and it always will as long as there are people willing to pay for sex. I believe that a lot would be accomplished by legalizing prostitution. It would allow workers to be law abiding citizens again, taxes would be collected for the work, mandatory STD testing and condom use can be enforced, and prostitutes can work in safe environments with pre-screen clients and panic buttons and security on site. These are all great things that I think would be accomplished by legalizing prostitution.  So with that in mind, this book should have been right up my alley.

The material in this book wasn’t necessarily bad. In fact i found a lot of what was presented interesting. I just couldn’t stand how it was presented. It felt like I was reading a dissertation about the tax code. It was so bland and dry and boring. Nothing about the writing captured my attention. It was fact, explanation, opinion, fact, fact, fact, explanation, opinion. There was nothing to make me want to keep reading no matter how interesting the actual material was. I nearly fell asleep and drooled on my Nook a few times during this book!

The book came across as preachy and prejudiced. Very early in the book I ran across this ‘….exploited by savage (read: black) pimps’  Um, so you as the author assume that I assumed savage pimps meant they were black. Nice job assuming that your audience and society at large is racist. And this didn’t just happen once, it happened at least once every 3 pages. It annoyed me a lot. The writer used the word “queer” more times that I cared to count. Supposedly this was being written with the mind of being an advocate for the sex worker’s community, which means a decent percentage of them are part of the LGBTQ community. I’m fairly certain that using the term “queer” is offensive, so stop using it. I can sum up this book in one sentence….”blah blah blah, prostitutes are great, blah blah blah, everyone is a bigot, blah blah blah, you bigot!, blah blah blah, everyone is a hooker, blah blah blah, you bigots!” That’s how I felt when reading this.

I also fell off course with the author on several other points. 1. The author states several times that all woman are prostitutes, some are just smart enough to hook for money instead of a ring, love, marriage, or whatever else. Yeah, that’s not offensive and off-putting at all. 2. The author doesn’t seem to believe that it’s possible for people to be trafficked into the sex trade or people cannot be coerced into prostitution. That bothers me for way more reasons than I care to enumerate. But I’ll leave you with this quote: “the FBI arrests sex workers as trafficked and claim their associates held them in sexual slavery.”

Also, I sincerely hope this gets a really good editing before it’s released. The grammar and spelling were absolutely atrocious. The punctuation was worse. I could barely understand what the book was trying to say. So if this get a good editing it will be fine, but if it’s released as is then dear God.

 

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, no guarantees or promises were made in exchange.