Tag Archives: self discovery

Well, darn.

Hello! I just wanted to share a brief update.

My computer chose to crap out this month, after four years of being a perfectly serviceable laptop for that time. (Barring a replacement about halfway through because it started smoking…) Anyway, a few weeks ago, my laptop decided that the factory AC adapter wasn’t the right voltage anymore, and nothing I tried fixed it, so I haven’t really been around.

The good news is that I have a shiny new computer which now lets me get to wordpress and post things. The bad news is that said shiny new computer plays video games beautifully, so we are not quite back to regularly scheduled programming. I’ll let you know when we are, or, I suppose the results will be visible.

I have read a few things, mostly from netgalley, so while I work on those reviews, please tell me how you guys approach reviews. I’m genuinely curious, because it seems like a lot of people put a lot of work into them.

How do you start your review-process? Is it before, during, or after you read the book?

Do you ever decide not to review a book? Why?

What is the hardest part of writing a book review for you?

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Filed under Not a Book Review

Call Me Irresistible

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth. Call Me Irresistible (2011). 385 Pages. HarperCollins. $25.99

Wynette, Texas | Book Six

There is a sort of chronology to these books, but they certainly don’t have to be read in order. In roughly story-order, this one is book six. Earlier books in the series told the tale of Theodore’s parents– Fancy Pants is about his early years. Seemingly he makes another appearance in Lady Be Good, and then features as the hero in Call Me Irresistible. Meg Koranda’s parents are in Glitter Baby, and Lucy Jorik’s parents are in  First Lady. I’ve read a few of those, but I’m taking my time coming up with opinions.

From the Cover

Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States.

Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends.

One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible– Ted Beaudine– the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg becomes the most hated woman in town– a town she’s stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure that she can survive on her own wits. What’s the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.

First Lines

More than a few residents of Wynette, Texas, thought Ted Beaudine was marrying beneath himself. It wasn’t as if the bride’s mother was still the president of the United States. Cornelia Jorik had been out of office for over a year. And Ted Beaudine was, after all, Ted Beaudine.

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Filed under Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance

The DUFF

Keplinger, Kody. The DUFF (2010). 277 Pages. Poppy. $16.99

Clever, sarcastic, cynical Bianca Piper knows she isn’t the prettiest girl; she hangs out with Casey and Jessica, a pair of tens, and simply doesn’t compare. She’s not the sort of girl who grabs anyone’s attention, so she is surprised when Wesley Rush– a cute, charming, smooth-talking playboy– starts talking to her. Her surprise turns into annoyance as soon as he explains; she is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) in her group– less because she is actually ugly, and more because she’s not as cute as her friends– and being nice to her is an easy in with her friends.

Despite her fury, or perhaps because of it, Bianca kisses Wesley, and she likes it. It’s a slippery slope from there, and Bianca soon finds herself in an enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley as she seeks to avoid reality. Things spin further and further out of control, and soon Bianca finds herself overwhelmed.

First Lines

This was getting old.

Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video. But I guess guys eat that shit up, don’t they? I could honestly feel my IQ dropping as I wondered, for the hundredth time that night, why I’d let them drag me here again.

Thoughts

Bianca is the sort of character who jumps right off the page; she’s got the sort of voice that makes her seem a lot more real than most. She’s a sort of every-girl; average looks, a little cynical, a little witty, fairly smart, and a little lost. She’s not quite sure, sometimes, but that’s part of her charm. She’s incredibly relatable, and you’re on her side, even when you know she’s in the wrong.

I wanted Bianca to triumph, even as she descended into self-destructive madness, because I could relate to her on so many levels. I was the girl who lost herself in her boyfriend, who made her best friends jealous because she dropped off the radar. I was the girl who was hiding from reality, who struggled with issues her friends never knew about, who opened up to a boy before her best friend. I was cranky, crappy, cynical, optimistic, hopeful, and determined to just get through it, even when I knew I was escaping. When I first started reading Bianca’s story, I didn’t know quite how much I would like her.

Bianca is, as I said, self-destructive. Her story involves a lot of “sensitive” subjects; teen drinking, teen sex, domestic violence, and alcoholism, to name a few. It’s not for younger teens, or those who want a perfectly happy book. There are moments which I feel could have been handled better; for example, Bianca’s Father’s struggle with alcoholism. It (and the ensuing issues) were too easily dismissed, and it made it feel a little less genuine than the rest of the novel. The issue of teen sex is a difficult one; teens have sex. It happens. There are consequences, and they are very real, and they are not really faced here.**

Despite my gripes, I feel like this was a solid, entertaining, well-written debut novel which I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest to anyone. Needless to say, I loved this book, and will have to go buy my own copy.* It scores a full 5/5.

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* I got it from the library, having put it on my hold list and waited oh-so-patiently for it to be available after reading the Lit-Snit Review of it.

** I realize there is a fine line between addressing an issue and preaching about one, and the point of this book was not to preach, but Bianca’s behavior (as well as that of some other girls, and a few boys) was dangerous, and none of them seemed to think of the consequences. All that bed-hobbing Wesley did could easily have given him many STDs which any of his partners would risk, and yet the issue never really comes up. Even an acknowledgment, if not a full discussion of, the issues would have been good.

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Filed under Book Review, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult Fiction