I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. I'll read most any horror, romance & M/M novel that comes my way.
Deenie is a typical teen who lives with her older brother and their dad. Mom, apparently, took off some time ago for greener pastures. Life is filled with the usual teen angst; boy drama, girl drama, sex drama, friend drama, all that fun teen stuff that makes high school so miserable. But Deenie has two best friends and her life could be much worse.
Naturally, this being a book and all, her life does get worse. Her best friend Lise is struck down in the middle of class with something resembling a seizure and is rushed to the ER in dire condition. She does not return to school. There is much speculation. Then Deenie’s other best friend gets sick and then another in her circle and soon, it seems, only Deenie and boys seems immune. The rumors and hysteria begin. Is it the HPV vaccine the girls have all been forced to get? Is the water tainted or is it . . . haunted (gawd, let it be haunted!)? Could all the teen sex happening behind the bleachers be the cause? Or is Deenie a carrier infecting people willy nilly without a care?!
I’ll never tell.
What follows is less a novel of the plague (which I must say really bummed me out) and more of a tale about what happens to a bunch of teens when they aren’t honest to even those who they claim are closest to them. It reads as real and genuine. The kids here aren’t perfect, that’s for sure, and they make a lot of big and small mistakes that are usually unflattering in some way. The author was not afraid to paint her characters in an unattractive light. I loved that most about the story. But I’ll be honest, almost every little event and thought gets analyzed and is agonized over until it all erupts into a messy emotional stew that results in “The Fever” that consumes the town. You probably know your tolerance for this sort of thing. Mine is nearly non-existent, truth be told, but I must’ve either of been having a few rare tolerant days or this author is just very good at what she does because I was not annoyed with all of this inner and outer turmoil. My bet is on the author.
I liked “The Fever” despite the fact that the “fever” referred to in the title was more about the one that infects and riles up the town into a hysterical frenzy than the actual sickness that starts things off. This wasn’t at all the book I was expecting. I wanted the plague, I wanted death and gore and “bring out your dead” kind of fear. It’s my fault for going in on a vague podcast recommendation. This is mostly about the bitchery and cruelty and the little hurts teens casually inflict on each other and themselves. What is written here kept me hooked, even when things got a little weird here and there (umm girls, if you’ve ever felt the urge to help a friend adjust a crooked tampon, you are either a much better friend than I or you are just a sicko). Reading this made me ever thankful that I will never have to relive my teen years. But I’d be lying if I ignored the fact that the ending was a huge non-event after pages and pages of anticipation. It made sense but it was rather mundane.
I listened to this book as an unabridged audiobook. This story is told from Deenie, Eli and dad’s POV and they each get their own narrator. I have no complaint with Deenie and dad’s narration. Their narrator’s sound age appropriate and add emotion to the work. Eli, however, got stuck with a narrator that didn’t seem to fit the character and mostly read in a monotone. I failed to mention that Eli is the hump and dump kind of guy who can’t make a move without getting hit on by a hot girl. He succumbs often and just as often feels guilty about it afterwards. Woe is his life but I’m getting off track . . . My point is, this narrator made him sound so bland and lifeless that I assumed he only got lucky because he had such a pretty face. How he inspired such rabid lust and devotion was beyond me. I admit to 2x his narration after I realized this was the way it was going to be and I do not regret it.
Though it wasn’t horrid enough for me, it wasn’t a horrible read and there were enough cruel little betrayals here to keep me happy and keep it real. I’ll give it a 3.5.
This was posted by the author, Jeremy Robinson, on Facebook and I wanted to share for those of you who love audiobooks. It is a new site called Audio Blast! and this is what it says about it:
Audiobook Blast! is all about giving you free or sale-priced audiobooks from Audible, Downpour, and CDBaby. No purchase required, though for some the authors do ask you to leave an unbiased review and rating. If you can blog about it, even better!
We have 3 different programs:
Listen and Review: For these titles, you'll sign up to get a free code from Audible. You then have 2 weeks to listen to the book and leave an honest, unbiased review. Note: the author will need your email address to get this book and may follow up with you if you haven't redeemed it or written a review. This is up to the author's discretion.
Sale priced: These are titles that the author would like to promote. They may be on sale, they may be at a reduced price for Audible members, or they may just be the the first in a series that you'll ultimately love. Give something new a shot!
Whispersync Deals: Sometimes an author will discount the ebook version of their title, or even give it away for free. After you get the ebook, take advantage of a Whispersync deal and get the companion audiobook at a drastically reduced price, sometimes as low as $1.99! To learn more about whispersync,
Free and sale priced audiobooks delivered to your inbox and it is free to sign up
*Edited to add (just in case this is taken the wrong way) many writers do not do this. They friend request and then engage with me and we become internet friends. I love them and I welcome them. I wish there were more of them.
I realize this is a minor, nitpicky and bitchy little thing to bitch about in the scheme of things but it's been bad this past two weeks. Please, what about this paragraph is unclear and why, at least once a week (3x's this week), do I receive a friend request on GR with the answer to my question (how ever did you find me?) being "I read your review of so and so's book and would love you to review my new book about blah, blah,blah" ? For godsakes, these people must navigate their way to my profile in order to PM me and they can't be bothered to read anything I've written there? WTF would you want my review, then? That scares me the most. They obviously only read one positive review and didn't bother to see my "meh" or awful ones and thought "awesome, maybe she'll write one for me". They don't want to be my friend at all. They want me to help them sell their book. Perhaps there needs to be a new GR link called "be my promoter!"
I comment on books for Horror After Dark, for Amazon and for fun here on goodreads. I don't take my reviews too seriously and hope you don't either. Feel free to befriend me if you enjoy talking books as much as I do but don't bother if you are just going to spam and/or pester me to buy, read & review your book. I have far too many books already, thanks. The only exception I will make are audiobooks. I can burn through audios very quickly so please feel free to PM about those but only if they're romance or horror related.
DVD Review of The Lost
I haven’t yet read the Ketchum novel this movie is based upon called The Lost. I’m not so sure I want to now . . .
Teen Ray Pye and his two friends are hanging out in the woods when Pye nearly collides with a naked beauty coming out of the outhouse. He gets all hyper and worked up and spies on her. After seeing her share a tender moment with another naked beauty, he decides it’s his duty to shoot them dead because them “lezzies” don’t deserve to breathe the same air as him, I guess. I’m also guessing he’s a bit sexually messed up. Wouldn’t most guys at least snoop around to watch?! Not this one . . .
Fast forward 4 years. Pye is a little older, crazier and still a big offender of the guy liner. He somehow managed to get away with murder but the officer on the case knows Pye did it and is keeping an eye on him.
I don’t understand how four years managed to pass without Pye getting the desire to kill again, seeing just how impulsive he was with the first murder spree. But you just gotta go with the flow. So, as what seems like hours of my life pass me by, I’m forced to view Pye manipulate his pals, trash a house, hump any breathing woman who looks his way (and for some bizarre reason, many of them do - the pickin’s must’ve been slim in that town), put drugs up his powdered nose, hang out at an amusement park (I kid you not, wish I were but ‘tis true) and generally act like a nasty little spoiled boy-man. There are also some side plots with a retired officer and his May-December relationship with a teen, etc and so on. It’s all pretty boring, if you ask me. This movie is too long. Most of the entire middle could’ve been cut and I wouldn’t have missed it.
After an eternity passes and my hair turns gray, things finally pick up AT THE VERY END. Pye, you see, has fallen in love with a bad girl and suddenly he feels like all of his “girls” have turned against him and exacts his revenge in a nasty bit of work at the end. The actor who plays Pye really hams it up here and it amused me. He’s spastic, rage-filled and yes, almost terrifying when he lets his inner demon out.
In the end, it’s an uneven film filled with shocks and tension only at the very beginning and the very end. But the middle. Ugh, the saggy middle. It’s bloated with a whole lot of nothing. It’s basically one long series of “a day in the life of an overly made-up, whiny, boring man-child who flies into fits of rage whenever life doesn’t go his way”. Boo hoo, baby boy. Life stinks, wash your face and get over it.
If this sounds like fun to you, give it a go. This one wasn’t for me.
You can read it at Goodreads by clicking on that "preview button" on the book page or online here .
It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which man cannot see.
Once upon a time in Ulthar, before said law was put into action, there lived a sinister old couple who delighting in slaying any unlikely cat that straggled upon their property. This is a tale about two despicable, horrible, awful people who get exactly what is coming to them. I hated them but loved this creepy, atmospheric tale of revenge.
Thanks I for giving me the heads up on this one!
I found this audio in the bag I keep in the car. It's a nonfiction account of one woman’s ruminations on life while she escapes to a beach cottage for a few weeks. This was written in the 50's but much of it still feels eerily current and will likely resonate most with introverts..
The MP3 player in my car didn’t like the way this disc was formatted and played the tracks out of order so I can’t review this properly as it kept skipping around. If it weren’t so short (2 hrs or so) I would’ve thrown in the towel for this reason but it was short enough that I got the gist without getting too frustrated.
It’s basically about taking time outs from your life to find your “center”, living with less stuff and fewer distractions and experiencing relationships in the present rather than dwelling on how great they were in the past or worrying about what may happen in the future. All sound advice, if you ask me.
“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.”
There are a lot of beautiful "quotables" in this book but I didn't take notes. This one struck a cord, and stuck with me, for obvious book related reasons ;)
This book was released in four parts but you can now buy them all at The Pigeonhole website.
If you’re looking for dark fiction that keeps you guessing, Plague of Gulls is a definite recommend. It is filled with upsetting and disturbing turns and nowhere along the way could I anticipate where things were going. I love when that happens and it doesn’t happen nearly enough in my reading life.
I also love a well written sense of creeping dread and writing that can turn the mundane into something just slightly ominous with a turn of phrase and Plague of Gulls captures those feelings perfectly and maintains them throughout the piece. I could not put this one down.
“Kenny watches, the smile like a wound on his mouth.”
So, what’s it about? I’m going to be vague so as not to ruin it. Basically it’s about a young man named David going through an extremely low point in his life. He had visions of a summer filled with music and friendship but because of circumstances, he spends his time mostly alone or at a quarry that hides pain deep within its depths. And then a baby seagull comes into his life and things go from awful to tragically dark. And that’s all I’m giving you.
I despise poor-me types and was a little worried at the beginning that David was going to be one of those oh woe-is-me whiny boys that give Eeyore a run for his money.
Even David admits that he’s not sympathetic but after a few chapters I didn’t find that to be true at all. This kid had been dealt a hand of poo that festered and continued to grow with every move he made and it would’ve been hard for me not to sympathize with him.
It’s creepy, it’s sad and it has moments of unexpected humor but the descriptive prose is what grabbed me and won me over. I can’t wait to read more by this author.
“I wait for the pain to ease. The walls of the castle and the old town lean around the house and smother it with their shadows.”
Guess what the first one is!!
Why, why, why on a Friday? And why are all of the phone callers talking so loud today?! I swear I'm going to shush the next person that starts to scream at me. I think I'm spending this weekend holed up in my house (hell, it's just going to snow AGAIN anyway). People are so noisy. And mostly unpleasant. Get off my lawn!!
I'm giving it a 3 because I didn't hate it and I didn't love it and because I can.
I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel.
There, it has been said.
I received this audio free from the SYNC summer reading program last year. Apparently it’s the first book in a series. Yay SYNC. I usually pick up series books mid-series and only manage to aggravate myself and anyone unfortunate enough to be reading my reviews.
In the beginning, I very much enjoyed it despite the male narrator and his often grating/cringe-worthy performance of the women characters. It was witty and slyly sarcastic and surprisingly approachable. I was expecting it to be stuffy and a little boring considering it is told from an elderly vicar’s POV but I was wrong. His thoughts about the ladies who surround him are pretty darn hilarious. He’s also married to a very young lady who is quite comical herself as well as charming. She never thinks badly of anyone. Even when they probably deserve it!
So, as will happen in these sorts of tales, someone is murdered and the rest of the book is spent tracking down the culprit. The particular victim in this case was a highly unpleasant man, thus there are loads of potential murderers running about. Loads of them.
Unfortunately, once the sleuthing kicked in it started to lose me and I got a little bored. Cozy mysteries just aren’t for me and I won’t be reading any more of these even if you tell me I’m missing some life altering experience.
Life is too short to read books that aren’t your thing. And this isn’t my thing.
Because I need more books and I'm sure you all do too :)
BONUS FEATURE at the end! A free 10,000 word preview of my new novel, "Have A Little Faith In Me"!
Peter Rabe’s luck is about to change. Taking a co-worker’s car into the shop nets him a desperately needed $100 tip…and the attentions of Matt Kensington, master mechanic. Peter can’t believe that someone as hot as Matt could be interested in the young man his tormentors used to call “Peter Rabbit.” But, incredibly enough, he is. And when the Quadrillions lottery jackpot is up to $700,000,000, wouldn’t it be crazy of Peter not to buy a ticket on his lucky day?
Matt doesn’t think much of money, having grown up on New York’s Upper East Side in the lap of luxury. He’d walked away from the professional drudgery his Harvard degree had qualified him for, to become a mechanic, to touch things that were real, to fix things that were broken. And a hot shy guy like Peter is another machine Matt wants to believe he can fix.
But when Peter finds out he’s won the lottery, it almost feels like his luck has run out. Especially when Cody Burrell, his emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend, mysteriously re-enters his life just before he cashes the ticket and reveals his good fortune to the world...
Peter must wrestle with the pressures of wealth on someone who’s grown up poor, the pressure of fame that comes with so much instant fortune, and most of all, with his own demons, the demons that Cody knows all too well how to manipulate.
I'm listening to this on audio because my daughter insists I need it in my life. I love her so I am subjecting myself to this for the third or fourth time. It has some good advice but is basically one note and focuses way too much on materialism for my liking.
Be gracious, be thankful for what you have, think good thoughts and change your state of mind when you find yourself dwelling on negative things. That's what I'm taking away from it at any rate. I don't buy into everything it's selling, especially the points that say negative attracts negative and you basically dump life's shit on yourself by thinking bad thoughts. Uh, no. I did not bring my horrid childhood upon myself by thinking negatively. Nope, I was lucky enough to be born into that. No thinking necessary.
Seriously though, this book can't hurt if you take away the good and take action to change things and don't focus or take too seriously the ridiculously bad advice including "don't look at fat people" and other crap that it spews. It never hurts to focus on a better life for yourself and improving your health & surroundings but it does hurt to allow yourself to wallow in a pit of self-pity and negativity. Focusing on getting more "things" isn't my thing and isn't all there is to life and this book preaches too much on that. I'd rather visualize good experiences I'd like to have instead and when life leaves a big ol' pile of dung in my path, I won't allow it to drag me down for too long because crap is going to happen.
Also, in order to change your life YOU need to take ACTION (this can't be stressed enough). Thinking all the happy thoughts in the world won't get you out of a craptastic job or relationship and make your debt go poof. There's your secret and I gave it to you for free. You are so welcome.
Also, that parking lot magical visualization thing? It works. Every time. But I'm still waiting for some sucker to buy me a free Starbucks overpriced frappe when I summon it ;) Hasn't happened yet.