Tag Archives: books

Review: The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I start every review of a Sarah Addison Allen book the same way. I gush about how much I love her writing and how I want to live in the books she writes. This book is no different… it’s not my favorite of her books, but I still loved it and read it in about five hours.

One weird bit was that she repeated herself a few times in the book and I don’t recall her doing that in the past. For example she must have explained three or four different times how the government had bought the land and turned it into a national park. It was also different to see that the magic in this book wasn’t as subtle as it usually is. Not that it was bad, it was just interesting to see so many people in the book accepting of magical things this time around.

I loved seeing a little sneak of previous characters make cameo’s too. In all, I really enjoyed the book.

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Review: Long Relief

Long Relief
Long Relief by Abigail Barnette
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The only reason this book didn’t get 5 stars is because it was shorter than I wanted and I needed more! I’m a Cancer… I fall in love fast, especially when there are great characters in front of me. Despite the fact that the book was short, it was great and I’m told that the series will continue so that’s awesome too.

It’s pretty clear that I’m a sucker for Michigan writers and Michigan stories. This book was, of course, both. I absolutely loved all of the details that Barnette put into the book without it being overly descriptive. For example on opening day of the season the fans in the crowd had mittens on. That’s a total Michigan thing and it’s not rare for it to actually snow on opening day around here. Little tidbits like that were thrown in throughout the book and made it great.

The relationship between the two main characters was adorable. What girl wouldn’t love to be faced with a childhood crush once she’s all grown up? I adored the way Barnette wrote Chris’ character too. He’s an aging baseball player who is aware he’s getting older and his body has limitations it didn’t use to have and yet, he’s still extremely sexy and knows it. (Damn it… I totally didn’t mean to reference LMFAO there. But hey, it’s true!)

I can’t wait for the next installment of the Hardball Series!

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50 Shades of Domestic Violence

I haven’t been shy about my dislike of the book 50 Shades of Grey and the message it’s sending.  If you follow me on twitter you’ve heard me bitch about it even more over there when I get on one of my rants.  There are many, many reasons why this book just plain pisses me off.  Shitty writing, shitty fact checking, shitty editing, barely making an effort to change it from AU fanfic before publishing it… I could go on for days.  But honestly, the thing that bothers me the most about this book is that it is so incredibly full of universal red flags for Domestic Violence (DV) and women all over the world are eating this book up like it’s cake. 

BDSM is not domestic violence if both partners fully consent to it.  That’s not by any means what I’m getting at.  I think that when the DV term is thrown out there people automatically assume that you mean physical violence.  That’s not at all what I’m talking about here.  So let me give you my social worker rundown real quick.

Domestic Violence is not about anger management or just about physical abuse.  It’s about power and control over another person.  That can be physical control in the form of beating the shit out of someone, or emotional control through threats, isolation, and mind games.  As someone who has lived through emotional abuse I can say that it royally sucks and it’s just as awful dealing with someone emotionally beating you up as it is getting physically beat up.

An alpha can be an alpha without being an abuser.  Someone can assert themselves and be in control without having to control you.   The person who beat me never touched me physically.  But that person crushed my spirit, made everything bad in the world seem like it was my fault, blamed all of their problems on me, and kept me in this fucked up world where I actually believed that I was the problem.  But I wasn’t.  That is what domestic violence is about; having power and control over someone else and making them believe that they’re doing it for your own good.

I enjoyed the Twilight books and movies.  I’m not a Twilight hater by any means.  But the books were very hard for me to get through because of the little things that Meyer put in the books that screamed of DV.  I mean come on, step away from your love of Edward for a moment and think about it.  He would crawl through Bella’s bedroom window at night to watch her sleep and started that before he even was her friend.  He was nice to her one moment and then mean the next.  He got mad at her for tripping on the field trip to the greenhouse.  When he saved her life and she wanted to talk about it he blew her off and said she had hit her head.  He told her that he could kill her and how everything in him wanted him to.  Even Bella’s mom says to her in the second book how Edward is so clingy.  

Check this out and think about Bella and Edward’s relationship: Power & Control Wheel.

I can honestly point out something in nearly every spoke of that wheel that Edward does to Bella in the Twilight books.  I’m not the only one either, there have been plenty of articles about DV organizations pointing out the red flags in Twilight.

Even though Twilight is full of red flags, I was able to separate it as fantasy and just enjoy it.  Unlike when I rewatched Phantom of the Opera as a social worker and could not stop obsessing about how creepy the Phantom suddenly was! 🙂  But then we come to 50 Shades.  A story that is not about vampires even though it was written about Twilight characters.  A story that women all over the world are eating up and saying how bad they want a man like Christian Grey in their lives, how they wish their husbands were more like Grey.  That, my dear readers, is where I have a really big fucking problem with this book’s success. Continue reading


Photo-A-Day May 5 & 6

Bird

I’m not the biggest fan of birds but our house seems to be Bird Heaven.  We live in an old brick farm house so the birds love to make nests in areas where the brick is broken.  This bird is part of a family of doves who are very loud and not at all shy.  They’ll walk along the window ledge with one of the dogs or cats going nuts on the other side of the window and totally aren’t phased.  This picture is of Kia stalking the Birdie Friend yesterday.

 

You

 

I love taking super macro photos, so for today’s challenge of “You” I pulled out nearest book and found the word you to snap.  This happens to be from the most awesome book American Vampire by my homie Jennifer Armintrout.  🙂 Photo edited with BeFunky.com


Photo-A-Day May 1

Peace

Today’s photo prompt was “Peace.”  I’ll admit, I nearly forgot to do my photo challenge today.  Yeah, yeah, I know it’s the first day and I’m already slacking… but I kept forgetting all day that it was actually May!

My picture is truly something that I think of when I think of peace though… Notebooks and Books.  I’m a writer and I love notebooks.  The notebooks seen in this picture are probably all around 10 years old.  But they’re the notebooks that I wrote my fiction in when I was in college and didn’t yet have a handy laptop to use.   There are bits and pieces of chapters, brainstorm sessions, doodles, and inspiration in those books and I love to look through them because it’s like going through a scrapbook and revisting my old characters.  The books in the picture are a very very small selection of the books I own.  I love to read.  If I could figure out a way to read and write for a living I’d totally do it.  Just like writing, reading is an escape for me and I’m always able to find my peace when I’m doing one or the other.


E is for Excited!

 I love movies.  Looooove them.  I also love books, and love when books are made into movies.

The Harry Potter books were amazing and turned into brilliant movies.  The Twilight books had crappy writing but a great idea that pulled me in.  The first Twilight movie was so campy and ridiculous that although I liked it, I still make fun of regularly… but the following films got better with different directors and actually were pretty great, IMHO.

A book that I struggled reading was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  It took over half of the book for me to get into it because there was SO much information purging done, but once I got to the actual action I loved it, and I subsequently loved the other two books as well.  I’ve yet to see the Swedish versions of the films (they’re in my Netflix queue though!) but the American version of the first book pretty much blew my mind.  Not only because Daniel Craig is freaking hot and Rooney Mara is my latest celebrity crush… but also because it was an awesome film version of the book without all of the back story bullshit that I hated about the book so much.

I absolutely LOVED the book The DaVinci Code and was really excited about the movie when I heard it was being made.  Then of course the movie came out and was SO incredibly ass sucking that I left the theater at the end royally pissed off that the film was so bad in relation to the book.

The Lovely Bones is another book that I adore and when I heard it was going to be a movie I was uber excited.  Then I saw the preview and thought, “Huh… that doesn’t look right.”  When I finally saw the film, it was okay but certainly was a letdown that didn’t live up to the book at all.

My Sister’s Keeper was a fantastic book and when I saw the movie preview I cried because it was so moving.  There were a lot of readers who were royally pissed because the movie version of the book changed the ending… Unlike my anger with the changing of the end of The DaVinci Code, however, the changing of My Sister’s Keeper didn’t piss me off and I loved the movie.

Tomorrow night/Friday morning I with millions of other people will be at the midnight premiere of the film version of Suzanne Collin’s book The Hunger Games.  I am geekishly excited about this film.  I adored the books… well, book three pissed me off, but in general I loved the series.  While I was reading the first book the cast of the film was being chosen and almost daily I’d find out which actor was playing which character, so the people I’ll see in the film were mostly the people I had in my head while reading.  I have an extreme love for Josh Hutcherson too… I’m Team Peeta all the way!

Last September I bought the books for my baby brother’s 16th birthday and pretty much demanded that he read the first book by this week so that he’d have read it before the movie.  It took him a while, but about a week ago I got a text that he’d finished the book and now is equally geeked about seeing the movie.  His texts about how excited he is totally make my day, by the way.  Sadly he’s not going to the midnight premiere with me, being that it’s a school night and all… but we have a date for the weekend to see the movie together. 🙂

The previews for the film send me into Geek Mode… I simply can’t wait for this movie!  By seeing the previews and seeing sneak peeks of scenes, I have to say it looks pretty awesome.  I truly hope that the movie is as good as we all hope it’s going to be and as awesome as it looks.  I mean, it has to be epic, right?  Nearly every person cast in this film appears to be perfectly cast.  I was a little iffy on Woody Harrelson, because I’d heard rumors of Dennis Quaid getting the role of Haymitch and I really wanted that to happen, but seeing Woody in costume sold me and I think he’s going to be awesome.

So yeah… to say that I’m excited about this movie is a bit of an understatement.  Tomorrow night when I get into line for the midnight premiere, I’ll be in my geekish glory with a bunch of other book nerds and I’m totally going to enjoy it!  If you haven’t read the books… go do it now and thank me later!

“May the odds ever be in your favor!”


C is for Courage

I saw the movie The Help tonight with my mom. It was a great movie that certainly made me think about courage. Courage means something different to everyone, I think. It’s one of those things that is personal and changes according to the person dealing with it. To simply look the word up in the dictionary you’ll see this:

cour•age noun
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.

I quite like the second definition actually… “The heart as the source of emotion.” That’s truly what courage is, isn’t it? Listening to your heart and knowing that it’s telling you the right thing even if you’re scared out of your mind or the world around you is telling you that you’re wrong.

Kathyn Stockett, the author of The Help submitted the book sixty times before getting it published by Putnam. Sixty rejection letters, countless rewrites, and yet she didn’t give up. Now she has not only a bestselling novel, but an Oscar-worthy movie based on that novel. Oh and did I mention it’s the first book she ever wrote? That’s courage.

The movie and book The Help are set in the 1960’s right in the thick of the Civil Rights Movement. At one point in the movie Medgar Evers is mentioned. He fought in World War II, fought for civil rights, was instrumental in the desegregation of the University of Mississippi, and was a NAACP field secretary. After his assignation by the KKK, he received full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He was courage.

On December 24, 1969, only six years after Evers was killed and one year after Dr. Martin Luther King ,Jr. was assassinated for his work in civil rights, a black man and a white woman were married. They faced hatred and bigotry from society as well as their own families, but they went on to have two children, a boy and a girl (said girl happens to be the author of this blog), and showed the world that love has nothing to do with race. They were courage.

People show their courage every day. Sometimes it’s huge, and other times it’s just some small thing that most of the world wouldn’t even notice. What matters though is what that act of courage means to you. If it’s important to you, no matter what anyone else says, it’s courage. If you make a choice that you know with all of your heart is the right thing to do, tell anyone else who thinks differently to screw off. It’s your life, not theirs. You know what your heart needs even when the world is telling you you’re crazy. You might even doubt yourself, but your heart knows exactly what you need while your head is busy trying to talk you out of it. Sometimes you just have to trust your heart to do the thinking. Take a leap and as the definition says, let your heart be the source of your emotion. Don’t give up on the book submission you know could be great, don’t accept laws that don’t make sense and fight to change them, don’t let people tell you who you can love, and don’t let someone else tell you that you aren’t courageous if you know that you are.


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