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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful DisasterYou guys, this book. I understand that smutty love novels are a thing right now, what with Twilight and Fifty Shades of whatever being super hits. And I guess that’s the reason why this book is a thing. But it’s just so bad!

I already tortured myself by reading the first three Twilight books (I couldn’t get myself to pick up the fourth) and I wasn’t about to pick up the Fifty Shades trilogy because I have some self-respect. So I thought, hey, why not at least try the book that people are using for their Twilight/Fifty Shades hangover.

I would have been better off eating a shoe.

So, Abby Abernathy (yes, this is the protaganist’s actual name) has a past that she wants to distance herself from. So she attends college, dresses preppy, and pretty much behaves herself. And then she meets Travis Maddox. He is lean, muscled, fights for money, and has tattoos, as bad boys (in bad novels that use cliched tropes) are wont to do. Maddox is also kind of a womanizer in that he’ll jump anything that half notices him. And Abernathy finds this incredibly appealing but dannnnggeerrous to her plan of re-inventing herself. So she steels herself from Maddox’s douchery charm. But she doesn’t do a good job. Somehow she ends up agreeing to a bet with Maddox where, if he loses he must stop his wanton ways for a month but if he wins Abby has to stay with him for a month. Stay with him. In his room. In his bed. So, to move the plot to it’s eventual and pitiful conclusion, McGuire has Abby lose and move into Maddox’s house.

And this is when the cray comes out. Maddox is hella jealous! Like, if he sees Abby talking to another guy, he starts shaking with anger. Meanwhile, he continues to sleep with women (sometimes two at a time) with Abby sleeping in a nearby room. But see, this is all okay because they are meant 4 each other!!!11!

Look, I get it. Love (or infatuation or obsession…whatever this is) makes you do weird things, make poor choices, and not see things clearly. But if it looks, smells, and sounds like an abusive relationship, that’s what it is. I swear, this book makes me want to revoke Jamie McGuire’s right to vote. She single-handedly pushed women back a generation with this junk. Like Stephanie Meyers with Twilight.

Don’t read this. Read The Hunger Games or Female Chauvanist Pigs or, I don’t know, the back of a box of cereal. Anything but this.

One coffee out of five. Raspberry!

p.s. Apparently this is book one of a trilogy. Because, of course.

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

I know what you’re thinking: What are you reading ipsedixit? And to that I reply, I know. I KNOW. But I’ve been dealing with some heavy stuff of late and I needed some light reading. And I might have gone a little too light. And by too light I mean just shy of Twilight.

Because, you guys, this book. First, can we talk about the cover? I finished the book over the weekend just to avoid walking around with it at work. And it’s an incredibly quick read, so that wasn’t too bad. What was bad was when I found out that this is part of a trilogy. Like, there is more to this story. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Lemme back track a bit.

So, right before the bookstore I worked for closed, girls were coming in droves looking for this title. The same girls who, a couple of months earlier, spent their allowances on the Twilight series. So, I should have known what I was getting myself into.

Alona Dare is your typical high school Queen Bee: hot, obsessed with her looks and status, cruel to those beneath he, but with a secret home life that she hides from the rest of the world because it’s so shameful. Collective eyeroll on three!

One day, when she’s sneaking out of first period gym class to make an important phone call to someone from her seeecret shameful life, she gets hit by a bus. Just like that. Poetic writing, this.

She’s doomed to being a ghost until she figures out how to transition. And, as luck (or cliche writing, depending on how you look at it) would have it, the only person in school that can see her is the, like, the totally atrocious and super freak Will Killian (Alona’s sentiments, not mine). And what does this Will Killian, this person who can see and talk to dead people, look like? Oh you know, dark clothes, black hair, fair skin and light eyes. The only explanation we get for why Will can see dead people is that it’s genetic. Mmmkay, Stacey Kade.

Henyways, for reasons that I will not get into because I respect your time and intelligence, Killian agrees to help Alona figure out how to transition. And, as we all expected,  he starts to get the feelings for her.

Ugh, I’m not gonna test your patience. It ends pretty much how you’d expect it to end. With me in tears over the choices I’ve made in life that led me to this book. 1 out of 5 coffees, people. RUN AWAY.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

Wonder ShowThey say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  I beg to differ.  See that cover over there on the left?  Kind of amazing, right?  And the hand drawn goodness wraps around to the back as well.  In all honesty, it almost didn’t matter what this book was about.  I fell in love with the cover art and had to bring it home.

Thankfully, the story is just as delightful as the paper it’s wrapped in.  Wonder Show tells the tale of a young girl, Portia, whose father leaves the dust bowl in search of work.  Her aunt takes care of her for a while, but ultimately puts her in a home for “wayward” girls under the watchful eye of a man known only as Mister.

Without giving anything away, events transpire and Portia runs away to join the circus.  Literally.  Actually, she meets up with the “wonder show,” which is basically a sideshow of human abnormalities that travels alongside any circus that will have them.  As she adjusts to circus life she makes friends and enemies, confronts fears, and learns to be a part of a very unusual family.

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Five Minutes with Marni Bates

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an author interview, so we’re excited to be joined today by Marni Bates, author of Awkward, as part of her blog tour this month.  We reviewed Awkward yesterday, so check it out if you haven’t already!

Marni Bates blog tour

[Booksellers Without Borders]: Why should anybody buy your book?

[Marni Bates]: Erm . . . this is hard to answer without sounding like a pompous jerk. But I think that Awkward is a real fun book with loveable characters that will make you laugh and groan and (hopefully) swoon. Have I mentioned that there’s a really hot guy? Because I think Logan alone is worth reading the book . . .

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Awkward by Marni Bates

Awkward by Marni BatesIn high school, I wasn’t awkward at all.  I had all the right clothes, hung out with all the right people, and got invited to the best parties.  Plus I dated the hottest guy at school.

Okay, so none of that is true.  Especially since my school was all girls.

If you don’t think about high school (whether it was years ago or you’re still there) and cringe, this book may not be for you.  But I’m pretty confident that most people feel out of place and awkward during their teen years, and this book understands that feeling perfectly.

Mackenzie is bookish and clumsy, but is mostly okay with that because she has her ridiculously high GPA and close group of equally nerdy friends to keep her company.  So what if she attends study sessions instead of parties on the weekend?  There’s nothing wrong with that.  (I mean, that’s what I did, and look how I…oh, never mind.)

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The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel

Premise: cousins share a “kid table” at every family occasion (Fourth of July, New Year’s, an adult relative’s bar mitzvah). They enjoy each other’s company – for the most part – but resent the table, scheming of ways to join the adults. This is where we meet our narrator, Ingrid, as she shares the indignity of sitting at the kid table while also resenting the fact that her slightly older cousin – Brianne – somehow managed to make it out.

Ingrid’s relationship with Brianne wasn’t the best to begin with. But when Brianne uses her burgeoning knowledge of Psychology to diagnose Ingrid as psychopath, things go from bad to worse. Now the rest of the family is watching her every move out of the corner of their eyes for confirmation of this diagnosis. Great. And her favorite, Cricket, is looking suspiciously skinny and gets panicky around food. Fantastic. And that really attractive guy (Trevor) who was flirting with her a little earlier? Yea, he’s Brianne’s new college boyfriend. Could get things get any better? Why, of course. Dom is still calling everything “gay” as a way of hinting to his nuclear and extended family that he is same-sex oriented. And Micah can’t seem to keep his clothes on! What is happening?

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Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman

Why We Broke UpI read this book in one night instead of sleeping.

Things you should know: Daniel Handler also writes children’s books as Lemony Snicket, best known for A Series Of Unfortunate Events.  Maira Kalman is an artist who has published books of her own work along with illustrating books written by other people.  (We previously reviewed one of her picture books here.)  Together they create a physically beautiful book, with glossy pages, full color illustrations, and gorgeous endpapers.  There was basically no chance I wouldn’t buy myself a copy.

The story itself is a letter from a teenage girl, Min, to her boyfriend-for-six-weeks, Ed.  It starts with a box of things that symbolize the relationship to her, which she is unceremoniously dumping on his doorstep.  Each chapter starts with a full-page illustration of an item from the box, followed by a somewhat stream-of-consciousness retelling of how it became important.

If a six-week relationship seems insignificant to you, and definitely not worth being heartbroken over, you may be an adult with a very bad memory of what it’s like to be a teenager.  Min and Ed’s story is full of firsts and lasts, at times painfully awkward while otherwise being perfectly sweet.  Mistakes are made, lessons learned the hard way – and yet, from an outside perspective, the experience gained in six weeks of Min’s Junior year is invaluable.

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