Category Archives: Book Reviews

My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Book Review

Published Date: May 17, 2016

Publishing Co.: Quirk Books

Pages: 330

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Well, this book certainly did not make me miss high school. Teenagers are just too much drama and make so many dumb decisions. I know, once upon a time, I was one. I don’t miss those days unlike a lot of people. This is part of the reason why I don’t read YA all too often, I get all grouchy about the young idiots.

Gretchen and Abby are accidental BFFs. Gretchen was forced to come to Abby’s birthday party by her parents and when no one else showed up, a very rude Abby managed to make a best friend while being very rude. I for one, would have said peace out to this beast and went home. But Gretchen is a better person than I am and saw someone in pain and tried to help them.

Fast forward several years to high school, they’re still inseparable. However, a strange night at the lake ends with Gretchen missing in the woods and when she is finally found, she’s not the normal Gretchen. As months go by, her hygiene declines, she starts fights with everyone and she is scribbling creepy things in her notebook.

My one major issue with this book is, we never find out just HOW Gretchen gets possessed by a demon. There isn’t a demonic backstory. This demon was just hanging out in the water/woods, waiting to possess someone?

The ending is DEPRESSING. Mostly, because I cannot imagine having the kind of friendship they end up having, with my BFF. I know it’s realistic which makes it all the more sad.

The moral of the story here is; don’t let your BFF jump off the end of a dock without you. If someone is getting possessed, you might as well bring chaos down on those around you TOGETHER. Twice the possession, twice the fun.

Thank you Melanie at Grab the Lapels for the book. ❤

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #3) – Book Review

Published Date: January 13, 2015

Publishing Co.: Tor Books

Pages: 649

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

In my review of the second book in the series, The Providence of Fire, I promised that the third book would be mine by Christmas. That might have been true, I don’t remember when I bought it but let me tell you, I thought I read that book last year. Turns out…..it was four years ago.

Now I sit here, absolutely torn. I was riding high on this book for ¾ of the way through, positive down to my bones that this was going to be another 5 star edition. Then, the last 60 or so pages happened. I HATE to say anything bad about this series, I’ve recommended it to SO many people, but I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t brutally honest.

The ending falls flat on it’s face. At least it did for me. We’ve spent so long, following an amazing story line with truly epic world building and some great characters, that it seemed the ending was thrown in just to finally end it. I wish I could describe accurately, how incredible the build up to this final battle was. Hell, there were so many battles before this that were more suspenseful than the grand finale. It was a disappointment that I was just not expecting. There is a quick end to this epic tale and a lot of questions left. Character deaths that felt unjust to the character themselves. As in, there were deaths depicted rather lamely for characters who carried the major plot points. The last person standing in a position of power is my absolute least favorite character of the series.

Before all that happened though, I was loving every second of what I was reading. It will remain a series that I recommend to people, as other people seem to love the ending, so it may have just been a case of it’s me not you. I will still read the standalone novel that comes after this and probably everything else Staveley writes, but this ending just left me unfulfilled.

“Nira just shrugged. “Sometimes ya gotta kill people to save ‘em.”

The Invention of Sound – Book Review

Published Date: September 8, 2020

Publishing Co.: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 240

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Haunting her was the idea that we each summon our own death.”

Do not pick up a Palahniuk book unless you are ready to get dddaaaaaarrrrkkkk.

That’s honestly what I love and what I count on when it comes to Chuck Palahniuk. He reaches into every taboo zone and drags you along with him. If he has to step into the dark to write it, you are going to have to walk through the dark to read it. We’re going places you never thought an author would go.

For example, we start this adventure with one of the main characters picking a Xanax out of the damp pubes of her lover after sex. This is how I knew I was back in Palahniuk territory. His characters are always massively flawed and that’s part of what makes them so interesting to read about.

Mitzi works for the Hollywood sound industry. She sells screams for movies and TV. She is on a quest to make the best scream ever recorded and she would do anything, even kill to get it.

Foster’s daughter disappeared during a game of hide and seek. Walked off with a stranger never to be seen again. Now he scours the dark web, seeking out child molesters and murders, trying to find out exactly what happened to his daughter. He assumes she’s dead, it’s seventeen years later after all, but his lust for revenge hasn’t died.

Both will bring Hollywood to it’s knees in their quests.

Palahniuk’s best book in years.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 5, 2015

Publishing Co.: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 419

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Honestly, I told myself I would never read anything by Sarah J. Maas. The things I had read from reviewers about her other series about assassins, were pretty off putting for someone who only dabbles in young adult books once in awhile. They have to really catch my attention or be recommended by people I trust to get me to give them a shot anymore. I’m in my thirties and plenty jaded at this point.

In this case, I had not one but two people tell me that I should give this specific series a try. That in mind, worlds still had to collide before I picked it up. I was on vacation. I didn’t bring the book I was reading because it was falling apart and I wasn’t sure how much time I would actually have to read. Turns out, it was a decent amount. So I hit the local independent bookstore where I was, the selection was wanting, and I picked this up in the clearance section.

I opened it, fully skeptical, of what I would find.

I was hooked by chapter two. I loved the poor main character angle, just trying to keep her family alive with the skills she picked up by watching others and trial and error. That’s a girl I can get behind. A survivor. Her situation sucked and it was about to get worse (or better) thanks to a chance encounter with faeries.

Feyre doesn’t listen very well. I can get behind that. I don’t particularly like when people tell me what I can and cannot do either. In this case, it leads to trouble she has to fight her way out of and/or be rescued from. I’m currently team Tamlin as he’s (mostly) a gentleman, as I have a feeling this is going to become a love triangle. Normally, this trope would bother me but I’m very interested in the back story of the possible other boy toy. The big issue is resolved in this novel so I’m not entirely sure what book two holds but I’ve been told by my friend that it’s better than book one. She lead me straight with her recommendation so I’m sure I will pick up the next book as well.

This felt darker to me than a lot of young adult novels these days (I say this like I read a lot of them), and I think that made it feel a little more grown up for me. Reading other people’s reviews reminded me that this is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and honestly, that’s a vague comparison. If you ignore that altogether, you’ll probably enjoy it more.

That riddle was hella easy tho, homegirl.

May Mini-Reviews

I read all of TWO books in May. I started school the second week and that has really ate up my free time. June 7th I begin my second class for the semester and it’s accelerated. Not sure why I did that to myself. I was feeling rather cocky I suppose.

3 out of 5 stars – Usually, even when I go years between a series’ books, I can still remember most of what happened. Not so much this time. But, I’m stubborn and refuse to go back and reread the first book. Either it will come back to me or it won’t. The main reason I enjoyed the first book so much was the great representation of a good female friendship. Here the two heroines are separated for the duration of the book. Overall, 3/4 of it was okay and the last 1/4 was actually pretty good. Undecided whether I will continue the series or just give up.

I ordered Stephen King’s Pet Sematary for a buddy read with Ignited Moth on our other blog, Sugar and Scream. It’s currently the only thing I want to read so I’m reading nothing until it arrives. :3

SPEAKING OF WHICH, I GET TO SEE MS. MOTH FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE OCTOBER AT HER WEDDING!

I am ready to party with my favorite person. ❤

White Line Fever – Book Review

Published Date: January 1, 2004

Publishing Co.: Citadel

Pages: 309

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Everything was going to be wonderful and huge women would get a hold of me and do things to me with raw carrots – you know, shit like that. Of course, it didn’t happen quite that way.”

There is nothing quite like reading the adventures of a heavy metal god. Because do not forget kids, Lemmy is God. *Winks at Grab the Lapels*

Since the day he was born, Lemmy was bound to be different. I mean, he was Born to Raise Hell and he did it well. He always marched to the beat of a different drum and they were rock and roll drums. (Heavy metal drums did not exist yet.) Raised in the birthplace of the rock scene, Lemmy has tales to tell about bands that have long since been forgotten or remained infamous for all time. He had to tell their stories because Dead Men Tell No Tales.

You see what I’m doing here?

I’m not going to promise to stop because I have No Class.

There are definitely problematic things here. Lemmy admits them, but also excuses them, like sex with 16-year-olds back when no one cared about such things. I am not sure that is actually the case but this was before I was alive so it’s probably true to a degree.

This book covers his life up until around 2002 and he never wrote more about it despite continuing his adventures until he was Killed by Death in 2015.

I’m So Bad.

I Ain’t No Nice Guy.

White Line Fever is everything that you think it would be. Fast paced, drug riddled, sex laced, vulgar, rock and roll gold.

Prophet’s Prey – Book Review

Published Date: September 13, 2011

Publishing Co.: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 336

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Any religion that tells you that you should be raping (stop saying ‘having sex with’, that’s just sugar coating rape) little girls, should make you turn tail and run for the hills. However, what a perfect haven for predators. Anyone tries to stop your rape of children, just start hollering about your freedom of religion and how you’re just misunderstood and people will back off. No one wants to offend someone’s religion, especially the United States government. No, they prefer to just pretend it’s not happening. Put it’s collective head in the sand to avoid the screams and suffering of children. Even though this book was published ten years ago, these communities are still very much active.

If you want/need a solid understanding of the FLDS and it’s history, I will always recommend Jon Krauker’s Under the Banner of Heaven. For a short summary, this cult (the most accurate term) is a group that broke away from mainstream Mormonism years ago when the church outlawed polygamy. Not a lot of women are not necessarily down for plural marriage, so the easiest way to deal with little ‘issue’ is to marry little girls who can’t say no. To make that even easier, you start brainwashing them from birth and demonize anyone who doesn’t live the same lifestyle. If the outside world is too scary, they’ll stay right where the predators can get them.

Also, there is a lot of incest.

On top of all the despicable things they do, the patriarchy of the cult functions much like the mob. They will find you, and they will silence you at all costs. They will stop at nothing to keep their steady supply of victims out of the hands of safety.

Now that I’ve set that little background for you, this is the story from the perspective of one of the investigators who helped bring down the leader of the FLDS, Warren Jeffs. The worst of the predators. It took ridiculously long, as you can see by the title. Nothing in government moves fast but building a solid case takes time too. Of course, as you’ll find out throughout this book, there are plenty of people who will stand in the way and try to slow things down even more. That is what is always fascinating about these big, true crime cases, how often things get bungled before justice can finally be served.

Sam Brower dishes out the details in this deep dive into Warren Jeffs and the FLDS. From brainwashing, rape, incest, power struggles, and hideouts, to big money, political clot and swayed journalism. This covers the full scope of a true crime story that continues to this day. It’s not really justice when the leader still leads his puppets from prison and children continue to be abused and families torn apart. Although sometimes redundant, this was a horrifying read that will pull you into a world that should no longer exist in this age and that you will have a hard time coming to terms with.

Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3) – Book Review

Published Date: April 21, 1976

Publishing Co.: Ace Books          

Pages: 609

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

I did not review the first two books in this series as I read them during my Book Review Boycott of 2020.

That makes attempting a review at this point, all the harder.

I resisted picking up this series for years as I had heard from some avid fantasy/sci-fi fans that it was long and kind of boring. Some people would say it was still worth it and others said you could avoid it and be fine. Such a lukewarm description didn’t exactly pique my interest. Fast forward several years and my aunt and little cousin are shoving the book at me and telling me that I just have to try it. Since it was loaned, I didn’t have much to lose and back in November I finally sat down and gave it the ol’ college try.

Why did I listen to those Negative Nancys?? I’ll never trust them again.

I absolutely loved Dune and Dune Messiah. Apparently, a lot of people had issue with Messiah as you see the dark side to your hero. BUT I LOVE THAT KIND OF THING AND BURNED THROUGH IT.

Children of Dune was a little slower for me and probably my least favorite thus far, but it’s still a great book. I’m trying to avoid spoilers and honestly, so much happens and I did not take notes so I would be garbage at really reviewing it anyway. I just needed to say, if you like a slow burn, political intrigue and beautifully crafted world building, pick up Dune. It’s not boring, YOU’RE BORING!

March’s Mini-Reviews

This month’s mini-reviews weren’t ‘meh’ like February, however, they didn’t quite inspire me to launch into a full fledged review to sing their laurels from the roof tops either. I suppose they qualify as honorable mentions.

4 out of 5 stars – Although this one bills itself as a satire, it doesn’t reach the ridiculous level that others do. It took a minute for me to find my stride in the story but once I did I enjoyed myself. The ending was great and my only hesitancy in continuing the series is that my boss said the second book isn’t quite as good as the first. (He followed his reasoning with, second books are almost never as good as the first.)

4 out of 5 stars – Very easy read. Author describes a movie plot and then follows up with the true crime stories that inspired it. This is also the very reason that makes it difficult to review it. Overall, it’s a very simple template.

Currently reading:

I think that I will complete Children of Dune before the month is up. I didn’t review the first two books last year while I was on my review boycott, which will make reviewing this extra difficult but I think I will at least try.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has actually surprised me with how much fun it is. I’ve been reading it on my work lunches but it might come home with me soon so I can devote more time to proper ladies wielding swords and wooing men with their decapitating abilities.

I recently came this ————————> close to going on a book binge. I resisted. Probably for the best because school books are not cheap.

How did March treat you? Book related or otherwise.

Female Authors 2021 Edition

Once upon a time, I did a month long blog event to celebrate women in March. It was a lot of fun but eventually fell by the wayside the last couple of years. It takes time and devotion and I was apparently lacking both. In those intervening years, I’ve picked up several more female authors that I enjoy and I thought it was time to give them their own spotlight.

Have you read any of these ladies and what did you think?