Monthly Archives:: January 2013

Jan 31

Review * The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

Reviews 13 ★★★

Review * The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy CoxThe Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox
Published by HarperTeen on September18, 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death?

Maybe if I hadn't slept through my alarm, slammed into Kristin (my high school's reigning mean girl) or stepped in a puddle, destroying my mom's new suede DVF boots (which I borrowed without asking), I wouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I wouldn't have been pushed in front of that arriving train. But I did, and I was.

When I came to, I was informed by a group of girls that I'm dead. And that because I died under mysterious circumstances, I can't pass straight over to the Other Side. But at least I'm not alone. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency: Nancy, Lorna, and Tess--not to mention Edison, the really cute if slightly hostile dead boy. Apparently, the only way out of this limbo is to figure out who killed me, or I'll have to spend eternity playing Nancy Drew. Considering I was fairly invisible in life, who could hate me enough to want me dead? And what if my murderer is someone I never would have suspected?

What I Thought…

  • The Dead Girls Detective Agency is part comedy, part mystery. The balance works pretty good. It’s a bit on the style of Deadly Cool, it’s a bit ridiculous at times, but fun enough that you don’t really worry about it.
  • After Charlottes untimely death she joins Nancy, Lorna, Tess and Edison at the Atessa. Because she was murdered she has to find her killer before she can move on. The other girls and Edison have been there for some time (two of them for a very long time) which means they still haven’t found their killer. Some were still there by choice (choosing not to find their killer), others were stuck because they couldn’t find their killer.
  • Charlotte was very likeable. For someone who was murdered she didn’t whine about it too much or wallow in her pity to the point of being annoying. It was there, just more in the background, which I appreciated. She’s still hung up on her perfect boyfriend David, though she realizes that that’s no longer a possibility to actually be with him.
  • I liked all the girls in the Dead Girls Detective Agency, but Lorna was my favorite. Nancy was a little too bossy and Tess was a little too mean (though both were necessary to help Charlotte).
  • By the time you get to know David it’s hard to imagine him as the perfect boyfriend that he was for Charlotte. In fact you kind of want to smack him upside the head.
  • Charlotte and the gang hunt around the city looking for any clues on who wanted Charlotte dead. They spy on David and the cheerleaders (who are typically cliché, but nevertheless funny), her BFF and some other random people as they work on their investigations. They also inhabit a few bodies (which was absolutely hilarious).
  • The killer’s motives were a bit over the top, but that’s really not surprising. And even though it was over the top, it still managed to be a bit creepy. Actually, it was very creepy.
  • There was almost zero romance in this book, which is a rarity in YA these days. I was ok with that, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing more. Charlotte and Edison make a cute ghost couple, but there wasn’t much between them until the end.
  • The Dead Girls Detective Agency doesn’t appear to be a series, which kind of surprises me. It really has the potential to be a series and I would totally read more books because I like stuff like this.

 

Kimberly


Jan 29

Top Ten Tuesday: Frustrating Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters

I’m not so sure why I had such a tough time making today’s list because I feel like a lot of characters frustrate the hell out of me, but I’m can’t think of them right now.

1. Abby from Beautiful Disaster

There is not a single character I’ve ever wanted to throttle as much as I wanted to throttle her. Good job making life choices Abby and staying with a guy that will probably kill you someday.

2. Travis from Beautiful Disaster

Travis beat someone to within an inch of his life for making a comment about his girlfriend. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

3.Sookie from The Southern Vampire Series

Sookie, I liked you in the beginning. Really, I did. But you went from the nice girl next door to a serial dater, and to top it off your other decisions were completely nuts. Though you get props for dropping Vampire Bill.

4. Bella from the Twilight Series

Sure to be a popular choice today. Mostly I just got irritated with her complete and undying love for Edward that she just knew was never, ever going to change, even though she was only 17.

5. Jacob from the Twilight Series

Jacob, you were NEVER going to get Bella. NEVER.

6. Sam from Before I Fall

It’s not very often I can say I liked a book where I didn’t like the main character, but in this case it’s true. Sam wasn’t likeable until the very end.

7. Ashton from The Vincent Boys

Ashton pick up the phone, call your boyfriend and tell him it’s over. It’s not that hard.

8. Nick from Gone Girl

He made the WORST decisions ever. A lot of his problems could have been solved if he would have made just ONE good decision.

9. Orion from the Across the Universe Series

I see this in books time and time again, but he’s on the list because I just read A Million Suns. Stop leaving clues all over the place for people to find on a “treasure hunt” so they can figure out the secret. You know the secret so just freaking tell them!!! No need to be a cryptic about it!

10. Gale from The Hunger Games Series

Gale I liked you in the beginning but then you had to do a complete 180 and become someone awful. Thanks for vindicating my choice of picking Peeta from the beginning.

Kimberly


Jan 28

Review * Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Reviews 20 ★★★★★

Review * Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Narrated by Julia Whelan, Kirby Heybourne
Published by Crown Publishing on June 5, 2012
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 419
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Marriage can be a real killer.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

 

This is probably going to be one of the poorest reviews I’ve ever written. See, I have SO MANY things to say, but it is all very SPOILERY and I do not want to give a review filled with spoilers. Plus if I gave away the spoilers it would TOTALLY RUIN the book if you haven’t already read it.

It’s also difficult to write this review because there is no way to talk about this book without using the F word. Seriously, this book is so F’ed up and in so many ways. This was our January book club selection and I can’t remember a time when all of us used the F word so much.

Here is what I can tell you about Gone Girl

  • It’s F’ed up.
  • You think you know, but you do not.
  • The beginning starts off a bit slow… DO NOT GIVE UP. I promise you IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
  • The characters were infuriating, but in a good way.
  • I wasn’t happy with the ending and that almost brought it down to 4 stars but then when I thought about it, the ending kind of made sense (in a very twisted way).

Really, you should just read it and decide for yourself. Cause I just can’t say anything without ruining the book, and I won’t do that to my readers.

 

Kimberly


Jan 27

Sundays In Bed With… Shades of Earth

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PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Beth Revis Shades of EarthToday I’m reading Shades of Earth by Beth Revis. I loved the first two books so much and because I was seriously late to the Across the Universe party the trilogy is now complete and I don’t have to wait a year to find out what happens next. I started the book yesterday and so far its good and it does in fact have the Lost (seasons1-3) vibe that I was promised.

 

 

 

 

I seem to have a lot of grievances lately (causes of distress) so I’ve decided to start sharing them with all my lovely readers. Don’t worry, I only pick the best of the best.

Grievance of the Week

I’m so tired of getting complaints at work that begin with “Every time I come here…” If every time you come here something is wrong, why the hell are you still coming here? If it’s that bad, go somewhere else. Please.

Kimberly


Jan 25

FF: Late Night Reading

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Feature and Follow is hosted by Rachel from Parajunkee’s View and Alison from Alison Can Read. Learn all about it here.

What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?

I saw this question and I just couldn’t resist it, and that made me realize that I haven’t participated in a Feature & Follow in a long time (like 3 months)!

Today I’m going to a signing with Midnight Book Girl, The Fake Steph Dot Com and The Daily Bookmark and I hadn’t read any of the authors yet so last week I borrowed Across the Universe from Kate. I was a little nervous about reading it because it takes place in space on spaceship and I don’t really do space or spaceships. But Kate said I would like it ok so I gave it a try.

Beth Revis Across the UniverseI planned on reading a good chunk of it before going to bed, but I couldn’t put it down.  It grabbed my attention pretty early and kept right on going (for the record A Million Suns, the second book, was actually more fast paced and I liked it better). The space thing wasn’t really that bad either. I hate to say it but Sci-Fi might not be all bad.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to tell Beth Revis how she made a sci-fi hater fall in love with her books because she is unable to attend the signing because of a family emergency. It’s a bummer, but family always comes first. I hope that I’ll have an opportunity to meet her in the future.

What book kept you up into the night reading?

Kimberly


Jan 24

Review * The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Review * The Boy Next Door by Meg CabotThe Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot
Series: Boy #1
Published by Avon on October 11, 2002
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 379
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
To: You (you)
From: Human Resources (human.resources@thenyjournal.com)
Subject: This Book

Dear Reader,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City's leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book. What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:

*Humor
*Romance
*Cooking tips
*Great Danes
*Heroine in peril
*Dolphin-shaped driftwood sculptures

If you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this book.

We here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one as well. Don't you want to be on the winning team?

Sincerely,

Human Resources Division
New York Journal

Please note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store.

*********This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism.*********

What I Thought…

  • Why oh why did I wait so long to discover Meg Cabot???? Her books are so cute and funny!
  • What the synopsis doesn’t tell you: The Boy Next Door is about Mel who discovers her neighbor had been knocked out and left unconscious in her apartment. Mel is taking care of her pets until her neighbors nephew shows up to take over. She falls for the nephew… only the nephew isn’t the nephew.
  • The Boy Next Door is told through emails. I thought this would be annoying, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I was however annoyed that there were no chapters. The emails provided good stopping spots, but still, I need chapters. I think the reason why the emails worked so well for me is because they are not just from Mel, but from all the characters, so you get to see the other sides of the story.
  • I knew pretty early that I was going to love Mel because we both share a love for disasters. I know that sounds awful but they are just so fascinating! Plus she was a lot of fun and she cared so much, though she was definitely not perfect. Especially when it comes to being on time.
  • I really liked John (the fake Max) as well. Even though he was lying to Mel he felt bad about it but couldn’t find the best time to come clean. But you know how it is, the longer you wait to come clean, the harder it is to do it. I loved the emails between him and his sister in law. Hilarious.
  • Mel’s best friend (Nan) was great too, both in her emails to Mel and to her fiancé Tony. I loved how Nan would send an email to Mel and then turn around and send one to Tony because she was freaking out about what she said, and if it was too much or too harsh or too nice.
  • Mel’s parents have also discovered email and those emails are exactly what you would expect from parents. My favorite one was probably the one where she told Mel that “he’s not going to want to buy the cow when he can get the milk for free.” Gotta love parents!
  • The secondary characters were great. There is Dolly, (the co-worker), Max (the real one), Vivica (the supermodel) Aaron (the ex), George (the boss), and a slew of others. All of them great in their own special (and sometimes annoying) way. My favorite was the meddlesome, know it all Dolly.

Overall The Boy Next Door is another Meg Cabot book that I simply adored. If you haven’t read her yet I insist you do so!

 

Kimberly


Jan 22

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I Want More Of

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Settings I’d Like To See More Of (Or At All) — (maybe you want read more books set in space or books set in Alaska or the beach)

1. Small towns

I can’t say enough about small towns. From Forks to Lucky Harbor, I love them all.

2. A future that’s not bleak

In most books that take place in the future the future is always depressing. I get that there are better stories when things are dark and dreary, but it’d be nice to read about happy futures.

3. Wisconsin/Virginia

I love reading stories that take place in Wisconsin or Virginia. I’m from WI and I live in VA now so I know these places pretty well and I love being able to picture things as I have seen them.

4. Czech Republic

I have this weird fascination with the Czech Republic (I’ve been fascinated since the days when it was still Czechoslovakia). I’m sure there are plenty of books that take place in the Czech Republic, I just haven’t read them.

5. Dystopian anything

I realize this contradicts #2, but I can’t help it. I like the dark stuff too.

6. Cruise ship

Someday I will go on a cruise ship, until then I will live vicariously through books.

7. Deep south

I love books set in the deep south. With it’s mannerisms and culture it’s so beautiful, especially if it’s historical.

8. Natural disasters

My fascination with natural disasters began a long time ago and has never waned. I will watch absolutely any movie/tv special or read any book about natural disasters. Seriously, I even watch the really bad ones, like 10.5: Apocalypse (awesome natural disasters, not so awesome acting).

Kimberly


Jan 20

Sundays In Bed With… A Million Suns

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PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Today I’m reading Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Beth Revis A Million SunsI surprised myself and anyone who really knows me with how much I loved Across the Universe. Even though it’s not my typical read it was awesome and I’m so glad that the series is released in it’s completion and I don’t have to wait a year to find out what happens next.

I’m still working on Gone Girl as well. I’m switching back and forth from audio/hardcover to get it read before book club this Saturday.

The similarities between Gone Girl and A Million Suns are quite eerie.
* They both feature Amy as the female main character
* Both have dual narration
* Both involve “treasure hunts”
* Both have serious amounts of crazy going on

Kimberly


Jan 19

Random Thoughts on Books: Audiobooks

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PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new feature.  It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related.

I can now officially say I love audiobooks.

File:Hörlurar.jpgSo I never thought I’d be an audiobook person. Ever since I was little I’ve hated being in the car while my dad listened to talk radio. It always gave me a huge unbearable headache, thus I’ve always stayed away from audiobooks, because it’s the same thing, right?

Well last year a friend (thanks, Kate!) lent me her Harry Potter audiobooks saying that she promises I will love them. So I listened to them while I worked from home. And it wasn’t a terrible experience. I still got a little bit of a headache, but nothing I couldn’t deal with. I did one other audiobook last year (Anna Dressed in Blood) that was good too, but I still didn’t make an effort to really listen to them.

For the next five months I am taking a certification course and it’s going to cut drastically into my reading time. Sometimes I’m able to read at work, but not always, and I really want to keep enjoying books. One day as I was cursing Pandora for not working properly I had an epiphany! Instead of listening to Pandora while I work I could be listening to an audiobook!

I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this all along! It’s fantastic. I actually work faster while I’m listening (because I don’t stop to check out the internet so much) which also leads to more time to read a book. It’s a total win-win!

Gillian Flynn Gone GirlI’m currently listening to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The narrators are fantastic and the story is so intense right now that I hope to have some time to read a good chunk of it today because I’m not sure I can wait until Monday to listen to it some more.

Note: There are quite a few cuss words in Gone Girl. I’m not sure if I notice it more because I’m listening to it, or if there really are a lot, but even though I’m alone in the office when I’m listening to it it’s still a little awkward. I’ve trained myself really well to not swear in the workplace so it’s weird to hear f*ck a lot at the office.

How do you feel about audiobooks? Do you listen to them? Or do you stay away?

Kimberly


Jan 17

Review * Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Reviews 15 ★★★★★

Review * Odd Thomas by Dean KoontzOdd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Series: Odd Thomas #1
Published by Bantam on December 9, 2003
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
The dead don't talk but they do try to communicate with a short order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd Thomas struggles to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

What I Thought…

  • I was a little worried about Odd Thomas because Kate (Midnight Book Girl) is obsessed with this series and Courtney (Abducted by Books) and Jenny (Alternate Readality) also love the books so the pressure was on. Thankfully it was really good so there were no worries to be had.
  • I love ghosts of all kinds. Happy ghost stories like The Ghost and The Goth. Scary ghost stories like Anna Dressed in Blood. Creepy ghost stories like Glimmer. Odd Thomas did not disappoint in the ghost department at all.
  • Along with the ghosts are the bodachs. The bodachs aren’t exactly ghosts, more like evil beings. They are attracted to areas where evil occurs and seeing them is a very bad sign.
  • Odd is a great character. He’s a bit different but so likeable. He sees these ghosts and knows that its his job in life to be there for them and help them if needed. He takes it very seriously, even when it could impact him negatively he can’t just ignore it. I loved getting to know him and his thoughts.
  • I also really liked Odd’s girlfriend Stormy (once you learn her real name you will totally be ok with her name being Stormy). She’s the right counter balance for Odd.
  • Odd has a vision that something bad will happen in Pico Mundo. Bodachs begin appearing in droves, confirming that something big and bad is going to happen, and that lots of people are going to suffer for it. He first sees the bodachs around “Fungus Man”. Fungus Man was really creepy. They way he looked. His actions. His house. All of it. Creepy.
  • I also really liked Little Ozzy (who’s not so little) and Chief Porter. Chief Porter is Odd’s father figure (his real father is a real piece of work, as is his mother). He knows about his gifts and trusts him when he says something is coming. Little Ozzy is more of a friend to Odd, but he is there to help when needed.
  • Odd Thomas is such a good thriller. Every time I thought I had something figured out everything changed again. The last half of the book was unputdownable. Twists and turns, new discoveries all over the place. Some of them I probably should have seen coming but I didn’t. I am terrible predictor in all things.
  • The ending had me all twisted up.  All twisted up!!! I can’t even begin to describe it how twisted up I was over the ending.

Overall if you haven’t already read Odd Thomas I highly recommend it!

Notable Quotes

“From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity.”

“..the most identifying trait of humanity is our ability to be inhumane to one another.”

 

Kimberly