Usually transitional books are one of my least favorite things. What I mean by a transitional book is that it is in place to set up the rest. Many story lines that will feature bigger later are introduced without a lot of resolution. The reason I typically despise these types of novels is because it feels like a setup the entire time. You know there will be a sequel so you see the first sign of continued storylines and you begin to cringe.
Didn’t happen once in this novel, and I saw myself being setup early. When I was 42% of this novel wondering where the heck it was going, but enjoying the ride so much it took me getting that far before I considered what had happened, I knew I was in for a Hell of a ride. Gualtieri again takes his humor to another level and I spent most of this book laughing.
Now, I can handle crude humor and the constant references to sex, blood and gore, a lack of humanity, and a general lack of maturity from Bill’s friends. I’m perverse, this stuff is amazingly insane and fluid and I want more of it. Do I admit not everyone I know would enjoy this novel? Absolutely. This novel, the sequel to Bill The Vampire, is written for nerd boys, or geeks, who wish they were getting laid and hope for something better. This novel is written for those who understand the argument between which sword in Lord of the Rings was better. This novel is written for those who get the reference about Japanese culture and a hint at tentacles making an appearance. If you understand these references, or it makes you chuckle just thinking about it, this absolutely is the novel for you. Bill is still a nerd, he’s still falling on his ass when it comes to women, but hey, at least he’s a vampire. Right?
Sally, Bill’s vampire “assistant” grows on me much more in this novel and even he felt less of a reason to call her a bitch. Ed grows as a character and Sheila and James both return in interesting capacities. This novel also introduces Gan, who I’m rooting for in so many ways. I won’t explain too much about Gan because it really would be a spoiler, but I sure hope to see more of her later.
Reasons to Read:
- You’re a nerd/geek
- You like a lot of talk about sex
- It’s by Rick Gualtieri
- I like vampires
Reasons Not to Read:
- Most of this blog sounded like gibberish to you. You’re not a nerd. You don’t get it.
- You have no sense of humor
- You’re a prude
- You have a personal vendetta with Gualtieri from 20 years ago and you have vowed revenge and you are secretly trying to sabotage his publication experience by telling people not to buy his novels and thus taking away his livelihood all while you laugh from the sidelines and publish your similar novel that somehow is even geekier but no one is buying because you are just another evil mastermind in a world of evil mastermind’s and you would have been better off taking a totally different approach because this is all pretty contrived and I can’t believe you are still reading this.
The old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” would have been the perfect lesson for the main character to repeat in his head through this book. What is it about a slick man promising a lot of money that people just jump at the chance of? Oh right, the promise of a lot of money.
The ending is predictable, which is likely why it’s left for the very end. The majority of this book is about Clay Carter’s rise to the King of Torts than it is about the inevitable fall he suffers once at the top. Which, of course, leaves a lot to be desired in the end for resolution.
This novel is less about the cases and the torts than it is about Carter’s life throughout the rise and fall. Carter’s relationships, his friends, how he spends his newfound money. However, despite it being about Carter, Carter as a character has no real depth. He admits to losing sleep or feeling bad, but none of it has any consequence besides him saying so. If Grisham really wanted a cost of being a millionaire story then this should have been given a little more in depth.
Reasons to Read:
- It’s John Grisham, his writing is still incredible
- Interesting look at lawyers who sue major drug companies only looking to settle
Reasons Not to Read:
- Flat characters
Another week of weird tastes and the few things I found either discounted, or just could not resist!
I actually thought I already owned this! I went to move it up on my list and realized… I didn’t! For only 2.99, and being the sequel to Bill the Vampire, which I loved, I had to have this one.
This was part of the free giveaways this week. It is still free for Amazon Prime members, but otherwise is 2.99. Interesting to find a book that isn’t just a technical recount that is written by a doctor.
Almost done with the series! I’m hoping I can get 19 next week, as that is the magic number. These books are harder to find now, but worth it.
Another free one that is no longer free, unless you are an Amazon Prime member. 4.99 now for the kindle. I mostly took the free offer on this one because of the title. I could not help being curious about a book with a similar title to another certain popular trilogy.
That’s it this week! Did you find anything interesting?
One of my favorite book bloggers, Grace, introduced me to Goodie Bag Saturday. This is where I tell you the books I came into this week, whether they were free or I bought them. You can see the eclectic tastes of my reading habits, or anything else I might have found that was interesting.
Nicholas Sparks is famous for his romantic stories, and with the movie coming out I knew I would have to read the book first. Usually when I get a book it is not the one I’m reading next as I typically have between one-hundred and one-hundred-fifty books to be read on my bookshelf, but I have an obsession with reading the book before I see the movie so this might go quickly.
I have an obsession with Christopher Moore, I have since the first time I read one of his novels The Stupidest Angel. It was hard to pass up this splurge from a man who has perfected hilarity.
I am behind on reading Jodi Picoult, but I can not resist one of her books when I see it.
I can’t help it. If something is popular I am usually going to try it.
As of today, this novel is free. Free! And written by a man who happened to do his writing in a Texas Prison.
Another free novel this week by someone who invited me on Goodreads to get it as he was giving it away. Free is… free!
My foreign comic obsession shows, and now that I am reaching the end of this series I am doing everything I can to rush through. 19 novels in this series of twisting plotlines. I’ve already finished book 16, hopefully 17 will join it this weekend!
That’s it this Saturday! See you next Saturday!
Let me get this out of the way. I hate novels that are written in first person but switch to third person for certain chapters. The entire book should have been written in third person then. The first person was not necessary. It just makes me think the writer’s were too lazy to turn around and change the formatting of it, and it’s a shame to say that of Patterson.
The novel is about a woman who used to have an imaginary friend as a little girl. As an adult she meets him again, this time as a real person. I was expecting perhaps it was a soul mate thing, that as a child she knew who her soul mate would be. Nope. Angel. It’s figured out pretty quickly. In fact, everything in this novel moves fairly quickly, which is common of Patterson.
This novel moves too quickly though. Characters are flat and two dimensional and never really have too much depth to them. The ending was rushed. And contrived. Oh, I actually hated the ending, but I think there was no way at all for me to like the ending of this novel because either it was going to be terribly predictable, or be terribly predictable. The direction they chose was terribly predictable and seemed implausible. Without any development it just seemed like a reach.
Patterson and Charbonnet relied too much on telling us what characters were like and when they decided to show an emotion it was always extreme. Jane was always extremely passive, Vivienne was extremely self-centered, Hugh was extremely short-tempered, Michael was extremely soft-hearted. There was very little fluctuation. Or point.
You would think I would have given this less stars the way I am ranting, however the novel was still a good flow. I read it quickly and did not feel bored to tears, but the moments I’m ranting about keep me from being able to say it was a great novel. I found myself at halfway through thinking how angry I would have been if I had paid for this hardcover novel instead of receiving it for free.
Reasons to Read:
- Quick Flow
- It’s Patterson
- What could be a touching story
Reasons Not to Read:
- No dimension to the characters
- Very Predictable
- Flat story
Meet Nalena, a girl that is known as The Waste throughout her high school due to her mother’s slight eccentricity of starting a plotline and never finishing it. Unfortunately, Nalena’s mom also refuses to get rid of any of these papers and all of their money goes to storage and all of their space in their home goes to papers. Being the outcast at school, despite her pretty looks, makes Nalena that much more nervous when Garrett takes interest in her.
Plot: While romance is a heavy, underlying plot to this novel and pretty much takes precedence, it does not overwhelm the novel itself. The story slowly, but not too slowly to make the reader lose interest, evolves into a plot of untold powers that one must choose if born with a sign. Unfortunately, no one expected the sign to be on Nalena for what she is, making everyone a bit more confused.
Characters: Nalena, the main character, is pretty much a typical teen in an outcast situation that does not seem what seems glaringly obvious because she’s been on top of the situation her whole life. Paired up with Garrett, who is extremely patient but perhaps a little dense, the two of them fumble their way through romance, powers, and growing up. Nalena has the typical arch-enemy in Jen who is just as annoying as most outcast novels write the popular cheerleader though Garrett’s real friends seem a little better than the typical males in these sort of novels.
I was prepared to give this novel five stars because the flow was nice and simple but not so overly simple that it lost interest. The characters were great, except for Jen who was almost a little too typical bad-girl-in-a-young-adult-novel, but that could be looked over. What lost this novel it’s five stars were two things. First, Addo Chad. It was mentioned he had died, then later Nalena acted as if she had not already known that. Second, the ending was almost too jarring. It was very out-of-nowhere. It was not bad, the author was brave to go with the ending and it actually suited the story, but to me it was just too much of a sudden shock.
Despite two things that brought it down a star, I recommend this novel like crazy. I enjoyed it and every time I sat to read it someone was interrupting me to the point I was growing grumpy. If I want to read a novel that badly there is something there, a certain spark. Provencher gives us that spark beautifully.
Reasons to Read This Novel:
- Excellent prose, great flow
- Great main characters who work well with each other and seem realistic
- A new twist on a plot that seems tried and true
- Nothing too atypical except one character
Reasons Not to Read This Novel
- Shocking Ending
- You do not like Young Adult Novels
Brenna is about to discover she has super powers, just in time too. Everything starts falling into a convenient place as Brenna fights to understand her situation, and never really does.
Plot: The story is about a group of people with, for lack of a better word, super powers. There is a lot of time spent explaining the plot of the story only to find out you’ve been lied to and then the next story is supposed to be the actual plot. No, wait…
Characters: Brenna is the main character of the story, a fourteen-year-old in the foster system stuck with a family that is for the most part grossly obese, which is the biggest part of who they are as characters. The fact that Brenna is rail thing makes only a little sense as she is still eating the same food they are. She is joined by Cora, Carlin, and Marc as her other associates in the program that continually lies to her. Out of the three companions Carlin has the most individual characterization. Connie and Alex are the group’s teachers, sort of. What they actually teach them still remains a question.
This novel is a brilliant idea that seems to have suffered. There are a few rules of character naming that should have been followed to keep from having Connie, Cora, and Carlin being main characters and constantly in the same scenes. In a stretch to give people a more realistic way of speaking everyone sounded the same. There was little difference in Connie’s speaking as there was in Cora’s, except that Connie did not swear as much. The biggest flaw in this novel that bothered me the entire way: why did they come for Brenna, fail because she wasn’t there, and then never try again? How am I supposed to take a group seriously as a threat if they can’t be bothered to just try to snag her again on one of the many times she’s just standing around alone?
I may sound like I hated this book and you wonder why I gave it 3 if I’m beating up on it. I did not hate it. As I said, the idea itself was brilliant, and for the first part of the novel I would have given it 5 stars. Then Brenna started screaming and no one gave her answers, and this happened more times than it should have. The author fell into a trap, not wanting to explain everything to the audience but not knowing how to keep the adults from giving the actual answers. The novel slid down to 4. The ending was coming, the author realized he had gone on too long. What happens when an author is in a hurry to finish a novel? That’s right, everything gets rushed. It became less coherent as a novel and more about the payday, which was a fizzle. It’s worse when you see such potential suddenly just thrown out because he had put himself under a deadline, or gave us the first draft.
The book also seems to be written as if it was for teens while the constant swearing makes me wonder how many parents would relinquish this novel to their fourteen-year-old. Then the plot seems more geared at adults but the style did not get me there.
Reasons to read this novel:
- Interesting plot
- Realistic fourteen-year-olds
- A great way of explaining “slowed down” time
Reasons to not read this novel:
- It starts to fall apart in the end
- It is a very obvious first novel in a series
- False answers
When I picked up this novel I expected it to be some light, chick lit reading. It was light, it was quick, but there was an underlying plot that the author did not want to giveaway and therefore the mystery of what the point of the novel was remained a mystery until about 80% through, though the reader (me) knew there was something going on.
Plot: Former teacher Moxie leaves because she’s depressed and starts peddling panties, hence the title of the book. She really could have worked anywhere, but I supposed lingerie was more fun.
Characters: Throughout this Moxie deals with her gay best friend, Gerard, because every sassy woman needs a gay male best friend. The man who lives in an apartment building with the unfortunate name of Steven Tyler, Joe who owns the joke shop, Sue who works at the aquarium Moxie frequents, Mary Alice, her co-worker, and Allan, her crush. Olson works hard to give each character their own subplot that for the most part doesn’t go anywhere.
Throughout the whole story you know there is something wrong with Moxie. All of the subplots seem to be thrown in to distract Moxie so that she won’t think of what is going wrong with her body. She is not depressed, she is sick, and it’s frustrating to see her not that worried about it. She brushes it off, goes through her day-to-day, and the whole time it’s obvious to the reader (me!) that she’s sick but she just lets it go. Of course the title of this novel, the blurb on the back, and the general feel do not give away that this book is actually about a woman suffering through a disease, which is the huge reason it is dropped down. It’s downplayed so much the character doesn’t realize it. It would have been better to find out sooner and have her fighting to deal with it, then find out and suddenly have everything wrapped up in nice, tiny bows. I am glad there is a happy ending, but I was not happy about how this book brought us to this contrived conclusion that made it seem her disease just gave Olson a reason to tell the story on her mind.
Reasons to read this novel:
A lot of insight into the world of retail
Reasons not to read this novel:
Pointless, unresolved subplots
The disease is the reason for the story, and it is downplayed
I will be honest. I did not read the description of this book before I dove in. It was by Gualtieri, who I had previously reviewed with Bill the Vampire, which was hilarious. I probably was expecting similar hilarity in this novel, and while a few good parts did make me laugh (anything involving Paula) this book was not meant for hilarity. It is first, and foremost, a horror. I hate the horror genre! Why am I reading this novel? Besides the aforementioned, it was by Rick Gualtieri. Well then…
Plot: Six teenagers go camping in the woods. Within the woods they encounter something that wants to destroy them apart. Sound like a campy horror movie plot? Sure, it is, but it’s also done in a way that is not redundant. Enter the actual Bigfoot Hunters, a group of men that know the secret of these elusive creatures. Saying too much more gives away a few of the plot twists, which we know I’m not about doing. I despise spoilers. However, about 30% through I was wondering where the novel could possibly go from there and found that the six teenagers camping in the woods was just the prelude to the true horror.
Characters: There were quite a few characters in this novel, from the six teenagers, the four Hunters, and the townspeople surrounding the forest. Gualtieri surprised me with a few characters because they were not what I was expecting and the ending was not where I expected it to go. Every character has a unique quality, which is amazing considering that this is not a long novel.
Only complaints about this novel is what I normally would complain about in horror movies: body count. I have a bleeding heart at times during novels so it is rough for me to see a character I was rooting for die. Horribly. But Gualtieri does what needs to be done while covering the destruction it all leaves in the wake. Excellent writing style that has improved since the last novel I’ve read by him and great for any fans of horror, or people who want to read horror that has actual character development.
Reasons to read:
4. Beautifully written for such horrible destruction
2. Compelling story while following horror cliché
1. Paula is just ridiculous enough to at least lighten the mood
Reasons not to read:
3. You absolutely hate the horror genre
2. You think Bigfoot should act like Harry
1. You don’t like descriptions of blood and gore