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LoonyAlana

Crazy Bibliophile and Book Pimp (Not So Anonymous)

I am a mother of two boys and avid reader; I practically live and breathe books. If I could sustain my life on just reading, I would live forever. I'm weird, and proud of it. I have traveled to many places: Mexico, St. Marteen, Prague, England, Cozumel, and Canada to name a few. Many moons ago I co-hosted "Welcome to Insanity" radio show on a micro radio station in TX- but our show was played via streaming internet in coffee houses in Amsterdam. I have a BA in theater. I used to be "the finder of lost things" but I think my last child robbed me of my gift. Now I just have a large collection of useless information... it goes with my growing mountain of "to be read" books

Currently reading

The Hooker and the Hermit
Penny Reid, Luci Cosway
The Suicide Princess
Anthony Bryan
Rise of the Magi (Lila Gray, #3)
Jocelyn Adams
Caged (Holloway Pack, #3)
J.A. Belfield

A M/M Series Worth Continuing ~ Dirty Kiss

Dirty Kiss - Rhys Ford

It was good, I enjoyed it... entertained. But it didn't knock me over in a passionate embrace like say, Cut and Run did. I'm still very keen to continue the series, and I did enjoy how 'real' the characters seemed to be. Everyone had flaws, and I loved how it still poked fun at stereotypes.

The 'mystery' part... *sigh* I'll give it this: there was action galore. Car bombs, home explosions, bodies being stumbled over left and right - the pacing of the action rocked. The overall 'who done it' and explanation... not so much. The action helps this, but I still waffle on my feelings about this in the book.

The narrator was better than average, and I liked his accents for the variety of nationalities represented, but isn't an all-time favorite. If you enjoy audiobooks in general, and m/m mystery romance, then I'd recommend this book.

"Are You Feeling This" ` Cut and Run Into My Heart!

Cut & Run - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

I'm going to give this a 4... but I will admit I'm torn on this one. 

Narration: *Meh* Was not great, difficult to tell which character was speaking, but on the flip side he wasn't so bad that it felt like listening to nails running down a chalkboard. Sloppy but serviceable - if only just. I'd probably give it 2♥'s, maybe 2½♥'s on narration.

Romance: I need a cold shower. Followed up by a cold shower. Maybe Ty and Zane could join me? To QUOTE a line from a Madonna song, "My bottom hurts just thinking about it." (but in a good way...) It's exactly how I feel two guys that are very 'alpha' and manyly and braun and FBI agents that are not totally 'out there' to act. Equals parts of wanting to smack their ass and their faces and upside the heads. *Shiver* It was intoxicating. 4½♥'s on this part.

Mystery: *Sigh* OK, I'll admit, this part kind of blew chunks. And there was much of 'this part'... wasn't nearly as clever as I wanted the mystery to be, and COME ON... I saw it coming a mile away. But, it's the first book in the series, and the man-love made up for so much. I think I need another shower. Scooby has better 'mystery' plots, but I didn't mind the more 'office-like' FBI parts. 2-2½♥'s.

So, by the law of averages, my rating should be lower- but like I said... Ty and Zane sandwich, order up! I'll happily be the spicy mustard of that sandwich, and can't wait to sink my teeth into the rest of the series.

Source: http://stoplookingatmybooks.blogspot.com/2014/07/bitten-by-mm-bug-cut-and-run-into-my.html

'Say When to Ridge' and read Maybe, Someday by Colleen Hoover

 

Just read it. If you like New Adult, and if you've liked Colleen Hoover before... just stop bothering with reviews and read it (or listen to it- great narration!)  I've already listened to it twice this year- it's THAT good.  And I may or may not have some of the songs by Griffin Peterson (who created the book soundtrack) stuck in my head.  Am I upset they are stuck there- heck to the no!

If you MUST have some kind of idea going in: I will warn you, this touches (and more) upon the subject of cheating. Don't get your panties in a wad yet, though. Even if you don't generally read 'cheating' romances, this may well still be the book for you. It gave me chills. I was rooting for EVERYONE. Even the bitchy roommate, but not the evil slut former roommate. My heart both bent and broke, and I didn't want it to end. Exquisite pain that was worth every second.  This new adult book has just about everything a reader could want: banter, pranks, drama, angst, hope, anger, love.  Just talking about it makes me want to read it all over again.

 

I mentioned this above, but the added bonus: there is a soundtrack.  YES!  There IS a soundtrack... and you can listen for FREE.  Just do a search on Maybe Someday and Griffin, and you'll get to listen to the songs and swoon.  'I'm in Trouble' is my personal favorite.  It's kind of folky and fun, and how I love the lyrics.  And seriously, don't let the 'cheating' bit scare you off!  It's hands down the best book I've ever read that includes any aspect of cheating.  

Just do it. Just read it. Grab the seat of your pants, swoon, and mouth "I Love You."

Source: http://darkobsessionchronicles.blogspot.com/2014/06/say-when-to-ridge-na-crush-tourney-2014.html

'The Ginger Trifecta' ~ Demons and Horror Meets a New Adult Second Chance Rock Romance

The Devil's Reprise - Karina Halle

First off: Hats off to a GREAT quote!  "'Well, if it ain't a trifecta of gingers,' he said with a smirk.  'I feel like the apocalypse is coming.'"

 

I have to say, Karina Halle has snuck up on my this year and just amazed the hell out of me.  I may not fall into *squee*mode on each and every book, BUT each and every book is entertaining and engaging and enthralling- sometimes even (nearly) against my will.  And to have horror, AND romance, AND a 'fun' past setting, AND rock stars... and that JUST this series alone!  It's like she took one look at me, noticed I used to LOVE horror, have a serious 'hippy' thing going on, throw in some steam and rock and voila: book candy for Alana.  (OK, I know this wasn't written for me or anything, but I'm considering adding her to my stalk 'favorite authors' list.

 

OK, I hear you... asking, "Alana, you only gave this 4½♥'s... what's WRONG with it to remove a heart?"  There were a few points where I was like, "dude, how can you NOT see? Did everything from the first book fall out of your head."  Maybe it was on purpose, because it was SO obvious, like a big, flashing sign saying ---> Look Here for Obvious Future Plot Clues.  But like I said, maybe it was meant to be that way, and that fact just didn't sit right or something.  But, it wasn't enough to seriously inhibit my enjoyment overall.  I shuddered, I gasped, I SO wanted it to work out for Sage and Dawn.

It's very much a horror book married with a rock star romance. You have to read book one to fully 'get' the plot, and understand several of the characters and their motivations. I was worried for a moment there... really I was. Downright nervous.  My heart wanted to drop right down into my stomach... but I was like, wait, hold it right there heart... we trust Karina.  Right?  Yes.  We trust her.  She hasn't steered us wrong.  Well... not for long anyway.  Against ALL odds... my faith was justified.  Against the freaking laws of nature, too... but *whew* it all worked out.

Another prop I have to give it, I read it in basically one sitting. I'd highly recommend reading this during the day, and NOT at night. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but there were some seriously scary scenes (for this little scaredy cat.)  And, LOVE that it had foreign destinations (woohoo for Prague!)

 

Overall... if you like rock, and horror, and steam, and small doses of snark, and a more 'groovy' setting... why are you still just reading this review?  Go.  Run.  Grab a copy!

I received a free eBook from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. I purchased book one myself, and was keen to continue the series.  *Quote used is based upon the ARC, and may need to be updated*

Loved to Hate, but It Lucked Out and Ended on Love

Collide  - Gail McHugh

Many others have said it, and I must reiterate the idea: I loved hating this book. It's contradictory, I know, but seriously- Assclown cheating boyfriend, and the girl that just rolled over and took it, and then the billionaire 'fuckable' man that falls in love at first sight. Seems like an almost generic romance character line-up, but it someone sucked me right in. Go figure.

 

I've got a few warnings coming up... let's start with the fact that this book involves cheating.  It's not the total balls-to-the-wall cheating, but rather more of a dipping it's toe (and maybe breast) into cheating.  It skirts that edge, sometimes, and outright crosses the line at other times.  I still DID get the idea that it really was fought against.  It wasn't like they were next door to asshat bumping and grinding... and at least at one time there was a 'break' (think Ross and Rachel).  Boils down to the fact that no matter how much you sugar coat it, you have to not have a block or automatic loathing of cheating books.  If you hate that kind of thing, you're going to hate this- so just put the book down and walk away now.

 

If you're still here, then I'm assuming you either don't mind about the cheating, or maybe want to find out more to decide to read it or not.  So now, I must warn you about the ending... it's kind of a 'hopeful' cliffhanger, but I'd DEFINITELY put it in the 'Happy' section.  IT NEEDED TO HAPPEN.  If it hadn't I would have had to pee on the book or something.  Sorry that's crude, but that assclown NEEDED to be beat up, kicked, and peed on (IMO)... actually that's still not even bad enough for that douchcanoe.   It's a punch in the gut (yes, we're back to the ending again), but I'm happy about it. Had to get book #2 like IMMEDIATELY, I jut HAD to know what happens next.  (*please say there is an eventual HEA!)

*Listened to the audio book - the narrator was OK. Not fantabulous, but OK. Did NOT like Fallen's voice though. It sounded like a cross dresser male trying to sound like a female. *Shudder* (Not that there is anything wrong with cross dressing guys- more power to you, but for a female narrator and a female character, it was just WRONG for a female character to sound like it's a guy trying to talk like a girl.)

[Re-Blog] ...And the kindle destruction of GR continues.

Reblogged from Krazykiwi @ Kiwitopia:

Reblog Post, Originally from KrazyKiwi@ Kiwitopia (Also reblogged by Debbie's Spurts)

 

And in further interesting news: If the Kindle import disagrees with the librarian supplied data, the kindle import does. Because "Amazon are the authority on ASIN's". Except the only reason we found that out is because kindle imports are REMOVING perfectly correct ASIN's on existing entries, and creating a duplicate book with the ASIN there.

 

For those of you who were never GR librarians, bear in mind the following:

  • Once a book has an ASIN there, it's never ever removed. If there's another edition, it gets a librarian note. You'd get your librarian privileges revoked for running around moving ASIN's to new editions, as Kindle is doing.
  • Whiny indie SPA Authors on GR bitch and moan that although they have used 37 variants of their name and three pen names on the covers, they want all their books on one author profile. Note that professional authors, trad pub or SPA, don't have this problem. So GR gives in, manually edits each and every one of those books to include the author's real name, so that they are all connected. The reason the Kindle is removing ASIN's and creating new editions is that the author names didn't match on the books. LOL. 
  • GR staff (two of 'em) just say "oh, lucky we have librarians to fix it all back up".

 

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1561945 

 

 

 

Source: http://krazykiwi.booklikes.com/post/705315/post

Crush Hard on this YA Romantic Mystery/Thriller

Crushing Summer - C.M. Stunich
Holy hell. How to rate this.

 

This has got to be the most bizarre correlation to a group of movies I think I've ever suggested, but the more I think on it, it's the BEST way to sum up the book in a nutshell.  It's like taking the movie 'Heathers' and mixing it with 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', then add a dash of 'Scooby Doo' and 'Fight Club'... maybe even a sneeze from Gossip Girls.  The 'Heathers' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' represent how much darker it was than I anticipated.   'Scooby Doo' just ALWAYS comes to mind when you mix teens and a mystery.  Fight Club, because nobody talks about Fight ClubThe Assignment.  Everybody condones and/or participates in The Assignment.  You can't avoid The Assignment.  The sheer amount of angst and 'cliques' and high school pecking order is the sneeze from Gossip Girls.
 
Odd mixture, right?  With the exception of the beginning, when I was trying the learn what The Assignment was, why one would want to avoid it, and drowning in angst; I was sucked into the pages.  The early parts, as I mentioned, was a little more of a battle.  I needed chapter breaks and tried to express to my husband (unsuccessfully) what was going on.  I wanted to share- I think this would be a fabulous buddy read choice!   The mystery lead a nice trails of breadcrumbs, although it's set up where I NEVER would have predicted the end based upon the beginning.  Pieces started falling into place quickly enough to engage me (especially getting me over my initial awkwardness.)

It's that early acclimation that really docked that final star off my review.  That, and I wanted more Casper (I'm selfish) and I really fought against the mature residents of the town and their reactions based upon past Assignments.  I just, as a parent, can fathom an entire town supporting this for so long.  It just grates against me so much- and that contributed to my early reluctance.  Ultimately, if you don't mind a more vanilla YA romance mystery with dark overtones of the underbelly of mob mentality, I would HIGHLY recommend picking this up.  Once I was finally hooked, I fell hard and crushed on Crushing Summer!

I received a free eBook from the author in exchange for an unbiased review as part of a Love Between the Sheets blog tour. My thoughts are my own.
Source: http://darkobsessionchronicles.blogspot.com/2013/11/crushing-summer-blog-tour-crush-hard.html

Movie Star YA Romance that's NOT What I Expected!

Between the Lines  - Tammara Webber

I loved Easy, so i had to try other titles from this author. This was the first audio I've listened to written by her, and I absolutely appreciated the two narrators. Really defined 'who' you were in the head of, although there really wasn't any question regardless.

Reid is an asshat. A douchcanoe of epic proportions. But he needed to be that way. He needed to burst that 'bubble' of perfection. And a little over the halfway point, I think I would have absolutely thrown up if what looked like was going to happen actually happened. I would have had to slap a character with their own book, and I don't want to damage my audiobook listening devices.

YA/New Adult 'vanilla' romance (mostly-ish) but with tons of angst, and adult themes, and movie making, and actors, and did I mean the best part: It's set in Austin. Damn straight only having 90's in August is 'unseasonably cool'. Several laugh-out-loud moments, but I man be biased since I live in Austin.  (The extra half star was purely due to the multiple LOL moments, and I even misted up at one point as well.)

Will definitely continue the series, in fact I already purchased the second audiobook.

Cute, but Wishing For a Little More...

To Kill A Warlock - H.P. Mallory

Cute. I do love me some fairies, and I dig her fae dust magic... but it was like a few chuckles, a few eye rolls... and I wish the romance was a little more- well that about sums it up, a little more.

 

The action... there was some, and we're given the idea that Dulcie is more badass than I really feel was reflected in the book.  She couldn't do undercover shit to save her life, except magically dress the part.  She was supposed to come off snarkier, I think, than she actually does.

 

And the major fight/reveal/bust (whatever you want to call it) I was lost for about 5 minutes. Totally confused about who was there, and why others were not. Eventually, I'll continue the series, but I'm not in any great hurry.  It's likely I'll try to check out future titles from my local library, if they are available.

*Listen to the audiobook version.

""Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face.""
Storm Front - Jim Butcher

~ Jim Butcher, Storm Front

What if One Book Destroyed an Entire Series?

Allegiant  - Veronica Roth

I listened to the audio version of Allegiant from October 23 to 24, 2013...

My Initial Reaction:
Hrm. Gotta mull this one over. Not happy. 1-2♥'s... can't quite decide between the two yet.

Edit 11/1/13: (Reaction a week after reading)
I've decided, due to each passing day causing an increase in loathing for this book... it's officially going down to one star. If I could, I'd only give it .1♥'s (although with the WONDERFUL ½♥ magic of Booklikes I WAS able to give it only .5♥- and that just about make my day), maybe mixed with some negative stars for the complete loss of faith in this writer and series.

It becomes more and more sour the more time passes. The entire series has been devastated for me, and cannot be re-read. Doubt I'll see the movie; with the ending of the series, what's the point of the slow torture?  Although, I have to admit, I resisted the movie Titanic for ages just because it's no guess how the movie would end, right?  Or better comparison- the movie Open Water.  That was the most pointless 1-2 hours of slow torture of a movie, ever.  Allegiant is worse than all that, because I had the time to ADORE the first books and fall in love with the characters and then that final book just stomps all over everything.

In regard to the use of Two POV: While I liked 'seeing' into Four's head... I didn't think what I saw there really matched up to his character/personality from the first two books. (I haven't read the novella from his POV, so this is the first chance I've had to 'see' into his head.) I've heard many readers got confused as to 'who' was speaking at any given time, but listening to the audio and having a male a female narrator really alleviated that fact. In all honesty, I really think Four's manhood was stolen by this book.

I'll give one prop to Veronica Roth, she certainly goes balls-to-the-wall on her 'vision' for the series. No pulling punches- she goes ALL OUT.

I didn't come up with this thought, but it sums everything up everything nicely without spoilers:

Veronica Roth:
You are dauntless. I wish you had been more abnegation. Thanks for destroying the series.

 

OK... I have to add just ONE spoiler-ish thought at the end here:

I wish I had been able to get my hands on that memory serum  and take it myself so I could wipe out this final book of the series from my memory.

(show spoiler)
Stop Looking at My Books!
Stop Looking at My Books!

Here is a special shirt I made for an author signing event... working on marketing the shirt (minus signatures) for sale!

Get Your Reading Gestapo Out of My Library

Allegiant  - Veronica Roth The Fault in Our Stars - John Green Looking for Alaska - John Green

OK people... this is a rant regarding author John Green's Tweet to reactions readers are having toward the final Divergent book, Allegiant.  In case you were unaware of this lovely quote, let me help you out:

 John Green Tweets regarding Allegiant

And I couldn't not comment on that myself, as I was a huge fan of the Divergent series prior to Allegiant... and now LOATHE the series due to that book.  Basically, for this reader/former fan, the final book obliterated the entire series for me.  I can't re-read it because I don't fancy torturing myself.  The movie has been ruined, the series has been ruined, and I'm going to be reluctant at best to even consider borrowing any future books by Veronica Roth from the library (let alone purchasing any more.)  

 

First initial response to those Tweets (mini-rant):

I just hate it when author 'dictates' how we should be as readers. That doesn't fly. You put what you want to say, the story you want to tell, and then it's out of your hands. Some readers may like it, some not. Each reader, and each time you read- you are different (as a reader) and will absorb the story differently. There is no 'right or wrong' with reading. 

 

More Tweets

Now, let's take a look at a specific quote here from Green: 

"There are right and wrong reasons to like (or not like) a book."

I'm sorry- but NO. There is NO right or wrong with reading. No author, including him, is a reading Gestapo. I can dislike (or like) a book because it's set in Kansas, or because it has an atheist as a main character, or because it's set in the old west, or because it has an old boyfriend's name in it, or because I dislike the typeface. Reading is entirely subjective. The author puts everything they want into their work, their 'baby', and just like any good parent, you've done your best to 'raise' it well, and then must RELEASE it into the world. You cannot control it from that point, it's out of your (a parents, or an author's) hands. You have to hope that you did your best, and that your best will shine through because it's got a life of it's own now. 

 

There was a naysayer that disagreed, saying Green was 'half-right'.  

"I do not believe that there are right and wrong reasons to like and/or dislike a book, despite what my overall pretentiousness implies. But there is an objectively correct way to think about a book, namely that one can only judge a book based on what it is rather than what the reader wishes it would be. "

 

And I couldn't let that stand without another rebuttal:

I still don't agree with him, or the idea that he's even 'half-right'. We don't have a responsibility to think or feel anything, or not think or feel anything. I can see a professional reviewer, literary critic, agent, etc. being 'responsible' for judging the book on the book, not what fans 'expect'. BUT, fans are not wrong for wishing and wanting to see things, and getting upset if they don't. Without us readers, the authors are NOTHING. Without fans to read their books, it's just print on paper, bites of electronic info. Movies are made for people to watch, books are written for people to read, music is made for people to listen.

Regardless of what fans hope for, expect, want- if we get it, if we don't- it's not WRONG for us to be upset, especially when there are a large number of us upset for a myriad of reasons beyond just that one especially traumatic moment of the plot.

*(These are only 'what-if' examples of popular works and how I feel if their outcome had been changed, it would mimic how some of Veronica Roth's fans feel. I am not 'spoiling' anything from Allegiant)

If Harry Potter had gone through the entire series only to get hit by a drunk driver during the last summer with his Aunt and Uncle and became a vegetable stuck on life support- fans of that series would have been pissed.  That certainly would not be an end 'expected' by the fans.  

If the 'Dread Pirate Wesley' had come to rescue Buttercup only to find she had given up on him and already married the rotten Prince Humperdink and was pregnant with their first child- fans would be upset.

If you followed Neo down the 'rabbit hole' for 2 Matrix movies, then have him find out that it was all a dream in the 3rd movie, and he has to go back to his boring job - fans would have felt ripped off and betrayed.

Had the Orkin man (pest control) came at the end of Charlotte's Web and wiped out her nest with a spray of poison, fans would be pissed.

Books don't have to end happily, that's not what I'm saying, I'm just saying we fans have every right to like, or not like a book, movie, or whatever based on our expectations (or any other reason). Sometimes, it's those same expectations that will be WHY we love an author so much- because they 'always' deliver for us even if it's not in a way we expect. But it's not WRONG for us to like or not like anything just because it's not what we expected.

I still stand by my statement- there IS no right or wrong in reading. Day by day, as readers, we change. Perhaps you just lost a parent, and therefore a book with death will hit you differently that if you hadn't just experienced it. Perhaps a reader has never been in love, or just experienced a break-up, or just got married- and stories with romance may or may not 'work' for you. Books can be polarizing, and readers are passionate; don't dismiss as reader's thoughts and feelings because they don't align with your own, or the author's intentions. Every reader is going to have preconceived notions, thoughts, ideologies, beliefs, dislikes- and there is nothing WRONG about that. 

 

Alrighty then... getting off my high horse now.  Feel welcome to comment, agree, disagree, whatever.  I know the spots on my TBR shelf that originally held The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska have now been freed up for authors that don't call readers 'Wrong' (oh, and I highly recommend checking out the Tweets- they actually get even worse....)  I may be considered petty for removing those books due to Tweets from John Green, but hey, I can live with that.

Easy Tips for Customizing Your BookLikes Blog-Had to Share the How-To

Reblogged from Duchess Loves Books:

**Re-Blogged from a friend that Re-blogged it from Romance Reviews (I think it was.)  Still need to actually put this How-To to actual use...

 

 

On the top of your homepage you’ll notice your navigation bar.

 

 

 

This will bring up your Settings page.

 

 

Now Scroll down a bit until you see this:

 

 

 

That’s going to bring up the template customization page. In the upper left hand corner, you’ll see this:

 

                                                               

Once that is done, beneath the above posted menu you can scroll down. Do so until you find this:

 

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO CLICK SAVE!!!

 

 

 

Now comes the fun part, making that image static. Click on the Edit HTML button.

 

 

This is going to split your screen, with your blog showing below and the code window at the top. Don’t freak out. Scroll down through the code until you find these lines:

 

 

Now, where you see the green word ‘repeat’, replace that with ‘fixed’. It should now look like this:

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO HIT SAVE!

 

 

Okay, so as you’ll notice in the screenshot above there’s a drop down menu with the word Blog selected. In order to assure that your background is fixed for all your pages you have to select that drop down and repeat the code change for each one listed:

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO HIT SAVE FOR EACH ONE!!!

 

 

Good luck, everyone. Hope this helps! 

 

 

Troubles and Treats - Tara Sivec I rated it 4... but honestly it's closer to a 3½♥ book. I was on the fence to place it at 3 or 4 hearts/stars. Despite my love of the previous books in the Chocolate Lovers series... this was a harder sell for me. Jenny and Drew are SO stupid at times, there is just no 'PC' word out there that will still accurately describe them. Basically- the movie Idiotcracy, it's a cautionary tale on what would happen if everyone in the world because like Drew and Jenny. I kid you not.

Has it's moments of laughter despite the stupidity. Worth reading if you enjoyed the first two books, but understand it's not the same, either.
Covet - Tracey Garvis Graves Not quite what I expected.

Ending not quite what I expected either. Can't decide if I'm happy overall....

4-4½♥'s, more to come...

I received an ARC eBook from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review.