Review: Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders

Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders
Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders by Cornelia Grey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like this author and she’s done some really incredible short stories, however, this one is just straight up weird. It’s not so much that I personally don’t have a gun fetish, because I can read a great number of stories where I don’t share the particular proclivity, but more so that the characters, behavior, and more so the writing were just overwrought and uninteresting. The gun kink is of course the theme but it’s the only aspect to the entire story. There is literally nothing else to the draw the reader’s attention. If someone has a deep and abiding love of the depiction of a gun fetish, perhaps this will be a hit with them. Otherwise I can’t really see whom this will appeal to, but ymmv. Continue reading

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Review: Panic

Panic
Panic by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found Panic to be mildly interesting with great potential but ultimately failed under the weight of its own angst. The story itself has so much possibility and Oliver has the storytelling capability of making this an incredible book. Unfortunately she commits a cardinal YA sin of not actually advancing her characters from their initial weak, immature, and irritating teen behaviors to much more mature, developed, and rational young adults. Instead they simply get a happy ending without any consequences to their truly dangerous and immature actions while having learned absolutely nothing over the course of what should be a transformative summer. Some readers have said this is similar to Hunger Games or Divergent, which it’s not in any way. Both of those are rip offs of Battle Royale and Panic is a study of desperate immature teenagers with no future because they’re too stupid to actually grow up. Totally different books. Continue reading

Review: DMZ

DMZ
DMZ by Andrea Speed
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I chose DMZ without reading the blurb because of the author. I like Andrea Speed’s work and liked the cover so those sold me. I’m not sure if reading the blurb would have helped with this particular short story though. It’s not bad but it’s nothing special and not that interesting. It feels like a deleted scene from a novel rather than a complete short story on its own. The writing is clean and evocative but my attention wandered for such a quick story. Continue reading

Review: Wide Asleep

Wide Asleep
Wide Asleep by Nick Nolan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book honestly just left me confused and disappointed. I’d read the first two books in the series, Strings Attached and Double Bound, and quite liked them. Plus I really like Nolan’s writing style so although it had been four years since I read DB, I knew I wanted to read Wide Asleep. Unfortunately this time the book didn’t work for me at all. Whereas I’d loved the characters and general mystery involved in the previous books, this time the plot felt convoluted and all over the place with no cohesion. I wasn’t entirely sure what the point of the book was when I finished. The writing repetition was odd and not something I’m used to reading with Nolan’s work. Although I tried hard to suspend disbelief with the fairy tale connection, the ghosts and past life regression just made me sigh. Neither one adds to the story and in fact diluted the main theme of the mystery. Sadly this ended the series on a bad note for me and I struggled to force myself to finish the last third. Continue reading

Review: Only You

Only You
Only You by Katrina Strauss

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So apparently I’m going through a phase where all I read are series books out of order. I kind of hate doing that, by the way, and try hard to avoid it when I can. With Blue Ruin, I actually thought I’d read the series since I like the author and the books sounded familiar. Well apparently I’d read only the first book in the series but none of the subsequent books. I’m ok with that because I definitely did not like the characters enough to want to read more but I seriously lacked some considerable context for the cast and situations mentioned. I would not recommend reading this one if you haven’t been following the series. That said, I also don’t think it’s a series I want to catch up on but it’s an easy enough read with a happy ending that seems final for the series. Continue reading

Review: Nice Tie

Nice Tie
Nice Tie by Jules Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My recollection of Jules Jones’ work is sweet romances with a distinctly British flair. In that respect, I suppose Nice Tie delivers but I really struggled with it. I find the concept could have been good but it feels so mechanical and without passion. The two men act considerably older than their age and there isn’t really a relationship to speak of. I found the story kind of silly, not in a humorous way, and the end resolution cringe inducing. The writing is perfunctory but I never connected with the story and by the end I was sorry I’d picked it up. I’ve liked previous books of this author but I think I’m going to stay away in the future. Continue reading

Review: The Prince and the Frog

The Prince and the Frog
The Prince and the Frog by Rob Rosen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like Rob Rosen’s writing as he’s funny, witty, and often over the top. My problem with his short stories is that they tend to be more erotica based than I prefer, but I always appreciate the humor. The Prince and The Frog is good for that. It’s a definite tongue in cheek take on the classic fairy tale and I read it in about 15 minutes so I can’t complain. It’s not as memorable as some of Rosen’s other work but it’s cute, easy to read, and doesn’t take itself too seriously as erotica; a trait I enjoy in Rosen’s writing. Continue reading