virago - Reviews

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Absolutely Positively Not
Absolutely Positively Not
Author: David LaRochelle
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/29/2016


I'm not really sure how to describe it. It was funny and a little sad. I felt so bad for Stephen for being so clueless as to his own mind and for trying so hard to prove that he wasn't what he was. I suppose what makes it sad is that people struggle with this kind of thing everyday. I wanted to smack his best friend Rachel, because whether or not you knew before he did, and even though you were supportive, you don't out anyone. I don't care if her family had already figured it out, it was up to Stephen to tell them he's gay. And his parents *sigh* they were so clueless, but in the end they were a good mom and dad. I think the best part was poor Stephen trying every idiotic thing he could to prove he wasn't gay.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Review Date: 3/29/2016


This was hilarious, heartwarming...heart-wrenching!

Excellent book. It makes you appreciate the opportunities you have in life, and feel somewhat ashamed for the ones you've squandered.


Akira Volume 1
Akira Volume 1
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/11/2017


That awkward moment when you go to read Vol. 4 and the "the story so far" doesn't sound familiar at all because it's literally been years since you read Volumes 1-3. So this is technically a re-read, but it almost feels like a first time read because it's been soooo long. I can't believe how much I have forgotten from my initial reading.

It's not like the movie.

What do I say about post-apocalyptic Tokyo? There are gangs, and drugs, a secret military project (which was the cause of the apocalypse in the first place), and kids with paranormal powers.

This whole graphic novel is a hot mess of drugs, violence and creepy kids with mad-crazy mind powers.

I loved it of course, duh! I I think I enjoyed it more than the first time I read it, because I changed my star rating from 4 to 5 stars.


Akira, Volume 1
Akira, Volume 1
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 1/9/2017


That awkward moment when you go to read Vol. 4 and the "the story so far" doesn't sound familiar at all because it's literally been years since you read Volumes 1-3. So this is technically a re-read, but it almost feels like a first time read because it's been soooo long. I can't believe how much I have forgotten from my initial reading.

It's not like the movie.

What do I say about post-apocalyptic Tokyo? There are gangs, and drugs, a secret military project (which was the cause of the apocalypse in the first place), and kids with paranormal powers.

This whole graphic novel is a hot mess of drugs, violence and creepy kids with mad-crazy mind powers.

I loved it of course, duh! I I think I enjoyed it more than the first time I read it, because I changed my star rating from 4 to 5 stars.


Akira Volume 2
Akira Volume 2
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/9/2017


Reread.

What I want to know is, how did Tetsuo turn into a mega douche so quickly?! One minute he was besties with Kaneda and the gang and the next he was heading up a rival gang and trying to kill his friends.

Of course it's the age old story of letting the power go to his head. And now this knuckle head has woken Akira. Shit's about to get surius now!!!

Like with Volume 1, I enjoyed this much more the second time around.


Akira Volume 3
Akira Volume 3
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/9/2017


Reread.

Oh boy this is a mess. I have no clue whose on whose side, which side is the right side, or if Akira is only dangerous because people are trying to use him as a weapon. But he's 'woke' now. Like REALLY woke. And now Tetsuo is back to throw a monkey wrench in the works.

Once again, liked it better the second time around.

Cannot wait to get to Volume 4 now!


Akira Volume 4
Akira Volume 4
Author: Katsuhiro Otomo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/11/2017


What. The. Crap. Is going on?

This whole thing has taken a left turn, and yet it hasn't. It's been a big paranormal mess from the beginning. Kaneda has left the Earth, but isn't dead and Neo-Tokyo has been left to fend for itself by the powers that be. Akira doesn't speak and Tetsuo is in waaaay over his head.

I must go on and figure out what the hell is going on.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll, John Tenniel (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 3/29/2016


This book was insane. The adventures she had and the creatures she met...It all sounded like what a bad acid trip would be like.

I'm honestly not sure I enjoyed it. This may require a re-read in the future.


The Alpha's Pet (Dark Hollow Wolf Pack Series 1) (Volume 1)
The Alpha's Pet (Dark Hollow Wolf Pack Series 1) (Volume 1)
Author: Shannon West
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/29/2016


I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. I'm okay with dub-con and even a little non-con depending on the situation and how it is written. Mostly I felt sorry for Nicky throughout the book because mostly everything done to him was against his will or without his prior consent. He was taken and turned against his will. I understand it was done to save his life, and that's always forgivable in my book, because the intentions were in the right place (usually). What bothers me is how mad everyone was at him for not just jumping for joy at this sudden, major change in his life and quite frankly his freedom. He was no longer fully human, he had become dependent on a biological imperative that he'd never asked for, and he was to become a slave, a submissive to a master he didn't ask for. He wasn't even into dudes before any of this happened. It's a lot to take in and he wasn't really given a chance to process, he was just told to behave or be punished.

As a pet, or mate, he was expected to be submissive but he wasn't. And when he tried to explain that it wasn't in his nature before he was turned, so he shouldn't be expected to be that way after. Nicky was basically told over and over that he didn't know his own mind and that everyone else knew what was best for him. His alpha wouldn't listen to reason that, perhaps the ways of their ancestors were wrong, or at the very least in need of an overhaul as the bloodlines had been diluted over the centuries, and the world had changed.

A lot of the complications could have been avoided if Marco had just approached Nicky and explained things to him in the first place. If he had given the chance to make an informed choice, maybe things would have turned out different. I know part of the story had to be angst and strife, but that could have been covered with the rogue pack and the prospect of hunters.

So I didn't hate it, but it didn't quite rank three stars for me. I'm considering reading more of the series; maybe it will get better.


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Bk 1)
Review Date: 3/29/2016


This was fab! Georgia is hilarious; I was literally laughing out loud throughout a good portion of the book. I adore Angus and wish he was my cat. This was just a really fun book to read. The writing was great, the stories were fun and interesting and creative. I really look forward to checking out the rest of the series.


The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 970
Review Date: 8/26/2016


First of all, the initial description of the book that I read said NOTHING about this being heart-wrenching or a tear-jerker. If it had, I would have better prepared myself for this book.

It was a beautiful story that made me happy, sad, angry. I laughed at a few parts, but mostly, this was a very melancholy tale. Enzo was an amazingly smart dog and living life through his eyes made me wonder (even more than I previously did) what goes through my dog's head most days.

I loved and hated Enzo's family. It was so sweet and very believable how much Denny loved his dog, because I love my dog that much and I'm not even a 'dog' person! And the things Denny went through... Ugh there were a few times when I wanted to punch Denny, but mostly I wanted to do bodily harm to his wife and in-laws. And somehow, even though he was only a dog, Enzo usually ended up saving the day.

As mad as I was to read the opening paragraphs and find out that this was not a whimsical tale of life through a dog's eyes, but the flash back of his life during his last days (which they warn you about in the description on the back of the book so this is NOT technically a spoiler) I could not put this book down. I ended up taking it to the beach and sitting under an umbrella next to my hubby, I finished it. I was bawling. If you read this, keep tissues or a hanky with you! But you should read this.


As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
Review Date: 4/28/2017


The tale was almost as whimsical as the movie! This was a great listen. The stories of commaraderie, funny and happiness, as well as the tales of shenanigans were fantastic. Cary told his story of the nerves of audition and being cast were refreshing. I think we sometimes forget that (even big name actors) don't always have roles handed to them. So for an virtual nobody in the acting world, Cary had to have so much anxiety at even being considered for the lead in one of his favorite stories.

I love the other actors' account interspersed with Cary's narration. I think the stories I enjoyed most were in regard to André. I was a huge wrestling fan growing up and as a child, seeing him in this movie was such a treat. But to hear about how much he meant to his fellow cast mates was very touching.

Not that I ever need an excuse, but listening to this made me want to watch the movie and look for the hidden things revealed in the book. I had the opportunity to attend a Cary Elwes panel at Comic Con a few years back. He was so engaging and funny and told such wonderful stories. Now I regret not having purchased a copy of the book and having him sign it. :(

Even if you've never read the book; even if you've never seen the movie--but seriously if you haven't, what rock have you been living under?! You will enjoy this book if for no other reason, it's an actor's account in the adventures of making a movie that became a cult classic the likes of Rocky Horror!


The Backup Boyfriend (Boyfriend Chronicles, Bk 1)
The Backup Boyfriend (Boyfriend Chronicles, Bk 1)
Author: River Jaymes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/29/2016


This book was great. It was well written with a great plot. I loved the build-up of the characters from friendship to beyond. The angst wasn't over done and was very believable. What I really loved about this was that it wasn't riddled with raunchy cliches. It was a romance between two men with sexual content, but it wasn't over done or too vulgar. I have nothing against erotica or explicit sex, in fact I love it, but it doesn't belong in something that's described as more romance and fluff.

The writing was truly spot on and I applaud the author for not losing the plot or the characters. The romance was sweet, and the angst was wrenching and the sex was fantastic. And none of it was overly dramatic or too drawn out or too quick. It all flowed very nicely.

I very much enjoyed this and would be very willing to continue with the series. My only complaint was a quote that was blatantly taken from The Fellowship of the Ring. In a book that was, refreshingly without an abundance of stereotypical cliches, it just didn't fit and was disappointing to see. Whether or not it was an unconscious accident or purposely done remains to be seen. I just know I had an "oh no!" moment when I read it.


The Bane Chronicles
The Bane Chronicles
Author: Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/29/2016


Possible Spoilers Ahead:

Okay, so I read the first three in the Mortal Instruments series and Magnus Bane very quickly became my favorite character. (Along with Simon and Luke).

I had my own hesitations about continuing the series and after reading some truly scathing reviews of the next book in the series, I decided to skip it.

But having a chance to read about the exploits of Magnus Bane....I just couldn't resist. I saw some bad reviews of this book and I don't really understand why. Magnus is hilarious and always getting himself into some kind of situation. And unlike Clary and crew, his situations make me laugh. I've yet to want to strangle Magus and I ALWAYS want to do bodily harm to someone in that group of teenaged Shadowhunters.

The bonus story made me very sad. I've had enough spoilers to know that Magnus and Alec have a bad break-up, and eventually get closure and become friends. And apparently they manage to find their way back to romance, which makes me very happy. Not just for Magnus, but for Alec as well. I feel like he really needs his relationship with Magus, otherwise what else does he have--other than being a demon hunter?! It seems like his whole life revolves around looking after his sister and Jace in battle, and pining after Jace. With Magus in his life, he seemed to have broken out of his shell a bit.

Anyway, after hearing all of those voicemails begging and threatening Magnus to forgive Alec, I felt so sad. And Alec calling and finally giving up, saying that he wouldn't call or text anymore...well my little ice cold heart melted! Now I want to finish the series just to find out the full story behind the break-up, but more importantly to see them reconcile.

I very much enjoyed this. I read half and then listened to the entire audiobook. If you haven't listened to it, it's worth it to hear some of your favorite people voicing Magnus and his shenanigans--particularly Gareth David-Lloyd!


The Bearens' Hope: Book Four of the Soul-Linked Saga (Volume 4)
Review Date: 7/31/2016


For the first time I wanted to slap a main character. Hope was almost foolish enough to give up true love because of someone else's beliefs. Another good edition to the Soul-Linked series


Ben: The Atherton Pack, Book 2 (Volume 2)
Ben: The Atherton Pack, Book 2 (Volume 2)
Author: Toni Griffin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/29/2016


This was sweet. It was nice to watch Tommy transition from being terrified, to hating being a victim and determined to live.

I really liked the dynamic between Ben and Tommy. Ben is an alpha male both literally and figuratively and Tommy is the perfect submissive mate. But Tommy has just enough sass to keep him from being the kind of submissive that could be abused. Ben likes protecting his mate, and Tommy likes Ben's protective streak.

It's really perfect and I think the age and size difference just adds to the sweetness of their union. I can't wait for their cub to be born and to see what comes from Ethan and Corey meeting.


Berta's Choice: The Soul-Linked Saga
Berta's Choice: The Soul-Linked Saga
Author: Laura Jo Phillips
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/31/2016


This was a lovely addition to the Soul-Linked series. Things worked out beautifully for Berta and she deserved nothing less after enduring years of captivity and torture at the hand of the breathren!


Boy Meets Boy
Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 8/9/2016


The first thing I gotta say is, I'm mad at myself for not reading this the moment it arrived in the mail!

The other first thing I gotta say is, I want to go to this high school!!! There should be a television show about this high school because I would watch the hell out of it!

This book was just beautiful. I loved the story and the characters. It's about Paul, who is best friends with Joni and Tony, ex-boyfriends with Kyle, and very interested in the new boy, Noah.

Let's talk about Paul. This kid is really put together. And what I mean is, he comes from a loving home with understanding and fun-loving parents and a pretty cool older brother. They all accept Paul and his friends for who and what they are, no questions asked. Besides typical teenaged angst, Paul is very secure in who he is. He's out, he's dated boys in junior high and high school; he's even had his heart-broken. He's the kid all parents wish their kids could be, without him seeming ridiculously fake. He's a good person with family and friends. He goes to school and does well, he participates in school plays and helps to plan school functions. He's supportive of his friends. And, most important, he makes mistakes.

Then we have Tony who is gay and sort of out, but he has devout Christian parents who pray for his soul and fear that he is headed straight for hell if he doesn't get back on the right path. But the catch is, they truly, truly love their child. They haven't thrown him out or tried to send him to a facility to geared to force him straight. But they do continuously pray for his salvation, they are strict about what activities he can participate in, they (sort of) screen his friends and get super excited whenever a girl is mentioned. Tony is so sad and I just want to hug him and adopt him as my own child. His parents mean well, but they haven't gotten to the point where (good parents) realize that loving your child means letting them be who they are and not who you wish they would be.

There's Joni, who loses her damn mind a few chapters into the book. She becomes the epitome of love making you ditch your family and friends and making you do stupid things. She, in my opinion, is a bad friend, and she gets no redemption from me.

Kyle is Paul's ex who broke up with him when being gay and in a relationship freaked him out. He gets halfway to redemption in my book because (and I can only imagine) having an identity crisis at 15-16 years old is insane and would make you do crazy, stupid things that teenagers often do, and then later regret.

And Noah is the new boy in town who is sweet and artsy and has been hurt before. I just wanted to hug him as well because he has the travelling-for-work-parents. They're never really home and have moved him and his sister around quite a bit. He doesn't even realize what he's looking for when he meets Paul and gets a little freaked-out himself. Only he handles his freak-out much better than Kyle did.

Infinite Darlene. She is a drag queen, the star quarter back, and the homecoming queen. Nough said.

There are more characters that I won't get into. But they are all wonderfully written. I feel like we were given a glimpse of who they all are as people and teenagers just struggling to get through high school life. The story is funny and sad and sweet and lovely. All-in-all this is a well-written tale of old love, new love, friendship, betrayal, growth and redemption. While I wish it was longer, the length was perfect. It left me wanting more, but I wasn't left unsatisfied.


Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
Breathers: A Zombie's Lament
Author: S. G. Browne
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 3/29/2016


A hidden gem among zombie novels! This was fantastic! There were so many parallels between the treatment of zombies and other minorities that it really made me sad for them. This was funny, yet touching and really made you think. Typically you're cheering for the living and hoping they don't get eaten, but in this you were hoping that the zombies made it out okay. And a few people got eaten that teally, really deserved it!

This was a fun read and I highly recommend it!


Captured with His Pregnant Mate (Luna Werewolves, Bk 1)
Captured with His Pregnant Mate (Luna Werewolves, Bk 1)
Author: Marcy Jacks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/29/2016


This reminded me so much of Teen Wolf fan fiction, but in a good way. I love the idea of different types of werewolves, werewolves being at war not only with human hunters but with other werewolves as well and I especially love that there is mpreg in this series. That is someone you only see in fanfic and it's not to see someone taking the risk to put it in a published work.

The story was good as was the action.


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