Heather B. (HeatherAndSolo) - , - Reviews

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500 Acres and No Place to Hide: More Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl
Review Date: 7/27/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Couldn't get past the many, many "footnotes" at the bottom of each page. She thinks she's being cute, funny, irreverent - it causes nothing but a headache and major eye strain. You have to constantly interrupt yourself in the flow of reading to go to the bottom of the page, and it's a major pain in the eye/head/brain. Just not worth it. I considered just plowing through and ignoring the footnotes, but you can't because you'd miss stuff. So, I just decided to quit the book entirely.


Austenland (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Austenland (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Author: Katherine Kellgren (Narrator), Shannon Hale
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/12/2012
Helpful Score: 2


This review is about the audio version, not the book itself. The woman reading the book does some serious British accents, and a couple of them are so cringeworthy, I had to turn the sound down. It made my teeth crunch. Pretty awful to listen to, and I LOVE British accents. Just a word to the wise.


City Dog
City Dog
Author: Alison Pace
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 9/4/2010
Helpful Score: 2


Anyone who loves animals (particularly dogs) will find Alison Pace's books incredibly heart-warming. Single, educated professional women will also love her books as a change from the chick lit formula. In this one, one-third of the chapters are actually narrated by Carlie, the dog, and the writing is just beyond adorable. Absolutely sweet. The book moves quickly, makes you really root for the characters, and makes you want to go hug your pet, whatever kind it may be. For people (women especially) who feel their pets are far more than "animals" and much more "members of the family," this book will be an excellent, cute read!


Confessions of a Video Vixen
Confessions of a Video Vixen
Author: Karrine Steffans, Karen Hunter
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 80
Review Date: 7/2/2009
Helpful Score: 1


and yep, it's for that reason. First off, I gave this book (along with her other one) 5 stars because it's well-written. The wording, pace, tense, and storyline are all excellent. And that's what we're rating- the book. You will be sucked into this story and flipping pages to see just whose path (and who else's you-know-what) this woman came across. But then just try to take yourself out of judging her. It's hard. She's basically a woman who sexes her way (not even to the top) but through the men of the hip hop and rap world (yes, you WILL know the names she names). I often felt sorry for her, why she felt she had to make her way through the world on her back and not her own two feet. Expecting others to pay her way every step of it. But that's her LIFE. As for her book, I commend her on a great, interesting job.


Escape from Bridezilla
Escape from Bridezilla
Author: Jacqueline deMontravel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 6/9/2011


This is a strange one to review. It's chick lit and a cute read, but first, it barely has anything to do with a wedding. The main character isn't a Bridezilla - she doesn't even want to get married as it is. The main character isn't likeable - she talks in these short, five-year old-style choppy asides like "Want chocolate" and "Gimme now." Also, she seems to get everything she wants with making no effort - guys falling over her, etc. Anyway, if you want a wedding/bride-centered book, choose something else. If bratty women annoy you, choose something else. Add it to your bag for a beach read or long flight/car drive and you'll be set.


Falling Out of Fashion
Falling Out of Fashion
Author: Karen Yampolsky
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 9/25/2010


If you read "Jane" or "Sassy" magazines, you may find this book an interesting fictionalized story of the life of Jane Pratt, their creator/editor. It's written by her old assistant, through from Jane's point of view (in the book, called Jill). I didn't expect that, and I had liked those magazines a lot. The book was a really quick read, it grabs you in and makes you root for Jane (unlike in "The Devil Wears Prada" where you hate the big lady). Real-big readers of those magazines will recognize name-drops for Courtney Cox, Pam Anderson and a few others (it can be a game where you try to figure out who she's talking about by twisting the initials). This was a step up from the chick lit I thought it'd be!


The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo
The Girl Who Ate Kalamazoo
Author: Darrin Doyle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 5/5/2012


I get the idea that this author is trying to be Chuck Palahuniuk with this book, but he doesn't exactly make it. We're really supposed to believe a girl can "eat" a town? With no distended stomach, vital organ distruction or - oh of course - the idea that a bed cannot FIT INSIDE OF A GIRL. And the graphic descriptions of her eating, for example, a restaurant and a bed? Not even something you can "suspend" your mind to imagine. The writing is good and the story is engaging - it makes you interested, but his style of writing is definitely a Chuck P ripoff. It's like he was going for shock value, but then "forgot" to shock you.


Girlfriends
Girlfriends
Author: Patrick Sanchez
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 6/13/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Hooray! A chick lit book that's not all about getting that man for a happy ending. True, the three women at the center of the book are looking for love (with men AND women), but they had other things, experiences, problems, issues, and LIFE going on as well. Their relationships with each other (strained at times) was a nice change from the usual chick lit where it's "let's go binge drink and snort coke and fall into bed with guys." These ladies have jobs, life interests, etc. The book is a hard-to-put-down enjoyable read and I really recommend it.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated
Author: Shane Bolks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 1/18/2009


I really loved this book, gave it five stars. It's excellent, sweet chick lit (a step up from the usual drug-binging, bed-hopping lead characters we usually see). It's about a nerdish girl who gets a second chance with her high-school (and elementary!) long time love. The thing is, the title threw me off. I thought it might be a dating memoir like "Dating Amy"- basically a recount of all the bad dates a girl got to before she hit "the one." It's not at all! There is NO dating in the book but for the girl's current boyfriend and her dream man. It's NOT a dating memoir, it's just fiction. If you're at all into Star Wars, you'll love the main character. It was neat to see a female portrayed so into the Sci-Fi. You'll love her for her quirkiness, funny family, and the things she experiences. (SPOILER) It has your typical chick-lit happy ending, but was a really fast read, and I find myself wishing the author would make a sequel about this fun, interesting character!


How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else
Review Date: 10/24/2012
Helpful Score: 4


I go to Starbucks 2-4 times a week, it's my happy place. Drinking Starbucks is like a hug to your insides. I would rather be dipped in a vat of hot latte than listen to this drivel. I didn't make it past disk 4. I don't care about this guy's "amazing" and "special" daughters. I don't care that he cheated on his wife, got the cheatee pregnant, and left her hanging too. He's boring, boring, boring. I thought it'd be an inspirational look on how working at Starbucks could turn someone's life around, but it's like way more about how he finds himself "so helpful" to the down-and-out African American female store manager - ordering her about on how to make PowerPoints and stuff - and less about Starbucks itself.


I Wish I Never Met You : Dating the Shiftless, Stupid, and Ugly A Novel
Review Date: 3/28/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Although I'm really sorry the author had to deal with so many dolts, I'm kinda glad she did, because it led her to write this book. Which is awesome! She's a goal-oriented, professional, motivated woman just looking for her Mr. Right. Unfortunately, they're only Mr. Wrong, Mr. SO Wrong, and Mr. COMPLETELY Wrong. Being single "in the dating market" right now, a woman similar to the author can't help but identify with her plight. Her writing is sharp, quick, and humorous despite the horrid situations the men put her in. I cringed but also wanted to hug and high-five her. You will be shaking your head going "Mmmmm, hmmmm, yep" on every page. It is a quick page-turner's look into what (or who) exactly is "out there" and the justification on why some of us prefer to stay home with our cat!


I'm Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 6/27/2012
Helpful Score: 3


The audio version of this book could not be more annoying. I mean it. It could not be. It couldn't even try, because it exhausted itself being so annoying in the first place. It's read by the author, who has a quite passable female voice (male to female transsexual author). Unfortunately, she feels the need to break into song way too often, and the grating, sibilant voice makes you want to shoot yourself in the eardrums. She also feels the need to constantly imitate her "Grammy" in this screeching, high-pitched, mean voice. You won't be able to get through this or the singing. The rest of the book, when the author isn't being so entirely over the top obnoxious, is pretty dry and you may find yourself, as I did, not even noticing it's gone through several minutes. I conked out at CD 4 of 8. Good luck getting further.


Invisible Monsters
Invisible Monsters
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 335
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I know a Palahuniuk book isn't your usual light and fluffy reading. It's also near-to-impossible for me to quit a book midway. I've been a fan of other CP books ("Choke," "Fight Club,") and am on the waiting list for "Snuff." Sadly though, this book just did NOT do it for me. From the way it jumped around instead of a usual chapter format to the "almost but not complete" descriptions of the way the main character's face had been destroyed... I just felt grossed out. It just didn't seem to be what I thought it'd be (though that's no fault of the author). I found it hard to keep track of who was who from the way the characters' names changed and although it's a credit to the author to write such unnerving characters, it just made me want to put the book down and pick up something more cuddly for now.


Like Mother, Like Daughter (Red Dress Ink)
Like Mother, Like Daughter (Red Dress Ink)
Author: Jane Sigaloff
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 4/9/2009
Helpful Score: 1


As much as I thought this book would be a sure shot for me (usually Red Dress Ink books are, particularly ones about single women), I couldn't stand it. First, it plays on what is now becoming an ever-present yet tired stereotype of the "totally hip older mom." The mom in this book (turning 60) steals her daughter's clothes and purses, sleeps around, dates tons of men, drinks, loses her car, and is "Just. So. Darn. Flighty." Ugh. Although I identified more with the daughter, I didn't sympathize or feel for her at all. I didn't like *either* character and wasn't rooting for or invested in them. The book dragged. It sometimes switched descriptions of the characters without telling you, so you thought you were reading about the mom, then ooops, it's the daughter. Hard to follow. This is just one reader's opinion of course. But to read about a woman (close to my age) competing with her mom for dating the same man? Ugh ugh ugh.


The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12
The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12
Author: Robin Gold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 3/30/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Hooray for a book about a woman who is a "perfect" size 12 and THINKS she's perfect that way. She doesn't sit around eating and bemoaning what she's doing, there's no mention of her going to the gym, or trying to "squeeze" into small pants, or feeling bad about herself. The "heroine" of this book simply IS her size. Like it and get on with it. This quick page-turner centers around a nice woman who is trying to win a promotion at her job. The requisite stereotypes DO exist in this book (the rich, body-obsessed, skinny blond with a bad marriage who is jealous of our heroine, the flighty but loyal best friend) but you won't find them detracting from the enjoyability of this book. You'll definitely root for the "perfect size 12" to win- in her job, in her love life, in everything!


Pug Hill
Pug Hill
Author: Alison Pace
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 8/11/2008
Helpful Score: 5


I really have never been "inspired" rave about a book like this one. I hesitated to even get it, but then thought I'd see what all the fuss was about. I'm not into pugs, and thought this would just be another book about a single girl "making it" in NYC. Not at all! I can't really explain how wonderful it is to read about how happy pugs make the girl at the center of this book. She simply can be "healed" by going to Central Park to Pug Hill (is there such a place? there SHOULD be!) and watching the little scrunched bundles of dog running around. I'm about halfway through, but it's such a cool message and unique viewpoint. Not at all your typical binge-drinking and cocaining, working in a PR agency, eating tons of "hobnobs" type of chick-lit. I don't know how it ends, but I already know I'll be sorry to see it go.


Ron Jeremy : The Long Hard Life of a Porn Star
Ron Jeremy : The Long Hard Life of a Porn Star
Author: Ron Jeremy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 7/21/2009
Helpful Score: 1


An excellent, actually heart-warming book from the mouth of one of the most recognized and loved porn legends. Everyone knows The Hedgehog, but this book was a great history of his climb to fame. His early years, how his thought process wrapped itself around this way of life, and his goals for himself. You find yourself completely rooting for him - esp in his drive to become more "mainstream" in "regular" (non-porn) movies, and your heart breaks for him each time his hopes fall through. The sex and porn talk are NOT done in a shocking, salicious way. It's more of a friend telling you how he feels, why he feels it, and how it's affected him. Couldn't put the book down and would happily read anything else by him.

* Big note: Anyone with young kids may want to take extra caution with this book. There are TONS of photo stills from Ron's movie (topless women and almost-full-frontal men). Actually, one of the best parts of the book are all the photos he included of himself with celebrities, but some of the "porn shots" may make parents want to keep this book - no pun intended - under covers.


Skin Game : A Memoir
Skin Game : A Memoir
Author: Caroline Kettlewell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 46
Review Date: 4/2/2009
Helpful Score: 4


This book wasn't interesting, explorative, mind-opening, or even easy to follow. It was just a blathering of "ME ME ME" and not even a major percentage of the book focused on the subject matter of cutting. I didn't feel for or relate to the author, I simply wanted it to be over. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone- not someone who is hoping for help in the subject matter, not someone interested in memoirs, not someone who even wants an escape. I'd recommend it for the recycling bin.


Some Kind of Wise Guy: Stories About Parents, Weddings, Modern Living, and Growing Up Italian
Review Date: 8/17/2009


Short little quips about family life and living, working, and dealing with adulthood. Very funny, esp from the Italian perspective, but his writing branches out across all nationalities. Quite the quick read (most "stories" are two pages or so). I would compare him to a lighter David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro.


Thin Skin
Thin Skin
Author: Emma Forrest
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 7/11/2010
Helpful Score: 4


One of the worst pieces of drivel I've ever read. By simply stringing together "I cut myself, I make myself throw up, I'm so goth, I dye my hair weird colors, I had sex at an early age, my parents don't understand me" you are NOT a writer. This is fiction, yet the author goes in and out of "my mom's alive, my mom died but I'm only going to allude to it, not actually tell you why" and other stuff that makes you actually think, "Please DO cut yourself but this time, do it for REAL." That's a little harsh, but this book was absolutely horrendous writing.


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