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The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson #22

Well, what to say.  Okay, I reviewed the first one with flying colours. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson is of course a sequel to the first one, The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I blogged about that one a while back and this book is also another long one, 512 pages to be exact.

This is a kind of book that is hard to review because it is so long, so complicated and anything you say will give things away. There is so much detail in this book that it’s not a wonder why the darn thing counts so high in my Book challenge. I’m supposed to be checking in with my current totals, hence the reason I’m reviewing 2 books in one day, but it’s doubly difficult to review this thing without also giving away the next book, that I’m currently reading.

This started out slow, much like the first one. There wasn’t as many character introductions this time as most of the first book’s character’s came back (SEE, I’m revealing serious plot stuff already … wait …).  This really helped with character confusion that often happens, but I think contributed to the slow start. Of course it picked up after a bit and got interesting.

One thing about these books is the details. Oh my god the details. Seriously, this dude took a page from Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series because DAMN! the man threw in a shitton of details. I gave the first book 10 of my whore dollars because it was riveting (I’ve always wanted to use that cheesy marketing term), but this one wasn’t as much until the end, and then it slightly annoyed me how it ended because then I knew the 3rd book was going to go on with the same damn story line (and it does).

I think because the author died after handing the publisher his manuscripts they didn’t really get to have that author/editor playful banter back and forth to trim shit down. Of course being a bestselling book who am I to critique the wordiness and direction this series seems to go in?

Whatever. It’s still a really good book and if you started the first one and loved it, you’d enjoy this one too, but not on its own. This is a series that has to be read in order or you’d be lost. I won’t give it 10, but I’ll give it 8 G-String dollars and recommend it.

My miserable, lonely, lesbian pregnancy by Andrea Askowitz #21

I picked this up because the title got me, as it should. I believe a title is very important, hence why I spend so damn long on my main blog getting the titles written.  241 pages of hilarity. Seriously. My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy by Andrea Askowitz was funny. Yet real. Not just laughter as she has a warped idea of relationships, especially with an old fling, but she can still laugh at even that.

It revolves around her life of course, but doesn’t just focus on one thing, like her sexuality, or her pregnancy, but each factor feeds the other, does that make sense?

Shit it’s been too long since I published a review because I’m grasping at words.

She’s a lesbian (yes, that’s obvious, shut up), and she so desperately wants to have a baby. Her previous relationship &  partner haunts her, and frankly taunts her, while she’s pregnant. The lady is quite funny while being miserably pregnant.

I enjoyed the book, it read almost as a fictional book occasionally, just very casual, and it flowed well. However (and you knew there would be a bad side), I got so fed up with her pining and whining that I even thought of closing the book part way through. *collective gasp* I know ~hangs head in shame~. But I couldn’t help it. I get the same annoyances with other books, fictional too, where the leader of the pack, the strong person the book is about, keeps lavishing all of their thoughts and dreams and future upon another person that left them. They left you for a reason, this is probably it!

*ahem*

I think the book has more potential, honestly, I really didn’t feel the closure. Like, oh yes, here’s baby, now I’m happy. WTF? Just no. Sorry, that just doesn’t happen. In fact, the arrival of baby will always, ALWAYS, compound the problems you already have, not make them magically better.

I’d recommend it for a light read, but not anything informative (as people tend to go for non-fiction to learn something). I’d only give it 5 G-String dollars. Even though it was so funny at times I almost pee’d a little, I was too put off by her obsession with her old fling. Definitely library worthy.

Two for the dough by Janet Evanovich #20

What a shmuck I am. Part of my challenge this year was to read books I haven’t read before. I had picked up One for the Money by Janet Evanovich before, but I thought I put that one down in boredom. I grabbed it again fully expecting to find the point where I stopped reading before only to find that I have read the entire thing. A WHOLE BOOK WASTED on rereading when it didn’t stick with me the first time around. It was the second one I put down in boredom before. *sigh*

I just don’t know that I’ll pick up the 3rd one. Seriously, this became a story that I found so-so and blah and repetitive. Oh look, she’s in her car again driving to a slimy bastard’s house/place of work/fill in the blank with whatever idiotic place to go. Oh, and again, someone has shot at her, or oh, how original, a big guy has pushed her around and she fought back because she was just that angry that she could take on a 250 lb muscle-bound psychotic.

Yeah, okay, totally believable.

My mom recommended the books for the light, fluffy hilarity as a good, non-thinking read. Oh boy did she get that right. It had some funny moments and the imagery was occasionally giggle-worthy, but it really isn’t enough for me to pick up another one of the set. I mean by God there are a freakin’ dozen books or something. How much more of human stupidity could I read?

So this one is obviously not going to get top dollar from me. It isn’t because it was poorly written or that there wasn’t a story, but it was blah to me and highly predictable for a mystery. I don’t like getting to the end of a mystery and going ‘of course it’s them you idiot, you’ve been tailing them and talking about how slimy they were from the beginning, as if you didn’t know’ when the bad guy is revealed.

A measly 4 G-String dollars for 352 pages of fluff, and I gave it higher coin than I normally would because the 90s references and occasional vivid imagery had me smiling. I’d only recommend it for a light read and not as a purchase, but borrow it from your mom who you know has it.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld #19

Oh man I’m pissed at myself. I picked up this book at my library on a whim of course and just now found out it is the 3rd book in a trilogy.

DAMMIT!

I’m obsessed with reading books IN ORDER! The book Specials by Scott Westerfeld was just a book I grabbed, so I didn’t even think it had any prequels as my library knows me well enough to know not to place books within my grasp OUT OF ORDER!

Yes, I need to get over it.

That being said, over and over again it seems, I am impressed with how I didn’t superbly need to read them in order. Okay, let me rephrase that. With my obsession I personally need to read them in order and will definitely go back to the beginning and grumble insatiably about how I need to read things in order. However, yous peoples living in my computer don’t necessarily have to read them in order for you to know what’s going on. I did have some trouble at first keeping straight the levels of people between Uglies, Pretties and Specials, etc, but caught on quickly and just kept reading.

The book, yes the book. The book was forgettable. Shoot, that sounds awful, but seriously. It’s been a while since I read it, but I saw the title had been saved as a draft here on my WordPress book whore account and could not for the life of me remember the book. It wasn’t until I logged back into my library account to get the info that I remembered the story.

It’s not that it’s a bad story, in fact it was highly interesting. It just didn’t stick with me. It is a YA book that’s 384 pages long and at no point did I just want to put the book down and be done with it. I also didn’t get obsessed with reading it either.  It’s a good read and I’d recommend you borrow it, possibly a youth reader would get more out of this book than I did. I’d say 5 G-String dollars is all it’d earn. A decent amount by whore standards, but avid readers may not be drawn to it.

God is not great: how religion poisons everything by Christopher Hitchens #18

I’m sure my in-laws are gasping that I’d even read a book with such a title, but I love reading what everyone has to say on religion. I agreed with a huge amount of what Mr. Hitchens wrote, so it seems it really was a good read.

God is not Great is 320 pages and holy crap was it chock full of information. Almost too much information actually, but still good. I found myself nodding and actually exclaiming how right he was out loud. I’m sure my dh thought I was nuts.

Have I mentioned he’s a deacon in the Catholic church? Yeah. Made for great discussions in our house (no really, it did!).

I picked up this book upon request from another library because it was recommended by someone. Not directly to me, but I spotted that it had been read by someone I obviously admire, and it’s been too many sleeps since it then so I don’t remember who. Doesn’t really matter (I know, why mention it then, right?) but the title is what caught my attention. I was trying to understand what he meant in his title and got a mind-full when I read it. I cannot begin to break down how much knowledge is in there, and how much my interest was piqued by the Christianity information alone. I thought I should possibly start writing things down so I could research further, but subsequently lost that thought and only remembered just now that I was going to do that.

This is how I roll I guess.

I did have issues with how the chapters were organized and his writing style is very difficult to keep up with. If you are at all easily distracted this is not a book I would recommend as it took a lot of concentration to keep up with how he bounced around from topic to topic, even from paragraph to paragraph. Very scattered thoughts throughout and I can’t help but think this book would’ve gone further, or more people would read it (or keep reading it) had his thoughts been more organized and concise.

I’d highly recommend this book for people of above average reading skills and vocabulary and with the desire to accept the challenge to their faith, for those of faith, and the validation for those with no beliefs (or belief that there is no god). Oh my GOD that was a horrible sentence, I must be taking a page from the author’s book. What I mean is this: 1) you need to understand big words 2) read very well, 3) you must be willing to have your faith challenged if you have one, and 4) you can have your lack of belief in anything/religion or atheism be validated. Be prepared for a smidgen of disdain within the pages if you are Christian as he seems to have more against that religion than any other.

I’d give it 6 G-String dollars for sure. The reason for the lower marks is due to the scattered writing. It’s a peeve of mine to have unorganized thoughts throughout a chapter. If you need more chapters, make more chapters, don’t just throw everything and anything within a chapter where it doesn’t seem to belong. However, most of this is moot as this is another author who has died and unless by some miracle, is unlikely to fix this book or write any others.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson #17

What a nice book to come to after reading that blah book before. Seriously, I hardly noticed that the tome was 465* pages.

This is a book that my mom bought, probably because the cover is simple, yet bright and eye-catching. So I snagged it off of her shelf before my daughter could get a hold of it, because I’m a good and sacrificing parent like that.

Yeah.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson was first published in Sweden and then, taking a few years, has now been translated into a buttload of different languages. The title, I think, is a perfect pick. The story doesn’t start out about her, but she is weaved into it and then becomes a major character.  The title almost seems to hint that she is a tad different, but is still regarded as just a girl, or slightly insignificant. She is not, I guarantee that. You will fall in love with Lisbeth within the first few chapters for sure.

I know, *gasp* I actually printed a character name, something new to shock the 4 readers I guess.

When I review a book, I don’t tend to describe the story, much about the characters or even their names. It is very important for me to not know what a book is about much and I tend to take that same stance with my reviews. If you want to read exactly what it’s about because you are intrigued by my review, go buy the damn book or borrow it. It’s worth it.

If there was ever a need for a drumroll, this’d be it. I have given 2 perfect reviews before, which means the books were good enough to warrant full whore dollars and possibly even a free quickie. This will be another. Seriously, this was super easy to give this book 10 G-String dollars. Hell I’d give it an 11 but I don’t think it tops Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. I couldn’t even take points off for the hard names because I got used to them.

One sad thing is Stieg Larsson has died. His partner has taken up the task of finishing the 4th book he started writing, but it’s a sad day when such a talented writer is taken.

*Here’s a freaking end note about something getting on my nerves. A few of the books I’ve reviewed I grabbed the amount of pages there were by looking at the book itself. However, when I compared it to Amazon, Amazon is always bigger. It annoys the hell out of me that they almost seem to be just counting the number of pieces of paper between the covers than the actual story. Same editions even! /rant.

The Woman Who Can’t Forget by Jill Price #16

Another biography down, one that read more like a really super long magazine article, but I digress (saw that description on Goodreads by a reviewer and it was a perfect description).

The Woman Who Can’t Forget is a book I nabbed at the library, like the other bazillionty books I get year by year, because it sat on a shelf and the title grabbed my eye. I was intrigued by the idea that a person couldn’t forget.  What I assumed was that she couldn’t forget anything, not be deluged by her personal memories day-by-day for 263 pages.

I was so freakin’ bored with this book’s monotony I almost put it down, almost. This has been part of my challenge this year, to stop putting books down because they don’t get interesting right off the bat. I did that for the Hunger Games and now that I want to give it a second go I either have to buy the set, wait for my mother to give in and borrow it off of her, or put myself on the list of four.hundred.people that want to read it. Yes, four HUNDRED. Sorry, shouted there for a second.

So back to this book. This is a book that should’ve been a magazine article, or something much much smaller. She whined through most of it about how hard her life is, because her mind is obsessive in its memory of her life. Yes, we get that it’s hard, I can’t imagine the daily struggle she endures to live in the now. But oh.my.God. stop with the blah blah blah. There was 263 pages of telling us how hard her life was and with superb details of events that no one but her cares about or remembers with such excruciating clarity. I imagine if she read this review, she’d be hurt, because I also found her to be very me me me, everything was about ‘me’ and poor reviews are an attack on ME! But no, she’s just not a great writer, and I found her story boring.

So, this’ll be a first for me. I would not recommend this book at all. It gives no ‘aha’ information about regular memory, nor is it even interesting enough to grab at the library. Maybe the most remarkable memory to science, but is highly forgettable for me. This book would get booed off stage, and receives 0 G-String dollars from me.

Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher – #15

Oh my God someone flog me for not coming here to post all the books I have read. I am so behind it’s not even funny. I’m going to whip through the 6 books I have yet to review rather quickly because I believe Ms. Susie will smack me upside the head with a Twilight fan if I don’t get caught up and kick butt on the Insatiable Book Slut’s 2012 Challenge.

*ahem*

So, where was I….. oh yes, attempting to write a book review on a book I read 2 months ago because I am just.that.lazy. Yeah, that’s it. It’s not that I’m busy or anything, just too lazy to get on this.

Bring on the twilight fan smackage.

Shockaholic was almost exactly how I’d expect it to be. Absolutely strange.  Seriously, I expected that, but only because I had read Wishful Drinking first.  See, there is a benefit to being obsessive about book order, you get to discover someone’s writing style instead of assuming that whatever book I picked up is going to conform to my ideal of what it should be. I think this book earned some poor reviews because people tend to look at writings by famous people and assume it’s going to be a step-by-step biography, the same old system of spilling the beans on a life. Not Shockaholic, that’s for sure. Yes, you did get to find out more about her shock treatment, but it wasn’t central to the story. There was even more back story of her life that wasn’t in the first book.

I can’t even tell you what it’s about as her style of writing is so different from that of any other biography. Hilariously funny (yes, I’m even jumping for the cliched descriptions, that’s how lazy I am today) and she kept me interested the whole way through.

I totally don’t remember what I gave the Wishful Drinking damn thing, but it doesn’t matter, it has no bearing on this one’s whore earnings so I don’t know why I brought it up. More words? Why YES, thank you!

This one would earn 7 G-String dollars, mainly because even though I wasn’t totally expecting a whole lot on the shock therapy, I secretly was solely because of the title. (edited quickly to throw in there was 304 pages).

Oh, and Star Wars freaks will get this:

Recommend this book, I would.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – #14

Often when I pick up a star biography book I’m just looking to look, be curious, or I guess get snoopy about their lives. Of course I do the same thing with non-star biographies too, so it’s not unusual. I cannot, for the life of me, remember where I heard about Carrie Fisher‘s new book.  At the time I just heard about ‘Shockaholic’ and didn’t even think she had written many books before. So I reserved & picked up Shockoholic from the library and just then found out she had a previous book called Wishful Drinking.  Well shitdamn, I can’t read books OUT OF ORDER. That is just …. well wrong.

I breezed through Wishful Drinking quickly because the lending time for the Shockaholic was coming up, and not renewable due to its popularity, but also because it’s easy to read. I tend to go into these type of books with the idea that I’m going to hear about their lives. I wasn’t disappointed with this one, although it did often come across as more strange and flighty than most other bios, it was a nice change actually. In fact I think it’s had relatively poor reviews thus far and I can see why. It doesn’t follow the typical movie star fanfare-type shit that occasionally turns into a poor-me party about how rough their lives are being famous.

Yeah.

Although Carrie Fisher does delve into her childhood being the offspring of very famous people of the time, it’s not in a ‘poor me’ type way. Side note here – I know who her mom is but have no effing clue who Eddie Fisher is, but he sounds like a horrid womanizer and by god was married to Elizabeth Taylor? Okay…

I also found it quite refreshing (I hate the overused term, but it’s fitting here) of how hilarious Ms. Fisher really is. Who the hell knew she was so witty and entertaining?

Here’s the thing. If you’re some dude (ette) thinking you’ve picked up Princess Leia’s biography, you will be in for a horrid surprise.  She doesn’t talk about filming the movie, she doesn’t talk much about Star Wars stuff at all, in fact you almost get the idea that it was just a blip in her life. Hell, she didn’t even want to get into acting!

I liked it, it was a good enough book. Good enough doesn’t get full whore marks or anything, but gets a recommendation for others to find entertainment amongst its pages by borrowing it. So, this bitch brings in 6 G-String dollars for entertainment value. I was put off by the lack of Star Wars stuff considering it’s Princess Leia pictured the front, but was still entertained nonetheless.

Edited: because I forgot to say how many pages it is! How do I win the Insatiable Book Slut‘s Challenge if I don’t keep track?! There’s 176 pages.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving #13

Oh my God, this should’ve been titled “Thank God for a semi-interesting character Owen Meany” or “Jeebus, this thing is 543 pages frickin’ long and they’re STILL talking in all caps with Owen Meany?”

It’s obvious that I didn’t like this book much at all, and I’m sure you are on the edge of your seat wondering why this highly recommended book was just so awful for me.

This book was recommended by Triple G over at The Insatiable Book Sluts. That site is by far the funniest, and truthfully, the most thorough book review site I’ve ever seen. Not that I read a lot of them, but at the time I was getting desperate for new authors so I chose a bunch from their recommended reads.

So far it has not gone well for me. There was the Steve Martin fiasco, and now this. This book took me a long time to get through because I kept waiting for an actual effing story to unfold.  The entire thing was meant to effectively lead up to a heroic end, but I just found the whole damn thing boring and monotonous. As a person who has been on the internet for years, a good chunk of it in forums and chat rooms, all caps seriously annoy the shit out of me. I mean drive me to-my-core bonkers. So to have the entire book talk in all caps when Owen Meany speaks is just too much.

The main character is obviously Owen Meany, the only interesting character in the book, and the secondary is the narrator, as Owen’s best friend. This is a story that could have, and probably should have, been a short story as there was so much more in there than ever needed to be. I even *gasp* skipped paragraphs as I was reading toward the end. This is a lifetime story of the narrator and I got sick of the flip-flopping between ‘now’ and ‘then’ so much that I often flitted over the ‘now’ (or skipped them altogether) and rolled my eyes again at the inaneness of the words being repeated on the page AGAIN. And the all caps, oh.my.God. the all caps.

So, this was easy. Normally I’d put down a crappy book I don’t like, but I’m challenging myself this year to woman-up and pull up my big girl panties and read. For this 543 page pile of recyclable paper, I’d almost not give it anything. Seriously, I’d give it zero G-String dollars, but I did like Owen Meany a bit so I’ll give it 2 G-String dollars.  I would definitely not recommend this book to anybody but a literary professor in some college/university looking to drive students crazy.

It’s funny, I was more bothered to give a bad review to Steve Martin’s book than this one. Maybe because I don’t know the author’s other works to give him any credit? Possibly. But I won’t be bothered to look for anything from his vaults as I’d be too afraid HE’D TALK IN ALL CAPS AGAIN.

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