Tag: 2 stars

Monsters by Sharon Dogar

Author: Sharon Dogar
Published: February 7, 2019
464 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet – Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron.

But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary’s young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . .

Kim’s Review:

Gosh, I absolutely hate idealists. I’m allowed to say that because I used to be one. Then I entered the real world and it kicked my ass and I realized that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. My biggest problem with this book is the ridiculous, immature, obnoxious idealism of Mary, Percy, and Jane. And they are the worst kind! The kind that expects the world to coddle them, and accept their ideas without question or consequence. And then, they dare to act shocked when everyone calls them out on their ridiculousness! It’s the whole damn book!

I was hoping for a book about monsters and spooky castles and weird experimentations, all that inspired Frankenstein . . . Nope, just page after page of “why is everyone so mean to us??” If they were actually fighting for something worthwhile, then I wouldn’t have minded it nearly so much! But it was literally Mary wanting to live with a married man, Percy wanting to have sex with any woman he wants, and Jane wanting to be Mary. The hypocrisy was astounding! Of course people should accept how I live, no matter how outrageous, but if anyone else tries it, CONDEMNATION! I wanted to kill all three of them, because they’re idiots!! The tiny bit of explanation for Frankenstein was the only good thing in this book, that’s it. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I Owe You One

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: February 5, 2019
448 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 22- March 5, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

Jessica’s Review:

I adore Sophie Kinsella. In fact, it was her book, Can You Keep a Secret?  That got me reading again. Unfortunately the last couple of her books have not been for me.

The premise of I Owe You One had me intrigued, but the delivery failed.  For a start, I did not connect with the characters at all. Fixie’s name did not work for me and she constantly let everyone walk all over her.  Her siblings were very annoying and I did not like Ryan at all.  I suspected him of ill will.  All of the characters had issues of some kind, and the combination just did not work. 

Yes, the scene where the ‘certain disaster’ where Fixie saves the laptop is hilarious and left a lot of promise for the novel. This scene is classic Kinsella.   Despite I Owe You One not being for me, I will continue to read Kinsella novels, I just may need to stick to her older novels.  I think I might need to give Can You Keep a Secret a re-read this year. 

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher  for granting me a copy to read and review. I wish I could have given it a favorable review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Gather Round the Sound (from Audible)

Gather Round the Sound: Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe
Reviewed By: Jessica

Date Listened to:  December 5, 2018
Length: 1 hour 12 minutes
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Audible’s 2017 holiday collection includes:

Zip Code 12345

This mini-documentary centers around a peculiar holiday tradition at General Electric’s headquarters in Schenectady, NY. For two decades, GE has been receiving thousands of letters from kids – children who think they’re reaching Santa Claus. And every year, a handful of GE employees give up their December lunchbreaks to respond to each and every letter.

An Aussie Night Before Christmas, by Yvonne Morrison, performed by Magda Szubanksi

This rollicking rewrite of the famous old poem ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas gives the original version a hilarious Aussie twist. Magda Szubanski, Australia’s most trusted personality, caries this incredibly fun romp. Kangaroos pulling the sleigh, a beer for Santa, and all the over-the-top Australian lingo, it’s everything you’d expect.

The Music Coming from the House, by Paulo Coehlo, performed by Daniel Frances-Berenson

In this magical story from the author of The Alchemist – the master of the modern parable – a disguised king visits a poor village, and what he sees through the window of a house changes his life, and those of the occupants.

The Signal-man, by Charles Dickens, performed by Simon Callow, Dan Starkey, and John Banks

For literature lovers, the holiday season needs a little Dickens. We dug up a story of his that you may not be familiar with, originally published in the Christmas edition of a Victorian short story periodical. Of course, ghosts are involved in this 19th century work told by Simon Callow (Outlander) and Dan Starkey (Dr. Who).

A Very Improvised Holiday Musical

What would the holidays be without some carols? Vern, a New York City-based improv troupe, performs a few improvised holiday songs

Jessica’s Review:

Gather Round the Sound was free on Audible and there was a good reason for that:  It really did not need to be made into a compilation of short stories/performances.  This one was a big miss for me.  The best short was Zip Code 12345: I really enjoyed it and wish it had been expanded. If this had been the whole ‘book’ that would have been fine with me! 

Apparently I am not a Dickens fan as The Signal-man wasn’t for me.  When it was over I had no idea what had happened. Maybe it was the narrators with their accents that ruined it for me.  The ‘musical chapters’ were also subpar. They were meant to be funny and entertaining, but were far from that. 

I cannot recommend this compilation: I say listen to the first chapter Zip Code 12345 and skip the rest. I hate saying this, but it just did not deliver.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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