Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Reading progress update: I've read 20%.

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

So I think there's a potential love triangle and the book is info dumping away. This world sounds interesting, but I think going back and forth between the character of Tea telling her story and jumping back into her first person POV isn't working. But it's interesting enough for me to continue with now. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 2%.

The Bone Witch - Rin Chupeco

I am at two percent and completely and utterly lost.

 

Scream.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Mad Love - Nick Spalding

Spalding almost nailed it. Then he introduces someone to make Adam more sympathetic and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Book never got back to being funny again unfortunately. Still a four star read til that point. 

Reading progress update: I've read 44%.

Mad Love - Nick Spalding

 

The description of this man has turned me off men for the next 24 hours.

Reading progress update: I've read 33%.

Mad Love - Nick Spalding

Think I just pulled something from laughing so hard.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 30%.

Mad Love - Nick Spalding

I have been laughing so hard I had tears running down my face this morning. I just started this around 7 am while waiting on a train and within 40 minutes could not believe that I was already at 30 percent. The plot behind this book (two people get married after signing up on an internet dating site that proposes that their computer algorithm can match them perfectly).

The twosome in this book (Adam and Jessica) have never laid eyes on one another and find themselves awkwardly getting used to each other's little annoyances (Jessica slurps her espresso and Adam is obsessed with being on time).


But per usual, Spalding has laugh out loud moments. Adam assaults a man in a sheep's costume who is holding a plastic machine gun. Jessica is working at a strip club and comes across her professor. I was howling during that several "scenes". I am sure everyone on the train this morning loathes me right now. 

Booklikes-oply: Turn Two!

Odd numbered day so rolling again. Please Book gods be nice, that last book was atrocious. 

 

I am all caught up on reviews so I rolled:

 

 

I initially landed on Main Street USA (3) so that means I am now on:

 

 

Yeah! Thank goodness I did not land on jail. I was sweating for a second when I was figuring out the next spot LOL. 

 

Hmm I was trying to figure out how to get to the Booklikes Reading Lists here and I need some help fellow Booklikers! Since I am too impatient, I took a peek at the genre list at Goodreads and picked this book to read for this square:


The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)

 

It's $2.99 and the Kindle edition has it at 432 pages. I had this on my want to read list since last year, so am happy I can read it for this genre. 

Wonderful YA Book Looking at Abuse

Dreamland - Sarah Dessen

So this was a short book to get through (only 260 pages) but it left a big impact. I thought at first that things moved a bit slow, but once you get to the meat of the story, you won't be able to put this down at all. You are going to just be shocked and dismayed at the things that are going on with the main character (Caitlin) throughout this book.

 

"Dreamland" opens on Caitlin's birthday when she and her parents realize that her older sister Cassandra has ran away to be with a guy she fell in love with after like three weeks. Cassandra does not go to Yale and stays away from her family and refuses to talk to them. Caitlin is left adrift since she is not used to being her, without her perfect older sister nearby to emulate. This leaves a hole in Caitlin where a boy named Rogerson Biscoe (his name even sounds douchey) steps in. Before Caitlin realizes it, somehow her whole life becomes Rogerson. 

 

I felt for Caitlin. Her mother becomes a barely functioning person at first, and her father is in denial after her sister runs away. She's trying her best to not be a problem, that even means not complaining when no one celebrates her birthday. She's talked into joining the cheerleading squad by her best (and only friend) though she doesn't want to and after she starts seeing Rogerson, her grades fall and she's spending most of her time getting high with him and his other friends. It's like a slow roll to another world and Caitlin doesn't know how to or even want to really get out of it. That is until Rogerson hits her the first time. And then the book goes dark. Because you read about Caitlin's justifications, her fear, her starting to realize after a while that even when she's perfect that Rogeron really just wants a reason to hit her. I wanted to scoop up this fictional character and hug her. 

 

Dessen does a good job of showing Caitlin realizing that she's in a bad relationship, but not really knowing how to get out of it. And with her parents still focused on other matters, it becomes easy for her to fool them into thinking everything is okay with her.

 

Dessen always has recurring characters in her YA books and I swear that Rogerson was in Lock and Key (which I also loved). Too bad no one ran him over with a car.

 

I also love how Dessen shows all of these women in this book in relationships they call "love" but honestly are not. Or at least I would not call them love between two people who trust and respect each other. Cassandra's life is a mess and her deciding that her parents put all their hopes into her to have her run off with some dude did not endear her to me at all. Even Caitlin's best friend who is only defined when she is dating someone I found a bit sad. So when Caitlin even when she realizes that Rogerson hitting her is awful and she doesn't think she can keep hanging on to him, I get why she hid what was going on and kept trucking along with it. That's cause she's told over and over again that love is the answer even when the other person is not right for you. I think a little window opens up a bit when Caitlin finds out another friend of hers finally had it with her deadbeat boyfriend and left him. 

 

The writing was raw and honest. And I loved how you had Caitlin slowly coming into her own and realizing that maybe her sister was not as perfect as she always thought.

 

The ending was a surprise and I love that the book didn't just take an easy way out with and everything was super okay with everyone, the end. 

Bad (Not Michael Jackson Bad)

The New Girl  - R.L. Stine

I at one point owned about every Fear Street book by R.L. Stine when I was a teen. I even had those special edition ones too. I don't even remember this first book and the title kept throwing me off (it's bad, no?) and at least this was short though (180 pages) so there's a reason the plot and character development was so bad.

 

Everyone in the town of Shadyside knows about Fear Street. A mad millionaire named Simon Fear once lived there and his burned out mansion is all that is left of him and his legacy (or is it???) there are always strange happenings on Fear Street which you would think have people avoiding it more.

 

"The New Girl" follows Cory Brooks. He's a high school gymnast who falls in love at first sight when he sees a new girl at his school named Anna Corwin. Cory tries to find out all he can about Anna, but when he finally gets her number and calls her home, someone tells him that Anna is dead. But if Anna is dead, who is the girl at the school who Cory finds himself thinking about all the time.


Well this book is honestly a mess. Cory is oblivious to everything around him. At least though when he starts to realize that things with Anna look hinky he tries to get the heck out of there as quickly as he can. I also applaud Stine for having more than three people in his books too. Cory has other friends he talks to as well as his friends and a mysterious stranger he keeps meeting on Fear Street.

 

My big issue though is 180 pages is way too short to develop a really good story. The whole book makes no sense when you get to the ending. And heck with the prologue, Stine already clues you into the so-called big reveal so I was not surprised when we get to it.

 

Stine does a good job though with description of people and places. He made Fear Street delightfully creepy. 

Hilariously Awful

Fatal Secrets - Richie Tankersley Cusick

Yeah I know. Sometimes you just read books one after another that tickle your funny bone cause they are really not good. I mean, I get what Cusick was trying here, but after I got to the end and all is revealed I was like, dang? Really? This is a more brutal horror book for Cusick I thought. Ryan (she's a teen girl) and her sister Marisa are walking in the woods collecting pine cones for Christmas decorations (as one does) and Marisa falls through some ice and drowns. Ryan tries to save her, but is haunted by not being able to pull Marisa out. Just three weeks after her sister's death, Ryan starts to feel like Marisa is still there watching and blaming her for not saving her.

I think this is the first Cusick book I can recall off the top of my head that someone we are introduced to in the first few pages dies. I wish I could feel sorry for Ryan. But she had some terrible logic when it came to figuring out what is going on. She also tells everyone her plans and just generally has everyone thinking she's losing her mind.

 

Ryan is a teen girl that once again has two boys falling for her. Heck one of them even tells her that he only went out with her sister to get closer to her. Um thanks dude, you also kind of suck.

 

Ryan's best friend Phoebe and Phoebe's brother Jinx (yeah I am not looking up if I spelled that right) are seriously her only two friends besides the owner of the toy store she works out.


Due to Ryan's mother being a freaking moron, some random dude named Charles shows up saying he was dating Marisa and wants to be close to her family since she died. Since Ryan's mother went to the "I am a terrible mother and have no common sense" school she allows the dude to move in with them, and makes Ryan move out of her room into her dead sister's room so Charles can stay in her room. I am serious.


Honestly this whole book reads like a bad farce. You keep having random people thrown at you and you wonder how everything ties together. It really doesn't when the final reveal comes. My face probably looked like this:

 

Image result for seriously gif

 

Maybe this just means I should stop reading books from my youth, because most of these did not hold up well at all. 

Nonsensical at Times

Teacher's Pet - Richie Tankersley Cusick

I think that Moonlight Reader and I posted this as a potential read during Halloween Book Bingo. Wow, I had forgotten what a mess this book was. I honestly went into this blind since I didn't recall a thing at all about this book. I know I had it though as a kid since I had most of Cusick's books when I was growing up. Maybe even at that age I knew a bad book when I read one and pushed it out of my head.

 

"Teacher's Pet" follows Kate and her teacher who go to a writer's retreat. Don't ask questions about this retreat though since her teacher is into romance and Kate is into horror. They both go off and go sit in on other seminars and Kate gets some one on one with Gideon Dewe.

 

Now here is the thing, most of Cusick's books follows a checklist, but it's like she upped the ante in this one. Besides having a teen girl who falls for the first guy she sees, she somehow has crushes on and kisses every dude she meets in this book (there are three, Gideon, Pearce, and unfortunately named dude named Denzil) and somehow all three fall in love with Kate and her beauty. Sorry, you can't see it, but I just snickered like I was five when I typed that.

 

I don't even get why Kate likes horror, it seems superficial at best the way Cusick describes it. She doesn't even go into her favorite authors. And Kate's writing is so terrific that she is singled out in class which makes someone jealous enough to kill (she's the teacher's pet).

 

This book had so many twists and turns I refuse to follow them all. And this was a bit more gruesome than her other works (people find body parts lying around) but it still seemed like a haha type murderous place instead of straight up Camp Crystal Lake.

 

Image result for camp crystal lake gifs

 

The writing wasn't very good in this one and the characters we meet are shallow. Once again you imagine there are only really 6 people in this book (Kate, Gideon, Pearce, Denzil, Kate's teacher, and also a young girl named Tawney who will cause you to go, well bless your heart a lot while reading about the things she's saying) and you imagine that other people exist, but not really since Kate never speaks to any of them.


I laughed out loud while reading this ending around 1 am. The evil-doer is found out, I called BS on that whole thing, Kate kisses one dude, and then the other, both dudes still in love with her and promise to fight for her love (why???) and she hops on a train with her teacher. Um, you all were just murdered and there was a fire, why the heck are the cops allowing them to leave just like that just an hour or so after the events are revealed. I have watched enough of The First 48 to know they just couldn't go home like that. Also where are Kate's parents? You think she call them instead of having her heart beat fast cause she's looking at one of her beau's profile.

 

Ah well, too bad there wasn't an ending like this:

 

 Image result for camp crystal lake gifs

Fun Young Adult Horror Story

The Locker - Richie Tankersley Cusick

I remember reading this book back when I was a young whippersnapper. I adored all things R.L. Stine and Richie Tankersley Cusick. I think my mom was worried for a while there that I was so obsessed with what is Young Adult Horror. I didn't of course realize that was a genre, I just know that I had fun reading about kids around my age involved with dark and mysterious things. The woods near my home and in my background used to scare the crap out of me. So on rainy days (and even sunny) I would curl up with one of these books and scare the life out of me. Of course reading this as an adult is different, I found most of the scary things to be so-so and of course some of the character development lacking. But all in all, a good YA horror novel to give to someone between the ages of 12-18 I would think. 

 

"The Locker" follows Marlee Fleeming and her family as they move to Missouri (yeah who moves there). We find out that Marlee and her younger brother who is 6 (and named freaking Dobkin) are an odd pair. Marlee seems to have a gift that allows her to feel things when she touches them. And Dobkin has an old soul. Seriously though, he's 6 and he talks like my 40 plus year old investment advisor. 

 

On her first day of school Marlee is given a locker that once she touches she is hit with a terrible smell and feels fear. She later finds out that the girl who had her locker before her disappeared the fall before and no one knows what happens to her. Marlee with Dobkin assisting (seriously, he's 6) find out what they can about the missing girl (Suellen). But it seems to stir things up and then Marlee is slowly running out of time to find out what happened to Suellen. 

 

Even though I gave this book four stars (more for nostalgia purposes, believe me) this book did a terrible job with character development. Just like in most Cusick books, the main character is a teen girl and she develops a insta-crush on the first guy she lays eyes on. In this case, Marlee literally runs into a guy named Tyler who dresses like he is auditioning for the Basketball Diaries. They run around what they feel, but it appears Tyler is into Marlee for reasons.


We also get another character named Noreen who shows Marlee around and who befriends her. I did find it weird that literally in this school, Marlee only talks to Tyler, Noreen, and another boy who instantly dislikes her. 

 

As other reviewers pointed out, Dobkin was odd and I don't know why Cusick didn't just age him up. Marlee's aunt who has been raising her and Dobkin since their parents died is a non-presence (like most adults in her teen horror books).

 

The book moves really fast (this is only 224 pages (electronic edition) so before you know it all is revealed and you find out who is behind Suellen's disappearance and why. 

 

Terrible

The Wangs vs. the World - Jade Chang

Seriously. This book is awful. I read that this was supposed to be funny (I didn't laugh at all) and hey if you want to read about a self absorbed rich family who consist of Chinese people, I say go read Crazy Rich Asians instead. One of this books's genres on Goodreads is "Abandoned" so I should have looked into that before I spent money on this thing. 

 

This book takes place in 2008, of course for us Americans, we know that is when the housing bubble in the US burst, and then we had a recession set in and millions of people were without work and or lost their homes. "The Wangs Vs the World" follows a millionaire (maybe billionaire) family living in L.A. who lose everything when the family patriarch (Charles Wang) decides to put up his home and businesses as collateral to start a new line of makeup products. When the economy takes a tumble, Charles decides he will pack up his second wife (Barbra) and pick up his two kids who are at school (Grace and Andrew) and make his way to his oldest daughter's (Saina) home in Helios, New York. We get not only Charles' POV during this mess of a book, but also Grace, Andrew, Barbra, and even the POV of the freaking car they are riding in for the majority of this road trip.

 

I can honestly say that I didn't care for one character at all. These people suck. Charles is just a terrible father and husband. It's understood he has affairs, but you know, don't get upset about that. That's just the world or something.

 

Barbra was obsessed with Charles when she knew him in China and just bides her time to get him after his first wife dies in the weirdest accident ever. She's not worried about being a mother to his children that he had with his first wife and is just barely present it seems in anyone's life. 

 

Saina was okay at first, but she's dumb when it comes to love and it gets old reading about her romance problems. 


Andrew was a hot mess. I just...reading about someone's comic stand-up is not interesting. At all. Wait, I take that back, I did laugh while reading Chelsea Handler's books, so maybe once again it's just that this book is not funny.


Grace was inoffensive. I wish I cared more, but honestly since the whole rest of their family was exhausting, I just wanted to be done with them all. 

 

The writing was not that great. Between the run on sentences that lasted whole freaking paragraphs sometimes which was bad enough; Chang also had some dialogue I think either in Cantonese or Mandarin and doesn't translate it. I say I think since once again she doesn't bother to translate what people are saying. 

 

Also, FYI authors, there is nothing endearing about reading how prejudiced and racist in some cases the whole family was about people who were African American. Also be prepared to read about how if you have a mixed race kid who is cute, that makes it okay to be with a black man or woman. Shoot they even had some comments towards white people. I just didn't find any of it clever. I found myself cringing throughout and sighing.  

 

Also there is a point in the story where Chang goes into a fixed rate loan he takes out which took me out of the story. Dumb me, but didn't the whole housing crisis happen cause people everywhere had adjustable rate mortgages that overnight went from being several hundred dollars to several thousand? It just didn't even make sense to me why Charles took out a loan when he supposedly had money to burn. 

 

The book settings moves around a lot, the family is traveling by car from California to New York and all I have to say is that the route they take seemed to be making the trip longer, but I am too lazy to look up potential routes. That is way too much effort for me to be putting in towards a book I seriously disliked. The action at one case even moves to China. 

 

The ending was just a question mark to me. I don't know what I was supposed to think and honestly I didn't care. I was glad to be done with this book so I can freaking count it towards Booklikes-opoly. FYI, that is the only reason I kept up with this.

 

Electronic edition: 368 pages (via Goodreads)

201 to 400 pages: $3.00

Bank: $23.00

 

 

 

 

Review Flood

Apologies in advance. Insomnia reared it's ugly head so I got through a bunch of books last night. They were not that long so it was easy for me. At least my currently reading shelf will go down some.

Reading progress update: I've read 12%.

The Locker - Richie Tankersley Cusick

I used to inhale Richie Tankersley Cusick as a kid. 

 

"The Locker" has a young girl who has just moved to Missouri (that's a new state on me in book form I think) and has been taken to her new locker. She smells something gross and almost blocks out. She's told the girl who had it before her disappeared last fall.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Wangs vs. the World - Jade Chang

Terrible book.

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