You: Staying Young and the Owner’s Manuel by Michael F. Roizen & Mehmet C. Oz

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When I stumbled upon these two book in some rinky-dink local thrift store I couldn’t help but feeling like I was buying some sort of secret to immortality. These books were “written” by two very famous doctors and blown up all over the Oprah show. They were the hot thing a few years ago and a total must-have.

Well I must have been the only person that felt like she’s been totally cheated out of looking twenty five for the rest of my life. Honestly, had I paid more than a couple dollars for each book I would’ve returned them. That’s how disappointing I found them. Now I can see why they were left to molder on a dusty old shelf in the middle of nowhere.

I feel like any average person that’s had any form of normal middle-class high school health education has probably already learned all they need to know from this book series. If you’ve reached adulthood never having heard that exercise, eating right, and antioxidants are all good for you… well then I think you have bigger fish to fry.

Step One: Eat right. Step Two: Get off your fat ass. Step Three: Don’t fry yourself in the sun. Step Four: Put down those cigarettes, Smokey.

There, I just saved you $50 and several wasted hours. You can thank me later.

I’m gonna go eat a bag of chips now…

2 clogged arteries of 5

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Kiss of Frost and Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

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Wow, I have to say I’m impressed. Normally the first book in a series is by far the best one, but not so with Estep’s Mythos Academy series. Gwen Frost has the power of psychometry–touch magic. She can “see” memories/impressions of strong emotions that are left behind on objects after people use them. She is also the chosen champion of the goddess Nike and is in direct opposition to the increasingly powerful god of chaos, Loki.

And that makes her numero uno on the mythological hit list.

As if that wasn’t hard enough, what’s going on with her Spartan crush Logan? Is he into her or isn’t he?

I have surprisingly grown to love this YA series, after trepidatiously continuing it after a shaky start with book one–an advanced readers edition. It is total fluff, but it’s entertaining fluff and I love it. I really like the Mythos Academy as a school, and I’m totally waiting for my superhuman abilities to develop. Gwen can “read” objects, but other than that she’s totally normal. Kinda hard to feel special when you’re surrounded by powerful freaks of nature wearing designer jeans.

Wind down with a cup of tea reading this series. It’s fun, interesting, and not too stressful.

4 creepy hairbrushes of 5

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Are You Ready For a Little Twain and Steinbeck?

Two dear friends of mine recently gave me several new books to adopt. Among them were The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Having never read anything by either of these classic authors (I know!) I was ready for something spellbinding.moonisdown

Unfortunately, TMID left me disappointed. I was hoping for something completely different than was Steinbeck’s intention, although it is a great piece of war propaganda and it undoubtedly caused a huge uproar during WWII. It was obviously a thinly veiled re-imagination of the Nazis. What made it so scandalous, however, is that rather than being portrayed as death-dealing automatons, the Nazis were just… young men. Young men that craved love and wanted to go home. Still, from a literary perspective, I found it pretty dry until the end.

conn-yank-rqr05mACYIKAC was a bit more fast-paced. It told of an average Joe from the late 1800’s being mysteriously transported back into Camelot. Naturally, with his “modern” knowledge, he was quickly deemed a wizard and become one of the most powerful men in England.

The idea of advertisements on knight’s shields and all the wonders of the 1800’s was certainly an entertaining idea. But… oftentimes Twain’s passages were long and confusing and I had to re-read them to understand what was going on. I also didn’t like that how the protagonist got to Camelot was never explained. For some reason, missing this vital detail, I couldn’t sink into the world as seamlessly. But, of the two, I definitely enjoyed this one better.

3 knights errant and lonely Nazis of 5


The Breeders by Katie French

There’s so much talk in our world about women’s rights and what we should be allowed (and subsequently not allowed) to do with our female parts. Imagine you lived in a world where just being a woman got you forcibly removed from you family and taken to a breeding facility. That’s right! Having a functioning hoo-ha got you a one-way ticket to pregnantville for the rest of your youth! And then, when you got to old to have your own babies, the government so thoughtfully let you care for other girls’ children–as yours were taken from you after birth so as not to distract you from your next imminent pregnancy. 15791488

See what kind of shenanigans men get into if left alone on the planet??

Well, that’s the world sixteen year old Riley Meemick was born into. She’s one of the last free women in the state.

Set in futuristic post-virus New Mexico, French’s work is a page-turner for sure. The gunslinging and Wild West attitude totally took me by surprise, but in a good way. I feel like most YA fiction nowadays is just trying to follow some vampire/werewolf/mermaid/post-apocalypse trend and it gets old. This one was definitely a breath of fresh air and it was interesting to note the dynamic men took on when left to their own devices.

The companion novella Nessa: A Breeder’s Story is also a must read. It’s very enlightening about the back story. 4 homemade bullets of 5  67513a4d92720538a325cae48ee84f58


Rise by Anna Carey

In the third and final installment of Anna Carey’s intense Eve Trilogy, we catch up with our heroine as she is plotting to escape the City of Sand (and her father’s control) for good. The rebels are uprising and she wants to be right in the middle, especially after her honey-poo’s untimely demise.

Unfortunately, this much-anticipated number three was more like a Taco Bell number two. I enjoyed the story while it was happening but when I got to the end I was kind of like, “Hm… Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”  rise

Honestly, I think Carey could’ve just added an extra 50-75 pages each to Eve and Once and just completely skipped this weak last book. I get that the first two were tough acts to follow, cause let’s face it, they were fucking awesome. But, the couple particular plot twists that Carey used were pretty predictable, and frankly kind of annoying.

Also, I didn’t like the fact that her and Charles’ relationship was never resolved AT ALL. I mean, she spent the better part of two books being a total douche-nozzle to him and for what? Nothing! He did nothing but help her and she didn’t even try to get along with him or to at least appreciate him as a friend or a confidant. I didn’t like that.

I also didn’t like that the last page left me feeling SO unfulfilled. It should’ve been the end of one of the final chapters, not the end of the entire trilogy. Like seriously, what the fuck? Are you trying to give me a case of literary blue balls, because you have succeeded, my friend!

3 sore uteruses of 5


It’s a Tom Robbin’s Kind of Day…!

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What if you lived in a land that executed its rulers at their first sign of old age. A wrinkle? Poison it is for you! A grey hair? Down falls the axe! Luckily, unless you’re a professional super model, this doesn’t really apply to you. What if you were a king who defied these laws and escaped–only to spend the rest of your magically LOOOOOONG life seeking immortality. And messing around with Pan. Yep, the goaty one. That’s Jitterbug Perfume for you.

“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”

Or, in the case of Still Life with Woodpecker, you are a lovely redheaded princess in modern day America. You live in a moldering old house with your doddering sovereign parents and your batty old nursemaid. Then, during a vacation to Hawaii, you fall in love with a self-proclaimed outlaw. A snaggle-toothed ginger terrorist with dynamite strapped to him. Seriously.

My dear friends Merri and Peter introduced me to Tom Robbins, and out of all the books I’ve adopted from them, TR is by far my favorite author. His unusual and sometimes vulgar writing style is vastly entertaining and his metaphors are so strange yet so… right…that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself.

Jitterbug Perfume was a pretty dense read compared to Still Life with Woodpecker, and had a few more dry spots. However, that being said, they both earn 4 out of 5 Camel cigarettes and drops of horny goat elixir.

Baaaaaa….

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The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Ahhh, Kelley, you’ve done it again. Somehow you’ve managed to make the third book in a trilogy better than the first two while simultaneously intertwining two parallel story lines. Phew. I’m tired just saying that.

The Rising wraps up the Darkness Rising trilogy, which follows Maya, a mountain lion shapeshifter, and her band of genetically modified friends. They’re on the run from some of the most dangerous cabals in the supernatural underworld and have recently learned that the sleepy life they were accustomed to was all a lie. 11864728

Much to my delight, while on the run, they meet up with the teens from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and kinda wrap that whole situation up too. I enjoyed this series wholeheartedly–probably for its simplicity. Everything was as it seemed for the most part and for ONCE an ending didn’t piss me off. Things were as they should be. And this love triangle ended the right way.

Reading these books was like dipping my toes in a lukewarm pool. It was pleasant, relaxing, and I didn’t have to get soaked. Some books cause me so much anxiety that I almost stop reading them out of enjoyment and read them to relieve the nervousness they cause. Like I said, these are easy reading.

Keep up the good work, Kelley!

3 birth marks of 5

Also, I highly recommend reading The Darkest Powers bonus pack one and two. They each contain two or three stories out of the DP world and they are definitely worth your time. They fill in a lot of gaps and add a lot to the overall trilogy and are super cheap for the Kindle. (I actually think KA posts them for free on her website but takes them down as new ones are written…)

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And as another, probably useless, sidenote– I also happened to download her other short story Hunting Kat. As far as I know it’s a stand alone, and hopefully it stays that way. The new vampire/genetic vampire/bitten vampire on the run thing was way too contrived. KA has some awesome work out there and this comes no where close to representing her talent. Skip it.

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