Monthly Archives: September 2012

Don’t Be That Guy by Colin Nissan & Sean Farrell

We all know a guy. A really annoying, terrible one who probably never gets laid. And somehow just can’t quite fathom why his Chewbacca noises and never-ending sports statistics fail to panty-drop. It’s because he doesn’t know he’s THAT GUY.

Nissan and Farrell chronicle (and illustrate) 60 different horrible examples of manhood, with the advice. “Don’t be that guy.” They also advise that upon reading their book, you may smile, you may laugh, then you may turn the page and have that grin drop right off your face.

Yep, honey. You’re that guy. 

Maybe you’re the one who still thinks doing Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions is still funny. (It isn’t.)

Maybe you’re the one who likes to stand right next to other guys at the urinal and strike up a conversation. (That’s creepy.)

Maybe you’re the one who thinks that stripper actually likes you. (She doesn’t.)

Or maybe you’re the one who brags about his number of female conquests–including hookers. (You’re gross.)

You are sleazy and annoying and no one wants to be your friend or date you. And if you have friends or a girlfriend, either they’re also a THAT GUY or they’re just tolerating your bad behavior.

You get the drift.

You’re kind of a douche.

This book made me laugh out loud a couple of times and then mentally tally up the guys I knew that matched some of these descriptions. (It’s not looking good, people.)

Please, for the love of all that is holy, if you are THAT GUY or you know THAT GUY–read this book. Change your ways. Isn’t the world already filled with enough bad things?

3 stripper-loving, AHNULD-sounding, hooker-screwing douchebags of 5

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

Food Rules was a very brief, but very interesting read. More of a really long pamphlet on dietary advice than a stand-alone book. It’s main premise is to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Each mini-chapter had an illustration and words of wisdom for eating mindfully and healthfully. 

Some examples are:

“Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals].”

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

“Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.”

“Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.”

Pollan points out that nutritional science is one of the newest forms of science, therefore many nutritional claims must be taken with a grain of salt. He reminds us that although the “edible foodlike substance” (AKA, junk food) says “low fat”  or “1/3 the sugar” on its package, it still comes in a package. Good point.

It seems intimidating to sift through all the dietary information out there to learn what the real deal is. But luckily, Pollan helps us with the adage, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” I’ve been applying that to my shopping list lately. That means no Cheetos or Oreos or GoGurt or any other weird stuff. If you look at the ingredients and see something that the average person wouldn’t have in their kitchen, don’t eat it.

I don’t know about you but I have neither Red #4 or hydrogenated vegetable oil in my pantry…

This is a great guide for those without enough time (or enthusiasm) to read Pollan’s other, more in depth books about food.

4 peas in a pod of 5

Beautiful Creatures Trailer

Yay! I’m SO STOKED about the upcoming Beautiful Creatures movie. Based on the best-selling book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the movie adaptation will be released on 2/13/13. It looks really good.

I’ll see you there!

Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck

Buh buh bummmmmmm! It’s finally here! The final book! The one we’ve all been waiting for. The one that answers the questions: Will Kelsey be rescued before the unthinkable happens? Where are Mr. Kadam and Nalima? What will Durga’s next gift be? Will the dynamic trio be able to defeat Lokesh once and for all? And most intriguingly… 

Will it be Ren or Kishan in the end?


I can hardly decide which flavor of chips I feel like eating. It’s amazing that Kelsey can ever sleep or eat!

In the (sadly) last installment of the Tiger’s Curse series, Tiger’s Destiny, Houck must wrap up the epic tale she created and I have rarely seen such a seamless execution. (If you’ve read the book Holes by Louis Sachar, you’ll know what I mean.) Everything comes full circle and all the loose threads are neatly tucked into place. I caught myself going Ohhhhhhhhhh….. a few times. Good job, Colleen, good job.

As well all know, each book has followed one of the four elements that the tiger’s amulet controlled. The first was earth, second was air, third was water, and that leaves only fire for Tiger’s Destiny. 

And I LOVED the depiction of the fire world. It had phoenixes, fire trees, demons, zombies, jewel people, and dragon horses. Pretty badass. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine a landscape very elaborately, but Houck describes everything so clearly that is seems as if a movie is playing in your head.

Plus, since this is the closing book, she takes it to new emotional heights–there are actually some pretty gut-wrenching moments. (I may have actually shed a tear or two…) It’s now or never and Houck chose now.

I don’t want to give much of the story away, because the whole book is basically spoiler alert madness. I can’t mention much without ruining any surprises. What I will say, however, is that when it comes down to the final choice, Kelsey’s destiny falls exactly into place.

And you know what they say…. Everything happens for a reason.

5 cracks of the rope of 5

Amazon Affiliation

Hey Cracking Spines fans!

Moving forward, Cracking Spines is Amazon affiliated and if you click on the book cover within the post, it will redirect you to my store. You’ll be able to buy any book you’re interested in through my blog 🙂 

I have post-dated several popular titles I have already reviewed but please let me know if you have any questions.

Click on the picture of Lost Voices at the bottom of the post for an example.

And a link to the store itself can be found here 🙂

Hope all is well, my lovelies!


Click on the picture of Lost Voices to the right for an example.

And a link to the store itself can be found here 🙂

Hope all is well, my lovelies!


Waking Storms by Sarah Porter

Ok, picture it: You’re a mermaid. (Hopefully you’re a girl, because chest hair and scales just don’t go…) You’re swimming around being all mythical and hot, but you have problems. Apparently even mermaids can’t escape drama all the time. For Luce, her problems include being outcast from her tribe, an evil “queen”, a human lover, AND suspicious FBI agents. (Not to mention being an orphan and a former abuse victim. Which is how girls end up as mermaids, after all.)

PLUS there are killer whales that love to eat mermaids and icy terrible winters to contend with.

(For the record: If I were a mermaid I’d be in Bora Bora or Fiji. FORGET Alaska.)

In Sarah Porter’s second book in the Lost Voices Trilogy, Waking Storms, Luce has external struggles with her estranged tribe, her forbidden boyfriend, and the FBI. Her internal struggles (of course) lie in the gray area of doing what is easy versus doing what is right. (Been there, honey!) She must choose between her love for Dorian and the safety of the other mermaids. Her voice is becoming more and more powerful and Luce is beginning to realize that she must get past her selfish reluctance and lay claim to her right as queen for the betterment of all.

I really like Porter’s writing style in general and her use of prose really brings the story to life. She’s very descriptive and I can easily picture the scene taking place in my mind’s eye. She’s good at bringing a dark or emotional element to the forefront without overshadowing the characters or making the tone too depressing. The sea really comes to life under her skillful pen.


However, as soon as the boyfriend and the FBI got involved, it killed me a little inside. I hated both of those energies throughout the novel. The FBI is annoying and horrible, as is the rest of the American government in all fiction anywhere ever. They’re always the bad guys that are nearly insurmountable in their power. Understood.

But Dorian? I HATED him. HATED. From the start.

Like, seriously, I get that you are a mermaid and you’re lonely and there are no mermen out there to satisfy your mermaid needs. (However that would work…?) No boys? It would totally suck. Especially for emotionally and/or physically abused young girls. All they want is a little love, I totally get it.

But at the risk of  your entire race being exposed and killed? Or trying to endure a tremendously agonizing transformation back to human form that is 99.99999% deadly? No thank you. I am sick of mermaids always giving up who they are to get the guy. Stay a mermaid, girl! There are only essays and bills and traffic and chores waiting for you out here!

When you read it yourself, you’ll realize why I screamed aloud in annoyance at some parts.

4 seashell bras of 5

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

So this morning (ok, afternoon) when I was out running, I started thinking about why I run. I don’t run for fitness purposes, for tighter abs, or a higher butt. I hate exercising. It totally sucks, and anyone who says otherwise is either lying or just crazy. I literally have to force myself to do it every single time.  

That being said, The Rise of Nine totally makes me what to kick some ass. Like Number Six–she’s so hardcore. I love her and have a girl crush on her. I admire strong female characters instead of simpering princesses, and that’s exactly what she is.

I don’t run because I like it, I run because if evil Mogadorians are actually invading our planet and prepping for total destruction… I want to be ready. Reading about how Numbers Four through Ten are developing their Legacies, kicking some ass, and running for their lives makes me want to do the same thing.

All I need now are some super powers.

In the third installment of the Lorien Legacies series, Lore flips back and forth between points of view just like in the other novels. Don’t let the title fool you, it isn’t all about Nine (no matter what he thinks).

This time the Loric teenagers are seeking Number Eight in India and make the startling discovery that the US government has paired up with the Mogadorians and together they are hoping to annihilate the teenage aliens. *sigh* Leave it to our government to pick the wrong side, right?

I loved this book, just as I have loved the other two. Lore uses the same page-turning cliff-hangers to keep a reader involved and excited. I am Number Four and The Power of Six were both definitely more gripping, but you can tell that The Rise of Nine is being used to set up the next (and probably last) book in the series. I liked meeting new Numbers and seeing how that–although the kids were chosen to be Lorien’s last hope–they each have totally different personalities. They all bring something different to the table. Mwah.

Read it, my fellow teenage aliens. And while you do, I’ll be out running… 😉

5 Chimeric Beagles of 5

Quote of the Day: Robert Brault

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”

-Robert Brault

The Kill Order by James Dashner

Have you ever wondered what would happen to our planet if it were hit by huge solar flares? (Much like what almost just happened the other day…) What if, on top of that decimation, a deadly virus was released by the government to control the population. But then, instead doing a human “controlled burn” it was the virus that had the control. Rather than burning itself out after killing those targeted, it spread across the globe turning innocent people into crazed lunatic killers.

What would you do? 

Well, if you’re like me and a wuss–you’d curl up in a hysterical ball and wait for the crazy to hit. BUT, if you’re like Marc, Trina, and Alec in The Kill Order–you hit the ground running and never look back. As far as prequels go, I think Dashner hit the nail on the head with this bad boy.

TKO takes place 13 years before The Maze Runner and offers an insight into the who, what, why, when, and how that the three previous books didn’t touch on. A small band of survivors from NYC migrated to the Appalachian mountains and made a lean-to slap-dash settlement. There they lived peacefully until their already shattered lives were re-broken by a horribly unethical betrayal by the government. Holy smokes. Now–with a ton of their friends dead and those remaining slowly losing their minds–Marc, Trina, Alec, and a handful of others must make their way to civilization to see if there is a cure.

But with sanity slipping away, woods full of killer crazies, and a deadly government–will they make it there in time?

Everyone who has read the trilogy kind of knows where it’s all headed, but I enjoyed TKO MUCH more than the three original books. There was so much more action and suspense–nonstop, actually–that I couldn’t put it down. I whined my way through the series, and didn’t really care for them that much. The Kill Order, however, could stand alone in its greatness.

And plus it was so damn creepy.

5 Cranks out of 5

Tiger’s Voyage by Colleen Houck

Tigers and dragons and sea monsters, oh my! In the third installment of the Tiger’s Curse series, Tiger’s Voyage, we meet Kelsey and feline hotties Ren and Kishan in the middle of yet another adventure. Don’t these kids ever stay home and watch trashy television?? Sheesh. 

This time they are on the third part of Durga’s quest and are now seeking the legendary Black Pearl Necklace, which would unlock another 6 hours of human-time for the tigers. That’s 18 hours a day. I mean, A) What’s with black pearls, man? They seem like nothing but trouble no matter what story you read and B) Wouldn’t you kinda just want to forget about the questing after they got their 18 hours back? I see no problem with your boyfriend being a cuddly tiger for 6 hours a day. Probably be nicer to sleep next to than a dude. Less snoring and farting, anyway…

Oh yeah, and the love triangle is still going… *sigh* But this time there are boats and sea creatures and magical dragons. At least we have distraction from the teenage angst…

The trio must now face challenges that test them more than ever before. In an underwater world, mad tiger fighting skills aren’t very effective and who knows if Kelsey’s power will translate in a ultra-high conductivity environment? They must face six ancient Asian dragons, which is awesome, but they’re a far cry from the fluffy and cute Falkor from The Neverending Story. They’re actually kind of bastards, really.

More like this….

Of course, I really enjoyed this book. It was a real page turner. As not only a lady born in year of the dragon, but also a huge underwater/sea creatures fan–I loved the mental imagery within this story. Reading this series has honestly just made me want to visit India or Thailand terribly. It seems so neat. (And by the way, I tried Indian food for the first time at the Spice Lounge down the street and it was AMAZING. Like really. Nom).

BUT–there is a but–as I have stated before, I am SO sick of this love triangle business. Pick one hot, rich, awesome, sweet, nice, loving, romantic Indian brother and stick with him. God! (And give me the number of the spare while you’re at it!) Is it really that hard? Tiger’s Voyage reveals more goings-on as far as Ren’s amnesia goes, and I don’t know whether to be relieved or annoyed. He’s still acting like a dick for the first half of the book, and Kelsey’s being a stubborn brat for the second half. Thankfully, she is finally leaning in the direction that the story will ultimately take–although I can’t say I agree with her choice.

Oh, and the scuba instructor was ANNOYING.

But all in all, read it my dears, love it like I do. The fourth and–I imagine–final book Tiger’s Destiny was just released yesterday (but I am waiting for the Kindle version to follow on the 13th).

5 Architeuthis of 5