People I Want to Punch in the Throat – Jen Mann

It’s Wednesday, y’all.

I just finished up People I Want to Punch in the Throat written by Jen Mann last night, and it is hilarious! Seriously, I enjoyed every part of this book. I felt like I really connected to Mann in certain parts of the book, which made it all that more enjoyable for me. For example, I am constantly worried about being murdered by dates (at least, when I was going on them- now I just have to be suspicious of my one and only man, Greg). Also, I feel like I would definitely be raising my kids (if I had some) like her and “the Hubs” do – read as: mildly annoyed with perfect parents and constantly just trying to get to the relax times.

Although I loved all the chapters in this book, I really liked the “Sleepover is not a party theme! And other stupid things suburban moms complain about”. I feel like the conversation she wrote was slightly exaggerated (I don’t think the Step-ford wives would openly talk about their boob jobs haha) but I feel like I hear stuff like that all the time around my town. “Perfect parents” constantly complain about things that shouldn’t be that big of a deal (like teachers giving out homework!) Plus, it really is ridiculous that there are so many parties now-a-days for the dumbest stuff! It’s nuts haha.

Anyway, if you read my blogs often, you know I don’t do well to critique and examine books that are “autobiography” types… how can I judge their life happenings? I will judge and say that this book is well written and a super fun read! Front to back, it is quick and quirky! I would definitely suggest this book to my friends!!

Have you read this book??

-LK

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Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

I did manage to get through one more book on my vacation (thank you, 7 hour wait in the airport!)… I read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and, HOLY BALLS, it was INSANE! It was a mind-bender that kept you on your toes! That isn’t to say that it wasn’t predictable. I guessed most of the book’s happenings during my reading before they took place. *Spoilers ahead* Example- I guessed it was another Jason that kidnapped Jason Original before the book made it clear….

If you haven’t heard about this book I will try to explain… (try is an operative word; I won’t do this justice…) So, the book introduces us to a man, Jason Dessen, and his lovely family at the beginning. It gives us background that Jason and his wife met 15 years ago and decided to stay together after finding out she was pregnant. He gave up a very promising science career and she gave up a promising art career. Fast forward to current times, Jason is abducted during a walk back to his home by a masked stranger. This stranger leads him to a warehouse where he is forced to change clothes and also is drugged. When he awakes, there are people all around him celebrating him and “his arrival”. After some discussion with a handful of people, he panics and breaks out of the compound. Confused and disoriented, he goes to the hospital (where he then has to break out because they want to commit him). After that, he finds that, even though he remembers it distinctly, he is actually not married, nor has he ever been. He finds he “wife”, who is now a very successful artist, and confesses to her his situation. After a passionate love-making session, he is found by the people from the compound and they murder his “wife” and abduct him again.

Finally, he is to understand that this is not “his” reality. Some how, he was transported to a parallel universe where he never chose to stay with his wife when she got pregnant. After some outside assistance, he was able to break out of the compound again, but this time he is to use the machine that will allow him to decide what universe he wants to in. From there, the book shows different universes and it becomes Jason’s fight to return back to his.

All in all, this book, at it’s roots, is a love story. This guy, taken from his own life by an old (but grown) version of himself, fights to get back to his reality with his wife and child. Now, I have to say that I didn’t love Crouch’s writing style. There were a lot of one sentence paragraph type of entries. It seemed very basic for such an advanced topic. It made it seem more basic than it should have.

At the end, it was a total mind fuck! (sorry, but no other way to describe it!) Suddenly, Jason is forced to try to be one step ahead of himself in, what seems to be, a thousand ways! I won’t give away what happens, but just know that suddenly he is up against more than just one terrible thief of a Jason.

My biggest complaint of this book is that we never know what reality Amanda chose! I would have liked to know more about her, or to have had them run into each other again.

Overall, I would suggest this books to others. Despite being a little predictable and (in my opinion) simple writing, I really thought this book did a good job of drawing the reader in.

Have you read this book?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

Hiyah, Book Fiends!

About once a year, I take a big vacation! Generally, it’s about a week to 10 days long, and I try to get out of the country and experience new cultures. This year, I sailed from NYC, NY., to St John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia, both in Canada! It was a lovely time; truly, both are beautiful and historical locations. I highly suggest others to travel there if you haven’t before.

Anyway! While I take these great vacations, I attempt to knock-out as many books as possible from my reading lists! This vacation was no different. I took with me 10 books (not kidding…. and it was a 5 day vacation… but I had high hopes). Little did I know that HP and the OotP was going to take me ALMOST MY WHOLE VACATION! You might not know, but I am a crazy slow reader. I painfully absorb a million things happening during the course of the book and it slows me down significantly. This book is the first truly “long” novel of the HP series. It clocks in at 870 pages! Typically, I read books with around 300 pages, so I just keep telling myself I ready 3 whole books with this one!! Haha.

I really loved this HP! It was so good. Obviously, Rowling continued to write wonderfully like she always does! It was put together with such ease and with a wonderful flow. It’s so hard to *not* be sucked into the HP world when reading.

So, if you haven’t read this one.. it begins with Harry and Dudley being attack on the street by 2 dementors. After necessarily using magic to fight them off, Harry is sent a letter of possible expulsion, and a notice of trail to speak to him about his magic use outside of Hogwarts. From there, he learns of the Order, which happens to also contain his God Father, Sirius! After learning a bit of information from them, and after being cleared at the trail (thanks in part to Dumbledore!), Harry is allowed to return to Hogwarts (yay!)! So, from there, we begin to experience the usual HP nonsense- his scar hurts, he starts having weird dreams, school as usual… etc. A new twist to the school year is (like usual) a new Defense Against the Dark Arts taught by Umbridge (appointed my Ministry of Magic). She uses her powers to report back to Fudge about the workings of the school (Fudge is paranoid that Dumbledore wants his job because Fudge is dumb). She is an evil woman and uses her powers to be a complete bitch the whole 1st semester. Because she refuses to teach actual use of DAtDA (defense against the dark arts), Harry and a few others decide to start a “study group” to practice DAtDA in secrecy and name is Dumbledore’s Army. They are outed by a fellow member (who is jinxed thanks to Hermione!). With no other option, Dumbledore takes the heat for the group and resigns as Head Minister of Hogwarts, leaving Umbridge to take over. From there is chaos! Fred and George wreck the school with a few great tricks, but Umbridge blames Harry and continually tries to get him expelled.

All the while, Harry is having terrible nightmares and visions where he is in the Ministry of Magic. Eventually this leads him to believe his God Father is being tortured there! After him and Hermione shake Umbridge (thanks Centaurs!), they, and a few classmates, rush the ministry to try to save Sirius. There, they are met with many Death Eaters and Voldemort himself! A few cool action scenes and one tragic death later, Harry and the school mates are saved by the Order! Harry gets a TON of answers from Dumbledore when they are finally back at Hogwarts safe, and we the readers get ready for the next book!

Major points-

  • I HATE DOLORES UMBRIDGE. No joke, she is the devil. Truly a despicable person. Ready to use the forbidden curses just to protect her own ass. She is the true definition of an evil woman.
  • I could see and read the softening of Snape in some of the chapters… that was until HP saw his memories. Since I’ve seen the movies, I obviously know what is coming… but still, he can be such a jerk.
  • I couldn’t believe how dense HP is when it comes to girls, or how terrible Cho was! You can definitely tell they are supposed to be teens. Geez! So moody!!
  • Huge happenings with Neville and his whole family! Finally, Ron and Hermione know about Neville’s parents as well! It was so sad to see Neville’s sadness/anger throughout the book (hospital and facing Bellatrix) Can’t wait to see more!!

It’s scary to me how closely this book represents the real world! With all the politics and people just working to protect their own asses instead of working towards fighting the true evil! It’s nuts…

This one has probably been one of my more favorite books so far. So much going on, but STILL Rowling is good to us with plenty of details and connections! Can’t wait to read the next one!!

-LK

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

Hello Book Worms!

I just managed to finish up HP and the Goblet of Fire written by J.K. Rowling. I have to say, originally, movie-wise, this one is my favorite of the HP series. As I read along, I’m also re-watching the movie series to compare. I have to say, originally while reading, I thought the movies were very similar… but now that I’m re-watching them, I can’t help but to notice some of the major misses! Nevertheless, I do still really like them all!

So, going back, HP and the GoF- it was really good! Of course this book is over 700 pages long, so it’s one of the longer novels I have personally read… and again, Rowling manages to keep the entire book entertaining! Not once did I feel like it was dragging on or boring. There was A LOT that happened in this book, so I’m going to break it down into most important smaller matters:

  • -The wizard cup… obviously full of interesting happening. My biggest question was why Krum caught the snitch prematurely in the game… I don’t recall the book addressing that?
  • – The Triwizard Tournament…
    • Ron was really getting on my nerves with his adolescent behavior towards Harry. His jealousy was ridiculous to me. Very, very childish!
    • The first task was interesting… I don’t have much comment about it otherwise.
    • The second task has always been my favorite (even in the movie!). I love the merpeople! They seemed very noble in the book.
    • The last task was interesting. Obviously, it was much easier for HP than the others because *someone* was ensuring he would get to the cup, but still there were challenging things that happened to him.
  • The rebirth of Voldemort. Talk about an interesting meeting… I loved that he named names in front of Harry and that Harry was able to repeat those to others back at Hogwarts. It is interesting to me that those of kin to the Death Eaters are continually allowed to return to Hogwarts.
  • I’m very interested in Neville’s story now that we know more about his family.. Since I already know where it is going with the entire series, it would be cool to hear more before it gets to that big moment.
  • It was interesting to me, in the memory flashbacks, that Crouch Jr. was begging his father to believe he hadn’t done it. The portal of the scene made me really believe he hadn’t done it…. I would be interested to know if he truly did or not take part in the torturing of the Longbottoms, or if being in Azkaban made him turn resolutely to the Dark Lord. It is obvious by the end that he was in connection to Voldemort (by the questions he asks Harry while he is still Mad-Eye), but I still can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t as involved as the others.

Final questions- will there be more to happen with S.P.E.W.? I’m on the fence about how to feel about the treatment of house-elves… Perhaps they should be offered pay and freedom if they so want it… otherwise, let them be? Also, I thought it very unusual that Hermione kept Rita Skeeter as a prisoner. That was very unusual that she wouldn’t have followed the rules (the law, really) and turned Rita over for the activity she was doing…. Very odd indeed. Lastly, I saw a handful of times, a sweet/tender moment with Fred and Hermione. I just read recently that Rowling was considering having them end up together but in the end, we all know who Hermione ends up with ( ;] ). It was nice to see these moments between the two… Honestly, I don’t think I would have minded to see them together in the end.

One major complaint that I have about the book v. the movie… Although I have yet to re-watch HP and GoF, I do distinctly remember that the movies had the 2 outside schools as a boys school and a girls school, not unisex. The book clearly has both being unisex, so I’m curious as to why they made this change. It was unusual to me that the directors or movie writers thought this important enough to change…

Anyway, #5 is next up on the list. Until then, I will continue trying to watch the movies and keep blogging away with my silly opinions.

Toodaloo!

-LK

 

 

EDIT-

Almost forgot! Since Crouch Jr was posing as Mad-Eye, what do you think he said to Neville the day he held him back in class??? How interesting it was that the man accused of torturing the Longbottoms held their son back in class to offer (so it seemed) comfort to him. I’m anxious to see if that is ever addressed also.

2nd Edit-

I am so pissed. Like I said, I’ve been watching the movies as I read… I watched 4 last night and it was so removed from the actual book! How did they get away with that??? 100 points to J.K. Rowling and her book and None for Gretchen Wieners (aka the Movie).

Diary of an Oxygen Thief – Anonymous

Hello, All!

I just finished up Diary of an Oxygen Thief written by Anonymous and I’ve got to say it took me WAY too long to read this (less than) 150 page memoir. Let me tell you why it took that long for me…. I HATED IT. Absolutely could not enjoy this book at all. The entire thing just made me confused and irritated. I literally had to stop 3 separate times within the first 70 pages of this book to check that it did have 5 star ratings out there. Here’s the kicker- it really does! This book is very highly praised… and I don’t understand why at all.

So, if you haven’t heard, this book is about some dude that is a complete ass. He’s a raging alcoholic who “enjoys hurting women” (mentally, not physically) at the beginning. His whole scheme is to make them fall in love with him, then crush their souls. He says cutting remarks, and does foolish actions. He states it likely stemmed from a unloving father and a touchy priest. Someone online said they felt he was “remorseful” for his actions towards women and I have to disagree. To me, he just seems to bask in the glory of being capable of hurting all these people. Since finishing the book, I can’t help but feel that he was bragging that he, too, was at some point as cold and calculating as Aisling. Speaking of, Aisling is who this story is about, actually. Her biggest sin was making him fall in love with her just so she could use him as a photo study for her photography project. Sure, she was a bitch for it… but really I couldn’t care less about that project. My one and only issue with her was that she attempted to give a recovering alcoholic a vodka drink. To me, that was her worst offense.

The entire story was so mind-boggling to me. Why is it that none of these characters were capable of looking objectively at their situation and demanding better from their abuser. Even more… why were these people not capable of removing themselves from being the butt of the joke. I guess maybe it’s because I do not have an issue with coming across as paranoid, but I didn’t understand why this guy never tried to talk to Aisling about his paranoia… Example being when they were out for dinner and the person at the table got a picture. He mentions that he notices Aisling’s and the “strangers” glances at each other… Why does he not bring it up right that minute? Not only that, but they all (him and his jilted ex-loves) look past the shittiest of comments. HOW?! I just couldn’t ever see myself allowing that shit to fly!

 

Anyway, I finished this book so bummed. It was not a “F. Scott Fitzgerald for the iPod generation” as Richard Nash described. Someone online said it was an “alcoholic Holden Caulfield”… That was more accurate than Fitzgerald, but still off… because in the end, this character was just terrible. Down to it, he was a jerk that only set out to “best” another person at a so-called game. There was no ending revelation; no smoke clearing from the situation. He just wanted to get the words out before Aisling was able to make him look a fool. Which is ridiculous, because I still think he’s a fool.

So- have you read this book? Perhaps you can shed some light onto the facts as to why this book is a 5-start rated on multiple book sites!

Since the character from this book is supposed to be from Ireland, I’ll leave you with an Irish goodbye:

-”                                                                   “

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

Hi Friends!

I’ve been working on reading the book Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow for the past 5 or so days and BOY-HOWDY is that book long and slow… First, it’s essentially like a very, very long magazine interview. Literally, Apatow meets with famous comedians and interviews them. 512 PAGES WORTH OF THAT. I’m about half way through, and had to take a break. Don’t get me wrong, the topics that are covered are amazing and enlightening, but it’s just so long. Once again, it seems I bought a book written by a comedian that just isn’t that funny- bummer.

The book I picked for break was the next HP novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Most people already know what was going on in this one, but to recap… This is HP’s 3rd year at Hogwarts, a school for Wizards and Witches to learn magic. During this 3rd year, the magic community (plus Muggle community) are on high alert due to the escape of Sirius Black. Sirius was a “close supporter” of You-Know-Who, and, when on the run 12 years prior, killed many people casting a spell. Naturally, everyone thinks he is after Harry once he gets out. After some crazy twists and turns, you learn the truth about that night 12 years ago and what exactly it means for Harry!

This book was, in my opinion, better than 2! It still had a lot of action packed happenings in the book! I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times, J.K. Rowling has such a talent to put together these brilliant stories!

My one complaint would be that I’m not so sure about Hermione’s attitude with Professor Trelawney. Even if Hermione was over whelmed with her course work, it was so unusual for her to be like that towards a teacher. Sure, I didn’t like have Trelawney ran her class, but I just didn’t see Hermione having the outburst that she did.

Talking about teachers, but on a different note- loved Remus! He was great. For a minute there (until it was explained) I really thought he was afraid of the Orbs that told the future! It all made sense in the end! Also, I’m so surprised at how Snape acted in the end. I’ve always thought he was, at least, a very professional person. He seemed to lose his marbles at the end in trying to prove everyone else wrong. Maybe I’m tainted because I already know where Snape is coming from, but I naturally like him already and was disappointed in him in this book.

All in all, this was a good one!! This one is my boyfriend’s favorite HP, I won’t know for sure if it’s the best until I’ve read them all, but it was very good! I will say I did have a favorite line from this book… page 302 right before a big Quidditch match Harry had a fitful night of sleep-

“Harry slept badly. First he dreamed that he had overslept, and that Wood was yelling, ‘Where were you? We had to use Neville instead!’

Poor Neville, even in Harry’s dreams he’s picked on. hahah.

Anyway- Happy Monday book bandits. Until next time!