Project Bookworm

I am a frequent reader, although I don't get to read for pleasure as often as I'd like. I enjoy Young Adult, Suspense/Thriller, Mystery, and Horror novels, but I like a little bit of everything overall. I do read books on women and gender studies, feminism and LGBT. Social movements for a positive cause are right up my alley. I also read a lot of books on film and film analysis as I am a movie buff. Feel free to check out my film blog, Not Another Movie Blog,  as well as my more organized book blog, A "Novel" Review

Just Started This, 30 Pages In.

Anthropology of an American Girl - Hilary Thayer Hamann

I'm very much enjoying this novel so far. I really like Evie and I find her different from a lot of mainstream young adult female protagonists. So far, I find her very relatable and her experiences similar to those I have gone through. I like the way she thinks. She's a teenage girl, an introvert raised by a hippie mother, who doesn't understand the necessity of make up, being super-thin, or why people follow the ridiculous social politics of our society. 


There also some great quotes from the first 30 pages: 

"If she could no longer be called beautiful, she possessed something better - a knowledge of beauty, its inflated value, its inevitable loss." (p. 9)


[After her best friend put make up on her] "I looked rubbery, sort of embalmed. My cheekbones were gone and my lips glittered like one of those plastic bracelets with sparkly stuff inside. My eyes burned and my skin felt itchy ... I made my way to the sink, and as I rinsed, I watched myself ... reappear in the mirror." (p. 14)


"Having to talk to people is one thing, but soliciting conversation was something else. If I acted squirmy or didn't make eye-contact, they would want to know what was wrong, and I would have to say, 'Nothing,' since nothing really was wrong. Nothing is an easy thing to feel but a difficult thing to express." (p. 19)


[Commenting on the amount of make up her classmates wear] "'Wow,' I thought, and on such a hot day! Girls are truly game as soldiers, with the brave things the do their bodies and the harsh conditions they are able to tolerate." (p. 23) 


"I wondered if he was annoyed by Nico and Billy and others like them, by the way they occupied the classroom, establishing through body language a right of place that their brains could not." (p. 26)


"Boys will be boys, that's what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether, We are expected to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to express. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves, This way those who do succumb to the lure of sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. We are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances from men that we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises, then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars." (p. 27)

I'm Back!

Hey guys! I know I seemed to disappear off the face of the earth and I have a lot of reviews to get to. (Some from December, EEK!)I was juggling three work intensive classes on top of a 20-30 hour/week job and had little time for anything else - even reading for pleasure. But I hope to be back on top of things soon!

Rage-Reading at 46%

This Love's Not for Sale - Ella Dominguez

I am disgusted with this book - I'm literally rage-reading it at this point. My boyfriend called me a masochist because I refuse to DNF. I do not review books I DNF because I personally don't feel like I can give an honest review of the entire work that way. I want to be very thorough with a review of a book like this. 


I have read chapters 7 through 13. There is too much crap to list - it would make this update even longer than it is going to be (which is probably still pretty long.) Here's the lowdown: 


Chapter 7: 

Post chapter 6 make-out session, Lilliana has doubts about stopping him from going further. Tucker takes her out to lunch, trying to work his way into getting both into her pants and his hands on her land. He also has flashes of guilt, but represses it by telling himself he is right and everyone else is stupid/wrong - including his own parents. Lilliana ends up confronting him about his intentions of getting her land, they fight, and don't speak for a week. 


I was very proud of Lilliana for standing up for herself and confronting him. She has some great quotes: 


"You're just like all the rest of those vultures after my land. ...I know what you want from me: 112 acres and my panties in your trophy case. I'm not stupid, Tucker McGrath. ...My land is not for sale and neither am I!" p. 71


"Good, honest people don't make enemies, Tucker, and someone who has a lot of enemies usually has them for a reason. I, for one, am not going to end up like the rest of the people you've stepped on to get what you want." p. 72

If only she could keep this resolve. 


Chapter 8: 

Tucker shows up at Lilliana's house and talks her into taking a drive with him to an animal rescue interested in leasing land for their horses. (Lilliana revealed that she was thinking of donating some of her acreage to an animal rescue in the previous chapter - an idea that, of course, enraged Tucker.) On the way there, Lilliana manages to anger Tucker to the point of jamming on his brakes and skidding the car onto the shoulder - scaring the hell out of her - and getting out of the car to throw a hissy fit. Being the good manipulated woman that she is, Lilliana gets out and apologizes to him in hopes of calming him down. Instead, he grabs her and forces her into an unwanted kiss, refusing to release her when she struggles and tries to shove him away. 


The last time I read about a kiss like this, it was in Nenia Campbell's Fearscape, and it was portrayed there as horrifying. (Nenia, I promise reviews are on their way!) A forced kiss is a form of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator refuses to let the other person go. Ms. Campbell got it right. It is terrifying and a violation of a person's body. Here, it was portrayed as, you guessed it, hot. Once Lilliana stops fighting, she relaxes into the kiss and realizes she enjoys it. Ah, yes, isn't that similar to the line most perpetrators of sexual assault use? "Relax, baby, just enjoy it."


So, ladies, the next time some guy grabs you and plants an unwanted, possessive kiss on you, just relax! It'll feel good! You won't feel violated in the least! 

Just kidding! THIS is the correct response: 


Chapter 9: 

Now at the animal rescue, Tucker and Lilliana decide to go for a horseback ride - and he decides it should be on the same horse. I would think of this as cute if she were a novice rider and needed help getting used to handling such a powerful animal, but she has grown up on a farm and has plenty of experience with horses - she doesn't need his guidance. I found this controlling and insulting - she doesn't even get to hold the reins - he does. She just sits on the horse doing nothing but be molested by his humpy crotch. Again, she thinks this is arousing. 

While on their ride - off where no one can see them - Lilliana playfully teases him by rubbing her butt on his crotch. He becomes enraged, thinking that she's mocking him and GRABS HER BY THE THROAT! 


...He reached over her arm and chest effectively pinning it down and wrapped his long fingers around her throat, forcing her head back onto his chest so he could see her face. 
"Don't mock me, Lilly," he snarled into her ear, caressing her neck gently with his fingertips. 
"Tucker," she whimpered, clearly alarmed by his forceful gesture. Her hands came up and tried to loosen his grip, but the precarious and vulnerable position Tucker had her in left her helpless. p. 89

By the way, his other hand is squeezing her breast painfully - and they're still on horseback. 

At this point, my reaction is: 
Seriously, say whatever you have to until he lets you go, then do one of these:
Knock his ass off the back of the horse and gallop that beast to safety!


Lilliana's response? SHE GETS AROUSED! 

Now, I know there is a fetish for that kind of thing, and I'm not, in any way, saying it is wrong for people to be into it. HOWEVER, this usually is not an act perpetrated out of rage when used in a sexual manner - and it is something both parties know is going to happen. It's also something that both parties have discussed beforehand, and something you ease into. NONE of that is applicable here. THIS is a scene similar to those in any of the numerous films or texts featuring domestic violence. The woman pisses off the man, he retaliates by gripping her throat and choking her. (And DON'T tell me he wasn't choking her! A hand on the throat gripped tightly enough to force her head back is applying a pressure to her trachea, making it hard for her to breathe.) 


Ladies, according to this book, if a man grabs you by the throat and sexually assaults your breasts, it's okay as long as he's hot. 


He wanted nothing else but to fill her mouth with his cock and to fuck the mockery right out of it and make her surrender completely to him. p. 89

My reaction to this statement:


Chapter 10: 

Tucker finally releases her throat and breast. At first she fights him but he tells her to stop resisting, so she does. 

Lilliana should have jumped ship at that point and she damned well knew it, but no one had ever taken control of her the way Tucker just had and it felt good; too good. p. 91

Because, you know, a man choking you out of anger should arouse you sexually, not make you flee in terror. 

God, yes, she wanted to be Tucker's pet, the consequences be damned to hell and her own fears and everyone else's warnings be damned for all time. She was in control of her own destiny. p. 91

No, you're putting Tucker in charge of your destiny! And, yes, it is always smart not to heed the warnings of people who have known the man for years and to ignore your own gut instincts. 

Tucker tries to explain himself - not apologizing, mind you, it's HER fault he handled her so roughly! 

"i'm strict and often times unyielding, but rarely harsh. But you ... you make me feel like an untamed, wild creature - feral, rabid and unpredictable."
"You don't ever have to explain your actions to me, Tucker." p. 92

Damn right, there's no explanation for those actions! You should run like hell! Oh, ... you mean he has every right to handle you roughly with no explanation necessary. 
He tells her he's into dominance/submission and bondage - which turns her on even more, because, you know, allowing a man who would choke you, to tie you up and have you at his mercy is a good idea. 

"...I'm going to make my rules very simple: I command. You obey. Always. Am I clear?"

Oh boy ... here we go....


Tucker also calls vagina's "bobos." All I can think of when I see/hear the term bobo is this:

Mr. Burns loves Bobo the bear. 


Chapter 11: 

Lilliana googles bondage and discipline on her lunch hour - the author doesn't describe what Lilliana finds, just that it's "kinky and a bit old-fashioned." Possibly because the author knows very little about the lifestyle, except what she has seen in porn. 


Not only is the vagina referred to as a "bobo," it is now also referred to as a "juice box." 

Yeah, a vagina is exactly what I think of when someone mentions a juice box. Gross.


Of course, her privates have to be cleanly-shaven to be considered sexy. Heaven forbid she have a little hair down there! And, this trash is written for a female audience, correct? Why the focus on what her lady bits look like? 


Tucker has asked her to spend the weekend with him, so she packs an overnight bag. He comes over to pick her up, and they end up in her bedroom - him spanking her, then pleasing her orally until she squirts. She begins drooling over the idea of giving him fellatio, because, all women drool at the thought of a penis in their mouths. She begins to do so, he grabs her head and tries to force her to deep-throat him (because you obviously cannot please a man orally unless you practically ingest his wang), she gags and feels terrible that she can't do what he wants her to (Most women can't do that, and it shouldn't be expected of them!).
Tucker: "No worries, pet. That sort of skill comes with a lot of practice and I intend to give you plenty of it until you get it right." (Because you can't possibly please me unless you choke on my dick.)

Tucker's kindness and patience with her urged her forward. p. 121

KINDNESS?! PATIENCE?! The man is thrusting his penis into your throat and basically telling you that you're not good enough if you can't deep-throat him! THAT IS NOT KINDNESS OR PATIENCE! He's also going to insist on a lot more blow jobs until she gets it right - because there is only one right way to give fellatio - the porn star way. Seriously, are women really turned on by the idea of deep-throating a penis? Maybe I'm in the minority in not wanting a penis shoved down my throat, but I don't think so. 


Lilliana calls his semen a "precious gift." 


Chapter 12: 

Lilliana and Tucker actually go out on a real date where they take swing dance lessons and have a blast, then go back for dinner at his place. While he cooks they rip off 9 1/2 Weeks with him blindfolding her and feeding her foods - the catch is she has to guess what kind of food she's eating, in order to be granted an orgasm. They end up having sex on the kitchen island while waiting for the food to cook. 


Annoying Tucker Behavior of the Chapter: 
He had asked her to spend the weekend with him, then makes her feel stupid for assuming that meant spending the night with him. He acts like that wasn't what he wanted at all, then gets offended when she tries to leave - thinking she has overstepped her bounds.

What was she supposed to think? Most people assume spending the weekend together means spending the night together. Don't be ashamed, Lilliana - well, not of your assumption anyway. He's being a jerk, as usual. 


He also just has this aloof attitude - acting like he's superior to her because he makes more money. He thinks her dental hygienist salary meager (it's not, it's a livable wage), and wonders to himself how she could possibly have gotten him a gift. 


Lilliana does a sexy dance for him - his reaction is less than attractive, in my opinion.
He bounced up and down on the bed like a sex-depraved lunatic at a strip club, clapping his hands as Lilliana continued to shimmy her ass... p. 139

She finds it alluring, but I would have found it juvenile. Contain yourself, man! You remind me of Tommy Jarvis (Friday the 13th: Part 4) seeing a naked woman for the first time. (He sees her from his bedroom window, the woman is unaware.)
This smile with A LOT more bouncing around and weird noises. 


Chapter 13: 

Lilliana wakes up after a round of sex, and explores his house while he's still asleep. He wakes up and finds her. Lots of inane discussion ensues - we learn that Tucker would rather blow his money on objects he'll never make use of, than donate money to charity. He scoffs at the idea. 
"Charity? ...Since when did you become a humanitarian?"

"I'm not. I just can't figure out why you need all this."

"No one needs a house this big, silly girl." 

What is so wrong with giving money to charity? Is it so laughable to give to the less fortunate? I guess it is, when you're a greedy douche living all alone in a mansion. Can't part with a dime, though! 

He shows her the time-out room, where he keeps all of his kinky sex equipment. They bone in the sex swing, and he ejaculates on her chest and stomach - because that's sexy. 

I've never understood the appeal of this move. I, for one, would feel so degraded, like I'm nothing but a tissue for his ejaculate. It's disgusting, and the idea makes me want to puke.


The next morning, they have breakfast and go to her house where she gives him a tour of her property. She confronts him about the fact that he still wants the acreage, which he doesn't deny. She gets angry. Instead of commenting on that in any way, he decides he's going to try and dominate a woman who is seething on the inside. 
"To hell with lunch. All I want is to fuck that sassy mouth of yours and see you on your knees again." p. 157

She ignores him, he spins her around and forces her onto her knees, and unzips his pants, waving his hard penis in her face. He tells her to "Do it" but she refuses. He gets angry. 
"Do you want to be punished? Is this your way of trying to elicit a response of that kind out of me?"
"You don't own me, Tucker McGrath, and I haven't signed anything yet stating that you can do whatever the hell you want to me...."

"I once told you that I will not be topped and I meant it. I'm not playing games with you. Either you provide me with what I need and submit to me, or I'll find someone who will." p. 157

I love how Lilliana reacts to this! She gets up and opens her door, gesturing for him to leave. 
"Then find someone else." p. 158

He leaves, but she can't stop herself from kissing him one more time. 

We all know this strength won't last for long. But it's nice when it occurs. 

54% to go. 


Six Chapters Down...

This Love's Not for Sale - Ella Dominguez

So for the last three chapters there has been a lot of Tucker trying to seduce Lilliana - getting a little bit, then getting shut down. She's fighting an inner battle with being both sexually attracted to him and thinking he's an egocentric, devious jerk off. 


He'll try to hypnotize her with his crotch, like so:

(I apologize to Jensen Ackles for using a gif of his crotch as an example of this douche bag.)


Then Lilliana is like:


Let's go chapter by chapter, shall we?


Chapter 3: 
We learn more about Lilliana's past. She was once married to a rich playboy, but divorced him, didn't take any money, and has done just fine for herself. Good for her! She shows that she has self-respect and can make it on her own without her ex-husband's help. 


THEN she goes on to fantasize about Tucker and all of his dickishness, admitting she would like him to take control of her. 

After this we are treated to a wonderful display of her clumsiness

- because every heroine of every erotic novel is a klutz.  She decides to rip up his business card and throw it in the sink. I was hoping she would then set it on fire, but no such luck. 


The chapter then changes to Tucker's point of view, and we get to read his lovely misogynistic thoughts and then a graphic masturbation scene. 


Chapter 4: 

She walks out of the dental office where she works to find him sitting on her car, shit-eating grin on his face. He tries to talk her into having dinner with him, she says no, then this happens: 

She moved towards her car door and dug out her keys, but Tucker promptly grabbed them from her hands. p. 32

Yes, he takes her keys, preventing her from leaving, and won't give them back until she promises to follow him to his office. Because giving her pretty much no other option is a great way to get your way. I personally would have gone back inside and called a cab, but she decides to follow him because, well, he's sexy. 


At his office she meets a redhead named Ariel, which Lilliana laughs about due to the obvious reference to The Little Mermaid, and Ariel follows up with, "I know. Cliche, right?" (Yes, yes it is, and your admittance to your own lack of creativity isn't cute and self-aware, it's bashing the reader over the head with a joke that we understood without needing an explanation.)

While at the office, Lilliana tells Tucker off when he gets too fresh with her, and he tells her she needs a spanking. He gets ticked off when she has a two-second conversation with so-far-unnecessary-Ariel, because she keeps him waiting.

When she offers him a snarky retort, he gets angry and offers this lovely gem of dialogue: 
"That mouth of yours is going to get you in trouble every time. I won't ever disrespect you and I expect the same courtesy in return."
What now?! You disrespect her all the time! Or do you think telling her she needs to be "spanked and fucked" is a sign of respect? Ass. 


He gets close to her, runs his fingers over her face, and she loses composure, panting like a bitch-in-heat. 

DAMMIT!! NO!! *smacks Lilliana with rolled up newspaper* STOP IT! FIND YOUR SELF-RESPECT! FIND IT!


Chapter 5: 
Begins while they are still in the office. She has regained her composure, shuts Tucker down when he tries to kiss her, and reads a file he just-so-happens to keep on his desk top that is all about him. Of course, why wouldn't an egomaniac keep such a thing on his computer? 

He tells her their dinner reservations are in twenty minutes, she says she never agreed to dinner, and he cockily tells her it's her choice whether she meets him for dinner or not. She opts for the latter, and that pisses him off. How dare she stand HIM up?! (Dude, it's not standing you up if she never promised to meet you.) So, what does he do? Shows up at her house, forces his way in, and demands that she make him a tasty dessert since she made him eat alone! 

Lilliana: "Look, I'm not sure what you think is going to happen here, but you really need to leave."

Tucker: "And I will, after you've prepared something sweet for me. I hope you can cook, Ms. Norris. I'm in the mood for something sweet." *takes off jacket, loosens tie, makes it clear he's not going anywhere.* p. 46


This would be when I would have told the prick to get the hell out before I call the damn cops, but, to my dismay, she relents and starts to head to her bedroom to change. He commands her not to, and, again, she relents, walks into the kitchen and begins preparations for apple crisp. 


Chapter 6: 

Takes place almost entirely in Lilliana's kitchen. They talk while she prepares the apples. She admits she had braces as an adult, to which he replies: 
"A mouth full of metal? Real sexy. Tell me, though, how does one go about giving head with braces on?" p. 48

What was that you said about respect, back in chapter 4, Tucker? Because I don't think either this comment nor forcing your way into a woman's house and demanding she bake for you count as acts of respect. 

Lilliana will back me up on this! Isn't that right, Lilliana? Lilliana? 


Lilliana: *giggles nervously and continues to peel apples* 
Tucker: *grins at her lecherously and sidles up to her, thinking to himself how she needs to be dominated and he's just the man for the job.*



Tucker then takes it upon himself to tell her that she's cutting the apples wrong - and begins to instruct her on how to do it properly. 
My reaction: 
Lilliana's reaction: *grinds butt into his crotch* 

Me: "You're hopeless, Lilliana." 
Tucker: "See, it needs to be perfect, like you." p. 50
Lilliana: "He says the sweetest things! It's been so long since I've felt a man's touch! I'd nearly forgotten how good it feels! OOOOHHH!" 
Me: "That's not sweet talk, that's bullshit, honey. It would be sweet if he actually mean't it, but he doesn't - and if you knew the things he really thought about you, you'd know he definitely doesn't think you're perfect. A perfect ejaculate container, maybe - but not perfect as a woman. Also, a man's touch is great and all, but don't give it up to a man as undeserving as Tucker! Seriously, there are other solutions!" 
See? Anya knows what's up! 


...he inched his mouth down her spine and slipped her shorts down to her ankles, exposing her bare ass. 
..."Tucker," Lilliana said uneasily as she began to turn around. 
Tucker gripped her hips firmly, holding her in place so that she couldn't resist him or move. 
"Hush, Ms. Norris," he snarled as he bit into her ass cheek. Lilliana squealed and he licked and nibbled her other cheek in response.
p. 51

My response: 
Yes, I would have farted in his face. Serves him right, biting at my ass! That's what happens when you don't ask for permission, asswhipe.


Lilliana gets uncomfortable and asks him to stop. She tells him she doesn't want to have sex with him, because she fears she might regret it - he gets pissed. He then proceeds to manipulate her feelings for the rest of the chapter, acting hurt when she voices her suspicions that he's only trying to get in her pants to get his hands on her land - even though that is EXACTLY what he's doing, HOW DARE SHE BE SUSPICIOUS!! He talks her into kissing him, then throws her down on the kitchen table, stripping her of her shirt. She has to ask him more than once to stop before he does. 


We do learn three good things about Tucker in this chapter set: he's a hard worker and

has built his wealth on his own, he helps his parents out financially, and he's never cheated on a wife. He also seems to feel a little bad for being a devious little turd in regards to the manipulation he's subjecting Lilliana to, but not much. 


Lilliana got off some good zingers at his expense, but she's wavering a lot more now. She should be saying this to him: 
Instead she's floundering like an imbecile. Self-respect, motherfucker, do you still have it?! 


As for Tucker, this is all I want to do to him:
Only 84% to go....

Two Chapters In ... "Fifty Shades of Realty."

This Love's Not for Sale - Ella Dominguez

Yes, this is a "romance" based on the possession of real estate. 


What I like so far: 
Lilliana - the main character. She is feisty and not willing to let sleaze bag, Tucker, get the better of her - at least, not so far. She has some great ways of telling him off, and I love it. 


"It just so happens that I admire all of your teeth, but it's your ass I want off my property." p. 17

(She's his dental hygienist.) 


"How dare you presume to know my needs. You have no idea what makes me tick. I'm no little girl, Mr. McGrath. I'm a lady and a grown woman with desires you'll never comprehend. It's very obvious to me that from your attitude, I doubt you know what any woman needs." p. 19


"You can't even begin to fathom the amount of fucks I do not give about what you want. You know the way out." p. 20



I LOVE IT! I hope she doesn't drop the ball and become another simpering idiot like the infamous Anastasia Steele. 


What I dislike: 

TUCKER MCGRATH! Everything about this man makes me want to punch him in the face. Seriously. Here are some lovely gems to give you insight into this wonderful man. 



Tucker wanted nothing more than a good look at her ass. He could deal with a boring personality, in fact, he had on many occasions, but having an unattractive ass was a deal-breaker for him. p.10

Well, it's good he has his priorities in order. He sure seems like a winner!



Tucker and attempted to strike up a polite conversation with him. By her body language, it was obvious to Tucker that she was interested in him, though she seemed a little juvenile for his tastes. p. 10 (Bold emphasis is mine.)
Aside from the obvious grammatical errors, (and who? Is the dental assistant he's trying to talk to male or female because we have some serious pronoun mixing going on here.) we are reading about a man who just spent a paragraph wondering what Lilliana's ass looked like, saying the dental assistant is too juvenile for him. I think this man's perception of maturity is just a tad bit skewed.


Yes, that's what she needed - a good bit of discipline. p. 10
No, you need a dose of "BACK THE FUCK OFF!" Seriously, you don't even know her name and you're already plotting her punishments?! But, darling Tucker, what if her ass isn't up to your standards? Whatever will you do?! 



To his dismay, the femme fatale in desperate need of a spanking was nowhere to be found. p. 11 
Hmm...maybe she could sense you're a creeper with a plot to spank her, so she got the hell out of dodge? Or, you know, she she could be working on another patient, otherwise known as doing her job. I know, I know, how dare she work when the almighty Tucker McGrath is in the building?!


...he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and was horrified at his own reflection ... It was no wonder the hygienist hadn't shown any interest in him ... p. 11



And that couldn't possibly be because she could sense your eyes all over her or disliked the way you talked to her! *Channels Carly Simon and begins to sing* "You're so vain, you probably think Lill cares about you / you're so vain, you creepy ass douche nozzle ..."


He was annoyed with himself that he couldn't remember if he had his cock in her or not because surely he would've remembered dicking such a lovely specimen. p. 14



Grammatically, I believe this should either read, "he'd had" or "he had had" - otherwise it sounds like he can't remember that he's in the middle of boning her. Also, there should be a comma between "because" and "surely." 
I also love that she's nothing but a specimen to him - something to stare at and bone whenever he feels like it. Objectification - I know it's what I most desire in a man! 


Tucker was defensive and was quickly becoming irritated with Lilliana's insolence. Twice in one day he had a vision of a woman bent over his knee with red ass cheeks. p. 15

So, if you don't give Tucker his way, you're automatically an insolent child that needs a spanking. My, what a lovely slice of misogyny that is! Methinks it is Tucker who should have been spanked more as a child, maybe then he wouldn't be so stuck on himself and focused on always getting his own way. 



Tucker hadn't felt the uneasiness of a beautiful woman in a very long time and he found it enthralling that she could  at least recognize his animalistic intentions and power, despite her willfulness and disobedience. p. 16

Disobedience?! There is no reason for her to OBEY you! It's HER property, you have NO LEGAL RIGHT to it! Also, all relationships are off to a healthy start when the woman is slightly frightened of the man. ...And the misogyny continues. 



Tucker suddenly wondered what it would feel like to have those full lips wrapped around his shaft and that sharp tongue licking his big balls. He bet her smart-ass mouth would look absolutely divine glistening with his warm cum. p. 18

Well that's ... disgusting imagery. Once again, she's nothing more than an object - a receptacle for his ejaculate. This guy need those "big balls" kicked in.



"...a good hard fuck is exactly what you need, little girl," he answered ferociously. p. 19
Funny, I think you need a good kick in the nuts, dickwad. 



...he considered turning his car around, busting in and taking what he wanted. There was no doubt she, too, felt the sexual tension flickering between them, but he'd been wrong before and he didn't want that scene played out again. p. 21
Does this mean he either nearly raped or succeeded in raping someone before, due to his presumption that she wanted him to bang her? That is so comforting. Lilliana, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS DUDE!!


Lilliana: *pouts and ponders over the card containing his personal phone number*





There are also plenty of grammatical errors and weird descriptions. 

He had skin a warm shade of praline p. 13

What the hell color is this? It's based on a food, and since it is both dough and based on a flesh-like color, I'm assuming it's a tan/light brown. I'm not against comparing color to food, if it's a common food - praline is not. 


...those lips - heart-shaped, generously curved and the color of amaranth. p. 14

The dictionary defines this as a shade of purple. Her lips are PURPLE?! Is she asphyxiating?!


I'm only 5% in, and the only thing keeping me interested is Lilliana. Either way, I rarely DNF, so a lot of snark is forecasted for the future. 


Halfway Through

Horrorscape  - Nenia Campbell

James is such a douche. If any of Val's friends "have an accident" I hope it's him! When your girlfriend is frightened of someone and says he reminds her of a man who viciously attacked her, you don't call her crazy and you DEFINITELY don't leave her ALONE WITH HIM!!!

Lisa, on the other hand, is proving herself as a true friend. I'm actually starting to like her.

Probably Going to Finish This Today

Fearscape - Nenia Campbell

Well, I got a Kindle for Christmas, so naturally, I went and bought both Fearscape and its sequel, Horrorscape, as soon as I could. Having been following/friends with author, Nenia Campbell for a while now, and reading about these books, I couldn't wait to read them. The plot is right up my alley, and so far, I haven't been disappointed. 


At first it was a little slow going for me, as I found it hard to relate to Val. At first I wasn't sure if I liked Val - she's rather immature and fairly disrespectful to her mother, who seems to only have the best intentions. I know she's like this because she's a younger teen, but she can be a little bratty and irritating. Yet, I still worry for her - maybe it's her naive nature that makes me want to protect her?


I really don't like Lisa, though. She has the same irritating points as Val, only multiplied. Plus, she's rude to everyone and seems to care more about Val's social standing than her feelings. Maybe she will change or, at the very least, begin to grow on me, now that the plot has really kicked into gear. 


I may just be bothered by these characters because they are typical, know-it-all, bratty teens. I'm sure I acted like this once - probably more like Val than Lisa, but, God, do I hate to admit it!


Oddly, despite that I know  the truth about Gavin, I find him sexy. Hmm...what does that say about me? lol.


What started out slow for me has become a page turner. I will probably be finished with it tonight. 

Finished with "Apt Pupil," Now Onto "The Body."

Different Seasons - Stephen King

Finally finished "Apt Pupil" - there's a story that I'm going to rip into. Not that it wasn't well-written, it was, which is partially why it caused me so much rage. The characters were thoroughly despicable in every detail and I'm glad they got what was coming to them. 


Thankfully, I'm now onto "The Body," which, so far, seems to have been very closely followed by the film based on it, "Stand by Me." I'm actually seeing the kids and the settings in my head, remembering much of the dialog and scenes as they played out in the movie. I love it when I read the book after seeing the film and it turns out that the film stayed true to the source material. (I try to read the book before seeing the film whenever possible, but occasionally it happens in reverse, like now.) I definitely need a good story to stamp out the rage caused by Todd in "Apt Pupil." 

Pg. 163, "Apt Pupil"

Different Seasons - Stephen King

I actually felt pity for Dussander up until these last few pages. I genuinely thought that he felt remorse for his war crimes and that Todd was simply forcing him to relive them. But now I realize he gets a sick pleasure out of killing, and kills stray cats in his oven for fun/to alleviate his nightmares. He's even considering upping the ante to dogs. It makes me sincerely doubt that he ever felt any remorse for all of the people he killed in the concentration camps, despite what his actions at the beginning of the story seemed to indicate. Or maybe he convinced himself that he did feel remorse, and Todd is bringing out the evil man he once was by making him relive his time operating the camp. Both he and Todd are equally despicable and make me sick.


Todd makes me sick on a different level. He's a spoiled, entitled little brat who thinks he can control an old man by threatening to reveal said man's past. He extorts stories out of Dussander, makes him dress up in a replica of an SS uniform, and forces him to relive the goriest moments of his past. Todd could be partially responsible for Dussander's lapse back into killing - even if the victims are only stray cats - because if he hadn't confronted Dussander about his true identity and dragged the lurid stories out of him. Before Todd, Dussander was living a lonely but nightmareless life.


Now, Todd's grades are slipping and he's blaming it on Dussander and his stories - the stories that Todd has been extorting from him, stories Dussander didn't want to revisit. He's demanding that Dussander help him fix his grades because the stories are all he can think about and causing him nightmares - therefore his failing grades are Dussander's fault, and Dussander must fix them. 



Seriously, you're an evil, manipulative little shit, and I want to wring your neck. 

Shawshank to Apt Pupil

Different Seasons - Stephen King

Just finished "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and loved it. So far, I'm not a big fan of "Apt Pupil." Todd is one judgmental little turd and I want to slap him. He's grossed out because an old man hasn't shaved for a day or so. Really, kid? You woke him up, bothered him at his home, and he is supposed to meet your standards of appearance? 

pg. 141

Off Season - Unexpurgated Hard Cover Edition - Jack Ketchum

I like how developed the characters are. I really like the sisterly connection between Carla and Marjie, and both Nick and Dan seem like decent dudes. I predict Laura is going to go - so far she's proven useless. I relate to Marjie though - she's quiet, slightly depressed, lacks self-confidence, but has a strength within her that will aid in her survival. 

pg. 89

Off Season - Unexpurgated Hard Cover Edition - Jack Ketchum

Just started this today and already almost 100 pages in. Ketchum always hooks me and pulls me quickly through his novels - whipping through pages with ease. My only qualm so far is that it is obvious he's not truly familiar with Maine. As a resident, we are Mainahs not Maine-iacs, and it is Route 1, not Highway 1. (Simple slip ups, but a little surprising since Stephen King and Ketchum are friendly and fans of one another - and, of course, King is our most famous resident.) Also, the good people of Washington County may be a little offended by the inbred description.
He does, however, capture the feelings of adversity the locals feel toward entitled tourists very well. We don't like rude out-a-statahs and we don't care how important they think they are. Your status doesn't mean anything up here. Despite our "Vacation Land" moniker, the locals often spout, "Welcome to Maine, leave your money and get out."  
The fact that part of this book is focused on the group of tourists and another focuses on the local sheriff is interesting as it offers two perspectives. I think it will be fun to explore the contrasts between the two. 

Hooked from the Beginning (p. 50)

Lust Killer - Ann Rule

I love Ann Rule. There is a reason she is considered the queen of True Crime writing. Although the writing style is a bit different than what I'm used to, this is also one of her earlier efforts, and it's nice to see how her writing has progressed over the years. As always she brings the victims and the killer to life, making them seem equally human. Despite Jerry Burdos's violent acts, he never comes off as inhuman - rather Rule gives us his childhood history of neglect and rejection from his mother, as well as a history of mental illness which was never properly treated. A lot of factors go into creating a serial killer, but these two things combined undoubtedly gave him a good push in that direction. Also, girls, come forward about any sexual assault - your story may lead to stopping a predator before he progresses to something much worse. 

Almost Done (p.187)

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

It's probably bad that I like the murderous monster over Victor Frankenstein, but I can't help it. All of this atrocity could have been prevented if Victor had taken responsibility for his creation in the first place. The being was a gentle giant until he faced nothing but rejection and violence, even as a response from people he only did good things for. Victor cries about how miserable he is, and how it is his fault that four innocents have lost their lives at the hands of his creation - but he never puts a stop to it. The monster promised him the violence would cease if Victor would do one thing for him - but Victor refuses due to his own paranoia. I can't sympathize with a character who only ever thinks of himself and how miserable he is. The fact that he didn't think to warn his family about his vengeful creation, to try and protect them, is annoying. Victor, stop your whining. You only have yourself to blame. 

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously - Julie Powell

Read more of my reviews at The "Novel" Review.


Julie Powell is a twenty-nine year old secretary in New York. She is married to her high school sweetheart, working at a job she hates, and being urged by her doctors to get pregnant as soon as possible. But Julie isn’t sure she’s ready for parenthood, in fact, she’s not sure what she wants at all; only knowing that she is not happy where she is. Then, one day, while visiting her parents in Texas, she discovers her mother’s copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and embarks on a yearlong blog project where she will cook every single recipe in the book. With the help of her husband, friends and “bleaders” she works her way through the novel one or two recipes at a time.


I wanted to like this book, I really did. I’ve seen previews for the movie and swore to myself that I would read the book first. Well, now I have, and I hope the film adaptation has more to offer than the book does.


My biggest issue with the book is the writing style. Powell doesn’t seem to understand writing in a chronological order. I often found myself confused as she had jumped from talking about one thing to some anecdote from her past that somehow relates to it – and sometimes there was no spacing in between these to indicate that the subject is changing. For instance, in the chapter where she is discussing lobsters, she is in the middle of talking about the lobster recipes and then the chapter turns into her holiday vacation with her family. It eventually wraps back around to her cooking the lobsters in her apartment, but it takes a while. Also, I found many of her anecdotes unnecessary.


I found it strange how she would gloss over the more important details that happen dealing with her blog, in favor of telling the readers about her friends and family. She barely gives any details about being interviewed for newspapers, magazines and television news, but tells us all about the sexual antics of her friends. I don’t care about your friends’ sex lives¸ or that one friend is leaving her husband for a man she met on the internet¸ I want to know about how your blog became so successful. I want to read about how you gained recognition – what it was like to be interviewed, to have not just the attention of a few devoted readers, but also the attention of news media. You gained what many bloggers dream about, lady! We want to hear about your success!


Powell also passes over in-depth discussion of the recipes in favor of talking about her life overall. I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to reading about the cooking aspect, but it does play a major role in the blog and got her name out there, so it seems like it would be important. Usually when the food is discussed, it is done so through Julie’s anxieties and frustrations with recipes. She will tell us the name of a recipe, but often not what it actually is. So, you’re making Oeufs a la Bourguignonne? Great! What is that?


Julie, herself, gets on my nerves a lot. She got off to a bad start with me when she condescendingly referred to the homeless woman in the subway as a “loon” and rushed away from her. The woman did seem to have a mental illness, yes, a lot of homeless people suffer from one form or another, but she is more than just some “loon” on the street, she’s a person too, Julie. She is constantly putting down the Republican Party, and even though I don’t support the conservative belief system, that got irritating too. Her jibes had no basis and there were many of them littered throughout the book. I don’t understand what the Republican Party has to do with cooking blogs. I get it that she works for a government agency with republicans, but they aren’t important to the progress of this memoir, are they?


I didn’t feel like I could relate well to Julie at all. The most we have in common is our love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I think I may be a bigger fan than she is. She drinks a lot, smokes regularly, and envies the sex lives of her friends. There are times where she puts down her husband, Eric, even though he’s been nothing but supportive and even gave her the idea to start the blog in the first place. She encourages her friend to get involved with a married man, which is terrible advice. She also allows cooking to take over her life to the point where she doesn’t clean up properly and discovers maggots growing under her dish strainer. How can someone let that happen? Lastly, she complains all the time about her crappy job, crappy apartment, and the lack of support from her family and friends – even though many followed her blog and would take part in the dinners she cooked. They were supportive, but they also worried about her because she became so obsessed.


The only parts of the book that I really liked were the parts based on Julia Child. We learn about her relationship with her husband and how she got into cooking. Her parts are styled in italics and often short, but she seemed like a much more interesting woman – strong, witty, and intelligent, she captures Paul’s love and follows him to Paris where she discovers her true passion in the art of cooking. I can see why she inspires Julie, I just wish Julie were a bit more inspiring.


Overall, this was an okay read at best. I wasn’t a fan of Julie or her writing style, and I felt there could have been more on the blog, Julie’s success/interviews, the actual recipes, and Julia Child, herself. 

"Secrets to the Grave" by Tami Hoag

Secrets to the Grave - Tami Hoag

You can read more of my reviews at A "Novel" Review.


A year after the See No Evil murders, a young mother is found brutally murdered in her own home. The only witness to the crime is the victim’s small daughter, Haley – who also suffered injuries in the attack and remains traumatized. Enter Anne Leone (previously Anne Navarre) to help Haley through her trauma and identify the killer. Someone killed Marissa Fordham, but who and why? The investigation digs up many secrets along the way, secrets that give many motive for murder.


I found this mystery to be just as intriguing as the last one – maybe even more so because I didn’t know the identity of the killer before reading it. I really wanted to learn who killed Marissa, who seemed like such a great person – loving and friendly, a great mother. I also felt for Haley, the daughter left behind by the tragedy, and hoped that she would find happiness with a family that would love her.


I liked how Hoag, once again, led me down a road of twists and turns, introducing suspects here and there, making it hard to decide who the real villain was. Marissa’s best friend is also attacked – but is her attack related to Marissa’s death or based on something else altogether? There is also a subplot including Dennis Farman, his life in the psychiatric hospital and his visits with Anne.


The returning characters are as great as always. Anne Navarre married Vince Leone between Book #1 and this one, and she has left teaching to finish her schooling in psychology and work with children.  She is still as strong willed and feisty as ever, standing her ground to protect herself and any child in her care. Vince has fully retired as an FBI profiler, but still entertains speaking engagements and consults on murder cases. The two are ready to create a family together.


Tony begins to fall for Sarah Morgan, Wendy’s mother, who is finally on the verge of divorcing her cheating husband. However, while I love Tony as a detective, he did annoy me a lot in his obsession with pinning the murder on Sarah’s soon-to-be ex husband, Steve, and harassing the man. As much as the guy was a jerk and a bad husband, and as much as he deserved to be punched in the face, Tony went out of his way to make this guy’s life uncomfortable with no substantial evidence. That was not okay with me. Tony, you’re better than that!  


As for new characters, I found Gina to be annoying at first, but she proves her strength when she is abducted and left for dead. Haley is just adorable, and despite my knowing where she ends up due to reading Book #3 before hand, I was still incredibly anxious for her during custody meetings. I absolutely hated Milo Bordain, the older woman of wealth who claims to be Marissa’s benefactor and substitute mother-figure. Mrs. Bordain is self-righteous and self-centered, the entire world has to stop when she commands it. She always gets what she wants, and she wants Haley even though she doesn’t know the first thing about child development. She throws her weight around or temper tantrums when she cannot get her way. I wanted to jump in the book and throttle her!


The story was paced perfectly and, once again, Hoag demonstrates her talent for leaving a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter and forcing you to read on. The only thing that bothered me was the repeated detail of the bullet lodged in Vince’s brain. We know it’s there, it doesn’t need to be shoved down our throats. Otherwise, it is another fast-paced, interesting mystery story.


Overall, the story is gripping, fast-paced and keeps the reader hooked until the final pages. Other than a few minor annoyances, the book was well-written and enjoyable. 

Currently reading

Anthropology of an American Girl
Hilary Thayer Hamann
Progress: 30/556 pages
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Peter M. Bracke, Sean S. Cunningham
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The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies
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