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Books 1-3 PS Happy 2016

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of ImaginationVery Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what drove me to reading this book other then the fact that it was by the same person responsible for the Harry Potter series but I am glad I did.

This short read, a commencement speech she delivered at Harvard University, somehow managed to pack inspirational and motivational cues in a way that didn't annoy but hit home with me even though me and author J.K. Rowling are obviously living different lives.

The God MachineThe God Machine by Chandra Free

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not really sure how I feel about what I've just read. The premise is intriguing and I liked the imagery but for some reason I just felt ... meh. This story is to be continued and I get the impression that things will really kick off in the book(s) to follow; I just wished it did a better job with this book as it's the beginning.

I did enjoy the Foreword which was written by Doc Hammer, one of the minds behind TV's Venture Bros.

RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I of course became aware of this story after its movie was released. While I didn't see I thought it had an interesting story and hoped I would enjoy it as a read which I did.

The story, which is told from the perspective of 5 year old Jack who has literally lived his whole life insides one room. It's his whole world and all he understands until his mother who is also in this "room"decides to escape their captive.

Once freed inside a new world for Jack we get to see how it affect him along with those around him. All these new experiences and his naivety about some of the things us 'outsiders' take for granted makes for a captivating, emotional yet frustrating read.

View all my reviews

Books 50 and 51

Blood on SnowBlood on Snow by Tom Johansen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

not sure what it was that made me want to read this book nor am I entirely sure how I feel about it afterwards so I'll just go into what the story is about.

This story is told from the POV of Olav, a dyslexic, yet oddly poetic "fixer" (hit man) with a knack of falling for the opposite sex rather quickly. This gets him into deep trouble when his employer, one of Oslo's powerful crime bosses tasks Olav with killing his wife.

Through out the story Olav reflects on his upbringing and his current situation. Towards the end there's a nice bit of reflection that was probably the main thing I enjoyed.

(view spoiler)[ He's been wounded and doesn't have long to live and ends up at the store of a girl he protected. He seems to have this convo where he comes clean with his fear of not being able to make her happy which was why they were never truly together.

What I didn't realize was that moment only happened in his head, a happy moment before he died. On the flipside that same woman is reflecting on her feelings for him. (hide spoiler)]

Attack on Titan, Vol. 14 (Attack on Titan, #14)Attack on Titan, Vol. 14 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As stated in a previous review of this book series, it would really benefit from being in color, especially the action packed scenes. In this volume Erwin Smith, Commander of the Survey Corps is trying to put together a revolution against the royal government thus restoring the Reiss (Historia) family as the true royal bloodline. Of course this wont be an easy feat and lives will be lost.

Books 31-49

Attack on Titan, Vol. 4 (Attack on Titan, #4)Attack on Titan, Vol. 4 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although Attack On Titan seems to be centered around Eren, Mikasa and Armin volume 4 provides backstory so we can see how they and the other soldiers were trained. To me the main thing that happened was Eren, in titan form being tasked with plugging the whole in Wall Rose.

Sidenote: We're introduced to Potato Girl. While I personally don't think she's important she seems to be favored by its TV viewers.

One of the main problems I had with this volume was how it transitioned from the present to the past and back. It came up when it gave backstory for the soldiers and the impact that the deaths of their comrades, particularly Marco had on them.

Maybe I was to engrossed in making sure I read it in the correct order, I just wish it was more clearly noted. Other than that, the story progressed nicely and was a good read.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 5 (Attack on Titan, #5)Attack on Titan, Vol. 5 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After Eren became a titan and sealed off Wall Trost he was detained for a military tribunal where it was decided he would, on a trial period, join the Survey Corps and his accomplishments would help decide if he should live or be sentenced to death. (Considering the fatality rate for this group, he and a lot others may die anyway. )

This book ends with him and the other members on their first journey and introduces a new titan.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 6 (Attack on Titan, #6)Attack on Titan, Vol. 6 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Even though I recommend reading this series in order I do like that the books tend to have a small recap page with character pictures and brief sentences about them and what they've been through.

In this volume we are with the Survey Corps, deep in Titan territory when a female Titan emerges. A human controlled titan to be exact. She seems to be focused on finding Eren whose group is entering the Titan Forest. Will she be captured here or just leave a path of destruction in her wake?

Attack on Titan, Vol. 7 (Attack on Titan, #7)Attack on Titan, Vol. 7 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Normally I would watch the TV episode and then read the book to look for any changes or story additions but I couldn't wait and thus is my review for volume 7.

After once again dealing with the heavy loss of their comrades, the Survey Corps Squad have captured the female titan and are planning to get to the human controlling it when the titans seemingly throws a hell mary move by calling all surrounding titans to sacrifice herself.

With the soldiers retreating and counting their loss (view spoiler)[an unidentified spy emerges and the female titans re-emerges and Eren dons his titan form and a battle ensues. (hide spoiler)]

What will happen when the remaining soldiers return to and who can they trust?

Attack on Titan, Vol. 8 (Attack on Titan, #8)Attack on Titan, Vol. 8 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This particular volume focuses on identifying and capturing the human/female titan hiding within their ranks.

(view spoiler)[The identity of the human inside the female titan should've been evident from the start. I mean as he looks just like Annie Leonhart. (hide spoiler)]

During the course of her subsequent capture we learn that the wall, which is suppose to shield against titans is intact constructed around their bodies.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 9 (Attack on Titan, #9)Attack on Titan, Vol. 9 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anyway the titans have once again breached a wall leaving the squads to spilt off into groups to warn the people. What I liked most about this particular story was that we got to follow potato girl a.k.a Sasha as she traveled back home. It was nice for all tense and purposes to get some of her backstory even though it included seeing the damage done by the titans.

Sidenote: These human controlled titans are everywhere. I feel like a new one is showing up in every book. This new one sorta looks like an ape and its off putting.
I wonder if Eren's father is the one responsible for this.

HorrorstörHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book is basically layed out like an IKEA catalogue with faux furniture dipictions that not only mark the start of a new chapter but transform to implements of torture as the story becomes more sinister in nature.

Although the book is told from the POV of Amy, it centers around her and her fellow employees (Ruth-Ann, Trinity, Matt and Basil) of the Orsk furniture superstore who've stayed behind overnight to investigate strange events/ acts of vandalism that have happened as of late.

What I enjoyed most about this story was that it starts of campy and transitions to a good ghost story all the while playing on my slight fear of retail work.

Fade to Black (Awake in the Dark, #1)Fade to Black by Tim McBain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know if I'm wrongfully assuming things but based on what I've read now and of a previously book, the authors tend to write their main characters with a touch of sarcastic and self deprecating humor to them. Which I'm a fan of.

This story is a little hard for me to write a review for because I'm still not sure what to think of it.

It centers around Jeff Grobnagger, a pessimistic loner who has seizures that send into some wierd state where he is repeatedly killed by a hooded individual. He also seems to be the object of worship by random occult factions. Along the way he meets and becomes friends with an older gentleman trying to find his missing daughter Amity.

Apart from the strange seizure - death incidents nothing of note really happens, in my opinion, until towards the end of the story. This was alright with me because I became more interested in the way the authors expressed life views and some similarities I found between myself and the Grobnagger character.

Heartsick (Gretchen Lowell #1)Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story essentially centers around a very troubled detective and the young journalist shadowing him as he pursues a sadistic killer of teenage girls in the Portland area.

It has been some time since Detective Archie Sheridan last worked a high profile case which isn't surprising when you learn it resulted in him becoming another victim of Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful psychopaths with 200 victims under her belt. That ordeal not only left him mindf*cked, but left him addicted to pills.

Barely hanging on Sheridan is not only tasked with hunting down a new serial killer that's terrorizing the Portland area by murdering its teenage girls, he also does so while being the subject of Susan Ward's new story.

What I liked most about this story was its flawed characters and how the author reveals their connections. It also doesn't really end with the main characters being profoundly changed like all would be right in the world.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 10 (Attack on Titan, #10)Attack on Titan, Vol. 10 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally realized that even though the books and the show are the same, I tend to like the show a little more because the books aren't in color. This missing element would make it even better because after a while the characters all start looking like one another.

Story wise, we are still with the soldiers hold up in the abandoned Utgard Castle who are trying to survive a seemingly thought out attack from the surrounding titans. Afterwards we not only identify yet another human controlled titan within the ranks but that of the Armored and Colossus Titans to boot. The story ends with 104th piecing together their connections.

Attack On Tittan Vol.11

The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone ByeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As the inspiration that spawned the hit TV show that I love I have finally decided to give this series a try. As with most stories being told in different medias (print and tv) the storylines may vary and characters can be introduced at different times else never.

In volume 1, Days Gone Bye, we are with Rick Grimes as he awakens from a coma to find the world dramatically changed. THE DEAD NOW WALK THE EARTH. He has to adapt fast if he's going to survive long enough to find his wife (Lori) and son (Carl).

(view spoiler)[He is eventually reunited with them and his best friend and fellow cop Shane when he is bought to their campsite. Happiness doesn't last long when the camp is ambushed by the dead and lives are lost. The story ends with Shane being shot and killed by Carl who was trying to defend his father against the seemingly envious/dangerous man. (hide spoiler)]

Visually speaking the images were nice and the layout was easy to follow.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 12 (Attack on Titan, #12)Attack on Titan, Vol. 12 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Uptil now the volumes after the first all started with a recap that showed images of the characters with descriptions on what happened to them along with their titan counterparts if it was revealed. This one didn't.

It picks up immediately with the Colossus (Bertolt Hoover) and Armored (Reiner Braun) Titan back in human form along with Ymir and Eren, sans arms, recouping at the titan forest inside Wall Maria awaiting nightfall.

With the Survey Corps right on their heels Ymir is able to transform and takes Krista back to Bertolt, Reiner and Eren deeper into the forest.

On a sidenote I know it says Ymir is doing this to see her friend again but I don't know. Maybe her feelings run a little deeper than she's aware.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 13 (Attack on Titan, #13)Attack on Titan, Vol. 13 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To me the main storyline in this volume occurres in episode 52 inwhich we learn a little more about Krista Lenz aka Historia Reiss' upbringing.

Another thing of note was the Survey Corps is learning not to fully trust the Royal Government nor the Interior MP's so they're keeping Eren's and Krista (Historia) location secret while Eren does Titan experiments.

On a sidenote my theory about all the titans found inside the Ragako Village actually being its missing residents was reiterated by a character, Survey Corps Squad Leader Hange Zoe. I like having my observations confirmed.

A History of ViolenceA History of Violence by John Wagner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wish the imagery was slightly better especially when it comes to establishing one place from another but maybe it was done that way to lend a gritty feel to the story.

The story really begins in Tom McKenna's Soda Shop, when two hitchhiking murderers arrive looking to make trouble are dispensed making him a local hero.

While some might look favorably upon this sudden 15 minutes, Tom shys away from it and along the way we learn why. Tom McKenna isn't who he says he is. He has a dangerous past and it's finally catching up to him.

Old Boy, Vol. 1Old Boy, Vol. 1 by Garon Tsuchiya

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I gotta confess that I sometimes do things backwards and when it comes to this series of books I watched the movie that it inspired first so I basically know how it ends. Still the movie was a total mindf*ck in the best way and I'm hoping for the best with the story in its print media. I also look forward to spotting the differences in it.

Like another translated Japanese story that I've read, its formatted for right-to-left reading as homage to the original publishing.

In volume 1, Mister aka Yamashita, the character inwhich the whole story revolves around, is released after being locked away in a strange room for 10 years by God knows who.

He immediately hooks up with a young virgin and gets a job in construction all-the-while plotting revenge against the unknown individual(s) responsible for his incarceration after discovering a tracking device implanted under his skin.

We the reader do get to see the person responsible although his reasons and name aren't revealed. It is evident that he's a business man with funds to spare. I look forward to reading the next volumes to see how the rest of the story unfolds.

A Short Guide to a Happy LifeA Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anna Quindlen's A Short Guide to a Happy Life is indeed a short read but it doesn't need to be some sweeping novella to deliver its point: If you want to be happy, no matter what your station in life, then just do it. Enjoy your life for the journey it is and surround yourself with love. Granted, this is not always an easy thing to do nor does the book really go in-depth to show you how to manufacture it for yourself Quindlen does write, "unless you know the clock is ticking, it is so easy to waste our days, our lives". It's something to think about.

Books 22 - 30

Stronger (Runaway, #1)Stronger by Lexie Ray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I'm in love with this story, more specifically its message that just because you're down it doesn't mean you have to stay that way.

In Stronger by Lexie Ray we are introduced to a Jasmine, a young homeless girl in the process of eating food from the garbage.

From there we travel back in time to see how exactly she ended up at that station in life and follow along as she struggles to deal with the hardships life has thrown her way.

Casting Shadows EverywhereCasting Shadows Everywhere by L.T. Vargus

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not really sure how this story got on my radar but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

This story is told from the POV of Jake, a self proclaimed wussy teenager trying to find the meaning of life in the worst way possible and that's under the guidance of his quasi psychopathic cousin Nick.

Besides the fact that it had a nice flow to it, I enjoyed some of the tidbits about how the brain works. One of the main things I enjoyed most happens halfway if not a little close to the end of the story.

(view spoiler)[He's discovered that Nick's a killer and decides to take Beth, the girl he fancies, and keeps her locked away to keep her safe. Throughout this section I kept thinking how predictable; I just knew that Beth was going to wind up dead. (hide spoiler)]

I enjoy books that have you thinking a story is going one way and then doesn't.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 1 (Attack on Titan, #1)Attack on Titan, Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first became aware of Attack On Titan as a Toonami feature on Adult Swim. As I've enjoyed the show its printed counterpart was a no brainer. It's set in a future where what's left of humanity is confined behind a three-walled city where they feel they can be safe from cannibalistic humanoids known as Titans.

The story as a whole is centers around Erin Yeager, who's bent on killing the 'Colossus Titan' after it killed his mother and demolished his home.

As this is my first real attempt at reading authentic manga I thought the tradition of reading it right to left was enjoyable and liked the imagery even though it's strictly black and white.

MoriartyMoriarty by Anthony Horowitz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was not aware that this was a sort of a continuation to the book The House Of Silk until I started reading. While there were references to events and outcomes to that story I still think of Moriarty as a standalone.

This story picks up after the Reichenbach Falls incident written about in The House Of Silk inwhich Frederick Chase, an investigator with New York's Pinkerton Detective Agency teams up with Scotland Yard inspector Athelney Jones to pursue a deadly criminal via evidence collected from the belongings of a deceased man identified as James Moriarty.

Based on the theories mention throughout the beginning pages I often found myself wondering when or if Sherlock Holmes was going to show up, if else de-cloak and reveal he was in disguise all along but thus that never happened. (You do see fragments of him thanks in part to the Jones character who studied him.) I also wondered the same about Moriarty. I mean the book is named after him after all.

His reveal comes towards the very last chapter and was still a surprise even though I knew he'd have to show up eventually. I don't know what it is about me but I'm fascinated by a smart and devious criminal and Moriarty is certainly that.

Thomas and BeulahThomas and Beulah by Rita Dove

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not a fan of poetry in general. In fact after all I've read, during school and out I have probably only enjoyed two at most so it should come as no shock that even though Rita Dove's Thomas And Beulah won a Pulitzer Prize I am just not a fan.

It consists of a little more than 40 pieces broken down into two sections and seems to be centered around Thomas and Beulah and their lives before and after getting together.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 2 (Attack on Titan, #2)Attack on Titan, Vol. 2 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Volume 2 which contains episodes 5-9 picks up immediately after Armin witnesses Eren being eaten by a Titan. Still in shock when some reinforcements show up he doesn't really speak again til he must inform Mikasa of Eren's and his squads deaths.

The first if two main events to occur is as follows:

We get the backstory of how Mikasa's came to be with Eren and his family and learn what motivates her to fight as she does.

The second and most fascinating is the arrival of an abnormal Titan that seems to be helping the humans by fighting and killing the other Titans. (view spoiler)[It's not until the very end that thus mysterious Titan is revealed to be Eren. (hide spoiler)]

Will this new Titan be the thing that turns the battle for the human race? Gotta read the next volumes to find out.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 3 (Attack on Titan, #3)Attack on Titan, Vol. 3 by Hajime Isayama

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The main story focuses on Mikasa and Armin trying to protect Eren after his titan transformation. Understandably some of his peers and higher ups don't know if they can or should trust him until one Dot Pixis, the highest ranking commander of the territory steps in with hopes to use Eren's titan abilities to win a small battle by blocking the entrance for which they enter.

As always where titans are concerned events do always go as planned.

The Cat in the HatThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Cat In The Hat is one I'm sure every English speaking kid would've read or learned to read by as it's full of colorful corresponding images with rhyming words.

The reason I, as a grown adult without children have decided to reread this was because it was part of a bingo reading challenge given by my local library.

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Books 14 -21

Sorry about the lack of update but was having major internet problems. Here are some of the books Ive read in the meantime.

Dynasty Zero (OMNIPUNK)Dynasty Zero by Elijah Stephens

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In Dynasty Zero we follow along as a monk by the name of Radix Redwood who has made it his mission to restore the balance of nature thus saving the world. His journey ultimately leads him to Heliopolis, a scientific outpost where monstrous human experiments are taking place.

In all honesty through no fault of the author I had a time trying to get into this story. I'm just not a fan of the dystopia genra; I'm more of an action girl.

Speaking of, the scenes in which action took place where all of my favorites. It was those times I could picture this story happening on screen. Based on the ending I wouldn't be opposed to reading more of this story if Elijah Stephens decides to carry on.

The Devil's Pretty DaughterThe Devil's Pretty Daughter by Nicola Rain Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A super fast yet intriguing read inwhich a young woman recounts an encounter she had with then unknown serial killer Robert William Pickton.

The takeaway I got from this read is to trust ones instincts.

I don't want to spoil the story by saying too much but from the very moment she met him her instinct and the situation told her something was wrong and she didn't listen.

I definitely want to check out more of her writings.

Shopping for a Billionaire (Shopping for a Billionaire, #1)Shopping for a Billionaire by Julia Kent

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Are you single? Ever wonder why you can't meet a successful, good looking man? It's probably because you aren't hiding in the mens bathroom like Shannon Jacoby. (Some gals have all the luck)

It is on assignment as a mystery shopper where Shannon and Declan McCormick, a gorgeous business man first meet. Needless to say sparks fly.

This is only the first installment in their story but I think I'm hooked. While things seem to progress rather swiftly I found this Rom-Com light and amusing.

Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's StoryInterview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story by Ashley Marie Witter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although I haven't read Ann Rice's book Interview With The Vampire, I am familiar with the Claudia character thanks to the movie starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt with Claudia being played by Kirsten Dunst.

Anyway as far as this book was concerned the images were nice, albeit a little basic with its lack of vibrant color. As far as the story goes I'm unsure how or if this retelling differs from what Ann Rice originally wrote but it seems to follow along with the movie but with more of her insights as its her (Claudia) story and POV.

If you are familiar with the original story you may find it lacking and an unnecessary read where new comers may find it interesting.

After: The Shock (After, #1)After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We follow along as a group of strangers of varying walks of life are forced to deal with and more importantly survive a new world when a freak solar storm decimates a large portion of the population, turning some into Zapheads who seemed bent on mindlessly killing. This event is known as the After.

I like the premise of the story and the pace of how he made some the characters cross paths. One of the main problems I had was how it just ends. If you're familiar with some of my previous reviews then you'd know cliffhangers tend to anneoy me.

With all that said its part of a 7 book series that seems to have spawned a spinoff and I definitely want to check the remainder of books to see where the characters end up. Will all survive? Will the world bounce back? I want to know.

ShmucksShmucks by Seymour Blicker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating:2 1/2 stars

Have you ever seen that Seinfeld episode where people were fighting over a parking space, basically refusing to move? Well this story reminds me of that.

In Shmucks we have two smarmy guys, in my opinion, who are in the process off of a standoff when they both drive into an alley way at opposite ends and refuse to back-up letting the other party have the right of way.

Levin is a divorced business man who is self proclaimed stubborn when it comes to the issue of proving himself right.

Pelzic, a down in his luck Romanian, is always looking and failing miserably at the next get rich quick scheme. In an effort to convey his accent the writer tended to phonetically spell his words. That took a second for me to get in to.

There's not a lot of action that takes place so if that's your thing then this isn't the story for you. If however you're a fan of douche bags or Schmucks as the title states then read away.

Lotus: RevelationLotus: Revelation by Michael Shoemaker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you want to know anything about me then you should know I love stories with strong, kick ass females which leads me to Michael Shoemaker's Lotus: Revaluation.

This super short story centers around Michiko Akiyama, a deadly assassin. I'm randomly came across this story and am not sure if it was meant to be just a short or a teaser to a larger more flushed out story but I hope it's the later because my interest have been peaked.

The Death Factory (Penn Cage, #3.5)The Death Factory by Greg Iles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Greg Iles' The Death Factory follows along as Penn Cage, a Mississippi DA turned writer/mayor not only comes to terms with his ailing father's mortality but we see how he views death and the justice system as he talks about a particular hard case that was dropped in his lap at an inopportune time.

This was a short, nicely written story that also includes excerpts from two other stories. If I'm being honest I probably wont be reading them because I just couldn't get into the story/
Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic HumiliationSelf-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Aisha Tyler is many things. She is tall, fearless, funny, nerdy, and the voice of Lane Kane on Archer. She's also a writer as I learned that Self-Inflicted Wounds is her 2nd book and not her first (that one is called "Swerve.")

This book is a collection of essays that retell stories from Aisha's life. They are about the times when she was fearless, when she was brave, and, inevitably, how she made a (possible) fool out of herself. She lays her embarrassment out on the table and, in the process (I think), hopes to get a laugh/chuckle/giggle/groan out of her readers. I think the best message I got out of the book was to "be brave." The other message I got out of this book is that footnotes can be over-used.

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I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-StarI Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Judy Greer.

The voice of Carol/Cheryl/Cherlene on Archer, Kitty Sanchez from Arrested Development, and per her IMDB page, 96 additional shows and movies that have either aired or are in post-production. She's frequently cast as the co-star, the side kick, the best friend. She's a lady that's fun to watch and a voice that's funny to listen too.

As for her book? I thought it was okay. She told a lot of life anecdotes and divided those anecdotes into three separate sections: before Hollywood, acting life, and adult life. She's not a gossip queen, she doesn't throw anyone under the bus. She writes what she knows and that's absolutely fine because it comes across as relatable. I think my favorite story was the one where she went to the Oscars/after-party for her roles in The Descendants.

It was a sweet read, but if you're looking for a follow-up to the comedic styling of Tina Fey or Mindy Kaling...this might not be the book for you.

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20) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This mystery suspense thriller is led by three female narrators who would be considered unreliable in most circles.

Rachel is "the girl on the train." She's an alcoholic, prone to blackouts, but she loves people watching. When the 8:04 train makes a stop at the signal in the morning, she is able to look out her window and sees glimpses of a couple (Scott and Megan.)

Megan is the 2nd narrator in the book. Her story is date-stamped in the past so it's crucial for the reader to pay attention to the dates that mark each chapter so that you can understand the chronological order.

Anna is the 3rd narrator. She is also the woman who stole Rachel's husband and Rachel's home.

This book is jam-packed with secrets and deception. The truths that are revealed throughout the book are startling, a few are heart-breaking. I really enjoyed the fact that this book kept me guessing and I salute Paula Hawkins for jumping into the thriller genre with this debut novel. It was definitely one to remember.

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Dom Wars: Round Five (Dom Wars, #5)Dom Wars: Round Five by Lucian Bane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After four books that mostly focused on Tara and Lucian, it was interesting that this round featured some new characters. I really found myself liking the Preacher and Becca. I also loved Steve. Poor guy. He had to share the same punishment with Tara and Lucian for breaking the rules, which meant he had to attempt to sell sex toys at a funeral home.

It seems completely unbelievable and yet...it worked. It was also freaking hilarious in the process. I'm definitely glad to see the games advance in this book and I'm eager to see what happens in Round 6 (which sounds like it's going to be a "Survivor"-esque.)

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Dom Wars: Round Six (Dom Wars, #6)Dom Wars: Round Six by Lucian Bane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sexy turns scary in the final installment of Dom Wars by Lucian Bane. All of the couples who have made it through to the final cut are set to a private island run by a frickin' sadistic psychopath (because, you know, it makes for good reality TV. Not.)

This was definitely not the conclusion I was expecting and there was definitely some intensely violent and graphic scenes that might put other readers off balance. This was an action-packed, Survivor-esque, crazy-train ride.

Finally, I wasn't thrilled with the ending. I felt like Lucian Bane copped out and chose the easy path. Also, it sounds like he's planning another series about Lucian and Tara. I'm just not sure I'm interested.

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I Like You Just the Way I Am: Stories About Me and Some Other PeopleI Like You Just the Way I Am: Stories About Me and Some Other People by Jenny Mollen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fellow BtVS/AtS fan recommended this book to me making note of the fact that it was written by the actress who played Nina Ash on Season 5 of Angel. She also happens to be the wife of comedy actor/adorable dork, Jason Biggs.

Full disclosure to those who might be interested in reading this book: Jenny Mollen has no filter. The road to her memoir was clearly paved by Chelsea Handler and since I love Chelsea Handler, I had zero problem with that. Jenny is whacky, shallow, superficial, a little bit horrible, totally honest, and outrageously hilarious (most of the time. There were things I did not find funny, but I'm not going to fault her for sharing those things because that's her choice to do so.)

I would not hesitate to read more about this woman's crazy life and I may have to seek out some of her other work. :)

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50 Books, 52 Weeks

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