Category Archives: Book review

13 Reasons Why, book and movie review

A friend of mine mentioned this show, so when I subscribed to Netflix for a month, I decided to check it out. The first episode wasn’t all that great to me, and the girl who had killed herself came off as a sociopath who was having too much fun with this game of telling people how they contributed to her killing herself.

Despite that, I watched a few more episodes, and I can say, that after episode one, the show really opened up and became relatable. The characters were all experiencing things that most of us probably saw or went through ourselves in high school. I now understood the appeal of the show. I also saw the romanticizing of the death that critics had gotten so worked up about. However, those critics must not have stuck around for the entire 13 episodes, because yes, the first nine episodes are relatable things that we could all experience and imagine doing, but the last four episodes, oh my goodness.

The show gets super dark. People are dying, getting raped, fights, more suicides, I mean, the amount of drama that will just break your heart in this show will put any soap opera to shame.

As I watched the show, I also read the book. This was one of those rare times where it was faster to read the book than watch the show. Each chapter, which was an episode, could easily be read in fifteen minutes.

In the books, Clay listens to the tapes in one night. Start to end, with him adding his own internal dialogue mixed in with the tapes. It makes for an interesting narration of the novel and it worked well.

The show had Clay take a week or more to get through the tapes, and his day to day life filled up most of the time. The secondary characters all got full back stories, to include the addition of several homosexual characters which are not in the book.

The ending of the novel is also not as dark as the tv show. I was bawling during those last four episodes, but didn’t bat an eye when I read the book. So, to me, the translation from book to show was done wonderfully.

Hannah’s words were verbatim from the novel, from what I could tell, which was a nice touch.

Overall, I would recommend this book and show for anyone who enjoys a good drama. The book is well written and the style unique. The acting and additional plot lines in the tv show, well above what I usually see in movie theaters.


Chasing His Cottontail, book review

Chasing his Cottontail By  A.R. Barley

I’m all for reading books that have a unique twist on them. So when I learned this book was about shape-shifting bunnies… that are gay. Yeah, I was on board. The first half of the book was exactly what I hoped it would be. A timid little bunny who is in love with his best friend’s brother. Oh, and he’s being hunted by werewolves. I mean, this stuff just writes itself. Add in the classic names, Peter, Benjamin, even a gardener named Mrs. Gregor.

Then… it was revealed that male bunnies can get pregnant. Yeah, this plays into a whole new plot twist, which I will not divulge. But, to me, I was thrown out of the book. And I couldn’t get over the fact that the author could have just made the bunny a girl and then there would be no need for this weird extra layer of fantasy. Sometimes for a plot to work out, the gender of the characters is important. I played this novel out in my head with Peter being a girl, and it played out the exact same.

My personal bias with the gender and pregnancy business aside, this novel is as people say. Cute and adorable. It’s a quick, easy, read, but is very well written. The ending was a bit rushed, and the story could have gone on for a bit longer, but meh, it worked. I’ll def read the next one, if for nothing else than to read about how this male pregnancy works. Maybe the next book will make me realize why Peter needed to be a man.


Marley and Me, book and movie review

I listened to the audio version of this novel, which was read well. I’d watched the movie years ago, and rewatched it after I finished the audio book so I could adequately compare the two. The novel is translated well to the screen and I agree with most of the adjustments they did. The error I found was that in the book he isn’t writing articles about his dog for the newspapers. In the novel these are shown in a scrapbook and its hinted that they are turned into a full novel later. Instead, the novel portrays it as the author upkeeps a journal and majority of the novel stems from that. The ending in the novel also ties things up nicer, spending a good two chapters on mourning the loss of the dog, and showing how the author puts an article out about the death of his dog and gets a massive response from readers. This is then followed up by the family going to adopt a new dog that is likely to be as troublesome as the one they recently lost.

Overall I would say any lover of animals will find something relatable in this novel. You don’t have to be a dog person to enjoy it, although you probably will enjoy a bit more, especially if your pet is similar to the one being portrayed. Now my complaint is, a lot of the novel focused on poop. If there was ever a book written about fecal matter, this is it. It doesn’t get dull, the author is rather impressive in the many avenues used to display poop in the story, but it plays a very strong role in the plot. I was not a fan of that and came to dread hearing the next installment, unsure if I’d be able to stomach my next meal after listening. Other bodily functions-fur, vomit, slobber, and so on and also explained in graphic detail. So if you are squeamish–do not read this book. I mean, in a way this is a compliment, the author was able to describe these events so well, that I felt I was there, and by such, horrified and reviled. The novel nicely removes these aspects, so if you want to experience this tale without the disgusting parts, go watch the movie, don’t read the book.


Forager, book review

I bought this book so long ago, I don’t even remember why. It was probably on sale for free or a discounted price. Either way, something about it appealed to me and it got added to my kindle collection. At long last, I can say I finally read it. (I’m pretty sure it sat waiting for about two years.)

I’ve read a few dystopian novels, mostly the classics that have been turned into movies. This book does take an original twist on things, as much as it can, anyway. The main character has been genetically enhanced, enabling him to see through metal and in the dark. Its explained that he has bat like vision, but really, he used it like superman. I’m sorry, but bats cannot see inside solid containers. So that bit of fiction must be taken for what it is.

The cultures created in this world, seem like the author is trying to make a point about today’s society, but I never grasped it. I’d almost say the author thought it would ironic to make what seems to be a European based city (Townhome) have the mindset of the ancient Japanese culture, and give the Japanese city a European culture. That aside, it’s much more likely there is some Russian/German cold war thing going on in the European city, and the other town was merely created to be its opposite.

The characters each have a distinct personality, which is good since there are several of them and if they weren’t easily distinguished from each other, it would get confusing. The main character seemingly never gets a break, and by the end of the novel, he’s nearly dead. At least the author kept it realistic and didn’t have the guy bouncing back in a superhero pace from his injuries. Even so, with a history of brain surgery and trauma to his head, he should be a vegetable by now. I’ll be interested to see how his recovery goes in the next novel.

You can tell this is written by a novice. There are typos, common writer beginner errors, ect, but it doesn’t take away from the story. It did get a bit annoying at how long it took the main character to figure out his mystery year of amnesia, mostly due to internal voice comments that were unneeded, but aside from that, I have no complaints on the overall story. *since I bought this two yrs ago, good chance the errors have been corrected by now

The book is a good read for those who enjoy dystopian novels. I’m a bit disappointed the Skel aren’t cannibals or zombies, but instead just another surviving civilization, but meh, it was still an enjoyable novel with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

Forager by Peter R Stone


Wicked Appetite, book review

I’ve read a few of the Stephanie Plum novels. So I was expecting the quirkiness of those books to travel over into this one. However this one does go a bit farther into the strange random comedy style because it creates its own “how the world works” rules. When a novel starts introducing magic and people with special gifts—just about anything can happen and be accepted by the reader.

The author takes full advantage of this and doesn’t hold back. The most ridiculous things happen and then, of course, its countered by some sense. Leaving the author reeling from confusion and whiplash. Don’t get me wrong, the story is highly entertaining, and I might read more of the series. But don’t expect this story to be anything like other novels you’ve read. And be prepared to be very accepting of the world you are presented with.

“Wicked Appetite” by Janet Evanovich


Seriously… I’m Kidding, book review

When I was looking for audio books this was listed as one of the best to get. Although I agree it is good and kept me highly entertained, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Ellen speaks to you, as if she is right there in the room with you. I was amazed at this talent because even though Ellen doesn’t know me at all, by the end of the book, it felt as if we were great friends.

So although this wasn’t the autobiography type book I normally expect from famous people, this was a great listen. It actually made me want to go get the written book, because there were parts she skipped over because it was exclusive to the written version. Same went for this one, there were parts only valid for the audio book.

Overall, I recommend this audio book. It’ll keep you entertained and laughing. The next time I go on a road trip, I’m going to get her other books.

“Seriously… I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres


The Taking, book review

Dean Koontz,  “The Taking”

I listened to the audio book of this novel. The story started off great, setting the stage for an alien invasion. It had the classic feel of being an end of the world horror story. There were so many different theories thrown out as to what was actually going on, that it did give the impression the author was trying too hard to throw you off the trail of what was really happening. A bit too much stress was put on the mystery of it all.

Then our character was given a quest, a mission if you will. To find all the missing children. So at least the focus was taken off the “why is this happening” bit and the story went in a different direction. At this point, things became too far stretched, and really just a jumble of weird events. The middle of the novel really went off the deep end into this mystical world of nonsense. People were doing things that made no sense, there were supernatural creatures, and in all this, the goal was simply, “save the children!”

I kept going, despite the weirdness, and the end of the novel did work very hard to tie up all the loose ends and provide an explanation for everything.

The entire book is written very well. You will feel like you are there with the characters on every step of this strange and horrific journey. Koontz has a very talented gift at painting pictures perfectly for you to see in your mind.