Hiding Out by Tina Alexis Allen

I honestly thought this would be better than it was. The book was mostly about the author’s college years, which she spent working at her father’s travel agency, going clubbing and going out for drinks (with potential lovers, friends and family, especially her dad).

There’s a deeper story about the weight of secrets and the damage they cause, but it’s buried under everything else. Allen talks about the inappropriate relationships she’s had through out her life, but sees nothing wrong with it. I honestly felt bad for her mother. The poor woman is treated horribly and the author mentions how heavy she is every time she’s in a sentence. It’s like she really wants you to know this woman was not skinny. At one point I felt like yelling “I get it! Your poor mom’s fat. Shut up!”

The book ends kind of abruptly with the last chapter jumping to 2005 when the author’s father has died. She mentions that she has a partner, worked in fashion and left that to act, and that’s it about her life now.

I won this book through a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads, but all opinions are my own.

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Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee

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Star-Crossed is about an eighth grader named Mattie whose class is doing Romeo and Juliet as their class play. She begins falling for the girl, Gemma, who’s playing Juliet and comes to terms with it over the course of the year since she’d previously had a crush on Elijah.

I like that the main character is smart and has good relationships with her friends and family. There is some drama in the book between the main character and her friends and a mean girl and her friends, but it’s nothing too horrible. Mattie’s friends are really great, funny and supportive and so is her big sister.  The way the crush is handled is well done and I think it’s a great book for middle school readers. I enjoyed all of the Shakespeare in the book since I like his work, especially Romeo and Juliet.

I won this one in a First Reads giveaway from Goodreads, and I’m happy that I did. This is a light, fun read and I recommend it to middle schoolers (and anyone older) who likes lgbt books and retellings of Shakespeare’s work. I gave it 4 of 5 stars.

 

The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea by Chris Jericho

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This is Chris Jericho’s third book and it covers his career from 2007’s “Save Us” return to his surprise return at the 2013 Royal Rumble. He talks a lot about how his character changed during this period and how he had to find ways to reinvent himself. I enjoyed learning more about the wrestling business and how it works, especially the behind the scenes stuff (match books, ppvs, finishes, etc). I like that he pitches his own ideas and sticks to his guns. I remember his feuds with CM Punk and Dean Ambrose and enjoyed reading more about them. There are lots of funny stories about his travels with WWE in the book.
I also really enjoyed reading about Jericho’s music career with his band, Fozzy. It was really neat reading about the musicians he’s met and the opportunities that he’s gotten (playing the Download festival, hosting the Golden Gods awards). He also talks about the other shows that he was on (Dancing With the Stars, Downfall).
This book made me laugh out loud a lot, mostly while I was on a bus or sitting on a bench in the mall before work, which earned me an odd look or two. I’ll be getting his fourth book at some point.

I’d recommend it to other Jerichoholics, WWE fans, Fozzy fans and anyone else who likes a good book. I gave it 5 stars.

Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza by Colin Atrophy Hagendorf

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I requested this from NetGalley because I was drawn in by the cover and the description sounded interesting. My thoughts were basically “This guy reviewed pizza slices? I love pizza!”

The author has a unique approach to reviewing the slices, which I enjoyed. Sometimes he just reviews what the ingredients are like, other times he compares it to a moment in his life or to music (That lead to a random spoiler for Anthony Keidis’ biography incase people, like myself, haven’t read it). Hagendorf mixes in stories about his life in between harvesting trips and we learn more about how he grew up, how he got into punk, etc.

Reading about his alcohol problem was kind of sad, but reading about his recovery was better. I was happy for him and I’m happy that he had someone that stuck by him. The book ended on a happy note and I enjoyed it. If I had known about the Slice Harvester blog when it was around, I would’ve followed it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

The Official WWE Book of Rules: (And How to Break Them)

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The Official WWE Book of Rules: (And How to Break Them) has a foreword by Daniel Bryan (who was Smackdown’s General Manager at the time it was put out in 2017) and is broken into five categories: Rules of the Ring, What to Wear, Entrances and Exits, Stipulation Matches and Superstar Conduct.
It’s a fun, quick read about the rules of WWE. It’s put together like a file of various documents, so you have to turn the book long-ways to read certain things, and has notes added in by most of the current superstars.
This book is a good way to learn the actual rules of various matches (Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble, Triple Threat/Fatal Fourway, etc) if you don’t know them while being entertained by random wrestling jokes. I’d recommend this for wrestling fans.

I gave it a 4/5 stars. I took off a star because the cover separated from the spine when I opened it and it’s hard to tie it closed. Other than that, the reading it part was great.

The Harlequin by Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #15)

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I won this book through a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads and then realized that I already owned a hardcover copy from one of my thrift shop trips. Oops.
It took me forever (four and a half months) to read this because I just couldn’t get into it. This review probably has spoilers.  Anita has six boyfriends of various supernatural types (vampire, werewolf, wereleopard) and they’re being threatened by mysterious, powerful vampires known as “The Harlequin.”
Since Anita needs to feed the ardeur every however many hours, there’s lots of sex. Jean-Claude and Richard get put in comas and they need more power, so she sleeps with the head were-rat and they take the whole rat clans power using the ardeur, followed by doing the same thing with the head were swan. I found myself wondering how she even gets people to sleep with her, but then I remembered that any guy who sees her wants her/falls in love with her. Silly me.
Finally some action scenes that aren’t in a bedroom happen and, though she’s injured, Anita’s able to miraculously heal. Unfortunately, someone dies and her friend’s son in injured. He’s in love with her too.  Her work friend, Dolph, confronts her about sleeping with monsters and being the human servant of the master of the city, but she doesn’t want to hear it, so she makes him leave.
They get an execution warrant for the vamps, but the vamps call and threaten them first, so they head off for the big showdown. At this point, it just wasn’t exciting enough. She was more concerned about her shirt showing her cleavage at times than fighting vampires. I really don’t think she had her priorities straight. Someone else died during the climactic showdown, but Anita and co won.

Honestly, at that point, I kind of didn’t care. I hate feeling like that with books, but I didn’t. I felt like a deserved a cookie for finally finishing it. I’m done with this series. This book’s going in my donation pile. Both copies.

Drip: A Gothic Bromance by Andrew Montlack

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I won this book in a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads and also got approved for it on NetGalley (I forgot I had requested it. Oops.)

The book focuses on two best friends, J.D. and George. J.D. is the stereotypical smart-mouthed playboy who gets what he wants and George is a nerdy loser who gets nowhere.  The book reveals most of the plot by chapter 7 and then adds a bit more to much later on (somewhere near chapter 25). A lot of telling happens and the technical parts bored me. The climax/big action scene was ok and well described with some entertaining bit, but it still wasn’t very exciting to me.

I had completely different expectations of the book based on the description. Maybe it’s just me. I gave it 2.5 stars. I wouldn’t recommend it anyone.