The President’s Daughter by Kristine Robinson

This book has a ton of typos and the author can’t keep their facts straight. The character Billy is introduced as having “fire engine red” hair and in the next paragraph it says “Billy was beautiful, with her short black hair.”  The main character, Chelsea, has never been with a woman before, yet now she’s in a three-way relationship with two of them (Shane and Billy). Right.
There’s an attempt at being “controversial” by mentioning transgender studies in Chelsea’s Sociology class, but it’s all messed up. “He talks about how the child makes it to puberty, after a lifetime of being raised as a boy, and realizes that instead of being a girl, the child turned teen now identifies as a boy.” Umm, What? And this is supposedly a dig at Chelsea’s situation since her and her two gfs got caught fooling around at a sauna.
Then there’s her dad. He’s a politician who got caught with his secretary and it broke up the family and now he argues with Chelsea all the time. They sort of repair their relationship towards the end with this lovely line from her father “You know that you mean the world to me. And if you want to be in a non hetero-normative relationship with two other women, well then you know what? It looks like I’ll have a whole new demographic to court for votes.” Well, isn’t that sweet? I kept hoping it would get better but it didn’t. I don’t really consider the ending an “HEA,” but I guess it could be one for some people.

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Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by A.J. Mendez Brooks

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I really enjoyed this book! I liked A.J. a lot when she was in WWE (where she competed as AJ Lee) and she came across as a great person outside of wrestling as well. The book talks about what her life was like before, during and after her career, but most of the focus is on her life with her family and how mental health and instability has effected her throughout her life.
She discusses growing up poor with parents who got evicted a lot, moved the family around constantly and didn’t really know how to care for their children. I felt bad for her and I’m happy that she made it through that.  The parts about her mother’s bipolar disorder (and eventually her own) were sad.
I loved learning about how A.J. got into wrestling and about her being on the NXT TV show. I had no idea that she had actually been around for a while before then. It was fun to get the inside scoop on the storylines from back then involving Kane, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. Also, the way she talks about Punk makes me smile.
I think A.J. can be an inspiration to young girls because she overcame the odds (lots of them) and became successful. I would recommend this book to fans of AJ Lee, fans of pro wrestling and people who like to read about girls who kick butt.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Blogging for Books so I could give an honest review.

The WWE Book of Top 10’s by DK Publishing

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This book was a fun read and I enjoyed remembering some moments from when I was younger. Chris Jericho’s foreword and list made me laugh out loud.  I didn’t agree with the placement of some things or people on the lists, but I think that’s normal with any type of Top 10 list. I was surprised that some people were left out of certain lists (Specifically, that Seth Rollins wasn’t on the list of NXT Champions when he was the first one ever and that Dean Ambrose wasn’t on the list of United States Champions when he has the longest modern reign) and on other lists I was happy that people or matches were included.

Some moments are on more than one list and that was a bit redundant, but other than that, the lists were good. There are also a lot of great color photos in the book of wrestlers from throughout wrestling history. I’m happy to have this as part of my wrestling book collection.

I rated this one a 3/5. I would recommend this to any WWE or wrestling fan out there.

Review of Serendipity’s Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson

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I won this book through a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads. It’s has different interweaving narratives, but the main three focus on Dalya, Ray and Pinny and the role shoes have had in their lives. I like the writing style and the story flows well.

Dalya’s story was really sad and I don’t think I would’ve survived what she went through. I was happy that she lived and eventually found happiness, but getting there wasn’t easy. Ray is a loner with a rough past who just wants to escape her current situation and make music, but Pinny, another girl from the orphanage who has down syndrome, decides to tag along and messes up her plans. After a series of misadventures, the two girls finally arrive in New York.

I like the idea of using shoes to tie things together. I think that was really unique. I’m not really a fan of the ending though. I felt like everything was wrapped up a little too neatly. I have no problem, with happy endings, but it seemed a bit too convenient.

Review of When They Came by Kody Boye

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When They Came is a clean dystopian, young adult novel set in the future after aliens have invaded Earth. The main character, Ana Maria Sofia Barrios, chooses to join The Midnight Guard like her older sister so she can help protect her community.

The book doesn’t have any sex or swearing in it, so it’s fine for teens of all ages. If a character swears it’s written as “I swore from the pain.” or something instead of actual swear words. Ana and her family are very close, which I liked. Her sister is nice and accepting and seems like a positive role model for her. In this world, she definitely needs that. The trope of everyone wanting something in the apocalypse is used in this book, but I think that really would happen in an apocalypse.

The action and the aliens are well described and the pacing is good. While most of the descriptions are really good, like when they’re going to houses or wherever, some fell flat. In the scene where they go outside the walls for the first time, they break into one of the houses and break glass and it’s described as “breaking like teardrops.” It was weird to me. My main issues (as a warning, this part contains spoilers) with the book were that Ana is called by her whole name (or variations of it) all the time and everyone wants to sacrifice themselves for the “special” girl. Also, when getting beamed up by aliens, she actually says “Take me to your leader.” Are you kidding me?!
Overall it was an alright book, but it frustrated me at times. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads, but it’s really more of a 2.5.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review of Venomous by Christopher Krovatin

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Venomous is another one of my Dollar Tree finds. This one is about a boy named Locke Vinetti who lives in New York with his mother and little brother. He suffers from intense anger issues that he refers to as “angries” at first and then renames his anger “The Venom” after the Spiderman villain. The book follows his struggle to live a normal life despite the fact that he feels like he has a creature living inside of him waiting to destroy his life.

His best friend, Randall, introduces him to his friends, their tarot club and a pretty goth girl named Renee. Things seem to finally be looking up for him but it doesn’t last long. The book deals with mental illness, drinking, medications, therapy, family issues, anger management, love, friendship and death. It also has lots of swearing and has some sex, so this isn’t for younger kids.

I like that each chapter starts off with a drawing that’s a page from a graphic novel with a bit of story and it’s supposed to be one that Locke is writing. Even though the book can be pretty dark at times, it ends with a hopeful scene. The other thing that I like about the book is that it doesn’t make the idea of taking pills (like Zoloft) or seeing a therapist a weakness. Even though the characters themselves might have some issues with it, their friends don’t.

Review of Shut Up and Give Me the Mic by Dee Snider

I got Shut Up and Give Me the Mic because I like a few Twisted Sister songs and I like Dee Snider’s movie Strangeland. The fact that I found it at the Dollar Tree didn’t hurt. I wanted to learn more about how Twisted Sister got their start, which I did, but parts of the book were really boring. I had to make myself keep reading at some points. It’s refreshing to read about a rocker who didn’t do crack, didn’t drink a bottle of gin every night or sleep with every groupie available. That part was cool, but he had/has a huge ego (which he’ll mention repeatedly). It also ends sort of abruptly.

The book covers Dee’s career with local New York bands until he eventually ends up in Twisted Sister and everything took off from there. He met his wife, TS got a following and they got a record deal. Dee explains how things like royalties, making/promoting albums and tours really work and how much money the band actually gets, which is good information for anyone in a band. He also mentions all of the milestones he missed with his first son: most of his wife’s pregnancy, his son’s first steps, his first words, etc, because he was out on the road. You can tell how much he really loves his family and I liked that part.

After living the high life for so many years and then having the last Twisted Sister album and tour fail miserably and making some less than wise business decisions, Dee had to file for bankruptcy two different times. He lost just about everything except for his family and his wife’s hot pink jeep. Trying to pull himself back out of the hole was a humbling experience and it seemed to really open his eyes.  Then the book just ended! He mentions that to learn about what it was like for him to make Strangeland you’ll have to read his next book, but I don’t want to!