Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Happened to Critics?

I am sitting here watching some show on MTV, now that I check its 16 and pregnant or as I call it watch white trash struggle with common sense, when a commercial for the new Assassin's Creed game comes on. I may not be very good a video games but my boyfriend and my brother play them constantly, and I learned a long time ago that if I wanted a relationship with my brother I was going to have to figure out video games. I can figure out the mechanics of how most games work and the basic story line, I can all be a good guess of how good a game is at this point.

I watched the boys play the first game, which was pretty good but has a lot of glitches and things that got annoying. The second game didn't really change or fix much, and the third is about the same from what I can tell. SO WHY THE F*** DO THESE COMMERCIALS GIVE IT A FIVE OUT OF FIVE? I see this shit all the time, games that are only good get the best reviews and shit games get good reviews.

Its not just video games, its movies and books and everything. There are a few critics still out there that say bad things about stuff, but only a few. I swear everything is the best game, or the best movie. It will blow you away! The best thing on bread!
He is going to stab you with the awful.

this really started back when that one guy got fired from some gaming magazine for saying a game was bad, because that game had sponsored the magazine for over a month. We are losing the critical eye because critics are afraid to say anything bad about something that might have put an add in their medium. So now everything is great, and really it just sucks more.

A WTF Moment

I was flipping channels a little while ago, I have the day off work and am spending the time vegging and catching up on emails and such. There I am changing channels when I come across a show that seriously freaks me out. What is this monstrosity that could possibly freak me out because i love all things trashy and drama driven?

Bridal Plasty.

The name alone worried me, then I watched the show. In this show soon to be brides are competing for the opportunity to receive the plastic surgery of their choice. That much alone made me want to gag. Then came the episode itself. First the women walked into a room where there are giant pictures of them in their bathing suites and wearing no make up, I realize that I came in towards the middle of the show but whatever. They flash over several of the photos and I would have to say that for most of the women I don't see a need for plastic surgery, a good physical trainer could fix about half of them. Two or three of the girls look great to me and I see no reason for them to need any kind of tweaking. The host then tells them that there is a puzzle they must solve that reveals what they might look like if they receive all the surgeries they want. The first few to complete the puzzle will win the chance to attend an injectables party.

The girls that lost one of them must be kicked off, when the one woman loses she is told that her wedding will go on it just might not be perfect. I about threw the remote at the screen then. This show is truly everything that is evil. I mean I like Jersylicious and all its cat fights, but this is simply playing up insecurities that have no business on these women.

This is just gross. Boo this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Book Review: The Taming of the Wolf by Lydia Dare

So there was no new episode of House this week, which means that I had a lot less to do, which also means that I am going to write a book review. (Brittney I am putting this here to see if you read this. If you do send me a facebook message with the words peanut butter.)

I gave in and bought a book the other day. I was rather upset with myself mostly because I can't seem to figure out if this book was worth the purchase. I started reading Lydia Dare's series about werewolves in Victorian England over the summer. My boyfriend calls them the books that "has bite" because that was the only quote on the first book's cover. The first book wasn't crazy exciting, but I enjoyed the introduction of the wolves. The second book had a bit more romance happening and the plot was more entertaining. The thrid seemed to bore me to death, the characters just made things hard for themselves the entire time.

This book the main character were two people I had not enjoyed in the previous installments, so I wasn't sure. I still can't deiced if I like the leading female, and the guy has some serious self loathing issues that I think are so common in Victorian romance I almost gagged.

If you like werewolves I would suggest taking a look at the series just for that sake, but the characters spend little to no time as a werewolf that its almost moot point.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I get to work today. Pray for me, or come to Lush in Beachwood and buy stuff.

They are here and they want soap!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving in interesting. Its a holiday based on a disastrous encounter with another race. We celebrate it by dealing with awful travel conditions and then sleeping on lumpy air mattresses. If you are me you get to top off the experience with your mother vomiting for no reason other than being nervous and refusing to come to dinner.

But there is something to be said for family. Every year my aunt will attempt to say some god awful long prayer themed speech at the beginning. Every year my dad would ask for the cliff notes, and now with the changing of the guard I have the honor to harass her. Every one taunts Jessica and my brother about their relationship statuses. There is never enough rolls to make everyone happy. Jessica and I make fun new alcoholic drinks when there is down time. The small dogs always pee on the floor at some point. My aunt insists that my uncle should never retire, he agrees. We argue about how stupid the Real Housewives series is vs other like minded reality shows. We debate and yell about which movie to see after dinner, my grandma and I beg for the more interesting movie while everyone else wants to see the big blockbuster. Grandpa always tries out a new joke and then resorts to something he knows by heart.

I like that I get these things every year, lets me know that even with one parent gone and the other one checked out the rest of the family is still there to make us nuts in their stead. So this year I am going to do something fun. I am going to pull out an old family video to show that even before most of the kids were born or could walk the dynamics were the same. Also everyone had on some crazy ass clothes, but still.

Quote of the day

"On a scale of 1 to you knew it was coming, how predictable was what I just said?" - Lauren

"I had a dream about this last night!" - Me

Because some friends never let you down when it comes to what they pick out clothing and jewelry wise. Its nice to know some things never change.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quote of the day

"I'm not crying, you have simply reached a new level of awful I was previously unaware of."
-My boyfriend to a fellow gamer.

Book Review: Strom Front by Jim Butcher

So my boyfriend is crazy about this one video game podcast. When I say crazy I mean super crazy. He has told me that if Day 9 tells him to dump me he will. The guy is really funny to say so myself. I dont really get half of what he is saying but he gets on tagents that have nothing to do video games and that makes my day most of the time.  See Video:


So when Day 9 said that he really loved the Dresden Files books and that everyone should check them out my boy friend told me to pick him up a copy of the first book at the library.

I had heard of the series before, even read a couple short stories that had been published in an anthology. I had also watched the sci-fi television show on netflix out of boredom about two months ago. I knew pretty much what I was getting into.

The books follow a man named Harry Dresden, who is the only openly practicing wizard in Chicago. He functions has a police consultant and a private investigator. The stories play out in a very film nior kind of way. Harry sucks when it comes to women and yet in each book there is a new woman for him to drool over, not to mention the nice police lady that is a constant character. He drive a very old VW Bug and has a bad reputation with breaking any and all technology he comes in contact with.

I am just going to say this, I looked at the back cover, Mr. Butcher is not what one would call overly masculine. Yet his hero is supposed to be this epicly tall man with great looks who doesn't know anything about women and yet gets them in bed all the time. The books in that respect play out like a wet dream he wrote out for himself and every other magic geek that ever dreamed of something similar.

On the other hand the stories are good. I like the way the mystery worked out and I enjoy the sense of humor that is given to each scene. I do feel that one too many chapters ended with a line that was always roughly: Who says I never have fun/do something interesting/get out on Friday. I did feel just a bit like Harry was way too hurt and sleep deprived to have functioned normally by the time the book was over. Why is it that heroes never get to take a decent nap? What do all these authors have against naps?

I like the book. I really do. The magic and demons and what not are pretty much where I like them to be. I just had a lot of time to nit pick because the first book has also been turned into a graphic novel/comic book, whatever. I picked up the first half of the comic first because it was what they had at the library. So I spend the first half of the book comparing the two, and frankly I enjoyed the comic a
lot more, not sure why. Then again the book was funnier. I am torn.

Final Verdict: On the fence really. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. I think the way the women are portrayed as strong but still constantly as sex objects might be what is getting to me. I recommend it but be prepared for a lot of talk about long legs, and I mean a lot.

Also for those interested here is a link to Day 9's website, for further information about him and Starcraft.http://day9fan.com/

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One More Thing...

Harry Potter is tonight. I am not really going to say much just that I have a sinking feeling about my mood when the movie ends. Also I have to get up ungodly early to do inventory at work, which only make things worse.

Book Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Sigh, do I have to review this book? Oh fine. So yeah I picked this one up because it was being hyped as a good one at the book stores. I should have ignored it. I don't know why I am so easily swayed by cool looking covers.

I finished this book in a few hours. I wasn't even really concerned about the main character by the time it was over. This book rings greatly of Twilight. Granted the main character has a bit more depth, but only a bit. She basically hates that her mother moved her, resents the fact that her mother and sister want to suppress her dragon nature and find dealing with normal humans hard to understand. I liked her a bit more than I did stupid f***ing Bella, because I too did not enjoy moving, had issues with my mother trying to assimilate me and feel annoyed by most people. So that was okay.... I guess.

But to counter balance that there was that love at first sight bull crap. I hate that more than life. (I don't really hate life if you are reading this Lauren, I just like the expression.) I want to punch every author that does that. I might make it my life goal.

I am not even going to discuss the plot in detail because as far as I can tell there isn't one. (Just like the first Twilight.) The entire book was establishing the main character and how shitty she has things. Then a boy comes in for a bit and he is hot and they sorta try to resist it, which only serves to anger me. Then there is a fight at the last eight pages of the book and then it ends. I shit you not.

The real reason I groan and moan about this book is because it ends in a way that tells you there are more coming. Also because when I googled it there was this video from a new broadcast that said "Is Firelight the new Twilight?" To which I have to say: Not While I'm Breathing! No seriously if this shit happens again I am going to go Super Saiyan on their asses.

Final Verdict: Don't Read, Don't Buy, Punch anyone you see reading it. I mean it. I will allow for hooks rather than a straight face punch but they better do damage.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quote of the day

"Mongolian beef. I think I'm in love."

"His heart's occupied elsewhere," said Ben from behind me. "And even if it weren't he's not interested in your kind. But, I'm available and ready."

"You don't have a heart," I told him. "Just a gaping hole where it should have been."

"All the more reason for you to give me yours."

I pounded by forehead against Warren's back. "Tell me Ben's not flirting with me."

"Hey," said Ben sounding hurt. "I was talking cannibalism, not romance."

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Problem With Height

So Romance Novels there is this idea that heroes need to be tall. I get that, a lot of women respond to taller men. We respond to the protector idea that this taller man gives us. But there is a point when it stops making sense. I am not kidding. I picked up a book not too long ago and several of the characters were supposed to be around 6' 8."

This is my friend David, he is 6' 8" and frankly is not that scary looking. The simple fact is that when some one gets that tall its hard for them to build a lot of muscle. So instead they are rather lanky. I don't care that the authors says these giant men work out all the time they are still going to be very lanky and frankly just plain tall. Anything above 6' 5" pushes the human body in the lanky direction.

I know that fantasy romance authors want to make the men appear to be out of this world so they exaggerate the heights but seriously it makes no sense!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why I Rock

I finished not one but two books today. Oh yeah. I did that. Not to mention I slept in and went for a walk and gave myself a deep conditioning hair treatment. But still two books. One day.

A Silly Photo to Make You Smile

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Before I start this review I need to explain what steam punk is, because steam punk is an important factor in why this book is cool. Steam punk is a very specific kind of science fiction writing. The basic idea is that we assume the steam technology that allowed for trains and other devices to be created came much earlier in the time line than it did in real life. This assumption results in there being airplanes long before there really were airplanes. Depending on when the technology boost happened steam punk can be a extremely varied genre.

Scott Westerfeld is a master at making his science fiction seem real. He is most know for his notable series called Pretties. It takes place in the future and he created the entire world in such complete detail that he released a book simply to explain the science and language of this made up future. Which puts him in a classes with Tolkien.

Leviathan is the tale of World War I in an alternate reality. In this alternate reality the Allies depend on genetically altered animals while the Axis use high class machinery. The story explains that not only did Charles Darwin figure out evolution, he discovered DNA and how to manipulate it. This means that fabricated animals exist with specific purposes. In the mean time giant war ships, and for those of us who watch anime, gundam like machines patrol Germany and Austra- Hungry.

The book begins on the eve of the assassination of the Arch Duke (the same arch duke who's real assassination began the real war). In this reality he as one son Prince Aleksandar who with the help of his fencing teacher is smuggled out of palace at night, because in this reality the Arch Duke found a way to make his son legitimate (something that was not true in our world).

We also meet Deryn Sharp, a young girl posing as a boy in order to work on an airship. Her father was one of the founding fathers of the flight exploration and she longs to ride a "Helium Breather." Deryn through an interested chain of events ends up on Leviathan, the flag ship air beast in English aviation. Alek makes his way to the same ship but giving away how would ruin all the fun.

Westerfeld knows what he is doing when it comes to writing science fiction in the teen category. This book takes a twist because he has pages illustrated just like they would have been around the time of World War I. The book ends a little soon for my taste but seeing as the sequel is already out I am anticipating a trilogy.

Steam punk is not something everyone can like, but this book doesn't really shove it down your throat. Also Westerfeld hold close to nearly all the original historical events with only minor adjustments to the time line of the beginning of WWI. He even explains the differences at the end of the book. The illustrations help bring some of the more fantastical creatures to light and make them real. Sure there is alot of stuff that might go over people's head the first read through but the story is so very much about learning the world, and knowing the characters that it shouldn't be too scary.

Final Verdict: Buy it. Well buy it if you like science fiction or steam punk. The maps that are part of the hard cover edition are awesome. Also Westerfeld makes you work for it when it comes to details in sequels so you will need to go back and look things up.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Review: Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Um so I am still not sure what just happened. I opened this book at about three today. I finished it about forty minutes ago. I am serious. I mean I know I read quickly but that's strange. I have pulled books off in a sitting but never without staying up all night and being really jittery. This one just flew right by me. Some of that might have to do with the chapter length. Seriously more than once the "chapter" was one page. I was laughing the third time is happened.

The book is decent. Its an interesting take on the tale of Dr. Jykel and Mr. Hyde in which the book is based on fact except Mr. Hyde was a separate person. So each male in his family ends up carrying the beast inside of them. While Dr. Jykel's family goes on to try and find a cure while also attempting to hide the formula. The two main characters are cute and play off each other sorta well. But I have read it all before. The cute shy science nerd with the slutty best friend has the mysterious guy fall in love with her. I mean this is pretty much the same characters from the book Hush Hush I read last year. I swear to god when the best friend was suddenly trying to hurt the main girl to make her jealous I just skipped the page because I have read it all before.

The issues is the climax, or rather the lack there of. I have been cock blocked when it comes to sex scenes in the past but never before has the really epic climax been taken from my grasp. Right when the boy is about to face his father in a battle to the death the chapter ends and skips to the mother fucking epilogue. I kid you not. There is simply no climax. I get that the author was trying to avoid a graphic scene but after having spend a rather long time hinting at and then out right talking about sex I assume a certain age range for the readers. I think if they can handle the possibility of sex they can handle a semi graphic fight scene, thousand of other young adult authors have accomplished it. This was just a complete cop out.

Final Verdict: Unless you really like twists on old stories don't even pick it up. The book flap gives just about everything away.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thought of the day

My most recent review got me thinking about something that happens in romance novels of all kinds way too often. All of us that read romance novels have seen it, and we all curse it. I am talking about the character that completely changes as the book goes on in plot.

It starts off like this. We have a hard core man or woman. They are the scary person that is seen as steely and unmovable. They are the ones that ever one knows to be this hard core kind of person. And then the plot begins and a love interest comes forward and suddenly they are this kind-hearted person that has a deep kind of pain and they spend all their time masking it from their friends and family. Its stupid and it makes me want to scream.

Am I supposed to believe that the friends don't know about this crap? Because my good friends read me like a book. I mean seriously, sometimes they know how I am feeling before I do. But all these romance authors expect us to believe that the Duke who has been cruel to all his business partners is also the man who takes in street urchins and has a fondness for kittens? You can't paint a picture of a ruthless sort of person and make them a giant softy. It goes against basic personality constructs. Yes you can be cunning and kind, but that's not really something that happens that often in real life.

A few authors are really bad at this, and I mean horrible. Look if you want to have a "bad ass" make them a fucking bad ass, don't them a puppy with a big bark. On the flip side don't make some one who is really funny the cut throat assassin in secret, its ridiculous and we don't buy it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Book Review: Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

So I did it. I finished Play of Passion in time to write this, sadly not in time to make it on the author's web blog. But I can dream. So lets get into the review.

This is Nalini Singh's next installment in her Changeling Psy series. I would be lying if I didn't say that this is perhaps one of my favorite series of all times. This book held true to her standards. Play of Passion follows Andrew and Indigo of the SnowDancer wolf changeling pack. Both characters have been introduced rather extensively in Caressed by Ice and Branded by Fire. The fact that they had been introduced before put Singh in a tough spot.

Drew is an established character. Both of his sibilings have had their own book so readers are aware that he is a prankster and a bit of a tease. Indigo is second in the pack rank to Riley (see my review of Branded by Fire.) so readers know that she is strong woman. I will admit I was worried. I know of authors that have established a character as one kind of person and the second they get their own book they turn out to be some one completely different. I almost was covering my eyes hoping this book would turn out well, and thank god it did. I need to learn to not doubt Singh, she has yet to let me down.

Drew and Indigo have a good vibe and the book works well. Drew remains the silly guy that he was in the previous books and uses that humor to charm and woo his woman. Indigo doesn't turn into a harpie or some kind of hellion but stays the icy person she has always been, but she of course warms to Drew's charm. The political intrigue takes a little be longer to get a move on than in other books, but I  got the feeling that this book was a set up for next book which promises to have more suspense. Indigo does take just a little bit longer to warm up to things than I might have really liked, and there was some vagueness about just how dominate Drew was. The climax also happened rather quickly. I blinked and the all the build up had come to an end. I wont say what happened but a few others might agree that it was rushed.

All in all it was a really good read. Right now I don't feel like it is one of my top favorites of the series, but I suspect that by the second time I read it Play of Passion will join Branded by Fire and Caressed by Ice as one of my favorites. What can I say? I have a soft spot for the wolves and am excited that it looks as if I will be getting more of them. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the DarkRiver based stories alot, but I have to say that I am biased towards wolves because they are one of my favorite animals.

Play of Passion marks a switch for the series with the rest of the wolf lieutenants being revealed. The next book is supposed to be the story of the SnowDancer alpha and I am so excited I might scream when it comes out.

Final judgement: Buy it. If you like paranormal romances this  is a series you should be reading and this book is one of the better ones. Although I would suggest reading previous books because the political intrigue has been building from the beginning.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

E-books Rock

So Play of Passion by Nalini Singh just came out today and thanks to the magic of e-books I got to download it pretty much the minute it became Tuesday. This is why I love my Nook.

Goal is to finish it by tomorrow and get a review up for everyone.

I'm off to read!

Quote of the day

"All the bad ideas in history involve cross dressing."

-Kill Me, Kiss Me