Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On holy fuck, this is funny

ETA: Fail! I meant to post this on my other blog. Those dashboard buttons are fucking close together.

Well, whatever! It's up. Enjoy it.


Go read the full article at The Hairpin (it's got videos!), but I absolutely had to re-post this. It is the most amazing summary of Full House ever written.

Snippet from "What ABC’s “TGIF” 1997 – 1999 Lineup Can Teach Us About Men"

Thanks to Full House everyone who came of age in the ‘90s expects their "Aha!" moments to be accompanied by the Harpsichord of Learning. Three dudes living together in a house in San Francisco might sound more appropriate for the LOGO channel, but John Stamos, Dave Coulier, and Bob Saget were just trying to make a good life for the three blonde moppets (Jodie Sweeten, Candace Cameron, and Tia and Tamara Mowry) left behind by Saget’s widow. Her cause of death was never explicitly said, but we can all imagine what it’s like living with the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, so I’m gonna go with enthusiastic suicide. Full House didn’t have clever writing or exciting storylines, but it had that special something that appeals to us all: extra cheese.
There’s no point in beating around the bush; then and now, John Stamos is one fly-ass motherfucker. In terms of physical attraction, he cannot be beat, unless it’s by Rob Lowe, and even then it better be on Pay-Per-View, shirtless, with Ramona Singer's Pinot Grigio in my glass in order to determine a winner. In any case, Uncle Jesse had commitment issues and was a “bad boy” musician who played only Beach Boys covers. He eventually settled down with the equally attractive Aunt Becky, and they stayed in the attic of that Rorschach test of a house until they conceived gross twins. When they were courting, Aunt Becky was smart, sassy, and independent. Once he knocked her up, Aunt Becky drank the moral-seminar-spewing Kool Aid and was never cool again. And isn’t that the lesson here?  (CUE HARPSICHORD, DAMN IT!) Never change yourself for a man. Especially if that man shares a house with… 

Dave Coulier 

Despite the fact that Joey “The Ugly One” Gladstone (a frighteningly accurate precursor for Joey “The Ugly One” Fatone) was widely regarded as the loser of the three, more and more men follow his failed comedian man-child route, leaving the women of the world with no choice but to sleep with them. Joey didn’t have a lot of romantic options, because nobody wanted to see a man with a flair for speaking in a Popeye voice making the night moves. When he did, his romantic options were mostly weirdos with Bullwinkle fetishes. The biggest lesson we can be learned from Joey is that comedians in San Francisco have day jobs as nannies and live rent-free in the basement, and that if you expect more from them, you should “cut… it… out.” 

Bob Saget 

Neat-freak Danny Tanner had a lot of trouble with the ladies. A widower with three daughters and a self-righteous speech always ready in his back pocket, he wasn’t exactly a catch. He was mostly looking for mom stand-ins for the girls. Still, there’s something appealing about a man who seems so… good. Danny taught us that if you’re going to get involved with a man with three daughters, you can expect them to crash your dates and sabotage your relationship because you will never be as good as their dead mother. 
(A fun side game is to see how many Olsen Twins movies and TV shows exist where they actually have both of their parents. Those latchkey kids were always missing at least one parental unit — it’s insane.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Book 1 of The Chemical Garden)

Hey, another YA Fantasy! It’s also another debut novel! I promise I will review a book for a Not-So-Young Adult, but I’ve been reading either fantasy novels that are in the middle-to-end of a series or books that just don’t warrant a full review.

In a not-so-distant future, scientists engineered a generation of disease-free, genetically perfect children. It isn’t until the second generation starts dying that they realize their cure had unintended consequences. Now, with young men dying of infection at 25 and young women at 20, people are desperate to keep the human race from extinction. Women are being kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages so they can bear children. When sixteen year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped as a bride for Linden Ashby, all she wants is to get back to her twin brother. Even as she plans her escape, her growing affection for her sister-wives and her understanding of Linden make her conflicted. And is she beginning to feel something for the servant Gabriel?

That is the cover copy, essentially, I am too tired to summarize this myself. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate doing these synopses? I HATE DOING THESE SYNOPSES.)

This book was good. Not fabulous but interesting. Rhine’s narrative voice is what carries the story. She’s confused, scared, or angry but believable. While I was reading, it was fairly easy to suspend my disbelief, but once I put the book down, the inconsistencies and holes in the storyline became apparent. There isn’t nearly enough world-building but since this is the first in a series of three, I hope that we’ll learn more about the environment and the science (but I don't think that the logic behind the story will actually support any intensive scrutiny).

I would say read this but maybe wait until the next book is released? It’s not because there is a cliffhanger, the story ends pretty much where I expected it to. I'm just not sure it made sense. I’m curious to see how the whole story resolves but also a little hesitant because I'm not sure it will resolve well.

Wither, Book 1 of The Chemical Garden by Lauren DeStefano

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Read This (April)

Yes, I know I missed March. Does it really matter?

Something Wonderful, Once and Always, Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught: I have a serious weakness for her historicals. REALLY serious. I've read each of these more than 3x. Except for this one, this one is terrible: Until You.

The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens: This was just barely tolerable.

What Happens in London by Julia Quinn, When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James, Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie, Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell, Sea Swept by Nora Roberts, The Trouble With Paradise, Animal Magnetism, Get a Clue, and Smart and Sexy all by Jill Shalvis: With the exception of the Quinn which is a historical and the James which is something else, all of these are contemporary romances by well known authors. All of them are cute but not really memorable. They are probably perfect beach books.

Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie, When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn, and The Street Where She Lives by Jill Shalvis: If you think romance novels can't be serious, you should read these.

Devil at Midnight by Emma Holly: This is more paranormal/erotic than straight-up romance, but there is a love story? A time-travel/vampire/naked-bits love story? I liked it but I feel like I shouldn't have. I am not going to tell you that I am reading the sequel. Ahem.

Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsey: READ THIS. Just for sheer WTFery. Go to that link and look at that cover. It is GLORIOUS.

Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Blameless by Gail Carriger: Fun, funny, and a little silly. Read it but read the first 2 books in The Parasol Protectorate first.
The Native Star by M.K. Hobson: Weird and awesome (and weird). The sequel was just released. I am all over it.
Shriek: An Afterword by Jeff VanderMeer: Dear Mr. VanderMeer, you are very strange. I like your books, but they make me uncomfortable. Also, thanks for ruining mushrooms for me.

YA Fiction
The Duff by Kody Keplinger: See here
Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann: Yes, but be prepared to cry.
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart: Funny and good character growth, but meh? I didn't hate it.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Yes, morepleasekthx.
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols: Meh, I didn't really like the narrator. In either story.
Identical by Ellen Hopkins: The whole thing is written in free verse. And it is pretty amazing but very dark.

YA Fantasy
Switched by Amanda Hocking: NO! This is terrible. TERRIBLE.
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt: Yes? I liked it, but?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: Nope. Very disappointing.
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George: Super cute, so yes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

pr0nz commin' @ ya like a beast in da nyte!!!1!!; or, what I've been up to

I can't explain the post title. I'm wacked out on cold medicine. That's really all I have.

I read Under The Dome. It was. Um. Here's our brief chat about it, because I don't think I want to talk about it anymore:
Dani:  Under The Dome? OK? A brief moment to congratulate myself on finishing a book that is something like 400,000 pages in less than a week. Then moving on to WTF WAS THAT?  I mean, it was kind of just … The Mist. With a dome instead of fog. And the inter-dimensional scary creatures being distant aliens instead of giant murderous insects, but like, the themes were the same. PEOPLE ARE CRAZY! Take away daily necessities and it’s like Lord of the Flies! I  get it (and fell off the couch in agony when The Mist was actually REFERENCED in the book – like, 1) shut up, and 2) I don’t know if that was a ballsy or stupid move to acknowledge that he is aware that these stories are almost identical)       I dunno. I think I just get more uncomfortable with Stephen King’s capacity for genuine human scum-ery as I age gracelessly. I dunno if he’s ratcheting it up as HE gets older, but it sure feels like it.       And it was way heavy handed on the rape/assault/grossness front. Like, thanks, I get it, small town dudes (and dudettes, really) are all disgusting excuses for human beings. But MAN do you love hanging out with them.       /end rant
Jae: See, I never read The Mist. I don't think I've finished more than 2 or 3 SK novels, including UtD. And I probably won't be reading any more either. I feel like my pop culture reading cred is shot, but I can live with that.        The wrap-up/conclusion just made me angry. Aliens? That's what we went with? And spoiled baby aliens to boot? Yeahno. He gets no more of my money. Not that I've ever actually paid for his books, but the principle, you see, there is one.
Dani:  The Stand is worth it. It’s like his Ulysses, or something. And Needful Things, thought stupidly titled, is also up there (I think I hate the word ‘needful’ because I don’t feel like it should exist, but this is neither here nor there.)           But yeah. I think I’m over him. It did take me nearly 20 years to get there, which is a pretty good run.

So there's that.

I also read these other two books, because I was like, OK, it's time to buckle down a read a bonafide bodice-tearing (or whatever-tearing equivalent) romance novel - enough of them have been thrown at me for free at the Kindle store, so I might as well give it a go. It has been, seriously, fifteen years since I've read a romance. They are just not my thing. And I don't know what kind of romances I read in my youth, because these two? Homg. 

These novels? These are porn. I mean, straight up. Someone order a pizza.

There is this one, first of all. There's like, a plot? I guess? But it is obscured by all the fucking. There is a LOT of fucking. All kinds! All rodeo/western style! Threesomes, BDSM, M/M, oral, anal (twice!), you name it, it is being done to someone in a cowboy hat. Vigorously. The language is mostly plain (I don't think the word 'tumescent' appears even once) which is pretty impressive, considering it's literally 200 pages of tits and cock. So, good job! And apparently this is a series. Which is hilarious to me. But OK! I guess why bother creating new characters all the time if they're only going to be fucking. If you want some free literary porn, this is the one for you.

Then there's this one, which is also entirely about fucking. I actually didn't finish this one, and I'm not really sure I plan on it. There's only so many times I can read the phrase "slick channel" before I just puke everywhere. Seriously! Who says that?! 
There is also some vague semblance of a plot, but it's pretty irrelevant. The main male character book is actually terrifying, in a stalker-y/OCD/serial killer kind of way, and I'm almost positive he's not supposed to be. The female character is all blown away by how 'protective' he is and she is just soooo turned on by his "caveman" behavior, and I'm all OMG GET A FUCKING RESTRAINING ORDER. 

IN ADDITION to those two wild rides, I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes, which I feel I shouldn't even be sullying by mentioning it in the same post as the above. It was precious! And GREAT. It deserves the full review treatment. I will get to it if Jae does not beat me to it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Tessa Brody is a seventeen year-old girl who finds an old (REALLY OLD) unicorn tapestry and a book in a box of some other books (no other tapestries) that her dad bought from an auction. When she touches the tapestry, she gets all weird and tingly (not the fun kind of tingly, the transport-you-through-time kind). After hanging the tapestry on her wall, she notices a loose thread and yanks it out (because this is what you do with something that is 500 years-old, you compromise its structural integrity, amirite?). Upon pulling the thread, a dude by the name of Will de Chaucy appears in her room. Will is a super-hot, sort-of arrogant young English guy who was trapped by a witch some 500 years ago. The witch had turned him into a unicorn and woven his life thread (this is important) into the tapestry to keep herself forever young and beautiful. When the witch discovers that her tapestry and book are missing (silly minion lost them, you can never trust minions) and that Tessa has inadvertently freed Will, she is ROYALLY PISSED. Also, the Norn are looking for seven life threads that were stolen from the Wyrd a long time ago and think Tessa is involved (because time travel? suspicious coincidence? I don’t know). So Tessa and Will set out to defeat the evil witch and recover the stolen threads for the Norn.

Sound confusing? It’s not. It’s actually pretty awesome. It’s got a little mythology, a little fate, a lot of magic, and some PG romance. Plus, a trusty best friend and an affably clueless dad. Warped is Maurissa Guibord’s first novel and I must say, that as a whole, it is damned impressive. The narration transitions are a little spotty, but the story flows well, the characters are well developed, there are a couple of surprising plot twists, and it’s just plain interesting. The story wraps up nicely but leaves some room for a sequel. I REALLY hope there is a sequel. And, not to spoil the surprise (but clearly, I am going to), Tessa’s first name is TESSERACT. Because her mom loved A Wrinkle in Time. I squealed.

I loved that Tessa is a smart, pragmatic girl who doesn’t need Will to rescue her, she manages to rescue herself (and him). She doesn’t whine or complain (much), she just applies herself to solving the problem. Will is a bit of a jerkwad sometimes, but ultimately, he’s a good guy to have in your corner. I really only have one problem with this book. At some point, Will asks Tessa for A Midsummer Night’s Dream to read, but he’s from the year 1511 and Shakespeare wouldn’t be born until 1564. That jerked me out of the story for a minute (which I used to check Wikipedia) and that is never nice. Other than that, I pretty much loved every page.

Read it? Oh yes. The Kindle edition is kind of expensive, but your library probably has it.

Warped by Maurissa Guibord