Bitchin' Blog Posts
: Did Not Finish
by SB Sarah | December 16, 2010 | Thursday at 3:11 pm | 81 Comments
RedHeadedGirl is back, this time with a book reviewed by request: Bertrice Small’s 1981 book, Adora. Small is one of my absolute favorite old-skool authors. I have a soft spot for “Blaze Wyndham” like you wouldn’t believe. But I’ve never read this one.
I tried, you guys. I really tried. It doesn’t help that the copy I got smells to high heaven (It must have been owned by a smoker and it is moldy) and I have an aversion to bad smells, especially in books. (Seriously, the first time I read Watchmen, the copy I borrowed was ever so slightly moldy, and the mold smell while reading the Tales of the Black Freighter? I can’t even read that part now, in my new, ink-y smelling copy. The associations are just so intense and gag-inducing.)
Anyway, this is the second Small book I’ve read and I’m not too terribly inclined to read more. I know this is “I read this shit so you don’t have to” but honestly. Limits, I has them.
Adora is Theadora C-something, the daughter of the Arch Duke/Chamberlain/Grand Vizier (I don’t remember…
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by SB Sarah | August 13, 2010 | Friday at 5:29 pm | 50 Comments
I started reading Long Time Gone by Meg Benjamin because the description intrigued me, and because the cover caught my eye. The hero is an eldest brother and the acting chief of police - and isn’t as sure of himself as one would think. Erik Toleffson has a lot of regrets in his life, particularly that in his youth he was a rebellious fuck up and a bully to his younger brothers, up to and including beating the tarnation out of them. Now that he’s back after two tours in Iraq and Kuwait and a few years in a different police force outside of Texas, he’s trying to make amends.
As the book opens, his brothers are friendly towards him, though he’s very quiet and sort of low-grade perpetually ashamed of himself and angry at the damage he did to their relationships. The trouble was, I didn’t see that damage. I didn’t see any strain except from Erik’s own ruminations, and never thought his brothers treated him as if they were wary, afraid, or angry at him.
As I read the first few chapters, I liked the introduction of Erik’s character, and the cast…
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by SB Sarah | May 18, 2010 | Tuesday at 2:42 pm | 59 Comments
Since I’m reading on a Kindle I have no idea what page I’m on, but I’m estimating that I’m 1/10th of the way through this book, and I don’t want to continue. The WTFery is piled so high, I can’t see my way to the end.
Jillian Brightman purchased a big ol’ house with her sisters, and they’ve teamed up to turn it into an inn. Jillian, according to the cover synopsis, has a secret fantasy that comes to life when she meets Ian, who isn’t who he says he is. I was curious about this book from the synopsis, but the opening chapters were so completely barmy I had to stop reading. Behold, in convenient list formation, the reasons this book is receiving a DNF - did not finish.
1. Backstory introduction: the main character is talking to a ghost in the opening chapter, and telling the ghost all about herself, her sisters, her new hotel, her toenail fungus… no, not that last one. If you’re ever wondering how to reveal everything about yourself in two pages, try talking to a ghost. It seems…
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by SB Sarah | January 21, 2010 | Thursday at 12:29 pm | 78 Comments
I have been monster busy and therefore craving Harlequins for reading - but this one I couldn’t get through, no matter how many times I told myself that maybe after a few more pages the book would pick up and get better. I had to stop about halfway through.
Tangela and Warrick were together for seven years before a messy and painful breakup, one that they’ve apparently never talked about. When Tangela shows up on the cover of People magazine’s weight loss issue, showing off a very trim and a very sexy confident new self, she and Warrick find themselves in each other’s worlds again, and find a second chance to fix what went wrong.
Unfortunately, a whole mess of a lot went wrong before I even got to the middle of the book.
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by SB Sarah | September 09, 2009 | Wednesday at 11:17 am | 26 Comments
Of the four category books that I have kept over the years – through numerous moves and countless reassessing of whether to keep this book or that – two of them were written by Anne Stuart. Somehow, I lost track of her over the years, so I was thrilled when I discovered the Ice series. I power-housed through those books! Yeah, the heroes are Alpha to a near-sociopathic degree. Yeah, more than one of them have come pretty close to actually killing the heroine before finding themselves overwhelmed with some previously-unknown reluctance, all the while trying desperately not to give in to their driving lust for said-heroine. (Did I mention that I just love these cracktastic books?) So, imagine my excitement when I found a book called Anne Stuart’s Out-of-Print Gems in the Sony Bookstore. It was the very first book I sat down to read on the Sony Reader and Night of the Phantom is the first story in this collection.
Night of the Phantom is the story of Megan Carey, the plucky and loyal daughter of a construction magnate, Reese Carey, and Ethan Winslow, the mysterious and reclusive architect,…
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by SB Sarah | May 01, 2009 | Friday at 11:22 am | 98 Comments
I’ve been pondering a new segment of book reviews, wherein I explain simply why I didn’t want to finish a book. Normally, if I don’t finish it, I don’t review it. But after some Twitter discussion over the past few weeks, enough people wanted to know the reasoning behind why I didn’t finish a book that I figured I’d try to explain.
I didn’t finish With a Twist by Deirdre Martin because, while the hero was very interesting, smart, complex, and dedicated, the heroine was too irritating for me to tolerate. It wasn’t because she’s French, or that she has that innate Parisian skill of being brusque to the point of rudeness, or that she’s prickly and not at all impressed with the hero. She is all of those things, but that didn’t bug me much. I kinda liked her for that part of her character.
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by SB Sarah | February 27, 2008 | Wednesday at 11:50 pm | 56 Comments
Boy, did I have high hopes when I read the cover copy and the excerpt for this book. Check out the back copy:
Trevor d’Laine’s sexy voice seduced her every night with his late-night radio talk show. So Kay Erikson couldn’t pass up the chance to be his personal assistant â€“ despite his insistence that he was a vampire.
Vampires didn’t wear faded jeans. And they were dark and brooding, not vibrant and fun.
Not bad, huh? Vampire radio host with sexy voice and his personal assistant? Vibrant and fun? Could be pretty good. So check out the excerpt on the first page:
â€œI’m a happy vampire. Happier than you can guess. I like having time to read every book that ever interested me, time to visit every monument ever erected, time to sample every pleasure available to night people. I’m invulnerable to disease or accident. I’ll never age, never die. Why would I want to give that up?â€
Seriously, I am, or I was, so intrigued. Even with the heroine challenging his happiness with the idea that immortality and vampirism have their downsides, I…
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by SB Sarah | July 05, 2007 | Thursday at 6:37 pm | 46 Comments
I paid $5 to read this book on my Blackberry, and took two Tylenol for the headache I got from reading on the tiny screen, and two more this morning for residual agony. I’m thinking that I might need some kind of counseling to recover from the utter badness that is this book, and that’s roughly, what, $80-100 an hour?
This was a very expensive mistake indeed, but when the Bitchery clamors for a review, I try to step up.
Even Hubby said, “You’re seriously reading that?”
I exacted revenge for his doubt by reading portions aloud, prompting the following responses:
“Oh, my God.”
“Please, please stop.”
If I had to describe this book in two words, those words would be: complete bonerdeath. This book will suck the sexy out of any known being, and leave any libido in the tri-state area dry and gasping. This book is the real reasons all those erotica novel vaginas are weeping.
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by Candy | June 22, 2007 | Friday at 2:36 pm | 38 Comments
Update! On July 5, Cheryl Sawyer dropped by and clarified her use of de rigueur in the comments and very politely pointed out that I was, in fact, talking out of my ass, for which I apologize. My statements about how stilted the book came across to me still stands, however.
Mark Twain once said that an author should “say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it,” and as far as a rule of writing goes, that’s a good ‘un to keep in mind. It certainly was what sprang to mind when I attempted to read Cheryl Sawyer’s The Code of Love recently.
Here’s the setup:
In 1810, some English soldier dude escaped from a Mauritian prison, but was betrayed, recaptured and brought back. Now, let’s play “spot the strange word usage” with me in this excerpt, hmmmm?
Only Delphine Delgaish knew who had betrayed him to the legion, and she told just one other person, so no one else knew what to think. Which made a visit to the Garden Prison de rigueur at the earliest opportunity.
That particular use of de rigueur stopped me cold and had me running for my dictionary. It was…
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by SB Sarah | May 15, 2007 | Tuesday at 4:19 am | 53 Comments
Candy sent me this book in a box full of other books with the warning, “I’m sending you this because you have to read it. I can’t.”
If Candy can’t bring herself to read it, I’m in such deep trouble.
And yup, this book pretty much irritated the shit out of me right from the get-go.
Calantha, Duchess of Clairborne is the reclusive and quiet widow of what had to have been a right bastard of a husband. She was monstrously abused on an emotional and physical level by her late dickhead of a Duke, and he effectively isolated her from everyone who might have helped or befriended her.
Jared, Viscount Ravenswood (and how is THAT for typical “Animal + Item found in Nature” aristocratic title?) is asked by his childhood friend Mary to bring Mary’s daughter to Calantha. After making this bizarre request, Mary dies. Jared would rather cut off several key parts of his anatomy than deal with Calantha, because Calantha’s late husband was responsible for Mary’s daughter. He raped Mary while she was a servant in his household.…
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by Candy | December 22, 2006 | Friday at 9:01 pm | 6 Comments
This book made me quiver with anticipation. Quiver like a giant quiche before it collapses in a soggy, underbaked mess on the night of the King of Brunei’s birthday. I love to cook, I love to read about cooking, and I love me some trainwrecks. So the very idea of a collection of kitchen disaster stories as told by world-class chefs made me incredibly happy IN MY PANTS. Not to mention it features a short story by Anthony Bourdain, and I am totally Anthony Bourdain’s bitch. Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour, for all their swaggering flaws, are two of my all-time favorite books simply because they’re so much goddamn fun to read.
And Bourdain’s contribution about a disastrous New Year’s Eve catering job is fantastic. It’s as trainwrecky as my schadenfreudinous heart could’ve desired. The cooks are coked up and tweaking, the head chef is an asshole who doesn’t plan the menu correctly, nothing is going right in the kitchen, and the bouncers end up assaulting the customers. I know it’s a good disaster story when it makes me go “HOLY SHIT” out loud, and this story made me do that multiple times.
There were some other gems,…
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by Candy | August 10, 2006 | Thursday at 10:31 am | 10 Comments
OK, all you bitches who’ve been making fun of me all this age for having Musashi up on the sidebar for about year can quit now. I’ve finally admitted defeat. I’m about 245 pages into this monster, and I can’t stands it no more.
And by “it,” I mean “the most gawdawful translation job I have ever encountered this side of Kafka, and I’ve encountered some pretty shitty translations of Kafka.”
Seriously, every time I read a medieval Japanese character saying “Yeah,” “okay” or “all right,” I wanted to punch the translator in the crotch. I understand that rendering the language accurate in every way is impossible, and is, in fact, undesirable. And I understand that conveying the nuances of Japanese vernacular can be trying. But dude. Seriously. ENOUGH ALREADY.
I do hope to some day finish this. The day is not now. The story is too slow, and the translation is too…well, too crotch-punchy.
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by Candy | October 27, 2005 | Thursday at 8:24 pm | 17 Comments
This is the poor book I picked up to read after finishing Slaughterhouse-Five—which, by the way, is an incredible book, and why in the hell I waited so long to pick it up, I have no friggin’ clue. Anyway, I wanted a complete change of pace and subject matter, so I grabbed a library book. I have over 10 books checked out from the library, and I need to thin the herd. Drive Me Crazy just happened to be on top of the stack.
There’s nothing terribly wrong with this book, but there’s nothing terribly right about it either, if you know what I mean.
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by Candy | September 07, 2005 | Wednesday at 7:14 pm | 19 Comments
Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been really, really good about finishing books I start. For my sanity and the sake of my huge TBR stacks, though, I’ve decided that this cannot go on. From now on, the only books I’ll make a point of finishing are books that are sent to me for review.
It’s usually not the really gawdawful books that I abandon. The most frequently-abandoned books would probably be the “meh” books: they’re not bad, they’re just kinda boring. Or annoying in really petty ways.
Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted, for example. Between the self-conscious writing style, the constant tense changes, getting shit wrong more often than making shit up convincingly and characters I really couldn’t care less about, I didn’t finish it. What I read (about 100 pages or so) I’d give a C, maybe a C-.
And yesterday, I officially abandoned Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn. This would be the first book of hers that I can’t finish; nothing I’ve read by her so far ranks below a B-. The premise is pretty interesting: kickass chick with mystical powers has a mandate from the king to investigate what are essentially hate crimes against other people…
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