Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't Waste Your Money! The Dumpster: One Woman's Search for Love

I scanned through other reviews of this book before applying to review it.  I just knew I'd like it.  Yet, I'm so underwhelmed by this book, I'm not sure where to start.  I'll do my best to provide a coherent review.

The book starts out with Nicole preparing for a Valentine's Day party where her latest boyfriend (sex-buddy) will finally (after two whole weeks) meet her friends.

The writing and characterization both seemed more suited to a teen or tween storyline, and even then, I would have been disappointed.  I pushed on, continuing the story, even when I would have preferred to just dump this book in the story's literal dumpster.  Nicole actually meets her One True Love early in the book, and his status is telegraphed so strongly, the author could have just said, "And they lived happily ever after.  The end."  The chapters are short and sentences are shorter.  The ideas behind the writing are good, but the writing itself is choppy and the story is poorly-paced.

Nicole's lack of self-esteem, her chunky physical body and her search for Mr Right all combine to create what should have been a great story.  It's an uncommon and pretty close look at what characters are really thinking and feeling.

Unfortunately, Nicole's emotional age is far less than her chronological age (early 20's), and her friends are right there with her.  One friend, during a little slightly drunken raid on the no-show guest of honor's car, sat on the pavement and peed herself.  More than one of Nicole's friends walk to the bathroom with her hand over her crotch in public restaurants and other places, because she "has to go."  Grown women.  Uh-huh.  Nicole has indiscriminate sex with a merry-go-round of "boyfriends" and has shallow and unfulfilling relationships with her female friends.  Yes, this could have been the story of my life.

I was reaching the close of the story, and wondered when, exactly, Nicole would begin showing growth and change.  One of her friends was married to a nice man, and the other had a fiance, and yet Nicole was still stuck in her destructive personal habits. Nicole had started sleeping with Rick (in chapter 12 of 28), her parents had decided to reboot their relationship (this particular storyline was the most impressive, character-wise), and she had started walking for exercise.  I reached the last chapter.

In less than three pages, twelve paragraphs, Nicole suddenly and magically resolved her self-esteem issues, lost a significant amount of weight, understood the symbolism of the "garden" Rick created for her where the dumpster used to be, and determined that Rick was the guy for her.  The final words of the book are "She knew Rick was the one."

I cannot recommend reading this book, whether you are looking for a light summer read, or looking for insight into the behavior of a sex addict.  It's just not worth your time.

I received a PDF copy of this book from the author's representative, for the purposes of reviewing this book.  I'm truly sorry I couldn't give a more positive review.  The ideas behind the book really deserve a great book to convey them.

Book mini-Review - In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way is the story of Rachel Sutton, who picks up a Raggedy Ann doll, only to be overwhelmed by feelings of terror.  Against friendly advice, she decides to report the doll, and her feelings about it, to the local FBI office. 

During this interview, she meets Special Agent Nick Bradley, who naturally thinks she's a kook.

Nick is reviewing a report from an ongoing kidnapping case the following week, only to find a link to the Raggedy Ann doll.

Rachel is drawn into the case because media coverage reveals her connection to the doll, and the kidnapper, who believed that tossing the doll into a dumpster would be the end of it, moves to eliminate her.

The characters and action create a story that is easy to read and enjoyable. 

In Harm's Way falls under a new category of fiction, Inspirational, where the characters profess to be Christian, and the action does not include sexual activity between unmarried main characters.

Despite my long-time personal preference for stories including hot, steamy sex, I found In Harm's Way to be well-written enough that the lack of sex did not detract from the suspense and forward motion of the story.  Coming from me, that says quite a lot.

I got this book at the library, and no money or gifts were received in exchange for this review.

Book miniReview - Animal Magnetism

This is a warm and funny story of two people who probably should have met sooner, had one of the pair stopped avoiding returning home. 

Lilah runs the local kennel in smalltown Sunshine, Idaho.  Brady is leaving a convenience store  for his foster brothers' vet practice when he is rear-ended by what seems to be a small version of Noah's Ark.

Sparks fly instantaneously, and Lilah decides to end a long dry spell with a total stranger. 

The intense protectiveness of Lilah's male friends (who turn out to be Brady's foster brothers) and the ridiculous animal antics of her kennel residents, blend to form a heartwarming and funny story of scratching an itch, only to find forever under the skin.

I got this book at the library, and no money or gifts were exchanged for this review.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I'm just not being a very good blogger, am I? 

I've been getting a lot done with regards to sorting stuff and getting rid of it.  So much, that I've not made much time for doing much beyond keeping up with email and sometimes Facebook, sleeping and driving my Kid around.

I've got stacks of books to give ratings to, and I will try, with great effort, to get to those this week.  I really need to rate them so I can get them in the go-away box.