Monday, June 30, 2014

Random Conversations about our Daughter's Television Programming

Bloody Munchkin: The thing I don't get about the Jake and the Neverland Pirates besides 'Jake where are your parents!?!?!' is that the help out Captain Hook sometimes even though Captain Hook is evil kinda? And he sometimes comes up with crazy schemes to try and get treasure but then these kids are collecting gold doubloons for their treasure, which how does Captain Hook not see that these kids are picking gold out of the air first off. And second off if he's so damned treasure happy why doesn't he just follow the kids back to their secret island and steal their treasure and get on with his damn life? I don't understand.

Fighting Nun [waits a beat]: I think you are over-thinking a kid's show.

Bloody Munchkin: Says the guy who basically crafted fan-fiction regarding the crab with the wooden pincer on Tumble Leaf on this entire crab's back-story regarding how he lost the limb and then regained the mechanical one, which if memory serves involved combat and a lost love.

Fighting Nun: But that was awesome and dark and compelling!

This conversation has been brought to you by our daughter's programming and the fact that we have no life.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review: Shaken

I’ve been wracking my brain as to what to say about Susan Hatler’s Shaken: Book One in the Mind Reader Series. There’s so much I can say, want to say that it’s hard to know where to start. Let me start with the fact that it’s a perfect YA book. I’d also like to say that I love this book so much, I’m jealous I didn’t write it. It’s a fun thrill ride that I couldn’t put down and was so good that I had to run to Amazon to see what else in the series I could buy (nothing right now, as it turns out, which Boo! Dear Susan Hatler; Please write faster. If you ever show up to my Starbuck’s again to write a few chapters regarding this series, I’ll happily cheer you on and encourage you to write like the wind.).

Kylie Bates is a smart, driven 16 year-old who is great at school and horribly sarcastic and snarky with boys she likes. Her daily routine consists of journaling her dead mother, making sure her 4.0 GPA doesn’t dip and trying desperately to not be a spaz around her current crush. Until she finds out she can read minds. Things take a turn for the weird when she realizes she can see people’s thoughts by touching their hands. Things take a turn for the dangerous when her father asks her to use her new abilities to help find a missing girl. The very same people who kidnapped the girl may be the ones looking for her.

With the help of Trip, a determined 17 year-old from her school who wants to become a detective, they try to unravel the mystery of who took the girl and what they want and what the girl’s abduction has to do with her.

This book is a thrill ride that explores the tricky territory of telepathy, telekinesis and the even trickier territory of navigating high school, the crushes, the friendships, the family relationships, the classes.

Let me just say that not since, I dunno, Mr. Rochester have I had such a strong crush on a literary character. Trip is like Cliff Pantone mixed with Christian Slater’s character from Gleaming the Cube.  He’s layered and complex for a 17 year-old and determined in ways most love interests just aren’t. The sixteen year girl in me just completely fell for him. 

This is a really fun book and well worth a pick up. A+

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Book Review: Love at First Date

I’m not sure this actually counts as a book review since Love at First Date feels more novella length than anything and it was such a breezy read, but since I’m still on the hook for my May book review, here goes. 

Love at First Date follows Ellen, a customer support representative trying to find love in Sacramento but in the most regimented of ways, using a detailed dating service. It’s not until she starts finally going out on dates with the people she’s met through her profile that she meets her real match blindly through some twist of luck (or if you’d rather, a dog she’s watching and a clogged hair brush).

Henry, the man who helps save her best friend’s dog and whose eyes she can’t stop looking into is all she can think about. Although she wishes she could stop. She tries busying herself with men she’s met from her dating profile because she’s convinced they meet her compatibility markers and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother, it’s that marriages don’t work without finding common ground.

Love at First Date is an enjoyable bit of fluff and a very quick read, but it isn’t all fluff. This book has a lot on its mind, or rather, the protagonist has a lot on hers, like how she’s supposed to make it work with a man when her mother, who was married twice before and couldn’t even make it work with Ellen’s birth father long enough to get married. Can she really find what and who she wants when she sees all of her mother’s old mistakes?

 There’s a lot of interpersonal relationships at play here too. Can she find love, be allowed to find it, when her friends have interpersonal lives falling apart? Will there meddling help or hurt? And can Ellen finally get out of her own way to see what’s in front of her?

I not only enjoyed reading how all those questions got answered, but how they were posed in the first place. Susan Hatler does a great job of really getting you right in the character’s head, showing you exactly what makes her tick and just what kind of neuroses are really at play.

 Love At First Date is an enjoyable fast-paced read and well worth your time. It’s an A.