DNF Review: A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God by Bill Fuller

26404161

A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God

author : bill fuller

pages : [paperback] 432

release date : april 8th 2016

summary :

When Angie’s big fat Greek wedding goes bust, her grandmother sends her on a trip to Greece with the instruction to set sail on a mysterious fishing boat that will take her to an uncharted island. Waiting for her at the dock is Milos, who’s charming and handsome and confesses he’s been crushing on her for years, even though he’s never met her. He also tells her he’s a descendant of the original Gods of Olympus, who are plotting their return to power.

Before she can say “Oh my God,” Angie is flying a winged horse alongside Milos and finding love in his arms. But there’s one little hitch: Milos’s elders are forcing him to marry a malevolent goddess named Electra to fulfill their plan. If Angie is to have any hope of hanging onto Milos, she’ll have to battle monsters, both reptilian and lipsticked; uncover secrets about her past; and go toe-to-toe with Zeus himself, whose recipe for world domination doesn’t call for a sassy girl from the outer boroughs.

review :

I downloaded a review copy of this book on Netgalley and am extremely grateful to Midnight Ink for approving my request. This in no way affected my review/opinions of the book.

I don’t think I’ve ever marked a book as DNF so early on in the story. I barely made it to 50 pages before I decided that A Girl’s Guide to Landing a Greek God wasn’t for me.

I was initially attracted to this book because the cover was awesome and I’m very interested in Greek myth; I love books about it and even took a course about it last semester. I’m all for modernizing these myths and making them more fun and accessible to people.

However . . . this book had a lot of problems for me. Maybe it stems from the fact that this is a man writing a “girl’s guide”. I’m all for authors writing from the viewpoint of someone completely different from who they are, but it has to be believable. You have to capture what it’s like to be a woman–and not only that, but a specific kind of woman, because Angie, like any character, is supposed to be unique. Instead she’s kind of all over the place. Here’s a line that I really had trouble with:

As Angie wound her way through the crowd, she found herself skipping.

Well, that was only one of the lines that took me out of the story. How old is Angie? Old enough to worry about marriage, kids, and ending up alone. Besides, in the context of this line, she isn’t even skipping toward anything fun. She’s just going to ask someone a question. Something else in the story that really knocked me out of the narrative was when Angie mentioned overhearing her grandmother having sex and just smiled about it. And wished that she had as many opportunities as her grandmother. No matter what your age, gender, or sex–who would really react like that?

In these 50 pages, the Greek God was only mysteriously alluded to a few times–and in all of them, he’s anxiously pining for the human he’s been obsessing over from afar. I didn’t stick with the book long enough to see why he started to watch her/want her so badly, out of these billions of humans, but . . I’m hoping it was a good reason.

I won’t be recommending this book, but maybe there’s a chance romance readers would be able to push through these pages to get to the bulk of the story. For me, and the reading goals I have for 2016, it just wasn’t worth continuing.

1/5 stars

Elevated View of a Tray With Fries, a Hamburger and Lemonade

GIVEAWAY & SPOTLIGHT: The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever

Yeah, that’s the title of an awesome book that’s coming out, not me trying to get everyone else to agree that one movie is the best.

the greatest zombie movie ever

author: jeff strand

About the Author:

Jeff Strand wrote the script for the short film Gave Up the Ghost, which has zombies in it for a few seconds, and was an associate producer on the short zombie film Chomp. In the event of an actual zombie attack, he would run around crying and screaming, “We’re all doomed!” and contribute very little to everybody’s chances for survival. He’s written a bunch of other books, including I Have A Bad Feeling About This and A Bad Day for Voodoo. Check out this website at jeffstrand.com

book summary:

After producing three horror movies that went mostly ignored on YouTube, Justin and his filmmaking buddies decide it’s time they create something noteworthy, something epic. They’re going to film the Greatest Zombie Movie Ever. They may not have money or a script, but they have passion. And, after a rash text message, they also have the beautiful Alicia Howtz—Justin’s crush—as the lead.

With only one month to complete their movie, a script that can’t possibly get worse, and the hopes and dreams of Alicia on the line, Justin is feeling the pressure. Add to that a cast of uncooperative extras and incompetent production assistants, and Justin must face the sad, sad truth. He may actually be producing The Worst Zombie Movie Ever…

read an excerpt from the book:

“I don’t want to make terrible movies anymore. I want them to be big. I want them to be important. I want them to be longer than ten minutes.”

“All right,” said Gabe.

“We should change our filmmaking process. We should write a script first.”

“I thought you always said that following a script would restrict your creativity on the set, and that the best ideas are those that filmmakers generate on the spot.”

“I’ve said a lot of things over the years,” said Justin. “This time we need a script. We don’t have to stick to it word for word, but we should have one.”

“Is there a blister on my tongue?” asked Bobby, sticking out his tongue. “I can’t tell if it’s a blister or just a piece of fry.” Justin and Gabe couldn’t understand what he was saying, since his tongue was sticking out, but they’d known him long enough to get the general idea.

“It’s a piece of fry,” said Justin.

“It won’t come off. Why won’t it come off?”

“Okay, fine,” said Gabe. “We’ll have a script.”

“And a budget.”

“Dude…”

“You can’t make the greatest movie ever without a budget,” Justin told him.

“Now we’re making the greatest movie ever? I thought we were just making one that didn’t suck.”

“Do you know how old George Romero was when he made Night of the Living Dead?”

“Late twenties.”

“Right. So we’ve got a while to catch up. That example didn’t really make the point I was trying to make. What I’m saying is that we should be ahead of the curve. We should be making movies that people can’t believe were made by fifteen-year-olds. I want people to be stunned at what we’re making. I want people to accuse us of being genetically enhanced.”

“I’m all in favor of that,” said Gabe. “I just feel like we should set our sights a little lower. We keep saying we want to make a zombie movie. Maybe instead of the greatest movie ever, we make the greatest zombie movie ever.”

“The greatest zombie movie ever would, by definition, also be the greatest movie ever.”

“Point taken.”

“Zombie movie. Good choice, Gabe. And we’re going to commit ourselves to this project. No safety net. No excuses not to finish. Nobody is going to say this isn’t a real movie.”

“I really can’t get this fry off my tongue,” said Bobby. “The cheese is like superglue.”

Gabe ignored Bobby and shrugged at Justin. “Okay. So if we’re doing a real movie, how do you propose we raise the money?”

Justin stared into Gabe’s eyes with a steel gaze, and then after a dramatic pause said, “Any…way…we…can.”

“Such as?”

“I don’t know. Crowdfunding. A bake sale. Insurance fraud. We’ll worry about that later.”

“I think we should worry about it a little bit now.”

“I’m in an ambitious mood. Don’t bother me with reality right now.” Justin picked up a fry and dipped it into the runniest patch of chili. “We can do this. We can make a three-hour epic that will revolutionize the film industry.”

“Three hours?”

“At least.”

“How about we make half an epic and go for ninety minutes?”

“Actually, we should let the story decide for itself how long it needs to be.” Justin ate the fry. “Are you in?”

“I don’t like that you’re giving the story a consciousness of its own.”

“Are you in?”

“I’m in,” said Bobby.

“Gabe?”

“I’m going to Indiana for the summer, remember? The day after school gets out.”

“Okay, so that gives us a month. We can do it. Are you in?”

“You’re insane.”

“Are you in?”

“You’re also deranged.”

“Are you in?”

“You’re insane, deranged, and scary.”

“Are you in?”

As he had many times during their ten years of friendship, Gabe looked resigned to his fate. “Yeah, I’m in.”

Bobby seemed to notice something behind Justin. He smiled. It was a wicked smile, the kind of smile a person gets when the thoughts currently floating in their brain are nothing but the purest evil.

“What?” Justin asked, the evil aura making him suddenly uncomfortable.

“I know who we should cast in the lead.”

“Who?”

Bobby pointed to a booth at the other end of the restaurant. “Alicia Howtz.”

GIVEAWAY RULES & INFO: 

enter with the rafflecopter link below to win one of two copies of The Greatest Zombie Ever 
U.S. & Canada only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

or, to get a copy for yourself, check out one of these links:

Amazon- http://ow.ly/Y7Owz 

Apple- http://ow.ly/Y7P3o 

Barnes& Noble- http://ow.ly/Y7Pdx 

BooksAMillion- http://ow.ly/Y7Pm8 

!ndigo- http://ow.ly/Y89wD

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/Y8aIE 

Forget Me by K. A. Harrington

18311425

 

Forget Me

author : k. a. harrington

pages : [hardcover] 288

favorite character : evan

summary :

An edge-of-your seat psychological thriller with a romantic twist

On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as “Evan Murphy.” She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents’ involvement in this massive web of lies.

review :

I’ve picked up a few different young adult mysteries lately and have been really interested in getting more into the mystery/thriller genre. I think it’s interesting to see how stories like these can really grip you, shock you, and pull you into the narrative. Unfortunately, though Forget Me had a great start, it ended up being a big disappointment.

Morgan’s boyfriend, Flynn, was killed in a hit-and-run. Worse, she witnessed the accident. But when she uploads a picture of him as a memorial to a website and is asked to tag his picture with some other boy’s name, a boy who looks exactly like Flynn, she wonders if he’s really dead at all. Or if the accident wasn’t what it seemed.

Throughout the book, there are all of these hints at some bigger picture story happening and the pieces don’t fall into place until the finish. Which, y’know, is expected in the mystery. But Morgan’s town has been run into the ground because the big company that used to employ so many townspeople has shut down. I thought that there was going to be a whole conspiracy surrounding that, because it seemed like most of the people working there were scientists. I figured there was some genetic testing going on there or a crazy answer like that would be found in the mystery. What the plot really builds up to, though, is less satisfying.

I won’t give away the ending. But I will say that Forget Me really fell when it came to pacing. So much of the middle of the book fell flat while Morgan was navigating the mystery. And then, in the last 20 or so pages, so much information was randomly packed into them. Pieces that had no build-up to them whatsoever and seemed much too convenient, and unsatisfying, an answer to all of the intrigue and quirky clues we’d been getting throughout the novel.

I’m going to keep on reading mysteries, but won’t be recommending this one.

3/5 stars

Ten books I just won’t shut up about

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER!!! So of course if someone wants a book recommendation this is the one I immediately reach for.

2. Cinder is probably one of my favorite fairy tale retellings–and because those are my favorite books to read, it has very stiff competition. Plus now that the last book has come out and I know that I love the entire series, I can whole-heartedly recommend it without fearing it will eventually go downhill.

3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here or basically anything by Patrick Ness because he is an amazing author and I had the amazing opportunity to meet him once and he was amazing. I could gush about his wonderful stories and even more fantastical writing skills all day every day.

4. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot was one of the first series I fell in love with in middle school (and it’s being continued by adult installments right NOW!!). But these stories are timelessly entertaining, very short, and appropriately small enough to bring around with you everywhere.

5. Unwind is such a scary book that isn’t even in the horror category. What’s terrible about it is that with all of these technological advances, something like this could totally happen in real life. But Neal Shusterman is another author where I’d buy any book he writes.

6. Tyger Tyger, first of all, made me fall in love with one of my favorite bands, Future of Forestry. And it has Irish myth in it. IRISH MYTH.

7. The Princess Bride is amazing. Both the movie and the book. But most people, even those who love the movie, don’t realize that the book is just as hilarious and awesome and wonderful, so I push it on people as often as possible.

8. The Thief is one of my favorite books that I randomly picked up at the bookstore one day, not realizing that I was purchasing something I’d read dozens of times… and now I have the urge to read it again. It’s reminiscent of Greek mythology, its main character is full of snarky commentary, and the plot twists you’ll never suspect.

9. Stormbreaker is one of the books that first got me hooked on reading. I randomly picked it up because my cousin was giving away a box of his books and this spy story was AMAZING. And, little did I know that it was an entire series I could delight in for years to come.

10. Peter and the Starcatchers has been on my mind a lot lately because a play was adapted from it and it’s coming near me soon, so I desperately want to get the chance to see it. These books are so incredibly unique and fun retellings! So basically I talk about this book to anyone who’ll listen.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

13639182

Beware the Wild 

Beware the Wild #1

author : natalie c. parker

pages : [hardcover] 327

memorable quote :

Secrets are never so dangerous as when they’ve been forgotten.

favorite characters : lenora may

summary :

It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp—the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance—and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.

review :

I checked this book out of the library because I’ve been trying to methodically cut down on my TBR. To be honest, I’m not sure how long this one has been sitting patiently waiting for me to finally track it down and read it. I’m glad that I didn’t let it disappear in a sea of good intentions for reading because Beware the Wild is a 5 star book.

The mystery. The paranormal elements. The horror. It all blended together perfectly in a story that captivated just as much as it rattled me. The swamp that borders Sterling’s home has always held its secrets and she’s been content to keep away from it, until the day her brother runs into the swamp and Lenora May runs out . . to take his place. Things only grow stranger from there, as Sterling realizes she may be completely alone in unraveling this mystery before it is too late and she loses her brother to the swamp, forever.

I think it’s interesting, in stories like these, when nature itself seems to be a predator to humanity. The people in town like to pretend that the ‘swamp stories’ (their personal ghost stories) are all myth, though on the side they do as much as possible to superstitiously protect themselves from the swamp. There’s always the thought that maybe the swamp is nothing but normal . . . But I’ll pray for the evil to stay inside of it where it belongs, just in case. As the mysteries deepen and more questions arise, it becomes even more difficult to discern what is real and what is myth.

The characters were amazing, especially Lenora May. As soon as she emerged from the swamp I knew that I was going to be intrigued by her. Sterling was fascinating, too, because she needs to learn to come into her own to save her brother, after he’s basically saved her throughout her entire life. I also found this book interesting because Sterling has an eating disorder but this isn’t a book about eating disorders. It’s about the mysteries of the swamp. I loved how it was just one aspect of her character and how it was handled throughout the story, though I’d have liked to see more of what happened with that aspect after the paranormal excitement died down.

This book was amazing–and it turns out that there’s a sequel? If I’d known that before reading, I may have been disappointed, but because this book was so surprising and hooked me in, I definitely need to get my hands on book two.

5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Ten books on my TBR that I NEED to get to ASAP

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1. Hate List by Jennifer Brown. I read Torn Away and was, haha, blown away by it so I feel like I need to read the rest of her books!

2. Trustwitch by Susan Dennard. Everyone has been freaking out about this. I must freak out about this.

3. Proposal by Meg Cabot. I AM FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS!! I HAVE WAITED SO LONG.

4. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. Her writing is just beautiful!

5. Never Ever by Sara Saedi. A Peter Pan retelling… enough said.

6. Hello? by Liza Wiemer. This book looks amazing!

7. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld. I even went to a book event for this release and still haven’t read it.

8. Uprooted by Naomi Novik. FAIRYTALES!!!!

9. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. ^^ DITTO

10. Blankets by Craig Thompson. I really need to get into reading graphic novels so this seems like a good one to get to soon.

Reign of Shadows was a Rapunzel retelling that’s both amazing & disappointing

24657660

Reign of Shadows

Reign of Shadows #1

author : sophie jordan

pages :  [hardcover] 304

memorable quote :

Life is full of regrets.
They’ll cripple you if you let them.

favorite character : luna

summary :

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadowsis Sophie Jordan at her best.

review :

There were some parts of this story that I loved so much. Parts where I wanted to toss the book in the air while I celebrated how wickedly awesome that new detail or plot point was. And then something would happen that would be utterly predictable, or just a little cringe-worthy, so, slowly, my enthusiasm waned.

So. Rapunzel is my favorite fairy tale, hands down. From the creepy old versions right up to Tangled, it’s my thing. I’m kind of even working on my own version of it.

Luna is awesome as a Rapunzel heroine. She can handle her own in any situation, even though she’s barely left her tower throughout her life. Basically, if I had to be stuck in this terrible world filled with a perpetual night, I’d want her as an ally because I’d probably get out of it alive. Unfortunately, as soon as tall and brooding Fowler showed up, there was insta-love all over the place. The kind where Fowler, in his half of the chapters, gets very angst-y about how he’s never going to even care for someone again, much less love them. You’ll see how well that turns out.

However, I did enjoy the dual narration. They each had their different life experiences in this horrible world so it was interesting to get a more complete view of it by cobbling together their thoughts and memories. But there were a few plot twists dealing with them that were so heavily foreshadowed, I was not surprised in the least. I was actually kind of surprised that I was right about what was going to happen because I was hoping I was being tricked, in some way.

The thing I have most of a problem with, I think, is that this is supposed to be a duology and it could all be one book. I reached the ending and feel like I didn’t get to the meat of Reign of Shadows yet. It still felt like an introduction to only the superficial problems this kingdom is facing. It makes me worried that too much is going to be packed into book two. The cliffhanger ending here is frustrating because it reads more like a chapter ending with a cliffhanger than an actual conclusion to a book.

I’m definitely going to read the sequel, just to see where things go, but I won’t be purchasing it for myself.

3/5 stars