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Saturday, 22 April 2017

HOW THE WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE GOT HER GROOVE BACK by Diana Rowland


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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All the covers in this series are really awesome, and this one is super creepy. Angel falling apart is an awesome way to portray what happens in this installment.

Angel finally passed her GED (yay!) and is still enjoying her job at the Coroner's Office (cool). She even gets along really well with (most of) her co-workers. Plus she's got a BFF (Naomi). But her relationship with Marcus isn't going so great because he's still trying to make decisions for both of them without checking with her first!

When a bunch of her zombie Tribe get kidnapped by the evil Saberton Corporation she finds herself teaming up with Naomi, Philip and Kyle in hopes of saving everyone. But when the double crossing begins and it seems like someone is feeding the enemy information, it gets really hard to figure out who can be trusted.

Yet, that's not going to stop this white trash zombie...

Okay. There are a LOT of awesome things about this book: Angel's snarky voice, the growing zombie world (got insight into some of the history), how deeply she's getting herself into the Tribe, her friendship with Naomi, and that--no matter what the cost--she's always willing to help everyone. But there were a few things that got in the way: Marcus is really starting to get annoying, their time in NYC went way too long, and several scenes even made the story drag in some places. I just felt that this book could've been a little shorter and tighter, like the previous three books.

Oh, and I really liked some of the gross zombie imagery. Some screwed up zombie weirdness goes on in this one.

But, OMG, there was one thing about this book that was AWFUL. The freaking font size! For some reason--maybe because the story was longer--the font type was TINY. Unless it was broad daylight, it made my eyes hurt. So I found myself reading only a few chapters at night and the bulk during the day. O.o It was a bit of a pain.

Anyway, in spite of the few draggy issues, I still enjoyed this addition to the series and can't wait to see what Angel gets up to next.

I'm almost caught up. Just have one book left.

Monday, 17 April 2017

THE STEPFORD WIVES by Ira Levin


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The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've watched both movie versions of The Stepford Wives and have always found the concept both intriguing and horrifying. So I thought it was about time I read the novella they were based on.

And I absolutely LOVED it! I read it in one day, spread out in several sittings while doing the housework. Just kidding. :)

Seriously, this might be considered an old book but--unfortunately--a lot of the issues are still relevant. It seems to me like the gender issues/problems will never be solved because of assholes like the men in this book. You know the type, the ones who only see women as trophies and don't want them to have a voice or any interests.

Anyway, about the story:

Joanna Eberhart, her husband Walter, and their two kids have recently moved from the city to live in the suburbs. Stepford seems like a nice place to live. A nice place to raise children. But when Joanna starts meeting the women in Stepford, she realises that they're all pretty, are plentiful in the breast department, and spend their whole lives cleaning. They basically act like their husbands are their masters.

This isn't appealing, because Joanna doesn't like housework. She's a photographer and likes to socialise, especially with other women. It's not until she meets Bobbie and Charmaine that she's happy to call them friends and hang out. Joanna and Bobbie hate the way the women act, and are convinced there's something in the water.

But when even Bobbie is infected with the cleaning bug, Joanna knows that if she doesn't get out, she'll be next...

OMFG. This novella is truly brilliant. There are some very hilarious bits, but mostly it's downright scary because the underlining malice slowly creeps up on you. That the reader goes through this awful ordeal with Joanna and watches her happy marriage and life eventually being destroyed by a bunch of sexist wankers, is quite the awful experience.

The paranoia that eventually grips Joanna leaps off the page. It's terrible to watch Walter--a man who respects his wife as an equal--gradually being seduced by the evil ambitions of the Men's Association (of dickheads). It's heartbreaking. And what happens to Bobbie and Charmaine--two very strong-willed women--is so sad. I felt bad for Joanna. Not just because she lost her friends, but because she figures out exactly what's going on and that it will eventually happen to her.

*cries*

Yes, this is a very clever story that I think some may not understand properly. I've heard many times that this is a parody of the 1950s housewife caricature, but I disagree. This is taking the piss out of stupid men who want to do whatever it takes to keep women docile and under their control. That these Stepford wankers choose to pretty much recreate their wives in order to do so, while seducing otherwise smart men to their side, is truly shocking.

Like every other story that seeks to destroy, control and silence women, I consider this a true horror story. But a very smart, well-written classic told by a man who truly understood what was happening when women were starting to take control of their own lives. And the men who feared this change.

Obviously, I have a LOT of thoughts, opinions and random things to say about such a powerful story.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book on my Kindle for a while and have been intrigued by the blurb since I first read it, but it wasn't until the show was released that I just had to pick it up. Hubby and I really want to watch it, but I've got this thing about reading the book before the movie/show, so...

This book is told in the POV of three very different characters. Madeline, Celeste and Jane. I really enjoyed how the story unfolded within the very interesting narrative of these women. And I really loved these three characters. I connected and felt for all three.

Madeline doesn't shy away from anything or anyone. And she's very loyal to her family and friends. So when she befriends a new mother, she's willing to do just about anything to help her. Even though she's got her own problems: an ex who has a new wife and a daughter starting kindy with her youngest, and a rebellious teenage daughter.

Jane is a young single mother who's looking for a new place to raise her son. She's sad and has a dark secret that's aged and changed her into the weakest version of herself. But she's made two new friends and her life suddenly seems brighter.

Celeste is mostly known for her beauty, wealth and perfect husband. But she's distracted and is hiding an awful secret she tries very hard to conceal from everyone--even her friends.

When something terrible happens during a Trivia Night, everyone's secrets start to unravel and will change everything forever...

Yikes! This book is so addictive. I was hooked right away and couldn't wait to get back to it every time I put it down. It's such a twisted, messed up, sad, intriguing and even funny story. There's a bit of everything, but at its core this book is about the strong friendship these three women share. No matter what separate problems they each face, their loyalty to each other is fierce. And I loved that!

There are so many issues dealt with: marriage, ex-spouses, abuse, secrets, competitive parents, social expectations, the strain of children... I could list so much more. But I won't. I'm just going to say that I really loved this book and couldn't help but chuckle when I recognised some of the ridiculous shenanigans many of the parents engaged in.

I kept thinking back to when our daughter started kindy and we saw/heard some really questionable shit going on with the parents. LMAO.

Oh, and one other thing, I loved the location.

Can't wait to watch the show.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Back To Words


It's been a while since I posted an update about my short story goals, so I thought that posting a little something the week I got back into the swing of things might be a good idea.

BTW, this is my daughter's first week of school holidays, so of course my muse decided it was time to tell the story that's been bubbling inside my head. LOL.

The timing might be a bit out, but when a story is this ready to be told, it's not a good idea to turn away from it. Especially since I didn't write a story in March because the short story I started became a novel-sized idea.

Anyway, I only had two writing/reading things on this week's to-do list:
  • Write first draft of YA urban legend short story idea
  • Read WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

And this is what I actually did:
  • Wrote YA urban legend short story first draft (9,042w)
  • Subbed the story I finished in January
  • Revised the YA short story I wrote this week (10,387w)
  • Finished reading WHITE TRASH ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

It might not look like much, but I'm quite happy with the progress. Especially since this was really a 4-day week. :D

Subbing the story I wrote in January to a professional short story market is a total longshot, but you gotta be in it to win it. Right? It's definitely worth a try. *fingers crossed*

Next week, I'd like to proofread and finish revising the YA short story I wrote this week because I have an anthology I'd like to sub it to... Ideally, if I can get that done by the end of next week, that would be super cool.

Well, that's it for this update.

Enjoy your weekend!

 
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