Friday, July 29, 2016

strictly literary: person of interest by emery harper

person of interest kicks off a new mystery series by emery harper. while the novel struggles with tone at first, partly reading like overcooked bukowski or chandler, until it settles down and finds the main character's voice. celeste eagan is a drama teacher at a texas prep school. her life changes when she discovers the principal of her school hanging above his desk in apparent suicide.

somehow celeste finds herself listed as a person of interest. needless to say she finds this upsetting and in order to help clear her name she begins a campaign of amateur sleuthing. it's hard to say whether her efforts help or hinder the investigation. but they do certainly put her in danger, and right into the path of the detective running the investigation, shaw muldoon. while celeste doesn't aspire to be watched by the police she can't help but enjoy the moments she gets to spend with muldoon. the chemistry between these two crackles. unfortunately it's just not done to become involved with the cop investigating your role in a possible murder. one can only hope this particular scenario won't be the set up in the next novel in the series, because while this forbidden lust thing is okay for a while, it will be incredibly boring to read book after book of these two characters fighting their attraction.

the secondary characters in the novel are also fun, celeste's best friend, levi; her ex-husband, colin, and his horrible girlfriend, naomi, who are kind of at fault for landing her in the middle of the case; kellen schaefer, a local reporter and the police chief's son, and annabelle, celeste's new boss. shaw also has a large family, including one brother, finn, who is described as just as good-looking and is also a cop. there is plenty of room for these characters and the world of peytonville, texas to grow.

the novel reminded me of the heather wells mysteries by meg cabot. so if you liked those, you will definitely like this. i actually had a hard time categorizing this one, more than anything it is a comedy-mystery, but that doesn't feel quite literary. however, while there are romantic aspects, this is definitely not a romance novel, and it doesn't fit under that category either.

**person of interest will publish on august 29, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/carina press in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

simply don't boo, vote

tonight's speech by obama was amazeballs awesome. actually all the speakers, from bloomberg to biden to kaine (who really hit his stride in the latter half of his speech and whose eyebrows i enjoy) knocked it out of the park.

there are so many reasons why this election is important. but (and this is kind of frightening) one of the best expressions of why it is so important belongs to our forefathers:

we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 
i honestly believe these rights are at risk if donald trump is elected president. i know that hillary clinton isn't the perfect candidate, but i also believe this is true:
you know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the oval office.  until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war.  but hillary’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions.  she knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran.  even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect.  and no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits. 
that’s the hillary i know.  that’s the hillary i've come to admire.  and that’s why i can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman--not me, not bill, nobody--more qualified than hillary clinton to serve as president of the united states of america.
it's okay if you don't agree with me. after all that's why this is a democracy. but when i think of the country i want for my kids, donald trump is not the man in charge. that makes things simpler for me come election day. i always vote my conscience, i hope you do too. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

simply keeping score

i usually avoid politics on principle. i have a deep-seated distrust of politicians and i think the us political system is all kinds of fucked up. but tonight, watching the roll call that led to the first female presidential candidate from one of our major political parties, i totally teared up. women won the universal right to vote in this country in 1920. it's been 96 years, and this is the first time there's a woman who can win this thing on the ballot. that's pretty amazing. i'm proud to be a woman today. there's real proof, we can do anything. we really can. 

here's another awesome lady saying awesome things. (doesn't everyone wish they were as awesome as michelle obama?)


and for extra proof of awesomeness here's her carpool karaoke:


Monday, July 25, 2016

seriously romantic: the tall, dark and texan series by kate meader

i think the series name is kind of stupid, especially since the titles are all about "the score", but i suppose the heroes are all texan, and honestly i have no idea if they are also tall and dark. those kind of character details are not what i consider necessary to plot so i rarely remember them.

anyway, the series kicks of with even the score, which i was the least excited about when i read the description, but actually i think it's the best of the series. hunter and tess have chemistry in spades. he blames her for his failed wedding, she has a fear of commitment, he needs a fake fiancée, she happens to be an actress. i enjoyed this because even though the characters have this history, they only know each other as by their preconceptions. and the novel shows how they realize how wrong they were about each other, and how perfect they are for one another. this was just truly enjoyable.

the next book in the series deals with brody and emma, hunter's business partner and their secretary. in taking the score emma finds herself in a financial hole due to family problems, so she takes a second job as a server at a strip joint. for #reasons brody ends up there on the very night she's been recruited to the stripper side of the employee line. brody goes all alpha-male and basically buys up all her time for a week and tries to force emma to tell him what's going on. for #reasons, she resists. honestly all the #reasons people did things in this story are kind of dumb, but at the same time i found brody and emma to be characters who were easy to like and root for. this is just one of those books where i liked the initial premise but i would have handled things differently if i had been the one calling the shots. sometimes that's how things work out.

the series ends with one week to score, which picks up their third business partner's (flynn) story and his romance with brody's sister (olivia). here again all the ingredients worked for me, it was just that i would have combined them a little differently. but again the characters are worth rooting for. this one in particular had what felt like an incredibly rushed ending. and i think it took too long to get the characters on the same page. unlike the characters in the first novel, flynn and olivia have a ton of history, and not all of it good. and it takes a long time for them to get past the apologies and explanations phase. but in the end, everyone gets a happy ending, and i got a good 6-9 hours of enjoyment in reading them.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

seriously romantic: triple score by regina kyle

i've read two of the other books in this harlequin blaze mini-series and liked them, so when i saw that triple score was being released i added it to my pre-order list. the mini-series covers the romantic entanglements of the nelson siblings. and this novel is about the youngest nelson, noelle, a prima ballerina at a new york city ballet company who is out in phoenix undergoing rehab for a torn acl. she's also recovering from a humiliating, messy break-up and terrified that the career she has dedicated her adult life to will be permanently derailed if things go poorly.

enter jace monroe [stage left], a bad boy baseball player who's ucl injury may mean his playing days are over. he pushes himself hard, but he never forgets to make time for fun. and he's the perfect person to counterbalance all of noelle's seriousness.

from the moment these two characters meet there are sparks flying, and luckily they don't deny the attraction that bubbles between them when they come close together for too long. for a category romance we do actually get a nice amount of time to see the deepening relationship between the characters before things get complicated. jace's personal and professional problems get out of hand and he doesn't handle it well. but he figures things out. it's not a spoiler to say that these two characters get a happy ending, in fact the series as a whole gets a nice bow-tie ending with the epilogue to this story.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

simply don't know how i missed this sad news

so i found out the other day that louise rennison of the georgia nicholson and tallulah casey books passed away earlier this year. and that makes me so sad. i'd been hoping for another tallulah book, especially since the last one, the taming of the tights, ended on a cliffhanger, sort of.  i mean, things were sort of tied up, but it was also clear that there was more story to be told. and now it never will be. although i'm sure people have written some decent fan fiction, but it's pretty hard to replicate rennison's style. so i don't know that i'd want to seek that out.

i loved rennison's books because they always, always made me laugh out loud. and not just like a giggle. full-on belly laughing so hard i'm crying laughter. one of my favorite moments in all her books, that still makes me laugh, is in angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging when georgia accidentally shaves off her eyebrows. i think it's because i recall using a razor to "pluck" my eyebrows when i was a kid, though i never actually caused any major damage. but i can see how you go from having eyebrows to not so easily. and the w
hole thing just strikes me so funny.

just see for yourself:

2:00 p.m.
Found the tweezers eventually. Why Mum would think I wouldn't find them in Dad's tie drawer I really don't know. I did find something very strange in the tire drawer as well as the tweezers. It was sort of an apron thing in a special box. I hope against hope that my dad is not a transvestite. It would be more than flesh and blood could stand if I had to "understand" his feminine side. And me and Mim and Libby have to watch while he clatters around in one of Mum's nighties and fluffy miles.....We'll probably have to start calling him Daphne. 
God, it's painful plucking. I'll have to have a little lie down. The pain is awful--it's made my eyes water like mad.

2:30 p.m.
I can't bear this. I've only taken about five hairs out and my eyes are swollen to twice their normal size.

4:00 p.m.
Cracked it. I'll use Dad's razor.

4:05 p.m.
Sharper than I thought. It's taken off a lot of hair just on one stroke. I'll have to even up the other one.

4:16 p.m.
Bugger it. It looks all right, I think, but I look very surprised in one eye. I'll have to even up the other one now.

6:00 p.m.
Mum nearly dropped Libby when she saw me. Her exact words were "What in the name of God have you done to yourself, you stupid girl?"
God I hate parents! Me stupid? They're so stupid. She wishes I was still Libby's age so she could dress me in ridiculous hats with earflaps and ducks on. God, God, God!!!

10:00 p.m.
Maybe, they'll grow back overnight. How long does it take for eyebrows to grow?

the first time i read this passage i was on a train in boston. i was crying because i was trying so hard to keep my composure. i was not successful. and i read this passage and remember that moment and it's just happiness.

which is why i'm sad that there will be no more comedy from louise rennison. she had a gift for the absurd.