Tag Archives: 2 stars

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Title: Kidnapped

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Genre: Classics

Pages: 218

Rating:   2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Classics — International; Mount TBR; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: I own it

The young orphan David Balfour is sent to live with his Uncle Ebenezer. When he discovers that he may be the rightful heir to his uncle’s estate, he finds himself kidnapped and cast away on a desert isle. A historical adventure novel originally intended for a young-adult audience, Kidnapped deals with true historical events relating to the Jacobite Rising, and has won the admiration of an adult audience.

This may be considered a classic, but I just didn’t love it.  I couldn’t really get into the adventures.  I didn’t feel anything for David.  I thought he was naive and silly at many times in the books.  Not that I wanted Uncle Ebenezer to win, but David just wasn’t the easiest hero to like.  Overall I thought the writing was stilted and pretty dry.  Maybe it’s the time period.  I just am not a fan of Stevenson’s writing at all.  Not my cup of tea.

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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Book Reviews


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Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

Title: Flower Fables

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Genre: Classic fairy tales

Pages: 140

Rating:    2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling Tales; Mount TBR; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: I own it!

Flower Fables is a treasury of six different stories penned by Louisa May Alcott. These old-fashioned fairy tales have been compiled and edited by Daniel Shealy, who has done editing on several Alcott books. The text is very readable, and has magic flavor added via the font’s joining together of several letters. Today’s children, like many children of the past, will enjoy meeting Alcott’s fairies, sentient flowers, and other real and imagined characters. Illustrator Leah Palmer Preiss has filled the book with delightful and interesting fairies and other creatures. The illustrations are bright and full. Readers may want to watch for the bonuses of quotations and tiny portraits of those who influenced Louisa May Alcott. This book would make a good bedtime storybook, and like many tales of old, has good morals that children could take away with them perhaps without even realizing there was a lesson involved. The afterword is also interesting as it shares interesting details about Miss Alcott. For example, she wrote these tales when she was 16. Another bonus at the end of the book is the biographies that go along with the quotations and miniature portraits. — FromIndependent Publisher –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Bored.  That’s my initial thought after reading this volume.  I’m bored.  These tales just aren’t interesting or exciting to me.  I don’t want to read anymore.  And I love old fairy tale stories.  These just lacked any oomph.  That’s all.  Boring.

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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Book Reviews


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Haunts of San Jose by David Lee

Title: Haunts of San Jose

Author: David Lee

Publisher: Schiffer Books 2008

Genre: Nonfiction – Ghost stories

Pages: 176

Rating:   2/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Dewey — 100s

How I Got It: Library Loan

More than a million people live in the city of San Jose, and its ghosts reside right alongside the population. These contemporary stories are the result of an extensive quest for ghostly phenomena taking place from one end of the city to the other. Whether it’s a haunted house on Stockton Avenue, the ghost begging for a police officer to find his murderer outside the Japanese Tea Garden, or the ghost in overalls and a cowboy hat at Tres Gringos, on Second Street, the haunts of San Jose will make you shiver as you walk the streets! Now you, too, can visit with these spirits, at your own risk!

Okay, I’ll admit to loving a good ghost story every once in awhile.  I love picking up the Haunts of ___ ___  books on places I’ve lived or visit.  Yet, this volume was just disappointing.  While the actual meat of some of the stories were interesting, the writing and research left much to be desired.  It felt more like someone’s short hand notes than a book.  Plus, some of the interviews and stories were very thin…  Glad I got this from the library and didn’t actually buy it.

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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Book Reviews


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12th Night and Carole’s Christmas by Anne Glynn (mini reviews)

Title: 12th Night and Carole’s Christmas

Author: Anthology and Anne Glynn

Genre: Erotica

Pages: 227; 42

Rating:  2/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Romance; Mount TBR

How I Got It: free iBook download

Two short reviews for two short reads.  The first, 12th Night, was an anthology of 12 holiday themed erotic stories.  Some were okay, but a few were truly horrid.  And the other novella, Carole’s Christmas, was a pretty tepid retelling of A Christmas Story.  But in this time the ghosts are sexual encounters of Carole’s past, present, and future boyfriends.  It felt very use and throw away to me.  And none of the guys were attractive in any sense.  I grabbed these two free iBook downloads as quick bedtime reads.  I’ve found that short stories or novellas are the way to go before bed.  However, both of my picks were dull.  I wasn’t turned on by either of them.  The submission was too much.  The graphic sex with no set-up was too much.  The lackluster men were too much.  The weak, sex-focused women were too much.  I really need to get back to reading historical romances.  At least with those I get a story, however contrived and silly.  It’s still a story.

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Book Reviews


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Adrianna’s Fairy Tales by Adrianna White

Title: Adrianna’s Fairy Tales

Author: Adrianna White

Publisher: 2011

Genre: Erotic fairy tales (I’m calling this a genre)

Pages: 147

Rating: 2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Telling tales; Mount TBR

How I Got It: Free ebook from iBook store

Adrianna’s collection of novellas take the classic story of fairy tales that we’re all accustomed to and throws it out the window in an erotic retelling of our beloved princes and princesses. The characters are hot and the action is steamy, these stories will titillate both the mind and the nether regions. Be warned, these stories rarely end as we would hope.

I downloaded the free iBook version complete with all three tales. I sped through these stories, but overall was really disappointed.

1. Naughty Cinderella: So Cinderella is a prostitute.  I can deal with that.  It makes sense. But the Prince is such a white knight on a horse that he’s boring.  And the most graphic sex scene is one of her clients.  Not very sexy at all.

2. Riding Red Hood: I was confused through most of this story.  Was Red a werewolf?  Was the Big Bad Wolf really a werewolf?  What about Red’s fiance Fredrick?  It felt like an abusive relationship to me.  Not sexy at all.

3. Beauty and the Beast with Two Backs: Ugh!  I’ve always issues with Beauty and the Beast storylines (see my review of Beastly and Beauty).  This one really just intertwined Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty and it just didn’t work.  And none of the sex scenes were sexy.  They just made me uncomfortable.

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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Book Reviews


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This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: This World We Live In (The Last Survivors #3)

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publisher: Harcourt 2010

Genre: YA dystopian

Pages: 239

Rating:  2  / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; Fantasy

How I Got It: borrowed from library

It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. For Miranda Evans, life as she knew it no longer exists. Her friends and neighbors are dead, the landscape is frozen, and food is increasingly scarce.

The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship.

I wanted to like this book.  I really did.  I mostly enjoyed the first two books.  But this one just completely threw me.  I understand the concept that after the upheaval caused by the moon, society would dramatically change.  However, I do not understand why everyone has to be either evil or whiny egotists.  All the whiny, the fighting, the little regard for each other got to me.  I really started to hate many of the characters.  First Syl (my least favorite of the characters), then Matt (for his treatment of family after Syl comes along), then Lisa (she was always a bit selfish, even more now), then Laura (agoraphobic, anyone?), then Miranda (she was always whiny), and finally Alex (his self-righteous “God will save us” act just pissed me off).  By the end of the book, I didn’t care of who lived.  I was just done with the series.  The only reason the book still earned 2 stars is because of the first two books.  I liked them (not loved, but liked) so I had to see the story to the author’s intended conclusion.  Definitely glad that I borrowed this one from the library.  I will be returning it ASAP to get something that I hope is better reading.

Last Survivors
1. Life as We Knew It 
2. The Dead and the Gone 
3. This World We Live In 


Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Book Reviews


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Once Bitten, Twice Dead by Bianca D’Arc

Title: Once Bitten, Twice Dead

Author: Bianca D’Arc

Publisher: Brava 2010

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Pages: 293

Rating: 2 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; May Read and Review; Zombies

So take a contemporary romance (complete with fairly graphic sex scenes) and combine it with a zombie action/adventure… interesting concept.  And yet, I felt this story was poorly executed.  I picked this up from the library thinking that a combo of romance and zombies would be fun.  Unfortunately I didn’t buy either aspect.

The love story was predictable.  The two main characters hop into a sexual relationship within the first two days of meeting each other.  The characters separately were okay, but nothing so great.  Why is it that every woman in this romance books has had a bad relationship that causes her to hesitate (for a fraction of a second, but in her mind the entire book) getting involved with the male character?  Can we have any other type of female character, please?  And I am so sick of these books ending with the characters telling each other “I love you” and more often than that becoming engaged and/or getting married.  I would like to read a more complicated (and real) relationship.  I want to see two people actually get to know each other.  This is why I love Jane Austen.  Her romances (even being set in the early 1800s) feel more like real relationships than these modern romances.  I sometimes feel that these novels were written solely for the sex scenes.  Sort of like how many people watch porn just for the sex scenes and fast forward through anything that could be called plot.  Is it so hard to have a good story that happens to have a few good sex scenes?  Please someone give me some ideas…

As to the zombie storyline, I felt it was an afterthought.  It was like we needed something to get these two characters together, so how about a mad scientist letting zombies loose?  These zombies are supposedly a laboratory creation with the intent of creating an army.  How many times have I read that story?  Very rarely is it excuted well and that’s without a romance plot.  The mad scientist was predictable. The zombie attacks were predictable.  The suspense was nonexisant.  I like my zombie books to be truly disturbng (see Autumn) or lots of fun (see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies trilogy).  Zombies as an afterthought better be prefaced by a great storyline and characters.

This book just didn’t catch me at all.  I was bored halfway through, but skimmed through the rest for the action/zombie scenes hoping that somethng would get better.  Nope, pretty disappointing.  Once finishing, I found out that the books is part of a trilogy.  I had picked those up from the library to read, but think I’m going to skip them for something more interest.

If you want to read a good romance/zombie book, pick up Married with Zombies and Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen (1-2 of The Living Dead trilogy, 3rd comes out later this year).  David and Sarah are a great real couple who fight their way through the zombie apocaplypse.

Next up: The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Heard great things about this zombie young adult novel, so I bumped it up my reading list.

Guardians of the Dark
1. Half Past Dead (with Zoë Archer)
2. Once Bitten, Twice Dead
3. A Darker Shade of Dead
4. Smoke On The Water in The Beast Within
5. Dead Alert


Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Book Reviews


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