Friday, December 11, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) By Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: March 25th, 2015
Format: Audiobook narrated by Kristen Bell
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads  Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.
OMG! I did not know that this book existed until the overdrive app suggested it to me. I was so excited to find out that there were Veronica Mars novels. I decided to listen to the first one, and I was a little nervous about who would do that narration, but they got Veronica herself Kristen Bell to read it and it made the audiobook so awesome! I loved this series when I was a kid, so my review might be a tiny bit bias.

This book had everything that I loved about the show: mystery, intrigue and Veronica's sarcasm. I missed that girl so much. Veronica is a baller that always get the job done, which is what I always liked about her. She also has a lot of help, and sometimes she forgets that she can't do everything by herself, which I think we see a lot of that in this novel. She definitely has a knack for getting herself into dangerous situations. 

I felt like I could really relate to this novel more than the YA novels I've been reading because Veronica is way closer to my age. So I kind felt like I was in the same position career wise. Although she seems to have her life figured out way more than I do. It was definitely a nice change of pace from what I've been reading lately. 

This book just had everything I wanted out of it, and because Kristen Bell was doing the narration, it was almost like I could picture this episode in my head. I'm really excited for the second book to come out, because I'm definitely going to read more if they make this a full book series. 

If you're not familiar with the tv series, or you didn't see the movie, this book might be hard to follow. I think you would still get what is going on but a lot of the references might not make sense to you. The book follows a few months away the events of the movie, so if you do plan the watch that I would recommend doing that before reading this.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You

Me Being Me is Exactly As Insane as You Being You By Todd Hasak-Lowy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Format: Hardback, 656 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!

Darren hasn't had an easy year.

There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.

Then one Thursday morning Darren's dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.

Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy's debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:

1. painful
2. unavoidable
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.

This was a book club read, and I think the only reason that this was picked was because of the interesting way it was written. I will give it credit for finding a way to write a book in a series of lists, but this one just wasn't for me. I actually think if I could be a person that doesn't force themselves to finish things, I would have DNF this one, but I didn't because it was for book club. I am glad the rest of the group also didn't like this book either, so at least I was not alone in my thoughts. 

One of my issues with this novel was that some of the lists were just so boring. I did not give a F-- about who sat in Jazz band, or the four streets he saw on his way someplace, etc. I thought this was useless information that did nothing to move the plot along. Honestly, was there a plot? Because it didn't seem like there was much of resolution at the end of this book. I honestly think that this book could have been cut in half. Although, some of the lists were only half a page, I still think this book was way too long and had too much filler.

I think my biggest issue with this novel was that I felt like Darren wasn't true to how teenagers act and think. I had a hard time relating to him, and I initially thought it was because my parents aren't divorced and because I might be too old for YA. The girls in my book club (who are still teenagers) told me they couldn't relate to him either, because he didn't feel like a teenage from the current era. I felt like Darren was really homophobic and I think it was the biggest issue I had with this book. It just didn't fit with the time period of this novel. If this was set in the '80s or '90s, maybe I could have been more behind it, but I feel like the current generation is really tolerant that his viewpoint didn't fit with the modern setting. 

For the most part while reading this novel I just wanted Darren to get over things. Get over his issues with his parents' divorce, over his dad's revelation, and over this mysterious girl Zooey. I felt like Zooey was just throw in there as another "manic pixie dream girl" and I've read that story so many times that I just didn't care. Darren was actually kind of a jerk to everyone that I didn't really care at the end of story, but I did want some sort of resolution, but I feel like nothing happened! It made me so mad! 

This is one of those rare books I would strongly NOT recommend to my readers. For me the only thing that it had going for it was the different format, and I don't think that's a compelling reason itself to read this one. 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Deanna Listens: The Indoor Kids

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I am talking about The Indoor Kids.

The Indoor Kids is a video game podcast that is run by comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his equally talented wife Emily V Gordon. I really like Kumail's comedy so it was the first reason why I was interested in listening to this podcast. Since I started getting more into gaming, it's also been a good reference for me and has helped me discover new games that I might be interested in.

Unfortunately they are on hiatus right now, but I have a ton of old episodes backed logged on my stitcher app, and I have been listening to these two non-stop. I find Emily's career path so interesting, and had I not listened to this podcast I probably wouldn't have know about her past career as a therapist or that she has a book out now. I'm actually really interested in reading that, and getting her outlook on life.

I don't think this podcast is for you if you don't game, but I really recommend it if you are a new gamer and don't really know what games you are interested in. They don't just talk about gaming, but the bulk of their episodes do hinge upon it. 

Here are a few of my favorite episodes that I have listened to so far:
I'm sure there are way more old ones that I couldn't find to link to, but these are a few episodes that I absolutely adored. I actually think this is one of my favorite podcasts right now.

Got a podcast you think I would enjoy? Let me know and maybe it will be featured next month.

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2015

November Wrap-Up!

November was a pretty good month for me on the blog. I think it was actually the most posts I have written on here since August! And now I'm really behind on everything again. Gah! I have a few reviews that I need to get out of the way, but all in all I am really happy with my blogging this month. Not so much with my reading, so I really need to get caught up!

November was Sci-Fi month so I spent most of the month posting reviews and reading Sci-Fi books. I also hosted a giveaway. A winner has been chosen and emailed already, but since this was a quiz, I wanted to announce the answers to the questions here.

  1. Boy plays easter egg hunt in virtual reality to win power and fortune left in the game by its creator. READY PLAYER ONE
  2. Man finds out Earth is going to be destroyed to make way for a galactic freeway and is whisked away off the planet by his friend who is not who he says he is. High jinks ensue. HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
  3. Hyper intelligent man is sent to investigate highly top-secret scientific "Door " project only to find out that things and the scientists behind the door are are not exactly what they seem. THE FOLD
  4. Royal houses of large empire fight for ultimate power on desert planet. Young heir survives and becomes all knowing messiah to native people. DUNE
  5. Astronaut gets mistaken for dead and gets stranded on Mars. He uses intelligence and his dark humor to survive life on planet while hoping NASA figures out how to save him. THE MARTIAN
  6. Cyborg mechanic is mistreated by stepmother and treated as a slave, until she figures out that her story is more complex than she ever could imagine. CINDER 
  7. Girl and robot in disguise play music in orchestra together and fall in love during a bitter war between human and artificial life. Discovery of a virus created to destroy robots ends in a huge plot twist. I HEART ROBOT
  8. Hyper intelligent young boy is sent to school to train kids to play a "game" against invading "bugs". But is it really just a game? ENDER'S GAME
  9. Multiple perspective book about alien invasion and how the different waves take down the humans in a very perverse but evil genius way. Not everyone is who they say they are. THE 5TH WAVE
  10. Futuristic society is which everyone is deemed "ugly" until they are 16 when they get the operation to turn them "pretty". Uglies
Everyone did pretty well, but only one person got the question to #7. This was a little book from Month9 books, so it may have missed you guys. Although, I did review it on my blog last year, so that would have been a huge hint.



What books did you read this month?

Happy Reads Everyone!