Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Cheese Stealer's Handbook

***I was offered a free ebook copy of The Cheese Stealer's Handbook by Shoshaku Jushaku by the author in exchange for my honest review***

I have no idea what I just read. Was it autobiographical? I can't tell if this book is one long drug induced ramble or if the author is just brilliant. Did these things really happen? Right from the start I wanted to wring the main character's neck. He is such an irresponsible jerk! The entire time I was reading this book I was thinking to myself, how can anyone tolerate this person. Why can't he just get something right. Why can't he just make one good decision? Apparently 'Shoshaku Jushaku' means 'one continuous mistake', so I get it. Very clever.

There are some parts of this story that are quite funny, and the story itself is very well written. Any book that is capable of invoking such strong feelings of like or dislike towards the characters in my view is a win. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Prediction

**I was given a free ebook copy of The Prediction by the author Darren Sugrue in exchange for my honest review**

What if you could predict the date of someone's death?  What if that someone was a person you loved?  Would you try to stop it from happening? 

This is the dilemma that Daniel Gellar faces.  For his doctoral thesis, he created a mathematical formula that can tell what date a person will die on.  When he went to defend his thesis, it got rejected and he was forced to leave college and abandon his dreams. 

Twelve years later, one of the panel professors who had helped get him thrown out of college finds Daniel to tell him that one of the people he had performed his calculation on died...on the exact date Daniel had predicted.  He had also performed the calculation on his college girlfriend, and her time is coming near.  Can Daniel use this knowledge to save her?  Or should he let fate decide and use it as a case to prove his thesis once and for all?

This story had me gripped right from page one.  It was full of suspense and kept me guessing.  Sugrue does an outstanding job of reeling you into the lives of his characters.  I found myself rooting for Daniel, sharing the pain of Claire and John, and wanting to save Grace.  I am excited to see what else this author has in store.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dream Student

I was offered a free ebook copy of Dream Student (Dreams #1) by J.J. DiBenedetto after I had entered a giveaway for the book and didn't win.  It took me a few weeks to get around to reading it, but now that I finally have, here is my review.

Sara is a typical pre-med student, trying to balance studying, dorm life, having fun, and suffering through the most unimaginable nightmares.  At first the dreams don't seem so bad, she sees a boy that she feels an intense connection with.  They later meet at a club and it is insta-love.  But she keeps having these recurring nightmares of a man brutally murdering young girls and dumping the bodies.  She wakes up screaming and crying.  It isn't until she sees an article in the paper with the girl's picture that she realizes that her nightmares are really happening.  She is viewing someone else's dreams while she is asleep.  Sara and her friends must work together to stop the murderer before he claims his next victim.

The concept for this story is nice and interesting.  It is a cool idea that you could be a crime fighting dreamer.  I think that the author could have done a lot more with it than he did.  At one point Sara visits the sleep lab on campus and they run tests, telling her that the results don't make sense.  They hook her up to all of the probes and scanners while she sleeps, and as soon as her nightmares begin according to the tests it is like she became an entirely different person.  As soon as Sara leaves the sleep lab, there is no follow up with that.  I would think that the professors took an interest in the test results and would want to investigate more, but they don't.

Also, there is a lot of content in the book that is unnecessary and boring.  It is frequently mentioning class schedules, and minute details about how the characters are spending their days.  A lot of this could have been eliminated with absolutely zero impact to the story.  If the author had worked a little bit more on character development and a little bit less on minute details about the characters' class schedules and studying the book would have been more interesting.  As it was, it was still an interesting read, the story had a nice flow, and the pace picked up quite a bit near the end.  I'd be interested in seeing what the author did with the story line in the other books of this series.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Supermarket Guy 3: Supermarket Dominium

I received a free copy of The Supermarket Guy 3: Supermarket Dominium by Daren Doucet as part of the Goodreads first-reads giveaways.  Here is my honest review.

Acadou is a former supermarket giant serving a prison term for some crime or other that I assume he committed in either Supermarket Guy 1 or 2.  He's a large, muscular man running a crime empire from behind bars.  His foster son, Edmund, is running their supermarket empire and also secretly developping a mind control drug that is to be distributed en masse via the delicious Edmundo cola.  Anyone who drinks the cola will love Edmund and set our to destroy and throw rocks at Harold, who is owner of their rival supermarket chain.  Acadou has a religious conversion right before Edmund breaks him out of prison, and with his newfound faith cannot go along with Edmund's devious plans.  Acadou must team up with Harold, who is also a large, muscular idiot, in order to stop Edmund from controlling the world and causing a nuclear war.

The author prefaces this book to give warning that it is very tongue in cheek and humorous.  Which it certainly is.  It is amusing, but not funny.  The story reads much like an outrageous cartoon where improbable things are constantly happening and the scene is changing so frequently that you feel like it is giving you ADD.  The plot was OK, not spectacular, but not bad either.  Some things about the characters may have been easier for me to understand if I had also read the first two books in the series, but I don't feel as though I missed much.

My one major criticism for this book was the editing.  There are quite a few mistakes that were missed.  Also,  when the scene changes, there is no separation on the page.  You end up reading another few paragraphs before you realize that it is talking about a different group of people in a different place!  Overall this book delivered on the promise of humour and entertainment.