In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks by Adam Carolla

After reading President Me, I vowed to hunt down more of Adam Carolla’s books and to purchase some Mangria. It seems that no liquor store in the state of Pennsylvania carries Carolla’s booze, but fortunately, his books are easy to come by. In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks is certainly not a masterful piece of literature, but it is an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon.

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The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Fever is a mediocre novel that doesn’t quite live up to its Amazon reviews. Abbott is clearly retelling the Salem Witch Trials, but her blatant emulation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and of the historical event itself falls way short of its source material. Continue reading…

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay is the latest in Young Adult trilogies to be made into film franchises. At least I’m assuming that’s the plan, as the first installment is slated to hit theaters Friday. Unlike its more supernatural counterparts, Gayle Forman’s novel lacks any mythological creatures, but never fear:she more than overcompensates for it with an obscenely sappy depiction of teenage existence. Continue reading…

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I never pegged myself as a fan of Young Adult fiction, but I am coming to learn that I just have a distaste for Young Adult fiction that incorporates supernatural elements. I loathed Twilight, but I loved The Fault in Our StarsThe Tiger’s Curse was a painful, painful experience, but The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was truly delightful. Delightful feels like the wrong word to use here, because the story is something of an emotional roller coaster. Nevertheless, it is well-written with an unforgettable narrator, and for that reason, it’s something that young adults should be reading. Continue reading…

President Me: The America That’s in My Head by Adam Carolla

In President Me: The America That’s in My Head, Adam Carolla offers a plethora of solutions to the problems that plague our country, while shamelessly plugging his new alcoholic beverage, Mangria. By the end of the book, not only was I left with a desire to buy all of Carolla’s other books, but also a strong need to purchase a jug of Mangria. Continue reading…

The Never List by Koethi Zan

After surviving a car crash together, eighteen-year-old Sarah and her best friend Jennifer are grasping for control of their world. The girls compose a list of things that they should never do in order to keep them safe from any additional harm. The list contains such warnings as “Never be stranded,” “Never act impulsively in an emergency situation,” and “Never get in the car.” By the time the girls start college, however, they start to ease up a bit, and they do “get in the car.” Thus begins a tortuous three year ordeal in which the girls are kept chained in a psycho’s basement with two other young women. Continue reading…

Good Morning, Mr. Mandela by Zelda la Grange

I never knew very much about Nelson Mandela; I mean, I never mixed him up with Morgan Freeman or anything, but my knowledge level was comparably dismal. Good Morning, Mr. Mandela brought me up to speed, although Zelda la Grange’s perspective is biased, to say the least. After working with Mandela for twenty years, la Grange addressed Mandela as “khulu,” or “grandpa.” Despite her simplistic and repetitive writing style, la Grange’s memoir is heartfelt and her affection for this man is clearly genuine. Continue reading…

Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver

Never Coming Back is the American debut of British author Tim Weaver. Weaver’s protagonist, David Raker, is a missing persons investigator with a sorted past. What kind of sorted past, you ask? I would love to tell you, but I don’t know. While this is Weaver’s first American novel, there are three other David Raker books that have been published in England. Raker’s background is not vital to understanding the plot of Never Coming Back, but it didn’t get us off to a very good start. Continue reading…

James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney

This is not my type of book. I rarely read biographies and I don’t read books about American history. I’ve never been particularly interested in the genesis of the United States, thus I know embarrassingly little about our country. Prior to reading this book, I wasn’t even positive that James Madison was a president; therefore, I’m not sure if Cheney presents any new information here, as it is all new to me. Although political biographies are not my forte, I can say that this one has been painstakingly researched, and that Lynne Cheney knows her shit. Continue reading…

Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and her partner DS Noah Jake are conveniently at a women’s shelter when a resident attempts to murder her husband. Despite the plethora of witnesses, however, this case is not as clear-cut as it seems. Being a crime novel, Someone Else’s Skin takes readers through a variety of twists and turns, but the end result is ultimately lackluster. Continue reading…