Tuesday, October 03, 2017

media update: September

Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; double asterisks are reserved for the creme de la creme.  As always, your mileage may vary.


1. Eat Only When You're Hungry by Lindsay Hunter:  When his drug addicted son GJ goes missing, Greg embarks on a road trip to Florida in hopes of finding him.

2. Unraveling Oliver* by Liz Nugent:  "I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her."  Talk about a doozy of an opening line!  This riveting novel is about Oliver, the titular psychopath, and the victims he leaves in his wake.  Not a cheerful read by any stretch of the imagination, but an engrossing one.

3. Persons Unknown* by Susie Steiner:  Detective Manon Bradshaw begins working on a murder case that turns out to have major implications on her personal life.  It was really good, although I wish I had read the previous book (#5 below) first as I think some prior knowledge of the main character would have been helpful.

4. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller:  Sal is a genderfluid thief who finds out that the Queen is holding auditions for the newest member of her elite team of assassins.  Sal immediately signs up, but of course it's no walk in the park, and things are complicated even further when they fall in love with Elise, the woman assigned to tutor them.

Side note: in the book, Sal says that they want to be addressed by however they're dressed at the time (i.e. she/her if Sal is wearing a dress, him/he if they're wearing traditional men's clothing).  Since that's not really possible to do in a review, I chose "they" to refer to Sal.

5. Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner:  When a beautiful graduate student named Edith Hind disappears, it sets off a media frenzy, and police detective Manon Bradshaw must race against the clock to find Edith...preferably alive.  Not as good as #3.

6. Tower of Dawn* by Sarah J. Maas:  Sequel etc.

7. Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton:  When a tape depicting a sexual assault is stolen, the suspected thief is murdered.  Ten years later, one of the perpetrators has been released from prison, and a copy of the missing tape is sent to his parents, who contact private investigator Kinsey Millhone for help.

8. Class Mom by Laurie Gelman:  Jen Dixon is a reformed groupie who has two daughters (one of whom might be Michael Hutchence's kid) and a 5-year-old son named Max.  She reluctantly takes on the role of class mom for Max's kindergarten, but her particular style of handling things makes her plenty of enemies.  It's pretty funny, and I could see it making a decent airplane movie.  (Which sounds like an insult, but isn't; when I refer to an "airplane movie", I mean something that's light, doesn't require a big screen for special effects, and helps you pass an enjoyable couple of hours on a flight.)

9. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke:  Texas Ranger Daren Mathews gets tangled up in a murder investigation that could cause racial tensions to decimate a small town.

10. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake:  Sequel etc.

11. The Salt Line* by Holly Goddard Jones:  A lethal tick-borne virus leads to an extreme new form of tourism where the rich pay to tour what's left of nature, knowing full well it could lead to their deaths.  A group of tourists is kidnapped and taken to a camp outside the safe zone (aka the salt line), where the residents have special plans for them.  Really engrossing; if the movie rights haven't already been snapped up, then someone's sleeping on the job.

12. There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins:  A small Nebraska town is thrown into chaos when high school students start getting murdered in extraordinarily gruesome ways.

2017 TOTAL SO FAR: 81


1. My Fair Junkie* by Amy Dresner:  A memoir about the author's struggles with drugs, alcohol, and sex addiction.  She doesn't come across as particularly likeable or sympathetic, but I still found this book worth reading.

2017 TOTAL SO FAR:  26


1. My Love Story!!** vol. 13 by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko:  This is the final volume, which sucks as I love the characters so much.  It wrapped up beautifully, at least!

2. Food Wars! vol. 19 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

3. Kaze Hikaru vol. 25 by Taeko Watanabe

4. What Did You Eat Yesterday? vol. 12 by Fumi Yoshinaga

5. Citrus vol. 6 by Saburouta

6. Everyone's Getting Married vol. 6 by Izumi Miyazono

7. My Brother's Husband by Gengoroh Tagame:  If anyone googles the author's work after reading this, they're in for a surprise!  He usually does extremely graphic gay BDSM stuff.  But this is a sweet, PG-rated story about a single father in Japan who's shocked when his estranged brother's widow, a cheerful Canadian named Mike, shows up on his doorstep.

8. So Cute It Hurts!! vol. 14 by Go Ikeyamada

9. Sweetness & Lightning vol. 8 by Gido Amagakure

10. Spinning by Tillie Walden

11. The Walking Dead* vol. 28 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard

2017 TOTAL SO FAR:  36 volumes of manga and 11 graphic novels


1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:  Peter Quill, aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), has always wondered about his father, but when he finally meets him, it's not necessarily the reunion he was hoping for.  I dunno, man; it wasn't a bad movie, but I was pretty lukewarm about it and its predecessor, so maybe the Guardians just aren't my thing.

2. Wilson:  The title character (Woody Harrelson) is an irritating asshole who finds out that his ex didn't have an abortion like she claimed, but gave birth to a daughter she put up for adoption.  Based on the Daniel Clowes graphic novel.

3. Rough Night:  A bachelorette party goes very wrong when one of the attendees accidentally kills a male stripper, and the bride (Scarlett Johansson) and her friends must scramble to cover it up.  Imagine if 90s dark comedy Very Bad Things and a much less funny Bridesmaids had a baby that was then raised by Weekend at Bernie's.  I really wanted it to be better, because it was written by people who work on Broad City.  But the cast was great, and there were a few laughs to be had.  I actually found little moments here and there, like Kate McKinnon's panicked interaction with a pizza delivery guy, much funnier than the "big" scenes.

4. Alien: Covenant:  Man, this was so boring I don't even have anything to say about it.

5. King Arthur:  Guy Ritchie's take on the legend has plenty of style, but I felt absolutely no emotional attachment to the characters, which always makes it difficult to truly enjoy something.

6. Wonder Woman*:  After learning of a massive war from a pilot who crashes on her island, Diana leaves home to help out.  I was going to give this a double star until the last third, where it stumbled a bit, but it was still extremely enjoyable.  (Fingers crossed for an Etta Candy spinoff.)

2017 TOTAL SO FAR:  63