Tag Archives: Humor

Undead Girl Gang – Lily Anderson

Undead Girl Gang – Lily AndersonTitle: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Publishing Info: May 8, 2018 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Zombies
Date Completed: April 24, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There's not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley's favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone's explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer...before the killer strikes again.

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This book was a lot of fun! Ever since I finished UNDEAD GIRL GANG, I’ve been thinking about how much I enjoyed this book. This is exactly the kind of book I was looking for and always have a craving for! I really enjoy dark comedy and campy-type books and UNDEAD GIRL GANG had all that and more.

I really loved Mila as the main character in this book. She was just a real person, from not hiding her witchy ways to having a normal plus-sized body to her family interactions to her on-and-off interactions with the popular girls. Everything about her was enjoyable and relatable and I loved her as the book’s heroine. It was great to see a mystery added in the book too. It really carried the paranormal plot when the recently dead girls accidentally get brought back to life and gave them a purpose and a timeline.

I also really liked Mila’s friendship with Riley. It’s easy to idolize the good things about someone when they’re gone and on the flip side, it was great to see how much her friendship changed after Riley’s… change. I just really appreciated seeing all of the different sides of friendship and how it’s not always perfect.

I really enjoyed the story-telling style, looooved the sarcasm and humor, and it was an overall fun feel with the witchy/paranormal aspects. There was even a good twist that I didn’t see coming! Books like this are just so much fun to read and always something I enjoy — campy, funny, sarcastic, but still with great style, flare, and characters. I’d definitely recommend this one, for fans of KILL THE BOY BAND (but with a paranormal twist) and How to Hang a Witch (with even a bit more sass)!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Dark humor. Give me alllllll the dark humor books! Tell me more! I want more!!!
Left Me Wanting More: Pages! I just had so much fun reading this. There really wasn’t anything I was missing!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you love some good sarcasm, dark humor, paranormal elements, and a great book about friendship topped off with positivity towards being yourself, this is a great book to pick up!

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BOOKS LIKE UNDEAD GIRL GANG

              

Beauty Queens – Libba Bray

Beauty Queens – Libba BrayTitle: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Publishing Info: May 24, 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
Source: Audiobook borrowed from library
Genres: Contemporary, Satire, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: July 17, 2013

    The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
     What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

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BEAUTY QUEENS is a hilarious jab at — well, I guess American society in general. Beauty pageants, yes, but also commercialism, stereotypical ideas of beauty, government, and so much more. Satirical is really the best way to describe it and there were plenty of laugh out loud moments, though at times (as satire tends to do), I felt like things went a bit over the top and I do have a tendency to reach a point where I feel like it’s overkill and then I end up rolling my eyes, and I won’t lie — BEAUTY QUEENS had several moments like that as well.

Let’s start with the characters — at first I though that Adina was our main character because the story started with her vantage point, but really the book covers the POVs of several (and I mean several) of the key beauty queens along with some members of the Corporation. At first I thought I would be confused with so many different perspectives, but the girls’ personalities really stood out on their own, especially having read this book on audio (which I’ll get into later). The girls are so much more than beauty queens and we really get to know each one of them individually. I actually came to appreciate and care about many of their stories, but there did come a point where I felt like the book should have focused on a few less to not spread the readers so thin.

I actually really enjoyed the storyline with these pampered and over-the-top girly girls having to figure out how to survive on this (seemingly) deserted island. Some flounder and some let their leadership take control and after many trials and tribulations, the girls finally figure out how to not only survive but to get along and make true friendships. There is a lot of social commentary and insinuations about how girls are expected to act and how some of those expectations are completely unrealistic and demeaning. I’m not a feminist by any stretch, but I think there’s something to be appreciated from what these girls learn — not only in the way of how they’re perceived as “respectable women” but just allowing themselves to be who they are and act how they really want.  The girls just learn a lot about themselves as individuals and they really learn to be comfortable with who they are and what they really want out of life.

What I wasn’t quite a fan of in the book was basically everything to do with MoMo B. ChaCha (which I had to look up how to spell since I read the audio haha). I just found his whole character and everything to do with it entirely too ridiculous, past the point of satire and social commentary and hilarity. I was just annoyed and those parts of the audio definitely dragged because I was also tired of listening to him. Some of the ways the plot resolved were just a bit too contrived for me and things got too silly for my tastes. Things all wrapped up well in the end, but I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary moments and dialogue and backstories that really just made the book feel a bit too long. Especially listening to the audio… I was enjoying the book but it felt LONG. I was about 75% of the way through and I felt like it had just been dragging.

I think BEAUTY QUEENS is a different type of humor that I haven’t seen a lot of in YA. It was definitely enjoyable, but I think for my tastes it was maybe a bit too much to spend a whole 14 and a half hours with (400 pages if you’re reading it). I really think that’s a personal taste though, as I know many people really appreciated and loved the book! I’m interested in reading more of Libba Bray because she definitely knows how to write her stuff and I’d really be interested in reading something more serious from her.

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Libba Bray narrated BEAUTY QUEENS herself and she is a damn good narrator! She had so many different voices which really was necessary considering how many characters she had to portray differently. Her different accents for all of the beauty queens were great (although Miss Nebraska sounded a little too Northern MN/WI/Canadian… does Nebraska really sound like that? I assumed they’d sound midwestern). Her non-American accents… Not as convincing to be realistic, but still better than I could do! The “commercial breaks” had music and everything so that was really entertaining! It was almost like listening to a real radio commercial so that was pretty neat. Overall, the book was just LONG on audio — I’m not sure how it comes off actually reading it — but I hadn’t listened to a long audiobook before so it just felt like it kind of dragged on!

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Adina Greenburg // Character Obsessions: Journalism, getting the story, standing up for herself.
Adina always felt like the main character for me since hers was the first POV we got, but really she was one of the many main characters. I really liked her attitude because she didn’t take any crap from anyone… Mostly because she didn’t care! I think she was the easiest character for me to like because she was all sass in a group of girls that were supposed to be all manners.
Mary Lou Novak // Character Obsessions: Her inner “wild girl”, vegetarianism, Tane.
Mary Lou was another of my favorite characters. I just liked how genuine she was and her respect for each and every girl. She was one of the most guarded of of the girls and she really learned how to be comfortable with who she was by the end of the book.
MoMo B. ChaCha // Character Obsessions: Elvis, Ladybird Hope, General Goodtimes.
No. Just no. He bothered the crap out of me. Granted, I think he’s supposed to… But still. Ew.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Satire. There were so many good things about the humor and the social commentary of this book! I definitely laughed out loud several times while listening to this audio!
Left Me Wanting More: Legitimacy. I get that this is a humorous book, but there were times when it just got TOO silly for me and it really took away from how much I was liking the book and the situations the characters found themselves in. This could have easily been a bit more legit and a little less “out there” and I would have appreciated it a lot more.

Addiction Rating
BORROW IT.

I went back and forth between really enjoying this book and just… liking it. In the end, I don’t think I would end up buying it to keep for my personal book collection. This would be a good one to borrow from a friend or the library to see how you feel about it and then purchase if you end up loving it!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE BEAUTY QUEENS

        Torched      An Abundance of Katherines

30 Days of Books: Day 16 & 17

Okay, bloggers. I was just going to do three days in one tomorrow, but let’s face it… I can’t NOT blog all weekend! So I’m smacking days 16 and 17 together tonight and more goodies to follow tomorrow.

30 Days of Books: Day #16

Your “comfort” book.

I guess I’d consider a comfort book a book that I can go back to and read over and over again, still getting all those warm fuzzies and getting a nice feeling of contentment during and after reading. So in that case, the only things I can come up with are the usual suspects: Good old Harry Potter and Stephanie Plum.

I’d actually say HP even more so because I’ve actually lost track of how many times I read the series and now that there are movies, it’s even easier to enjoy. In fact, for part of Father’s Day today, we watched HP & the Chamber of Secrets from the HP box set that we bought my dad for this past Christmas. How much more comforting can you get!?

30 Days of Books: Day #17

The most hilarious book you’ve read.

Oooh that’s a tricky one. Of course we’ve got good old stand-by Stephanie Plum for this one too, but I’ll throw two more out there that I literally laughed out loud for:

1. The Spellman Series by Lisa Lutz: First book being The Spellman Files – A family business of private investigators that can’t even quit the habit long enough to stop spying on each other. Throw in a sarcastic and former-delinquent (well, mostly former) narrator and an usual style of writing and I was laughing the whole way.

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – This really was every bit as good as the movie, and maybe even better. When I finished my review for this book not too long ago, I mentioned how I was so glad that Goldman is actually credited for the screen play on IMDb.com, so I can only assume that meant he actually wrote it. There were direct lines from the book into the movie which are actually some of my favorite quotes so I was glad they were so similar! I loved all the humor from both.


Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) – Janet Evanovich

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) – Janet EvanovichTitle: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum #13) by Janet Evanovich
Publishing Info: June 19, 2007 by Macmillan
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 15, 2012
Related Posts: Plum Lucky (Stephanie Plum #13.5), Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14), , Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum #15), Mini-Reviews: The Audition, Plum Spooky | DNF Report: Tether, Plum Spooky (Stephanie Plum #14.5), Mini-Reviews: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16) & Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Mini-Reviews: Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19), Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Top-Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21), , Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), Curious Minds (Knight & Moon #1), Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum #23), Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum #16), Dangerous Minds (Knight & Moon #2), Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1), Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24), The Heist (Fox & O'Hare #1)

MISTAKE #1
Dickie Orr. Stephanie was married to him for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her with her arch-nemesis Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping to never see either one of them again.

MISTAKE #2
Doing favors for super bounty hunter Carlos Manoso (a.k.a. Ranger). Ranger needs her to meet with Dickie and find out if he's doing something shady. Turns out, he is. Turns out, he's also back to doing Joyce Barnhardt. And it turns out Ranger's favors always come with a price...

MISTAKE #3
Going completely nutso while doing the favor for Ranger, and trying to apply bodily injury to Dickie in front of the entire office. Now Dickie has disappeared and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can Stephanie Plum stay one step ahead in this new, dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, NJ is also keeping Stephanie on her toes-and he may know more than he's saying about many things in Stephanie's life. It's a cat-and-mouse game for Stephanie Plum, where the ultimate prize might be her life.

Breaking It Down Further: To help Ranger on a mission, Stephanie agrees to plant a bug on her slime of an ex-husband Dickie Orr down at his law office. To no one’s surprise, Dickie gets under her skin and Steph goes postal on him. When Dickie turns up missing, apparently dragged from his now blood-stained home, guess who’s suspect #1 on everyone’s list… To clear her name, Stephanie begins investigating Dickie’s disappearance and as usual, gets herself into a little too much trouble when the henchmen see her as a threat to their secrecy. Prominently working with Ranger, Steph has to keep her hormones under control as well as keeping her cool through it all so she can finish the job and go back home to Morelli.

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Review: Oh Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie. I love your hijinks. It’s pretty much the same story as every other Plum-tale, but it never gets old and the more I read Stephanie Plum, the more I wish she were real. What a kick life would be with Stephanie Plum as a gal pal! Anyway, as usual, it was a nice mystery to unravel with some nice twists in the case of the MIA Dickie Orr. As usual, loved the Stephanie-Morelli-Ranger love triangle (or triangle-ish). And as usual, full of laughs!

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Hard to go wrong with these, so I really hope they stay strong! I’ve been a fan since the first book so I just hope they don’t get monotonous!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas AdamsTitle: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Publishing Info: December 18, 2007 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Bundles of Books
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 19, 2012

    Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
    Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years

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This was my attempt to venture slightly out into the world of sci-fi… I’m not a big science-fiction fan. I really appreciate and am interested in the conceptions behind the genre, but most of the hard-core science fiction books are usually just a little too out there for me, and I’m not a fan of stories based on aliens.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a little bit sci-fi, a LOT quirky, and extremely imaginative. I was very impressed with the creativity of Douglas Adams for all of his other worlds, different creatures, and strange technology out in the universe that lowly Earth has no idea about. I’m always fascinated with space and the universe because although I’m not a fan of alien stories, you’ve got to believe that something else is out there, even if we can’t reach it. Well, at least I do, to a certain extent.

Anyway, the creativity is astounding, so much so that it was over my head a lot of the time. This guy is either a genius or he’s totally nuts… Or maybe both. But in a way that it puts together such an enjoyable novel that I’m surprised I hadn’t read it sooner. I think it’s really enjoyable for everyone, as long as you can follow the zips through the universe that the story is taking you on. The second book is on my to-read list and I look forward to it!

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As a person who isn’t a fan of sci-fi, I’m a fan of this book. It’s mild enough and filled with comedy and satire so that the story itself isn’t overly intense since we’re dealing with such an intense think as exploring the rest of the universe. I’d definitely recommend trying it, even if you’re a little skeptical – I think it really might surprise those people who aren’t fans of science fiction or fantasy (think of it more as a comedy)!

If You Liked This, You Might Like…
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle — It’s another classic, but okay, so this one’s a children’s book. Want to know a secret? I never read this as a child. I read it just a couple months ago and still so enjoyable. Something that really transcends the generations. It’s another story about a simple earthling who gets whipped up into space, forced to make sense of everything in the different worlds in the universe. It doesn’t have the comedy like Hitchhiker’s does – more of a serious reflection on the galaxy and science. Very advanced thinking for a children’s book!
…OR…
The Time Machine by HG Wells — Again, doesn’t have the comedy tie-in, and although we never leave Earth on this one, still quite the creative process in creating another world simply with the advancement of time – Not to mention how wildly advanced this book was for its time. Just a quick read, but definitely worth the journey!