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Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

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 This is a book tour hosted by TLC Tours.

 To see upcoming reviews for Freud's Mistress, check out  the Tour Schedule.


 Summary on Goodreads.

For many, including myself, it is difficult to think of Freud as a romantic character. Thanks to preconceived views of Freud (maybe?), I couldn’t connect with the romantic side of this story.

Did Freud really have an affair with his wife’s sister? Historians neither confirm it or deny it.

I have to say that the way Freud’s Mistress is written make Mack and Kaufman literary geniuses. The writing really is brilliant, the flow is impeccable, and the narration hypnotic. Maybe too hypnotic because I couldn’t help falling asleep.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I really didn’t find anything wrong in the story; its execution is just perfect. It’s just that everytime I started reading the book my yes wouldn’t stay open. 

I have no particular interest in Freud’s life; I chose to read this book just because it is a book, and I read.

I think that my problem with the story was that I already knew where it was going (the affair), and I wasn’t interested enough in knowing how it got there because, despite the marvelous writing, there was no spark to keep me interested. 

Source: http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/09/freuds-mistress-by-karen-mack-and.html

Asher's Fault by Elizabeth Wheeler

 Sweet, realistic. It left me missing a kiss. I love that it didn't end  with the usual happy ending. 

 Asher is in that age where we experiment with our sexuality. If I  kissed a girl, does that make me a lesbian? 

 Asher wasn't the all-shy type that people could bully and take  advantage of, but he wasn't the star of the school either. 

 We know from the very summary that his brother, Travis, died.  Thus, I don't understand why some bloggers say that Asher  mentioning the death of his brother at the beginning ruined the plot.

Asher likes taking pictures, but Wheeler doesn't give us a lesson in photography here.

I am also very happy that the story doesn't have a happy ending! It doesn't have a sad ending either; just a realistic end. Period. And that is what I felt while reading this book, that it was very realistic.

At some point I felt it was dragging, but then it picked up again.

The plot: there really isn't a mystery to solve. That is, Asher wasn't chasing any secret or murder, but towards the end we (he) discovers something that makes sense for the entire story.

The story deals with guilt; yes, Asher feels guilty because his brother drowned. At first, I thought the entire story was going to be about this, you know, the whole "it's my fault. I should be the one who died..." But no, the book is not like that at all.

At the end, Asher discovers something that helps him with his guilty feelings, which makes me think that, when something happens, we only look at it from our side. However, there is always a string of events that lead to any happening, and this is brilliantly explored in Asher's Fault

Source: http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/09/ashers-fault-by-elizabeth-wheeler_24.html

Outpost (Razorland Series #2)

Outpost - Ann Aguirre I really enjoyed the first book, but by the time I got to this one, I couln't reconnect with the characters. I found the entire thing just boring; how they both came to live with adopted families, and how they didn't have a chance to talk anymore and blah blah blah.

Forty Days (Neima's Ark, #1)

Forty Days (Neima's Ark, #1) - Stephanie Parent I loved Neima’s story!After [b:The Sinners and the Sea The Untold Story of Noah's Wife|15770316|The Sinners and the Sea The Untold Story of Noah's Wife|Rebecca Kanner|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1343256577s/15770316.jpg|21477790] almost induced me to sin and kill myself, Forty Days seems to have restored the balance in the universe by telling a more likable story of Noah’s Ark and the flood.At the beginning of the book Parent explains a few facts about the flood, and why she chose to write the story the way she did. So read that first before contending anything on the story? Candidly told in Neima’s voice, I kind of felt as if I was waiting for the darn rain to fall myself. The story felt just a little rushed, though; but I think that it could be because Parent doesn’t dwell on the making of the ark. The ark is made quite fast with little chit-chat about it, and in they go!How must have it been for eight people living on a rustic ship for over a month? Yes, rustic, because the ark was no Carnival Cruise. And although the story is set B.C.E., I was glad to see that Neima was not damsel in distress.The romance is just lovable and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series, Forty Nights, which comes out this September.

Newes from the Dead

Newes from the Dead - Mary Hooper It is 1650s in England. A girl lies in a coffin, dead, after being hanged. Welcome to the story of Anne, a story that just happened to be based on real events. I am not going to tell you why Anne was hanged, you need to read the book to find out by yourself :-)After Anne was hanged, her body was to be dissected for medical studies. However, just when the first incision on Anne’s body is about to be made, Anne’s eyelids move… or so is though by everyone in the room. How could she not be dead after she was hanged? What follows is an intense and funny set of procedures to determine if, in fact, Anne’s body and soul are still on this world or the other.Oh! Newes from the dead is lovely! I enjoyed every single moment of the story. Granted, I was mad at Anne for believing her master but, it’s not much that she believed him but that she chose to do so.Back to the writing, Hooper hypnotized me with her style. It was never too much, or too little but just perfect.The ending: not a typical happy ending if you call it a happy ending at all. Since the story is based on the real life of Anne, it ended the way, I guess, it did centuries ago.

Shut Up, You're Welcome: Thoughts on Life, Death, and Other Inconveniences

Shut Up, You're Welcome - Annie Choi Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/07/shut-up-you-are-welcome-by-annie-choi.htmlWhat is humor? From Wikipedia, humor is "the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement." That said, I believe that humor is highly subjective. Authors take a big fat chance when writing about their "humorous" lives because, describing that chicken that shat in your living room is not guaranteed to make me laugh... even if you wet your pants everytime you tell the story.Shut up, you are welcome is the collection of stories by Annie Choi describing her childhood and relationships with her parents and brother, her hatred for theater, and some other nuisances. It is supposed to be funny... as in, maybe is not.Which, it isn't. Really. I found the writing a little abrupt for my taste and the humor utterly dry; it didn't even make me smile.... not even a Mona Lisa smile.Nowadays, any author who uses the word "fuck" is described as a badass. Obviously, Choi is NOT my kind of badass... which reminds me, when is Chelsea Handler going to publish another book? I need something to wash the sour taste of Shut up, you are welcome off my once perfectly fine, now acrid mouth. Unfortunately, by the time I DNF the book the damage was already done.

The Butterfly Sister: A Novel

The Butterfly Sister - Amy Gail Hansen Ruby's acquaintance, Beth, disappeared, the odd thing is that Ruby received Beth's suitcase. For once, our main character doesn't embark in a journey to find out what happened. Well, she does go here and there kind of snooping around, but not for that reason. What is eating Ruby inside is that she wants to know if Beth had an affair with Ruby's ex-boyfriend.But even worst, Ruby can't stop wondering "did he dumped me for Beth?? Arrrggghh, I've been there too, so I could just imagine Ruby thinking about this day and night. Of course that if (like 15 years ago?) I've had the chance to find out the "real" reason for that abrupt break up (being work-busy is not a valid excuse guys!!!) I would have....As I was reading The Butterfly Sister, I'd say Ruby "let it go girl, it's already done." But really, she did what some of us wished we could do: find out who "stole" our man!!!What Ruby discovered is not pretty. At all.Hansen's writing is lovely! It has kind of a hypnotic effect because I couldn't put it down even when I was reading some trivial parts about Ruby's romance. The subject of story is VERY interesting because it involves a romance with a college professor. When I started reading this I was all infuriated like "no, this is just wrong! Professors DO NOT date their students! Please god, tell me this doesn't end well because, what is the message that Hansen will be sending here?"Yeah, sometimes I get all that righteous.I was totally immersed in Ruby's thesis about women writers and suicide. Has Hansen actually written something about that? I need to find out. The ending was a little too simplistic for such a good beginning and buildup. It came and went really fast, and it left me empty. After I had invested so much of myself (comparing my exes to Ruby's) I wanted some other type of closure. Really, not nice to leave a girl open-ended like that.I am proud to say that I was able to figure out the plagiarism part!!! Yes, sometimes I am brilliant too. However, the ending did take me entirely by surprised. I did not see that coming! At all. It was like those stories where a new character is introduced all suddenly and, well, how could have anyone seen that coming? Over all, yes, I liked it very much!!!!!!

The Well to Tirnanog

The Well to Tirnanog - E Reilly Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-well-to-tirnanog-by-e-reilly.htmlThe Well to Tirnanog is an exciting and moving ride through Irish mythology. In the year 995 AD, the evening before the “darker half” of the year, little Svana goes to get water from the well behind her hut and finds herself face to face with a messenger from an Otherworld.The encounter takes Svana to the mythical Irish land of Trinanog inhabited by the Tuatha Dedannan, descendants from goddess Dune and the fifth tribe said to have settled in Ireland. Why is she there and how can she return to Earth? Soon, Svana's world is transformed from mere mortal chores to a true adventure as she learns the role she is to play in the future of her people and her own. The Well to Tirnanog is also a learning experience of Irish mythology. You know how with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao some readers wished there was a glossary for all the Dominican slang that was used throughout the book? Well, Tirnanog has a glossary and timeline for reference, which comes very handy and helps to put the reading into actual historical context.Reilly writing is elegant, lyrical, and ... layered. BUT, unlike The League of Somebodies, Reilly's writing is digestible, light and fun, and easy to delve into for the common man like myself even if she's writing about the supernatural.I wonder how much research Reilly had to do for this story, but her passion for Ireland is palpable.

The Radleys

The Radleys - Matt Haig Will review later :-)

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die - April Henry via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-girl-who-was-supposed-to-die-by.htmlI picked The girl who was supposed to die because I love Henry’s previous book, The night she disappeared. Sadly, I didn’t like this one as much as I loved the other.In The girl who was supposed to die, we meet a girl who wakes up with no memory of who she is, where she is, or why she just heard a voice ordering to have her killed.Just my kind of story! The book picks up fast and it keeps getting better and better. It is when we found out who this girl is, and why people want her dead, that it all goes down the toilet.I rate the second half of the book as total, unbelievable 'romantic-mystery teen crap.' You know what I mean? Like those simple romantic books that throw a little senseless mystery in to have an excuse for a girl and a boy to meet? I did like the minimal cliffhangers. That is, I didn’t have to nervously bite my nails wondering when something would be explained (other than the girl’s true identity), because things always unfolded in the next chapter. For once, the male character wasn’t described as the handsome, take-me-now type. Thus, I was surprised when, after Henry less than favorable description of him, he tagged along. For so much depth and fine execution put into the beginning of the book, I just wonder what happened to Henry to change the quality of the story towards the end. Even more, I felt as if two different authors had written the book! Henry, the beginning, and some else the second half.

Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife

The Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife - Rebecca Kanner Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-sinners-and-sea-untold-story-of.htmlIt started good but I lost interest when Noah was introduced. I don't know if he changed later on (because I couldn't finish the book) but at the beginning Noah was a very unlikable character. I know the story is not about him, but still. I doubt any fearful men of "the God of Adam" would treat their wife as a mating tool. And Noah was dirty, with claws? Okay, long fingernails. Eeeooohhh! She made him sound demented! Which we all know he was not because at the end it rained, didn't it? I found very little biblical context in the story. I know is fiction, but the liberties taken with the story just ruined it for those who have a decent amount biblical knowledge. Some things left me hanging. For instance, the wedding; or should I say the lack of it? Noah goes into... the girl's tent to bring her with him, and that is that. Was marriage just like that? As in, "come now, we have to get going." I didn't expect a celebration but a little explanation, maybe?I usually enjoy the dialogue and writing style found in The Sinners and the Sea, but for some inexplicable reason I got bored.Bored of the "wife" passiveness and the kind of nothingness that was going on.As I said before, maybe everything changed later in the book, but it didn't keep me interested to find out.Biblical fiction? Barely. I loved The Red Tent which this book is compared to. Not a chance. The Sinners and the Sea lacks research, development and depth.If you'd like to read good biblical fiction read Francine Rivers instead.

Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island - Regina Calcaterra Who is Regina Calcaterra? Well, currently, she is the Chief Deputy Executive of Suffolk County. Sounds fancy?What is interesting is Regina’s life. Raised by an abusive mother, Regina and her four siblings endured a tragic childhood facing hunger, physical, psychological abuse, and their share of foster care.In Etched in Sand, Regina proudly recounts the early years of her life until she became a lawyer and a New York State Official.The book is an inspiration for those living in poverty and whoever thinks that to succeed in life one must be born in the right family.

Quarantine #2: The Saints

The Saints - Lex Thomas Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/08/quarantine-saints-by-lex-thomas.htmlOh! Lex and Thomas did it again in this sequel to the Loners.As horrifying and disgustingly explicit as the first!! :-)However, I have a little problem with Quarantine #2: I had no idea what was going on in the opening chapter. I had completely forgotten how Quarantine #1 ended, so here I was trying to connect – again, with Will and Lucy. But once I got into it again, I became absorbed in the grotesque environment of the school again.Let me give you a tiny advancement: Sam got what was coming for him! Oh yeah, baby. I enjoyed every single moment of Sam’s… let’s say predicament.So, since this was Sam’s time, I just figure the next book will be about Hilary. You will not believe what the bitch did! Lex Thomas better comes up with something really, really awesome – in a bad way – for Hilary.Oh! Almost forgot about the Saints, this other group in book #2 that I can’t remember if it was already present in book #1. And, if it wasn’t, where did they get so many members from?Anyway, the leader of the Saints, Gates, almost drove me to skip pages with his constant search for adventure, aka adrenaline. I later understood what that was all about, but as I was reading I was really wondering what the point of Gates and his constant stunts were.All in all, this a sequel didn’t disappoint me!!!!

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality - Elizabeth Eulberg Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/07/revenge-of-girl-with-great-personality.htmlSome teenagers might be entertained reading how Lexi went from “ugly duckling” to swan. And I use “ugly duckling” with quotations because Lexie never considers herself to be ugly, just not pretty.And what is the norm in stories about non-pretty girls? Well, that they change (by putting on some makeup, fix their hair, and change their clothes) and become hotties.Revenge of the girl with great personality is not different. It is a light, entertaining read if you are on the beach and want to read something quick, uncomplicated. Don’t look for depth or a life-changing message in the story because there’s none. After Lexi’s transformation, she becomes almost the center of attention; oddly, she is upset of getting so much attention just because she changed her looks… This didn’t make sense at all. Didn’t she just change her looks to get attention? Why, then, argue when you are getting it?I totally agree on using your looks when your brain and great personality aren’t getting you what you want! But don’t act offended all self-righteous when men look at you as a sex object. Many bloggers feel that the title of the book is misleading because there’s no betrayal in the story; thus no actual revenge is done. However, I feel that the title is very fitting. In the book, Lexi equals “great personality” with being ugly and fat. So she changes her looks (although she is neither ugly nor fat) to prove that girls with great personalities can be physically beautiful too. This, my dear readers who’ve made this far, is her revenge.


Strangelets - Michelle Gagnon Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/08/strangelets-by-michelle-gagnon.html I am sad not be able to join the sea of good reviews that Strangelets is receiving :-(I found the story to be annoying, dragging and boring!The concept of a couple of unrelated teenagers who were about to die traveling thru a black hole to meet in another place/world was… interesting, at first. I became tired of the constant introductions: “who are you? Why are we here? Why are you doing this to me? Where are we?” I also grew bored of the sense of danger that never amount to anything: “what was that noise? Did you hear that? Wait! I saw a shadow! Oh my god! Oh my god! What was that thing?” That kind of suspense didn’t work for me. It reminded me of The Darkling by R.B. Chesterton were things wanted to happen but never did. Strangelet was moving too slow trying to generate suspense, and then the end became abruptly. - The different POV were all about the same.- The dialogue kept repeating itself. - The diary/journal part was… what was that really? Why was that even there?- Monsters/creatures were trying to eat them and that was that. They were there because… well, an empty world wouldn’t had been fun, I guess. - The explanation time traveling was okay; quantum physics can never go wrong! But the ending… the ending people!*****Spoil alert: stop reading if you don’t want to know how this book ends *******After all they go through in this other world, a simple push of a button on a freaking machine sends them back to the present. Really, that’s IT? Sophie: She wakes up back in the hospital , but she is no longer dying. Her cancer was cured (god only knows how or why). Immediately after waking up, she logs on to FB (wasn’t she unable to do anything but breath for months? How come she has an active FB account?). Anyway, she logs on to FB to find her now boyfriend Declan. Alas! He is online. They make sure they each made it back from the other world fine. Declan: He wakes up in his bedroom at home and that is that. No mention or remorse of the girlfriend he has (his real girlfriend in the present who is NOT Sophie). Despite being with said girlfriend for a year, and stealing in order to have money to buy her a birthday present, Declan quickly forgot about her when he met Sophie. Oh! I’m sorry; I almost forgot that a book without insta love does not sell….The inside flap of the book says: “Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home.” Total deceiving crap! What secrets were those? What was the key to get back home? None, none, and none.

Loteria: A Novel

Loteria: A Novel - Mario Alberto Zambrano Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/07/loteria-by-mario-alberto-zambrano.htmlLuz tells her story through a game of cards called loteria. Each card she draws has a picture (a hat, a spider, a frog, etc.) that reminds her of an episode of her life. Thus we know Luz and her family this way.Why is Luz’s father in jail? Where is her mom? Why is her sister Estrella in the ICU? Slowly and charmingly, Luz discovers little by little the happy and tragic moments of her family. The story is not about romance, mystery or adventure. It’s simply a prettily telling of a little Mexican girl’s life now in the USA, with some touches of Mexican culture and traditions. Loteria is short and goes fast. I read it in one day only. This is not the work that is going to get Zambrano into the Latin American’s writers guild, but the book could be used for discussion in high school.There’s plenty to take from the book to make students write about diversity, culture and tradition…. Something that students hate writing about but schools officials neglect to see. Oh! The price seems to be too high! The book is only 277 pages and tiny (5x7), and about 80 pages are pictures.