Book Review: The Grownup

Title: The Grownup
Author: Gillian Flynn
Format: Hardcover
Published: 2014

“On a whim/because of a feeling” is probably not a good method of picking every book I ever read, but it’s the method I used with this one.  There is something about the cover art that just drew me in, and I couldn’t help it.  “Story by the author of Gone Girl” led me to believe it had some potential because Gone Girl was widely successful.  So I paid $1.50 for this at my local used bookstore because it looked brand new and I was drawn to it.

Also, it’s quite short, which I liked, because I’ve not been able to finish books lately.

Anyway.  So the book starts out with our main character describing her day job – she gives hand jobs to guys.  23,000 plus over the past three years, by her estimates.  But carpal tunnel set in and she moved up in her company, to clairvoyant, and now instead of jacking off guys for their hard earned money, she took a more figurative approach with the women folk.

She met a woman named Susan.  A disgruntled mother with a busy husband, a son of her own, and a crazy step-son that needed stopped.  Oh, and the house.  The house was angry, and could she fix Susan’s life?

Eventually our MC decided to swindle her out of a few grand by sprinkling sage and lavender around the house, washing a wall or two, and then calling everything fixed.  The husband was gone so much he may as well have been MIA.  The son was a sweet seven year old with a lock on his door because the step-brother was a bit of a handful.  And the step brother was a teenage with a devious streak that everyone was afraid of.

Part way into the con, there’s a twist that I’m not going to share with you because holy shit.  I didn’t see that coming and all and when it hit, I stopped reading for a minute to take in it’s glory.  Next came a twist on the twist that left you confused as to what was right and what was wrong.

Y’all, I’ll write you a story, but I am not this smart.

No wonder Gone Girl was so well received and no wonder this story originally released in an anthology with an amazing cast of authors along side it.

I’m being vague on purpose because I don’t want to spoil it.

So the story is fabulous.  The first few pages were so funny that I was laughing out loud in the middle of McDonalds.  And there are some fabulous one liners like “Books may be temporary, dicks are forever” that are delivered so matter of factly that you just can’t stop reading.   (Oh, and for those who are worried, it’s a clean book.  They don’t describe any of the handjobs at all…)

When I finished the book, I smiled.  It was perfect.  I just want to caress this book’s cover all night and tell it I love it.  And when I flipped the last page and saw who the acknowledgement was for, I was giddy with delight.  I’m so glad I was surprised by that at the end.

So definitely 5/5 pages for this.  Read it.  Love it.  Share it with your friends.

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Book Review- Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney

Title: Bloodthirsty
Author: Flynn Meaney
Format: Paperback
Published: 2010

It has been a while since I’ve actually gone out and bought a book for myself. It’s what happens when you are ‘poor’ you don’t buy books you borrow them from the library. Of course you borrow them even when you can buy then because sometimes you pick up a book not knowing if you will like it and would rather not spend money on a book you may not like. Still one day I happened to actually go to a book store. It is a place I have to avoid because there are so many pretty books that call my name.

On a lark I actually stopped and looked at the bargain books, the ones that sit on racks outside the book store and you feel like it is far too easy just to walk away and steal the books. (I didn’t steal any books of course.) Usually the cart is filled with weird children’s picture books, cook books and failed self help books. There is some fiction but most of it is bad fiction. Yet, I looked I was curious and that is where I saw Bloodthirsty, a vampire novel, judging by the title and the cute little smiley heart with fangs. It was enough for me to look at the blurb. I admit I have a thing in some respect for vampires. I actually prefer werewolves but there is a sad lack of those and more vampire books so I’ll get my supernatural creatures of the night fix where I can. Of course with the huge vampire craze that is out there, one has to be careful as there are a lot of terrible vampire books out there.

Still I’ll give a book a chance to hook me with the blurb and the first page or so of the book. Bloodthirsty intrigued me. On the cover it has the tagline of “Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.” In an instant I knew that this could be amusing and not your everyday classic vampire novel. As I looked over and considered the book the price of less than $3 dollars had me and it was the first book written by Flynn Meaney and being an aspiring author myself I suddenly felt bad that her book was on it’s way out. So all factors combined I bought it. It was nice to buy a book potentially support an author and have a cheap book that might be a decent read.

It took a while before I could get around to reading the book, and at first I wasn’t sure about it. The start while interesting wasn’t really the start of the story, it was the hook so to speak. It starts with a girl asking the main character to turn her into a vampire like him – the problem being he really wasn’t a vampire. From there the book digresses as Finbar (the main character and narrator) starts to tell about his life and background which eventually lead to his becoming a vampire or rather a fake vampire. In some ways it annoyed me at the start along with the idea that he had a twin brother named Luke. Twin brother? Fine? Twin brothers names Luke and Finbar? Not so much. It always annoys me a little when two characters in the same family have opposing first names unless an explanation is given. Like a blended family where they agree to name one child based on one ethnicity and another for another ethnicity or even a terrible family name has to be passed down so one child get cursed with that name while the rest of the family gets average names. I know they are weak excuses but something rather than what Flynn did. It was all a matter that Finbar was named such because it was very vampire like.

Still despite my pet peeve coming into play in this novel, I continued to read and before long Finbar’s story captured my interest and I was looking forward to my lunch break where I could take more time to read the book. While the book seems comedic in concept it wasn’t exactly a dead set comedy based on the style, yet, I found myself snickering and laughing and even pausing on occasion due to the humor. I loved it.

Overall the story as a whole is simple and straight to the point, pale, super thin, quiet, geeky Finbar struggles to get the girl and is fed up not being noticed at all. Through a serries of odd weird little events a girl mistakes him for a vampire and then eventually the idea hatches and forms and follows Finbar as he tries to survive life at a new high school and pretending to be a vampire. In the end the story has a moral to it. Not the whole classic moral like the little boy who cried wolf but the story has a point and tells it amusingly with some great amusing twists at the end.

I admit I was sad when I finished the book I was dreading the end for the last fifty or so pages, because I didn’t want to fun and magic to end. It was a good read and I’m certainly intrigued by the author and her second novel The Boy Recession. Of course my luck with repeating an author isn’t strong but I’ll still give Flynn Meaney another go as this book was a solid 4 out of 5 pages. It is a book that caters to a certain audience the ones who like vampires but don’t demand a serious vampire novel. If that is you, then I think this might be the right book. (Also the geek references are a lot of fun too!)

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