“Turn the page for a sneak peek of [new work!]”

Have you noticed this message at the end of any books recently? Or more likely, at the end of most of them?

While I understand the trend from the author’s point of view, here are the ways they can be annoying and why I believe they should be shorter:

  • It’s an unexpected surprise when you still have (what you thought) was a lot of book left, because you’re not someone who flicks to the back first.
  • On a Kindle, your book suddenly stops at 80%. What’s the point of a progress rate if it doesn’t go to 100%? The worst part of this being that Kindle books usually automatically open to page 1, and not the table of contents that might serve as a warning.
  • These sneak peeks tend to be the entire first chapter. On the one hand, this means the book you’re currently holding is more than just the one book – on the other, it means that when you buy the next one, you’re technically buying a second copy of Chapter 1. (Okay, the cycle continues with book 2 having the first chapter of book 3, but where does it end?)
  • It’s only happened to me once, but apparently the “preview” can be of a short story so short that the preview is actually the story. It was successful, in that I was interested enough to go and buy the other “book”, but I didn’t much appreciate paying for something I’d already read.

Do you like this new “preview” trend? Do you always skip it? Do you agree that they shouldn’t be the entire first chapter? Tell me your thoughts!

Miss Adventure by Geralyn Corcillo

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What would you do if you survived a freak accident and woke up after a three-month coma with no fiance and millions in settlement money? Lisa Flyte decides that she’s going to seize her second chance with both hands.

The book picks up after she’s dropped eight dress sizes, started taking business classes to learn how to put her money to good use, and decided to become Miss Adventure.

Enter Jack Hawkins. An adrenaline junkie who Lisa decides is the perfect person to teach her how to be brave: brave enough to stand up to her family, brave enough to change her life, brave enough to become the kind of woman who jumps out of airplanes. (Literally.) Conveniently, he also thinks she’s the perfect newbie to test out his new range of idiot-proof adventuring gear.

Is she a natural? Of course not, or it wouldn’t be a comedy.

Is Jack the kind of rough outdoorsman who makes her eat disgusting things? No, or she would have gone running in the other direction and it wouldn’t have worked as well as a romantic comedy.

Are there obstacles along the way to their happily ever after? Aren’t there always? These obstacles, however, I found refreshingly different – it wasn’t a case of an ex boy/girlfriend, or a love triangle, but… without giving too much away, Lisa’s quite the media bait. And is actually written as someone with some business sense, rather than being purely focused on her love life.

As someone who not so long ago claimed to not like romance, I seem to have been reading quite a lot of it lately… with the caveat that it needs to have a twist (like the adventuring here) rather than focusing on the bedroom page after page after page.

Another thing I loved:

Don’t you just love a title that works multiple ways? Miss Adventure, as in a woman who likes outdoors adventures, or Misadventure, as in The Misadventures of Lisa Flyte, because – as with most romantic comedies – Lisa has her fair share. They’re just not usually televised.

 

To Have a Favourite, or Not to Have a Favourite?

Who’s your favourite author? Singer? Director?

Most people can answer these questions. Whoever the answer it is, it means that they sit on their edge of their seats, waiting for the stroke of midnight when they can finally get their hands on the latest offering.

Is anyone else not like that? If I happen to like several books by the same person, it’s probably one series. If I happen to like a few songs by one singer, it’s a coincidence and doesn’t mean that I love everything.

For example, I was one of the many who liked The Fault in Our Stars. So when I went to my local bookshop, I picked up An Abundance of Katherines and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. But then I found that I didn’t like Katherines as much as I’d hoped to, and now I’m reluctant to read the other one.

I enjoyed The Princess Diaries – the books, the films and Royal Wedding. Someone happened to give me Queen of Babble, and did I love it as much? No. Partly because my brain was still busy associating Meg Cabot with Princess Diaries and comparing the two.

I consider both of these authors ‘favourites’, in that I like the things I’ve read and I’ll probably read more… but they’re not my “OMG THEY’VE RELEASED SOMETHING NEW!!!” favourites. I don’t think anyone is.

Am I alone?

What I’m binge-watching: Switched at Birth

UPDATE: Never mind. Turns out they’ve just decided that the final season won’t air till 2017(!), so I have almost a year to watch 30 episodes. All the time in the world! (Unfortunately. Surely it would make more sense to just finish it off?)


Switched at Birth was cancelled a few days ago; a ten-episode season 5 will be its last, with a 2-hour finale. Once I was done being sad about that, I did the math: if I watch at least one episode a day, I can reach the season 4 finale by the beginning of April, just in time to watch season 5 as it airs.

So, my next couple of posts are going to be my binge-watch of seasons 3B and 4.

Never heard of it? Read on… Continue reading

Annie’s 2nd Chance by Willie Amsden

I recently reviewed the first book of the Annie McCauley series, and the gist was “I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I love it enough to start reading it at 4 books and end up getting sucked in to 104 books.”

I haven’t entirely changed my mind, but reading the second book has changed some of my opinions. Let’s see how it improved things:

  • It seemed unrealistic that life-threatening things would happen to a model.

Book 2 makes a clearer shift away from modelling as Annie realizes she’d rather help people than pose and look pretty for them. If you’re looking for books specifically about a model these probably aren’t for you, though there is still some modelling happening.

  • A love triangle isn’t a great triangle if the reader isn’t struggling to choose between them.

The guy I found lacking in the last book gets a little more developed in this one, though not in a particularly good way. It’s less of a triangle and more Guy 1 and Annie not being able to let go of what she thinks could have with Guy 2.

  • I compared it to the Stephanie Plum books

And it’s still a fair comparison, especially now Annie’s decided to follow a more Stephanie-like path. Annie, like Stephanie, relies more on luck (and the love interest) than skill, but that’s probably to be expected in romantic comedy mystery series.

Annie does at least transition into it more realistically. She’s a model who gets mixed up in excitement and decides she wants to help people and become a bit of an adrenaline junkie; Stephanie gets fired from her original job, asks her bail-bondsman cousin for work, and just hates all her other alternatives more than she hates bounty hunting.

 

Annie’s 1st Break by Willie Amsden

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TL;DR: Meet Annie. She moved from Texas to New York to become a supermodel and she’s just about to get her first big break when her arch nemesis gets in the way. No sooner has she dealt with that than she finds herself mixed up with kidnappers and an infuriating private detective… all she ever wanted was to be a model.

Annie’s an enjoyable heroine and it was a fun read, though I’m not sure I need another (potentially) long series in my life. I would have preferred if it had just stuck with the sabotage, but maybe life threatening peril is part of the genre? ♥♥♥♥/5 Continue reading

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Arrow 4×08, “Legends of Yesterday.”

Every time I watch Arrow because it’s the second half of a Flash crossover, I always wish I had stuck with it. As much as I like Felicity, I stopped around the middle of season 1 because it was just… I don’t know. (And probably a bit because Felicity’s my favourite. That’s like M being your favourite part of a Bond film.)

It’s so much more violent and dark and serious than The Flash. You see it in each one of these crossovers, when Oliver’s the brooding serious older brother to Barry’s little kid, I love it.

Do any of you watch both? Do you prefer one over the other at all?