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writerwannabe RSS Feed (Louisville, KY USA)

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Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Studio Series Artist Edition: Jonny Wan
Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Studio Series Artist Edition: Jonny Wan
Offered by [AIM USA]
Price: $16.99
3 used & new from $16.99

1.0 out of 5 stars The artwork is nice, but I've had other Microsoft mice that didn't ..., July 13, 2014
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Won't buy this mouse again. The artwork is nice, but I've had other Microsoft mice that didn't quickly use up battery power.

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - Xbox 360
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - Xbox 360
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $29.99
43 used & new from $9.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Bad game. Bad graphics, July 13, 2014
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Bad game. Bad graphics. It takes too long to get to a save point and if you keep dying then you'll get frustrated and give up because the save points are automatic and they're far apart, and you cannot save on your own. that's really frustrating.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Revised & Expanded: Prima Official Game Guide
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Revised & Expanded: Prima Official Game Guide
by David S. J. Hodgson
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from $31.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 13, 2014
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Great book. Definitely buy. I used it a lot while playing the game and glad I bought it.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects
HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects
Price: $4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked the Kickstarter format idea and thought it was unique., July 13, 2014
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This book started out strong. I liked the Kickstarter format idea and thought it was unique, and knew I had to buy this book. The stories were hilarious, weird, confusing, and boring. I loved the title story and thought it was very funny (Help Fund My Robot Army). Some where very clever in how you thought you knew what was happening until the twist was revealed. My favorite story was For Entertainment Purposes Only. It was absolutely HILARIOUS when you got to the end and learned the twist. There was a vampire one where Nosferatu was asking for donations and lamenting about teenage sparkly, metrosexual vampires. I thought the author was trying too hard with that one, and the irony is that Nosferatu was angry with the young romanticized vampire, but Nosferatu came off as a teenager himself, instead of the 200+ year old vampire he claimed to be (I think this is more of the author's writing, tho). The weirdest and most surprising one was Help Summon the Most Holy Folded One, about a guy who's trying to summon the taco god to learn how to make perfect tacos and guacamole. That sounds stupid, but it was a neat twist at the end. I saw the twist coming because I caught the foreshadowing, but I'm glad the story didn't end up as trite as the title makes it sound, and it ended up being a satisfactory read.

I got about 60% into the book and noticed that too many of the stories started to sound the same - an individual or corporation that wanted money to take over the world and kill everyone in the process. Some campaigns were forthright from the beginning about their intentions, and some campaigns weren't straightforward, but it was obvious their intentions without them saying, and my favorite were the campaigns that were clever about it, you didn't know their true intentions until it was too late and you had donated. Either way, these types of stories became cliche and boring after reading so many of them.

The plot plays out in the description of the campaigns and through the comments and direct messages. I liked how one story was thoughtful to give some detail in teh comments that most stories hadn't thought of. It was unnecessary, but a small touch of realism, where a "commenter" made a needless comment and the campaign creator commented back to tell him to stop trolling. I thought that was a nice touch of detail about the kind of comments you can get through social media campaigns like Kickstarter, and I thought all the stories gave a realistic interpretation of the kind of comments you can find on Kickstarter, right down to ppl commenting that it's a scam to ppll commenting: LOVE IT. BACKED!!! to ppl just trolling.

There were a few stories that were boring and I skimmed. Some stories were so confusing and I didn't get them.

One more story I liked was the vampire sanctuary that was started by someone to protect the vampires because they were coming extinct. That was pretty funny.

Overall, I think this book deserves, probably 3 1/2 stars, but I rounded up. I'm glad I read it, but I didn't like all the stories in it and too many stories followed the same theme (not talking about kickstarter theme), which made them trite and boring. I wish the editor had varied the types of themes in the stories he choose.

State of Decay (REVIVORS)
State of Decay (REVIVORS)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read., June 3, 2013
This book was interesting. It gives a different take on zombies, though in a way they didn't really seem like zombies; in the book, they're called "revivors," which are reanimated bodies with electronic parts that makes them obey commands. People in this dystopian society can volunteer to become revivors after their deaths in exchange for a better life. These are definitely not your "eat your brains" zombies.

I thought the writing was great. there are 4 POVs all told in first-person; there are about 3 POVs per chapter. I liked how the Knapp developed the characters, even though there were four vying for air-time in a novel that's less than 400 pages in paperback. I loved how all the plots converged and began to intertwine about 1/3 of the way through the book. Each POV character is handling their own plot and problems and nothing is rushed with any of the plots.

The problems I had was with the dialogue. It was hard to follow sometimes without proper attribution, so I became confused many times about who was talking.

Knapp did a good job with the climax and continuously raising the stakes for the main POV character, Nico. I think the author is great plotting and State of Decay has some of the best plotting I've read in a book. I liked the intricate plots and storylines and how they all came together.

My least favorite character was Caliope Flax and my favorite character was Zoe Ott. There was a weird bit of almost-romance between Nico and one of the other POV characters that would have made me vomit had it actually happened. I just can't see Nico with any of these characters except the one he actually had a relationship with.

But, despite all of this, I can't say that I'm tempted to read the sequel. I'd probably recommend this book to anyone who wants a different take on zombies. I might change my mind later about reading the sequel because something keeps gnawing at the back of mind about this book and what happens next, but I"m just not compelled at the moment to want to read more.

Give Up the Ghost
Give Up the Ghost
by Megan Crewe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $6.80
36 used & new from $1.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a lot of high school drama., November 29, 2012
This review is from: Give Up the Ghost (Hardcover)
This book is well written and entertaining, but has too much high school drama for my taste. I wouldn't really call it true paranormal, but more like magical realism. It was a quick and very easy read which makes me think this might be for younger teens, but then some of the language used in the book makes me think otherwise.

The character has a spunky attitude, but she's also full of herself, overly dramatic, a whiner, and attention-seeking. During a lot of parts during the book, I kept rolling my eyes at the character's dramatics and her feeling sorry for herself.

Regarding the writing. The author is a very skilled writer, the character grows into a better person at the end. I hated the flashbacks; too much middle-school drama during those moments and they went on longer than I'd have liked. The premise is great, too.

If you like books with a lot of high school drama then this might be for you. This book is more for younger teens and has a light feel to it.

Blood Oath
Blood Oath
by Christopher Farnsworth
Edition: Hardcover
223 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars So-so book. Plot kept me interested enough to finish., November 17, 2012
This review is from: Blood Oath (Hardcover)
This book is more deserving of 2 1/2 stars.

The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading. The writing style was tolerable, but it also made the characters feel distant. I couldn't connect with any of the characters, not even when Cade flashed back to his woe-is-me days of taking the Blood Oath and the flashback to how he became a vampire. In fact, I hated the flashbacks. There were only two major ones involving Cade and they were too long and too impersonal for me to care.

There were also too many characters and POV switches for me to care about any of the characters. I can tell the author worked hard at fleshing out the characters and they do seem well-developed; all of them. But, they come across in a very impersonal way to me that the character development doesn't matter because I couldn't empathetic or sympathies with any of them. I think this problem has to do with the distant narrative.

My other problem I had was the action and reaction of some of the characters. It didn't seem realistic. I've never worked in the White House and I've never been a secret service agent nor have I ever been in a position to physically protect someone with my life, but the actions of many of the minor characters seemed unrealistic. The author made the Secret Service agents out to be wusses and let this young, arrogant guy (Burrows) give them orders like they don't know what they should be doing. And all the secret service agents leave the President in a room with only one agent guarding him. That's not my impression of the real Secret Service agents who are sworn to protect the President. I understand from the acknowledgements section that the author sought the advice from President Clinton's secretary, but a secretary is not a Secret Service Agent nor has any experience or training as such. It would have been great had the author also sought the advice of someone who has a duty to protect people like a professional bodyguard, for example. I'm not saying that President Clinton's secretary gave the author advice on the inner workings of the Secret Service, but if you're going to delve into the inner workings of the Secret Service then at least get the advice of someone who knows something about it and can at least give you general advice. And, maybe the author did but took extreme liberties with it just like he did the interior of the White House. My main complaint is the reaction of the Secret Service in the book and how the author made them look like weak people who are unqualified for their jobs.

The ending (epilogue) was also weak and unsatisfactory. I wondered why Cade went after the person he did instead of making a case against the scientist. I also wondered how Cade realized that the Vice President was the one who ordered them grounded while the attack was taking place and why Cade didn't speak up about it.

The Time Keeper
The Time Keeper
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $8.89

3.0 out of 5 stars Liked the sparse prose, but characters lacked development., October 1, 2012
This review is from: The Time Keeper (Kindle Edition)
This book is more worthy of 3 1/2 stars, but I rounded down, for some reasons that I'll explain.

This is my first Mitch Albom book and I had heard a lot about it when I went to his site to get information about The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I read the blurb for this book and it sounded interesting. Good thing that it's also a pretty short book, fewer than 230 pages in hardcover.

I thought it was well written and thought some of the lines were genius. I also liked that it wasn't bogged down with description, information and backstory. I loved the flow of some of the dialogue where it was sparse and without action beats or he said/she said.

Some parts I thought would have been better if it were shown instead of told. I liked the narration. The book kept my attention by keeping me guessing with what was going to happen next, so even during times when it seemed slow and boring, there was something that made me keep picking up the book and turning pages. I also liked that the chapters were pretty short because it gave me a sense of making progress through a book that I really wanted to hurry up and finish so I can crack open the next book.

In a way the narration was pretty distant, but I liked it and I think it worked for the actual prose, which I liked, but not for the characters. I couldn't identify with the characters. I couldn't relate to Dor, so had no feeling for what happened to him in the end. I couldn't relate to the main female character and thought she was under-developed. For instance, something happens between her and a boy that sends her emotions spinning out of control. I can completely understand someone in her situation breaking down the way she did, but I couldn't see this character breaking down in that manner; it seemed out of character for her, and, like Dor, I didn't feel any emotion for her or her situation. I kind of understood Victor a bit more, but I also thought he could have been more developed. We're told throughout the story that he's super rich and can buy anything he wants but I think that would have better off shown to the reader than told to us.

I think the author lacked a lot of development with the 3 main characters and the book is so short that Albom definitely had enough room to really explore who they were because I don't think he did it effectively in this book.

There were two things that really bothered me about the book that made me round down the 3 1/3 stars to 3 instead of rounding up to 4. I didn't like that it was obviously trying to teach me a lesson and I didn't like the blatant religious overtones. I prefer to read books without preaching and without the author thrusting religion in my face.

Overall, the book was just okay. I like Albom's sparse prose and a lot of other things about his writing style. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven is still on my to-read list and I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to know if they should read it.

The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff
The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff
Price: $18.14
18 used & new from $12.00

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this Stuff Pack!, August 26, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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I love this stuff pack. This is the first stuff pack I've bought for my sims game, and I've been playing The Sims franchise since it was first released over a decade ago. This is the first stuff pack that has impressed me enough to buy it.

Before I bought it, I watched the Diesel walk through the Sims producers held that showed all the items in the game, so I knew exactly what I was getting. They also made it known that they were only focusing on adult sims and the pack wouldn't offer clothes for other age groups. They also said they were responding to fan suggestions to offer more male clothes, and I love all the male clothes in the pack, especially the pants. I love the furniture, too, especially the bed. The female clothes are great, and I especially love the pants.

I think the price I paid was a little high for the pack, but I don't regret buying it. I made a sound decision when buying it and my decision was cemented when I watched the Diesel walkthrough held by the producers, so I knew exactly what to expect from the pact. I suggest any simmer who's thinking about buying a stuff pack or expansion pack watch the producer walk throughs so they can at least see what's being offered in terms of items and game play so they can make a good buying decision.

I also like that the Diesel pack offers real life replica of real Diesel clothes. It's nice seeing side-by-side comparisons and seeing how authentic they look in game and how great a job Sims producers did in making them look like the originals. I'll definitely consider buying future clothes stuff packs and love that they're collaborating with other companies and love the cross branding. Sims 3 is by far my favorite game and I've been playing since The Sims 1 was released.

Since the Diesel pack was announced, I started following Diesel on Facebook and they've shown some of the real clothes that are in the stuff pack, and Sims 3 producers have done the same. Good cross branding, because I actually did check out the Diesel website to consider buying some of their clothes, but they're way too pricey for my budget.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2012 5:04 AM PST

Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles Book 0)
Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles Book 0)

3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay., June 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not my favorite type of vampire, but it's well written and a complete short story none-the-less. I read a lot of short stories and this is exactly what a short story should be, so the other comments saying it's just a sample or it's just a chapter confuses me. It's a short story spinoff of the books (which I have not read) that's supposed to introduce readers to the world and characters of The Gardella Vampire Chronicles.

The writing was great. The story kept my attention. BUT, the short story itself was subpar. I'll probably forget about it in a few weeks. It's not the most interesting vampire short story I've read. It also doesn't compel me to want to read the books.

It was a free download, so it was worth it. :)

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